Hitchhiker

Rainbow Hitchhiker Shawl

I’m not much of a “shawl person” to be honest. Previously, the only shawls I’ve worn were for special occasions: a wedding, and a Christening where I was the godmother.

I’ve tried to wear these pieces casually after the events for which they were crocheted, but I’m never happy with the way they look. In theory, the idea of wrapping a big shawl around my neck scarf-style is appealing. In practice, not so much.

I think my problem stems from the fact that these shawls have been either the wrong size, the wrong color, or both. The white one is just too small to wrap enough times to make me happy. The pink one might be more to my liking if I tossed it in a darker, greener dye bath.

Rainbow Hitchhiker Shawl

Better yet, though, would be a new shawl that was long enough to behave like a scarf, and in dark enough colors to fit my sense of style. Bonus points if I could work it up in less than a week.

This Hitchhiker Shawl ticks all of those boxes for me. It’s the first one I’ve ever knit (the other two were crocheted) and it was so simple – garter stitch the whole way – and the colors are fabulous.

Rainbow Hitchhiker Shawl

It took me about three days in my spare time, start to finish.

The yarn did most of the heavy lifting here. It was leftover Cascade Tangier from the yoke of my Porthole Pullover, and the long striping works to spectacular effect here.

The Hitchhiker pattern is actually written for sock yarn, which is much much finer than the worsted that I used, but sock yarn is just not my speed at all. I think it looks great in this beefier fiber! And this particular yarn was a terrific choice. I didn’t think it needed blocking, because it felt nice right out of the gate, but I went ahead and soaked it anyway. That 15-minute soak was enough to give it several more inches in length and make it super drapey and nice. I didn’t even pin it out or stretch it. I just spread it neatly on the table in the back yard and let it dry in the sun.

Rainbow Hitchhiker Shawl

I think it is almost inevitable that there be another one of these in my future. As much as I love the rainbow color, I think one in blues, greens, and teals would be absolutely to die for!

Pattern: Hitchhiker by Martina Behm
Yarn: Cascade Tangier in Geometric (3)
Modifications: I used heavier yarn (worsted) and a larger needle (US7), and knit until I had 25 points.

By the way, I have published the pattern for the Porthole Pullover I am wearing in these pictures! I’ll post more about that later in the week, but if you already know you are interested, you can grab a copy here. Thanks!

TWiP: Another hectic week

This Week in Pictures (TWiP) at Polka Dot Cottage

I’ve been chipping away at that to-do list that I mentioned last week, and I may finally be at a place where I can take a deep breath and relax a bit. Whew.

Even the things that I have done for relaxation this week have not been purely for me. All of my knitting has been for the goal of publishing a new pattern, and the small amount of crocheting I’ve done has also been with a paycheck in mind. I’ve been daydreaming about casting on some selfish knitting, and I may now be in the position to do so.

I’ve been encouraged by the ease and beauty of the Hitchhiker Shawl I knit a few weeks ago (more on that in a future post) and now I’m thinking that I’d like another in colors that are more “me.” Don’t get me wrong, I love the rainbow I knit, but the idea of one in blues and greens makes me swoon.

I’m probably going to treat myself to some time at the New Jersey Sheep and Fiber Festival this weekend. I’ll be on the lookout for the perfect blue-green yarn for a new shawl while I’m there.

If there are any local fiber enthusiasts reading this, I hope you’ll stop me and say hello. I will probably be there on Sunday โ˜บ

So, what is This Week in Pictures?

Itโ€™s a roundup of the photos I shot for Project 365 (one image each day for all of 2016), plus some snapshots I posted on Instagram during the previous week.

๐Ÿ“ท = taken with my Canon DSLR
๐Ÿ“ฑ = taken with my Samsung phone

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

Saturday

Instagram ๐Ÿ“ฑ: OK, so all I have to do to finish this stroller blanket is three more gray squares and the *entire* gray background. Piece of cake ๐Ÿ˜‰ #pdc #pdcmaybabyblanket

365 ๐Ÿ“ท: 2016 247/366 – Soaking my rainbow Porthole Pullover so I can block it and give it a proper photo shoot.

