Pages

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Driving to the Okanogan

Just for a change of pace with no crafty stuff involved...

I went with my cousin on a working adventure into the Rocky Mountains from the snowless Coastal Fraser Valley, not far from Vancouver...

It has been awhile since I was outside my "comfort zone" and even though it was quite a bit colder and very different than at home, I totally enjoyed the 2 days in the Mountains.

We travelled first to Kamloops via the Number One Highway...  I guess this Highway isn't used as much as it used to be, because there are alot of abandoned or rundown buildings just off the highway-- gas stations, stores, even motels, that don't get enough traffic to stay in business.   We had a very nice drive tho along the Thompson River which was right along side the highway for a long ways...


After a day and some work in Kamloops we headed out the next morning to  Merritt, BC - a short stop, gas and a snack -- and then onto Peachland in the Okanogan Valley where we had some more work...

My cousin did all the driving and I did the talking and picture taking...
The highway to Merritt was rather snowpacked and the driving was slower than expected -- about 80 kmh most of the way, but it sure was Pretty!


I am very thankful that we were in a nice warm car, because this part of the country is not very populated and there was not much traffic on the road -- a breakdown or a slip off the road could me a fairly long wait for rescue -- maybe...





Then just about lunchtime we came down off the Mountain Passes and into the Okanogan Valley on highway 97 with a short hop into Peachland where we had a meeting and a bit of work, then dinner and with just a bit of trepidation, and my cousin doing all the driving, we headed back to the Coast -- almost 4 hours - on what is called the Connector, and then the Coquihalla or highway 5...
No photos of the sights along the road home tho as most of the drive was in the dark and thankfully the high mountain highway was mostly clear and dry.   But amazing to me was how many semi trailer units were roaring along the highway!  There were probably 7 or 8 big trucks to every car!  I guess nighttime is when the merchanise and store products move across our country!

Just a nice change of pace....


Monday, November 2, 2015

Little Words that Inspire...

Yesterday when I went to Church, my friend said that she had meant to get a Poppy for her husband to wear and she had not seen any being sold yet around the area.

Funny how Christmas starts in August, in stores, and even Halloween right after School starts in the fall,  Valentines right after the new year; but Rememberence Day Poppies are not seen by November 1st, only 10 days before the day here in Canada that we set aside to Remember those who served in Canada's wars...

 That little remark during church, dug its way into the back of my mind and whirled about for a few hours while I was sleeping...

When I woke up this morning, (Monday) I went into my yarn stash and found a glorious Poppy Red yarn and by the time I had finished up my breakfast I had a first poppy crocheted!


This poppy is my own design, though it is such a little thing I am quite sure someone other than me has created others that are similar...

This is what I did to create a Crochet Rememberence Day Poppy

make a Magic Ring  
(Google "crochet magic ring" to learn how to make this really easy way to start a circle)to begin,
Chain 3, and double crochet 9 times for a total of 10 stitches which includes the chain 3.  pull the magic ring tight and slip stitch in the top of the chain 3 to join.
Row 2, 2 dc in each stitch around - you should have 20 dc.
Row 3 (every two stitches will form each petal)* sc, 2dc in first stitch, 2dc, sc in next stitch* repeat this around so that you have 10 'petals'
fasten off and hide tail.

Then I used a piece of felt on front and back just so my stitches would hold and not go through the crochet yarn without grabbing onto something.   I used a 3/4 inch dark colored button from my stash as the poppy centre and a large safety pin on the back to attach to someone's lapel.  Button and pin were hand sewn and the ends hidden.


Took me about 20 minutes to make one...
I haven't quite got to it yet, but I am hoping to make a half dozen or so by tomorrow afternoon to give as little gifts to some friends I will be visiting with.

oh yeah, almost forgot, I used a worsted weight yarn and a size 4mm crochet hook -- which made the stitches quite tight -- the whole flower measures about 3 inches across.  If you use a finer yarn your poppy will be much smaller...

The only drawback to making your own poppy is that the Royal Canadian Legion will not make the money that you might have given to buy their Poppies, so perhaps take the time to put a couple of bucks into their box even if you don't need another Poppy...

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Back on Line after Electronic Failure! or How to make Capelet 1743


Aw yes, the dreaded dying computer screen...
This happened on September 24 and took a week to resolve -- my computer guy saved all my documents and files and then took apart the computer, gave me the harddrive, and sent the rest of it to the recycle depot!

Cost me just under $100 to recover many of my saved documents including photos, that were not completely backed up and 9 years of Miss Snips Notebook columns that I had written for The Canadian Quilter Magazine -- tho most had been backed up on USB thingys, I wasn't sure what wasn't backed up so the guy at IFIXCOMPUTERS in Abbotsford, BC made me very happy with the save!

