Advent calendar prep

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I now have 25 little drawstring bags to hold the yarn and knitting needles that I bought for myself with my birthday gift certificate.

Here they are, with a ball of yarn in each, with the one larger bag buried at the bottom with the needles in it.

I used a random assortment of fabrics. There are some Christmas-themed ones in there but mostly they are just pretty colours and they look bright and cheerful stuffed inside this box.

I have some numbered Christmas stickers coming from Etsy so that I canĀ  number the bags. I did a quick search and the first hit turned out to be perfect: a Canadian supplier called ArkyFranky, 24 colourful Christmas-themed stickers for only $2.84, free postage.

I still need to hunt for other tiny things to add to the bags. My boss thought it was hilarious that I was making my own yarny Advent calendar but if I don’t do it who will?! And the only ones I’ve seen before have been animal-fibre based.

I’m having fun and that’s what counts, right?

Happy Thanksgiving

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Happy Thanksgiving

It’s Canadian Thanksgiving today and I am feeling thankful for many things.

Walking in the sunshine

Sewing with colourful fabrics

Eating good food

Family, friends, and you, dear readers.

It’s been a beautiful day, warm sun, cool air, leaves turning, squirrels gathering.

Dinner was fairly simple, just stuffed portobellos and roasted vegetables. The potatoes came from our garden and the purple cauliflower, carrots and Brussels sprouts came from the farmers market. We had apple crumble made with local Mac apples.

I’ve been sewing small drawstring bags with cottons from the stash. I need 24 small ones for my self-created yarn Advent calendar plus a larger one for the new knitting needle set which I’ll open on December 25th.

I had a production line going this afternoon but had to stop to cook dinner. Now that’s out of the way, I can get back to it.

My knitting and crochet WIPs haven’t changed much.

And I’m really enjoying this new tea from my favourite tea shop, with frothy soy milk and maple syrup.

I hope you all have a great week.

Sewing garments

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Sewing garments

I’m feeling very proud of myself this week. I completed a plaid shirt and the pattern stripes line up and it actually fits. I’m gobsmacked.

It has a collar, collar band, cuffs, a yoke that I cut on the bias, an extra seam in each sleeve leading to the cuff opening, separate front bands and (eek) buttonholes!

It mostly went well though I did unpick the sleeve seams and shave an inch off the body at the shoulders so that it didn’t look like I was wearing something that was way too big.

And I shortened the front and back by two inches at the pattern cutting stage which turned out just right. The sleeves could have been shortened by an inch or so but that’s a minor thing as I will wear the sleeves rolled up anyway.

I estimate it took me about 16 hours so I’m very glad it was all worth it in the end.

A much quicker project followed on its heels. I bought the pattern and fabric while the shirt was still in progress. It was being modelled on the front of the McCall’s pattern book and I made a quick decision to make one. I guess you’d call it a swoncho!

Yes, lots of positive ease. But so comfy. It’s a fairly thin rib knit and it was really easy and quick to make. Only four pattern pieces.

Next up will probably be some reusable snack bags. I have lots of cotton and a metre of white ripstop nylon for the lining and plenty of zippers.

Happy crafting!

Fun mail, and WIPdates

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I had a birthday recently and one of my gifts was a Knit Picks gift certificate from a group of friends. It was so generous that I was able to order a new set of Caspian interchangeables and a pack of yarn. I’ve been wanting to make myself a yarny Advent calendar for ages now so a pack of 24 Knit Picks Brava minis (100% acrylic worsted weight, 25 grams each) is perfect

The box arrived yesterday. It’s the rainbow colourway so there are lots of fun colours in there. And the blue-green of the needles is oh-so-pretty. My favourite colour!

I had a quick feel of the yarn (feels nice and soft) and the needles (to check for smoothness) and now I am going to figure out a way to pack it all up nicely for Christmas. How’s that! A birthday and Christmas present all in one!

My sock WIP for the Strictly Sockalong is proceeding slowly, as I have a complex sewing project on the go as well as having had extra work shifts lately.

I’ve reached the toe (the bit of green near the needles) and then I have to go back and insert a heel (where that yellow line is).

The dishcloth project is at the point where four are done. This is an ongoing thing as I still have a lot more cotton to burn through.

The complicated sewing project is a plaid flannel shirt. I haven’t made a shirt like this since high school so I am taking my time and only working on it when I’m not tired. So far, the body and sleeves are done. Yet to go: collar, button bands, buttonholes, hem. Photos will follow when it’s finished.

For now, I’m enjoying the fall weather. It’s a little cooler, the leaves have started to drop, and the squirrel actitivity around my walnut trees has ramped up to max stashing level. Have a great day!

Good morning!

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This is the second morning in a row that I have had coffee instead of tea. This could be a slippery slope! Proper coffee that I ground up, maple syrup and frothy oat milk.

I’ve had a couple of restless nights and I’m hoping the coffee will kickstart my brain. It tastes good too and feels very comforting now that the mornings are colder.

So, about yesterday’s photos. If you’re interested. I posted those just before I dashed out to work yesterday but I have more time now.

1. Knit Picks Dishie dishcloths or washcloths. A pick-it-up-when-I-feel-like-it project.

2. Gnomes! I made these no-sew, lots-of-hot-glue gnomes before work yesterday and took them to the store to put on display, just for fun. Obviously I bought the felt, faux fur and cotton fabric there. The insides are dollar store socks filled with wheat berries and polyfill. If you look carefully at the photo, you’ll see my Spring garden gnomes in the background.

3. The Festival Cardigan, complete with buttons. I’m keeping it on my couch because the temps have dropped to mid-teens outside. I love to snuggle in warm layers on a cool dark fall evening. I think this season has to be my favourite.

