Sweater Love

I finished my newest sweater last week and while, realistically, it's too warm to wear it yet, I am in love.


The pattern is Manu by Kate Davies, and based on this pattern, I will happy knit anything else she writes up. The sweater itself if relatively simple, but such thought has been put into the details and finishing (with one small exception - the pleats don't mirror, and unlike many people on Ravelry, it didn't bother me enough to change it). The i-cord edging is so very polished looking and the shaping fits like a dream. I also enjoy that I learned a number of new techniques on the project, including the i-cord bind off and the pleating.


I made a few modifications - namely I went down a needle size to account for my yarn (more later) and I skipped the pockets, since I felt they would look weird unless my hands were in them all the time.


As for the yarn? The yarn is Malabrigo Silky Merino in Sand and the product of at least a month of searching for the perfect shade of mustard yellow. I'm sure it will pill like crazy in the future, being a single ply and all, but it is so soft and lovely to the touch that I have never enjoyed knitting with a yarn more. Based on a number of reviews that mentioned the post-blocking growth of this yarn, and my own gauge swatch, I ended up knitting everything a needle size down, which ended up being perfect.


I'm not wishing summer away, but as soon as it gets cold this sweater will get some heavy rotation.

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String and Strawberries

String I:

Tuesday - Ironing ScottyI finished this dish towel at the beginning of the month, but for one reason or another it's sat in my photos for about three weeks. It's not as though I have a backlog of a bazillion projects to post, but as cute as this piece of embroidery is (it's an ironing scotty dog!), I didn't think it warranted a whole post to itself, so I'm lumping it together with a few other bits and pieces.

The Scotty Dog Pattern is from the Hoop Love Vintage Transfers Group on Flickr, which has a treasure trove of patterns you can print out an stitch. They have an especially large collection of mostly complete days of the week patterns like the Scotty above.  I'm alos planning on doing Wednesday (mending) and Friday (baking).

I worked on this mainly while my bum wrist kept me from knitting and in the after period  when I struggled to get my knitting mojo back (which happily it has, thanks to Kate Davie's Manu and some Malabrigo Silky Merino). I haven't yet done the pattern transfer for the second towel, but if our current levels of humidity hang around for much longer I will, since they're only so much wool I can handle in humidity :)


    On Saturday, Mr. Cleaver and I picked four pints of strawberries at Maxwell's, two of which went to his mother and the other two which ended up on my cereal and this strawberry shortcake I made last night.

    The recipe is from Posie Gets Cozy and the only changed I made/would recommend is to make 6 or 8 dough "blobs" instead of the listed 4. mine were doughy in the middle until I cut them in half and baked them some more, and the smaller biscuits (it's a very biscuity shortbread) were about all I could handle to eat at once.

    String II: Tissue Fitting

    I have plans for a fantastic Fourth of July dress from Vogue 8184. It's a fairly simple dress (especially since I'm skipping the boning- since my version has straps), so I 'm taking the time to do my first go at tissue fitting, especially since I fell in between two of the multi-size envelopes.  I'm somewhat obsessed with fit these days - what with the pattern drafting I've been dabbling in and all (and I'm close with another sundress I drafted). Since the Fourth is only ten days away, we'll hopefully have results soon!

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    Small Things

    Here are some small things that are bringing me joy these days:

    The labels in my new vintage sweater Vintage Sweater Labels

    Vintage Sweater

    Lacey Mitts* to keep my hands warm when I drive Wine & Roses Mitts

    Evening games of Trivial Pursuit with Mr. Cleaver Trivial Pursuit

    and a new warm scarf in a special yarn**: Just Enough Ruffles Scarf

    * Wine and Roses Mitts in Malabrigo Lace ** Just Enough Ruffles Scarf in Tess' Designer Yarns' Cultivated Silk and Wool

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    Lent Weeks 5 & 6, or I am a Human Chain Letter

    I didn't realize it until a co-worker mentioned it today, but this is my lest week of Lent. It really flew by me this year. Maybe because I was working in two-week increments due to paychecks, but yeah, I can't believe I have only 3 more days (good thing too as my Pro Flickr account is due to expire come Sunday!)

