Tag Archives: summer

Stormy Monday

Managed to do something with fabrics last week besides moving it from pile to pile, or tabletop to box. Wonder of wonders! So thought I’d drop by and show you what I’ve been up to.

Colours aren’t too true here.

This shirt’s been languishing in my Autumn/Winte/Spring selection of tops for years. YEARS! And I like both the colours and the high quality smooth cotton fabric.

A bit of history — At one point I put tucks in at the shoulders to give it a more fitted look. And didn’t wear it. It felt cumbersome and never sat well on my shoulders — too much fabric in too small a space.

Last Friday afternoon/evening, with storms raging outside & local telly’s severe-weather team live streaming numbers of lightening strikes per city & and projecting tornado paths, I decided to get on with the changes.

Taking off the collar but leaving the collar stand.

Yes, that’s my newest, and therefore sharpest, Clover seam ripper you see in action. I know Leslie S kindly suggested she’d used her sharpest & smallest scissors on a similar reno, but I don’t have any.

If you’re inclined to read labels, you might recognize this as a very nice men’s shirt-maker. I grabbed it soon as I saw it at a local thrift store because I know fabric & workmanship are quality. It’s only been aging for . .. . . . uh . . several years. πŸ™ˆ

I sliced off one layer at a time, exposing the wonderfully soft interfacing they’d used.

Six inches more got lopped off the sleeve length, some thread tidying up, and I’m ready to take another look and those underarm seams. We’ve another potential series of storms tonight, so it might get revisited then . . . . . . Oops! Editing’s taking too long, thunder’s arriving hours earlier, so I’m uploading & signing off!

βœ‚οΈ 🧡 βœ‚οΈ Happy sewing, Everyone! βœ‚οΈ 🧡 βœ‚οΈ

catching up to silly saturday

Hello! It’s been a bit since my last post, but lots of things are developing around here, and that’s taken away most blogging time (and all IG time). Mostly interesting stuff, but can’t discuss yet.

What I can offer today is a suggestion to try a tasty citrus fruit next time you see some at your grocers.

Called Blood Oranges over here, because of their colour. I discovered, after reading the Wiki article about them, that the one I ate, and did not like at all, just wasn’t ripe.

Seems they’re sort of tangerine-like, and not like regular oranges at all!

They sort of remind me of persimmons, which can look lovely, bright and shiney orange. You’d think they were ripe & ready to eat, but YUCK if you try. You have to wait until they start getting black and gelatinous and quite rotten-looking. Then they are sooooooo good!

In my very limited experience, blood oranges won’t appear that yucky, but might seem slightly shrunken, like a citrus that’s drying out. The outer skin might start showing red streaks.

If what you buy doesn’t look ripe, leave them to ripen! Mine have been aging in the bottom of my fridge in a drawer. Which reminds me . . .

Time to get another out and enjoy . . . . . . . Do tell if you’ve tried them!

Post Script!

PS/Thought I’d just add that today’s blood orange tasted quite orangey. Guess it’s like a chocolate box – you never quite know what you’ll get!

Macro Monday

Hope everyone has had a lovely Holiday this year. Mine has been quiet and relaxing, even if the weather is increasingly warm , with mid-70’s by Wednesday.

Ouch! I’d just cut out a fourth LB Pullover from some of Vogue Fabric’s luscious gold no-pill polar fleece, and somehow can’t bring myself to sew it up. Can’t imagine why. πŸ™„

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?

Have a happy last Monday in 2021!

end of a short week

Friday noonish and I’m remembering Agatha Raisin‘s deep freezer that housed (houses?) her frozen ready meals (Americans say tv dinners), along with casseroles from Mrs. Bloxby & assorted offerings from other Carsely friends.

Considering the small (by American standards) size of U.K. fridge/freezers, do they still have deep freezers?

Remembering my own experience here across the pond, there was a time when folk could purchase half a side of beef and get a freezer to put it in β€” cut up and portioned into neat freezer-paper wrapped packages, of course! In some places β€” I’d guess cattle country β€” you probably still can.

What looks like chaos is actually order.
Floppy bags don’t help.
πŸ˜–

Over here most everyone has a combo fridge/freezer, with no room for half a side of beef. We apartment dwellers are on a stricter regime: See mine at left. Of course, there are plenty of old fridges in house basements, chock full of extras, both frozen and un-.

So why the pretty pear picture? I ordered a bag of organic pears from Aldi’s, and when it arrived they were all green. I was in a bit of a quandary: What to do with green pears?

Time to do a little searching on the ol’ web… where I discovered that pears are shipped unripened. They’ll hold in that condition in a fridge for some weeks.

If left sitting on a counter, they’ll ripen in company with other pears, as they all exude the same gas-whose-name-I-don’t-recall.

