Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Yarn Along ~~ finishing up

joining Ginny for a Yarn Along


~finishing up a Little Red as a gift for my daughter, she'll love this.
~finishing up another Pilot Cap to add to the shop, I wish I had the knitting skills to make these for my own babies.  I do enjoy adding them to my shop when I get the chance and some suitable yarn.

Both of these projects are close to being finished and I'm thinking about what's next, I need some simple straightforward knits to keep me occupied over the kids winter break…

~a colour affection shawl
~another wool vest for my daughter.  I'd love some pattern suggestions (in a 4 year size range), she has two in the cap sleeve pattern (these are so practical but something else would be a nice change).  I like these wool vests for school days so she has a nice wool layer over her core, but she's not sweltering in a long sleeve sweater.  I also put them on her on cold nights as an extra layer over flannel pjs, that girl has a hard time keeping blankets on her!
~I'll be trying this hat out over the holidays too


~Dissolution  my mind is often drifting when reading this book, I hear the ending is worth it though.
~Circular Knitting Workshop, this book is a gift but I'm taking a little look through it to make sure it's suitable,  it looks like a wonderful resource.  I hope to add it to my book shelf too.  I thought since I can knit in the round on DPN's and use the magic loop I was all good, but I have a lot to learn too!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Little Preview

I'll be working on these pads this week, the cores are sewn in and now I'll move along to the fleece cutting.  I'm just waiting on a snap order to arrive.  I'll be changing the ribbon indicating absorbency to a fun little snap that will indicate the absorbency.  

I hope the snaps arrive soon so I can include this batch.  If not though I'll go ahead and use the ribbons on these pads too, I want to get them listed by Friday.  Several of these prints (the trees, and leaves and candy cane stripes) are end of the line prints. 

I have four new fabrics to add to my facebook gallery too!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Yarn Along ~ Portside

I cast on Portside earlier this week, it's just what I need right now.  Round and round knitting with increases every other row.  The cast on was a little different than I expected being an adult sweater (rather than a child's, which I'm more accustomed to knitting).   It will make for a nicer fit and more efficient yarn usage.  I'll get a lot of use from a this tunic.  It would be very easy to adapt the pattern for a cardigan stye too.  Since things need to be easy I'm reading Letters from WIngfield Farm, it's light and entertaining.  The author, Dan Needles used to write a column for Harrowsmith magazine, which has sadly ceased publication.

Joining Ginny for a Yarn Along

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Tomato Cycle

My feelings on tomatoes go sort of like this....
we go outside and happily pick all these beautiful tomatoes and think what a great year it has been for the garden.  I bring them inside and give them a wash and set them here and there around the kitchen and living room (there's not enough room in the kitchen alone) and then they start to feel like clutter and work to be done....they're nagging me.

Most often I roast our tomatoes and freeze them, sometimes I can them.  I admit my patience for canning tomatoes runs low, this year I managed about 20 pints.  Thankfully I have a mother in law who  enjoys (tolerates?) canning tomatoes and she likes to share.  I slice them all up, Amish Paste, Big Rainbows, and Purple Prince and whatever else we planted this year.  The tomato jungle was so thick I can't read my planting signs.  They get tossed in the cookie sheets and baking dishes, they mingle with onion and garlic, basil, olive oil and sometimes some balsamic vinegar and I kinda curse all their work.

They roast for a bit, they smell so good and they come out of the oven all delicious and I'm thankful for all those tomatoes and all the work they bring.  Over the weekend we discovered they're delicious with hummus, and this soup recipe is what led to my love of roasted tomatoes.

Friday, September 6, 2013



Nicely enough we started and ended our school break at a favorite beach with my sister and her children.  The perfect kind of beach; a beautiful view, some sand and lots of water.  Before school ended in June I made myself a short  list of priorities for the summer.

1. time with family
2. food preservation
3. keeping the shop filled up

Over all it worked, the summer break went pretty well.  It was very full and busy.  I said yes to many more functions and events than was within my comfort level, but all was ok and memories were made.  

