If this first fortnight of the new year is a taste of what the rest of the year will bring, there’ll be a lot o’ reading going on!
I skimmed through The Last Flight (Julie Clark) for various reasons. Chiefly, I guess, because there wasn’t enough detail or description to hold my attention for very long. I didn’t want to wait to find out what the author did with what she’d conjured up. A lot was predictable.
Much more engrossing was Kate Morton’s The Lake House. It struck me as almost a fairy tale for adults, although sometimes her plot solutions left me feeling, “Hmm. What a coincidence.” And it was long. As in 500 pages long!
Facts + fiction? Susan Elia MacNeal’s Mr. Churchill’s Secretary appears to be based on a lot of historical data, and made for a pleasant read, with a few characters using double identities, as good spies should. Am wondering about checking out another in the series. Has anybody read any of the sequels? (Princess Elizabeth’s Spy, His Majesty’s Hope, etc.)?
Somewhere I squiggled a quick recount of last year’s reading, and discovered magazines outnumbered books 2-to-one! The books averaged about one per week. Having the library app has greatly increased my reading because it’s so much easier and safer than trundling to the library.
I also had time to get a bit of sewing done, and am now enjoying another LB Pullover, this one in gold polar fleece. Snuggley soft, I’m trying to convince myself my stash’s brown fleece needs to become pants – and who cares if they’re bulky. They’d be comfy, warmer, & more flexible that the cords I’ve been wearing.
What I forgot to show in the photo are the wrists. I stopped the sleeve seams 2″ from the end so the sleeves fold up into cuffs. My previous versions used other adaptations to avoid wet washing up sleeves. This might be the best solution yet.
A couple days ago I sat down at my machine to sew up that gold fleece LB Pullover I talked about last time. Then I thought maybe I should change the needle first.
The needle was probably a couple projects old — about when I last cleaned the machine. Oh! Might as well clean it, too, right?
It didn’t take long. The machine was fairly clean already. But you can see the long thread that fell out of the bobbin casing, and you know what that would ‘a done. 🙄
Every time I pull out the bobbin thingey — the half that comes out of the place where you put the bobbin — I can never get it back until I lean the machine back, then it falls into place. That’s why I made those 2 red rice bags.
Anyhoo – Next day I ironed a couple things and remembered the gunk on the iron’s edges. Might as well get on with another cleaning project, I thought.
Over on IG #James_is_so_happy had a recent post on cleaning his iron. I revisited.
He made a baking soda & water paste & scrubbed with that. There’s a ‘but’ coming: Don ‘t get the mixture into the steam vents. I went looking for an alternative.
And found this, from Architectural Digest. Choosing the steel wool option, I scrubbed. Am not finished yet — those steam vents are filthy! I’m leaning towards trying the vinegar-on-towel method for the vents. Any suggestions?
Our 20 degrees above normal temps continue, so I’m not hard pressed to sew fleece. As Friday night is New Year’s Eve, in the words of “The Wassail Song”. . .
Love and joy come to you, And to you your wassail, too, And God bless you, and send you A Happy New Year, And God send you a Happy New Year.
Maybe I should cut out another, lighter weight knit and leave off the lower sleeve, which would make a short-sleeve version. Maybe that’d be wearable until the humidity kicks in. Hmmm. What lighter weight knits do I have in stash . . . . .
Have you ever seen…
… a little Christmas turtle? I’ve had this little 3-inch ornament for ages, bought at a pottery collective up in California’s Santa Cruz Mountains. In this photo it’s sitting on a scrap of that gold fleece. Hinting?
One of my favourite profs is Dr. Sophie Scott. This 15-minute video brings out interesting facts about why & how we laugh… but the important thing, IMHO, is that we do laugh.
Hope everyone’s feeling a bit less stressed now, and more in keeping with the season. 🎉
Let’s get to that interesting fabric with the pins. It’s been ageing in stash until I finally realised I’ve been wearing my long denim skirt a lot more this past year. It’s already at least a decade old, isn’t fading or wearing out, but I’d like to have another, similar skirt please!
Enter this remnant, part of a trade with Anne (The Compulsive Seamstress ). So it’s British and therefore rather special. The weight and stretch are just about equal to the denim so I’ve started handling it.
You know what I mean ~ what kind of stretch does it have, and which direction(s). Will it be too stiff? Do I really want something relatively light in colour at the bottom of an ensemble??
What do you think about those selvage edges. huh? I looove ’em, especially the fringey one! It has to be a design feature…
I did some pinning, thinking about a 3/4 finished length with slit to the knee on the left, and am playing with what kind of placket & closure I want. My blue denim has an elasticated waist with side seam slits,. All I do is pull it on & off, easy peasy. I’d like something similar for this.
