Friday, July 25, 2014

Mid- that became end of July post

Once again, another month and a half went by without me writing anything. AND, I've been writing this post for the past week without posting it because I didn't have all the pictures that I want. I don’t have any other good excuse except that I've been busy with work, vacations, house renos and the usual sewing, knitting and weaving.
My sewing class ended at the end of June, and it was quite productive, although not as much as I had hoped and planned for. I still have tons of projects to work on until I start again in September.
I was able to finish 2 pieces that I've been wearing this summer, a 3-tiered skirt, made in a piece of batik I bought last year during a shopping spree, and a tank top made with a cute polka dot fabric bought at the same time.

The skirt pattern is actually a “recipe” I found on the internet and saved on my Pinterest: I love it, and it was so easy to make, I hope to make another one before the end of the summer.
The tank top is actually taken from a Burda dress pattern, which was, as usual, heavily modified to fit me. (If I try to find the pattern's name or #, I will never publish this post...)

On the knitting side, I finished a very pretty little ensemble, taken from Vintage knits for modern babies:
(It’s the only picture I have, taken in the car on our way to the party where I gave it to the new parents; I sewed the buttons on the way). The cardigan is Matinee jacket, the booties are Ruby slippers

Those VERY cute buttons ( are from la Maison Tricotée, bought at the Tricoté-serré day I went to in Nicolet in June. Yarn:, as for many of my baby projects.

I started another project from that book (Charming raglan pullover), with the same yarn, but in dark denim). The baby is due very soon…but as usual, I’m knitting a 6-month, so that gives me a little time…I went to Alexandria, 4 hours away from 3R this weekend, that gave me time to get a little further. Obviously, I need to travel more to be more productive :-) The back, front, and half of a sleeve are done. 

Off my loom is my last baby blanket, woven for baby Victor, born back in April (I’m not a fast weaver…and I didn’t take that one off until I finished the whole warp.). I still need to hem it, but I already love the result! 

I don’t think I’ll try to add a border to that one, I like the yellow stripes enough as a decoration. I made a boo-boo with this one at the beginning, when I took off the previous blanket, and I was not sure at all it would end well, but with a wash, it looks very good! Pattern is from Anne Dixson’s book

If you remember my last post, I had also made a boo-boo when I warped my loom a few months ago. I worked the remaining of the warp in 2 separate projects; on one I just tried a few things using 2 colours at the time. I love those colours together, they remind me of Slovak traditional clothes, such as this.

The other part looks like this, not sure what I’ll do with it, maybe experiment sewing something with it? Still TBD.

One thing if for sure, it’s that I won’t be using my 60” loom anytime soon again. We are renovating our basement, and my loom will be stored for the next few months. I hope I still remember how to warp it when I get it back. 

 Meanwhile, our garden has started producing, despite my total lack of TLC.

Yes, that last image is a baby toad I found close to our cucumbers. We've also enjoyed the presence of a ground hound in the past months. She has been nice, and so far, has only eaten our grass and some our our cucumber leaves.

And the last thing I wanted to share is that I finally used my ice cream maker to make this Blueberry-mojito ice cream. All I can say is: OMG, YUM! I don’t think I can EVER buy ice cream again. 

I remembered to take a picture right before I had the last bite! 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Almost 2 months later...

I have no idea where the time went. I've been wanting to write, but each time, I thought about pictures that should be taken, downloaded and played with, and I didn't have the courage to do it. But I took pictures in the past few weeks, so here are a few things that I've finished, that I'm currently working on, or planning to work on very soon!

First, the dress. After almost a year working on it, it is finished, and it is, I think, perfect. I got a lot of compliments on it, and not only from people who know knew I had sewn it!

Wearing my new dress in NYC
We (my sewing teacher and I) had to modify the original pattern (Gertie's shirt-dress) a lot, not only because it didn't work on me, but also because the fabric (bought last year in Paris...sounds good, no?) is much thicker than what she used . But now, I have the adapted pattern, and I'm hoping to make another one, I don't want to have worked that much for only one dress! 

So, as you can see from that picture, I was recently in New York! One of my man's close friend is turning 40 this year, and his girlfriend planned a secret trip to NY for him. He thought he was going fishing with his friends, but then we told him we had his passport, a 2nd suitcase with clean clothes, and that an extra day off had been taken care for on Monday. 10 of us spent last weekend there, just discovering the city. It was a lot of fun. 

I didn't do the me-made-May thing going around in the blog world, because I don't have enough home made clothes for that, but I did a me-made-NY. I left on Friday wearing my tunic (picture in previous post), wore my new dress on Saturday, a skirt I made last year on Sunday,  
Me-made skirt in Little Italy
and a brand new top that I had just finished the previous week on my way home: 

Me made new top
That's actually a muslin to make sure that all the alterations we made on a pattern would work, but it is wearable. And I decided that I don't like that pattern, so I'm not going to make the real version.

I've started the summer session of my sewing class with a few less complicated projects. It's a lot of fun. There is 3 weeks left and I'm hoping to have the time to make these pieces (not going to happen, but I might be able to finish them before I start again in September).

Working on the top I brought to NY

I'm making a top from that pattern, because I don't have enough fabric for the whole dress. 

Cute Japanese top

and hopefully a cute Japanese skirt
I also cut the pieces for a 3-tier skirt, which I would really like to bring to the Hungarian dance camp I'm going to in a few weeks.

