Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last post of 2009

It's been another busy week...

This year DH & I packed up the furbabies and headed to Toronto to spend the holidays with friends. We arrived Christmas Eve and will make our way home on Saturday after we recuperate from tonights' New Years Eve party. :-)

As is usual when we visit here, it has been all about the food (with a bit of shopping !) and the company. We've even managed some exercise - so to speak ! The new toy in this house is a Wii and it has been put to good use by all of us. Bowling & golf. It's amazing how much you actually do move ;-) *I think I want one*

Of course, my knitting projects came along with me.

My 'bristow' cardigan was started on Dec 2 using the brown Cascade 220 wool I bought this summer. The body was done on a circular needle and it is ready to be split for the armholes. I brought an extra ball to be ready for this but I decided, rather than doing the back and each front separately, I would do them all at once. Since I have to work on 3 parts of the sweater, only have 2 balls of yarn and don't want to use both ends of one ball, I need another ball to continue. It will wait til I get home, but here it is as it looks now...the shaping looks quite good if I do say so myself (first sweater I ever made with waist shaping)

My socks, though, have moved along quite nicely. These are the 'Lacy Rib Socks' from Socks from the Toe Up book. I've finished the foot, done the gusset, the slip-stitch heel and this morning, started up the legs.

It should go quickly enough now, that they could be finished before the end of next week.

Shopping this week - only 3 balls of yarn...

Arequipa - 65% superwash wool, 20% alpaca, 15% nylon, 100gm, the color below would be accurate if it weren't shiny.

2 -50gm balls of Patons Kroy, Cobalt Jacquard, 75% wool, 25% nylon

As 2009 comes to a close, I would like to say thanks for reading everyone. I appreciate all of your comments and encouragement.

I wish you all a safe, enjoyable New Years Eve !

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

I wish you all the merriest of holidays and a healthy, happy New Year !

Thursday, December 3, 2009

New Friends :-)

L to R - Mahler, KayY, Rhonda & Margaret

I should have (and meant to) had this post done up on Sunday, but, well, you I am finally and the week's almost done. (Ha ! I started this Thursday afternoon and it is now officially, Sunday 1 am)

On my last post, I mentioned that I was going to spend Saturday with some PR members who are brainstorming the PR Weekend coming up in Montreal next June.

WELL, it was a fabulous day !!!

I got myself up to St Hubert Street in plenty of time to meet the ladies, to find that Rhonda was already there waiting.

As an aside, I'm not sure that I've mentioned this or not, but Canada has a route all the way across Canada with a branch to the northern territories called the Trans Canada Trail. It is basically a non-motorized (walking, biking, horseback riding, skiing, etc) trail that is still in the process of being built - the plan is to have this trail connecting right across the country. I have been lucky enough to have walked some of the trail in real life. BUT, on the website (I just cannot get the link to work !) there is an interactive map where you can log in, use a pedometer to track your daily steps and post them. The map starts in British Columbia and as you post your steps/mileage the line turns green and you walk across the country.

Rhonda and 2 other ladies on PR and I are attempting to walk this trail - It's 21,500km long - we figure it should take about 7 years ! LOL

Having said all that, Rhonda & I had no problem jumping right in to chat as it seemed like we already knew each other from the PR thread - Walk across Canada. In about 1/2 hour the other ladies had arrived.

We met in a great little fabric shop and spent a couple hours browsing - well, Rhonda & I browsed. The others all bought some amazing pieces of fabric and I can't wait to see their finished projects !

After that, we had a bite to eat and walked the street taking notes of eating spots & fabric stores.

And me ? Well, I was good, very good actually. One of the stores specialized in zippers, elastic, trim, etc and I found invisible zips 8" for 75 cents each. I bought about a dozen - and that was my entire purchase for the day.

Friday, November 27, 2009

It was a busy week

It's hard to believe a week can pass so quickly.

Because of MIL's funeral Wednesday and family obligations, I had the whole week off except for Monday. Monday, DBIL and 2 of his kids arrived from Alberta. The kids left yesterday morning and today after the burial DBIL went to DSIL's place to stay for a few days. He's only leaving for home on Dec 15 so we'll have him with us for our Christmas Dinner on the 12th ! :-)

As far as projects go, my skirt and pants are pretty much where I left them last Sunday. In fits and starts I did manage to cut the lining pieces for the skirt and attach the faced yokes to the lining.

