Friday, April 13, 2018

Lorraine: Memories

Thank you to everyone who has left comments here over the last few weeks. Lorraine's family and I have been very moved by them and wish everyone happiness in following a hobby and lifestyle that certainly made Lorraine happy.

If you would like to know a little more about Lorraine, I have prepared something for her Celebration of Life to be held on the 23rd April.

Lorraine: Memories - a video compilation

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Lorraine has left us

I wish I were saying this with a heavy heart, or even with a broken heart, but the fact is my heart was taken from me early this morning when my beautiful wife and best friend, Lorraine, passed away.

She had been fighting a terminal cancer diagnosis for over a year in her usual fashion. She called this last year our "early retirement" and we spent it, as we have spent almost every day for the last 17 years, together. She was the brightest, kindest, most loving soul it has ever been my privilege to encounter and while I will miss our days together so very much, I know she will be with everyone who loved her for a long time to come.

The astronomer, Carl Sagan, once said "The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.”

Earth Hour is tonight. Turn off your lights, go outside, look up at the night sky. Tonight, there is a new star in the sky, brighter and more beautiful than any other.

Paul - Mr SDSC

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Mr SDSC Here

My name is Paul, otherwise known to you ladies as Mr SDSC or Lorraine's husband.

Many of you will have noticed that Lorraine hasn't posted much over the last year, certainly compared with her usual prolific number of posts. Sadly, this is because in that time she was diagnosed with metastatic gall-bladder cancer and has been undergoing several rounds of chemotherapy to fight it. This, and what we have called "early retirement" has taken almost all of our time for the last 12 months or so.

Lorraine is now critically ill in the Dulcina Hospice in Calgary and to those who love her appears to decline a little more every day. The outcome, as we have known from that first diagnosis is, unfortunately, inevitable.

She was always delighted, and not a little surprised, at the number of followers she quickly acquired and the interest and kind comments you posted. I know that even under these circumstances she would love to hear from any of you who might read this in the next few days.

I will check back regularly and pass on any comments I find to her. I know they will cheer her up.

Thank you,

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Hello Norma Jean

Time to catch up on some of my sewing, and of course I have being using my favouite designer, Tina Givens.

With Summer approaching it was time to make some light-coloured jeans, and Norma Jean looked to fit the bill.

Not such a good photo from the designers web page, but trust me . . . . !

I used an off white linen/rayon mix, some quilting fabric patches, and whoosh, I was off!  No changes to the pattern - it is oversized and baggy, and as I didn't want to change the fundamentals of the design, I left everything as it was.  Oh, I may have left off a patch or two, but other than that, no changes.

I have some hanger photos to follow, but this is how 'Norma' looks in action with a linen Jacqueline slip and a trusty McCalls 6168.  

The pockets are interesting - they are sewn into a cut in the front pattern pieces - they feel a bit like a kangeroo pouch to me!  I'm not sure if I'd bother using these pockets next time, I'll probably add some in-seam pockets or patch ones.  Nonetheless, they are quite fun.

Ah yes, a couple of cute patches!!!

I'm going to wear these a few times before I decide whether or not to dye them - I'm not quite sure if this off white is too bright.

Here are some hanger close ups!!

One of the 'kangeroo' pockets above!

A few patches . . . 

And my label!  The front and back pattern pieces are the same, so I always like to add a label.

These really are quick make and I'll be using this as my 'go to' for woven pants/jeans.  Love them!

How is you summer sewing coming along - or winter sewing for my 'downunder' sisters?

Sunday, April 30, 2017

A Bakers Half a Dozen

Gosh.  Where has the year gone?  Here we are, almost in May already.

Due to some recent life changing events, things have changed somewhat around Spotty Dog Towers, and as a result it is pretty clear that I have waaaaay more stash (fabric, yarn, beads etc) than I will ever use in this lifetime.

And so I have been busy.  Lots of clothes to blog about, but also socks.  Aww, c'mon, I love knitting socks, and these are the ones that I have recently made (mostly to gift), some to keep.  Let me introduce you quickly to the first half dozen:

Purple Fabel Billy's

This is great hardwearing yarn and the socks knit to fit men and their somewhat HUGE feet.

Another pair of men's socks.  These will likely be for my father.

Definitely a pair for one of my ladies at work.  I love Knit Picks Felici yarn - so soft and scrummy.  It is a shame it felts - although after quite a few washes, but certainly worth it.  I was going to link to the yarn but currently KP only has it in worsted weight.  Oh well, plenty more in MY stash!!

Turquoise Jacquard Billy's

Another really great hardwearing yarn.  The yardage on this always scares me as it is really low - although the yarn is more of a sport weight.  I have learned to trust a 60st cast on (as opposed to my usual 64st) and just 50 rows for the leg (in comparison to the 60rows).  Not sure if I'll keep these, otherwise more ladies socks!

World Circus Billy's

Yep, more hardwearing yarn.  Are you seeing a pattern here?  Self patterning yarn, hardwearing, fabulous colours!  I picked this up a year or five ago when I went on a knitting retreat to Tofino, Vancouver Island, BC.  Will be great for a funky, male recipient!

