Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Yesterday was an interesting day. In the morning I hosted the meeting of my weavers’ guild’s Equipment Rental people. (We’re all old friends so it wasn’t as onerous as it sounds.) We have quite a few small looms and spinning tools available for members to rent and also for use in hands-on demonstrations. These are all stored at different homes and recently rentals have fallen off quite a lot. So we spent some time trying to figure out what we really need and what we could sell. Unfortunately quite a few of the items are old and not in the greatest shape due to mishandling over the years. Much was donated to us thinking we could use it. However I think we’ve managed to hash out a plan. Personally, I wouldn’t mind having a little more space in my attic storage. I’ve had the spinning stuff for so long I can’t remember when I got them! 15 years? No clue. I do know I’m the only person who has used the McMorran Yarn Balance in all this time. So I’m buying it for myself! Heh.

After the meeting, a couple of ladies were heading over to Jefferson’s (wholesale notions supply) so I enthusiastically tagged along. This place is heaven, especially to those of us without a business licence! Isle after isle of supplies: thread, needles, gadgets, buttons, scissors, interfacing and just about anything else you can imagine for sewing or quilting – except fabric. I thought I was being good and not going nuts but it still cost me about $70. They also record the regular retail prices on your bill – mine came to $125 so I saved quite a lot. They carry some complete lines such as Clover and Dritz plus lots of other manufacturers too, so I can find things that my local retail shops don’t always carry. The best news is we discovered that I can shop there whenever I want using my friend Cathie’s account! Danger, Will Robinson! I can walk there from my house. Happy sigh.

Because it was a spur-of-the-moment visit, I didn’t have a shopping list prepared. Trusting to my memory and wandering up and down the isles is not a very efficient way to shop in Notions Heaven! However I did find the Clover bias tape makers that I wanted:


I got the 3/4” and also a 1/2” (to see if it works better than my Prym one). Now that I know where to find them I can always pick up the others as I need them. Apart from the usual sewing machine needles (including a 2.5mm double which I’ve been hunting for awhile) and assorted little items such as hooks and eyes, I also got this nifty tool:


This is the Clover 5-in-1 Sewing Gauge and it’s a huge improvement over my old metal one which I use all the time. The slider locks in at 1/8” intervals instead of slipping out of place randomly. The guides are larger and much easier to see. You can even use it for a circle compass! Pricey beast, but very worth it.

I also found a Clover yarn guide:


I’m hoping this will help me knit stranded patterns easier. Without constant practice I’m losing the ability to knit English-style so my old “main yarn in the right, contrast yarn in the left” technique is failing badly as my tension goes to heck. I can’t seem to get the trick of using both strands on my left but perhaps this will fix the problem. Or not. It’ll be a cheap experiment.

Gee, it looks like Clover is my favourite manufacturer, doesn’t it? Coincidence? Or just good products? I’ll let you know how it goes with these ones. And I’m making a list for next time.

But that wasn’t the end of my busy day. After T-Man and I both got home nearly simultaneously, we decided to go see the last Harry Potter movie. We walked up to Oakridge Mall where we were happy to see our niece who works at the theatre. She let us in free! And the movie was all that I’d hoped, the perfect ending and very well done. Kudos to a superb 10-year ride – on a broomstick! I didn’t even mind that it was in 3D except that the plastic glasses were uncomfortable on my nose over my regular glasses after an hour or so. I’m not a fan of 3D really and, if it’s well-done, find that I don’t notice it much after a few minutes. If it’s not well-done, I get annoyed with it even faster. Those icky cardboard red/blue glasses? Blech. Give me a clear high-def 2D and I’m happy. However, this was pretty good and I think I’m still picking bits of Voldemort out of my hair! Heh.

Back to work in the studio. I’m working on adjusting the pattern for this tunic, View B:


This pattern, which seems as if it should be really simple, has big problems. Firstly, it’s drafted for a woven fabric and I want to use a knit so it’s hugely over-sized. I started with a size small, believe it or not! Then the darts are completely in the wrong place for me plus I needed a full-bust adjustment so I started with that. Trying the tissue on Debbie Double, I discovered that the front at the armholes is really wide but the back shoulders are too narrow plus the armhole is a little deep for a sleeveless style and the neckline is a bit low for me. Jeepers! It would have been easier to draft this thing from scratch! So needless to say, I’m going to make the first version (aka wearable muslin) into kind of a deconstructed thing with unfinished hems and the neck and armhole finishes just turned to the outside and stitched. The fabric I’m using is a lightweight cotton single jersey that has been lurking in the stash long enough for the original black to fade to an odd brownish colour. Did I say deconstructed? I might even do some discharge patterning on the hem. Or not.

And I never did get out to the garden to rescue my dye plants and seeds. Yesterday when I was busy it was lovely out. (At least we had a nice walk!) Now it’s back to gloom. Is there a summer for us here? Quickly please before it’s winter again?

1 comment:

Heather said...

Ah, yes, Jefferson's. Many a happy hour have I spent wandering the aisles. Lucky you!