Tag Archives: winter

not quite friday’s crochet & natter

Hodge, the bookstore cat, is ba-a-ack

We’ve been having another spell of coolness and I’ve been luxuriating in it and not getting much done besides crochet.

But my scarf got finished last night whilst watching some of the Oscars, mostly with the sound off so I could just look at the gowns.

Here’s a quick batch of piccies … click any one to read everything (looong captions), as hovering won’t work. Sorry!

And lastly, my former bookstore owner & friend, Keith Peterson, sent me a copy of Hodge’s latest book last week, which I instantly devoured.

In case you’ve not heard about Chicago’s most famous bookstore cat, you can read more about his vibrant secret life here and here.


curing the monday blahs

click pic to go to photo on The Rain Shed site. the web site has the true colour – this is a bit dark.

It has been a nasty, gray, rainy Monday so I’ve holed up with my newest find: BBC’s A Stitch in Time and the presenter Amber Butchart.

U.K. Lovelies can view on their iplayer, but ‘usins’ everywhere else must resort to an alternate (youtube).

Having watched the second episode last night (they’re about 28 minutes each) I decided to start at the beginning and not get distracted…

But alas, lunch did it. Plus a growing list of Things To Do that will include a spot of long distance natter and tea with one of my Yorkshire friends. (The Atlantic is a bit of a drawback, but Edison and the internet make it easy.)

So what’s been laying on my sewing/cutting tables seems like forever, whilst my sewing mojo is MIA?

Up top it’s a crazy print from The Rain Shed bought last January & designated for exercise togs. Don’t laugh! My idea is more yogic so the trews will be very loose, and I’m using the renfrew pattern for the top. Again. (I’ll get it right eventually.)

Just to liven things up I got this tissue rayon knit cut last week, using the free Hemlock pattern

from Grainline.

wonderful soft tissue jersey with very subtle colours of navy & dark green

Granted, I’ve had this pattern ‘aging’ and I understand they withdrew then reissued it. This is probably the original. Heigh ho, we’ll give it a go.

Meanwhile, am enjoying these from last week’s mini-Galentine’s Day celebration and hope they brighten your Monday as well!.


crochet & natter friday

Cathy, over at Nanacathydotcom, does Knit & Natter Fridays, and she also crochets, so I’ll join in with my ickle quandary.

Just last night I was working on this little scarf, using up some stashed yarn left over from a shawl I finished some time ago… Oh, dear, it was July 2009 in Chicago… Better late than never.

I decided not to do a hat, and already have a shawl… a scarf seemed appropriate.

Decided to try some rows of single then double crochet (that’s American for double & treble crochet in U.K.) to see if I liked it. I don’t.

Then I realised I could ask my dear readers whilst tying in with Cathy’s post — goody!

Now what to try instead? I’m not bothered by frogging the whole thing, and think probably one airy stitch might be the best, considering the colour changes.

I say ‘airy’ because upon washing, the shawl did felt up a bit, and it was originally quite airily stitched.

What do you all think? Puh-lease make any suggestions that come to mind as your assistance is so much appreciated!

The yarn is hand painted 50% merino/50% silk “Precious Aida Pastel” bought at slashed end-of-supply sale in my old, now sold, Chicago neighbourhood store.

It does feel yummy. I couldn’t resist it despite including that lavender (?) which I normally never go near.

It’s almost ten in the morning here across the pond, and I’m finishing a cuppa  whilst editing this. Those of you in Blighty must be finishing lunch. I usually read (e)mail at breakfast and only just realise how British that sounds.

Should be off soon on this cloudy and too-warm-for-February Friday. Guess we’re in the season of daily 20-degree temp shifts. Sigh.  Time to pull out summer dresses.   Double sigh.

  ❤  ❤ Happy Weekend Knitting-Sewing-Crocheting, Lovelies!  ❤   ❤


P.S.Looking at this again I may just frog it soon as I’ve got this posted!

faffing about with a farrow #1

So far this is about all that’s gotten done, buuut . . .

grainline’s farrow (click to go to their pattern listing)

I found where I’d noted my changes on my last renfrew, so will be ready to crack on with this once I’ve compared the two patterns and made my changes.

Jen, at Let the Sewing Begin, and I are sewing our versions “together.” That’s in quotes because she’s about 4 states north.

Last time we talked I was reading from Jen’s (the Farrow’s designer) initial post in her sew-along, which didn’t make too much sense to us at first.

from my personal copy

Then Jen (not the Grainline one) mentioned a little thing called ease and we promptly decided we’d better check that out. Left is the measurement chart for the Farrow.

Jen had also just gone to a local-to-her sewing guru and had all her measurements taken; we wanted to incorporate those as well. More on measurements in general in another post.

For those of you who haven’t seen this pattern, it has a lot of ease. I dutifully took the pattern out of the envelope yesterday and realised a couple of things whilst mulling everything over:

from my copy of the directions, with personal notations

  1. There’ a Length at Center Front measurement but not one for Center Back. The back is longer. (Will try measuring the pattern pieces for this.)
  2. There’s no natural waist line marked on the pattern, so I can’t tell if this is going to be really long on my short torso. I don’t want pockets at my knees, or some other more inconvenient place.
  3. The ease isn’t given for the hips.

So a day was spent looking at IG and blog photos trying to see where hems (front & back) and those pockets were on everyone.

Unfortunately that didn’t help as no one I looked at mentioned lengthening or shortening either hem or torso, and I had no idea how tall they were. (They all looked lovely though.)

Dear & Most Wonderful Sewing Community of Bloggers ~  Any suggestions along these lines?

(Sorry ~ LOL!)

😄    😉    😄

stash busting for extreme weather

some of my swatch collection from The Rain Shed – VERY superior fleece

Whether its heat or cold, look to your stash!

Insulation across windows and doors (to the outside) needs a small air space between the glass or whatever and your temporary fabric curtain. That air space is key to providing more insular effects.

I currently use tension rods for window curtains and generally have a few extras  just in case. If that’s not a possibility for you, there’s always tape & tacks.

Any tightly woven fabric can help, as the tighter the weave the less air (and temperature) can pass through.

Here’s another section I just looked up on Polartec®, which I like to use because of its light weight and wash-ability (and further use as blankets if I’ve extra pieces).

source:   The Rain Shed
“If you have questions regarding a fabric please email or call.”  541-791-8900 or Contact. They ship internationally.

About Polartec®
Polartec® Windbloc     “Polartec(R) Windbloc(R) fabrics block 100% of the wind and offer maximum protection from the cold and the elements. A soft hand, stretch and a durable water repellent finish (DWR) make this the highest quality, most comfortable windproof fleece product on the market.”

Polartec® 200 (one of two swatch sets)     “Polartec Series 200 is a mid-weight, non-pilling, double-faced fleece from Malden Mills/Polartec LLC. Made of 100% Dacron Polyester. It’s light, non-absorbent, and wicks moisture, dries quickly and retains body heat even when wet.”
“How does it work? The 100% polyester velour, pebbled, or shear ling surface create air pockets that trap air and retain body heat, providing outstanding warmth without weight. These fabrics off excellent breath ability and dry quickly.”

Polartec® 300     “Polartec(R) Series 300 is a heavy, non-pilling, double-faced fleece from Malden Mills. Made of 100% Dacron polyester. It’s breathable, wicking, dries quickly and retains body heat even when wet.”

I’m not affiliated with The Rain Shed or Malden Mills/Polartec.® I just appreciate their products.

I’ve also written on extreme weather here and here.