2021 Fall Capsule Wardrobe

I’ve been using a capsule wardrobe for a while. I’m a creature of habit, wearing some version of the same “uniform” 99% of the time. As a knitter, I am happy for cooler weather so I can incorporate my knits into my capsule!

Normally, this would be the season I start wearing some booties, but when I broke my ankle last November, I acquired some hardware that makes it uncomfortable to wear anything over my ankle bones, soooo I’m skipping booties this season. Plus, heels are not really an option for a few months. I honestly don’t know how athletes just go back in after surgery when going down one step still scares me a little. Might have something to do with the fact that I’m not an athlete. And I’m almost fifty.

I discovered Project 333 a couple of years ago and the idea of it appealed to me. As I found myself wanting to pare down my life and home more and more, I decided to document my seasonal capsules in a more formal way, and here we are.

In a nutshell, Project 333 is the idea that you wear 33 items of clothes, shoes, and accessories for 3 months.

Now, I am a knitter. I have shawls and scarves and hats that I am not counting as my accessories because I love them all and they love me back. Same with jewelry. I used to make jewelry years ago and from all the earrings and necklaces I made I have kept a precious few that I wear regularly, they are smaller and can be worn with almost anything, so I am not choosing from them.

But I have selected 33 pieces of clothing, shoes, and a bag that will be what I wear this autumn.

Most of the items I have here are pieces I already had. My clothes are 99% from Target or Old Navy, or made by me, in the case of some of the sweaters. My one splurge in my wardrobe is my Marcie bag by Chloe. I lusted after this bag for about ten years, and almost two years ago, Steve got it for me as a present. I love this bag. I have no plans of getting any other expensive bags. It goes with everything and is big enough to carry all my stuff and of course, the stuff my husband and kids hand me when we’re out.

Now, much to the dismay of style bloggers, capsule bloggers, French influencers, and mostly, my late mother, I don’t do woven shirts. Any silk or polyester fabric in most button down blouses makes me incredibly warm, and cotton button downs don’t fit my boobs 99% of the time. I much prefer knits like t-shirts and knit tops, which feel more comfortable to me. And white? Not in my lifestyle. So the ubiquitous white button down that you “absolutely must have in your closet” has never made an appearance in mine.

Bottom-wise, I have one pair of jeans and they’re not even skinny.

They’re by Lee, I either wear these or the infamous Gloria Vanderbilt Amanda, which is legendary for a reason, and it’s because it fits us with hips and junk in the trunk.

Other than that, these are the rest of the bottoms I will be wearing for fall.

There is a tan pair that I am debating on. I like the color and it fits well, but it has this very textured slubbed fabric and while it doesn’t irritate my skin, I’m always aware of it when I’m wearing it. It’s on the pictures of the full rack.

For shoes, I got these sneakers and they are not only cute with the animal print but they’re also super comfortable. I love my Rothys, I have them in Navy as well. The cross-strap black shoes are so comfortable and perfect to show off my knit socks.

Should any slightly dressier occasion arise, I have two dresses that have served me well for a couple of years. I can dress them up very easily and they’re super comfortable.

For outerwear I have several options that provide different levels of warmth, including two of my own handknit cardigans. I tend to run warm, so a t-shirt plus a cardi and a scarf or shawl are enough for me, unless we get a cold snap or something.

So, to round up the numbers:

15 tops + 4 bottoms + 2 dresses + 6 outerwear + 1 bag + 3 pairs of shoes (I’m including the white t under the plaid shirt) = 31 items.

I have a couple of items I can add if need be, such a heavier coat or snow boots if it were to snow in November, which is a possibility, to get to the 33 items of the challenge.

I won’t be posting daily outfits but I will be posting outfits I wear during the three months of autumn. I am also keeping the dates fluid – fall starts on September 22 but if there are consistently cooler days before that, then I will start the challenge earlier. Winter is harsh here in Wisconsin, so there are definitely going to be a few different pieces in that challenge, and my long-term goal is to steadily donate or gift items that don’t make it into these challenges.

My wardrobe is made up of such basic pieces (except for my handknits, which are, of course, exceptional ha ha) that I don’t feel like I need to share any links to a specific piece, but if you, dearest reader, have questions about anything, please let me know. The statement necklace was a gift so I don’t know where it’s from.

