Friday, January 4, 2019

New Year "What I Wore" -- New Handknit Sweater Stylings. . .

 I debated a Five Things Friday post this morning, but who am I kidding? We're tilting back toward normal schedules after the holiday festivities and family time, the Christmas tree and crèche (the Three (Alessi) Wise Men protesting vehemently against being boxed before the Epiphany!) and most of the lights have been put away -- we left some twinkle-sparkle out in the terrace garden and still have a few candles about and two large seasonal floral arrangements. . .
 but we've managed to clear enough space that I have my own work surfaces again (and have even begun better organizing those -- more on that project later, perhaps). . . . Mostly, on the free days we've had, I've been happy to hunker down indoors with books and new knitting projects. I've sketched and journalled enough to re-establish the time and space, to put the helpful habits back into place. I've managed a 6-kilometre run and several workouts in the gym (and slept accordingly!) And I even -- ta-da! -- began a second draft of that manuscript I finished last fall.

So there might have been Five Things to pull together for you this Friday, BUT we are currently embarking on four days of baby-sitting. A very active and clever and feisty Coming-up-to-Four and her Newly-Mobile-and-Keen-On-Freedom brother. Four days and the accompanying nights of lovely commitment to the care of little people. Thus it behooves me, I believe, to eschew the extended blogging for now, to set aside most other goals, in fact, and conserve my strength. This is going to be fun, but there's no pretending it's not also work.
 Nonetheless, I like to give you enough that you might keep stopping by for a visit, and I'm very pleased with how my latest knitting project worked out.  It's a different shape than what I've ever knit for myself, but I've had a few sweaters in the past few years that are shorter and boxier, and I trust the knitting designer Kate Davies who models hers here (scroll down -- it's not the Fair Isle sweater, but the second)..
 I'm already pleased with how well it layers over pants (with a light, longer top underneath) -- yeah, I'm styling it with my Glerup wool-felt slippers in the top photo, not so convincing, but I had no intention of wearing shoes that day. All about the winter comfort. . . It means I can enjoy the prints on a silk shirt during the winter without always having to pair with a cardigan -- nor do I have to tuck the shirt to avoid an awkward, bunched-up inch or two below a shorter, more fitted pullover. No apologies for the layering, for showing off a big swath of contrasting print or colour when it's this blatant, right?

With the jeans (Vince) and the black lightweight roll-neck (Aritzia) underneath, I did put on a pair of ankle boots. Even popped my faux-fur workhorse of a vest on to pop across the street for Sunday brunch. . .
I've also worn my new sweater (knit from Rowan's Felted Tweed, for interested knitters) over midi-length dresses -- this one, for example, but no photos yet. . .

Off now to put on my Nana hat, which I expect will be happily battered by the time we meet here next. Happy First Weekend of 2019 to all of you! What are you up to? Gradually picking up your routines as well?

25 comments:

  1. Happy New Year Frances! I love the sweater's colour and the way you have layered it, especially over the silk shirt.

    Everything except the candles is put away, and I am trying to get back into a healthy eating regime, and thinking about starting up my exercise routine again. Now all I need are some tulips to provide the hope of spring (a January tradition), and I am all set. Brenda

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    1. Yes, the healthy eating really needs to resume -- soups and roast vegetables and Buddha bowls. . .
      And Tulips! The surest way to a smile on a January day!

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  2. Everything, except for a snowman figure and some small faux table trees to cheer us on through January, has been put away. There was lots of vacuuming to clean up the pine needles - what a nightmare! But everything has been tidied up and I feel ready to get on with the new year. We’re babysitting the nine-year old because it’s still Christmas/holiday break until the end of this week. I need to get back to the gym and take some walks as I’ve been to the gym only twice in the last two weeks! I can relate to hunkering down with some good books. I bow to you for all that you have accomplished already! The sweater looks good on you and I like how you have styled it.

    slf

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    1. Enjoy your time with the nine-year-old, such a good age. . . But it will be nice to resume our own schedules, won't it. Mine's on hold again, so I'm glad I made use of the few days I had last week. . . Need more hunkering now! ;-)

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  3. I like the short-over-long outfits. They are flattering on you. The short sweater makes the long top trick look much edgier and more fashion forward. It must be so extra-satisfying to wear something you made yourself.
    I will take down the decorations on Sunday. Enough. We kept it minimal this year, so it won't take long to undo. The weather has turned cold, in the mid-30s, which we aren't used to, and I wish I had some furry slippers. I just can't get warm.

