Blues and Reds

Since hanging out on Facebook, reading the thoughts of kindred spirits has not made me feel even a little bit better about my election blues, I’m staying off of social media for a short while and distracting myself with a happy red sweater show-and-tell. Care to join me?

Porthole Pullover at Polka Dot Cottage

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It’s a Porthole Pullover with all of the pattern’s optional shaping (neck, bust, waist, hips, sleeves) and improvised short sleeves.

I think it’s got a nice vintage vibe to it. I was inspired, in part, by some of the period dramas I’ve watched on Acorn.TV and PBS. If I’d made it just a little bit shorter and worn it with a pencil skirt, I could see it in a scene from Marple, Grantchester, or A Place to Call Home. They’re very big on the short-sleeved pullover sweater thing, I’ve noticed.

I knit it to be my Christmas sweater, and maybe it still will be, but I also kind of want to wear it rightthisveryminute. It’s cheery, and as alluded to earlier, I like to suppress unpleasant feelings with good cheer wherever possible (such healthy behavior, I know). This top makes me feel like putting on red lipstick, dress pants, and high heels.

In fact, that’s exactly what I did when I was taking these pictures!

Do you know what I didn’t do? I didn’t straighten up the room I was in before I started my shoot, and I don’t really care 😜

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The Details

  • Pattern: Porthole Pullover by me!
  • Yarn: Cascade 220 in Christmas Red and Mint
  • Needle: US5 everywhere except US3 on sleeve ribbing (my gauge is so loose lately! I now use 5s everywhere I used to use 7s).
  • Modifications: Short sleeves. I did an extra 2 decrease rows for the Sleeve Shaping, and I started the ribbing after only 26 rounds. Ribbing is 6 rounds of k1 p1 on the smaller needle.

This was a fun one to knit, and so fast. I love knitting pullovers because there are very few purl stitches. Purls just slow me down.

So. Back to reality now? Eh. Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe some Netflix first 😉

TWiP: So much sanding

This Week in Pictures (TWiP) at Polka Dot Cottage

I love the super smooooooth finish that my polymer clay pieces have, but the work it takes to get them there? Not my favorite. I spent a whole lot of time sanding my work this week. So. much. sanding.

On the plus side, I may have sanded my fingerprints off, and therefore can begin my life of crime whenever I am ready to do so 😜

I’m at the local library today and tomorrow, participating in my first craft fair in 6 years. (Hence all of the frantic sanding.) If you’re local, you’re invited. Please come say hi!

So, what is This Week in Pictures?

It’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.

📷 = taken with my Canon DSLR
📱 = taken with my Samsung phone

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

Saturday

365 📱: 2016 303/366 – Eamonn and I drove around town for a while this afternoon, and stopped at the farm to see the chickens and all of the pretty Fall stuff. [Taken at Lombardo Farms in Gillette, NJ.]

Sunday

Instagram 📱: Productive Sunday! These pretties are all finished and added to the shop 😊 #pdc

365 📷: 2016 304/366 – I think I’ve spent almost my entire Sunday (which I tend to consider my day off) sanding, buffing, and assembling clay jewelry! Maybe I’ll take Monday off ☺

Monday

Instagram 📱: It’s a Monday miracle! I found another box of my favorite seasonal tea! I thought for sure the previous box was my last one, and I’ve been rationing out those precious 20 teabags since August. I was down to one more that had to last me another month until this stuff is back in the stores, but no longer! Reinforcements have arrived ❤🍭😍

365 📷: 2016 305/366 – So, rather than take Monday off as I thought I might, I doubled-down and crossed even more stuff off of my to-do list, including designing, ordering, and picking up a banner to be used at my craft show this weekend. Nothing like waiting until the last minute to figure out my display, eh?

