Meanwhile, I knit

Sometimes writing a novel feels an awful lot like waiting. And what does any sane person do while waiting?


I’m trying to figure out the last chapter of this novel I’m working on. I mean, I know how it ends, I just don’t know how to get there.


Sigh. I know.

It’s the words. I’m waiting for the words.

Meanwhile, I’ve been doing a lot of knitting.



Posted in furry helpers, Knitting, Samson, Writing | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

The Heebie Jeebies

It had been a dark and stormy afternoon, so after supper Sam and I decided to get out for a walk before it got too dark.  Or at least before it started to rain again.

It was kinda spooky, to tell you the truth…

The light had an eerie copper post-storm tinge to it and there was a strange moaning sound in the distance that lasted the entire 45 minute walk. If my name was Dorothy and I lived in Kansas with my Auntie Em, I’d be running for the storm cellar. It was  really weird. So weird that we actually turned around and went home, our imaginations in overdrive.

And then…

I looked across the lake and saw a bank of fog moving in. One by one, the lights on the other side went out as the fog came closer. No wait… that was a Stephen King novel I read. Sorry. 

I’ve only ever read three Stephen King novels in my entire life, do you believe it?..That foggy one (which I can’t remember the name of, his latest one (which I also can’t remember the name of), and The Dome. 

I’ve tried to read others, but just can’t get past the first 30 pages. Actually, I’m doing good if I get that far. Sorry, Mr. King. Maybe there’s something wrong with me.

For the rest of the evening I have another scary task to look forward to… Frogging this bit of knitting.  

Actually, my iPhone autocorrected that to frigging , which is about how I feel about it. 

No, scratch that bit of political correctness. What I really mean to say is fuckety fuckfuckfuck.

It’s my own fault that I’m about to rip apart several hours of work. Why? Oh, well, you know….because I didn’t bother to knit a test swatch first.

I’ll leave you with this serene picture of Sam not giving a damn.

Posted in Knitting | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Finally, a quilt for the cabin: Garden Party by Blackbird Designs

I finished this quilt just in time to give it a good test drive during a short camping trip to Jasper National Park last week!

Columbia Ice Fields, Jasper National Park

Columbia Ice Fields, Jasper National Park

It’s so much fun having a quilt to photograph when you’re camping!

Columbia Ice Fields, Jasper National Park

Columbia Ice Fields, Jasper National Park

This particular project was a “Shop your Stash” challenge quilt hosted by the Good Time Quilters, one of the guilds I belong to.

Snaring River, Jasper National Park

Snaring River, Jasper National Park

We paid for the pattern, sight unseen last fall, then had the rest of the year to make something using the pattern as inspiration. The only caveat? You had to shop your stash. And did I ever!

sept-2016-017The pattern is Garden Party by Blackbird Designs. It’s a combination of piecing and applique, with little 3-D flower centers.

And, because I always try to learn something new with every project, I decided this quilt was a good opportunity to try out the quilt as you go method.  This allowed me to use up a whole lot of those small pieces of batting that are too big to throw away (because batting is so damned expensive!) but too small to back anything larger than a place mat. I’m not 100% sold on the method, but at least I’ve tried it. 🙂


The backing is made up of miscellaneous bits and pieces of green & brown fabrics. What I’d call my ugly fabrics.


Including this interesting piece:


Mr. C. actually likes the back better than the front.  I guess there’s no accounting for taste, lol.


It’s quilted free-motion style on my little Janome 2030 in what’s called the stipple pattern .

Folks, this was my very first attempt ever (ever!) doing free-motion quilting, and I’m pretty darned proud of myself. I didn’t quilt inside the flowers…as a result, they’ve puffed up a bit. I like the effect.


And you know what? It’s 100% made from my stash. I didn’t buy a single new thing to make this quilt. 🙂 This makes my thrifty heart do a happy dance!


It’s destiny is to live at our cabin at Fox Lake, in the Yukon, where I plan to spend chilly visits snuggled up in front of the fire for years to come. If you come visit, I’ll share a quilt corner with you.  But you might have to fight Mr. C. for it…

Mr. C. doing his sworn duty to uphold Nita's quilts

Mr. C. doing his sworn duty to uphold Nita’s quilts

Posted in applique, Blog Categories, Camping, Quilting, Quilts, Travel, Vacation | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

On the Needles: Knitting lace on the Snaring River

Mr. C and I went camping in Jasper National Park this week, where we discovered the Snaring River campground. 

The perfect place to plant my chair and listen to the rushing water, clicking needles and my own thoughts for a few hours.


Posted in Blog Categories, Camping, Knitting | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

A Disappearing 9-patch Quilt for my Aunt Margy (or Cuzco in the springtime)


I wanted to make a quilt for my aunt, who has always been a very special person in my life. But time passes and things don’t get done and you know how it goes. (sigh)


So one day last spring I was sorting my sewing room and I came upon an unfinished quilt top. It’s one I started way back when. Before I had (mostly) mastered the art of matching corners, lol.


I’m not sure why I put it away and didn’t finish it. I think maybe I felt (at the time) that the colours were too bright, or maybe I didn’t like using grey for the background neutral. I really have no idea.


Anyway, it was spring when I pulled it out and all the spring flowers were in full bloom. I carried it out and took some pictures with the tulips. And oh my gosh…the quilt just sang!


Suddenly, every spring colour just jumped out at me, and I realized that every single colour was in the quilt. It screamed Spring!


That’s one of the things I love about Kate Spain’s fabrics. She really captures the colours in nature.  🙂

020I looked at the grey background and thought of the soft spring rain that comes and melts all the snow, and makes the flowers bloom.


And I thought to myself, this quilt belongs to my aunt, whose favourite season just happens to be spring.


Mine, too!


This is a lap-sized quilt made from the Cuzco collection by Kate Spain. The backing is cream flannel and it was hand quilted in a clam shell pattern. I didn’t wash and dry it before I sent it, but when she does, it will shrink a wee bit and pull around the stitches, creating that wonderful crinkly look that makes a quilt so soft and snuggly.



Posted in Colours, fabric, Hand Quilting, Quilting, Quilts | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

Shorts! A thrifty refashion

As you may have figured out, I love experimenting with non-traditional fabric choices, and I love a good thrift store find.

I found these goddess-sized stretchy jeans at the thrift store for $1.50. They didn’t look like they’d ever been worn. I loved the yoga-style waistband. Well, I could use an extra pair of shorts, so home they came.

pants before

First I cut off the waistband and set it aside. Then I used my handy Christie Brinkley shorts pattern as a template. I had to fudge a bit here and there, but I made it work.

pants after

Finally, I cut down the yoga waistband to fit the new shorts and sewed it on.


I have enough fabric left over from the lower legs to make a skirt.  Another day, though…right now it’s too hot to sew.



Posted in Creativity, Made by Me Clothing, me-made clothing, sewing, Thrifty | Tagged , , | 7 Comments