Coat Update

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.

60 Miles of Yarn and a Wool Coat

My 2022 Knitting Planner

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.

Clare Coat (big snaps version) image copyright Closet Core Patterns

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.

Anyone have experience with this?

Winter Solstice Hand Warmers

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:

  1. cotton, linen, or wool fabric scraps
  2. whole flax seed
  3. 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
  4. small funnel
  5. cotton thread preferable, but poly thread works

Directions:

  1. 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.)
  2. Finish one edge of each square separately by serging or zig zag stitch. This will be the top edge seam.
  3. Place two squares together with right sides together, top seams matching, for each hand warmer.
  4. 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.
  5. Turn the hand warmers inside out. Turn the top edges under 1/4 inch. Press.
  6. 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.
  7. Using a small funnel, fill the hand warmers with whole flax seeds as full as you can without allowing them to spill out.
  8. Stitch the opening closed either by hand or using your sewing machine.

That’s it. Pretty simple!

Directions for use:

  1. Place the hand warmers in the microwave for 30 seconds on high
  2. Take them out carefully (they’re hot!)
  3. 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!

YOPping in a Winter Wonderland

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

Gardening

I was wrong. The arugula survived the cold snap under the greenhouse, and there’s a little baby lettuce and kale mixed it.

Knitting

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.

Sewing

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.

Spinning

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.

This has been a Year of Projects update. You can find out more about the group here (Rav link) or here: Backstage Kath’s YOP bloggers list. You can read my updated list of projects here.

Wovember Year of Projects Update: All The Wool

Knitting

I finished something and frogged something and updated my list. In the meantime I’ve been looking for something shiny to bring my knitting twinkle back. Something new, in Christmas Red.

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.

Sewing

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.

Spinning

My first attempt. I’m going to keep practicing on the merino top they sent until I get something usable. Progress not perfection!

This has been a Year of Projects update. You can find out more about the group here (Rav link) or here: Backstage Kath’s YOP bloggers list. You can read my updated list of projects here.

Wool Plateau Joggers

I finished my second pair of Plateau Joggers. The fabric is 100% merino wool interlock from Nature’s Fabrics. I may have enough to sew a matching Mile End Sweatshirt. This fabric was expensive, so I want to use up every little bit.

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!

Plateau Joggers

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.

Pattern is Plateau Joggers by Closet Core. Fabric is Trainers French Terry in Olive.

Next I’ll be making a pair from black wool interlock!

It’s Beginning to YOP a Lot Like Christmas

I haven’t posted for Year of Projects (YOP) in a few weeks. I haven’t really been focused on crafting. But I did update my list today.

Knitting

I added this cowl, which is the Marled Alaska Cowl (Ravelry link) in Moondrake’s Soft Shawl, colorways Driftwood and Zombie held together. I should be able to finish this up this week.

I had to frog my Stash Aurealis. After I got through the short rows and increases for the yoke, my stitch count was wrong. At first I was going to fudge it, then I realized that would be silly as it is a very small bit of knitting that I can certainly reknit quickly once my head is in the right place. So that project will be disappeared back into the yarn tubs for now.

I removed some projects from my list that I can’t see myself making anytime soon.

Sewing

I added my Plateau Joggers, which are now cut out and ready to sew.

Today I will make some Canada, Eh? flannel PJ pants for Bob. He has requested pockets, so I hope the pocket pattern from one of my dresses will do as a template.

Spinning

M’lady
M’lady Bug

I added spinning to my list. My goals this year are modest. 1. Relearn to spin 2. Improve my spinning.

Listening to Music Intentionally

I removed this from my list. I’ve been enjoying indie folk playlists on YouTube that are themed by season or mood. It’s like hygge Muzak and is really the opposite of listening to music intentionally. But it’s nice background music and helps calm my nervous system.

We had snow flurries yesterday and the holidays are right around the corner! I’ve finished my shopping. It was easy as everyone is getting a Fair Trade Subscription. It feels good going into the season without many have-to-dos. I’m going to bake Rosemary Shortbread Stars today.

This has been a Year of Projects update. You can find out more about the group here (Rav link) or here: Backstage Kath’s YOP bloggers list. You can read my updated list of projects here.

Jogging On: the Dressing Ritual

Working from home during a pandemic pretty much has me wanting to wear PJ pants all the time. And yes, I could do that. But the mental preparation for daily work requires and involves the dressing ritual.

Mah GERD also requires nothing snug to be worn around my mid-section. Even leggings that are loose in the legs and butt squeeze my gut until I’m in so much pain I have to change into a tent. They just don’t make pants that fit my old apple body! This is why I’ve made the transition to dresses and overalls, but come on! I don’t want to wear dresses and overalls every day of my life! They’re fussy!

My PJ pants work for me because I make them to fit my body. Then one day I realized, you know what? I can make work PJ pants! I’ll make PJ pants in nice fabric! Then I realized I wouldn’t feel dressed enough, and decided to level up to some work sweatpants. I purchased the Plateau Joggers pattern from Sew to Speak, along with some nice French terry fabric. I’ve also purchased some merino interlock yardage in black, because wool + I’m cold all the time.

On the health front: I may have a small hiatal hernia. It runs in my family. And when I can’t manage my stress, I throw up. So, I need to wear loose pants, eat small portions, and manage my stress. And drink lots and lots of water. These are my instructions for wellness.

Also, I’m hoping that work joggers will make it more plausible for me to exercise during the day. I can be at work in my home office, sitting at my desk in my nice work joggers. When I find that I am at a good pausing point, I can take a walk down my road. Yes, sometimes I need to be dressed for the thing or I don’t want to do the thing. The Dressing Ritual.

What about you? Do you need a dressing ritual to get you motivated to do your thing?

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! It’s my favorite holiday, as you may have guessed. I’m wearing my Sleepy Hollow dress and Cemetery Drive cowl today.

I have a leather jacket that an artist I know painted, and I love wearing it. But I don’t always love having the back of my jacket painted as it attracts a lot of attention. So I purchased a used, plain leather jacket on Poshmark and I’m very happy with it. I wouldn’t buy a new one, but a used one feels less harmful.

I haven’t been blogging much lately. I’m knitting and sewing here and there. I had another “this is my hobby not my job” epiphany. Work has been busy with events for Fair Trade Month. And now we’re moving into the holidays. It feels very sudden!

I needed a knitting pick me up, so I stash-dove and decided to knit an Aurealis sweater. I’m just now starting the short row shaping on the neck, so not much to see yet. I’ve updated my Year of Projects list.

I sewed some monster PJ pants for Bob.

This Halloween Livie shawl won’t be done today, so I may pack it away for next fall.

What about you? Any Halloween makes this year? Are you ready for the holiday season to begin?