dirty doz: *not quite as ugly as intended* baby sweater

fair isle cardi So I learned how to do Fair Isle correctly so that's cool.

I was just scoping baby sweater patterns using fingering weight to try and eat up some stash and stumbled upon this pattern by Purl Soho. It seemed like the perfect way to use some long forgotten leftovers from my Lauren cardigan aka: the single project that got me into knitting for real. Plus I could throw a few Madelinetosh Unicorn Tails in there for added color excitement? YUP. Db and I went online and chose the most garish colors we could and this sweater was born. It only took a little over a week to knit up (hell yeah for babies being small!) and I'm really into how it turned out even though it's not nearly as clashy and hideous as I was anticipating. It's still cute! I'm considering a matching hat or bonnet but so far haven't found the right pattern.

The pattern for the sweater however…

Did not like.

I'm not usually such a hater on patterns but this was just too annoying to work on to not mention it. The way the sleeves are attached? Super strange. It's knit from the bottom up which was surprising to me also. Overall, I like how it turned out but didn't like actually making it all that much. Just being honest. Not many other people mentioned this in their Ravelry notes though so maybe it's just me. However, when I buy a pattern from the place that has the best online technique tutorials out there AND it's costs $8 for a pdf… I expect it to be less nebulous than this pattern is.

Anyways, overall success! Can't wait to put it on an actual human baby, I'm sure it'll be endlessly cuter that way!

Baby Girl Fair Isle Cardigan by Purl Soho
Louet Gems Fingering in Goldenrod
Madelinetosh Unicorn Tails in Neon Peach, Button Jar Blue, Edison Bulb and Antlerfair isle cardi fair isle cardi
This last one is how I felt about knitting the damn thing. What. A. Mess.
Sweater from hell


dirty doz: i might like this pattern too much

Almost black leggies
Yeah yeah yeah, I've now knit these Some Cloudy Day legwarmers FOUR times and have another skein on deck for a fifth time. WHATEVS. England ruined most of my clothes (or should I say the "washing machine", aka clothes ruiner, we had in England did it) and I'm attempting to replace what I can with handmade versions and everything else with American made. You know, the usual. This pattern is tried and true and knits up so damn fast, perfect instant gratification to throw in there with the blanket that I currently have on the needles and the end bit of a shawl that seems to go on forever. The outer edges of shawls are murder, it's like a whole episode of something for one back and forth at this point and it is killing me. It's not just me right? Knitting a bit everyday and not finishing anything for a month and a half sucks some of the fun out of the whole endeavor. So, these.

I have an undying love for legwarmers and my low-qual, store bought black acrylic ones having shit the bed are now being replaced with these lovely wool almost black ones. The color is Duchess by Madelinetosh, it turned out a little less black than anticipated but it's still close enough to neutral for me. Legwarmers are the unsung heros of my wardrobe. They are so great for some extra warmth/extra color with boots and I love wearing them around the house to make my "catwoman outfit", which is basically black leggings, black tank top, black EVERYTHING, a little more fun. I don't wear color when I'm painting or dyeing, it's distracting. Plus you can't ruin black clothing with dye splashes and I'm never quite as neat as I want to be. And warm ankles? Never bad.

With a little luck these will be finished before this even posts. Bring it on fall! I am so ready!!!


labor day aftermath

Labor Day
Who doesn't love a long weekend? We did so much stuff it's hard to believe we can also throw "took two accidental naps" in there along with everything else. I love the summer, up in RI it was my absolute fave season, but I can't say I'll be mourning this one. Way too hot, I was basically trapped in my house the whole time with the central air on. I'm a windows open, sit outside person… after this summer fall can not come fast enough. Give me some jean jacket weather! A reason to drink some hot tea, maybe even wear pants in the house hahaha. The changing of seasons is always fun.

