Thursday, March 31, 2011

House Sitting and Dog Walking

Kensie waiting to play, how can you sat no to a face like that.

Simon and I have been House/Dog sitting for our friends this week. Hence my lack of posting. Because of our commitment blogging and sewing have suffered and no progress has been made on any sewing projects, but since knitting is a lot more portable I have made lots of head way on my knit projects and have even finished a few things.

Today will be a day of finishing and picture taking.

Also in the news Simon and I are now an Aunt and Uncle. Simon's brother and his wife had their baby last week. A little girl named Taylor, which has given me and excuse to knit adorable baby things.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Deadlines and Wet Weather

I'm a bit blogged out after my last post, that and the weather is ick today. I may as well stay in watch netflix and work on my pattern project. Knitty's first fall and holiday head start deadline is sneaking up on me. I have nothing for them as of right now.

It also seems that I do good work under pressure. I hate this, but I'm going to put off designing anything until I actually have something good to submit. Same goes for a few of my other deadlines. Also I must finish knitting the pattern that I'm releasing in my shop at the end of the month. I am so close I just have to finish the lacy bit at the top and then its all finishing work after that. Today is a great day for staying put and knitting.

I have finished my first pair of leggings and am almost done with my second, which I will finish today.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Clapotis Variation: Eyelet Lace

A finished sample of the Clapotis Variation

I think that the Clapotis by Kate Gilbert is a great pattern, I made two. The first one I made was knit just like the pattern asks, but the second one I decided to spice it up and make it a tad bit more challenging and add an eyelet lace repeat to the five stitches between the drop stitches. I recently got a request for this variation and decided that I would share my notes on how to add in the eyelet lace.

The lace pattern is essentially:
All odd rows: purl all stitches
Row 2: k1, k tbl, yo, ssk, k1, k tbl
Row 4: k1, k tbl, k1, yo, ssk, ktbl
Row 6: k1, k tbl, k2, yo, ssk

This stitch sequence is repeated through out the pattern. it creates an interesting effect with the biased drop stitches and with the eyelets lean in the knitting to the left the drop stitches run right to left. When you block the pattern the eyelets look as though they are running vertically because of the biasing.

Below I have inserted the lace pattern into the different sections of the Clapotis pattern where it is applicable, but you will still need to go print off and use the original pattern as all of the directions are not below.

Clapotis Variation : Eyelet Lace
Go to and print off a copy of the Clapotis pattern by Kate Gilbert
Start section 1, once you get to row 8 of section 1 you are going to start adding in the eyelet lace.
Row 8: Sl, yo, ssk, k1, k1 tbl, k1, k1 tbl yo, k2tog, kfb
Row 10: sl, k2, yo, k2tog, k1 tbl, k1, k1 tbl, k1, yo, ssk, kfb
Row 12: sl, k4, yo, k2tog, k1 tbl, k1, k1 tbl, k2, yo, ssk, kfb
Row 14: sl, k1, pm, yo, k2tog, yo, ssk, k1, k1 tbl, k1, k1 tbl, yo, k2tog, k1, ssk, pm, yo, kfb

Section 1 Complete

Section 2
Row 2: Sl1, k1, k tbl, [k1, k tbl, k1, yo, ssk, k tbl] to last marker, k1, k tbl, kfb
Row 4: Sl1, k2, k tbl, [k1, k tbl, k2, yo, ssk] to last marker, k1, k tbl, k1, kfb.
Row 6: Sl1, k3, k tbl, [k1, k tbl, yo, ssk, k1, k tbl] to last marker, k1, k tbl, k2, kfb.
Row 8: Sl1, k4, k tbl, [k1, k tbl, k1, yo, ssk k tbl] to last marker, k1, k tbl, k3, kfb.
Row 10: Sl1, k5, k tbl, [k1, k tbl, k2, yo, ssk] to last marker, k1, k tbl, k4, kfb.
Row 12: Sl1, k1, pm, yo, k2tog, yo, ssk, k1, k tbl, [k1, k tbl, yo, ssk, k1, k tbl] to last marker, k1, k tbl, yo, ssk, k1, ssk, pm, yo, kfb.