Knitting - we've spent a fair amount of time in the car so I put a bit more length on my Lacy Ribs Socks - still have a ways to go before I start on the gusset though.

My one finished project was completed last Monday at work. The blue baby afghan for my colleague was done Sunday, but on Monday I brought it to work and weaved in all the loose ends. The shower was Wednesday, so I missed it. I really hope she like it.

The afghan 'Sweet Baby Blankie' by Roberta Maier was supposed to be fringed at each end but I didn't add the fringe. I like the clean edge of the single crochet rows better.

Now, I have a big day coming up tomorrow !!!

There is a PR Weekend - Montreal in the planning stages for next June, tomorrow a few of the ladies (Mahler, Kayy, Rhonda in Montreal & Margaret) are meeting to continue the planning and I'm meeting them ! I CAN'T WAIT ! Note to self - do NOT forget camera :-)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing all our American neighbours a very Happy Thanksgiving !!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

PR Wardrobe - Assembly Line Sewing

I was hoping to get much more done this weekend but life intervened and, well, sewing took a backseat after Saturday noon.

I started a pair of pants for my wardrobe - BWOF 04-2009-119.

Once the fabric was traced & cut, I measured what was left (just under 1m). Rather than fold up that bit and deal with it later, I decided to use it all up by cutting out my 'almost' TNT skirt M3341.

Question - How many time do you make something before it's a TNT ?

This pattern has been tweaked each time (4 so far) I've made it. This could be the first time to just cut & sew it. If all goes smoothly and it fits, I'll call it TNT.

At the end of Friday - both pants and skirt were cut out. Interfacings were fused to facings.

End of day Saturday -
More ravelly fabric - all pieces serged
Interfaced pants fly extensions
Inserted zipper in pants - using SB video

I think it turned out pretty well - the fabric is black, but with this grey, you can see the checked texture in the fabric

And the underlap (this particular piece of cotton got a lot of mileage - I also used it for the facings of the skirt as well as the skirt finished last week - not bad for a buck !)

End of day Sunday -
Insert zipper in skirt
Lay out and cut lining pieces, skirt will definitely be lined (decision - to line pants or not...)

Sunday - no sewing done. I was hoping to have the skirt done, or almost done.
Instead, my BFF came over and spent most of the day. I put her to work helping with part of her Christmas present - yes, more cookies ! LOL

on the right - Almond Balls - on the left - Christmas tree spritz (when he didn't see any of these in the spritz last week DH informed me 'we MUST have Christmas Trees' - so - we have Christmas trees ! :-)

I'll probably not get much chance to sew or post this coming week (although I WILL try) - my MIL passed away last week and the funeral is Wednesday. We just found out that we are having DBIL and 2 of his adult kids staying with us from Monday to Thursday. We're the only ones with enough space. I'm looking forward to having them but that meant that instead of puttering around in the sewing room, we did laundry & cleaned & stripped beds & did laundry & & & &....

I would love to have a house fit for company without a major cleaning but that would take much more effort than I put into it LOL !

Have a great week everybody :-)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Loads of Thanks !

So many thanks to give...

Thanks to everyone who asked about and expressed concern about my Mom. We're dealing with it. Your comments were all appreciated so much ! I apologize for acknowledging them so late.

Thanks for all the birthday wishes. Yes, I worked yesterday, but a birthday in my department is great ! My boss is a practical joker and influences all of us. You gotta be able to 'take it' in this group LOL. Somehow, and he won't tell me how, my boss got hold of a pic of me. I was about 7 or so and it was actually a Christmas picture with all my brothers and sisters. He cropped me out and sent it to everyone in both of the departments I'm working in at the moment wishing me a Happy Birthday. OMG !!! One of my colleagues, was watching when I opened the email and laughed. She said the look on my face was priceless !!!

Now, in my department, we have a birthday breakfast each month that there is/are birthday(s). The boss used to bring in bagels every time and wouldn't let any of us contribute. This year, we ganged up on him and changed the plan. Now the birthday person(s) bring something in. Lucky me, I share my birthday month with 'the boss' - he's on the 23rd. Tomorrow, we're bringing in the treats. I told him I really wanted bagels (he makes a special detour to get the 'good' ones at St. Viateur Bagels) and I decided I'd bake something to contribute. My last thanks goes to Marjie - this is her Pineapple Upside Down Cake. I haven't tasted it, of course, but the batter was just mahvellos, dahlin, mahvellos ! I'm positive they'll be well-received.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


It's going to be a good day.

