Thursday, March 05, 2015

A Need to Find Fabric In A Box

Though yesterday was sunny, it was cool caused by a draft from who knows where. Today is cool and then we move into the spring like temperatures that will make it hard to stay inside. I know windows and doors will be open to let in the fresh air.


I got half of what I had planned on doing done. Time ran out to complete the task. But the hallway is ready to be painted. In the front entrance part of the task got part of the doors scrubbed and the rest can be done this afternoon if there is time. If not Friday morning for sure. One thing I have learned – I should use the Dyson to vacuum all the floors and then wash them on my hands and knees to get rid of all the cat and dog hair.

My stress level is rising as I have 2.5 days left to get the upstairs ready for the painter. I have a lot of cleaning and prep to do. I will be working until the last minute which causes me unnecessary stress. Thank goodness the living dining room is tidy and our bedroom is clutter free. I will have to be overly focussed to get it all done.

My adult student didn’t show yesterday as she is away. I did some genealogy and some looking into knitting a sweater. Where I go to tutor, was also very quiet. In the two hours I was there 1 person came in to visit one of the employees.


I never thought I would say this, but I have to dig through the thrift shop boxes to find some white cotton I put in and shouldn’t have as it is for a simple white shirt to wear under pullovers. I went hunting for it in the stash and realized it must have been boxed when I grabbed the white broadcloth I didn’t want. Good thing I haven’t had time to take the boxes to the thrift shop.

I haven’t had time to reclaim the sewing room due to prepping the upstairs for painting. I do peek in and wish I was in there sewing but not for a couple of more weeks.


I knit on the Beginner Knitter’s sample and it is ready to block. Knitting every row was a bit boring but I did work on trying to knit consistently. Next on the list is stockinette stitch (knit 1 row, purl 1 row).

I am becoming quite excited about knitting a sweater and will add it to my list for fall. I want it to be a deep red in 100% wool. I am looking at this pattern idea for the sweater front.

Westray Vest

Cast on magazine (Spring 2015 edition)

I love the three small cables in the ribbing at the bottom and neckline and would add them to the ribbing on the sleeves. I feel certain that the front of the sweater will have the Celtic design on it so it is the focus of the sweater.

In the mean time, I have to knit our grandson’s mitts and crochet him a larger sized shark toque. The last one is now too small for him. That happens after I finish the toque I am working on. It is coming along nicely and is a great project to do at knitting group.

We had knitting group last night. I got about 4 rounds done on the toque. I helped the new knitter cast on correctly and I am sure she will practice a hundred times. We had share time and one lady showed us the sweater she made for her granddaughter, another a container to hold yarn (it comes out a hole in the lid), the new knitter showed how she learned to purl correctly and I showed the headbands and dishcloth and tea towel. We talked about how I rearranged the knits and purls on the toque of which everyone was excited to learn. We always have a lot of fun in the two hours we meet. The bonus this time – someone will take three balls of yarn I have as they want to knit a sweater out of it. YES!

Today I am off to the city to get more paint and other items for the downstairs bathroom. I also have to do a yarn run for several people and get a couple of skeins for myself. I also need some knitting needles to knit the mittens.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Decluttering–Less Is More

The weather has cooled off and we are experiencing clear sunny skies. The weather is to change and by the weekend we will be having double digit numbers. This morning it is –7C or 19F and frost is on everything.


Yesterday was a busy day. I cleaned the kitchen so it can be painted. I was up and down the ladder so many times I lost count. Walls are washed, tops of cupboards degreased and scrubbed, the items on the top of the cupboards washed and stored. And the floor was scrubbed to within an inch of its life. It took me most of the day.

The kitchen looks naked; it has lost its personality. We will survive this look for a week or two.

I spent some time during the day sorting through the papers on the table. First round was to do one group’s paper work and get it out of the way. What wasn’t needed was turfed into the garbage. The second round was another group and it took two goes to have it done. I had to scan a page from a magazine, sort through papers, and get some computer work done. There is a small pile of paper left to deal with. Glad to have that pile done and over with.


I did look at The Vivienne Files Clothing Diary Week 4 and I am still impressed with her outfits. It is inspiring me to knit a red sweater for myself. I saw a gorgeous sweater in the latest Cast on magazine that I could use as the starting point. As time goes on, I will have to build a wardrobe. Right now I don’t have the time or the energy to work on it properly. But, I have been thinking………….

