Monday, 23 April 2012

That Man!

DH looks at me in my DNYD jeans and says that although he knows I like designer names, they don't always flatter my figure.

The man is brilliant. Now, of course I need to acknowledge this moment of truth and find what does flatter me. I can still appreciate the beauty of design and well made clothing. It just means I need to look at what I wear with a more personal eye. As I can sew and don't mind drafting my own patterns, WTH am I waiting for?

I think this may be the hardest thing in the whole world. Those jeans are comfortable, and they were on sale!

That poor man will be sitting down tonight and looking at me in all my jeans and getting a lot more specific about what does flatter me. He's had good training and he's actually very good at that. I think I'm lucky to have him.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Please Pass The Duct Tape

Thursday I went to school for the morning! I'm volunteering! I felt like the glove fit, I enjoyed it. The kids have all grown a year and are so brilliant! I think one morning a week will be good for me.

Friday I went to sock school. I'm learning to make a tomato heel. It's very smooth. Currently I'm working down the leg to this smoothness. Sock School is at Gaspereau Valley Fibres. It's located in beautiful farm country and they have a llama. Of course farm country in the spring can have a very pungent smell, and indeed it was fresh with fertilizer. Their sheep were having lambs this week and their llama is in charge of security. He takes his role seriously and kept me at bay nicely.

You knit round a farm table in a beautiful barn that has been converted into a gorgeous yarn shop. The product selection is amazing. If you ever get to visit, do so. Take lots of money. Pete's Winery is just down the road, if you need more encouragement. Tea breaks happen in a kitchen just off the shop. It's a most pleasant 2 hours. Two more classes to go. I've gone to slightly smaller needles and my socks look smoother. Hopefully they still fit.

So today I was edging a garden bed. I got out my new rubber hose to use as a straight edge. DH offered to get me a string and tie it up for me. I should have gone with that. I'm using the garden fork just like a pro when I jab without really looking, and put it right through the hose. My new hose has a hole. I couldn't have hit that hose if you gave me 10 free jabs. However, now I have a hole. Pass the duct tape please. I'm a little depressed.

Monday, 16 April 2012

What a great weekend! I dug in the garden. Too much, apparently. Why is that now I have the time to dig, my body isn't keen? DH moved a mountain to a new location by the stream. He built a retaining wall of huge boulders and filled it in. Now he's planning roses. Love that man! Thankfully one of us is an expert with a shovel. He's promised lessons.

The Basketry Guild made cattail ducks at the market this weekend. They take about 2 minutes and actually float. We had more adults trying than children. Now there weren't that many children, but it's funny how much the adults enjoyed it. It seems many thought they couldn't 'craft'. Ah, the simple things in life!

The Canadian women's hockey team won the World Championship after a rather tense game. It went to overtime. Last time they did this I injured my voice again. I was more controlled this time, but still. I taught 3 of Rebecca Johnson's (#6) cousins. Wonderful kids, and very athletic as well. They brought her to school after her Olympic win a few years ago. She was a bit shy but did a great job with the kids there. Sunday I wore the shirt she signed for me. It didn't help much with the digging.

Now, if you saw the Pittsburg/Philly game I'm sure you were as disgusted as I was. Seriously, their mothers were watching! Now if the moms had been on the bench, things might have been different. It was a complete loss of control for both teams. Philly came closer to playing hockey, and the score reflected that.

Please send your prayers to whatever deity you may favour. My phone may have gotten wet. So far it still breathes, but I am deeply concerned. That phone is a big part of my life! NO, not for making calls, silly. For everything else!

Friday, 13 April 2012

1912 Project Wrap

I just finished up all the things I wanted to try out on this pattern (wrap 400) from the 1912 Project from Vintage Pattern Lending Library. It was a lovely wrap pattern. Again, I love the way these garments are cut. It is meant to drape, and I kept wanting to pullet up around my ears. That's not where it goes. It's meant to drape elegantly around your shoulders and drip embellishment. It was made for a 36 inch bust. I am larger in the bust area, but small through the shoulders, so the fit was fine. The pattern itself is extremely easy to do. Proper embellishment is what makes it special, and that is up to the makers desire and expertise.

It's meant to be layered and beaded and such. I choose a soft embroidered wool fabric as I wanted to try out a few new techniques without really making something to wear. The wool gave me the weight and drape of what was intended in the finished garment, I think. I simply turned under the edges once and sewed them down. They don't fray. Then for the trial. Have you seen those crocheted edges on tablecloths and pillowcases? Where the crochet hook actually pierces the fabric and stitches a base chain that you then crochet into to embellish the fabric? I got out some sock yarn and tried that. It was surprisingly easy to pierce the fabric. I put a single crochet into each hole made and chained 5 stitches in between each hole. Then  made a second round with a scallop (sc, dc, trc, dc, sc). Lastly I made 3 strand tassels to hang from the trc in each scallop.

This took a fair amount of time, but would make an excellent edging. A nice silk or rayon thread would be a better choice than sock yarn, and more rounds of crochet could make this edging as complex as you like, before adding the tassels. The same thread could be used to embellish the shawl body - I have a great little chain stitch machine that would be perfect for the job. A simple diagram of an embellishment outline would be helpful. I can see little curlicues or other abstract designs working well. In my case the fabric was already embroidered with tone on tone stitching.

So My final checklist for this pattern:
1. Pattern Name Wrap #400
2. My Skill Level Advanced
3. Pattern Rating 3 - It works well but needs to be embellished to be worthwhile
4. Easy skill level required - little fitting, simple sewing
5. Instructions should include more possibilities for embellishment
6. Fit was as expected for a wrap
7. I didn't alter for fit but did try a crochet trim technique

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

I Need More Corn!

It's very busy and exciting at the feeder! Yesterday a gorgeous pheasant showed up for the first time this spring. I'm sure he is one of Henri's offspring from last summer. He showed no fear when he saw me in the window taking pictures, and it took them some time to get over that last year. He was joined by a bevy of little birds. The ducks stop by several times a day. They circle the house first, giving me time to check the feeder and refill if needed. But this morning there was a deer next door. It was huge! I have no idea if s/he stopped by. In fact, I don't know how I feel about that. Deer don't share my garden as well as the groundhog. He tends to stay with the same squash all summer - a few bites each day. Deer tend to mow through everything. I've talked to them about this in the past, but they just look up, snort and continue. My deer are not sissy deer.

However, if I remember correctly, the pheasants destroyed the strawberries last year. I tend to forget that because they were so cute while doing it.

I'm also on a retirement budget! This is going to get expensive! Especially as my DH is concerned that cracked corn may not be the best thing for all and is researching gourmet treats.

Monday, 2 April 2012


I bought this adorable Singer 20 a while back but hadn't been able to sew with it. It seems you have to read the directions. Hmmmm.... Who knew? The threading diagram is full of unexpected twists, but if you do what it says, you get a great little chain stitch. You know how I'm always referring to tea towels that spell out the tasks for each day of the week? Well now I can embroider a set! See how cute? I cleaned it up with some kerosene and oiled it up. Just like a day at the spa. Then I did the same for a little toy Casige model as well. Tomorrow I'll try to get that running.
 Now the nice people at Singer suggest that this machine is a great machine to take you from childhood right to university, for those little repairs and such. Can't you just see yourself pulling this out of your suitcase at the dorm? Turning the little crank?