Despite the pandemic, I had a good year. My intention for 2022 is to slow down a bit and “conserve,” i.e. energy and resources. I’ll be starting each day with gratitude and appreciation for my abundant life, and taking it one day at a time. Happy New Year!
Well, that week flew by. I’ve been sick for almost my entire vacation. I’m trying not to have sour grapes about it, but instead be thankful I was off so I could rest and recuperate. Bob and I both tested negative for Covid, so I guess it’s a flu or cold.
I am glad I was able to spend some time getting organized this week. I knit several rows on my Arrowhead Cardigan, and realized I need to take my time with it. The all-over colorwork wears me out.
My new and improved plan is to knit one row each day until I finish the body, then tackle the sleeves and finishing. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish the sweater by the first week of April. Maybe I’ll even get to wear it this spring a few times before it warms up.
I’ve decided to sew a couple of Logan Shackets: one in a cotton plaid flannel from my fabric stash, and the other in the navy wool flannel. Because I anticipate my sewing machine will struggle with buttonholes, I’m going to use big sew on snaps for them. If you would like to see some shackets in action, while also listening to some beautiful music, check out this link. I won’t make mine that long, though.
In other news, we have a new member of our family. A little black kitty found his way to us. He is sweet and very friendly. We posted around in case someone was looking for him, but we think he may have been dumped. He is adorable and has been adopted by our daughter Mackenzie. We will have to say farewell once she finds a new place, but I think this kitty was just what she needed. JoJo hasn’t met him yet as the vet told us to keep him quarantined for two weeks.
Bob jarred four quarts of apple cider vinegar yesterday made with apples from our apple trees. He’s also made sauerkraut for New Year’s Day, to have with collards, black eyed peas, and vegan bratwurst.
Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read my blog, and like and comment this year. It means a lot to me. I appreciate the friendship, support, and encouragement. I’ve met so many wonderful people here! I hope you have a very Happy New Year’s Eve and a relaxing, peaceful New Year’s Day. Wishing you a healthy and prosperous New Year in 2022!
After researching coat making, I realized my wool flannel fabric is too lightweight to use with a wool prefelt interlining, which is bulky. So I went ahead and ordered two yards of Thinsulate to make a warm jacket for spring and fall, which wasn’t very expensive.
While I was on the Vogue Fabrics site getting the Thinsulate, I took a look at their wool coatings. I have been researching them online, and they go anywhere from $30 to $70 per yard. I figured I would need to save up for that.
But Vogue Fabrics had a royal blue 100% wool melton on clearance for $12.50 per yard! I couldn’t resist at that price. (Plus my Mom is sending some Christmas money, so I’ll put mine toward the coat materials.) I can use the prefelt as an interlining with it, and I’ll get some practice on the flannel jacket before having a go at the coat later next year.
Today is the first day of my 10 day vacation! I’m going to make a Christmas pudding, knit on Henry’s hat, and piece together my coat pattern.
I’ve been spending some time this week organizing my knitting projects by spreadsheet and cataloguing my yarn. All said in total including stash, I have over 60 miles of yarn to knit! That should keep me busy for a few years.
Based on my project completion goals, I will knit about 8 miles of yarn in 2022. I think my goal is reasonable compared to the projects I’ve knit each year over the past two years. Which means I have enough yarn for 7 years.
This doesn’t mean I will never purchase yarn, because that’s not realistic. But my plan is to save my creativity budget and only spend from that account, and to use what I have as much as possible.
Unfortunately, I haven’t really felt like knitting the past couple of days.
I’ve decided to sew a Clare Coat from my navy wool flannel fabric. I have the lining fabric too. I had planned to line it for warmth with Thinsulate, but I have plenty of wool prefelt I could use instead. Have you ever lined a coat with wool? I think it would work between the flannel outer fabric and lining fabric if I planned to quilt it, because it’s a lot like quilt batting. But, I don’t like the look of that, and I’m worried it will sag or tear as a lining without quilting. So, I’m wondering if I could felt it first and then use it. Or, maybe I could quilt the lining fabric to the wool prefelt instead of the outer wool flannel?
I could save for the Thinsulate, but I’d rather use wool if I can, anyway. Plus, I wouldn’t have to spend my budget on that.
My youngest asked me about some handwarmers to use on her walks through the woods. I did a little research, and they are easy to make. Many sites come up if you google “DIY hand warmers.” I read a few to get the gist, and then proceeded to make my own. The following recipe makes two 3 inch square hand warmers.
