Temps have been down to zero for the last three nights and other than being in direct sunlight to feel warmth, daytime hasn't gotten much over 26F. If you stand on our front porch,
you'll feel like you are getting dive bombed by chickadees and nuthatches!
The lighted Christmas tree is still up outside. I'd have to dig it out at this point, but it's providing good perching for the busy ones. The Stellar Jays have learned to push/rattle the wire cylinder feeder by the wood boiler to make it drop seed, because the bottom pan is too small for them to perch at. With such cold weather, activity has been almost constant from sun up to sun down. In the pictures are: Mountain Chickadees, Red-breasted Nuthatch and Chestnut Backed Chickadee.
Besides bird and football watching (Go Pats!!!) there has been a frenzy of fabric cutting. I laid out and cut six patterns yesterday. A new vest pattern, two new pants patterns and some old blouse favorites done up in corduroy. In this weather you can never have too much warm soft stuff. One of the trouser patterns is a muslin for a Decades of Style pattern.
I bought two of their line and just couldn't wait to get this one out of the envelope. It's quite different from any other pattern I have or have done, so basically I'll do a pair of shorts for a muslin. This pattern uses a lot of fabric, almost twice what a regular pair of pants needs so when I go to nice fabric I want to be sure the fit will be good and the style flattering.
The other pattern is this wonderful vintage coat.
I can see this done in some interesting outer weight choices, or as a beautiful robe done in charmeuse or drapey rayon or linen/rayon blend. Oh, the possibilities! I'll keep you posted on progress using these patterns from this indie company.
The Shetland wool vest has been completed and I am so glad I took my time on this one.
Making a lining for it was challenging, mostly because I had to modify the way facings and hems were done.
The heavy weight wool dictated that I go slow with the machine, careful with my top stitching and really watch my fit around the arm holes. It all took time
and I wanted to enjoy the process and working with this lovely, old fashioned wool.
It's warm and comfortable and the bonus is the style looks great with a capelet thrown over it, almost like a Sherlock Holmes style Inverness coat. Very practical for our climate too. I can't tell you how often I go to town bundled up because our temps are running 10 to 15 degrees colder than the valley, only to be too hot and shedding coats and sweaters when I get to town. Dressing for town would never do. What would happen if I got stuck or the car failed and I had to walk a distance or wait in the cold? But having a warm vest with a removable warm wool capelet dings a lot of bells. More on this type of style to come in the coming months. I've a had a request and am up to the challenge...I think. ;)
In farm news, not much going on. The horses are handling the dry cold temps well, the donkeys not so much. Even with blankets and shelter the single digits are hard for them. I can only keep heated water out for them, lots of hay and a little increase in the tiny amount of dry cob I give them. The night time temps are predicted to rise into the low/mid 20's and we'll all be grateful. This spring I will move the donkeys along to a new home, a valley home. I think they will be much happier as long as they can stay together. They are so very bonded with each other.