Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Brea Bag

Today when I was in the grocery store I picked up some of that Arm & Hammer carpet deodorizer, the stuff you sprinkle on and vacuum up. I sprinkled it around in my living room (where the carpet is surely older than I am! yay Rental carpets!) and was instantly overpowered by the scent. I was completely unprepared for how overwhelming it is in the time between sprinkling it on and vacuuming it up! Then when I went to vacuum it up i got halfway done the living room when the vacuum started to make a funny noise and there was a whiff of rubber smoke, which really added to the overall scent I had going. So I unplugged the vacuum and turned it over to find a whole wig's worth of hair clogging up the roller bar. (Sorry, you weren't eating were you?) So I finally got the vacuum fixed and got it all vacuumed up but now I forgot what I was going to tell you. I'm sure I had a really funny story or something but... gone.

So I'll just show you my Brea Bag instead.

Brea Bag

Pattern: Brea Bag (free pattern link)
Yarn: Mystery chunky weight yarn bought in a mill ends bag years ago.
Mods: Knit with size 8 needles; subbed chunky weight for 2 strands worsted weight

Brea Bag 1

I knit a little flap and used a magnetic snap for a closure instead of a button and loop.

Brea Bag inside

Lined with some random cotton from stash. I sewed a patch pocket on the lining for my cell phone.

Brea Bag strap

I cut 1/4 inch strips from the leftovers of my leather bag project and braided a 5 strand braid for the strap. I folded a rectangle of the same leather around a metal ring and sewed that over each braid end. Then I hand stitched the strap loops on the purse itself and voila!

The only thing I'm not 100% happy with is that the strap is about 4" longer than it needed to be. It's in that awkward length where it's not a long strap but it's not short enough to really just tuck under your arm either. Oh well. In all, I'm really happy with it.

Monday, December 28, 2009


First off: (belated) Merry Christmas! (also belated: Happy Hanukkah! or any other winter celebration I may be forgetting) I hope you all had a great Holiday time however you celebrated.

Mountain view in Jasper

The Boy decided I needed to get away from here with it being my first Christmas without Mom and took me to Jasper for Christmas. It was so beautiful there and a really nice get away. It didn't feel like Christmas, but it felt Christmasy, if that makes any sense. We had a very fahncy (read: small portions/confusing construction) Christmas Eve dinner at one of the restaurants at Jasper Park Lodge and then a less fahncy (but larger portioned/better tasting if I'm being honest) Christmas dinner at our hotel on Christmas day but no real turkey/mashed potatoes/gravy/fixings dinner. I think that's what makes it feel like Christmas for me. That and the million (well, 9) nieces & nephews opening gifts and playing. And the baking. And the leftovers. mmmm leftovers.

Athabasca Falls
Athabasca Falls

We drove around, did a bit of wandering in the shops and just were lazy most of the time. Christmas Eve day we rented slip-on crampons (just mini-ones not the big ice climbing ones) and did the Maligne Canyon Ice Walk which was so amazing. I was very grateful for the crampons. The Dog wasn't as impressed with the ice as we were. He was so relieved to get back on snow that he rolled around for about 5 minutes once we left the ice.

Maligne Canyon
Maligne Canyon Ice Walk

Maligne Canyon - riverbed
Maligne Canyon Riverbed

I even got to visit a great yarn/quilting store in Jasper: Stychen Tyme. I saw it listed in an information book we picked up and jokingly told the Boy about it. Next thing I knew we were looking for it (his suggestion!). I bought yarn for a toque for him (his ulterior motive probably). (I'll show you that another day soon).

In all it was a really nice, relaxing time. I miss seeing my family but it didn't feel like Christmas so it wasn't really that sad for me which was kind of a relief. I'm planning to do a turkey dinner this coming weekend just to get my fix. I'm mostly looking forward to the leftovers.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Selfish Knitting for the Holidays

Inspired by Marie I have cast on and completed the first side of a Brea Bag (pattern link).

