Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Just 20 Minutes

 Many years ago, the lovely Nancy Zeiman was telling us that you can get projects done by working 10, 20, or 30 minutes at a time. You don't need to do a whole project, you can do it in bits. I keep trying, but I do sometimes forget. 

In the past week, I have been trying to work for 20 minutes every day on some sewing.

I made some dog banadanas (8 in total).


This is Canadian Summer fabric, two prints I couldn't find when the fabric first came out, but I recently found on clearance.

I finished my Saturday Bag Sampler for April.


Instead of sewing scraps together for the drawstring, I used some t-shirt yarn I had.

I also did some crafts with my 7 year old craft buddy. We made a bunch of Fabulous Freezer BooBoo Bags. (Also known as Rice Bags). Some went to his house, and some are here for times when one needs a simple cold pack.


I  got some pieces cut out for my next bag.  They just look like navy fabric, so I won't bore you. Not bad for little bits of sewing.

I started my May socks and I am working on them every day. I am to the Muppet stage of the first sock. It is the place where the heel is turned and the gusset is about half finished. A friend brought me a googly eye to pose the sock.


We have had some nice days, so things are starting to look like spring.


This forsythia bush was the first one I bought for this house, It never really bloomed well, so I put a hardier type next to it. It was a surprise this year to see it completely yellow and nearly a month after the hardier bush.


Forget-Me-Nots grow wild in my lawn. If you try to plant them in a specific spot, they will appear somewhere else, the next year.


These Grape Hyacinths are recent additions to our spring bulbs.


There are bright fuchsia tulips are flowering. Spring is often brief here, before the weather turns full summer and hot. It is lovely to enjoy it when I can.



Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Knitting Your Troubles Away

Just to make our life more interesting, the water heater decided that it didn't want to heat water any more. Turns out, it had a flair for the dramatic, so it sent water all over, as it quit its job. Of course, these things always happen on a weekend. It is all fixed now but my brain seemed better suited for knitting last week.

The April socks have been finished, nearly a week early.


They are almost a perfect match. 

I made a collage of the first four months of socks.


Since I had some time, I made the second baby sock for the pair I started earlier. Unfortunately, I lost at yarn chicken.


I did have another ball of that yarn, so I used a bit of it to finish the sock.


Very grownup baby socks!

I am doing the Saturday Sampler Bag sew along for April. The steps are quick to do, taking about 20 minutes each week. Step three was finished today.


The left is the exterior and the right is the lining. I think it will be a cute gift bag. The fabric is a couple of fat quarters from my stash. I have no memory of where they came from. Time to use them up.


Monday, April 15, 2024

When Things Don't Go As Planned

 I haven't blogged in two weeks because things were not going as I planned.

It started with the Income Tax. I discovered that it was a bigger job than usual, due to some financial decisions we made. So, I needed to understand that portion. Mudd offered to help.




He isn't as much help as he thinks.

Meanwhile, we had to do some extra grandparenting we weren't expecting, which slowed down the tax preparation.

We had a couple of lovely afternoons, which may have distracted me further from bookkeeping.


We were not in the Path of Totality, for the lunar eclipse but it was close. Unfortunately it was also overcasr, with only brief glimpses. A young friend sent me this picture that he managed to catch.


I did manage to finish the first April sock.


Of course, Mudd was helping with the extra grandparenting.


He is assisting with a jigsaw puzzle by sitting in the box. Also not helpful.

The taxes have been submitted. The second sock is coming nicely. I have sewing plans for this week. Let's hope there aren't any more surprises.




Tuesday, April 2, 2024

March Socks

 The March socks for my self imposed Sock of the Month Club, were finished with a couple of days to spare.


They feel like spring, to me. The yarn is again from Turtlepurl in New Brunswick. This month the colourway is called Joy. They were such fun to knit on the dull days of March.

Since I had a couple of days left, before starting the April Socks, I started a pair of baby socks.


I have exactly 20 grams left of this yarn, and the baby socks take about 20 gms. so this will be close.

I finished the first sock on Sunday.


My scale says I have 11 gms left. This will be yarn chicken, I think.


Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Celosia Cross Body Bag

 Awhile ago, I was asked to make a bag for a young man. The bag he was currently using was worn out. He sent me pictures and measurements of his current bag, and after a bunch of thought and planning, I decided to try this pattern. To make sure it met his requirements and because I have lots of bag making stuff, I made a trial, so he could assess whether this would make his needs.

For my trial bag, I was inspired by finding a fabric and zipper that went together perfectly.




From that, I eventually got to this.




Not bad, considering it all came from my stash (except the strap).

It was quickly apparent that the Caticorns wouldn't work on the gusset or the body of the front of the bag. So further stash diving turned up the polka dots.




I almost forgot to add my label, but remembered just before the final assembly. I think it is up a bit high.




The front pocket is large enough to hold a large phone.


It will also fit in the slip pocket inside the pocket.


There are 6 card pockets.


And the cards actually fit.

The gusset is quite wide.


The inside of the bag is quite bright. Obviously we haven't had enough sun.



I dropped my Roxy wallet in, and there is still plenty of room.


It's a 7 1/2" clasp and it looks lost inside this bag. 

If this satisfies my young friend for size and shape, the next one will be a boring navy waxed canvas. 