I am excited to start this challenge and seeing which items become most worn and loved!

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Today is one month since the day where both ends of my body went through more trauma than I’d ever gone through in a single day.

To begin where?

Well, the story truly begins when my adult teeth came in, forty plus years ago. For they came in wrong and wicked and determined to cause me much distress . My parents were told that I would need braces and jaw surgery around 15/16, but when I reached that age we were not in any financial shape to pay for braces or surgery. To make things worse, around that time, I was in a car crash where my four front teeth suffered severe trauma and, according to the rather unscrupulous dentist I went to, putting caps on them would solve the problem. So I got the caps.

Within a year it was clear the caps had not been put in properly, but I had no recourse, and so, for most of my adult life, I have never liked my smile. Even in my happiest moments, I have always carefully measured how much of my teeth to reveal. The dentists I saw since would mention how even with regular cleanings and good dental hygiene, my upper teeth just seemed to be collapsing into themselves. I even got Invisalign when one of my canines started to move sideways, but again, the person I saw, who had great reviews and was highly recommended, was unable to get the result I wanted and filed down a couple of my upper teeth – without asking me first – so they wouldn’t go crossways against the bottom teeth.

This brings us to earlier this year, this wretched 2020, when I went in for my usual cleaning and mentioned one of my front teeth was ready to leave the sinking ship. It was visibly lower then the other front tooth, and was becoming looser by the day. My dentist stopped me halfway through the cleaning and told me it was time to get implants. I could, of course, choose dentures, but getting dentures when one is relatively young (49) with ostensibly a few decades yet to go, means I would be dealing with more and more loss of bone to support said dentures. I had enough bone in my upper jaw that I didn’t need a bone graft, so after much agonizing about finances and at least being grateful we didn’t have a vacation to cancel because we were going nowhere this year and probably the next, we decided on an All-on-Four procedure. This is where four supports are placed into my upper jaw so a fake set of teeth will be securely attached once my jaw heals. In the meantime, I get an upper denture to wear for about 4 months.

A daunting prospect, to be sure, not just physically, but emotionally. The thought of losing all my upper teeth, while something I had actually figured was in my future, is so huge and traumatic that I was feeling like a failure. Yeah, my upper teeth had been misformed from the beginning and were always doomed to some kind of reckoning at around this time of my life, but still, once it was in the books, I felt a combination of shame, excitement, and wishing to disappear until it was all done.

The week of my surgery, which was on a Thursday, I ate burgers and burritos, things I would not be able to eat so easily once I had my temporary dentures in. I ate my favorite candy, Hershey’s kisses, and snacked on cheese curds. We bought a new blender for all the smoothies I would be drinking (not from a straw!) for the first few weeks, and the night before my surgery, I ate until 11:43pm, safely observing my midnight deadline of food or drink before my 9am surgery.

The next morning I kissed and hugged my children, telling them that if anything went wrong, to remember I loved them above anything, and even though they annoy each other frequently, to be there for one another. They both had virtual school, so I left our dog with our oldest, and my husband and I headed to my appointment. Since the procedure was going to take a few hours, he would go home and do some work and come back to pick me up.

I will skip some of the details here – I obviously do not know everything that happened, and what I do remember is but a small part of the process. But as I am told, at one point after I was sedated, my blood pressure spiked and I was given medication to bring it back down. I have never had this happen during any procedure and I have had cesareans and a hysterectomy, an elbow bone spur surgery, etc. and I do not suffer from high blood pressure or heart issues. What I know is that I was dizzy afterwards, and at home I did not feel myself, other than the soreness in my mouth. Steve helped me to the bathroom, and once I was there, I remember the room becoming dark, like it was caving in on me. I went back outside and he was there to hold my arms to help me walk back to the sofa. I remember saying “I’m dizzy, I’m dizzy” and even though he was holding me up, I collapsed, tried to stand back up, and collapsed again. I heard a pop and a crunch and felt sharp, hot pain in my ankle.

When Steve got me to the sofa, hobbling and hopping, I saw that my ankle looked like an S-block from Tetris.