Our garden has never produced so much, the freezer and shelves of canning are filling up (still with much more to add).  Sadly, all 20 of our chicks were killed by a weasel in July.  It was upsetting, we've done so well with our little groups of chickens we weren't expecting this, it was upsetting and defeating.  We've decided to take a break from raising chickens, we've found an affordable source of farm raised eggs and at this point in our lives we need to focus our energy on other projects.  I think there will be more livestock in our lives over the years, and I need to remember that just because it's not happening right now doesn't mean it won't happen.

I managed to keep the shop active too, thank you for all your support over the summer.  I've got big ideas for the fall and find my mind is very full these days.  Our youngest will be starting kindergarten next week.  I have so many mixed feelings about it but she is so excited and at 4 1/2 years old, she's ready for it.  Rowan is bright and loves to learn and make friends, I think kindergarten will suit her well.  I will continue to be a stay at home mom, but my role is changing.  My days at home will now be more structured (even productive?) and I will be able to be more involved in my children's school which has always been important to me,  but being home with Rowan has made volunteering challenging.  I'll be able to put a lot more energy in County Cloth Creations and after starting this business over seven years ago, the opportunity to give County Cloth my full attention is really exciting!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Giveaway Closed ---- County Cloth Creations Pad Giveaway!

Last week on facebook I mentioned that I was nearing 2000 sales on
Etsy.  I wanted to offer a little something up as a thank you to all my customers (new & old!)  I'm offering up this pad for a giveaway, it's an 11" cotton topped pad.  The print is called 'Soulful Blossoms' by Amy Butler, it's backed with a black micro fleece and does not have PUL.  This is my first blog giveaway so I'm keeping it all pretty straightforward!   

This giveaway is open to everyone, shipping within Canada and US is free.  If an international winner is chosen they will need contribute $4 towards shipping costs (I'll pay for the balance of shipping).   Draw will close Aug. 31

to enter the giveaway.....
-leave a comment, one entry per person
-please add your email address in your comment so I can contact you easily
-I will choose the winner using
-the winner will have 5 days to contact me with a mailing address. 
-If the first winner does not contact me within the specified time will choose another winner.

good luck!

the winner is commenter #2 - Devon, congratulations! 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Yarn Along ~ Another Sunday Sweater

I'm knitting another Sunday Sweater.  The summer started off cool and I thought Rowan could use another cardigan, naturally the weather has turned to hot and humid.  I'm knitting it with a Knit Picks cotton/linen blend and after some thinking decided this version will have short sleeves so it will see some wear over the summer.  I knit some extra lace repeats to allow for shrinkage with the cotton yarn.  I'm reading a copy of The Red Tent borrowed suitably from my mom, it's  enjoyable so far.

Join Ginny for the Yarn Along to collect some knitting and reading inspiration.

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Weekend Past

Breakfast in a (indoor) tent 

A big batch of homemade yogurt (4L of milk) also providing a big batch of whey

Checking the garden and pulling weeds (so much easier after a heavy rain)...could my soil be any rockier?

 Visiting the new chicks

Monday, May 27, 2013

Custom Wet Bags & Nursing Pads

This set is all ready to deliver to a local customer, a X-Large hanging wet bag (to hold cloth diapers until wash day) and a large wet bag (to tote cloth diapers in the diaper bag).  Plus some washable nursing pads.  I made a little sunshine bib, it seems suitable for a summer baby.  Although I don't miss having a baby in my house I do enjoy sewing for those itty bitty people.

I love this print 'Aviary', a Joel Dewberry design.  I worked with this fabric years ago and it's beautiful quality, I was happy to work with again.  While working on this order I kept thinking that when I cloth diapered Quintin (9 years ago), there were just a few Canadian cloth diaper shops to choose from.     Now there's so many out there.  Also, 9 years ago I would never have dreamed of sewing my own wet bag.  By the time I diapered Rowan I was super experienced at sewing wet bags, though we didn't have one as nice as these ones!

