Monday, March 12, 2018

"Simple Dress"

If by "simple" you can include hours spent googling and YouTubing, then this was simple. I have always wanted to make a new infinity dress. My original wasn't in the best material and then I cut it up for a dress muslin, which became a nightgown because it wasn't the best material. In my early searching, I can across a company selling many types of infinity dresses, including "Ivy". 
I liked many of the styles shown and recognized that really, this was just a rectangle with "armholes" and a long tie for the neck.

I chose this crazy patterned fabric, feels like a polyester knit. I went and got a similar feeling black to make the tie. Of course, on the cruise, there was no way for me to remember all the different ways to tie it. 

 The simplest way. Using the "armholes" as armholes. The long tie gets tied on one shoulder. I really didn't know what to do with the long tie after tieing.
 It felt loose and swingy and relaxed  though I was a little annoyed by the front being shorter than the back--but not short enough to be a "hi-lo" style. And it was prone to flying up on the windy deck!
 I tried it using the armhole at the centre front. I just don't think I have enough upper body length for the various criss cross wrapping styles. Right under my bust and it felt like my boobs were huge and it was a maternity dress. Further down and they were hard to stay in place because if I did them tight, it wasn't very flattering.
The back felt SO low. I'm not used to that!. And see how there's lots of fabric on my front but not on my back? Strange. I think I might have made one side of the dress with a wider piece--I should check that.
I'll probably wear it again, I just need to build some confidence my ability to do the different ties. And we either need a real summer, or another trip south LOL. Also, if you're trying to pack light, it's easier to get away with re-using one dress when it's a more basic solid colour LOL. This was a very distinctive dress on a ship of about 2500 people!

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

I Bought Yarn

I recently bought some white "Woollike" to finish up a Christmas stocking order from last Christmas. Thankfully, the recipient was born Jan 2 2018 :) This was my first (and so far, only) yarn purchase this year. I haven't really completed much either, except some dishcloths and one red scarf (for World AIDS Day). Thankfully I still have projects to show you from last year! LOL.

Yarn In:     100gr
Yarn Out:      0gr 
Balance:     100gr+
Costs:     $2.53/65 days= $0.04/day

Monday, February 26, 2018

Coral Socks

This is another project that didn't get blogged about when it should have. I think because it took soooo long to finish and I showed them on Instagram, I just never got around to posting here.
I started these socks probably August 2015. What? Really?
They were my purse knitting for a long time. Feb 12, 2017, I was still working on them. I had decided to knit them long and not waste any of the yarn. By Feb 21 2017, apparently I was done.

I can't find the photo anywhere on my phone or computer so I had to screenshot it from Instagram. And I'm too lazy to crop it. You get what you pay for, here.

I was able to find the ball band. It's Regia "Snowflake Color" in 07712. This line, is of course, discontinued. I can also tell you that I bought it from Soper Creek Yarn, and that the original price was $15.95 and the clearance price was $12.00. I can even tell you I bought it December 12 2013. What great fun the blog is, when things work! LOL. I will also tell you, since you can't see it, that I did a Fleegle Heel . I've used it quite a few times (well, it seems like a lot of times, but it could just be because I'm a slow sock knitter), and find it fits my thick feet quite well.  I started the ribbing right after the ankles and as I worked upwards, I gradually increased the needle size. I did not intend for the socks to match. They don't actually match precisely, one toe has more orange, but they're very close.

I included this yarn total in my totals for 2017. I have not bought much sock yarn--if any--since then, and I'm not very excited about the sock yarns left in my bin. Not enough of some, some are colours I really wouldn't wear but were "a good deal", etc. I really like the two other hanks of yarn I bought at the same time, but they're only 175m each, so not enough for socks. I'm currently knitting a pair of socks and the colours really make me yawn. Yeah, sure, sometimes we need more subtle socks, but they still don't do it for me. Sock yarn is one thing I see myself buying this year.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


While reviewing my blog for the year end totals, and trying to figure out when/if I blogged my coral socks, I realized that I had never blogged about my finished Estuary shawl. I had posted it on Instagram, but not here! I've been finding that happens a lot. I went back and edited my 2016 totals (yes, I made this shawl in 2016!), though the 67gr doesn't change things a lot, it did take it from a "more yarn in than out" year, to a "more yarn out than in" year. Barely. LOL. The cool thing is I could actually go back on my blog and find when I got this yarn! Apparently, it was March 2007! I tried working with it in November 2007, but wasn't happy with that project. Curlerchik and I have kept in contact, through blogging and then Instagram!