Waiting at Urgent Care

We headed out to Urgent Care, where I was still feeling dizzy. The doctor kept calling my name because I wasn’t responding to her and they couldn’t get my blood pressure with the arm cuff, so she said I should go straight to the hospital and called an ambulance. My poor husband had to follow and I, who have never a) fractured anything like this and b) never been in an ambulance, was pretty terrified. I mean, my youngest broke my nose when he was a baby but I had a headache for two days and it didn’t make my nose any worse, but this was pretty clearly messed up.

The ambulance guys were really awesome, chatted with me to put me at ease, and in a few minutes I was at the hospital. They wheeled me in and I was put in a room and checked out by various nurses and doctors. There was also a TV so luckily, I had football to keep me distracted. By this point it was after 7pm and, other than the protein shake Steve had brought for me after my dental surgery, I hadn’t eaten anything since the night before. One of the kind nurses brought me a Gatorade and a turkey sandwich, which I had to turn down as I couldn’t eat anything solid. I felt so badly since she had gone out of her way but she was nice enough to get me some applesauce, which was the best motherfucking applesauce that has ever been made in the history of applesauce. At this point I was feeling better, because I had a little food and drink and also because as the doctor said, the medication to bring my blood pressure down was probably out of my system.

The anesthesiologist from my dental surgery kept checking in with Steve to see how I was doing, and I know he talked to both the oral surgeon and the staff at the hospital to let them know what it was he’d given me. It was very frightening to feel so woozy and blurry, because like I have said, it’s never happened to me. I have never had blood pressure issues so this was new to me, and very scary.

It was determined through x-rays that I had dislocated my ankle, torn ligaments right off the bone, and fractured my fibula in more than one place. Furthermore, as I would learn later, one of the fractures was vertical and quite long. I was given very strong painkillers so I would tolerate the ER doctor and nurses setting my ankle and it wasn’t too bad at all. I have a pretty high tolerance for pain, and while I felt them straightening out my ankle, it wasn’t unbearable pain. I was bandaged up and sent home to wait for my surgery in five days.

Home with an awesome shake made by Steve

The first week was pretty brutal. I was supposed to keep my leg AND my mouth both above my heart so I spent days and nights in a V position that hurt my back and hips. I did have some prescribed painkillers but after the second day I didn’t really need them, it was more being uncomfortable than anything, so I stopped taking them. Going to follow up appointments when you’re miserable is awful. To quote Dorothy Parker, “This wasn’t just plain terrible, this was fancy terrible. This was terrible with raisins in it.” Hopping around in crutches, with my mouth still tender and my leg bulky and awkward, I credit my husband with getting me through these first few days.

My ankle surgery went well, I was told I would have a 3-inch scar on the inside of the ankle and a lovely 8-inch scar on the outside, because of the long fracture. Spoiler alert, there are some pictures below in case you do/don’t want to see them. They were putting in plates and screws and pins oh my, and the worst part of the surgery, the IV, went smoothly. After they got someone else to hold my hand because I was starting to hyperventilate.

However, there was something else brewing, which I am sure, had it come to the worst solution, my husband would have helped me with, but thank goodness it didn’t get to that point. My youngest and I have oatmeal every day, but my mouth was still too tender and sore for attempting oatmeal, and I had been on the sofa pretty much 24/7. So, no fiber for about a week, and not much moving except to let Steve fluff the pillows behind me.

Do you see where this is going?

My husband and our oldest started watching The Mandalorian, which I also wanted to watch, but as they started episode 1, I felt like I needed to go to the bathroom. I sat down, and by the time they started episode 5, I was in so much pain and so much frustration because nothing was happening, that when I finally gave up and went back outside, there was condensation on every surface. I had worked myself up so much that I was sweating and so was everything else in the bathroom.

Out went Steve to get me stool softeners, fiber gummies (which I couldn’t really chew, I mostly let them melt in my mouth), and those blessed, lovely flushable wipes, which became my dear friends for the next two days. I never took the stool softeners because I was afraid of overcompensating and in my state, getting anywhere quickly just wasn’t happening, but the gummies helped, and eventually this, too, passed.

I also got a knee scooter, which was a game changer for getting around. My upper body strength is pretty low, so crutches were always dodgy for me, but the scooter was a little more stable.

