Friday, August 24, 2012

Sapphire Cheer

I love knitting test knits.  Like really, they are the best knitting ever.  So when I saw a request to knit this gorgeous shawl, I had to give it a go.  This beautiful design is knit bottom up in the shape of a long, wide crescent. 

  It is heavily beaded . . .

 And I had some lovely self-dyed Knit Picks Shadow lace-weight that was just calling out to be used

 So what about this - stunning, right?!

 It was an absolute delight to knit, very quick and easy.  The beads add a touch of glamour and a bit of weight.

The stats are:
Yarn: Knit Picks Shadow lace yarn - 44gms
Needles: 32” Knit Picks Options, 4mm (larger size for cast on)
Pre-blocking: 11” width centre, 6.5” width each side, 33” across
Post Blocking: 14” width centre, 9.5” width each side, 60” across
Beads: Clear glass, silver lined
Cast On: Backwards loop
Cast Off: 3 stitch iCord

I love, love, love this pattern, so why don't you pop over to Ravelry and get your own pattern?   :o)

What is next on the needles I hear you shout . . . . hey, I can be delusional if I so choose . . . well, I am going to work my way through Cookie A's two sock books, knitting up socks mostly as gifts - that way I don't need to get too hung up on sizing, I can just knit them as is, and if they don't fit me, I have a gift for someone else!  The first pattern is Glynis which is quite a straightforward pattern and I hope to have these completed in a couple of weeks as I have an Aunt and Uncle coming to visit from the UK and I think they would be perfect for my Aunt.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Summer Garden

We plan to sell our house in the New Year - we have already put down the money to build a new bungalow - and as the house will be on MLS during the winter - the external photos will show a snow covered garden - not very indicative of the loveliness that we have :o)  So I set about last weekend taking some pics . . . .

OK, so I got some great pics of the incoming storm.  I do think that the dark sky casts a fabulous light over the garden . . . . ohh, and then I saw the lilies . . . .

And then this bizarre bud on one of the dogwoods . . . .

And then I had to get a couple of pics of Rocky, one of our greyhounds, who really was enjoying the garden . . . . .

And that was it really.  I'm not sure any of these are suitable for listing our house, but I kinda like them anyway!

Friday, August 10, 2012


So, I saw this lovely fabric and bought a couple of yards to make another gorgeous blue cotton fabric skirt.  But first - take a look at the pattern piece.  Yep, all the markings are there, but no pattern lines . . . . . . . Doh!
And this fabulous fabric . . . . reminds my hubby of cabbages, so this is now my cabbage skirt sigh
Here I am on the deck, posing madly - had to chop my head off as it was out of focus.  Apparently posing needs to be done mostly stationary . . . .
But I soon got into the swing of things!
And if the pattern works for one skirt, why not make another.  Well thank-you.  Don't mind if I do.
And continue posing for all that you are worth!
I do love this fabric, it reminds me of a watercolor painting.
So, what is the skinny on the skirt?  I used Simplicity 4233, and changed the yoke from being a fitted one to being a straightforward rectangle that was elasticated at the top.  I measured the bottom of the curve, laid it out on a straight line and then added the depth.  I did make up a 'down and dirty' muslin of the yoke, both the shaped version and my new one.  Although they both fitted well, I went for the lazy version :o) 

My only other change was to incorporate my 'usual' finishes.  I lined the skirt with cotton broadcloth (a very fine version) in white, and trimmed the lining/underskirt with a narrow lace.  After sewing the pieces together to make two skirts, I joined them together at the waist, pressed and folded wrong sides together and sewed the casing for the elastic.  Oh, I entered another inch to the hem, and I think that this may be my perfect length.

I found this to be a cute, quick and easy pattern that will become a favorite.  Great for beginners, and also for more experienced seamstresses who would like to run up a skirt without having to invest too much time.  Next time I will baste the pleats along the fold lines where they join, sew on the yoke and then pull out the basting stitches.  The reason for this is that my pleats don't exactly meet at the yoke, despite basting them horizontally :o(

I am also rather please with my 'cardigan'.  I went hunting for an appropriately colored one in the Bay at lunchtime earlier in the week.  I could not find one, but saw this t-shirt in the perfect color.  I decided to take a chance (it was reduced from a ridiculously high amount to $16.99 with another 30% off!) and home it came with me.  A quick slash down the front and some Stitch Witchery later . . . ta-da!

