A Coat for Miss Cleaver












The weather this winter has been... weird. It was very very cold, then rather warm (high 30s!), then it snowed, and it's going to be very cold again this week. At least I married a meteorology nut who could warn me before I walk out the door in something inappropriate (temperature-wise, style-wise is still up to me).

Regardless of its day to vagaries, you know a winter in Maine is going to be long (hiya snow in April!) and generally cold (remember when I called high 30s warm?).  So it behooves me to made sure my kid has some good winter gear. Her Memere provided the snowsuit, and obviously we have plenty of sweaters, but a good everyday coat? I found stylish ones that seemed warm enough hard to find.

So armed with the leftover wool from my lady grey, some star-studded minky from JoAnn's, and some extra time over the holidays, I made up ithinksew's Mackenzie Jacket into a cozy coat just after Christmas. To ensure it fit (both because of the thicker fabric and long winter season), I made the 12 month size, so it's a little roomy now (LMC's ten months now), but I imagine that before the winter's out it'll fit just fine. I did however, hem the coat much shorter than suggested, as it seemed almost floor-length.

My other nod to cold-weather practicality was a pair of Elizabeth Zimmerman's baby leggings, knit out of little less than a skein of Dirty Dyework's Edna in celery. I finished these back in early December, methinks. I had to modify the gauge a bit for the lighter weight yarn, and I shortened the rise, but otherwise, followed the pattern exactly. I probably should have made two pairs, but it's unlikely that'll happen now. Looking at those snowman-making photos from today though, makes me think LMC should probably have some mittens, but considering our success rate with keeping socks on her feet, I can't imagine keeping mittens on her hands would be any easier.

The little gnome piece is the Maggie Mae Tunic from Shwin Designs. 12 month-size, tunic length. The armholes seemed a bit small, so I made them open up further down the bodice. I also added the piping, which I think adds a lot to the top, but I would add it in a different order than I did here next time (and they'll most likely be a few next times).  Mr. Cleaver is very good about letting me get some sewing time in on the weekends if I want/need it and sometimes LMC will even provide a nap assist. Simple projects make it easier to get stuff done, which means I've been mostly making baby things, but I'm hoping to squeeze and item or two for me in there at some point.

Though the mornings are still largely unpredictable in terms of waking time, our nights have taken on a certain rhythm, which means that I'm getting more time to knit and yes, design again. I've got one project in the works right now that'll be coming out in June and another submission in for a Winter issue (fingers crossed),  so it'll be a while before there will be anything to see from it all, but it feels good to be getting back on the design wagon.

Parlez Vous Beret? (Lent Days #16 & 17)

Parlez vous Beret (Lent Day #16) Yesterday I went to the optometrist for my bi-annual eye exam (everything's the same as before) and while at their office, I got about five compliments on this skirt. Then one of my co-workers called it "very European" - which I think is more due to the beret than anything else.

Parlez vous Beret (Lent Day #16)

Beret: Designed and knit by me

Scarf: Express, thrifted

Cardigan: Joy by Kim Hargreaves, made by me

Skirt: New York & Co., clearance for $5-$8!!

Wool Tights: warmlegwear.com

Shoes: Clarks outlet

Tone on Tone (Lent Day #17)

Today I went for a tone-on-tone look in classic Leah teals. It'll be quiet around here for the next few days as I'm leaving for DC tomorrow for a work conference - I'll be back Monday evening, with a new post on Tuesday. Until then, have a great weekend!!

Tone on Tone (Lent Day #17)Necklace: Gift

Cardigan: Old Navy, years ago

Tank: Gap outlet

Skirt: Wallpaper Skirt #1, made by me

Shoes: Bass outlet

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Introducing: Fisherman's Wife Beret

Fisherman's Wife Beret

This pattern is a long time in coming. I knit the first version of this beret back in 2006 in a cream-colored bulky yarn and still wear it all the time. The pattern is inspired by fishing nets, and is the kind of thing I imagine a fisherman's wife would make and wear while waiting for her husband to come back from a long trip on the seas catching swordfish.

Fisherman's Wife Beret

The pattern came to pass when my friend Bristol approached me to make it into a pattern to feature SuriPaco's bulky farm yarn. (Full Disclosure - I received yarn support and compensation from SuriPaco for the use of the pattern.)

The yarn is a 75/25 alpaca/wool blend in a superbulky single ply.

The hat features a simple k1, yo lace pattern and can be completed in a couple of hours - if you have any last-minute knitted-hat needs.

The pattern can be downloaded via Ravelry.

The hat is knit at a relatively tight gauge, and the yarn is bulky and fuzzy enough that it stays warm in spite of the lace holes.

Fisherman's Wife Beret

That said, I wouldn't recommend taking photos of yourself outside in 33°F weather with falling snow. It took forever for my hands to warm back up! I think I need to make myself some new fingerless mitt for photo-taking :)

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Giving Thanks: Family, Food, and Fun

Jazz Hands This Thanksgiving, Mr. Cleaver and I had the pleasure of hosting my big brother Luke and his lovely wife Jen for a few days. I think we crammed two days worth of activities into each one, showed the family some Portland-area highlights and had an all-around good time.

Becky's Diner

In Action

Capturing the Throw

Buying Peace Fleece at Knit Wit

My Guys

A Motley Crew

In Motion

_MG_9513.JPGPhotos 1, 3, 4, 5, 7 by Luke and Jen

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Catching Up

So it was about 18°F outside yesterday and today. In general its been cold and yucky outside and I have limited daylight time to take photos due to my 9-5.  This is my excuse as to why I haven't posted about 5 finished knitting projects  - no chance to take decent pictures. That and two of them were Christmas presents and I didn't want to spoil the surprise on the off-chance their recipents checked the blog. Well, the photos aren't super great and I'm still missing the sweater I finished in early November, but here's a quick roundup of some knitting I've done this winter.


I call this my "Fisherman's Wife Beret." It's a fairly simple lace beret and I wear it all the time. I'm working on writing the pattern on it, which I'l let ya'll know about when I finish it.



These were my first go at toe-up. The pattern is Elfine's Socks and I found it to be very well written and I particularly liked the way the heel was done. I used the magic cast on from knitty for the toe - but I need to find a good cast off as I had to use a mechanical pencil to get the top loose enough! The yarn is Jojoland Melody Superwash - the color is great, but the yarn itself I wouldn't use again.

 Big-Headed Bunny

This one was for my mom for Christmas. It's a bunny variation of my own pattern.

Winterberry Gloves

And this is the piece de resistance of my Christmas knitting, the "Winterberry Gloves," for my friend Kasey. I designed them from scratch having never knitted a glove before and they turned out really well. I'm making myself a pair with a few tweaks and am writing up the pattern for this one as well, which I hope to get out in February.

Winter in Maine is good for knitting, what can I say?

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