Introducing: Winterberry

Winterberry Gloves & Beret Set

I hope no one minds seeing a very woolly pattern with winter in the name in the midst of spring (at least in this hemisphere), but I'm so excited to finally get this pattern out in the world that I couldn't wait for more appropriate weather.

Winterberry Gloves & Beret Set

This hat and glove set is one of those "necessity is the mother of creation" projects. In back in late 2008(!), my dear friend Kasey requested some knitted elbow-length gloves to go with a 3/4 sleeve coat she had purchased. I was happy to oblige and even though I'd only made a pair of Nordic mittens and no gloves at all, I decided that I needed to design the gloves myself.

Frozen Winterberries

At the time I was heavily inspired by the winter berries that were adding splashes of color to the otherwise gray trees in my neighborhood and having just finished Stephanie Japel's Forecast Cardigan I was well acquainted with bobbles - all of which led up to these gloves:

Winterberry Gloves

The structure didn't change all that much from these originals, with the exception of the thumb, which was improved in the final version.  The red gloves were knit in Ultra Alpaca, which was soft and lovely, but was lacking in the stitch definition I thought the cable panel needed and the sturdiness which gloves require.

Winterberry Gloves & Beret Set

For the final version, then I chose to knit with Peace Fleece Worsted in Antarctica White, which I found to be a very flattering shade.

Winterberry Gloves & Beret Set

With both the Peace Fleece and the Ultra Alpaca, the gloves used a skein and just a teeny bit of a second skein - usually just to finish the fingers on the second hand, so I decide to work up a beret with a complimentary cable pattern. Aside from the cable, the beret is a simple knit, but is just the right size for pulling down over the ears for true warmth.

Winterberry Gloves & Beret Set

The patterns requires some cabling without a cable needle, which is fully explained in the pattern notes and the gloves utilize a 8-row cable repeat, with row counts at the end of each section to keep on track.  The gloves are fitted from elbow to wrist and the hat ribbing is knit on smaller needles to remain cozy for a multitude of head sizes.

Winterberry Gloves & Beret Set

If you're interested in making a your own Winterberry set, you can purchase the pattern in PDF form for $7.00 USD  via my Ravelry store or the PayPal link below:

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Month by Month

Before I start, can I say that it feels like forever since I've done a proper blog entry? I've really had a tough go getting going this month. Let's call it the early-mid-winter slump and try to move on, shall we? Last year, I decided that the New Year's Resolution, while good in theory, doesn't really pan out well in real life  - even for those of us who have in the past planned out parts of their lives 3 years in advance to a fairly high degree of success.  Instead, I found last year that thinking of things on a monthly scale worked out better. 

So for January, my goals have been two-fold:

  1. cook more
  2. make our apartment more "homey"

And I've done decently on both accounts.

So far this month I've learned to make a quiche, chicken pot pies and given another go at making wheat bread in the bread machine (though I'm still in search of a great bread machine/wheat bread recipe, so if you have one, send it my way!). 

Last week Mr. Cleaver and I took a trek to Massachusetts in search of cheap Swedish furniture and while we came home with a few nice pieces, neither of them were what we were looking for  (if you know of an affordable TV stand approximately 52"w x 30"h x 18" d or something to put a ten gallon fish tank on we'd be ever so grateful!) Even without said furniture, I did do some work on the living room - mainly hanging up pictures and sewing a pillow cover. In any case, I'm finally going to show some photos of the apartment.

A before and after, both in all their non-cleaned glory.



We bought the chair and couch separately (at a consignment shop and Goodwill respectively) but they match amazingly well. The borrowed tray table and fabric covered plastic boxes add a touch of class to the original arrangement as does the printer, just hanging out on a spare dining table chair from Craig's List.



The Chicago neighborhood print was a Christmas gift I gave to Mr. Cleaver and is flanked by some vintage Maine postcards (one of which feature the Westbrook highway-seriously) and my first real art purchase, a Clifton Henri photo. The two photos by the closet are by my father and myself. The end tables are real tables now - but the printer is still hanging out, keeping it real. Not a real big change, but it does feel much better.


I whipped the pillow cover out of some leftovers of felted sweaters. And if a certain reader from Oregon is wondering, hey aren't those my sweaters? And shouldn't I have some coasters/bowls coming my way? Yes they are and yes you do, they're just going through one more wash cycle before I mail them out next week - promise!

Speaking of sweaters and things completed on monthly scale, I'd also like to present to my "Mermaid Coat," so named for its sea moss colorway and oyster shell buttons. 

My Mermaid Sweater

The pattern is the quite popular Drops A-Line Jacket, the  yarn is Peace Fleece Worsted in Kamchatka Seamoss, and the shell buttons are from Savaged Relics. And like an actor in in their first high school play, I have no idea what I'm doing with my hands here.

My Mermaid Sweater

It is super cozy and super warm. It's a simple pattern and I finished the whole thing in month - give or take a day.

My Mermaid Sweater

So I guess you could day I'm sitting pretty on this whole "month-a-lution" thing. Now maybe for February I should decide to be a better blogger.

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