Friday, January 27, 2012

Anyone who knows me well will probably snicker at that.   I've never really tried to stay ON any of the proverbial wagons out there, since my lack of interest in making rules about self deprivation runs deep.   But I do try and keep a lid on the spending  when it comes to my favorite things to acquire.  Those things include:  (and are not limited to) yarn, booze, and various types of clothing, like boots.   I am happy to say I did not buy any boots today.  

The yarn and booze are both another story.   Earlier, I met up with a couple of  friends in Belmont.  Belmont has a very cool little beer shop, which I'd been meaning to check out.   Once inside, I absolutely had to walk out with something.   You cannot leave this shop without something, because it's all so cozy and colorful and the women who own the place are great.   (On Leonard St, in Belmont, it's called the Craft Beer Cellar -- if you 're local)

The thingy holds six, right?   I got six.
My drive home took me past Wild and Wooly, which  is having their annual clearance sale.  And there was parking out front.  
(Sorry Jody, I didn't plan it, would have called you!)

Keep in mind, I have just gotten and wound this in the past week for 3 separate projects I have yet to begin.  Yarn is also on the way for two more, and my little yarn cubbies are full.   I do not need yarn.   Not at all.

But they have discounted bags on the floor during the sale, and today the bags are an EXTRA 10% off.  And there was Rowan Tweed in those bags.  There is something physical that happens when you see clearance tags and giant bags of yarn on the floor.   If the yarn was neatly piled in the bins, I don't think I'd have had such a problem walking away, but those bags whisper to me when they're strewn around the rug, and they absolutely look like they need to be loved and taken home.     

So I did.  Two bags (some control there...).  One of Rowan DK tweed in this amazing orangey red, and another of the E. Lavold Calm Wool.  The Rowan may have a job already, as I am swatching and playing with tweeds for a late winter pullover.   The Calm doesn't yet have a role to play, but I've got 15 skeins of it, so I  need to figure out something or get some new cubes to store yarn in.
Lastly (for a long post, sorry),  I realize it's been a while since I shared any drinks, so here are the last two I managed to photograph:

This was Wednesday Night's cocktail, with a friend who stopped by:

2 oz Bourbon
fill glass with ginger ale
 dash of orange bitters
sliced lime and ice cubes

And this was the mimosa recipe from last weekend's brunch with Sarah and Hayley and Christine.

One bottle of champagne
half a gallon of OJ
4-6 oz of orange vodka
a few squeezes of lemon juice
orange slices and ice cubes

Now that I'm caught up on cocktail recipes,  I'd better get moving with all that yarn you just saw. 
Have a good weekend!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Absinthe is a pair of long, delicate gloves, with a retro nod to the 1960s. ( I imagine Kim Novak or Grace Kelly wearing a cream cashmere pair of these with pearl buttons.  Peeking out of their 3/4 sleeves on a fur-collared, cream-colored, A line coat, gripping the railing on the train, and knowing the murderer may be her leading man, with whom she's fallen in love.)    

The glove photos are Caro Sheridan's lovely work, copyright 2011 Splityarn.

But I'm designing for me, so this is a more everyday version of that glove.  A deeply dyed merino and some vibrant buttons give the classic lines a playful boost and a modern feel, for those of us not trying to survive a murder mystery.  I was hooked as soon as I saw the deep teal yarn in the Miss Babs booth at Rhinebeck, and started thinking about button flaps as soon as I found these sweet little buttons in stash.

Caro again, used with permission.

A delicate 1x1 ribbing is edged with a narrow belt, and leads into a long cabled glove.  The staggered cables have a bit of  unexpected lace in each loop, allowing you to put a layering pair of gloves beneath for a pop of color and added warmth.  Or.. going with the mysterious Absinthe/mystery theme, a little surprise.  I couldn't resist adding a second button band over the end of the cable, so if you aren't wearing 3/4 sleeves, your buttons can still show.  I used two larger buttons at the wrist, and two smaller, more delicate ones on the hand. 

And once more, Splityarn.

The yarn is Miss Babs Northumbria DK, in Teal.  Her colors were gorgeous at the Rhinebeck booth, but this deep bluish green was my favorite, and I may have left the fairgrounds with 4 skeins, in a few different yarn weights. Maybe.  Anyway, this Blue Faced Leicester DK is superwash, and it's a little wooly too, which is perfect for a workhorse accessory like a glove. 

The pattern is available for purchase on the sidebar above or on Ravelry for $6.50.   
Some details are below, and more information is on the pattern page. 

