Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Winter Solstice

They resemble mittens but they are actually socks ....stretch Polarfleece and Polarfleece 200 socks made from the Green Pepper pattern, to be exact.  These are among the most well-received gifts I have ever made so here's the batch for this year's presents.  I have purchased different weighs and designs of Malden Mills Polarfleece over the last ten or twelve years.  It is absolutely the best imaginable, never pills, stays looking new for years and wears like iron.  For years LL Bean would only use the genuine Malden Mills Polarfleece in their garments.  I even visited the retail store (now closed to anyone except full roll buyers) at the factory in Lowell, Massachusetts.  Business readers know the story of Malden Mills from the mid-1990s when a fire destroyed the mill but the employees were kept on while the company rebuilt.  Fashion and the economy did them in by the new millennium and they have now filed for bankruptcy a second time.   Malden Mills History news report   Like so many other textile manufacturers in the US, cheap overseas competition has cut into their business strongly.  They are still the highest quality manufacturer in their field with an amazing and admirable collection of technical fabrics.  But their limited line of fabric means that much of the fabrics and designs I liked are no longer available to retail fabric buyers.   G Street Fabrics used to have "less than a yard" leftover cuts, most likely from clothing manufacturing.  Look at outdoor wear catalogs these days and very few of the items are genuine Polarfleece.   Oh well, it's a global economy, I know, but I sure miss the choices I used to have.   When I made a tied fleece quilt for a friend's son who is an avid Boston Red Sox baseball fan, I hated the thin fleece I had to buy from Joann's just to get the licensed design.  I used up more of that Polarfleece collection by backing it with a thin Polarfleece 100 to give it substance and endurance.

Now the cards have been written and mailed, the presents are completed and delivered, what's a girl to do today to celebrate the winter solstice?  Go kayaking, of course.
It was a gorgeous sunny day here, unlike the nightmare weather in Europe and other parts of the US.   If you are reading this post from one of those areas, I hope you are keeping safe and warm in such treacherous conditions.
Mr. Lucky and I rented kayaks and cruised the estuaries near the Gulf of Mexico, spotting birds (even a bald eagle), fish and then this surprise among the mangrove groves:

Merry Christmas from southwest Florida!!!


  1. I love the socks. I'd like to get that pattern and give them a try. What nice gifts they'll make. Your recipients will be delighted. And happy kayaking.... looks like it was a gorgeous day for you. Up here in Dunedin, it was a tad cooler, but also nice. I also finished a polar fleece item today for a gift. (but mine is NOT official Polarfleece). But turned out cute. Have a wonderful Holiday.

  2. Hi Jane,

    I followed the link from MushyWear to your blog. Great blog and fantastic Polarfleece creations.

    Looking forward to following your sewing adventures.


  3. OK.... I'm showing this post to my bf... cuz he's wanting a stretch polar fleece union suit to fit under his dry suit. What do you recommend as the best fabric to use in light of the non-existence now of the "official" stuff.

    Have a very merry merry Christmas.

  4. Hi! I just found your blog. I hope that you enjoyed your holiday. re: Malden Mills, you may want to check out Mill Direct Textiles--this store was created by the former employees of Malden, and they do sell some fleece (online) by the yard.

    Happy Sewing

    Rose in SV



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