Monday, March 17, 2014

Moose hat

 I finished this project a few weeks ago and have yet to find the time to sew a lining of micro fleece to the inside but here it is, a new hat for my hubby.  I used many balls of sock yarn that I had at the shop to get the colours I wanted.  I have enough partially used sock yarn left to make two more of these at least! I love stranded knitting!!  It turned out to be a very long hat. Next time, I will start decreasing after the picture chart. I used an applied I-cord all around.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

* ça commence bien * january goodness

mon pull pomegranate est terminé. j'ai dû ajouter plus de rangs que tous les autres parce que mon fil à tricoter, hempathy, me rendait une tension de rangs inférieure.  je suis ravie de l'avoir terminer.  je rêve maintenant d'une jupe marine sur ma table de couture pour ce printemps.
je craque pour les patrons genre fillette. alors, lorsque je suis tombée par hazard sur ce joli modèle, étant donner le froid arctique qu'il fit dehors et moi sans chapeau depuis des lustres, je l'ai tricoté illico avec katia peru. un en gris et un en grenat. la petite fleur, je l'ai fait au crochet au piff avec un joli bouton.

une autre paire de chaussettes réalisées avec laine à bas de regia twin.
happy new year sweet peas!
i finished my pomegranate pullover.  i am so pleased with myself.  once christmas holidays came around, i unpacked my project from hybernation and enjoyed the luxury of my rested mind and time at home all tucked in around the comfy fire to knit.
i wanted my pomegranate to be a fitted t-shirt.  i used hempathy yarn and my gauge was totally off so i had to compensate by knitting more lace pattern repeats than most ive seen on ravelry.  no wonder this took me so long.  
honestly, i am not completely happy with the way my neck and armscye openings turned but that is what i get for going off on my own train and using a different yarn.

we had a cold snap and i was hatless.  not good.  i started dreaming of knitting matching hat and mitt sets in every colour.  that is how cold it was.  when by chance craftsy sent me a link for the cool wool pattern, i fell in love and drove to the shop to get the ball of grey katia peru.  illico.  i actually knit two! there was a garnet coloured one as my prototype.  i knit too many repeats and made the flower really big that drags it down.  i ripped it out and removed one repeat to snug it up which really helps but the flower still feels a bit heavy but it is kinda gatsby so i like it very much.

and...another pair of socks were born.  knit from regia twin.  i am feeling very productive these days.

unpictured is a pair of made-to-measure leg warmers i knit for a friend with amputated legs.  they actually look like two long slouchies in chocolate brown.  i could not take a picture of them on the recipient because he wears them like underwear and without a model, they dont look like much at all but they were done in december when everything was crazy at work.

i have the bug to make big changes.  i have been struggling with what direction i am heading in my career too.  i am away from the knit shop so much that i feel ive lost my grip.  what to do?  i think i need a makeover.  we are starting the fifth year this year!!  ive decided to rehaul the whole place.  lookout big sales coming!!  i want new shelving and new products.  oh yeah, the big bang is looming.

- Ali xoxo

Monday, December 16, 2013


Dear Readers...This fall has been in a hurry to send us snow and temperatures that make crossing the swamp safe to get to my beloved winter trail for dog walking (running) and skiing.

I have been too busy with work (six transcripts this month!) to do much anything else beside drink coffee and shower.  But, crossing fingers, I finished the last one and hope to get some time to enjoy the magic of this time of year.

This past summer was very good for berries and here we have proof of it.  My trail was loaded on both sides with beautiful redness.   The path looked like it was fully decorated for the holidays.  Much better than my house since I haven't had time...  Chloe put up the tree herself this year but she did leave me a good portion of ornaments to place myself.  xoxo

The dogs are sooo excited and happy to have such a long run but Pete seems to be getting old and is having difficulty with the cold this year.  Roxie is in the best shape ever.  She runs the whole way there and back which is a far cry better than she has ever managed before.

I have a small knitting project to finish and then it is hat time for me.  My poor old cabled tuque is so old and worn, it falls over my eyes.  I dream of knitting matching mittens and have sets in many colours...a first for me.  I have never liked knitting mittens and hats before.

There are lots of new things looming on the horizon over at Laine de Bergere...It is year-end and that means lots of number crunching and ball counting...but for now, I want to listen to Christmas music and bake some treats and keep the home fires burning.

- Ali xxx

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Les Ciseaux de Coco - Burda 02-2008-119 Tie neck blouse

February 2008 is my favorite issue of Burda magazine.  My sister Donna gave me this issue from her collection because I have fallen in love with so many of its pieces.  It started with the unrealized cute trench coat I wanted to make from silver metallic fabric that she went out and found for me and still waits to be sewn.  And that fabulous pleated skirt I made to wear to Ivy's graduation...that I want to make again with lighter fabric and softer lace.

