Day 1

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Vacation time!

Waiting for our first flight (of three) so of course I cast on my travel knitting project! A two row repeat, garter stitch, super easy!!

The other day I made a couple of tote bags which are for my father-in-law. He likes bright colours. Guys are often hard to buy/make for, but I think he’ll use these.

I have custom ear plugs for sleeping, which I use every night, so I brought those for the 9.25 hour flight across the Atlantic, and I felt that adding an eye mask might help me get some sleep. Usually I find it really hard to sleep on planes unless I’m exhausted, because you just can’t get comfortable in the cramped seats. Blocking out sound and light gives me a fighting chance.

I can’t remember which YouTube channel this was on but it was really easy to make.

Vacation prepping

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It’s nearly here! We booked our flights months ago and until this week I don’t think I was letting myself get too excited about it. This is our first international holiday in three years. And we’re going to see the family.

I pulled my cabin bag out of storage a couple of days ago and started tossing things on top of it. Passport, new hoodie, stuff like that. Made a list for the sons who are running the show in our absence.

Bought yarn! Because, yeah, I’m uninspired by my stash. Hunted around for just the right travel pattern. Found this asymmetrical shawl pattern on Ravelry. Found this yarn at Walmart. Lion Brand Mandala Ombre in the colourway “Happy” which is fitting. I bought three cakes though I may only need two.

Made this.

A flat “fanny pack” (waist pack, bum bag, whatever) for my wallet and passport.

This fabric was a set of fat quarters from Walmart and the video tutorial is from Charmed by Ashley. The video just happened to appear on my YT home page today after I was searching for similar patterns yesterday. All the supplies for this bag were in the stash.

I also made new masks for Mr Fixit and myself.

Mine are the ones in the second photo. I was trying to come up with a way to increase the filtration of the fabric masks and I unpicked one of his more than once, but in the end we decided that we’d wear KN95s when we’re on the planes or in a crowd and if we are sitting at the airport away from people we’ll put on the fabric ones.

We each have a new earsaver too (the little tab with the snaps that holds the elastic to the back of your head and saves your ears from getting sore).

And finally…a finished object unrelated to my holiday. A mushroom amigurumi. Why is it that everything looks cuter with eyes?! This was made for a girl at work because she wore an interesting mushroom shirt last week. I haven’t seen her since I left it for her to find but I hope she likes it.

I hope that August is going well for you. Happy yarn vibes!

My week

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I’ve been working hard as usual, but in my free time I have been enjoying my daily dose of morning yoga with Mady Morrison. In fact, one day I added a yin session in the evening.

I went and toasted myself and swam multiple times on a very hot afternoon.

I crocheted a strawberry!

I caught a pretty sunset.

I braved my overheated kitchen to bake focaccia and chocolate chip cookies.

And I rounded up the four men in my life and forced them to endure a terrible time at the beach with lots of food and drinks, sunshine and swimming. Honestly, it was so good for us to have a family outing on this BC Day holiday. It’s the last day we’re all free at the same time before Mr Fixit and I go on holiday. Good memories were made today.

I did take a bag of crochet stuff but didn’t even touch it. But there’s plenty of the day left to play with yarn. And I don’t have to cook dinner as there’s still lots of picnic food left.

Happy times!

The makeaholic makes again

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The makeaholic makes again

Did you see my new byline? I’d be interested to know how many people actually view my blog on a desktop computer and see the pretty WordPress template I use.

I edited the “Just me, waffling on…etc” to “The adventures of a makeaholic”! Credit should go to my boss for the term.

So, what have I got for you this weekend? I’ll try to keep the chat to a minimum.

Legwarmers knitted with Cygnet Chunky and Knit Picks Brava worsted. Same yarn and colours as the batwing sweater. Finished ages ago, forgot to post about them.

Second bucket hat. Sweet Red Poppy, free pattern. Made it smaller, fits perfectly, matches my bag.

Oral hygiene kit. Two layers of cotton, bonded back to back with Heat ‘n Bond. Clear vinyl pockets for all my teeth-cleaning needs. Perfect!

Tiny teapot with removable lid from the book 100 Micro Crochet Motifs by Steffi Glaves. I made it in medium weight yarn just for fun and it finished at 2″ tall. Designer’s was made in sewing thread and was probably a quarter of the size!

And finally, a wallhanging made from a quilt panel. I backed it with batting and cotton, added ladybugs to tie the layers together, hung some small dollar store tools from the bottom with buttons and jute (I bought the tools last year for my gnomes) and added a Garden sign and birdhouse that I found at the dollar store today.