What you need:
cotton, linen, or wool fabric scraps
whole flax seed
a little dried lavender or other herbs if you are feeling fancy and want them to have a fragrance, although the flaxseed smells wonderful on its own
cotton thread preferable, but poly thread works
Cut four 3 and 1/2 inch squares of 100% cotton fabric. (You could also use linen or wool, but don’t use anything synthetic.)
Finish one edge of each square separately by serging or zig zag stitch. This will be the top edge seam.
Place two squares together with right sides together, top seams matching, for each hand warmer.
For each hand warmer, sew or serge the other three sides together with a seam allowance of about 1/4 inch. Finish the seams with a zig zag stitch if not serging. This is important, as flax seeds are small and you don’t want them working themselves out.
Turn the hand warmers inside out. Turn the top edges under 1/4 inch. Press.
Sew around all the edges of each square, about 1/8 inch from the edge. Sew along the top edge as well, leaving about 1/2 inch open so you can fill the pouch with flax seeds.
Using a small funnel, fill the hand warmers with whole flax seeds as full as you can without allowing them to spill out.
Stitch the opening closed either by hand or using your sewing machine.
That’s it. Pretty simple!
Directions for use:
Place the hand warmers in the microwave for 30 seconds on high
Take them out carefully (they’re hot!)
Pop one into each pocket. These will keep your hands warm for 15-20 minutes, maybe longer!
This made a nice little Winter Solstice gift for my youngest along with a chocolate. These would also make great stocking stuffers!
We had a lovely snowfall this week, and it was like a winter wonderland for a day. I even went outside for a walk.
Year of Projects Updates
I was wrong. The arugula survived the cold snap under the greenhouse, and there’s a little baby lettuce and kale mixed it.
My Yuletide Ranunculus sweater continues to grow. I am well past where the pattern has you switch to the ribbing, as it’s a cropped design. I was going to have it finish mid-hip, but I’ve decided to keep going for a tunic length. I have plenty of yarn, and I think I will wear it more at that length. I don’t want to knit anything else. I may be becoming a monogamous knitter.
I finished my Mile End Hoodie. This was made with scraps of wool interlock leftover from my Plateau Joggers. I’m very happy I was able to get another garment out of it. Pattern is Mile End Sweatshirt by Closet Core. Fabric is 100% merino wool interlock by Nature’s Fabrics. And yes, I am wearing PJ pants. I made them, so I figure that’s alright. I made an executive decision to not get out of PJ pants today.
Speaking of PJ Pants, I sewed some new cotton flannel jammies for myself from this Skiing Gnomes fabric. And Bob and I made mince pies.
I regret to say I have not been practicing my spinning. I am off between Christmas and New Year’s, so I’m going to start spinning 15 minutes per day on the 27th, and try to keep that going for a while so I can improve.
I have some gorgeous Fibre Company Arranmore that’s been languishing in my stash. The color is a beautiful red named Ruari. I think I’m going to make a Ranunculus. I looked at other projects for this pattern, and some have been made in Aran weight. It looks just the thing: top down, festive lace at the yoke for holiday cheer, and then loads of stockinette.
I’m really on a roll with my sewing. I have a bushel basket on my sewing table that I keep my current WIPS in, and it’s empty! I think I will pull out that plaid flannel that want to make into a wrap skirt. Having projects out inspires me to work on them. However, I am having trouble finding a pattern. It looks like I will have to take measurements and make my own pattern. This is a good exercise for me, as I haven’t done it in over a decade.
My first attempt. I’m going to keep practicing on the merino top they sent until I get something usable. Progress not perfection!
I’m not sure what I’ll sew next. I do have some navy wool flannel that I’m either going to turn into overalls or a jacket. I also have some plaid flannel I want to make into a wrap skirt. I guess I have plenty of options!
I finished sewing my Plateau Joggers! I LOVE them! I am dressed and comfortable at the same time. It’s amazing.
I highly recommend this pattern. It was easy to follow. I did make a mistake with the back pocket placement at first, mistaking where the bottom of the pockets should go as the top. As a result I had pockets on my back legs under my bum! I thought I might try to make it a fashion thing, maybe bring back the comb in the back pocket. Then I realized I’m too old to care about fashion. It was an easy fix.