Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Check out what arrived in the mail today....

I am loving this deep orangey red.  It's Zen Yarn Garden's Serenity DK - the same yarn as Vodka Lemonade.  That decision between yellow and this one was a hard, hard decision to make, so we figured we'd do a yellow sweater first, and an orange sweater second.  Making the drink for this is going to be fun :-)

For those of you who prefer your neutrals, there are a few other skeins on the table as well.   

My Other Favorite Yarns.  Both Plucky and SHELTER.   That PluckyKnitter colorway is Shadow - a deep brown with a hint of purple in it, which I loved so much I bought it in an update a while back, and it's been patiently waiting for a project to be in.   It's also waiting for brown boots and red leaves.  The SHELTER is  Woodsmoke - a pale, pale brown that's destined for cables, pockets and leather buttons.

In knitting time, fall is almost here!

Friday, May 25, 2012

 How awesome is this??

 It had been living in a box in my Mom's basement, and would never have seen the light of day again if I hadn't wandered down there.  (Not exactly her taste.)  When I was little, it hung in the hallway of my Grandma Edie's Bronx apartment.  Right above the big round tschotchke display table with the wire doors.  The table had little glass bowls of  hard candy and framed pics of all the grandkids on in, and behind each of the little doors were shelves for all her porcelain figurines.  You've probably seen a similar table at a Grandma's near you.
 I didn't really want the table, but the painting?  Oh yes. The gold frame, the velvet border and the funky clown all in one place and I had to take it.  I grabbed it before it ended up in the Salvation Army store. (Where I would have bought it anyways - let's be honest)

And now it makes me happy in my office.  Maybe it'll inspire me.


As for the new hair, it's brown now, and way less curly.  The brown will stay, but the curls might return.   She gave me a keratin treatment, which is supposed to keep things shiny and smooth for a while.  I am loving the shiny and smooth, but I am not sure how long it'll last or what degree of humidity will cause it to crack.  New England is giving it a run for its money, and so far it's holding steady.  So all week, I've been seeing myself in mirrors and being surprised, which is kind of fun.

Lastly, the new sweater.  The yarn here is Green Mountain Spinnery's Cotton Comfort.  It's a bit rustic, but soft and delicate and comes in this lovely color, which I am going to dub Champagne. The sweater is still in the works, but my hope is to release it later this summer.  I am all about playing with the lace panels, and creating a little bias illusion by moving them around and adjusting the size of the leaves, which makes for a fun project.  It'll be a good summer top or transition piece for fall  (once it covers your boobs).  For now, decisions need to be made about the top half.

As for drinks,  the weather has warmed up and we have been making been Gin & Tonics on the front porch.  Some with lemon, some with lime, a couple with orange, and some with a splash of grapefruit.  One night we tossed the St Germain in as well.   There's nothing that doesn't taste good in one of these.  Maybe there is, but I haven't found it yet...

Happy Long Weekend - see what you want to toss in your G&T.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

 Seeing as the cat's out of the bag over on The Plucky Knitter's website, it's time to publish!

 Introducing Charleston Tea, a fun hoodie with a feminine edge.  This one is for throwing on after a long summer day, when the air cools down and cocktail hour approaches!  It's cozy, easy to wear, and a little sporty.  Lace adds a feminine touch, while allowing a little air in or a bright summer tee shirt to peek out.  It's knit top down, with 3/4 sleeves, a comfortable fit and a hip length.  And, as always, it's easy to modify to suit your shape.  

Caro, Stitchy, and I tried it out on a cold and windy day at one of our local beaches.  In fact, we drove around many of our local beaches, but ended up at this one, in Nahant. It worked just fine, and the cardigan absolutely got a "when the air cools down" trial run!  

Although perhaps I should have made a coordinating headscarf in anticipation of the coastal winds?  Next time...
(And yep, all of these lovely photos are by Caro Sheridan of Splityarn and used with permission) 
The yarn is The Plucky Knitter's new Primo Sport in Lincoln - a color that will look fabulous next to a summer's tan!  Just like the Primo we all know and love but a bit more delicate in Sport.  I love this stuff.  And Lincoln is that perfect bronze of an old penny.


