Zombie Apocalypse Survival Skills part…I don’t know… maybe 5?

Oh, it’s been a while. Late August was the last time I wrote a post. The blog silence wasn’t because I wasn’t crafting, but due to limited acess to the computer. I’ve recently (mostly) sorted out how to post from my tablet, so things should get back to semi-regular posts.

Am not going to bother with a catch-up photo post as I got out of the habit of taking photos of what I was working on and my just listing all the stuff I made would be very, very boring without the visuals. Instead, I’m going to tell you about my adventure a few weekends back as it was recent enough that I can actually remember some of the details…

My Mum and I made what can best be described as our annual trek to The Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough for yet another one of their traditional craft workshops or as I like to call them: Ways I Build my Zombie Apocalypse Survival Skills. This year, they offered one of the courses I have been listing on every course feedback form they ask you to fill out for the past 5 years….

SNOWSHOE WEAVING!!!!

When the course was first offered it was on a weekend that my Mum (who is also my ride) was unable to attend, so I was super happy when they offered it again & my Mum was free (I don’t drive & Peterborough is a bit hard to get to via public transit for a weekend course).

We arrived bright & early for our 8:30 am start & once everyone arrived things got moving. The instructors were Dave & Kai owners of Lure of the North, who taught the Winter Moccasin course my Mum & I took about 2 years ago. We were run through the 3 styles of frames they had brought; Huron, Bear Paw & Ojibwe and given the benefits & drawbacks of each design. I did a cursory bit of research about snowshoe designs before going to the workshop and fell down a bit of a rabbit hole as each style is specific to the winter conditions and type of travel they would be used for. The Ojibwe, for example, is best for long treks along open/flat areas as their ski like design will have the person essentially “skiing” along the snow.

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Mum went with a traditional Huron frame to replace the pair my Grandad had that were lost. I chose the Bear Paw as I preferred the smaller frame size & it is the best design if you are tromping through wooded areas as you are less likely to end up bridging & snapping your shoe between two logs. Also, unlike the long tailed models, you can back up with the Bear Paw as the weight is evenly distributed & the back end won’t get stuck in the snow. For klutzy me, these are all important factors.

305Snowshoes were woven with rawhide that was specifically treated to withstand the rigours of snowshoeing. The processing of rawhide for specific uses is a complete post unto itself that would really only be of interest to me & various experimental archeologists, so we shall move along… My point being, all the commercially processed rawhide that is on the market now is not of a high enough quality to be used on snowshoes that will be used for actual snowshoeing. If you are looking to fulfill your Rustic Cabin Chic decor, go wild & use the crap rawhide….

Good rawhide being non-existant, we were given the choice of 150lb fish line or nylon webbing. The fish line was harder on your hands to weave, but would not require maintenance when complete. The nylon was way easier on the hands when weaving, but would require yearly applications of varnish which is the same treatment for rawhide woven snowshoes. Only two of the classmates chose the fish line. After watching them struggle with it I was glad I went with the nylon webbing.

With our frame & weave material chosen, we all got down to business.

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My Mum & her end of day 1 progress…

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Day  two went much faster & I had completed my snowshoes by mid afternoon.

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Other than 2 errors I noticed after I was done, I am super chuffed with my snowshoes. I need some more varnish to finish them off, then  I am all set for what I have heard will be a snowy winter!

Dave & Kai had some of their other DIY kits for sale, I may have come home with a little something to keep me busy while I wait for the snow to get deep enough to use my snowshoes…

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A Raleigh Superbe

I have an as yet to be named new to me bike!

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She’s an early 1970s/late 1960s Raleigh Superbe 3spd. Made in Nottingham, England but found her way to me via kijiji.ca. She was purchased by the previous owner at the Trinity Bellwoods vintage bike show & sale (7th photo down in the post is a picture of my Superbe!) Dandyhorse also has a nice article about the show, one year I hope to actually remember in time to book that day off work! So, after a week of commuting the previous owner found this was not the right bike for her. I can so totally relate to that! Finding your perfect bike is a tricksy business, especially if you are new-ish to bikes. You can read all the reviews, press releases, fancy bike blogs and test ride until your arse is black & blue, but none of that will give you a true sense of a bike till you have ridden it for longer than the roughly 20 minute ’round the block test ride you can take at a store. Unfortunately, there isn’t to my knowledge any sort of bike service like this unless you have a super nice friend who is willing to lend you their bike, so we muddle through as best as we can and hopefully learn a few things along the way.