One of the thoughts that has been going through my mind has been the quilting cotton left in the exercise room closet. I am not sure how this fabric will end its life. I do not enjoy quilting as much as others do. I like to quilt for a very specific reason – a quilt or other item for a gift or our house. Doing mystery quilts, or taking a class to make something in which the sample looks great seems to be something I end up not really enjoying. I think I need to quilt what I have piled up and move on. When I want to quilt something, I will do it for a very specific reason or person.

I do enjoy craft sewing more than quilting. Most are not hard items, can be embroidered, and make wonderful gifts that people appreciate. I particularly love to make bags and did enjoy making pillows. I use make these items when I need a quick and easy project that is fun to make.

My biggest joy is garment sewing. Though I seem to be stumbling through trying to make a wardrobe plan, maybe I need to loosen up and sew. If it turns out okay, if not give it away. Someone will enjoy wearing it. Garments also allow me to work on understanding and making patterns. That is something I really enjoy.


I worked on the toque during the evening. I am trying to do it using the continental style of knitting. I think I am succeeding as each round seems to be going faster. I got into the grove moving from knit to purl without using an extra finger or the needle. I didn’t think I was going to get to that point and almost quit.

Today I have tutoring in the afternoon and knitting in the evening. I will start cleaning the hall and entry way this morning as there is some decluttering and spots on doors to wash. The baseboards need scrubbing and the floors washed. If it doesn’t get done this morning, I can carry it over to tomorrow afternoon.

Until tomorrow……………………………

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Practice Makes Perfect

It was blustery day yesterday with a north wind blowing for the better part of the day. Not a lot of sunshine either. The jet stream is coming down over us bringing in cooler weather for a few days. It is bringing clear skies and sunshine. In a week we are to see 16C or 61F and if that happens, I want to sit outside and absorb the sun and warmth.


I was sore all over yesterday and would loved to have sat and done nothing. That would have been the worst thing I could have done. After folding laundry, I headed into the spare room (guest bedroom) and started prepping it for painting. All the furniture was moved around, put on the bed, and things cleaned up. There was a couple of items to get rid of. The window ledge and mouldings got a good washing before I got down on my hands and knees and scrubbed the baseboard and floor. I have the top of the a/c unit and the light to dust. The room is ready to have a couple of places patched prior to being painted.


While I was scrubbing the Spousal Unit laid the floor in the bathroom and it looks fabulous. The plumbers will be out on Monday to finish up. That will allow us to touch up the ceiling, clean the shower base, and do a few other small things like baseboard. The Spousal Unit painted the door and frame and should be finished that job today.

Our laugh of the day was changing light bulbs in the kitchen. I have to do it as I have small hands to get the bulbs in. I tried to get them in to no avail. The Spousal Unit had to remove the base of a bulb that separated and low and behold I was trying to put a regular based light bulb into a small based holder. I have to get more bulbs so one of the kitchen lights is missing three light bulbs. Thank goodness for the under cabinet lighting or we would be in the dark.


There is still a piece of flooring in the sewing room. It goes into the cold room as soon as I remove everything on the floor in that room. Maybe, just maybe this week. Then I can wash the floor and finish up that room. I need to see two rooms done in the basement.


Though I read some in the afternoon, I did do a bit of knitting. The toque is coming along nicely – about 1/3 is done before decreasing the top. It is an easy knit with the most technical part being the twist. I wrote it up in red under Knitting Thoughts.


I finally got a good picture of the transition row.


The first swatch is about 1/2 done. I am taking my time on it as this is to be my best work. What I have noticed though is I am starting to knit similar in all my projects. The hard work of doing my best is paying off. I am more critical of how I hold my needles how deep I put them into the stitch when knitting and how nice and even the stitches look.


Progressing in knitting is like progressing in sewing. Practice certainly makes you become better.

Today I have to do a few volunteer items and then it will be clean the kitchen. I have to wash the walls and top of the cupboards. The floor will get scrubbed as well as the window and all the moulding. The goal is to also wash the gable end windows while the ladder is in the house. As I have to climb a ladder I am sure I will be tired and sore tonight.

