Tag Archives: cowl

Activities and acquisitions

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Activities and acquisitions

Hi all. Another Sunday has rolled around and I’m glad to say I didn’t have a shift today. It’s been a beautiful sunny day and Tai Chi Man and I were able to walk along the city waterfront with just sweaters, no coats required. My car’s thermometer read 12 degrees Celsius in the sunshine.

We followed up our walk with a long sit at our favourite tea shop. I brought crochet with me, of course, and before leaving home I picked out a pretty ball of Loops & Threads Facets in Light Azore to take with me. My plan worked out. While drinking two delicious Cowboy Fogs (tea lattes) I made a cowl and was able to give it to the owner of the tea shop before we left. She loved it and put it on immediately.

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It was just simple double crochet in the round, using a 9mm hook, with a row of shells along the edge before fastening off. The sewn bag in the photo is one I made last year. It’s designed to hold a ball of yarn and you thread the yarn through the hole in the top flap. It worked well! The only downside to something like this is that there are no extra pockets for hooks and things, or anywhere to put a project-in-progress. However the hanging loop was handy for attaching it to my handbag with a carabiner.

There was much excitement this week when my Wool Warehouse order arrived. Here it is!

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A box of gorgeousness! Scheepjes Stonewashed and Riverwashed XL (aran weight), 15 gram balls in all 50 shades. No specific plans for this yet. And…

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Five 50 gram balls of the Stonewashed in Moon Stone as a neutral, should I decide to use it with the colours in the box. It rounded my order nicely up to 1000 grams of yarn. And the bonus was, it only took 15 days to arrive.

My friend went to Vancouver Island last week and we met up for a cup of tea afterwards. She bought me this lovely stuff.

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Universal Yarn Bamboo Pop in the colour Ocean. She knows me so well! Fifty percent bamboo, 50% cotton, so it fits in with my 2019 goal of more natural plant fibres.

My heel is no better, though wearing the shoes all the time means it (mostly) doesn’t hurt. However last night we went to a friend’s house for a potluck and our hands were full with food going in, so I left my gym shoes with the special insoles in the car. By the time I had been sitting at the dining table for a while and got up to walk back to the kitchen, the pain was back and I was limping.

I did 45 minutes on the elliptical at the gym yesterday morning, while Tai Chi Man did weights, and today we are going back for more weights. I am alternating weights/cardio as I have four days off and if I am good and go every day then I need to mix things up.

My weight loss program, started about nine days ago, involves pretty much eating half of what I usually do. It worked well the first week with a 4lb loss. Last night’s potluck meant a lot of calories going on so I’m being extra careful today and eating just fruit and vegetables.

Finally, we had a big dump of wet snow this week, which looked lovely but left our road axle deep in snow. We are third level (out of three) priority for the graders, but as long as we clear our driveway we only have about 100 metres to drive to get to the clearer road.

I am grateful that Tai Chi Man did the clearing because my right wrist would have complained bitterly at shifting all that wet snow.

It’s almost time to get changed for the gym so I’ll say Auf Wiedersehen for now. Talk to you again soon.

WIP and health update

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WIP and health update

Hey everybody, how’s it going? I’m enjoying a day off with very few commitments. I’ve been to the gym, put on some laundry, loaded the dishwasher. Not very onerous.

I have been having some heel pain lately. I will be sitting on the couch, get up, and get a nasty pain in the bottom of my right heel making me limp to the kitchen or wherever. Now, I know that Googling one’s symptoms often results in a lot of false hits, but this time I think I found the cause. It fits with plantar fasciitis. I assume it’s caused by my longer times on the gym treadmill including the running segments in addition to walking. Of course, I am also on my feet all day at work, on a concrete floor.

Apparently the best treatment for this is a combination of stretching, arch-supporting footwear and ice. I bought some insoles yesterday especially for this condition, and have taken to wearing my indoor gym shoes in the house as well. Friends say I should keep shoes on any time I am not in bed! Felt kind of odd at first, but now I’m finding it very comfortable.

Last night, Tai Chi Man and I went to the gym and I just did weights, but I went again this morning for some cardio and decided on the low-impact option – a stationary bike which is a recumbent style and has a very comfortable seat, unlike the ones with a standard saddle.