When I first started looking for a bike I was smitten with the look of the English 3spds, but my lack of bike mechanical knowledge at that time led to my incorrectly thinking a new bike would be less hassle as I was learning how to negotiate city riding…this turned out not to be the case. As with all things, in hindsight, I should have just bought a damn vintage Raleigh from the get go!

Since that first Trek loop-frame bike with the front shocks & 26 gears, I have run through a series of bikes as it took me a while to figure out what I like in a bike. Road bikes, I discovered, are definitely out!  The riding posture is all wrong for me & I feel rather vulnerable on those thin tyres. (By the by, if you know anyone looking to buy a vintage road bike, I have a Norco Avanti that could use a home that will appreciate it!) Through a process of elimination, I discovered I like a nice lugged step-over frame bike with a 3-6 speed internal hub & rear rack for my panniers that allows me to sit comfortably, see where I am going & by consequence allow the observant motorist (yes that is a dig!) see me. In a nut shell, a vintage English 3spd has what I want. These bikes are amazingly stable due to their weight (not too heavy or too light) and a very sturdy build! Like English vintage cars, their mechanics are particular yet straight forward in their maintenance. The Sturmey-Archer internal hub does require a little bit of thought when shifting gears;  you need to stop pedaling, shift gears, then start pedaling again. Not sure why, my Dad could explain it, all I know is that’s how you do it unless you want to rebuild/replace your internal hub.

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My as yet to be named bike is in pretty much original condition (the tyre pump is not stock & am uncertain about the headlamp), she has a few scratches on the paint, but for a 40+year old bike, she rides better than the modern 3spds of  similar design. The grips will need to be replaced & I have already ordered a set of new/old stock (NOS) or what is sometimes called “dead stock” grips via Ebay. The Superbe came with a dynohub that powers a front headlamp & rear light. The electric wires & rear light are missing so I am currently on the hunt. Although, I wonder if my Dad doesn’t have something suitable squirreled away…&  yes, this fascination with English built modes of transportation is most likely a genetic condition of which my Dad & I both suffer, but really let’s be honest, we don’t see it as a fault & it’s our respective partners who are probably the ones suffering by having to put up with us!

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While giving the bike the once over for any serious damage, I noticed the front wheel lock…with the key snapped off in it! Drag! A quick perusal of youtube provided me with a few “how to remove a snapped key” videos & ebay pointed me to a seller in England with NOS blank keys from the Raleigh factory which he can cut to fit the lock! I just have to send him the serial number stamped on the side of the lock! How cool is that?!

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I might add a Handbag Hugger to the front instead of a basket. They just make more sense, look classic & don’t throw off the steering like fully loaded front baskets can. The saddle which is original, is quite cracked so I have replaced it with a similar style saddle I had in the garage.

Vintage English 3 spd bikes have quite a few advocates online, the most well know is Sheldon Brown who sadly died in February 2008. His website, which is still being maintained is an amazing wealth of information for the care & maintenance of your English 3spd along with other cycling information. He was also a huge fan of the Raleigh Twenty  and wrote extensively about them too! Lovely Bicycle has a great review about the Superbe and even more importantly she has a brilliant post with advice for buying a bike on a budget. I recommend reading that post if you are considering buying a bike, as you will end up with a far better quality bike by following her $.02 than if you were to buy a modern 3spd bike.

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Keeping it between the ditches…

Things at Gauhaus are…trying right now…But as I understood one of my Great Grans was to often say, “At least you have you’re health…”, I will also add “and my craft stash, because crafting is what is keeping me between the ditches right now.”

