The Plowline Pattern is up! You can download it from the Garment House Shop, Ravelry or directly from here. I am also trying out seamless checking through my shop now, eliminating having to go through Paypal. I'm pretty excited about it, but make sure to let me know if you experience any problems.
Saturday was slow and relaxing, just what I needed after last week. I had been fighting through nights of being constantly woken up with horrible charley horses in my legs and feet, and a bit of anxiety from the loss of sleep. I saw my doctor at the end of last week and had a good long talk with her. She suggested taking magnesium, specifically Slow-Mag for the leg pain. I could tell right away that it was helping so much. But now i'm starting to realize just how tired I am, so I'm trying to be careful and recover.
Comfort is something i'm always on the search for. We've had so much discomfort over the last bunch of years, that whenever there's a tiny chance to create a little refuge, I try to take advantage of it. The majority of this pregnancy has provided a rest for my body, but as everyone hears, there are plenty of naturally uncomfortable parts of these nine months. These are some of the things i've found that have helped so much.
After going through my maternity clothes from my last pregnancy, I decided a lot has changed in a decade - no thank you cargo capris! I made a choice not to go nuts buying a bunch of maternity clothes - only the basics. It started with a Gap order pretty early on, and some disappointing demi-band jeans. I placed another Old Navy order and bought a pair of these fantastic straight leg full-panel jeans. They sold out of the exact ones I ordered that were on sale, and I tried ordering the darker wash, but they weren't the same and ended up getting sent back. I also ordered a pair of full-panel ankle length pants with ankle zips. Both pairs have been worn all throughout the pregnancy, but the jeans are definitely a favorite.
Another great discovery was Topshop maternity. I was skeptical about how comfortable their maternity line would be and how well it'd fit, so I only ordered two items and was ready to send them back if I had to. I splurged on these chinos since not every day is a hip-hugging, straight leg pants kind of day during pregnancy (in fact, most days are a "can I stay in stretchy pants?" kind of day). I LOVE them. I didn't discover until a couple weeks in that they have an adjustable waist, which definitely helps them not to sag. I only wish they weren't capri length now that the weather is getting colder. The other item I ordered was a pair of Ponte Leggings that were on sale, and although i'm constantly hiking them up (some belly panels are just much too long, even for my torso), they're nice and thick and i'm glad I ordered them. For the sizing, I just used their sizing chart and didn't have a problem.
For tops, i've had a bit of a problem finding things I like, or things that don't just annoy me through the day. I have been able to fit into most of my roomier button down shirts and almost all of my hand-knit sweaters, so that's what i've been sticking to. I'll often use an Ingrid and Isabel Bellaband that my friend was kind to loan to me when I do wear non-maternity tops. I'll even wear it with maternity jeans, to add some length and hide those jean panels. I would love to find some comfortable long-sleeve shirts to either wear under sweaters, or alone. So far I just steal Doug's Gap Essential Long-Sleeve tees from his side of the closet. Now that it's cooler, I haven't gotten as much use out of my short sleeve tops, but this non-maternity short-sleeve sweatshirt was a lifesaver while it was still warm out - super comfortable and nice and long. I have ordered a t-shirt from ASOS maternity line for layering, but am still waiting on delivery.
You can usually find me carrying around a hot water bottle in it's cover to stay warm, or sitting with my back on a heating pad if there's an outlet close! Include a pot of tea, and it's hard to get up and move!
I have found that any pajamas in Target's Gilligan & O'Malley Sleepwear line are excellent as long as you buy a little big. This classic, super-soft set have been my favorites all throughout my pregnancy, and I just found another pair at my Target for $12! I picked up this flannel sleep shirt in large that was also on clearance and was surprised to find that it actually fits! I always look forward to being able to come home and wear my pajamas, a sweater and Padraig slippers after a long day.
As far as beauty products go, I try to keep things simple for my usually intolerant skin. Thayer's Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner has been an amazing discovery early on in my pregnancy. Using it cold in the summer was especially refreshing. My routine every morning and night has been to use my Clarisonic Mia with a mild cleanser, followed by Thayer's toner and Neutrogena's Clear Face moisturizer on only the really dry days. I find this routine to be the only thing that keeps my skin happy. Most days makeup is too much to fuss with, so whenever I wear Clinique's Lash Doubling Mascara, it feels like I really put a lot of effort into getting ready!
