Galloping grannies

Standard

The giant granny blanket continues to grow. It’s not much of a giant yet – about 37″ across – but I’m hoping it will be huge. I’m prepared to buy more black and grey if it means finishing up my random colours.

Sadly the beanie has had to be frogged.

At the end of the moose/tree section I knew it was likely to be too big. I forged ahead anyway and completed the text part.

Then, I had to be honest with myself. The circumference was 24 inches, bigger than my head, and with the snowflakes and the crown decreases the total height would have been 12 inches. The design wouldn’t have been visible with so much slouch so I made the decision to frog.

I still want this hat so I’ll look at the DK yarn that I have and use some smaller needles and start again.

After seeing a knitted bumwarmer on Ravelry, I picked up a small piece of jersey knit fabric and sewed a tube. It can be worn around the hips for extra warmth, or even the torso Japanese-style or just as a cowl.

Since the big freeze, we’ve had milder temperatures. Minus 3 feels very comfortable now. So the roads are clear of ice again and there’s been lots of melting, though the piles were so deep they haven’t disappeared yet.

I’m working this weekend so I will wrap this up and take myself off to bed. See you soon

Boro/sashiko

Standard

Last summer I played around with sashiko stitching. I made a couple of tote bags out of upcycled denim and found the sashiko very relaxing to do.

At the time, I ordered some proper thread from Wawak (.com if you’re in the US, .ca if you’re in Canada) but then other projects came and went and I didn’t get around to using it.

Now the planets have aligned – I have the vest pattern, I have a piece of navy blue linen, I have the stash of old jeans, and even an old shirt.

I cut the back and two fronts out of the linen, making the pieces at least an inch bigger all around in case of shrinkage.

Then I went through my pile of jeans and jeans parts and cut usable chunks of denim.

Then I laid them on the linen pieces, overlapping them until I was happy. I pinned them and then added pieces of my old shirt.

Back
Fronts

After trimming a bit in places where the denim overlapped the linen, I started my stitching. I’m using proper sashiko thread and needles and so far I’ve done three lines of stitches on each piece. I thought it would be better to work on them concurrently, that way I can distribute the thread I have. I may well order some more as I only bought seven 20 metre hanks.

The thimble and the small piece of non-slip vinyl are crucial for pushing and pulling the needle through the layers.

I was amused by the view from my sewing room window. It’s in the basement and the snow has piled up and is obscuring almost half of my view.

So that’s three WIPs for the new year. That should keep me busy.

Happy New Year

Standard

Hello 2022. My brain is having a hard time catching up to the fact that it’s two years since we first heard about The Disease That Shall Not Be Named. It wasn’t last year that my workplace was shut down for 7 weeks, it was two years ago. I feel like 2020 and 2021 have just blended into one long year. A VERY long year!

Anyway let’s focus on the here and now.

Shall we talk about the fact that our winter has been bitterly cold in recent weeks? I think the lowest was -30°C but mostly it was around -17 for quite some time. When it warmed up to -5 the last couple of days it was quite pleasant!

We’ve had lots of snow that’s not had a chance to melt between falls so the roads have been icy and the piles along the sides of the roads and driveways have just got higher.

Mr Fixit is back at work after his week off. Oldest son has had a month off due to his workplace accident but should be back at work tomorrow. Youngest had two weeks off and returned yesterday.

I just had a bonus 4 day stretch – my first New Year’s Day off in 7 years!

Last night three friends came over to knit and drink tea and generally be loud and funny.

The ‘Fuck the Cold’ hat is coming along (pattern is a free download on Ravelry). I cast on on the 1st and I’m halfway through the trees/moose section. Some of my friends are also making this – we are having a knitted colourwork makealong.

And my stashbusting worsted weight granny blanket has grown to 23 inches across in just a few days. My colour order is black/colour/grey/colour. I’m expecting to use up all my random medium weight yarn and hopefully end up with a king size blanket.

As I sit here on the couch writing this before heading down to my sewing room I see snow falling again, the neighbour clearing his drive again, and I’m glad I don’t have to go anywhere today.

Be careful out there!

The year in review – looking back at 2021

Standard

It’s been a good year!

Looking back at my blog posts month by month, it’s obvious that I’ve spent a lot of time at my sewing machine. This may explain why my knitting and crochet output is lower than it used to be. According to my Ravelry notebook, I created 33 project pages this year. In some cases, there are multiple items in one project, like the 20 dishcloths that share a page, so the number of finished items is more like 59.

What did I make?

1 pair fingerless mitts for Mr Fixit

shawl for co-worker who was leaving

3 Among Us amigurumis (which I turned into keyrings for my boys for Christmas)

frame purse

hedgehog ami

granny hat and cowl which I gave to a friend

slipper socks

20 dishcloths

2 phone cosies

5 baskets

1 cardigan

3 cowls

3 key covers

a shawl

a scarf

a teacosy

an Easter bunny for a co-worker

4 earsavers for masks

double thick ponytail hat for co-worker who was leaving

mandala

Purrmaid ami

2 drawstring bags

Little Drop ami

embroidered beanie

I wish it were as easy to summarise my sewing projects, but sadly I don’t have a Ravelry-esque record of them.

