Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas Stitching: A Tie for Dad

I've titled this post as Christmas stitching, but really, this is a really, really, really late gift for my dad for Father's Day.  Sorry Dad!  

I love making ties although they are time intensive as everything is hand stitched.  This is  100% silk with a lovely hand and purple and silver design.  The tie is interfaced with lambswool. Dad loved it!  (sorry for the photo)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas sewing: Project bags

I've been sewing project bags for awhile now and recently started selling them through my LYS, Wabi Sabi.  I'm in the process of setting up my etsy store, but in the meantime gave one to my mom for Christmas.

These are my medium wedge bags.  The bag is fully lined, interfaced with fleece and has a handle for easy portability.  My mom loved it!  As you can see, it fits 2 cakes of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino light comfortably.  I also have small and medium box bags and large wedge bags suitable for a sweater's quantity.  

The 2 cakes of Tosh Merino Light are of the colourways Torchere and Charcoal, which will be used for a colour affection along with Cloak.  I went for a little shopping trip to one of my favourite LYS local to my mom in Ancaster, The Needle Emporium.  Julie has great stock with a variety of yarns and accessories, including the most amazing selection of Madelinetosh I have ever seen. If you're in the area, I highly recommend you check it out!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Stitching Heaven

While in Toronto, my boyfriend, MrG, earned the badge of being the best boyfriend EVER by going shopping with me.  And I'm not talking clothes shopping, I'm talking fabric and yarn.  Oh yes my friends -- and he didn't complain once.  Not while I was humming and hawing and searching for the perfect shade of mustard fabric, not while I was trying to match Noro dyelots and not while I touched every single thing I could in the Purple Purl. 

Here we are at The Wool House, where I got some delicious mustard yellow wool crepe.  It will be a simple A-line or pencil skirt. My initial pick was some sort of soft and gorgeous rare cashmere that cost upwards of $200/m (and made the owner laugh when I picked it up and exclaimed "I found it!").  Sh*t I have expensive taste.  

After The Wool House, we made our way back down Queen Street where we hit up Americo and I got a button made out of an avocado pit for my For Good hat and then a button store where I stocked up on some buttons for upcoming sweaters.  I went full on 80s with neon yellow, orange and blue. Then we hopped on the street car and headed to  The Purple Purl.  Here I am collecting some Noro for a Lanesplitter skirt and MrG got some Tanis Fiber Arts DK for his first ever scarf.  Yes, ladies, he's learning to knit (and he's quite good!). And, yes, I'm keeping him:)  

The best day ever.  

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Knitting in Strange Places

Do you knit in strange places?  Well, strange to non-knitters anyways? How do you approach it?  How do you deal with others reactions?

A couple of weeks ago, I went to the Vanier Cup and brought my knitting with me.  I don't watch or follow football by any means, but it was something different to do and I really liked the atmosphere.  AND it was the perfect place to pull out my knitting -- I wasn't really paying attention, I was sitting still and there was great lighting and beer!  All conform to a great knitting opportunity.  But, I'll admit, I was very hesitant to pull it out.  I was with a group of people I had just met and I was worried about how they would react (they are much more keen on football than I).  My boyfriend encouraged me to take it out and, well, the reaction was mixed.  Everyone commented on it and some, I don't think, were too pleased.  No one was rude, but I felt very awkward.  I almost put it away but was encouraged to keep I did.  I mean, if I was going to be hanging out with this group, they had better get used to seeing me knit, right?!  But, still, how would you deal?  I'm shy by nature and, yes, probably overly sensitive to other peoples reactions. I'm also definitely not the type to confront anyone, especially this group as it was important for me to make a good impression.  Does anyone have any tips or suggestions on how to deal? Do I just keep doing it until it's no longer "strange" or until I am able to filter out the people around me?

On the upside, I managed to complete a couple of rows of my Secret of Change shawl!  It's out of Space Cadet Lucina fingering in the silver colourway that I got from Rhinebeck.  I'm loving it:) 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Blogging is a lot of work!

My original goal for blogging was to post, on average, 3 posts a week.  I am failing miserably:(  It's really the picture taking that's doing me in.  Without a proper camera, it's next to impossible to get a photo of myself in anything...well, except for the mirror shots.  Any suggestions from other bloggers out there?  Any tips for make blogging more of a routine or easier to incorporate into my schedule? Anyhoo, no excuses.  Just saying that I've been making lots of progress and am going to try to get better at getting my arse in gear. 

In the meantime, some neighbourhood graffiti has been inspiring me. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Simplicity 2246

I take a course every semester with a local designer and some great seamstresses in fashion design. I LOVE it. We chat, we learn, we make stuff.  Every class I have an "aha" moment and it's like my world is being turned upside down.

Last semester we focused on pants and blouses.  For my blouse, I chose to make Simplicity 2246, which is a Lisette pattern from the designer of Olive S & Co.  I made view A, so instead of a blouse, it’s actually a shirt dress.  

(image from:

 Modifications: in order to meet the requirements for class, I drafted a sleeve placket and cuff and also a proper stand collar (in lieu of the faux stand collar included with the pattern). I used a size 10 and graded to the 12 at the waist and hips. 