I did not have to buy a new computer tho, because a few years ago (I am always thinking ahead) I had a few extra bucks and at the time I bought a laptop computer that I didn't need but it was a good price -- so every now and then I would turn it on and let it do its updates, and put it back in the closet....   

So even tho my excuse is that my computer died and I couldn't update my blog, that wasn't quite true, except it has taken me a bit to get used to Windows 10, and to transfer some files from old to less old but new condition computer!

So, I have kept fairly busy lately with various projects and finding time to write has been on the bottom of my to do list...

Recent projects include a couple of scarfs made using 'given to me' yarns that are a few years old and not labeled.  They were, a fine yarn, with a very fuzzy look, not like the modern chunky yarns or the less modern eyelash type yarns, but these have proven to be very easy to work with and feel very nice when made into scarfs...

this first one is a 60" round mobius scarf that is about 8" wide -- it currently is in the mail on its way to be part of an online auction to benefit
along with a few other scarfs, mitts and leg warmers.

This scarf is the same sort of yarn, probably 20 years old, but in good condition and has a very nice cosy feel to it, it is wide at 12 inches and very long -- might as well use up all the yarn I have -- at 82 inches... wrap it around a few times!

And my most recent project.   


I am very happy with this little shawl, or capelet you might call it.   I am calling it Capelet 1743...
It is my own pattern, but I did see a similar project on the TV show Outlander and liked the looks of it, then sometime after I had seen the one on Outlander, I got one of those advert emails from Lion Brand Yarns selling patterns and yarns for the shawls seen on Outlander.   Well the one I liked was $7.49 for a ball of yarn and a emailed pattern....
I am frugal.
Can't help it.
Thought about it.
Then Michaels stores had a yarn sale.


This yarn.
I wasn't at all sure about it because it was 85% polyester, but it was only $2.49 a ball!   I bought 6 balls, way too much -- I used not quite 3 balls and a 6mm crochet hook with single crochet throughout.

Simple instructions for Capelet 1743 by Susan Being Snippy...
If you make this, I would appreciate it if you either leave a comment here, or comment or link to my post on Ravelry, where you will find a link to these instructions... Thanks.

This project is based on measurements rather than number of stitches, so you should be able to make this using any yarn and any hook you want, I can't guarrantee that it will be as drapey as using the Loops and Threads Mirage yarn with a 6mm hook tho...

Chain 32.
Single crochet in second chain from hook and then single crochet to end of chain, turn.
chain one, single crochet in base of chain, single crochet to the end of row.
Repeat until the piece measures 26 inches long.
Do not cut yarn.
Chain one.
Single crochet along the row edge so that you make one single crochet per row until you have 30 single crochet stitches.
Chain one, single crochet in base of chain, single crochet to the end of the row.  This will form a L shaped piece.
Continue to add single crochet rows at the right angle to the first long piece, for 13 inches.
Finish at an inside corner, but do not cut yarn. 
Carefully single crochet around the piece until you get to the corner before going along the 'inner' edge which will form your collar.
Turn, single crochet in single crochet in previous row, chain one,  and missing the single crochet in the previous row.   Work your way around to the opposite side, without going around the neck edge.
Make two rows in this fashion.
To form the 'collar, fold over.  and it will lay as if you had made a separate collar.
On the one I have made, I chose a large, 2 inch coat button from my stash and sewed it at the point where the 'collar' neck line joined up so that the neckline remains closed.  If you don't want to do that you can use a brooch or decorative pin to hold the collar neckline in place.
Enjoy!

Link up today with the Needle and Thread Network

Monday, August 24, 2015

Out of Whack - Seasonal Projects...

I don't have very many close friends who sew, crochet or knit, or any other crafty type of hobbies.  I know a few gardeners, and a model train hobbyist, and most of the men I know are avid sports fans -- oh and one fellow (my son actually) builds guitars and electric guitar sound pedals, but really very few now who do needle crafts....

I think because of that, a few of the people I talk to on a regular basis don't really get the concept of working months ahead of what other people consider "the season".    A gardener does think ahead somewhat and if they have a big enough garden or yard may keep track of perennials and annuals and other sorts of plants.  A gardener does plant in spring to harvest in fall so it is kind of like thinking ahead in one season to get the results in the next.

Sports fans live in the moment, I think.  Or at the end of a loosing season most just say "Next Year!" but they don't actually do anything about it until next season comes around again (unless they are actually a manager or participant).

But with needle crafts you sort of have to plan ahead.  A friend wondered why I was spending my free summer hours knitting or crocheting scarfs...  And what did I say?

Well, you can't knit a scarf in a couple of hours, it takes time, especially if the time is in bits and pieces through the days....  So knitting a scarf in summer might seem like a silly time to be making something you don't need til October or November...  But if I want a scarf in November the only way to have it is to have made it quite a while before....

So I have been working on three projects the last couple of weeks --- each one as I feel inclined.