Brea Bag side 1

This is like (almost) instant cable gratification. I'm using a chunky/bulky weight mystery yarn I got in a mill ends bag at Walmart years ago. I love how the cables and moss stitch are popping in it.

Knitting feels really really really good after all that crochet!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Breathing a little easier...

Thanks for all the encouragement! I was really glad that I had the forethought to wash the blankets beforehand. I would have been even more upset if this had happened after they had gotten home!


I'm done repairing the squares with pink centers and the rest of the squares seem secure, but I'm a little hesitant about them. I'll send a repair kit with leftovers of the yarn and a needle with my sister in law, just in case.

I have a few other gifts to make but I won't see those friends until after Christmas, so I'm breathing a little easier right now. I plan to work on projects for me this next week. That's my Christmas gift to me. Knitting time.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The sound of one heart breaking...

I finished the third afghan last night. This evening I threw all three in the wash to soften them up a bit. When I pulled them out of the dryer I was happy with how soft and cozy they are.

And then I saw this:
Heart break

and my heart nearly stopped.

I used the "magic circle" method of starting each square. It held really well for all of the squares except the ones that were started with the pink yarn. It's shiny and slippery and ... all 40 squares that were started with this yarn have come apart at the center. I have started repairing them by running a piece of yarn through with a blunt needle and knotting it really tightly but it's taking a long time. I have repaired 8 or 9 of them in the last hour...

I see my niece and nephews tomorrow.

I might not see them again before Christmas.

This is the only present I have for my niece.

I have to be at work tomorrow.

I want to cry a little.. :(

I'm exhausted and going to bed now and will just have to find the time to fix it and get it to her before they leave the city on Sunday.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Looking ahead

The end of afghan #2 is in sight. I need to focus on afghan #3 for Logan... but...

I'm really really really looking forward to doing something else. I just read a blog post by Kate Davis of needled about cables and history. It got me itching to knit something cabled and woolen. It got me thinking about all of the awesome yarn my friend brought me from Ireland...

So, dear reader friends, any suggestions? I have 600 grams (i think, if I recall correctly) each of a light grey and a dark grey. I don't think I'd have enough to do an entirely cabled sweater or cardigan but I would love something with some cables. I'm open to suggestions. I'm leaning towards a cardigan just because I would get more use out of one what with overheated offices etc.

For now, I'll keep plugging away on the afghans but looking ahead to that wool...

Monday, December 07, 2009

Oh! Hi There!

So... how are you?

christmas tree and snow

We had a blizzard this past Friday. A real, honest to goodness, blustery blowing wind blizzard. It was awesome. And a bit scary. There are meter deep banks on streets all over the place. Some of the communities on the edge of the city have so much hard packed snow on the street that buses are snowed in and can't move. Following the blizzard our temperatures dropped so now it's wool season. Whee!

I've been working on afghans for my nephews & niece in Houston. I made afghans for the other nieces & nephews for Christmas 5 years ago so I figured the newer ones needed afghans too. I don't often crochet but I've been on a crochet kick the past few weeks while working on these blankets.

First up: If you knew my nephew Nicholas, you would not be surprised by my choice here.

Spidey blanket

If you ever want to hear a really in depth analysis of Spiderman, taking into account aspects of Black Spiderman (Venom?) and all the ramifications of the changes in Spiderman, good vs. evil, ask my 4 year old nephew about Spiderman. Or just wait 5 minutes and something that is happening around him will bring Spiderman to his mind and he'll talk about it. We were joking that he can bring any topic back to Spiderman. I said that when he's defending his Doctoral dissertation he'll end up working Spiderman in there somehow.

(and if you think i used the word "Spiderman" too many times just now, that's a small small example of what it's like to talk to Nicholas)

Pattern: Superhero Dreamcatcher Afghan by AngelCrafts. Nice, simple pattern that works into a really interesting afghan.
Yarn: Loops & Threads Impeccable from Michaels (a nice, fairly inexpensive acrylic)
Mods: I left off the last band of blue as it was already 5' in diameter. And I wanted to die. I think I figured that I had over 600 stitches per round at the point where I stopped.