 These pictures were August 2015, at our favourite chip truck, which sadly disappeared. So I don't know exactly when I started the shawl, but it looks like I had a good chunk done here.

Apparently,  April 7 2016, I noticed a mistake, I had made a row with eyelets when there shouldn't have been. It's dead centre above, and off to the left below.

 Do you see them? I could not leave it. Rip Rip Rip.  I even blogged about the mistakes!
 I must have been really motivated to finished because by June 19 I had it finished and blocked.
 It's not a terribly wide "shawl", more scarf than shawl.

The colour reads more purple in sunlight. The pattern calls for fingering weight, and I think my yarn might have been more laceweight. I think I might have added a pattern repeat, but I'm not about to check it out now. It's a light, lovely little thing to wrap around the neck, or daintily over the shoulders with a sundress. Though I don't really do dainty.

I still have some of this yarn left over. I'm not sure how much but I don't think it's very much. Sometimes, you don't need to use up all the yarn. Sometimes it's nice to have a bit left, just as a keepsake.

Friday, February 02, 2018

2017 Knitting Totals

I'm so far behind in getting my yarn totals for 2017. I'm not sure if I even have all the data needed! Some of it might be estimated.  Edited to add a pair of socks I forgot about.

Two custom Christmas stockings: 200gr in, 150gr out, cost for the yarn, Aprox $10
Reyna Shawl: Araucania "Ranco Sock", 100gr (the amount left over was negligible)
Charcoal socks: 100gr
green Mittens: 84gr
Red scarves: 600gr
Water bottle holders (from February?!): 110gr
Campfire Cardigan: 615gr
Coral socks: 100gr

Wow, I kept forgetting things I hadn't blogged about yet!! I wonder if there's more?  I did just find out about a shawl I made in 2016 that I hadn't blogged about. I went back and edited 2016 totals, so now I'm editing these totals to reflect that.
So, all this added up to 200gr IN, $10, and 1859gr OUT. Let's add that to the last totals I had in 2017:

Yarn In: 2242gr + 200gr = 2442gr
Yarn Out:  3041gr + 1859gr = 4900gr
Balance: 2458gr more USED than bought
Costs:   $10 +$57.30= $67.30/365days = $0.18 per day  

Now, to be fair, my fabric purchases increased significantly last year. Though I am doing really well at buying and using  within a short period!

So, now I can do a comparison of the past six years:

                     2017                  2016                 2015                    2014                 2013              2012
Yarn In:      2442gr        11 223gr               9 989gr                 10 076            16 153           21 096
Yarn Out:    4900gr        11 260gr                9 272gr                  8 061            16 805           16 849
Balance:       2458-              37gr -              717gr +               2 015gr +        625gr -           4 247gr+
Costs:          $67.30          $507.27                 $430.10               $511.49         $378.91          $524.43

Six Year Totals:
Yarn In: 70, 979gr
Yarn Out: 67147gr
Balance:  3 832gr IN
Costs: $2 419.50

Six Year Averages:
Yarn In: 11, 829gr
Yarn Out:  11, 191gr
Balance: 639gr added each year
Cost per Day:$2419.50/ 2192 days = $1.10/day

A hobby (and small biz) that costs $1.10 per day? Seems like a bargain to me! I'm still pretty high on how much yarn has accumulated in the past 6 years, even though I see a decrease in my cubbies.  The average amount I'm adding each year was cut in half by this year's totals. I can't see myself using up 4000gr of yarn this year by just using the stash, but I'm certainly going to try! I see a lot of mittens and socks in my future!

Ummm...It almost looks like I gave up knitting this year!  Business was really slow, I did a lot more sewing, and I tried to shop from the stash. Then in October things got crazy busy.  I'm starting to find a balance now.  I haven't bought any yarn this year, though I have bought fabric. I discovered some Canadian fabric selling groups on Facebook! But I do work it up as soon as I can. I just haven't been able to blog much.

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Where'd December Go?

