Monday, October 16, 2017

A NICE BREAK!

I haven't knit anything in awhile.  The last thing I needed to do right now is start yet another project, but somehow I found myself looking for a pr of size 9 needles on Saturday afternoon to start the hat pattern that I posted here on Friday.

I had been busy appliqueing my vintage camper mug rugs all morning and my intentions were to keep at it until I had finished the pile that needed to be done, but my mind was on the hat pattern.   I went downstairs to get a cup of coffee, and didn't make it back upstairs to my mug rugs for the rest of the day.

Instead I knit a hat.  It is one of the easiest hat patterns I have ever made, and now that I see it done - one of the nicest when done.  For the moment the flowers are just pinned on - I like both, so I might just have to knit another hat!





I used some of my leftover stash yarn.  This was just Bernat Supervalue worsted weight acrylic yarn.  I used 5.5 mm straight needles.

Here is the Hat pattern for you.  I am adding some simple instructions in case this is your first time making a hat.

Adult knit hat.
Cast on 70 sts.
Beginning with a Purl row, knit 4" in stocking stitch, ending with a purl row... this is your brim.

Continue knitting stocking stitch  for 26 more rows.

Next Row begins Decrease for top.

Decrease Row 1:     * knit 3, knit 2 together; repeat from * across.
Purl next row
Decrease Row 2:   *knit 2, knit 2 together; repeat from * across.
Purl next row
Decrease Row 3 :     *knit 1, knit 2 together; repeat from * across.
Purl next row.
Decrease Row 4:    *Knit 2 together; repeat from * across.

Bind off, leaving a long tail.

With right sides together sew together along the top and down the sides until you reach 4" from the bottom of the brim.  Turn hat right side out, and starting at the bottom sew the bottom 4" closed. ( you won't see the brim seam)
 Roll brim up over the hat, and add flower if you so desire.

This is a nice warm winter hat, anyone would be happy to wear.  Make a few and gift them for Christmas.

I am going to work up a pattern for a child size one of these as well, will share it when I get it done.

Now back to my vintage campers!

Happy Knitting!








Friday, October 13, 2017

A BIG HAIR DAY!

I told you the story yesterday about the sweet elderly woman I ran into at the recycle store, and I also told you I was there to drop off some things myself.

What I didn't tell you, was that when the little elderly lady first walked into the store, she caught me bent over  and rooting through a very large box of old patterns and magazines.

Like bees to honey, I had zoned into that box like it was Christmas.  Most of the Magazines were McCall's Needlework and Crafts from the 1980's, but there also was a few old knitting pattern books.

I have a large collection of old knitting books from the 30's 40's 50's 60's... and beyond.  But I didn't have the one I put aside on the floor to take home.

So call me crazy, but I love these old magazines.  You just never know what you will find.

Like for instance:

Hats and Scarves by Beehive.  No publication date on it - most of the old books don't have one, and neither did this one.

But if any of you are wishing for patterns for any of these intriguing hats - I now have them, and would be happy to share!

 


30's or 40's for sure... and aren't they, well stylish?

I have a lot of old McCall's magazines, so I didn't cart home too many, but the ones I did take home are packed with some neat stuff.

The first thing that hit me when I opened them was Big Hair.  Remember the 80's and the big hair?  Oh how I loved big hair... and on some subconscious level, I must admit, I still do.

Take a look at how we wore our hair back then...

 


I actually think I had every one of these styles... my favourite would have been the first one, for sure.  I wore that particular style for many years, thanks to grey rods and frequent perms.  A perm was only 35.00 back in the 80's.


Some things about the 80's

Geese were in - in particular, geese with blue ribbons around their necks!

One of the major crafting pastimes of the 80's was soft cloth doll making... hmmm...

There was something that looked suspiciously like mug rugs  - but they called them quilted pot holders...

Doilies were still being made - and used!



I sifted through the patterns and found a couple that would be worn even today...


