Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Flora Poste's hat

One of my favorite rainy day films is Cold Comfort Farm. It's funny, the dialogue is a treat for the ears, and it's just one of those movies that puts me in a good mood.

In the scenes where Flora Poste (played by Kate Beckinsale) travels to the farm from London, she's wearing a jaunty cream-colored knit cloche:


This summer Churchmouse Yarns & Tea released a pattern based on this hat and sponsored a knitalong on Ravelry. While I completed the cloche in record time, it took me a few months to photograph the final result:

Flora Poste's hat

Full Ravelry details here.

I purchased the yarn at WEBS this summer, fully intending to select the cream-colored Blue Sky Alpaca Silk, but in hand I felt kind of meh about it. This lovely grapey purple spoke of fall to me, so I went with that instead. The hat's a little snug--my noggin's on the large side--but I've also had my hair cut since the summer so I've got some reduced bulk to fit under there when winter comes. It's not my warmest cap, but it's certainly my most elegant knit topper.

September is kicking my butt, thus why I've been so quiet. O is slowly easing into middle school, although the transition hasn't been the smoothest. He's not a morning person, nor am I, so the 7:15 a.m. bus arrival has been a trial by fire for both of us. Luckily the school is an easy bike ride on the trail, unlike his elementary school, which was a good four miles on the other side of town. O also has a lot more homework, and with my studying for nursing school I'm exhausted by 8 or 9 p.m. Everything has suffered--blogging, housework, keeping up with family and friends--but this week feels a little more settled. Fingers crossed!



Friday, September 6, 2013

FO Friday: Honeycomb Vest



I finally have a finished object for Friday. O is back in school this week--I have a middle-schooler!--so I've had some free time to finish up this vest, which I began knitting way back in June. This summer I had no desire to knit, which is odd because I knit year-round. However, I did get back into sewing this year (more on that below). There was no urgency to finish this vest over the summer, and now I have something nice and new to wear for the fall transition season.

The pattern is from Knitty spring 2008, the Honeycomb Vest by Sarah Castor. It was a fairly easy knit. The only tricky part was figuring out the increases/decreases in pattern when I first started knitting, but after a few rows, the process became intuitive.




I'm happy with how this turned out. Don't you just love that color? It reminds me of a peacock feather (the yarn is Elsebeth Lavold's Silky Wool in Mallard, a silk/wool blend). It may be my best "finishing" job. I took great care with my mattress stitching and I like how the ribbing turned out (a twisted rib). Vests are not a wardrobe staple for me, but I like how this vest looks with its deep scooped neck and figure-hugging shape. I've got it paired with my favorite Brooks Brothers blouse here, and with a pair of jeans and flats, it'll be a nice look for me -- not too casual, but not too dressy either.

My Ravelry notes are here.

Anyway, sewing ... last month O and I spent a weekend in Connecticut at my parents' house. When I returned home, DH met us in the kitchen.

"When you're ready, I want to show you what I've done to our office upstairs," he said. He looked a tad nervous.

OK, backstory ... in July, I gave up my downstairs office so O could have it as his bedroom. This way he got his own bathroom and a little more privacy. I don't really need an office anymore since I'm going back to school for my nursing degree, so if I have to do computer work, I can work in the livingroom. My DH did the lion's share of moving stuff around one weekend; O is happy in his new private room, I have a small desk in the livingroom, and we turned O's old crowded bedroom into a shared office.

Now DH and I have completely different aesthetics so when he said he'd done something to our office, my stomach dropped. He is more tolerant of clutter and visual distractions than I am, let's just leave it at that.

So it was with great trepidation that I entered our new "shared office." And what I saw what he'd done, I began jumping up and down like a crazy woman ... thrilled!

He turned "my side" into a sewing studio!!!

I was absolutely thrilled. He had built me a cutting table where I could lay out fabric for cutting (instead of using our downstairs dining room table). Underneath was storage for my (many) patterns. My notions were neatly boxed up or displayed on a bookcase. And I had two tables set up, one for my Viking sewing machine, the other for my serger. I even had room to permanently set up my iron and ironing board (if you sew regularly, you know what a hassle it is to continually have to set up your pressing equipment.)

"I can change it if you don't like it," he said.

Don't like it? I loved it! Right now it's still kind of messy because I'm in the middle of a big sewing project, but when I get it cleaned up, I'll post photos. DH scored major brownie points for such a thoughtful surprise. I did save him a boatload of money this spring by tailoring all his dress shirts, so I guess this was my reward. :)