Until tomorrow………………………….

Monday, March 02, 2015

Nearing the End–A Renovators High

Yesterday was cool and cloudy. The cloud cover made our overnight temperatures stay close to our daytime high. But, the north wind is expected today and it will become cooler. If it brings sunny days as forecasted, I will be happy.


I put a second coat of paint on the walls of the downstairs bathroom. By the time I finished, one hip and one knee were painfully sore (the cold weather is coming). Also my back but not as bad. I will survive as the bathroom will be done this week.

After lunch, I finished up the exercise room. Everything is put away or set up for use. The floor was scrubbed and the treadmill turned around. When that job was done, I helped lay and cut the flooring in the bathroom. That included kicking the flooring into place (no wonder I ache). Once done, the Spousal Unit put the flooring into the exercise room and prepped the floor (last sweep and twice vacuumed) for gluing the flooring down this morning.

I have to say, I was tired last night from the push and enjoyed a couple of hours of just resting. The plans are in place to clean upstairs this week in readiness for the painter. We are nearing the end of renovations.

There is a high knowing we have no more renovations and can do the final clean up from the years of renovating. It is so nice to be able to clean up the mess, wash the dust away, and have the house looking the way I want it. It will be nice to walk into rooms knowing there will be no tools or buckets or industrial vac or compressor sitting in there to be used for the next project. I think my favourite thought is not having white foot prints show up on a freshly cleaned floor. There is no low as we move outside next to finish up the outside. That includes a lot of painting and manicuring the yard. It isn’t messy, it just needs to be looking great.

In the evening, we watched the Great British Baking Bee’s finalist episode. We both marvel at what the bakers make each week and their creativity. We also watched the final episode of Downton Abby for this season. I must say I will be having withdrawal symptoms for that show. 


I got the sewing room back from the flooring layout and can sweep and mop the floor again. I want to put the extra items lying around away, dust, and finish setting up the room. The embroidery machine will be stitching away next week for a couple of days. I promised Daughter in December I would do the embroidery on a shirt for her.


Yesterday morning I finished the hand towel to match the dishcloth I had made. I did the easy knitting at knitting on Wednesday nights.


The pattern is a seed stitch and I did continental knitting to where I decreased for the fold over part. I need to make a reusable grocery bag to put these extra knitted items into.

I started to make a man’s toque. I cast on the 140 stitches and did the 2 x 2 ribbing for 1.5”. It was then that I realized I hadn’t read the instructions correctly. I started with knit 2 instead of purl 2 and had to rip it all out. I got it done correctly again. The pattern asks you to do a Twist and this allows you to go from the 2 x 2 ribbing to a k1 p1 ribbing. The twist realigns the stitches and is totally wonderful.


The wool for this hat is a tweed with flecks of colour in it. I think I have enough to do the matching scarf.

I purchased the Learn to Knit program from TKGA(.com) and started the swatches. The Cascade 220 yarn is lovely and smooth to knit with. When I work on it, I knit 2 rows and then leave it be. I am working on technique and really concentrate on how I knit.


I spent a lot of time casting on to get those stitches on evenly. Not perfect but pretty good in my opinion. I have to say I am enjoying two new projects both of which have good learning curves.

Today I am getting the guest room ready for painting. Things put away in readiness for patching. Baseboards will be scrubbed and the floor mopped. In the afternoon I am out to help get ideas for kid’s crafts for the fall. I won’t be doing the activities but don’t mind helping to get ideas ready for someone else. This evening is my usual tutoring. The child does read but we are doing some math also. If I am lucky, I will squeeze in some knitting.

Until tomorrow………………………….

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Finishing Up Projects

We had a lovely sunny day with a high of 10C or 52F. There was a cool north draft that came and went during the day. On the whole a gorgeous day in which we sat outside for nearly an hour after lunch and soaked up the rays. It is suppose to get cooler for the next few days.


The downstairs bathroom walls got their first coat of paint. It looks good except where I cut in at the ceiling. Slightly shy of paint up there. It was good to get that first coat of paint on to the walls.

After painting I started to tidy up the exercise room. I washed the floors, placed some furniture, cleaned windows, and laundered the curtains. There is still a couple of hours of work left to go before it will be done. It is starting to look good in there.