Section 2

Section 3
Row 2: P1, k2, k tbl, [k1, k tbl, k1, yo, ssk, k tbl] to last marker, k1, k tbl, k3, kfb.
Row 4: P1, k1, k tbl, [k1, k tbl, k2, yo, ssk] to last marker, k1, k tbl, k4, kfb.
Row 6: P1, k tbl, [k1, k tbl, yo, ssk, k1, k tbl] to last marker, k1, k tbl, yo, ssk, k1, ssk, pm, yo, kfb.
Row 8: P1, remove marker, drop next st, let it drop down several rows, pick up top bar with left needle to form a new st (make sure this st isn't twisted), k this and foll st tbl, k1, yo, ssk, k tbl, [k1, k tbl, k1, yo, ssk, k tbl] to last marker, k1, k tbl, kfb.
Row 10: P1, k3, yo, ssk, [k1, k tbl, k2, yo, ssk] to last marker, k1, k tbl, k1, kfb.
Row 12: P1, k3, k tbl, [k1, k tbl, yo, ssk, k1, k tbl] to last marker, k1, k tbl, k2, kfb.

Section 3, Now for the fun, you can see my two dropped stitches

Section 4
Row 2: P1, k2, k tbl, [k1, k tbl, k1, yo, ssk, k tbl] to last marker, k1, k tbl, k2, ssk.
Row 4: P1, k1, k tbl, [k1, k tbl, k2, yo, ssk] to last marker, k1, k tbl, k1, ssk.
Row 6: P1, k tbl, [k1, k tbl, yo, ssk, k1, k tbl] to last marker, k1, k tbl, ssk.
Row 8: P1, remove marker, drop next st, let it drop down several rows, pick up top bar with left needle to form a new st (make sure this st isn't twisted), k this and foll st tbl, k1, yo, ssk, k tbl, [k1, k tbl, k1, yo, ssk, k tbl] to last marker, drop next st and form new st as for previous dropped st, k this st tbl, ssk.
Row 10: P1, k3, yo, ssk, [k1, k tbl, k2, yo, ssk] to last marker, remove marker, ssk.
Row 12: P1, k3, k tbl, [k1, k tbl, yo, ssk, k1, k tbl] to last marker, k1, k tbl, k3, ssk.

Section 4, decreasing both sides

close up of lace sts and drop stitches

I hope that this is a fun variation for those Clapotis knitters out there. Good Luck!

Monday, March 21, 2011


This makes me want to have kids just for the photo fun time.


I am almost done with the Clapotis variation. I just need to finish writing up the last section, I'm hoping to have it up either later today or early tomorrow.

In other news I have started sewing my first pair of leggings and so far so good. I'm using burdastyle's pattern Carol. Which is stupidly easy to make. I also have made a discovery that my sewing machine has stretch stitch. Hallelujah! I am definatly going to make more of these, only I am going to use a stretchier fabric next time.

Off I go to knit and sew!

Friday, March 18, 2011


I am working on the Clapotis variation, and think it will be up here on Monday. (Fingers crossed.)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Knitting Along

I have one panel of my new pattern done. One more to go!
I like being able to say I am 50% done and that I only have 50% more to go. Actually I'm a little bit more than 50% see the second panel coming along nicely in the photo.

Also does anyone remember this?

Well, I just got a request for the variation on this pattern that I did. My intention was to always share how I did this, but in the bustle of the summer I never got around to it. So in the next few days expect a tutorial on my variation on one of the best patterns from, the Clapotis.

More Offbeat Living

I just finished reading a guest blog post on the tiny house blog called "10 Advantages of Living and Working In Tiny Spaces (with wheels)" by Mathew Hoffman who lives in an airstream trailer that he renovated. There are lots of pictures, and his home is beautiful.

I love the idea of living in a tiny home. Call me crazy, but I love the cozy look and feel of small spaces. I can spend hours on the Tumbleweed Tiny House website, looking at every floor plan of model picking my favorites. This sudden love of small spaces isn't new, our apartment is maybe 800 square feet. I was the crazy one in college who loved my dorm room.

