Thursday, January 26, 2023

When the Mood Strikes ...

For a long time I've been thinking about sewing a quilted jacket. Grainline Studio's Tamarack Jacket epitomizes this style. NOT A PRIMARY COLOR's Tamarack, described here and made from a thrifted sheet, is delightful,

 as is the heavily hacked version shown in this post from Grainline.

You can see that this is not a quick project. You need to cut out three of everything (outer fabric, batting, and lining), quilt each piece, then sew and bind the whole thing (after making approximately sixteen yards of bias binding). So, this has been a sort of fantasy project, not one I've been in a rush to make a move on.

Then, just this month Closet Core came out with its Parchment Jacket.

Its raglan sleeves (more comfortable than Tamarack's set-in ones) called my name. Although it's part of Closet Core's new subscription service, "Crew", I realized that I could take out a monthly subscription and then cancel down the road. The pattern was included in the cost of the first month, which was less than the cost of most patterns. 

I'm finally in the mood to do this. The fabric has been bought and cut, the walking foot on my machine has been tested, and I'm so excited to have completed the back!

The navy print is the exterior. I wanted my coat to have a definite quilt vibe. This is a quilting cotton from Moda (A New Page - Stone Path). The lining is Kona cotton in Everglade. I'm keeping the quilting lines simple. Remember, once the finished coat is washed, the quilted fabric will develop the characteristic crinkles around the quilting lines and look quite different. 

If you ever decide to make a quilted jacket/coat, I highly recommend Grainline Studio's fifteen-part YouTube series taking you step-by-step through the process. I'm referring to it more than to Closet Core's somewhat cursory instructions and videos. 

Wish me luck.

Friday, January 20, 2023

Random Winter Friday

It's been a messy weather week with temps hovering either side of the freezing point. A good time to spend time indoors, contemplating the outdoors.


I'm trying to learn how to paint with watercolours. I'm pretty bad, but it's fun anyway, and an opportunity to dream of nature in the warmer months. I think these practice pieces will make nice birthday cards.

I cut my hair this morning (only an inch off so no need to visit a pro), and here's a pic of my silvering locks along with Hedgewood and Pembroke in better light.

 Now off to make vegetable soup. Recipe here

P.S. BIG project in the offing...

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Relief and Relaxation

Do you experience January letdown? The holiday festivities and socializing are over, the long, dark, and very cold winter lies ahead, there seems to be no fun left in sight, etc. I used to feel this way. But this year, I'm experiencing relief. The need for that extra level of housekeeping because of visiting family members, the extra cooking, the post-Xmas decoration cleanup? It's all in the past. Now it's time to have fun!

I seem to be having a burst of creative energy. I don't think it has to do with the lack of snow, although being able to walk outside without winter boots is amazingly liberating. Odd that after that once-in-a-generation blizzard on Xmas Eve, our weather has been more like March than January. Look at the green grass. In January!

View of house on nearby Beverley Street.

I know my creative push isn't because of a lack of household duties. Our dishwasher broke just after Isabel left, and I've decided to forgo replacing it for now. Like most of my generation, I grew up without a dishwasher, and it feels strangely comforting to don rubber gloves and do the washing up by hand. No rush. Just me, the soap and hot water, and CBC radio. I think my current mood has to do with the lack of family responsibilities. It's one of those rare moments in life to savour.

So, I've gone back to a design I sketched and swatched last winter, the idea based loosely on Emily Foden's beautiful Soiree, first published in Pom Pom magazine and then again in her inspiring book "Knits About Winter".  My yarn is Cascade Eco+ knitted on 6.5 mm needles at 3.5 sts per inch for a nice, light drapey fabric. There are things I wanted to do differently, including a band of seed stitch above the rolled hem to deter excessive rolling, seed stitch and horseshoe cable panels instead of honeycomb and rope cabled ones, and short-rowed shoulders joined by 3-needle BO to prevent stretching of the dropped shoulders. My yarn is a lightly spun chunky instead of the fingering + mohair combo in Soiree. I do wish there were a gorgeous hand-dyed chunky wool out there. Maybe that's a future project...


No, you're not seeing the same yarn in different light. The swatch from last winter is in a pale grey while the actual sweater on the needles is in charcoal. It's not the colour I want to be working with at this time of year, but it's what's in my stash and I'm determined to use what I have. Yesterday I wet blocked the first five inches to make sure the size was accurate and that I really loved the drape and feel, so now I'm proceeding confidently up toward the underarms. See you in a bit.