Sunday

Instagram ๐Ÿ“ฑ: I started another #pdcportholepullover last night, this time with short row neck shaping. I just have to test the body shaping one more time, and I’ll be ready to publish this pattern ๐Ÿ˜Š Stay tuned! #pdc

365 ๐Ÿ“ท: 2016 248/366 – Back to Mom’s workbench today. One of my pegboards for my boutique display didn’t fit, so Mom cut off two inches (which I am keeping for another potential display piece) and I sanded & painted the rough edges. [Taken at my parents’ house.]

Monday

365 ๐Ÿ“ท: 2016 249/366 – It’s a beautiful morning for an outdoor photo shoot. All of my rainbow stuff has been properly blocked, and I love the way they fit. I plan to wear these together to Rhinebeck (or separately, depending on the weather – fingers crossed for a chilly day!)

Tuesday

Instagram ๐Ÿ“ฑ: School started today. I’ve taken myself to Starbucks for breakfast and to figure out how to do waist darts on my upcoming pattern, because, hey, a little shaping couldn’t hurt. #pdc #pdcportholepullover [Taken at Starbucks.]

365 ๐Ÿ“ท: 2016 250/366 – And so begins another school year…

Wednesday

Instagram ๐Ÿ“ฑ: My display at @tmcsboutique is all fixed up, and they’re open for business! If you’re in the New Providence, NJ area, and would like to see my work in person (along with that of several other local artists) be sure to stop by ๐Ÿ˜Š The new location is on Springfield Ave, across the street from Starbucks. #pdc [Taken at TMC’s Boutique.]

365 ๐Ÿ“ท: 2016 251/366 – The idea of washing my handknits has always been intimidating to me, but I finally did it this week. My most-worn four sweaters got soaked, and then dried flat. They look new again ๐Ÿ™‚

Thursday

Instagram ๐Ÿ“ฑ: Progress. I’ve tested all kinds of shaping on the body of this #pdcportholepullover prototype. Next up, sleeves. I can’t wait to publish this pattern! I just want to pull the trigger on it right away, but I know I need to do my due diligence first and really test my ideas. It’s hard being responsible ๐Ÿ˜ #pdc

365 ๐Ÿ“ท: 2016 252/366 – My youngest is in 8th grade this year, so this is the last set of back-to-school paperwork I will ever have to fill out for our grade school. I’d say it’s bittersweet, but really it’s just sweet. I’ve been wishing they’d computerize this stuff since 2008. I must have written our address down in six different places on these forms!

Friday

365 ๐Ÿ“ท: 2016 253/366 – Life is just a bowl of hot dogs.

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 Flickrย and/or Instagram.

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!

SAME WEEK PREVIOUS YEARS (2008, 2014, 2015)

36-2008 This Week in Pictures This Week in Pictures (TWiP) at Polka Dot Cottage

TWiP: Rainbows and Pegboard

This Week in Pictures (TWiP) at Polka Dot Cottage

My to-do list this week felt a mile long. (Actually, I still haven’t checked everything off of it – it’s a work in progress.) Busy days stress me out. These are the times I need my nightly me-time the most. After dinner, I like to plop myself down in front of Netflix or Acorn TV, and make a bit of progress on whatever stitchy project I’ve got going. All the better when it’s something that works up fast!

It’s such a pick-me-up to have a string of super-busy days and still be able to work an entire project from start to finish. I actually bound off two knitted pieces this week, both of them rainbow-tastic (pre-teen me would have LOVED the long-striping rainbow yarn I used).

I don’t want to wish the summer away by any means, but it might not hurt to keep my fingers crossed for some chilly evenings, right? My new shawl/scarf would be great with a t-shirt and jeans on such a night โ˜บ

One of the things that kept me busy this week was an upcycling project with my mom. We started with an old piece of pegboard that used to hang in the kitchen in our old apartment – a place my family moved out of 38 years ago – and turned it into two display pieces for my handmades.

