Winter warming strategies


The weathermen have been banging on about this cold snap for ages, and now it’s definitely arrived. It’s freezing. In anticipation of the ICY BLAST, as they kept calling it on the BBC , I finally got around to sewing new buttons on my new/old red coat.

My camera does not like this shade of red at all.

They’re from Taylors Buttons in Soho. This place is amazing. It’s more of an office than a shop – you have to ring a bell to get in. A nice lady opens the door, and you go into a small room filled with thousands and thousands of buttons. No computer, no card machine, just old dusty cardboard boxes lining the walls with buttons spilling out everywhere. It’s like visiting a haberdashery shop in the 50s – I loved it.

I did contemplate going for silver buttons but was a bit worried about looking like one of those soldiers who guard Buckingham Palace. These red ones are the perfect colour.

As another arctic-chill coping strategy I’ve made myself a new cowl, or a Simon as we used to call it in my knitting group, for obvious reasons:

Geddit? This pun doesn’t work quite as well if you call them ‘snoods’.

I used to be a champion knitter until I discovered the siren call of sewing. Now my left-over balls of yarn are just gathering dust in the spare room. My friend Lizzy just has to look at some wool and needles to instantly whip up an amazing creation, but I think I’ve lost my knitting mojo. This Simon is my attempt at kick-starting it again.

The problem with these things is how wide to make them. Really loopy ones look good but are completely useless for keeping your neck warm. Small ones are more insulating, but bear an unfortunate resemblance to a surgical neck brace. I’m hoping this one falls somewhere in between.

You barely need a pattern for something like this but you can get one on Ravelry anyway, which is what I did because I’m lazy.

Snoods/cowls/Simons are incredibly comforting to wear – let’s face it, they’re basically adult security blankets. They make you realise how perfect life must be for tortoises. Almost any problem can be solved can withdrawing your head into a woolly shell and refusing to come out until a solution is reached.

I’m not coming out until there are chocolate digestives

p.s. Today I went to the Peter Jensen fabric sample sale, and it was BRILLIANT. There were hardly any prints, sadly, but the quality of the fabrics was amazing. I went slightly overboard, will take some pics of my haul later.


21 thoughts on “Winter warming strategies

  1. rehanon November 3, 2012 / 4:17 PM

    beauty of a coat nice work my dar and I will forever call any form of woolly scarf like accessory a Simon te he he.

  2. MariaDenmark November 1, 2012 / 4:36 PM

    Oh, looking forward to seeing all the fabric. And nice Simon – it’ll do the trick!

  3. Maddie Flanigan October 30, 2012 / 12:29 PM

    I really really love this coat. What a pop of color to wear during the dreary upcoming months. I’m glad you didn’t go with the silver buttons. You definitely would have run the risk of looking military-esque

  4. Solii October 29, 2012 / 12:20 PM

    Hey Lady, Canโ€™t wait to see your Peter Jensen swag! Loving the Simon and I totally agree about them being a grown up comforter (not that Iโ€™m much of a grown up!!) I love my grey bamboo one and am working on a apricot coloured one for winter, finally getting round to using the wool I bought in the sale years ago, convinced the colour would come back on trend, patience has paid off! :o)

    • yesilikethat October 29, 2012 / 1:05 PM

      Apricot is definitely an awesome colour! I am tempted to make more now, they’re so easy to knit. I need a big knitting project to work on while watching Strictly, I got a whole jumper knitted last year that way! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. CamberwellGal October 29, 2012 / 8:51 AM

    Hurrah, lucky you – I’m glad some people made it to the Peter Jensen sale. It was all sold out and shut up by the time I got there… I sunk off and had a coffee by the canal! Looking forward to seeing what people make…

    • yesilikethat October 29, 2012 / 1:05 PM

      It was a bit like a plague of locusts, everything seemed to have disappeared by about 11am. People were buying whole rolls of stuff!

  6. Kathryn October 28, 2012 / 11:13 AM

    That button shop sounds ace and the ones you’ve chosen are such a perfect match for your jacket – it looks lovely! I was going to try and ‘do’ some culture today but instead think I’ll stay home & plan what to make with my fabric from yesterday – thanks again for organising!

    • yesilikethat October 28, 2012 / 6:18 PM

      I’ve already washed my mustard-y canvas fabric, I can feel a skirt coming on I think. It was really nice to meet you! Plus you have an awesome name ๐Ÿ™‚ x

  7. byhandlondon October 28, 2012 / 11:05 AM

    Soooooooo lovely to meet you yesterday!! I too was a little disappointed by the lack of prints, but still smug with my haul. And I don’t think I’ll ever be calling cowls/snoods anything but Simon’s from now on! In a bid to get knitting mojo’s back, I usually have a bunch of friends over at mine on Tuesday evenings around this time of year for “lap crafts n shit” and if you can be bothered to trek it West, you’d be most welcome to join us!

    • yesilikethat October 28, 2012 / 6:17 PM

      So nice to meet you too, and your lovely son! We’ll have to hang out again, Tuesdays sound awesome, would love to come sometime. Must get some more knitting done this year! x

  8. ooobop! October 27, 2012 / 8:29 PM

    Beautiful buttons. And thank you for the tip off about that place. Sounds great. Cosy Simon too! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • yesilikethat October 28, 2012 / 6:17 PM

      The lady is very nice, it’s a bit of a treasure trove, you have to know what you want before you go in though, it’s not a place for browsing… x

  9. Kerry October 27, 2012 / 5:44 PM

    Coat looks great – my camera is the same with bright reds too, it can’t cope!

    • yesilikethat October 28, 2012 / 6:16 PM

      I wonder why, it must be some technical photographic thing. Hmmm.

  10. Alana B (@LazyStitching) October 27, 2012 / 5:39 PM

    Gah!! Stupid hangover made me forget all about the sale today, I would have loved to have gone. Can’t wait to see what you got ๐Ÿ™‚

    • yesilikethat October 28, 2012 / 6:16 PM

      It was pretty awesome, now to get it all washed and spend several months contemplating what to make, which is what normally happens! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. gingermakes October 27, 2012 / 5:00 PM

    Ahhhh! The coat looks perfect! You made the right decision with the buttons. And the cowl looks so cozy and nice– totally strikes the balance between loose and snug. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • yesilikethat October 28, 2012 / 6:16 PM

      Thanks dude! I’ve been wearing it all today, it’s super warm. x

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