Onto yarny matters, my Wayfarer Wrap is growing at last. Picking it up when I watch Netflix certainly helps, and it is now 33″ long. “Only” 17″ to go.

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The billion ends along the edge are being left as a fringe, perhaps in bundles tied with overhand knots. I haven’t finalised that part of it yet.

Yesterday I met a friend for tea in the morning, then hit Costco for a bunch of food. I had plenty of time before I had to be back at home so I stopped in at my favourite tea shop on the way home for another cuppa and some crochet time. I like to make sure I have something portable with me when I go out. You never know when you might need some emergency crochet!

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This is what I worked on while I was there. I added a little last night. I think it’s deep enough, but I’d like to add some sort of edging. This is a moebius cowl similar to one I made last year, where I start with a row of foundation stitches rather than chains (I used half double crochet this time), give it a half twist, then join and start working in the round. You end up with a true moebius which makes for a really comfortable cowl as the place where it twists is lower and fits perfectly under your chin.

It is also using up some stash yarn that’s been hanging around for some time.

After my last post in which I showed you more hats, I had quite the stack, so I filled a bag with about a dozen beanies and took it to the local Food Bank. Hopefully they will give them out to whomever wants them and someone will be warmer as a result.

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Finally, I found some lovely soft flannelette at work that’s a bamboo/cotton blend. It has a fun tea/coffee cup print so I bought some. I figured I could make something nice for the tea shop owner as well as for myself.

And with that, it’s time to say Goodbye for now. Hope you have a great weekend.

 

 

 

Bountiful beanies Part 2!

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I have seven FOs to show you since my last post. I’ve been enjoying some destashing and some stash enhancing. Ahem!

This cowl is a basic C2C stitch pattern, worked as a rectangle, joined in a tube, and with a pompom added on (to use up more yarn). That was a cake of yarn finished up.

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The pinks are way more pretty in real life.

Another quick project, again with stash yarn, was this shawl. It’s called the Me Shawl, designed by Clare at bobwilson123, and her video tutorial is here. It’s a quick and easy pattern, only took me a few days, and I just love the way the yarn worked with it (Lion Brand Mandala in Troll). I did make it quite a bit bigger than she made hers. And I took out the lime green section of the yarn cake and used a bit of turquoise from a second cake for the bobble border.

Another way that I reduced old stash was to make some super bulky beanies. I made four of them yesterday (Loops & Threads Zoomba) and the green one is Red Heart Vivid and I made that in about 20 minutes tonight.

The four in the picture above are made from my own pattern, linked in the sidebar – the Gio hat – and the green one is just half double crochet and a 19mm hook. It’s funny to think there are only 23 stitches around that beanie. Talk about fast!

And finally, my new yarn. There’s a smaller city an hour’s drive south of me which has a small yarn shop. They are closing down and going mobile. So all their stock is on deep discount and I thought a road trip with a fellow yarn-loving friend would be fun. Yesterday we drove down there, had a good look around and left with some treasures. We stopped at a coffee shop and pulled out our knitting and crochet, while we warmed up with tea/coffee. Later, we drove back north, stopping at a small town where there’s another great coffee shop (I did suggest to my friend that we make a documentary, Coffee Shops of the Okanagan) where we had more tea/coffee and a snack. Next door is a cool little shop where I bought my vegan leather Espe bag last year, and my friend bought herself an Espe bag to replace her worn out purse. What a great day!

Here’s what I came home with:

The buttons are hand-made in South Africa, giving employment to women in that country. The variegated skeins are Berroco Espresso and weigh 150 grams each. The yarn is a bulky weight blend of cotton and acrylic. The Easter Egg coloured skeins are Universal Yarn Cotton Supreme, 100 grams of soft worsted weight cotton. So pretty.

I was left with small balls of leftovers from the cowl and beanies and I’ve added them to the giveaway bag of yarn and changed their status on my Ravelry stash page to “all used up.”

So it’s definitely been a yarny week. The pile of hats to donate to the needy via a local church is growing by leaps and bounds. Along with the crochet, as often happens, I’ve been delving into Netflix again and have been watching Line of Duty, a British police series. Very gritty! And now I must leave you, for I have work again tomorrow. Have a great weekend, everyone.

