September 2011

This Saturday, I headed up to Unity for the Common Ground Fair with Aimee, Eric, and Bristol.  While it was a bit grey and drizzly, there were plenty of interesting things to brighten up the day and a good time was had by all. And now, I’m going to let the photos do the talking.








[The tag reads: “Turkey-tail Hat for walking in Snowy Firs, with Goose + Goat families depicted, ^plus one Beaver, and the 24 lb. Raccoon who opened and squeezed through the 5½” x 6″ chicken door.]







What are your favorite things to do at the fair??


It’s rare that a project comes together quickly for me, usually because I gravitate toward patterns with lots of fiddly details (see dress with bow neckline and pleated sleeves). So while it’s been in my to-sew queue for quite some time, the School House Tunic, was a bit out of the norm for me – particularly since I cut it out and sewed up it in about a day.


I made the shirt-length pattern exactly per the instructions with one addition: a button and thread loop mid-way up the placket, which I find to be a neutral additional. It doesn’t really add anything, but it doesn’t detract either.


The fabric was from my stash, and considering my usual fabric shopping habits, it probably came from Denver Fabrics. The texture is akin to those soft cotton dishtowels, which makes for a very cozy shirt.


I’m not sure if the empire-waist and pleated skirt are the best shapes for my figure, but the shirt is so comfy that I’m pretty sure I’m going to make a at least one more in flannel for the fall/winter and another in white linen for the summer.



Even with a trip to the Botanic Gardens, I managed to finish two of my Fall Palette Challenge pieces this weekend, which I’ll cover in two separate posts this week.

First up: The Houndstooth Dress

Fall Palette Challenge : Houndstooth Dress

As I said in my original palette post. I saw this dress done up as a sample in JoAnns and knew I had to make it. The pattern is New Look 6909,View C and while I debated about doing the pockets,fearing they’d “poof out” I eventually decided to the pattern as is.

Fall Palette Challenge : Houndstooth Dress

The seams were finished with a zigzag stitch for exposed seams and pinking for covered seams, as the fabric tended to be rather fray-prone (as I find is often the case with woolens). Though it tends to wrinkle a bit more than I like (!!), and the curvy fit makes me feel as if I should be wearing control top pantyhouse, I love this fabric as this dress.

Fall Palette Challenge : Houndstooth Dress

I’m particularly found of the details on this one, the funnel collar, the bow, the pleated cap sleeves, yes, even the pockets and while it took a bit of time nothing was particularly difficult to put together. A declare this one a win!! (especially with the red shoes)

Fall Palette Challenge : Houndstooth Dress

Oh and according to WordPress, this is my 300th post! So yay for that too!


While Labor Day is the unofficial end of Summer here in the States, the official end of the season doesn’t get here for a few more days, which means Mr. Cleaver and I time to sneak in one more excursion under the wire.


We’d wanted to return to the Coastal Maine Botantical Gardens ever since our last visit there, particularly since we were there about a week before the new children’s garden opened.


It was worth the return visit. The children’s garden was designed based on classic children’s books: mostly Maine-based ones like Blueberries for Sal


Miss Rumphis (one of my personal favorites)



Burt Dow, Deep Water Man


And a few non-Maine tales were represented as well.


The garden was very interactive with mazes, treehouses, and a playhouse/garden, and interact we did.





We also visited some of the other gardens, and took note of a few plants we’d like for our own garden next year.






I’m pleased to formally introduce Shoots & Ladders, the design I teased a few week back. Shoots & Ladders is an any season cowl, inspired by the orderly rows of plantings in gardens. I wasn’t able to plant a big garden this year, but I did produce a few of these cowls.


The spring/summer version of the cowl features Elsebeth Lavold’s Hempathy, which results in a drapey cowl, with well defined lace motifs


The more ethereal Winter version is knit in Rowan’s Felted Tweed DK, resulting in a more structured cowl with a bit of halo.


Both cowls utilize approximately 300 yards of DK weight yarn and is knit in the round. The lace pattern is charted and decreases in the “ladders” section give the cowl a pleasing tapered shape.

The pattern is available for $4.00 USD

or you can queue it up on Ravelry


Photos, except detail shots, by Bristol Ivy.

Although historically my sewing tapers off after summer, I’ve decided this year to participate in Colette Patterns Fall Palette Challenge. The goal – make a unified palette of items within 8 weeks!

I’m going to be overly ambitious here with my challenge projects, but here we go!
Fall Palette Fabrics

For the challenge, I’m using all fabrics from my stash. They are (clockwise from top left corner): super pale peach silk charmeuse from Denver Fabrics, large check gingham shirting (source unknown), green stretch twill from Denver Fabrics, and blue/black wool houndstooth from Fabric Row in Philly.


My first project up will be New Look 6909,View C. I saw this dress in a display at JoAnn’s and knew I had to make it. The fabric will work perfectly, as it’s both warm and work appropriate!


Second up, Clover from Colette Patterns in the green twill. I was so excited to see Colette do a pants pattern, especially since pedal pushers/clamdiggers/capris have been on my to-sew list for ages. If I have time, I’d love to do a pair in black as well.


Thirdly, Sew Liberated’s School House tunic in the gingham. This is a pattern that’s been on my wish-list for ages and I think the fabric will be a great fit. I’m leaning toward the shirt length version.

If I have time (and I assuredly won’t) I’m aiming to use the silk charmeuse for a Cinnamon Slip.

So there’s my pieces for the Fall Palette Challenge. I’ll keep ya’ll updated as I go along, and let me know if you’re playing too!


I had so much fun coming up with this pattern, though like most of my patterns its seems,  it had a long time going from inspiration to release.

Shortly after I took up running* last year, I quickly learned that if I wanted to run in the cold I would need a good hat and being a knitter, I thought I could create an awesome running hat. I was in the midst of a colorwork binge and thought a running hat with a running motif would be fun, and then I remembered my history of photography class from college and Zoetrope was born.


In that class, one of the photographers we learned about was Eadweard Muybridge, who in 1877 accidentally helped create the motion picture by winning a bet for a friend. The bet was whether or not all four of a horses hooves left the ground while in a full gallop, by utilizing a series of cameras, Muybridge proved that they did (wild times in 1877!).  Muybridge also discovered that by placing the series of images on a spinning disc, when viewed though a single opening, the spinning image appeared to move. Like this!

Zoetrope in Motion

History lesson aside, I took Muybridge’s “Horse in Motion” images and converted them to a colorwork chart, which is framed within a filmstrip. Each of the horse panels are different, meaning that if you spun it fast enough and while looking through a slit, the horse would appear to be running. Or you could just look back up at the animated gif above.


The hat is knit out of Quince & Co’s DK-weight Chickadee in Egret (white) and Crow (black). One of my testers also successfully used a fingering weight yarn.

Zoetrope comes in three sizes: 17.5, 20.5, 23.5 inch/ 45, 52, 60 cm circumference, features an optional braided tassel, and, if I may say so, is a little addictive to knit, as once the horses start to appear, I just wanted to keep going.

Zoetrope is available for purchase for $5.00 USD


or you can queue it up on Ravelry.

*haven’t really run since.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 438 other followers