Rainbow Striped Beanie + Pattern!

by tolmema on November 21, 2017

I’ve been knitting a lot this season. My current WIP list includes three (yes, three!) sweaters, a couple of dolls, and some socks that will never get finished. Recently, I made a simple, squishy, soft grey beanie with rainbow stripes.

knit-alpaca-beanie-rainbow-stripes | tolmema

The grey is made from 100% alpaca, and the stripes are a kettle-dyed silk/alpaca blend.

knit-alpaca-beanie-rainbow-stripes | tolmema

I think this is one of my favorite finished items so far. It’s very soft and warm, and has a lot of color without being overwhelming.

The beanie is for sale in my Etsy shop if you want to buy it.

I also created a pattern if you’d like to make one for the holidays, available on Etsy and Ravelry. It’s only 99 cents! I’ll be raising the price after Black Friday, so get it while it’s on sale!

Also, many of you have been asking about the dolly pattern I’ve been working on. It’s in the works; I’m doing some final testing and revising of the pattern, but the big bulk of the work is done. I’m hoping to release it by the end of the month.


Mission Minimalist Wardrobe

by tolmema on February 21, 2016

I don’t know about you, but I love the idea of a minimalist wardrobe. There’s something about keeping things simple and wearing things that you love that is extremely appealing to me. It took quite awhile for me to realize this as in my youth I loved wearing wild colors and things that didn’t match because it was “trendy”.



A few years ago I took a job with a company on the East Coast and was flown out to meet the owners and spend a week with my new team. It was my first business trip and I was very excited to be jet setting across the country for very important work. However, when it came time to pack for my trip I made a horrible realization: I had nothing to wear.

Since having kids, I had acquired the typical “mom wardrobe” – yoga pants, a stained tank top,  a hoodie, and a messy bun. I had a ton of clothing in my closet, but nothing really fit, and nothing really went together. Those problems coupled with body confidence issues made me feel uncomfortable wearing anything even mildly professional from my closet.

The resolution of this story is quite anti-climatic but very typical of many moms – I bought a few emergency items for my trip, felt horribly self-conscious of my body while I was working, and came home with more memories about how uncomfortable I felt in the presence of young, cute, stylish women than from any actual work that I did with them. This experience was a huge turning point for me in terms of my wardrobe, and how I approach clothing now.

I was determined to be better prepared for my next business trip. I pored through Pinterest trying to figure out the secret sauce to the “perfect wardrobe” and how my personal style fit into said secret sauce. After awhile I started seeing some patterns in the outfits that I liked – casual, flattering, and more natural colors (namely black and grey) – basically, the minimalist wardrobe.



The idea behind the minimalist wardrobe was terrifying at first: “get rid of almost everything in your closet and ensure that what makes the cut can mix and match with everything else.” Eek! I tried to get rid of things in my closet but found that I was holding an unnecessary emotional attachment to everything I owned. I simply wasn’t ready to pare down to just a handful of items. It took a fit of rage a couple of years later when trying to get dressed for a hot date that I finally broke down and pitched a bunch of my clothing. Fuck all of these shirts! And these stupid pants! And these shoes! I tossed a bunch of stuff I didn’t love and was surprisingly happy with the results (once I had cooled down).


Since then, I’ve been focused on creating a wardrobe that is simple, comfortable, and flattering. I’m still not 100% there yet, but I feel like I am moving in the right direction. Every business trip is easier to pack for because I am continuously getting rid of things that I don’t love and sticking to what I know would look good and feel comfortable wearing.

My daily go-to at this point is a plain tee, some jeans, and a zip-up. Still plain, still simple, still basic – but now I can pull pretty much any top from my closet and it will match just about any bottom that I have, and that’s very freeing. I also now own things that actually fit me, so I don’t worry about whether or not I look good when I throw something on. The removal of so many choices has actually been a very liberating move for me, and I’m happy that I took the plunge to get rid of items that I didn’t need.

I’d love to hear your wardrobe story – what do you love to wear? What do you gravitate towards? Do you think a minimalistic style is valuable?



{ 1 comment }

Pretty Pins: Wrapping Paper Edition

September 29, 2015

So I am the type of person that starts thinking about Christmas in July. I have a running list of items I want to do for the holidays – decorations, food, etc. I am also one of those people that loves giving gifts. To me, there’s nothing better than the surprise on someone’s face as they unwrap a […]

Read the full article →

Pretty Pins

July 31, 2015

It’s been awhile since I shared some of my recent favorite pins with you. Click through to repin and see source info. Happy Friday! Vintage turquoise Pyrex Dottie pattern by Hannah Fettig Scrumptious yarn in natural colors barbour® godrevy waxed jacket What I wish I was doing today…… Want to see more pins? Follow me […]

Read the full article →

Purl Soho Bandana Cowl

February 19, 2015

I recently finished a Bandana Cowl for a Valentine’s Day gift exchange at my LYS. Ravelry notes can be found here. The cowl is made from Malabrigo Indiecita on size 6.0mm needles. I double-stranded the yarn to get the correct gauge and it turned out too big the first time, so I reduced the original […]

Read the full article →

Kitty Beanie

November 11, 2014

I recently finished a kitty beanie for a friend as an exchange for a pair of thigh high socks. I was surprised how easy it was to do the ears – simply knit a tube and then seam shut flat! I really want to make one just like this for myself. It’s so soft and […]

Read the full article →

Finished: Grey Alpaca Beanie

September 15, 2014

This FO is one of my favorites: a grey alpaca beanie. It’s made from an unbranded 100% alpaca mix from my LYS (I’m assuming it’s a wholesale something from Henry’s Attic). It’s very soft and is very, very slightly uneven, giving it kind of a handspun feel. This is one of my favorite brands of […]

Read the full article →

Finished: Another Hayden Shirt

September 11, 2014

I seem to knit in bursts. I had a dry spell for about a month and then all of a sudden I finished 3 things in one weekend! This little guy is a sweater for a friend whose baby is turning one in October.  One of my LYS had a summer sale so I picked […]

Read the full article →