The lace details from the back are echoed on the fronts and hood, and look lovely in the subtly vareigated yarn. 

For the hood, stitches are picked up along the neckline once the body is done. It's nice and cozy - with a rounded top.
(I'm not a fan of pointed hoods, so that was an important detail for me.)

The Charleston Tea pattern is available for $6.50 as a PDF, either on Ravelry or the sidebar to the left.

Kits, including both yarn and the pattern, will go live on the Plucky Knitter's website this Sunday at 9pm Eastern.  She has six gorgeous colorways available - including Lincoln.  You can see the photos and details on her page.

 All the pattern details are on Ravelry, but a few are below:

  • Yarn –  Plucky Knitter Primo Sport in Lincoln.  1400(1450,1500,1550,1600,1650,1700,1750,1800,1850)yds
  • Sizing   –   32(34,36,38,40,42,44,46,48,50)
  • Needles –  US #5/3.75mm. 29”circs for the body & button band, 16” circs or DPNs on the sleeves.  US#4/3.50mm.  24 or 29” circs for hood.
  • Notions  –  Darning needle, stitch markers, waste yarn or stitch holders.  6-8 buttons, about 1” in diameter
  • Gauge    6 sts, 8 rows per 1” in a stockinette swatch, blocked.

As for the drink recipe,  Charleston Tea is a cold tea punch, from a cocktail book Sarah and Hayley gave me. (How appropriate is that??)  I've altered the recipe a little bit to make it for a crowd, as I think it's great for company!  This should make 6 servings, so adjust accordingly.

Charleston Tea

6 oz light rum
6 oz dark rum
6 oz Cointreau
6 oz lime juice
6 dashes of angostura bitters
ice cubes
handful or berries
half orange
6-8 mint leaves
a pot of berry flavored tea,  steeped and then chilled
muddle the berries, mint and ice cubes in a pitcher with the liquors. 
Add the squeeze of orange and the bitters and stir
Add the tea to the pitcher
Garnish with mint and zest of orange


I'm hemming and hawing about cutting this short, since it's so much fun to read your comments, but being able to actually post the pattern trumps the contest so....   Three copies are being gifted into the following Rav libraries!




Thanks so much for all your comments - I have not been able to read every one yet, but totally plan to!  The ones I have seen have been great, and you've all got me hankering for SUMMER.  So much, in fact, that I froze my ass off walking to school this morning in a skirt, tee shirt and flip flops.   I was convinced it was 20 degrees warmer than it is, spending the early AM at all of your lakes, hikes, and beaches!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Thanks to the first contest, I now have a ton of drink ideas to try this summer.

This time, let's hear about where you like to go before cocktail hour!

My photos courtesy of Caro Sheridan/Splityarn

  For your chance to win a free PDF of the pattern, tell me (in the comments below) about your favorite spot to spend a summer day.  It can be a beach, a park, a lake, whatever, as long as it's summery.   

What's your perfect kind of day and  and where do you go to enjoy it?

I've got two girls to entertain myself, so if it's a local spot, I may be thanking you come August!  Because by then, we will have spent way too many days at our favorite spot.   It's a beach in Gloucester called Good Harbor.  You can swim in the ocean or in the tidal river along one side of the beach, and you can do a great lazy river ride under the bridge when the tide is right.  There's rocks to climb on, a guy who sells iceys on the sand, and a beautiful view.   After the beach, there's a lobster shack nearby.  And beers. 

The contest will work the same as last time.  We will pick three random comments from the list on  Friday afternoon, and I'll email the PDFs to the winners.  
Please do include either your Rav name or email so I can find you! 

