Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Blog

W is for Winter and Wool

Yesterday, before I drove home from up north, Jen and I drank a pot of coffee while conducting surveillance for the wild turkeys we were lucky enough to see one morning, and congratulated ourselves on a near perfect weekend. In fact, the only reason we are not calling it absolutely perfect is because we don’t want to make you too jealous. We hiked, we wished for snowshoes, we skated on the forest trail at Arrowhead, lit by torches. We knit, we cooked, we ate, we walked by Georgian Bay, frozen and perfect, and saw what passes for a sunset on the beach. (We admit, you may need a bold Canadian heart to find the romance in a winter beach sunset. There are waves. They’re just frozen instead of lapping.) We talked, we laughed. Jen tried to teach me how to stop on skates. (Skating is not a strong suit of mine. I like it, but I’m not great, and my entire deceleration technique involves snowbanks.) After some careful coaching by Jen, my technique still involves snowbanks. We also knit, and knit, and knit. Everywhere. Jen agreed to model the fabulous cowl I just finished, and we were able to expose a whole new region of Ontario to the mystic practice of hanging knitwear in trees for photos. Pattern: Bonfire. Yarn: Freia Fine Handpaints, Sport weight, in Flare and Charcoal. I love this project. It was grand fun to knit, and the finished thing is so nice that I can’t stop snuggling it, and every time Jen saw it in the cabin she said “Oh that’s so beautiful.” I did not give it to her. The astute among you noticed that there was what appeared to be a hat in the last post, even though I distinctly said a few posts ago that I was never knitting another hat. It was a hat, or more properly, a chemo cap. Life happens, people need things, knitting is still a good way to store and transport love, and it turns out there can’t be rules about hats. This particular love container is 100% Cashmere, and if that and the care I put in every stitch doesn’t help, I don’t know what will. (Chemo excepted.) How’s your winter?

Runaway

Well before Christmas, Jen and I were on the phone, and we were talking about Jen’s latest placement. She’s in her third year midwifery, and one of her student placements is up north. (Not that far north, the Near North. That’s actually the name of the region, to tell it from the Far North or the Arctic, which of course would be the North North. This is Canada. We’re almost entirely made up of North – we’ve got a lot of ways to describe it.) She asked if I would come visit during the month that she lived up there, and I said that I would, but I wasn’t sure if I would. I mean, I thought I would like to, but she hadn’t come up here yet and she didn’t know what it would be like yet or if she would be busy or if the little cabin she rented would have two coffee cups or… You know. It seemed to me like there needed to be details. Well, fast forward to last week and Jen’s been two weeks living by herself in a little cabin in the woods with a hot plate and no bathtub, studying at a midwifery practice and keeping weird hours, and she was starting to sound a little bit weird. When the internet crapped out and she lost that lifeline to the outside world, I firmed up my plans. Yesterday I packed up heaps of knitting, pulled together a menu I think I can serve off of a hot plate, and headed out the door. I arrived yesterday, and while Jen’s on call and so we can’t stray far, we we’ve set ourselves an ambitious agenda of hiking, eating, knitting and tea drinking. The weather is perfect, cold, but not too cold, wintry but not vicious, and we are made for adventure. Also, it turns out that this midwifery clinic has a great yarn bowl.

Fashion on Film: Let Movies Inspire Your Sewing

Top movie picks from Threads that give sewing inspiration.

Tutorial: No-sew leather cord organizer

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Tutorial: Easy shower cap

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Wall Basting Tutorial by Christa Watson

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Tutorial: Buffalo check heart mug rug

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Tutorial and pattern: Peasant dress for an 18″ doll

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A wolf in the hand

Just a quickie from me today – I’ve got a little free time here at the end of the day, and in this ocean of a busy week, tonight’s got knitting written all over it – I’m on a roll – there’s so much knitting going on. Heaps of it, things falling off the needles – that magnificent cowl is finished (I’ll show ya later) and that sweet pair of Wild Wolves, knit for Meg. The photos are courtesy of Meg, as you can tell by the photo assistant. (Meg said he wanted them so badly – as soon as she put them on he was all over it.) I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it, but Meg’s married family name is “Wolf” and so technically our little Elliot is being raised by Wolves (though he’s one too, so one assumes he’s fine with it.) This was a super fun knit, and very quick, just an evening for each of the pair, if that, and I made only one change to the pattern. There’s two rounds on the foreheads of the wolves that have three colours per round, and I gave that a resounding nope. I used the two colours (background and light grey) for those rounds, and then began using background and dark grey when it was those two colours per round, leaving a long tail both when I started the dark grey, and when I ended it. When I was all done I went back and used the tails to duplicate stitch on the few stitches in the rounds prior that needed to be that colour. Easier for sure. I really love them, but for one little thing, which is that the pattern has you go in and embroider the nose and eyes of the wolves after the fact, and the eyes are french knots. That was easy enough, but I can see from the pictures Meg took that the knots (one in particular, if you spot the squinty wolf on the right) aren’t all staying on the right side of the work. I forget what you’re supposed to do to make them stay put (a piece of felt on the rear? Splitting the plies of the fabric?) but the wolf with the missing eye looks a little dodgy to me. I’ll see if I can fix it. Do any of you know the magic trick for making them stay on the right side?* *Really, I can look it up, but what’s the point of having the blog in my life if you aren’t one enormous brain trust. PS. The mittens aren’t just good looking, they are Elliot Verified Delicious.

Tutorial: Ruffled gingham pillow shams

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Tutorial: Quilted pillbox pouch

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Sew Goodness – a monthly charitable sewing challenge

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All Squares Quilt

Hello! My name is Jessica and I am so excited to be sharing this quilt with you at the Moda Bake Shop. You can follow me on my adventures of quilting and crafting on Instagram @skeinandhook and also on my blog at skeinandhook.blogspot.com. I had such a fun time designing this layer cake pattern. I designed this quilt pattern for Farmhouse Reds by Minick and Simpson. I love how this collection is all reds and creams. I thought it would be so beautiful to show off the creams in the larger center squares and frame them out with the reds. This quilt top uses 2 Layer Cakes and is a breeze to make! You can also use 1 Layer Cake for the mini squares and a 1.75 yards of a background fabric to make the larger, middle squares. This quilt finishes at 60″ x 60″. 2 Layer Cakes® {Farmhouse Reds by Minick and Simpson} 4 yards backing fabric {SKU 14858 13} 1/2 yard binding fabric {SKU 14853 11} Open the Layer Cakes and separate into 2 piles: reds and whites/creams. You’ll need 32 red squares and 2..

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