My highlights for each month:

January – I was really happy with my Love is in the Air quilt that I made for display at work. I have it folded up in my sewing room now; perhaps it’s time to find a bit of wall space and hang it. Perhaps when February rolls around I can take down the snowman quilt in the dining room (though there’s a good chance that the Love quilt won’t fit in the space).

February – I played around with frame purses, both sewn and crocheted. I made a cute one for my sister’s granddaughter and mailed it to her – as far as I know, she liked it.

March – A couple of favourites from this month. My March Winds wall quilt, in which I used zippers as tree trunks. And my Spring gnomes, which wore little skirts and stood in terra cotta flower pots and charmed lots of people at work.

April – The highlight of this month has to be the flower power bag. Made from a Yoan Sewing Studio (on YouTube) design, I used some gorgeous fabric from work with “camper vans on the beach” vibes. I was so in love with this when it was done.

May – Another Yoan design is my highlight for May. It’s the nine-patch bag and I used some really fun fabric with toucans and the coordinates from the same range. So bright! This is currently my daily handbag.

June – One of my blog post themes was rainbows as I made a PJ set (dress, pants and slippers) in some eye-searing rainbow fleece. The set went on display at work for a month and now I am really appreciating the cosiness of the outfit on these cold nights. And believe me, these nights are super-cold (I think we hit minus 30).

July – Experiments with sashiko dominated my July posts. I upcycled some denim and other fabrics and played with sashiko stitching and boro, making two tote bags and a small Japanese rice bag. I enjoyed the stitching so much that I even bought special thread online, but haven’t yet used it. However I now have the perfect vest pattern in my possession so my plan is to get started on a long vest using denim and linen very soon. July was the time of our heatwave, when we had 45 degree weather which drove me to swim in the lake. We’ve certainly “enjoyed” quite the range this year.

August – I made myself a new lunch tote for, obviously, carrying my lunches to work. I sewed it out of a pretty canvas and added a fair amount of insulation and some inside pockets. I use it every time I go to work and I love that it holds my containers without them tipping sideways. The pockets are handy for cutlery, teabags and napkins.

September – Dominated by the Festival Cardigan, I knitted through a chunk of this month, juggling up to 20 balls of yarn at a time to make this super bulky cardigan. It’s a fun garment, though I do wish I’d made the sleeves just a bit shorter.

October – Two more garments were added to my wardrobe this month. I sewed a plaid shirt which was a challenge but I was so pleased with it and have worn it several times since then. I also made a swoncho-type garment, which is over-sized and incredibly easy to make.

November – Lots of sewing in November too. No single post stands out but this one sums things up – Makers gonna make!

December – With 25 posts in December, I’m not going to pick just one. But the best things about December were our anniversary retreat and my yarn Advent calendar. And now that my Purrmaid is finished (photo at top) I am officially WIPless and can start 2022 with a clean slate.

I hope I typed in all those links correctly. I’ll do a quick check of them after I’ve published this. If there are any typos and the link doesn’t work, I’ll update.

And so the year draws to a close. Two more days and we can say goodbye to 2021. I hope this year has been kind to you, and I wish you a happy, healthy New Year.

Blogmas Day 25

Standard

Christmas Day is coming to a close. Our weather station is reading minus 12 (that’s 10°F)! It’s snowing and you can guarantee that we’ll be shoveling the drive tomorrow morning. It’s a good thing I bought a balaclava for Mr Fixit for Christmas.

I’ve been looking forward to opening these beauties all month!

So my day has basically been baking, more baking, Lego building, walking in the snow to burn off some of the baking, and watching the latest James Bond. (I was well-bundled up for the walk but the exposed skin on my face hurt whenever there was the tiniest hint of wind.)

Dinner was just soup, so that part was easy.

No plans for tomorrow except keeping warm, really!

Thanks for joining me on my blogmas journey.

Blogmas Day 24

Standard

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…oh wait, no need to dream…I’m in it!

It snowed most of the day. I worked til 3.15 and had to clear a lot of snow off my car so I could drive home. The store was predictably quiet but we still had a couple of people who came in at the last minute.

When I arrived home, I was happy to see that the potatoes and Brussels sprouts were prepped and the apple crumble was almost ready to go in the oven. The recipe for our main dish was new to me – Seitan stuffed with walnuts, mushrooms and cranberries from fatfreevegan’s blog.

After we’d stuffed our faces with roast seitan, potatoes, sprouts and cauliflower followed by apple crumble and ice cream, we did our gift exchange.

I think I can say that there seemed to be a couple of themes running – snacks and Lego!  Oh, and tea.

Mr Fixit and I received a kettle, Christmas mugs and tea gift cards from oldest son. We had various calorific edibles from all the boys. I was surprised to receive two Lego kits but I love them – one is an RV and the other is The Mandalorian with baby Yoda. All three boys have new Lego sets and it is so weird to see – like we’ve gone back in time 20 years.

