As planned, I made this small quilt today to hang up at work. It’s about 15 x 30 inches. And it even has a flying Cupid underneath.
And I finished the six denim hearts.
I do love gnomes!!
I seem to be falling into a weekly blog habit. I don’t have a schedule but when a week has gone by without a post I get a niggling reminder in the back of my brain that it’s time to write something.
Do you like the heart? My sister’s stepson makes these, back in Blighty. She sent it to me for Christmas. They are sold to raise funds for Healing Waves in the island of Jersey, which is a charity that takes people with different challenges out into the chilly Atlantic Ocean to surf.
So what are the WIPs this week, I hear you ask!
Version 2 of the Fuck the Cold Beanie. I’m using Lion Brand Mandala for the background and cutting out some of the yarn to make the colours change a little quicker. The gold for the tree and moose is Stylecraft Special DK. Needles are 3.75mm/US5. The gauge is tighter, the stranded colourwork is neater and I’m much happier.
Granny is nearly four feet square. Still lots of yarn left in the bags!
A taster of the sashiko stitching on my denim vest. This has a long way to go but that’s OK.
A small side project inspired by the upcoming Valentine’s Day and gnomie love quilt cotton! Upcycled denim hearts which I am embellishing with fabric, ribbon, buttons etc. I spent a couple of hours faffing about in my sewing room this evening and I intend to complete all six of these before Tuesday.
We had a potluck lunch with friends today and as usual we ate enough that I didn’t need any dinner. So we just wound up our day with a turmeric tea.
I hope your weekend is going well and that you’re making time to be crafty and creative.
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!
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.
I am really happy with these spring gnomes. From their pastel fleece hats to their flowery skirts to their variegated faux fur beards, they look pretty much as I visualised them.
I started with this…
…styrofoam cones, cotton fabric, fleece, yarn, a little faux fur trim, some felt and some blusher…oh, and a lot of hot glue sticks…
…in progress shot so you can see the braids and skirts…
…and ended up with a fun finish with some flowers attached to the mini watering can and garden tools.
Now, when I set these up on a table at work, I intend to add more accoutrements, such as a grass green fabric base, maybe some blue yarn inside the watering can, and ideally some seed packets ‘n stuff. I was hoping to find seeds at the dollar store this morning, but only managed to acquire the terracotta plant pots, watering can, tools and flowers. Why the plant pots? Well, they make a perfect sturdy base for the gnomes and they will also look very similar to the gnomes on the quilting fabric at work which will be part of the display.
After my outing to the dollar store early this morning, I hit the sewing room, finished the gnomes and then did a good tidy-up because there were bits everywhere. Then the sewing machine came out, Netflix went on (New Amsterdam) and I made these masks for Mr Fixit. He does like his batiks!
Mid-afternoon I finally had some lunch and tested out my new Vava milk steamer/frother (from Amazon on the recommendation of a friend and happy user) with some matcha powder, coconut sugar and Earth’s Own unsweetened vanilla oat ‘milk’. Yum! Two exciting packages in one week! Our new phones arrived today from Samsung. Mr Fixit and I now have a Samsung A71 each, though we need to get micro SIM cards for them and set up a data plan. What a game-changer this will be for me, who’s been limping along with (a) an ancient iPad Mini, (b) a basic Android with no data and (c) a slow Windows laptop for years. I know I know, first world problems!!
Another bit of sewing this week was an experimental mask for ds2 who usually sports a full beard and was finding the mask I’d made him at the beginning of “the disease that shall not be named” was too restrictive. I looked online and saw one that’s available commercially that I felt I could use as inspiration. I took the Sweet Red Poppy template that I use for my other masks and redrew it. The first version was huge – I had a brain fart and added seam allowances and also made it too long – but the second version is much better. It basically flattens out over the beard area rather than cupping the chin.
Sadly, I cannot return to my sewing room just yet. It’s coming up for dinnertime and we have to eat. And then we have yoga. But we will be done with that by 8pm so I think there’s a strong possibility of some napkin sewing, which is pretty mindless, and then I can move on to planning the quilt project.
Ta ta for now!
