Friday, December 30, 2011

Handmade Gift Recap - Part One

Now that the gifts have been handed out, I'm free to post all the handmade items I made this holiday season. First up are the items I made for my sister, a set of mittens and fingerless gloves. She loves fingerless gloves and this year I threw in mittens that she could wear alone or under the fingerless guys. She's just relocated to Maryland from Texas which means that her gifts this year are made from WOOL (bye bye cotton!)! Well, at least the fingerless gloves are. The mittens are made from a beautiful tonal blue baby llama yarn. Sooo soft and so fun to knit with. 

My camera doesn't do this blue justice. 
I love that the gloves will slouch a little at the wrists.

The fingerless gloves were a formal request and she specifically asked for a neutral color. I think camel is a safe bet. I used a fingering weight yarn and tiny needles. I think the little cables and lace are so cute. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

New Hoods, New Photos


Yay new photos! I'm so happy with the way they've turned out. I feel very lucky to have such talented family and friends. Thank you so much Chris, Nikki & Adam!

I've updated the Etsy store with more new photos and hoods, hopefully in time for the holiday shopping season. And the shipping is FREE. Spread the word!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

And Rosebud Wins

I managed to finish 90% of my holiday gift knitting before we left for our Thanksgiving holiday. Knowing most of my gifts were done, I started a holiday travel project that was all for me! I ended up choosing the Rosebud hat pattern I had blogged about previously. I'm making the super slouchy version. I got a good amount done on the trip. It was a great plane project! Right now I'm trying to finish up while also finishing my last holiday gift project. I'm eager to gift my holiday knitted items so I can post all the photos here. I've been so productive these last couple of months!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Autumn Reading List

My mother-in-law is an avid reader (like myself) and when she's finished a few books she passes them around. I'm always excited to get a stack of books and consider her titles my seasonal required reading. This past summer she lent me a slew of great books and now she's provided me my autumn reading requirements:

I just started reading this book on Monday and I'm really liking it!

Looks promising!

This one I've chosen for myself. I've already finished the first two books in this series and now it's time to cap it off!  The second book was even better than the first so I have high hopes for the third.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Dark Shadows

Since we've opted out of cable we're pretty reliant on Netflix streaming. As a result, I've recently become crazy obsessed with Dark Shadows. 
So moody, so mysterious, so good!

And then today I discovered that Tim Burton and Johnny Depp are making their own movie version of this 1960s daytime drama. 

Check out this cast photo:

So awesome, I can't stand it! 

The movie is supposed to come out May 2012. I'll be starting the countdown once Downton Abbey Season 2 is over ... that obsession will be another post entirely ...

Friday, November 4, 2011

Winter Hat Debate

Looking through my stash of winter knits I've come to realize that I have tons of scarves, fingerless mitts and gloves but only a couple knit hats.  
The one knit hat that has been in heavy rotation is a beloved one but it's lacy and made of mostly cotton. Not ideal once the weather really starts to get chilly. I want to knit another slouchy-ish hat (something that won't give me a bad case of hat head) so I've been researching Ravelry and found some good contenders:

Cabled Beret

Garbo's Turban
Trinity Stitch Hat
 The hardest part now is just making a decision!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Bandana Cowl

Another Purl Soho project! 

I've recently completed the Bandana Cowl and I love it. 
It was a very easy knit and I made mine with some twist (wool/alpaca) yarn I bought at Rhinebeck. I'm sure this piece will be in heavy rotation this fall, or is it already winter since we got three inches of snow this past weekend?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Herringbone Cowl

I'm very late blogging about this project. I bought the yarn over the summer while on a knit crawl with the girls. I absolutely fell in love with it when I saw the sample at Purl Soho. Here's the pattern - Big Herringbone Cowl.

This pattern was, for me, absolute torture. I casted-on and frogged FOUR times before finally getting going. No small feat considering the cast on is over 200 stitches. I ended up buying new needles which definitely helped. I recommend using the sharpest needles you can find in wood or bamboo. You need grip! Plastic, which I started with, was hell.

 I took this project on a trip home in September thinking it would be a great project for plane travel. I made great progress on the plane - a solid 5 inches - but just as we're about to land, I realize I made an error in the pattern 3 INCHES AGO. Once I finally got home, surrounded by family, I frogged it AGAIN. 

Apparently, for me, five is the charm. With new determination to finally finish this cursed project, I powered through. I had such trouble keeping tension with this pattern. All the slipped stitches in combination with large needles was just challenging for me. A good blocking definitely helped even things out and the final object does look pretty nice. But I will never make another one of these. Ever.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

In The Hood

I've been on a roll with my holiday knitting and took a break last weekend for a photo shoot. I plan on adding some fresh hoods to the Etsy store and I think some new photos are just what's needed. Here are some behind the scenes photos I snapped with my Fuji Mini.