    Without further ado, Week 5:

    Shiny New Haircut

    A shiny new haircut courtesy of Nina at Bei Capelli, which I am quite fond of, which is a big deal if you're me - at least according to Mr. Cleaver.

    Travel Essentials

    Some travel essentials from Hannaford's (our local grocery chain). Where did I travel, you may ask? I spent a lovely weekend in New York City visiting friends, which brings us to...

    Lent Week 6:

    I'm going to preface this by saying my solo weekend in NYC, despite some plane delays and a vigorous rainstorm was incredibly awesome thanks to the lovely friends I stayed with and who guided me around the city. I had a blast - I had so much fun that I didn't take many photos - I think I took something around 42 before I deleted any out of focus ones, etc. The hardest thing I find about photography, aside from feeling a little awkward about whipping out my large SLR is that I feel like I can either be in the moment or I can document the moment - and this weekend I was far more about being in the moment.

    AIrport Water

    Airport water and some  snacks from home. 

    After a long airport delay I finally reached JFK and took a cab to Monica's (a friend from the Chicago days), where I was met with freshly baked cupcakes!

    Apron 1

    Monica with some tasty cupcakes in the apron I made her.

    French Toast

    The next morning we went out for breakfast, which for me meant French toast and Fresh Apples juice at Gracie's (?- the diner at the corner of  86th and 1st). 

    Monica had to go to a performance for school around 1pm, but before depositing me on a train to my next meet-up she took me to a 107 year old bakery neat her apartment.

    B&W Cookies

    Tied up with String

    I bought a 1/2 lb of black & white cookies for Mr. Cleaver (which I'd never had before and thankfully my husband is the sharing kind) from Glaser's Bake Shop, whose payment policy was right up my alley (see below)

    Et tu!

    After I left Monica, I met up with Susie, a friend from high school I hadn't seen since we graduated back in 2001. 


    She toured me around the East and West villages with stops at Purl Soho and Purl Pactchwork, the latter of which I bought some awesome rooster fabric; downtown yarns where I got the wine-colored malabrigo lace-weight; Lupe's Kitchen for some mexican food (another cash-ony establishment); and Strand, where I eyeballed several books, but decided after a day of carrying all my possessions around New York that I didn't want to add any further weight.

    Crafty Purchases

    We also stopped at lovely little tea shop for lavender and camomille tea, but unfortunately I have no clue whatsoever what the name of it is, though it does have some awesome wallpaper in the back.


    Continuing as a human chain letter, Susie deposited me on the F train around 6:30 and sent me off to Brooklyn, where I met up with college buddies Jenna and Rebekah for a very tasty three-course dinner at the Vinegar Hill House, to celebrate my visit and Rebekah's news about her job at a summer camp in Maine. Our meal lasted for about 2:30 hours, when once again I was placed on a train and delivered to Washington Heights and Brenna, a roomie from my first go-around in Portland.


    The next morning we headed out for brunch at Good Enough to Eat, where you knew if must be good because we had to wait in line to get a seat. And good it was, my apple pancakes, though not quite my Katie Cakes, were delicious.

    Shop Dog

    Because my friends know me well, Brenna and I headed to another yarn store, Knitty City, which lives up to it's claim of being the friendliest yarn shop in NYC.  I picked up some of my beloved Lorna's Laces Shephard Sock in the new Andersonville (my beloved neighborhood) colorway. 

    Street Art in Brooklyn


    Street Art in Brooklyn.

    We then rode over to Williamsburg for some vintage shopping and hipster watching at  Beacon's Closet. Though the  stock is overwhelming I didn't find anything to my fancy. Around this time we both realized we had to go to the bathroom and started the great Brooklyn bathroom hunt.

    We stopped in Penny Licks bakery for a cookie and found their bathroom out of order. We kept peeking into shops hoping against hope and meeting no luck until a friendly store employee sent us to a nearby bagel shop. 

    When we made it back to Washington Heights it was around 6 and we were both pooped so we picked up some snacks at a convenience store, ordered a pizza, watched chick flicks on HBO on demand and knitted socks.

    The next morning we ate bananas and bagel and I took a cab to the airport, reaching a waiting Mr. Cleaver at 2:30pm. 

    I didn't visit Time Square, Central Park, or the Empire State Building, but I had the best New York trip I could have imagined.

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