Fabric Flubs

Look at this gorgeous fabric I ordered. Unfortunately it weighs a ton. It is bonded! If I made a jumpsuit out of it, I’d feel like I was wearing a carpet. I think it will make a nice coat, though. So I’ll look for a coat pattern on Seamwork. I think my last issue of Ottobre has a coat too.

In the meantime, maybe I’ll try to make the jumper out of some knit fabric I purchased for a dress but never made. Then I can put it on hold until spring.

Whenever I get any new fabric or yarn, I take it to my studio. Then I think, why? I’m moving out of here in less than a month! I’m sad about giving up my studio, but I know it’s the right thing to do.

I don’t know if I will be able to sew after I move out. I’m guessing most of my things will go to the basement. I think I will keep my studio membership which allows me to use the sewing machine and sergers there. There is also a local sewing business where you can go and rent the use of a machine for $10 an hour. The problem is I need to be alone when I sew. I don’t have the ability to sew and chat, unfortunately.

Are you a community sewist or a solo sewist?

Seven Sweet Seasonal Songs

I’ve been listening to holiday music since a few days before Thanksgiving. What can I say? The best way to spread Christmas cheer is to sing loud for all to hear. I was going to blog my top five, but I found I couldn’t limit it to that number. These are my top seven seasonal favorites in no particular order.

Silver Bells – This is a nostalgic song for me. My sister and I used to sing this together and harmonize. Now I sing it alone and harmonize with no one. It makes me happy and sad at the same time.

Kitka A’v JerusalimeWhen I first heard Kitka’s Wintersongs album, I fell in love. This is my favorite song on the album. Hearing their strong and unified joyful voices makes me cry. I wish I could sing like this. Here’s a video of them singing it live!

Sufjan Stevens – It’s Christmas! Let’s Be Glad! I love the quirkiness of this song. We sing along to it in the car. This is one I will be listening to when all the kids are grown and gone, and I’ll probably cry.

Sting Gabriel’s Message – The yuletide is supposed to be a happy time, but it is also a mystical time. This song captures the essence of that for me.

Vince Guaraldi Greensleeves – My favorite version of my all time favorite, forever and ever, amen.

Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions Isn’t It True – This one isn’t really a Christmas song, but the sleigh bells make me think of winter. And Bob bought this CD for me one Christmas, which makes it special.

Andy Williams Happy Holiday / The Holiday Season – Let’s end on a high note! This is the song I love to belt out in true lounge singer style. I know all the words. I’ll bet you do too. Sing along! And feel free to share your top 5 seasonal songs below or on your blog!

I Gotz Yarn

Look at this beautiful Tunis yarn I got from Tarheelbilly Farm. It’s from the sheep Hollis. I think I might dye it. I have 1000 yards. What shall I make? It is a Shave’Em to Save’Em yarn! If you are participating, get it while it lasts!

Here’s my turmeric dyed Cotswold. I fixed the color with vinegar and relanolized the yarn. Much better. The color no longer comes off on my hands and it’s softer. What shall I make?

A Holiday Gift Quiz

I seem to be all about the quizzes these days. Karen posted another one!

For these questions money, storage space and time is no object. My answers below.

List 3 things you would like to receive as a gift. Go all out for at least one of them.

I would love a new bird feeder pole that allows me to hang multiple feeders. My set up right now is not ideal, although I love seeing the birdies outside my office window.

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2. I’m in love with this jacket from Studio Donegal.

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It is crazy expensive, but totally worth it as it is hand woven from Ireland. I think this is going to be one of those things I’ll just dream about the rest of my life. If someone gave it to me, I would probably feel too guilty to wear it. I mean, that’s a lot of fed mouths for a jacket I don’t need. Maybe someday the Universe will conspire to put a used one in my path? This ranks up there with the Manitobah Mukluks I would love to have, but really don’t need and can’t afford.

