Category Archives: daily life

Staycation days 2/3

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Day 2 involved some housework, because I like to feel I’ve done something domestic before settling down to crafty pursuits.

Once the vacuuming was done and the bathrooms cleaned, I went back to the sashiko stitching. I spent so long on it while watching Netflix that my right hand ached later in the day.

Tuesday evening we had a yoga class so that was the exercise of the day.

Day 3 started out with a 9am Bosu Blast class. Eek, it was a challenge for this lazy girl. I sweated a lot! We did burpees, planks, dumbbell work and more on a timer and I couldn’t keep up with it all but I did my best.

After that, I went and bought food to stock up the fridge and popped into the dreaded Wal-mart for a nose around. The staff were restocking the yarn department and it actually looks better than it has in ages. I didn’t buy yarn but I did get a few T shirts for work/the gym.

After dinner, I met a friend at the beach. It was a cooler day, with a maximum of 29, and by 7pm it was 25. With the wind coming off the lake it actually felt cool (for the first time in a month) and I spent some time adding to my sashiko pieces.

There weren’t many people about but we did share the beach with about 50 Canada geese.

It was such a relief to have have a cool evening. I even pulled out a knitted wrap to keep comfortable while I continued to read my massive library book before bed.

Today the plan is to decide on a crochet or knitting project for the Ravellenic Games (Ravelry’s equivalent to the Olympics) because it starts tomorrow. And I should be able to finish the sashiko stitching so that I can move on to making something out of it. I also have a small additional sewing project in mind. I’ll update you again tomorrow.

Staycation!

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Before inventory at work, I booked a week off. I knew it’d be something to look forward to, after the extra shifts and overtime, and now I’m appreciating my good planning.

Day 1: I looked at the week ahead and booked myself into some gym classes. Monday, I just did a regular self-directed workout, with some treadmill time and some weights machines.

I did laundry, cleaned up the kitchen and mopped the floor, and then treated myself to a few blissful hours in my sewing room.

This is another boro/sashiko project, probably a bag, but this time I’m covering the whole surface with stitching. I’m not rushing it, just stitching away while playing YouTube videos or Netflix, and it’s very relaxing.

The weather has been in the 30s every day, and even in the basement it’s been uncomfortably warm. Add to that the hot flashes that I’m getting every day now and sometimes I’m mopping my face as my glasses slide down my nose.

I’ve been reading a series of novels by Robert Galbraith (aka J K Rowling) which are detective novels. I read the fourth one in the series first, because I picked it up at the library not realising it was part of a series. And I only realised that J K Rowling was the author once I’d finished it. So I requested the rest of the books from the library and quickly devoured the first three.

The book above is the fifth one. Admittedly it’s a large print version, but still, it’s huge compared to the others. If you’re interested, the first book is called The Cuckoo’s Calling.

What do you think of this adorable pincushion? One of my co-workers left this week, and I gave her one of the bags I’ve made as a leaving gift. She gave me this with a lovely note.

I’ve been eating quite a few apricots this week. Our tree produced a fair few this year, and even though some fell on the ground before I could get to then and others were occupied by earwigs, I still got to enjoy those little packages of edible sunshine.

Our valley has been hit by smoke again this summer from the numerous wildfires around the province but I am grateful that we are only breathing smoke and not having to deal directly with fires in my neighbourhood.

Take care, everyone.

Melting…

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Melting…

It used to be, long long ago when the boys were small, we’d be on the beach all the time. Now that they’re older I can go a whole summer without a swim in the lake…until this summer.

We have had temperatures over 40° Celsius this week with little respite at night. No AC in our house, so it’s been up to 36 indoors. Fans barely make a dent in the heat. I have had more swims and showers in the last week than in the previous six months!!

Going to work has actually been something I’ve looked forward to, because the store is cool.

We haven’t used the oven for cooking, only the stove top. Gah!

It’s a good thing my knitting project is small so it doesn’t heat up my lap, and the yarn is cotton which is better for sweaty hands.

I’m making this into a shawlette by adding pattern repeats. I have plenty of the second cake left and I’m enjoying the process.

Recently I’ve become interested in sashiko. I have seen some very arty stuff made by people in the Sew Obsessed group on Ravelry and after looking at some books and videos I was ready to try a project.

I’ll show you next time because it’s not finished yet.

I’m very excited about the change in mask status from mandatory to voluntary. Finally! I will be going without at work from now on. It should create a less combative atmosphere in future, because we won’t have to police the customers.

Stay cool, and I’ll see you again soon.

What a weekend!

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Three days off in a row, and it feels like a holiday!

Sewed practically all day Friday (and took a couple of daylight photos of the bag)…

Saturday, did the grocery shopping and the library followed by a nice toasting in the sun. Pulled out some coconut oil that wasn’t being eaten and put some on my skin, and threw a blanket and a towel on the grass. Later we went to the gym. Enjoyed some reading time with one of my library books.