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    1. Thanks, TofF! I was surprised how well this kind of layering works -- I'm so short-waisted that I'm careful about emphasising it, but somehow the boxy works here.
      Mid-30s is nearing freezing, if I remember my Farenheit. Cold enough. I love my Glerups slippers -- felted wool, leather soles, and they last forever. So cosy!

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  4. Much to the neighbors dismay, I have always left all lights and wreaths and trees up until the end of January. Shall do the same this year. The dullest month of all here, and in Maine, deserves an antidote and so do I. It has been a tremendous joy, these last eight years to do Christmas just as I please, which involves many lights, an abundance of candles, some music and a some social outings and some guests. It is low key, extended, cozy and warm. A martini, or 2, plenty of chocolate and exchanging home-made cards spells Christmas to me. Hate to plunge too quickly into the new year: the best part of the season is contemplation, coffee in bed and puttering. Shall take an army to hoist me beyond this point. Hunkering down is the name of the game.
    The short sweater and long shirt reminds me of one of my favorite 90s songs-" I like a girl with a short shirt and a long jacket", by a band called Cake, I think. You do layering well, Frances. Can imagine the sweater over a dress as you mentioned.
    Would love to know how you take care of and preserve all your knitted garments?
    I hope, and I am sure they do, your children thank their lucky stars for all tne ease you and your sweetheart offer them by having the children so often. Know you love it, who wouldn't, but they are very lucky. Recalling days with my grandparents makes me realize what felt so magical, was, in fact, quite ordinary, but seemed exquisite to me....even when I was little.
    Have a fun, raucous 4 days- with a big fat red wine or beer at day's end.
    Take care and Happy New Year from unusually sunny London.
    A.in London

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    1. I used to think Christmas season was long enough for lights and they should come down by mid-January, but I find this last decade or so I've wanted more twinkle, more cheer for a bit longer.
      Just looked up your song, which I hadn't known before but is, indeed, by Cake, although apparently not released until 2001. . .
      As for looking after the handknits, nothing special, really, except that I handwash (not so often, if I can help it -- wool is naturally bactericidal so doesn't get smelly too quickly) with a special gentle soap -- I use Eucalan which restores the lanolin and doesn't need to be rinsed out. And I always flat dry. . .

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  5. This sweater looks great on you, very fresh and updated! I like the shorter length with longer base layer. We didn't put a lot of holiday decorations out this year. With a 5 almost 6 month old puppy, we wisely kept it simple. Everything is down now except the tree (which will be carried off to our local nature park for repurposing) and the artificial tree on the porch. Both will be down this weekend.

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    1. Very smart -- the puppy is as much cheer as you need, let's be honest! ;-)

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  6. Nicely done: both the knitting and the styling. Conserve your strength to enjoy four days with the grandchildren. I'm you will sleep well...once they go home. Enjoy. My weekend will be spent finishing off library books and finalizing packing as I head over the Pond early in the week. Hope Ali's London is still sunny when I get there.

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    1. Oh, bon voyage!! Have a wonderful time in London -- I haven't been for a few years -- felt a strong pull when I popped my head out briefly walking from Euston to St. Pancras this past November --

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  7. Your sweater is beautiful! It is not a colour I could wear, but it looks wonderful on you. And I like the way you style it. Layering is such a good way to combine colours and pull an outfit together, I think. I took your clue and got the Doocot pattern, adapting it to my needs and (yarn)possibilities. I have to wait until it is finished before I can tell if that worked out.

