Category Archives: daily life

Hats!

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Since getting back from holiday, there hasn’t been a huge amount of crafty activity. I did enjoy a day of blitzing my sewing room which I love to do periodically. It reminds me of what I have in the way of fabric and yarn. It makes me look critically at things I’ve hung on to for months or even years and so by the end of the day I had tossed a lot of stuff in the recycling or trash or thrift store pile.

I went through the fabric and yarn, rearranged things more logically, vacuumed into the corners, and now the room is ready for a new project.

The beanie above was made with a 10mm hook and three strands of the same Lion Brand Mandala Ombre that I used for the shawl. I made it up as I went along. I’ve made a tonne of hats in my time and the bill/peak was just a case of experimenting with what looked right.

When I was at work yesterday, business was a little slow in the pm, and my brain turned to things that could go on display. I checked with the boss and she was OK with me crocheting a beanie with store yarn.

Today being a day off, I had some quality sofa time and I had this made in an hour and a half.

It’s crocheted with a bulky chenille yarn and an 8mm hook and the pattern off the ball band.

Next up will be a sewing project. I have the pattern and flannelette fabric ready to make a knee length robe. The fabric is so cute.

The contrast is a solid blue. It’s still drying at the moment.

I just pulled out my Knit Picks Brava oddments from last year.

I’m wondering about some sort of scrap project or perhaps some amigurumi. You may notice my new knitting mug – it says “If I can’t take my knitting, I’m not going!” And the black blocky thing is my new Anker Bluetooth speaker. I wanted one for my phone but had no idea which one to get so took the recommendation of my eldest son who also has one.

I’m currently playing some awesome 80s music via YouTube music (free, so I have to put up with the ads)!

So that, plus work, is the last two weeks. Oh yeah, and I had a very fun meal out with friends for a belated birthday celebration.

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!

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.

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 bit of a dry spell

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The crafty mojo has been in a bit of a slump. I want to sew and crochet and stuff  but haven’t had much ooomph and so there has been minimal activity.

I have this weekend off which means I have the time to make something. This is an item I promised a friend…

It’s a panel of sunshade fabric with two small tension rods for a skylight in her apartment. It gets so hot in the summer that I made this up and hope it works.

I also cut up an old pair of slippers that were from Costco years ago. They were wearing out. I used the pieces as templates for a new pair.

The knit fabric, fleece and grippy fabric were all in stash.

I could have made them a tad smaller but they work!

There was a little bit of knitting this week. I finally used some of the cotton yarn that I dyed with Procion MX dyes.

I ended up with a small towel and two large dishcloths..

I know, it’s bright. This was only my second dyeing attempt. I’ll be interested to see how colourfast it is.

And I completed another task off my To Do list – the seasonal closet clearout. Every spring and fall I pull everything out of my half of the closet and rearrange it, depending on which season we’re going into. Today most of my sweaters went up to the top shelf. There was a reasonable pile of things destined for the thrift store too.

Everything is now hanging neatly back in the closet, ready for summer.

Mr Fixit and I will be going to the gym soon. We just have to wait for the black beans for tonight’s quesadillas to finish cooking.

Have a great week!

A cool spring

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This is me, the other evening. May has been a cool month compared to usual. Feels like we’ve had more rain, and the nights have been single digits Celsius. Even when the thermostat is turned up a bit, the furnace doesn’t fire much at this time of year, and I’ve been feeling the cold lately. I think my hormones are confused, because for a while there I was running hot.

I finished the bag I was crocheting. It became a drawstring bag with a sewn cotton lining. I’m pleased with the result. Not so happy with this pouch that I made last night.

You’d think that pattern companies with years of experience with creating and publishing patterns would compare favorably to YouTubers with sewing channels. Well, I made this from a Burda pattern and I have to say I wasn’t impressed.

The pattern is rated super easy. Sewing those triangle ends in was a pain, especially as the outer and inner layers are just pinned to each other so they shift. And there’s no interfacing so the bag doesn’t hold its structure. I prefer all my raw ends to be hidden inside the lining too – not so with this bag.

