Book: Gertie Sews Vintage Casual

Gertie Sews Vintage Casual

I don’t know a lot about garment sewing but I still stalk Gretchen Hirsch AKA Gertie online and I have for years. She learned to sew with an old Vogue sewing book and that was the start of her blog. Her adventures learning to sew. That turned into creating her own sewing book, Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing. Now, she’s released her latest book, Gertie Sews Vintage Casual. I asked for the book for Christmas, knowing it might potentially sit on a shelf for years, but I really wanted it. I hoped it would inspire me to dip my toes into garment sewing.

Gertie's 40s shirt

As yet, I haven’t had the time to even read through the book to learn what I’ll need to start sewing these fabulous pages. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t oggle every single pattern and bookmark a few of my favorites.

Gertie's pencil skirt

Gertie posted on her blog, after the book was released, about how easy the Easy Knit Pencil Skirt was to sew and wear so its definitely one of the projects on my sewing wish list.

Gertie's trouser fitting

The book looks to include lots of good tips and techniques for a good fit too so there’s really no reason why I don’t start making my own clothes… except time.

Is there any craft or project you’d like to undertake if only you had more time?

Bookish Knits

I go on these little adventures on Ravelry looking for patterns in whatever theme inspires me on a particular day. Today, I’m inspired by the Pinterest pinner, Librarian for Life and Style. I’ve been following the boards which combine cute, classic looks with a little nerdy charm. She also has a blog, also called Librarian for Life and Style.

So, inspired by bookish-ness and all-thing-librarian, I found these lovely patterns. I particularly love the Ranganathan’s mitts.

Do you seek out themed knits to match your mood?

Dress + Cardigan


Oh, the spring weather is here (or at least its teasing us) and I’ve got cotton dresses and cardigans on the mind. I pulled out some of my light cotton dresses from my off-season closet this morning and had nothing but plain store-bought cardis to pair them with. So sad! Then I stumbled across Ellen Mason’s Pinterest board, Dress + Cardigan and I was off! Handknit cardigans are the perfect accompaniment to summery cotton dresses to get you through the cooler days of spring and fight the chill of overly-enthusiastic air conditioning.


It all started with Andi Satterlund and all her wonderful handknit sweater patterns that she models with cute vintage-inspired dresses. I’ve already picked out some yarn from my stash to knit up the Myrna cardigan. Then Ellen Mason’s Mary Rebecca cardigan came to my attention. The Mary Rebecca pattern comes with a matching hand warmer pattern since it has short bracelet sleeves as well so what a lovely bonus! So that’s two sweaters in my Ravelry queue that I want to cast-on today!

Then there’s those gems I added to my queue a couple days ago: the Easy shrug by Xandy Peters, the Summer Carnival cardigan by Georgie Hallam, and Andi Satterlund’s new Mary Mead pattern. By the end of summer I should have a rainbow of cardigans!

Am I the only person who queues more patterns than she can possibly knit in a lifetime?

Let’s Join The Circus!


I’ve been under the weather the last few days but spring weather has sprung here so all I can think of is spring-weather sweaters and colorful shawls. The patterns I found were inspired by carnivals, fairs and magical days. If I am stuck on the couch, I should knit and wear colorful things.


From top, left to right: Suzon Shawl, Emelie, Summer Carnival and Circus Showgirl’s Plumes.

I like that I found a photo of my new friend Ceylangul in her Emelie in such a vivid green. What a doll!

I already cast-on the Suzon Shawl using a couple skeins of Crystal Palace Mini Mochi in Juniper Fireworks and an undyed skein of Knit Picks fingering to get great popping stripes. I’m using a lighter weight of yarn than the pattern calls for so I will probably end up with a lot more stripes and lace panels but its knitting up fast. I love watching the colors change and the fisherman lace is simple but fun. Addictive knit!


I, of course, couldn’t resist finding some vintage circus inspiration. Plumes of feathers, and vivid pinks, reds and yellows. What a wonderful, wild life these ladies must have lead!


