Tuesday, September 15, 2020

New Blankets for Charity

 I recently finished up two more blankets for charity!

This is from the cone of Bernat "Mosaic" that I showed previously. I really thought I'd have enough for a blanket, based on weight, but it ended up a bit small. The charity used to take a smaller size, so I don't know if they might still take it. It weighed in at 328gr. It's very rare for me to make a blanket by casting on the entire width. It's nice in this yarn because it keeps the colour sections even, as opposed to starting in the corner and the rows getting longer and longer.

I had a lot of chunky yarn left from projects--remember those hoods with the years that were so popular a few years ago? And the rectangular ponchos? And the mermaid tail blankets? It was time to clear out those yarns. Plus, my worsted weight collection is actually dismal, except for what I just bought.

I tried to keep this one to the more muted colours, no pink, yellow, red, bright green. It weighed in at 1016gr.
Lots of different weights and textures. I was using a 8mm hook. What I started doing was with the thicker yarns, making only 3 DC in each group, instead of 4.  It washed up lovely. I got started on another one, but in knit as the stash is dwindling! (Well...the yarns appropriate for blankets...the rest of the stash room is still full).

Yarn In:  5115gr
Yarn Out:    6971gr + 1344gr = 8315gr
Balance: 3200 gr more OUT than in!
Costs: $115.68/259 days = $0.45 per day

Friday, September 04, 2020

I Bought Yarn!

 Where'd August go? 

Oh yeah, it's 2020. My niece came to stay for a bit. It was suggested to us as "a few days" but turned into two and a half weeks, minus "a few days" in the middle when we sent her back to her mother because of behaviour. Interesting. 

Then we went to a cottage for two weeks. I thought I'd get lots of blog updating done there, but the internet was not that great with all of us trying to use it. 

Before going to the cottage, I bought yarn. I started this idea when I went on the Florida road trip. Buy a large skein (340gr) of Bernat "Handicrafter" in a colour that will remind me of the trip, and knit only dishcloths on the trip. No more "What should I pack to work on" dilemmas. Oh, I still take another small project, but my main focus is on the dishcloths. Small, no pattern, can work in the dark. Perfect. 

This year, for the cottage, I chose "Junebug".  I didn't look at the name, I just picked the colours. The only other option at Wal-Mart was shades of brown. Not inspiring. The neat thing was, this yarn perfectly matched the cushions in the screened in porch, where I spent most of my time. 

The porch became the puzzle room in the second week. Much hilarity ensued as puzzle building was turned into a competition sport.

I actually didn't get the cloths finished until after I got home. Two weeks should have been plenty of time, but I also had the little baby hats. I got 12 from the big skein, which was about $10.

My recipe for dishcloths:

Cast on 3 sts with 5.5mm needles.  I knit them a bit loose so when they shrink, they're still flexible.
Every row: K1, Yarn Over, knit to end of row.
Repeat until there are 20 eyelets up each side.
Every row: K1, Yarn Over, slip 1 stitch, knit 2 together, pass slipped stitch over the k2tog.
Repeat until there's about 4 stitches left. Then I wing it to decrease down to one stitch (like, k1, YO, k3tog; next row, k2tog and pull yarn through). 
I pull the big ball through the last loop and tightened. Leave a long length (8-10"?) and start again without cutting the first one off. After I do about 4 or 5, I will cut them off. Weave in ends.

(According to Blogger, this is in the center....will have to see....)

I also bought some more baby yarn for the newborn hats. I really have very little left for baby hats (suitable for hospital handout--I have lots of gorgeous yarns for custom hats when I can share care instructions). Three skeins of Loops & Threads "Snuggly" (141gr each). It was actually difficult to find a DK weight yarn suitable at Michaels. I could have gone thinner, but didn't find any suitable. I'd love to use sock yarn, but not for donations. I might try with some ends of balls I have. It is machine washable.

It was hard to find a perfect spot outdoors to knit. No lounge furniture on the deck, just dining furniture. Chairs on the patio/firepit level but it was pretty sunny. This part of the deck was usually shady, but it was often quite windy down here, and a little noisy with boats and jet skis. 
We ran into Giant Tiger to get more "Magic Fire" powder. They had some of those "1lb Unknown Fiber" bags of yarn. Grabbed a few worsted weight bags; 908gr, for  $17.99 (with tax).
And then, the best find of the year. While leaving Sobey's in Gravenhurst, I looked at the Community Bulletin Board. I saw a poster for "Shelridge Yarns"!!  How had I forgotten about this great business? Years ago, pre-blog (I started in August 2006) I found out about them. At the time, they were a farm in Ariss, ON, near Guelph. I visited it and bought some sock yarn. I have blogged about those socks, maybe 2007 or 2008. Then, they sold the yarn business to the women from Cabin Fever patterns and yarn. The business moved to Orillia at some point, I moved to Whitby and lost touch with the "indie" yarn companies as there weren't any fiber shows out here. So, imagine my surprise when I saw that they were alive and well and right there in the town we were staying near!