Pattern is Celosia Cross Body Bag by Blue Calla

Fabric is from my stash (assorted sources) 

Strap is from Blue Calla

Hardware is from Emmaline Bags

Zipper is from Zipper Valley


Tuesday, March 12, 2024

The Socks Keep Coming

 The weather has been crazy. We have had high winds, a power outage, temperatures going up and down. and despite it all, I have snowdrops.


I also have a new coffee maker, since the former coffee maker decided to overheat after the power outage. This coffee maker was a warranty replacement for another one that did a similar thing 3 months after I bought it. This one lasted about 2 years. I can't stand all that excitement, so I bought a different brand this time with fewer features.

The socks are coming nicely, at ten rows minimum per day.


The February pair were finished in February and they match.



The March pair are coming nicely.


The first sock is in the home stretch. This colourway is called Joy and seems right for March.

I was asked to make a bag for a man, in oiled canvas with a waterproof lining. I decided to make a trial bag, to make sure I understood what he wanted. So after overthinking this for a couple of months, I finally started the making. I am using a pattern called Celosia by Blue Call Patterns. It has a cross body strap and it should stand up when it is finished. I am currently using quilting cottons. It takes forever to cut all the pieces and fuse all the stablisers, but I am trying to do a bit each day.

Today, I finished cutting the fabric and started on the interfacing. I made a credit card pocket which isn't part of the pattern, but I find useful.


This is the lining of the outer pocket with the credit card slots.


This is the outside of the pocket. Just because it is a trial, I still want things to match.

Here is the strap and the zipper.


I'm pretty sure that the real bag will be boring by comparison.

It is Spring Break in Ontario, so I'm running Camp Nan for 3 days this week. I don't sew for myself on those days, but I do get some knitting done. 

Yesterday, we made peanut butter cookies.


When you are seven, even peanut butter cookies have sprinkles. After the first batch came out of the oven, my helper went off to eat cookies, and I finished the rest without sprinkles.

Emme and Mudd have their backyard friends back. One came right up to say Hi.







Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Pouches From Scraps

 I have a couple of projects I should be working on, but I just can't stop making pouches from scraps.

I have mostly finished the the blue bag with the hearts.


I am undecided as to whether I should add the drawstring, or just leave it as a little storage basket.

Lately, I have seen pouches with diagonal zippers on Instagram and YouTube. So I decided to try one, or actually two. A video I watched was showing how to make a pouch with very little waste, by making two at a time.


Tada! Two pouches with diagonal zippers, exactly the same.

I cut the fabric as big as I could get from my chosen scraps. It was about 18 inches square when I was done. I added some frankenbatting from my batting scraps, and quilted the out fabric and the lining together.

I forgot to take a picture of the fabric when I cut it, but I cut them in half with a line 3" on either side of the centre.

Then I added binding to the zipper edge.


You use one side of the zipper tape, that goes the entire length of the zipper edge. I first learned this technique on Joan Hawley's Sweetpea Pods. This was the first zipper I tried.


This is the second zipper trial. In the end, I decided that the black looked better, so I went with black. After you sew the zipper tape to the binding, you add the zipper slide to the two ends of the zipper.

My first attempt at the zipper top stitching wasn't very good.


The second was much better. 


Practice really helps (along with using a better choice of feet.)

I sewed the other seams and overcast the edges to make a clean finish on the inside.


Emme thought she would like to say Hi. She thinks Mudd gets too much attention.

The weather is really weird today. It is currently an unseasonable 13 degrees. The winds are picking up and by bedtime it will be nearly 30 degrees colder. Just for fun, we are going to get high winds and maybe even thunder snow. Things should be rather slippery tomorrow. Good day to stay in and sew.


Friday, February 23, 2024

Hobbies

 It is odd that sometimes you see the same topic come up in different places and from different sources, all on the same week. In the past week, the topic I keep seeing is placing a fair value on handmade items. There was a YouTube video, where the price of a hand made queen sized quilt was broken down. Then I saw a blog post on whether pattern testers, who provide their own supplies, and their time, should be paid to test a pattern that the designer intends to sell. Then I saw a post about the undervaluing of traditional women's arts. 

After reading and watching all this, I was asked the other day how much I would charge for something. My response was "This is my hobby, I love to buy nice yarn and pretty fabric, and make things from it. I enjoy giving my things away, to people that I know will appreciate them. I don't want to make this a business, where I have deadlines and and someone else decides what I will use to make something."  

When I was in high school, I took some knitting commissions. I was terrible at putting a value on my work and was happy to take what ever they were willing to pay me, as long as they provided the supplies. Now I am not an improvised student and I can do what I like. If you have to ask the price, you can't afford it.

So, what have I been doing lately? I knitted in the dentist's waiting room (while everyone else played on their phones). I also did some sewing, and some bag planning.

The "Shawl that never ends" finally got its ends sewn in and I got it blocked.


I tried it on and it is huge (that is a queen sized bed). I have sent it on its way to someone who thinks it is perfect.

I started a new shawl.


It has progressed a bit from when I took this picture.

I finished my first sock and started the second. 

I made a quick flannel blanket for a friends who are Ottawa Senators fans. It took longer to thread the serger that to hem the blanket.


I have also finished clue 1 and 2 of the Saturday Sampler bag for February.


A tiny bit more to finish on clue 3, that is for today.