Announcing... Green Gables Knits!

by Joanna

We are very pleased to announce... Green Gables Knits!

This past fall, I approached the Heirs of L. M. Montgomery about my little book idea, and was simply thrilled to hear that they were interested in arranging an agreement with us, allowing us to create and publish it. I am an unabashed fan of Anne Shirley, and have been dreaming of this book for years!

The book will contain knitting patterns for garments and accessories for teens, women and men. Each pattern is accompanied by a quote from the book, along with a series of Lucy Maud Montgomery's personal photographs from Prince Edward Island.

We have set a publication date of November, 2013, and dearly look forward to sharing more of this book with you as the months progress!


Unfinished Object Update #2

by Joanna
This is my second UFO update. My original post posed a simple challenge: I need to finish two unfinished objects before I can cast on for something new. It hasn't been a particularly speedy process, but it is working!

Our daughter's new hat was a quick finish. I am disappointed that I didn't get it done until the warm weather arrived, but at least it will be ready to go as soon as the snow arrives this fall!

This little guy took hardly any time to finish at all... and is our preschooler's new best friend!

Now it's time for a reward... something new!
I fell in LOVE with this yarn when I first saw it. (It is Tosh DK in Mansfield Garden Party). A dear friend from my knitting group gave it to me as a gift, and its sweet spring-like colors cheered my through a few gray winter moments this year. I scoured Ravelry for the perfect project for this yarn, and found it: The Sweet Shoppe Shawlette.


Father Fox

by Joanna

 Have you seen the Lester Fox pattern by Lucinda Guy? I fell in love with it the first moment I saw it in Knits Weekend. I knew there was something comfy and familiar looking about this little guy, but I wasn't exactly sure why...

And then it struck me. He looks so much like Father Fox, from one of my favorite storybooks, Father Fox's Pennyrhymes. This book is long out of print but very worth the tracking down if you are inclined toward poetic homespun books with great illustrations.

I am so excited to have my own Father Fox to go along with my treasured storybook. I think I might need to knit up a Mother Fox, too...


Yard Sale Sewing Patterns

by Joanna

You know that feeling, when you are just about to leave a yard sale because there just isn't anything good... and then, on your way to your car, you stumble upon a box of old sewing patterns? I love that feeling.

It's the perfect storm of colors and motifs, garment silhouettes and stylized illustrations.

I just can't pass up a set of vintage sewing patterns in good condition. I have boxes and boxes of them now.

And I have no intention of stopping.

I have two nieces ages two and under... so these classics may be ready for the cutting table this summer! 


Finn Mouse (a mouse for little brother)

by Joanna

This evening after dinner I gave our youngest his own mouse softie. But this isn't Phoebe. No, it is her boy cousin-- let's call him Finn. He became fast friends with our youngest, who immediately gave him the grand tour of our front walkway on a variety of foot-powered vehicles.

 Finn is exactly like Phoebe Mouse except without the eyelashes, and in a simple pair of dungarees rather than a dress. He fits right in with our family.

I love his little overalls with criss-cross straps. So cute!

He and little brother are on their way to dreamland as I write. New besties, I am sure of it.


Meet Betty

by Joanna

Meet Betty. I found her at a neighborhood yard sale this week. Although she was in need of some intense tlc, I just had to have her. I figured I might be able to cut off her cover, deconstruct it, and build a new one. Imagine my delight when I took a look at her backside and saw that she unzips!

The cover was terribly water stained and just plain yucky. Eww.

I unzipped Betty and decided it was time for a soak. First, I machine washed the cover in cold water on a gentle cycle. Then, I made a soak solution for her out of this Vintage Textile Soak.

This is a solution I found at a local quilt shop about 10 years ago, and it is amazing. I have used it on lace, linens, and even some redwork quilt blocks my grandmother stitched over 80 years ago. It is amazing stuff.

While Betty soaked overnight in the textile bath, I began working on the knit cotton undercloth which covers the neck and arms. It had seen better days!

After removing the undercloth, I cut the seams and used it to draft a new one out of a cast off t-shirt. I left Betty out in the back yard all weekend for some fresh air and sunshine.

I was tickled to see that Betty is a dress form created by the Singer Sewing Company. I have been trying to guess when she was made, I am thinking the late 50's or early 60's?

 The textile soak worked wonders for Betty's complexion! After spending a long sunny Sunday on the clothesline, she looked as good as new!

Here she is, all fixed up! The height of the metal stand is adjustable, and she looks simply fabulous. She's a 38-30-40, a real womanly shape. I love that about her.

I hope she is looking for work, because I hope to hire her to model for me from time to time... what a find! 
(Happy Mother's Day to me!)


Old School

by Joanna

My sweet friend Angela just tweeted to me, "I love your old school ways." I know there are apps  for just about anything you can think of these days... but I just love pencils. The skritch and scribble of pencil on paper is simply delightful.