So Philly summer, peace the fuck out! You will find me outside wearing anything other than a sweat drenched black tank top. I hope you guys all had a sweet weekend full of adventure and mystery, I wonder the story this lovely chicken thigh we found outside our gate on Monday morning has to tell… 



Guys. Is this not the most absurd color/pattern combo ever? I am in LOVE with it! It looks like one of those horrendous, so tacky it's great late 60s crocheted blankets you see on interior decor websites as a passive item of interest in the corner THAT YOU CANNOT BUY. I knew the colors would be ridiculous when I chose them but damn, better than I imagined. That's just me though, I love loud.

This is a "gender neutral" baby blanket I decided to whip up. It was intended to be a little thing for the back of the car or in the stroller but I completely misfired and it's actually kind of huge. Whatever though, blankets are always useful no matter the size. I saw this pattern on Purl Bee and thought shit that's cool but I so dislike colorwork. I read the pattern anyhow and realized this is a different style of colorwork than I'd never heard of and decided what the hell! Why not give it a shot?!

It is SO EASY. Highly highly recommend. The person who invented this technique is Barbara G Walker and apparently she has a whole book of other pattern variations you can use this method for. So far so good, it's already eaten up 4 skeins of Malabrigo Chunky Merino and will be requiring 6 more. Stash busting!

The pattern is Mosaic Blanket and if you're contemplating color work or just want to try a different method just check out the vid in the post. Weirdly easy.



NH When I was younger my family used to go up to my Grandparents' cabin in the woods for a week once every summer. It was amazing, it's still my favorite place on Earth. Since I started working at 17 I haven't had the chance to do more than 3 days and although I've gotten to do tons of amazing things, a week in NH has been the white whale.

Well day dream of lazy reading on the porch no more! This year Db and I got our own week because you know, we're adults now (hahaha).

It kicked ass.

We didn't climb trees or play in the creek in the woods all day BUT WE DID get to play in a frosted donut shaped water tube and hang in a hammock by the lake all day. The weather was beyond perfect, especially compared to the annual Philly mid-summer sufferfest. It was almost like mother nature was saying "sorry guys" for raining on our wedding day, the majority of our camping trips and all our anniversaries so far. I'll take it!
Uzo got over his fear of water… mostly, and he swam every day like a champ. Just one week in the woods turned him into a mountain dog. His dirty little bandana gave him courage to do dumb shit and generally be more independent it would seem. It was super cute. He was even down with chillin' in the hammock!
IT WAS AWESOME. A far cry from our usual full throttle traveling escapades but equally as fun in totally different ways. Doing nothing is the best sometimes.

NH I love you.


knittannggggg! Jo's new cowl

My friend Jo from back home always has to have a warm cowl situation because "back home" is colder than "a witch's tit" as my Grandpa would say. Stupid winter. It's the least I can do, we ran around year round in tights when we'd go out so we appreciate some good wool wear. She shares her wine knowledge with me, I share my knit skills with her… I think I'm on the better end of this deal but I do what I can! Anyways, new year, new coat, new cowl.

This was my mindless knitting for when I could actually deal with knitting for a few rows. It's easy, I could put it down and never forget my place because the entire thing is the same and it's bulky so it looks like you're getting a lot done in very little time. Perfect project for when you suck at life. I felt so victorious when I finished it. Normally I can bang one of these out in a day or two and this one took me almost 3 months!!! I finally got around to taking pics of it a few weeks ago which was comically hard to remember to do. In my defense, who thinks about wearing wool accessories when it's 90ºF+ out?

Malabrigo Chunky Merino - Marine
Pattern my own


i'm back!

Untitled So this has been the longest I've gone without posting since I started doing this however many years ago. I missed it! Let's just be as vague as possible here, I was pretty unwell for a decent length of time and did nothing worth posting about anyways. No, not even knitting. I realized at one point I didn't remember the last time I'd even checked my email. It wasn't cute. I've seen probably every nature documentary on Netflix at this point so at least I got smarter! I'm better now and up to most of my old shit so it's all good.