I love that my mother saved this hunk of pegboard, even though nobody has wanted it for anything for nearly 40 years. And I love that my mother is perfectly comfortable with the kind of tools that freak me out. She did all of the power sawing, while I stuck with the good old fashioned manual sanding and painting. We collaborate well on this kind of thing. She does the tough stuff, and I do the wimpy parts โ˜บ

So, what is This Week in Pictures?

Itโ€™s a roundup of the photos I shot for Project 365 (one image each day for all of 2016), plus some snapshots I posted on Instagram during the previous week.

๐Ÿ“ท = taken with my Canon DSLR
๐Ÿ“ฑ = taken with my Samsung phone

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

Saturday

365 ๐Ÿ“ท: 2016 240/366 – It’s time to give some serious thought to how I’m going to display my wares. I will have two shelves to set up at a local boutique this week in advance of their grand opening. It’s exciting, but it’s been a while since I’ve had to display anything. I’m pretty much starting from scratch with hangtags and display pieces, and such.

Instagram ๐Ÿ“ฑ: Not even 8pm, and I’m already in my jammies. I’m on the last few rows of the first sleeve of my #pdcportholepullover, so I’m plugging myself into a Midsomer Murder mystery and getting it done ๐Ÿ˜Š

Sunday

365 ๐Ÿ“ท: 2016 241/366 – Almost done! I’ve just got one sleeve to finish on this Porthole Pullover prototype. I love how fast I can knit when I don’t have to do any purl stitches โ˜บ

Instagram ๐Ÿ“ฑ: I’m starting to feel overwhelmed by everything I have to do this week. I would probably feel better if I sat down and made myself a list to work from, but instead I’m going to wallow in this crabby feeling, put on some guilty pleasure TV, and finish knitting this #pdcportholepullover once and for all. (15 more rounds to go!) #pdc

Monday

Instagram ๐Ÿ“ฑ: Oh, the joy of the DMV on the last Monday of the month. #licenserenewal #standinginline [Taken at the DMV.]

365 ๐Ÿ“ท: 2016 242/366 – Allow me to introduce the Rainbow Porthole Pullover โ˜บ This is my September Sweater and Rhinebeck Sweater rolled into one. I’ll be publishing the pattern within the next month, too.

Tuesday

Instagram ๐Ÿ“ฑ: Mom and I are turning an old piece of pegboard into two pretty backdrops for my new display. I’ll have two shelves full of my work at @tmcsboutique in September ๐Ÿ˜Š #pdc [Taken at my parents’ house.]

365 ๐Ÿ“ฑ: 2016 243/366 – Power tools are SO not my thing, but my mom is a natural with this stuff. She cut up an old piece of peg board for me to use in my shop display. Then I sanded and painted it. I’m so happy with the way it came out! Thanks, Mom โ˜บ [Taken at my parents’ house.]

Instagram ๐Ÿ“ฑ: My earrings are very excited about their new display ๐Ÿ˜Š Me too. I think this will work out nicely for my spot at @tmcsboutique! (It’s handy to have a mom with a power saw and a pile of old materials to work with!) #pdc #pdctileearrings [Taken at my parents’ house.]

Wednesday

Instagram ๐Ÿ“ฑ: Two new projects in the works: a #hitchhikershawl and a #pdcmaybabyblanket

Instagram ๐Ÿ“ฑ: Ten points and one full color repeat on my #hitchhikershawl is complete! My tea break is complete, too. Time to get back to some real work ๐Ÿ˜‰

365 ๐Ÿ“ท: 2016 244/366 – Tired of looking at my stuff yet? I’m still mulling over my display. I have to get it set up tomorrow. I’m pretty sure I’ve got it figured out at this point. For now.