Over the weekend I got a message about a custom wet / dry bag.  The customer picked this nesting doll fabric.  I told her I had plenty to make a 12"x12" size.  Then I went to get the fabric and realized I had just enough to make the bag....a bit more really, but it's a directional print so I had to be extra careful not to make any cutting mistakes.   The fabric is a discontinued Heather Ross print, I found it at a fabric shop near my in-laws.  I can't believe I'm out of it now!  There's still a few things in the shop using this print though.

It turned out beautifully and it's off in the mail with those pretty nursing pads.

You can see more custom wet / dry bags here & here and an older snap pocket style.

I got my sewing machine into the shop today.  I drooled over lots of fabric but didn't buy any, I'm sure when I pick up my machine I'll be leaving with some fabric though. 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Six Days of Reusables

six days of cloth reusables

As I'm folding all these bits I wonder if it really helps, does this make a difference to the environment, to our spending?  Then I think of all the years these pieces of fabric have given us, they've been used over and over again and I know we've saved.  Although there is the initial investment of the raw resource (cotton) and fuel to mill and transport that fabric.  These items are used repeatedly for many years.  This saves us money and decreases our use of environmental resources.  Any of these items can also be made from reclaimed clothing and household textiles (sheets, towels, etc) and this is likely the ideal.

The picture was taken after six days of reusables for a family of five, the pads are only used about four days each month.  This would easily equal one small load of laundry a week (if you chose to wash them all together, I don't.  You can see my washing routine below).

I wish I had thought to count how many of each item we used, and I didn't include dish cloths and tea towel in the photo.  Since we don't use paper towel I probably to use more dishcloths and tea towels than most families (and I also have a dishcloth complex, I'm always changing them!)

In the picture....

~Cloth Pads:  I can count 23 pads in the picture.  This was enough for my 3 day cycle this past month (when using tampons and disposable pads my period was easily 7 days long).  Clearly I'm a big fan of cloth pads ;-) and I have way more cloth pads than any woman could possibly need, some of the pads from my last cycle are fairly new.  Several are at least 5 years old, they look great and will last many more years.

~Cloth napkins:  we use these instead of paper napkins.  I don't put them out at every meal but the kids know where they are and get one if they need it.  These napkins were a shower gift at my first wedding, making them about 12 years old.  They're a little  faded, but they're still perfectly fine for their intended use.

~Wipes and tissues:  these are pretty amazing.  I've had many of these since I was cloth diapering my son 9 years ago.  When he potty trained I didn't know what to do with these (still useful) wipes so I decided we'd use them as hankies.  At that time I was a single mom, and every bit helped.  When Rowan potty trained her wipes went into the pile of wipes too (I loved those bright wipes).  Now we have so many cloths that I keep a pile tucked in the bathroom cupboard and when we have a cold going through the house I just get them out so we have lots of extras.  I have learned to keep a box of kleenex in the house for company.  **this is one area of my cloth routine I would like to change, currently I fold many wipes through the week, I figure I waste 1 second of time for each wipe.  Over 9 years that's a lot of wasted time!!  I'd like to find a cute basket that I just toss the clean ones into, no more folding them!**

~Rags:  I use these to clean the bathroom and for other kinda gross jobs that I don't want to use a dishcloth on.  The rags are just old t-shirts cut into pieces.

~Family Cloth (aka toilette paper):   this is one reusable some people are uncomfortable with and I get it.  I don't remember how I came to start using it, I think it was around when Rowan was potty training and thinking of all the toilette paper we would be using.  I figured I was already using cloth to wipe her, so why not keep using cloth?  Then I got to thinking about my own usage and thought I might as well too.  My justification is that I save money on toilette paper as well as avoiding extra waste in our septic bed which could be a huge savings.  The whole family doesn't use family cloth and I'm just fine with that.

~Face cloths:  most of these face cloths came from a surplus of unused hand towels, I cut them and serged the edges.  For both my kids I've had a stack of face cloths for after meals, their hand and face get a quick wipe off (even if they don't like it) and they're ready to play without trailing their meal all over the house!

On Washing....
I try to wash like things together, while still being smart about my water and electricity usage.  Usually I pre-rinse my cloth pads, family cloth and cleaning rags.  Then I'll put some towels in with them and run the load.

The cloth tissues, facecloths, and napkins just get tossed into the laundry hamper with like colours and washed with the regular laundry.

