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Chris likes it.  It doesn’t fall off my shoulders but feels a bit Northern Reflections to me.

I think another issue is that it’s too big around the waist.  It makes me look very boxy.  I thought the little cable panels would be enough waist shaping but apparently not.

The alarm is set for 3:45 am.  Why I booked such an early flight when I have to drive two hours to the airport and when I’m flying back in time two hours is a mystery to me.  If you’re in Vancouver tomorrow you can find me dozing off in various coffee shops all around the city.

I’m sure my generous friends will allow me use of their wireless from time to time but I’m going to try to forget about my e-mail for the next two weeks so don’t hate me if I don’t respond to your comments right away.  Take care my lovlies and I will see some of you very soon!


All I can say about this is blergh.

This was supposed to be a quick and cute summer project to use up my recycled yarn from Picovoli – another summer fail.  First, I ran out of yarn twice and had to put it aside while more in a different dye lot came in the mail and now I’m not bowled over by the outcome.

The major issue is the neckline.  It’s way, way, way too big.  Right now I’m sitting down and the base of the neck is sitting in my lap.  It irks me because all the small / extra-small projects I see on Ravelry seem to have a regular v-neck that lands just at the bust and all the larger sizes are droopy.  I have to maneuver it very carefully to hide my bra strap.  It also visually adds width to my bust which I really don’t need.

I’m not confident that I can fix it. I only have a tiny bit of yarn left over and I think if I reknit the whole thing the yarn will self destruct.

I also hate that 90% of all the summer tops I own seem to require a camisole.  What’s the point of wearing a t-shirt in warm weather if you have to layer it up?

Pattern: Pioneer by K-bomb, Knitty Spring ’09

Yarn: Eden Yarn Madil in Mint (unknown number of skeins)

Needles: 3.75 mm Clover circs and DPNs

It is a really quick knit.  It probably took me less that two weeks of actual knitting time.  I’m also pretty proud of the crochet neckline.  I tried to tackle it at 10 pm after a day  of dealing with eighth graders and came thisclose to just doing a seed stitch neckline but I finally got it after scouring all my vintage needlework books.  There really seems to be a dearth of information online about crochet compared to knitting.

I’m working on some really big bloggy changes that I hope to have finalized before I leave for my trip.  I’m excited.  Stay tuned.

  • This weekend Chris did some crazy landscaping in our ugly front yard while I complained about hang nails and ruining my complexion.  It’s still a work in progress but he did finish an anal retentive fire pit!   I am struggling with wanting to roast marshmallows but not wanting to eat gelatin.  We’ll see who wins.

    Bowie is not impressed by fire.

  • There was also a sad little fair here this weekend that we spent a good five minutes at.

    We both agreed that if it took a carnie twenty minutes to install a ferris wheel we would not be riding it.

  • I made butter! It was insanely easy.  The instruction I used were from Bust a couple months back but there are plenty of websites and blogs that give you directions.
  • Right after I won Sew What Bags I won a Splityarn bag from Caro!

    I really should have bought a lottery ticket that week.

  • Pioneer is still benched so I started another pair of socks with Lucy Neatby Celestial Merino Dream in Blue Vesuvius.

    They are the Show-off Stranded socks and they're even prettier in real life.

  • I leave for my trip in one week today!  As it turns out I will be spending three days in Whistler with my sister-in-law and only one night in Portland.  I’m a little bummed about Portland but really there are worse things in life.
  • Neko Case is playing the Winnipeg Folk Festival and I would love to go but it’s three days after I arrive home and I predict all of my pocket money will have already been spent on fabric and gourmet pizza.

These were a little fill-in project while I wait for more yarn for Pioneer to arrive.  Problem is they were too fun so they were done too quickly!

Pattern: Uptown Boot Socks by Jennifer Appleby – Interweave Favourite Socks

Yarn: 2 skeins Louet Gems Fingering Weight in Goldilocks

Needles: 2.75 Clover Takumi DPNs

Id like to state for the record that my feet arent as large as they appear here.