Tuesday

Instagram 📱: Meet “Comicbook Retro,” a millefiori cane, which takes its color cues from my great-grandmother’s granny squares. I’ve used it on all kinds of items, including my favorite pen 😊 #meetthepatterns #pdc

365 📷: 2016 306/366 – Another batch of freshly-cured goodies awaiting their sanding, buffing and assembly!

Wednesday

Instagram 📱: Shop update! 😊#pdc

365 📷: 2016 307/366 – I’m playing around with display ideas for this coming weekend’s craft show. I’m pretty sure my table will be bigger than this, which is good, because this is somewhat crowded.

Thursday

365 📷: 2016 308/366 – I’m finally getting to use one of the badge reels I made ☺ I’ve got a name tag and a new Polka Dot Cottage shirt to wear for my craft show.

Instagram 📷: Progress! A few more evenings in front of the TV, and the body will be finished 😊 #knitting #pdcportholepullover

Friday

Instagram 📱: My spot is set up for tomorrow’s craft show! I have more room on this table than I expected. I think I’m going to bring some more stuff and fill up some of these empty spots ☺ #pdc [Taken at Long Hill Township Library.]

365 📷: 2016 309/366 – One of the last things to turn in our yard is this shrub at the top of the driveway. I have no idea what it is, but I just love how it looks at this time of year.

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 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 (2009, 2010, 2014, 2015)

Week in Review 2009 A Month of Gratitude week one This Week in Pictures at Polka Dot Cottage This Week in Pictures (TWiP) at Polka Dot Cottage

Polka Dot Cottage Live

Getting ready for the Harvest Craft Fair (Long Hill Library, Gillette NJ, Nov 5-6)
I know that many of my blog readers and customers live far away (and it’s a real shame, because I think we could have some nice chats over coffee if you were local) but I’m hoping that some of you may be within driving distance of Gillette, New Jersey.

I’m doing my first craft show since the windy debacle of 2010 and I would love to see you there. Yep, it’s been over six years since I’ve shown up Live and in Person with my artwork, and it could be another six years before I do it again, if this doesn’t go well, LOL! So be there!

Harvest Craft Fair
Long Hill Township Library
Saturday November 5th 10-4
Sunday November 6th 12-4
See the Event on Facebook

I’m bringing with me everything you see in the shop, along with a few things that maybe you haven’t seen (ooh, the suspense!). I’ll also have printed copies of many of my patterns and tutorials with me, if you’re a crafty type yourself and would like to try a new project.

It’s a great opportunity to scope out some early holiday gifts. Might I suggest a fancy crochet hook and a printed copy of one of my blanket patterns for the crocheter in your life? ☺

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If you know for sure that you’re going to be there, you can order ahead! I’ve set up a special shipping option in the shopping cart so that you won’t be charged for shipping.

Just visit the shop, place your order for any in-stock items, and select “Harvest Craft Fair Nov 5-6” as your shipping option. I’ll keep your order tucked safely behind the table until you arrive to claim it!

So that’s my pitch. Did it work? Will I see you there? 😜

TWiP: Deep Fall

This Week in Pictures (TWiP) at Polka Dot Cottage

I feel like I’m really falling down on my blogging job lately. This is the third week in a row where the only thing I’ve had time to post is the weekly TWiP roundup.

It makes me thankful that I have this TWiP thing going on, otherwise, who knows how long I would go between posts? I probably have one more week of being up to my eyeballs in things-I-must-do, and then I should be able to carve out some more time for things-I-like-to-do.

On a completely different note, it’s been feeling very autumnal around here lately. Today I find myself craving some hot apple cider. I may have to buy a jug of it, and let it simmer in the crock pot with some harvest spice herbal tea bags… Mmmmmmm!

I tell you, if my house was company-ready right now, I’d throw a spontaneous fall party with bubbling slow-cooker apple cider, pumpkin muffins, and apple crisp!

So, what is This Week in Pictures?

It’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.

📷 = taken with my Canon DSLR
📱 = taken with my Samsung phone

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

Saturday

365 📷: 2016 296/366 – I love rainy fall days. The colors are so vibrant.

