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February 2016

Posts from January 2016

Sunday Sewing

My big plan to do Sunday Spinning keeps getting waylaid. This week's reason is my overflowing mending pile. A tiny tear in my down hoodie that explains the feathers, some tears in Xander's favourite hoodie, a hole in one of those thin-as-tissue Gap merino cardigans (seriously, the quality of these pieces is really going downhill) and my Carnaby Skirt that was never-quite-right.

Knitted skirts are a challenge. The knitted fabric wants to stretch and if you want your skirt to stay on, the amount of that stretch has to border somewhere between a bit tight and just enough. Mine was at, "gonna fall off if I take a deep breathe" so I decided, last spring to sew in a grosgrain ribbon around the waist.

Well, I finally got started this weekend. 

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This tutorial came in handy, because sewing is not something I've done a lot of. I'm almost done, but have been doing it in small doses because my ironing board is the only clean surface I have (because I had to vacuum the cobwebs off the ironing board and lug it upstairs) and I can't sit while I work.

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Looking at the skirt now, I realize it'll require more sewing to get it right. I find the buttons tug a bit and looking Ravelry, the ones that look the best are either on those where the pattern repeats align perfectly with their body or those who don't achieve that alignment, do some stabilizing sewing to fake it. My current idea is to sew ribbon down both edges of the skirt and add some  snaps to hold things in place better than the buttons.

If I really decide to get crafty, I will remove the buttons and sew them over the button holes and let the snaps do all the work. 

But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves. 

Sewing on the ribbon already seems to be doing the trick and will keep the itchy wool off my waist. Now let's hope the skirt still fits.


Knitters, you'll understand this one

It was cold today in Toronto. It felt really cold because it's been unseasonably warm lately and suddenly the temperature dropped to like -15C. I wasn't ready.

On a day like today, I did what all good knitters do and loaded up on the knitwear. My Gretel beret, Nordic mittens, a seed stitch cowl and my Grey Mist Bohus; one of the nicest, most complicated things I've ever made (and also hacked to make smaller).

image from acunningplan.typepad.com

What non-knitters notice today? Compliment the most? Talked about as an example of my fine work?

The seed stitch cowl.

image from farm6.static.flickr.com

A project I made with a bunch of leftovers on a whim. The thing I made without a pattern or much thought. Sure it's a nice big squishy neck piece and it keeps out the cold. It's even sorta soft.

But it's not knit with angora/merino at 8 freakin stitches to the inch.

There isn't colour work where you have shades of white, bone, fawn, silver and pewter so subtle you have to knit it in full sun to be sure you're getting it right!

And, truth be told, that cowl isn't as warm as my Bohus.

 

Really, non-knitting people? Really?!

 

I just needed to get that out. To feel appreciated by my knitting-folk. I knew you'd understand.

Perhaps the cowl is the pinnacle of knitting when you're surrounded by piles of white acrylic scarves at the mall and when you look at them, they don't look all the difficult to make. It's familiar compared to a sweater that one can't even comprehend someone sitting down and knitting.

Yeah, thinking that will keep me warm...


Checking Back, Moving Forward

2015 was one of the first years I have ever felt relieved to end. It wasn't the worst year of my life, if I was to think of my life in chunks of 365 days, but there was an undercurrent of bleh-ness to it, a feeling that I've been anxious to let go of and move on.

Some of moving on comes with a change in me. I want to look at things differently, let go of some of the anger and bad feelings I've been carrying around, and frankly, just say Fuck It, and mostly do what I want. I want to be the person I want and not let those feelings and their accompanying bad-mouthing gremlins get me down.

Having the last days of December off of work and hanging out with my family and friends gives me a chance to slow down, relax and envision how I want to approach 2016. I certainly can't determine how the year will turn out, but I can decide what my outlook is going to be and what things I want to accomplish (because I'm the boss of me).

Since it's the thing to do, a few more resolutions:

♥I want to write here a bit more. I say that every year, so this time I'm going to attempt to plan a bit better and think of things to write about. Some will be knitting and ephemera but I'm also hoping to take what I often say on Twitter and turn it into something more than 140 characters. 

I did resolve to run 500km in 2015 and made by goal with a few kilometres to spare. 

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♥I've already set a goal of 600km for 2016. Running is good for my body and my mind so I plan to stick with it. I want to have a few less of those small bars and keep things more routine. I'd like to run a half marathon this year too. Let's see if my body thinks that's a good idea this Spring.

♥I subscribed to Ply Magazine after taking a class with Jacey Boggs Faulkner at Rhinebeck (see I need to blog more and tell you the cool stuff I do!) and have been trying to spin on Sundays to keep up my skills and learn some new ones. I also have a large stash of fibre that is so beautiful and I want to enjoy it. So Spinning Sundays will continue.

♥In 2015, I knit some stuff, but was surprised how many times I didn't knit because I was too tired/angry/drained/done. I would say there were almost no days in my past where I didn't spend at least 5 minutes knitting or on something fibre-related. In 2015, I sometimes went a few days with no knitting and it really bothered me because it's one of the things I do for ME and which I really love.

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That's 2015's finished projects. I'm casting on a bunch of things now so I have a knit for every mood. This year I plan to prioritize the little break that knitting gives me and make sure it's part of my day, even if for only five minutes.

I don't want to quantify how much or what I will knit, but instead, make sure that I'm knitting things that make me happy whether it be the process, the yarn, the product, or the time spent.

I wish you all a Happy New Year and hope you have plans for 2016 that make you happy!