Friday, June 29, 2012


Not the best photos, but oh well. We're clearing out our basement, finishing up school and generally trying to keep reno stress under control so I can't get picky about photos. I'm just thankful I managed to finish a sewing project at all.

This is my own pattern, partly drafted from an Anthropologie shirt I liked the fit of. But even after taking in the A-line of the shirt quite a bit, the result is still a bit too swingy. Also, I need to add another half inch to the armholes (my bra straps keep peeking through). Those two fixes aside, I quite like it. It's a style I can wear to work with or without a cardigan and I'm really happy with the neck and front ties. That was my addition, and it was surprisingly easy to figure out. I should try a fabric with more drape though, this cotton is a bit stiff (it was the colour that I couldn't resist). Button selection stalled me for a while, but I finally decided on some vintage buttons from a button card a dear friend gave me long ago. I loved the Parisian card so much that I had had it in a shadow box frame. Needless to say, it's an empty frame now.

The things we'll do for sewing projects, right?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


I may be over doing it on the selfish knitting front. It's just that I've been fixated this year on making a sweater that I would really wear. All the time. Even though Katrine worked out, I'm mostly convinced that having a go-to customized pattern is the best bet. And so I made a few tweaks to my pattern for this sweater and tried another wool - this time some Naturally Sensation that was on sale at Romni. I used this wool last year for a wrap vest, and it's quite lovely. There's a bit of angora in it so it feels rather decadent.

My tweaks consisted of adding way more short rows around the collar, starting the sleeves a bit sooner and losing the buttonhole altogether. It's almost there - I think one more attempt and I'll have the pattern right. Of course it's tailored to my size right now, but if I gave the finished measurements I wonder if it's worth sharing the pattern instructions? Is anyone interested? Even though both cardigans haven't been work worthy I have worn them every minute outside of work (especially the gray one). The shape is comfortable while keeping your neck warm and the option of wearing it either open or closed is really practical. I've designed it for a light worsted yarn so it's not too bulky but definitely warm.

As for reading, I had eagerly awaited the day when Irma Voth would be in paperback. During my wait I spotted it at the library on a 7-day loan but knew I couldn't read it that quick, so my patience was extended. I have really enjoyed Miriam Toews other novels (A Complicated Kindness and Swing Low: A Life especially) so I was expecting a lot. Which is never good. Too much hype for movies generally ruins the experience and yet that's just what I did to myself this time. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoyed the story and thought the characters were very compelling (loved the insane director - just like Billy from HBO's Entourage). It just wasn't mind-blowing. It was good. If you haven't read any of Toews' novels, it's a great introduction to her. And then I would suggest picking up Swing Low, which is a heartbreaking memoir of Toews' own father. She is one of my favourite writers, hands down. And Canadian to boot.

For more stories of knitting and reading visit today's Yarnalong.

Monday, June 11, 2012

liebster love

This past week the very kind and generous Margo at love | luck | bliss nominated this little space for a Liebster Blog Award. Thank you Margo! I didn't know much about this initiative but from what I can gather, it's a grassroots, pay-it-forward type of thing. Although it's akin to a chain letter in structure, it does result in something positive: support and benevolence among small scale bloggers. I was tickled to have been thought of, and I think it's worth keeping the love going.

The rules are pretty simple: 1) choose 3-5 blogs with less than 200 followers to share the Liebster Award with, 2) leave comments on their blog so they know about the award, 3) show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them, 4) share 5 random facts about yourself people wouldn't know. Now, during my research not everyone had the "random fact" rule but it was the one rule that made for fun reading so I've decided to do the same.  Here goes:

1. I take the same lunch to work every day: PB&J on wholewheat, a cold can of Coke and a ziploc baggie of Spicy Doritos (sorry environment).

2. When I was 17 we moved to Vancouver Island where a guidance counsellor told me flat out that I wasn't university material. The straight-A geek in me was livid, but to her credit she was basing this opinion on my performance in their sewing class. I couldn't transfer into the same classes I'd been taking in Ontario so I joined a sewing class mid-term and proceeded to earn two full credits because I completed so many projects. So this guidance teacher was suggesting a college fashion program. Because I was angry, I rejected her suggestion and went on to get a BFA in Ontario. Considering this whole blog documents the clothes I knit and sew...perhaps she had a point?

3. Even though I love clean and sparse design, I'm a very untidy person. My desk at work is atrocious, as is my sewing table. And my closet. And my drawers. You get the idea.

4. My parents liked to move (and often just down the street) so I have lived in 14 homes. The house we have now is actually the longest I have ever lived somewhere - 10 years and counting.

5. My biggest secret here has always been my day job. So for this one post I will share that little unknown fact: I work as a creative director of an in-house advertising and design agency for a television company. It's quite demanding but wonderfully creative and the people I work with are family to me. Basically, I love it.

And then the 4 smaller blogs I am currently inspired by (or, I think they are smaller, but I could be wrong) and hope you will be inspired too:

Typically Red
Cirque Du Bebe
Life Set to Words
Brooke Schmidt

Blogger love, definitely worth spreading around.