Checklist

  • Yarn
  • Needles
  • Spindles
  • Roving
  • Dyepots
  • Dye
  • Champagne
  • Air mattress
  • Sleeping bag

Isn’t that what everyone takes camping? Full report next week. Enjoy your weekend!

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For Your Consideration.

For those of you in the knitting and yarn world, it’s no secret that Sock Summit is coming up in a little over a week. For those of you not in the knitting and yarn world, why yes, we can spend an entire weekend talking about just socks.  Why do you ask?  (And if you give us any trouble about it, not only will you not get any handknit socks, we just might poke you with our pointy sticks to boot.)

In conjunction with the upcoming Summit, Ravlery is hosting a Dye for Glory contest, wherein dyers submit yarns they’ve created specifically for socks.  In light of that I’d like to mention two lovely, independent dye houses. 

The first is Actual Size Creations located here in Seattle and makes super yummy yarns.  I’ve got a pair in her sock yarn on the needles right now.  Her eye for color is outstanding. You will find her yarns in the Kettled, Mosaic, and Painted categories.

The other is Frog Creek Fibers just outside of Portland Oregon.  They’re a three woman team working together to make lovely colorways.  You can find them in the Dipped category.

They both make absolutlely lovely colorways in delicious squooshy yarns. August 1st is your last chance to vote. Go give these ladies the recognition they deserve!

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There are perks

When your friends know you have an obession with sticks and string they start to help you out. Thankfully that help tends to come in the form of “Here, I thought you could do something with this” rather than “Seriously? You need more yarn?”

This week one of my more interesting gifts arrived.  My friend Celeste has lived in more places in this world than I can track. From her travels she acquired this.

celeste yarn (2)

Two skeins of sheep colored (grey sheep that is) worsted weight yarn.  The first comes from Colorado. Here’s the details.

celeste yarn

And here’s the details on the other.

celeste yarn (3)

That’s right, it’s from Botswana. Botswana!  You’ve got some of that in your stash–right?

I love that neither one has yardage or needle or gauge information on them. It’s like they’re saying “It’s yarn, you know what to do”.  Without any preconceived ideas about what it should be I can think about what it could be. So now I’m waiting for the yarn to talk to me and tell me what it wants to be. Celeste and I think it’s probably a wrap of some sort.  I’m just waiting to see what the details might be.

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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.

chair 3

coffee 3

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.

6-9-09 (4)6-9-09 (7)6-9-09 (3)

 

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.

6-9-09 (11)6-9-09 (15)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

6-9-09 (18)

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I blame the Vicodin

On Thusday I had all four of my wisdom teeth pulled. This means the Dr. was kind enough to prescribe some powerful drugs to help with the “discomfort”.  While I had planned to be competely miserable all weekend, it would seem that the procedure went very well and by Friday morning I felt fairly normal. I asked my friend David(you all remember David right?) what I should do with the day.  He told me about meeting the Yarn Harlot the night before and asked if perhaps I would like to write up the pattern for his little design.

I blame the Vicodin.  Why else would I spend all day writing, knitting and shooting this garment?  Especially when I had perfectly good reason to lie in bead and watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I definitely blame the Vicodin.

So without further ado–allow me to introduce “The Harlot’s Revenge”

pattern pic

It turns out that if you knit if out of something nice, instead of wool that resembles barbed wire, it’s really a lovely item.  Good work David! Thanks for letting me help. You can download it for free at Ravelry.com.

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New Pattern–L’il Slugger

It’s been a long while since I’ve released a new pattern. Over the next few weeks I hope to correct that oversight. We’re starting with L’il Slugger.  A fun stash busting amigurumi project. I made it up in a bulky weight yarn, but any yarn is fine as long as you use a hook small enough to get a dense fabric.  I’m thinking these would be great in a lace weight or sock wieght yarn and used as jewelry elements.

l'il slugger both long

As always, my pattens are available on Ravelry and on Etsy.

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