Thursday

Instagram ๐Ÿ“ฑ: This #hitchhikershawl works up so fast in worsted weight! I’m not done with it but I ran out of yarn yesterday, so it’s on pause for the moment ๐Ÿ˜‰

Instagram ๐Ÿ“ฑ: My top shelf at @tmcsboutique ๐Ÿ˜Š. I had a problem fitting the pegboard into my second shelf (below this one), so I had to improvise. I’ll have to try to fix my other pegboard before next week’s opening… #pdc [Taken at TMC’s Boutique in New Providence, NJ.]

365 ๐Ÿ“ท: 2016 245/366 – I treated myself, and cashed in one of my freebies at Starbucks this afternoon. I used to be such a peppermint mocha frappuccino kind of girl, but lately I’ve been all about the peppermint green tea frap. And, hey, it’s green, so it coordinates nicely with all of my pale aqua outfits, LOL!

Friday

Instagram ๐Ÿ“ฑ: Babysitting my niece and Instagramming one-handed ๐Ÿ’Ÿ [Taken at my sister-in-law’s house.]

365 ๐Ÿ“ท: 2016 246/366 – Another rainbow off the needles. This is a variation on the Hitchhiker pattern by Martina Behm. The original is knit with sock yarn, but I did it in worsted. With the thicker yarn, it only took me a few days. This one will go with the rainbow yoked sweater I just finished, but I think I might need another one in my favorite blues and greens…

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 Flickrย and/or Instagram.

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!

SAME WEEK PREVIOUS YEARS (2008, 2014, 2015)

35-2008 The Week in Pictures This Week in Pictures (TWiP) at Polka Dot Cottage

I finished my September Sweater in August

Rainbow Porthole Pullover at Polka Dot Cottage
This post is a testament to how busy I have been recently. I started writing it Monday morning, on my tablet, while sipping my morning coffee in bed. Only I couldn’t easily add any images that way, so I saved the draft and planned to wrap it up and add the images from my laptop later that day.

Only, I didn’t. I’m not even sure I flipped open my laptop until four days later. There’s so much on my plate right now, but I’ll save that for tomorrow’s TWiP post โ˜บ

So. I have knit a “September Sweater” for myself every year since 2011. I’d chip away at it as the evenings grew ever more crisp, and I’d bind off that last stitch just in the nick of time to wear it to Rhinebeck.
This year, I wanted to design my own sweater, and I got started early.

Porthole Pullover almost done

As it turns out, I also finished early, and in the process have managed to deprive myself of the experience of knitting my September Sweater in actual September.

Not to worry, though! I have another sweater to begin (prototype number two for this same new pattern), and I’ve decided I need a rainbow colored Hitchhiker shawl to wear to Rhinebeck with this rainbow yoke sweater (assuming the weather cooperates and is appropriately chilly). In addition to that, I seem to have gotten talked into crocheting another May Baby Blanket.

As if all of that isn’t enough, I still have my Family Room Squircleghanย waiting patiently for my attention, and a few Christmas gift ideas that I’d really love to bring to fruition. No, the early completion of the September Sweater in no way signifies a September with nothing to knit (or crochet)!

So, about this knit: I call it the Porthole Pullover.

It’s an adult-sized variation of the baby Porthole Cardigan pattern I published a few months ago, and I intend to publish the pattern as soon as I work out a few kinks on another prototype.

I do really like the way this one came out. It’s not yet been blocked in these photos, and I used reclaimed yarn (Lady Kina got frogged) so most of it looks kind of lumpy. Once I give it a good soak, I expect the kinks in the yarn will soften, and it will all look much more smooth. That’s the hope, anyway. I’d like to use this prototype for the pattern cover.

I’ll give you more specific details about the construction and such when I’m ready to release the pattern, but for now let me tell you that the yoke design is much easier than it looks. In fact, the yarn does most of the work, and strategically-placed slipped stitches do the rest.

