Tag Archives: winter

remembering

Remember Hodge, Chicago’s famous bookstore cat? Grab a hot cuppa and prepare for some icy reminders…

Hodge joined Keith in retirement, and now prowls around Keith and wife Gail’s apartment, whilst lording it over their other cat, Ma’at.

In January Keith sent this along with a few other photos to remind me of what winter in Chicago looks like.

(Those not familiar with the Windy City should know it’s got huge Lake Michigan all along its eastern side, and is known for having very cold winters.)

In January Keith wrote—

“I went out last week to take photos at ‘the Point’ – Promontory Point, the park just outside our door – where trees near the lake get covered in frozen spray on windy days. And, this was from days when the temps were fairly normal, though below freezing – I’m going out again maybe on Friday when temps moderate to see what things look like now. We’ve had 25-30 mph wind for a couple days now.”

A bit more about the Point here.

When I touched base with Keith this week he wrote, “I took a walk around the point the other day, and one of the trees I photographed looks like it didn’t survive the ice and the later polar vortex we had. Everything is leafing out, but that one looks like a broken stick in the ground.”

Sincerest thanks to Keith for sending these, and for permission to share with you Lovely Readers!

PS/ Keith is selling his golden oldies collection on Alibris here.

so now its spring

Also known as Time for Contemplative Clear-Outs.

Uhm. . . sort of doing that. I did change around curtains in three rooms and am making attempts to decide which boxes must be saved and which can go. Hope that counts. 🙂

Honestly. Why do electronics companies want consumers to keep all their packaging? We don’t have unlimited storage space. And it’s not like we’re allowed to return/recycle gizmos for discounts on the latest model. Oye! 🙄

Don’t they realise adequate space must be allowed for Fabric and Pattern Collections? 🤨

Had been debating whether to use the free Peppermint wide leg trouser pattern or spend my all-too-few shekels on something else which I cannot now remember, so guess that’s sorted.

Then I saw Anne (Compulsive Seamstress) blogging about a new, great-looking jumpsuit pattern, Jadie Jumpsuit by Paper Theory, and am now wondering whether to stick to what I already have (McCall’s 6083) or spend shekels on Jadie.

What to do? Hack existing pattern?? Add to the Collection??? Ahhhhh!!! 😱

And that brings up another perennial question — how much fabric is too much, and how many patterns are too many?

All has become Too Much for ickle moi. Will visit the scrap drawer to search for pockets and waistbands for navy flannels. ✂️✂️

Meanwhile, may your bobbins always be full! ✂️✂️

PS/ If you don’t hear from me again soon, send a search party. And lots of dark chocolate. hehehee! 😄

❤️ ❤️ Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤️ ❤️

❤️ ❤️ ❤️ Hope all you LovelyReaders have a wonderful day today ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

This is another remnant from my Chicago fabric collection. It was found at Vogue Fabrics and added shortly after what’s now my recent skirt.

I’m leaving the piccies huge so you can see the details. I think that embroidery is upside down. Just realised the embroidered shape, if it were more pronounced, might be a bit of a prob, or am I being paranoid?

This is one yard of medium weight unknown fibre, 60 inches wide with 30% stretch.

Never considered it for anything except a bottom something er other, due to weight and inside texture. (I hate having to line things. Much easier to make a slip.)

Which I’ve been planning on doing with both these pieces (below).

And delving amidst the collection, thinking about slips and such, these two pieces of rayon came to mind. After searching for threads, came up with some make-do’s.

a bit of a mix

Enjoying your weekend?! I’m spending it crocheting because my squidgy package arrived Saturday. Yeah!

I’ve also been reviving my listing on Ravelry, so stop by at CurlsnSkirls and say hello if you’re a member. Long ago Chicago efforts are listed, but I’m working on getting things updated.

Valentine’s Day is Thursday and the appropriate cotton cloth (top) is gracing a bedside table. When my voice studio was open I made seasonal table toppers (any excuse to buy fabric) and I still enjoy seeing them each year.

Curvy Sewing Collective had two great posts this week. Both inclusive sizing and inclusive language are extremely important, so do take a look.

And speaking of inclusive sizing, Grainline Studios (Chicago) is increasing their size range and has a questionnaire open to anyone who would like to make suggestions.

For anyone looking for podcasts about sewing, you cannot beat Love to Sew (Canadian) and The Fold Line (London).