My last blog post was November 15. Little did I know how my life was going to change!! In September, I got a Jury Duty Selection notice. I was to appear in the court on Nov 7 (my middle child's birthday). This totally stressed me out. I would need to miss my lunch supervisor job.   And I would need to pay for parking. So, that would essentially mean losing $24 a day. I was missing my job for the cruise, so to miss it again a month later, stressful. For the kids too. The supply supervisor was not very competent. Well, she could walk around, but that's all she did. The uncertainty of jury duty was also stressful. It could be one day, the whole week, several Monday's in a row, or an extended period of time. I was trying to find a job--what new employer wants to hire someone in that situation?

The week before the cruise, I saw two job postings in the newspaper for day cares. They were looking for ECE assistants, which after a bit of Googling, I saw that I could do.   I thought on it for a day and submitted my resume. Both centres wanted an interview--that week. I hadn't done a job interview in about 15 years. So on top of getting ready for the cruise (ie--sewing clothes, getting a hair cut ,dyeing my hair, waxing, LOL) I now had two job interviews! They seemed to go well and immediately upon my return from the cruise I had offers from both centres. It wasn't feeling right though. One was quite a distance and wanted a supply assistant and in January, and after school worker--which I couldn't do with Megan's after school activities. They also wanted a written commitment of at least six months. The other centre was similar, but much closer.  Even though I had  been really keen and excited, I had to let my intuition guide me.

While on the cruise, I found out my Dad started chemo and spent the (Canadian) Thanksgiving in ICU due to infections. Then later in October/early Nov my mom got tripped up by their dog and broke her wrist. The jury duty was still looming, and some people advised me to apply for a delay. The notice said simply to call the courthouse. Others had told me they submitted a letter. I wrote up a letter and called the number, I think it was the Thursday before I was supposed to attend. The court worker said to email her a letter and she'd present it to the judge. She got back to me quickly and thankfully they delayed my duty until July.  I finally felt like I could breathe again. A huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I was looking forward to getting ready for my girls' birthdays and Christmas. That didn't last long1

 On November 13, I got an email with the subject heading "Are you interested in a secondary supply teaching interview with DDSB?".

I nearly fell off my seat.

I had finally put in my application just before school ended near the end of June. I knew they were doing interviews at that time and feared I had missed out. The VP mentioned in the early fall that they were doing more interviews. Back before the cruise, the kindie teacher I lunch supervise for showed me the letter of reference she wrote for the daycares and I nearly cried.  Finally knowing they valued and appreciated me was part of my decision to not take either of those jobs. I'd rather have 1 guaranteed hour a day where I'm known and valued, than random hours somewhere new.  Now I was facing the potential of leaving again. I knew I had the support of the staff though. My interview was Friday Nov 24.

I was nervous but had prepared as well as I could, considering I hadn't been a supply teacher for 17 years!  I had heard that I could be waiting a year for the interview, so I was just thrilled (at first) for the interview. I had also heard of candidates waiting weeks to find out the result. On the Tuesday after, while signing in at work, I got a call. She said I hadn't been successful for the daily supply list, but they wanted to offer me an emergency supply teacher position. She'd sent an email that day with details.

Wowszer! I didn't tell anyone at school yet. Went home, opened my emails, and there was one from HR saying I wasn't successful and I could apply again in A YEAR. Ugh. Then an hour later another one came about the emergency supply position. My sign up session would be that Friday, Dec 1. On Thursday, the ECE in the kindie room made a comment that I was theirs and to never leave them again. Uh oh, I said. I have some bad news. They were a little sad but happy for me too. I didn't know where I'd be placed but I thought maybe I could still keep doing lunch supervision--just have them call in the supply lunch supervisor on the days I got called.

I went to the sign up session on Friday and put on my form that I'd like to be at the school I'm already at. I knew they had an emergency supply teacher though, so I wasn't optimistic. I was just hoping for a school in the area!

Monday afternoon, I got an email telling me I got my school!! I had gone from parent and volunteer to part time staff (though sadly the lunch supervisors don't really get seen as staff), to an actual teacher at the school! This could be a hard adjustment, especially for the littler kids that knew me as "Miss Tracy".  I was all excited to tell everyone at the school the next day at lunch. Then I got a call in the morning asking if I could come in for the afternoon! I didn't have any of my old resources together yet! My kindie teachers didn't even know. What would I wear?! Especially since I was going to supervise kindies at lunch first.