'nuff said :-)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

BWOF 04-2009-119 - A Muslin

Let me start by saying - NEVER, EVER, EVER in a million years would I ever have expected to ask my husband to take picture of my butt and THEN - POST THEM ONLINE !

My pants for the PR Wardrobe required a muslin. I haven't made pants in about 15 years and those were before I knew anything about fitting !

My muslin fabric was at the end (that's the explanation for the short front legs LOL) so this is one pattern tweaked a couple of times rather than cutting a new full pair of pants each time.

I started with a straight 42, no changes.
The front seems fine. My left side has a long vertical wrinkle that I didn't notice right away. The back - I need a swayback adj & there are those darn wrinkles under the butt ! Side seams and grainlines (very light pink chalk line, sorry) are straight.

I logged on to PR and spent quite some time searching and reading up on pants fitting - Woo Boy ! If you ever think you're the only one with a certain problem, just check PR - we have lots of company. It took a while, but I figure at least some of these wrinkles tell me I've got a flat butt.

In the first pic below, I made a 1/2" swayback adj and sewed the back crotch 1/4" deeper. The next 2 pics show what happens if I pull up the back and if I bend forward a bit. According to the forums, that means I should need either Debbie Cook's Fish Eye Dart or Ann Rowley's Flat Butt Adjusment.

Test #2 - Hoping this would allow some of those outside wrinkles fall, I let out each outside seam 1/2" at the waist tapering to nothing about 9" down. On the back left leg, I opened up the inseam a bit and basted out a 1/2" wedge tapering to 0" at the side seam. It helped some, but there is still wrinkling and there is alot of fabric at the top of the inseam. Back to the boards and the fitting books.

Test #3 - Maybe a size smaller at the back inseam would help. I opened out the crotch seam and each inseam down about 30cm. I folded out the 1/2" wedge across the right back leg to match the left leg. I took in 5/8" of each back inseam tapering out to the original side seam a bit before the 30cm mark.
Hmm, looking straight at the back, they look better. The side views, though, still show the fabric bunching just under the butt.

Now, not all the wrinkles are gone, but they feel like they fit well and would be wearable. I have no more muslin to try again. So, I'm going to cross my fingers and cut my fabric.

Parting Shot

This was my morning activity - one more type of cookie in the freezer.
Is it just me or does this NOT look like 28 dozen cookies ?!
Those stacks are all 4-high and thats what I counted but boy, they don't take up alot of space, do they ?

Spritz Cookies

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Reviews are up

It took forever, but I finally finished the May 2009 Mini Wardrobe.

I didn't think I'd ever finish the silly blouse.

BWOF 02-2009-125

This is what I wore to work today. The blouse, along with BWOF 07-2008-113, piece #3 for the PR Wardrobe Contest. Quite a few people commented on the blouse. It took so long to make that before I was done it, I didn't like it. I forced myself to finish it. By the end of today, though, I liked it again. It's not as dark as I feared and it fit really comfortably throughout the day.

Here's a closer view of the button placket. Thanks to everyone who voted in my poll. The large dark buttons won, but I also had the same buttons a bit smaller. Not quite as small as little shirt buttons. The smaller version seemed to sit better on the placket. I put 2 buttons on each sleeve band instead of one.

The PR review is here : and a link to more pics.

I also managed to finish and post the review for BWOF 07-2008-113

The PR review is here - and the link to the pics - but I just have to post one here. Check out that zipper ! I know, I know, it takes so little to amuse me and make me happy :-) LOL

DH was out bowling tonight. My plan was to upload and edit the pics, make this post, edit & post the PR reviews and cut out a muslin for my next wardrobe garment (one of the pairs of pants)

Nope, didn't get anywhere near the muslin ;-) - now it's bedtime.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

My first Invisible Zip !

Today was not a very productive day sewing-wise. I only came into the sewing room about 9pm. Honestly, I've been putting it off because the next step in my skirt is the zipper. The pattern calls for an invisible zipper (never done one before) - I'd decided to do it when I realized that I actually own an invisible zipper foot ! oh, and I had one black invisible zip in the stash. Handy, huh ?

