Monday, April 20, 2015

Moneta + Breckon

 This dress... what can I say?  I've worn it all winter long, often as much as once a week.  It fits like a dream, the color is my favorite, and it's so easy to wear different ways.  The pattern is Colette's Moneta, and the fabric I got last summer at a garage sale (an unknown cotton jersey).   I love the style of this dress, I really need to make a few more of them, and maybe play with the different collar options too, though I love the simple ballet-like neckline of this version.  Next time I make it with the long sleeve version, I will lengthen them more, as I prefer my three-quarter length sleeves to cover my elbows.
I wanted to show you a few of my favorite ways to wear this dress, so here it is with a short-sleeve sweater over top.  It is a lovely light sweater that was a hand-me-down.  When I got it, it had a little hole near the bottom which I sewed up, since then it's been as good as new.  I especially like how the dark dress shows through the lace a little me (which you can't see very well here).

 (My face looks so weird in these photos) This way has been perfect for the colder days (when worn with wool tights, of course).  A warm, fitted cardigan, buttoned up, right over the top.  I really love this look.  It feels both lady-like and cozy at the same time.

This is my Breckon sweater, a pattern by Brooklyn Tweed.  I actually knit it in Loft, just as the patterned called for! I think I've only done that one other time.  Anyway, I bought myself the yarn as my birthday present last year, a splurge, but one that I needed, and am very glad that I made.  Because the yarn is so expensive (as it should be, it's wonderful yarn) I didn't buy myself the buffer skein, like I normally try to do.  As a result, I didn't have enough to make the modifications that I would have liked to make to achieve the best fit.  If I knit this sweater again, which there's a good chance that I will, I'd start with a larger size in the hips and then decrease extra in the waist shaping until I have the right amount of stitches for my correct bust size.  Just as I did with Warriston.  Because, as you can see from the pictures, it's definitely stretched more than it wants to be along that bottom band.  

 Other than that though, this sweater is perfect!  I love the length of the sleeves and how nice and snug they fit all through the arm, and also the cuffs which I leave folded.
These were not the original buttons I had chosen for this sweater.  When I was in Anchorage last fall I picked up some lovely dark wooden buttons just for this.  But they disappeared!  I've looked all over for them, but the envelope they were in seems to have vanished while I was house sitting.  I ordered some other nice ones off of Etsy, but those ended up being the wrong size.  So this sweater sat around in my room for a long time button-less.  Finally, I got desperate and pulled out my button stash, willing to try ANYTHING, I found these, and loved how the looked with the rustic yarn, but could only find seven of them.  I knew that there had been eight of them at one point, but no matter how many times I dug through the jar that last one would not turn up.  I gave up for a while, though I kept the seven out, just in case, and one day I gave the jar another peruse and what do you know, there it was, right on the top.  Crazy life, no?

Oh man, just look at that.  I love this sweater so much, it's a beautiful pattern, through and through.  Thanks for looking!

Love, Clara

Friday, April 3, 2015

Life lately...

Seems made up of golds and purples and lavender-gray blues.  March was uncharacteristically warm here, the snow is melting, giant puddles and slush are everywhere.  I think I even spotted some tight buds on a few trees while on a walk with a friend last Sunday.  It snowed a little yesterday, but it's sunny again today.  I've been trying to go after things that I want lately.  Within my life and myself.  I'm trying to be less of a passenger and more of an explorer,  Opting for rather than just driving in my life, getting out of the car and walking.  Seeing what I can see, what I can do, what I can touch.
I applied for a two month school, sort of thing, it's hard to describe so I'm not going to right now, I'll explain more if I get in.  But it has felt so good to have tried for something.  To actually take a step towards change instead of only thinking about it.  And since then (I applied mid-February) it's been so much easier to go after smaller things.  For example; I got out my quilt that I've been working on for around ten years and sewed the whole face of it together over Spring Break.  And I've been slowly working on it since then.  I want to get it done!  No more pieces of things taking up space in my room for years on end.

It's exciting to see the pieces come together, and hopefully I mean more than just the pieces of the quilt.  Hopefully other things will get stitched into place as well.  I just feel on the verge of a change, of a good shifting of life. It feels like it's time.  Or close.
Another change I know that I need to make, is taking care of myself.  Rather than wasting time online or playing mindless games, I want to be intentional with my time.  Filling my evening with things that bring be life and energy and a sense of purpose.  I've been doing better with that, in some areas, but worse in others.  It's so easy to excuse things that aren't the best choice when in the moment.  To say, "it's been a hard day, I need this," when it's just scrolling through Pinterest for hours, and I could be reading a good book, or knitting, or sewing, or even watching a beautiful movie with a cup of tea.
Evenings seem to be the hardest, because the day has been so full, and exhausting.  But I have been making small improvements.  I've been reading (as you saw in my last post) and knitting.  It's been fun, because I'm working on a design of my own, that I hope some time soon to actually release as a pattern.  It's good to just try, even if no one buys it or knits it at least I did something, you know?  At least I tried.  And it feels good to finally try.
(that's my Plantain shirt peaking into the picture, I love it so much, I wear it once a week, nearly (and clearly I need to make another))

So it feels good to DO things, to finish long-term projects, to try something that might not work out how I hope it will.  And just do my best.  It's overwhelming, and rather terrifying, but it's exciting too, because there are so many possibilities in the risks.  Happy Friday!

Love, Clara

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Yarn Along

I'm joining the Yarn Along from this lovely blog! It's my first time, though I've loved it from afar for quite a some time now.  Right now I'm reading The Orphan's Tales: In the Night Garden, and knitting a project of my own design.  Hopefully it will come together well, and maybe into something that can be shared.  I am loving this book so much.  I'm about half way now, and it's everything a fairy tale should be.  I can hardly wait to read more from this author.