This picture courtesy of  TanteJ.  It's one of the test knits!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The sweater on my needles is seriously not behaving as hoped, and I've just realized it's time to frog and begin anew.  I can't blame the sweater, since this is one of those times I was designing by spidey sense.  I know that sounds like a stupid idea, but really it sometimes does work.   However, this one got a little too crazy and complicated.  And I'm kind of standing at the bottom of a hole wondering if I can fudge my way back out.  So, a deep sigh, a nifty Excel spreadsheet, and a very organized lace chart later, I'm ready to do it.  And do it right this time.

After a short post.  Right?  

It was a photo heavy weekend, so how about a recap? It's even yarn-related - I went up to New Hampshire Sheep and Wool on Saturday AM with my buddy Emily.  We saw all the pretty yarns, ate buffalo sausage and hot dogs for lunch,  managed to pass the funnel cakes by, and hung out for a bit with Ellen Mason, who's awesome.  She's just designed something gorgeous for the Ball and Skein yarn below, so we spent a little time admiring things.      

We saw some baby bunnies and alpacas and lambs.  And we listened to all the complaining sheep.  (Meeeeh.)  Seriously, they sound like my grandma on a cranky day.  All they need to do is learn to shrug or wave a hoof while meh-ing.  Ellen hadn't made this connection before, but once we pointed it out to her, I'm pretty sure she'll be hearing it for years to come.  (sorry!)

  I came home with a bit of pretty yarn.  Or.... I almost didn't.  Since I left it at the fair and realized it at the gas station.  Poor Emily deserves a prize for her completely unfazed reaction and her no questions asked, not-hesitating U turn.  Only another knitter knows what that bag's really worth, even if it means an extra half hour on the road.  I got her a candy bar for her troubles.  Not sure it's an even trade, but she took it.

 I loved the minty soft green by GoodKarma,  It could be a hat.  The blue-gray Ball and Skein has to become something I can wear around my neck next winter.  The other chocolate yarn will remain secret.

I also have Emily to thank for my Mother's Day.  At the Waltham Steampunk Festival, which she told me about.   

Because it was Mother's Day and a good mother introduces her kids to all kinds of people. This guy was really proud of his dead frog change purse, and he had a cool real scar that kind of made the whole outfit.   I have many other pics, since there was no shortage of over the top costumes, but let's just limit it here.   Imagine a town full of weird goggles and futuristic victoriania. 

The other thing my weekend contained was gin,  which we had been out of until all your contest comments. So thanks for the reminder.

This was a gin fizz, which tastes a little like a lemon-gin latte.

Put in a jigger:
white of one egg
2 oz gin
juice of one lemon half
two dashes of peychauds bitters
lots of ice

Shake the above in that jigger for about 2 mins, so it gets white and frothy.

Pour into glass over more ice, and add seltzer.  I like adding lemon seltzer for even more lemon taste.

Garnish with lemon peel. 


I think that was enough of a break.  Off to frog and reknit now!

Tomorrow will be the 2nd contest for free PDFs of Charleston Tea.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

I had Maya, Zoe and Maya's buddy Margaux pick three random comments!  

Congrats to:


I think a Mojito sounds good after a day at the beach, even a pomegranate mojito just to jazz it up a bit.


A Jack and Ginger (Jack Daniel's TN honey and ginger ale). It's nice, easy and adds that little blush to your cheeks. Cannot wait to see the release.


probably gin and tonic... if you'd asked a month or so ago, it would have been a 7 & 7 (seagrams and 7up) but drinking gin is just too much like drinking a pine forest to pass up recently! 

Have just returned from NH S&W and am running back out the door, so will put your patterns into Rav libraries tomorrow AM.  Thanks so much to everyone for playing - you made me restock the gin supply around here with all your tasty ideas!

Since we still have a few days before the release and this was so much fun, so I think a Round 2 will be in order midweek!   

The question will be different, but the idea the same.   3 free patts to random responses - I do love getting OVER 200 COMMENTS! 

happy mothers day all of you :-)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

It's almost time to release Charleston Tea, so how about one more teaser photo?

And as promised, here's a chance to win a pre-release copy of the pattern. 

