Watercolor Stasia Dress

Stasia Dress by Sew Liberated – finished 2019

I think this was the second Stasia dress I ever sewed and I definitely modified this to fit me better.  I took out the point at the center and raised the waistline about three inches since I have a VERY short torso.  Made the skirt a little longer to accommodate the sorter bodice.  Also modified the sleeves to make them hit at about elbow length.  All of these mods gave me a dress that I’ve sewn I think about eight times now.  I’ve got the fit absolutely down, the use of the knit fabric makes it super comfortable and it still fits even with small weight changes, plus it’s a great way to show off a fun fabric!  I have a little bit of a penchant for fun prints, and this is no exception.  The fabric is Spoonflower’s cotton spandex in a blue, watercolor herringbone print by Annelie Hervie.  I’ve paired it here with red accents for a more dressed-up look, but it could easily go with a denim jacket and sneakers for a more casual feel.  Did I mention the pockets?  OH THE POCKETS.  They hold my massive smartphone without risk of it falling out and I love, LOVE these pockets.  I think the designer once mentioned that this dress was like secret pajamas because it’s so comfortable, but no one has to know that you’re essentially wearing something that feels like pajamas because it looks so cute.  These dresses have become a wardrobe staple and I’m almost hesitant to even try a new pattern for a knit dress because this one just works SO well.

Netherlands Vacation Socks

Netherlands Vacation Socks
Started: October 2022
Finished: October 2022
Pattern: Plain Old Socks (my pattern)
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Lightweight in “Mill Ends”
Needle: US 1.5 / 2.5 mm
Notes: I started these on a trip to the Netherlands in October, but apparently didn’t write down the start or finish date, though I did note that I finished them just after returning.  Usually I bring a project to work on during flights and while relaxing in the evenings, but apparently I didn’t get a chance to finish these while on vacation which is fine too!  The colors are really fun together, and a quick peek on Ravelry says I got these at Rhinebeck in 2009, so, yikes, definitely time to use that yarn!

Love Note Sweater & Gypsum Skirt

Posting some old photos since for whatever reason, this never made it to the blog, but I did put them up on Instagram.  Weird?  These were finished/photographed in the early days of the pandemic (May 2020).  I thought I’d put them into the blog here and talk more about the modifications and whatnot.

First up, the skirt!  The skirt is the Gypsum Skirt by Sew Liberated.  I’ve found their patterns to be very well written, sized well, and be really easy to follow in terms of instructions.  This went together pretty quickly – I chose a size that matched my waist measurement the closest since the hips were a little more free.  The extra details with the felled seams and those MASSIVE pockets (yes, you can hold an entire knitting project in that pocket) really make this a nice finished project.  The fabric is from JoAnn Fabrics and I think it was a rayon/linen blend or some kind of faux linen because it’s got a nice drape to it, but just enough structure to have crisp seams.  I’ve worn this a bunch already and I still love it.

Love Note Sweater
Started: 22 January 2020
Finished: 8 February 2020
Pattern: Love Note by tincanknits
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Roslyn (65% Wool / 35% Silk)
Needle: US 7 & 10
Notes:Ravelry Link
This was obviously a super quick knit for me and it went together in no time at all.  I ended up using a plain DK yarn instead of the fingering+lace combo held together.  I don’t really like that fluffy, halo-y yarn look, so this sort of rustic, tweedy yarn fit better for me.  I got gauge perfectly on a swatch, so I forged right ahead and knit size L per the size chart which came out right.  I want to say I might have shortened this by an inch or two from the instructions since I’ve got an absurdly short torso and wanted this to actually be cropped instead of falling to my hips.  The sleeves I also knit shorter, only to 11.5″ length so it comes about to 3/4 sleeve length.  I wear this one A LOT with all kinds of things underneath – dresses, jeans, etc.  Easily one of my favorite handmade sweaters!

