Tag Archives: winter

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.”

😂. ❤️. ❤️. ❤️. 😂

phew!

Aside from the grand news about the Sewing Bee, it’s been fairly quiet round here, aside from furious crocheting during the news.

(We’re forgetting that little 3-day kitchen drain issue that “allowed” maintenance to buy a new tool. Some people are always glad to need a new tool.)

We had a recent spell of 80’s which didn’t exactly energize me. (Not the February spell, a March-April one.) Too uncomfortable to walk over and shop library shelves, I started re-reading from my meagre supply: the first Hodge book, Christie’s Ordeal by Innocence, M.C. Beaton’s excellent The Skeleton in the Closet, and Miss Read’s Village Diary.

Have also read Tanya Maile’s excellent 2-part tutorial on pattern grading. The first part is for grading up multi-sized patterns. The second is for mostly vintage one-size-only patterns.

anyone remember these?!

I’ve a certain 70’s Very Easy Vogue pattern crawling slowly up the To Do list, now I know Tanya’s second tutorial is the one to use. All-in-all, it doesn’t look too bad a thing to do, I write glibly, never having enlarged a pattern before.

(Further hints, suggestions, cautions, or dark European chocolate gratefully accepted.)

It would have taken a crystal ball to predict what’s happened with that bamboo tee shirt. Would you believe after half a season’s wear it’s pilling inside and out? (Edited to add: The pattern is called bamboo, but there doesn’t appear to be any in the fibre, unless it’s in the 30% rayon that’s been made from bamboo. See Comments for details.)

Seems any friction at all — draping a sweater on top or leaning against a sink — is enough to bring up piles of fluff.

I tried brushing them. Big mistake. That moved even more of the black piles onto the white and vice versa. Unless any of you  Lovely Readers has a magical solution, this is binned bamboo, along with remaining scraps.

Meanwhile somewhere I’ve got a black gauze duster started last summer. It just needs a sleeve,  front facings and a quick hem. . .

decided to play some more with this sleeve & added a cuff, but will remove as me thinks it’s a mite tooo long . . . . .

Hope everyone’s Last April Week is a lovely one.

Happy Sewing ! ! !

life’s been happening . . .

just keeping a hand in . . . uh, i mean hook!

Hi there, Lovely Readers!   There’s been a bit of sewing and crocheting going on despite distractions, and have managed to mostly keep up with reading everyone’s posts. There’s been little or no commenting and for that I apologise.

Sometimes life just gets in the way, drat it! So here’s an attempt to catch you up. Hope you’ll grab a favourite cuppa and have a read. . .

really low yarn stash & nothing in sight to fill it with, but oh, wool warehouse is tempting if it wasn’t so far awa-a-a-y

Decided to go through what’s left of my mostly-Chicago-acquired yarn stash and discovered bits & pieces.

Although I tried, twice, to find something tempting at a local chain store it was futile. I wound up getting 2 more soft cotton yarns for yet more mug mats (see the pile above). Plus a third cotton that might become a hat.

renfrew on top of hemlock

Here are a couple more tees – a renfrew and my first hemlock. I took a photo of the renfrew in front of the hemlock just to see what the differences were.

The hemlock’s much too long but the sleeve is short. It will work for layering underneath my solid green. I like the higher neck on the hemlock.

The renfrew is a better fit and I have room to hem sleeves & body as I didn’t want to add the bands. (Although now I see how much the fabric is curling just might change my mind.)

Also, I did something different with this v-neck and rather like the effect. I got tired of the problems I have trying to follow the pattern for a perfect centred v. (It’s me, not the pattern.) This was so much easier! If I could only remember where I read it or saw it I’d direct you, but I don’t.  My apologies . . . 😟

I simply cut my own width & length for the neck band, allowing an extra 4″ in length. I wanted at least 2″ extra of length to play with. Also wanted it wider.  I pin-eased the bodice onto the neck band, working from several inches above the v on one side, then the other, leaving the v pieces dangling. Then I sewed up  one side, then the other, meeting at centre back. (I’d read somewhere that helps to combat extra stretching of the bias-cut neckline – again, don’t remember where.)

 

Then I pinned the left dangly bit, then the right into place, with the pieces crossing somewhere in the vicinity of the centre and sewed. Honestly, the pattern of the fabric is so wonky, I didn’t much care if I got it spot on. Hope it doesn’t show! If the sewing polis come and get me you’ll know I did wrong. Otherwise, it’s our secret.  he-he-he!

Thanks for hanging out with me!  Hope to be back again soonish. Meanwhile, Happy SEWING!!!

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!.

Mwah-mwah!