Friday, July 27, 2018

work/life balance

A new article just came out last week! (and yes, I almost missed it...)

Here's a link:
Talmudic advice on Lifestyle, Work

Note: This ran in the Vancouver Jewish Independent but if you get the Winnipeg Jewish Post & News, it may seem familiar.  It ran in both places...

A couple comments:
1) Yes, my sale is still on!  See the below post for more info if you need more knitting to balance out your work life.  (Or in my case, to do some work while balancing out the writer with twins lifestyle...)
2) August and early September may be a bit hit or miss on the blog front.  Summer camp ends today, and it will be me, twins, and dogs for the foreseeable future.  Lots of time for playing in the front yard, going to wading pools, taking the dogs on walks, and maybe even some time for knitting and spinning as I watch everybody.  All work or email responses happen at night, when the Professor is home, or in between adventures...please forgive any delays.

If you're curious about August is like over here, feel free to check out the blog archive...yes, the boys are now seven, but I suspect the sunshine and games will be mostly the same.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

sale! Making shade...

 To celebrate the launch of Fissure, my new pattern, I decided to have a sale. 

Save 20% off all my Ravelry patterns!

Use the coupon code:


The sale ends July 31st at midnight (CT, US & Canada).

While I've been away from the blog, I've been busy.  The Professor travelled to Ottawa for a second conference, the boys had summer camp, and Sadie the dog has needed an endless supply of walks, kongs filled with peanut butter, and other entertainment.

Also, it's been warmer than usual here, and we don't have air conditioning.  We don't feel we need it, but our living room was heating up.  I used an old sheet, some masking tape, and made a big curtain, and voila!  Shade.  However, it wasn't terribly elegant.  I missed seeing the dappled sun through the leaves, but also?  Our bank of windows cooked the room.  So, I spent $20 on curtain rods at Corydon Hardware Store.

I got out a bolt of muslin I bought years ago.  I made curtains. It was easy to hang them.  Old houses mean someone has done this before; we just used the holes they left on the window frames. We think we may take them down at the end of August, when it gets cool around here...but I didn't spend much on the effort, and it sure is cooler in our living room now. (I've purposely made this a small photo so you can't see the mess, right?!)

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Sunday, July 15, 2018

Chase the Chill Features Fissure

Back in June, I managed to corral the Professor, both twins, and Sadie the dog to go to Assiniboine Park for a few minutes on a Saturday afternoon.  I am usually spending time with my family and going to services on Saturdays when we can pull it off, but that day--It was a chance to support Knit In Public Day --which is hosted locally by Chase the Chill, a Winnipeg knitting charity which I think is fantastic.  Chase the Chill provides handknit scarves to Winnipeggers in need, once a year.  All  year long, people knit for Chase the Chill's annual event.  It happens in early December, when it is already plenty cold here.

It's simple.  The folks who run it go out with some helpers, and tie all those handknit scarves all over the trees in one downtown park with notes.  The notes say who knit the scarves, and invite people to take and wear the scarves to stay warm. 

Today I looked up Chase the Chill's twitter feed, because one of its organizers was the very first person to purchase Fissure.  Thank you, Val!  What I discovered on the twitter feed made me feel even more connected...

See this photo?  It topped the post for WorldWide Knit in Public Day 2018 for Chase the Chill in Winnipeg.  (See anything familiar?!)  Those are my hands, knitting the sample for Fissure.  Seconds before and after this shot, everyone was passing around the yarn label and fondling the yak. :)

Today, I discovered this on their twitter feed:

Thanks so much to Chase the Chill for connecting with local designers--and featuring us!  I so appreciate it...and of course, I appreciate what you do all year as you knit for cold Winnipeggers, too.

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Thursday, July 12, 2018


Fissure is live!

Yes, it's been a long while since I've released a pattern.  Here's more info:
A knitting pattern by Joanne Seiff

1. a long, narrow opening or line of breakage made by cracking or splitting, especially in rock or earth.

Ever thought of how life goes along, with all its texture, until something breaks? A fissure can be an illness, a career challenge, a relationship break-up…something that disrupts life’s texture. Fissure is a rectangular wrap to express that kind of disruption…but in knitting form.  This design features Cecila Campochiaro’s Sequence Knitting, a 3 stitch, textured repeat, until a Stockinette stitch, scalene triangle splits it apart.
The sample uses 2 skeins of Reywa Fibers’ Embrace, a DK weight, fair trade Tibetan Yak Down yarn, to create a wrap that drapes without elasticity.

Fissure, like life, is flexible: adjust the yarn type and weight and gauge by choosing a needle two sizes larger than called for and create a design all your own. With approximately 400 yards (366 meters) of DK weight yarn and size 8 (5mm) needles, the shawl measures approximately 60" (155cm) long by 12"(30cm) in width.
If you'd like to learn more, here are three ways to check out the pattern!