I have weekly checkups for the oral surgery and have had a check up for the ankle fracture. My dentist and surgeon say everything is healing well, I like how the dentures look, because yes, I was afraid I would get those awful old-lady looking teeth from the 80s, but things have come far and they look very nice. Which is good because I will wear them for a few months until my surgery site heals completely. The screws that will attach to the implants I will get then look good as well, according to the doctors. Dentures are, as they tell me, terrible replacements for teeth, and it is true. I have progressed to being able to eat pasta and toast, and even pizza, if I cut it into little pieces with a knife and fork. The key is to put the pieces of food into the back of your mouth, so the dentures are balanced as you eat. If I only put food on one side, the denture moves when I try and bite down. But I can’t bite off a piece of meat, or a piece of burrito. I can’t eat my beloved Hershey’s Kisses, which is probably good. I don’t eat as much at one sitting because honestly, it’s just a pain in the mouth to try and eat.

I’ve lost weight, according to Steve, and I do feel it a little. I’ve also lost muscle mass in my calf. Yesterday the temp cast came off and I got my hard cast and it was shocking to see how, in little over three weeks, my left leg looks so much smaller already. The skin hangs without the muscle to support it, and it will get worse over the four weeks I have this cast. My right knee, which is doing the lion’s share of work when I stand up, sit down, etc. is starting to get sore.

Ready for some pictures? Here are a couple from when my splint was removed and I got my hard cast.

Cleanliness is also a production. I take baths every other day, but Steve has to be there to help me. I can maneuver myself in and out 90% of the way, but wouldn’t be able to do it on my own. The rest of the time it’s deodorant wipes or scrubbing with a washcloth, and washing my hair in the sink. He has stashed all my supplies at both downstairs bathrooms so that I am never caught without.

The boys manage all their meals and help with laundry, they get me things – Aidan has even gone through my yarn stash to find the rest of the blue yarn I needed for Steve’s sweater – and are very good-natured about the fact I can’t do many things for myself.

I have plans for my new cast, although I haven’t quite decided which way to go yet.

Today is one month since the fateful day and I am glad I am healing physically. Mentally, it has been an exercise in frustration – I do not like asking for help. Guess what? I have to ask for help all day long. Or rather, I need help all day long. Steve is great at anticipating what I need – drink? snack? snuggle? – and the boys are lovely about getting things for me. The dog is ecstatic that I am in one place most of the time. I am very happy that I can still help Alex with school. It is a new normal and it will be for a while. The cast should be off in 4 weeks, and then I will get a walking boot and physical therapy. Knitting is wonderful. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have knitting with me all the time. Of course, most of my yarn is in the basement but my current projects are here and I suppose I could finish some of those instead of starting something new (my fellow knitters just burst out laughing.) People have been so kind to us. Checking in, sending care packages, recommending shows and books.

But now, it’s time for some oatmeal.

Stop the presses!

I am so incredibly excited – last year our dear friends announced they were having a bebe and I made a few little things for the sweet darling girl.

And now we recently found that there is:

Other than Steve’s sweater, I plan on putting aside most of my projects in order to make a few things for the newest bebe. Little items are so fun to make and quick to knit up.

Here are a few items I will be choosing from for my new knitting marathon.

Tin Can Knits is the best source for quality patterns in an array of sizes: the Flax pullover is my first recommendation for anyone knitting their first sweater. It is well written, and it is free. It suits plain yarns as well as speckles, and it can be made for a newborn as well as for someone in a size 4XL. In the picture above, it is the pale pink sweater on the top left.

The Beloved bonnet is another fun pattern from Tin Can Knits, easily made holding 2 sock-weight strands or one DK strand of yarn. You can see one I made previously in the picture below.

For a pop of color, I am liking this sweet French Macaron pullover from The Noble Thread. Maybe make a little hat or booties in the accent color?

French Macaron by The Noble Thread

The Garter Ear Flap Hat has been made over ten thousand times – Purl Soho is an excellent source of patterns as well as yarns to make them and this adorable little hat is a quick knit.

Garter Ear Flap Hat by Purl Soho

My dear friend Cait showed me a gorgeous set of patterns inspired by the hobbits of Lord of the Rings. My only complaint is, why are they not in adult sizes? Because I would totally live in these pieces!

