blog change

Hello! This blog used to be called Muslins and Musings, but now we're on a new adventure. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

this took forever

One of the other things I'd been meaning to get around to for a long while was finishing these darn socks; a pair I'd been working on long enough to be promoted from just 'socks', to 'darn socks!'


I started them last Thanksgiving (Canadian Thanksgiving that is, so early October), and finished them mid-August. I was not consistantly working on them, but they were certainly a marathon project if I ever knew one. 

It's been long enough now that I don't really remember my original motivation for making them, other than that when my Grandmother passed away a few years ago I received her yarn, including a small sweaters worth of this green fingering weight yarn, and I was wanting a pair of socks thin enough that I could wear them out; my previous ones all thick, half slipper, half socks. I'm not sure I'll ever even wear these though, just frame them and pass them on to my own grandchildren to explain why granny was cross-eyed and slightly crazy (or possibly the other way around). 

I'm thinking I'd like to continue project of poems about knitted socks, but for now, here are the details:

Pattern: Fireweeds by Yvette Noel, size large
Yarn: Green- Lady Galt Kroy (looks ancient and probably not available anymore)
          Blue- Drops Fabel Uni Colour 107
Notes: -first time doing an eye of partridge heel (so pretty!).
-the colourwork miraculously fine except for the final 3 rows of the second sock, of course.
-the second sock ended up a lot tighter for some reason. Thank every god there is it does still fit, but it takes a good minute or two to carefully ease it over the heel.
-I don't own sock blockers so I semi-blocked them by spraying water on them while they were on and then blow-drying them for a while (just like my great ancestors used to do), but I don't think it really did much except make them fluffier.

While knitting these, I did occasionally think that I may never knit another pair of socks. The day before I finished them, I bought more sock yarn. And so it begins again!

Sunday, 18 September 2016

where has she been?

First off, if you're here for the hilarity, you didn't click the wrong link; Wordstock & Thread has replaced Muslins and Musings like the 13 year old girl who comes back from summer vacation having gone through a miraculous glo-up, and now has perfect hair and a highlight that won't quit– except without the perfect hair, and with more handmade clothes (highlight still debatable).

When I made my goal to blog more this year, I didn't expect that I would spend most of it thus far working two jobs 6+ days a week. I really enjoy blogging, but not as much as I enjoy making stuff, so something had to go. Through the silence I was still thinking about blogging and the direction I'd like to take it, and that is what brought about the change in name. Over the next little while I'm going to continue to work on the glo-up of the blog layout, but seeing as Pinterest and typing are all I'm very good at on the computer, it is a slow process.

I'm hoping that in the next few weeks as my schedule changes I'll have some more time for both sewing and blogging, but in the meantime, enjoy this little shelf my Dad made me full of some of my favourite things: plants, books, wool, and fabric!

Tuesday, 12 April 2016


My last resolution for 2015 was 'play' ("Make something even if it's a bit ridiculous. Make something even if I'm not sure I'll wear it, because hey, the end product is only part of the reason I sew. Make things even if they might not work out. Try something new."), and unlike the varying success of the other resolutions, this one was definitely a fail. Forget playing more, I played even less than previous years. 
It seemed like minimalism was everywhere in 2015 (irony?), and the focus that was being put on having a perfectly curated, minimal wardrobe that matched your true style exactly, created a lot of pressure (I found) that everything I made needed to be a piece that matched everything in my wardrobe and would be loved for years to come. (A nice idea, but nearly impossible and leaving no room to play!)
At the same time, there was a lot less playing in my day-to-day dressing, as the result of a number of factors (money, work, no work, self confidence, etc.). Putting together an outfit everyday became a hassle, or even boring. As a lover of clothes and fashion, it is fairly depressing to be uninspired by your own style.

(This jacket made by a local designer was given to me as a hand-me-down over the winter. It's a more unique statement piece than I'm usually comfortable with, but it's so darn beautiful (and comfy!) I can't resist, and I'm excited that it is getting warm enough to play around wearing! Luckily it looks great with a plain black outfit. No need to go too overboard with the playing, amiright? #greyscalewardrobeforever)

So I am going to give playing another go this year, both in sewing and getting dressed, hopefully resulting in a little (or a lot!) more joy and inspiration in what I love most. 

Saturday, 9 January 2016

2015 goal review

In continuation from the original post, here is a New Years sunset photo to enjoy with my reflections on my 2015 sewing goals. This was the first sunset of 2016.