I'd like to state for the record that my feet aren't as large as they appear here.

This stitch pattern wasn’t at all what I expected.  I looked like disappointing slight pock marks until you pull it on and then it’s cable magic!  It was also easy to memorize and addictive so they took less than a week to complete!

I made the leg portion a bit shorter than the pattern stated because I was worried about running out of yarn but of course I have quite a bit left over.

Thanks for all your input so far on the gusset hole situation.  I’m definitely going to try Dave’s suggestion next time:

Lots of people twist the picked up stitches, and that does seem to work but I don’t care for the way that looks. What I do * pick up a stitch through both loops, knit that stitch right away *. Knitting it before going on to pick up the next stitch packs a bit of extra yarn into that space and fills in the hole.

  • I obviously can’t settle on a title for my Monday mash up posts.  Monday Miscellany / Miscellaneous Monday sounds a bit hoity-toity so we’ll give Monday Funday a try.
  • I made this Pineapple Upside Down Cake (without the mango – neither of us are fans) a few weeks ago and I’ve been craving it ever since.  Chris also won’t stop talking about it.
  • I just got another package from Melina in the mail. She’s my sugar mama.

    This is just some of the loot.  I really needed an injection of perky goods in my day.

    This is just some of the loot. I really needed an injection of perky goods in my day.

  • Ingrid (and seemingly every other woman of child bearing age) is pregnant!  I’m so excited for her!
  • I made English Muffins.  Seriously!  I had no idea they could be made at home.

    The recipe is from the last Martha Stewert Living.  They are very tasty.

    The recipe is from the last Martha Stewart Living. They are very tasty.

  • I continue to miss city grocery stores.  The best grocery store around here has muffin shakers but no parsley or brown sugar.  That one is an hour away.  I don’t even want to talk about the one closest to us.
  • We have not planted our vegetable garden yet because of continuing frost warnings and drizzly days.  This means my little sprouts are suffering.  They are really trying to stay alive though.  Just look at this sweet little cucumber blossom.

    The little sprout that could

    The little sprout that could

  • I have a rather embarrassing problem.  I’ve been making socks for going on three years now yet I have never figured out how to pick up the stitches on the left side of the gusset without leaving a trail of holes.
    My holiness

    My holiness

    Right side = smoothsville.  On both sides I pick up under both loops of the slipped stitch.  I know there are solutions out there but a quick Google and Knitty search turned up nothing.  Your input is much appreciated.

The infinitely useful Sew Mama Sew Blog has launched Sewing Machine Month with a meme that will be compiled into a grand list that can be perused by those in the machine buying market.  Here is my contribution.

What brand and model do you have?

I have a Kenmore 15506.

How long have you had it?

My mom got it for me for Christmas in 2004.

How much does that machine cost (approximately)?

I think it was around $150-$200 but my mom would know better.

What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?

Primarily clothing, some home decor projects (pillows, curtains) and one quilt.

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?

I sew more in the summer than in the winter but I would say on average I use it about twice a week for long stints at a time.

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?

I would say ambivalent.  It’s not my ideal machine but it gets the job done.

I go through phases where I think nicknaming objects is cute but come the next day I’ve totally forgotten what I called it.

What features does your machine have that work well for you?

Even though I often hear the siren call of fancy pants computerized machines, I like that my machine was simple to figure out.  I hate reading manuals so it was important that I could sit down and get to work.  My mom has a very old Kenmore (it’s probably about fifty now) that I learned on and the transition from one to the other was a piece of cake.  I also like that it’s lightweight.  I plan on getting Chris to drag it to Edmonton with him so Erin and I can stitch up some fun.  And honestly it can really hold it’s own for such a plain jane.  I recently sewed a very thick slab of felted wool to two layers of fabric and it didn’t even complain.

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?