 

FOs: Rainbow slouch and marvellously fluffy cowl

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A common habit of mine is, after finishing a large project, to complete a few small projects for instant gratification. This hat is a typical example, though I had a reason for making it. One of my co-workers asked me if I’d make her a red and black stripey slouchy hat, and I wanted to give one a trial run.

I used this pattern (Ravelry link) and it was a quick and easy project. It’s somewhat snugger than my friend wants, though – she tried this one on so now I know to add some more width and slouch to make hers just right.

I used some of the leftover yarn from making the Groovyghan so I now have a hat that coordinates with my blanket. Perhaps I should keep it in my bedroom, next to the bed, for those nights when I just can’t get warm!!!

Another project that’s hot off my needles is this one:

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This cowl is made with one ball of Spindle Yarns Buttersoft, a faux fur yarn that’s new in at the store where I work. It’s our own brand and, OH MY, when my boss showed me the cowl she had knitted up I was motivated to make one myself. This yarn is so soft and the best of its type I have ever felt.

This cowl is just 42 stitches in the round on 10mm needles, stockinette (not that you can tell) and I turned it inside out when I finished it because I think the reverse side is even fluffier than the knit side. Cast it on yesterday, bound it off after work tonight. Gorgeous!

Next, the red and black slouchy beanie.

 

 

Fun, food, and a Finishalong

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Hi bloggy friends. Once again, a whizzy week. I worked Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Monday and Friday were taken up with appointments and errands and a walk with a friend and, before I knew it, it was the weekend again. Saturday was a lot of fun. I went to a market at Yarn Okanagan, an event here in the valley where many people were attending knitting workshops and browsing the vendors’ offerings. A friend and I went just for the market. It only took us an hour to look around. She bought a beautiful skein of something soft (merino, I think) in a deep deep teal. I’d say 99.99% of the yarn there was wool, so of course I didn’t buy any, though I did enjoy looking at the colourful skeins. There were project bags for sale too, but I just tell myself I can make those so there’s no need to buy any!

After the market, my friend and I spent a couple of hours at a local coffee shop, catching up on everything as we haven’t had the chance for a good chinwag in ages.

Later that day, Tai Chi Man and I were on our way to an evening potluck at another friend’s house and as usual the food was delicious, the company hilarious and the evening a success.

Today I had to work, but immediately afterwards our family went out for dinner to celebrate ds3’s 20th birthday. So that was a great way to wrap up the weekend, and now I have the next two days off to get the cleaning up to date and some sewing done.

I do have a bit of new yarn to show you.

This is Joy DK from Loops & Threads (Michaels). It’s very soft acrylic yarn in 100 gram balls and one of my friends bought it for me as a thank you for “lending” her some of my yarn. She wanted to make some dolls and I invited her to look through my stash of DK, because it didn’t make sense for her to buy full balls of different colours when she only needed a tiny bit of some of them. So she took away some skeins and brought back what she didn’t use, along with these two extra balls. The teal one is showing bluer than it really is.

One of the Ravelry groups that I belong to, and am a moderator of, is Crafternoon Treats. Kathryn of Crafternoon Treats (blog, podcast, Etsy shop) is running a Finishalong from now until the end of September. I did a review of my Works in Progress, which numbered four, more than I usually have, but a lot fewer than many people have!

As of yesterday, I had (links are to my Ravelry project pages)

(1) my March sweater, which was abandoned temporarily when I broke my wrist. I pulled it out of the bag today and to be honest I think it might go into the frogpond. I tried it on and I don’t love it.

(2) my Maui Ocean Cowl, from the pattern Pool Party Cowl by Balls to the Walls Knits, which is actually now FINISHED!

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(3) my Swiss sunhat, made with hemp yarn. I don’t have an up to date photo of it, but I finished the top of the crown and started to work straight, but it’s really hard on the hands (and wrist) and I think this one is going to the frogpond too.

(4) and finally, my zippered window bag, which is an experiment in crocheting into vinyl to make a bag that has a window in it. Designing on the hook, it is far from perfect but I intend to finish this and use it.

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Knit Picks Shine Sport, circle of clear vinyl

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zipper with chain stitch, ready for crocheting

This project is further along than these photos suggest.