1) Sew or do something sewing related every day. Did I sew every day? Hahahahaha nope. Whether I did something sewing related everyday or not is a little harder to track, but the point of this resolution was to sew more than in the previous couple years and I definitely did that, so I'm calling it a success. (Although I stopped keeping track towards the end of the year, I think I came in around 45 makes, so not too shabby)

2) Expand my technical knowledge. This resolution was a bit of a flop. Prior to 2015, the reason I didn't have that knowledge was because it was boring compared to the actual act of sewing, and that held mostly true for 2015 as well. I learned (and continue to learn) a lot from Seamwork magazine though, and I started to at least pay more attention to the technical side of my makes, so I think I'm on the right track.

3) Don't buy any clothes for one year. This was the big one, and I didn't make it. In the Fall after I moved to the city I had The Great Wardrobe Crisis of 2015, and I bought some clothes. I have come to realize that part of the reason I sewed was because, living in a rural community, the cool clothes I wanted weren't available. In the city, all of a sudden the cool clothes were right there in stores I walked past every day and I did not have to work for hours at making them for myself. I'm pleased though that after The Great Wardrobe Crisis of 2015 had mostly passed, I naturally began to trend back to making my own things rather than buying them, and still have the long term goal of a mostly me-made closet.

4) Improve. I only ended up making 3/6 of my intended "more challenging projects" (I got held up because after Albion I felt barely capable of making pillow cases for a couple of weeks), but I still think I definitely improved, and even with projects that were more simple, I took a lot more time to make neat, quality pieces, so I think I did okay on this resolution.

The end of the year snuck up on me this season, so I didn't get much enthusiastic and obsessive goal planning in. Although I want to make a project list or two that I'll probably share later, I don't really feel like doing the full resolution thing again (and to be honest I forgot about them most of the time anyways), but I do have a couple of resolution/hope/goal/intention things for this year.

~This year I am going to start my business. Phew. There. I said it. I've wanted to have one since I was 12, and I'm ready to make it happen. I don't know what it'll quite look like, and maybe my only customer will be my mom (#1 fan– Hi Mom!), but I'm gonna do it.

~ I'd like to post here more often, and I'd kind of like to change things up as well; to write about some different things. That was kind of the original vision for this space, but I got a bit stuck into thinking that because I wrote about sewing, it had to be A Sewing Blog, and follow the lead of all the other sewing blogs out there. I'm still totally a sewing blog junkie, but I had the super "duh" moment that it's my blog so I can blog about whatever I want to blog about. I enjoy blogging, but sometimes it feels a little boring because of the way I feel like I need to write about what I make, and although a friend made me a bit nervous last year when they mentioned that they like a blog to be about one specific thing so that you know what you're going to get, I think as well that it is obvious and makes a great blog when the blogger is super into it, and I am super into things in addition to sewing. That felt so rambly that I'm afraid to even proofread it, but there it is, we'll see how it goes.

I do have one more resolution for this year, but it may prove to be a rather extensive subject, so I'm going to write about it in a separate post.

Happy 2016 and have a great weekend!

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

little mitts

Happy Holidays my lovies! (we may not've met, but if reading this blog gives you any amount of joy, then I love you)

Here are a little pair of mitts I made to keep my fingers toasty this season. The woodland mitts by Mandarine's was the runner up pattern, but as I am the one whose fingers are always cold, mitts with holes in them just didn't make sense, as lovely as they are, so I went with Tin Can Knits Maize pattern 

In the interest of frugality, I bought just one skien of Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light in the colourway Moonshadow (I loved this yarn way more after I learned that was it's name). This was an experiment in yarn weights, because the pattern calls for worsted, but mine was on the sport–light-worsted end of things. I cast on the size small, got to the end of the ribbing, and decided to go up a size. So I cast on the medium, knit until just past the thumb hole, and realized it was still too small. This is were things came to a bit of a standstill, because according to the pattern I didn't have enough yarn to knit the size large, but I didn't want to buy a second skein (this was back pre-job, and I was that broke). So I looked at some other patterns, looked at some of the yarn in my stash, and considered scrapping the whole project until my Dad was visiting and gave me $20 "for snacks". Ha. Next possible chance I was at the yarn picking up skien #2, and casting on the size large (I did spend the leftover on snacks).

After that, things went fairly quick. I didn't make any changes to the pattern other than shortening the ribbing a little (too much), and knitting the whole hand in stockinette. I guess all I needed was that margin for error the second skein provided, because as it turned out, I finished both mitts with still a decent sized ball left of the first skein, and I returned the second (to buy more yarn, of course).

Then I gave them a "woolly tattoo", very much inspired by Dottie Angel. Having done next to no embroidery prior to this, I'm quite pleased with how it turned out, and it took just a little longer than a "Two Towers" viewing to complete (the extended edition, but still). Stuck on a design for the embroidery, I ended up adapting the frame from this logo by Katt Frank.