Walking in, I think I heard angels singing. It was delightful. So much yarn, so many colours! It's really nice yarn, and the great thing is colours are consistent between yarn weights. And not  just six colours per yarn type. No...more like six shades of just green. Their Instagram page has some photos. It's so beautiful to see all these "basic" yarns, rather than the hodgepodge of textures and fibers that fill the rows at Michaels. 

I started talking to Lyn, I think it was. I asked about some yarns I had seen on the website but couldn't recall the name of the group....something strange...."Strange Brew"! She told me about how she was trying tonal dyeing. Handpainted yarns have been very popular the last 15-20 years. While gorgeous, I find they can often be hard to work with. Often the colours are very distinct and different in the skein but when you knit them up, things get muddled and muted. With tonal dyeing, the colours blend more subtly. Some of the colours reminded me of the wools my aunt would dye from natural dyes we would collect (walnut shells, onion peels, etc). Lyn pointed out this worsted weight pile and my heart exploded. I mean--I was even wearing a turquoise top! The yarn was so new, it didn't have a tag or a colour name. I called it Curacao, as it reminded me of our southern Caribbean cruise almost 3 years ago. It is going to become either a hat or mitts. I have to sort through my bin and see what I need. (100gr, $28.25)

Total weight in....1771gr! Wow. That's like, half of what I bought all year, just in August. But.....almost twice what I spent up till now LOL. Still, less than 50cents a day on yarn. Not bad. However, have I told you about my other new hobby?  Stay tuned. 

Yarn In:  3344gr + 1771gr= 5115gr
Yarn Out:   6631gr + 340gr = 6971gr
Balance: 1856 gr more OUT than in!
Costs: $73.34 + $42.35= $115.68/248 days = $0.47 per day


Saturday, August 01, 2020


I made this in mid-April, and I was thinking we would actually get back to school by May, or maybe for June (we usually go until almost the end of June). I bought a bunch of athletic jersey online and then found out it has only 2 way stretch. I haven't done much with it because 4 way is more comfortable. I did use some of this colour to make Rob some boxers. He seems okay with no vertical stretch. I'm not sure how. I tried making underwear for myself and could barely get it on.

I thought "Plitvice" by Itch to Stitch would be a nice option. I'd been wanting to make another one and just decided it was time. There were some adjustments I wanted to make (bit longer, more drapey). I hadn't done a FBA on the original, and I'm not sure now if I did one on this version LOL.

Okkkkkaaaayyyy.  I didn't remake the Plitvice! Looking at the photos, I'm like....what? That's not the same shirt LOL. Now I have to  go down to the basement and look through my patterns.  It was actually Simplicity 2938.

The gathers don't really float all the way down. I hate how it flares out at the bottom, though the sketch does show that happening. I tried on another shirt I had made years ago, yesterday, and it did the same. Don't like that. I thought it was good that it doesn't read as athletic material from a distance.

It feels a little tight around the arms. I did bands, and may have stretched them too much. 

I haven't worn it since LOL. Maybe now that it's summer I'll wear it again. I like that it's dark, but not black. I don't have much in the way of "serious" but not dressy clothes that are darker. You know, sometimes you don't want to wear your little black dress, but your bright pink outfit doesn't fit either. I'm sure I'll wear it when ever work starts again. My teens said it was acceptable, so that's a good thing. 

Thursday, July 23, 2020

I'm Trendy!

Fabricland finally re-opened, but I wasn't eager to go. Eventually I had to, to get my membership renewed. I also wanted to get some twill to make Rob shorts.

A few steps inside the door and there was a display with striped linen-cotton fabrics. They were lovely! Greys, pinks, blues. I knew I needed to make pants. I finally picked out a blue stripe. I wish there was a matching solid fabric though!

I got going on these pants right away. I was going to do another pair of Sequoia. I laid it out and quickly panicked. Do you reverse the stripes for the other side? Or keep the pattern going across the center seam? OMG. I questioned everyone, no real answer. I finally opted to keep the pattern going across the center seam.

The next thing was the side pockets. I didn't want to get fussy, I was just going to do the pocket but not the flap. Then I just decided to forget the pocket. I didn't want to fuss with matching the stripes. I did do the straps to roll up the pant legs.

