Saturday, February 12, 2011

Cold Weather Sewing

The past couple of weeks have had many days of brutal cold for us in the south of Texas.  Down below freezing on many nights in a row and some friends have had to contend with frozen pipes.

My own home is well insulated but with a large expanse of windows in the living room and floors that are mostly tile things get very cold downstairs.

I found myself running out of clean hand knit wool socks and having to resort to my old ski socks in order to  keep my feet warm.

The dogs have loved it all as they have slept with me on many nights.  They are a little ticked at me as I have had to wash the bed sheets frequently to keep down on the amount of dog fur that has rubbed off of them.

Keeping warm feels like a full time job some days.  My feet have done well but other parts of my body have not faired so well.

My hands, in particular, have not been happy.  Not so much my fingers, but my wrists and hands have been very achy.  Not sure if its the cold or the RA but it really puts a damper on things when your hands just want to be in a pair of fluffy mittens.  

Another part of body has not been happy either.  Essentially my upper torso... shoulders, back and chest have been very stiff and cold.

I knew I needed a solution that did not include more bulky sweaters or hiding under the covers all day.

Solution #1 - Polartec vest:

Yes, its not pretty but it is nice and warm.  Made from a kit I bought years ago at an ASG conference, this simple vest is like shearling on the inside and like velour on the outside.  Its a little big but it works at keeping the problem areas warm.  The pattern is from Kwik Sew but any basic vest pattern would have worked.  

Solution #2 - Polartec gauntlets:

Made from scraps left over from the vest making.  Essentially a tube with a slit for my thumb.  In use on both hands as I type and boy do they feel warm!

Now that there is a warming trend this weekend I may not have much time left to use my new cold weather accessories but I am very happy to know that I will have them for next year.

I hope your weekend is going well and that you have not forgotten to get your loved ones something for St. Valentine's day.  The dogs are getting bully sticks and Paul is  getting his bank statements balanced.

No-one ever said I was a romantic!

PS - read about the story behind Polartec here and here.  I am so happy that the company still exists and continues to make fabulous fabrics.  This is NOT your average fabric store fleece and their newest products are very intriguing.  Next year I might look into their battery operated heated vest...but that might just be going a little overboard for a southerner like me.

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