Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Artistic Lull

Between the hot weather and an appointment I had to deal with this week, knitting seems to have been the art of choice.

Alberta continues. The rows are now about 450 stitches so I am lucky if I get two rows done in a day.

It lends itself to afternoon knitting, in natural sunlight. I can see the end. I have only 1 1/2 charts left to knit. I hope my beads hold out.

The long rows caused me to look for something simpler.

This is the Ten Stitch Blanket. Ten stitches per row, and you go round and round until it is big enough. the yarn is Bernat Baby Jacquard, so it changes colour as you knit, perfect for a project like this. This is my fourth attempt to get it to work. I think I've got it now. Earlier attempts, with a smaller needle, wouldn't lay flat.

I received a gift last week, from my dear friend, Cheryl.

It's Doug, doing yoga, on a yoga shirt!  Cheryl has done some artwork for a local company called Ladybird Knitwear. Cheryl knew how much I would love Doug on a shirt. It is too nice to sweat into, I think. I'm thinking loungewear, with a pair of leggings.

I must admit, Doug is much better at a triangle pose, than I am. I can't get my hand on the floor.

Yesterday, Baxter had a vet check, and his leg was declared sound. So, he is off to a new home, and Maddie has come to enjoy our Kitty Resort and Spa.

She has been in the shelter for awhile, so she is starting to enjoy the amenities of the resort. However, she is still a bit bothered by the security staff.







Thursday, June 23, 2016

A Bit of Progress

The weather suddenly turned really hot over the weekend. I was looking for a cool activity, so I spent some time sorting through some of my books and magazines.

I get a gift of money to buy something just for me, for my birthday each year. When I was a stay at home mom, I used to get myself a subscription to a sewing or quilting magazine. I saved them all. Now, in 2016, I can look up most anything I am looking for on the internet. I never created any sort of index for the magazines, so I am not sure how I ever figured I would find anything again.

Here they are, packed in a box, for paper recycling. I have barely made a dent. I will try and do more for the next paper recycling day (in two weeks).

I also filled a box with books, to send to a local book sale. Maybe some beginner sewist will enjoy them.

On Monday, I did a happy dance, after I received my order from Emmaline Bags.

I love these zippers.

The zipper pulls say "Handmade" and she wraps them in pink tissue to protect them in transit.

I also restocked my hardware,

I have big plans!

I actually got started on a summer bag, for me.

The fabric is much brighter then it looks here, but my Ott Light bulb burned out in my sewing room, and I haven't got a new one. You can see from the cutting list the shape of the new bag. Hopefully, I can get some more of it cut out, today.






Tuesday, June 14, 2016

World Wide Knit In Public Day 2016

June 18 is World Wide Knit In Public Day.

It is a chance for knitters in a community to come together and enjoy each other's company. I will be attending an event in my community and I hope you will too. It looks like the weather is going to be good, so our event will be outside in the park (the nearby library was Plan B).

Check here to find an event in your area.  If there isn't one, it isn't too late to organize one.

I have been working on my Alberta Shawl.

After 13 days of knitting at least a bit every day, I am at Row 90. One day, I knit 5 rows, 3 of them twice. With 289 stitches on my needle, I am lucky to get 4 rows done in a day, and it is definitely not mindless knitting. It may go to WWKIP, but only to show off.

The beads are adding a bit of colour to the piece. I think it might be time to add a life line.

I will be sock knitting at WWKIP.

The Penrose Toes now have heels as well as toes. Since I never knit toe up socks, I think the foot is going to be too long for my dainty little feet. I am going to keep going. I am sure I can find somebody they fit. There is an error in the heel section, which doesn't effect the stitch count or anything, so I have given myself permission to leave it. Now the question is: Do I do the second one with the same error?

Baxter is improving daily. He has also discovered that there are squirrels and birds in the yard. He invited them over for breakfast.
He actually asks us to put peanuts on the window sill in the morning to get the squirrels and Jays to come.





Wednesday, June 8, 2016

A Murse

Murse: a man's designer bag, to hold a laptop and other man supplies, such as bongs, pipes and firearms. (Urban Dictionary)

Remember the jeans, that became denim fabric, earlier this week.

They have become a "murse".