The knitted scarf with the expensive Noro Garden Silk yarn is coming along...




It is just about 23 inches long and needs another 7 or 8 inches to be an easy to pull over the head COWL.   I am quite pleased with the result of the project but even tho I found a source online that sells this yarn at 1/3 the price that was on the label of these balls, I don't think I would buy this yarn if it was not in the thrift shops, or given to me...

A larger project that I expect to keep me busy for a few months yet is my traditional granny square afghan.
Definitely a classic design and I have always wanted one for myself!  My grandma had one and a older neighbor lady had one when I was a little girl and I want an ABSOLUTELY PERFECT ONE for me...


I am using 100% pure wool that comes in small hanks, that is actually meant for tapestry or rug yarn.   All the 'hanks' I have picked up at 2nd hand stores and if I keep my tension right I can make three squares (3 1/2" sq) with three hanks...


I have 36 squares joined which makes just over 22 inches square and I have 60 squares made but not joined...  I expect to have to make at least another 200 squares!

And because there is always something new to try out, I was browsing the internet and came across a pattern that I liked but didn't want to make it so loose or so big...  The pattern is on the Red Heart free patterns site and is called Happy-Go-Lacy Shawl.   My variation is that I changed the treble crochet stitches to double crochet and instead of being 18 inches wide I reduced it to about 8 inches and it will be a scarf.   But the thing I did like about this is using sock yarn and as I progress with this scarf and stitch pattern I am finding I REALLY, REALLY like the feel of it!  Being a sock yarn it is mostly wool with a bit of nylon in it and as it progresses, it is very light and soft and cushy against the skin!   I think I will go and get some actual Red Heart Heart and Sole yarn (because again, I am using thrift store yarn which is a Deborah Norville, I think from the USA yarn) and make a couple more of these as gifts....





So, in the heat of summer, here I am making things to keep myself and a few others cozy come the cool winds of autumn!   If you get one of my creations, then you gotta realize I didn't make it the day before Christmas or the day before your birthday....

One of the other things that I like about working months ahead, is that I can experiment with what makes me happy and if I am happy with the product and the pattern, then I am going to put my "best" into it...

The best thing about "do it yourself", no matter what it is, is that it is likely to be a one and only!  or as the slang term is a "one off".   You can go to Wal-mart or some other big store and buy a scarf, but as you are paying for it you gotta know that 100 people across the country have just got exactly the same as you...   I like the idea of being just a little bit different than everyone else.



Thursday, August 13, 2015

Yarn Dilemna

The other day my friend Doris brought me some yarn that she had acquired from free or cheap sources...  She did not need all that she had got so shared some of the treasures with me.

Some very nice yarns and very use-able yarns, a couple of balls of Loops and Threads Impeccable (Michael's Stores) which I really like for hats or scarves to give away, a couple of balls of a Patons chunky yarn also good for nice warm cowls, 3 balls of a orangy and white mohair/acrylic which I am thinking might be a nice shawl and 2 Noro Garden Silk that had price stickers on each of  $21.99!

I spent a couple of days just looking at the yarns, thinking about them, wondering which to start on and what I might create with them....  I couldn't stand it any longer --- I had to figure out why a yarn -- even if it was mostly silk would cost $21.99 per ball...  And really who would pay that much and then still have to spend the time making something with it?  That makes it awfully expensive.   I guess I just live in a more frugal, common world!

So I thought that I would play around with this "special" yarn....  I had actually considered listing these balls of yarn on my Etsy store, but sometimes when a diamond falls in your lap you just have to keep it for yourself...


First I got out my trusty crochet hook, and my big "The Complete Book of Crochet Stitch Designs" and looked through it for a lacy but not too holey design.  I started --- I did about 4 rows, I didn't like it.  RIPPIT...  Then I tried another simple crochet stitch, just half double crochet, I didn't like it, RIPPIT....  Then I thought, maybe it needs to be knitted...  So after quite some time online, cuz I don't have a knitting book, I decided to do a sort of garter stitch rib variation, which was 7 rows stockinette then 3 rows stockinette the other way...


I kinda liked it and actually worked 30 rows, but there still was a problem...  The needle was just a bit too large of a gauge -- it was the thinnest I had, tho so the stitches looked loose and fairly uneven...  So yep, RIPPIT...

Oh and the thinness and smallness, I don't know what else to call it was making my hands ACHE!   So that wasn't going to work.

I went to bed -- my brain seems to work all by itself while I sleep the night away!  When I opened my eyes this morning, I knew what I was going to do.


Of course if I had paid $21.99 for each of these balls of yarn, I would never have done this.   I doubled up the two skeins into one...  It actually took me close to 2 hours to match the color run because as you can see in the photo above each ball of yarn started at a different point.  I started with one ball, winding it on my thumb until I came to a point that fairly closely matched up with the other ball...  Cut off the part from the first ball, and matched them and started winding and winding and winding.  Oh and winding...