Often when a crafting friend is going through a rough patch the rest of us will ask if they have easy access to cashmere yarn. We don’t ask to take the piss, it’s because we all know that crafting/making is a stress reducer and the meditative effects of  making help us to often come up with solution we wouldn’t have necessarily thought of.  Even CNN has cottoned on to the benefits so, as things are a bit nutty here I’ve found myself on quite the run of making things.

Once the kids are off to school and the chores are done, I have about 3-4 hours of free time on my days off & I have been taking full advantage of that time in front of my sewing machine. Two-ish weeks ago I banged out 4 dresses in a week using a production line process that would have put a smile on Henry Ford’s face. I don’t actually recommend this approach to sewing as I was very much sick of the sight of my machine by the time I had snipped the threads off Dress#4.

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The Dala horse dress is my favourite!

I used The Staple Dress pattern for all 4 dresses, I love this pattern! I didn’t shirr the waists as I can never get it right & end up with a misplaced waist, I also prefer shift style dresses which gives me a bit of flexibility to wear them over jeans or belt them for a fitted look. The only other modification I make is to place the pockets down about an inch from where the  pattern wants them. Most of the dresses have already seen some wear & I have received lots of compliments on them.

A bit of a weaving break happened after this. I warped up the Flip loom with some Wellington Fibers yarn I picked up at the Knitter’s Frolic. After warping, I realized the colors & pattern are a bit Rothko inspired. For the longest time I was not a fan of Rothko until I stumbled across a biography of him which totally changed my perspective & I rather like his work now.

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The shawl is mostly done, I probably need another hour or two to finish it, but I have been distracted by a few more dress patterns & some Frida Kahlo inspired fabric…

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Yeah…They are just gorgeous! The fabric on the right is what prompted the search for a new dress pattern as I want the 14″ tall line of Frida’s along the hem. I knew what pattern I wanted to use, but the fact that it was ALL IN JAPANESE had me a bit nervous, but I needed a challenge to keep my mind from obsessing about everything else that was going on so I tracked down a copy of the pattern book and got to work figuring this all out because this is the pattern page I had to work with:

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Once I had sussed out which pieces I needed, I traced them using Swedish Tracing paper (Love this stuff!) and eventually made a wearable muslin since I didn’t want to mess up my lovely Frida fabric. The dress came together quite quickly considering I made some brainless errors & had to rip a few seams out to resew. I am pleased with it but will make some adjustments to the length of the top before I use the Frida fabric as it comes a bit short on me.

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The blue fabric will be used to make Made By Rae’s new Bianca pattern, which I will lengthen to just below my knees.

This manic burst of productivity has been really, really helpful in keeping me level while life stuff is being sorted out and perhaps one of these craft sessions will result in the perfect solution, but until then I will keep at the stitches.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We move forward…

I was looking for a great literary quote that would completely sum up my sentiments about starting a new year, but I was unable to locate one in the 10 minutes I spent looking. Had I decided to spend an entire day in research, I more than likely would have found something suitable, but there are things to knit, kids to raise, dinners to make & people to see…In short my time is too precious to spend that way. We move forward as really what else can you do? Crying over the proverbial spilled milk will not change the fact that you have a puddle to clean up, all you can do is get out the cloth, take the time to wipe it up properly so as not to have your house smell like sour milk then put on your coat & go buy another jug of milk. Times like this I am quite convinced my maternal Great Nan’s personality creeps through the genetic stew that is me. She was, from all I have heard a practical Yorkshire woman who took everything in stride. But enough of the family history….  On to the Plans for 2014!

I had hoped to put out the plans earlier than mid-January, but time being what it is…anywhoo, I find if I publicly announce what I want to do this year someone (most likely my Mum) will hold me to the plans in that polite way that Mum’s have of motivationally enquiring what you are up to. (I’ve discovered this trait is starting to take form in myself)

Chris & I (alright me!) are finally at the end of our tether with the kitchen & have found a design which we both like. While perusing the internets for some DIY decor ideas, I came across this pantry redo and was rather taken with it. Chris liked it too so we have started the process of cleaning out the kitchen of useless crap, figuring out paint colours, building a budget, taking careful measurements all in preparation of starting work in April. Why April you ask? If one is going to be sanding, painting & in general creating  a holy hell of a dusty mess, it’s best if this can be done when one can open the windows & air the place out. I am terribly excited to start this project & Chris is terrified everytime he comes home from work that I may have taken the sledge to things for an early start.

