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

TWiP: Rainy and Leafy

Posted October 25th, 2014 by

This Week in Pictures

This week was mostly rainy days, bookended by a couple of really beautiful ones. I’m not a huge fan of rainy days in general. I find the hassle of getting from point A to point B without getting drenched to be a real drag. But I have to say, there’s something different about rainy days in the fall, particularly rainy days in the fall when you have nowhere else to be. Give me a warm drink, cozy pajamas, a good book and the pitter-patter of raindrops on the window and I can be a happy camper all morning.

I won’t be particularly productive, but I will be happy :-)

As you can see from at least one of my pictures, though, I wasn’t sitting around at home in my pjs while it rained. Nope. This girl was going places.

I’ve just realized there’s not much left of October. This time next week, it will be November! It’s probably just in time – I’m running out of steam on my Fall photo project. There are only so many ways to take pictures of leaves!

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. October’s them is Fall [of course!])

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

Saturday

Instagram: It’s a wearing handmade stuff kind of day. Sweater *and* shirt. :-)

Instagram: Maybe we should have gotten here a bit earlier…

Instagram: Mother-son selfie break!

Fall 18/31

365: Fall 18/31 – The weather today at the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival was PERFECT. Overcast and cool enough to wear the ever-important Rhinebeck Sweater without overheating.

Sunday

365: Fall 19/31 – We stopped at a scenic overlook on Bear Mountain on our way home from Rhinebeck today.

Monday

365: Fall 20/31 – I always like way the leaves look when they’re scattered in the grass.

Instagram: Netflix and knitting. Fingerless gloves from an alpaca named Charlotte – almost done!

Tuesday

365: Fall 21/31 – In my yard.

Wednesday

365: Fall 22/31 – Another cloudy and wet Autumn morning.

Thursday

365: Fall 23/31 – Wet leaf stuck to my wet car.

Friday

Instagram: Used my free drink reward to celebrate finishing the first draft of my new pattern. Now I’ll work on the corrections while I drink. Yay!

365: Fall 24/31 – There are already a few trees in my yard that have lost all of their leaves.

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 October 24th, 2014 by

I can’t believe it’s already Friday again! Is it me, or did that week just fly by? I guess time flies when you’re spending your evenings on the couch with a pile of knitting on your lap (I just love Autumn nights…)

Oh! Speaking of spending your evenings on the couch with a pile of knitting on your lap, we’re running out of TV to watch at night. Any suggestions? I need something that Neil and I can both enjoy – character-driven sci-fi that’s not too dark might hit the spot.

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)

FAVORITES

1. Blåbærvottene, 2. Untitled, 3. WINTER BLOOMS, 4. ., 5. TV collection Oct 2014, 6. Purple pinwheel, 7. Untitled, 8. Untitled, 9. gather, 10. button tin, 11. Golden Autumn, 12. morning sun on the pages left open to dry last night #watercolor

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.

  • An Autumn Blanket Ta-Dah….. – a crochet show-and-tell from Coco Rose Diaries. She made this big harlequin blanket for her family to enjoy as the weather gets colder. Putting it together at the end was a real chore, she says, and I can imagine that would have been true for me, too. I’m definitely a join-as-you-go kind of girl. How about you?
  • Let’s Make a Pom Pom – an easy how-to from Tin Can Knits. I think the title explains it all :-)
  • fun with infographics – by angry chicken. Amy posted a link to an infographic-making website. And while her enthusiasm is very contagious, I dare not click through until I’m ready to spend the rest of my day playing on the Internet. It looks addicting!
  • Pumpkin Morning – a Fall day from Posie Gets Cozy. Alicia has such a way with words and photos. And now I want to go pumpkin picking.
  • Niche vs. Comfort Zone – thoughts from Mortal Muses. Debra wonders aloud whether it is better to expand your horizons and get out of your comfort zone, or whether it is better to stay in your niche and refine your personal style.

Happy Friday!

Rhinebeck #3

Posted October 23rd, 2014 by

At the Ramada Fishkill

Mama's got a new tee.
Aidan and I took our third trip to Rhinebeck together last weekend, and as usual, it was a nice getaway.

We put ourselves up at the Ramada Fishkill this time. We end up in a different hotel each year. There’s a big cluster of them in Fishkill, which is about 45 minutes south of Rhinebeck, and it’s a great location for us to stay. It’s about an hour and 20 minutes from home, so we hop up there on Friday night after dark, but we don’t have to feel bad about not seeing any scenery on our way, because the next day it’s a beautiful 45 minute trip up Route 9 to Rhinebeck.

We always use Priceline to get our hotel (you can get good deals through Priceline, but you don’t know the name of the hotel you are staying in until after you commit to book it – usually that works out just fine, but sometimes not so much). The first year we ended up in an Extended Stay America. Aidan and I gave that place an enthusiastic thumbs down, both for noise level and creepiness factor.

The second year, we stayed at a Days Inn, which was about what you would expect. It was fine for our needs.

