Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Will No One Think Of The Baubles?

Kathy at Compassionknit has some great questions for December, so let's play.

*Can you knit something by *heart*
*Would you like some yarn for Chirstmas?
*Did you shovel any snow this December?
*Can you make a bow for a package or gift?
*Do you buy used books or new?
*Have you seen a living Nativity?
*Have you ever received home baked cookies in the mail?
*When was the last time your toes froze and your nose was red?
*Did you know that Christmas and Hanukkah are intertwined this year?
*Do you love to get a Christmas card? 

1. Yes, socks. And fingerless mittens.
2. Oooooh, yes please!
3. Nope. I would love some snow, but it isn't happening.
4. I can. I prefer not to.
5. I usually buy new books. If it's a book that is out of print, I will go the used route, however, I am sensitive to smells, and shy away from used book stores.
6. Does a kindergarten one count?
7. Not in the mail, no.
8. The year before last. The whole of February was well below 0.
9. I didn't, but that's cool.
10. I love to get anything in the mail, aside from bills and circulars. A Christmas card is great.

I have wanted a German Feather tree for years, but they are a bit cost-prohibitive. I found this on EBay, and it's from a display company. I like it.
It has all my sheep ornaments on it. And best of all, the cats aren't interested. Go figure.

I have no knitting or anything this time. My gift knitting is done, and I'm feeling slightly burned out.  I have table runners to finish for myself and Miss Mew (she's doing her own) and that's pushing it.
More decs.....
"you guys placed the good stuff at the top where we can't get it..."

Fleece out.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Advanced Style

Just in case you were wondering, the Ten On Tuesday prompt is monthly now, so I will post as and when. No that you were (wondering, that is).

Creativity is in full flood right now. I was planning on making a number of my Christmas gifts this year- and I am down to the last few. So far, there are project bags, sheep ornaments as well as some table runners.
Bit of a story with this. I broke my even feed foot, and went to order a new one. It turns out that I have been using the wrong one for my machine for over 20 years, and it's a miracle I didn't do permanent damage to it. There are so many exquisite fabrics out now that it is so hard to resist, but a small project like this gives me my fix.
This body form- dressmakers dummy- was given to my sister, who then gave it to Miss Mew who then gave it to me. I'm sure she will come in handy, but it really creeps me out. I hope to be doing more clothes sewing in 2017.

I have felt a clothes rant coming on for a while now. You can skip this, but if you know a younger person esp. a girl, she may benefit from it. Or not- it's my opinion, that's all.

I think that we are fortunate to live in times that doesn't really shock all that easily. Having said that, I think that there are instances  when the "appropriate" barrier has been breached, and that, I think, is something to consider when you are presenting yourself. These days, I always admire a well dressed person, who makes an effort, and is, above all, individual.  Fashions and trends come and go, but you need to be true to yourself. I remember true horrors like tube tops, knickers (knickerbockers in UK) and toe socks. Sure, a bit of fun, but I was never very comfortable in anything that was revealing. I always thought women looked better in a bra, because it gives you shape as well as defying Mr. Gravity.

The current trend for skinny jeans (they flatter very few) and strapless gowns (they flatter even fewer) as well as wearing leggings and nothing over them- I am going to shout here LEGGINGS ARE AN UNDERPINNING- NOT TO BE WORN IN PLACE OF TROUSERS!!!!!! And older ladies especially- no one wants to see your cottage cheese bottom. Trust me on this.

So it is INAPPROPRIATE, especially in an older woman, to follow that trend. And don't wear moccasins as shoes. Only teenagers who like to wear pajama bottoms outside can do it, and even then, they shouldn't.

As you know, I am a fan of the linen tunic and dresses, but even there, you must be careful. To avoid looking like an aging Disco Queen, avoid the shiny ones, or the athletic ones, unless you are doing sports or Yoga. Avoid, at all costs, the peek-a-boo panel.

I've jacked a few pics from Etsy of things I like.
This is from Folkstead, and it is a apron/tunic that can be worn just about anywhere. Not terribly expensive- I'm all about spending a bit more for fewer pieces. I think the chicken is optional.
I am totally in love with this dress. It's from Megby Designs in Aussie. Not too pricey when you consider that this is something that can be dressed up or down, and looks better the more you wash it. I am firmly in the person-who-irons-everything camp, but even wrinkled, it looks good.