I paid for the fabrics, but I’ll put it on display at work for a while then bring it home to hang it here. It will complement the strawberry summer display I have going on at the front of the store.

If you read my last post, the bag tutorial, you’ll know about the bag FO, so no need to post another photo of that.

Plans in the works: crocheted strawberries, superduper new masks especially for air travel next month, and possibly more bags. And travel plans always go hand-in-hand with crochet/knitting plans because one just cannot waste all that waiting and sitting time doing nothing with one’s hands, right?!

Bag Sewing Tutorial: the Caroline bag

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Bag Sewing Tutorial: the Caroline bag

This bag, which I have named for my sister, is a cute sewing project which can be used for many purposes. Being a knitter/crocheter, of course I think of small yarny projects, but it could hold all sorts of things. The finished dimensions are 11″ wide by 7″ tall, and the base is about 2″ deep. It’s closed with two snaps (no zippers or Velcro to catch your yarn) and the inside pocket is also closed with a snap to keep small bits safe, like stitch markers.

I used my walking foot to sew this bag, which gives me a neat 3/8″ seam when I line it up along the edge of the fabric. This is the fourth version I’ve made. I’ll put a photo at the end of the other three. You can use a solid piece of fabric for your exterior, or piece together scraps to get the size required. Just allow for seams so that you can trim it to size. Don’t do what I did and mix up the width and height!

Cutting guide:

Exterior: two pieces of quilt cotton, 12″ wide by 9″ tall (or pieced work to equal the same size)

Interior: two pieces of quilt cotton, 12″ wide by 9.5″ tall (this is deliberate, you’ll see why later)

Thermolam (fusible fleece) or other interfacing of your choice, or batting: two pieces 12″ wide by 9″ tall, and two pieces about an inch square

Pocket: one piece of quilt cotton, 6.5″ wide by 8.5″ tall

Handle: one piece of quilt cotton, 12″ by 3″

3 KAM snaps

For this bag I decided to make the exterior with two fabrics, the paisley floral and the solid. In the photo above, I have already seamed them together. The next photo shows the Thermolam fused to the back and a line of topstitching across to secure the seam allowances. I used a stitch length of 2.2 for seaming and 3.0 for topstitching. If you use batting, you may want to add some quilting.

Pocket: fold the 6.5″ by 8.5″ square in half, right sides together (so that it’s now 6.5 by 4.25). Sew around the three open sides, leaving a couple of inches in the long side open for turning. Trim the corners. Turn right side out, using some sort of pokey tool to push the corners out. Press.

Insert a small square of Thermolam or interfacing inside the pocket, up near the fold and in the centre. Press again and topstitch across the folded edge, securing the interfacing.

Place pocket on one of the lining pieces, centred, about 2.5″ – 3″ from the top edge. Pin and sew around the sides and bottom. Fuse a small square of Thermolam to the back of the lining where the snap will go.

Install a snap near the top of the pocket.

Handle: take the 12″ by 3″ rectangle, fold in half lengthwise and press. Open out, fold raw edges to centre crease and press, refold and press again. Topstitch down both long edges.

Place one exterior piece and one lining piece right sides together, matching top edges. Repeat with the other two pieces. (If the front of your bag is different from the back, take care to attach the pocket/lining piece to the back exterior.) Sew. (Lining will extend half an inch beyond the bottom of the exterior. This is intentional.) Press seams, pressing lining and seam allowances in the same direction.

Fold handle in half and baste to front exterior, close to top, matching raw edges.

Place the two pieces right sides together, matching exterior to exterior and lining to lining. Pin or clip, being careful to line up centre seams. Sew around, starting at the lining bottom, and leave a few inches open for turning.

Box bottoms: Draw a 3/4″ square at all four corners, measuring from the seamline, not the edge of the fabric. Cut along the drawn lines. Squash the corners so that seamlines meet, pin or clip, and sew across each corner.

Press seams open (I used to skip this step but it’s especially important for the seam allowances to be flat for a neat finish around the top of the bag). Caution! Don’t iron your snap!

Turn right side out and press, avoiding snap. Allow lining to do what it wants to do naturally, which is extend about half an inch above the top of the bag. (A thinner interfacing may be more malleable, but the Thermolam wanted to do its thing and I liked how it looked. If you would prefer the lining not to show, cut it the same size as the exterior.) Topstitch “in the ditch” around the top of the bag.