 

The patterns are in the magazines, if you are interested, let me know...

I did find a winter hat that I really liked.  I love the shape of it, and I think I have some yarn in my stash to make one.   Winter is just around the corner for us - and it just might come in handy.  I am just going to make mine in a single colour, however.


Here's the pattern in case you want to try one for yourself.  Needles listed were size 7 and 9. (US)


Hope you enjoyed the 80's remembrance, it's always good to go back once in awhile, is it not?

Have Great Weekend everyone - please stay safe!








Thursday, October 12, 2017

WHEN PATHS CROSS.

Yesterday we took a bunch of things to the recycle store here in town.  As you know, I love to stop in there and see what's new from time to time.  But this time I was there to drop things off.

While I was there, an elderly woman walked in the door and asked if I worked there.  I told her that no one worked here really, there were volunteers who came in once a week to organize and clean through things, but the rest of the time the shop was just left open for anyone who wanted to bring or take items.  She told me she was from another town, but remembered that our town had a recycle place where anyone could drop off used items.

She told me she had lots of stuff to bring in from her car, and her voice sort of had a catch to it, when she said that.  I asked her if she would like me to help her, and she immediately brightened and said yes.

She wasn't kidding, she had many heavy large black garbage bags, two suitcases and two large duffle bags full of stuff.  As we unloaded her car, she told me that the bags and cases were full of her sister's clothes.  Her sister had passed away and she was left to clear out her home.

There is a very large table at the back of the store where most people put new items, so I opened the first case and started piling things on the table.  She told me she had washed and folded everything, so I made neat piles, and carefully stacked the almost new clothes on the table.  The items were so many that we soon ran out of room on the table.  There were tops, sweaters, pants, hoodies, jackets, socks, shoes, purses, bags, hats, even stockings still in packages.  I asked her if she wanted to take the suitcases and carry-on bags back with her, and she said no  - they too had belonged to her sister.

As we unpacked the clothes, she would stop, and say how she remembered her sister wearing an item.  The first one she held up was a pretty blouse, size 14.  Then a sweater, size 12.  Then a jacket, size small, and last a size 10 jean jacket brand new.  Tears came to the woman's eyes as she then reached for a soft wooly zippered sweater which was very tiny.  "She wore this a lot at the end, because she was always so cold,"  and then she burst in tears.

She had just told me the story of her sister, without saying the words.

So I told her one back.

There is a family who regularly comes to the recycle store - a mother, and three children ages approx 6-14  The mother gathers up items of clothing, then sits on the floor and examines every piece she has selected.  She neatly folds the items and makes piles. I have seen her and her children in the recycle store many many times over the summer months.   One day when I was in there, she was doing this.  She told me, she only takes things she thinks will fit herself or her children, so she sorts the piles out by size first.  I told her that was a good thing, and then she said, " and I bring back anything that doesn't fit, or I pass it along to someone else who can use it."

I told the elderly woman that I was very sure her sister's belongings would go to someone who needed them very much, and then I told her about the other woman and her young family.

She smiled, and thanked me for being so helpful, and so kind to her.

I said goodbye, wished her a good day and left the store.  As I drove away, I thought about her last words to me.  In my mind, I had done nothing special at all.  Surely anyone would have offered to help an elderly lady remove heavy bags from her car, carry them up a couple of steps and deposit them on a table.  I would certainly hope so anyway.

In the end, I was glad I had the chance to be the one to meet and help her.  I think she just needed someone to tell her that it was okay to say goodbye to her sister in yet another way - and she needed the reassurance that her sister's possessions would make someone else as happy as they had her Dear loved one, now gone.

She will never know that she touched me, as much as she said I did her - but she did.  I'm thankful God directed our paths to cross...






Wednesday, October 11, 2017

KEEP TRYING TILL YOU GET IT RIGHT!

I am such a fuss fart when it comes to making things.  If something I make isn't done right, or doesn't look right, I tear it apart and redo it - or I throw it out.  I can't tell you how many things I have chucked over the years because I just plain wasn't happy with it.

