Dropping in to share a quick ScrapHappy project for my neighbour, a link over to Kate’s ScrapHappy post, and share another project just restarted for the umpteenth time.
Several weeks ago I was about to start downstairs in my building, when I saw my neighbour trying to manage 2 crutches, a booted foot, and some small packages before coming up the stairs.
We decided I’m come down first. On the way down I realised she needed a shoulder bag to put small bags in, and I had the very bag with me. A solution! I showed her what I had in mind and watched her easily and very adroitly balance herself upstairs.
Being a non-sewist, she had no idea how easy it was for me to make her a bag of her own… but a bit of thinking and we reasoned that a cross-body bag would be even better.
So that’s what she’s got, and it works a real treat. Mission accomplished! (Now I want one, too…. hehee! 🤣)
Over the weekend I had the urge to crochet, but I didn’t want to continue the project that’d been sitting untouched for weeks. What to do . . .
I ripped that forlorn-looking project down to zero and started over. And am happy to report it’s going great guns. At last I think I’ve found a good way to use this lovely yarn. Another little yippee!
My current slow-sewing-’cause-I’m-slammed project is a cross-body bag for my upstairs neighbor. She’s on crutches & currently has another cloth bag of mine, but it’s a shoulder version and can slip, messing with balance.
I know, ’cause I sometimes have the same problem when I’m carting heavy trash downstairs in my shoulder version!
I mean, can you imagine?! Up & down two looong flights of stairs on 2 crutches. AGHHHH!!!!!!!!
Better get these attached to something… catch ya later!
I used this same photo in 2015, when we had an early Memorial Day weekend, and the fabric was still a tablecloth. Have a click here to see that post, and read a bit more about this U.S. holiday’s history.
This year the tablecloth fabric’s become a blouse. Well, sort of.
At the moment it’s just 2 pieces sewn together with an elastic-gathered top & slits at the sides. But I’m thinking of adding some straps, because I found some extra fabric the last time I went through my scrap drawer.
Ain’t it amazing what can come to mind whilst rootling around in a bunch of scraps!
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.
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.
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. 🙈
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!
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!
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?
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 — cut up and portioned into neat freezer-paper wrapped packages, of course! In some places — I’d guess cattle country — you probably still can.
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 — 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 aroundthat 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.
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!
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 . . . 🥵 . . . 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. Justdo 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.)
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 . . . . . .
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. 😉 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!
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.
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!
(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. 🙈
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. . . . . 🤔 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.
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.
For those who don’t know what the heck the title means, let me explain.
Among sewing. knitting and crocheting enthusiasts, playing thread chicken involves wondering whether you’ve enough thread to complete a specific task or project.
In the case of the above, it was a pocket. Or two…
There appears to be a difference between the colour of the pockets and the shorts in the second photo, which is an error I couldn’t sort out with the lighting. (More about those shorts here.)
The pockets really are the same fabric as the shorts – a heavy stretch denim fabric from my Chicago Collection (a.k.a., Vogue Fabrics). It’s the lining in the first photo that’s different – a lightweight rayon that in it’s former life was the top of a well-loved rayon denim dress (DKNY V1236) that might become a skirt, but the jury’s still out on that.
“Yet for women, pockets are still a privilege, and not just in evening wear. In her 2017 doctoral dissertation, “The Gendered Pocket: Fashion and Patriarchal Anxieties about the Female Consumer in Select Victorian Literature,” Samantha Fitch made the case that a sexist history of oppression is behind the dearth of pockets. Without pockets, women were traditionally dependent on men for essentials—like money. Ms. Fitch wrote, “Women’s pockets, in general, are smaller than men’s pockets, less numerous, or simply non-existent. Possibly worst of all, many times women find that their pockets are actually faux pockets.”
Think about it for a minute: “Yet for women, pockets are still a privilege…”
Might that have had something to do with my adding pockets to this pair of shorts, something I’d been procrastinating doing for months . . . . .