Knitting progress

I’m trying to sneak in a row here and a row there of knitting  to keep my sanity.  Thank goodness for toe-up, magic loop sock knitting.  This is turning out to be a very satisfying knit, not too much thinking involved.  I usually hold 1 strand crochet cotton with the yarn to re-enforce the toe and heel, then work 1 round solid yarn, 1 round variegated yarn.  The result of this combination looks a lot like fair isle without ends to weave in.

I started out the day feeling overwhelmed by life and stress, but it’s actually turning out to be a pretty good day!  And pretty soon I’ll have some comfy socks to wear.




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Polka Dots

I had a real Throwback Thursday moment last week – I found the hard copy of this pattern while cleaning out a desk drawer.  This is the knit that started it all 18 years ago!


copyright Jil Eaton Minnow Knits

When I was in the hospital after having my second child – a girl, I was looking at a Chatelaine magazine.  There used to be a mail order section in the back and that is where I found this pattern.  It was available as a kit with the yarn and pattern, so I ordered it in size 1 year.  My mother taught me to knit when I was around  8 years old, but I hadn’t knit in years and I thought it would take me a year to make it (mostly because I had my 15 month old son waiting at home and a newborn).  I wanted to have it ready for her first birthday.  Well, the kit arrived and I had that dress made in 2 weeks.  My daughter turns 18 in June, and I have seldom been with out a knitting project since.  Finding the pattern brought back many wonderful memories and the dress will be passed on and on, making new memories one day (not soon!  she’s only 18 and I am so, so,  young to be a grandma!), but  I’m thrilled I found it.

What is the first thing you made?  Do you still have it?


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 “The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize.”  Clairee Belcher (Steel Magnolias, Robert Harling):

That line makes me laugh every time!  


I’m embarrassed to call these bracelets a diy because they are so easy to make.  No tools required.

Thread a bead onto some cord (waxed cotton or leather, 2mm), tie a knot beside the bead to keep it from sliding around,  cut your cord to length, add a drop of super glue and insert the cord into the closure.  Done.

The leopard head can be found at Michael’s.  Using thin cord, attach to either side, macrame each side, attach clasp. And done!


This belt started life with lovely beads that probably spelled “Niagara Falls Canada” on it.    When I found it at the Goodwill, the beads were already gone.  I bought it, because it is made of good leather and I thought one day I might be ambitious enough to re-bead it with seed beads.  Well,  that wasn’t going to happen any time soon – so for a much quicker project I raided my daughter’s embroidery thread stash (used for making friendship bracelets).  Using random colours and a needle, thread through the holes, and secure on the back with glue.  I glued a piece of gros grain ribbon to the underside to protect the thread ends from wear and coming unglued.  Use any colour combination you like, I wanted this to be bright and colourful beacuse I plan on wearing it with a Canadian Tuxedo. (jean shirt and jean skirt).  I guess this is proof that “one person’s junk is another one’s treasure!  

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Shirt Re-fashion x 3

I love sewing.  I love going to thrift stores.  Throw in a field trip to peruse the remnant bin at my local fabric store and here’s what you get!

It all started with this pin I found on Pinterest.   I picked up a good quality white shirt at  the Goodwill, got a remnant of purple cotton broadcloth from my local fabric store and put them together.  This dress is soooo comfortable and easy to wear, and really easy to make – I was smitten by the up-cycle / re-fashion bug!


After seeing how easy it was to make the dress above, I was inspired.  So next I thrifted a short sleeve white shirt and pulled out a beautiful piece of silk / cotton I had in my stash.  It was also a remnant, not even 0.5 metres, but just enough to gather a little strip and turn the shirt into a peplum top.




This Saturday I made shirt re-fashion # 3.  I found a really well made Banana Republic shirt at the Sally Ann for $5.  It is pastel pink and very well tailored.  I combined it with a textured white cotton remnant found at Fabricland and poof!  Instant summer dress!  (the belt is borrowed from another dress, the shoes are J Crew (thrifted- thank you to who ever gave them up!))

Well, ok – not poof – it took a couple of hours to put it together and I even inserted a zipper into the side seam because I was worried it would be difficult to get on and off.  Turns out I didn’t need to, the buttons and a little bit of positive ease at the waist give me enough room.  I also cut the sleeves to make it short sleeved and cooler for summer.

I have already bought shirt # 4 from the Sally Ann ( white linen with 3/4 sleeves) and have plans to make the next one into a maxi dress with a chiffon skirt.  The re-fashion possibilities are endless – a sleeveless shirt would look good for a summer dress or a plaid shirt with lace skirt for fall.  How about a combining a thrifted leather or suede skirt with a beautiful shirt?  What about a beautiful patterned silk shirt with plain skirt?  The skirt can also be changed, pleated not gathered, or a-line with a front kick pleat, or….  ok – step away from the shirt rack, Michelle…

Spring better hurry up –  I’ve got a new dress to wear!!!!


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It’s still winter!



I’ve been trying to hibernate through this horrible, cold winter.  It feels like it will never end.  The snow is gone, but we haven’t put away the sweaters, coats, hats, scarves, mitts and long johns!  The few warm days we have had just seem like Mother Nature’s way of teasing us.  But, spring will come – it has to, right?

Here’s a picture I had meant to post a long time ago, taken at a VW show back in June 2014.  (what a wonderful warm, sunny day that was, sigh!)  This bus caught our eye, not only because it is a great example of crafty goodness and creativity, but also because our youngest is named Lucie!

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A little late to the party…..


Remember this sweater frenzy sparked  from Rodarte’s  Fall / Winter Colleciton, 2008 – 2009? It actually stuck around for a while, with many high street retailers making their own versions.

I – along with a lot of other knitters – looked at that dress and said “Pffft… I can do that!” (with a bunch of odd balls and scraps for no $$$, too!)   I’m not even sure when I started this sweater, but I found it in a bin 97% finished.  The back and sleeves were 100% finished, only the right side of the neck was left to be knit, seams to join and finish the ribbing at the neck.  I have no idea why I lost the motivation to complete it.   Anywho…. ta dah!


Don’t even ask me what yarn I used or needles – they are all odd balls and scraps from other projects.  I just gathered everything fuzzy I could find – pulled out colours I liked and knit.  Trend or no trend, I’m glad I finished it and will definitely wear it.  Styled with a vintage Ports International silk shirt.  I also recently found a rust coloured suede skirt at a thrift store, (brand new with the tags – $ 5.00), that might help to make me look like I  know what I’m doing!

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Happy! Merry!!!

Happy New Year to everyone!   I am very excited to see what 2015 will bring.

There was no Christmas knitting this year – I decided to skip the stress of last minute projects.  Don’t worry, there were hand made gifts, but they were of the edible kind!

This top down raglan was the last thing off my needles.  I wanted an everyday sweater, something basic to go with everything.  Grey is my new black , so I immediately fell in love with this Madeline Tosh yarn in Steam Age.






No pattern – basic top down raglan worked in the round. 10 cm positive ease

3.75mm needles for the ribbing / 4mm for the body

3 skeins – size XS

There are a couple of darker ‘stripes’ – variations in the hand dyed yarn and which occurred within a skein.  It  could have been made less noticeable if I had worked alternating rounds with 2 skeins of yarn – but I didn’t notice the colour change until I was 3/4 of the way through and I just decided to go with it!  Really, I just couldn’t wait to wear the darn thing – so imperfections and all – it’s my new favourite!




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