Or you can put an apple or a banana in with ’em to hasten ripening. (They exude the same gas). Plus β€” you can also let them ripen in a brown bag on the kitchen counter. With or without the extra fruit.

Living in a southern section of the country where bugs are rampant year-round, I wasn’t about to leave anything around that might attract ‘visitors.’ 😱

I used the brown bag method, and yesterday and today have enjoyed a lovely, ripe pear, with two more ripe ones in the fridge for the weekend.

Unripe pears-in-waiting

Another four green ones are being cosseted in the fridge ~ Autumn’s on it’s way.

Hope whatever your next season is, it’s a good one!

❀️ 🍁 πŸŽƒ 🍁 ❀️

Tea-Dyeing

It’s been a while since our last catch-up. What can I say? The weather’s been rotten triple digit heat & humidity . . . typing took too much effort . . . so did thinking . . . πŸ₯΅ . . . blehhhhhhh.

But September is almost here. We’re being promised lower temps on Thursday. On the strength of that, and despite the horrid effects of Ida, I decided to pen a quick update.

Now, of all times, why did I start tea-dyeing fabric? I’m pleading insanity. A luscious pair of cotton lawn shorts-turned top wasn’t getting worn. WHAAAA??? Then it hit me: I could fix the starkers white background my subconscious hates. Just do it. I did. (The undyed is on the left, the tea-dyed is below, on right.)

Coincidentally, Sis#2 was doing a batch of eco-dyeing. We compared notes. She suggested I try coffee for dyeing. Enter The Next Project.

I’ve been needing new night gowns, going back-and-forth trying to decide what pattern to use. I finally decided to stick with my TNT pattern – an OOP NewLook 6871. (Check etsy.com if you want one.)

am already planning how to use this pattern, view b first!

For the gown, I always cut a couple sizes larger & longer, and use the sleeveless version. This time I decided to reeeally widen the front and back pattern pieces as well as lengthen them.

The fabric? A blue & white floral cotton bought at a going-out-of-business sale. Did you catch it — the starkers white I don’t like?

(Please ignore the pattern photo’s caption. Despite all the “improvements,” WP hasn’t learned how to separate captions from photos used in previous posts. This one’s at least 6 years previous!)

When I discovered an old jar of instant coffee on a back shelf I decided it was Fate. Time to test again.

Check out the photos below. What do you think? Can you see any difference? Have you done any coffee-dyeing?

Note: Click any pic to enlarge all of them. The ONLY coffee-dyed piece is the one labeled “Coffee.” All the rest are either tea-dyed or plain. The bottom photo shows all 3 – plain, tea-dyed, and coffee-dyed.

Right now I’m leaning towards using the coffee, but that could change. Will sew up the fabric, then dye it in the kitchen sink with really hot water and half the jar of instant coffee. Or umpteen tea bags.

A quick update on Agatha Raisin, Season 3: This time the episodes are about 90 minutes each, and there are 4 on 2 disks. (There’s a whole 3rd disk of various cast members answering questions from fans. If that sounds boring, you’re right, except when Ms. Chesney is there. She’s great!)

Given current horrendous world events I’m reading escapist lit at the mo’. . . Got one of the newer Louise Penny audiobooks from my local library (via Libby app) and enjoyed catching up with the Quebec characters, especially Ruth.

Also decided to finish up the Agatha books I hadn’t read. Beating About the Bush (2019) and Hot to Trot (2020) are good, light reads. Judging by M.C. Beaton’s Introduction to the 2020 volume, we might not have heard the last of Ms. Agatha . . . . . .

😳

the unwelcome visitor

Elsa, the hurricane/tropical storm/depression raced through my area today. Yesterday was spent prepping for a worst case scenario: boiling eggs, washing & dicing fruits and veg, making sure my bottled water supply was topped up. You probably have your version of the drill.

Altogether it wasn’t the time to do a What’s On Your Plate post, but I did sneak in a quick post over on insta, to #whatsonyourplateblogchallenge.

My Weekend Special is scrambled eggs and whatever else in the fridge is leftover. Last weekend it was tomatoes, blackberries, and half a baked potato. I fried potato slices before scrambling the eggs, and left the tomatoes and berries raw.

I love potatoes done this way – golden and crunchy on the outside, with a good tangy tomato ketchup for contrast with the creamy inside – but rarely treat myself to the little extra time it takes.

(In case you’re wondering about pudding – no, I didn’t consider the berries as my afters. There’s a raisin spice cake in the freezer that’s slowly diminishing. πŸ˜‰ Hehehee)!

