outfit: February fitted pullover, another dress

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Here is another installment of Birgitte-tries-to-find-ways-to-wear-her-February-fitted-pullover, this time with a dress! Wait, this time still with a dress, just like last time. I actually think this is more successful – at least I felt more comfortable in this combination. The strapless dress I wore with the sweater last time is a little bulky, and combined with the slightly bulky February pullover, it was just too much (but quite warm!).

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Check out the lovely old wooden houses in the background! We took these pictures while we were at my parents’ house for Christmas, and the area has a lot of traditional buildings left. I love that!

The dress I’m wearing is the same jersey dress from this uniform-post, and like that time I put the attached ties to good use. The holes in the sweater were actually big enough to fit the ties through, so I just brought them around the front, and tucked the ends underneath themselves in the back.

Since we took the last pictures I’ve also been a good knitter and actually blocked the sweater, which grew a little bit in the process. I’m not always good enough with doing swatches, so ideally I should have knit this a smidge smaller, but I smooshed the sweater together instead of stretching it out, and it seems alright. Blocking also smoothed out the kind of abrupt waist-shaping that was a bit more apparent pre-blocking. If I were to knit this again (slash, my advice to others knitting this) I’d probably try to do the waist-shaping more gradually.

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And then I ran back to the car, since it was in fact literally freezing.

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These past few weeks I’ve:
- made the 14-hour train trek back home, and then the 14 hours back. Done so happily to celebrated the season with family and friends, good food, and a whole lot of wine (yum. It’s also how I survive the winter.)
- been frustrated with the short days and the stupidly dark and blurry pictures that come of it. Not to mention the effect on my energy levels. But now, thankful that the days are getting longer!
- had a love-affair with kale, and the old trains bringing back childhood memories with their worn mirrors and old-school bathrooms. Those who’ve been on those trains will know what I mean.
- gotten cozy with magazines and new socks at the ER for hours of waiting to be seen for a ill-timed throat infection.
- gone to work dressed as a circus princess. Please tell me I’m not the only one who’s gotten dressed by putting on favorite individual objects (oo, yes I feel like pink tights today, oh and I like this belt, and I do like this dress, etc, etc.) only to find yourself surprised at what you’ve put on *together* when confronted with a mirror later that day?
- made progress on my Geithus lace knit top. Still the softest yarn in the world, and not as stripy as I was fearing thankfully.

hello 2013

I went back over my archives for 2012 to round up my finished projects for the year, and I was sort of gobsmacked to not find more than I did. Did I really just sew four things all year? (well, disregarding all the wedding dresses and suits I’ve worked on for my day-job…)

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Looking back, 2012 has been one of those periods where knitting things and sewing my own clothes couldn’t be a priority, and that’s ok. I tried tough! Especially at the beginning of the year I started a bunch of projects that were abandoned for one reason or another (stalled on the shape of a pocket; a waistband that puckered; couldn’t finish 12 bound buttonholes in time for a SewWeekly challenge – which, by the way, I totally deluded myself by attempting to participate). Stuff came up in the middle of making these things, and I just left them. So for 2013, not surprisingly, these half-finished sort-of-forgotten projects will be dragged to the forefront to be dealt with. I’m allowing myself to “deal” with them in any which way I feel like, which will probably mean finishing them, but could also be seam-ripping, donating, or burning them in the woodstove if that’s what it takes. But they have to get out of my waiting-pile!

It won’t be all I’ll be working on – like Roo recently wrote about, I’m also feeling the workwear conundrum. I touched upon it briefly after Me-Made-May, that the portions of my wardrobe that feels work-appropriate is quite small. I have a lot of pieces that are casual, lovingly worn, a little baggy, faded around the edges, and therefore just not sharp enough for work. I’ve started (in a small way) to invest in some better pieces – leather shoes, blazers… wait, that’s how far I’ve gotten. Leather shoes and a blazer. I’m am on a budget afterall! Some of the things that have been on my sewing list for ages  (ahem… over a year?) will be very useful in order to feel more polished and put together at work – a Liberty of London boatneck dress, a magenta pencil-skirt, a pinstriped blazer, and some blouses. I work in a design-concious field, and while I’m comfortable with, and know how I want to dress, what I’m wearing nowadays is just not in good enough shape. Therefore, enter sewing. I have quite high hopes and big plans for 2013 in other words!