As for the craft side of things I am working to clear the decks of some long lingering projects. Later this week I will reorganize the Girl Cave, locate all the lingering WIPS & make the decision to either keep & finish the project or rip it out & salvage the yarn for something else. My parents have each asked for a jumper be knit which will help with some further wrangling of the Stash. There will also be some purging of the Stash…a few years back I thought I was a sock knitter…I am not, but I do know some one who is & some of my sock yarns will go to her.

As for the current projects, I somehow won 150$ gift certificate to a place of my choice through my work, I chose yarn…

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Pattern: Golden Wheat Cardi

Yarn: MadelineTosh Chunky in Victorian Gothic

I am hoping to be done this cardi some time this week.

My travel project:

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Pattern: Rikke with a few modifications

Yarn: Cephalopod Traveller in Gallifrey

I picked up this skein at Rhinebeck last Fall. I love this colour & would really like a sweater’s worth, but that will have to wait!

And then there is the sewing…

I continue to be inspired by Sonya Philip’s 100 Acts of Sewing project, I am working at:

1 – Shrinking my wardrobe, I do not need ALL THE CLOTHES!

2 – Making my own clothing either from a pattern or up-cycling thrifted clothes

3 – Reclaiming a personal style – I am more than a little done with the Frumpy Mummy uniform & the “I look just like everyone else” realization that tends to come with buying from the chain stores.

4 – When I need to buy a piece of clothing, follow my Paternal Grandmother’s advice: Buy well made, classic lines & natural fibers (okay that last one is my rule) also buy the best shoes you can afford that can be resoled, your feet will thank you for years to come!

4a. Look first to indi/local designers first.

Sonya Philip also released her  Dress No.2 pattern a few weeks back.  I eagerly ordered the pattern & took advantage of a fabric sale. Three new dresses are in the works…

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The final plan for the year is to just be. It’s a bit granola munchy for me, but it’s true, I have been working hard on not having expectations & just enjoying the time I get to spend with my people.

Since everyone else did a year in review…

2013 was a year that could just suck it! Although it was not terribly nasty by comparison to other people’s 2013, it was still a test of my patience & dark humour when things went right into the shitter.

It started on January 3rd with our washer dying & the repair cost being the same as a new washer. For 2 months while we saved to buy a replacement, I hauled our laundry to the laundromat around the corner in my grocery buggy. Pro Tip: get to the laundry by 9am & all the machines are yours!

There was the death of Chris’ Grandma, a few trips to the ER with Liam and assorted other tiny & big annoyances that ended with a case of lice, a huge ice storm & large portions of Toronto without power for days. We were fortunate to have our power back by morning of Christmas Eve, but there were still families who 10+ days later were still  in the dark.

Throughout everything, I channeled my Great Nan’s ability to overcome, kept reminding myself it could be way worse, focused on the bright spots & crafted to stay sane as we soldiered on. The crafting to stay sane proved to be a fairly decent plan as I think this year saw my highest production levels in years! Annoyed with the offerings for ladies fashion and having finally lost the last dregs of the baby weight, I made 7 dresses this summer & a tunic on Christmas day! At least four sweaters for me were completed, a few shawls, lots of hats, there was some weaving and stuff for the kids (not that they actually wore them after asking for said item to be made!). This flurry of activity may be the reason for the complete lack of decent photos of any of my completed projects. This year I should show Abi how to use the DSLR to help me take photos.

