Tuesday, August 27, 2019

York Apron, Apples and a Gnome

This week I made a York Apron.


This is from fabric that I recently purchased at a fundraiser sale at the Costume Museum of Canada in Winnipeg (this is just the start of sewing with the fabric I purchased - great deals!). This one is a quilting cotton.


The apron has a nice cross-back. All the edges are trimmed with bias binding (made from some green cotton I was given). I changed the pattern a bit - I made the front top a bit wider for better coverage, so the straps on the front and back are wider too. I made the short length, with bucket pockets and the high neckline. Next time I would use a walking foot to sew on the bias binding (it is one long piece all around). The apron is so bright and cheerful, and lovely to wear.


Since I had leftover fabric, and the fabric is bright (something that I don't have too much of) I made the cat a new anti-predation collar. This time I didn't make the full circle (so that it would be less clown like).


It is the same size as her break-away collar.


It lays flat on her (looks more like a shirt collar, she just needs a tie, maybe a bow..... somehow the little outdoor cat now has her own bedroom and a wardrobe! When I suggested to my family that now that we live on a farm we should raise a beef calf or a pig for meat, to become more self sufficient, this was pointed out to me). 
The collar seems to be working - it has been a few weeks and I haven't seen her catch a song bird, just lots of mice, voles and ground squirrels.


This week I spun a tiny amount of rabbit fur.


So fluffy! To make the beard of a tiny gnome!


This one is for a friend. The rabbit fur comes from her daughter's rabbit.

This past weekend we had high winds, and with a loaded apple tree it marked the start of apple canning season.

A few batches of apple sauce.
A batch of apple jelly.
and the latest batch fresh from the canner (I learned that it seems much easier to make apple jelly when you let the juice drip overnight).
 This tree is still loaded, plus there is another apple tree not quite ripe and a crab apple tree, so lots more to can - apple pie filling next!

Photos from around -

A Hummingbird at the feeder
A Winnipeg Parks Rose from the garden
So many Blackbirds
Berries on the wild asparagus 
All the best!♥︎

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Another Ashton

I don't really know how the weeks are passing so fast! Summer is almost over. 
I have been starting new knitting projects and then taking them apart (I always find it hard to settle on a new project when I finish a large one - and I finished two recently), plus doing lots of canning (the garden has been very productive).

I did finish sewing another Ashton Top-


This time following the tulip back hack on the Helen's Closet blog -


I used some fabric from a stash I inherited, I think it is a cotton/poly blend. It was fun to make, but definitely sticks out in the front more than the regular top (on the Helen's Closet blog she says that the top is more a-line in the front view with this hack). It has been fun experimenting with this pattern, it is great practice.

Photos from around-

Birds enjoying a bath in the heat-

A bird's nest beautifully woven in the bullrushes (I think it might be a Redwing Blackbird)-

 Sunflowers in the ditch-

A flock of Canada Geese in a harvested field-

The cat staring at her empty food dish (this happens a lot)-

All the best!♥︎

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Dyeing with Indigo

This past week I tried indigo dyeing for the first time (and then had to dye more on the weekend to show the rest of my family how fascinating it is).
I used a dye kit from Maiwa, that I had bought a while ago at a local fibre fest (they no longer seem to sell the one I have on the website, it contains lye instead of calcium hydroxide). I followed the instructions included in the kit (and available on the Maiwa website - link for the instruction pdf sheet).

I dyed some white and natural cotton fabric, as well as some natural commercial linen/cotton yarn and handspun wool yarn. The indigo vat is green in colour when starting to dye (there is a whole chemical process that I don't fully understand).

The fabric (or yarn) first comes out of the vat bright green,
 and as it touches the air it slowly turns blue
 After about 20 minutes it was fully blue.
I tied and dipped the large piece a few times.
This smaller piece was just scrunched and dipped once (for about 30 minutes).
The yarn was dipped a few times (each about 30 minutes with 30 minutes hanging time in between).
 These are the t-shirts my family dyed on the weekend.

I want to experiment more with indigo dyeing, I would like to try shibori next.

With the smaller piece of fabric (this was natural cotton, dipped once) I sewed a top.


I started with the Ashton Top pattern from Helen's Closet  that I made a couple of weeks ago and heavily modified it.
I made my first top following the size 8 pattern just to see how it fit because I knew that I wanted to experiment with the pattern. Although the pattern comes in various sizes and also a couple of cup sizes, the larger cup size didn't start until size 12, so I needed to modify the darts for myself. For this top I decided to also angle the darts down to remove some of the fabric at my waist and make the top look less like a maternity top on me - I am really happy with how this came out - thrilled that it worked!

"all mine"
I can't seem to put anything on the floor without Maggie coming to see what's happening, but in this photo you can see the dart better. I also opened up the neckline and moved the straps over for a better fit (I have wide shoulders). I made the hemline longer in the back and front, and high at the hips (this allowed the top to be longer and narrow, and still fit over my hips).


I modified the straps and back (I had seen a similar top online). I used bias binding for all the finishing, even the hem (made from coordinating Bali fabric).


I also sewed another Helen's Closet pattern - the Blackwood Cardigan (I sewed one last week too with my Mom, but forgot to take a picture before she went home). This cardigan is my favourite for the summer - I have made 7 so far! Four for myself and three for my Mother (most from remnants of fabric, and one from an old knit sheet no one liked). It has become very quick to sew.

Photos from around the farm-

Backyard full of Cowbirds
 A family of Grey Partridges in the flower bed,
 15 all together!
 A Datura that self seeded blooming
A Bee on a Sunflower (the plants are about 7' tall)
 A Monarch butterfly on a Blazing Star

All the best!♥︎

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Finally Finished!

I am so thrilled to be finally finished this vest!


The pattern is lovely - it is Capture a Cozy Moment by Carol Sunday. It was quite easy, with a nice Brioche band to liven up the knitting. It just seemed to take f-o-r-e-v-e-r. I started it last December, but did take a break from it to knit another sweater.

I spun the yarn three years ago, and did start a few different projects with it (probably part of the reason that the whole project seemed to have been around forever).


The fibre is merino that I bought on sale. The top orange/red bundle came like that, and the bottom two bundles were a pale yellow that I over dyed.


I drum carded the fibre to blend all the colours,


and then spun the yarn during Tour de Fleece 2016 (it is 500g, and over 1000m of yarn).


I used every bit of yarn, and it came out a perfect length after blocking.

Photos from around the farm-

The vest matches the colour of the wild dock in the yard.
The cat's collar matches the impatience flowers.
(Her collar seems to be working, she hasn't brought a bird home with it on.)
 We had a bumper crop of bush beans this year.
 Trimmed some dead branches in the trees this week, watching a storm travel around - the light was beautiful.
Since we started renovations in March I had the spare bedroom in the basement full of stuff from upstairs with the door shut (before the cat came in). Now that renovations are almost finished and things have gone back upstairs, I cleaned out the bedroom and opened the door. The cat was thrilled to explore a new room, and has claimed the bed as hers.

All the best!♥︎