Bright Lights, Big Bags

School starts up again this week so I spent the holiday weekend crafting. (We won't talk about the Hurricane that wasn't.) I finished and blocked the Laura Pinafore dress from Literary Knits (reviewed in this podcast) for the KnitReadPray Children's KAL that ends on September 30th:

I'm not particularly fond of the pocket; I might use a sheep from the Baable Hat pattern and make a lined sheep pocket. Luckily it'll be a little while until the baby is big enough for this dress!

My daughter laser cut some cute buttons for the back of the dress shaped like our Jacob sheep:

I hope to finish this project this coming weekend and gift it to baby Rory this month!

I also started a test knit for Carmen of A Simple Homestead. The market bag I knit over the summer is so useful and was a great introduction to bag construction. I really wanted to try knitting another bag so when I saw Carmen's Instagram photo of her bag, I immediately wanted the pattern.  Here's Carmen's version:

The pattern calls for approximately 800 yards of worsted weight yarn because, to knit this largish bag, you hold 2 strands of yarn together. Little known fact: teachers have the summer off but don't get paid in the summer. In other words, there's no yarn budget at this point in the year. I did have a lot of aran weight Gotland wool from a local farm just waiting to become something. This yarn is a deep brown and perfect for fall! It's also rather stiff and very strong, perfect for bag making.

I'm almost up to the first simple stranded knit.  For the lines and the leaves, I'm using Peace Fleece worsted in wild mustard and marigold - the yellow and gold look amazing next to the Gotland wool. Hoping to finish this in the next few weeks and take it with me to Rhinebeck!

I also cast on some fall leg warmers from Last Minute Gifts by Joelle Hoverson (owner of Purl Soho). I've wanted to knit these for awhile, and this colorful washable wool from Hobby Lobby has been in my stash for over 2 years. These will also go with me to Rhinebeck because leg warmers are perfect with jammies.

In book news, I'm reading Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World by Dr. Michele Borba. More of a parenting book than a book for educators, it's still a relevant read (and I definitely recommend it for parents of young to middle grade kids). I especially enjoyed the chapter about how reading literary works like Jane Austen  (as opposed to popular fiction or nonfiction) instills empathy. Go Jane! The statistics regarding how electronic reading and communication really stunts empathetic growth is chilling. I plan to keep a lot of the info from this book in mind as I start the school year.

I'm also reading An Innocent Fashion by R.J. Hern├índez. While it's billed as Devil Wears Prada meets The Bell Jar, it's really Devil Wears Prada meets Bright Lights, Big City and could really benefit from being as short as Bright Lights. It's fun and predictable, and the relationship between the 3 protagonists is somewhat Home at the End of the World (a true favorite), perfect for a holiday weekend with a chance of hurricane. If you, like me, loved those 80s books of youth and excess (I read Less than Zero on a plane to LA when I was 21, and it, like McInerney's book, are still favs), you'll enjoy the excessive introspection, drama, and designer clothing of An Innocent Fashion.

Today I'm joining a new link party, The Really Crafty Link Party.  On Tuesdays, I link up with Nicole and Keep Calm Craft On.  On Wednesdays, I participate in the Yarn Along on Ginny Sheller's blog. Please join us either by contributing a link to your fibery work in progress and current read and / or by checking out the posts to the link parties.  You may find your next book or project waiting for you!


  1. Wow, you've been busy! Thank you for sharing all these lovely projects at The Really Crafty Link Party this week!

  2. Oh a sheep pocket would be just adorable - I think you might just have to go for it! And thank you for the recommendation for UnSelfie - I'm going to have to track down a copy, it sounds like just my sort of book :)

  3. love those buttons!! Looks like you've been mighty busy before school is in full swing!! Hope you still get lots of time this fall :)

  4. I love that leaf bag! very busy for sure.

  5. Thank you for the book recommendation! I'm going to see if our library has _Unselfie_. It also reinforced the good I'm doing reading _Persuasion_ to our kids as part of our homeschool literature work.