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Rhinebeck happened, some new tattoos were added, the kids learned & grew closer to the type of humans I will be proud of. I saw my people (but not often enough) and made it to the Royal Fleece Auction for the first time in 5 years. There were days where I lost it and very much wanted to pack it all in to piss off to Harris & Lewis to become a croft weaver for Harris Tweed and there were days where I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. So 2013 was survived & even enjoyed in some parts. Now I’m looking over the next year & figuring it out…

 

What on Earth happened to my Summer?!

My last post (as my Mum reminds me) was in late May, I was gearing up for the end of school followed by eight long weeks with my beloved children. It’s almost like I went to bed one night & woke up to discover 4 months had flown by and now I’ve got a whole lot to catch you up on.

The Summer was lovely, we played & adventured around the city and I went on quite the crafting jag.

Annoyed with the current offerings in the clothes stores, I dusted off my sewing machine, made seven dresses for myself and one for Abi.

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I added two more tattoos to my body, due to their placement, I will not post photos, but will link to the inspiration. Since someone always asks, I currently have 10 tattoos, yes I said “currently” because I will more than likely add more over time. No, my tattoos do not signify a mental or moral failing, I just happen to like permanently decorating my body & only a very select few know where & what I have tattooed on me. The majority of the work I have are adapted from Iron Age La Tene culture designs.

This Summer was also filled with music, I have attended more concerts in the past few months than I have been to in the past 10 years. Starting with The Breeders, followed by TREE Fest with The Lowest of the Low & Flogging Molly, then there was RIOT Fest where I watched Iggy Pop flail around on stage. The last concert was Dropkick Murphys with The Mahones. Fellow Mum Leah was my companion for all of them & we had good times! I had forgotten how much I loved seeing bands live, but also discovered I really don’t care for crowds and have even less patience for drunk girls with no sense of personal space. Leah & I tended to leave before someone (not us) was going to get punched (by us, okay me!).

There was a lot of cooking with the kids, we made doughnuts, Onigiri, stained glass eggs and tonnes of other stuff. We had plans to do some preserving, but just never got around to it.

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Knitting also occurred. I knit a lot of shawls and started a sweater, they will have their own post…

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Now we are on to Fall and all the busy-ness of 3 birthdays in 6 weeks, Rhinebeck and getting people back into a groove!

 

 

Have bag, will travel…eventually…

While perusing Pinterest one day, I came across this rather nifty duffel bag sewing pattern. I had been looking for a decent size weekender bag for sometime & all the ones I had found were either not quite the right size or pretty darn expensive, but this bag looked to have all that I needed and gave me an excellent excuse to finally use that yard of Kokka Trefle fabric that had been in the fabric stash since Abi was 2.

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Robots! How fun!

The duffel pattern is a .pdf, which I’m rather fond of as they allow for a certain level of instant gratification and I can print them out on a heavier paper than that tissue paper traditional patterns are printed on.

With patten printed & taped together, I made a run up to my LFS (Local Fabric Store) for the few supplies I needed, read through the instructions and got down to business…and this is about the time things went a bit wonky… I am a visual learner, written instructions and I are just never a good combination no matter how well written they are and the Duffel pattern has REALLY GOOD written instructions, my brain is just not wired to work that way. I need pictures! Well defined & clear pictures, or video. Give me one of those shop manual blowouts of an engine & I can rip that Ducatti engine apart, clean it and pop it all back together in a weekend, give me written instructions and you’ll be lucky to see it back together in this lifetime. All this is to say that at some point in the construction of the duffel, I messed up a few times.

First mess up was I bought a separating zipper when I needed a zipper with a stop at the end. After a bit of internet perusal, I figured out a fix that would give me a non-seperating zipper.

My second OOPS! was I realized that according to the instructions, the outside of the bag was sewn first THEN the lining was attached. I had sewn all the layers together and ended up with raw edges inside the bag…WTF?! that was not how the examples I had seen looked…upon re-reading the instructions, I discovered my error and quickly set about fixing it. By “fixing it” I do not mean ripping apart all my seams and re-starting, that is just not my style, unless it is the only solution then I will crack a beer and accept my fate.

I had in my sewing stash some bias tape and it was the perfect width to cover almost all the raw edges, there are a few that will need a trim with the pinking shears…but we won’t talk about them.