I hope you have all had a rad summer so far!

* I left for a minute and Flickr got all weird. What are you guys using for image hosting these days?



Weekends never feel long enough do they? It's tuesday and I'm still wishing it was saturday. Waking up, watching Uzo take a sunbath, breakfast in bed. Damn.

Db and I have been traveling a lot on weekends for family stuff so having a chill weekend just for us was a really nice treat. Next weekend we're traveling again, and then again shortly thereafter. So much to do! Stretches like this are why people always tend to move back to their hometowns I imagine. So much driving, so little sleeping in your own bed. As for now I'll be holding onto this nice moment from a rare weekend at home and looking forward to when we get to have a few weekends like this in a row, especially because we're getting really good at weekend breakfasts!Untitled


high five for warm hands

mom's fingerless Having an overly eventful 2015 so far, but that hasn't stopped the knitting. Well it just now stopped the knitting, so I'll just blog about past knitting instead. Very rarely am I miserable enough to not be driven to make one thing or another, so here I sit watching my movie version sedatives and breaking in a pair of clogs. Breaking in hard leather counts as work… right? Bloody ankles unite. Using the law of attraction for ice cream.

Anyways, I finally finished the gloves I started for my mom two years ago and then promptly churned out a fingerless pair, too. The yarn was so ridiculously MOM I couldn't help myself, plus she has an iPhone now and needs those fingertips. These are made from a men's convertible mitten pamphlet pattern I bought years ago, before I even knew how to use dpns or knit in the round. That's how I tend to learn though, Db wants something I have no idea how to make and then I learn how to make it. Now this pattern has spawned EIGHT pairs of gloves over the years! These look kind of big and inelegant but that's just because my mom's hands are larger than mine, they fit her just fine. Oh the things you can do with a craft store pattern, a little ingenuity and a lot of math.

Madelinetosh Tosh Chunky - Holi Festival
Mission Falls 1824 Wool (discontinued) - Basil
mom's gloves mom's fingerless mom's gloves


dirty doz: blackberry socks!

Untitled I have small feet. Not TINY feet, just small. A nice normal size 6. So why is it that every pattern I find is for feet larger than mine?! I really wanted this book Socks from the Toe Up by Wendy Johnson and upon getting it realized that the smallest sizes were all mediums! What gives sock pattern writers? Only baby socks and large socks allowed?

Enter math.

Finally tired of knitting myself socks that turn out too large when using the smallest size pattern and smaller than recommended needles, I wrote my own damn sock pattern. And I like it. I combined my favorite parts of the several sock patterns I've used, then threw some broken linen stitch in there and they're complete! I really like how these turned out, and seeing as I knit them with SweetGeorgia Yarns Tough Love Sock I'm pretty sure they'll last a good long while.

Take that average sized sock pattern writers!

SweetGeorgia Yarns Tough Love Sock - Blackberry Untitled

dirty doz: aeris!!!

Untitled Does anyone else's crafting go in cycles of feast and famine? Since the first of the year I've finished FOUR projects! I almost don't want to blog about all of them because it's just knitting, knitting, knitting and a little more knitting on here lately. I will though, I just need to take pics first. Kind of making up for lost time when I was traveling for six months I guess.

So totally ignoring those four newly finished projects, I'm currently in love with my newest in progress project, Aeris! It's a really cool worsted weight asymmetrical shawl with texture and a bit of lace. The pattern was for sale only as part of a kit at first, but finally it was released for us plebeians who don't like buying kits (or already have a massive stash and need to use it) a few weeks ago. My cousin Alice gifted me the PDF for my birthday this year and I love it! Waking up and checking the internet to discover a new knitting endeavor? Hell yes. Thanks Alice!

