Athena · Projects · Uncategorized

The Oslo Sweater and Possibilities

I’ve been obsessed with finding  patterns by indie clothing designers mainly because I want to see ‘what else’ is out there besides what the big patterns companies are offering.  I stumbled upon Seamwork magazine and fell in love!  They have a great online magazine, and if you subscribe, you get to choose 2 of their free patterns every month.  Sign me up!!!

The first pattern I downloaded was the Oslo sweater pattern.  To be honest once I downloaded it I was not looking forward to printing it off and taping all the sheets of paper together.  So I thought I would take it to Kinkos to see if they could print it off on a larger printer (hoping that it wouldn’t cost a fortune)  and lo and behold they had a printer on the floor – that I could use anytime  – no special skills required … and didn’t cost an arm and a leg!!!  I’m probably way behind the times here, but what a great surprise!!  It opens up a world of e-pattern possibilities for me!!!

For fabric, I chose a gray wool blend sweater knit from Pacific Fabrics – it was a little on the spendy side, but I thought the Oslo would be simple enough that I couldn’t screw it up too bad – so I splurged!

I have absolutely no room in Athena to cut out patterns, so I loaded up 3-4 other patterns that I’ve been meaning to cut out and headed over to the KOA’s day room to use the big tables they have set up.

Side note – they keep the day room locked because the kids like to go in and trash the place.  I had to ask them to unlock it for me and they made it clear that there were to be no kids in the room without their parents.  No sooner did the KOA guy leave when I looked up and there were 3 little heads poking around the corner to see if the room was empty! And then 2 more kids would poke their head in, then 3 more, etc. etc.  A few would walk in to see what I was doing, but for the most part they just hovered like vultures waiting for me to leave.  Ahhh kids!  Gotta love em!

Anyway, back to the Oslo!  I ended up being able to use my serger on the whole thing and because of that it took me about an hour to finish it!   It was SO simple! I’m glad I splurged on the fabric,  it turned out nice enough to wear to work. (which is where I took the pictures – sorry they are so aweful)  Had I bought a cheaper fabric it may have just ended up a ‘weekend wear.’

Next time I make it though I may try to make it a little longer.  I find that it sits right at the widest part of my hips – which is not flattering for me at all!

Another option may be to add patch pockets to the front – and maybe a closure since I kinda like wearing it closed.   I’d have to make it in a heavier weight fabric though if I were to do either of those, but I like this pattern because of all the possibilities – I like possibilities!

I like how the sleeves are done, I can either wear them rolled up, or down if I need them to be a little longer – again possibilities.

So that was one of my sewing project for the week!  I also worked on Athena, I took out one side of the overhead storage in the back, which gives me more room to add a closet!  No more fold lines in all my clothes – Yay!  It has really opened up the back area!  It doesn’t feel so cramped and now I’m thinking once I move out I’ll make that area the lounge area and put in a entertainment center…. the possibilities are endless, and I like possibilities.



Happy Birthday, Miss Grace

It’s been one year since I adopted this sweet girl.  Even though she’s 5 years old – she’s officially one year with me.


After Leo and I moved to Seattle I felt really bad leaving him in an apartment all by his lonesome self.  Before we left Minnesota my house was full with 2 dogs, 2 kids and cat!  The Fat Cat died, then Skilos died and both kids moved out.  So, I’m sure Leo was lonely after moving here and it broke my heart.  So, I decided to adopt another dog to keep him company – enter Miss Grace.


I found her on Craig’s list.  Her family had decided that she needed a better life than the one they were giving her.  There were two kids in the family, but they ignored her, she never went to the dog park because, as I was told, she didn’t know what to do – other than bark at all the other dogs.  She was heavy and full of hives, but she was part lab and I thought would be a good companion for Leo.


After I brought her home Leo decided he wanted NOTHING to do with her – NOT  A  THING!  In fact, for the first few months they fought a LOT.  Mainly over toys, or seats on the couch or if she got to close to anything he was looking at… as long as there was no blood shed I would let them work it out.  Most of the time she got her way.


Over the past year Grace has come to love dog parks, in fact her favorite thing to do is play with the other dogs – especially the ones who will chase her.  She has lost a lot of weight thanks to our many hiking trips and (almost) daily walks.


