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Pretty Little City cross stitch

The Pretty Little City cross stitch pattern by Jody Rice of Satsuma Street was an absolute delight to make!

I finished this pattern fairly quickly. I think it just flew by because there are small, colorful sections to stitch, and they don’t drag, at all! (In contrast, the Arcadia pattern I’m working on right now is really dragging, I’ll be honest, with swaths and swaths of whites and off-whites and more nearly-whites.)

PatternPretty Little City by Jody Rice of Satsuma Street. There was a small “oops” in the gold-on-dark pink branch on the left, but it wasn’t intended. I did intentionally make the double arches identical, in both spots where they appear, because I wanted them to look symmetrical.

Fabric and floss: I used DMC Carolina Linen in Sand, which I absolutely love. It has a natural color with tiny dark flecks. I also love the look of cross stitch on evenweave, versus Aida, and the tightness of the weave of this fabric works really well for me. This particular fabric has been my favorite of all I’ve tried so far. The floss is DMC embroidery floss, using 2 strands.

Finished dimensions: My chosen fabric is worked at 14-count, versus the pattern which is written for 18-count. So my Pretty Little City ended up being about 7.7″ square before framing. For framing, I turned to my local Joann’s, where I’ve had a ton of stuff framed in the past, always with great results. They were once again great, even accommodating a last-minute change of heart about the mat color :). The framed work is 16.5″ square.

I really love how this all came together! This Pretty Little City joins the two Satsuma Street Christmas ornaments I made last year (tree and bell), and I look forward to making more!


When you have little kids, Halloween is everything! We saw a house near Sonya’s daycare with the most amazing rat decals on the porch steps, and we just HAD to have some, too!

I found the perfect set of 17 vinyl rat decals on Etsy from the VinylLettering store. In BLACK, of course! It looks so good, so spooky, and it was ridiculously easy to put on! Even the kids could help!

The kids are dressing up as Minions this year. I got them store-bought costumes (little and big), but I did sew my own yellow jersey slouch beanies (made two from one XL adult t-shirt!) because the ones that came with the costumes were terrible. I followed this tutorial, which was straightforward to follow, even in native Swedish :).

In other news, my sweet Sonya turned 3 years old this week! Can you believe it? Just yesterday she was the tiniest little peanut.


Festival yarn

This year, my family and I went to the New Hampshire Sheep & Wool Festival in May, where I bought 5 skeins of Green Mountain Spinnery’s Sylvan Spirit in agate.

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The beautiful thing about buying this yarn at the booth, versus online, is that I saw it knit up in a variety of projects, and knew that although it seems wooly in the skein, it blocks to a very soft, drapey, cushy fabric. The yarn is a blend of 50% Targee wool, and 50% Tencel Lyocell.

The fibers differ in the way they take up the dye, and the resulting color is rich and heathered. Indoors, or in dim light, the color is closer to aubergine, as you see above, but outside, the color is more violet. I knew that the yarn would be best in a simple stitch pattern, and I chose Ischl by Monie Ebner.

PatternIschl by Monie Ebner, worked without mods. I have only one comment about the pattern. In the “Notes” section on page 2, there is a recommendation to work the right i-cord loose, and the left i-cord tight, and I think those recommendations should be reversed, meaning, left (outer edge) i-cord loose, and right (neck edge) i-cord tight.

Yarn: Green Mountain Spinnery Sylvan Spirit in agate, about 260 grams and 807 yards (4.5 skeins).

Needles and finished dimensions: after blocking, the shawl is a whopping 105″ across the top, and 22″ deep at its deepest. The overall shape is that of a boomerang. It is perfect for wrapping up around yourself on a chilly autumn day.