A Chambray Day

I'll admit that post-Lent, I've missed doing outfit posts, so I'm bringing 'em back (albeit not daily-maybe weekly). Chambray Day

I've been thinking a lot about personal style lately and I've been trying to think what, if anything, defines my style. I have a hard time putting my finger on it (though my knitting circle can select with great accuracy, what would be a "Leah sweater") and I thought by continuing to document my favorite outfits, I might be able to get a better grasp on my personal style.

Chambray Day

Chambray Dress: Bass Outlet

Forecast Cardigan: Made by Me

Boots: Naturalizers - perhaps unsurprisingly, I've worn a hole in the bottom of these :(

How do you define your personal style? Any tips for pinning it down? Does it help you in any way or do you think it doesn't matter?

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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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I did not cobble the shoes

Forecast Sweater & 1/2 Circle Skirt

Two posts in a week? This hasn't happened in quite some time! But I had some new FOs that I couldn't wait to share. The outfit shown above is Leah-made from head to toe, (well - I didn't cobble the shoes).

The sweater is a Forecast that I finished last fall when I first moved back to Maine. I never took finished photos of it because it was too small and I wanted to reblock, which I did about 2 weeks ago. The sweater didn't get any better fitting (it's a bit short and a bit tight - becuase honestly, I made it a size too small on accident), but I wear it all the time anyway and it worked with the outfit.

The skirt is a 1/2 circle skirt made in vintage (and admittedly ever so slightly moth-eaten) wool I purchased at the same time I got the fabric for this skirt (which I guess I never blogged about).  The pattern is Simplicity 2758 and was a simple and quick pattern. You can't see it on the photo, but there's also some nice button/tab detailing at the waist. Though I have to say that I keep making these skirts with waistband detailing, but I almost never wear skirts in a way where the waistband is visible. Ah well.

Clessidra Knee Socks

The final part of the outfit and the one I'm most excited about is my first pair of hand-knit knees highs. It's another Knitty pattern, Clessidra, and it has a lot of great details and a good fit (though you have to size down your needles on the heels).

Clessidra Knee Socks

One of my knitting buddies comments on how she likes my use of props/styling in my knit photos and wanted to know what was the plan for these socks. I was trying to go for autumnal Library/Den feel. And in case anyone is wondering the books are Alice In Wonderland, Jane Eyre (which I'm currently reading)/Wuthering Heights, something called Wild Wild World I picked up at a vintage book sale because I thought it was pretty and the Letters of Lewis Carroll vols. I and II.

Clessidra Knee Socks

And if I don't catch you tomorrow  - Happy Halloween!

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Putting it all Together

So since the last time I posted, a number of things have happened.

  1. We moved into the new place and are slowly making an empty apartment into a home (a big shout-out to our Portland friends who are letting us mooch their unwanted furniture!)
  2. Mr. Cleaver got some part-time work as adjunct faculty at the community college
  3. I got a call for my first job interview, which happens on Monday afternoon and there's a good chance I'll get another interview this week (I know a guy).

It feels good to be in our own place. The neighborhood is great, our landlords are super nice and it's a solid apartment. I'll post some photos once it gets a little more settled. So far I've managed to get a few things on the walls and my sewing machine on my desk, but no clothes out a suitcase. We all have our own priorities.

Forecast Cardigan in process

I went to a new knitting circle on Tuesday, I'll have to give it a few more tries to see if it's a good personality fit or not. It was a really small gathering, so I'm not sure it was representative, but we'll see.

Other than that, knitting's been on the backburner to unpacking, but I did finally take some photos of WIPs to share.

The photo above is the Forecast cardigan. A surprisingly simple knit, with more purling than I'd like, but I really enjoy the pattern. I'm knitting it in Cascade 220 Heather and I am really enjoying this yarn. It's very spriongy!

Sextuple S Scarf

This scarf I haven't worked on since Chicago, but I thought I'd photograph it too. It's my "Seed-Stitch Self-Striping Striped Scarf." It's not very interesting to knit and I dislike making scarves in general, but I loved the colors and wanted something simple to display them. The blue-green color is particularly special since it's the Edgewater colorway from Lorna's Lace, which is my old Chicago neighborhood. The Purple is called Black Purl. It's just a nubbly scarf, but I like it. I might pull tassles on at the ned, but we'll see, I still have a lot of length to knit.

We don't have internet in the apartment yet, so the posting may still be spotty for a while. But keep your fingers crossed for me tomorrow!

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