This made me think about why I love our small apartment. It's small, cozy, in the center of the city and the rent is cheep. Also I love that everything we keep or own has to fit in our little place, and that we have to make decisions about what we need, and don't need. This has been hard to get use to, but we are getting better at it. The one thing I have trouble with is when to get rid of something, but I have decided to adopt a new rule: "one in one out". Which so far for me has been working. (There is always a bag going for the PAT, our local thrift store.)

I love living in a small space in a bustling city. It's nice to have a cozy home, and be in the thick of it.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

New Offbeat Blog: Offbeat Home

I am a big advocate of Offbeat Bride having practically lived on that site while planning my wedding, and although Simon and I are not ready to have kids I love reading Offbeat Mama. But I am super psyched about Offbeat Home. When I realized that it was up and running I may have peed myself a little bit. This is the third installation in what it's creator Ariel calls the Offbeat Empire.

Why am I so excited?
Well, Simon and I have been married for 6 months now, and we are not planning on starting a family for awhile, so in a weird way Offbeat Home is the prefect blog for where I am right now in my life. That, and we live in a tiny apartment in center city, to some our home is offbeat.

Why you should check it out?
There seems to be something for everyone. Posts on decorating, home buying vs renting, kids rooms, home tours, DIY, how to make cheese, how to hide your sex toys, the list goes on and on.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Weekend Round Up

I was a busy bee this weekend. First off here is the dress I have been working on, it's inside out and not quiet done, but all I have left to do is set in the zipper, hem and top stitch. I'm hopping to finish this in a day or so.

My First pair of shorts were also completed this week. Now the are just a simple pair of PJ shorts, but I'm hoping that I can use this pattern as a slopper for some different looks.

I am super proud of this item, it's just a simple black tank top, but it was my first foray into sewing knit fabric. It wasn't too bad, it's going to make me better at using the zigzag stitch on my machine. For my first project with a knit I am very pleased with the outcome.

Here is a quick snap shot of the pattern I am working on. I'm on the lace and am hoping to finish this panel today and get started on the second one.

What is this you say!? That's right I was released from my knitting black hole! What are those things attached to that garment? Oh, they're sleeves, oh and yes this sweater is finished! Once I was out of the knitting black hole that was the body of this sweater the sleeve knitted up in about three days. I am very pleased with this sweater. I need to block the edges, then it will be ready to be worn.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sewing Update

I have had a yard of this in my fabric stash for ages now and I finally decided to do something with it. I am very proud of myself for making a simple pattern based off one of the tops in my closet.

Here it is all pinned down and ready to cut out.

Here is the back pieces ready for seaming.

I did run into one tiny problem, actually it wasn't tiny it was pretty big problem. I was not paying attention and based my pattern off a top that is sewn out of a stretch fabric. I added seam allowances and was very pleased with my self. I then proceeded to use my pattern on woven cotton which has no give. Once it was all sewn up I went to put it on and i couldn't get it over my boobs. This is when I realized my huge mistake. (Sadly being stuck in my top I was unable to take a pic of me in such a hilarious situation, Simon was not home to help either.)

I have solved this. It took some measuring, some seam ripping and a tiny bit of guess work, but I was able to sew some panels into the side seams. (Yay my boobs fit in it now!)
I saved my new cotton top. Now I just have to finish the edges. I'm thinking red bias tape.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Black Hole

That's right I am stuck in a knitting black hole right now. If you have never heard of this check out Yarn Harlots post here. The above pictured project seems to not be going anywhere. I have measured and knit and measured and knit and my progress is slow. I think the only thing keeping me sane it the joggless stripping that is in the body of the sweater. But for real, I sit next to the hubby on the couch and knit and knit for what seems like hours and when I measure my project there seems to be no progress.

The Yarn Harlot says all you can do is put in your time. So I am patiently waiting, ok, maybe I'm not that patient. But I want to knit sleeves damn it! I want to wear my new nautical stripped cotton sweater right now!

There is my tantrum, maybe a nap and a glass of wine and finally my time will be up.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pantone Color of 2011

There seems to be a lot of buzz about this color and I will admit I have given in to it. When I was growing up i vehemently opposed pink. It was too girly for me. I grew up playing in the mud with my Tonka Trucks and even through high school wore boy jeans. I was rough and tumble, but being older I have come to embrace the color pink and do not stick my nose in the air. Although i still can't get behind light pinks, but Honeysuckle I like. Its pink, not ballet pink or bubblegum pink it is what I think the color pink is.

