Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Small Plan Emerges

It was a lovely warm sunny day that got to 11C or 52F. But, we had some frozen rain to deal with until the sun shone and melted it.

We headed into the city to Christmas shop and had a great day together. We snooped and looked and bought nearly 1/3 of the gifts. I will do two more shopping days and we will be done.

Our favourite stop of the day was at the book store. The Spousal Unit wanted to buy several books to read and I went in to snoop around. I love snooping around as I usually find great books.

I got the Dude his night before Christmas book. It is the Canadian version of Jingle Bells. A good book with enough adult humour in it to keep the adults’ attention.

dashing through the snow

It goes with A Porcupine in a Pine Tree that we got him last year.

The second book purchased was on smoking meat, done by a pit master. The recipes look delicious and now we want a copy of the book.

The third book is Sweater Design in Plain English by Maggie Righetti of which I started to read. I had a really good think when I read about yarn-aholics. She was once one until she downsized her house. I have a small yarn stash compared to others and have made a pact to knit it up before I buy any new yarn. It has been hard as I found white sock yarn I wanted. It didn’t come home with me. Hopefully by the end of December I will have all the baby yarn knit up and then start on the worsted weight yarn. I am doing fine with this.

As I thought about stashes, I rolled the thoughts over to my sewing stash. I want to downsize it also. I went through the emotional attachment to the fabric and know I am no longer attached to some of it. Other pieces I am emotionally attached to. I have a feeling that when I go through the fabric I have, a lot of it could be taken out of circulation and given away. I am feeling more settled in some ways over this.

Next, I read the chapter titled Overcoming Your Fear. She ended the chapter with this paragraph:

It is not mistakes that we need to fear. Mistakes are not our undoing. It is the fear of failure that is the horror. The fear itself is the terrible monster stalking in the dark……..

I have the Dude’s sweater sitting in a basket not finished. I like pattern or but but am not sure the colour is right for him. I started out with one pattern, hated parts of it and loved other parts of it. I then succumbed to knitting it in a plain knit one/purl one row in a solid brown. I didn’t do the rib stitch I loved on the first pattern which was a big mistake as it would have given it some appeal. I will finish it up and give it away. It is not for the Dude. I will try again later this year when I get over the horror of that mistake. In the meantime, I will make lemonade out of this sweater by learning how to sew it together in a more professional way.

As I knit quietly during the last part of the evening, I let my thoughts roam to my sewing. I want to sew for myself. Am I afraid that I will choose the wrong patterns to sew? Am I afraid it won’t fit me? Did I buy the wrong fabric? The questions swirled in my head trying to understand why I won’t sew for myself. I let all thoughts niggle in my head and have worked through a bit of a plan.

Let the exploring begin.

I have a t-shirt I love. I have patterns for t-shirts including the Sure Fit design pattern system. I have lots of fabric for t-shirts that I bought at huge discounts. I will take the t-shirt I love due to its fit, work around one pattern and sew one out of a piece of knit fabric. If it turns out, I will make a couple more and then turn my attention to another t-shirt pattern and work on it. I can accept that there will be failures but I want to beat the t-shirt monster stalking in the dark. It will be step one to getting a TNT pattern or maybe a couple of patterns to sew t-shirts.

I am happy and am heading out to run.

Until tomorrow……………………….

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Moving Forward On Projects

It was a grey day yesterday with some snow falling. The humidity was high and the temperature hovered just above freezing making it chilly outside. But we did go out for a short drive. The wind was really blowing then making you realize that winter is around the corner.

The gold inner border is on the table runner and I am ready to start the green outer border.


I also went through all the binders and books on the middle shelf of the bookcase. Not a lot left at this point.


What I laid on the top shelf are books and binders on fitting clothing and pattern making. The binders on the top are machine embroidery designs that I own. It isn’t a lot of books and binders so I am not getting overly worried about it. Now I need to find a box to put items from the shelf into so I can move the book shelf. Then that little project will be finished and I can move on to the next part of the room – the closet.

Donna W. there are times when I don’t feel organized and it is stressful. Other times I feel in control. Right now I am thinking (or is it overthinking) how to store patterns. I have been given a couple of ideas on a sewing forum I belong to. Ziploc bags work well as I trace my patterns onto a pellon like tracing medium. I will carry on with that and then put the whole works into a file folder or an envelop. Then it becomes, in what do I store them? The dresser or boxes.

During lunch, I decided on what I wanted to knit at home and what I wanted to crochet while at knitting club. I have chosen to make more toques for new born babies to use up the pink yarn left over from the shawl.


They knit up so quickly. The pattern is cute and easy to memorize. I also thought out the slippers to get them long enough for our grandson’s foot. I went up a crochet hook size. It worked.


The markers are there to help me count around the outside edge when I did the row of single crochet. I am now ready to start the foot. It was great to get this much done in the quiet of the house.

Today we have to head to the city and order the materials for the downstairs bathroom. It is time to start Christmas shopping of which some will be bought in stores and some online. Today some of what we need to buy in stores will be purchased.

Until tomorrow………………………..

Friday, November 21, 2014

Moving Ahead

We had a beautiful day yesterday with warmer temperatures and sunshine. It is nice to have this type of weather so late in November. 

I have the majority of the paperwork that way lying around cleaned up and in the trash. We get surface clutter from keeping a little of this and a little of that and then forgetting to throw it out. I am happy with the progress in that department.

The Spousal Unit spent a couple of hours cleaning out the shop. He took a full truck load to the dump and then swept and vacuumed. While he did that, I worked in the sewing room.

The sewing room clean up is slow as I am going through everything. Yesterday that was the top and bottom shelves of the book case.