Let’s not forget knitting though! I had quite a few big projects going at once earlier this fall, with a cabled hat with tiny thread, three sweaters, and a lace top on my needles. Those projects aren’t all done, but I did complete these things in the past year (with some pictures from ravelry for ease):

2012knits-hatsI think it’s really funny how these hats came in next to eachother on my ravelry page. We’re two peas in a pod, obviously.

2012knits-otherMittens I never blogged about since I finished them in the car en route to the recipents house (I know… bad knitter.), and the cowl I use all the time.

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I’ve finished a couple of hats, a cowl, and a sweater this year, with one big knitting goal for the next (well, besides finishing the two sweaters, one cardigan,  and the lace top I’ve started) – mittens! I was dumbfounded to realize, especially as a knitter, that I had no good mittens to wear when it got chilly! Not good enough. Nobody should have freezing hands in the colder months, and knitters should be able to provide that for themselves. If I start with some stranded colorwork mittens now, I’ll probably have them ready by spring, haha! But then I’ll be all set for the next winter, so that’s ok.

Also 2013, I’m going to floss every day. Just letting you know.

our low-key christmas tree

So low-key I only have cell-phone pictures!

wpid-20121214230449926The first night of decorating we put up gingerbread hearts and ornaments we already had on hand.

I really loved Solveig’s recent advent calendar, which includes both an activity, as well as hanging one ornament on the christmas tree every day. So when we picked ourselves up a small tree a couple of weeks ago, that was my plan (already a late start being a good week and a half into the advent period, oh well!). We don’t have a tree-stand, but John fashioned a makeshift one out of a bucket and an upside down metal lamp shade. I tell you, he’s pretty crafty this man of mine.

Anyways, that went pretty well with my desire for really low-key christmas tree decorating. I wanted to do something like Solveig with a couple of decorations a day, but it sort of fell apart after a week. No worries! We still put stuff on the tree, and I’m happy with how non-stressful it still was. Gingerbread-decorating with the girls provided the hearts; John and I did some papercutting one night; I found ribbons in a box looking for something completely different, so those went up too; a dried flower; some ornaments we already had; and of course the popcorn-chain we made while watching Lewis the night before leaving. All in all it’s a charming, funny little tree! No lights though. Maybe we’ll get some tree-lights when we decide to be grown-ups and get a proper tree-stand as well. I couldn’t tell you when that’ll be.

IMG_0130All done!

I’m sorry there are no detailed pictures, we snapped this one right before leaving to get on the train. Note the printer and the easter egg to the left, and the gifts in a bag and traditional knit sweater to the right! This is real-life christmas straight from our apartment. And on that note, I’d like to wish all of you a peaceful and lovely holiday, and I’ll see you all in the new year!

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More winter in these parts – in the past few weeks my view in the morning, stepping out of my apartment, has been a stark moon over a sparkling, snowy city. It’s been cold, but look how crisp!

I’ve done a lot of sewing lately, finally finishing the gathered sundress, after making a pink mess in my little sewing corner. That’s what my sewing corner looks like in the middle of a project. Also, sewing on the job, lots of suits and chalk and pins.

I have also had a total love affair with pak choy – that’s sautéing it in butter with dill and black sesame seeds in that picture. I love how it wilts down to tender greens, except the white part that stays crisper and so fresh-tasting. Yep, that’s my plug for pak choy. Go buy it, haha! Earlier this week I had a lovely evening of adventing with good friends, filled with decorating pepperkaker (gingerbread cookies), drinking gløgg, and eating clementines and christmas cookies. The gingerbread hearts I decorated is already on my tree, making that corner of the apartment smell all christmas-y! And finally, the city marked the start of the advent with lighting the tree, a concert, and a fireworks show. We have front row seats from our apartment for stuff like that, and it’s one of the many many reasons I love living right here.