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Applying the bias tape through 4 to 5 layers of fabric was slow going but I eventually got it all done, cleaned up my loose threads and turned everything right side out just as Liam came downstairs, saw the bag & with his eyes all lit up and said “ROBOTS!!!!!!!IS THAT FOR ME???!!!!”

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Yes, my little man…this is now for you.

Abi has requested a bag of her own as well…perhaps this time I will make it according to the instructions…

 

Impressing a 9 year old is not as hard as you think…

A few weeks back, I helped a friend out with some emergency childcare so found myself in the company of a 9 year old girl for the day while my kids were at school. Since I didn’t want her to spend the day playing games on her Nintendo DS, I hauled her off to the local thrift shop to gather supplies for my new Spring wardrobe.

I don’t think my young companion had ever been in a thrift shop before and she was shocked, SHOCKED I TELL YOU to discover that really good quality, barely worn clothing could be found for so cheap! She kept asking why her Mum buys stuff at regular price!

I made the shopping experience a bit of a game and gave her the parameters of what we were looking for: preferably wool (or a blend) pants in this size range, length of leg does not matter, the wackier the plaid/tweed the better…7 pairs of pants and 2 herringbone tweed jackets later (all for the reasonable price of $60) and we were good to go.

My little companion thought our little shopping adventure was great fun and decided to tell her Mum about shopping in thrift stores instead of buying brand new! When I told her my plans for the purchases she was quite nearly blown away! Her Mum, whom I dearly love, will toss a shirt if it loses a button, so the idea of taking clothes and cutting them up into something new was boggling my companion’s brain & she then asked “you can do that to clothes?!” I decided to save the history of refashioning/upcycling clothing lesson for another day…

Once back home, I tried on the pants, only to discover the one pair we both really liked, a grey herringbone plaid with a faint pink stripe were way too small on me.

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Gears were switched, googling occurred &  new plan was hatched, scrapped and re-designed…we were going to make an infinity scarf!

My friend helped with the measurements, making sure things matched up and I did the sewing and the cutting.340

We started by cutting off the legs & ripping the seams to give us 4 panels which were sewed into one long strip. As there wasn’t enough of the wool fabric, we made the executive decision to pull the lining from the pants and use it.

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After some finagling with the slippy & fraying lining, we had things pinned together. With right sides together, we made two side seams, creating a long tube which was flipped right side out. At this point had I been thinking, I should have sewn French Seams, but we were excited to see the final product.

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The final step was the most finicky, sewing the tube closed…googling was done again, videos were watched, we felt confident. Once I had sewn almost all the way around, I left about a 2 inch gap to stuff the seam back through and hand stitched the last of the seam.

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My little friend was super impressed that in as few as two hours, we took a pair of ill fitting pants and made a rather fancy infinity scarf. I told her she needs to hang out with me more, we now have some tentative plans to use old bedsheets to make a rug…

Happiest surprise of all was the discovery that my new scarf works very nicely with my Quest!

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Not the greatest shot as I’m still figuring out my new mobile’s camera.

I’ll tell you what happened to the rest of the pants we bought in another post…

 

 

Yet another chunk of time flies by…

I’m quite convinced that time is having a serious go at me or it’s my stellar lack of organization…probably the latter & I should get back into the “To Do List” habit as that keeps me on track.

Since I last blogged, I have been a semi busy crafter, I have a goal to get the stash down to a reasonable size so I can make better use of my Girl Cave and so far it seems to be working. I’m only buying supplies if all attempts to use stash yarn has failed and even then I have a serious think about if I really need to make the project in question or if there is something in my Ravelry queue that would be a better choice to work with the stash.

Since New Year it has been quite the roller coaster here, between the broken washer, perpetually sick kids (one of whom has recently busted out  in all over hives), leaking newly renovated basement and most recently the passing of a grandmother, I’m ready to call 2013 a complete write off! Through out all this insanity I have kept myself mostly sane (there have been a few break downs) by knitting up a storm…my plans to show everything with photos is not going to happen as the camera battery is in need of charging & if I wait for that, I will never get this long over due post up.