I was taught to be fussy, and to do it right, or don't do it at all.  Give it your all, or go home!

Harsh advice?  Not if you intend to sell your items or give them as a gift.  If you are a child, or you have a handicap that prevents you in some way of perfecting something - then fine; but if you are capable of doing better - then do better.

I spend hours on my projects... probably more hours than I should.  In actual fact I am most likely working for pennies an hour - but that's not why I craft.  I craft to make nice things, to use my skills, to make other's happy by sharing or gifting my talents.  Mostly I do it because I love to craft.  I love to create something from not much, I love to use my brain, my eyes and my hands creating something useful, or not useful; something cute, something pretty...

Last week I tried out a new pattern for a little soft-bodied angel.  My first mistake was using a very soft velour-like fabric to make the body, legs and hands.  The material was miserable to sew, it wandered all over as I sewed it, - not fun when one is sewing tiny pieces with curves.   After several hours of choice words and lots of seam ripping, I finally had completed one!  Yeah?

No Yeah!  It wasn't right.  I hated the puckery wings, the face looked stupid... definitely not a Yeah.  I gave up went to bed, and tossed and turned, my mind completely engaged on how to make the angel better.  I heard the clock strike 1, then 2, then 3...

By the time I had figured it out, morning had arrived, and so I headed back upstairs to make the changes.

Perfect... I was so pleased, so I quickly cut the second one and finished it in less than an hour, and it too was perfect.

Here's the before and after of the first angel... see what a night without sleep can do?

BEFORE:
What was wrong?   The wings looked like fingers, and the face and hair didn't seem right.


AFTER:
I threw away the first set of wings and
made a new pair with a different
material entirely.  I added more hair and I moved
her hand down to cover the mouth (like a polite yarn) and not the nose.





Why make one, when you can have two...

I named them Joe and Erna, after my parents!



As you can see, being fussy made all the difference in my angels.

I am satisfied with them now, and can sell them knowing they are the best they can be.

In the end it's very simple.

If you made it and don't like it - chances are no one else will either!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

GROWING OLDER

Long weekends don't have the same attraction as they used to.  When I was working full time, they were the most cherished weekends, but now, there is nothing exciting about them at all.  In fact weekends themselves have less meaning than they used to.  To retired folks, the weekend is just like any other days of the week. 

This past Thanksgiving weekend felt just the same as any other to us.  Other than make a larger meal than I usually do, it passed just as most weekends do.  We did have some family come to help us eat the turkey dinner and spend a nice evening with us - and certainly that was the high point of the weekend, but the rest of the weekend passed by just as the rest do.

Life certainly is a process of stages, and I suppose events in our lives happen the way they are meant to happen.  But in every stage of our lives, there are changes and we have to make those changes whether we want to or not.

Growing older is not an option, it happens to us all.  It is a stage that sneaks up on us when we are busy living our lives to the fullest.  If we are lucky, it can be a wonderful change, but it's not always and easy one.

When you become the oldest generation in your family, things happen in reverse.  You become the visited, not the visitor.  It takes very little to be "out of the loop".  Is that because others think because you are older and retired you no longer care about life?  Or maybe they think you no longer really have a life?

It seems that when you no longer have a "job" you no longer have an identity.  You are only leading a productive life when you are employed.

Have we always thought these things?  Maybe we have.

It's a misguided notion to believe that because someone has retired from the working world, that they are no longer productive or involved in life.  In many ways people who have quit working for an employer become more productive in their own personal lives.  instead of working for someone else - they work for themselves - and successfully too.

Some retired people take the knowledge they gained in the working world and use it to make something wonderful happen in their retired life.

The Patronizing words "We are so busy", that so many people use, don't only apply to the working world...

In fact, I can say very truthfully, that both Gary and I are busier people in retirement than we ever were when we were working.  We are involved in our community more, we are out more, we socialize more, and we are more physically active...  I guess you could say "We are so busy"!