A Happy Birthday – 1909

Another in the set of Maher Postcards, this one has a design on the front featuring pink and red roses with gilded accents and a message that reads “A Happy Birthday” in red ink.  A delicately gilded heart that looks like a small mirror sits just left of center.

Addressed to Lee Maher, and missing a stamp, this postcard is from his aunt Stella, his mother’s sister.  The writer is wishing him a happy 6th birthday and since part of the cancellation stamp is unclear, that helps tremendously to show this was sent 27 December 1909 (Lee was born 27 December 1903).  Here’s the message:
“Hello Lee, So today you are 6 years old, soon to be a man.  What did Santa bring you for Christmas.  Goodbye, from your Aunt Stella.”
The only identifying marks on the back is that it’s Serie 1600b and printed in Germany.  A quick image search didn’t turn up any duplicates using those details.

Fall Market Socks

Fall Market Socks
Started: 8 September 2022
Finished: 27 September 2022
Pattern: Plain Old Socks (my pattern)
Yarn: West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 ply in colorway “Autumn Leaves”
Needle: US 1.5 / 2.5 mm
Notes: Yet another pair of plain old socks using yarn I picked up while visiting the husband in the UK.  This yarn also came from Seeded in Portsmouth, UK, and I absolutely LOVED the colors.  These were also brought with me to keep me busy during lulls while selling honey at farmers markets and I love how they knitted up!  I used my usual trick to preserve the striping pattern and switched to the other end of the yarn cake to work the heel.  As usual, these are fraternal twins since I like each sock to begin and end wherever the yarn falls rather than waste yarn to get a perfectly matching pair.

Pennsylvania Railroad Ticket 1962

Another neat little piece of saved paper – something that’s usually thrown away, but grandma tucked into her box of correspondence.  The ticket date is May 11, 1962 and lines up with a trip she made to Detroit for a nursing conference.  This is supported by mention of the American Nurses Association conference being held in Detroit from May 14-18 in 1962 on this document found on the internet.  Grandma was in nursing school at the Coatesville Nursing school during that time, and there are even photos of her trip there on some rather degraded slides.  Still, it’s neat to have all those pieces of data to back up the timing and reason for her trip.  So many times in preserving family history, I come across unmarked, undated photos, so it’s pretty incredible to be able to string together an event, a ticket stub, AND photos altogether into one little package.  For me, it’s the little bits of throw-away stuff like train tickets that people saved that really pull the whole thing together, and I love finding items like this!

Singer Advertisement

This was a unique one!  Tucked in with the other Maher Postcards was this cutout of a girl in a ruffly dress.  The back showed it was part of an advertisement for Singer Sewing Machines.  I poked around the internet and found a copy of the full card posted with a copyright date of 1902, and the store printed on the back indicates an address in Buffalo.  Sure enough, I found a newspaper ad for that exact store.

Not bad to put all the pieces together so easily!  I still have no idea why grandma had these postcards or why this advertisement was cut out and saved along with them, but it’s definitely interesting enough to share.

Market Socks

Market Socks
Started: June 2022
Finished: 01 Sep 2022
Pattern: Plain Old Socks (my pattern)
Yarn: West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 ply in colorway “Blue Lagoon”
Needle: US 1.5 / 2.5 mm
Notes: I picked up this yarn at Seeded while visiting my husband in the UK.  Any good knitter will go ahead and look for local yarn stores while on vacation because it’s always fun to find something new and now the memory of this trip comes to mind whenever I wear these socks which is pretty great!  There’s something fun about buying a craft/art supply somewhere, creating something with it, and then having the finished object be something functional and also a memory of the vacation.  Anyway, these are my “Market Socks” because I knit these mostly at farmers markets over the summer.  Markets are longer in the summer and there’s usually a little bit of down time between customers or after getting set up, so I always had this project with me to keep me busy.  Triple memory here maybe?  Either way, love the color, the yarn is great, sturdy and yet soft stuff, and I hope I get years upon years of wear out of these!