If anything ends up annoying me it’s usually my own fault.  94% of the time it’s because I didn’t thread it properly.  But it has it’s shares of inherent grating quirks.  I don’t like that you have to slide out the little tool drawer to get to the bobbin.  It’s also loud.  I didn’t know this until I saw more high-end machines at work but I definitely can’t listen to a podcast or watch a movie and expect to follow along.  I wish it had an automatic button hole feature.  Some pretty stitches would be nice.  I’m sure when I delve deeper into quilting my wants list will grow.

Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it!

Not really.  To be honest I was a bit disappointed when I got it because I had casually mentioned wanting a machine months before but I guess I didn’t really mean it.  Now I thank my lucky stars that my mom took me seriously.

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?

I would recommend it to beginners who aren’t too interested in quilting or making complex tailored garments but who just want to make a few pillows or tack up a hem.  I think it’s a bit foolhardy to go out and spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a show pony when you just need a faithful mare.

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?

Number one would have to be what you are intending to use it for.  I think personal taste is also something to consider.  If you wear clothing with a lot of detail, like smocking or embroidery then you might want a computerized machine so that you can replicate that look.  But you also need to consider your technical prowess.  If it hurts you head to think of making a blog header or typing a letter instead of hand writing one you might be happier with a simpler machine.

Do you have a dream machine?

I really covet a Bernina with a Janome coming in as runner up.  I’m not sure what model but I have loads of time to consider since I won’t be able to afford one any time soon.  In the meantime I’m grateful that I have a reliable machine.

I’m really looking forward to what other people have to say.

My sewing mojo has been eclipsed by a reading binge this week.  I finished A Handmade Life and really enjoyed it and now I’ve started Sons and Lovers which I purchased at a library book sale years ago.  I have been dreaming about bags since I won Sew What Bags from the Canadian Living Make + Do blog.  It’s a fun book to flip through and would be perfect for adventurous beginners.  I think the series and it’s choose your own adventure style is more appropriate for garment making, like the Skirts book that I also own and refer to often,  but it’s always great to round out the craft library.  I am itching to make an over the shoulder bag for my trip since all the bags I own seem to be oversize or small handbags.  I especially have my eye on the Town Bag from Weekend Sewing because the leather really classes it up but unfortunately I have no tinted leather in the dwindling stash.

  • I got in to the Cookie A class!  As if there could be more icing on that cake Robyn is also giving me the class as an early birthday gift!!!
  • After discussing with Robyn all the places we’re going to shop and eat in Seattle in Portland I am now 100% excited for this trip.  Money be damned I am going to paint the Western coast of this continent red.
  • On a sad note, I tried to add a panel to my room slippers and ended up rendering them unwearable.  I really took my time in the repair but it just didn’t take.  Le sigh.
  • On the finishing steps I ran out of yarn again on Pioneer.  Le sigh double. Ilovemath saves the day again by sending me more yarn.
  • In the meantime I finished another pair of plain purse socks.
  • Brought to you by substitute teaching.

    Brought to you by substitute teaching.

    The yarn is the Paca Peds in Fireside that my mom got me in California.  Sixty stitches, twisted rib cuff.

  • I read Jane Eyre last week and I really, really loved it.  After an English degree literature can seem like a bit of a slog but I couldn’t believe how the book sucked me in.  Definitely an all time fave.
  • I need a recipe for hamburger and hot dog buns.  I am having no luck finding one on my own that rises and doesn’t taste really sweet.
  • This Pasta with Cauliflower and Feta is my new go-to weeknight recipe.  Delish.
  • I was on a jag of watching movies that I really hated so I switched to documentaries and have landed on some really good ones.
  • The new Jarvis Cocker and Yeah Yeah Yeahs albums are amazing.  If you have any other recommendations for me please do tell.
  • I shortened the sleeves on my Summer Blouse and I’m a lot happier with it now.  I’m wearing it at this very moment.
  • Melina very kindly sent me A Homemade Life and I can’t wait to dive in.  Which is kind of funny because I’ve never read Molly’s blog.
  • Erin also sent me a package which included a pack of coloured pencils.  I thought that was so cute.
  • I love this format.  Apparently paragraphs intimidate me.
June 2009
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