Here’s that finished skirt topped with a gorgeous suede jacket from a closing consignment store in Chicago. (Yes, the skirt’s been that long in the making.) Anyone have suggestions for how to clean the suede without going to a cleaner who will charge multiple times my original cost and use icky chemicals?

Here’s one last suggestion for those of us struggling to get better at, or just get back into sewing – Lucie wrote a great post last week about her own experience. Much food for thought!

Meanwhile, hope everyone can hunker down and get to creating something. Creativity is positive! There’s nothing better for overcoming negatives.

❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

tuesday

Have been working on a rogue skirt on the weekend, a remnant I picked up whilst living in Chicago because I couldn’t resist the feel. Although 54″ wide, there’s only enough for a gathered skirt.

Imagine a buttery soft rayon twill with a perfect amount of weight, and such intriguing colours and pattern. Heavenly! And it doesn’t wrinkle easily.

The skirt is mid-calf, no pockets or zip, elasticated waist and will be ever so delicious to wear! Another possible match with that batik duster?

books

Haven’t been including any books, although I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the three Mrs. Tim books re-released earlier this month by Scott’s Furrowed Middlebrow subset of Dean Street Press.

Finished all three and cannot say enough how totally enjoyable they are. As Alexander McCall Smith wrote in his introduction,

“One of the main features of Stevenson’s novels is their simplicity. That is a quality that is not rated in fiction today. Many writers now feel that in order to be noticed they must go out of their way to be clever –even to the extent of being opaque. Nothing should be portrayed as it seems to be; cynicism is all; sincerity is hopelessly naïve. In such a climate, direct stories that follow a fairly strict chronological pattern, that eschew obfuscation, and that place feasible and, in many cases, rather likeable characters centre-stage are not highly regarded. And yet that is exactly what Stevenson does, and that is what many readers still seem to want. Add humour to the equation and the mixture will find a ready audience…

“These are gentle books, very fitting for times of uncertainty and conflict. Some books can be prescribed for anxiety – these are in that category. And it is an honourable and important one.”

Am also wending my way through the short stories in Silent Night, edited by Martin Edwards. Was very impressed with the Sayers short story, and will at some point reread her Wimsey books.

The mystery crochet project has run out of yarn, so a squidgy package has been ordered. Goodies from across the pond – yeah!

On that good thought, will wish you Lovely Readers happy sewing!

tuesday

Thought I’d better break my lazy silence and try putting up a post, if all the tablet and internet goblins will allow.

The Mystery Crochet progresses nicely, and Arctic air visits may yet allow me to use it this winter, assuming there is enough yarn. If I have to get another ball, this project risks being stored for next winter.

But there are things worse than a squidgy package in the mail to contemplate. 😉

❤️ Stay Warm! Or Cool, depending on your weather. ❤️

second saturday

Over here galleries and downtowns (a.k.a, CBDs) have “First Friday” on the first Friday of every month. Or second Thursday, or whatever. Totally lacking any further thought on the subject, I’m morphing that meagre crumb into a title.

That first week of the year felt weird over here. Maybe because the weather turned so warm. Or the date change. Or the Tuesday hol. Whatever.

I resorted to a favourite series, The House of Eliott. And my most recent crochet project, which is coming along nicely. You’ll never guess what it’s going to be.

Feet up, hook in hand, the time spent was utter bliss. And it turned cold again. Hope it will stay long enough for me to use this scrummy yarny project! 🤞

I also did finishing work on the turquoise duster, and some planning for future items.

Almost four years ago I used up some green flannel for a pair of lounge trousers. I’ve gotten so much wear out of them I decided to get some flannel for another pair. Do you think those two (left) might work well together?

That left photo was taken before washing the navy solid; photo on right is the fluff left in the dryer filter after washing and drying said navy cotton flannel.

Can you believe this first month is about half way gone already? YIKES! ! !

computer’s ba-a-ack . . .

 

real wellies & woolies day outside

. . .  faster and 500 gigs fatter than the old hard drive. He-he! Whilst that tablet left me cursing more than once, it was adequate for keeping in touch and it also uncovered some surprises.

The sensitive touch screen was danged uncomfortable to get used to, but what felt like forever was actually more like three days.

Appropriate apps were quickly downloaded once I discovered how truly bad the pre-programmed search engine was.  (And pop-up ads were conquered, too.)

Using the tablet I read a couple of my favourite Mrs. Malory books unavailable except in on-line editions. Delightful bedtime reads. (Shh! Rumor has it Santa  pre-ordered another favourite: Mrs. Tim Gets a Job by D.E. Stevenson.) I still prefer books to electronics, but needs must when availability (and price!) are concerned.

