Thursday, September 29, 2011

Halloween approaches...

... and the talk turns to costumes. My son is at that age - he's 12 (a TALL twelve), and is still sort of wanting to go trick or treating. But his age, and especially his height, are against him. The fact that most of his friends are smaller than him is a point in his favour, so they might yet still go out. If not, there might be a large group of them in my house that night...

But... he still wants a costume. And I'm still enough of a sucker that I will indulge him again this year. Last year's Robin Hood was a pretty big hit. And easy, since it was a pattern - I just followed the directions. So when I casually asked what he wanted for this year, I wasn't really prepared for this:
Meet Ezio from the video game Assassin's Creed. (Yes, I let my 12 year old play Mature rated video games. Yes, I'm a horrible mother, but I highly doubt he will grow up to be a serial killer. We monitor and talk about what going on.)
Anyhoo, Simplicity, McCalls, Butterick and Vogue don't make these patterns. So I'm cobbling it together. I have a couple of patterns that will work with some tweaking for the main parts, and the hood and cape. The belt will be interesting to figure out, and I've already told him he can forget the hidden hand knives. I do have some standards!
I hit Fabricland last weekend for the members sale, and haunted the clearout section. I got some great heavy white cotton, some metallic red, and bits and pieces of other stuff to make this work. We can steal from some past costumes and stuff around the house for the belt and such, and I guess my tall black boots will be pulled into use again (if they still fit him!)

I admit, I do like making his costumes, and I get a lot of pleasure from the creation of them. But sometimes, I wish for the easy...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

info for Barbie O

Barbie O. in Montreal wanted to know where I found my serger part. I started with a site called (Sewing Machine Canada). I found the part there, but they only deal wholesales, so through them I was directed to, as they had the best price for the particular part I needed.

Hope this helps, Barbie!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

for want of a $20 piece...

A few years ago, I broke my serger. I know, with the amount of sewing I do, you'd think I'd run right out a get it fixed. But I didn't. For one reason or another, I just never got around to it. My sewing machine (which is fairly new), does a pretty good overlock stitch, so I just used that. However, my pet peeve with the sewing machine is the bobbin. I hate winding bobbins - they never hold enough thread for me, and it's a pain to stop what I'm doing to wind a new bobbin. I would rather buy two spools of thread, than wind a bobbin.
But I digress.
After a few years of seeing my shrouded serger just sitting there, I decided to take a look at the problem a little more closely.  The piece that broke was the lower looper, and for some reason I thought it was an actual welded part of the whole mechanism. Turns out it's not. It's a small piece that screws onto the assembly. Huh, who knew? So I unscrewed it, and took what was left of it to my computer, and started Googling. I found out a couple of things. You really can find ANYTHING on the Internet, and there are hundred of different lower loopers for sergers!
I started with the easy - I found some sewing supply places near me and emailed them asking if they had the part that would fit my particular serger. Two of them never got back to me (there's some customer service for you!) and the one that did, simply said "we don't have your part. Can I interest you in a new Babylock or Bernina?" Sure! Instead of a part, I'll just get a while new machine. Okay, so the search continues.
I found a great site that actually showed pictures of the parts - very handy, considering my serger is a lesser known make. After scrolling through page after page of lower loopers, I saw it! The part! It had the right curve, the right bend, it all looked right! I looked at the price, and including shipping, it cost me all of $22.46. Really? I waited 3 years to replace a $20 part?
It proves my points. The internet is a wonderful place, and I'm an idiot for waiting so long.
Now I am waiting for the part to arrive from Tennessee. I've been madly cutting into my stash of fabrics that really need proper edge finishing. First up - a pair of evening parts in black vintage satin. Yum. Because a woman that dresses as casually as I do really needs vintage satin evening pants...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Stephanie came to visit!

Last night, the York Region Knitting Guild was happy to host Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, aka (for those of you living under a rock) The Yarn Harlot.
Even better, I was happy to host her, Rachel H, and assorted Guild members at my house for dinner. It's the second or third time Steph and Rachel have come by, and I tell ya, they are always welcome in my house! Great company, great food, and a terrifc drive to the meeting!
I had a degree of camnesia, but I did get a few shots...
Stephanie in my bathroom (seriously!) I don't know where you read her books, but that's my favourite place for them. We are a family of bathroom readers - out of camera range is the stack of Archie Comic Digests, and fishing and trivia books. Go ahead and judge us if you like - I make no excuses...

