happy halloween!

iris's first halloween costume
iris's first halloween costume
iris's first halloween costume
iris's first halloween costume
iris's first halloween costume
iris's first halloween costume

For Iris's first Halloween I dressed her up as Lambie, her lamb blankie that is also her best friend.  She clutches and carries him around all day (see top two photos).  It's very dear.  I designed the hat pattern myself, using Blue Sky Alpacas Brushed Suri.  (If anyone's interested please let me know, and I'll post the pattern here.)  For the blanket part of the costume I used Simplicity pattern 1734.  Such a cute pattern for a baby poncho!  I think she'll wear it often as a coat this fall, not just for Halloween.  I lined it with a beautiful Nani Iro double gauze.  Underneath the poncho I dressed her in a wool onesie and leggings from H&M.  Baby long johns!  The shoes are baby Padraigs.


baby knits

sweater for luca
socks for luca

When I was pregnant I really enjoyed knitting baby things, imagining the sweet babes that would one day wear them.  So many of my long distance friends were pregnant at the same time as me, and the excitement of anticipation was magical.  Here's a tiny newborn sweater and socks that I made for my friend's baby Luca, who was born a week after Iris.  The sweater pattern is the same one I used for baby Eli, but this time I lengthened the body and changed the shape of the sleeve.  I used this sock pattern but made the toe with this technique and did a 3 needle bind off.  Baby socks do not stay on baby feet!  But they sure are cute.

sweater yarn / sock yarn in "white wash"


hello again

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My friend Lisa created this sweet little baby bonnet for a class that she's teaching, and I took some photos of Iris wearing it.  It makes me want to start knitting and sewing again and taking photos and blogging.  Iris is almost 8 months old!  And I've done very little of those things since she arrived on the scene.  Our situation is a bit complicated, and life has just taken over.  It's difficult to find time for those things during this season of my life.  I love this little family that I've created--it's so good and yet so hard all at the same time.  I'm certainly not able to "have it all" right now, and I'm okay with that on most days.  There are days that I feel frustrated.  I have to remind myself that just because I don't "have it all", it doesn't mean that I don't have a lot.  Because I do.  And things change.

  I do miss blogging.  I think at some point I  kind of lost my way with this blog and the ability to open myself up in this space.  This has always been a personal blog, and to some degree I used to share some of my struggles as well as triumphs.  I knew why I was writing--I wanted to tell about things that interested me and to connect with others.  But the more popular my blog became, the more people began to criticize.  To some people my struggles seemed like complaining and my triumphs seemed smug.  When that started happening I sort of lost interest, because once upon a time it felt like I was writing to friends.  All of the sudden it felt like I didn't know who I was speaking to anymore, and so I just sort of stopped speaking at all.  I didn't actually stop on purpose.  It just stopped being a habit I made time for because it stopped feeling natural and bringing me joy.

Blogs are so fabulous these days, aren't they?  So professional.  Everyone has amazing photos and lives.  And yet are people still reading blogs?  It's hard for me to even keep up with them because there are just too many good ones.  I don't bother much anymore, but there are a couple of blogs that I still read religiously through Feedly on my phone while pumping breast milk.  They're some of the same ones I used to read 8 years ago, back when the blog world felt small and cozy to me.  They make me feel inspired and refreshed.  I guess that will be a good goal for me to have in the future with this blog, if I can carve out some time--to share things that make me feel that way.  I hope I'll eventually find my way back.


3 months

Iris will be 3 months old in a couple of days.  She looks a lot like I did as a baby, but there's definitely some Joe in there too.  She has brown eyes just like her dad.

Things guaranteed to make her smile: pretend fart noises (she inherited the Gordy sense of humor for sure), seeing dad when he gets home from work, and falsetto singing.  Seeing these two together melts my heart!

Iris's sweater was made by Lissa (friend and former intern) from this Purl Soho pattern. 