I've also finally finished hemming this blanket, now to find a way to add a little border to it:

Henry's future blanket

Talking about weaving, I'm almost done my last baby blanket:

Victor's future blanket
 However, I discovered a boo-boo in the warp:

End of warp
I don't know if you can see the 10th inch from the right? Yeah, the one that is a yard shorter? I guess we forgot a turn when we did that one. After spending some time being sad at the idea to waste 39 x 1 yard, I decided that I will separate that last yard into 2 narrower pieces. Hopefully it will lead to something, I just don't know what, yet, but it's going to be fun to experiment with colours and patterns!

The last thing I'm working on is this cute little baby cardigan, for a future Alice who should be with us in a few days:

Alice's future cardigan. 
It's Matinee jacket, from Vintage knits for modern babies, in Berroco Vintage DK breezeway. I love it, it's so classic. Driving down to NY from here helped a lot, as I was able to knit for several hours in a row.

Lately, I calculated how many people I know who just had a baby and didn't not receive anything from me yet. and how many more are expecting, and I came up with a total of 9. NINE! That's crazy, I just can't keep up with you, friends! I'll have to keep knitting for size 6 to 12 months, so even if I'm done after they arrive, it will still fit them. And I don't really see me getting anything new anytime soon!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Back to making

There is more to add to our winter trip: Georgetown, which I loved so much, Singapore, and then Kuala Lumpur, which was everything I had expected when I planned our trip. I'll get back to it, but I also want to write about things I've been making for the past few months.

On the knitting side, I'm happy. I knitted not only one, but 2 pairs of socks! First pair was knitted in Asia; after trying so many times before, it finally happened, thanks to my new Knit picks rainbow wood DPN. These needles are perfect, not as slippery as metal ones, not as sticky as bamboo needles.
First pair

2nd pair
Pattern for both pair is Vivace from Sweet Paprika designs. I'm totally biased, since Elizabeth, one of the owners of that company, is the one who taught me to knit, but I just love how she writes her patterns, this one is very easy to follow for a first pair of socks. And I love the picots! 

Another thing I knitted is a pair of little converse for a baby. Both his parents love sports, so chances are that he will too! Patterns is this:, but I didn't find it that easy to follow, and I don't know why. I'll have to take a closer look at it before I try it again. 

And I just started Fuse, for the 5th or 6th time? But this time, having experienced socks, DPN don't scare me anymore, and I think that it's going to be ok. 

First sleeve
I've also been sewing. The dress I started last summer became my sewing class project, then was pushed aside while I made a tunic that I brought (and wore almost every day) in Asia. 

Comfy at the Singapore zoo

But now, I'm almost done with the dress as well. I might even finish it this week; I'm excited that I'll soon be able to wear it, since it will be perfect for spring. And I'm also excited about starting something new! 
I'd like to make myself a skirt and a few tops before I go on vacations at the end of June. 

Missing the hems and a few red buttons! 
But that's not it! I wove a little bit as well! 

I'm also done with the 3rd baby blanket. It's off the loom, and I'm working on the hems before I try to add a crochet border. 

I love the natural colours! 

And I started the 4th (and last) blanket: 

Time to plan new projects! Hurray! 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Time off

We've been back from Asia for well over a month now, and somehow, we already almost forgot that we have been on vacations at all. It feels like it was so long ago, and it has been so busy here since we got back that any rest we got just disappeared in a few days.
This is the first time I get back to the blog, and I just noticed that the pictures from the last post are not showing. I'll try to fix that later today, but before that, I wanted to close the loop on the trip. I'm sad I didn't keep writing as we travelled, but somehow, I just didn't find the time to do it. Maybe we just got too busy.

So here it is: After Kota Kinebalu, we went to Sandakan, where we quickly went to the Sepilok forest edge resort. Sepilok was an important part of our trip, because that's where the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre is, and not too far from there is also the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary, 2 places where we were looking forward to visit, especially that it is by promising my man that we would be going there that I managed to convince him to come along with me in Malaysia.

We were not disappointed. The resort was wonderful. We saw plenty of apes and monkey in the 2 days we spent on those 2 reserves. The Orangutan centre was in the rain forest, while the Proboscis one was in the mangrove, so we got to see 2 completely different environments. One of the highlights of these few days was to watch an orangutan eat a few doughnuts, clearly not enjoying the chocolate frosting on one of them. The doughnuts were left by an evil tourist (or maybe tour-guide, we think..) who wanted to attract the ape out of the forest so tourists could see them closer. It was so wrong, as the rehabilitation centre is making so much efforts to make them become independent, but it was still awesome to see.

We also spent a few hours on the Kinabatanagan river cruise, where we got to see more orangutans, proboscis and macaques in their natural environment. We also managed to see a very rare bird (I can't remember the name now, I'll come back to it when my man wakes up!)

Following those few wonderful days, we had a whole in our schedule, so we spent a few days in Sandakan. It was not really worth it, except for the visit of Agnes Keith's house, an American author who spent the 2nd world war in a Japanese camp near Sandakan and the visit of Sim Sim, a stilt village with an awesome seafood restaurant.

Following those few days, we left Borneo. But that will be part of another post, as that's already a little bit long, and I want to add pictures.


Rain forest


Curious baby

Proboscis monkeys

a very tired monkey


Another exhausted monkey

As fresh as seafood can get! 

Sim Sim

Agnes Keith's house


Pot de chocolat with ice cream 
in the mangrove