I got very into knitting this fall, more so than usual. I think I've mentioned before that I don't seem to do much knitting or crochet during the warmer months, so getting some wool in my hands in the early fall always gives me the excitement of a new hobby. However, it has now been several falls since I began my yarn expeditions in ernest, enough so that this October it was like picking up a hobby that I was already good at. I daresay I may be an advanced beginner now, perhaps even dabbling in intermediate!

Saturday, 28 November 2015


Well, it's been nearly a month again, except this time it wasn't because I was procrastinating, it was because I worked on one darn project the ENTIRE month– a jacket!

I am normally a very monogamous sewer, but in October I had a lot of projects going on at once, and I think my productivity really slowed because of it (actually I know so, because I barely finished any of them). So around the beginning of this month I made myself go back to working on one project at a time. This jacket took top priority because when I moved out I didn't bring any outerwear (it was the middle of summer, okay), and I was starting to avoid going outside because it was too cold with no jacket. (At this point, I was thinking a week or so of focus and I'd have myself a jacket, ha)

Sooo, technicalities first. I used the Colette Albion pattern, made version 2 in a size small, and added the patch pockets from version 1. After making a muslin, I was worried about it being a little big, so I took I think about an inch out of all the body patterns. Now it verges on a little too small (figures), mostly around the bottom. Unless you're just standing still it doesn't really stay closed, partially also because I had a tricky time figuring out toggle placement, but I would've worn it open a lot anyhow. The fabric is a nice dark dark blue wool suiting, on the lightweight side, but awesome for an extra layer.

Most of the jacket has two rows of topstitching, except towards the end when I started to get a little lazy. Although my flat-felled seams are much improved, I had never does bias bound seams like that before and my god, they almost killed me (it didn't help that I chose a contrast fabric that refused to stay pressed). I gave up on the neck binding and just used store bought black tape, even though it was much wider than called for.

But the pockets on this thing! It is really brilliant how the front facing and hem enclose the edges of the inseam pockets, making inside pockets and resulting in an amazing abundance of pocket space. I can, in the pockets of this jacket, fit: wallet, keys, phone, notebook, 3 pens, a nutella snack, my copy of The Hobbit, a small sized knitting project (mittens), a small selection of rocks from the beach, and handful of teabags, and a screwdriver. With space to spare.

This is easily the most difficult thing I've sewn, and I have mixed feelings about it. I'm decently proud of it, and I think to the non-sewing eye looks pretty good, but the flip side to working on a very challenging project was that I found myself unable to meet the neat standards that I have come to expect for myself (ahem, hong-kong seams). The reason it took so long was that nearly every single time I sat down with it, something went wrong, so I had to resort to very short sewing sessions to avoid setting the thing on fire.

The challenge of it was also poorly timed. On a personal side, the last month was a real struggle, so it did not help that an activity which is normally therapeutic felt like a frustrating chore (I ended up reading a lot of trashy romances). But I finished it, and fingers-crossed, other things should start looking up too.

One of my favourite touches is the label inside the back. As the only other one in the family who sews/knits, when my Grandma passed, I got all her crafting stuff. Among it, I found this little tag (the last of many, it looked like), which she would've stitched in my Papas clothes. I could've sworn that I pinned it on straight, but somehow it ended up so hilariously crooked that I've decided to leave it like that for a little while.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 1 November 2015

sock knitting

Hellooo! I had planned to do a slightly Halloween-y post this weekend, but given that it's the 1st of November, I thought I'd share something a little cozier.
Last winter for my world history class, we had to listen to the History of the World in 100 Objects podcasts from BBC. If you're interested in history, I recommend checking them out–they're a cool look into history on a more personal level than epic wars and great monuments. The book is good too, but you can't knit at the same time (it's also not free like the podcasts).

I used Tin Can Knits's free (sensing a theme here...) sock pattern Rye. It was the second sock pattern I've ever used, and super nice and easy, with very helpful links to their website as well. I didn't make any changes to the pattern, except by accident the top of the left one is much looser than the right.

The yarn is Naturally Aran Tweed I found on sale at the yarn store back home. I'm not sure if it has a colour name, but it is shade 85, a beautiful dark, purply blue with light blue and fuchsia knops. I bought three balls, but used just two full ones I think. It's lovely. I got the leftover ball out to check the information and now I just want to cuddle it.

I forgot to take pictures until it was almost dark today, so for something a little different, I thought I'd share something I wrote for poetry class about said socks.

Thanks for reading, and here's to a happy new month!