Polka Dot Cottage

Blues and greens, and bluish greens

Posted April 8th, 2014 by

Spring Poncho at Polka Dot Cottage

Spring Poncho at Polka Dot Cottage

Spring Poncho at Polka Dot Cottage

Spring Poncho at Polka Dot Cottage

Spring Poncho at Polka Dot Cottage
I started this poncho last month sometime. I really thought I’d be done by now, but I’ve been taking my time. Possibly I’ve been dragging my heels a bit because I’m not entirely sure I am a poncho-wearer after all. I love the idea in theory, but like many a “loud” garment before it, this one could end up being stuffed away in a drawer somewhere.

And that, my friends, would be such a shame. Do you see those dreamy shades of green? I am so enjoying sitting in my little corner of the couch, hooking these sweet granny stripes in the evenings. The colors are my absolute favorite ever.

I keep finding myself thinking that these stripes really should be on a blanket, but I already have a blanket I love, and we don’t really need any more around here.

So I am pressing on, hoping that when I put this over my head, I will decide that yes, indeed, I am a poncho person!

I was inspired by Lucy’s poncho, but I wanted to do one in granny stripes, so I looked for a suitable one on Ravelry and found this one.

Ponchos, I think, are a tricky thing in that the color scheme can make or break it. It’s not a big leap from vintage chic to super old-fashioned. And I dont’ mean “old-fashioned” in a kitchsy, cool kind of way. I mean it in a dated, passe kind of way. So many of the projects from this pattern just didn’t appeal to me at all, but then there were others like this one. Or this one. It really is all in the colors.

I haven’t decided yet how many stripes I need before I’m finished. I’m going with my gut here. Also, fringe may or may not happen. I’m thinking I would like some, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

As an aside, if I do like the way this turns out, I want to make one for fall, too. I raided my stash of Berroco Vintage for all of these greens and blues, and what I had left was reds, yellows, and purples – those would make a beautiful Fall poncho, don’t you think?

Everyday Cardigan KAL: finishing up!

Posted April 7th, 2014 by

Everyday Cardigan complete!

Everyday Cardigan complete!

Everyday Cardigan complete!

Everyday Cardigan KAL: Finishing the Body, at Polka Dot Cottage

So, you should be finished knitting at this point, and after all of that work you are probably eager to put it on and wear it around town! I don’t blame you. I’m like that, too.

Still, there are just a few steps left to complete before you can go anywhere: you need to weave in the ends, and you need to sew on the buttons. And technically, you should block it too. Blocking relaxes the fibers and it also gives you an opportunity to stretch the sweater to meet the correct measurements, if it doesn’t already.

I’ve included some videos below to help you with this process.

Video: Weaving in Ends from Very Pink Knits
Video: Sewing Buttons from Berroco Yarn
Video: Angela Learns to Block from KnitPicks

Don’t forget, I’ve put together this YouTube playlist to take you through all of the steps of knitting this sweater. So, if you forget how to do a particular step, you can take a look at that.

That, my friends, is pretty much it. I hope you add this project to your Ravelry queue, so I can see how you’re doing. I check over there from time to time, and it’s such fun to see the sweaters develop!

Please let me know if you have any questions about this sweater, and I will do my best to answer them. Thanks for purchasing the pattern and for knitting along with me!

Weekend Favorites

Posted April 4th, 2014 by

Just a quick blog-related note today. I’ve re-arranged the sidebar on the right of the page and removed the BlogHer ad. This means that if you would like to be a sponsor, your ad will appear right there above the fold at the top of the page in a prime spot.

Cool, right?

I’ve wanted to do this for a long time, but BlogHer requires that their ad be the first thing on the page, and I had to wait for my contract to end before I could remove it.

BlogHer has always been a consistent form of income for me, but I weighed that against my desire to have my blog sponsored by smaller indie businesses and blogs. The idea of cultivating a small hometown feel won. Hands-down.

I hope you’ll consider advertising. You can find all of the details here. There are lots of benefits (social media shout-outs every Friday, inclusion in a monthly sponsor highlight post, and now you will be seen right at the top of the page, instead of underneath some corporate ad. Cool, no?

Take a peek. And thank you!

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!

(follow me on flickr)


1. Spring Bunnies, 2. Beginnings of Spring, 3. a little bit of happy, 4. Untitled, 5. approved, 6. mashed circles in chartruese and red 2, 7. Working on this little project, just because. @sfielke @becraftsy #dollyquilt, 8. Rosa Silk Cowl Sweater, 9. ..,and the top is done!#stitchindye

Around the Web

I spend some time each day, Monday through Thursday, sharing my favorite crafty links through social media. And then I repeat them here on Fridays.



Businessy stuff

Other cool stuff

Today my youngest turns 11 years old. Time to run and hang some birthday banners for him before he gets home from school! Have a lovely weekend.

That April Busy Thing

Posted April 2nd, 2014 by

Spring 1/30 - Crocuses!

Hi, all. I realized tonight that I was in danger of having another week where all I managed to do was share weekend links and a knitalong post. And given how simple this week’s knitalong post was, that would be kinda sad.

So I thought I’d tell you what I’ve been up to, at the risk of boring you to tears. I’m not sure how to make the busy days of early April into a compelling read, but I’m going to give it a shot anyway.

I’ll tell you that Neil and I celebrated our wedding anniversary yesterday and went out for Indian food, as we like to do.

And I can tell you that later in the week we have Eamonn’s birthday and a family party to plan (and clean, and shop) for.

And then there’s our taxes, which I told myself I would start in February, but which are still completely untouched. As usual.

Those are the ingredients of the Early April Busy Dance nearly every year, to be honest, but this year I’ve introduced a few new distractions, just for kicks. For instance, I’ve joined a gym, which is something I never thought I would do, but now it just feels like the natural next step in my get-healthier plan. I’ve been going there in the mornings and learning to use the equipment. It’s actually more fun than I expected. (She says, as she sips her homemade blueberry-lime-infused water, having completely cured herself of her well-documented Dr. Pepper addiction [woo hoo!!])

02 mix tapes

Oh! but the big distraction? The one that has engaged my attention when I should be cleaning the kitchen (or blogging. ahem.)? It’s incredibly silly, really. It’s totally something that could wait for a less busy time. And yet…

I’ve been taking all of my old mix tapes from the 90′s, and recreating the playlists in Google Music so that I can listen to them again.

I can’t even begin to express how utterly unimportant a task this is, and yet how completely engaging it has been. And I wish I could share these playlists with you – some of them are really quite good, if I do say so myself…

I have about 5 more to do (until I inevitably unearth others, that is) and then I can listen to these mixes at top volume while I scurry about the house getting ready for Eamonn’s party this weekend.

I’ll be back to the blog in full force definitely after the taxes are done, but I kind of hope it will be sooner than that. I miss this place when I neglect it for too long!

So, how are you all?

Everyday Cardigan KAL: the other sleeve

Posted April 1st, 2014 by

Everyday Cardigan KAL: the other sleeve

Ok, knitters, you would probably be well within your rights to be wagging a finger at me right now. This is the third week that I’ve spaced on the KAL post. What can I say? My weekends have been too full lately for blogging to even enter my mind. It’s not really a good excuse, but it’s the truth.

Luckily, the steps involved in this week’s portion of the KAL are exactly the same as the steps from last week.

Yep. Second verse, same as the first. Er, sleeve. Second sleeve.

Once you’re done with that second sleeve, give yourself a hearty pat on the back! The hardest part is done!

Next week, I’ll talk very briefly about finishing – weaving in ends, blocking, sewing on buttons, etc. and wrap up this little KAL adventure.

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