Monthly Archives: June 2009

Waiting is the hardest part.

It’s no secret that many designers create for themselves first.  I’m no exception. I love making items that I can use and wear in my own life but there’s a drawback.  Since I use my creations as the models for the patterns, I have to keep them fresh and pristine until the pattern is released.  After all it simply wouldn’t do to find I needed one more picture but have the item show that I’d been loving it for a bit.

My latest pattern has been waiting in the wings for quite some time. First I had to wait to hear back from Knitty.com where I originally sent it for publication.  This issue was chock full of other lovely designs ideal for the winter gifting season. This meant that Slip Into Summer was available for me to offer to you myself—after carefully editing and testing it of course!  Waiting has been hard, but I finally get to use it as my every day purse. And yes, I do love it.

So without further ado, here’s Slip Into Summer.

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The pattern calls for Sugar ‘n’ Cream. This makes a sturdy, easy knock around bag,. Nothing fussy or precious. Ideal for the beach or park when you take your knitting out into the sunshine.  You can purchase the pattern here  or at Etsy.

Enjoy the sunshine!

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Aunt Erma might not approve.

I have a couple traditions in my life. Every Christmas I make Great Aunt Erma’s Red Velvet Cake.  This is one of those from scratch, vintage recipes. It definitely dates back to the 1950’s and quite probably earlier.  It uses things like shortening (not butter!) and a vinegar/baking soda mix for leavening.  See:

 redcake

And every year for my brirthday I make myself an interesting cake. I started doing this in high school when I realized I wanted some ridiculous crazy thing for my cake and it didn’t seem fair to ask mom to make it for me. I’ve tried many differnt things. About half of them are complete and utter failures, but often taste good anyway.

Yesterday was my brithday, and this year I choose simple cupcakes for the style.  ‘Cause cupcakes are great!  Fun portable yummieness. But for the cake itself? I took Aunt Erma’s sacred recipe and deviated.  First I was out of vanilla extract. So I had to slice and scrape an actual vanilla bean instead. Darn. Second I thought “What if I used aged balsamic vinegar instead of the white vinegar I always use?” The answer is “all good things”.  The flavor differnce is subtle but makes it richer and deeper. And because the aged balsamic is thicker than white vinegar the resulting foam is fluffier, making the cake a bit loftier too. I made a cream cheese frosting to go on top. Again it uses real vanilla beans and I added Orange Flower Water for a little flavor.

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And shared them with my knitting group.

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Who reacted favorably. As always, knit-nite was fun and only a couple cupcakes made it home.  Not only that our favorite dyer (up there in the chair) showed off her new colorways. I’m voting for the orange and blue. I hope it will be in her store soon.

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And at the end of the night I spotted some knitting in the wild.

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