I have been so inspired lately by bloggers that create the same pattern many times.  Sometimes this has allowed improvements or creativity.  The usefulness of making one pattern several times was lost on me but I've come to think about it and how I could keep trying something until I get it right or discover something that really works.

I recently found a cute blog called 52 Creations that inspired me to challenge myself in the sewing room.  I want to practice my skills again!  Having a few pretty pieces to wear to work would be a bonus.

I have never used my new body form  and that was made back in 2011.  I almost put it in the garbage this summer because I thought I would never tackle a top again.  Luckily, I kept it and it does in fact result in being very useful and appreciated.

Where do I get inspiration?  Besides the wonderful bloggers in my Reader list...I love Youtube!!  I watch every Haut Couture video I can find.  This really excites me into mustering up the courage to trace out the pieces from those pattern sheets with multiple coloured lines and no seam allowances.  Eee!  Seeing all those priceless gowns being hand sewn and hand beaded...glueing on feathers and all that from a sketch.  I would love to learn how to drape and hand sew finishing techniques... le sigh.

All this to say, this sleeveless blouse is a favorite and I decided to go for it a week ago.  I am so exCited that it was a success.  The collar is love.  Squeee!

I have too many meters of fabric tucked away in my someday boxes that I bought once and really should use up already.  This fabric was two meters of light polyester my sister found for me.  I am glad she did because I need to put colour in my wardrobe!  This was super cheap stuff and I think it has a defect too.  Some of the colour is smudged on the background but I don't care because this was just a test piece.  Little did I know I would love it so much!!  Chloé calls it my Gobstopper Blouse.  I see olives...martini, Mr. Bond?

I topstitched the collar and the bias binding from the right side.
I really feel good in loose tops that fall without fitting around my middle

view of the back neck gathers
I cut out size 42.  That sounds like a huge number doesn't it?  European sizes my arse!  Anyway, even the arm holes were perfect so 42 it is.  Yikes.

It is too bad it suddenly got so icy cold outside this week or else I would wear it with my old black pencil skirt.  I find the cold wind worse before the snow comes...I am sticking with pants until further notice.  I think I need a black or gray belt to cinch it in like the picture above.

Somebody stop me from running out to buy more fabric!  I would love some millefleurs!!

I really am going on and on about this one...I must mention the wonderful and much needed help I found on from members that have shared their experience with this pattern.  I really struggled with the collar instructions.  I have some ideas on how I want to change how I make the next one.  I will try to make my own tutorial on the next top to fill in the gaps I struggled with.

I did topstiching to attach the collar and binding.  I love to topstitch!

Thank you Mr. Janome for being my loyal machine.  I promise to get you a spa day soon. xox

Monday, November 18, 2013

**some fun stuff**

1. I am not knitting very much on my Pomegranate these days but so far I am hovering around the armpits.  To be honest, I am not in the mood for all the smart bits involved with arm holes since I only knit in the evening when I have a days worth already taken out of me.  So this baby is having a wee nap.  I have knit up a pair of socks and am on a second pair which is my favorite no brainer knitting thing to do.

2. Holly Hobbie!!!  I love all things Holly Hobbie since I can remember and I found this embroidered picture at our local flea market this summer.  This will hang in my sewing room.

3.  Another flea market find.  A painted box of drawers with strawberries.  This reminded me of the Strawberry Theft motif I love from Morris.  I use this in my bathroom to put Qtips, makeup pads, and jewellery.  
4.  Some great new bowls...all nine for 5$...the yellow one looks great with cranberry sauce in it.

5.  A beautiful wool blanket for 20$  The label means it's locally made.  Imagine that!

6.  Late this summer, I helped my husband put a coat of stain on this log structure that will be staying with us over the winter for a Spring 2014 delivery.  After spending a weekend putting the stain on the bottom rows, I decided it was time to paint the walls in our house too.  Therefore, I have been painting every spare moment I have which means not much knitting to share!

7.  Meet Stu.  We now have a bunny.  He is awfully cute and soft!
8.  Meet moth.  This guy was sitting beside me on the deck the last evening I sat out with my knitting.  He was huge!  
9.  Pete trying on his new sweater.  I started it last winter because he outgrew his tweed coat.  It has taken me so long to commit to finishing this one that it is very tight on him as well. Mr. man has gained weight along with me this summer we spent on our butts typing because of my new job.

The weather here is cooling down for winter.  I love it!  The knitting shop is all a buzz for another season.  I am now having to spend Saturdays at the shop to help Ivy serve customers.

I have been working on some sewing projects too!  More about that soon. 
- Ali xx