It worked out very well, except I did discover that one of the balls of yarn must have been partly used because there was a full two or three color changes left on the first ball of yarn that had nothing to match with on the second ball of yarn....

Now, I am happy with it as it stands.   I still think I will go with knitting a garter stitch rib that I described earlier, but I have to go find a proper gauge knitting needle (s)  to use --  Stay tuned for the concluding or continuing episode!


While I was writing this blog post, my husband was outside watering my container plants -- everything is in containers, because my whole yard is about as big as your living room...  This morning there were a handful of ripe strawberries, he ate a few and brought some for me!  I LOVE strawberries!  So far, the strawberries, which are already eaten, were much more satisfying than $21.99 Noro yarn!

Monday, August 10, 2015

5th Anniversary! Susan Being Snippy on Etsy

And really I don't think anyone noticed...

I only noticed because I was updating and renewing a few listings and happened to glance at the side bar where it says -- on etsy since "August 9, 2010"

That is a long time when it comes to maintaining a business -- well for me it is a long time because I am one of those people who are always finding new and interesting things to learn about...

The idea of a Etsy store tho fits into a very long tradition of reuse, recycle, reclaim, repair, remake.  My mother was a treasure hunter, not for buried treasure or gold pieces but for treasures that she could make use of without spending much money on.   My grandmother was even more so a hunter of bargins!   And great grandmother, well, I suspect so because she had many children to raise and find clothes and things for.  



Before the 1950's the second hand tradition was not "above ground" as it is today with THRIFT SHOPS all over many towns and cities.  Second hand was usually word of mouth -- a child grown out of his pants or shoes and those shoes passed along to a neighbour child who was just getting to that size.   During the war years, much of the 'extras' that were recycled went to the war effort, tin cans to manufacturing, cloth and yarn, made into items for soldiers -- maybe to your own son or to any soldier who served overseas.   The world did not manufacture bright plastic things in those times and even though our Canadian or American cities had factories, those places of manufacture were often geared to things that might use raw materials that were fairly local.   One of my Mother's earliest jobs was in a factory that made leather gloves.   The leather was brought from a local abattoir, that supplied beef and pork across the country and so leathers were close at hand.   My father, for a time worked in a factory that made Mink Coats and Stoles -- his job was to use an air hose to clean and fluff the fur coats before it was  sent on its way to Stores.

Winnipeg, where I grew up was well known as a manufacturing HUB, especially of clothing -- sewing factories that made London Fog raincoats, a shop that made men's suits -- did you know that fabric would be stacked in layers and the pattern drawn on the top layer then with a fine blade saw all the layers cut at the same time?   I saw that process when I was in my late teens on a school "information" trip!



Well, the world has changed, and the things we think we need are made in faraway countries with low wages and dangerous conditions and many people keep buying those things and not reusing or even recycling them.   I can't help it tho, the concept to make use of everything in every way possible is just bred into my bones!   So, I suspect that Operating and Etsy store with Vintage items was just a natural extention of the way I was taught from the beginning of my time...

I really love operating my own little business!



It does take time to learn the how to's and to learn what suits yourself and your customers.   When I first opened my Etsy story, I started with household goods like Pyrex cups and bowls, and a few fancy things like egg coddlers.   Then a couple of friends were clearing their extra sewing notions and buttons, so I sorted buttons and put them on the store -- along with wooden spools of thread, and vintage sewing things like self cover dress belt buckles....   I discovered, I didn't like photographing buttons -- for some reason, I would confuse bunches and then they would get lost in the button box -- buttons were frustrating.... (But I think I now have figured out a method so will soon be listing buttons again on my store).



It really is great that a online store, under the Etsy banner can bring together people who enjoy the process of creating items to sell, and for buyers looking for the things that just cannot be found in Wal-Mart or any of the other big box stores.  Etsy is for the person who wants something different and something special.

Well, now my store mostly has patterns for sewing clothing for men, women and children along with some specialty sewing patterns and magazines and books that include sewing and crochet books.



So, now my store is 5 YEARS OLD and much of my product is along the lines of vintage sewing -- I can make really classic patterns available for someone who admires a style no matter when it was printed and who has the vision to sew that pattern to make it fit in with today's styles and have that special flair that no one else around them has.  



I love to send parcels across the ocean either east or west and am always wondering why someone in Florida is buying a pattern for making mittens!  There must be a use for mittens there!   I love to search out products that will go into my store -- I frequent the thrift shops throughout my area and every now and then a friend will bring me items they just want to clear away and I pay then when their things sell in my store - I don't do that often though because it means another 'layer' of organization -- a subject I am weak on...

SO, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO MY SUSANBEINGSNIPPY ETSY SHOP!