Monday, November 05, 2007

In order to keep biking in November

Well to keep biking to work, I needed some new warm fleece pants! I picked up the new Burda World of Fashion and there is so much that I want to make from it, the only problem is the lack of instructions, and my sewing knowledge, but these pants were really easy to put together, and were really warm for biking on a chilly November morning. ok I shouldn't complain too much, it is still above freezing!

Anyway, here is the post I made on

Pattern Description: These pants feel comfortable due to wide legs and a non-constricting broad waistband. Recommended fabric: Jersey/knitsPattern Sizing:Burda sizes 34-44

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?Yes, but the bottoms seemed a bit wider than the photo.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

As a beginner sewer, and having made a few pj pants before, I thought this would be no problem, but I had a bit of trouble figuring out how the waist band attached to the pants. In the end, I sewed the ends together, then folded the waist band in half and attached right sides together to the pants waist, stretching a bit to make it fit, then I folded it again, and enclosed the seam within the waist band.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

Very comfortable workout/yoga pants.

Fabric Used:2-way stretch FleecePattern

Alterations or any design changes you made:

The only change was to use fleece rather than a knit, as I wanted a really warm pair of pants to bike to work in. They are really warm, though the bottoms are too wide for biking, I'll have to take them in a bit. Also I should have used a jersey waist band of matching colour, as the band is a bit thick, and my machine had a lot of trouble coping with 4 layers of fleece. It is also a bit thicker than I would like, but for biking they to the trick.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Definitly recommend this pattern to others, and I can't wait to make the other items that went in this section.ConclusionDefinitly a well drafted, flattering pair of pants. I'm having trouble taking them off, they are so warm (in fleece). In total they took about 4 hours from tracing the pattern to cutting to sewing. Very quick.

And now for some pics:

PS, my socks are done, I just must get around to taking some pics.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Practice makes perfect!

I started making a baby sweater for a friend of mine who was expecting her first child. I was making good progress, and thought for sure I would have it done in time for her baby shower. Well as I was folding it up after weaving in all the loose ends, and sewing up the sides, I realized that it was 2 inches shorter than it was supposed to be. Stupid guage! So I added some more ribbing onto the bottom to save it. Then just as I was feeling a sence of relief and satisfaction for having completed the sweater on time, I noticed that one sleeve was much wider than the other.

So my poor friend received only this picture of the sweater at her shower, as I proceeded to rip out most of it and recalculate the measurements of the sweater.

The sweater is from Debbie Bliss' book - Special knits, and is the ribbed sweater seen on the cover. My main beef with this pattern is that she only gives you the number of rows to knit, and not how long it should measure. These simple measurements would have saved me a lot of work, because my guage appeared to be alright, but I guess my row count was just a little too far off! The only modification I made was to add a button hole, as the picture just seems to have a broach pinned on it. I don't think my friend wants her baby stabbed by accident!

I also had almost 2 balls of wool left over from what she recommended, so I knit my friend's little girl a cabled hat from Cable's Untangles by Melissa Leapmen. I was quite pleased that I was able to figure out the modifications to make the hat for a baby from the adult pattern. It is just so cute. It appears to be about the right size for a one year old (been knitting for the future!), I figure it will fit her eventually.

I'll continue on with my Clessidra socks, the first one should be finished soon, the second one, well hopefuly I won't be aflicted with SSS. At the moment, though, I'm starting to develop a craving for sewing again. So many people are making great things out there!

Oh, I almost forgot, here is a picture of the socks I knit my mom for her birthday, though I'm not sure if she has even worn them yet. Grandma, you'll have to get after her for me! At least my puppy thinks they're delicious!

Finally success is mine!

I started making a baby sweater for a friend of mine who was expecting her first child. I was making good progress, and thought for sure I would have it done in time for her baby shower. Well as I was folding it up after weaving in all the loose ends, and sewing up the sides, I realized that it was 2 inches shorter than it was supposed to be. Stupid guage! So I added some more ribbing onto the bottom to save it. Then just as I was feeling a sence of relief and satisfaction for having completed the sweater on time, I noticed that one sleeve was much wider than the other.

So my poor friend received only this picture of the sweater at her shower, as I proceeded to rip out most of it and recalculate the measurements of the sweater.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

One Year Ago Today...