4. And finally, the Relaxation socks. This is a pattern I found on Ravelry. It’s written for bulky yarn but I’m using Bernat Pop in the Full Spectrum colourway and it’s working fine. This is my Strictly Sockalong 2021 project, which is a MAL run by Ali of Little Drops of Wonderful podcast. I haven’t made socks in a long time, and I don’t watch Strictly Come Dancing or even Dance with the Stars, but I do like a good makealong!

There you go, all caught up. I hope you have a wonderful day. Now I’m going to have a quick look at Ravelry and then I need to get ready for work.

FO: Festival Cardigan

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She is done, except for buttons. Unfortunately I don’t have three buttons large enough in my stash so I’ll have to check at work tomorrow.

This took 1300 grams of DK yarn, knitting with five strands at a time. It’s VERY warm. I put it on and it was like wearing a blanket. Great timing as we head into fall.

This made a huge dent in the stash but there’s still yarn left for another project.

WIP: Festival Cardigan

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That huge pile of yarn in my last post has shrunk considerably. The cardigan has a back and two fronts, joined at the shoulders, and even neck and front ribbing.

The finished back
Front view pre-ribbing
With ribbing

I thought I’d only need to make the sleeves three squares wide by two tall but when I held the partial sleeve on my arm I saw I’d have to add another square. This’ll make the sleeves a bit too long, I think, but better that than too short.

First sleeve

As I progress, my colour choices get more limited. Some of the squares don’t seem to fit with the rest quite right but I think once it’s done it’ll be so colourful overall that it’ll look OK.

Mr Fixit and I took a little road trip today. By “little” I mean it was just for the day but it was still about 300km, according to him!

We headed south and stopped at a couple of towns to check out their farmers markets. We took the back roads for some of the way. We stopped at our usual fruit stand and bought peaches, plums, tomatoes, beans, apples, peppers and eggplants.

I had, probably for the first time ever, left home without packing any snacks. So as soon as we bought the fruit we ate a few pieces in the parking lot. Then we started back north and finally found somewhere for a late lunch. It was a vegan place, new to us, and we had smoothies.

I haven’t quite decided how I’m going to manage the large amount of fruit, because I don’t like canning, but usually I freeze the tomatoes in quarters to toss into spaghetti sauce.

Obviously my cardigan is not a portable project, with 15 balls of yarn currently attached, so I stuffed a bag with Knit Picks Dishie and some hooks for my road trip project.

1.5 dishcloths made

I have a bonus 4-day stretch of days off so I hope to be finishing the cardigan very soon. I’ll see you then!

Still summer

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Still summer

I’m not quite as desperate to see the summer end as I was a short time ago. We’ve had a week of mid-20s Celsius and it’s been a sweet relief from the heat of the last couple of months.

The local wildfire is still burning but not growing, as far as I know; there is plenty of helicopter activity around here and every time I hear a fire truck siren I worry that there’s a new fire.

We are only allowed limited watering but the cooler nighttime temperatures have helped the garden green up a bit, though Mr Fixit went out this morning to “mow the weeds” rather than grass!

I have this weekend off so took the opportunity to sew myself a lunch tote. I used a tutorial from a YouTube channel, MamaProject, which is new to me. I haven’t done a recessed zipper before but this one was easy.

Because I planned to use this for my work lunches I used Thermolam fusible fleece on the back of the canvas outer, and Insul-fleece on the lining. The base is vinyl backed with Peltex and the lining also has the Insul-fleece on it.

When it came to the final topstitching I didn’t even try to sew through all the layers at the side seams!

The lining is a basic undyed canvas and I added pockets on both sides and made channels for cutlery.

I would make this bag again but without so much padding. I do like the way the recessed zipper is done.

I also have a new knitting PIP (project in progress).

I pulled out my DK yarn stash and weeded out the colours I didn’t want in a cardigan, like yellow, orange and black. As you can see, my half of the coffee table has no room for anything else.

I’m making the Festival Cardigan (link to my Ravelry project page here) using 12.75mm needles and five strands of DK for each square.

With four squares across the back, that means 20 yarns per row which I have corralled into bags, one for each group of five.

I have to do a little untangling at the end of each row but so far I like it! This will be a good stashbuster.

August FOs

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I just realized I left you hanging, partway through my All That Jazz cowl and the sashiko project with the green fabric.

Well, both are finished. Here’s what I made from the pieces of denim and green cotton.

That was fun.

And just yesterday I bound off the knitted cowl made from Lion Brand Mandala.

It’s been washed and yanked about every which way to try and even up the stitches a bit. The maroon segued into the blue, so one strand traveled throughout, and then I added contrast with different parts of the same colourway.

I am very pleased with my corrugated ribbing – it’s only the second project I’ve made with that feature.

And today I spent a few hours in my sewing room, accompanied by various podcasts from Kate at The Last Homely House, sewing a bag for a yoga teacher.

Do you like the play on words? Namaste Llamaste! I couldn’t resist it when I saw the llama fabric and buttons at work.

And I can’t believe I used to be scared of sewing vinyl. It sews like a dream.

We’re having a cooler week, thankfully, but there’s still a lot of smoke in the air. A new fire started just south of us two days ago.

It’s a little worrying to see that view from your home. It quickly grew and spread and caused homes to be evacuated in the area. We’re ok here but I have friends who have had to relocate until the danger is past.

There’s an even bigger fire north of us as well that makes this one look like a campfire.

I feel like I have smoker’s lungs now and I’m pining for clean air.

I hope all is well for you guys reading this and that you’re able to enjoy your creativity.