Must admit Helen’s Closet Arden pants pattern came to mind, but there’s not enough yardage. And no, the thought of a shorter version doesn’t tempt me because of the extended heat/humidity here in the southern U.S. This isn’t a lightweight fabric.
Will report back eventually, I promise! You know how it can go with the creative process. Something else more urgent could come up and this gets pushed aside, to be picked up whenever. Those Works In Progress (WIPs) so many of us have . . . 😉
Will say toodles for now, Lovelies! Do let me know if you enjoyed the TED talk. Dr. S is a favourite. (I recommend all my vocal students watch her 2017 Royal Institute Christmas Lecture. If you’d like to see a live larynx in action & hear a mosquito duet, have a meander over here to my “delsotherstuff” site.)
Accessories for Winter. Yes, I know the piccie above is boots, but they’re the closest I had to wellies, which is really what I’m wondering about.
In most of the southern winters I’ve experienced thus far wellies’d seem to be the perfect solution to wet winter weather, which hardly ever includes snow.
I’m a little unclear as to what’s usually worn under the wellies, but hand-knit socks seem to be the norm. (But that might be because I’m reading blogs written by people who knit.)
I know there are crochet patterns for socks, but are they going to produce a decent sock, if you keen w’ay mean, quoting my Scots granny?
I also wonder how insulated wellies are, and how ergonomic for the feet? Traction is also a concern. because much of the ‘dirt’ down here is clay — every bit as slippery as ice.
Although my spot on the East Coast continues to be in a drought I’m thinking positive: sometimes it does rain. As I’m pondering what is needed to winterize meself, boots came to mind, but wellies might be more practical. 🤣
All comments, reflections, or suggestions are welcomed!
Above is the yarn of my latest effort, aided & abetted by the craft supplies section of Stitch Buffalo’s Etsy shop, all of which I highly recommend you look through!
The artisan members of the non-profit Stitch Buffalo do beautiful and varied hand work, as learnt in their native countries. Some also teach classes, in-store & online. There’s lots on Insta, for those interested.
I think it’s wonderful they can carry on with their creativity and keep their traditions alive in America, their new home, and provide valuable income for their families.
If you look closely at the top photo, you’ll see a shiny, thin metallic blue yarn twisted lightly around the softer cotton. Said cotton yarn has huge slubs just to make things more interesting…
What to do with 10 balls of this magical yarn? Firstly, figure out how to work with it! I chose a 4.25mm hook almost randomly, and started doing some single crochet. (I’m using the American term – it’s double crochet in Britain.)
After not a little frustration, I put it down over Thanksgiving, then picked it up again on the weekend. I’m so glad I didn’t allow my initial frustration to keep me from working with it.
I’m getting used to it now, which rather surprised me. Those slubs really fill in most of the holes you’d see with a regular yarn, which makes counting stitches rather challenging. But the filament of tinsel-blue is showing more self-control, and not separating from the cotton as much.
Come to think of it, that means a more solid end piece, which also means something like a shrug would might be warmer than if made up in a smoother cotton yarn.
Any thoughts from more experienced Lovelies? All suggestions welcomed❣️ ❣️ ❣️
Don’t know what your Monday or week look like, but mine started with loud leaf blowers. However . . .
. . . as it’s Thanksgiving on Thursday, and I decided to start a stay-cation last Friday, it wasn’t a bother.
Especially after opening the kitchen window curtain & blind to see this peeking around the corner of the building.
I managed to get a teensy bit of mending done on the weekend, which I loved getting off the corner of my sewing table, mostly because it was a whole 1″ side seam of a nicely ironed heavy linen shirt, on its’ hanger, and kept being pushed off the table. However, am in a quandary as to what to do next…
Today the weather’s rainy but warm. Tomorrow and Wednesday it’s going to be clear and very cold. Thursday’s back to warm.
Last week we had similar changes, and I pulled out my dark green fleece LB Pullover from last January (here). It was quite suitable.
Maybe I should cut out another. I’ve got gold fleece from last winter in stash. I do keep wondering about the darker brown fleece I seem to remember thinking would be good for lounging pants of some sort.
But those won’t be very flattering, as the fleece is thick. Perhaps a long skirt would be more practical (aka, flattering). I know I probably/possibly wouldn’t wear unflattering pants. And they might be uncomfortable because there’s not much stretch in the fleece.
Maybe I’d best dig out the fleece and see if my memories are accurate. Any thoughts, Wonderful Readers & Dear Sewists?!
Meanwhile, chicken on the stove is about ready, and I think the LB pattern is somewhere in the mess that’s my cutting table. . . see top photo. 🙄
PS/ I downloaded a (Libby app) copy of The Dressmakers of Auschwitz by Lucy Adlington last night and was up until 2 reading it. The library app says I’m 9% into the book . . . It’s fact, not fiction and very interesting.