Cleaning the Closet.

Well it’s that time of year when family come to visit and I am no exception to the tradition, my brother, sister-in-law and niece are coming to visit us so I’ve been trying to get the two guest rooms into some kind of shape so that they won’t go screaming and running from the house when they see their accommodations. Actually the rooms weren’t that bad with the exception of the closets. The problem is I don’t know whether or not they need to hang up any clothes in the closet so I figured it was time to tackle the walk-in closet of what used to be my son’s room.

I’ve been meaning to repurpose this closet into a pure craft storage closet but every time I’ve gone to do it I’ve opened the door, taken a look and then very slowly backed away from the door. Unfortunately I didn’t take a before picture because I’m that kind of blogger I only think of the blog fodder until half-way through the job. Needless to say I’m not exaggerating when I say that you could walk about one foot inside before you came to a standstill because there was that much junk on the floor piled into the space. The closet was a depository of all things that didn’t have a home. I thought that I’d blogged about cleaning this closet once before and I was going to put a link to the blog post but I’ve discovered that I actually didn’t clean the closet only the room Clean Room. I made some comment about tackling the closet when I was feeling better, apparently I had a head cold at the time. Well it seems it’s taken seven years to get over the head cold, it must have been a doozy.

Anyhow the job is done…sort of. I’m not quite sure what to do with a good part of the junk that is now residing on the floor, table and ironing board in my sewing room but I’m working on it. It won’t be seven years I need that room to sew in but I had to put the stuff somewhere while I was transferring it out of the walk-in. Here are a few pictures of the finished closet. It is an amalgamation of most of the contents of two smaller closets that were totally filled with craft supplies. The pictures are chopped up as it was hard to get a full shot. It looks messy but you can actually walk into the closet and best of all I can now see all my bins and boxes without having to take them out and shuffle through them all, which is what I did in the two smaller closets.

empty walk-in closet








The sewing room as a temporary housing unit.


Tinsel Hedgehog

I bought a ball of tinsel yarn – King Cole – at the Mary Maxim booth when I attended the Creativ’ Festival in October. I just finished this little guy this morning. I guess he’s smaller than a football and the pattern makes smaller ones than this. The pattern came with the yarn but I’ve just been to the Mary Maxim website and if you register you can access their free patterns and find this guy and they also have another pattern which uses the same tinsel yarn to make owls. I’m thinking fun fur might work the same as the tinsel but there is something about the tinsel that just strikes a cord with my girly side.

front view silver hedgehog

side view hedgehog

I saw a tree at the Creativ’ festival that was filled with varying sizes of these hedgehogs in the argent/silver tinsel and it was just stunning. Multi-coloured hedgehogs would look awesome as well.


The Owl and the bear…

Totally stoked as I used up some STASH yarn that’s been sitting in the closet for a few years. I originally found this yarn at Value Village and made a toddler’s sweater from an old Paton’s book and I blogged about it here: Toddler’s Sweater. Too funny as I just reread my own post and realized that I’d mentioned that I was stoked because I bought the yarn so cheaply. Here I am five years later with another sweater post using the same yarn and using the same word ‘stoked’ to describe my feelings. I don’t normally use the word that I’m aware of, I wonder if my brain linked back to the previous post and had a deja vu moment.

Anyhow here is a picture of the new sweater for the same granddaughter. The pattern is Owlet by designer Kate Davies and the yarn is Eaton’s brand Nina (now extinct). The sweater is a birthday present so Charlie can’t model it yet so Ted E. Bear is filling in once again as he is usually wont to do.

Charlie's owlet a

Ted E Bear in owlet sweater a


More Socks.

Not a big project but thought I’d post a picture anyhow of a pair of socks that I’d made for John. Socks are not a quick knit for me and seem to take forever.
Kroy basic sock in Casual colours

kroy fx Casual Colors side view

Basic socks Patons Kroy Fx Casual Colors
Patons Kroy FX ‘Casual Colors’


Still Working After All These Years

Okay this post is sheer motherly indulgence more for myself than for any record to put out there, something to look back at in a few years.

