Polka Dot Cottage | Making stuff and telling you all about it since 2005

Have a Cup of Cheer

Posted November 26th, 2014 by

Cup of Cheer

Cup of Cheer

Hey there. So, I’ve been wanting to branch out into cards for a while, and today I am happy to be dipping a toe in the water.

These particular folded note cards feature my “cup of cheer” photo on the front and are printed on heavy glossy stock. Each card comes with an envelope, too.

I am also offering a more “premium” version of this design and some others. They will be printed on really nice stock and will feature a satin finish on just the outside. These, too, will come with envelopes but they will be a little bit more pricey due to the fancy printing.

So you will have options :-)

Cup of Cheer

Cup of Cheer

Cup of Cheer

Both types of cards are blank inside and have my logo on the back. I will wrap them up nicely for you and ship them in a rigid envelope to keep them safe.

The fancy schmancy pen is not included, but I do know where you can get one ;-)

Cup of Cheer

You can buy a card individually, or you can get the glossy ones in a discounted set of five of the same image. The satin cards will also allow you to get a discount on five, and they can be five different images of your choosing.

For the moment, the glossy Cup of Cheer is the only design available, but you can pre-order the others and I should have them in stock soon.

And here’s a nice little perk: everyone who has placed a custom order in the last week is getting one glossy card for free! I’ll slip it in with your crochet hooks and such.

Speaking of crochet hooks, I know I said I would close the shop for custom orders yesterday, but I decided to keep it going until this weekend (assuming I don’t hit my max number of orders before then). Any new custom orders will also get a free glossy greeting card.

If these sell well, I plan to add many more styles to the shop: flowers in spring, beachy shots for the summer, Autumn leaves, and oh! crafty images, too – things of interest to knitters, crocheters, clayers, sewists, etc. I have a bunch of ideas, and I just hope that there are people out there who want this kind of thing. Maybe you?

Thanks, as always, for your support, and I’d love to know your thoughts on my new note card venture! Any special requests?

Seacoast in Chicken Beak Yellow

Posted November 24th, 2014 by

My new Seacoast.

My new Seacoast.

My new Seacoast.

My new Seacoast.

My new Seacoast.

Is it me, or did this sweater just fly off of my needles?

I will have to go back and check my start date, but I am fairly certain that it took me less than 2.5 weeks. I am not known for my speedy knitting skills, so this is pretty cool.

Why so fast? I think there were a few factors at work:

  • We went away to sci fi conventions twice in the last two weeks, and hotel time is knitting time.
  • It’s a pullover, knit in the round, so all of that stockinette stitch in the body is knitted and not purled. I knit a lot faster than I purl.
  • The yarn is beautifully squishy, and it grew very fast lengthwise. I was able to get the correct stitch gauge, but my row gauge was way off. I had to knit far fewer rows than the pattern called for.

That last point is probably something that I should have been paying more attention to when it came to knitting the yoke, adding the waist shaping, and doing anything else where a specific number of rows was called-for. Technically things may not be falling in just the right places, but it miraculously still looks ok.

The fabric of this sweater feels so good, that even if it looked kooky, I would still wear it. Maybe I wouldn’t wear it out in public, but I would wear it hanging around the house. And I would do it all the time. It’s one of those garments that you want right next to your skin.

It’s a case, I suppose, of You Get What You Pay For, as this yarn was an incredible splurge at the first Rhinebeck I ever attended. This is the most expensive sweater I’ve ever knit. I have a cheap streak a mile long, but still I nervously plunked down the $90 for 1000 yards of this stuff, and I do not regret it one bit. It feels that nice.

I love the yoke on this sweater. The neckline shape is my favorite neckline to wear. I am having a little trouble getting it to stay put in that shape, but I may be able to fix that with blocking. I haven’t blocked it yet because (as usual) I was impatient to wear it.

I was concerned about the dark spots in the yarn when I was first knitting. I thought they looked a little like ink smudges. But now that the whole sweater is finished, and the smudges are well-distributed, I am not as bothered by them. (Although, the first time somebody says to me, “you’ve got dirt on your sweater” I will probably be googling how to over-dye wool. I’m thinking a nice olive green.)

My new Seacoast.

The details

Pattern: Seacoast by Joji Locatelli
Yarn: Good Karma Farm Wool/Alpaca blend in Chicken Beak Yellow
Modifications: I was afraid I didn’t have enough yarn to finish, so I made the sleeves shorter.

The earrings I am wearing: (Just in case you wondered) Retro Tree earrings from Blockpartypress. I’m a huge fan.

TWiP: Monochromatic

Posted November 22nd, 2014 by

This Week in Pictures

If I were a workaholic, I’d probably be sitting at my clay table right now, getting started on all of those lovely crochet hook orders (P.S. Shop closing on Monday! Get yer hooks while they’re hot!) but I am not a workaholic. Instead, I am with my family at yet another science fiction convention and this time all three of them are attending the con and I am free to roam.

And roam I have. At least, I’ve roamed the Collingswood Farmers Market, and a bit of downtown. I do this every year, but I usually have two less-than-enthusiastic travelling companions. Being alone is a new one for me, and while I kind of miss their company, I also kind of don’t.

So that pretty much explains why I am not my prompt 9am self with this post. Been busy. But I’m here now!

Last week was more monochromatic fun, and a little bit of instagramming. I’m trying to get good shots out of my crummy cell phone, but results are mixed. And the times I try to use my tablet? Oh forget that. You’ll see what I mean when you scroll down.

So, what is This Week in Pictures?

It’s a roundup of the photos I shot for my Project 365, plus some everyday-life images I posted on Instagram during the previous week. (FYI, my daily photo project this year has changing monthly themes. November’s theme is “monochrome” or some variation thereof. Black and white, sepia, split tones, basically anything goes as long as it’s super desaturated.)