I also found Evelina Roos and her Join Circus Eddy collection which are full of fun, circus-inspired stripes and vivid colored shawls. I think these patterns would be such a fun way to use up a bunch of too-pretty-to-be-hidden-in-shoes fingering yarns and I have quite a few skeins in my stash!

Shall we all imagine we’ve run off with the circus this week in scarves, shawls and cotton dresses with our favorite new cardigans?

I love hats!

I love to knit hats and I love to wear hats. Hats are instant gratification knitting projects for me. I can usually knit a hat in fingering to worsted weight yarn in a couple evenings. Other folks love to knit socks, I love hats. I particularly like to knit berets and cloche style hats.


These are the hats I’ve knitted in the past year or so. Yup, at least NINE in about twelve months just for myself, as well as a few that I’ve gifted and knit for other folks. You can find all the pattern and project information over in my Hats Projects folder.

With the start of a new month, its the start of new classes on the Ravelry Harry Potter Knit & Crochet House Cup Challenge forum and that means new class prompts. Class prompts are projects that meet a theme or concept and participants have until the last day of the month to complete at least one class prompt to stay a member of the challenge. For each project submitted to a “class,” “students” earn points for their house. I’m on my second year as a participant and I’m a Ravenclaw (this might not be surprising to most people).

I joke with other friends who participate that I knit a lot more now that I get imaginary internet points (IIP) for my projects. IIP are strangely engaging for me.

So, with my new class prompts, I seek out patterns or projects that might align with the class promppts. Many of these prompts often lend themselves to a quick hat project so I have added a bunch of projects to my favorites page.

Projects I might knit this month:


Most of these are worsted weight hats since I have some worsted yarn in my stash I’d like to use up. From left to right, top to bottom:  Brioche Hood Hat, Tara and FlossieTied-Band Chevron, Archipelago and Moss Beret. Lucy Hat, Bosc Hat and Patsy’s Bonnet.

What’s your favorite thing to knit?

In Love With… Shrugs

It’s still ridiculously cold here but I am dreaming of the day that I can drape a light shrug over a cotton dress and frolic in the park. Okay, maybe just shield me from the polar AC in the office.

I find that there are two type of shrugs for the most part. There’s the “shrunken cardigan”-style and the scarf/wrap-stitched-to-make-sleeves variety. The stitched sleeve versions are not dissimilar to some of the bed jacket patterns I found awhile back. I like both equally  and I think I’ll definitely knit one or the other style in the upcoming months.


Shown above (links to Raverly pattern pages): Bayshore Cardigan, Summer Carnival, Easy,  and Short-Sleeved Bacall

I think the Bayshore Cardigan would be lovely knit up in the skein of Treasure Goddess Cashmere Treasures laceweight that I have in a deep olive-y green. I do love a hoodie! I also have a skein of Treasure Goddess Super Toes Cashmere that come in epic 600 yd skeins that would be perfect for the main color on the Easy shrug. Don’t you just love it when a plan (or six) come together?


Shown above (links to Raverly pattern pages): Helen, lytteltonLace Knit Rib Shrug, and Briar Rose Bolero

The Helen is from Susan Crawford’s A Stitch in Time book which I own so I might start with that design.


Shown above (links to Raverly pattern pages): Lacy Shruggy, Drop Stitch Shrug, Bolero For Beginners and Party Girl Bolero.

I, of course, found lots of vintage patterns for shrugs and boleros. Some are sweet, some are sophistcated and elegant. So much goodness! I love the Party GIrl Bolero but I don’t think she means “party girl” like we mean “party girl”!


Shown above (links to Raverly pattern pages): Funnel Cloud Shrug, Paris Jacket, Chelsea Waistcoat and Coco Chenille.

These last few were some really interesting construction but are still interesting and could look vintage depending on how you accessorize it. Still, very pretty!