Instagram 📱: I’m working on a companion pattern to the Vertical Hold Wrap. (Can you guess what it will be called? 😉) I already ripped back one prototype. My second try is making me much happier. Time to find a movie, plug myself in, and make a ton of progress! #pdc

Sunday

365 📷: 2016 297/366 – My brother and soon-to-be-sister-in-law during our photo shoot today ♥ [Taken at New Jersey Botanical Garden.]

Instagram 📱: Taking pictures with my brother, soon-to-be sister-in-law and my sister 😊🍁🍂❤ [Taken at New Jersey Botanical Garden.]

Monday

Instagram 📱: How about we make #meetthepatterns a regular Monday thing? 😊 This one is called Blue Jubilee. It’s one of my favorites, because the jewelry I make from it goes so nicely with jeans 💙. BTW, I have a tutorial available in my downloads shop, if you’re a polymer clay enthusiast who would like to learn how to make a Jubilee cane (in any color)! #pdc

365 📱: 2016 298/366 – Sometimes you just need to run to the food store after dinner and replenish your chocolate supply before you do anything else. (My particular poison is the Kings Sea Salt and Almond bar. Mmmm.) [Taken at Kings.]

Tuesday

Instagram 📱: ❤: 🍁🍂🍃☁

365 📷: 2016 299/366 – Today’s business included photographing and carding some new items for the shop, including earrings and touch screen styli (styluses? I should google that…)

Wednesday

Instagram 📱: Heart pins and badge reels new in the #pdc shop today 😊

365 📱: 2016 300/366 – Hanging out with my favorite goddaughter this afternoon ♥ [Taken at my SIL’s house.]

Thursday

365 📷: 2016 301/366 – Chilly, rainy, overcast… Fall does "moody" so well.

Friday

365 📷: 2016 302/366 – My to-do list has been very long again, today, but one of the things on it involved playing with these (my polymer clay millefiori cane collection), so it wasn’t all bad.

Instagram 📱: I haven’t shown you my #knitting lately. I’m having trouble focusing on any one thing, so it’s all going rather slowly. I’m plugging away on my Christmas #pdcportholepullover (bottom left) and working on a new shawl design (top) that was going to be a companion to my #pdcverticalhold wrap, but I’m underwhelmed by how it looks so far. I’m probably going to frog it and try something completely different. I’ve also been swatching for a new sweater design (bottom right). I’m playing around with slip stitch colorwork, and while I like these colorful bands, I think I can give them some more visual interest than this. #pdc

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 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 (2009, 2014, 2015)

43-2009 This Week in Pictures This Week in Pictures (TWiP) at Polka Dot Cottage

TWiP: Cluttered brain

This Week in Pictures (TWiP) at Polka Dot Cottage

Between last weekend’s travel and this week’s task list, I’m not lacking for blog fodder. What I am lacking is the opportunity to set aside a few hours, process my photos, and write a couple of blog posts.

I also feel like my days this month have all had an undercurrent of anxiety flowing through them, just under the surface. My anxiety comes from a variety of sources, and makes it hard to relax even when I do carve out the time.

One of those sources (and probably the only one I can actually do something to alleviate)? Clutter.

I am collecting clutter at an alarming rate right now. There are yarn balls and swatches littering the family room, and piles of polymer clay work waiting to be carded and priced in the living room. I am in a highly creative space right now, and when I get that way, I leave craft supplies and finished samples in my wake.

Today is the only unscheduled day on my calendar for at least a week. I should probably clean something, but I’m tempted to put my clutter blinders on and spend the afternoon watching movies and selfish knitting instead…

I think I may need it.

So, what is This Week in Pictures?

It’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.

📷 = taken with my Canon DSLR
📱 = taken with my Samsung phone
💻 = taken with my Samsung tablet

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

Saturday

Instagram 📱: We’re on our way to #rhinebeck! Remember, if you see us and mention my sweater, I’ll give you a coupon for a free copy of the pattern! [Taken in a hotel in Fishkill, NY.]