Meet Iris Bloom, born on my due date, January 9, 2014.  A tiny little thing, weighing 6 1b. 12 oz.  She was born 9 weeks ago, and I wish I would have had the time and energy to write this post sooner because there's so much that I've already forgotten.  I would love to tell you the birth story and more, but I think I'm still trying to process all of it.  Hopefully I can come back here from time to time and revisit it in bits and pieces.  It's been the hardest time of my life but also the most awe-inspiring.  What I do know is that we love her with all of our hearts and feel very lucky to be a family.


mittens yarn

The yarn I used for the Cozy Purl Ridge Mittens is Puno by Rauma.  It's a Norwegian yarn, so unfortunately it's very hard to find in the U.S.  I got mine here, in case you're looking for it.  It's really cushy and soft, perfect for a pair of cozy mittens.


new in the shop

new in the wiksten shop
new in the wiksten shop

Hats, mittens, dala horse ornaments, and a sale on printed sewing patterns.  Here.


mittens pattern

cozy purl ridge mittens

There's a new Wiksten pattern in the shop!   Cozy Purl Ridge Mittens.  You can find it on Ravelry here too.  These would make great holiday gifts, since they're so quick to knit up in the Aran weight yarn.  Isn't there something lovely about the idea of warming the hands of your loved ones?

I love how these mittens fit, especially the "afterthought" thumb.  I really prefer this thumb constructions to a gusset thumb because I just think it's more comfortable to wear.  The purl ridges give these mittens a lovely cushy texture, but the simple pattern looks good in Stockinette stitch too (even better with stripes).  Or you could always add custom touches of your own, such as cables, bobbles, or Fair Isle.  Whether you're looking for a good basic mitten pattern to learn mittens for the first time or whether you're an advanced knitter wanting to add some design elements, this is a good place to start.

I've taught a couple of classes using this pattern over the last two months so I could test it out on some beginners and see what they had trouble with.  I ended up adding some photos to the instructions as well to illustrate some of the trickier steps, such as getting the mittens started on DPN's and setting up the thumb.

Also, there's one pair of handmade mittens left in the shop!  I'll be adding a few more goodies next week...


wiksten holiday


There will be two Wiksten holiday shop updates this year--one on Monday, December 2 with handmade mittens and mitten pattern for sale, and the second on Monday, December 9 with some other surprise goodies including a sale on sewing patterns.  I'll be posting more info here as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and on the newsletter.  Have a fantastic Thanksgiving!


the foundry

the foundry, minneapolis
the foundry, minneapolis
the foundry, minneapolis
the foundry, minneapolis

The Foundry was one of my favorite places I visited while in Minneapolis.  What a gorgeous shop!  And so cozy that I didn't want to leave.  I'm really glad they have an online store, because I love their beeswax candles.


emily's house

emily's house
emily's house
emily's house
emily's house
emily's house
emily's house

I took these photos at Emily's home when I was in Minneapolis recently for a visit.  Inspiring and inviting as Emily herself, the space is filled with warmth, color, plants, good people, and lots of knitting.  Wish I was there right now, having a cup of tea.


happy halloween!



A little sneak peek of new Wiksten for the trunk show this weekend.  Marled stripe mittens.  I've been working on my mitten pattern for awhile and testing it out on people, and I think the fit is just right.


wiksten + odette trunk show

top photo by Tamara Schlesinger, bottom photo from Mille

Wiksten is coming to Minneapolis!  This Saturday, October 26, Jennifer Sarkilahti of Odette and I will be at the beautiful boutique Mille selling our fall goods.  Come by for hot cider, fall treats, and shopping.  I'll be bringing handmade knits in new styles plus maybe a few surprises.  Check back here this week before the show for more photos of my work.  See event details here.

Trunk Show aMille
316 West 48th Street
Minneapolis, MN
Saturday, October 26th


made by hand

Made By Hand Made By Hand Made By Hand Made By Hand

Lena Corwin's new book Made By Hand came out this week!  I created two new patterns just for the book--a dress/top sewing pattern and a sock knitting pattern.  After spending months on these projects, I'm ecstatic to see how beautifully the book turned out.  It's full of amazing projects by many different designers who taught classes at Lena's studio over the years.  Each project has detailed instructions and step-by-step photos of techniques demonstrated by the teachers themselves, so doing the projects is almost as good as taking the classes in person.  See more on the book's website, and check out behind-the-scenes videos here.

If you're in New York, there's a book launch party at the Mociun store next week.



