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.

Oh Christmas Tree!


Because we usually travel every other Christmas, Mr. Cleaver and I look forward to the non-travel years because it means we can get a Christmas tree. Growing up, my family always did cut-your-own, so we try to find a local place to pick our tree. Last Sunday we headed to The Old Farm in Cape Elizabeth and got around to hanging the ornaments last night, so without further adieu, our Christmas Tree adventure:







Hanging ornaments b&w

Snowman and Rudolph


All gussied up

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Driven to Distraction

For the most part, up until recently I was a one-project knitter. But this:

Coiled Scarf

Drove me to distraction.

I love hand-knitted scarves, I do. They're warm and cuddly and made with love. But I hate hate knitting scarves. They are generally mind-numbingly boring and so long, but never as long as you think, so they take forever to knit. Now I've never done one of those lovely lacey numbers, and maybe several months from now, when I've forgotten knitting this scarf, I'll give it a go. 

So why did I knit this scarf? The yarn. The lovely lovely yarn that is named after my old neighborhood in Chicago - Edgewater. As you may or may not know, Lorna's Lace is based in Chicago and many of her colorways are named after and inspired by Chicago neighborhoods: Argyle, Ravenswood, Devon, Lakewood, etc. When I found out she added a Edgewater colorway I leaped with joy and began haunting my LYS on a weekly basis until they got it in stock.

Geared up

I normally only pick up Lorna's in sock weight because I can never figure out what to do with multi-colored yarn on a large scale that doesn't seem too busy, but this time I went with the worsted weight. I decided I wanted to make Mr. Cleaver a scarf (knowing that he doesn't really wear them) to remember our two years in the Windy City. I picked up the yarn in early August and hoped to finish it before we moved - hah! 

I tried, I really did, but even knitting this thing while watching TV was boring. And I decided to do the whole thing in seed stitch, which gave it a great texture and made me a great big fool. And if you can't tell, it's actually two yarns- Edgewater & Black Purl, alternated every 16 rows: which is my I call this my Sextuple S Scarf: Seed-Stitch Self-Striping Striped Scarf.

Windy City Winter set

So while I was trying to finish this scarf I started and finished a cardigan, a hat to match the unfinished scarf, an identical hat for a friend who liked the hat that matched the unfinished scarf, and a beret I designed. I'll post about the other projects after I get a chance to photograph them, but Mr. Cleaver was gracious enough to model his new gear for me.

Turn a Square

The hat is Brooklyn Tweed's Turn a Square. It's super simple  and a quick knit. A great beginning hat pattern for those wanting to try knitting in the round. I really liked the way the multi-colored yarn worked with the grey and since I have a good chunk of the Black Purl yarn left, I think I'd like to do a similarly toned vest and give steeking a try.

Walking in the Woods

Oh, and for a guy who doesn't really like hats or scarves, Mr. Cleaver gave both of these his stamp of approval.


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