Sunday, April 17, 2011

Getting back up on the horse.

Has it really been 4 months since I've posted? I thought it was only a couple. Hmm.

So... It's been a while. I've been composing blog posts in my head for weeks, well, probably for months actually, but just never posted. Some things happened and I kind of felt knocked around for a while and then it just got to be one of those things where the longer you don't do something the harder it is to just DO it. So here it is. Nothing spectacular, nothing earth shaking, just getting back up on the horse and diving in. Probably not while on the horse. (Although, remember that movie? About the diving horse? Did I dream that? Too lazy to IMDB right now.)

I'll do this in list form if that's okay with you. A lot of this is just rambling or life-catch-up. There will be pictures later on so you can skip ahead if you want.

1. Christmas was quiet and kind of strange this past year (yes I'm going back that far. Sorry). I didn't have any family nearby and The Boy was only here for a couple of days over Christmas. I've spent Christmases away from family before but that was when I was overseas. This was very strange for me. I was able to Skype with one brother & his family on Christmas Eve which was pretty much the highlight.

2. In January I had to have a "procedure" to try to find some answers for stomach pains & related issues I had all last winter (that would be 09/10. It took 10 months to get a specialist appointment and then another 3 months to get the appointment for the "procedure"). I call it a "procedure" because I didn't really want to think about what it really was. It wasn't anything serious and it wasn't that big a deal. They didn't find anything but the pain is nowhere near as bad as it had been so... I'll call that a win.

3. In February The Boy ended our 4+ year relationship. I tried to figure out a different way to write that but there it is. That's what happened. It wasn't a total surprise, if I'm being 100% honest but it wasn't what I wanted. There was no big fight or drama, nothing that would cause any hatred or anything. I'm okay (now) and strangely he meant it when he said he wants us to remain friends. I still see him every couple of weeks and we text/email a few times a week. So there's that.

(For anyone who's ever read this blog and thought I meant a son when I wrote "The Boy", sorry for the confusion. Definitely not my son. I don't have any kids (the Boy would add "that you know of" which has been his running joke with me for 6 years)(sigh). )

(I didn't set out to write a month-by-month account but I guess that's what I ended up doing)

4. I have been knitting/sewing/making stuff. I just haven't been taking many pictures. Let's blame the Northern Hemisphere/Winter for part of it, my dying camera for part of it and my lack of focus and near inability to actually finish anything for part of it.

BUT I did take a few pictures! And one of them is something that is finished! And I'll post them now! As a reward! for making it this far in this long boring post! Exclamation mark!

First: In progress knitting:


Pattern: Cerisara by Bonne Marie Burns
Yarn: Sirdar Breeze

We finally had some warm weather in March* and I got to wishing I had a light weight cotton cardigan for work. I have a couple of cotton cardigans that are in heavy worsted weight cotton blends but wanted something a bit lighter. Next thing I knew I had this downloaded and an actual swatch knitted. I know! a swatch! me!


I think I can probably have this finished by the time it warms up again. If it ever warms up again.**

Second: In progress Embroidery (gasp I know! Embroidery! Me!)


I'm just gonna take a minute to toot my own horn here***. I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've ever done any embroidery beyond a running stitch or something for a doll face. I've had these printed pillowcases in my "make this someday" pile for about a year (i think. a long time anyway) and kept imagining that one day I'd find the courage to try learning embroidery. Turns out the easiest way to learn it is to actually DO it (as opposed to leaving all the supplies in a box).

Thanks to numerous online sources and inspired by Wild Olive's focus on beginner embroidery right now, I was inspired this morning. I'm 99% sure I'm not doing it all correctly but, as I always tell new knitters, it's embroidery and I like it so it's right.


I have a lot more to do (and then a whole 2nd pillowcase) but I'm really enjoying it. Who knew embroidery was so relaxing?**** I had such a nice quiet morning just stitching away.

Third: Ruby Lou doll

Ruby Lou

Pattern: Ruby Lou from Sew Much Ado.
Materials: stash. All stash.

I love love love how this little doll turned out. I think there will be at least 2 more of these in my future and maybe more after that. The pattern is well done and the finished doll is just so cute. This little one hasn't made it to her new home yet but will shortly. I hope my niece likes her.

5. I heard on Friday that our bonuses for 2010 were approved (i won't get into that bit of stress*****). I have plans for most of the bonus to go into savings BUT I decided to treat myself to a serger. I've wanted one for years and just didn't feel like I could justify it. I know I would get lots of use from it though so it's time.

So I'd like to know from you, dear patient and wonderful reader (you look pretty today by the way), if you have a serger or any advice and/or recommendations. I don't know what I should be looking for or what I really would need or just like to have. I want to make t-shirts and stuff but I know there are many other uses beyond just sewing stretch material. I don't know for sure what my budget will be but I'll do some research and if you have recommendations it will help me narrow things down.