Although I was off to a great start, I knew of other EST who barely worked. I needn't have worried! That first week, I called for the first half day, and then three full days (I could only do a half day on the last day). The next two weeks saw me working 2 to 3 days each week. Mostly in the French Immersion classes, which was quite an interesting experience, as well as learning the new technologies in the classroom.

The week before Christmas break, Rob had taken off from work. He booked it before I started working. He'd never taken that week off before. He had wanted to spend the week together doing Christmas prep. He was left to do much of it himself. Suddenly, I had an income, but no time to go gift shipping. LOL.

So, that's what's been up the past month and a half.  I have been knitting--I did get a Christmas stocking order and I did do some sewing, as well as helping Lucy make Pajamas for her friend. I've been sewing a lot since Boxing Day-- I got a new rotary cutter and cutting mat and they've made working so much easier. Plus, I got this Bluetooth keyboard and Megan got a phone, so I got my iPad back and can now blog while watching TV. Though I can't access my photos until I get to the desktop. I don't have any photos to add to this post though LOL. I did wear that dark blue dress I made for the interview :)

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Lago Tank

A few days before we left for our cruise, I realized that I didn't have many tank tops to take. I had lots of dresses and planned to wear them most of the time, but sometimes you need a tank and shorts. I had t-shirts for the shorts, but not tanks! What was I thinking! I looked around the internet. There is a free one at and I really liked it, but I didn't think I had time to fuss with cutting extra pieces for the band and the colour blocking lace. The only lace yardage I had was bright salmon, and my colours for the trip were blue, white, and beige. I didn't have much time, or money, to go out shopping. I was also concerned because that one is more racerback and even though I have those bra clips, I didn't want to have to fuss. I kept looking around the internet and found the Lago Tank from Itch to Stitch. I  thought it looked like a great option. Good coverage, free, lots of possibilities with colour blocking.

Then I thought, I could do a simple lace panel up the back. The wide lace "trim" stuff. I opted not to for the first tank though. I used the same striped fabric as Hugh's shirt. I had the same issues. How to cut it when it's super stretchy!  I tried it on, and it was a shapeless sack. I had made the size 12, but shortened the upper straps and took some out in the body length. It looks like I shortened the body in two spots. Her patterns are drafted for someone 5'6". I'm 5'1". Much of that shortness is in my upper body. Since I shortened it above the armholes, I couldn't use the band measurements given. I tried measuring and doing math. Then I just sewed them on, pulling a "bit" of tension on the bands.

I know this picture is totally not styled, and is a bad selfie, but still.
I look like I have NO bust! But look at that stripe matching!! I took it in under the arm several times (was that before or after the band?). This fabric stretches, but I don't think it has good recovery.
 I did wear it on the cruise. This was the last sea day. So, obviously it wasn't my favourite!

The next one I made was white cotton-lycra (5%). I used this fabric  for a white t-shirt I was also taking. I bought some white stretch lace "trim" and did a simple panel up the back. I quite liked it! I played with  the idea of doing a bright colour, or even blue, but I'm glad I stuck with white.

 Hubby was having difficulties with being my photographer
 Yeah, that's a nice shot of one boob. Thanks hun.

For the third tank, I used a rayon maxi shirt from Wal-Mart, that I picked up at Value Village. I went with dark blue lace for it. This I wore in Aruba when we went walking around.
 Oh, I did wear the blue striped sack one other time. When we went on a "mini Jeep" excursion. Fun. But I got soooo sweaty. I don't think anything would have prevented that though.
 Here's a close up of the scalloped edge of the white lace trim. I top stitched the lace, but you really don't see the scallops. Lace yardage would have been fine.
 The blue section went pilly when I washed it. I also did a tiny, tiny hem, and it's totally flipped up now.  When we were disembarking, I saw a woman wearing a t-shirt in what looked like this fabric. I wonder if Wal-Mart sold matching t-shirts, or if she also refashioned a skirt!
I really liked the lace "colour blocking" on the back. It adds a nice touch without a lot of extra work. Just elevates it up a notch. I will definitely be making more of these tanks as that's an area of my wardrobe that has been neglected. Plus, I bought some white linen shorts for the trip, and "everything" goes with white! Except more white, of course.