On the East Coast of the United States, winter is knocking at our door.
And so my thoughts turn to the proper outfit for winter stitching.
Let's be honest. Sitting still, stitching quietly through the winter months, hour after hour, is a chilly proposition.
What makes it worse is that we keep our house at a chill 58°F (14°C)...
When we bought our house, we bought a home big enough for four children. We had one. That means we have more room than we need and it seems such a waste to heat the whole place.
When I lived in a Japanese apartment, only one room was heated. This room was closed off from the rest of the house and if you needed to use the other areas...the toilet seat was heated, the bathtub had a heater to keep the water at a constant temperature, and the bedroom wasn't heated because you slept under a futon made from down.
It really makes a lot of sense to live that way.
And so we started dropping the temperature on the thermostat a couple of degrees over a period of a few winters.
Once we started saving hundreds of dollars on our heating bills, it was hard not to continue. Our bodies have adjusted to the cold. Our skin doesn't dry out or flake, my fingers don't split, we sleep better and we've grown very fond of our afghans and Cozies.
But don't worry. If you come to visit, we'll turn up the heat for you.
All that chatter is just background to explain why what I wear for winter stitching is so important. Though I have a space heater in the room, I still need to dress for the job...many hours of sitting still in a pretty cold room
At this point, there will be some of you who may live similarly and others who think I'm completely nuts. My Dad falls into the latter category.
Regardless...Here's my Wardrobe Wish List for Winter Stitching in a Deep-Freeze Environment:
Fleece-lined yoga pants from Title Nine:
By far, yoga pants are the most comfortable pants to wear when I have to sit for hours. Only problem is that they are too thin to keep the legs and bum warm in the winter. I was thrilled to find these fleece-lined winter pants at Title Nine for $85. A little pricey but they're paid for with only one month savings on the heating bill and if you wear them every day, they might be worth it!
The next item was not so easy for me to find.
When I stitch, I want very little to no bulk from my wrist to elbow. Bulky clothes rub against stitching, get snagged on beads and metal threads and get in the way when my hands move back and forth over the frame. No-bulk sleeves are hard to accomplish in the winter and still stay warm.
Enter this arms-free sweater from Anthropologie:
I have been searching capelet and shawl patterns for years for something like this. It needs to leave the arms free, have a closure and provide enough warmth to the torso. This sweater fits the bill. If anyone knows of a pattern for something similar I would be very grateful for the reference. I've scoured the patterns on Ravelry and come up with nothing.
Fingerless gloves from Soul Role on Etsy:
Though I love hand-knitted fingerless gloves, they also give too much bulk for embroidering at a frame. I really like these fingerless organic cotton/lycra versions because they are thin and they are washable. Washability is key in keeping the embroidery clean as the gloves are worn day after day.
Lastly, I usually have a microwaveable Cozy sitting in my lap and warm socks and wool clogs on my feet.
What are your tricks for warming your winter stitching?