Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Heading to Oz

Welcome to my blog.  I'm so excited that Sew Sisters is doing their Blog-a-thon again.  Last year, I met so many wonderful quilters online and made new friends.  What a great way to see the awesome talent that we have in Canada.  Thanks Adrienne for being one of our Maritime hosts and for asking me if you could feature my blog on your list of Maritime bloggers ... what a nice compliment!  Half the time I think that no one reads other than my family ... actually, I'm not even sure that they know that I blog! lol  Take some time and see what Canada has to offer.  Head over to Sew Sisters to find the schedule.

I have called Nova Scotia home for just a little over 3 years.  I was born and raised in Ontario; I was married in Ontario to my wonderful and supportive husband ... also from Ontario...and had my two daughters in Ontario.  When my husband's work asked him to transfer here, we jumped at the chance and haven't yet regretted that decision.  We have met so many great people here and have had some fantastic opportunities that we probably wouldn't have had back home.  The past few months we have been spending a lot of time with the St. Luke's Community Players theatre group and I am blessed to call them my friends.

It has been pretty busy around here.  My sewing room has been moved up to my living room and kitchen and my patient family is just dealing with it.  I haven't done a lot of quilting lately.  My main focus has been learning my lines for the Wizard of Oz, making sure that I get my girls and husband to rehearsals and helping with costumes and props.  I swear that every surface in the house is covered with ribbon, glitter, fabric, suit jackets, dresses and crinolines....and I love it!  Oh, I forgot ... TV trays for the family to eat at and do homework on.  This has been our life since the end of August.  It will be so weird when the play is done!

If you are in the area, the play is at the end of the month.  The Sunday matinee is SOLD OUT!

Someone donated a bridesmaid's dress that they wore back in the 1980's for the Good Witch.  I brought it home to clean it up a bit and add a little glam to it.  I love coming up with costumes with what we have on hand.

This was the view from my sewing machine Saturday morning....sitting at my kitchen table

Looking into the living room ... yes, even my cutting table has been brought up

Adding the layers ... there was a lot of peach happening on Saturday!

The finished skirt tied over the original 80's dress ... front


Not very clear ... too give the skirt some sparkle when the stage lights hit, I gave the top layer a coat of Krylon Glitter Spray (the nozzles clog up easily and it smells horrible so make sure that you are outside when you do this)

If you would like to make a lovely tulle skirt, check out Photography by Amy Mildren on Facebook 
(if you Like her page and msg her, she will send you .pdf instructions)

...and of course, every Good Witch needs a wand.  This was lots of fun to make and extremely easy.

Today ... I focus on constructing the crown.

When I haven't been working on lines, running kids everywhere, or working on props and costumes, I have been knitting.

This is the shawl that I was working on in my last post on using Lifelines.  It still needs to be blocked and the ends woven in.  I love how it turned out.

This is what is on my needles now (see that wonderful lifeline).  This is a hand dyed yarn by Fleece Artist called Sumac.  LOVE IT!  70% Merino 30% Seacell.  The pattern is by Laura Nelkin and is called Clarus.

I need to get to making the crown but just wanted to also mention that yesterday I read on Adrienne's blog that she is starting up a Maritime Modern Quilter's Guild.  I am so excited about this!!  If you are interested in joining go to her blog http://chezzetcookmodernquilts.blogspot.ca/ and message her OR go to the Maritime Modern Quilt Guild webpage http://maritimemqg.blogspot.ca/ for more information and to contact her about joining/helping/having fun.

Enjoy visiting the Maritimes!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

I'll Use My Lifeline

I've had a bit of a cold so have been curled up on my couch knitting yesterday and this morning.  I am taking a class through Craftsy called Mastering Lace Shawls, taught by Laura Nelkin.  I am a relatively self-taught knitter; I watched my grandmothers knit and crochet as a child but was never taught by them.  When I started knitting I had a general idea of how to create certain stitches. I then resorted to "How to Knit" books and a couple of friends that I met while taking the OHS Spinning Certificate program.  After rooming together for 8 days every summer for 6 years you can really pick up a lot of tips.  Today, however, I added the most valuable trick to my knitting toolbox.  After all the times that I have had to rip out and start again, why did no one ever teach me about the LIFELINE?

If you, like me, have never heard of a lifeline, this is what it is....

See that white strand of yarn through my knitting.  That is the lifeline.  Using a contrasting yarn and tapestry needle. thread the yarn through your stitches after finishing your purl row (edit: ws row). Cut your (lifeline) yarn larger than your work, keeping in mind that your work will be larger when blocking (right now my shawl looks horrible but when I stretch it out...beautiful!!!...I know there is hope once it is blocked). So....why the lifeline is important....

Well, somehow I messed up while tinking to get back to an error in my knitting.  On my last repeat, I had one too many stitches. I went back and fixed it then got back to the last repeat and was one stitch short (I knew I should have stopped the row before for a break!). Then I saw it...the dropped stitch and chaos following in its path. After "muttering" loudly for a while I then remembered that Laura gave us that lifeline.  I can easily pull my work back to that row and start again from there rather than risking dropping more stitches and losing everything.  

Ta-da...first I removed my needles from the messed up work (sorry about  the picture, it is just loosely draped over my knee). Then I picked up all my stitches along my lifeline (without removing the lifeline).  Once I closed my eyes was ready, I simply started winding my yarn back onto the ball, unraveling my work back to the lifeline holding my breath the entire time, completely confident that I would not lose all of my hard work. 

I am ready to knit again...after a cup of peppermint tea.  This time though...I'm adding a second lifeline up in that section where I messed up so I don't lose so much.

I would have appreciated knowing this on my last shawl...around the 5th time that I pulled it all out.  Now that I know this trick, I will forever be using it!

If you are interested in the Mastering Lace Shawls class, I do believe their 75% off sale ends tonight.  Laura is a fantastic instructor and she really takes the time to break down the steps to make it an enjoyable knitting experience.  I love that she knits along with you (and you can pause her because she is a much faster knitter than I am...I am now intrigued with Continental knitting!)

Pattern: Skywalker
Designer: Laura Nelkin
Yarn: Filisilk (70% Merino/30% Silk) made in Germany (my mom brought me 3 skeins from Electrictree Yarns in Kamloops, BC)
Needles: 4.5 mm Clover bamboo circular 

Happy Stitching