Friend Scott out in San Francisco has been working with Dean Street Press  getting a lot of out-of-print authors back into print, and this is one of the newest batch from his Furrowed Middlebrow (FM) series. Amazon US                      Amazon UK

I’ve read all of F.M.’s  Frances Faviell books, and enjoyed them tremendously. One of the delightful things about Scott’s series is they’ve all had half a chapter or so on Amazon to download for free, so you can get a sense of the writing before buying. Most helpful ~ wish more companies would do this.

cannot for the life of me remember why there’s a whole packet of this colour in stash… not one of my ‘usual’ shades!

What else has been going on besides watching late election returns and reading? The normal seasonal clothing swap, with associated mendings, such as those leftovers from late last winter’s tops I’d chosen not to hem. They’re now sorted, and I’ve moved on to some RTW slightly short old cords. Plus thinking more urgently about several pieces of winter fabric and how to make them up.  Photos soon.

Slowly some projects are making their way through the thinking stages, and they’re a mix of hot and cold weather items. Am I the only one doing this? The climate down here can be 60’s one day and 40’s two days later.

Sometimes I’ll put on a video while seam ripping, and lately I’ve revisited that dapper gent Lord Peter Wimsey. Ages ago when the series came out in the U.S.  National Public Radio wrote, “They offer us a fantasy of perfect closure, a world where even bloody murder is little more than a brainteaser that can, and will, be solved.” If there’s ever a time for whimsy, it’s whilst seam ripping.

I might have finally cracked my crater bread problem, partly by accident. I was rereading the booklet that came with the machine and realised they’d specified one type of yeast at the beginning, when describing ingredients in general.

But the specific recipes didn’t specify that same yeast. I had been using regular yeast. Wrong. Seems I needed rapid rise for bread maker bread.  I checked with King Arthur’s web site,  my on-line bread experts.

proper bread — at last! ! !

Yep. The change was made. And not too much change resulted in my next loaf. Oops?

Then one weekend I forgot to stop the machine and remove the paddle before the bread started the final rise. That loaf was perfect.

Cutting out the paddle from the centre bottom wasn’t too difficult. The loaf sliced beautifully, and the crumb was more consistent and lighter. Maybe I should give the King Arthur yeast a try, too.

Meanwhile, today looks more like rainy Yorkshire than a southern state (no disrespect meant to Yorkshire as I love such days), but I’ve no fireplace to sit in front of and knit or crochet. Maybe I’ll sort out the un-moldy blackberries and stir up some muffins.  But the library’s open after the hol. Maybe I’ll venture forth and see what’s on the shelf . . .

Lovelies,

May your horizons be even more bountiful!

Forgive me, couldn’t resist adding one of my favourites.

😉

catching up

Having downloaded the apps for WordPress and Firefox, am beginning to feel a bit more like normal. I must say that seeing the horrid ads before getting Firefox back has made me think more seriously about going to a dot com site instead of remaining on the WordPress freebie.

What do you think, Lovely Readers? How do you feel about ads??

As you can see from the above photos, getting out last winter’s makes has brought up several issues I hadn’t settled last year. Like how long is too long or too short a sleeve? And how much is too much knit curling?

(It also reminded me not to sew a stretchy knit with a straight stitch. Zigzag, del. Remember to zig zag those seams that need to stretch.) 😝

Have been making appropriate ‘adjustments’ to these two pieces from late last winter. And finally discovered where I carefully filed the cut out yoga pants to match the top photo’s green knit top. Duh!

It shouldn’t take much time to sew up on the serger. But I seem to be doing more procrastinating these last few days before Tuesday. Perhaps I’m not alone?

The weather seems to be in a one or two day shift between 70’s and 50’s,which means windows are opened the safety-locked three inches whilst the air con is also set at 72. (So when the place starts heating up too much the air con will start and I’ll remember to close the windows. . . . . . . Maybe?)

Please may I revisit Margo and her glorious 1970’s wardrobe once again? Lovely Tialys had written that she couldn’t imagine Margo in a onesie. Well, you know what had to happen right after that. . . I watched the remaining Good Neighbors/The Good Life year 3. And so. . . .

“Of course I’m cleaning, Jerry. But I don’t have to look like I’m enjoying it.”

😂. ❤️. ❤️. ❤️. 😂