Yarn:  Miss Babs Northumbria DK, in Dark Blue Teal.  240 yds per skein, I used 1 skein.
Needles:  US#5/3.75mm long circs or DPNs or size needed to get gauge.
Gauge:  5.5 sts, 7 rows per 1" .  In stockinette, lightly blocked,
Size:  Small - 7" wrist,  Large = 8" wrist.   Length is adjustable.  


As for a cocktail with absinthe...  

For those of you who really want to play with the stuff, this book has a few great ideas.   For the Hitchcock inspired gloves, though,  I have to go with Death in The Afternoon.  It was Ernest Hemingway's contribution to a 1935 cocktail book titled, "So Red the Nose".  Ernest calls for an entire jigger of absinthe in his recipe, and also suggests you drink 3-5 slowly.   I'm toning it down a bit.

Death in the Afternoon

  Pour 1 oz of absinthe in champagne glass
Add iced champagne.
I've seen a few recipes that also suggest a squirt of lemon juice, so give that a shot if you like.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

It's sooo hard to resist the lure of this entire wall!  I have a good idea of my Plucky lineup for the remainder of the year now.   It includes two sweaters, a shawly scarf, and some boot topping legwarmers (among other things) --- thanks to a few hours spent in close proximity to both the wall and these ladies (and Cecily, who was busily signing books when this was taken!).

Thanks so  much to all of you who drove out in the snow to see us, and to all of you who helped with the event!   We had a great time meeting everyone, and I hope you are having fun making plans for your new projects.

Tomorrow we're off to the beach for a little lobster and quiet.  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

About 15 months ago,  I released a pattern called Dark and Stormy.  The design was a collaboration with The Plucky Knitter, and the cardigan was our version of the the kind of cardigan your Grandpa may have worn years ago.  It was designed in  a lovely deep dark gray, which Sarah created especially for the sweater.

The minute I started working with her, I knew I'd found a kindred spirit in all things yarn-related.    It turns out we have similar taste in clothing design, an affinity for cocktails, and she creates a yarn that is absolutely habit-forming (to which I am now admittedly, and happily, addicted).  So, that pile up there grew from one sweater to a few more projects over the past year, and there are more in the works.   It's been a lovely partnership, and I consider myself extremely lucky to be working with her.

But Plucky is way out in Michigan and I'm here on the East Coast.  Although we have the phone and the internet, we don't get to see each other in person.  So, we figured a combined trunk show would be the perfect excuse to do so, right?

Plus.... we asked  Cecily Glowik MacDonald  of Winged Knits to join us!!  She's done a few Plucky designs with Sarah, and all of her designs are just beautiful.  So, we'll have lots of sweaters, a bunch of Plucky yarn (while it lasts), and our patterns for sale.


And yes, there IS a drinks angle.  I'm not actually licensed properly to serve all of you, and neither is the yarn shop,  But...

Pairings, the wine and food shop next door,  hosts a tasting on Saturdays from 4-6pm, ,and has posted that they are doing a Funky Grapes tasting this week, with unusual wines you may not have heard of already.  I love this particular wine shop, and it works out perfectly to browse the yarn store, knit for a bit to kill some time, and then pop on over.  Doesn't it?


 I hope you can join us!  It's always fun to meet a few of you in person :-)
January 21, 2012
Trunk Show/Yarn Sale, noon 
Another Yarn
600 Main Street, Winchester MA  
781 570 2134,  email:

Wine Tasting, 4pm 
600 Main Street, Winchester MA
781 721 WINE, email:

Both are right near the commuter rail stop in Winchester Center.  Look for Breuggers Bagels, and they are next door.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Win your very own Drambuie!

Look on the Fibre Company Blog for details. 

After I released this pattern, Kate and Courtney asked if I'd be interested in doing an interview and giveaway, and of course, I said Yes!  Now you can find out everything you always wanted to know about BabyCocktails (usually that's:  "Where did you get that name?") . 

  Plus, you can win a a sweater's worth of lovely Canopy yarn and the pattern to knit up a Drambuie of your very own.

How fun is that?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

 Take a peek at these.  You'll see them again when my next few patterns get published.  

They are my new favorite earrings.  Favorite, because they are so pretty and delicate and kind of perfect for me, but also favorite because they were made by an old friend, with whom I've compared crafty endeavors for years.  She has a corporate job in advertising (which is where me met, about 20 years ago), but she's pretty much always made jewelry on the side.

She used to do it purely for fun, but as these things go, it's evolved and she's just begun the whole Etsy-Blogging-Facebook triple play, doing some of her own designs and taking custom orders to make whatever her clients dream up.    (Giving credit where credit is due, the above were her designs., which I didn't dream up, but happily claimed as my own over Christmas.)

