Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pattern Review: Featherweight Cardigan


Pattern: Featherweight Cardigan by Hannah Fettig
Yarn: Toil & Trouble British Falkland Merino / Nylon Sock in Beneath the Olive Trees

Rather than give myself until Squam in June to finish this, I decided I wanted to wear it to my trunk show during the North Shore Yarn Crawl in a couple of weeks.

This is a lovely pattern. It's very easy to follow, and is a great "blank canvas" to work off and create your own design. The original pattern called for 10" of length below the sleeves, but I didn't want a cropped cardigan. I added 6" in length to have it hit at the hip. I am very happy with the fit and drape. I opted for a ribbed collar rather than the rolled collar shown in the original design.

I used 2 skeins of 465 yards each, and had a bit left over at the end. The pattern calls for US size 6 needles, but I had to go down to US size 4 to get gauge. I was surprised by this as I am not a loose knitter.

If I make this cardigan again, I will be modifying the shoulders a bit. The pattern starts the sleeve caps with just 2 stitches, and ends with 2 stitches under the arms. I think having at least 4 stitches would make for a better-fitting shoulder, and put less strain on the stitching in the armpits.

All in all, I absolutely love it, and can't wait to wear it at the Yarn Crawl! Have you made this cardigan?

Speaking of the yarn crawl... Like last year, I will be hosting a hand-dyed yarn trunk show at Seed Stitch in Salem on Saturday, March 16th. I'll be there all day with new colorways and new yarn bases, including two luscious DK weights! Hope to see you there!

There's a special bonus if you do come - If you bring a finished piece to show off knit in my yarn, you get 10% off your purchase at the trunk show! I love a knitted show-and-tell.

Monday, February 25, 2013

A Weekend of Making


The snow held off until Sunday this weekend, so I was able to host a couple of lovely ladies for a Saturday of sewing. Lucinda of SewWrong and Karissa of Kitty Kitty Crafts brought over their sewing machines, and we talked, sewed, and snacked. It was fantastic, and I actually managed to start and finish a whole project. I need to iron it and cut off some stray threads, but I'll be sharing pictures soon!


I had been wanting to bake some goodies for a while, so I took the opportunity to make snacks for our meetup. I baked some Irish scones, which we ate with strawberry jam, and two loaves of French bread, which came out surprisingly big.

It was a really nice break from my regular routine, I can't wait for the next sewing meetup! Sunday it was back to the dye pots and knitting needles. How did you spend your weekend?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday Finds #14


I cannot believe we are bracing for another snowstorm this weekend! I am supposed to be hosting a sewing meetup tomorrow, so I am crossing my fingers and hoping the snow holds off until Saturday night. Stay safe and warm, and enjoy some pretties:

1. Beautiful colorful chairs my husband would probably despise. Would you add these to your home?

2. Love the style of this fox. I can't wait for my next tattoo.

3. Mesmerizing paper sculptures.

4. Lovely flower arrangement by the brand new Boston-based Wild Folk Studio.

5. I wish this was in my back yard. I am definitely building a cozy fort on my patio this summer.

Bonus: A beautifully moving video about a woman living with cancer and accepting one's body. Seriously, watch it.

Original image sources can be found by clicking through the links

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Book Review: A Good Indian Wife

I read this book in December before going on vacation. As someone who has moved a lot and experienced my fair share of culture shock, I enjoy books that deal with this subject matter. A Good Indian Wife is a story about an Indian immigrant who unwillingly enters an arranged marriage. The story is told from two perspectives: his, as an immigrant trying to shed his culture and embrace American customs, and his wife's, an Indian woman who embraces her heritage and struggles after following him to the U.S.


This book was very enjoyable - it is a quick read, and it brings up interesting questions about culture and the nature of relationships. The wife looks at her relationship in a way I find hard to relate to, not coming from the same background, but the author does a good job of placing the reader in the characters' shoes.

Have you read this book? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Another weekend, another snowstorm

It seems New England is quite determined to show us a proper winter this month. A snow emergency went into effect Saturday evening, so we hunkered down with the cats and the torturous Van Gogh puzzle we started during the last storm. We were determined to finish it, which we did around 1 am on Sunday night. Phew! Good thing Monday was a holiday.


I made a lot of progress on my Featherweight Cardigan, and then started another puzzle in avoidance of the treacherous Folded Sweater. After the unintelligible splotchiness (totally a word) of the Van Gogh puzzle, I picked a map of Boston - clean lines, easy colors.


It wasn't all fun and games though. With January come and gone so quickly, it's time to start gearing up my business for 2013. I am working through new knit designs and dyeing like crazy in preparation for the North Shore Yarn Crawl next month. I'll be at Seed Stitch again this year, having a hand-dyed yarn trunk show all day on Saturday, March 16th.


I am super excited because I'll be premiering two brand-new yarns at the crawl, both DK weight and one is fabulously tweed-y like my popular Tweed sock yarn. Perfect for all you non-fingering weight sweater knitters! I'm also starting to add new hand-knit goodies to my shop, the first being these Laser Beam Mitts. Totally geeky and fun.

I hope you locals weathered the storm safely and without loss of power this time around!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday Finds #13


Wishing you a wonderful weekend! I get Monday off work, which is pretty exciting!