The “work cowl” which I started a couple of months ago is my companion project today while waiting for my friend at the dentist. It was living in my office filing cabinet but I was barely working on it at work.

It’s just half double crochet until the yarn is gone. The yarn is the O’go stuff that I made a beanie with months ago.

Yesterday it was raining most of the day. I enjoyed it. Wet Sundays with few commitments remind me of my twenties, living in the island where I grew up, when we worked Monday to Friday and had weekends off and would go round to one of the parents’ houses and have tea and cake and a natter. It rains a lot there!

Today started out very foggy but the cloud has mostly cleared and the sun is shining. It’s 18° but there is still a chill in the wind.

Next job is to make burger buns for dinner. Time to get out the flour and yeast.

Wonderful weekend

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Wonderful weekend

As you know, I had a very productive Friday.

Saturday was slower-paced. I hadn’t slept well, getting up twice in the night because I felt sick. As in, the throwing up kind of sick. No idea why, and I didn’t actually throw up, and there haven’t been any other symptoms, but I was tired Saturday.

We did a Costco run and I popped into the mall to pick up my favourite aloe vera day cream (and this time I bought the night cream too) and I splurged a bit on some strawberry body butter and shower gel.

It was a bit rainy so we skipped the farmer’s market. But I did get a good haul of books from the library.

Not much energy in the afternoon, so I did a lot of sitting and knitting and I now have a finished shawl.

I made this a bit smaller than the pattern suggested. I left off the last few repeats for a finished size across the top edge of around 60″. And I didn’t bother blocking it!

To recap, this is the Freesia shawl by Annie Baker. I used almost two skeins of Berroco Modern Cotton on 4mm needles.

I’m glad it’s done and I can move on to something new.

Saturday evening, Mr Fixit switched on Gardener’s World (we have Britbox  now) and I have to say it’s such an uplifting BBC programme. The presenters are so joyful, it’s inspiring to me (a non-gardener) to see the pleasure that everyone gets from their gardens, flowers, produce etc.

On to Sunday, and it was a beautiful sunny day (up to 21°C/70°F). Mr Fixit and I went downtown to grab a tea from our favourite tea shop and walk through to the lakefront and the wetland.

There were lots of large fish to be seen as well as sunbathing turtles and paddling ducks.

After our walk, we returned home and I put on a swimsuit and spent half an hour soaking up some rays. Then I popped down to my sewing room for a bit of fun with batiks. I’ve been watching the Patreon videos by Kate at The Last Homely House and the latest ones have been recapping a makealong that she did a year ago.

This is called pojagi or bojagi. It’s a Korean method for making a single-layer wrapping cloth with no exposed raw edges (basically a flat fell seam). A quick Google will yield lots of hits. Kate has made window hangings, curtains and bedspreads using this method.

I cut 5-inch squares out of some of my precious batiks and made a small piece and stuck it on my deck door to admire the sunlight shining through it. It’s like stained glass! I love the effect but I don’t think I’d want to make an entire bedspread.

Those turtle batiks are from our first holiday in Maui five years ago!

I just noticed the time and my weekend is almost over. I love doing lots of fun things on my days off. Three days in a row feels like a mini vacation.

What will my next project be…….

Easter weekend

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Easter to me means chocolate. My family wasn’t religious so when I was a child it was all about the chocolate eggs. Preferably the kind filled with other chocolate like Smarties or something. But it had to be Cadbury’s, not the cheap and nasty stuff that didn’t really taste of anything!

We never did egg hunts like people do now. It’s probably a North American thing that has been adopted in recent years by the British.

This year, we bought some bars of chocolate for the five of us. The bonus was that Superstore was selling their own brand of dark chocolate bars for only $1.79.