Dinner was a pot luck (thanks to all who brought food - so yummy!!) with lots of laughter and general merriment. (My husband and son were hiding in the living room before they left for dinner away from THE KNITTERS!

The drive to the meeting was fun - since parking at the shop is limited, we decided to carpool. And once Steph, Rachel and I saw Linda's convertible, with the top down, well, that was an easy choice. We stopped short of jumping in, and demurely used the doors, but we were constantly talking about being in a CONVERTIBLE! (typing cannot convey the silly tone of voice we were all using. I think Lindy was regretting having us in her car...) I was in the back and got Steph's hair blowing all over as she was taking her own picture.
We shan't discuss the drive BACK to my house, after the dew fell on the open car, and the sun went down. Fun ride TO the meeting, slightly damp and chilly ride BACK. Thankfully, I only live about 5 minutes from the shop, so it wasn't TOO bad...

Steph read from her new book, then did a Q and A that could have lasted well into the night, had we let it go on, but there was an opportunity for us to get our copies of her new book signed, so we regretfully ended the talk. Oh, did I mention Tove of Needles and Knits got copies of the new book? Before ANYONE else? I don't know what she did to get them (and probably DON'T want to know...) but she did, and Steph graciously signed copies for all. And get this - if you get to Tove's soon - there are still a dozen copies of the book available, and Steph signed them all!

All in all, a great night, and one I wish we could repeat often. Steph and Rachel are truly nice and genuine people. As she appears on her blog - that's what you get. And Rachel - well, I read her Twitter feed, and can identify with her - we're both Moms of similar aged boys, and have parents with similar issues. I really must get down to Lettuce Knit's Knit Night more often. One night is not enough time to spend with these two incredible women.

Best of all, in lieu of a speaker's fee, our Guild gave a donation to MSF in Steph's name. It meant a lot to her, which means it meant a lot to us.

Steph - good luck on the upcoming yarn crawl/book tour. And you are welcome to drop by my place any time.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Kitchener purchases

While I did very well with winning prizes on the way to Kitchener, I think I did equally well with my purchases. I was after a cardigan's worth, and some sock yarn.

I succeeded at both.

First up is some Amerigo Cottom Flamme - 100% pima cotton, with a slightly thick and thin consistency, in a wonderful emerald green. It really is emerald, not the teal that it appears here. This is destined for a Featherweight Cardigan - possibly mixed with a slightly lighter, lime-ish green I have in my stash, if I determine I need more length.
Next up is my favourite stuff - Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool. I love this stuff. I made my blue cardigan last year in this, and it wears beautifully, and feels wonderful. The Purple Purl had it on sale, and while I passed it up at this years Knitters Frolic in April, I couldn't walk by it again, so eight skeins of this true red ave come home with me. This will be the Dahlia cardigan from the recent Interweave Knits. It has the wonderful back lace panel, and the drapey front I love so much. (It's already been cast on...)
Then there was the sock yarn. Two from Tanis Fibre Arts - her blue label standard sock yarn in Poppy, and her luscious purple label cashmere blend in Stormy. The Poppy's recipient is undetermined, but the Cashmere Stormy will be for my husband. If he continues to put up with all the wool, he deserves cashmere blend socks. The third skein is from Studioloo - it's their Bootsie merino/nylon blend in the Tartan Tease colourway. I walked by this four times and fondled it, and as I told the guy at the booth - if I pick up something four times, then I need to buy it.
Susan and I both splurged at the glass jewellery booth - this sheepy pendant was too cute to say no to! I did swap out the chain that it came on - as you can see, it sis a little close to the scar, which still gets irritated at times. But the sterling chain has gone to a good home, as part of a jewelry set I made for my niece.
Finally - Another ball of laceweight merino. Not much on it's own, but when added to the laceweight Fleece Artist I bought at the Frolic, it's perfect for another Featherweight, or similar light weight cardigan.

Unfortunately - neither of these pictures really captures the rich forest-y green of these yarns, along with the slight tonal variations of the Fleece Artist.