For my niece, Kaylee, I'm working on a granny square afghan in what I hope are sufficiently girly colors. She's a bit of a princess... haha

granny squares

Pattern for the square: Summer Garden Granny Square from Attic24
Yarns: Purple: Bernat Berella "4"; Pink: Red Heart Soft Touch; Green & White are both Loops & Threads Impeccable.

My plan is for 121 squares to be laid out in an "Around the World" type pattern. I'm about 2/3 done. Woo.

I need to get working on an afghan for my other nephew (the boys are twins), Logan who is a BIG fan of Disney's Cars... I see charted picture crochet in my future and I'm a little scared of it.

I got a bit sidetracked by these on the weekend while it was snowing for real:


I've since made 6 more and hung them by threads in the hallway window in my office at work. (what's that you say? Did you just cough-speak "dork" at me? really? hmm).

Pattern: White Hooky Snowflakes also from Attic24.
Yarn: um... some acrylic I found lying around here.
I stretched them slightly and pinned them, then sprayed with spray starch. I then removed the pins and covered them with a cloth before pressing with a warm (not hot) iron to give them some shape and make them a bit stiff. It worked really well.

I need to get back to Kaylee's afghan. Surprisingly it's not crocheting itself!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Leather Purse


This past summer I got it in my head (as I tend to do) to try to make a purse out of a thrifted leather jacket. I didn't ever do anything about it (find a thrifted jacket for starters...) but the idea kept popping into my head. A few weeks ago I stumbled across Philigry's tutorial and I knew what I would be doing that weekend.

Value Village had a lot of leather jackets and coats but the prices were really high for a lot of them ($50 for a jacket at Value Village?). I was looking for a great battered brown jacket but couldn't find what I wanted for under $40. I ended up getting a beautifully soft black leather jacket with no shaping which would provide me with a lot of leather for $15.


Using Philigry's tutorial as my guide I cut my jacket (cut the lining out) and used the front pockets as exterior pockets for my bag. I made a very basic tote style bag. I cut handles and sewed them with raw edges exposed and attached them with rectangular metal rings. I lined the bag with some cotton from stash and included basic patch pockets in the inside.

Recycled leather bag inside

In this picture you can see the rivets I tried to use for the straps. I could not get them to work properly. Well, they work in that they hold and I can't get them off but they wouldn't go on straight and really don't look very good. (in the pictures they look okay but up close they're really bashed in) I'm calling this an experiment (if anyone were to ask).

I used a leather needle that I bought at Fabricland and had no problems with sewing the bag on my mom's machine. The only issues I had were with the leather sticking to my sewing machine a bit. I have an idea for a cheap/easy fix for that which I'll try out with some of the leftover scraps.

Next up: a wallet with some of the scraps. And then the search for a brown leather jacket... :)

Monday, November 09, 2009

How do you solve a problem like...

my Deep V Argyle Vest?


As I was knitting it I kept thinking that I should have done more arm decreases than called for. I didn't. Why? Why didn't I? The vest looks very line-backer-y in the shoulders and gapes at the underarm. Also, I needed to block it more aggressively. I think if the lower body is a bit more roomy it'll sit better at the arms.


Sigh. I haven't had this much disappointment in a project i was really excited about for a long time. I'm steam blocking it to see if it makes any difference. I'm thinking I should undo a few rounds of the arm bands and maybe decrease a bit before binding off.

Any thoughts? Advice? For now this is my feeling about it:


On the plus side I was super happy with the steeking. I was nervous about it but it went really well.


And, after a really deep breath and some hesitation...


No matter how much I know that it's okay cutting my knitting will NEVER feel right...

Saturday, October 31, 2009



I've been back from my trip to Houston for 5 days now and I feel like it was weeks ago that I was there. I love my family and was so excited to spend time with them. The kids are hilarious always and there was never a dull moment.