I have already given in to this colors siren song and have two, that's right two projects planed using the color of 2011. One knit and one sewing, although I'm not too sure what the sewing project will be just yet, I do have two yards of rayon in this bold hue just screaming to be sewn into something fab.

Here's the yarn for the new pattern I am working on. It's a simple shape with great details and I am absolutely in love with this yarns fiber content. It's from Knit Picks and is a wonderful blend of pima cotton and model its call Shine, and I'm using the DK weight. The color on the left is orchid and the one on the right is willow. I like the contrast that the neutral brings to the pink.

Here is my lovely rayon in honeysuckle that is just screaming to be sewn. I'm thinking a dress, In my world you can never have enough dresses.

Now you know what I think about Pantone's color of 2011. Do you love it or hate it? Will you be knitting, sewing, or shopping for this hue?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Adventures in Sewing

I am setting out on a brand new adventure in sewing. Simon thinks me a bit crazy, but I am tired of buying things that don't fit correctly. For my height I have a long inseam and my waist is higher than most, and to top that of my shoulders are broad. I am also tired of not really finding things I want to wear. To remedy this I am from this point forth going to limit my purchase of ready made clothes.

Much like me made March I have a few guidelines. I can wear things that haven't made as long as they are in my closet already, and the things that I am allowed to purchase are under garments, socks, and for now jeans. I may also purchase clothing from the thrift store in order to alter it or use the fabric.

Now to the more difficult part of this new adventure the sewing. I am a decent seamstress. I made all the dresses and even the ties for my wedding and still had time to knit myself a bolero jacket. However there are a few things I haven't ventured into yet and am going to have to try my hand at sooner rather than later, if I want this to work. First, I have never sewn pants or any variation of pants, but with summer coming up I will need to make a few pairs of shorts. Secondly, stretch fabrics, I love cotton jersey and rayon cotton knit blends, but sewing with them is a whole other beast. Mostly because I do not own a sewing machine that is made for sewing these fabrics. I am going to push through the possible frustration and hate of this process for the greater good of my love of these fabrics. Thirdly, my summer job does not allow me time to sew, which means I will have to have my whole summer wardrobe finished by the time I leave for camp. This gives me about 3 1/2 months to complete my closet. I figure I will need to make two small pieces or one large piece a week.

This is going to cut into my knitting and spinning time considerably.
Wish me luck!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Read this Blog: Thoughts of a Nobody

"I'm not one of those people who has a battalion of "friends". Someone who constantly brags about how many they have, when in reality they couldn't give you your middle name. No. I have, count them with me, five friends. Five friends who know an obscene amount of detail about me. I'm not talking about your run of the mill questions like favorite color, favorite band, and blah-fuckin-blah. I mean real questions. What blood type am I, what are the two things I fear more than needles and heights, the names of my two electric guitars, what do I have a geeky/borderline creepy obsession with, and what OCD tendency do I have when I enter a kitchen. "
-Thoughts of a Nobody
, Zach J.

I will admit I am a bit bias about this blog, and although Zach's posts are sporadic and infrequent his insight and style are interesting. Sometimes he is spot on with his observations to a point of honest hilarity. Check out his last post, it was smart, funny, a bit dark and brutally honest about

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

New Priorities and a Blog Hiatus

If you haven't noticed I really haven't blogged all February. I felt like I was getting bogged down in the same old routine, and that my post were all the same. I also felt that my blog wasn't becoming what I really wanted it to be. Saying that I'm not exactly sure what I want it to be, but It wasn't going in the direction I wanted it too.

So with March comes a fresh start. I know I'm two months behind and that the first of the year is usually when one starts fresh, but I needed some time to reflect on it. Here are my spring goal for this blog.

1. More tutorials and knitting patterns.
2. Updates on my projects, knitting and sewing.
3. More posts about others. I really enjoyed writing my post about my friend Justin's music and want to do that more.
4. Plan and execute a blog giveaway

I am off to take some photos and start planing for the next few days!