It’s time for a weekend off and I have been sewing again. Mr Fixit was supposed to be on holiday this week but in reality he has had to be available for calls and texts and has also opened up his work laptop a few times. Today he needed to be involved with a move and he even took ds3 with him for an extra pair of hands.
My day alone started out nice and slowly with my usual checking of emails, Facebook and Ravelry. After breakfast I went for a walk around the neighbourhood for about 40 minutes, so I wouldn’t feel guilty for sitting down later on. I prepped the dough for chocolate babka and went downstairs to my sewing room.
I don’t think our family will be doing much in the way of gifts this year, but I made my three sons their very own gnomes! These little guys are about 8″ tall and are made from fleece, faux fur, beads and a little embroidery floss. The boys were tickled pink by them and I hope they enjoy hanging them on the tree every year from now on.
Two other completed projects were these cuffs. I recall seeing something like this on a YouTube video – it may have been StitchesByJulia. I didn’t look it up, just went from memory. The one with the two tone button will be for me. I forgot to include the loop of elastic in the seam so it’s sewn on at the end, and it really should be shorter. The one with the silvery button will be given away. I made sure to do the elastic right that time!
I’d like to make more of these. I have a large turtle button made from coconut shell that I bought in Maui, so I feel a cuff with turquoise fabrics would look great with that.
I also finished another couple of scrappy tree ornaments with cinnamon stick trunks.
Between all the sewing play, I did get a good dinner made. We had chestnut lentil loaf with mushroom gravy and roast potatoes and roasted cauliflower. And of course the aforementioned chocolate babka (bread).
Another quiet day to look forward to tomorrow. With the covid restrictions, our work’s Christmas dinner was postponed. I do hope we will be able to have it in January. I have my Secret Santa gift all ready!
And where DID the time go? The end of summer already.
I can feel the changes in the air – the daytime temps have still been warm, but the nights are cooler and damper. The sun is lower in the sky and the nights are drawing in. Love that “on the cusp” feeling, actually.
I have picked up the Habitat cardigan again, and am in the middle of adding the collar.
The rows are pretty long, running as they do from the bottom of one side, up and around and down to the bottom of the other side. It’s an easy stitch – half double crochet in the third loop – but the collar is a wide one so I have a lot of rows still to go.
This morning I made a pumpkin. For some reason, pumpkins are the only seasonal things I tend to make. I didn’t get a photo as I did it just before work and took it with me. It was just a circle of orange fabric, cinched up with a running stitch around the edge, stuffed, and then I added shape using embroidery floss and a button on top. I may have to make more of those!
Other things I have made this week:
This crochet hook roll was something I wanted to make to house my new KnitPro Waves hooks. I had this cute cat and mouse fabric in the stash so used the pawprint fabric for the outside, the mice to create the secondary row of pockets, and the cat fabric for the inside. I didn’t use a tutorial directly but it was inspired by an Erica Arndt video and a Melanie Ham one. I combined features from them both.
These gnomes were made for display at work. The materials for the taller blue one were provided by the store, but I couldn’t resist making a second one. The blue one has a styrofoam cone inside, but it’s very light and tippy, whereas the red one’s base is an old sock filled with wheat so it’s much more stable. I couldn’t believe how much hot glue I used, though!
Then there were these masks, which were really quick and easy. What I like about this style is that the fabric design runs uninterrupted across the front. No seams or odd shapes to cut. And they have since been thoroughly tested and found to be very comfortable.
And I spent an evening before a staff meeting sewing up 22 of these little cuties. They are teeny pincushions which fit on your finger. Everyone seemed to enjoy being able to take one home. I didn’t get a photo of the mason jar pincushion which I also made at the last minute. I put a bunch of pins inside the jar and the person who guessed closest to the right number won the jar (and the pins).
As you can see, it’s been a creative week. And I’m sure there will be lots more crafty stuff going on later this week as I have the long weekend booked off (four days in a row for Labour Day).
See you in September!
Do you love this time of year? So many people grumble about the cold and the snow, but my attitude is that the weather is not something you can change so you might as well enjoy it. Or at least accept it with grace! (Or move south, I guess!)
Yesterday was Sunday December 1st and we had our first proper snowfall. It wasn’t very deep but it was enough to make the roads a little slippery and turn everything into a prettier version of itself.
