Many are surprised at just how cold a Jordanian winter can be. I've known Canadians, Minnesotans, and northern Europeans who declare Jordanian winters to be the coldest they've experienced. It is not that temperatures drop so low--though we sometimes receive snow and frost in the higher altitudes. Rather, it is that many houses and buildings are inefficiently insulated and heating fuel is expensive. Until a couple weeks ago, the warmer (read: heated) rooms in our apartment registered about 60 degrees Fahrenheit/16 degrees Celsius on the thermometer.
Here is proof of just how cool our house is:
I took this picture yesterday. My "Christmas" amaryllis, which I potted back in November, bloomed this week. It is in our south-facing sun porch. I guess it thought it was still being stored in the refrigerator! I had all but given up on it, but I'm glad I didn't. Even the narcissus, planted outside, bloomed before it did.
Thus, wool is my close friend from December through March and my wool turtlenecks and sweaters have been on permanent rotation--even at night. I don't even consider cotton during these months. One thing that made the cold more bearable this winter was cashmere. I made a few scarves from recycled sweaters and I wore these daily--even in the house. Especially in the house.
I ruffled the edges by zig-zagging them while pulling the fabric taught.
By making some stripy scarves I could stretch one short sleeved magenta sweater into three scarves, one for me, one for my mom, and similar one for Tatya. She choose an infinity scarf.
Inspired by a Pinterest pin which led me to Molly at Finish Something Already, I made my first felted wool baby quilt, a gift for a baby girl scheduled to make her appearance next month. I learned some things making this first quilt and on my next one I'll work a little more on color placement. This quilt was made by butting the edges of the felted wool up against each other and zig-zagging, though I think I need to loosen up my stitches a bit next time. This quilt turned out "ruffly" but it was for a girl, so that is okay. Instead of adding the intended boarder, I zig-zagged/ruffled the edges (Thanks for the idea, Tayta) and in the end it looked like I had planned those ruffly seams. I chose my softer wools, mostly lambswool with some angora, for this quilt. I enjoyed making it a lot and hope to make more quilts in the future.
In fact, I've already started my next one. Once I saw Chris of Resweater's fabulous quilt, I knew I had to make one with my scraps. I (obsessively) cut out 550 hexagons over the course of week--it is a good hand activity when watching a dvd or listening to a lecture. I've begun sewing them together, using the same butting/zig-zag technique. I've finished about 1/5 of the quilt, adding a row or two each day.
As much fun as I am having with this quilt, I have decided that I will set it aside at the end of the month as I really need to get going on Artist Son's college quilt; we will be leaving for the summer at the end of May.
I finished cutting the 450 pieces (25 colors) from recycled 100% cotton men's shirts over a month ago. How satisfying it was to stack them all when I finished cutting!
I tossed the pieces all together for the first step in this quilt, which is random pairing. I don't do very good at random but I am trying and Tayta kept me honest when she saw me start to choose colors I though should go together.
Today my turtleneck is cotton, which is just as much a sign of spring as are the budding forsythia bushes and wild almond trees.