Install snaps: mark centre top of bag, measure out 2.5″ from centre, half an inch down from seamline. Insert snap on front and back (I used my awl to just poke a hole straight through both layers at once), then repeat 2.5″ from centre on the other side.

Sew up gap in lining. And you’re done!

The black/scrappy bag was my first one. The scrap strip was built up on adding machine paper and had been sitting around my sewing room for months. Because I didn’t know at the time that the lining was going to want to stick out, it’s not quite deep enough. The toucan bag came second, and I figured out the better-fitting lining. And then I wanted to make another one. And another one. They are quite addictive! Hope you enjoy making one. Let me know if you do, and whether you made any modifications.

Lots of fun stuff

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I’ve had so much fun playing with colour the last week.

The baby quilt is done. I used a partial panel, backed with pieced squares of cotton batiks, and incorporated bits of ribbon around the edge for the baby to play with. Inspired by the quilt, I crocheted a hedgehog from the book Amigurumi World by Ana Paula Rimoli.

The hedgehog had to be decorated with flowers, just like the one in the centre of the quilt.

My knitting WIP this week is some colourful legwarmers that I’m making with the same yarns as the batwing sweater. The plan is to knit one long tube, then separate in the middle and add cuffs.

The thin purple line is where I will divide and add the ribbing.  No second sock syndrome here!

And with the most physical part of inventory over at the fabric store, I have been relaxing in the evenings with a spot of quality time with my Janome.

The scrappy/black bag was the first. I loved it so much I made two more, tweaking my design as I went.

With the toucan bag, I boxed the corners smaller, which resulted in a taller bag, and the lining wasn’t quite deep enough. It was a happy accident that the lining pokes up above the top edge.

So the Mrs Bobbins quilt-themed bag has an extra half inch height on the lining and it worked perfectly.

All of the bags close with two snaps and have an internal pocket with another snap.

I’m wondering whether to do a 30 day challenge for myself. A bag a day! That would burn up some stash and I could try to sell some of them to fund my future fabric purchases! These bags take quite the chunk of time. The first one was about 2 hours as I was figuring out the measurements but now that I have ironed out the kinks I can make them  more quickly.

Something to think about!

Catching up…

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Catching up…

Hi everyone. It’s been a couple of weeks. Hope you’re all doing well.

Exciting news in my world. I got braces!

Of course I had to choose turquoise elastics as that’s my fave colour. So far, only the top row has been fitted. I’ll get the bottom row in August.

It’s been a week now and I’ve had to relearn how to eat! Chewing is getting easier but certain foods are out of bounds. Flossing and brushing after every meal takes ages. And I lost a pound a day the first four days!

I’ll have these for at least 18 months, possibly two years. I’ve wanted braces since I was 15! Finally I have realized my dream, in time for my 60th birthday.

I have a few FOs. This is the Stash to Treasure batwing sweater. A really easy crochet pattern that I found on Ravelry, I made it with Cygnet Chunky (more like an aran weight) and Knit Picks Brava Worsted.

It’s not the most flattering garment but the idea was to make it for the Vegan Knitters and Crocheters group Totally Tubular 80s KAL with stash yarn and I succeeded in that!

These three quick items were from tutorials by The Sewing Studio on YouTube. A storage basket, a scissor keeper and a tissue holder. I’ve had this cat/mouse/bird fabric in the stash for quite a long time and thought one of my coworkers would like it. I left them in her drawer at work.

And a bit more excitement today, but not the fun kind. I noticed new dark floaters in my eye and called my ophthalmologist who fitted me in immediately. Turns out it was a small bleed in a vein. The bleeding had stopped by the time he was shining bright lights into my dilated pupils but I’ll just have to get used to the floaters as there’s nowhere for them to go.

I’ve had to be alert for sudden changes in my vision for years now. I have what’s called a pseudo lamellar hole in the back of my right eye and I was really worried this morning that I might have a detached retina. Thankfully it wasn’t – it was actually some scar tissue popping off and causing the vein to hemhorrage, so that’s why I was seeing weird stuff in my vitreous. The back of my eye actually looks better now.

Pic for clarity

The timing sucks – no bending or lifting allowed just as we head into inventory time at work. Next Wednesday is the big weighing day but I will have to avoid joining in with the more physical stuff, which is kind of a shame as it’s part of the fun!

Ah well, that’s it for now. Lots more project planning happening – baby quilt, knitted cardigan – which I’ll talk about next time.

Sewing day!

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Sewing day!