I had one of those memories pop up on Facebook the other day where they show you a photo you posted on the same date X years ago. It was the five of us sitting in front of the Christmas tree so I got everyone to sit in the same positions tonight and we took some photos of us all looking 10 years older. That was fun.

Mr Fixit doesn’t look much different (one of the benefits of being bald), I have short hair now (and more pounds), middle son has a lot more facial hair now, oldest had long curly hair but he now has short hair and is slimmer, and the youngest was 13 and looking cute with long blond hair, where he now has short hair and a goatee.

They are all men now and it warmed my heart to spend this evening together and see them give gifts to each other and help with dinner and dishes.

And so we come to the last little bag of yarn for Day 24. A lovely set of purple beads along with the yarn today. And tomorrow, one more bag to open that’s not yarn. I’m looking forward to that!

I hope that you had a wonderful day today, whether you celebrate anything at this time of the year or not.

Blogmas Day 23

Standard

It’s Christmas Eve Eve! Once again, you find me parked on the couch, struggling to keep my eyes open! I think we have everything we need for Christmas to happen. I’m working again tomorrow until closing at 3pm. The rest of the family has offered to prep veg and stuff, but I’ve told them to wait until I’m home.

This funny little Advent calendar I made for myself has given me so much joy. That and the blogging have meant I have really enjoyed each day leading up to Christmas as I’ve focused on the good stuff.

Tomorrow may be the last post for Blogmas, unless I feel inspired to write something on the 25th. We shall see…

Blogmas Day 22

Standard

It’s going to be a short one today. It’s only about 9pm and I am ready to crash.

Day 22 and today’s yarn is Blush, along with two great beads.

I finished the beanie. It took about 80 grams of the O’Go so that means I have a good chunk of it left to make something else.

I had no plan for this, apart from wanting to have embroidery on it. So the stripes went in, then the cross stitch diamonds in the lilac, then the little yellow stars, and finally the random snowflakes near the top.

Work was good today. Not too busy. All three managers were in so we got stuff (bags and knitting notions) received, priced and on display. I had the chance to weed out some older fabric again, a job I need to continue with tomorrow.

I wore my polar bear vest and my Christmas gnome mask. Tomorrow I may have to wear the fuzzy vest and red-nosed reindeer mask.

I’m off to get the kitchen cleaned up before I fall asleep. Talk to you tomorrow.

Blogmas Day 21

Standard

Happy Winter Solstice!

This is the longest night of the year. A night to light candles or switch on your strings of fairy lights, enjoy a fire or turn up the thermostat to keep the chill at bay, drink warm comforting beverages and be thankful for food and shelter to see us through the cold winter months ahead.

I made fruit cake today. Three, in fact. One with wholewheat flour, two gluten-free. One GF cake was requested by a person who used to work with me. She bought a couple of cakes from me last year and asked me for another this year. The other GF one was sent home with my friend who came for tea today.

The wheat one has been partially devoured already. Oh man, it’s good!

My 21st ball of yarn is a lovely festive red.

I have two sewing projects to show you, one completed yesterday evening and the other this afternoon.

I made a tool roll! The wrenches are for display purposes only as they were sitting around in my sewing room (ds1 was going to sew himself a tool roll for his new wrench set but hasn’t got around to it yet).

All the materials were from stash. The plaid was cut from the back of a shirt that belonged to one of the boys when he was a teen. The denim was a free piece from work. The little bit of red vinyl is a swatch that comes in with the rolls of vinyl at work. The D rings and webbing were on hand. I made this up as I went along and the size was decided by the rectangle I was able to cut from the back of the shirt.

My other sewing FO is this fuzzy vest. I used the same pattern as the other vest I completed recently but because it was chenille I didn’t bother with facings. I just used two pattern pieces (front and back) and sewed them together at the shoulders and sides, then hemmed all the raw edges. Easy peasy!

And finally, the beanie. Last night I stayed up far too late crocheting and watching The Witcher. Hmm, if knitting and Netflix is Knitflix what’s crochet and Netflix? Cronet? Croflix? Netrochet?

The hat isn’t finished yet. It has a lot of ends dangling inside from the embroidery. And I’m waiting for it to tell me whether it needs more embellishment. Something in the band above the yellow stripe, perhaps.

Three more work shifts to go before Christmas Day. I finish at 3pm on Christmas Eve, which is a pain because we have our big dinner and gift exchange on that day rather than on the 25th.

Wishing you a restful, peaceful longest night.

Blogmas Day 20

Standard

A finished object! The O’Go with the Flow scarf is done. It’s very long but I wanted to use the whole 200 grams.

I love the soft colours in this.

We had a little more snow today, the light, gentle, meandering kind, no wind. Our weather station is reading minus 5 at about 5.30pm and we’re expecting it to drop to about -10°C tonight.

I went out today and bought a few more groceries (now that my meal plan is decided upon for the next week) and gifts.

Last of the daylight.

Advent yarn #20.

The sacks for my three sons are now by the tree but I have one more idea for adding to one of them.

Dinner is cooking and once that’s all over it’ll be back to the sewing room. And tomorrow is baking day!