Sunday we were out early and had a walk along the lake…

Stopped for a tea at our favourite tea shop. Home for lunch then a little more sunshine time on the back deck.

There was still time for some more sewing and I made a drawstring project bag which required a lot less thought than Friday’s project. A palate cleanser, as it were, before I tackle another Yoan tutorial.

Then dinner and more reading.

And now my weekend is almost over. I hope you enjoyed your weekend and that all is well with you.

Misc makes

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Misc makes

Spring has arrived in full, with today’s temperature reaching the low 20s. I managed to leave work early, which almost never happens, and took a book out to the deck to catch some sunshine before dinner.

I take my new phone now when I go walking because it takes good photos. These are from a couple of days ago.

I burnt the heck out of my fingers making this guy…

I got hot glue on my skin and actually had quite the blister afterwards. I feel like he could use more accessories. Or perhaps I’ll just make more using the rest of the dollar store socks and see how they turn out.

Another easy, quick project was this flowy vest (waistcoat) which is my fifth one of this style.

I like to wear these at work. They go brilliantly over a T shirt and jeans, making an outfit look more dressy and streamlined, and they take 5 minutes to make. You only need a metre of a non-fraying knit fabric. If the print goes all the way to the selvage you don’t have to trim them off. I just make sure to straighten up the cut edges.

Once the edges are neatened all you have to do is fold the fabric with selvages together, measure 8 inches down from the top and 7.5 inches in from the fold, and cut a slit from that point down for 8 inches through both layers to make armholes. Easy peasy!

I had to do a repair on this apron. My sister bought this for me years ago, it was made by a local (to her) crafter and has seen me through many a kitchen mess. But I wore a hole through part of it so dug out some stripey fabric from the stash and patched it and now it’s good to go again.

And finally (FINALLY!) a crochet work-in-progress!

A co-worker of mine is leaving soon. She hasn’t been there long but we will be sad to see her go. She mentioned (not in a gimmiepig sort of way) that she had been wondering if I’d be able to make a hat with a ponytail hole. Well, I didn’t mind having a go, not that she has any idea that I’m making it.

This Lion Brand Mandala is one of my favourite colourways. It’s called Chimera and is sort of a muted rainbow.

I am designing this on the hook and the plan is to make it double thick because she’s headed further north. I’m approximately at the halfway point. It was coming out a bit loose so I went down to a smaller hook for the rounds that will form the brim. It’ll be reversible when it’s done.

Enough distractions, I must get back to my hook. I’m on a deadline.

Fabric stashbusting

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My latest FO is a wonky basket crocheted from strips of jersey knit fabric. I made something similar not long ago, but this one burned up the last of this $3/metre fabric that I bought years ago.

Cutting the 2″ strips was quick thanks to my rotary cutter and ruler, but snipping a hole in each end of the strips and joining them took a couple of hours.

I ended up with a 2lb ball of the blue/brown and a smaller ball of the red/orange. With hindsight, I should have cut the strips lengthwise instead of crosswise and they would have curled the other way, leaving the colourful right side showing.

Whilst I didn’t follow a pattern, I was inspired to use the stitch pattern from Toni Lipsey’s Jessie Stash Basket, which alternates a single crochet in the back loop and a waistcoat stitch. The base of my basket is 14″ across, so I can fit a lot of stuff in there.

I probably should go easy on the big hook crochet as my right wrist, which I broke three years ago, has been aching again. I think the worst thing is opening cans, with the twisting motion that entails, but this kind of crochet comes second.

I worked today, but had three days off over the weekend. It was lovely but also frustrating as I intended to get going on a sewing project but kept overthinking it and never even started it.

Yesterday I took myself off on a mini road trip as I had something I wanted to pick up from a friend in a town 40 minutes drive away, so I took a picnic and made the most of it.

I had a homemade London Fog, a bag of yarn to wind into balls, food, water, my beach quilt and an extra sweater. It may look gloriously warm in these photos but it was around 10C and the slight breeze off the lake meant I needed to stay wrapped up.

Thanks to my workplace being closed on Sunday, it’s a short week and I only have three shifts rather than four. Wheeeeeee!

Nothing says spring like…

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…bunnies, lakeside walks in the sunshine and hot cross buns!

I made a fun gift for a co-worker. My Ravelry project page is here if you’d like to check out the details and pattern. It’s a cute pattern that I found on Ravelry, of course.

Earlier in the week I met a friend for a walk and tested out the photo capabilities of my new phone.

It was a beautiful day though the wind was really cold. Today I went for another walk and the temperature was in the double digits and I was warm in just a T shirt.

As Easter is imminent I just had to make some hot cross buns though mine don’t have crosses. I completely forgot to add them just before baking. It’s not the first time I’ve done that! Still, they taste wonderful. I used a vegan oil-free recipe from here.

I confess to having scoffed a couple when I returned from my walk and now I just feel sleepy, but I’m cooking dinner so I’m having to keep my wits about me!

I hope your week is going well. I’m working the next two days (yes, I work on Good Friday but at least I get stat pay) and then I have the weekend off.