The material is fine wale navy blue corduroy that attracts lint like no one’s business.  I decided not to line the dress as I will likely wear a slip with it and finished the seams with a serger.

Overall, I’m very happy with how this turned out. The final version is a little looser than my muslin (I think the corduroy has a bit of stretch in it), but I’m used to wearing more fitted clothing, so I think it will just take some getting used to.  I wore it to work the other day thinking that I would wear tights for the walk in and then take them off and just wear it with ballet flats…Um, yeah, summer’s over Jacey.  I had my tights off for ½ hour before I got too cold and had to put them back on.  Then my dress clung to them all day like a small child not wanting to let go of its mother.  Next on my sewing list is a slip!!

Oh, and I looked down while I was sitting at my desk when I wore it to work and found that perhaps the buttons are spaced a little too far apart as I had skin showing around my stomach.  Another reason I really need to make a slip!

My pants from the class are the ever popular Jalie jeans and are still waiting for belt loops and waistband.  I won't lie, I'm nervous about them.  They didn't fit well out of the gate and I'm afraid they're going to look a little "becky home-ecky".  So, I'll either have a pair of great jeans to show you soon, or we can all have a giggle at my new "painting jeans":)

(sorry about the crappy pics -- I'm relying on my iPhone right now as my other camera recently decided everything should be pink. I'm shopping around for cameras, so hopefully it won't be for too much longer!)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


This was my first time ever going to Rhinebeck and it certainly won't be the last!  It was everything I hoped it would be and I can't begin to describe how wonderful it feels to hang out with people who are as passionate and interested in your craft as you are.  I really felt "at home".  We hit every Target we could find on the way down (Targets, although on their way, aren't in Canada yet) and I got some great flannel from JoAnn's for pj pants. 

We only went on the Saturday, but it was plenty and we were all pooped by the time we left at 5:00. 

We were there at 8am and first in line!!!  Which means we were able to score a Jenni The Potter Rhinebeck mug, woo hoo!
Some of the line ups were crazy, like this one at Miss Babs.  But, we were warned, and really spending time in line admiring everyone's selections?  There are worse ways to spend my time.

We met some podcasters as well. Pamela and I went to the podcaster meet up where we met TheKnitGirllls, Diane from Knitabulls, and Aimee and Darren from Knitting In Circles.  Oh, and Ysolda Teague!  Earlier in the day, I ran into Lisa of Fibernymph (she also does the 90% Knitting podcast) and she was handing out samples of some of her yarn.  This is me with Bashful:)

And of course, there was knitting, lots and lots of knitting.
 I can't wait for next year!!!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Rhinebeck Bound
Myself and four fantastic women from stitch n'bitch are hitting the road tomorrow to the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival (aka Rhinebeck) - woo hoo!  I'm so excited.  Hopefully I'll have lots of new stash to share next week...and some sewing too!

Unfortunately, I didn't get a sweater done specifically for Rhinebeck, but I will be wearing my Quintet cardi, which I love.  It's Berroco Ultra Alpaca and oh so soft. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Simply Claire

Hello!  Welcome to my blog! 

I’m very excited to begin this blog.  In this first, inaugural post, I want to introduce a new sweater pattern I just released named “Simply Claire”.  I often wonder how people come up with names for their patterns.  Is it random?  Are they inspired by something in particular?  For this pattern, I was inspired by my grandma, Claire.  She turned 80 on the day I finished writing the pattern and so I thought it apt that the two coincided. 

I’ll give a little more information on me and this blog in my next post.  But for now, check it out!  Available on Ravelry or Craftsy.  My sister, Gillian, is the model and I have to say, she look hot in this sweater!  Apparently she wore it to the grocery store last week and got all sorts of compliments on it.  I don’t know what pleases me more – that she got compliments on something I designed or that she’s actually wearing it!  You knitters out there know how frustrating it can be when you put your time and energy into a project only to it go unappreciated by the recipient.  I know Gillian appreciates the effort (she loves hand knit socks!) but to have her wear it out and about is just fantastic. 

Simply Claire
This sweater was inspired by the desire for something I could wear to the office with a skirt or work pants instead of a blazer or jacket. In keeping with this desire, Simply Claire was designed with clean lines, set-in sleeves and shaping to hug your curves in all the right places without creating bulk. At the same time, because it is knit in a worsted weight yarn, it knits up relatively quick.

As it happens, not only does this simple little cardi look great paired with a skirt, it's also perfect for a Saturday afternoon in jeans!

Simply Claire is designed to be worn with 1" to 2" of negative ease and would look fabulous on a woman with curves.

For women's garments: XS [S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL]

Finished Measurements
Chest: 30 [34, 38, 42, 46, 50, 54] inches
Length: 23.5 [24.5, 25, 25.5, 26, 26.5, 27] inches

20 sts / 25 rows = 4" x 4” in stockinette stitch

Cascade Yarns 220 [100% Wool; 220yds/200m per 100g skein]; color: 890; 5 [5, 6, 7, 8, 8, 9] skeins
1 set 4.5mm (US#7) double-point needles
1 40” 4.5mm (US#7) circular needle
Tapestry Needle
1” buttons – 7 [7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8]