Wednesday, 25 January 2012

The last Christmas present

Shortly after Christmas Heather mentioned needing to finish making my gift because I had "already ruined one part of it" and was on my way to ruining the second. Needless to say, I was puzzled since I hadn't been making anything for myself that I could remember. And felt a bit guilty at having accidentally participated in the "ruining" of anything. I'm only a destructive person in video games. But Heather didn't seem genuinely upset with me, so I didn't worry. Much.

Then it was in the mail! Squee!

I stalked the post office daily. Have I mentioned I love getting packages?

Then it arrived and I had the biggest grin preparing to open the padded envelope. She made me a gorgeous holder for crochet hooks. I'm so blown away and touched that she considered me a sew-worthy friend. Crochet is a very new hobby for me (I picked it up accidentally in December) so aside from a set of hooks, and stitch markers bummed off my grandmother, I really have no crochet "stuff" to speak of.

A little tour:

It is long, with tons of room for more hooks, and adorable little pockets for notions. She knows my favorite colours almost better than I do.

I apparently ruined part of the present by going out and buying a basic set of hooks before Christmas - in my defense they weren't on my Christmas list and I'm not at all used to anyone in my life thinking to get my crafty supplies unless I specifically and repeatedly ask.

Personally I don't think the present was ruined at all.

She tucked all kinds of useful notions in the pockets. I'm particularly enchanted with the large grey needles with the loops - they look so useful for sewing in the tails of bulky yarns.

The entire thing is beautifully made, far better than I would have done.

I'll be putting that claim to the test soon. Like the awesome enabling friend she is, Heather included the rest of the fabric in the envelope. So of course now I need to make a matching holder for my knitting needles.

Post Script

In getting the lovely model to pose for the picture we heard a clatter as one of the hooks fell out. It's large and purple and shiny and didn't sound like it fell far so we finished with the photo shoot before beginning to search. Well now we can't find it anywhere, and it's in a pretty uncluttered room. We've hunted high and low - nothing. It's not like looking for a needle in a haystack; it's a freaking purple crochet hook on a floor.

And then there were 7....

Where Fuss is neither creative nor makes anything

Heather is to blame for this post :)

I wasn't going to post about these new shoes since I didn't have anything to do with their creation. But she reminded me that it's my blog and I can post whatever I please. Or whatever my friend pleases since she wanted to see a pic.

Teal suede heels from Naturalizer - cost me a whopping $30. Regular price: $100. I love sales. I love sales even more when they have my tricky-to-find shoe size. The colour is a bit more green-ish than the picture shows.

I guess this means I should think about sewing some dresses to go with them. I really love them with dress pants, but I really don't think I'm ready to sew any of those. Yet.

Ah, thats my excuse for posting about these - they aren't just a good deal, they are a sewing muse.

Friday, 20 January 2012

An unexpected gift

My grandmother is one of my favorite people in the world and an amazingly crafty woman, particularly when it comes to knitting. She is incredibly generous with both her time and tools. We were over visiting earlier this week and she was helping me make some decisions about a knitting project I'm working on. We determined I was using the wrong needles, and she dashes upstairs to her stash to find me better ones, and also comes down and quietly hands me a pouch with this guy tucked inside.

Her MP Handy Guide. Bought in the 1950s when she was a new bride learning to knit (her first pair of socks came up to her husbands thighs...thankfully she has improved since then).

Talk about a touching gift, from one generation of crafter to another.

Some more pics:

I love how you can tell that she used the "rows" and "times" counters a lot and the "increase" almost never.

Handy dandy ruler on the bottom. This thing it mostly metal with a beautiful weight to it. I love things from a different era, before scads of cheapo plastic products.

The instructions on the back, too faded to easily read. But for the curious, Wikipedia to the rescue!! Scroll down a bit to find this guy, and the instructions are part of the article.

Awesome grandmother is awesome and am so touched that she considers me knit-worthy. I also came home with a pair of socks from that visit :) She is going to teach me how to make them soon; I look forward to spending the time together more than learning a new knitting skill.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Proof of pants!

Apologies for the cruddy photo, apparently taking pictures in the mirror of yourself is a lot harder than photographing plants.

Anyway, just a quick pic to prove to Heather that the pants do indeed exist. They just need to be hemmed - I had considered cutting out the border print from the fabric and using it for the cuffs, but a pinned-on test looked like I had crazy floral hooves....too wacky (even for me) to justify the additional work.

Now onto the pj top!

I tried to remain strong, I really did. But then I introduced a friend to sewing, which of course involved a trip to a fabric store. And of course they had a buy 1m, get 2 free special on, and then I came across this acid trip of a fabric.

An aside:

Now there is something my hypothetical future readers should know about me. The clothes I wear in public tend to be somber and drab - dark blue, grey, black, some brown, and if there is colour it's usually blue, green or purple. I grew up loathing bright, girly colours. But slowly that's changed - in private at least. In the safety of my own home, few things are more cheering than putting on a pair of crazy socks or pajamas in bright fabrics. I have a whole host of obnoxious, almost ugly fabrics in my stash. I think I feel bad for them in the store, they are bold, brave and an assault on the eyes; consequently they sit on the bolt for months. So I bring them home with the intent of making a dress or skirt or something to lounge about the house in; where I can pretend I'm bold and brave too, and there are no eyes to assault.

Until now, none of them have been used.


Because I have a little crafty secret - I've never sewn a garment.

Too intimidated.

But then I saw this crazy pink flowered flannette at a crazy price. Found an easy pattern for pajamas and the perfect buttons. So hopefully I'm on my way to a something I can wear cuddled up on the couch with a book, while a storm rages outside.

If not, well I guess the rabbits could always use more blankets.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

My oldest UFO

I supposed its only fitting if I start this blog off with my oldest unfinished object (UFO). I started this cross stitch project in the summer of 2003. It was after my first year of university, instead of moving back home for the summer I lucked into a job in the geology department on campus. My partner, the Tall Hot Viking (henceforth known as THV) and I sublet a little apartment near campus (our first!) and were soon joined by a mutual friend.

I have many good memories of that summer, stitching this project, watching obscene amounts of Buffy on DVD and finally having my own kitchen to cook in.

So why is this tiny project still unfinished after 9 years?

Lets see....

1. I hate the fabric (aida cloth /shudder)
2. I hate the pattern (the style, the lack of detail)
3. While dolphins are awesome, cross stitched dolphins just aren't my thing

But it's small, and was a gift from my mom so I pick it up for a few hours every year and poke away at it. Last winter I finished all the cross stitching and happily moved onto backstitching.



I'd been doing all of the backstitching in the wrong colour. Totally explained why the dolphins weren't "popping" as much as I expected.

Cover photo, and my project with the wrong back stitching
It has finally been frogged, and now sits on a shelf, waiting for me to finish it properly.

Oh, and I'm not letting myself work on another stitching project until this one is done. Probably why I'm currently diving headfirst into sewing and knitting :)

Because I can't leave it bare...

...a post to live here until I have real content.

A big thanks to Heather of Sewing on Pins for encouraging me and poking me to start a new blog. I have an unreasonable number of creative hobbies and she wanted to see them on the web. So here it is, a place for my cross stitch, sewing, knitting, crocheting, painting, sketching and other types of creating I haven't discovered yet.

And no, there is no reasonable explanation for the fish skeleton background. Seemed like a good idea at the time.