Thursday, February 24, 2022

An Occupation and Some Silliness

 I will start by saying that I came to Ottawa in 1976, as a student intern for the Public Service, and fell in love with this city. I lived downtown, in affordable housing, walked most everywhere because I was trying to save money, froze much of the time, and delighted in this wonderful city. 

In January, a group confused the use of "Ottawa" as the federal government with Ottawa, the city of 1 million ordinary people, who live, work, and raise their families in this lovely city, including me. After 23 days, my major takeaways from this event are:

1. Civics education in this country is sadly lacking. The first amendment to the Constitution Act of 1867 recognized Manitoba as a province. So, our first amendment right is to travel to Winnipeg, without a passport. Miranda is probably some nice lady who lives and works in Ottawa and her "Miranda" rights are the same as mine. 

2. Foreign journalists can not be credible sources of information about Canada if they can't spell, or pronounce "Ottawa". 

3. I really hope that tourists will come in droves this summer to help the businesses recover from losing a month of business, during our second busiest tourist season. (And next winter visitors come in January only to skate on the canal and eat Beavertails with their mittens on. I recommend a Killaloe Sunrise.)

National  Arts Centre 
 and Parliament Buildings on the right, Chateau Laurier on the left

As I have often said, I stress knit. Knitting is my happy place. 

Big socks, for one of the big boys in my life.

Little socks for a baby, born yesterday. 

My new bag is progressing slowly.

You can't pin the pattern to the cork fabric, so I traced it onto the back side. My chalk pencil is on its last legs, so I must order a new one.

This is the lining and possible zippers for the inside pocket. 

The fabric has been cut and the stabilizers fused. Now I must get brave, and start sewing. 

I am calling my dining room "The Conservatory" these days.

Because of where the Azalea is sitting, I couldn't get a good picture of the current Hibiscus flowers. 

These were taken at the end of my arm. I couldn't see the view finder. When I looked at them, I just laughed and decided to give u and use what I had. The perils of being vertically challenged.

PS In case you are wondering, a Beavertail is a flat, yeast raised pastry, deep fired like a donut. This Killaloe Sunrise has a topping of butter & cinnamon sugar with a wedge of lemon on the side. You buy them hot from Kiosks on the Rideau Canal during January and February, and in the streets of Ottawa. 

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Hiding at Home

 I've been joking that this week marks the 100th week of my incarceration. One hundred weeks ago, a pandemic was declared and because of my immune status, I took the advice of medical experts to stay at home in my bubble.  So, here I stay, except for some carefully planned activities.  On the up side, I've been creative.

This week, I finally finished my pencil case that I started some weeks ago.

With all the bag making practice I've had this should have been a cinch. However, I realized part way in that the fusible fleece was not really needed and was actually a hinderance to getting a good looking finish. 

The pattern is called the Gemini Pouch from Chris W Designs. It is available free from her facebook group.

I now have a tidy place to store my fancy coloured gel pens (cat side) and my washable markers (dog side). My grandson thinks it is fun to have the drawing supplies together.

As a palette cleanser from the giant shawl, I made a pair of baby socks for the first great grandson of a friend. Canadian babies need warm feet!

The yarn is the leftovers from a pair of adult socks. It is Turtlepurl Turtletoes in Rasta. This is my second pair of baby socks from the leftovers. My personal shopper picked me up the perfect gift bag.

The colour, style, and size of the bag fit the socks perfectly.

I started putting together the fabric and hardware I need to make another purse. I have most of the fabric, stabilizers and a zipper. I need some cork fabric and hardware. While I am waiting for them to arrive, I'll start cutting and fusing. I put slides on the zipper to make a two way zipper.

I actually got the slides on without a bump where they meet. I am taking this one slowly, since the cork fabric is expensive and deserves careful work.

Friday, February 4, 2022



It is a balmy -15C. My friend Michelle dropped off some supplies and I asked her to show off my newly finished shawl for you.

This is a test knit for Rhyflower Designs and I don't know why I volunteer to test knit. I always end up having to push through at the end to finish on the designer's schedule. However, I am loving the shawl. It is large and bright, just the thing to wrap around you any time of the year.

I blocked it without pinning it. It came out just the way I wanted. It is 210 cm long so it is a big shawl. I used blocking mats and an old yoga mat to give me enough length.

This is a closeup of the lace, which shows the colours better. The yarn is a Merino sock yarn from a hand dyer in England called Under the Olive Tree. I ordered it from a shop called Knitting Needle Lane, in Cambridge, England.

The hot pink doesn't show very well in the pictures. Need to work on my photo adjusting skills.

It goes well with my azalea!

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

February - Is that a Squirrel?

 Someone in my book group described February as "the longest, shortest month". I think I agree. It seems to pass so slowly, as we wait for spring. So diversions are required. 

I didn't get much sewing done in January. I dropped everything to make a pencil case for my pretty new Gel pens, and managed to get side tracked from that by my knitting, broken heating equipment, remote schooling...

However, since Sandra hasn't done a DrEAMi link up since November, she is asking for our December and January squirrels.

In December, I got a request for Christmas Stockings from my Alberta children. So I quickly put together a couple of stockings, in non-Christmas but bright fabric, as requested.

I used some of my precious stock of Laurel Burch fabric, because I knew they would love it. Since they only have fur babies, dogs and cats seemed appropriate. 

The pattern is  Holly Jolly Stocking by Lindsay Connor. If you use fusible fleece instead of quilt batting, they make up quite quickly.

Most of January, my main sewing activity has been cleaning up my sewing space. I have been watching the videos and reading the blogs from Just Get It Done Quilts, but not exactly following along. However, one day she was talking about kits, and examining them to decide if you were actually going to make the kit, or should you find  a new home or another purpose for the kit.

I came across this one.

I saw the wall hanging at a bunch of quilt shows, some years ago, and decided I needed to make it, so I bought the kit. It sat in a drawer for a number of years. I pulled it out, and offered it to a friend who I thought might enjoy it (she does more applique than I do.) I sent it off and she is already plotting how she will make it. So, I think that counts as a finish for me!

The other idea I picked up from Karen's blog, is to keep a notebook with you as you tidy, so you write yourself a note about things you find as you are cleaning, and keep going. Eventually, you will have a list of UFO's and Quilts, as well as all the ideas you got from handling your stash. It's a kind of  Squirrel Repellant!

I'm linking to Sandra's DrEAMi  # 59 .