Whew! You made it! Congratulations. That was a long post full of random bits and pieces. I won't make any promises but I really do want to get into a habit of posting more regularly.

And now I think I need to test one of the cookies I made today. For safety reasons of course.

*the warm weather was really nice. I think it got up to 20C at one point.
**since the time of the warm weather we've had over 50cm of snow. That's 19 inches. I'm not exaggerating. We had 20+cm in 24 hours a few weekends ago and then another 22+/-cm on Wednesday. There have been numerous other days with accumulations over 10cm. I'm ready to move to a warmer/less snow-prone climate. Anyone need a housesitter/roommate in the deep south?
***"toot my own horn"? what am I, 80?
****who knew? uh, probably anyone who has ever tried it. Rosie Grier knew.
*****work will be 90% easier after Monday because Monday is Wen-Shu****** comes back from maternity leave day! Happy Dance! I baked these cookies to celebrate tomorrow
******Wen-Shu, you may recall, is my dear friend/office-mate/only-other-person-who-knows-how-to-do-my-job who was on maternity leave the past year. So for a year I have had no coverage, no consistent help when I was extremely busy, no one to cover so I could take a vacation... etc. You get the picture. So, I'm beyond excited that she'll be back tomorrow


  1. Welcome back, friend! I read yours first when it came up in Google Reader, and have been thinking of trying embroidery myself.
    Go you for giving your blog some distance to, you know, live. I applaud you for it!

    Sergers... I'd get one with an easily retractable set of blades. Also, I hear self-threading is pretty cool. I love the Brother in the costume shop and what I've used of my Kenmore(which is in storage). If there's a shop near you, don't hesitate to test-drive used ones.

  2. Welcome back!

    Sorry to hear about The Boy, but hopefully it's getting better.

    Awesome on the embroidery. I look forward to seeing how the pillow cases come along. :-)

  3. If you want to make T-shirts (or hem purchased T-shirts) I'd recommend getting a serger with the ability to do "cover stitch". That's the hem you see on most T-shirt bottoms and sleeves.

    I have a Viking. I love it but it was very expensive and all of the separate accessories are very expensive. So I would recommend something less pricey.

    The test drive recommendation is a good one. Also purchase from someone who does a class or two to take you through all that the machine can do.

    Good luck. Sorry it's been such a rough couple of months.

  4. I'm glad to see a post from you! I am sorry you've been through it the last few months.

    I had one of the first sergers available for retail sales, a Juki, bought 25 years ago. (In our class, we had to remove the safety guards that had been installed for their use in commercial sewing rooms. How's that for alarming?)I used it constantly - and it performed admirable - for 23 years until I bought a BabyLock a few years ago. The BabyLock is like magic, threads itself, has a differential feed, changes functions with the flip of a switch, feet snap on and off, etc. The Juki had to be completely unthreaded if a thread snapped, threaded in a specific order, required certain tools to attach additional thread guides to roll a hem, and a long tweezer was required to thread it.

    My point? My BabyLock was expensive (I think it's a Wave) but you'll be able to get many of its features in a less pricey model, whether from BabyLock or someone else. On the other end of things, even the most basic sergers have moved far beyond the Juki, yet even if they hadn't you seem pretty capable and would be able to handle it. Self-threading is nice - really nice - but if adds too much to the price then I'd skip it. A differential feed is pretty fun, being able to quickly and easily switch from a standard stitch to a rolled hem is nice, but you really want to be able to produce nice hems and seams.

    Have fun shopping, can't wait to see what you get!

  5. It's nice to see you back!! I've been checking here at least four time a week and was shocked today when there was actually a post!

    Sorry to hear about your rough few months and your relationship woes. No words of wisdom from me except to say, keep your chin up and try to smile.

    It has been the coldest snowiest winter in forever and this weekend and today have been no exception!!

  6. A serger?! That's awesome. Sadly, I do not have any words of wisdom or advice because I know nothing about sergers....other than I covet one. Can't wait to see what you make with it!

    I'm really sorry to hear about the breakup. But spring is coming! New weather! New projects! (and new serger :)

  7. Sorry about your troubles. - the boy and the procedure. Hope you are better now. Keep me posted about the Cerira as i too purchased that pattern but haven't bought any yarn for it yet.

  8. Glad you're back! And that things are looking up. I don't have any advice about sergers, except to agree that you'll definitely get a lot of use out of one, so it's worth the money. (I don't have one. I want one.)

    And yep, embroidery is possibly the most relaxing activity ever.

  9. Good to have you back :)
    Love the things you are making.

  10. Just found you, great reading, keep posting, love all your creations!

  11. Love the embroidery. Your creativity inspires me!


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