1. DIY Grommet Curtains! This will come in handy as I work on our house this year.

2. A lovely spring dress by Whitney Deal

3. DIY Soap Travel Tins. Honestly, I've never used soap in a tin. Is it convenient, or does the tin get in the way?

4. A beautiful loft with a clever use of attic space

5. Fig, balsamic and rosemary hand pies. I think hand pies are my new love.

Original image sources can be found by clicking through the links

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Collecting Makers

I am tantalizingly close to finishing my cardigan. Both sleeves are done, and most of the body. I totally would have finished it during the snow storm if something else hadn't been eating away at my brain - a maddening desire to clean. I've been feeling a little Thoreau-esque these days, with "Simplify! Simplify! Simplify!" echo-ing in my head. Don't get me wrong, I am not about to run off all into-the-wild style, but I am finding myself craving simplicity and order. I am feeling cluttered, and I've resolved to only surround myself with things I truly enjoy.

Baby Yeti by Zooguu / Mobile by Salty and Sweet

The other day, I read some advice on re-organizing and purging. I can't remember where, but the author said something that now seems so obvious: when trying to decide if you should keep an object, ask yourself if you would buy it right now if you didn't own it. If the answer is no, don't keep it. Maybe it's a bit of an extreme approach, but I am finding it very liberating and effective to look at things this way. I know when I am done, I will be able to look at my home and know that everything in it really belongs there. I've been running around our house furiously bagging and boxing and purging, and leaving only the things I truly love.

Letterpress Art Print by Letter & Lark / Prints by Paper Taxi

This process has really solidified my love of handmade. As I pick what to keep and what to purge, I realize how much I appreciate the handmade objects in my home - for their creativity, their beauty, their craftsmanship, and their humanity. I am delighted to look around my home and see the work of so many makers. These photos are a little peek at some of my wonderful handmade goodies.

I've also realized how many projects still need to get done in this house, which is both daunting and exciting - I'll have lots of projects to share on here! What are you working on this spring?

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Blizzard

This weekend, the Northeast was hit with a massive snow storm. Massachusetts declared a state of emergency, all public transportation closed down, and a driving ban was issued. We stocked up on food and projects, and holed ourselves up with the cats to watch the storm and wait.


By Saturday morning, we had almost 3 feet of snow around our house. The driving ban continued until Saturday afternoon and we were lucky not to lose power. On Sunday, the skies cleared and we finally left the house. It was truly amazing to see how much snow had blanketed our city.


Where you hit by the storm? How did you pass the time?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Book Review: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?


My favorite thing to do before getting on a plane is to visit the airport bookstore and add an extra book to my carry-on bag. Before boarding for our Rio trip, I picked up Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?. Since Mindy is a comedian and the reviews spoke of the book as very funny, I went into it expecting an autobiographical comedy - maybe of the Chelsea Handler variety.

Confession: I didn't really find it that funny. It is definitely autobiographical, but rather than funny, it read more like a collection of quaint, amusing memories. It's a light, quick read. However, after putting the book down there is really only one chapter that sticks on my mind.

Warning: I am going to share a bit of a spoiler. I was disappointed that she opened the book with a chapter about being overweight. She talks about being bullied as a child, and then accepting that "being fat" (which isn't how I would describe her) is part of who she is. The chapter reads like a justification for her decision to remain at a certain weight. It made me think of the pressures placed on women to conform to weight standards, and the extremes to which that happens in the entertainment business. At the end, I felt bad for her. I felt bad that she even felt the need to address her weight in her book, let alone the very first sentence. Sadly, this was the most memorable portion of the book to me.

Have you read this book? I would absolutely love to hear other opinions on it!

The pile on my bedside table - so many books, so little time.

Monday, February 4, 2013


Another weekend come and gone too quickly! Our weekend was mostly quiet. We ventured out on Friday on Friday for bowling with crafty geniuses Melissa/Pressbound, Jen/Zooguu and Karissa/Kitty Kitty Craft. Other than that, there was lots of spring cleaning and fibery goodness. I am on a serious mission to de-clutter and re-organize our home this year.


This winter's unforgiving temperatures finally got me to knit a hat for myself, and I am sad to report I had to rip out almost the entire body on my Folded sweater. Turns out I didn't count properly, and had incorrectly placed the waist shaping. Le Sigh. I am determined to finish it, despite being tempted to just use the yarn for something else.

I also have an exciting announcement - I am busy with lots of dyeing, prepping a shipment to send to Japan! I am so thrilled to be offering my yarn abroad soon!

I hope you had a fantastic weekend! Did you watch the Super Bowl? It's not my thing, but I've enjoyed seeing all the Super Bowl party blog posts out there.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Betrayed by a Sweater

Image by Harriet Gray

I am considering buying these adorable cat temporary tattoos to comfort myself - The Folded Sweater and I are having a fight. Things were fine on Tuesday (or so I mistakenly thought). I went on my merry way, adding the sleeves, and then the pleats... that's when things went bad. That is when I realized I had the wrong number of stitches in the body. I have now ripped out more than half of the body, and haven't quite found the mistake (mistakes?) yet.

For those of you keeping track, I did most of the work on this sweater while I was in Vegas last July. Lesson learned: don't knit in Vegas. Apparently when I knit in Vegas, I am reckless and don't count my stitches. I'm sure there's some terrible joke about what gets knit in Vegas staying in Vegas to be made here.

I seriously thought about ditching my bowling plans tonight to make up the lost sweater time, but no. I will not let you control me, sweater.

The cat tattoos might not be enough - I may also need an adorable fox plush to clutch when I am ready to throw my knitting out the window.

Image by Sleepy King