Spring Billy's

A cheery pair of spring socks, sized for female tootsies!

More Pairfection

I have already made and gifted these to Mr. SDSC and they are already in rotation!  I love this yarn (hardwearing, patterned etc) and this is the only patterned yarn that I make an effort to actually match up.  I like the haphazard look of mismatched socks, so these made a nice change.

All links are to the relevant Ravelry pages and the pattern (my own) that I use.

So, there we have it.  That's my sock knitting up to date.  Next up are clothes!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Bottled Rainbows

I can't remember where I first saw this quilt, but I knew I had to make one!  It was designed by Stitched in Colour and the details are here, on her blog.

I like the idea of bordering the blocks with plain fabric and then filling in the centre with scraps that match.  This design is an applique one known as 'ticker tape' and the blocks are created in a 'quilt as you go' technique.  Looks like fun!

Here are my fabrics for the borders, which will then influence the fabrics used for the ticker tape.

I used the recommended Kona Cottons as follows:

Top Row: Violet, Berry, Marine, Pacific
2nd Row: Camellia, Cerise, Everglade, Bahama Blue
3rd Row: Pomegranate, Kumquat, Avocado, Grass Green
Bottom Row: Rich Red, Orange, Canary, Cactus

I have started going through my scraps, matching them up to the colours . . 

It looks like I will start with the Bahama Blue as I have quite a few scraps in that colour - perhaps this will become my 'block of the month' and will be completed for Christmas - watch this space!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

TG 12 Days

Further to Dawn's request to see the '12 Days of Christmas' that was posted on Facebook - here you go!  I copied and pasted text from FB and I think the font etc is different to what I usually use, but I think this works:

Day 1: grey jersey cardi (Simplicity 2154), grey linen sleeveless top (Seamingly Smitten Draped Tank. This is a bit like the KL Pinwheel Slips), tartan undershirt (started with Kwik Sew 2766 and added a skirt) and jeans 'Tina Givens style' (Oprah).

Ok, I'm cheating a little here as I have been in my PJ's all day tracing patterns and cutting out! Here is a pic from October, and is one of my favourite combos - McCalls 6168 cardi (cotton/Lycra mix), TG Jacqueline slip (muddy linen/rayon mix. Due to complete laziness this has been cut out symmetrically with the two points at the sides being equal), and grey Peg Leg leggings (cotton/Lycra fabric). All worn with black ankle (ish) boots and a bright, cheery scarf.

So, its a bit windy outside - but here you go on Day 3: more TG Oprah jeans, another McCalls cardi (I have a few of these!), an undershirt I made last night with a printed plaid cotton skirt, scarf from Gap, gardening shoes. 

Day 4: This is what I wore to go fabric shopping today (picked up some lovely denim for 70% off - it is currently in the washing machine . . . . . ) Simplicity 2154 Cardigan in purple cotton jersey, black (sleeveless) Holly tunic (this may be my new favourite!), undershirt with silver/grey lace (and an organza ribbon trim to stop it fraying!), black TG Oprah jeans. Worn with black boots. Also grey/black scarf from GAP and a 'me-made' TG inspired necklace - leather strap with freshwater pearls. I had to overexpose the photos so you can see the details.

Another PJ day, so here is a favourite outfit. The cardi is off the same McCalls pattern used previously but a different view, TG Jacqueline slip in cream linen, TG Patricia skirt (with elasticated hem) in check fabric. black pull-on boots.

Day 6: Playing dress up as I will be at my sewing machine all day today! New TG Oprah jeans with a flower patch, undershirt with animal print stretch lace on the hem, draped top with black wool trim (fabric was only 45" wide!), scarf and glass pearls necklace. I'll wear this with a black or grey cardi.

Day 7: and it has just started snowing again. Black McCalls cotton jersey cardi, black/white top, cream & lace undershirt (made from a jersey bedsheet that doesn't fit the bed๐Ÿ˜‰), TG Oprah jeans, gardening clogs (usually would wear black boots!)

Day 8: and still it snows . . . ! Who am I kidding? I love the snow! So for New Years Day I present to you TG Jeans (rolled up to show my hand knit socks), black linen Briare with a ruffle down the front, brick red cotton/Lycra McCalls cardi, rayon jersey Infiniti scarf. 

Day 9: brown linen Cara, Oprah jeans, Simplicity 2154 cardi, necklace made from some of my Mums beads.

Day 10: Back to work today, so bathroom selfie I'm afraid! Grey McCalls cardi, blue TG Jacqueline tunic (cut symmetrically with the longer sides), TG Oprah jeans, black boots, me made lapis lazuli necklace and cheery scarf!

Day 11: washroom selfie ๐Ÿ˜€ TG Oprah jeans (I know I sound like a one trick pony, but I do have a few pairs - and these ones have a cute patch on the back!), black linen Cara with ruffles down the front, purple cotton/jersey cardi (Simplicity 2154), black boots, me made necklace.

And day 12 is here.

Phew, that was a bit of work to get all of these photographed and posted on FB, but it was rather fun!