In a nut shell, since January, scarves, hats & a set of hot pink legwarmers (ie: instant gratification projects) have been flying off the needles as well as a red Bulle for Abi and I’m also dealing with the groaning pile of WIPs before the kids out grow the assorted sweaters in there I started Gods only know how long ago!

It wasn’t all knitting though, I managed to get Edna II warped & have been puttering away on her, unfortunatly as the basement can get quite cold, sitting at the loom long enough to accomplish more than a few inches weaving before my hands are too cold to catch the shuttle is a challenge. However, the coolness of the basement bodes well for lots of time spent down there once the heat of Summer hits! In the mean time, I have woven two scarves on Filipe, both using unspun fibers for the weft.

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Silk hankies from WoolieBullie for the weft & Viola Viola lace weight warp. I spent two days attenuating the hankies (awesome Knitty article on working with silk hankies) & winding them onto a stick shuttle.

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After the success of that scarf, I busted out some Fiber Optic Yarns pencil roving I bought at Rhinebeck 2 years ago and a skein of Northbound Knitting fingering weight for another go.

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I’m quite chuffed with this one!

As I have a bunch more unspun fibers in my stash, I’m plotting a few more scarves…this will be the next one:

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Northbound Knitting silk hankies & fingering weight yarn…it’s going to be lovely!

I’ve started a Shetland Ruffle scarf/shawl using 2 balls of Jawoll Magic in graduated shades of purple, grey & black as my new TTC project & an Innisfil cardi using some of the oldest yarn in my stash, Rowanspun aran in a nice Springy green.

Let’s see if I can get these two done in a respectable amount of time & get back to a semi regular blogging schedule…

 

 

Mulligan…

Holy crap this post is way late! I think I started it just after New Years, then one thing & another got in the way and now the months is almost over…I guess it’s better late than never…

To a certain extent, I view New Year as one great big do over. Clearly all wrongs can’t be righted, but the beginning of a new year allows us to take a moment, look at the past year and try to fix what done got broke and to accept whats broken beyond fixing and move on.

2012 was a year of change for us, some were awesome, like adopting Nouka,

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others were both awesome and scarry like the electrical surprise we found hiding behind our walls that ended with the basement being renoed much sooner than we had planned and for the first time since we bought the house, we don’t have a tennant & the whole place is ours!

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After all that action & excitement last year, I was hoping this year would be more sedate and does not require any major home repairs. Yeah, that lasted until the washer broke on January 5th & the repair cost was more than a new washer… 2013 better get it in gear or it can suck it!

Broken washers aside, I have some simple plans for 2013:

1: Austerity measures with the household budget. Debt makes me ill and with the bathroom & basement needing work 3 years before we had planned on fixing them and now the washer dying, we have more debt than I am comfortable with, so we are tightening our belts & getting on with things. I will also be revamping our meal planning system to help with this.

2: Making nice with Edna II! Last year was all about learning new textile techniques, I learned how to make moccasins, knit beaded lace, wrapped my head around double knitting & most importantly learned how to weave on a floor loom. This year, I want to spend some quality time with the weaving! I have a stash that needs to be beaten into submission and what better way to do it than with weaving! So far I have chosen projects where I will learn twill, overshot, clasped weft weaving, Huck Lace, a simple set of linen bath towels…my ideas are really only limited by my stash…best of all, a few handmade loving friends are spawning, so I can further reduce the stash by weaving baby blankets!

3: Finishing up my WIPs, this is going to be a hard one as I have a strong raven-like tendancy towards being distracted by shiny things, but there are projects in the stash that have been aging for some time & they need to be finished.

4: Rhinebeck or Oslo in the Fall, this one depends on a lot of factors, mainly how well the austerity measures work out and no unexpected surprises with a large repair cost, but I’ve got 10 months to pull it together so am hopefull.

I’ve got other plans for the year, but these 4 are the big ones that I’m going to focus on…