3. I would like a new sewing machine. Mine is fine and basic, but I would like an upgrade so I can sew jeans, jackets, and bags. I would also like a serger.

List 3 gifts you’d like to give. You don’t have to mention who it’s for.

I would love to give Bob a real MacLean wool tartan kilt, either purchased or handmade. I doubt he would wear it, though. He would probably think it is itchy as it has to be wool to be authentic.

I would like to give JoJo a Corgi puppy as a sibling. I’m not sure she would appreciate it, though.

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I would like to give cars to all our kids. Some of them have cars, but they don’t run very well. I think my oldest is the only one with a reliable vehicle, but he wants to travel, so I think he needs something a little bigger.

List 3 food gifts you’d like to give or receive.

Since I can no longer eat pecans, I would love a divinity roll but with pumpkin and sunflower seeds on the outside.

I would love to try a real Christmas pudding, just once. With the holly stuck in it and everything!

I would like to donate some food this year. We volunteer at a local center, and I would like to put together a collection of nice foods for the holidays to donate. Totally doable.

Feel free to answer in the comments or leave a link if you’ll be answering on your blog.

Wednesday WIPs

Look at me prompt blogging!

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This happy yarn monster is the start of my Hip to be Square throw in The Croft Shetland Tweed in Moss Bank. It is great TV knitting and feels so good to knit! We have a friend who will be selling her couch to us when we move. I think this throw will look lovely on it. I hope I have enough yarn to make it a decent size.

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I’m at the crown decreases for Tread. The yarn is more navy than this, but I wanted you to see the pattern. This is a joy to knit and goes so quickly. It’s a one-skein wonder. I may knit another one or two.

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My Christmas Cactus is on its second bloom, and I have these dried flowers. They are so pretty I hate to throw them away, but I’m not sure what I can do with them. Ideas?

I am also ready to finally cast on Peerie Flooers. I have the pattern and I have the yarn (Milarrochy Tweed.) It’s silly not to go ahead and cast on. I think it will be a gift. I have someone in mind. This is the pattern that I saw on the BBC show Shetland that restarted my love of knitting.

Tonight I hope to finish Tread. The last two days at work have been heavy-hitters, and at the end of the day all I can do is lay on the couch and drool. Today is a little lighter. Yay, hump day!

Holiday Traditions

Spritewrites.net has a Virtual Advent Tour where different bloggers sign up to share their holiday traditions during the season. I signed up for Christmas Eve!

Last night all the boys and I watched Rare Exports. I have blogged before that this is my favorite holiday movie. This year I made gingerbread and we played a “drinking game” where we took a bite of gingerbread every time a character did. I only ate three cookies, but could have easily eaten four. I was reserved.

I weighed myself today. I haven’t gained any weight even though I haven’t exercised in two weeks and I’ve been eating whatever I want. It’s a Thanksgiving Miracle! Back to the gym today.

Oh so grateful for my boys. It was good to hang out with them last night.

What’s your favorite holiday movie? Leave a comment!

Grateful Sunday

It’s been a long time since I went to a coffee shop by myself, ordered a soy peppermint mocha, and enjoyed a leisurely moment in public. Most of my moments seem filled with purpose. It’s nice to sit here and not feel like I have to perform or impress, or even relate. I’m grateful to have this moment to myself.

After my moment, I did a little Christmas shopping and then went to my studio to get my knitting organized. I caught a full rainbow!

The new issue of Seamwork came out. I have fallen hard for the Billie jumpsuit. Mood is having a sale so I ordered some wool knit velour to make it. I will not wash this fabric before sewing! Must avoid the Ace catastrophe (when I lost my mind and shrunk new wool knit fabric in the washing machine).

Since I’m a Seamwork member the pattern is free. There are so many patterns I want to make. I’m trying to limit myself to sewing one garment per season. It’s all I can handle.

Black Friday Quiz

Karen at nothingbutknit2 posted a Black Friday quiz. You know I can’t resist a quiz.