Last summer my mom and I went to Maine to hit up Freeport and Halcyon Yarn. I always LOVE Swans Island yarns but they're so damn expensive retail. Being made in the USA and organically processed definitely makes working with it that much more rewarding, I like treading lightly. I picked one skein up to make a little cowl and my mom matched it so I could make something bigger and more luxurious, thanks mom! I scoured Ravelry for shawl patterns, saw this one and saved the yarn until it was released. It's so funny this should happen, because two years ago when Alice sent me a birthday pattern I used some wicked fancy yarn I'd been given by my mom and had waiting for the perfect project, too.

So far so good! The pattern is pretty easy, I'm loving how the yarn feels and the lilac has the most subtle variegation. Dare I say this might turn out looking classy? SHIT! Time to cast on something gaudy and neon!!!


dirty doz: odd garment central

Much to my own amusement, I knit this. I really wanted a reason to use this color and this pattern looked semi-ridiculous so I went for it. It isn't the most flattering thing, but it's perfect for layering under a cardigan to throwing on just so I don't wear my "cat woman outfit" every single day. It's hard to dress in anything other than black on black on black when you dye fabric all the time, it's the only color I can't ruin with dye, so this is an entertaining way to stay warm and sort of shake it up. It's a shame this is the only project on Ravelry besides the pattern example, it's a fun garment! I'm surprised no one else has made one yet.

Overall I like the result. I made it a little narrower, which I now regret because it's in the "not loose, not tight" fit zone, but whatevs. I also lengthened the straps considerably because I couldn't close the button around my neck when I followed the directions… not really sure how that happened. It was an easy fix though. I really liked the springiness of the Quince and Co. Finch, it feels really sturdy. I bet it would make for fantastic gloves. The button is from the most overpriced vintage store I've ever been to in my life. It still baffles Db and I how a miserable town like Sheffield, England can be such an expensive place to exist! If I'm going to spend tons of money on shitty quality produce and old buttons it better be somewhere awesome. The button is supposedly from an old shoe which is cool. Mostly I bought it to remember what wandering the streets of England in pissing rain was like. SUCCESS. Honestly though, I really enjoy crafting because when I wear or see the finished product I can instantly remember where I was at in life when making it. Do sweaters and socks and blankets do that for anyone else?

Aproned Tank by Hannah Fettig


dirty doz: effortless aka the blanket with sleeves

This sweater has had quite the journey from wishful thinking to my currently wearing it. My cousin Alice gifted me the pattern on Ravelry for my birthday, and after a few months of finishing other projects before allowing myself to work on this I cast on. I then promptly moved to England, finished it, and then didn't feel comfortable blocking it with the record breaking mold growth in our flat. It lived safely in a ziplock bag until moving back to Philly and being able to block it. Now I finally get to wear it, just under one year from getting the pattern! Final consensus? Love it.

It was a very easy knit, perfect for watching foreign language films because it's stockinette and a lot of it. The pattern is a little less detail oriented than I like, personally, but that's just because the details are my favorite part. A lot of the other patterns I've worked with over the years have had you do something super specific or random that seems pointless at first, only to realize a few rows later it was ingeniously clever and the finished products end up looking perfectly thought out. Not so with this one. I think Hannah's patterns in general are best suited for more experienced knitters so you already know the clever tricks and can insert them where needed for a better outcome. Also, she makes some assumptions that you already know general rules about picking up stitches, etc. So, even though this sweater and the tunic I also knit by her (more on that one next week) are super easy and may seem perfect for beginners, it would be really easy turning out something that looks "homemade" rather than "handmade" with them because of the lack of detail built in. Just a word of warning for those of you starting out. For example; Jane Richmond patterns (which usually outline every detail for every size and are very specific about which increase to use, etc) may be intimidating... but when you nail it and your sweater is amazing it will give you more confidence to tweak patterns like this one later on. They also allow you to gain experience using all the different increases/decreases and finishing tricks so you actually know how a certain method will look in the end. If I hadn't knit with patterns like that before getting to Hannah Fettig's patterns my Fettig projects might have looked a mess for lack of experience.