A day late, I’m chiming in with Deb and Donna’s What’s On Your Plate Blog Challenge. Do click over and enjoy their recipes for cool meals on very hot days!

macro monday chat

This might be an “official” holiday weekend here in the U.S., but having the real holiday on Sunday sorta throws me off, if you know what I mean. There were fireworks displays in some places on Saturday night, and other places Sunday night. I wonder if tonight will also be punctuated with pops . . .

But life goes on, and with it came this morning’s overdue walk up to the recycle center, right past a huge hydrangea bush. I couldn’t resist the photo op!

Seems about time for a knitting update, too.

I ripped everything out and started over, using the same 12 stitches cast on. I played with the alternating k2p2, p2k2 and didn’t like the effect at all! This yarn is so slubby and has different colours running in slubs as well as tiny bits of bright colours — totally obliterating everything else.

I found it very frustrating, and definitely not restful knitting. So I am back to the basic stockinette stitch of knit one row, purl the next, and am using where the tail of the yarn is to remind myself which row I’m on. Curling will have to be handled after I’m done. That’s the extend of my definition of relaxing knitting!

Now I might guess someone is gonna spy with their little eye that the felted piece above is attached to a large hair pin. Yes, an extra large plastic hairpin.

But no, I haven’t started felting – it was included in the package Sis#2 sent around the hols. She’s the master crafty person, dabbling in felting, eco dyeing, and a major knitter, far as I can tell. One difference between us is she has a house. With a back porch. And lives farther north, where it’s (generally) cooler than my apartment complex/state.

She also recommended a new author to me (Tony Hillerman), and although technical/electronic bits are outdated, the stories include correct info on various Southwestern areas and peoples.

The main character in the majority of the series is Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn, a member of the Navajo Tribal Police. “Hillerman is considered one of New Mexico’s foremost novelists.” Wikipedia. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book, The Blessing Way, and learned a lot!

Have I already raved about Richard Osman’s The Thursday Murder Club? In case I haven’t, let me report I literally couldn’t put it down. Finished it in 2 days, and sincerely hope there’s a sequel already in the works.

As this is fast becoming too long a post for Macro Monday, I’ll love you & leave you, to report on sewing projects another time . . . hehehee!

Ciao, Lovelies! πŸ’• πŸ’•

I framed the felted picture & hung it above my sewing table.
It deserves a better mat, but that’ll have to wait for a proper store visit.

it’s a 5-day week?

(After a Monday morning “off” in preparation for a long afternoon meeting, am feeling like it’s a repeat of last week: What happened to Monday?)

As you can see from the photo above, I’ve been making headway with this slubbed Italian yarn. Surprise-surprise! It’s going to be a lightweight scarf. The ruler reported 27 inches and I’ve just started in on the second ball. The range of colours continues to fascinate me even if it’s been stashed for 10-ish years. πŸ™ˆ

Which brings me to this hastily whipped up elasticated-waist skirt. I’m not gonna hem it because it’s a jersey and was cut very neatly. And really – hem jersey?! The length is below knee, for more sedate wearing; hoicked up it’s still long enough to be a dress.

A Nicola Miller design for Joann from more than 4 yrs. ago, it’s one of the two pieces I found in the remnants. Whilst stitching up the casing for the elastic waist I noticed some light staining on the wrong side, which might explain why this buttery soft knit got shifted to the discount table.

I don’t see a thing wrong with the right sides of these two pieces, and they’ve both been washed several times. The jersey’s also got good 4-way stretch! Now what to do with the other piece that’s 60″ wide but under a yard . . . . . . am thinking a loose top. . . . . πŸ€” Which reminds me . . .

For yonks I’ve had a couple of smallish tablecloths that just kept shrieking “Make me a top!” so I’m finally paying attention, currently experimenting with a neckline I’m not quite happy with yet.

Thinking loose and boxy so as not to waste too much fabric, and deal with the heavy heat & humidity that’s now here, probably here to stay until….. could I hope for July??? Maaaybe not.

BAH! πŸ₯΅

Let’s talk BOOKS!

On the weekend I finished an electronic copy of Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly. It was sooo interesting, learning how NASA (National Air and Space Agency) came into being. . . . . . and the Black women who worked there for decades.

Before computers were created, these women were the computers. That was their title, which I found jarring every time it was used in reference to a woman instead of a machine.

Ms. Shetterly has written a superb book, focusing on both how and what several of the women endured in the 1930’s, 1940’s, 1950’s, and 1960’s in America’s South. (Unlike the movie, which consolidated events and covered a fraction of that time.)

I really cannot do justice to all she’s written, or tell you how deeply so many things in the book have affected me. The movie doesn’t even begin to do that, but this C-Span clip of the author talking about her book is a beginning. At under an hour, it’s time very well spent if you’re at all interested in America or history.

Laters!