I knit this in Cascade 220 Heathers (2438, Spring Meadow), and Cascade Tangier (03, Geometric).

I’m excited to wear it! But first, I need to block it, and the weather needs to stop being so dang hot. (I’m trying not to wish the last remnants of summer away, but it’s never easy when I have a new handknit to wear…)

Update! The pattern is ready for download. Enjoy!

Porthole Pullover - Just the Pattern!
Porthole Pullover - Just the Pattern!

No tutorial, just the 8-page pattern PDF.

Price: $3.99

TWiP: Mid August Shuffle

This Week in Pictures (TWiP) at Polka Dot Cottage

It’s the stuff of a summer winding down: yellow leaves gathering in the driveway, jumping the gun on the knitting of the September Sweater, family gatherings to send off the big kids who are on to big things, and the eventual remembering of those assignments that the younger big kids should have been chipping away at for the last two months (but haven’t)…

So, what is This Week in Pictures?

Itโ€™s a roundup of the photos I shot for Project 365 (one image each day for all of 2016), plus some snapshots I posted on Instagram during the previous week.

๐Ÿ“ท = taken with my Canon DSLR
๐Ÿ“ฑ = taken with my Samsung phone

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

Saturday

365 ๐Ÿ“ท: 2016 233/366 – Neil brought home a big plastic bag of candy after his party last week. I cleaned the kitchen today and put it in its own jar. Much nicer. And knowing Neil. it won’t last long…

Sunday

Instagram ๐Ÿ“ฑ: Sunday morning on the #pdcskinnerblendquilt: my second cup of coffee, @woolful podcast with @susanbanderson, and my #pdcportholepullover in progress ๐Ÿ’Ÿ

365 ๐Ÿ“ท: 2016 234/336 – The theme for this month seems to be: hot, humid, and occasional thunderstorms. Every. Day.

Monday

Instagram ๐Ÿ“ฑ: Knit the last 12 rounds of the body, or take a shower and get dressed? Decisions, decisions… ๐Ÿ˜‰

365 ๐Ÿ“ท: 2016 235/366 – I may need a Zazzle intervention. I now have four mugs with my polymer clay designs on the outside. All I need to go with them are three friends who want to come over for coffee ๐Ÿ˜‰

Tuesday

365 ๐Ÿ“ท: 2016 236/366 – I finished knitting this "June’s Favorite Cardigan" a while ago, but it’s been too hot and humid to wear it. Finally, it’s a breezy and beautiful day, so I can have my little backyard photo shoot. Blogged: www.lisaclarke.net/2016/08/23/junes-favorite-cardigan/

Instagram ๐Ÿ“ฑ: Finally got a chance for a proper show and tell of my #junesfavoritecardigan on the blog today. Link in profile โ˜บ

Instagram ๐Ÿ“ฑ: It’s the annual “school starts in 2 weeks, didn’t we have Summer reading to do?” trip to the library ๐Ÿ˜ฎ [Taken at the Library.]

Wednesday

Instagram ๐Ÿ“ฑ: I decided I needed a hair cut Right Now, so I handed my son the clippers and said “go for it.” #brave #dontregretityet #askmeagainaftermyshower

Instagram ๐Ÿ“ฑ: He’s watching a Cats vs. Cucumbers compilation. He was so interested, I had to restart it for him when it ended. #dextercat [Taken at my parents’ house.]

365 ๐Ÿ“ฑ: 2016 237/366 – We had one last game night with my nephew before he leaves for the army. It was a blast! We got home later than usual.

Thursday

365 ๐Ÿ“ท: 2016 238/366 – It already looks like fall in my driveway!

Friday

365 ๐Ÿ“ท: 2016 239/366 – Frozen french fries with our dinner tonight.

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 Flickrย and/or Instagram.

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!

SAME WEEK PREVIOUS YEARS (2008, 2014, 2015)

34-2008 This Week in Pictures at Polka Dot Cottage This Week in Pictures (TWiP) at Polka Dot Cottage