I felt like I was moving stuff from one spot to another but it is organized to a big degree. The top shelf has all the videos and small books removed and organized. Notebooks will be put away in the upstairs desk. The Spousal Unit’s patterns have been sorted and the western shirt patterns are in that basket (on top of the white dresser). They need to be traced again as the tissue is getting to be in bad shape. The bottom shelf has a basket of patterns for me (now sitting on the floor). I sorted through them, put a few into the thrift shop pile and found one for the rodeo queen pattern tub. That was a couple of hours of clean up.

As a reward, I sewed one inner border onto the table runner and started taking off the green border.


My knitting and crocheting has come to a screeching halt. I can not find patterns for what I want to make. I am going to knit a few newborn toques for the NIC unit and talk to my girlfriend about the slippers. I can get the width but not the length of the ones I want to crochet. She has made so many with alterations to the pattern she will tell me if my ideas are right or wrong.

Today my goal is to do the center shelf on the book case. It may or may not get completed as I have to go through each binder carefully. I would like to get the gold borders on the table runner but that will only happen if I have time. I have some other work to get done and want to head out and run today. I need to get that as a part of my routine.

Until tomorrow………………………..

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Not Paying Attention–A Mistake Is Made

The  cold spell we had has passed and we can expect snow and rain for the next few days. It will be nothing compared to the Buffalo area. It is scary looking via the pictures we have seen.

Yesterday I did do some sewing and finished up the body of the table runner. I added a border which must be removed. I need to put on a small gold border before I do the green one.


I do love this table runner and may make another one next year for a gift.


I do need more contrast between the cardinal and the pinecone fabric. But this is the fun part of a mystery project.

I am slowly starting to take the sewing room apart for cleaning and painting. The small items I had on the dresser, shelf, and book case are wrapped in old towels and stored in a bin.


I did go digging in the closet and put a few more items in Daughter’s tub. I have a few more things to dig out from the closet for her. Next is to go through each book and binder and basket in the bookshelf. I will be letting go of some of these. Others I will keep as they are a part of what I want to learn over the next year or two.

The Spousal Unit and I spent a couple of hours figuring out the downstairs bathroom. We have what we need picked out and can move forward on it. It actually wasn’t as hard as we thought it was going to be.

The slippers I was crocheting are done and I started a second pair only to rip them out three times. The yarn is too fine for the pattern so I am now looking at what I can use from the stash and if I can find a pattern online. At the moment I am not feeling successful.

Today I have a few items to clean up, work on the table runner and get myself ready to run tomorrow morning. I need to get outside and do that but haven’t done it due to the fact there is so much to do inside the house. I have to remind myself I have to take care of myself.

Until tomorrow………………..


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Table Runner Progress

It is warmer this morning at –1.5C. There is a storm coming in that could bring us snow tomorrow but today we will see some sunshine.

We have been following along the snow storms in NE USA. The amount of snow that has fallen in a short period of time is scary. Up to 15 feet we heard and a state of emergency was declared. We hope everyone is keeping safe and that there are no more deaths.

I did sew some yesterday. By the time I pin the pieces together making sure they are lined up at seams, sew, rip out, resew, I have used up my sewing time.


This is finicky and it may just be me over analyzing each row.


I still have lots of finicky sewing of rows together and then can move to the borders.


One row left to sew and this section will be done. I do like it but don’t have enough contrast between my squares. Lesson learned. I like it and will keep it for our table.

I have finished the slippers to weaving in the loose ends and sewing on the buttons. I can start another pair for our grandson.

Today I plan on working on the table runner. There is tutoring in the afternoon and knitting tonight. A busy but fun day.

Until tomorrow………………………….

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Shawl Done

Another day and I am late. Sorry about that readers.

Yesterday was a clean up day and then we had company come to see us. Was super busy with that. I didn’t even get to the sewing room. But I did finish up the shawl.


When I laid the shawl on the floor, I noticed immediately that the second ball of yarn is a slightly different colour. Or, is it denser than the other two balls. When I look at it in my hand or on the bed it doesn’t show. This is really different as I bought the yarn at the same time and it doesn’t have a dye lot on it.

I am ready to finish up the second slipper by doing two rows of single crochet around the top. Weave in the yarn ends and sew on the buttons and I will be done that project. I will start our grandson’s slippers next for knit club and will finish up the baby yarn at home.

I have several things to do today and I have slated in sewing for a couple of hours. I need to get these projects done and start cleaning up the room.

Until tomorrow………………………..

Monday, November 17, 2014

Old Post Discoveries

It was cool yesterday and the temperatures are still hovering well below normal. During the day and in the sunshine feels warm but once the sun goes down you shiver pretty quickly.

It was a down day yesterday. I did look in the sewing room but didn’t sew. I did start looking at cleaning the room and it has to wait until after I finish up the last of the quilting items I am doing. I want to finish up the mystery table runner and wall hanging this week. Then I can start to take the room apart.

As I was taking down old posts, I come across thoughts that started me thinking again. This time last year, I was working on a top for the Miss Rodeo Canada. It was her Canadian top. I could tell from reading that post I wasn’t ready to stop rodeo queen sewing. This year I am. I haven’t even thought about sewing the tops and have no desire to do so.

The other thing I found when cleaning up the blog was this:


Exam my stash

Plan a wardrobe

Learn pattern fitting for my changing body

Organize my thoughts and ideas

Realize I can do it for me

Evaluate each piece when done

I am going to print this out and frame it in my sewing room to remind myself of why I am going to continue my year to explore. I did enjoy my learning curve this year and want to push it a bit further next year.

Today I have to do a bunch of paper work and sew for one hour this afternoon. I am hoping the stars line up nicely.

Until tomorrow……………………….