For the waistband, I just did a contoured knit band. Simple. 

Yes, they do kind of have a pajama-ish look in the pictures. In real life though, you can tell they're linen. As I was preparing to make them (or had just finished?), I was at the Great Canadian SuperStore with the girls, and we walked past the Joe Fresh clothes. Wouldn't ya know? They had striped lined wide leg pants!! The girls groaned; they knew they had no opportunity to use the "you're not stylish" card now!!

Monday, July 20, 2020

Rob's Turn

After I had sewn a few things for myself, I decided it was Rob's turn. I had picked up this sprocket pattern cotton lycra from a de-stash (I think). It wasn't quite enough for a full shirt though, darn tall guy. With help from one of the teens, I chose a dark brown for the sleeves. This is the Zesty Tee, from the old Pickle Toes Patterns (now with a new name).
The cotton-lycra was fairly stiff at first, but after a few washings, it's quite soft now. Wish I knew where it was from originally

Looks pretty good. He's not sure of the dark sleeves, but whatever. 

Nice to see him in shirts without big holes and stains!

Then, one night, he says "Can you make me a tank top?". I had been thinking about that! I found that Thread Theory has a free one, the Arrowhead.  I picked out some bright yellow, and the periodic table fabric for the trims.
He was trying to do a muscle man  pose

Yes, it's bright!

Pretty good coverage in the back. Then he says, "I wasn't sucking in. Take it again". So I did LOL

The teens don't want to be seen with him in this. LOL. We do make him untuck it. 
I also made him a mossy green one. The problem is, it's too cold in the house to wear them LOL. Now I'll have to make him a cardigan!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

More Sequoias

Yup, another pair of Sequoia pantss, by Itch to Stitch! And another pair awaiting photos!
The pictures suck. These are black cotton pants that pick up hair like crazy. It's a black cotton from my stash. It's stamped at one end, in gold, 100% Cotton, made in China. I also have it in blue and made some pants from that version. It's light and has decent drape for cotton. 
I do a mock fly and a stretch knit band. The waistband in the pattern is lovely but I just don't need that about of fussiness. 

The snaps for adjusting the strap to roll up the pants

The inside of the pocket flap got some contrasting fabric.

I believe those are Transformer snaps on the pockets. Hard to see in the photo.

Not the greatest picture, LOL. I was wearing them the other day and hubby says "Where'd you get those pants?" (back when not much was open yet and I wasn't going out much). Dude, they took me over a week to make, using the dining table and the sewing machine located near your "office". I guess, to be fair, I did just order some clothes on line with gift cards I got at Christmas. Pretty cool though that even though he knows I sew most of my clothes, he thought these were purchased! 

Thursday, July 09, 2020

More Tiny Hats

I wasn't extremely thrilled with the other tiny hats I made on the bulky machine. They're okay, but DK on that machine is not a great fit. So, we pulled out my knitting machine table so I could access the standard gauge. I do have a lot of cone yarn, though I am seriously just about out of suitable DK yarn! A lot of the cone yarn I have though, is not baby colours. Not even in a non-traditional way. Like, grey, dark burgundy, tan...

But I had this pretty teal, and purple. One of these tiny hats takes about 12gr. The teal ones are single strand, one or two of the purple ones are single strands, but then I decided to double strand it. For the single strand ones, I believe I did 60-60 in K1 P1 rib, 75 rows, T1, then bring the RB stitches up to the MB, doubling with the stitches there. Knit two rows, double up again, do that again.  
The cream one was from my box of finished items that never sold. The bottom purpley one was actually from the last batch, but when I washed them, it got hidden in a sheet and I missed it. 

For the double strand, I cast on 50-50 in K1 P1 rib. I started at T0 then moved up every row one notch on the tension till I got to T5 (the first one was T3, the second was T4, then I decided to try T5 on the 3rd hat and I liked it the best). Did 75 rows, moved the RB stitches up and place them on the needles with stitches already. Knit a row, moved over as many stitches as I could before I got bored, knit another row. Doubled up again, knit 2 rows, doubled up again, knit a row and take off. 

Even though they were all done differently, they stretch so much so they will all fit. However, I will do the 75 rows, move the stitches up and doubled, knit a row, and then take off on a knitting needle. I will finish the last couple rows by hand knitting. I need more hand knititng projects and I just wasn't thrilled with finishing on the  machine. We'll see how many hats I end up making!

Yarn In:  3344gr
Yarn Out:  6453gr + 178gr = 6631gr
Balance: 3287 gr more OUT than in!
Costs: $42.35/191 days = $0.22 per day