I can feel the desire to start a new project, something that is most definitely NOT single crochet! Actually, while typing that, I realised I still have some of the cake of Lion Brand Mandala left since I finished the two hats for my FIL, patiently waiting in a little bowl on my coffee table. I think I need to start another knitted hat. And sew more bags!

Stash enhancement Sunday!

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G’day all. Another week has whizzed by and now we are enjoying (!) a somewhat cool weekend. The max for today is forecast to be 15 degrees. It’s windy and a mix of sun and cloud right now, but yesterday morning we had torrential rain at about 7am which coincided with time that Tai Chi Man and all three man-boys were headed out to work on the same job (Tai Chi Man works at an office furniture supply/installation place, as does ds1, and sometimes ds2 and ds3 go to help with big projects). I was also working yesterday, but managed to wangle leaving half an hour early because we had a house guest.

The son of some friends of ours from over the pond came to visit. He flew to Calgary so that he could visit the national parks in Banff and Jasper but drove all the way  to see us for just one night. The drive was nine hours, no doubt with rest stops, but I’m pleased he made the effort. It was lovely to see him. We’ve known him since he was a baby and he’s 32 now.

So yes, stash! This time, fabric, not yarn.

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When I’m working at the fabric store, we aren’t supposed to shop for ourselves, and usually we don’t have time anyway. So I dropped ds3 there today, because he had an extra shift, and became a customer. It’s nice to be able to browse all the clearance quilt cottons without worrying about being interrupted, and I went through them all and picked out 15 of them for (probably) making more bags. I also invested in some heavy duty thread because when I was making the bags with the vinyl panels I had some major thread breakages happening.

I took a look back at my last few blog posts and realised I hadn’t shown you this one…

I am in love with this fabric. I actually have two co-ordinating fabrics in this line. It’s printed with fun camper vans and scooters and for the drawstring casing I used a lime green floral fabric that I’ve had for ages. I can’t remember which video tutorial I used for this but it was a clear one that was easy to follow. The one thing I would do differently next time would be to place the casing higher, as there’s a lot of wasted space at the top.

Next week there’s a 50% off sale at work and I intend to pick up more interfacing and zippers so I can sew more bags!

The Maui Ocean Cowl has grown a little – it’s now 5.5 inches deep and the pattern says to go to 8″. (Pattern: Pool Party Cowl from Balls to the Walls Knits)

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The colours I’m using are very similar to the designer’s, and are very calming.

That’s it for now. Have a great week!

Edited to add link to drawstring bag video tutorial

 

Thursday’s threads, therapy and thankfulness

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Hello, lovely people. How are you today? I had a very pleasant day. My appointment with my hand therapist went well. I was only with her for 15 minutes so she could check how my wrist is coming along. She measured my flexibility (with her angle measurer thingy) and my grip strength and it’s all improving. She said to keep doing what I’m doing, and to be honest I haven’t been too diligent on the hand stretches but I’ve been knitting and crocheting like mad, and even sewing too. It all helps, I think.

So I’m thankful that my wrist is getting better, with only the occasional ache and twinge, and I’m determined that by the time my holiday comes around in August that I will be 100%.

After my appointment, I had tea with Tai Chi Man. Today I had Assam TGFOP. I know the OP stands for orange pekoe, in other words good old black tea, but the rest I have forgotten. I have it with a little plain soymilk, no sweetener. Tai Chi Man had his usual Extreme Green. And after a sit and a knit and a chat with him, he went back to work and I took a tea to my friend at her office and we sat outside on a sunny bench for half an hour.

This is my knitting project…

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It’s the yarn I bought at my LYS last year and took to Maui in December. I started crocheting a ripple scarf but didn’t like all the cut ends and couldn’t see myself finishing it. So after a long rest in its bag for five months I took it out, unravelled it, and found a new project for it. This is the Pool Party Cowl and I found it, of course, through Ravelry. It starts out with a kind of broken seed stitch in colour A, in my case the variegated, and then starts on the woven pattern, where you knit two rows with A and then weave two rows with B, the green solid. (Edited to add that this yarn is Cascade Sunseeker, a cotton acrylic blend with a touch of metallic.)

I can’t tell you how happy I am with this cowl. I definitely did the right thing unravelling the scarf.