I would wear the hell out of this. Gudrun Sjoden, of course.

I've also decided more colour is better. I can wear black and grey, and love grey, but colour (bright colour) is happier.

As I always told Miss Mew, whose style is very different from mine, but I admire her all the same, ABA- Always Be Appropriate. To the occasion, to the place, and most of all, what YOU like. You can be Goth (and I love the Goth look) or Retro, or whatever speaks to you, but go out there, wear some colour and be true to yourself.
"....is the rant over yet, Tino?"





Thursday, November 3, 2016

From Falmouth to Filey

Hey- I've been MIA because of a horrible virus or whatever it is, and now I'm into about the 4th week and still coughing. FC and Alex too, Miss Mew as well. I don't think the weather is helping, one day cold and the next, positively balmy.

I'm a little behind on my craft projects, but I wanted to tell you that I have finished Alex's Gansey.
I had to take the pics outside, because it's Falmouth Navy, a really dark shade. I used traditional Filey patterns for this one, the hallmark being "Betty Martin" (no one knows who she is) but it's a stitch pattern used on the sides, and upper arms.
A little hard to see, but his initials are there above the ribbing. I can now die peacefully, having made my son a gansey. He will have this  forever and look so handsome in it. Didn't take too long as I put it aside during the hot hell that was summer. I used 2.75mm needles and the fabric is perfect.

Not much else to report on. The news is full of the election in the US- so we'll see what happens there.

I hope everyone is enjoying Autumn- I have almost completed my Christmas shopping, and hope I never see a shopping mall again this year.

Fleece out.


Thursday, October 13, 2016

In Celebration....

Twisted Traditions, my pattern store is celebrating 10 Years of Twisted!!! Many of you know me from this blog, which started in 2004, and a few years later I began Twisted Traditions.


 If you head over to Ravelry, you can get a free sock pattern- Dream Weavers.

I have also added a new Fair Isle design, Scrub Oaks & Maples  which is not free, but have a look anyway. My thanks to my tech editor and of course, Miss Mew.
Perfect for fall, n'cest pas?

Here's to more Twisted- more colour, more style and more Can Con!

Fleece out.





Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Annual Turkey Stupor

We had a fantastic Thanksgiving. Some of us piled into our cars on Saturday and visited the Ball's Fall's Thanksgiving Festival. There was food, vendors, and music (bluegrass) and the weather was perfect. Totally my kind of weekend.
This is the chapel all decorated. They have an old grist mill and I bought some flour. They also had wool and roving from this charming place, and I now have some Newfoundland/Soay roving, which, let me tell you, you can't just get anywhere.

I had a wonderful caramel apple (no peanuts or other crap on it) and we also got soap and icewine jelly. I got some ornaments for the tree from a local potter.

She had some lovely bowls and mugs, but really, I cannot fit one more mug in this house (Emma Bridgewater excepted).

We had turkey on Sunday, and everyone agreed that it was the juiciest one yet. Lots of stuffing and mashed potatoes, gravy and Miss Mew made a wonderful pumpkin pie. My girl is becoming quite the cook, and I hope she provides dessert for Christmas maybe.

Speaking of ornaments, I made some prototypes of the Shetland Sheep- one kind of looks like a Zwartbles, but no one probably will notice.
A bit like a Zwartbles- yes.

Today, FC and I are celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary. A few months ago I got a white gold band with blue diamonds, and he got some hard drives. We'll probably have turkey sandwiches tonight, which I enjoy just as much as the turkey itself, so it's all good.

Mr. Clawed is very pensive, but enjoying having the window ledge to himself.

Fleece out.


Monday, October 3, 2016

Peppermint Patty in the Pumpkin Patch

It's been awhile. I like that we're in October already because I always feel more inspired and stoked when cooler weather hits. It has been mild but not HUMID so there's that. I have lots to show you.