 In the comments below, tell me what you'd be drinking after a great summer day on the beach, at the pool, or by your local lake. You know, when the air cools back down and you put your hoodie on.  When the grill is heating up and your sunburn begins to set in....  

I'll chose three random entries (by order #) on Saturday afternoon (after we return from NHS&W) and the winners will get a free PDF of Charleston Tea, without having to wait until next week!

 (Be sure to include an email or a Ravelry name so I can find you.)

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

I know.  The blog posts have been written a little quickly, the knitting has dwindled, and the drinks, they get sucked down before photos are properly taken and ingredients are properly discussed.  But, I'm about to return to my old habits and promise to at least try to be relatively entertaining again soon. 

The last few weeks have been full of knitting type things that didn't involve needles.  This pile is related to the exciting news that many of my patterns will be available wholesale in the near future.   But that meant taking a long hard look at what I've got over here. 

 So, yeah, I had to figure out which of my patterns can convert down to 4 pages, and then edit them to be so.  Any of you who have knit my patterns know that this was no easy task.   In doing it, I realize that there are a few pitfalls in being your own graphic designer - and the first and foremost among them might be consistency.   (Often overrated, but in this case, important.)  So, I've spent a lot of time moving things around and matching fonts and adjusting spacing and editing commentary, so that eventually there might be a batch of patterns in a LYS near you that look like they are part of the same little BabyCocktails "family".    

From now on I just may pay a little more attention to matching format on my future patterns and save myself a bit of this drudgery in the future.  Because, really, I'd rather be knitting than spiraling down into the 7th Circle of Microsoft Word.  

I'd rather be knitting on this little pile of Green Mt. Spinnery's Cotton Comfort.  Doesn't it BEG to be called Champagne?  I got the yarn last year, with the plan to make holiday party gloves out of it.  They were going to be for New Year's - and called Champagne.  Cute, right?  Instead, I ended up with Absinthe and two skeins of Cotton Comfort.  But instead of finding their purpose as gloves, these lovely little skeins can still be called Champagne and are now destined to be a tank top. Which I'd wear more often anyways. 
As soon as it looks more like a sweater and less like a headband. Which will be soon.

The drink is a martini.  Vodka, lemon stuffed olives, a shot of the olive juice from the jar, and lemon bitters.  Plus vermouth.  I'm not usually a martini girl, but this wasn't bad. And it was C's idea.  I think he's still trying to sell me on the pickle juice and figures this is a warmup.  Not sure about that, but was willing to sip it while knitting.

But-- back to the idea of SOON.   Charleston Tea is showing up next week.  
Both as a PDF here AND as a Plucky Kit over there.

Stop back here on Thursday for your chance to get a free pre-release PDF! 

Monday, May 07, 2012

All dressed up and ready to go, a dead car battery (not MY fault) delayed us for a bit yesterday, but we still managed to get into Boston for the first SOWA market of the season and meet some city friends for the day.  Its in the South End of Boston, and boasts a giant vintage market, tons of artisan food stalls, rows of tents with craft vendors and the whole thing is lined with food trucks - you really can't ask for a bigger hipster paradise.   Not exactly hipsters, we decided to show up and blend in anyways.   Barbeque, bahn mi sandwiches and fancy cupcakes made for a pretty tasty lunch - and gave us the excuse to hit three different food trucks and stand in three different lines. 
The mojito cupcakes were fab - and had actual rum in the batter.

A few purchases were made - a little necklace, some pickled grapes, pumpkin chipolte pesto, and maple syrup. 

And Craig found this tee shirt.  Which I am very unsure about.  I may have to ignore him when he's wearing it.

The real reason for blogging about it here though, is the drink afterwards at Gaslight (a nearby restaurant) -- this one has a fancy french name that I forget, but also goes by the name "Drunken Bee".  It had pear vodka, honey, chamonille bitters, and grapefruit juice.  They topped it off with a little lime peel and a lemon slice.  And it was good.  Almost made me forget about the weasel shirt, but not quite.