And we are retired...

Friday, October 6, 2017

I AM THANKFUL!

While I was making cabbage rolls yesterday morning, Gary was busy cutting the grass, and generally cleaning up the yard.  I would glance out my kitchen window and wish I were outside with him, working maybe one last time in the yard before winter falls.  That was my thought - but my vision was constantly drawn to my little "shed garden".  Remember the shed fiasco of last spring?  I made a little flower bed to go around the shed, but then when the shed was moved again, I just made the garden a little larger and connected the two sides with a middle.

Last year I plopped all kinds of things in that flower bed, mostly perennials.  And then last fall I planted the Canada 150 tulips.

The flowerbed has the worst soil - I have added nothing to it since I dug it out of the grass.  This spring it started with the most gorgeous tulips, then summer arrived, and even through the drought it gave me sweet peas, cone flowers, lilies, Iris, delphiniums, and more.  There was constant colour in that bed all summer long.  Because it was so dry all summer, and I watered so little I cut everything, except the Echinacea's down in early September.  Then we finally got some rain, and all of a sudden I started to see colour once again.

Now, once again, it is giving me a beautiful show of colour in fall plants.  The fall blue grass takes my breath away, as does the clump of fall blue daisies ( which actually are purple) in this soil.  I have a lovely little  Red Sedum, and the Delphiniums that I cut down in September have decided they are not yet ready to be pushed aside, and are blooming again.  Well done, my little garden!

I just had to take a break from the cabbage rolls and take my camera outside to capture my flowerbed's last hurrah!

For all the joy this bed has given me this year, I vow to give it some new soil and some wonderful manure come spring...


aren't theses daisies adorable?


and this gorgeous Red Sedum, just perfect for fall...


                                                     Even without their petals, the Echinacea's are still pretty






I was down on my knees taking pictures of the garden, and when I struggled to my feet and looked up, this is what I saw.  Oh My Gosh, could anything be so pretty and not get a camera pointed at it?




I am so Thankful that I live where I do - in this peaceful little country town, where everywhere I look, I see something that brings a smile to my lips and a comfort to my heart.



Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian family and friends.  Whatever you do this weekend, do it with Peace, Love and Joy!



Thursday, October 5, 2017

TIME TO MAKE CABBAGE ROLLS!

It's time to make cabbage rolls!  Thanksgiving is this weekend and I usually have them done a few weeks before Thanksgiving.

Things kind of snuck up on me this year... more because of the calendar than anything else.  I thought I had another week to go before Thanksgiving, based only on my birthday!  My birthday always falls on or around Thanksgiving, but not, it seems, this year.

But I get it now - so instead of being prepared, I am scrambling to catch up.

I don't know why I am fussing about it anyway, it's just the two of us this year, but even if that is the case, I still like to hold with tradition and make the nice big meal.  In actual fact, I am happy about cooking the big meal, even if we don't have help eating it, because it will mean lots of leftovers, so also lots of extra time in the studio getting ready for my sale.

The other day I finally sat down and started pricing and packing some of the things I have already made, and I am quite surprised at how much I have ready.  I haven't finished the 30 mug rugs yet, for some reason I think they will be the last thing I work on before the sale.  Instead I have been making a few different things to add to the table.

I re-purposed a jewelry stand I had picked up years ago.  It once was painted baby blue and had a cowboy hat on the top peg.  I cut that off, and created another space to hang a necklace or a bracelet, and I shabby'd it up a bit.  I like how it turned out...



I finished 2 plaques.  Welcome Friends and Flakes, is embroidered, and the one with the sheep is painted, and embellished with fabric and yarn.


and I finished up three Christmas door hangers...


Now I am working on a blue jean stocking, and a couple of adorable sleepy-headed angels...

But first it's to the kitchen I go, to make those cabbage rolls.

Have a great day everyone!