Saturday, November 15, 2014


Do you know it was only about 2 months ago that I was frying my eyeballs in Death Valley at 114F (45.5C)? How things change! Recently we’ve been experiencing the Polar Vortex here so it’s been sunny but quite cold (for us) at about –2C (28F) at night. Yes, I’m having a little trouble adapting. Instead of shorts and a sleeveless T-shirt, I’m wearing at least 3 or 4 layers and still feeling a bit chilly. I put the flannelette sheets and another wool blanket on the bed. I’ve been refilling Blodgie, my hot water bottle, every night. Even Thom has been snuggling his cold feet on the Blodge. OK, we’re wimps. We live in the temperate rainforest not the Arctic. Not even as cold as the rest of Canada.

Remember my lovely coleus from August? One frosty night and it looked like this:


He’s dead, Jim. Compost. Guess we’re done for the winter now. And I just tried to plant some new fall rye seed as a cover crop for some of the empty spaces in my garden. Hah. Wishful thinking perhaps? Or bird food. We shall see if it gets a chance to grow later.

Meanwhile, what have I been up to? On Wednesday we walked downtown to good old Dressew to get a zipper and to hunt for some more fabric for a warm sweater for Thom. I was very controlled for once and just bought exactly what I went for. More about that in a bit.

Then we continued on to the Circle Craft Christmas Market. Many years ago (over 20!) I used to work part-time at Circle Craft, a popular craft coop shop on Granville Island in Vancouver. So whenever I can, I love to see what the craftspeople are creating. This year had lots of interesting stuff: pottery (we bought 2 new octagonal plates to go with last year’s square ones by Mud, Sweat & Tears), clothing, glass, jewelry, wood products, decorations, and lots of specialty food items (we got some yummy smoked and canned local salmon and tuna). We visited with a few old friends with sales booths and then walked home. It was a lovely day but we were pretty tired after being on our feet for such a long time. Good exercise though.

Back to the fabric. I bought Thread Theory’s Finlayson Sweater as soon as it came out. That’s the type of sweater that Thom wears all the time. I was going to rub off one of his current commercial versions (which I may still do) but why not support an indie pattern designer especially one who is almost local and designs for men. That needs encouraging! Anyway at Dressew we found this brown squooshy poly fleece, smooth on one side and deliciously fuzzy on the other:


It’s exactly like my super-toasty dressing gown (aka the giant floor length sweatshirt) that I made a number of years ago. It’s heavy weight and very warm but the smooth side pills immediately so the fuzzy side is definitely the good side to wear outside. The price was right too at only $6.99 per metre. However, after we got home I realised that it’s too thick to sew the Finlayson’s shawl collar where there would be 5 layers together. Boo. I’m still going to make him a sweater from it but it will be a simpler style. There’s that rub-off that I have to make now! And if I’m really lucky there’ll be enough left for a warm vest for me-me-me.

So back to the first fabric that I bought for this project when we passed through Portland in August:


A gray poly ponte. I’m now thinking it’s more perfect than I first thought, though it will be considerably lighter-weight and not nearly as warm. I’ve printed out the PDF pattern and assembled the pieces:

Finlayson pattern

I actually like that job! Thread Theory have got their pattern PDFs down to a fine science these days. It printed out without a hitch even on my old inkjet, all lines correct and accounted for. I love the little half-scissors that marks the sides to cut off before assembling and the big easy-to-see triangles that you have to match with number/letter codes. So clear. I use glue stick instead of tape which I think makes a more secure and easy join. It didn’t take very long to finish. I’m trying to decide whether to leave these pieces intact and trace off the correct size or just throw caution to the winds and cut them out directly. If for some odd reason I need a different size later, I can always print out the PDF again. But chances are I won’t.

The only problem is I really wanted a pair of pants out of that gray fabric. Sniff. So maybe I can squeeze both in since there’s 3 yards and it’s nearly 70 inches wide? The pattern is Sandra Betzina’s V1411 and has multiple leg seams which might help it fit in the spaces. I’ll have to get the pants pattern ready and then play tetris games with all the pieces before I’ll know for sure. Wish me luck.

So I have more but that’s it for now. We need to go vote in our municipal election today. If ya don’t vote then ya can’t complain later!

1 comment:

Dixie said...

Sounds like fun shopping. I love the name Mud, Sweat and Tears - perfect!
Good luck playing Tetris with your pattern pieces!