1. Do you shop the sales on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and/or Cyber Monday? What is your favorite way to shop?

I do not shop on Black Friday. I’m not someone who looks for deals. I prefer to shop my values, which means paying a fair price for a quality item. I like the idea of shopping the day after Thanksgiving with family and friends to enjoy the season, but I’ve learned it is not enjoyable on that day. I may try to do a little shopping on Small Business Saturday to support our local businesses, although I try to do that year round. I do shop online but if it is related to a deal like Cyber Monday it is an afterthought so any discount is a bonus. My favorite way to shop is at our local small businesses. I enjoy browsing as long as it isn’t overly busy with people.

2. Have you started your gift shopping/crafting?

Yes, we are nearly done with our shopping as our children are mostly grown and we are still helping some of them get on their feet financially. We are also saving to buy a home. So this year we’re only filling stockings. My Christmas gift crafting is modest this year and I have started but not finished.

3. Are you one of those people who has all your gifts wrapped and ready to go early? Are you a last minute shopper and final moments crafter?

I am someone who has most of it done early. I am still looking for those final special items up to the last minute, though. I’m a thoughtful gifter and I like to take my time with it.

4. Do you have a tale from shopping trips past that you wish to share?

One year when we were terribly poor, I followed the conventional wisdom that I needed to go out and get items at a discount early on Black Friday. I needed to get coats and a couple of special toys for my (then little) boys. I was out at the crack of dawn and waited in line for hours to pay. It was a horrible experience and I realized the deals weren’t any better than on a regular shopping day. I’ve never shopped on Black Friday since then, except once when I nearly had an altercation in a mall parking lot over a parking space. Another reason to just say no to Black Friday.

I’m not a Black Friday hater, though. People should shop the way they like, although I saw this image on Instagram today and want to share it here.

I don’t want to act like I’ve got it all figured out. Shopping is something I struggle with as it is a way I nurture myself. You can see the problem there. So I am working toward saving more and spending less and being happy with the experience of shopping without necessarily buying something. This is tough when you work in retail! When I shop for myself I like to buy used when I can, and for new items I try to buy fair trade and/or handmade.

At work this weekend we have a coupon going out, but mainly we’re focusing on rounding up to help our artisan partners in Kenya buy a new kiln. We have a Small Business Saturday promotion with a tote bag giveaway in stores, and we’ll offer a Cyber Monday discount via email. This is a way to have some fun and reward our best customers. We’ll ask for donations for Giving Tuesday. As a small nonprofit, and as a fair trade organization, we can’t afford to offer deep discounts. Anyway, most of those deep discounts out there are just a discount off a steep markup. We don’t do that.

Before the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade the Today Show highlighted alpaca blend throws originally $350 going for $79 for Black Friday. At our store, alpaca blend throws are always around $79, often less.

So shop small this season, my friends. Shop fair trade if you can. Go to your local craft shows. Check out your local small businesses. If you have a small budget, make it count with a few good items.

I know when kids are little they have big expectations at Christmas time. I’m not suggesting you should make decisions that interfere with their happiness. I’m not sure where Legos are made, but I know there is probably a small mountain of Legos in a landfill somewhere because of us. No judgments.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” — Maya Angelou

I’m still working on the doing better part!

Tread

I’m secretly knitting a Tread hat for my son Henry for Christmas. He doesn’t read my blog. JoJo is modeling my progress, but does not want. This wool yarn is so soft. It is Woolfolk Far. If Henry can wear this hat then I’ve found the yarn for his sweater.

We are watching Love Actually and snacking on cheese and crackers while we wait for dinner. All I can think about is pumpkin pie!

You can see we already have our Christmas decorations up. I was in the mood early this year. I got a new stained glass star topper for our little live tree.

My boys are with their Dad today. We alternate holidays. Today I’m so thankful for Bob and his kids. We are having a fun day. I don’t think I am someone who could be alone on holidays. ❤️ Happy Thanksgiving!