I was fortunate to have Saturday and Sunday off. Good Friday I worked but it was a short day due to the stat. Saturday we had a potluck with friends which is always fun and we leave full of good vegan food. And today Mr Fixit and I went out for breakfast. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times we’ve done that! But we drove up to a vegan cafe on the lake and had a “bacon and egger” sandwich and a cinnamon bun followed by a stroll in the sunshine along the beach.

It’s been a cold April so we’re still wearing puffer vests when we’re out (what we Brits used to call bodywarmers or gilets).

I have been doing a bit o’ knittin’ this week, adding to the Freesia shawl. I am about halfway done.

And I have been refreshing my cross stitching skills, having fun with a bit of embroidery with, shall we say, mature content!

I used the alphabet out of that book in the photo which I have owned for about 40 years.

The bird and leaf designs are from a knitting colourwork book that I also own.

And today I made a prototype crossback apron out of cheap canvas based on the pattern in the photo. A friend lent it to me but she had already cut out the small size so I had to adjust things to where I figured the large lines would have been before she cut into the pattern.

It frays like mad, this canvas, so I just zigzagged it before hemming. I have the most gorgeous sewing-themed tapestry fabric for the ‘good’ version. I’m glad I made a practice one first.

I have had less than stellar news from the family on the other side of the pond this week. My mum has had a lot of pain in her hip that has left her barely able to walk so she is in hospital right now, and my sister has the dreaded covid! Hoping for better news by the end of the week, when hopefully my sister will test negative and mum can go home (they live in the same house).

Random stuff

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Well, life has been a lot less stressful lately. British Columbia lifted the mask mandate and my employers followed suit. Whilst I respect everyone’s choice to wear a mask or not, I have chosen to go without. Bliss! In addition I don’t have to police people who come into the store and so there is far less friction in general.

It’s funny though. We had one customer complaining that our staff should still be wearing them. I feel like proclaiming to the world that working in retail has been utter shit at times over the last two years and getting back to some semblance of normal life is a sanity-saver.

Talking of sanity-savers, I had a day off today and I feel like I achieved quite a lot. I did an hour’s workout at the gym. Vacuumed the house and aired it out by opening the windows for a while. Made some reflective armbands for when we go walking in the dark.

Made some mesh laundry bags.

Added pleater tape to the top of four store-bought curtain panels so we can hang them up in our family room (we have an Ikea system, not rods).

Made lasagna. Ate lasagna. Went to yoga.

Crocheted a thing (sort of a bunny container from a tutorial by Repeat Crafter Me) though it doesn’t have any features yet. I pulled out four colours of cotton from the stash the other day, hence the green basket, and there may be something else to come in yellow and lilac.

And cast on my Freesia shawl that I mentioned last time.

Only seven rows in. No more crafting tonight. It’s nearly 10pm now and I’m pooped! Time for bed.

Sewing frustrations

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Sewing frustrations

This zipper pouch caused a lot of frustration. I used two of the adding machine paper scrap strips. It was all fine and dandy until I realised I had forgotten to remove the paper and had to rip out my stitching AND peel back the fused Thermolam.

Also the top corners looked like crap and I had to figure out what I was doing wrong in that area. I probably should have just gone back and reviewed a tutorial on YouTube but you’d think I would know what I’m doing by now.

Anyway it’s good enough for my own use but I doubt I’d give it as a gift because it still has issues!

This small drawstring bag is for my boss. I used a scrap of vinyl and some quilting cotton from stash. It’s about 10″ tall and has some chocolate inside for her birthday.

Rather than boxing the bottoms the usual way, I did that thing where you fold your fabric in half, right sides together, top edges matching, then push about an inch and a half of the bottom edge up inside then sew the side seams. It makes for a cool detail on the base without the extra step of sewing across the corners and chopping off the triangles to get that 3D bottom.

I just had three days off and my main activity was reading. Why? Well, this came in at the library.

You Outlander fans will understand!

I did get some exercise in too. We went out for a sunny walk on Sunday and on Monday I spent over an hour at the gym in the morning and I was back in the evening for yoga.

Work today so I shall have to put Jamie and Claire aside until this evening!