I did a bunch of research on belly balm since I had a good one I loved for my last pregnancy that I can no longer find, but eventually just started using plain old body lotion. It seems to help with the itching, but we'll see how it does in the stretch mark department (although i've heard all the balms aren't going to do much anyway). I got away with hardly any during my last pregnancy, but was a lot younger then!
If you have any suggestions about comforting things you've found, please pass them on. They don't have to be pregnancy related, in fact, most of my favorite things over the last couple months have been non-maternity!
I'm so, so close to releasing the Plowline Raglan Sweater pattern! After consulting my company's computer guy (ha, shockingly underpaid husband), I finally got my PDFs looking the way I want them to. Apple does a terrible job resizing their documents making the graphs hardly legible, but I think that's ironed out now. I might go back and do the same for all my other patterns and provide an update for those of you who have already bought them.
A little bit about the Plowline. I plan to release it sometime early next week, and for now it will be released in one size, Garment House Medium (size 6-8). I will update the pattern to include all sizes in a while, after I've had a chance to get some feedback about the pattern as it is now. I'll be offering this one-size pattern at a discounted rate until then.
You have all been so kind about the Garment House knitting patterns so far, thank you! It's something I've wanted to do for a long time, even before I asked if anyone would be interested in the Downton Sweater I hoped to release last year. If this Plowline release goes well, that's the next sweater pattern on the list!
I myself have had to finish a bunch of Hot Water Bottle Covers and Teapot Cozies as gifts for various people over the last couple weeks, and as satisfying as these quick gifts can be, i'm really looking forward to starting a winter-long project for myself. It will probably be a sweater, and preferably some one else's pattern! Eventually, i'll knit another version of my Plowline Raglan, but for now, i'm happy with the one i've got. And now that the giveaway is over, I can focus on sharing that pattern with all of you!
Now for the thrilling part of my post that I know you've all been on the edge of your seats to discuss - hot water bottles. I've had some questions about which hot water bottles I buy. This is an excellent thing to ask, since I'm still on a hunt for a favorite. Out of the four I own, I was given one that I feel is quality worth buying again, but I haven't been able to track down where to get them. Some i've purchased have been too thin, and I like them a little sturdier, a lot have had an awful plastic smell that only gets worse when hot water is poured into them, and a couple have a warning printed right on them not to use with boiled water! I don't know about you, but I like that bottle as hot as I can get it and want it to retain that heat all night if possible! I've been reading Amazon reviews trying to find a bottle that is worth buying in bulk so that I can just have a stack on hand to avoid those crazy last minute treks to every pharmacy within a 50 mile radius whenever I need a get well or house warming gift. Fashy has some good looking bottles that come in such great colors, but a lot of the reviews say they are children's size (What?! They sell children's size bottles?! Mini things! I want them!). Sänger has some great colors too and the quality looks good, but there are no reviews to be able to tell. I recently bought two super cheap Mabis bottles locally, but I wasn't terribly impressed with their quality. They weren't the ribbed ones Amazon sells, so maybe those are a bit better. I'm holding out hope for these Graham Field bottles since you can in fact buy them in bulk! I'll keep searching and pass on any info I find, and if you get a chance, I'd love it if anyone left their recommendations!
this week has been a little nuts, but i haven't forgotten about the giveaway! i haven't had any extra time to let everyone know, but i've extended the promo (obviously), and plan on choosing some winners either today if i can find the time, or monday. in the meantime, go ahead and comment if you haven't already.
also, i'm wrapping things up on this plowline raglan sweater pattern! the pattern itself is done as much as i'm going to fiddle with it for now, but it will be nice to have the giveaway over before i move onto something new. thank you for all the kind words about the pictures and the sweater so far. getting photos at 23 weeks pregnant without looking like i just ate thanksgiving dinner was a challenge!
i finished another knitting pattern over the weekend! it's a standard size teapot cozy, and I've just added it to the shop! it's available for purchase in two different ways, alone or combined with the small teapot cozy pattern.