My Singer HD110 came with a pile of presser feet. Only the zigzag and buttonhole feet have been used & I had at least one that I had no idea what it was. Browsing through the sewing machine reviews on PR recently, TigerEyess posted that this machine has the 'world's best invisible zipper foot". Hmm, I dug out my accessories for the machine and proceeded to decipher the feet. Yup, got one. :-)

Tonight I serged the edges of the skirt front & back (this stuff is really ravely !), put a strip of interfacing along the seams where the zip will go, took a deep breath and ....

basted the first side on...

and then the second side...

AND - looky here !!!!!

I got so excited, I had to take a picture and post it. LOL

I kinda can't believe it worked - I hope it still does once it's all put together and the lining & facings are attached.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Time to catch up

Oh my goodness, I didn't realize October got completely away from me - only 2 posts !

So, what's been happening ?

I went to NB and spent a couple of days with my Mom & my family. Mom waited 3 days for the surgery to repair her broken hip. They did exactly what they would do, if she were expected to walk again, but in Mom's case, the Alz' is advanced so far that the hip will heal (without pain, hopefuly) but they won't be able to teach her to walk again. The most hope is that she will be able to sit comfortably and not be bedridden.

When I got there, it was 4 days after the operation and she was just coming off of the IV painkillers. She is physically recovering from the surgery but typically it was a drastic event for her and the Alz' has progressed yet again. My last email from my sister is that Mom has had quite a few down days. Not able to make her smile or laugh at all, which I was able to do during my time home with her. It's something, even though she can't talk it seems like you can communicate if you can laugh with her. She doesn't know any of us any longer - but I look at her & I still see my mum, it's heartbreaking to know she can no longer do anything at all - she must be fed, dressed, moved from place to place or even just rolled over in bed. The disease progressed so much faster than any of us ever expected.

My sisters, one in particular, handle this on a day to day basis. I can't even imagine the toll this takes on them. I do know that they were both very grateful to have a couple of days to recoup while I was there - I wish I could do more - But 600 miles may as well be a million - I get home when I can.

Sorry, I didn't expect to vent. Didn't think I needed to until I started to type.

Here are a couple of pics of Mom...

This one was taken in March at my Aunt's 100th birthday. She had a good day that day and seemed to enjoy the day. But I tell you, I would have to dig really deep to find any other pictures where she is looking right at the camera. She would always duck !

Three of my siblings are in this one. The guy on the left is my eldest brother. Next to him is my sister - the one taking care of all the decisions for Mom. My youngest brother is on the far right (with the camera).

This one was taken at my Dad's 80th birtthday in August 2008. That's my mom, my sister and my sister's two granddaughters. The baby was just a few days old.

I'm on my weekend now. Two weeks ago the company went through a major downsizing and just about all the staff got hit. Laid off or put on a short week. Luckily, I got a short week - 30 hours. 7.5 hrs Mon-Thurs, Fridays off ! It's a double-edged sword - I like the hours, but not the pay :-( Oh well, I still have my job.

Christmas baking is underway - anyone who followed me last year watched me make batch after batch of cookies. I need some for home, work and for my guests who come for a Christmas dinner early in December.

With some extra weekend time, I started early this year. Last weekend I made the ribbon (19 dozen) and candy cane (7 dozen) cookies. They are safely tucked away in the freezer waiting to be packed. This weekend the plan is to make the spritz cookies.

I'm also considering making cherry loaves to go with. I'll see and decide soon.

Projects - I've got a few on the go, almost but not quite finished. I'm hoping to have the 2 sewing projects finished and posted before the end of the weekend.

1) SFTTU socks - the 2nd pattern in Wendy Johnson's book (Socks from the Toe Up) is called Lacy Ribs Socks. I started these while sitting with Mom a few weeks ago. They haven't progressed much because once I got home, I went back to working on project number 2.

2) Baby afghan - this is for a colleague - she's due to begin Maternity leave in 4-6 weeks, so this is getting most of my attention for the moment. There is about 2 rows left on the 3rd ball of yarn. I want to add one more ball before I consider it finished.

3) The D$%$m shirt - I 'still' have to do the buttonholes & buttons !

3) Skirt - BWOF 07-2008-113 - this is in my PR Wardrobe storyboard - finished by Sunday ??? maybe.....stay tuned.

I found this link to make a personalized signature at Mary is Sewfast and had to try it out. Isn't it cool ? I just wish my actual signature was this neatly written LOL !