Finally, if you know what you want...and you want this PDF download right now?!
buy now 

Happy summer knitting! :)

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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Embracing Patched Jeans

Hurray!  My first piece went live yesterday on CBC-Parents!

It's in the "Learning" category.
It's live, and on a national CBC website!
Here's a link:
 Why My Kids Have Patches On Their Clothes And What That’s Taught Our Family

In other news:
Sadie the dog had a little run-in with the leftover sugar from canning yesterday.  Rather, she was annoyed that I left home (She was saying, "The nerve of that lady!  Going out for some groceries! Leaving me at home with Sally the dog, the Professor, and both twins---  All on my own!") and decided to do some investigation of our kitchen counters again.  Everyone else was upstairs, getting ready for kid bedtime. This time, Sadie's adventure involved taking a 2 kilo bag of sugar (maybe a pound or .5 kilo was left) and bringing it to the living room, ripping up the bag, and spraying sugar everywhere.  Talk about a mess...OY.  She is paying for it today with a real tummy ache.

It was a lot to clean up but it was also pretty funny.  Oh, we have a big puppy!
Note to self: Do not leave stuff out on counters!  Repeat! (Read that note, again and again.)

She'll grow and learn, but it takes training and time...and I have to train all the other family members to keep better track of her.  (Cause sometimes I do leave home to do things...crazy, huh?)

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Monday, July 09, 2018

July-the mending and making edition

The professor was invited to give a talk (lecture) at a conference in Naples, Italy.  For a variety of reasons--the cost of airfare, finding stuff to do with twins alone in Naples while he was at the conference, and well, the fact that I speak no Italian, among other things...I chose to stay home with twins and dogs this time while our professor did a very speedy trip to Europe.  He came home with treats for everyone.  For us though, one of the tastiest treats was the 10 Euro he spent in the duty-free shop on real Buffalo Mozzarella.  He carried it, in a little cooler, through many airports.  We all thoroughly enjoyed it!  (See above for the tomato and basil, plain, and dressed with Italian herbs versions...balsamic vinegar and olive oil were optional, too!)
When he got home, we took a walk in the neighborhood to do some errands, and this bag was on sale at a boutique.  It's made of recycled fabric and made with fair trade workers in India.  I love it-- (I kind of have a bag thing...) but it needs some more pockets and a closure.  I haven't figured that out yet.

Also this past weekend, we had other projects going on.  The twins and the professor picked our cherry bushes completely clean of ripe cherries-and those are now sitting in the frig, waiting for me to make cherry jam.  First though, came strawberry picking.  Usually this is a family trip, but Sadie the new dog is not quite ready yet for long stretches on her own.  So, I hung out at home and they went off to pick berries yesterday.

When they came back, one twin's lightweight gray pants were, umm, trashed.  Mending needs to happen, but when we thought on it, we all concluded that really, he just needed more warm weather trousers that he would agree to wear.

After some discussion, we decided that his most comfortable, holey, patched jeans would make good "long" shorts--essentially surfer length, if not longer.  Three pairs of pants rushed up to my office sewing machine last night.  50 minutes later...2 pairs for the kid with the urgent need...and 1 pair for the other twin.  (Maintaining parity is always good!)  We will see how these work.  In any case, the cut-offs look slightly nicer than some of the patches at this point. :)

Over the weekend, I took a quick trip to a fabric store I love, and I found this Marimekko-style remnant.  It was slinky and a weird shape.  Definitely not super useful, but I had to have it--and at $2.60 CAD, it was a cheap splurge.  While I made cut-off shorts, I pondered.  I had a linen tank top that never fit right.  It was sitting in a pile to be mended.

I hemmed the remnant and attached it to the tank top in a sort of handkerchief pinafore style.  We'll see if it stays assembled when I wear it...but at least now I can look at this pretty block print flower style some more.  The fabric was so sheer and slippery that pins made holes in it.  It was hard to work with--and I am not sure I'd like to try sewing something bigger with it.

Today though, it was all about strawberry jam.  17 cups of jam later, we still have two flats of strawberries left in the refrigerator.  There is one fabulous thing about seven year olds though.  Hand them a cutting board and a butter knife?  And the whole family hulled strawberries at once.  This saved me hours of prep work on my own.
I love making homemade, local "fast food" that goes on my pantry shelves for winter...but it also takes work and a chunk of kid-free time. (I find boiling water baths and kids do not mix, especially when trying out their new palm sized Italian race cars...)

Tomorrow, I start doing the cherries...wish me patience...I might need it!

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