Mithril pullover
Elevensies jacket
Fellowship cloak
Hobbit vest
Tookish britches

Aren’t they all adorable?

Booties and mittens are always a fun extra to add to a bebe gift. I am looking forward to sorting through patterns to find something to complement the rest of my knits, but I’d love any suggestions!

Soundtrack – en Francais!

I will be visiting some of my all time favorite soundtracks as I knit Marie Greeneā€™s beautiful Soundtrack sweater.

Chocolate AND France? Sign me up! When this movie came out in 2000 I wasted no time going to see it.

The music in this movie is light and luminous, and because of the main character’s ancestry, it even includes some pan-flute bits here and there. Lovely movie, lovely soundtrack, even better if you have some great chocolate to nibble on while you watch or listen.

Another great soundtrack to listen to while nibbling on some deliciousness – pastries, sweets, macarons? is Marie Antoinette, with the wonderful Kirsten Dunst as the doomed French queen. Again, as a history nerd and Francophile, this movie was a must for me, and the mix of classical and modern that director Sofia Coppola chose for the film makes for a timeless soundtrack.

The costumes and sets are also amazing, and by the way, that pair of shoes that doesn’t seem to fit in with anything else was totally on purpose by Coppola, who wanted her Marie Antoinette to show her young, carefree side.

Knitting wise, my Soundtrack sweater is hopping along, I am now on the third and last colorwork section and love, love, love, the way it’s turning out.

All details are on my Ravelry and Instagram, if you want to know the colorways, vendors, etc. This will be a long-sleeved pullover sweater, and I look forward to wearing it when it finally gets cold. I am seriously not okay with the current 80s-90s weather. The humidity is awful, I feel like I’m breathing vapor, and the heat gives me headaches and heat rashes. Summer can be over already.

Until next time!

Soundtrack – Orlando

I will be visiting some of my all time favorite soundtracks as I knit Marie Greene’s beautiful Soundtrack sweater.

In 1992, I discovered Tilda Swinton. There was a movie called Orlando, based on the book by Virginia Woolf, and I went to see it in the theater five times. I was fascinated by the story, the actor, and the music.

I bought the soundtrack at Tower Records and it became my background music for the next few months. Here’s a little bit of the soundtrack if you’re curious and I won’t tell anyone if you simply have to buy it. This movie also sent me into a spiral of frustration because 99% of the movies Tilda had made until then were too avant-garde and weren’t really found at Blockbuster Video. I did snag a copy of Edward II, which is an amazing film based on a play by Christopher Marlowe – yeah, that one – which was itself based on one of the most toxic royal marriages ever. The character Tilda plays is Isabella of France, Queen of England.

Knitting-wise, I am working through the second set of colorwork rows on my Soundtrack sweater.

The pattern is quite intuitive and the yarns I am using are lovely to work with. I have very sensitive skin plus arthritis, so yarn that is not kind to my hands is usually not worth it given the number of hours it takes to make a sweater, but I am very happy with these yarns.

I am making it with a little less ease than the recommended amount in the pattern – I am short and busty, so if I wear something with too much ease, it’s not super flattering. Marie’s patterns are very well crafted and I have made garments by her before so I trust her sizing.

That’s it for this Soundtrack update – until next time!

The Shameful Shame, part 3

My closet is pretty and functional again. I am very happy with the results and wanted to share the last of the process here. The sources are listed at the end of this post. I tried to repurpose items I already had to minimize waste, but did need a few things.

Taking everything out was the easy part.

Putting things back in an organized way and being honest about items that needed to be purged or put away somewhere else or in storage was what took the longest time.

Also, I couldn’t put anything back on the center counter area until I got the wall decals I had ordered. Originally I wanted a dark floral wallpaper, but then I decided it would make the closet feel like a cave, so I switched to a light floral design, and since I only wanted the center area covered, I decided on these beautiful decals, which I could position however I wanted.

They were so easy to put up – I cut them out first and mapped out how I wanted them with poster putty, and then I peeled them off the backing and stuck them to the wall.

I had these pretty trays that I decided to use for my nail polish and perfumes. I used to have so much nail polish in every color of the rainbow but I hadn’t used them in years, so I only kept the nudes and top coats. Manicures that I do myself don’t last a day, and I hate having chipped polish, so clear polish or colors super closed to my nail color are all I use now. My lifestyle is becoming more pared down and if I want colorful nails, I have no shame in using the press-on kind. They have come a long way from the crap I used to wear (for ten minutes) in the 80s.