So, now to the threads mentioned in the title. I had an idea fermenting in the back of my mind after watching the Smells Like Yarn podcast. Ross keeps showing off a WIP in the Rocko bag made by his friend, DarnYarnMN. It is a zippered pouch with a clear vinyl window at the front. I wanted to try making one (or three) and I have lots of pieces of cotton fabric in my stash. I bought some iron-on interfacing, zippers and clear vinyl from work the other day and dove in.

Whilst I did watch a basic bag tutorial on You Tube, it didn’t include the clear window, so I basically made it up. I’m mostly happy with this bag, except for the fact that the raw ends of the zipper aren’t enclosed within the lining, and neither are my seam allowances, because I couldn’t figure out how to do that with the window in the front of the bag. Anyway, this was just my first effort, and there will be more versions in the future, I’m sure. (The size of this is about 10″ square.)

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The second bag I made is a drawstring bag, and the instructions come from a book I own, Weekend Sewing. I’ve made this bag before in a smaller size. The cut size of the back piece was 15 x 12″, so that’ll give you an idea of the finished size. The front is made from two panels of fabric and one of vinyl. I’m learning some new things, what with having to use a special machine needle to sew vinyl, and how to feed it through so that the stitches stay even. I did cut the ribbon too short because I forgot that each piece has to go all around the top of the bag, not just across one side.

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I’m not sure whether there is a way to avoid the vinyl crunching up and getting little dings in it when turning the bag right side out, or if there’s a way to smooth it out once you’ve done that. I bought the medium weight one. Maybe others use the thinnest kind.

We’ve had some hot days already and it feels like summer has arrived. The thermometer has exceeded 30 degrees a couple of times. I have to say I prefer mid-twenties for comfort. We don’t have (and don’t want) air conditioning at home, though I do have it in my car and I’m very thankful for it. This evening, we have all the windows open and there’s quite a wind blowing through, the wind chimes are clanging, and it feels very comfortable.

Enough waffling, I think. Have a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious day!

FO: Left-handed therapy cowl

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Hello again. I am excited to announce the conclusion of the cowl, crocheted with a 10mm hook and Loops & Threads Facets. I think Michaels have discontinued this yarn now as some of the balls I have were marked down.

At the point I decided to finish it, it was a bit long to seam the ends together for a cowl, but too short for a scarf, so I overlapped the ends and added three buttons along the top edge. The buttons were in my stash, found at work ages ago in the discontinued basket. With C2C there are naturally lots of buttonhole options, so I could probably get inventive and button it a number of different ways.

The last week has seen a couple of major events in my extended family. My mum celebrated her 85th birthday and of course seeing the photos of the party with the whole family there gave me a twinge of sadness that I was so far away. Even my cousins from England had flown over to the island for the weekend.

The other event is the death of my aunt, my mum’s older sister. She was just one week shy of her 93rd birthday. She hadn’t been very well for a long time and had been living in care homes for years, but it’s still a jolt when it happens.

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This incredibly hairy doll is the Princess Poppy doll which I am making into the Paper Bag Princess. I had made great progress on this in February, and was up to the point where I had crocheted the hair cap and starting attaching the strands of hair. Well, that was scuppered when I broke my wrist. However having finished the aforementioned therapy cowl I felt ready to tackle this project again. I’m using a teeny 3.25mm hook, and my left hand, but there’s still a lot of support work done by the right hand and after adding quite a lot of hair to the doll this afternoon my wrist was quite painful. In case you’re wondering, the strand of cream yarn coming out of her face is a guide I put in for her centre parting.

I think she still needs a bit more volume on top of her head and then she’ll get a haircut so it’s all the same length. She’s not supposed to look too “put together” really, as in the book the Paper Bag Princess has just survived having all the clothes scorched off her by a large dragon!

This typing is killing my wrist too. The wrist brace is off and I can type properly with both hands again, but OMG it hurts. I think I shall have to return to my library book (Strangers by Dean Koontz, nearly 700 page paperback, of which I have read three-quarters in two days).