All in all I really liked making this, it worked up really fast and it's warm and comfortable without looking too comfortable. It's good to be back in the knitting swing of things! Even taking the pictures of this was really fun… even with (or maybe because of) Db merclessly making fun of my "glamour shots" which lead to these pics of my sincere laughter. What an ass! Whatever, THIS IS WHAT I LOOK LIKE. I can't control my laughter and wear killer sweaters, welcome to my life.

Effortless by Hannah Fettig
Madelinetosh Tosh DK - Tomato



2015 Well, this is late, but better late than never! I cannot believe how wild a year 2014 was, and that we had no idea what was coming for us at the start of it. Please 2015 be kind! I would be totally satisfied with a nice, borderline boring year full of hanging out in parks, riding bikes and playing with Uzo.

As for my 2014 goals, I did alright considering 6 months of the year threw a wrench in a few. I meant to sew 4 things and knit 8, in reality I sewed 3 and knit 10. I'll call that a victory. (I'm also going to post about them when I get pics!) I didn't ride a cross race because I was out of the country for the whole season, but I run in tights now so that takes balls, too. Humiliation? WHAT IS THAT? Look at my tiny ass while I pant down the street, I do not care. I have almost completely weened myself off the teat that is cheap consumer goods; but jeans, bras and running shoes are just about impossible to avoid buying from China. And I did not seek gallery representation because I didn't have the ability to dye or paint in England for 6 months. Handstand? Um, that might be a never. I'm going to call 2015 the year of the still somewhat impressive compromise - arm balances! Not SO bad right?

As for 2015...
- Cook one new recipe a week, preferably vegan. Particularly aiming it at bread and canning. I'm really excited to be able to have my kitchen back! And a CSA share again! I really missed that this year.
- Dirty Dozen 5.0! Finish 12 projects in 2015. This kind of just turned into a way of life but it's fun to keep track.
- Continue with my USA made, local, vintage and small business consumer choices. Also has turned into a way of life for me since I've been doing it for so long, but you can always get better. Maybe this year I'll find some non fast-fashion tank tops, or better yet, learn to make them.
- Stick with yoga and running. Be able to run a half marathon and do an arm balance with ease. Maybe I'll even run an actual race! Got my eyes on you Broad St 10k…
- Work harder, chill harder, none of this halfway bullshit. It's not productive AND it just makes down time guilt ridden. That "I didn't do my homework" feeling has got to go.

I know it's over a week into the new year but we're all still being good and getting our goals done right? What are you guys working towards in 2015?


happy holidays!

Our tree
This six month living in a foreign country thing has been insane. Since mid October, Db and I haven't been in one place longer than ten days, and on one particular day we went to four countries! It has mostly been for his job, and for just under six weeks of it we lived out of our suitcases going from hotel to hotel around eastjabumfuck Europe. I wore lots of black and we did lots and lots of sink laundry. Oh the glamour! We also got to go to some absolutely badass places like Barcelona and Paris though, so the weird parts were definitely worth it.

What you see here is our lovely christmas tree, which is decorated with an ornament Db was given for free at an all you can eat Chinese buffet in northern France. I hung it on a lamp in every hotel we went to after getting it so we could have some sort of festiveness going on, it's funny which little things make a difference when you have almost nothing. This silly ornament kind of marked our home base, and now we get to bring it to our real home base because today is our last day in England! In addition to the ornament, we got the sculpture (which we named "Fjord in Space" after Brâncuși's "Bird in Space" series) in Norway, the Rooster in the Açores and I made the 100 link paper chain countdown to tomorrow while Db was in Bulgaria. Db even went to Singapore! Clearly we had no idea what we were in for when we came over here and Sheffield has decided it best to say goodbye by giving us a day full of blazing sun and pouring rain, mostly both at once. It's pretty hilarious and not that unusual.

So while I pack up and we're shooting over the Atlantic towards our lovely Uzo and favorite people, I hope you are all having a great holiday season and have a kick ass New Year. See you all in 2015!