Now I'm back here and fighting to get over my souvenir from the trip: One of my nephews came down with some sort of flu on our second day there and he generously shared with us. Fever? Check. Cough that rips your lungs out? Check. Runny nose? Check. Fatigue, loss of appetite, aching all over? Check Check Check. Whee. Having to take half a sick day on your first day back from vacation is really awesome.

This morning I'm sitting in bed with my computer, knitting and coffee and just taking it easy. I need to start finishing some stuff around here (start finishing? excellent grammar lady). So, this weekend my goal is to work on just one (or two in the case of this morning) projects: My deep V argyle vest that I started a month ago (or more... I don't think I wrote down when I started) and for my bed knitting this morning: the second Not-cranberry biscotti sock. I'm recording these here in an attempt to hold me accountable somewhat. Let's see how that works out for me...

Now I need to get up and get some bread started. (Getting the bread started is a desire not a need but in order to do it I need to get up... oy enough with the over explaining.)

I have to say though, I wish I were here:
Chasing gulls

These pics are from my favorite day in Houston when we went to Galveston. I don't know what it is about beaches but it's like my entire body relaxes when I get to a beach. The sand, the water, I don't know what it is but my ideal vacation will always involve a beach.

It was really windy that day and the beach was pretty much deserted, since it was mid-October I guess. For us Canadians it was summer temperatures (around 27 Celsius! woo!) and we had a blast playing in the waves. Well, until two of us got stung by jellyfish. You'll be shocked to hear that one of them was me. Yes, accident prone me got stung by a jellyfish on vacation. Unprecedented.

(Also, I may or may not have bashed my upper lip somehow in the pool and had a swollen, scraped lip for several days).

In all, I managed to get a tan due to all the time spent in the pool/at the beach (yay! tan in October!!) and I had a ton of time with my family and got to see some of Houston and area. In all a very successful vacation.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Mustachioed Women

You know how sometimes when you're at work you start drifting and the next thing you know you're discussing the merits of a felt mustache and beard with your coworker? No? Hmm.

A few weeks ago I saw a felt mustache/beard on Craftzine Blog and showed it to my office-mate, Wen Shu. We thought they looked fun and decided to make some to wear at work for Halloween. I ended up making mustaches only but the idea was definitely inspired by the ones on Craft.

Serious People at Work
(Why, Hello double chin, nice to see you)

We felt silly of course but had a great time wearing them, pretending to be terribly stuffy important businessmen

Serious mustache means serious business
(how cute is Wen Shu? Seriously)

or trying to twirl the ends like a villain.

Trying for an evil mustache twirl

One of the guys came in and once he had stopped laughing called me Lanny McDonald which was so fitting we couldn't think of anything else...

If you too would like a really quick disguise or have always wanted to look like Lanny (or an old timey villain) here's how I made them:

Lanny McDonaldOld Timey Mustache
1 piece of craft felt 9" x 12"
20" ribbon or yarn for ear loops
thread to match felt
Mustache template: mustaches
(click on the pic and then download the large 1024x873 size to print)

Choose a mustache and cut 2 from your felt. Cut your ribbon or yarn in half so you have two 10" lengths. Fold each in half and place on the bottom piece of your mustache. Cover with the top mustache piece and pin together. Hand sew or machine sew the 2 pieces together being careful to secure the ear loops but not to get them caught. Wear with pride.

Please don't make these to sell, but feel free to make them for yourself or your friends, random strangers on the bus or coworkers. Or anyone else who needs one. Just don't sell them or the template.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


hearseespeak no evil

This time Saturday evening I'll be in Houston on my first real vacation in a really long time. My brother and his family moved to Houston this spring and I'm so excited to go visit them. I miss my nephews & niece (and my brother & sister-in-law of course) and I'm really looking forward to going to visit and relax.

Now, those of you with kids are probably thinking "Relax? Who are you kidding? 2 four year olds & a two and a half year old? Relax??" but right now it sounds very relaxing to me. I won't need to be on a computer 8 hours a day and I won't need to answer calls from angry or cranky or just unreasonable people. I won't need to solve problems or investigate issues. All I need to do is play and swim and hang out. I can't wait. I love those little monkeys.

