April 2010 Archives

Pre Order Knitting It Old School



I would say it was about 4 years ago that Debbie (aka Stitchy McYarnpants) asked me if I'd contribute to a book she had been scheming up. At that time, it was just an idea, she had no publisher, no proposal, just a clear vision of what she had in mind.

Now, four years later, the book is finally ready for pre-order. I have two patterns in this book, including the cover piece (my second cover design this year!)

This book has a wonderful list of contributors, tech editing by Kristi Porter and the fantastically witty writing that you would expect from Debbie and Caro. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished book. If you are too, you can pre-order the book on amazon, here.

Wedding Weekend



I can't thank you all enough for the kind words and congratulations. We really kept this whole thing entirely secret and I still have close friends and family to contact and let them know we got hitched. We wanted to make sure that no one felt obligated to travel or buy gifts or put themselves out. The relationship is for love but the wedding was, in many ways, just a formality for legal and insurance purposes.

Wedding Weekend at Cannon Beach
1. Fetch by Haystack Rock, 2. Delicious Wine, 3. Panda and Thea assess the view, 4. Dad's tie, 5. Groom and Witness's shoes, 6. Feeding the bird, 7. The start of a muddy hike, 8. Post hike shoe cleaning, 9. Rainbow, 10. Sunset play time, 11. Spoiled dogs are spoiled, 12. Thea is a crazy monkey, 13. My sweet old lady
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

Despite our general resistance to the idea of getting married on principal alone, we figured that if we were going to do it, we might as well keep it fun and stress free. My mom officiated and gifted me the beautiful dress I wore, which I got at a local store who makes all their dresses by hand from imported Thai silk.

We bought our beautiful rings from Fabuluster. They send impression kits to you and make the rings from your actual finger prints. Leo wears my print and I wear his. We had a bit of fun with it and did impressions of our middle fingers; a little inside joke about our general reluctance to marry and our tendency to take nothing too seriously, if possible.


My dad, who gave me away, also gifted us professional photography for the ceremony (pictures to come in a month or so). I also wore the first gift he ever gave my mom, a lovely pair of heart-shaped earrings.

My brother and his girlfriend witnessed and offered general morale support. It was sheer coincidence that my brother and the groom wore the same shoes.

Our biggest splurge, though, was our stay at a lovely, dog friendly beachside hotel. Since we normally stay in cheap motels or camp in our car, when we travel with the pups, this was a real extravagance for the four of us. Being able to go for our walks on the beach, at the drop of a hat, was such a delight and the dogs couldn't have been happier. They've been downright mellow since we've returned.

I can't wait to see how the photos come out. I think there'll be a few lovely mementos to mark the day. But even if I am making dork-face in every shot, I'll still look back on the weekend as a lovely time spent with my very closest family and a wonderful memory amongst the many that Leo and I already share.

Oh and since a few have asked, the pups were in attendance but no, I did not dress them up. We're crazy dog people but we aren't THAT crazy.

Knot tying



We nearly eloped, but not quite eloped because my mom presided, my dad gave me away, my brother and his girlfriend witnessed and our dogs were flower girls, in that they were nearby and shed a lot.

Styling Dulce de Leche


Dulce de Leche is a henley inspired shirt with feminine detailing. This piece could be equally comfortable grocery shopping or out on a date, but when I think about wearing this piece, I imagine cool ocean breezes on a hot day and the sun beating down on me.

Someone recently lamented the return of palazzo pants. Frankly, I refuse to acknowledge that they were ever out of style, but I also won't rule out the viability of a kaftan in the right situation, so call me Mrs Roper and get off my lawn, you whipper snappers.


Paired with soft muted palazzo pants, sweet floral flats and a large brimmed sun hat, I think Dulce de Leche can be carefree and comfortable while remaining flattering and feminine. Accessories are chosen for their bright colors in different hues but a similar intensity to the pullover. The only thing missing from this resort getaway look is a comfortable chaise and that guilty pleasure book you don't want to be seen reading in public.

Styling Bijou


Bijou, with its delicate lace, slightly ruffled sleeves and fitted body darts, is sweet by nature so when I imagine styling this, I am inclined to play with expectation.

A pleated chiffon skirt is an obvious accompaniment to this dainty design, but black leather accents and shocking yellow detailing give the look edge. The black chiffon caplet bridges the divide between the extremes.

Lose the accessories and choose a simpler shoe for the office or daytime event, or break out the black eyeliner and your favorite up-do to make this a stunning evening look. As with almost any sweater, though, this piece is easily at home paired with jeans and thrown over a comfortable tank. I think, with a little creativity, this special piece could get plenty of regular use.

Styling Dietrich


The asymmetrical brim on Dietrich adds a little unexpected twist to a classic hat shape. The warm felted merino is soft enough to wear against the skin and great for keeping out those cold gusts of wind.