One year ago today was the day before I got married. My dearest friends, and my aunts Debbie and Jennifer (under Jen's wonderful direction) were busy preparing the flowers for my wedding. Personnally I think I had the most gorgeous flowers ever, so I big thanks goes out to my Aunt Jen, for her amazing talent. This was the only part of the wedding that I got around to blogging about, and you can see that post here - flowers.

This day one year ago, my grandma threw us a great party to welcome all our out of town guests.

the food was amazing, and it was so enjoyable to have a relaxed party with those that mean the most to Martin and I.

Truely the best part of the wedding, was not all the details that I had worked so hard to plan over the previous year, but rather having (almost) everyone I love and cherish in the same room to celebrate our love.

Here are two of my favorite photos from the wedding, The first Greg took, it's a bit blurry, but I think it sums up how I was feeling that day.

The second, is one that I hope to enlarge one of these days to put on my wall, I love how I can look at all these people and a flood of memories come to me for each stage of my life, how without them, I would not be where I am today. Thank you to all of you!

Now the big question, how are we going to celebrate our first anniversary? Well, first thing, I should do, but haven't done yet, is sell my wedding dress, perhaps next week, it's taking up too much space in the closet, and I don't really have anywhere to wear it again. That I think it would be too depressing to realize that it no longer fits!

We are planning to have a nice fondu dinner at home (as prepared à la Martin). For my contribution, well some fresh sugar peas, that are currently residing on my balcony...

Some fresh salad is in order as well, a nice spring mix... Perhaps a goat cheese and arugla salad? I'll have to come up with a special reciepe! I can't tell you how excited I am about lettuce! Goodnes, I'm a bit of a dork, though the novelty will wear off soon I'm sure!

The peppers will have to wait till later on in the season, I think I started them a bit too late! I'll know better next time.

I have finally discovered the joy of gardening, as things are really starting to take off, and I'll be able to enjoy the fruits ("vegetables") of my labour this evening! I definitly felt like we needed a special occasion to enjoy the first harvest. I started all my veggies from seed in april, and this is where I have gotten to! I'm quite proud of my little container garden! I must send out a virtual thank you to Gayla for her wonderful gardening blog, for those of us who know very little about gardening!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

2nd sewing project of the year

So I fianlly got around to sewing up this top that I bought the pattern and fabric for two years! I figured it would be a good chance to get back into sewing again. I've got so many ideas floating around in my head, but they don't always come to reality the way that I had intended. This summer I hope to sew a lot, and improve my skills!

The halter turned out well, though I find it gapes a bit along the bust line, but not too badly, and not terribly noticeable. At least I can adjust the straps!

Project specs:

Simplicity 5057 View D,

Material: Turquoise stretch cotton

Bit of elastic.

I'm not sure what it is about Simplicity patterns, even though I take careful measurements, they always end up too big, and I end up having to take a lot out. This one was actually a bit better, but still had to sew 3 cm seam allowances rather than 1,5cm. For more info, you can check out my review at

As for knitting projects, I have a secret gift that headed to Edmonton, so I'll post photos when they have arrived.

I'm very excited though, I have a bunch of new patterns that have arrived from Jalie that I can't wait to sew up. I got the street jacket, the blouse, the stretch pants, and the suit jacket

I started tracing the suit jacket out yesterday; this is probably the most advanced project that I have ever attempted. I didn't even get around to cutting out the tisue paper, as there are over 17 pieces! This should definitly keep me busy for awhile!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A little Sweater

Well I finally finished the ribbon-edged cardigan by Debbie Bliss. Now I just need to find a baby to model it. My neighbour said I could borrow her little boy. I better get my act together before he is too big! It went together quite easily, and I was actually suprised at how much wool was left over. I was a little nervous because I was using some very special wool that Kelsey brought me from Vancouver, and the woman that dyes the yarn is going on sabatical, so no more will be avaialable, (It's Sweet Georgia Yarn). I might even have enough left over for a little hat or booties. Maybe one of these days I'll get busy making the baby to go in them, but not for a couple of years!

The only problem that I had, was that I modified the gauge, and now, I'm not sure if any buttons will actually fit through the button holes! Oh well.