Speaking of monkeys, I made these for the monkeys I'm going to visit.


I used a few different tutorials I found online and I love how they turned out. I'm still thinking about whether they need clothing or accessories. I'm thinking about superhero capes for the boys and a skirt for the girl. I'll see how much time I have tomorrow.

I love these faces.

monkeys! close up

I'm really excited about our trip. If anyone is from Houston or knows any really fun things we might want to see while we're there I'd love some suggestions. For now I have to think about packing. First things first: knitting. I can knit on the plane right? I haven't flown internationally since 2002... Maybe step one should be the FAA rules...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Short Sleeved Wrap Cardigan

Happy Thanksgiving! I made a Thanksgiving dinner for the Boy and me yesterday, which I've never done by myself before. I roasted a turkey breast rather than attempting an actual turkey, dressing made in the crockpot, mashed potatoes, gravy & pumpkin pie. So good but not quite the same. I don't know if I'll ever be able to master my Mom's turkey dinner. I thought of her often as I was getting stuff ready for the dinner.

Moving on...

As I mentioned a few weeks ago I finished the main knitting on my Wrap Cardigan and had started the collar. I ended up needing to order an extra skein to finish the collar. The color is a match but it ended up just slightly darker/more saturated than what I had knit the rest of the sweater with. It's not very noticeable so I'm calling it good.

ariosa wrap cardi

ariosa wrap cardi back

I really like it. It's a perfect layering piece for the office. I had planned to include button holes when knitting the collar but in the end I decided not to. It's quite wearable the way it is but I do wish I had included them for the option.

Pattern: Ariosa Wrap Cardigan (free pattern available from Classic Elite Yarns)
Yarn: Custom Woolen Mills Mule Spinner 2-Ply. I ended up using about 3 1/2 skeins (around 800 yards).
Mods: The pattern is written for a chunky yarn but I wanted to use this worsted weight yarn. I knit a size larger than what I needed (in order to avoid having to do math) which worked out perfect.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Oh what a gift!

My very good friend Julie went to Ireland in August. Now, being slightly fiber obsessed, my first thought was "Oh! Wool!" I didn't say anything about Irish wool, because I thought that was a bit of a big imposition. Fast forward to her trip. I was supposed to water her plants and check on her place. It turned out that the key I had for her place was old (she had changed the locks last year and I didn't realize it and we didn't think to check. d'oh). So I wasn't able to take care of her house for her. Imagine my chagrin then when she arrived home and told me she had something for me (after taking in stride the news that I hadn't been able to take care of her amazing plants).

Imagine my SHEER JOY when a couple of weeks after she returned home she presented me with this:
gift from julie

There are 600 grams each of a dark grey and a light grey Aran weight Jacob. It's wonderfully wooly and so gorgeous. I need to find something to make with it. I don't know the yardage, but I have a feeling there's more than enough for a sweater.

Any suggestions?

(I have FOs to show-gasp-but I'll post those over the next few days. I have a splitting headache and the computer isn't helping.)
(Why the headache you didn't ask? I know a lot of people call themselves clumsy. Not to be a one-upper, but I think I'm the queen of clutz. I tripped over something in my apartment Sunday night in the dark and fell, bruising my hip and landing on my head (I didn't have time to brace myself or anything). I actually "saw stars" (a flash of light). It was one of my finer moments. So for the last 2 days I've been trying to take it easy and not feel too much like an idiot. )

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

So close! (Also: New Sock!)

I've been working on the Ariosa Wrap Cardi (free from Classic Elite yarns web letter available here) and I knew I would be cutting it close with my yarn. I'm using a worsted weight (did my patented lazy easy resizing method of just casting on the size larger to make up for the difference in gauge. It works!) yarn from Custom Woolen MIlls here in Alberta.