First, on the advice of my friend, I am doing light therapy. For 30 minutes each morning I sit in front of a daylight bulb and read or knit. I am pretty sure that I am feeling the effects after only 3 days, but anything is better than not being able to wake up, and not being cognizant for an hour afterward. Not sure if I actually suffer from SAD, but I am here to tell you it is real, and it happens. I'm not much of a sun person at the best of times, so I probably am deficient in Vitamin D. I'll let you know more in a few weeks time.

Alexander's Filey Gansey is coming along. I picked this up again last week and have given myself the rest of October to finish it. Doable, I hope.
I finished my pillow Boo & Baa-bie. 
I will add some bells to the bottom and ribbon and hang it up..somewhere....
I also sewed a few project bags for gifts. FC found this fabric when we went to Michigan. Isn't it great?

I had an idea a while back to make my own Sheep ornaments. I ordered some plywood sheep cutouts on Etsy (love Etsy) and FC drilled a hole in the top. I have some Shetland roving and I am going to paint the sheep, and put some roving around the body. Then I can needlefelt the markings, add a bell and a hanger and we're done. Shetland sheep come in many colours and markings so this should be interesting.
While we're on the subject of Etsy, I have been intrigued by this seller .
 I ordered some of her Halloween self-striping sock yarn, and look at her presentation. These should be fun to do.

The handspun sweater is blocked and drying, and I will sew on the buttons and put it on the dummy. Also, a new Fair Isle is modeled and written up, as well as a new free sock pattern. I think I have gotten more done in the last couple of weeks than since May.

If you're looking for some new reading material, Janine, The Feral Knitter has published her book on Fair Isle and it looks intriguing. I've always admired her design ethic.  Vogue Knitting has some articles on Shetland as well.

As well, there are cats......


Who sometimes get along. Here are the "Earl Greys".

Fleecin'.



Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Ten On Tuesday- Quiche, Lorraine?

The Ten on Tuesday was something about football season and food, and my eyes glazed over at the word "football" so I'm not participating this week.

But food- yesterday I made my MacGyvered quiche-y thing, and I remembered I wanted to share with you guys. It's so easy and versatile and so good, you'll love it. And real men can eat it.

Quiche, Lorraine? (see what I did there?)

1 bag of frozen hash browns
1 package of Sea legs (or ham steak, or what you decide to use)
half a red onion
1 package frozen cauliflower
1 cup shredded cheddar
1 cup shredded Monterey
12 eggs
1/2 cup light cream
fresh grated nutmeg

(This recipe makes 2- but you can halve the ingredients easily)

 Spray 2 pyrex pie plates with Pam. Preheat oven to 375 deg. Spread frozen hash browns on the bottom to provide a base.  Dice the onion and spread 1/2 on each plate evenly. Add sea legs (I broke up smoked salmon on the second one).
Add thawed cauliflower and distribute evenly.
Add 1/2 cup of each cheese evenly on top.
In a large measuring cup, break 6 eggs and add enough cream to make 2 cups. Mix with a fork and grate fresh nutmeg. (This is important, NEVER use already ground up nutmeg, it has no flavour.) Mix again and pour s-l-o-w-l-y and evenly over the pie.  Do this again for the second one.

Bake for an hour. They come out all puffy.

The cool part here is that this is really adaptable.  Some other combos are broccoli/ham, bacon/spinach- and also just plain vegetarian is really good. AND you can freeze one.  And try another kind of cheese- I'm thinking some blue or feta would be yummy.

It has become cooler the last couple of days- which has brightened my mood considerably.  I am still working on my top-down cardi, so nothing really to see here. I am planning on going to a festival in October (not a fiber one...) and I have gone through about half of my clothes and am giving away tons.

I'm now off to pick up a part for my car- the hatch lock has rusted and it's being held down by a rope.  I know, classy.
"I'm ready for my post-breakfast sleep....."
Valentino is very handsome, and very wicked.

Quiche out.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Ten On Tuesday- 10 Things You Did This Weekend


"...August, die she must
the Autumn winds blow chilly and cold,
September I'll remember,
a love once new has now grown old."

April Come She Will
Simon & Garfunkel

Except August is very much alive here. It's going to get hot and sticky for the next three days. I am so miserable I can't even.

Okay- onto the 10.