In love with… Scarflettes

Bomb Girls Scarflette

Whether you call them ascots, keyhole scarves, pull-through scarves, scarflettes or something else entirely, these little neck-warming confections are  great instant gratification knitting. They seldom require more than one or two balls of yarn and there are lots of patterns available for free or through Raverly. Even my non-vintage-y friends have become enamored with the flirty fun look of the scarflette.

It all started last year when I knit up the Anthro-Inspired Scarflet. I used some leftover bulky-weight blue-grey yarn from a pullover and then overdyed it a tealcolor so I wouldn’t be all matchy-matchy. The yarn was just over one ball of Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Bulky which is not known for being the softest yarn in the world. But it has turned out to be the scarf I have worn most often this winter. I love the silly thing. Its not as bulky as a long 5′ scarf or wrap-it-twice cowl might be. Because of the little slip-through slot, the scarf stays put and gives the whole thing a jaunty look.

As a result of all this affection for the scarflette, I’ve decided I must knit at least one more — if not a dozen more. I went sleuthing on Ravelry for some of the most interesting, fun or gratifying patterns.

I’ll probably knit up the Drifted Pearls soon along with the simple Miss Marple but I haven’t made my final decision yet. I might have to make one of each.

Event: Knit Your Bit

Our boys need sox Red Cross Knitting poster


World War I Red Cross Knitting posterTomorrow is Mrs. Wilson’s Knitting Circle at the World War I Museum here in Kansas City. The event starts at 10am and will include a history lesson and a free WWI-era knitting pattern from the Edward Jones Research Center.

Knitters must register but the event is free and knitters are advised to “BYONY (bring your own needles & yarn)”. Personal projects are welcome as well.

While most people think of knitting for the war efforts as originating with the Great War, it started earlier — and some of the influences and names will ring familiar to most knitters.

“This was not the first time that knitting had been associated with war. It started with Lord Raglan who, on losing an arm at the battle of Waterloo, asked his tailor to devise a more comfortable sleeve style that we still use today. People were accustomed to knitting for the soldiers in the Crimea who were not resourced to survive the harsh winter of the Ukraine. Lord Cardigan famously allowed his men to wear jumpers under their uniforms, which with no lapels, could not be seen inside their jackets but kept them warm nevertheless. By the time of the Battle of Balaclava in 1854 people were making and sending helmet-liners, though they weren’t known as balaclavas until sometime later.” (from Rowan Issue 56, the article appears on page 44)

Many of my knitting friends will be in attendance and I’m very excited for details about the war effort knitting.


A Head For Trouble

There is a fabulous new knitting book out called Head For Trouble: What To Knit While Catching Crooks, Chasing Clues, and Solving Murders by Julie Turjoman, which is full of Agatha Christie-era hats, cuffs and accessories. There are 20 patterns to choose from and it was a challenge for me to pick just a few to show you.


Patterns show above are (clockwise from top left): Mercy Cuffs, Maisie Cloche, Georgianna Scarf and Daisy Collar and Cloche.

The Maisie Cloche is a MUST KNIT for me asap. Not just because its named for one of my favorite fictional flapper sleuths but because it is stunning.

Head For Trouble is available now as a download from Ravelry for $19.95 or for purchase as a printed book from Amazon for $20.54 at present.

Turjoman has a previous ebook called A Head For Fashion which features six darling pattern for $14.95 download from Ravelry or they can be individually purchased on Ravelry.

(Thanks to Laura at The Corner of Knit and Tea for the tip! I am now $20 poorer!)

Rowan Wonder Haul


My company has a library filled with books and magazines, mostly books and magazines that appeal to writers, artists and designers. It is a really great reference library for me.

About once a year, they do a giveaway of old issues of magazines. They send out an email and everyone runs like crazy people to get a stack of their favorites. I got super lucky this year. There were seven issues of Rowan magazine. Including the 30th anniversary issue. What a coup!

I’ll post more details when I’ve had a chance to peruse the issues in more detail. So excited I just had to share.