I was cleaning up the kitchen and decided to give my little ceramic dish a good scrub and then the little ceramic cookie a good cleaning as well. These were items that were given to me by my kids more than a few years back. I’m not sure what grade the kids were in when they made the little pottery items but it struck me that after all these years I’m still using the things and they serve their purpose well even if they do look more than a little worse for wear. I still look at them and treasure them and it’s been maybe 20 years? Sentimentality at it’s best I guess. It’s the same reason I don’t throw out those little treasures that still decorate the Christmas tree after all these years and those go back from kindergarten and my oldest is now 35 years old. Mothers, I’m sure we’re the same the world over.

blue pottery dish and cookie

blue pottery dish JDW

ceramic cookie that holds the tea strainers

pottery holding tea strainers and dish scrubbie

More Mystery Fibre

I seem to be in a spinning mood lately and so here is the latest offering. It is another Wellington Fibres Mill’s mystery box. Actually I bought two of these boxes so a total of 500 grams. After running a bit short in the first project I was determined it wasn’t going to happen again but hey who knows as I’m spinning this one thicker so maybe I won’t end up with as much as I want anyhow. I think the idea was to make a sweater but as one of the ladies pointed out in my crafting circle it takes more than 500 grams of bulky yarn to make an adult sweater, doh! This might turn out into a scarf and hat, we’ll see.

blue-green-purple mystery rovings wellington mills
This is what the roving looked like before spinning. I think it’d probably look different if the roving was split into colours and then plied but that’s not the way I did it. I just spun from the roving directly.

mystery fibre on bobbin
Plied yarn on the bobbin.

mystery fibre teal on niddy noddy
Plied yarn on the niddy noddy.

mystery fibre teal
Yarn in a skein (not washed) no flash.

wellington mill mystery fibre teal
Yarn in the same skein taken with a flash exposure.

Creating colourways in wool.

I’ve taken a break from sewing my quilt and have been having some fun creating hanks of yarn for a hat project. The pattern is Caller Herrin by Kate Davies and is a tam with a seashore/fish scale theme. I’ve always liked the pattern and yarn used for this hat but I’ve never ordered the yarn simply because making the hat would cost me around $80 and I refuse to pay that kind of money for a hat I might only wear occasionally.

I had downloaded some reading material from Interweave press and one of the e-books that I bought was Spinning In Color by Deb Menz. I had a go at creating a skein of yarn following her principles of layering colours in batts and then layering the batts together and then finally z-striping the batts to get the roving.

roving on floor purple yellow teal red honey lime rust medium blue

prism single strand

prism 2 ply

prism close up

Prism skeinPrism skein sunlight

Somehow looking at this skein of yarn I’d created made me flashback to the Virtual yarns used in knitting Caller Herrin and it suddenly occurred to me to try and create my own colour-ways for the hat trying to mimic the colours in the Virtual Yarns. I knew I wouldn’t match the colours but I thought it’d be fun to try so here are a bunch of pictures of the process. I’ve decided to save the yarn for vacation time in January and truth to tell now that I’ve made the yarn the fun has sort of gone out of the process and I’m in no hurry to knit the tam. It’s usually the way it is for me when it comes to colour experiments, it’s more fun making the materials than using them.

There are more than a few different skeins where I’ve tried for a better match so just a heads up at why I’ve got all these different colours that are similar. The wool fiber that I used was from my Ashford Mill Ends bag (previously blogged) and mostly Corriedale.

selkie closeup

solan goose

solon goose closeup

solan goose skeing two rotated

kittywake closeup

shearwater closeup

caller herrin multi-skein shot rotated

pepple beach another shot

pebble beach clone single

pebble beach closeup


summer tide single

summer tide closeup

caller herrin skeings



selkie clone 2 single 1

selkie 2 on niddy noddy

selkie clone 2 closeup

solon goose clone 3

caller herrin skeins

pebble beach clone 2

pebble beach clone 3 closeup

caller herrin skein samples

caller herrin final audition
Choice grouping #1 for hat.

caller herrin final pick
Choice grouping #2 for hat.

This tan roving was another clone but I could tell it wasn’t going to work so I set it aside, this is how it looks spun up.

pebble beach tan and selkie roving

pebble beach 2 closeup


Mastering Miniatures Quilt

I have a passion for civil war/reproduction era fabrics so when I see them on sale I tend to look twice and it doesn’t take much for me to buy them. I recently bought a block of the month quilt kit from The Fat Quarter Shop “Mastering Miniatures” put out by Homestead Hearth featuring Judie Rothermel’s Authentic Miniatures 1800’s reproduction fabric.