I don't notice a great amount of work to using cloth washables but as you can tell it's been a slow evolution of replacing cloth with paper in our home.  My spouse is supportive of it, that makes it easier.  It saves us money, not loads of money but each frugal change adds up to bit of money.  Although we can afford to buy paper towels and boxed tissues, I'd rather not.  I could buy disposable menstrual products but after switching over 8 years ago to cloth there's no way I would ever go back to using the disposable products, even if they were free I'd still reach for some cloth.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Filling Up

I just added these pads to the shop, all turned and topstitched.  There's a few of my original double snap design listed too.  There is a stack of serged pads that are almost ready to list, they'll probably go into the shop next week.

I've got one custom order to finish up, then I'm planning on taking my sewing machine in for a tune up.  I've had this machine for about 5 years, it's been worth the money I spent on it.   It's never given me a bit of trouble (except that it hates velcro?).  I keep telling myself I'll take it in, but then I get an order and put it off (again)!  I do have a second sewing machine but it lives at my sisters house.  

There's little murmurings of a new sewing machine around here.  Maybe an industrial machine.  That would be great sewing wet bags, but then it would be nice to have more stitch options, my current machine has very few stitch choices.  I'll start by asking my sewing machine repair man what he would suggest,  he's amazing, he makes my serger run better than when it came out of the box.  

May has been a really busy month, and there's still more of it!  I'll be so glad to see June.

County Cloth Creations @ Etsy

Thursday, May 16, 2013

outside my window

It's beautiful outside, the load of whites is blowing like crazy on the line.  They'll be off the line soon and a load of darks will go up.  Tomorrow will be town day so I don't want to worry about laundry tomorrow.  The littlest one is outside picking dandelions to help her Dad make dandelion wine.

The shipping labels are printed, invoices sent, PUL ordered.  Now it's just some cleaning and grocery shopping to get ready for another family BBQ this weekend.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Soon to be Stocking....

Monday is my favourite day lately, all the males in the house have gone back to school and work and it's just the little girl and I home.  She's usually calm and becomes engrossed in her play since she has less interruptions with just us here, I know better than to interrupt quiet play ;-)   Right now she's watching a copy of Mary Poppins we borrowed from the library.

Our weekend was both busy and quiet.   The weather was cold and windy with hail and snow on Sunday.  I'm glad I've only put beets and peas in the garden, but hope the apple blossoms won't be too badly damaged.  

I had a request from a long time customer for some nursing pads.  I started cutting for her order, then just kept cutting and cutting and now have several pairs to list in the shop.  I'll be adding things to the shop over the day, several turned and topstitched pads and serged pads too.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Over the Weekend

The weekend was full and good.  Thrifting some new clothes and some fabric shopping too.  Most of the fabric shopping was for my shop, I think I picked some nice ones.  It's hard picking fabric for the shop, sometimes I think I've got a great one...but then it doesn't sell like I imagined!  I still enjoy it though.   Even after all these years of making and selling pads, I don't think I'll ever tire of fabric shopping.  (Though taking my 4 year old into the fabric shop can be trying, I miss the days of popping her into the sling or strapping her into the Ergo.) This fabric trip I was very responsible and did some quick math before deciding exactly what to buy, the last few times I've been fabric shopping I got a bit of a surprise at the cash (I spent that much?!)  eeeppp!  I feel like I spent my money well and responsible spending is where it's at with me.

You can see the prints I chose for the shop on my facebook page, I've decided to move my fabric gallery to my FB page simplify things.  I found the prints below on sale too, I made the Olivia skirt into a cute skirt for Rowan.  I squeezed the skirt out of 1/2 metre of fabric, there was even enough fabric for a side pocket.

I chose the floral fabric to make myself another Washi Dress (this pattern is amazing!  it's the first time I've been able to make a wearable top for myself).   Now I'm not sure about the print.  As someone who's normally in all black this light floral print feels pretty uncomfortable.  I like that it has a retro touch to it, and it's got beautiful drape too....I guess we'll see.   The fabric for the dress only cost $9 so that's a pretty good price for a dress.