This year, we got the Ramada, and I will admit to having a mini freak-out on Friday afternoon when I happened to notice that Tripadvisor ranked the Ramada Fishkill #11 out of 11 Fishkill hotels. I was on the verge of cancelling and finding somewhere else (for more than double the rate, I might add) when sanity finally prevailed. I decided to cross my fingers and hope that the rest of the internet was just more picky about hotels than I am.

It became kind of a fun inside joke for us, actually, to be staying at “the worst hotel in Fishkill.” Aidan started referring to Fishkill as Buzzkill, which we both found rather hilarious.

And in the end? Sure the place was a bit run-down, and there was a giant crack in our window, which was being held together with packing tape. There were strange smells, and the shower was vintage 1982, but it was clean, and it wasn’t creepy. I’d actually rate it higher than the first place we stayed two years ago.

So it’s official. The internet is more picky about hotel rooms than I am.

Fall 18/31

Rhinebeck

Rhinebeck

Rhinebeck

Rhinebeck

Rhinebeck

Rhinebeck

Rhinebeck

Rhinebeck

Rhinebeck

It was a gorgeous Saturday at the festival itself. It remained overcast and cool all day long, which is just perfect for an event where wearing a handknit sweater is part of the fun.

We shopped all day. It was mostly window shopping – I am not the “spend with wild abandon” type – but we did buy the requisite maple cotton candy, a circular needle roll, and some Christmas gifts.

And of course… yarn.

The first two times we went, I had a goal of buying a batch of sweater yarn, but this time I didn’t want to spend that kind of money. In the past year, I’ve taken advantage of some crazy amazing sales on yarn at Craftsy, and so I already have a couple of sweater-sized batches of yarn in my stash.

This time, instead, I focused on getting yarn for a red cowl, and then I also picked up two other single skeins that caught my eye.

IMG_6516 copy

IMG_6518 copy

IMG_6517 copy

I imagine you are not surprised by the colors I chose?

I anticipate feeling like my red cowl is more suited to November and December wear, and so the variegated green/blue/brown is likely to become a post-holidays cowl. But maybe it won’t. I’m open to ideas.

The mostly pale green yarn may become a hat. It may also become two baby sweaters for some people I know who are having babies, but I kind of hate to gift a new mother with something that is not machine washable, so maybe not. Again, I’m just going to wing-it.

I have a history of stashing yarn like this: single skeins I bought because they were pretty, or because they felt soft, but I had no plans for them, and so they ended up stuffed in a bin. I really don’t want that to happen with these!

To that end, I’ve added them to my Ravelry stash. I don’t usually use the stash feature there, but I figured I would be less likely to forget all about these gems if they were constantly being suggested to me while browsing patterns at Ravelry. We’ll see how that goes!

Nice day

Nice day

Fall 19/31

On the way home on Sunday, we stopped at a scenic overlook. “Scenic” is not sufficiently descriptive for this spot.

Great weekend as usual! We’re already looking forward to next year. Maybe next year I’ll actually get up the nerve to approach people I recognize, and say hello!

Charlotte Leydon

Posted October 22nd, 2014 by

Leydon wristwarmers.

Leydon wristwarmers.

Leydon wristwarmers.

So, I finished another knitting project: fingerless gloves. I’ve been using the same pair of green thumbless Dashing for four years, and I decided it was time for a more neutral pair.

I chose Leydon by Alicia Plummer for its interesting stitch pattern. It was certainly that. I wouldn’t call it difficult, but it wasn’t exactly something I found easy to memorize. I referred back to the pattern for every row.

But still, not difficult.

I modified the pattern to be thumbless, since that’s how I prefer my wristwarmers to be. I’ve made a few with thumbs but I never wear them because they are too rigidly positioned. I like to be able to move them up and down my wrist to suit my activity level or my need for warmth.

I made one error, and it’s kind of an obvious one…

Leydon wristwarmers.

Yeah, I probably should have compared the two while I was going, but I really thought I had my counting scheme all figured out and that it wouldn’t be necessary. It seems I was wrong – the second glove has one full pattern repeat more than the first.

Luckily I will be wearing these under sleeves, and nobody will ever see that they don’t match.

Of course, It may be enough to bother the daylights out me anyway. Time will tell.

By the way, I made these using the alpaca yarn I picked up at the NJ Sheep and Fiber Festival last month. I love this soft yarn, and I love that it’s named after the alpaca that donated its fleece. (Her name is Charlotte.) I do think that the weight is a bit light. I find the stitch pattern is not as obvious in my gloves as they are on the pattern website, and I think maybe that’s due to my yarn being less heavy than theirs.

It sounds like I have a lot of complaints about these gloves, doesn’t it? But the bottom line is that they are super soft, and since only a few inches of them will be visible at any time, the fact that they are different lengths isn’t all that important.

Next on the needles? I’m thinking Dovetail Cowl in red.

Upgrades

Posted October 21st, 2014 by

I’ve been looking at this page unhappily for some time. It’s my Download Shop:

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Or, I should say, it was. Today I spruced the place up a bit, gave it some new graphics, and made navigation a bit easier, too.

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Over the next few weeks, I hope to publish a new pattern or two, and reformat some of the older ones into snazzier PDFs. Stay tuned!

Oh, and please do let me know if you find any problems when you’re poking around in the shop at all. I’d like to fix any problems right away!

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