My perfume collection is courtesy of my beloved husband except for the two perfumes I got in Italy a couple of years ago. I am not a “signature scent” kind of girl but I do prefer the Warm/Spicy type. Much to my personal shame I do remember stealing my mom’s Giorgio back in the 80s, anyone remember that scent? Oh my dog, it was as strong and bold as the yellow-striped box it came in.

That necklace is one I made for my wedding day. I have only worn it one other time to another wedding, but I love seeing it every day.

Makeup is not a particular fascination of mine, to be honest I just do the basics to look polished. I do like to be able to close my closet door and be able to put my makeup on so I don’t wake up my husband since he leaves for work after I do (he also gets home considerably later than I do). This mirror lights up in three different settings and is great for what I need.

The moment I saw these jewelry trays, I knew I wanted them. I originally wanted to buy just one but I do have a few special pieces of jewelry and I didn’t want to cram everything I am keeping onto one of these. They look kind of steampunky and I really like them.

All the jewelry pieces shown here were bought locally – I believe in supporting local businesses, small businesses, BIPOC-owned businesses. I am also working on switching all my makeup, skincare, and scents to cruelty-free and I love recommendations, so please send those my way.

I hope you have enjoyed seeing this project, I am certainly very happy with the results. And now it’s on to . . . the medicine cabinet!


Peony wall decals from Simple Shapes

Vanity mirror from Amazon

Peru watercolor map from Poppy & Pinecones

Paris photographs from Georgianna Lane

Gold tray (perfume) and mirrored tray (nail polish) from Michaels

Terrace tray jewelry organizers from The Container Store

Rolling stool from Amazon

Naked manicure set from Zoya

The Shameful Shame, part 2

I like to plan long before I actually tackle a project. I make lists, visual boards, measure twice, draw sketches, etc. The sketches won’t be posted because my drawing talent ends at stick figures, but I can share a little collage that is my inspiration for my closet refresh.

The top picture is this fascinating piece of jewelry storage I found at The Container Store – it looks vintage and modern at the same time and I just loved the look of it. I have ordered two, and my goal is to pare down my jewelry so that everything fits into these two pieces comfortably. I could probably have aimed to pare down to enough for one, but I don’t want to regret my decisions, so I am giving myself enough space (literally) to keep what I want.

The bottom left picture is what currently is my top choice in wallpaper. I found it on Etsy and I think it’s beautiful. I do have some concerns about the black background because a) I don’t want the whole closet covered in wallpaper and I think it might be odd to have one wall dark and the others white, but b) if I do all the walls in the wallpaper it will be this dark space and I don’t want that, either.

Bottom right is my all time favorite painting. It is called The Birth of Venus by Alexandre Cabanel. I fell in love with it the first time I went to the Musee d’Orsay, and when we went back to Paris in 2014, much to my chagrin, the painting was on loan to a museum in Japan. The color palette calls back to the pale pinks and pale blues in the wallpaper and I love the idea of having it in the closet. I think I know where it will go, but I am not 100% on that yet.

In the meantime, I am working through clearing out my closet in the evenings. Our weekends are usually busy so I don’t have a full day to dedicate to it but it gives me time to consider what remains and what goes with calm. Like I said, I don’t want any regrets, so taking my time is best.

Here is an in-progress shot of my work.

Not much, I know, but deciding where things should go, and then putting them away, is a process unto itself. I love these maps but they will need to go live somewhere else. Since I have no idea where, I need to roll them up and store them safely until I figure that out. Those pink and beige bins will probably go in my yarn storage.

I have so much shit in this closet. And my youngest’s birthday is at the end of July so items are starting to come in and I am fighting the urge to throw them all in here.

Next, shoes and clothing. This should be fun.

The Lunenburg Pullover

I have made a few top-down pullovers. Most of them involve some kind of short-row sequence at the beginning, so that the back of the neckline is higher than the front. When I read the description on this pattern by Amy Christoffers and it mentioned short rows beneath the colorwork yoke section instead, I knew I had to try it.