I knit the sleeves yesterday while semi-lying in bed and because I'm lazy I'm impatient I wasn't sure how long I would have water due to a posted warning about a water outage, I did a steam block. I sewed it together (it fits! woo!) and started on the collar. I was hoping I could squeak by with the amount of yarn I had left but no... I'm about half way done the collar.

So today (while on my way home to spend the afternoon on the couch due to the ongoing battle with whatever this is that's making me sick) I stopped by Gina Brown's, hoping they might have a skein. They didn't but Diana (the owner) took down the color information and said she'd see if she could get me a skein with her next order. I love that store!

And, because I was there and it's completely impossible to NOT buy yarn when one goes into a yarn store (in spite of all promises to myself) I picked up 3 skeins of sock yarn to start the Cranberry Biscotti socks. I'm not knitting them in cranberry-ish colors but I think that's okay. (A "shout out" (I'm way too white and old to use that. sorry) to Marie-Jolie from Permission to Unwind for pointing out this awesome pattern!)


The colors aren't quite true in that picture. I need to learn how to adjust my camera better.

Oh! Funny story! While I was in Gina Brown's waiting for a customer to finish up at the counter, a man in a dress shirt and tie burst into the store. While that sounds very dramatic and like an exaggeration, it really is what he did. Everyone in the store turned to look at him, as he planted his feet and said, rather loudly, "I need help! Can someone help me?" We all were frozen. I was wondering what sort of emergency he was having. He didn't seem panicked, but he was rather urgent and insistent. I thought maybe he had locked his keys in his car or something.

"I need sock yarn." We all just blinked at him. He pushed in front of me to the counter as the woman ahead of me in line finished and told Diana he needed help. "I need yarn. For Socks. Any kind. Just, for socks." An employee came and led him away trying to determine what exactly he needed and I heard him saying it was for his mother. Lucky her. But oh how funny for the rest of us.

Diana looked at me with a "did that just happen" expression and said "That was... like if one of us were to go barging into a tire store and just shouted that we needed a tire!"

Completely made my day. Well, that and the new sock-in-progress. And the nap. I need to get rid of this ever-present headache and sinus pain and stomach ache. ugh. Back to the couch for me.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

New Socks! New Scarf/Shawl! Hooray!

I managed to remain upright long enough on Thursday evening to finish the toe on my sock (whew) so I finally have them complete.


Pattern: I used the pattern for Padded Footlets from Interweave Knits Summer 2005 but made them regular socks (skipped the padded part)
Yarn: Knit Picks Essential Kettle Dyed. I LOVE this yarn. I bought a sampler sometime last year and I love love love this yarn.



A couple of weekends ago I finished a shawl I had been knitting. I plan to use it as a scarf this winter. I like the idea of wearing the point in front and wrapping the ends around. It seems like it would provide good coverage for the opening in my jacket. Don't know why I didn't think of this before!



Pattern: LaLa's Simple shawl (Ravelry link with free download here)
Yarn: Arucania Ranco Multy. I picked this yarn up over a year ago intending to make socks but I loved the colors so much I didn't want to make something that would hide in shoes. I tried a kajillion (i'm awesome at math) different patterns/ideas before settling on this shawl. It really was simple to complete and I love the finished project.


Size: Blocked to 25" from center to point and 65" tip to tip. Before blocking it was a bit firm and not really something I wanted next to my neck. I was a little worried that I had made a mistake with this one but it blocked out nice and drapey and just wooly enough to feel substantial without feeling bulky.



I don't know what this flu or whatever I have is but it's making me feel wiped out. It hasn't turned into a full-on cold but my sinuses are affected and my throat. I couldn't take any time off last week because my coworker (the only other person who could cover for me) was on vacation. I spent the majority of the weekend on my couch, about half of that time lying down wishing I could just pass out for a while. Not good. I wish it would just go away or turn into a respectable cold/flu. This half-assed make you feel like crap but don't actually appear sick thing is soooo annoying. Plus we had summer weather this weekend and I couldn't enjoy it at all. (/whine)


In spite of the summer weather I'm really feeling like fall is here. My internal season clock switched and now it's all wool all the time. I'm working on a short sleeved cardigan (pics to come soon) that I hope will work for layering in the office, a cardigan in a great loden green wool I've had forever, and a stranded wool jacket/cardigan. We'll see how closely I can stick to my plans*.