these teapot covers are a lot of fun to make, and they knit up so quickly. i thoroughly enjoyed having a small project to work on this weekend, even though you'd figure i'd be tired of all this test knitting. a couple weekends back, i took the time to organize all my yarns and i'm getting a lot of enjoyment out of using up whatever odds and ends are left over from other projects. i'm even stretching myself a little to modify patterns slightly so that I avoid buying MORE YARN! although i'm in no way going to set this challenge for myself, i could easily get away with not buying another skein for at least a year!
i've decided to keep the giveaway commenting open for just a little longer too, so make sure to click the post below if you want to add your name to the group. and thank you to the people who just keep buying away! the encouragement is helping me to keep pushing ahead!
Let's get this commenting party started!
**thanks for all the comments! this giveaway is now closed.**
First of all, thank you for buying the Garment House Hot Water Bottle Cover pattern! Wow! I'm so thrilled to have your business after such a long hiatus from the shop, and cannot wait to see everyone's hand-knit work!
Can you tell by the patterns i'm uploading it's been cold? Really, really cold? As I sit in a frigid office, I find myself piling on every test knit item I have in my pack mule's worth of stuff I haul from the house to the office every day. I even have a very hot water bottle in it's cover on my lap. And another on my back! It pays to be a knitter.
Pattern download number two, Small Teapot Cozy, is ready and waiting in the shop! I have been meaning to share this pattern for a while, and knowing full-time tea drinking weather is on it's way, now is the time! This project is incredibly fast since it's knit with chunky yarn, which also makes it extra insulating for your teapot. I use it with my ForLife "Stump" Teapot (which i highly recommend), but it will work with most two-cup (16-18 oz) teapots. This pattern is perfect for beginners since it's knit flat in garter stitch, meaning you don't have to use one purl stitch to make it! But really, what knitter doesn't like a simple and quick knitting project?
More patterns are on their way, but for now, i'm going to pile as many quilts and blankets I can find on top of me for the weekend, and catch up on some more knitting. Thank you for your business, friends!
it's been quiet on here over the last couple weeks, but i've been hard at work! my days have been full of making list after list, going through stacks of notebooks filled with my knitted designs, test knitting until my fingers are about to fall off, taking photos in hurricane-speed winds, retaking photos, editing photos, changing layouts, and trying hard to wrap up this first set of garment house knitting patterns for release! i'm getting close. some of the bumps that have come up along the way have been really challenging and tough, but i'm thankful to just keep pushing through, learning as i go. it keeps me from freaking out about how nervous i am to actually share my patterns with everyone! i've heard some horror stories and even had some discouraging experiences already, but i've also heard some really encouraging things too. i hope the good outweighs the bad, and all this hard work will be worth it.
but good news! to test this [new to me] process of downloadable patterns, i've brushed off my water bottle cover pattern, revised it, and am now offering it as a PDF for sale in my garment house shop. i've changed a couple things about the pattern for the better, but as always, make sure to let me know if you find any errors.
i don't know about you, but we're in full-blown hot water bottle season in our home! it has been snowing all day, and thankfully i have a bunch of newly test knit covers to make sure there's one for every bed in the house.
i kept seeing people post tempting pictures of galettes on instagram this weekend, so by labor day, i finally broke down. we had a couple of apples from our friend's apple tree that were just on the edge of being too soft to bite into, so it was perfect timing. this dessert was so simple and satisfying, and was an appropriately american dessert for a holiday weekend. besides needing some direction on baking times from epicurious, i made this up as i went.
caramel apple galette
sliced apples (i used four small green, and two medium galas)
1 tbsp sugar (only if you prefer)
handful of caramels
splash of citrus
dash of cloves
mix apple filling together and carefully wrap into the pie crust without tearing. brush sides with milk and sprinkle with sugar. bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 20 minutes, then lower the heat to 375 degrees and bake for another 30 minutes, or until crust is dark golden brown. cool for 10 minutes. once the caramel that has melted out of the galette cools, break and stick into ice cream or tops of sliced galette. enjoy!