Without further adieu, the cardi!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Brazil - Rio and Iguassu

Our Honeymoon

We planned a 2 week trip travelling around Brazil (Rio, Iguassu Falls and Buzios) and Argentina (Buenos Aires) to celebrate our wedded bliss (only 9 months late). The trip was wonderful. We arrived in Rio after an overnight flight from Atlanta and started looking for our shuttle bus to take us to the hotel. We met a guy who flashed us his tourist badge and told us that the buses were dangerous and to take a cab. If we followed him, he would show us to the cabs. We stupidly followed him down to the parking garage, but when he showed us his regular car, and we realized that he was going to take us, we said no thank you, and he left us and ran back up to try to find some more unsuspecting tourists. I'm happy to say that that is the worst of our stories form Rio, though we did hear some doosies from our fellow travellers we met along the way.

We found the bus that was quite safe and headed down to our hotel. The trip took about 2 hours due to rush hour, but let us see an overview of the city from the comfort of the bus. We got to our hotel, but our room wouldn't be ready for another 2 hours so we dropped off our bags and headed out for a walk around the neighbourhood. First thing was to head down to Impanema Beach...

Our first day was a bit low key, as we were suffering from our overnight flight, we just wondered around the Impanema neighbourhood and spent a bit of time on the beach.

Day 2 Rio
We decided that we had to go and discover sugar loaf. A mountain which provides an amazing lookout over Rio. We left our hotel and walked over to Sugarloaf passing Copacabana beach along the way

It took us about 3 hours to walk down to sugar loaf. When we got there a nice cab driver informed us that we really should go and see Coracorado (the Christ Statue) now (and he could take us) as it closes at 6 pm, and then come back to sugar loaf to see the sunset. Maybe so, but we had just walked 3 hours to see Sugarloaf, we weren’t taking a cab from Sugar loaf to go to the other end of the city (closer to our hotel actually). We thanked him kindly and proceeded to head up Sugar loaf mountain.

Heading up sugar loaf

And finally the view from Sugar Loaf :
You can just make out the Christ Statue in the background.

That evening after returning to our hotel we headed out for dinner at a Churrascara (sp?) a Brazilian BBQ, where they bring around more meat then you could possibly imagine eating in a month, and a samba show.

It was definitely Carnival!!! Trust me those girls aren't wearing much under those feathers!

Day 3 – RIO

Today we headed out to see the Christ Statue that overlooks the town. It is over 30 m high, and very impressive. We were looking for a taxi to take us to the train station, but ended up with a limo from our hotel that took us straight to the top. I was thinking as we got a little closer, perhaps we should have asked how much this is going to cost us, as I don’t think this is what we had requested. We were then taken up to the top of the statue and our driver said that he would wait while we went to the look out. Then I knew, yep… exploited once again because we can’t speak Portuguese. Oh well it was nice to have the first class treatment, and didn’t end up costing more than if we had gone in a regular taxi and took the train.

Our self portrait on top of the Corvarado Mountain, and below Martin posing with the statue. Unfortunatly, you can't really see how tall this thing really is! It's over 30 m high, that is like 10 stories!

The bump off in the distance is sugar loaf and the rest is obviously beautiful Rio and the gorgeous beaches!

The rest of the day we spent lounging around the beach and shopping in Impanema.

The next day we were off to Iguassu to go and see the magnificent waterfalls. Day one was spent wandering around the town, then on Day two we went and check out Itapu damn, the world’s largest hydroelectric damn, and got a bit of a propaganda presentation on how wonderful the damn is, how many job it created, how much energy produced, and how well the environment is protected. It was an impressive amount of concrete.

We then got back on the public bus (yes we took public transit in Brazil and lived to tell about it, it’s not that bad really, though I think we were the only tourists on the bus. We then caught another bus and headed to the national park and the falls.

This was just the beginning. There are over 273 individual waterfalls! It is truely one of the most spectacular places on earth!
Take note of that little boat heading towards the falls. That is what we did the following day! So much fun!

Got to have your cute couple shot in front of the falls right!?!

And finally a few more pics of beauty.

The last full day we had in Iguassu we headed to the bird sanctuary and had fun looking at all the exotic birds
I have now formaly met Tucan Sam, he is very nice, though a tad anti-social

We got to see a cocodile attack some poor helpless turtles that were just enjoying a bit of sun (note: no one was actually injured in the taking of this photo)

I swear this parrot was trying to attack me. He had an evil glint in his beedy little eyes.

