Where do I start?
I am facing facts that with two heavy summer courses (with 60 assignments a week to mark) and a whole lot of family stuff going on, it is unlikely I will be posting again before next week. Maybe a review of the new Vogues excepted.
I am also watching the clock because I am off shortly to the 40th anniversary party of some friends. He has early onset dementia unfortunately but I have to tell you if things get rough in this life it helps to have lived a good one. They have six kids (the last two were twin boys, how did my friend do it? I wondered then and I wonder now) and they will all be there today. And they all turned out too, even the twins who were a couple of characters I can tell you. It also helps to have faith, which they do in a sort of practical way.
So what has the week been like?
Yesterday my niece left for Ottawa where she is going to be spending the next two and a half weeks with my sister there before going home to Winnipeg.
It has been a while since I had a 14 year old to take care of and I enjoyed it. We did a lot. She had surf lessons from her cousin, learned to chase toddlers (new experience for an only child - and I learned how many times a 14 year old says "Oh joy, there they go again"), now can knit on four needles (took me 20 years to get that far), and can cook enough to stay alive. For my part I now understand I need more eyeliner and how many documentaries are on Netflicks, and that kids really are the same as they ever were, texting or no texting.
It feels odd now not to have someone in the house up till three and sleeping in till noon. I will miss her.
I have already changed the sheets in that room.
It looks like my half-way through pregnant step-daughter has some issues and has been put on complete bed rest for the next four months. She and her dogs are going to be coming here to do that as she lives in the country and her husband travels a lot with his job. I have a ranch house with a bedroom right across from the bathroom and next to the kitchen and we are only 15 minutes from the hospital. If we do what we are supposed to, and we will, she will be fine. Personally I have decided losing one baby was enough for this family this year. More than enough.
I am always busy but I do it by making sure I have some project time, as random as it is. Here is my update for the week:
The fair isle vest. Well that project is moving closer to the finish line and I only have to cut it open for the neck and arms (yes that's what you do after you machine stitch across the knitting) and sew in 2,000 yarn ends. That will be a back-to- Netflicks project for sure. I had planned to give this to my son's girlfriend, the one I am crazy about in NYC, and I would really like this to turn out, best I can. Here is a picture to prove a) I am not that great a knitter b) I am not lying to you that I am doing this crazy thing:
You will notice, as I have, that this is not perfect. Far from it. I forgot to knit the little yellow dots in the centre of the squares in one row, but I have googled that and am now poised to add duplicate stitches to my repertoire.
I have also been working on my utility summer, going to the Superstore in shorts purse, which I hope to have finished before actual summer ends. I have never made a purse before and just used stuff lying around my sewing room so this is kind of a stuffable muslin.
I really wanted to try for a purse with a lot of pockets so it would be easier to find my things. I am super pleased with this pattern.
I have sort of a messy purse reputation.
Once when I was working for politicians and talking to the media everyday I lost my cell phone and had to get a new one. In those days a new cell phone meant a new number. By the time I had contacted everyone who needed to be contacted, about three weeks later, I found my cell phone. It had been in my work purse the whole time, down in the dark depths, dead as a doornail along with 14 pounds of pennies.
Here is the partially completed purse, still needing the handle. There is also a bellows external pocket like this one on the other side, a zippered pocket inside and two smaller bellowed pockets, one of which could hold cell phone, near the top of the inside of the purse:
I used some cotton duck and I am telling myself it doesn't look this messy in real life. That little yellow tab by the zipper of course is a fix. The exposed zipper (gawd how I miss good NYC zipper access) went in fine but do you think I could get the markings out I put in to mark the placement at that end of the zipper? No. This made me crazy and I decided that every time I looked at this purse I would go off to get a wet washcloth or something to start scrubbing again and so I decided to cover it up so I wouldn't make myself crazier. Doing that well enough on my own.
Finally, I have been canning my brains out again. For no real reason other than it is in my DNA and because I find this the most soothing of my activities.
Here is what some of that looks like, I have lots of other shelves going on:
I grew up until I was a teenager in a small town in Manitoba. Canning was it. My dad's family were farmers (my grandfather excepted he went into Winnipeg and became a pharmacist and kept the rest of them going through the Depression, but that's another story). My dad's cousin's wife lost her legs quite a number of years ago now to cancer and the thing they say about her is she still got her canning done, the wheelchair worked just fine.
It's that kind of culture.
In fact a few years ago the local jar making company decided, without warning, to discontinue a certain kind of lid. This caused a huge uproar. One lady in Saskatchewan was left with 3,000 jars she regularly used every summer useless, and the Hutterite colonies had 250,000 duds.
Even the Manitoba Minister of Agriculture got involved and sent a letter to the company saying "
- I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon