Author Archives: Nicola

About Nicola

Long-time vegan, whole-food plant-based enthusiast and educator. Crazy about crochet and knitting.

Makers gonna make

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What did I make today?

A Christmas ball

This ball is better than the slapdash attempt I made at the work event last week. I’ll be telling them to scrap the first version. It was messy as heck.

An infinity scarf

Isn’t this fabric cute! And I got it for less than three bucks!! It was an 80cm remnant of soft brushed knit fabric. Two seams and it’s done.

Another huge swoncho

A friend came over to sew with me today. I took the opportunity to sew this swoncho. It’s the same pattern as the grey one I made for myself, but a larger size, as this is a gift for someone. I just love that I can make a complete garment in an afternoon.

Snow!

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The morning after out big storm, we woke up to a light dusting of snow. And today, a couple of days later, I was at work and there was light snow falling most of the day, enough that I had to brush it off my windows before driving home tonight.

The temperature is hovering around freezing but it’s supposed to reach 4°C tomorrow so I doubt the snow will be around for long. Thanks to Mr Fixit my winter tires have been on my car for a few weeks already.

The alien worm is shrinking. I reached the end of the lavender section tonight. So far, I have 16″ knitted.

I am finding this O’go yarn very pleasant to work with. It’s soft, not splitty, and I’m pleased to say that the transition from one colour to the next is done with dye, not a knot.

This is perfect Netflix knitting. Every row is the same!

Go with the flow

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I drove into town today to do some shopping. On the list to buy from two different stores was mostly food. However I thought I’d pop into Michael’s to look at the beads and the yarn.

I found some cool beads that I can’t show you yet because I’ve already had ds3 distribute them among my yarn Advent bags for me to open later.

I also bought two of the Caron O’Go Big Donuts. Five hundred yards of yarn on each and no calories!

I have already started knitting the pattern shown on the packaging: the O’Go with the Flow scarf. It’s knitted in mistake rib and is super easy and was the perfect thing to do while having tea with a friend this evening.

The pattern is free on the Yarnspirations website. I can’t help thinking that the put-up looks like some sort of alien worm out of Doctor Who!

BC has been hit by storms this week that have dumped a huge amount of rain, causing flooding, mudslides and collapsed highways. We are basically cut off from the coast and already seeing gaps in the supplies at the grocery store. No bananas! I commented to the cashier that it was an emergency when I couldn’t get bananas.

We had a short exceptionally heavy thunderstorm mid-afternoon. It was crazy driving through it, with the rain, wind, leaves, thunder and lightning, but thankfully it didn’t last long. It did however take out power to many homes and businesses in the area, though our neighbourhood was spared.

The wind was rattling everything around the house earlier this evening but all seems quiet now. I hope all is well where you are.

A perfect Saturday

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Mr Fixit and I had a low stress day today. We popped in at a friend’s house to see if he could fix her tumble dryer (it needs a new belt so it won’t be a quick fix) and then stopped in at our local library. I had a few books waiting for me (crochet ones) and I also found some fiction.

After lunch we drove over to a pottery market where lots of vendors were selling their wares. We didn’t buy anything but it was fun to admire all the handmade gorgeousness.

Our favourite tea shop was kinda sorta on the way home (only a minor detour) so we stopped for a tea and a snack.

I had an Almost Joe Fog with soy and maple syrup and a decadent slice of espresso Nanaimo bar (vegan of course).

The Nanaimo bar kept me going through some more sewing and how I have six of the hanging storage pods made and in situ.

The pegboards aren’t exactly pretty but they make me happy when I hang stuff on them.

Dinner is cooking- we’re having organic brown basmati with red lentil dal – and then I shall have a cosy dark evening to enjoy with a plethora of choices. Do I sew, knit, crochet, watch the Mandalorian, read or…?

Do you love this time of year with the longer hours of darkness and colder weather? I do.

Sewing day and some FOs

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Well, the clocks have fallen back an hour and I’m finding myself waking earlier, around 6am, and being ready to crash around 9pm.

I don’t mind. It’s nice to see the sunrise. And I feel like I’m accomplishing more.

Today I had some friends over for a sewing day. I set up my living/dining room with an ironing station, a cutting station and a cleared-off dining table for our sewing machines.

My plan was to make these Christmas stockings in the smallest size (one of my friends made the same pattern in a larger size). The source is https://learncreatesew.com/free-patterns/holiday-seasonal/christmas-stocking/

That was fun.

Afterwards I made three of these…

Source is here…https://youtu.be/bfId3UN6_bQ

The fabrics are all from the store where I work. I added Thermolam fusible fleece to the stockings to make them a little more squishy. The hanging storage pods are just canvas and cotton as they will be hung from a pegboard for sewing room storage.

Last week I completed another sewing project from a library book – a tailor’s ham and sleeve roll filled with flaxseed.

The dishcloth project is finished now. I ended up making 20 solid-coloured cloths from the cotton stash plus a scrappy one. I’m saving the nice ones for gifts.

The socks haven’t progressed at all, but I did start a new crochet project. I’m making a Purrmaid!

It looks pretty odd at the moment but I promise you it’s a cute pattern for a cat/mermaid designed by Robin of the YouTube channel Hooked by Robin. (I like her, she’s British and has turquoise hair! We must be related!!)

I did get literally stuck into the slipstitches that shape the curve of the tail to the extent that my yanking and twisting pulled the metal hook head sideways inside its handle. It actually came right out and needed to be glued back in. I hope it stays in while I finish this project.

I definitely need an easy relaxed bulky project next after all this cotton crochet which can be quite tiring on the hands.

There’s still a couple of potentially productive hours left in the day. Maybe I could whip out three more of those storage pods.

FOs – knitted and gnomey

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This supersized superbobbly cowl pattern is called F77 Shiba Sakura. I found it, of course, through Ravelry. It’s free at fairmountfibers.com.

The yarn is Cygnet Chunky in a deep dark blackberry. It’s a bit on the thin side for a chunky but I used it triple-stranded with 9mm needles. The cowl weighed 150g when finished.

It only took five days. The bobble instructions look a little daunting at first, but there are only four rounds with bobbles, the rest being just rib. By the end of the first round of bobbles I had it memorised.

I’ve made more gnomes, this time for Christmas. These guys are gifts for three friends. The bases are dollar store socks stuffed with wheat berries and polyfill, the usual faux fur beards, wooden beads for noses and buffalo check fleece for hats.

These stickers from a seller on Etsy arrived quickly. They are for my yarny Advent calendar. I still need to get some more small things to go in the bags.

We’re in deep fall now. Since I took this photo early one morning, the leaves have all fallen off my walnut and apricot trees. It hasn’t been particularly cold yet, but we have turned on the heating indoors. It’s been hovering around 9°C the last week, with lots of rain.

I have pulled my fleece jammies out of the closet, and the slippers, and am embracing the cosiness of the season!

I hope all is going well with you. Talk again soon!

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 can  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!