The original quilt is 70″ x 70″ and I had originally planned to make it that size but since I’ve started the quilt we have purchased a king size bed so obviously I need to make the quilt larger. There are 50 blocks in the quilt that each measure 6″ x 6″ when finished. Each month has five packets each packet making a different block. Although the fabrics in each packet are usually a 10″ square, since the block itself is 6″ square, there is more than enough fabric to make two blocks out of what is given. If I run short of fabric for the second block I can
I can usually steal a bit of fabric from another block. It helps that I also have in my possession 2 grab bag boxes of reproduction prints on hand to fill in any shortfalls and some of those off-cut pieces from the grab bags are the very fabrics used in the quilt. Long story short I figure I need around 110 blocks to make a king quilt. It’s amazing that to add an extra two outer rows I’ll need the same amount of blocks as used in the original quilt.

Anyhow I had a friend request pictures of the process so here I go with posting my progress of making a quilt once again, besides which I find it keeps me on track and honest in the time management. The blocks below have a lot of cutting in them and are fussy but I find I’m loving it. I’m making two of each block and then I guess I’ll have to decide on another ten when I’m done the fifty blocks.

miniature quilt blocks

sewing minatures quilt
A couple of shots of the blocks and work station.

block 1
Block 1

block 2
Block 2

block 3
Block 3

block 4
Block 4

Block 5
Block 5

Block 6
Block 6

block 7
Block 7

Block 8
Block 8

block 9
Block 9

block 10
Block 10

block 11
Block 11

block 12
Block 12

block 13
Block 13

block 14
Block 14

Block 15
Block 15


Adoring Quilt

Today saw me finishing up the binding and label on my latest project, a lap quilt made from a moda scrap bag and yardage. I made the quilt as a thank you to a friend who was kind enough to take me out for a couple of driving lessons to brush up on my skills before I had to take my final driving test. Unknowingly I had let my license expire so had to take a re-test, scary stuff as the test is much more extensive now 35 years later.

I didn’t really know what colours to use for the quilt but then thought everyone loves Christmas and so that’s what I settled on using fabric from the “Adoring” line by Sandy Gervais from Moda. I decided the easiest way to use the differing widths from the scrap bag was to make a Chinese Coin quilt and it was just a matter of arranging and sewing the strips together and then cutting the strips into six inch widths, stacking the widths and then sewing them. I then picked out some solid green for the accent and backing and voila all done.


I machine quilted in the ditch around the solid green bars and meander-stitched inside the coin bars. The hardest part of putting this quilt together was choosing what colour would match the coin fabrics. It true the saying that “the quilt makes itself” as I didn’t really want green for the solid but out of all the fabrics in the store that’s what went the best. Glad to have another one finished and hope my friend likes it.


Print of the Wave.

It’s been a long time since my last post. I’ve been working on a wrap/shawl and it feels like it took forever to get it done but finished it is thank goodness.

The pattern is called Print of the Wave and is from the book by Liz Lovick called Centenary Stitches. I’ve used a pattern from this book before to make a Poppy Shawl and I explained about the book in that post.

The yarn is some that I’ve spun and blogged about – Mystery Fibre from Wellington Fibre Mill. The shawl itself isn’t very complicated to do but you do have to keep focused otherwise it’s easy to mess up the pattern repeats. I ripped back countless rows because I’d look up and lose track of what I was doing.



Print of the Wavecopper top in hand

After pinning out the shawl yesterday I decided to try knitting up some pompom yarn I bought from the dollar store. I watched a couple of youtube videos and then cast on 14 stitches and off I went. I finished up the short scarf this afternoon after about 5 hours of knitting. So nice to get instant gratification after spending three months knitting one item.

pom pom scarf in autumn colours
Fourteen stitches wide on 5 mm needles. Next time I’ll cast on 12 stitches and get a slightly longer scarf although this one is good for under a jacket. It took one ball of yarn – 82 yards, 150 grams.

Ted E Bear wearing pom pom scarf

Ted E. Bear of course standing in as a model for me like he usually does. He likes the scarf because it’s nice and furry although he tells me it can’t compete with his own luxurious fur.