It's been awhile, let's catch up.  After the Marguerite dress collection, Joe and I took a trip to Portugal.  I loved it.  Upon returning from my trip, I planned to finish and publish the Marguerite sewing pattern.  However, instead I came home to find myself unexpectedly expecting.  Yep, totally pregnant.  I was shocked!  

My life has been so very different since I found out.  Plans changed.  The first few months of pregnancy were pretty rough because I felt useless and awful a lot of the time--the nausea and exhaustion kept me from doing much that didn't involve me laying on the couch.  I really had to cut back on my work hours and rethink everything.  Luckily, now I feel so much better.

As of today I am 24 weeks along!  I've been pregnant for 6 months.  (I know you know how to do the math, but before I was pregnant I hated it when people spoke in weeks and trimesters--it felt like a secret language that I didn't speak.)  Around 18 weeks I started to feel the baby move around inside me, which is such a weird and amazing feeling.  Until then it was really hard to wrap my mind around the fact that there was a tiny creature living inside my belly.  It just didn't seem real.  And then about a month ago at our 20 week ultrasound, I found out we were having a girl.  A GIRL!  Cool.  I really wanted it to be a girl, but I would have been pretty happy with a boy too.

I still want to get the Marguerite pattern published before I give birth (my due date is January 9), but in the meantime some other projects have come up that I've been working on as well.  I hope to share them here soon!


floral painting for textiles class


My friend Helen is teaching a painting class at the Dobbin Mews in Brooklyn on August 4, and there are a few spots left.  You can sign up here.  The class will be held in Nicolette Owen's flower studio, surrounding the students in gorgeous inspiration.  

I'm sure you remember me blogging about Helen and her beautiful textile designs before.  I'm totally in awe of what she can do, and I wish I could take the class myself.  There's nothing prettier than a floral print, and I'd love to learn how to create one.  Plus Helen is super fun and always puts everyone at ease, so of course it will be a great time.


shabd's tie-dye book


I just got a copy of Shabd Simon-Alexander's new book Tie Dye: Dye It, Wear It, Share It, and it's so good!  I took a dyeing class from Shabd a few years ago, and I've been hooked on it ever since because it's crazy fun.  In the class, Shabd taught us a scrunching technique that I used with some light blue dye to dye fabric yardage that I later used to make the dress pictured above.  The book shares the technique on page 72, in the "Lightning Tee" project.  I really love how my fabric turned out.

What's great about Shabd's designs and book are that they really modernize tie-dyeing in a way that's more subtle and sophisticated than what's typical.  The color combinations are interesting and innovative.  I'm dying to try out basically all of the projects in the book, but especially the polka-dot dress on page 92.  The beautiful photos and clear instructions in the book should make it a breeze.  I'm so proud of my friend for working so hard to create such an amazing book!


marguerite dress collection

marguerite dress collection

 A collection of one-of-a-kind Marguerite dresses for the shop in a seaside palette.  Apologies for the limited quantity and sizes.  All are in sample sizes S and M, dimensions listed in item descriptions.  Follow me on Instagram (username "wikstenmade") to see snapshots of Marguerite outfits.  The dresses will be for sale starting tomorrow (Tuesday) morning, but you can preview them on the website now.

I've also listed some Wiksten fabric yardage in the shop.  I designed the prints for my S/S 2012 collection, and I still have some leftover fabric.  It was printed by Spoonflower, and I'm selling it at a discounted price so I can find a new home for some of my fabric inventory.


spring tova dress

spring tova dress
spring tova dress in progress

I sewed myself a Spring Tova Dress last week, using this glorious fabric by Anna Maria Horner.  If you're wondering why the Tova looks so different, it's because I customized the pattern by making a few changes.  First, I left the collar off and instead finished the neckline with a bias tape facing.  My Tank Top pattern includes directions for finishing a neckline that way.  I also applied a very lightweight fusible interfacing to the placket to give it more structure.  Thirdly, I added length to the hem because it seems my super short dress wearing days are over.  Last of all, I lengthened and tapered the sleeves and hemmed them instead of gathering them into a cuff, so I could roll them up.  I think when it gets warmer I'll take the sleeves off and just do a bias facing for the armholes.  This would make a great summer dress too.  It's been awhile since I've made a Tova, but I'm so glad I did.  There's nothing like having cheery new clothes for Spring.