So all in all - a really good day. More knitting to get to, but then again, that's not a bad thing, is it?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Kitchener Prize Haul!

As I've mentioned before, for the Kitchener Knitter's Fair, our Guild charters a bus. It means all of us get to knit on the way there and back, we talk (a lot!!) and best of all, we have draw prizes! So many people and yarn stores in York Region contribute to this draw, and we thank them all. This year, I was ridiculously lucky...

I won a fabulous book...

a lizard mitten kit...

a fantastic briefcase sized bag from the Knitting Guilds of Canada...

and best of all...

you won't believe this...

but first I have to thank Unwind Yarn House in Newmarket for donating this incredible prize. It was so spectacular, we kept it separate from the regular draw.

That's right. A full Knit Picks options needle set!
And not just the needle kit - a beautiful fabric storage bag for it! I was truly lucky! Okay, admittedly, I bought a ton of tickets for this draw - I really wanted it.

And all this before we even got to Kitchener! Still to come - what I bought there. Susan and I were both planning on not buying much - maybe a pattern or two. That lasted about a half hour, then we both overbought, and enjoyed it!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

getting caught up...

Before Kitchener, I finished a couple of scarves - Citron and Garden Path Shawlette.

Citron - before blocking
Citron was really a double inspiration from Rue of Tinks and Frogs. Not only did I win the yummy yarn from her (Woolen Rabbit Essence in Oakmoss), When I saw her version of Citron, I knew it would work for this wool!
I had to shorten the final ruffle, as I was running out of wool, but it still works. I gave it a steam block, and love how it looks as a scarf.

It's a good thing I stopped when I did - this is how much wool I had left over. The final bind off was a little touchy towards the end!

The Garden View is a nice, simple scarf for the Christmas gift box.

I used some Elann merino I had lying around, in a deep olive green, and it really blocked out nicely - the yarn overs opened out, and really showed off the leafy shapes.
While it is technically a "shawlette" as shown above, I think it will get worn more like this - wrapped around the neck to keep out the cold.

And another scarf finished (shown previously, but just recently blocked), and how I believe it will be worn - wrapped around and around to keep the neck cozy.

I'm still working on my Kitchener posts - both my prize haul and what I bought!

Monday, September 12, 2011

yummy gift yarn!

Carol won some yarn from me a while back, and while she requested the Fame Trend, I sent the Palette instead. So to make up for it, I had anothe skein of Fame Trend in blacks and greys that I sent to her. I return, she send this to me

Seriously? A wool cashmere nylon blend that squooshes up so nicely - I love it!
I've never used MamaBlue wool, so I"m really lookiing forward to this - I forsee a little shawlette or something - maybe socks...

Thanks, Carol!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

who's going to Kitchener this weekend?

Sorry for the lack of posts - it's not for lack of material, just lack of time. I have scarves and socks and gift wool (mmmmm, yummy, yummy gift wool....) to show you, but no time to upload pictures.

But the important thing is this weekend is the Kitchener Waterloo Knitter's Fair! Knitters take over Bingemans in Kitchener! We revel is wool fumes, and patterns and knitterly stuff!

As usual, I'll be arriving by bus - our Guild charters a bus for the trip there and back - lots of time to knit and chat and compare purchases on the way home! I'll be meeting LuckyCanuck Susan (and hopefully seeing some wedding pics! She has promised me some to share with everyone), and we will be wandering around as we always do. As always, I will have my bright yellow I KNIT messenger bag. And flip flops on my feet, of course. If you see me, stop me! let's chat!

Friday, September 02, 2011

Happy and Sad

Today marks the figurative end of summer - Sad.
But it's the start of a long weekend! - Happy!
But we're attending my Aunt/Godmother's funeral. - Sad
She's really in a better place though, even it's tough on my Mom and the family. - qualified Happy.
Son finally has a chance to wear the dress pants we bought before he outgrows them - Happy.
School starts next week - Happy! - my son actually likes school and is looking forward to getting caught up with friends and getting back into the swing of things
Less weekends at the cottage - Sad
Better weather for wearing handknits - Happy!
Now that we'll be home more weekends, let the home renovations begin - Happy/Sad
August used to mean the Yarn Harlot's visit - this year it's September! - Really Happy!