What could be a better pairing than a fitted pea-coat for this fun little hat? The double breasted styling adds a little extra warmth against those chilly winter gusts and a soft creamy scarf is a versatile accessory even as the months get a little warmer. Chocolate brown knee high boots jump puddles and slush in style and a pleated plaid skirt can be worn almost anywhere. Work your hat in a color that matches your existing winter coat or choose something complementary but contrasting for a little brightness through those grey months.

Styling Lily


If you read the Twist Collective Blog you've seen their Style Notebook posts where they use Polyvore to suggest styling options for the many beautiful patterns they offer. I've gotten sucked into the fun and will be offering posts on ways you might work some of my designs into your own wardrobe, if you happen to have my same weird sense of style. I absolutely love the way Twist styles my pieces but I also think it's really fun to see pieces in another context.

I'll start with my prototype for Lily.

I usually wear my Lily with jeans and a low heeled boot, but styling a garment with jeans is sort of the default that most of us jump to. Instead, I've emphasized a 1950s silhouette with a full skirt to really emphasize or create the appearance of an hourglass figure. A rose fascinator in one's hair and round-toed t-strap pumps play up the vintage vibe. The blue accessories are an unexpected compliment to the grey-green shade, adding depth without the severity of black.

Play down the accessories for a quirky yet still appropriate office outfit or play them up for a cocktail party and stand out in a sea of little black dresses. It'll look great with that dirty martini, extra olives, you were craving (or is that just me?)



I talked about Damariscotta in my last post. This time, I'll be talking about Cecchetti.

Most of my designs are either inspired by a detail I've seen around which I build a garment or they are an interpretation of a theme or idea someone has proposed. In this case, Cecchetti may somewhat fit the former category but in many ways it's an interpretation of a sort of nostalgia I feel for things that aren't so much a part of my life these days.

Cecchetti Original Cecchetti Sketch

I'm a little bit bottom heavy (perhaps "pear shaped" is a more acceptable description) and I have always found drape neck designs, with their delicate folds of fabric framing the face, to be quite flattering on my figure, especially layered under the many suit jackets I no longer wear, now that I work from home. (I'm not complaining, working in my PJs with my dogs by my feet, beats looking fashionable, any day of the week.)

Inspiration for Cecchetti

Along with the subtle drape at the neck (for which I provide notes in the pattern for modifying it to be more or less draped) I also tried to capture the aesthetic of the warmup clothes my classmates and I used to wear when I (long ago) took ballet lessons. I was amazed at how overly long sleeves and leg-warmers, would make one's extensions and arm placements look even longer and more graceful. Cecchetti has a little more ease than those pieces I used to wear, and the soft, decadent silk and merino yarn is surely not meant for sweating and leaping, but the vertical body darts, sleeves that slip past the base of the hands and the hip length all serve to elongate and flatter the body.

I think that people who knit this piece will find it very comfortable as well as flattering and very easy to modify as you go to get a good custom fit. As with most of my designs, it's knit seamlessly in the round, including the set in sleeves. And do not worry about it being all in reverse stockinette, the instructions allow you to knit it either right side (purl side) out or wrong side (knit side) out.

Check out Cecchetti or any of the other beautiful Spring and Summer pieces over at Twist Collective.



The Spring/Summer 2010 Twist Collective is up and it's visually stunning and filled with amazing designs. I was lucky enough to have two submissions accepted and will do a blog post for each.

The first piece is Damariscotta.

Original Damariscotta Sketch

Named for a hard to pronounce but lovely little town in Maine, near where my dad's family has land. I'll sometimes fly out to Maine to go to the Fiber Frolic with my mom, and we'll all stay at a little cabin that my dad built on the land there.

June 2009 -- Maine

Having grown up in New England and having spent plenty of time in Maine, I associate the area with a love for the ocean, a rather pragmatic sensibility and clean and structural design. I strove to capture those qualities in this top.


The piece is knit from the top down with instructions for an entirely seamless construction, right down to the double-knit hems that are grafted closed. I've also included instructions for people who might run at the sight of the words "graft" or "double-knit" so don't despair if that's not your cup of tea.

I also think this piece would be magnificent with a simple lace border around the hem and sleeves, instead of a finished hem shown. A wee bit of single crochet would prevent any curling and it would turn this simple piece into something worthy of a pretty pencil skirt and heels.

While I love the idea of a deep angled square neck (image it over a pretty little lace tank,) I knew that wouldn't suit everyone and that is why I chose the top-down construction instead of my preferred method of knitting bottom up. Keeping in mind that the single crochet will pull in the neck a little, one can simply throw the live stitches onto waste yarn and try the piece on to determine the most comfortable and flattering neckline depth and width.


Once you work the neckline you like best, you can shape the torso to follow every curve or leave out the shaping altogether for a more relaxed fit. The sleeves can be worked the same way, and can easily be lengthened to fit your climate and preference.

So that's Damariscotta for you. I hope that those of you who like the design will enjoy knitting it, and if it's not your style, I have no doubt there's another piece in this edition that will catch your eye.

Check out this and all the other beautiful patterns in the Spring/Summer 2010 edition of Twist Collective, by going here.

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