Ready? Cast your mind back to this time last week…


365: BW 14/30 – For some reason when I have to take black and white photos, I get in the mood to use old things as my subjects.


365: BW 15/30 – Usually I think of breakfast in bed as a Spring thing – open windows and a warm breeze. But it turns out it’s just as nice on a cold November morning, with an 8tracks playlist to listen to and some blog reading to catch up on. Unappetizing note: doughnut holes look like meatballs in monochrome.


365: BW 16/30 – A certain 11-year-old’s favorite weekend treat is starting to multiply on the coffee table.

Instagram: A little jar o decaf to sip while I clean the kitchen


Instagram: Rainy day pigtail selfie :-)

Instagram: Rainy day shiny shoe selfie :-)

365: BW 17/30 – It was a given that I would not get through my month of B+W without getting in a shot of my 107-year-old typewriter…


365: BW 18/30 – My collection of crochet hooks, waiting to have their handles covered with polymer clay.


365: BW 19/30 – I spent five days making the gift, and five seconds on the giftwrap. Priorities. :-)


365: BW 20/30 – View from a coffee shop table.

Instagram: Hello. I’m knitting a sweater. And using a terrible, terrible tablet camera.


365: BW 21/30 – He always leaves the front door wide open, so I wrote him a note. He’s been adding graffiti to the note, a little more each day. And sometimes he actually closes the door while he’s at it. Life with a smart-alec pre-teen is never dull.

Instagram: I’m still knitting that sweater… almost done with the body!

Thanks for taking a peek at this week’s photos! If you want to see this stuff as it happens, please feel free to follow me on Flickr.

I may already have plans to blog about some of these things in greater detail over the coming week, but be sure to leave a comment if there’s something in particular you want to know about!

Weekend Favorites

Posted November 21st, 2014 by

It’s been a chilly week in New Jersey. We’ve had the fire going a few times, and (as you can see below) I’ve spent plenty of cozy time with my laptop flipping through Flickr. So many seasonal shots to enjoy!

On Flickr

The mosaic below represents other people’s pictures that spoke to me this week. Be sure to click on the titles below the mosaic, if you want to know more about the image or the photographer behind it.

(follow me on flickr)

Weekend Favorites at Polka Dot Cottage

1. pompom frenzy brought on by seeing @ashleygoldberg’s, 2. improving my letters, 3. elephant ornament, 4. Scrappy String Quilt, 5. 297 Fallen, 6. Untitled, 7. Untitled, 8. @ Herne Bay, Kent, 9. hff!!, 10. Just relaxing., 11. Late October Høvikvollen, 12. This came off the needles this morning. I’m in love with how soft this yarn is., 13. Namsan Leaves 1, 14. 318/365, 15. 290/365 ~ alone, 16. Filming Fall Foliage, 17. {Day Two Hundred Eight}, 18. AUTUMN, 19. PIca-Pau at Smug, London, 20. garden room, 21. DSC06470, 22. Arnold, 23. Meringues, 24. 303/365, 25. 314/365, 26. A rainbow wall of sticky notes, 27. Swing with nature., 28. Whitby Marina, 29. Green Yellow Orange and Red 316/365, 30. Boxes of Colour

Around the Web

I spend some time earlier in the week sharing my favorite crafty links through social media. And then I repeat them here on Fridays.

  • Cosy Blanket CAL – a laid-back crochet-along with Attic24. Lucy is hosting this blanket-making crochet-along, featuring her signature bright colors and a simple-but-attractive stitch pattern that looks pretty simple to grasp even for beginners.
  • Learn to Knit a Raglan Cardigan – a video tutorial from Very Pink Knits, via Lion Brand Notebook. I’ve referred to Very Pink Knits on YouTube many times when I’ve wanted to figure out a knitting technique that puzzled me. I think she’d be an excellent teacher, if you wanted to learn to knit your first sweater…
  • 10 Gifts to Sew + Give for Winter Warmth – a timely round-up from Sew Mama Sew. Sew Mama Sew is in the midst of their month of gift-giving roundups, and this particular entry spoke to me today. Our high temperature is supposed to be somewhere around 29 degrees. Brrr. So, Winter Warmth? Yes, please!
  • This Father Creates Powerful Dreams For His Daughter – amazing photography shared by F Stop Lounge. Wow. These images are really cool. I think my favorite is the one with the little girl taking a nap on the wing of an airplane in flight, but really it’s hard to choose. They’re all so fantastical and yet they look so real.

Happy Friday – stay cozy!

Over the river and…

Posted November 19th, 2014 by

Through the Woods

Through the Woods

Through the Woods

Another knit sliding off of my needles!

Actually, this particular knit has been off of my needles for some time, but being that it is a birthday present for my mother-in-law, and I didn’t need it until today, I dragged my heels when it came to adding the buttons. I dragged them for a good month, and only sewed the little buggers onto the hood two days ago.

So, I have been finding the whole premise of this garment a bit odd, I will admit. I’ve referred to it as the disembodied hood many times, as it just seems like it should have a cardigan or a jacket to go with it.

I have to admit, though, that I came around once I tried it on. It’s really quite warm, with the bottom part keeping you all toasty in a scarf-like capacity, and the top part preserving the warmth of your head… I actually kind of like this thing.

The best part? Not counting the aforementioned button-related heel-dragging, I knit this up in a little more than a weekend! Yes, it was a very knit-focused weekend, but still. It was much quicker than it looks. And I loved doing the cables. I’m a fan.

The details

Pattern: Through the Woods by Kalurah
Yarn: Cascade Ecological Wool in Ecru
Modifications: none!

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