I speak to you from the Land of Puppy. In LOP, you constantly have stinky treats in your pockets and poop bags at your fingertips. You are smothered with kisses, climbed over like a jungle gym and presented with so many adorable puppy body parts (pink bellies, strokable ears, soft, squishable paws) that it is hard to choose which one to love more at any given time. You are woken up multiple times a night for potty breaks. You are definitely a little sleep deprived, and start feeling a keen empathy for everyone you know with babies. You want a happy, independent dog so you harden our heart just a little to puppy cries, even if inside you’re smothering the desire to wear him in a baby sling 24/7, just to feel that soft puppy fur and little heart beating all day long.
In Land of Puppy, the most important thing in your closet is a pair of warm, flannel pajamas. When it’s 2am and your phone is bleating and the puppy is making full bladder whines, you need to be fast out of bed, down two flights of stairs, and into that cold, snow covered alley so you can sleepily mutter, “Go potty, go potty, go potty” without freezing your (human) tail off.
While I made these cozy Carolyn Pajamas long before Harry came home, I am so grateful for them this week. Even though they have an abstract cat print, I don’t think he minds, as long as he can gnaw on the hem every once and awhile. They were desperately needed, puppy notwithstanding. I am trying to get in the habit of actually keeping my pattern samples in unworn condition,
A special treat for you today; I am pumped to show you a super creative Clare Coat that graced my inbox recently. Kathryn was kind enough to send me photos of her finished coat and I practically squealed (that’s a bald faced lie; I actually squealed, for real). She doesn’t have a blog but she did give me permission to show you guys this magic.
I love this make so much; she used vintage fabric she’s been hanging onto for a few years, and I am completely smitten with all the personal, creative touches. Such a good example of using a pattern as a blueprint or starting point for true sartorial self expression.
In her words: “Hola! Kathryn from Edmonton here, with some pictures of my completed Clare for you. I did a ‘frankenclare’ as you can see. I adjusted the length for my short self, used contrast fabric for the collar and welt pockets, and threw in some cuffs too with my last scraps of contrast fabric. I also added a hang tie to the CF of the coat, to keep things nice and straight on the hanger. The lining has a thermal interlining with Kasha lining, which wound up being heavier and stiffer than the outer shell, so I wound up tacking the layers together at the side seam to make all the layers play nice. Also, I ran out of main fabric, so as you can see, the facings are a light blue denim.
Those are the personalized touches I added. Otherwise, I followed your sewalong exactly, which is new territory for me, as I usually go rogue on instructions. Everything came together beautifully, and I learned a few new tricks.
Or, how I handknit the hugest sweater of all time by making it 30% too big. Warning: the following post contains scenes of extremely oversized knits, knitting without swatching, and country house eye candy. Reader discretion is advised.
Marking my return back to “serious” knitting (read: not an infinity cowl or ribbed scarf) I thought it would be best to dip my toe in with something easy and fast. I fell in love with the Cross Country Coat when I was browsing the Wool & the Gang patterns. It’s simple and boxy but I liked the shape and figured it would be perfect for wearing around the house and using as a transitional coat in between fall and winter. But because I was feeling cocky (read: lazy and stupid) I didn’t swatch. I have no good answer for you. Sometimes you have to spend a small fortune on wool to learn a very important lesson. As a result, I basically made a Cross Country House Coat. Witness me in all my blanket-as -a-sweater glory:
Happy Sunday everyone! I’m currently in Vermont visiting a friend and knitting up a storm in her beautiful farmhouse, aka my all-time life fantasy. Thank you so much for your input last week on puppy training; Harry comes home in a week so I’m near frantic trying to get my house/heart/brain ready for the responsibility. I hope you’re having a lovely day wherever you are!
Update: All of our spots have been filled! I’ll be posting about future classes in the next few weeks.