I blitzed the house yesterday, went out and got my tire fixed (it had a screw stuck in it), watered my plants and basically got myself all caught up so that today I could just sew.

After a bit of yoga and sunbathing, I retreated to the sewing room. I had a list of potential projects to work on and what I ended up doing was…

PJs for #2 son
3 receiving blankets
Adult bucket hat

All of these fabrics were in my stash. The plaid was a little short so I had to be creative and put my pattern piece opposite ways and refold the fabric carefully (did you notice the pattern runs the “wrong” way on one leg!?). The paper pattern is one I created from an old pair of PJs ages ago.

The paisley flannelette was one I bought years ago just because I liked it. And now I have a friend who’s going to be a grandfather soon.

And the bucket hat is made from quilt cottons and a little interfacing. The pattern is from Sweet Red Poppy and it’s a free download. My printer produced it a bit bigger than it was supposed to – I made the adult hat, forgetting that fact, and it’s big on me. Still, this was the ‘test run’ from which I learned that, yes, I still dislike sewing circles and cylinders together. There were a few frustrating moments with this hat, such as the time that my spool AND bobbin ran out at the same time and it was the perfect shade of pink and I didn’t have any more.

I added a couple of eyelets at the back to cinch it in with a short piece of ribbon.

Another small and quick make from earlier this week is this seahorse set. These are beads I gave myself in my Advent collection last December.

And while the tire folks were fixing my tire yesterday I used the time to walk to Michaels and have a slow browse around. I found these neons which reminded me that I still want to make a sweater with a pop of neon (ideally I wanted pink and green, but these’ll do).

These babies were only $2.99 each as all yarn was 25% off.

So now it’s almost bedtime and I am working the next four days so you can see why I wanted to pack a lot of crafting time in today!

Sunday funday

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Sunday funday

Ah, a much needed day off today. The weather has been lovely and Mr Fixit and I went out this morning to enjoy a bit of the local scenery.

After our stroll along the lake through a small bird sanctuary we went for tea at our favourite tea shop.

After a couple of months of living with my natural hair colour, I’m ready for some fun again! I just need to decide what colour to use.

The Stash to Treasure batwing sweater is growing nicely. Since taking this photo this morning (try not to get confused by the granny blanket underneath it) I have added a few more purple rows and one panel is almost complete. Then I’ll just need to add the last purple section to the other panel and start the finishing process.

A few days ago I had a little play in my quilt cotton stash and identified some fabrics I’d like to use soon! These Indian-themed prints were bought a few years ago from Wool Warehouse in the UK. I made a couple of things for my sister back then because she loves India and I knew she’d like them. I realised I still had quite a lot left so I made these bags – there are two ‘open wide zipper pouches’ from the Noodlehead site, and an ‘origami drawstring bag’ from Minki Kim’s YT channel.

I always have an itch to play in my sewing room these days so I’ll have to earmark Tuesday or Wednesday as a sewing day this week. Maybe I’ll do the housework and other boring stuff on Tuesday and then I can play the next day!!

I have the germ of an idea for my next project…

A WIP, an FO and a sad goodbye

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I have a new top! This gorgeous polyester jersey had an interesting print which I positioned just so. I made sure that it lined up on the back, front and sleeves.

It’s Burda 6990 again, an easy raglan top with only three pattern pieces and six seams. I still haven’t perfected the hemming but that just gives me an excuse to make more, right?

I love projects that I can make in an afternoon. I’ll wear this to work tomorrow for sure.

My current yarny WIP is this batwing sweater. If you think 1980s when I mention batwing sleeves, that’s great! I’m crocheting this as part of the Totally Tubular 1980s KAL in the  vegan group on Ravelry.

The pattern is a paid one – Stash to Treasure Batwing Sweater by Dora Does. I’m using the blackberry coloured Cygnet Chunky (let’s hope it doesn’t get frogged a third time) and the Knit Picks Brava minis that I bought myself last year.

It’s easy and I intend to have it done by the end of June.

There’s a guy up in that tree

And finally…the sad goodbye is to an old and huge pine tree that stood between my house and my neighbour’s.  They had it cut down this week. No idea why, it was perfectly healthy.

There go the branches
Almost gone

We are still getting used to the wider view and extra light but we are sad for the squirrels and birds that called this tree home, or used it as a route around the neighbourhood.  And this summer we’re going to have to sort out more screening for our deck because that tree provided much needed shade.

A great shame to see how many trees have been lost to the dreaded chainsaw in the last few weeks.