I spent some time looking at the upstairs as I need to prep it for painting in a week’s time. That seems to be figured out now and I can start the prep work that needs to be done.


The cutting table was moved so the Spousal Unit could cut the flooring for the bathroom. Once the flooring is in the bathroom, I will dust and do the floor ready to sew. That is the last piece of flooring that needs to laid in this house. Yes!


While we sat outside, I knit on the luxury wool socks. I only had a few rows to knit later in the day and by mid evening, they were done.


They look so funny with the legs done in a 2 x 2 rib but they stay up on our grandson’s legs really well. There is enough yarn left to make another pair for him.

I decided to finish up the cotton towel I was knitting. It is almost done; 15 rows left on 7 stitches. When done, I am not sure what I will make but am looking at a toque for a man. I do need something to keep my hands busy.

Today I need to paint the bathroom the second coat, finish setting up the exercise room, and set up the next knitting project. I need to get bigger double pointed needles the next time I  am in the city and start knitting mitts. I also need to buy the beginner’s knitting course and start on it.

Until tomorrow…………………………

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Turquoise Yarn Done

Though yesterday morning was warm, the wind came up and the temperature went down. It did go up again but not a great deal. That north wind is bringing in cooler temperatures.


I got the bathroom ceiling painted two coats plus the touch up to the ceiling in the exercise room done. That was several hours worth of work but now the walls can be painted in the bathroom.

As I finished up painting one hip started to hurt with the weather system coming in. Climbing up and down the little ladder didn’t help it much either but it is feeling better this morning.

I do hope that I can start putting the exercise room back together today and tomorrow after I paint walls. I am looking forward to having that room done. Next is to prepare the upstairs for the painter and then it will be downstairs again to paint the remaining rooms. Deadline is the end of the month.


I stood just inside the sewing room yesterday and realized that I am catching up to the last time I had a long dry period without sewing. That was the summer of 2009 when we sold our place in the north. This time it has been a combination of trying to finish the house and the flu.

It has bothered me somewhat that I am not sewing but I am the one pushing to get the house done. I am the one who is tired of the mess that hangs around with renovations. I am the one who gets frustrated that the house can’t be cleaned up to look great. But I was the one who had to purge the sewing world I lived in for 5 years. It certainly has pushed me to have this house done.


Two headbands are now complete.


The third one got cast on, knit, and is being cast off as I write this blog. I wanted a stretchy cast off so I learned a new technique using a darning needle. The length of yarn is really long and cumbersome but the cast off is nice and stretchy. The top headband was done with the K2 together, the bottom one with a sewn (?) cast off.

The turquoise yarn is done. What is left over will go into the garbage can. 300 grams made 2 pairs of adult size socks and three headbands. Next up is to finish the luxury wool socks and send them to our grandson.

I watched the Craftsy class on mittens between painting the bathroom. I loved the fact that the instructor gave 5 variations to making mittens/gloves but was disappointed when she used the after thought thumb. Her placement of the thumb made sense. As I progressed through the videos, she showed a lace cuff and talked about the gusset thumb. Yes!! I will be tackling mittens next. Starting from the beginning again as I learn best this way.

Today I have to paint the bathroom walls and finish up the exercise room. Amongst all that, I will knit on the socks as they need to be finished and sent.

Until tomorrow…………………….

Friday, February 27, 2015

A Painting I Will Go

Though it was to cool off, this morning is warm at 4C or 39C. It is cloudy so we can expect the rain they are forecasting. Tomorrow morning is suppose to be colder – below 0C and it is to be like that for the next week.


The trip to the city was a busy one. I moved at a quick pace and was home early in the afternoon. I was tired as I hadn’t slept well the night before. At home, we put away everything and I rested.

The bathroom ceiling didn’t get painted as there were not rollers. So that will be done this morning with hopes of the first coat going on the walls this afternoon. It will be a long day attached to a paint roller in one hand and a paint can in the other.


I set up and knit three rows on the next headband. Nothing on the socks as I was too tired to deal with fine yarn.

Today I am going to watch the fourth episode of the Great British Sewing Bee, paint and knit if I have any energy left. Wish me luck.

Until tomorrow……………