Daylight savings

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I saw a humorous meme on FB earlier. Something about the day after the clocks “springing forward” an hour being National Napping Day.

I must confess to being rather sleepy this afternoon. Saturday evening I went to bed extra early because I had work at 9.30am Sunday. But Sunday evening I stayed up late watching The Coroner on Netflix and then slept in this morning.

After a slow start to the day, I baked a couple of fruit cakes (one for us, and a GF one for a coworker) and while they were cooling I went for a 45 minute walk in the sunshine.

Scoffing a large piece of cake may have contributed to the sleepiness!

I never tire of the views around here.

Rather than buy a birthday card for my great-niece I made this from a piece of scrappy fabric I made a while back when experimenting with scraps and stitches.

I used Heat ‘n Bond to fuse it to a plain backing, pinked the edges, and stitched in a piece of paper for the handwritten message.

Now I just need to mail it off with her gifts.

Well, I said I was sleepy and obviously a little brain-dead because I just published this prematurely. Sorry if you get two versions in your inbox.

Joy!

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Joy!

Hello all. I hope you’re enjoying a relaxing weekend doing the things you love.

It’s my turn for a weekend off and Mr Fixit and I have had a good day so far. Just errands around town and grabbing some awesome tea from our favourite place, but so much nicer than being at work!

My featured photo today (above) is the view from my kitchen early yesterday morning. It looked like the trees were on fire! And today when I opened my curtains, I had a treat. Two deer were standing on the vegetable garden, barely moving, looking watchful and alert (probably because of the dog in the neighbour’s yard). I quickly grabbed my phone. They hung around for some time, then bounded effortlessly over the fence and went on their way.

I am always honoured to have a visit from them. I hope they know that they are safe on my property.

Onto yarny pursuits, and I finished some fingerless mitts for Mr Fixit. I used the Cygnet Chunky again. They only took two evenings. Once I had finished the first one, he did say he would have liked longer cuffs like his old pair, but I’m afraid I’m a bad wifey and told him I don’t have much patience for things made in pairs any more and I just wanted them done fast!

I used the basic mitten pattern from Ann Budd’s book, The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns.

Once those were done, I started a new crochet project. A co-worker is scheduled for major back surgery in February and I wanted to make her something. After a browse around Ravelry I decided on the Wishing Well Wrap (link to pattern on her blog here) (link to my project page on Ravelry here)

I’m using Lion Brand Mandala Baby in Echo Caves which is a tasteful combination of blues, greens and cream. It’ll probably take two cakes, though I have five in stash, so could make it bigger if I have time. It’s an easy two-row pattern. Perfectly good for working on while watching The Crown on Netflix!!

Anyone who loves books will appreciate this stack that I brought home from the library today. A few of them were ones I had requested – the rest were ones I found that caught my eye. Three novels, some knitting and other crafts, and a lot of quilt and applique books.

Twenty three to be exact (the maximum number we can borrow at once is 100, and yes, when the boys were small we did manage to hit that amount sometimes). What a warm fuzzy feeling, to be home on the couch on a winter’s afternoon, with yarn to hand, and a pile of books to enjoy, while it’s getting dark outside. Joy!!

Happy New Year

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By the time you read this, it will be 2021. I spent a lovely couple of hours in my sewing room tonight in the company of Kate from The Last Homely House YouTube channel.

She did a two hour livestream today between 10pm and 12 midnight her time (UK) but I didn’t find it until it was finished. Because of the time difference I was able to watch it all before the new year arrived here.

My thread collection was the first job! I love those jewel tones. Unfortunately the threads on the metal bobbins have been neglected since the spring because they were for my old Janome and I use plastic bobbins in the new one.

After that came the yarn. These kits have been sitting around for a really long time. I did start the monster one, but it’s thin yarn (and not very good quality at that) and therefore a skinny crochet hook. They came in as a one-off product at work a few years ago and they were only about $3 each!

These are the natural fibres, from the green hemp at the top of the photo to the cottons at the bottom. The white yarn is for dyeing. My goal for the last couple of years has been to focus more on mindful purchasing including some natural plant content, rather than 100% synthetic, and the stash reflects that.

These are the worsted weight yarns, mostly acrylic with a teeny bit of leftover cotton blend from Scheepjes.

This is the DK acrylic, mostly Stylecraft Special DK, some Lion Brand Mandala, and a few other miscellaneous yarns.

And this is the stuff that didn’t fit into the other categories – mason line, sock yarn, bulky fluffy stuff and some gold crochet thread.

That was a lot of fun and now it’s all packed away neatly. I have to confess to giving my fabric more attention lately, but once I have the Turtle Dove sweater finished (not far to go) I do have another knitting project in mind. It was a valuable thing to flash my stash and remind myself what’s there for projects in 2021.

Do you have a New Year’s Eve ritual that you do every year? I can’t say I do, but maybe this sewing room clean-up is a good way to end the old year and start 2021 with an organised stash!