My husband walks dogs, both our two, and two who live down the street.  In the winter he carries all his essentials, like keys, phone, dog bags, and training treats in the many pockets of his jacket. He wanted a collection of pockets to carry his stuff, now the good weather is here. So the well-loved jeans became a "murse".  Both sides have one back pocket from the jeans. He can put his phone in one, and his keys in the other. The middle will hold doggie stuff.  I have offset the strap attachment, because he wants to carry it across his body with the pocket at his back, out of the way of the leashes. The offset will help it stay there while he is walking and make it easier to get into, when he wants to take a picture, or needs a baggie. The little tote is about 9" x 10".

I don't think it will be carrying any firearms!



Monday, June 6, 2016

Upcycling

I want to make a tote bag out of denim and figured the quickest and cheapest source was my husband's closet.

This pair isn't fit for any donation box, so it is perfect.

The back side is in better shape, so I have enough material for my purpose.
Since I wanted to be able to cut from flat fabric, I grabbed a stitch ripper and a cup of coffee and set to work.
Look at all that fabric!

Along the way, I noticed the strangest thing. Since my original sewing lessons was in garment making,  I was taught that one uses a bartack to reinforce a seam that will be subject to a lot of stress. So I was surprised to discover that these jeans had a bartack that was doing absolutely nothing.

This bartack is reinforcing the seam allowance as far as I can tell. I have the seam completely open and the bartack is still in place. It is at the bottom of the front pocket opening, but it doesn't touch the pocket seam at all. It is almost as if someone looked at a pair of jeans and duplicated the look without any idea of the function.

The back pockets have a similar bartack.

This one reinforces the hem on the back pocket, though at least it is on the actual pocket. However, there will never be any stress on it, there. Placing it along the pocket seam would have been a better idea.

I am starting to suspect that the reasons for using some techniques are no longer being taught.

This afternoon, I hope to start sewing. Here is the lining, found hiding in my stash.


Baxter was very helpful in this operation. He kept any backyard rodents away from the patio door for me.







Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Where does The Time go?

I can't seem to get any quality time with my sewing machine. I am not sure where the time goes. However, this might have something to do with it.

Meet Baxter. He came to stay with us last Thursday.

He is a sweet, cuddly guy of 4 years.

He is a bit big for a lap cat, but don't tell him.

He came to the shelter, seriously injured. He underwent 6 weeks of cage rest and when that wasn't enough to get him healed, he had major surgery.

He is with me to recover from hip surgery. I get to try to make a cat do his prescribed exercises. It isn't easy. However, he is improving. He got his stitches out yesterday.

Meanwhile, there is yard work. Doug is a big help.

Well, not really, but he is cute.

I did manage to challenge my friend, Cheryl, to a knit along. We are working on a shawl called Alberta, and today was cast on day.


Not a lot of progress, yet. The shawl calls for over 700 beads, so I found these in my stash.

I think they should brighten up that grey yarn. I have another tube of the purple beads in the middle but their current whereabouts is unknown. Don't you hate it when that happens?



Monday, May 23, 2016

"The Twenty-Fourth of May is the Queen's Birthday"

Actually, the Queen was Victoria, not the current Queen, however, in Canada, the long weekend marks the official start of Summer. I think that spending 5 or 6 months in frigid temperatures, with icy walks and snow to shovel makes a long weekend in May even sweeter.

My crab apple trees are in flower, as are most of the neighbours'. You can smell apple blossoms as you walk down the street.






Saturday night, a friend and I indulged in another lovely summer treat.


This is a Killaloe Sunrise Beavertail. You might notice that I had to take a big bite, while it was still hot. It is serious junky street food, a fried piece of sweet dough, topped with butter and cinnamon sugar, and served with a lemon wedge, to squeeze over the top. They sell other flavours, like Nutella and Reeses Pieces, but this is the original flavour, preferred by the locals. In the winter, you have to eat them with your mittens on, but in the summer, you can sit down, on a warm night, watch the people go by, and think "I am sure this can't be good for me."


The ladies at the church have started a new quilt.

Lovely bright spring colours, it will brighten someone's life.


There hasn't been a lot of Arts here at Arts and Socks, but the Socks part is coming nicely.


The Penrose Toes are nearly up to the heel.

The first sock from the "Pairfect" socks is done, and the second one is started.


Time will tell whether the advertised claim of perfect matching socks is true.