We are definitely on the cusp between two seasons here. It snowed lightly today. However we have also had a huge amount of rain this week (a really great rainstorm that came along with a wind that lashed it against the back of the house) and already in some places there is talk of flooding. Spring melt plus rain equals swollen creeks. Apparently the snowpack is even deeper than last year and is likely to cause even more problems as the level of the lake rises over the spring. I guess there could be a lot of people pumping out their houses along the lakeshore again this year.

WIP: Left-handed therapy cowl

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Once my bandages were off, I was itching to try a little crochet. I had another play with the bulky green yarn and a giant hook and felt confident enough to pull out this Loops & Threads Facets yarn (Amethyst colourway) and a 10mm hook and start a cowl. I chose the C2C because it only involves a small amount of chaining. 

Working left-handed means I have to reverse everything which can mess with your head a bit, but it seems to be working out. I can only make a small amount of progress each day because I don’t want it to hurt. 

The above photo is the first day’s progress. Below is the third day. After this cowl is done, I’m hoping to go back to the doll. 


I had a lovely package in the mail yesterday.  One of the other moderators in the Crafternoon Treats Ravelry Group knew about my injury and asked for my address so she could send me something. She lives in Norway and by the time it arrived I had forgotten all about it. 


She sent two crocheted washcloths, a clay and rose water face mask kit, a rose-scented heart soap and some chocolate. How sweet is that? It made my day!

Spring seems to have arrived in our valley. The snow is mostly gone and Tai Chi Man says he spotted some daffodil shoots in the garden today. It’s mild and sunny this weekend. Ooh, I nearly forgot! I hit a milestone today (autocorrect changed that to “smile stone”) as I was actually able to put on a pair of jeans for the first time in over a month. But this typing is making my arm hurt like crazy so I am signing off for now. Happy Spring!

FOs: Elephant toy and cowl

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This elephant is a spontaneous little project that grew out of (a) my wanting a sewing project to do downstairs where it’s cooler and (b) an idea from the print of the flannelette I was hemming to make burp cloths for my great-niece.

We’ve had a run of hot weather, by which I mean in the 30s Celsius, and whilst we do most of our living upstairs in our bi-level it can get uncomfortably hot indoors – like 29 degrees hot. We don’t have air conditioning so the best way to get cooler is either take a shower, go for a swim in the lake, or retreat down to the basement where I have my craft room.

Last night I went down there and found some pretty fabric that I bought when it was selling out at the store and I really wanted some before it was all gone. I have three metres of it so decided it would make pretty curtains for my craft room. So far I have cut the panels and hemmed them, but I need ruffle tape for the tops, so if I can get a reasonable photo later on I can show you them.

I also hemmed the aforementioned flannelette, and went through my other stash fabric to see if my inspiration would be jump-started.

I made a list of things I want from the fabric store where I work, including the quantities for two skirts that I want to make. One is a wraparound skirt from the book Weekend Sewing and the other is another tiered skirt using the same Burda pattern as I used last time.

I was doing some trawling around Ravelry yesterday doing an elephant search, and also searching Pinterest, and came across the sewn elephant toy. It’s on a site called Sewandso.co.uk. I found the instructions to be a bit basic and they wouldn’t work well for a beginner who needed to have every step spelled out for them. I had three colours in the same print from a long ago purchase so made the body red, the ears and tail green, and the inner legs blue.

This elephant has no eyes and I don’t plan to add any. Having made this little guy, I’m not sure whether I will make another, but if I do I will do a better job!

To add to the heat we have had lots of smoke in the valley the last few days. Smoke from various wildfires is being blown in. A state of emergency has been declared in British Columbia because there are so many fires burning in different spots. I don’t know how the firefighters manage to deal with them all – their resources must be spread thinly. It’s another windy evening here, which is nice when all the windows can be opened at night and the air moves through, but wind has a dark side in that it whips up fires. Also, there is no rain in the forecast, but sometimes we will get hopeful about some clouds only to have a thunderstorm that just starts more fires.

Now that inventory is over with at work, things will be back to normal. I had a much-needed day off today, part of which I spent at the beach with a friend. I had a very brief dip in the lake but mostly I was sunbathing. It felt good.

Not much point showing you the crochet blanket progress because it’s pathetic how little I’ve achieved since last time. So I will finish with a photo of the Tunisian simple stitch cowl which my co-worker loved and appreciated so much.

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