Want to learn how to make jeans with a little more support and structure than the DIY route? I’m teaching a few Ginger workshops this year and the first one to be confirmed is at the workroom in Toronto on May 8th and 9th. You can look forward to two action packed days of sewing, along with some reassuring hand holding, a lot of cheerleading, and a good jeans fitting in a beautiful, spacious room with a group of other rad sewing folks.
Spots are limited and the last class we hosted sold out in 3 days, so I would recommend booking your space now! Karyn is the owner of the workroom and made the glorious Gingers you see above in our last class; you can read more about that experience on her blog.
If you’ve been following me on instagram, you may have noticed there is a WHOLE lot of knitting spam happening lately. I’m not exactly sure how this happened, but when I scroll through my feed these days, at least half of the snapshots from my daily life involve a cup of tea and some knitting needles (the puppy spam will start in a few weeks when Harry gets home, but until then, #allwoolallthetime).
I taught myself to knit back in the early aughts (thank you Bust magazine, thank you Stitch n’ Bitch). I even made myself a sweater in those halcyon days, and while I’ve knit something at least every year since, nine out of ten times it’s a simple and lazy project like a cowl or a Christmas present scarf. I’ve tried starting a couple of new sweater projects since I started blogging, but both are currently moldering in their project bags. The Brooklyn Tweed sweater from last year is the victim of scratchy, ugly wool I finally renounced this fall (RIP itchy charcoal snoozefest), and the lovely silk and merino project from the year before that is a huge billowy beast on 3.5mm needles that is simply too much stockinette at too small a scale.
But a change is in the air, and how! I’ve been on a knitting bender! If knitting was booze I’d be passed out in an alley with my pockets turned inside out. I’d smell like rum with trembling hands and bloodshot eyes. As it is, I’m just more annoying at parties (everyone loves someone sitting and knitting instead of mingling!) and less prone to cuddling because it means more dropped stitches (men just love being supplanted by in-progress sweaters).
Happy Sunday! I’ve been knitting up a freaking storm. I finished my first sock and I’m not even close to experiencing Second Sock Syndrome – so excited to get another one on the needles now that I understand how sock knitting works (aka Practical Magic). I’m also forcing myself to finish up my Wool and the Gang James Jacket, which has been languishing since before I left on holidays. I kind of hate mega chunky knitting right now after finding my groove with my little pin-thin sock needles but it’s a very cool little pattern and I’m happy I un UFO-ed it. I also got invited to my friend’s Vermont farmhouse next weekend, solely so we can knit for 16 hours a day by the fire and talk about wool. It might as well be Disneyland. I’m officially hooked on knitting. It only took 12 years.
Here’s what you’ve been making.
Adore this matching bra and garter set from Madalynne. I am the worst at making pretty matching underwear and wish I had the patience for this kind of sewing.
Hey guys! I just wanted to give you a few quick updates on some changes to our pattern shop and the way we are delivering your digital downloads.
Long story short, the app we were using to host your PDF files is going out of business which has been EXTREMELY convenient (can you pick up the heavy sarcasm here?) Rather than losing all of your files, we have spent the last few days migrating the download data to a new app called Send Owl. If you have purchased a PDF from us in the last year or so, chances are you will be getting an email from Send Owl with a new download link. If you’ve purchased more than one pattern, you’ll receive an email with a link for each particular file.
Everyone who places a new order should now be able to access their files when they are logged into their account in our shop, along with the download links you can typically access after checkout and via email.
Your old download links should still be working; you have until March 31st to download your files from the Downtown App server, but after that you’ll have to use your Send Owl links. Hopefully that’s clear! With thousands of orders it’s been a little challenging to get the migration right so hopefully you don’t run into any problems. Of course, best case practice with digital files is to download them immediately and save them to a safe space. With our new app, you can even save directly to Dropbox which means your files stay safe pretty much forever.
NEW PATTERN BUNDLES
One last thing….. our jean making resources are stacking up and I wanted to be able to offer discounts when you purchase more than one at a time.