Amy’s patterns are published in various magazines, yarn company websites, and also under her own brand, Savory Knitting. She has many designs that are favorites in the knitting community, such as the Felix pullover.

I had originally purchased the colors for the fair isle section for a different project that never came to be. In fact, it was one of the first purchases I ever made at my local yarn shop. Once I decided to make this sweater, I thought the gold/green palette would be perfect.

I decided to made the cuffs and hem ribbing in the dark brown color, and probably didn’t follow the chart as precisely as I should have, but I do really like the short row shaping method.

The main yarn for this pullover is from Abundant Earth Fiber – it is a beautiful neutral and knit up like a dream. The colorwork yarn is from Elemental Affects, and it is very sheepy and rustic. I have very sensitive skin so I wear a thin layer underneath.

I am very happy with this project, the fit is comfortable but not super oversized, and I love wearing this sweater with jeans. You can find more details on my Lunenburg sweater, or as I named it, my Golden Fairyland sweater, on my Ravelry project page.

A Momoa-sized challenge

Steve has received from me a handknit sweater each of the past three years. Every time it’s the same, “oh, whatever you think best” back and forth until I pretty much just close my eyes and point to a cabled sweater pattern and call it a day.

This year, though, he has a pretty specific sweater in mind.

Found on Pinterest

For those of you able to get past the sight of Mr. Momoa looking like a fine feast, he is wearing a heavily cabled sweater with a shawl collar in this publicity pic from the movie Justice League. I’ve made cabled sweaters for Steve before, of course, since that is his preference. The challenge, however is to find a starting point – I’ve never knit a shawl collar before – and then customize it to look as much as possible as this sweater.

I happen to have Norah Gaughan’s Knitted Cable Sourcebook, which is, in fact, a guide on incorporating a variety of cables onto whatever you choose to design. The plan is to make a chart including all the cables seen on the front, figure out how many stitches for each cable and in between cables, total them up, and adjust depending on how many stitches the front of my starting point pattern has. I have a few ideas for the base pattern, thanks to my lovely yarnie friends C and L, so I will decide that in the next few days.

As far as yarn color goes, I’m going to make Steve’s sweater in a shade of blue. If I’m going to make all those cables, which are not difficult but are time consuming, I want them to be easily visible, so a medium blue-gray is the goal, and will also go well with Steve’s fair coloring.

Added to the mix is the fact that Steve has wanted me to knit him a hoodie as well, so do we make this a hoodie or stick with a shawl collar. No, I am not making a shawl collar hoodie, dogdamnit.

Also Pinterest, showing the sleeve cabling.

I usually start Steve’s sweaters around September, so that I can present it at Christmas. This past year a friend was having a bebe so Steve graciously let me make a bajillion baby knits and his sweater was ready in February. Considering how this year has gone so far, though, I am probably going to start early, take a lot of notes on what I’m doing, and light a few candles.

Maybe one of these.

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As Anne Boleyn said to Henry VIII . . .

“we’re one third of the way through!”

No, she never said that, but we are one third done with this insane year and I figured a recap of my knit achievements would be a good thing to document.

Here are some highlights of this year’s knitting:

Eleven Twelve sweater / Blackwood hat / Wash’s Sweater / Tender hat & Cozy Classic Raglan / Becoming test knit / Zweig pullover ( all details on Ravelry)

It seems that a) this year is going to be mostly garments, and b) while it may not be clear in this grid above, this will be the year of pink. Much to my own surprise and that of everyone who has known me for more than three days, I am in the middle of a complete pink-fest. I have bought more pink yarn in the last two months than I have in the past forty-eight years. Before February, I had no pink yarn other than yarn I’d bought for baby knits.

What’s next on the needles? Another pink top, a couple of colorwork projects, and uh, another pink top. No, really. I’ve been a burgundy-and-black girl for decades so this pink addiction is very much a reality I am still getting used to.

I am super thrilled with what I have made so far, and I am making my peace with the fact that, maybe due to my arthritis, or maybe due to age, my gauge has changed. I am knitting way looser than I have ever knitted. Not a problem, I just make a smaller size. I am not willing to fight the new way I’m knitting because that will just end up hurting my hands. Accepting and moving forward.

And now murder hornets – excellent.