Small City, Big Future

Summer, at least unofficially, has finally come to Maine. Which in these parts means parade season! The Memorial day parade got cancelled on account of rain, but fortunately in our little town the next weekend is Together Days and another parade.

When the parade features marching bands, Shriners in tiny cars, your next door neighbor, and copious amounts of candy, it's a good parade. :)

At lot of people in the area tend to look down on this little former mill town: it's not as hip as Portland, or as posh as Cape, and our realtor famously said "at least it doesn't smell anymore" when we put the city on our short list. People ask me all the time if we're planning to move.

The town's not perfect (putting a highway through the middle of downtown is pretty poor civic planning), but it's a good town filled with good people. It's not fancy, but it suits me and family just fine.

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One Person's Weed May Be Another's Flower

Dandelion Fluff
Oakhurst Dairy

One of my favorite things about being a parent is the chance to see things from LMC's perspective. For example, in her mind, the way to play football is to throw the ball and then fall down. In her world, everything with a skirt, peplum, or just a swingy hem is a "ballet skirt" and requires dancing. Knitting means taking the needles and poking them into the fabric. All of which are not inaccurate.

And of course as we grownup are mowing, uprooting or spraying dandelions, most kids are building bouquets and making wishes. When does that shift happen? When do we move from fun to the fear of an imperfect lawn? There are an awful lot of pretty "weeds" out there, but one man's weeds is another child's flower. It's only a weed if you don't want it. 

I makes me wonder, are there other things that I'm assuming are weeds, that just might be flowers?  That the traffic is the chance to sing along to one more song? That my to do list is not a series of chores, but opportunities? There are some things that are just the pits, no matter which way you look at them, but maybe not as many I might have thought. 

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Introducing: Oakdale


When it comes to my own designs, I never wear them until I have a chance to do the official photoshoot because I want to keep them as pristine as possible for the pattern photos, and for this particular design the weeks between completion and photography were super tempting.

I designed Oakdale as my dream sweater, and it turned out pretty much exactly as I hoped: as in crazy-close to the original sketch. The only difference is the neckline, which is more boatneck than crew (which I prefer).


Still in my colorwork period, it started off with an acorn motif and a desire to do a 40s-50s style sweater.  I wanted it to be seamless and easy to knit, so I decided to do it as a raglan sweater, and since I hadn't decided what I wanted the neckline to be I started at the bottom and worked my way up, figuring I'd decide by the time I got there.


There's no shaping in the body of the sweater, but 1-2 inches of negative ease, plus the nature of the colorwork stripes, makes for a shapely-looking sweater. If you wanted to make it even MORE shapely, you could switch the Stockinette stripes for corrugated ribbing easily.


The front and back are entirely the same until after the yoke decreases are completed, then there are a little over an inch of short rows on the back neck to raise it up a bit higher than the front for comfort in wearing. The sleeves, neck and hem are all finished off in a K1, P2 rib that mirrors the striping pattern.


For the sample I used Cascade 220 in Chocolate Heather, Smoke Blue and Straw. But it would work in any worsted weight yarn with a reasonable color range.


A big shout out must be given to Bristol Ivy, fiber artist, who served as color consultant, photographer and tech editor for this pattern.  And a mini shout out to the Canal School in Westbrook, which served as a charming autumnal backdrop, when our original location fell through.


The pattern is written for sizes 30 (32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 46, 48, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58)”/ 76 (81.5, 86.5, 91.5, 96.5, 101.5, 106.5, 112, 117, 122, 127, 132, 137, 142, 147.5) cm at the bust and is perfect for your next sock hop or pep rally.

Oakdale is available for purchase for $7.00 USD

or you can queue it up on Ravelry.


PS - Did you know about the new mailing list? You'll receive notification about all new Ms. Cleaver Creations patterns as well as special discount codes and offers.  Sign up Now!

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