I may have to sew the front seam at a later date, but it certainly worked for work today.  I received more compliments than I have in a long time, so I am rather pleased.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Aspen Crossing

A couple of weeks ago we went to Aspen Crossing for a meal in a railway carriage.  Really.  It is an old dining car once used by John George Diefenbaker, the 13th Prime Minister of Canada.  And a rather nice time was had by all . . . . .

The meal was quite simple - but nonetheless, very much enjoyed.  A buffet cooked breakfast.  Yum!!  Afterwards we went for a walk around the grounds.  There is a small garden center and a replica railway station that acts as the gift shop.

Some of the flower displays were quite amazing as you can see!

And this was just fabulous.  Who would have thought of doing this with an old car?  Very clever - there were even a couple of bullet holes in the car.  Maybe one day if we have a bigger garden . . . . !

On the way back we stopped off at a couple of location where there were some old, derelict buildings.  I plan to print a calendar to give as gifts to family, that contain photos taken throughout the year.  It is quite reasonable to have them printed out at places like Staples, and I am sure one or two of these photos will be featured.

And we keep seeing these canola/rape fields, and they remind us of the Microsoft wallpaper :o)

Looking back at these photos really reminds us of what a gorgeous summer we are having this year.  Perfect!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Six of One + One

So here they are.  The skirts that I made from some lovely summer cottons that I inherited from my Mum.  I used Simplicity 4221 for 4 skirts:

The skirt is actually a 4 panel skirt with side, and centre front and back seams.  I finished mine so that the panels were offset - there was a full panel across the front and back, and one on each side.  I lined all of the skirts here with 100% cotton muslin in white with lace attached to the hem and some printed ribbon at centre back waist so I know which way to wear them!

So let's take a look at the skirts!  Actually, this first skirt is from some quilting cotton from Wal-Mart.  I love the acid green and turquoise.

 A lovely soft cotton (/poly mix?)

Possibly my favorite color combo - green and lilac.

A great, cheery summer combo - orange/peach.

This was possibly the most favorite fabric of all - very dainty - it reminds me of long, hot British country summers wearing gorgeous flowing Laura Ashley dresses.  Yep, that's what this fabric reminds me of!  Unfortunately, the yardage was very skant and I had to use a different pattern.  This Simplicity 2977 design was perfect . . . . but the skirt itself was rather short so I added a wide lace hem to the underskirt and and narrow lace to the hem of the outer skirt.  This is a lovely 'flippy' 6-gore skirt, and is fun to wear. 

This skirt is a bias two piece made from Butterick 4466.  I cut the size a little small - when I sit down it moves all over the place and is rather short for my taste.  I would certainly make it again but a little wider and longer.  There is something special about how a bias cut garment hangs.

This is possibly my favorite pattern, Kwik Sew 3256.  I used view B.  Quite frankly I am hooked on the 80's fashion wise - not totally, be sure to check out an upcoming post where I tell you all about it!  Anyhoooo, back to this post . . . . I cut out a size that was too large.  I used 2x and will remake it using 1x.  I find that the way the skirt flips as you walk along is rather intoxicating, and I am planning in making this again as part of a planned wardrobe, suit skirt.  Very cute.

I have cheated a little as far as tops are concerned, and have purchased some dainty very tops and cardigans to mix and match with the skirts.  I foresee many happy summer days wearing these outfits. 

All in all, I am really pleased with these garments, there is nothing really special about them other than the fact that they have given me my 'sew' back.  I am brimming with ideas, and excited to be planning, cutting and sewing again!  

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Beaded Mitts

I really can't resist test knits . . . . and when I saw the lovely request to knit some beaded fingerless gloves designed by Stephannie Tallent on Ravelry, I had to try them out.  So, what do you think?

These were a quick and easy knit that used hardly any yarn at all - fabulous. I really enjoy knitting with beads, I love the weight that they give to a garment and the fact that on the inside you still have the softness of the yarn against your skin.

So, less than 1 ball of yarn - just 35gms used so these would be perfect for that special skein that you have tucked away. I used silver lined beads - I love the sparkle - in pale pink, fresh green and brown to get that contrast.

My tension was slightly out - I was spot on for stitches (28sts = 4”), but used more rows (50 rather than 40 - I may need to recount), but the fit is perfect - I probably had to knit a few more rows, but I would rather do that and know that the circumference fits well.

This was my first time knitting a picot edge - it was a little fiddly, but boy, the results are fantastic. I will certainly be using it on some socks!!