So,  knowing her stuff is beautiful and knowing she's just entered this world, what kind of friend would I be if I didn't show you guys a little of her handiwork and encourage you to take a peek at her brand newish blog?  She's Antiquity Travelers, and on her blog she likes to tell the stories behind certain designs she's made or stones she's found, which often have histories I never would have guessed.   Plus she gets into a few details/personalities of her daily train-riding, jewelry-loving posse for whom she's made a few things.   

And of course, there's usually pictures of things that go really well with a new sweater.


I don't have a lot to say yet about that pile of new swatches and sweaters, besides the fact that they will look so lovely with my new earrings, but I can tell you what's in my glass. 

 Drambuie Rob Roy

1.5 oz dry vermouth
1 oz Drambuie
1 oz scotch
splash of soda
orange peel

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Why not end my first day of work in 2012 with a new pattern? 


This is Drambuie, my version of the short sleeved dolman style tops I'd been seeing in the stores this fall.   I do love them, but as a shorter, curvier kind of person, I wanted something with a little more shape and a little less batwing. 

Drambuie has the short sleeves and soft lines of those tops, but with a little more tailoring - keeping a slightly dropped sleeve and traditional waist shaping.   Details along the shoulder draw the eye up and an elegant cable down one side creates a flattering line down. I really do love this cable, and thought the lines of it were perfect for an offset motif!   

The short sleeves look great with a fitted tee underneath, and the length is also perfect for a pop of color peeking out below.

Simple construction allows you to alter the proportions easily.   Directions are in the pattern to adjust the bust, waist or hips as necessary, and making this any length that suits your body is a breeze.    

The yarn is Canopy Worsted, by the Fibre Company.  It's a mix of alpaca, merino and bamboo, and it's as soft as that sounds like.  It's made with a kettle dyeing process which creates a unique haze of color in the yarn that's a little unexpected and really beautiful.   The subtle undertone of burgundy/purple in this Yerba Mate had me from the beginning, and truth be told, I actually knit up a basic cardigan of the same yarn while designing this top, so I have two sweaters of the same exact stuff :-).

If you plan on subbing yarn, I definitely suggest staying with something light and drapey.  A solid, heather or soft tweed would work well.   Nothing too dense or wooly, and nothing too heavy.  It could possibly even be worn as a tee shirt if you used a delicate summer yarn with linen or a very light cotton.   


The pattern is available for purchase on the sidebar above, or on Ravelry for $6.50 US.  

More details are on the Ravelry page, but below are some specifics:

Yarn:  The Fibre Company Canopy Worsted, in Yerba Mate  750(800,850,900,950,1000,1050,1100,1150,1200,1250)yds
Sizing:  32(34,36,38,40,42,44,46,48,50)
Needles:  US#7/4.5mm or size to get gauge
Gauge:  5 sts, 7 rows per 1", in stockinette, lightly blocked


And as for the drink, the classic Drambuie Cocktail is the Rusty Nail:
1.5 oz scotch
5. oz Drambuie
lemon peel - 1 twist (and maybe a little squeeze)
over ice
There are others, but Drambuie is a mix of whiskey, with honey and herbs and spices in it, and I think it's best drank simply!

The cooking-eating-hosting-visiting gauntlet from Thanksgiving to New Year's is over and 2012 is about to begin.

I don't know about all of you, but today I have this happy feeling that's not so unlike "Whew, that's all done with!"   Kids back at school, Craig back at work, me back in my own office.  Not that the whole holiday gauntlet isn't fun - because it is! -  but when that last day of vacation ends, and the decorations are down, and the laundry is done and the travel bags are back in the basement,  I'm a bit glad to know that the old routine is about to begin again. 

I like this routine.  There's yarn to play with. 

New yarn in fact,  up there on top.  It's something I haven't played with before - Zen Yarn Garden Serenity DK.   Roxanne sent me a few skeins earlier in the winter, and I have a swatch going of this yellow, which I have grown really fond of.   It keeps whispering "Vodka Lemonade" in my ear.   And this stuff wants to be lacy and feminine and it sooo makes me think of spring. 

However, I'm getting ahead of myself, because before spring gets here,  more winter knits are coming. 

Winter itself may NOT be coming to MA (I cannot say that without thinking, Game of Thrones!)  but the knits are already done, so they will definitely still come, snow or not.

Later this week!  


In the meantime, A Happy Happy and Healthy  New Year to all of you  :-)