Cold weather makes you count your blessings – we have a warm house, cosy beds, plenty of food, appropriate clothing. The temperatures dropped well below freezing in the last week and I know there are people in my town who are sleeping outside.
The drawstring bag I showed you a couple of posts ago was part of my Secret Santa gift for last night’s work’s Christmas Party. I also made a couple of coordinating gnomes (the two in the centre of this photo).
I’m happy to report the bag and gnomes were much appreciated and were “stolen” twice in our Secret Santa game. The bag ended up with a knitter for her projects and the gnomes ended up with another person for her grandkids. It’s nice when people make a little effort for these things because there’s always someone who you feel sorry for because they ended up with a crappy thing!
Another of my favourite things this season is that my Christmas cacti, of which I have about six, are flowering beautifully. I have found that if I put them outside on my covered deck in the summer, where they get a reasonable amount of light and fresh air, and then bring them in when the nights start to get cold, they flourish.
I had my sewing machine serviced this week and also invested in a new walking foot. The old one was about 20 years old and was loosening so much when I sewed that I kept breaking a needle when it hit the foot that had shifted below it. It is sewing like a dream again and I finished this little bag yesterday.
It’s small because I was limited by the length of the zipper. It’s called a Continuous Zipper Pouch and the tutorial is here. It’s a nifty way of using one side of the zipper (if you want, the other half can be used for a wrist strap) but obviously you need a zipper that’s twice the width of your intended bag and I only had short ones.
I love watching bag tutorials. WhitneySews is a channel that’s new to me (she has been making tutorials for ten years, so I don’t know how I missed her before) and she has lots of useful videos.
I also experimented with this Scandinavian fabric star. It’s a photo tutorial and after the first step, when you flip the piece over, it took me a minute to figure out what I was supposed to do, but I did, and it worked, and I managed to finish a reasonably neat star.
I won’t post a photo of my Advent Meditation CAL ornament yet as I don’t want to spoil the surprise for others who haven’t got around to making it yet.
I think that’s enough of my warbling for now. I hope you are having a great day. Talk to you again soon.
A whole weekend off – what fun! Saturday evening we had a potluck at a friend’s house with a group of lovely people. SO much food, we were nearly bursting! And of course we played our traditional Mexican Train Dominoes. Awesome!
My contribution to the food was apple pie and cashew-based vanilla ice cream (the big pie in foreground was the one I took with me, the smaller one and the jam tart made from the leftover pastry were left at home for the boys to eat). I rarely make pastry these days because of the fat content but OMG it came out so well – I used Melt Buttery Sticks for the first time.
This morning there was a vegan market downtown so we splurged on vegan baked treats, which we shared with the boys because they were far too rich for just two people to eat. We also bought some cool hand-made soaps again, and I also finally bought myself a vegan T shirt. Guess I need to get a photo of that sometime.
Afterwards it was tea at our favourite tea shop and a bit of crochet. I have made three of these gnomes (Gnomes of the Gnorth) now. Two of them were made following the pattern pretty closely, one wasn’t, and I shouldn’t have gone ‘off piste’ because I don’t like my version as much (the one with the white beard).
The pattern is on a blog, Mr Micawber’s Recipe for Happiness, and the designer is Sue Perez whose Ravelry name is MrsMicawber.
I have two new dishcloths made from a random ball of dishcloth cotton that I acquired recently. It never went into stash – I just used it up quickly, making up different stitch patterns as I went.
And there has been sewing. Between tea in town and going to the gym, I spent a couple of hours making this bag.
It was made with scraps left over from the snowman quilt/bag I made recently, with a lining from some other stash cotton. I think I need to buy a new walking foot – the one I have keeps slipping, the screw holding it on the machine is loosening so it moves as I sew (and I break needles as a result) and the whole thing is either too loose or too tight.
I am pretty happy with the bag, except for a little uneven quilting across the front. This is the same video tutorial as the other bag, and I pieced a patchwork section just like the original in the video. It’s a good way to use up small pieces.
After the gym I went out for a meal with friends, so all in all it was a very calorific weekend and I should probably not eat anything for the next five days! Yeah, right!!