1. Went grocery shopping. Twice.
2. Went to Stratford, Ontario.
3. Did alot of laundry.
4. Made Pasta Primavera.
5. Cleaned up the sewing room/office.
6. Sat outside and worked on my cross stitch.
7. Slept in
8. Did some weeding.
9. Did some knitting.
10. Contemplated a permanent move to the crawlspace.

I began a new sweater for myself out of handspun. I like the top-down construction and the raglan sleeves.
It is BFL from Three Waters Farm.

On Saturday we stopped into New Hamburg on the way to Stratford. Our usual cafe wasn't open but we went to the restaurant and I had the most amazing club sandwich with fries and gravy. Then we went to the quilt shop.
I got this little basket to hold my Dee Nickerson cards.


Miss Mew and I got kits to make table runners. Woot!
Clawed is wondering why Tino is being such a schmuck to him. Tino is like that with everybody.

Keep cool.




Tuesday, August 23, 2016

August is ending....and other cool stuff.

Well, how I know this is because the CNE is on (Cricket burger anyone?). My daughter will be there volunteering with her cat rescue, so hopefully alot of kitties will find new homes.

Last week FC and I hopped in the Rabbit (see what I did there?) and went to Michigan. FC was eager to go to the largest car museum in North America, and it didn't disappoint. A couple of highlights:
This is a 1937 Cord. I have always hoped to see one as I used to have a collection of Art Deco images and this car always featured. The headlights are opened by the driver with a crank inside. It also has a "coffin" hood.
This 1958 Corvette is beautiful in and of itself (check that olive metallic paint) but more interesting is that it was one of GM's  "Damsels of Design" cars that included seasonal seat covers, a compartment for your handbag and retractable seatbelts that wouldn't snag or catch on your clothes.

We got tons of pictures, so if you come over, I'm sure FC will be more than happy to show all 700 in a slideshow. Actually, it was pretty cool and we walked around for more than 4 hours.

We also went to the Michigan Fiber Festival- I got some fibre and not much else.

Every once in a while, I run across something special on Pinterest and last week I noticed this woman's art. Her name is Dee Nickerson, and I think her paintings are incredible.
Alot of her work features animals, knitting and everyday life. They are not "cutesy" but portray lone figures and friends and have a peace and calmness about them. I also love that they are not all sunny days, but walking in snow and doing ordinary activities. Check out the link. I ordered some cards as she doesn't have prints. I am enchanted.

Who besides me is happy to see this summer end? I don't even mind if we have a warmer autumn, as long as the blessed humidity goes away. I understand it's cooler in New Zealand during July and August. That's a consideration.

I'll have to arrange passports for the kitties.

Fleece out.



Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Brought To You By The Letter "L"

The Ten On Tuesday is 10 things about you that feature your first initial.

1. I need Lots of sleep.
2. I Loathe summer. More like I hate heat and humidity.
3. Love animals.
4. Don't mind Laundry.
5. Love my daughter Laura.
6. I have Long hair. (being moon-faced, short hair looks terrible).
7. Laughing is my favorite thing.
8. I Live in the suburbs.
9. I drive a Little Volkswagon Rabbit. (small, but powerful).
10.If I don't get my tea in the morning, I am Likely to rip someones head off.

In weather news, we're about to be hit by the worst heatwave so far. I don't know how they can separate them, bad to worse, but apparently humidexes over 41 C. Another week indoors.

 If it was cooler, I would be purging and reorganizing this whole house (yes, sometimes I would like to purge the whole house...). We rearranged some furniture and brought this chest of drawers downstairs.
 
It now holds all my fabric and sewing supplies.  I am going to go through every drawer and cupboard here and toss all the stuff I'll never use, or have been hanging onto.

Next week FC and I are off to Michigan to attend (what else?) the Michigan Fiber Festival. 
This is a new one for me, as we've been to Fingerlakes 3 times, and Vermont once. Looks to be nice, and we're staying in Kalamazoo, where there is a cool car museum, so something for FC too.

In knitting news, it's status quo. Too hot to work on the Gansey, and all I have are some socks on the needles.  Hopefully there will be some cool inspiration at the festival.

I'm off to take Clawed for his shots. Stay cool and fleece out.
"neener, neener....we had our shots last year....."