Leo won’t admit it, but my guess is when I’m not around he’ll play with her.  Every once in a while I’ll catch him running beside her and not minding that she’s jumping all over him (in a playful way).


She’s a completely different dog now than when I first brought her home. The first six months I spent a lot of time second guessing my decision, but these second 6 months she’s really come into her own and found a place in my  heart.


She is a sweet, sweet girl who loves nothing more than to cuddle up with me at night.  One of these days I’ll get her to completely stop barking at the wind.

This week, I finally finished my quilt.  (it’s quilt and bound and ready to ship)


You can find it for sale here.



Hiking Little Si – If At First You Don’t Succeed…

Since moving to Seattle I’ve tried to get out at least twice a month to do some hiking.  One of my favorite trails is the Little Mt. Si in North Bend – mainly because it’s such a challenge for me!  When looking for trails I first visit the Washington Trails Association website.  The Little Si trail was rated ‘easy’, however the first time I hiked it I didn’t think it was so easy!  I found myself huffing and puffing and having to take lots of ‘breaks’.  I felt really out of shape after I reached the summit and about 2 minutes later a mom with a baby on her back and 4 year old daughter showed up right behind me.  I remember passing them at the start of the trail….. yeeaa.

Little Si Trail
Little Si Trail

I decided then that I was going to ‘train’ so that next time I did that hike I wouldn’t feel like dying half way up!  I tried other trails around the area and would hike these neighborhood steps on my walk with the dogs!

Stairs of Death
Stairs of Death

I have to admit the stairs are getting a little easier – I don’t feel like dying till the last set.

A few weeks ago I hiked the Twin Falls trail – which was beautiful!  I would definitely hike this one again and again.

Twin Falls hike
Twin Falls hike

i’ve discovered a trail near the Sound in West Seattle.  This hike is pretty steep and I don’t see me hiking it once it starts to rain since it’s pretty slippery as it is.  (I see me slipping and sliding in the mud)  Though it is a great hike for being so close to my apartment.

West Seattle Sound
West Seattle Sound

So after spending the past couple of months hiking various trails (and the stairs) I decided to tackle Little Si again this past Friday.  I have to say it was a little easier!   I didn’t have to take as many breaks, despite not having enough energy and too many layers of clothing.  (note to self:  must eat before going on a hike).

Little Si Summit
Little Si Summit

I’ll keep training and hopefully I can hike Little Si at least once more before the weather makes it too mucky.   I think the best part about hiking Little Si, besides the great workout, and its beauty – is the beautiful view of Big Si at the summit. I hear Big Si calling my name….


Starting Again

After taking a few months (year or so) off I decided to try this blogging thing again.  As you may or may not know, I closed my store in December 2013 and in the months that followed I did a lot of thinking about where I was in my life and what I wanted!  I had always felt a little out of place in Minnesota… I was not born or raised there and even though I had lived there for 15 years…. it just never felt like home.  I had no family other than my kids and after my youngest started his senior year in High School, I started giving serious thought to whether or not I wanted to stay in Minneapolis after he graduated.  The short answer was -I didn’t.  So over the course of the next year and a half I started making plans to move back to Seattle, Washington  – the last place I lived before joining the military in 1989!

I sold or gave away 90% of everything I owned!  I will talk more about that process in a separate blog post, but suffice it to say it feels INCREDIBLE to not be so weighted down by STUFF!!!  (I’m being polite).

On June 30th I hitched up Athena, Leo was already in the truck (again, more on his anxiety episode later) and headed west!  I spent 4th of July weekend camping with my dad and sister and then it was on to Seattle to start my new adventure.  I have to say – so far I absolutely love it!  I woke up this morning and realized that since I moved here my heart has been so happy!  Oh sure, I have those days when I think “What the hell did I just do?!?”  But, those moments last about 30 seconds and then I realize I made a bold move in the direction of happiness.  And, I am finally happy!  Not that I was unhappy before, but I think when your heart is happy it has a way of making everything else better.

I’ll share more about my adventure out here as I go along.  I’ve been saving pictures just for this blog and I can’t wait to share them with you.

Morning view of Seattle from my apartment balcony
Morning view of Seattle from my apartment balcony