Monday, September 22, 2014

FESA 2014: Betsy, Tacy, and Tib

One of my favourite book series of all time is Betsy-Tacy and Tib by Maud Hart Lovelace.  I often identified with Tacy, as I was quite shy as a child and tended to stick with a small group of friends. 

As you know, the Washi Dress and I are quite fond of each other and I have been looking forward to making cold weather versions for quite some time.  I was puttering along making these dresses when it struck me how alike they are to Betsy, Tacy, and Tib; all rather different on the outside but fundamentally the same on the inside.

The Betsy Dress
Betsy is someone who has always intrigued me.  I don't have her natural outgoingness but sometimes wished that I did.  She was a natural adventuress and blue was her favourite colour.

This blue linen reminded me of Betsy.  The blue matched her eyes and given her penchant for climbing trees and The Big Hill, an easy care, slightly utilitarian dress was perfect for her.  Not to mention pockets for storing her writing things should inspiration strike.

The Tacy Dress
As I said above, I identified with Tacy the most, despite being an only child from a very small family.  I was quite shy as a child and am still quiet around people I don't know very well.  Like Tacy, I grew up on hand-me-downs and took steps to personalize them from a young age.

Thrifty Mrs. Kelly also relied heavily on hand-me-downs for all 10 of her children.  This navy linen/rayon dress must have come to Tacy from her older sister Katie and clever Mrs. Kelly would have added the tartan accents to give it a fresh, new-to-Tacy feel.

The Tib Dress
Oh, how I wanted to be like Tib! I am petite like her but cannot dance nor sing to save my life! I am far too shy to be a performer and am much happier unseen backstage or in the costume department. 

This gorgeous fabric brought Tib strongly to mind, as it is so very different than the other two dresses.  If you know the books, you'll remember that Tib always had the prettiest and most colourful wardrobe of the three.  Being from an affluent family gave Tib an opportunity for spectacular clothes, in addition to living in the wonderful chocolate coloured house.

Have your read Betsy-Tacy and Tib?
Who is your favourite character?
Have you been inspired to sew from books?

Sunday, September 21, 2014

A Cargo Bike for Me!


One thing I hasn't come up during blogging is that I don't have a driver's license.  With my anxiety and panic attacks, driving is the one thing that remains unachievable, despite several attempts.  It's just too overwhelming and I would, actually, be an unsafe driver due to this. 

The last thing I ever want to be is a burden to anyone and I am quite adept at getting around on my own, either on foot, by bus, or by bike.  However, there are still some things I need to rely on Chris to help me with, in particular, grocery shopping.  It's possible on the bus but exceedingly awkward for everyone involved.   When Miss G was small, I used a bike trailer all the time to get large errands done, even though I was never totally comfortable with her speeding along behind me.  Now at she's older, she is too big for the trailer and I have been searching for safer options.

Bakfiets in motion! (We would wear helmets, obviously)

Yesterday while I was running errands, I came across a Bakfiets bike on Ottawa Street.  What a revolutionary idea!! I wasn't able to find the owner in order to quiz them about this marvellous contraption, but I couldn't get the idea out of my mind.  Of course, it was invented by the clever Dutch, who are, in essence, a cycle society.  After having a good wander about and eating a delicious meal at my girlfriend's restaurant, Auntie Boom's Retro Cafe, I came home and decided to research.  I am, at heart, a fact-gatherer and fact-checker.  (nerd alert!)

What I discovered is that Bakfiets is by far the best and most reliable brand.  While there are other brands for less money, I did find that there have been incidents with the bike flipping (!!) which was more than enough to steer me right back to my original choice.  Lo and behold, I found a shop in Burlington that stocks these bikes and am looking forward to taking the cargo short for a test drive.  With Miss G sitting in the front, it feels much safer and will certainly give us the freedom to do whatever errands we need to do.  The box is designed to hold up to 200 lbs! Whoa!

Kid + groceries and still more room!

As a non-driver, owning one will certainly open more doors for things I can do myself and take the ownership off of Chris (not that he minds). 

Do you have a a cargo bike?  Have you ever considered getting one?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

FESA 2014: Clementine

I did not think I would knit anything for FESA2014, never mind finish anything in such a short time, but all those lovely knits on Outlander are firing my knitting brain into overdrive!It started when Meg pinned this great wooly item.  I immediately fell in love with the concept and headed over to Ravelry to sort out logistics in my head.  It was this photo that cemented my plan for me.

Cowl Shrug by Michelle Porter

It's simple, it's chic, and I think it has big impact.  Most importantly, it's warm!! Winter gets freezing here and I need to keep my core warm.  This wooly lady will certainly do that for me, and more.

I used some sport weight Wool of the Andes from my stash and knit with the strands held double.  I used 5mm needles for the body and cast on enough stitches for a boxy fit.  I wear a lot of layers in the winter and I wanted Clementine to be able to accommodate these easily.  I cannot tell you how pleased I am with the end result!

I made sure to stop and stretch a lot during this knit as I do not want to re-injure my shoulder.  The yarn held double and big needles helped this to be a really quick knit, which was also a kindness to myself.  I love the vaguely 80's cropped sweater look!

The 'lace' in the body and sleeves is just simple knit and purl and eyelet stitches.  I did originally have it in the cowl, too, but ripped it back as it didn't look right.  I have one precious skein of pure angora in my stash and added it to finish the cowl.  I can freely admit I was scared to death to wet block this as I didn't want to destroy the fluffiness of the angora, but it turned out really well. 

Now, if it would only cool down enough for me to wear this!!