It was a very fun day and I feel so lucky to have such talented friends and family. Once I get final images back, I will be sure to share them here!

Saturday, October 8, 2011


It's hard to believe our little Vermont vacation was two weeks ago. We had a lovely trip. We did some walking trails at the Shelburne Farm (beautiful), visited the Shelburne Museum (loved - highly recommend!) and indulged in several rounds of hot apple cider & cider donuts. 

Come to think of it, most of the trip was about food. We had the most amazing breakfast/brunch at Penny Cluse in Burlington. I managed to snap one photo before we dug in. You can't really see exactly what Adam's eating but let me tell you - it's called 'Bucket O Spuds'. Noted as "A heaping mound of homefries with melted cheese, salsa, sour cream & green onions'. Plus an egg on top. Mmmmmmmm. The banana bread with maple walnut cream cheese was my last minute addition.

Penny Cluse was recommended by the lovely woman at Nido, a little fabric and yarn store in Burlington. Her fabric selection was awesome and I definitely took home enough to make several garments. Adam was so wonderful, I took him through 5 different yarn/fabric shops across our trip and he only commented once that I might be buying too much yarn. Muhahaha! For the record, I only came home with 10 skeins and most of it is for holiday gifts. Or at least that's what I'm telling myself.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


I remember my parents having really warm, really great woolrich coats and shirts. I am so excited to see these new styles from their Fall/Winter 11/12 collection. I love the styling. I wish all of this was in my closet!

Up and Running

This pattern has provided yet another win. This time I made the little self belt dress. 

Oh - and I made it with this new little portable Singer. When I called my mom to lament the loss of our machine she told me about a super discount on machines at HSN. I decided it would be good to purchase a small, portable back up machine while I research my next big purchase machine. So far it's sewing along just fine (maybe even a bit faster than the previous machine ...).

And now, back to the dress:

I think this one turned out so nice. I see lots of options. Perfect for the cruise we're taking later this year and perfect with tights and a sweater for autumn days.  I need to find some nice fabric to give the skirt a try. I'm sure I'll be making these patterns again!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Lisette Top - Done & Done


I love my new blouse! I was so psyched after I finished it that I wore it to work within the week. The pattern/sizing is great and I owe my husband for the excellent fabric selection (I'm incredibly indecisive). He picked this one out of a selection of three I showed him - a good eye for pattern that one! I will probably make this shirt again. The dress from this same pattern is what I was working on when my machine quit ... I'm eager to see if it will turn out as great as this blouse!

Friday, September 23, 2011


It's foggy, muggy and pouring rain.

I've cut and prepared pattern pieces for a new tunic/dress. I'm psyched to sew. I sit down at the machine, get one line of stitching in when the machine breaks down. And by break down, I mean horrible clanking, motor churning, needle not moving break down. This is especially heart breaking because this machine was my mothers, purchased when I was born. This machine has made home decor for several homes, cabbage patch kids' clothing, prom dresses and was handed down to me with love. I should also mention that it's made of cast iron and weighs 100 pounds* not exactly something I can pack up and take across town for a check up.

So I'm now forced to start looking for a new machine. This kind of research can take time so I'm thinking I will get something small and simple to tide me over in the meantime (this dress NEEDS to be finished!!!). But if anyone has any suggestions for a serious, quality machine for sewing clothing - please let me know! I would love a springboard for my research.

I think I will now spend the rest of this dark and rainy day sorting through my new Vermont yarns. This year I'm in the mood to knit gifts so I purchased colors that I know my family will like. Time to go spend some time on Ravelry ... I need to get my mind off the sewing machine.

*may be an exaggeration but not by much ...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Catching Up

Work craziness has made posting and taking photos a challenge. Adam and I are wrapping up the end of a well needed vacation and I finally found some time to snap a few photos. I'll be playing catch up for a few days with all my new projects then I'll share some pics from the trip.

In the meantime, these fingerless mitts were finished ages ago. They were intended for my sister but I love them so much that I could not part with them, sorry Laura.
The pattern is from Veronik Avery's 'Knitting 24/7' (image below) and the yarn came from a summer sale at Brooklyn General. It's an alpaca, cashemere, silk blend from Cascade Yarns and it is SOFT! It was a dream to work with.

I imagine wearing these new mitts with a cape. 
Something like this one from Anthropologie -

Or maybe this one from Steven Alan-

I love fall clothes!