Saturday, 8 June 2013

It's been awhile

Well, it's been a long time since I blogged. I'd day it was because life was busy (it was), my job and thesis take up  more time than expected (they do), or that persistent pet illness keeps putting me through the emotional wringer (it does), but really the biggest reason I haven't blogged? My camera sucked.

You see, after the move, I found myself living in a darker place, with less natural light shining in during the hours I was home, and my poor little point and shoot just couldn't take decent photos. I didn't like having to wait for a sunny weekend to take pictures of my crafty endeavors.

But boy have I been making things!

Knitting is my hobby of choice at the moment (easier to do than needlework or sewing in a dark house), and since I last posted I've learned so much. I even knit socks!

And now, in between vet bills and down payments on a dream vacation, I've saved up enough money and have a new camera! So much better than my old one, and I'm finally starting to learn how to take pictures on manual mode.

So what is pictured above you ask?

Only the spoils from my most expensive yarn shopping day ever! I was in Winnipeg for a conference and to catch up with an old friend. Of course we snuck away from all the science for an afternoon of yarn shopping. We visited Ram Wools Yarn Co-op and Wolseley Wool. Such amazing stores! Friendly people and so many tempting yarns.

What did I buy?

(photo may be dark, but the colours are true)
Clockwise from the top:

- 8 skeins of Ilimani Baby Llama in Sea Green (for my eventual first sweater!)
- Zauberball Crazy!!!! Colour is 1699 Fliederduft
- Tanis Fiber Arts Silver Label Mulberry Silk in Plum
- Handmaiden Fine Yarns Marrakesh in Tourmaline
- Indigodragonfly MCN Sock in "My World is All Askew"

Not cheap, but almost all yarns I had read about online but never met in Ottawa yarn stores.

It feels good to be blogging again. Lots of projects to post!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Spring in the fall

After the long, drawn out fiasco that was the dolphin project, I picked out a tiny little kit from my stash as my next project. Years ago I signed up to receive a little kit every few months from an online cross stitch store. I got 5 or 6 before they just stopped coming (my credit card also ceased being charged, so it was all good). This easter-coloured one is the second-last one I need to stitch up. In the center will go a little robin's nest charm that came in the package.

I started it in August in the middle of a wilderness canoe trip. Nothing like sitting and stitching by a campfire, listening to irate chipmunks rustle in the bush behind you. It's the perfect size for travelling.

As for stitching notions, when I travel I keep all the essentials in a little tin:

Seriously, Altoids tins are super useful for the travelling crafter. I have another one that holds all my stitch counters and markers for knitting.

Inside everything lives like this:

Clockwise from the top left we have: Thread Heaven (for keeping threads from tangling -awesome stuff), needle case, my cappiest pair of embroidery scissors, and a little finger thingy to make picking up beads easier.

My regular stitching kit has a lot more odds and ends in it, but the Altoids tin holds the basics perfectly. Really need to find a candy store and get some more mints...

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Nothing to do with crafting

Moving is always such a brutal reminder of just how much stuff you have. I've managed to relax more this time and accept that I will never be a minimalist like a good friend of mine, whose sole possessions are a bed, tiny side table, clothing, toiletries and a computer. Mind you, I never mind when he asks for help moving :)

Pictured above is my entire tea stash. Grouped from left to right there are the herbal teas, the greens, and finally the black teas. Luckily the new roommates are also tea lovers and didn't look at me like I was insane when I unpacked all this.

Soon, very soon, I hope to be curled up on the couch with a knitting or stitching project and a hot mug of tea next to me.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Moving, moving, moved

Here I am blogging from my new house. We've only been here for three weeks and it already feels like home. Awesome new roommates, awesome home with room for gardening, cooking, hosting dinner parties, and even space for a craft room - if it ever stops being the storage room.

It's been a stressful month though, packing, moving, an-out-of-the-blue job offer, and a very traumatic pet illness and loss in the middle of it all. I'm still kinda blown away by how much my life has changed in such a short time.

No crafting or creating has gotten done yet, it's taken all I've had just to stay sane and meet my most basic obligations. But I thought I'd show you pictures of my smallest stash all packed up. Yup, all of my yarn hobbies (knitting and crocheting) fit into a wine box, with my active projects in a small bag (not pictured). In the top picture I've got my needles on top of my tiny yarn stash, which is on top of my few books and leaflets.

The filled box:

Three lovely yarns that were in lovely balls in my project bag. Then my parent's Goldendoodle came along and decided to cuddle them (when he misses a person he finds and cuddles soft objects that belong to them - usually socks or underwear). He is a very enthusiastic cuddler as you can see. None of the yarn is actually damaged, just tangled. Seems like a visit to the yarn winder at my LYS is in order.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Super, big, giant, awesome Happy Dance!!!!!

I started this blog with a post about this project, so it's really only fitting that I break my long silence with another post about it :)

After 9 years, my oldest UFO is finally finished!

9 years of picking it up, putting in a few stitches, and putting it down for months on end. 9 years of loathing the fabric, disliking the pattern, but persisting out of sentimentality and my own masochistic desire to never give up (seriously, ask anyone who knows me irl about my master's thesis).


It feels good.

This hasn't been the only cross-stitch project I've done in the past 9 years, but awhile ago I decided that I wouldn't let myself work on anything else until this one was finished.

And now I'm free.

Well, crafting-wise anyway. There is still that pesky thesis...

I still need to wash and press the piece, but here are some more pics in the meantime:

It's good to be back :)

Saturday, 24 March 2012

A restrained trip to Fabricland

(Sorry for the picture quality! Not my best work and the light is terrible for re-shooting right now)

I nipped over to Fabricland today to take advantage of their big members sale. Wasn't intending on buying any fabric, but ended up coming home with 2 pieces...which at $3/m and $4/m wasn't remotely a budget-breaker.

My haul (clock-wise from Henry's nose)
- Steam-a-Seam 2, 1/2" width
- glass headed pins (I learned that you can't drop a textbook on a pincushion and expect your pins to stay straight)
- 4/$1 handful of zippers for a mod I want to do to some of my running pants
- quilting foot (ok, not from Fabricland, it was a birthday gift I forgot to blog about)

And of course the two pieces of fabric.

The blue is a cotton stretch mesh that I'm envisioning made into a drape-y pullover to wear over a cream camisole.

The orange print isn't nearly so violently orange irl....more of of a muted rust colour. It's a lovely soft stretch fabric with some spandex in it that has a wonderful drape and feels amazing to the touch. In theory it will be made up into New Look 6648.

Photography was hampered by Henry's absolute fascination with the orange fabric. He kept snuffling it, licking it and growling at me whenever I tried to shoo him away. Little bugger.

If you can't beat 'em, use 'em for scale:

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Digital Sewing Date follow-up

Behold the most psychedelic, seizure-inducing
pajamas ever!

So Heather and I's sewing date last night was a huge help. Finally motivated me to get the collar sewn on these pajamas. Even did some hand-sewing along the neckline.

The to do list for the rest of the project looks like this:

- attach sleeves
- sew up sides
- add sleeve cuffs
- hem
- buttons!!!!

All things I'm comfortable doing, so fear shouldn't be getting in the way of finishing (anymore).

P.S. Yes, I'm aware the pajamas look totally crazy. I didn't have enough fabric to cut out all the pieces from the main print (45" wide fabric with a 7" border print and cutting an XL size from the pattern doesn't leave much to work with), so I cut the collar, facings and pocket from the extra-psychedelic border print. Very cheerful, possibly nauseating. Best. Pajamas. Ever. Or so I keep trying to convince myself.