*note: stated plans do not take into account socks in progress or other various projects strewn about in various states of completion.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Just finish already!

Today i decided that i need to finish some of the knit projects that are half done before i do anything else. I get bored and leave them and start something new, which is probably not shocking or news to most of the crafting world. I'm not feeling any of my current projects so I figure I need to force myself to finish something, anything to kick start my desire to do the rest of them.

I went home for lunch today and on the way decided I would start with a pair of socks that I had started in March and had never finished. I knew i had gotten the leg of the 2nd sock done and then just left it. I looked for the socks.

Nameless Socks

I'm not just done the leg of the 2nd sock... I'm about 6 rounds away from starting the toe! Why I didn't finish the 2nd sock I will never know...

So tonight I'm finishing the 2nd sock. I'm hanging out on the couch, watching football, trying to maintain my denial that I'm coming down with a flu (hopefully not THE FLU haha) I'm just about to start the toe so I will be able to cross these off the mental list tonight. Yay!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

3 Tiered Skirt

I've been working on another post but just can't seem to get it going in the right direction. In the meantime I realized I hadn't ever posted about this skirt. I made this a few weekends ago by consulting numerous tutorials online (which I didn't seem to bookmark. I found them by googling "3 tiered skirt tutorial")

I bought this fabric at Fabricland a few months ago. The fabric is a lightweight cotton and it had this great embroidered edge all along one side, I was intending to make a dress or something but couldn't ever settle on an idea. A few weekends ago I saw a girl in a cute 3 tiered skirt and remembered that I had wanted to make one. 4 hours later:

3 Tiered Skirt

It's a little more cutesy than I usually would wear but I really do like it. I wore it today since it was 29C/84F and my office is generally about seventyhundred degrees if it's sunny. There's lots more that I've been doing. I just need to get back in the habit of documenting it.

Moving on: Craft Therapy.

I think I've written before about crafting as a therapeutic measure. When I feel really overwhelmed or stressed focusing on a task that I know I can do or that challenges me seems to give my brain a break and I come away from it feeling refreshed. I know this is not an earth shattering discovery, but I've been thinking about this idea a lot lately.

The weekend clearing out my mom's house was very difficult, as you can imagine. My brother and his wife had pre-sorted a lot of the items so it was just a matter of going through, picking out things to save and deciding what could go to the Salvation Army or what was trash. Being a sentimental pack rat I didn't want to let go of a lot of it. I had given The Boy one task before we went: if he saw me getting bogged down sorting through something he was to get me back on task or make me move on to something else. He did his job well and we got everything done in a day and a half. To say we were exhausted would be extreme understatement.

When I got back to Calgary I was wrung out. I couldn't focus and didn't know what to do. I kept crying and felt unable to process anything. I decided to set up Mom's sewing machine that I brought back with me and play with it.

Using Mom's Singer, which is nearly as old as I am, brought back a flood of happy memories and made me feel so connected to her. I was worried that I would feel maudlin or uncomfortable having her things in my house but I'm so pleased that instead I just feel this happy connection to my Mom and all of my memories of her.

Futura II 2

I took her for a test drive last week and made myself a new wallet. I'm not 100% happy with how it turned out (it's a touch too wide and I want a different kind of closure...) but I'm happy that the machine, with its quirks, works.

Wallet 2

I used a piece of the strip patchwork I made for the potholders i made a while ago.

Wallet 3

I used a tutorial (which I can't find at the moment) for the card section and I added another layer for bills.

Wallet 4

This long weekend I started a quilt top using some of my mom's shirts. I won't have enough for a whole top. I plan to use solid cotton squares to make up the rest.

9 patch blocks

This, too, has been therapeutic, and I'm looking forward to the comfort of a quilt so infused with memories of my Mom. I think she'd approve.