Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Little Silliness

Sometime ago, Cheryl, over in the Kingdom of Coco, and her faithful lady-in-waiting, Cassie, made a little tote bag from cat treat pouches.

The idea intrigued me, so I have been saving my pouches for awhile. The other day, I started playing with them.

First I cut the zipper closures off all the pouches and tried to make them all about the same size.

I discovered that there is no consistency among the makers of treats, so they aren't exactly the same size, but I think I can wing it.

I used a multiple zigzag, and joined 4 large pouches for the front.

Then I joined 4 for the back. If you look carefully at the lower right, you find that people treats come a similar bags to cat treats!

I zigzagged together the smaller bags in groups of 3 to make the sides and the tops. Then, I cut them to size to fit the front and back.

Clover Wonder Clips to the rescue again! I love these clips. I don't know how I ever got along before I had a package.

The bottom is stitched on, and the sides are clipped on. Somebody I know has already claimed this as a lunch bag, so I think I will need to bind the edges to strengthen it.

I need to check out my cat fabric to find something to use for the binding.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

DAGMT 2015 and Other Commitments

For the last two years I have try to commit to sewing for 20 minutes every day for the month of February as part of Eve Paige Quilt Designs' "Drop and Give Me Twenty". This year she has added a Facebook component, however, you won't see me there, since I don't "do" Facebook.

So, here is my commitment:

I, Kate, an easily distracted sewist and quilter (squirrel), am joining Quilting Hottie Haven's fourth annual DaGMT event, and pledge to quilt or sew for at least 20 minutes  every day of the month of February, 2015. In doing so, I hope to get something (really anything ) DONE, reducing the amount that my family will have to dispose of later. I truly think Beth Helfter is brilliant for coming up with this concept and inspiring me to join.

I will also endeavor to use only the supplies I already own, though no promises. Just an honest intention.

My friend, Cheryl, over at the Kingdom of Coco, is holding a contest. She wants everyone to design and make a pin cushion. The details are here.  I am going to join, and I hope you will, too.

I have also been commissioned to knit a baby blanket. I started it a couple of weeks ago, and it is coming nicely.

There are four sets of trees in each repeat, and a total of three repeats. I have the first set of trees finished.  If all goes well, I will have the blanket done by the end of February, as well. the biggest challenge seems to be keeping the Doug hair, which is black, out of the white blanket.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


It has been awhile since I have used my serger. I bought it over 20 years ago, and used it a lot when I was busy making shorts and t-shirts for my kids. I can make a pair of flannal pajama pants in under an hour using the serger. However, I don't really have anyone who needs those at the moment.

However, recently, I was asked to serge "some" circles for a friend. She wanted to use them on the tables for an event she was organizing. I agreed, without getting all the details first.

It turns out that there are 14 tablecloth size circles, in the colour of the organization.

So, I spent an afternoon, finding my serger table. I found some neat stuff, while I was tidying. Perhaps they will appear here in a project soon.

This morning, it took me 20 minutes to thread and get the settings right on the serger. Then I spent about 45 minutes hemming the circles. It wasn't a very creative job, and doesn't make really great pictures of my work this week.

I thought I did a pretty good job, and I was pleased that I had the right colour serger thread, so I didn't have to wing that part.

So, instead of lovely pictures of fancy projects, how about some shots of my indoor garden?
Daffodils on my kitchen counter.

An azalea that I have had for years, which still delights me with blooms on a regular basis. I love the colour of it.  If you look carefully you can see the snow in the yard, but don't tell the azalea.

And a geranium, that I am over-wintering for a friend who doesn't have a sunny window to put it in.

It was sunny and cold, today, so it is good to have some flowers to brighten things inside.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Blocking With Wires

I did a post some time ago about how to block a knitted item. It wasn't totally serious, but then I try never to be too serious here.

I was asked if I could show pictures of how I block using blocking wires. This is definitely not the definitive guide to the process. The pictures were taken at 10 PM on Christmas Eve, so the scarf could end up under the tree the next day. The quality of the light wasn't great, but I think you can get the idea.

As before, I start by placing the scarf in a sink of hot water, with a drop of hair conditioner added. You will have to use your imagination.

While the water is cooling, gather the supplies.

I have a "blocking mat" (actually, an interlocking foam playmat from Home Depot), blocking wires and T-pins (a kit I bought at Knit Picks), a pen and a paper bag.  Most sources recommend a tape measure and if I were doing a sweater, I would use one, but since this is a scarf, a piece of paper is all that is required.

After the scarf has soaked and the water has been squeezed out of it, spread it out on the blocking mat.

As you can see, the edges of the scarf are rolled and quite wavy.

Take one of the wires and start feeding it through the edge of the scarf.
Stretch out all the edges of the scarf in this way, adding wires as needed.
When you are finished, the edges will be straighter, but now they need to be made square and parallel. This is where the bag comes in. Stretch out the two sides of the scarf as wide as you can get them, in one spot. Place pins into the mat to hold it in place, then mark the width of the scarf on the bag.
Using the gauge you have created, pin the sides of the scarf to the mat, making the scarf the same width for the entire length.
You can see how this really opens out the lace.
Next, square up the corners.
When you are finished, your piece will look like this.
This looks much better than when I began.

After the piece is fully dry, remove the pins and the wires, and enjoy your scarf.

In case you were wondering, LCBO is the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, where we go in Ontario to buy wine and spirits. It is also the best source of heavy brown paper, since the other stores all use plastic bags, these days.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

The current temperature is -22 C. For those who work in Fahrenheit, that is really cold! It is one of those days when it is painful to draw a deep breath, when you are outside.

So, it seems like a perfect day to show off the hats I just finished.

I like the colour of this one. The yarn is Chroma Worsted. I got 3 balls of it when Knit Picks had a sale in November. The colour name is Avalon.

The pattern is Hats From the Heart.

I thought it was a little small, although it should fit a child.

Same hat, different colourway. This colour is called Carnival.

I added 8 stitches to this one, so I think it will be a better fit for a larger child or adult.

The hats used less than 100 gm. of yarn and were quick to make, in the round.

I am giving these to the Warm Hands Network.