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    1. Oddly, it hasn't been a colour I could wear for most of my life, but whatever's shifting has brought it into my palette.
      She's such a great designer -- I'll be interested to see what you do with the Doocot, putting your own spin on it.

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  8. Lovely colour, Frances-I like your styling very much (I'm a great fan of shorter over longer layers,it adds interest to outfit )
    I have only lights (outside till tomorrow and I'll keep some of the inside twinkle lights till my traditional carnival dinner in February, at least) ,almost everything else is put away for next Christmas
    I've worked a lot for last two months,so I would like to stay home,with lot of books,music,coffee,tea...and go out just for pleasure....
    Have a wonderful weekend with your crew
    Dottoressa

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    1. Twinkle lights are so good for the spirit in dark January -- and what fun to do a carnival dinner for Mardi Gras -- do you all dress up?
      But before that, I hope you find lots of time to relax. . .

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    2. Yes,more or less!
      We always had the theme: 'Allo,'Allo,1920 Roaring Twenties...
      I have an idea what to wear this year,so I hope to have no theme....
      D.

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  9. Your sweater looks lovely and I like the way you styled it. You’ve inspired me to relook at my ivory shorter boxy sweater again - it was marked for donation but now I’m going to try to copy your look....
    We’re doing the Christmas cleanup this weekend - never my favorite .
    Have a wonderful time with the kiddies :)
    Suz from Vancouver

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    1. It's interesting how seeing a different combination can inspire us to have a second look at a garment we thought outworn -- and suddenly it has a fresh life. Hope yours works out.

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  10. I love how you are wearing this sweater - so youthful and yet so wholly you.

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  11. Love the sweater, Frances. I like the shape very much, especially the dip in the front... or would that be a reverse dip?:) That colour with the silk print shirt is lovely.
    We were back to normal as of last Thursday. Tree and Christmas trimmings all gone, leftovers finally eaten, and out on the trails skiing on Saturday. But a quirky fall on a sidehill, followed by the twisting needed to get my legs and skis in a position below my head (ha) in order to get up did a number on my back which only manifested itself the next morning. So instead of attending my first day of a new exercise class today, I'll be at the physio therapists getting some pain relief. I know I sound like I'm feeling sorry for myself, but I'm actually more angry at fate than anything. Just when I was finally full of energy to surge into 2019... I'm back to meandering. Ha.

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    1. Thanks, Sue!
      The sweater is actually the same length all around (knit as one piece on a circular needles, but it seems my front pulls up more fabric than my back ;-)
      I'm so very sorry to hear about your back, and I understand the anger and frustration -- I was so anxious this week at a threatening tightness in my back, dreading that same experience of a setback after finally feeling I was moving forward again. Challenges of this age . . .

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  12. We are all packed away too. since Thursday. I always enjoy both the taking out and the putting away of the Christmas decorations. I am totally in agreement with you about the grandchild care, both the delights and the fact that it can be seriously hard work. People seem to be happy to be open about either the delight or the work but not many acknowledge both! We had three of ours, including a four month old baby, for twenty four hours before Christmas, night feeds and all. It was lovely. It was shattering! And I am about to embark on a serious attempt at fitness. I am trying to start running. Is sixty four too old to start running? Who knows! Watch this space.

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    1. I have to confess that I enjoy neither the taking out nor the putting away of the Christmas decorations (except that I was pleased to unpack the creche pieces and set them up). Luckily, my husband has taken that on these last few years, and I resolved when he began that I would try not suggest too many improvements or adjustments.
      I think some of us might be worried that our acknowledgement of fatigue might be misinterpreted -- we can, and we still want to, manage the littles on our own, and it is, as you say, both lovely and shattering. Increasingly, I feel I need to admit the "shattering" to myself so that I allow the time needed to recover. But I don't want the kids to think we get so tired that we shouldn't be asked any longer.
      And I think you've answered your own question. If you're 64 and you've started running, then it's NOT. too. old ;-) Go You!!

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we?

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