Category Archives: crochet

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.

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.

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!

More bags…and RAIN!

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More bags…and RAIN!

Ohmigosh, the best thing happened today. After what seems like forever, low humidity, excessive heat and smoke, we had rain today. And it wasn’t just a little sprinkle, it was a good downpour. I was at work and could hear the rain drumming on the roof and see puddles in the parking lot.

When I left at 6.15 it was humid and only around 21 degrees, which is about 15°C cooler than most other days at that time.

I hope it dampened down some of the hundreds of fires which are burning around the province, and helps prevent new ones from starting. The valley is still full of smoke, and the visibility is crap, but the coolness is blissful. After last night, tossing and turning because I was so hot, I think I’ll sleep better tonight.

Anyway, there has of course been crafting. My Ravellenic Games project is finished, well before the deadline of the end of the actual Olympics. Ta dah!

I shall look forward to receiving my virtual medal!!

And I sewed another bag for my coworker to go with the tote that I showed you last time.

It’s from a SewingTimes YouTube tutorial for a cosmetic bag. It was pretty fiddly in places and the brush slot section was sewn on when I realized I hadn’t positioned it properly. I had to get the seam ripper out and redo it.

I love that flower fabric; the piece I had was only just big enough to use for that part of the bag. And the purple zipper is the perfect shade.

I doubt I’ll make another but it was a good challenge.

Work again tomorrow but as it’s a stat (BC Day) we’re only open for five hours. I think I shall give myself a treat and NOT set the alarm!

I’m just a Bag lady

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Two more bags to show you, one a crochet work-in-progress and the other a sewn finished object.

The above patchwork bag is a giant tote with denim on the back, patchwork from 4.5″ cut squares on the front, denim handles and a magnetic clasp.

I didn’t follow a tutorial for this, just made it up as I went along. The fabrics were inspired by this little drawstring bag…

…which I made recently and decided to give to a coworker who’s leaving. I made the tote to coordinate so I can give it to her at the same time.

It just took me an afternoon from idea to FO.

My little crocheted bag is coming along. I joined in with a Patreon Zoom chat this morning with Hannah of The Cozy Cottage Crochet podcast, and got the squares joined to the base and started the upper section.

It’s still super smoky here and the event I had planned (crocheting at the beach) isn’t going ahead as most people would prefer to stay home in their AC! I must say, my chest feels crappy today, even though I have been indoors all day and haven’t been aware of a strong smoke smell. Ah well, maybe next week.

Staycation – days 4 – 7

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Day 4 was a long day, mostly at home. There was library book reading, sewing and Ravellenics project planning.

I finally decided on a crochet project for the Ravellenic Games (on Ravelry, to coincide with the Olympics). I went for a bag pattern I’ve made before. It’s called the Feelin’ Groovy Drawstring Purse. It’s a paid pattern now but years ago I was one of the testers for the designer so I got it free.

I’m using Lion Brand Mandala in Chimera from the stash. I had to wait to actually start the project because the Games hadn’t started yet.

My exercise class on Thursday was Strength and Lengthen at the gym with Mr Fixit. That was a good class. The teacher was nice, which makes a huge difference.

Day 5, Friday, was an early spin class. I sweated a lot and had very sore quads afterwards. Once that was out of the way, I could get going on the crochet.

I decided I needed to make the base bigger and do six squares instead of five because the bag would have been too small. So I’ll be adapting this a bit as I go.

The sashiko on my tote bag pieces was done, so I made up the bag with a white linen lining and vinyl handles.

My muscles were glad to have a rest day on Day 6, Saturday. I cooked in the morning and we had lunch and games at our friend’s house. That took up the whole afternoon.

I finally finished Troubled Blood, the fifth Cormoran Strike novel, the one that weighs over 4lbs!

I also made more progress on the bag.

Six squares all joined up and the base circle complete.

My Little Drop of Wonderful wanted to be in my photos today, inspired by the fun photos of Ravellenic mascots in the Colourful CALs group on Ravelry.

She also came out with us today to our favourite tea shop and Costco.

I think I will name her Sparklii.

Day 7 isn’t over yet but the plan is to go to the gym for a weights workout later. And tomorrow I’ll be back at work.

A bit of everything

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A bit of everything

There’s been knitting…

Since I took that photo, it’s grown quite a bit. This is Age of Brass and Steam which is a free pattern that I found via Ravelry. It’s very popular with thousands of projects linked. The yarn is Cascade Ultra Pima Paints, a lovely tonal cotton.

There’s been crocheting…

I won’t say too much about this because it’s a test for someone. But it came out CUTE!

And there’s been sewing…

A vinyl zipper pouch based on a Crafty Gemini tutorial (YouTube) called a pinch pouch.

And an actual garment which gave me grief and I had to redo the neck binding but I think it’s wearable now!

Gawd, it’s 34 degrees today with a forecast high for the weekend of 38. What the heck?!?!?!

We don’t have AC so the only way to be sitting here and not dripping is to have the big floor fan going. Downstairs, where my sewing room is, is somewhat cooler. I can see the big maple tree in my front yard blowing about in the wind and I can imagine it’d be like standing on front of a giant hairdryer right now.

And now I have to make dinner so the fan is getting moved to the kitchen!

Yarn/fabric fusion

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I made two project bags on Friday and this is the second one. Unfortunately the garment-making didn’t go as well so I have nothing to show for that yet.

The base is a bowl shape crocheted from Knit Picks Dishie, a cotton yarn. Once the ball was almost used up, I added fabric to the top part.

After measuring the circumference of the top edge, I cut a strip of fabric the same length plus seam allowances, sewed it into a tube, and then sewed it to the top of the crochet.

The lining is another tube, the same circumference by the height of the bag, with a circle base. Much as I dislike sewing cylinders and circles together this came together easily.

When I sewed the exterior and interior together, I added channels for the drawstring. It worked out just as I imagined and I’m really pleased with it.

In the photo above, the bag has four 100 gram yarn skeins inside, so it’s a good size.

Squeezing in sewing time

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Often when I get home from a full day on my feet, having lifted myriad bolts of fabric and dealt with lots of people (can you say extroverted introvert?!) I am wiped and all I have the energy for is food, tea, Netflix and bed.

Other days, given the right motivation, I can actually get things done.

The barbecue display at work

One evening to make an apron and a second to make an oven mitt to add to the display.

The finished rope bowl

My hand-dyed yarn crocheted over cotton clothesline.

A new mask and earsaver

Just because I love the camper fabric so much!

And another WhitneySews bag from the same tutorial as the cat bag I showed you last time. How adorable is this fabric, with the yarn-bombed trees!

One day, I managed to have a complete sewing room blitz and now everything is tidier and better organized.

All that clear space waiting to be used!

I’m working tomorrow but then I have three days off. Ooh, what mischief can I get up to?!