And then we went and took a boat ride up to the falls, and proceeded to get completely soaked as our zodiac driver drove right up into the falls. That was probably the highlight of the trip roaring along in a little boat. No photos of that adventure yet, have to get the waterproof camera developed first!

Next stop was Buenos Aires, We headed to the airport bright and early but were delayed 2 hours due to fog, and then missed our connection. We ended up arriving about 6 hours later than planned. On the flight over we met a nice couple from town and they invited us out for dinner the following night to show us around town. We agreed and the date was set.

Buenos Aires is such a beautiful city. I fell instantly in love. I guess it didn’t hurt staying in a 5 star hotel. We were living the life of luxury in B.A. The city is quite cheap! Finally a place where the exchange rate is really in our favour. That doesn’t happen that often.

The first night we spent wondering a bit around the shops on Calle Florida, A big pedestrian shopping street

And caught a few tango street performers.

Day 2 was spent wandering the streets around our hotel, doing a bit of shopping and enjoying some of the beautiful buildings

We then headed out to meet our new friends for dinner. Hernande met us at the subway station and took us to their favourite local restaurant where Marianus joined us after he finished work. We had the specialty which was a breaded meat patty serving as the base with various pizza toppings on top. It was really good.

Then we went out for ice cream. Did you know that Buenos Aires is famous for its ice cream? It definitely should be. It has to be the best ice cream that I have ever had!!

The next day we headed down to the Boca, the tango epicentre of B.A. and famous for its brightly coloured buildings. We walked along the docks and came across a naval ship, and of course I had to board.

There was a bit of a situation on board, but I think Martin and I saved the day

We continued down to the end of the wharfs and realized that we would not be able to cross the highway easily to get to la Boca so we caught a cab. The neighbourhood is still quite poor, and full of lots of artists, but has become quite touristy, well the area we stayed in. In general I felt really safe in B.A. But once I saw what it was like around the couple of tourist streets in La Boca, I didn’t really want to venture too far off the beaten track.

We watched a bit of tango and did a bit of tango

That night we went out for dinner at the Plaza Marriot, which was supposed to have an amazing grill. Well it turned out to be a fancy hotel restaurant, much like the one we were staying in, just a bit more expensive. The service wasn’t great, and I was surprised to get French fries with my filet mignon in a 5 star restaurant! Still can’t complain too much, because the meal with wine for the both of us, was still under $50, though very expensive by B.A standards!

For our last day we walked over to the graveyard where Evita is buried. I was blown away by the cemetery. The tombs are like little churches with amazing statues everywhere! Evita’s was one of the plainer graves.

Ok, that is enough photos of that but it is crazy how all of the tombs are like that. You can enter into the tomb and pray for your loved one often at the alter your family has had built for them. Many famous statesmen and generals are buried here.

That evening, we went out for dinner and had the typical Argentinean grill platter. It was shall we say interesting. The ribs and chicken was not bad (a little dry) and I let Martin taste the “unknown” items, which as I suspected turned out to be Kidneys, and tripe (I did not get that one, nor eat any of it).

To finish off the evening, we headed out to a tango show, that was a lot of fun.

The next day was lost in transit, and we arrived back at the Rio airport at 11pm where we spent the night. I was really glad that we booked the hotel there rather than trying to get a taxi into town and back to the airport the next morning. Though it was a little disheartening that the most expensive room we had didn’t even have a window!

There was a bit of a miscommunication about what time our ride was coming to pick us up and take us to Buzios. Initially they had told me in 15 minutes, so we checked out of the hotel and headed to the lobby, however once there, we found out that it would actually be 2 hours more, which ended up being closer to 3. Time doesn’t really mean the same thing in South America as in North America.

We made it to Buzios in the late afternoon, and were immediately blown away by its beauty.

The first full day there we headed out on a schooner trip around the peninsula. I was a little disappointed that there were no sails, but what can you do. We had a lot of fun swimming in the clear water and jumping off the ship.

On the ship we met a lovely couple, Wendy and Pete, from England that were at the end of their 4 ½ month trip around the world.

After the schooner ride we headed back to the hotel for a nap and then met up with Wendy and Pete for another Brazilian BBQ. Definitely Martin’s favourite meal choice in Brazil.

Buzios was very relaxing and a lovely way to end our dream honeymoon!