These girls are all prepped to move to our freezer this week, I've been spoiling them with treats of kimchi, and hummus, and in general extra table scraps.  They devoured that kimchi-wow!  We have 20 new chicks arriving at the end of May (15 meat birds and 5 layers).  It's our first time having meat birds (or more than 12 birds at once) but it feels good to be stepping out of our comfort zone, and to be moving forward with our hopes for this property.  There's even talk of a barter that would quickly and dramatically increase our garden space.

I've been working on our front flower garden,  this is the first year for this garden and I've already moved several perennials into it.  I'll never be a flower garden kind of gardner but I do like a little selection for some cut flowers.

I made these blueberry muffins yesterday,  they were delicious the recipe will be going into my recipe book.  I usually have good luck with King Arthur recipes....they have a morning glory muffin recipe that's amazing.

I found these pads that missed the last stocking so I'll add them to the shop today.  Have a wonderful week :)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

It Worked

I haven't been able to post here for a bit because I couldn't seem to load pictures, I stopped in today to try again and worked.  I was starting to think maybe keeping up with a blog might not be worth it, but really I do want to keep it going.  So here goes with some random recent pictures.

I made myself some new pocket pads, I've been wanting some breathable pads for myself (these have cotton and flannel on the back).  I tried them out this month and was quite happy with them.

A sweet little pilot cap, you'll notice some hand knits going into the shop.  I've come to a point where I knit more than my family needs, I'm now moving onto my Christmas knitting list!

Fabric shopping all. by. myself.  I only found a couple of prints I found 'shop worthy' I was mostly getting some supplies to make myself a Washi Tunic but I had hopes of finding some new prints for pads and wet bags too.  This cupcake print is pretty cute though, and I have another bit of fabric coming in the mail too, so watch for that too!

We're just coming off a 4 day power outage so I'll be spending the day baking bread and muffins and catching up on computer work.  Watch for a stocking of serged pads on Thursday, I'll be listing some second quality (serged pads) too.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Two Custom Orders

I was able to complete these orders this week.  Our internet has been painfully slow this week (our satellite provider say it's because of increased traffic due to the March break {I'm skeptical} )  I'm hoping our internet connection will be better on Monday so I can get these and a few other items listed.  I did add two wet bags to the shop today, it was just like using dial-up.  Tomorrow we'll be off to our St. Patrick's day parade and Monday will be back to school (and hopefully a normal internet connection!) 

11" long serged pads

10" long serged pads

8" panty liners 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Yarn Along....A Mossy Shalom

I'm working on the first sleeve of my 'Mossy Shalom'.  The moss stitch at the yoke of the cardigan happened by accident, but I liked it and it was working stitch wise so I kept going with it.  This is all i have on the needles right now so it should be done by next week.  I really need to clean out my knitting basket before I start anything new, but I'm planning on some horses next (after seeing all of these horses!)


I picked up Letters from the Country at a thrift shop, I wasn't expecting to like it so much but it's a great read.  It's written by season in little stories that are 3-6 pages long.  Each story is embedded with country antics, plans gone awry, and little tips and bits of information about country living and farming  (particularly sheep farming).  The author is also located somewhere in Ontario so it helps that it's somewhat local.  It's a really nice read and I'll be keeping it on my book shelf.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Snow And Some Custom Orders

Surely this will be our last snowstorm of the year?  These trees are weighted by heavy, wet snow.  I was sure the school buses would  be cancelled again today, but they're running so the boys have gone off to school.  They've had six snow days this year, which is many more than we're used to.  The power flickered this morning.  I hope we don't loose power, we can be without power for days out here.

I managed to get these custom pads sewn up the last couple days, and they'll be heading to the mail very soon....

10" Snow Folk (with single snap setting)

10" Pirates (with adjustable single snap setting)

10" Orange Minky (serged style)

The rest of my week will be spent on wet bags, 4th birthday celebrations, and a big grocery shop in town (not looking forward to that part).  For now, we'll go enjoy the snow, bring in as much fire wood as possible, check on the chickens, and take out the compost...I think we'll snow shoes!