Sunday, October 13, 2019

Following the pattern...

I took sewing lessons as a kid.  The rigidity of how patterns were introduced to me, possibly reinforced by the punishment when I (ahem) cut up some of my mom’s expensive fabrics in her stash without asking permission, has made me very worried about using sewing patterns as an adult.  So worried, in fact, that over the years, I decided to just wing it and made myself and my kids a few things just by having some knitwear design shaping ideas and ummm, winging it.  And this worked out ok, but...

I've been needing some new clothes...I wear my clothes hard and various twins spill on me and well, there is only so much mending and cleaning you can do before things do not look presentable...The options in the stores seemed: too expensive, too flimsy, wrong colours, wrong styles, too small, too large, and did not fit (pick all or pick one).

A friend convinced me I could follow a pattern, guided me into picking one, and I went from there.  This is 100 Acts of Sewing’s dress no. 1 in a Robert Kaufman linen/cotton blend.  I finished it Friday afternoon and wore it Saturday evening to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving with my Strippy McStrippit cardigan.

Today, my piece about slow fashion came out on the CBC-Manitoba webpage, too:
Mend, craft or make do with less

Our Thanksgiving weekend has been slightly different than envisioned due to our big snowstorm here.  Lots of time inside...and it has been full of “making” time.  I have turned out two pairs kid mitts from old felted sweaters, three pies (apple, raspberry apple, and peach) a sweater renovation—I am knitting cuff and body extensions for a skinny but growing kid—and more.  It has been productive, if indoor, time.

Tonight is the start of Sukkot, and I am sad to say we have not put up a sukkah. (An outdoor hut for spending time outdoors.) The place we usually built it on the deck is wet, slushy, and alternately, still covered with 20 cm (8”) of snow.  The weather brings me back to another of my articles that ran this week: A dose of humility, gratitude (Cause, you know, we really cannot control the weather!)

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Tuesday, October 08, 2019

overstimulated by social media?

I had a piece run on the CBC a couple weeks ago about my new foray into Instagram @yrnspinner.  Here's a link to the piece:
Self-promotion vs. Self-reflection: How can we use social media better?

The funny thing is that there is always something to post about, and with a shiny new iPad (purchased to help a twin with his Sphero--STEM learning, of course), taking photos and posting is easier.  However, it means I don't post as much here, and I also probably waste more time on it all around...posting rather than making and doing in real life.

Why is it such a time waster?  Well, ahem, if you're me, you might need to look at sheep, and pretty photos of knitting designs and yarn, and see a friend's baby...and it is so easy to get seduced by all the visuals.  It is not even the same as reading a whole article/blog post/email or even, gasp, a book.  It definitely shortens my attention span.

LOOK!  A new photo!  Another person likes my post!  (I can see how people can get addicted to this.)

So, if you're not on instagram, here are some of the photos I posted there.
I bought some Navajo-Churro wool from a Pennsylvania farmer while at the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival...while we were in Virginia visiting relatives for Rosh Hashanah. (and yes, I tried it out before the holiday!)

If you're curious, even after writing a book about festivals, like, umm, Fiber Gathering, yes, I still love going to festivals, teaching at them, and speaking at them.  This festival was just a spur of the moment thing, so I went with my folks and my twins and just had fun!

 We came home to Winnipeg and it rained like crazy last weekend.  It seemed like the best Sunday afternoon though.   We had an emergency spinning wheel fix--(someone had been playing and got a drive band caught between the axle and the wheel.  This makes Mommy angry and causes us to do spinning wheel surgery, which involved kid teamwork! Yeah for teamwork!) Afterwards? Playing inside, spinning Churro on my Schacht spinning wheel, and even having the gas fireplace come on at intervals.

The new bulky flyer set up holds a lot of singles.  I also found treadling it made me sore afterwards!  Maybe less is more here? Or maybe I need more spinning as exercise?

 And, here are the bonus photos for longtime blog readers:

We had a lot of cabbage in the frig...when the CSA (community supported agriculture) farm is still delivering, two weeks of produce accumulates fast!  I made Everlasting Slaw.  Three quarts in the refrigerator now.  Fall is here.
 Last, but not least, I am attempting a new fall project...sewing some new clothes for myself.  This involves learning a lot of new moves, including how to make bias tape.  (quality time with my new rotary cutter, my old dependable iron, and some steam.)

More to come soon on this front, I hope!
If you're fasting, wishing you an easy, meaningful one...gmar hatimah tovah! 
 (May you be inscribed in the Book of Life!)

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