365 📱: 2016 289/366 – At the Ravelry gathering at the NY Sheep and Wool Festival. It’s always fun to people watch at these things. Actually, I tend to sweater watch. I remember what people were wearing much more easily than I remember their faces! [Taken at the NY Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, NY.]

Instagram 📱: The kid and I are worn out. #rhinebeck2016 [Taken at the NY Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, NY.]

Instagram 📱: So, I know how I’m spending my night 😉. This was the #rhinebeck of the book for me. I bought many more than usual. But, would you believe it? Not a single skein of yarn! [Taken in a hotel in Fishkill, NY.]

Sunday

Instagram 📱: We found something interesting to see on our way home ☺ [Taken at Storm King Art Center in New Windsor, NY.]

365 📷: 2016 290/366 – Aidan and I stopped for a few hours on the way home from Rhinebeck, and visited the Storm King Art Center. It was like a huge, gorgeous park, punctuated here and there with modern art sculptures. We barely scratched the surface of all there was to see. [Taken at Storm King Art Center in New Windsor, NY.]

Monday

Instagram 📱: My #rhinebeck2016 haul: 5 books, 2 magazines (which I actually bought in Poughkeepsie after the festival) a jug of maple syrup, ginger biscotti (which is currently my breakfast) cucumber dill dip mix, a small bottle of Soak and the ever important maple cotton candy. It was a nice trip, as always! I think, though, I’m going to look for a hotel next time that has more of my fellow knitters. I’d like to interact more 😊. I still can’t believe I didn’t buy any yarn…

Instagram 📱: Meet “Rainbow Tortoise.” This is a polymer clay millefiori cane that I made, and it’s currently my most popular pattern for the new stud earrings in my shop. More than half of those sold have been in this pattern! #pdc #meetthepatterns

365 📷: 2016 291/366 – Warm day in October? Check. Dozens of ladybugs hanging out by the front door? Check.

Tuesday

Instagram 📱: Yesterday I showed you my Rainbow Tortoise millefiori cane. Today, I applied it to the handle of a crochet hook. This hook is not finished. Next it needs to be baked until it’s hard. Then I’ll sand it through 6 grits of sandpaper, and shine it up on my buffer. #pdc

365 📷: 2016 292/366 – One crochet hook finished, 11 pairs of stud earrings drying in the rack, and 7 hooks awaiting sanding and buffing. Not a bad day’s work.

Wednesday

Instagram 📱: It’s been a while since I had breakfast in bed, but it’s going to be another very busy day today, and I would like to savor this peace before the bustling begins ☕

365 📷: 2016 293/366 – I love the way this one little tree in the back yard explodes in orange every year.

Instagram 📱: New handmade crochet hooks hitting the shop tonight or tomorrow! What’s your go-to hook size and brand? I’m a Susan Bates G girl, myself 😊 #pdc

Thursday

365 📱: 2016 294/366 – Ooh, the colors outside the kitchen window. I could stare at them all day. And I would, except I have a lot to do today. It’s probably best I make my coffee and get moving ☺

Friday

365 📷: 2016 295/366 – It’s that time of year again, when I look out the window and suddenly feel like I’m in a Hitchcock movie.

Instagram 📱: Ready for the oven: a couple of custom orders, a bunch of stuff for the shop, and one or two little things for my own jewelry box 😉 #pdc

Instagram 💻: Technically, I should be putting some dinner on the table, but frankly, I’d much rather keep lounging here next to the window in the fading daylight, listening to my Quiet Time playlist and playing Two Dots on my tablet until I doze off. Think my family will notice if I just skip feeding them tonight? 😉 #fridayafternoonnap

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 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 (2014, 2015)

This Week in Pictures This Week in Pictures (TWiP) at Polka Dot Cottage