Saturday, September 29, 2012

 First of all, thanks so much for the great response to the Bombay Sapphire pattern!  I'm so glad that you guys like this one, and cannot wait to see them begin to get knit up.

 For those of you waiting to score actual Plucky yarn in order to make yours, there will be an update tomorrow, Sunday, September 30th at 5pm Eastern on the Plucky BLOG.  Not only will Bleu be available but many other colorways as well, and I've snagged Sarah's lovely photo here that shows a few of them!  Options will be available in both Primo Worsted and Plucky Sweater.   And as mentioned before, note that both these yarns are a light worsted weight, which is just a bit more delicate than a regular worsted.

Or maybe you were going for a neutral?  Here's some.

And if you're still hemming and hawing, there's EVEN more.

She's had a bit of fun in the dyepots here.

This time, Sarah and I are going to do something a little different in terms of "kits".  The logistics of putting print copies into the packages are both expensive and difficult, and we've realized that what you all really want are the PDFs.   So there will be NO print copies in the packages of yarn shipped.   Instead, you will receive a password with your purchase confirmation (from Plucky) that you can use on Ravelry to purchase the pattern for $4.00 - our usual kit discount - instead of the usual $6.50.  This password will be good for 2 weeks so you have time to download, and once the pattern is in your Ravelry library, you can print it out again if you spill on it or lose it, and you'll get an update automatically if there happens to be any errata.  For the few of you that do not have a Ravelry account,  we can work out a direct PayPal/email transaction instead via email, so you still get the discount if you have purchased yarn in the update. 

PLEASE NOTE: Bombay kits will ship on/about October 26th. 
And, on a fun note.   I'm getting used to these contests.  
Later next week, once you know what color you're knitting,  I'm thinking that maybe you'll need some buttons?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

So, Sarah sent me this yarn.   In this color called Bleu.   
Sweater photos courtesy of Caro Sheridan, copyright 2012 Splityarn.   

And as soon as I saw it, I knew I needed to make something without a ton of distraction.  Something that would show off both the crisp texture and the deep color of  the stuff.   The Primo is a wool, cashmere, nylon blend in a light worsted weight, so it's soft and distinct and feminine, plus this color is so deep that it almost hums.  Really, it does.

And I knew it had to be called Bombay Sapphire.   If you've seen the bottle, you already know why. 

So stockinette it was.  To be honest, I was dying for a soothing knit as we eased our way out of the the lazy days of Summer into the hectic schedules of Fall.   Before long, Bombay emerged as a classic pullover with just a few details to keep it interesting.

The pattern around the collar creates a subtle Peter Pan effect at the top of the sweater, and adds a bit of texture to the neckline. 


  Smaller "waves" around the wrists echo the collar and add a little something to the three - quarter sleeves. 

And the fit is classic and feminine, with shaping at the waist and a button notch in the ribbing for a pop of color. 


Knit from the top down, it's very easy to modify Bombay for length or sleeve choice.   Changing the width or shaping to flatter any figure is easy.  The sweater itself is sure to go with any wardrobe, and you can either keep it fun with a bright color like I did, or pick a favorite neutral for a knit that could easily become a year round staple.   


 The pattern is for sale on the sidebar at the left, or on Ravelry for $6.50.  
All the details are on my Ravelry page, but some basics are listed below.

Yarn:  Plucky Primo Worsted or Plucky Sweater, in Bleu, 200 (270) yards per skein.  
750 (800,850,900,950,1000,1050,1100,1150,1200,1250,1300,1350,1400) yds. 

Sizes:  32 (34,36,38,40,42,44,46,48,50,52,54,56)  Extra sizes this time!

Needles:  US #6/4mm, or size to get gauge. 

Gauge 5 sts, 7.5 rows per 1" .  Gauge taken from stockinette swatch, lightly blocked. 

There will be a Plucky Knitter update this Sunday at 5pm Eastern.  If you are hoping to score some Bleu of your own, just check in here .  Both Primo Worsted and Plucky Sweater will be available for order.   Note that both these yarns are a light worsted weight, which is just a bit more delicate than a regular worsted.  

As for drinks, I gave two more gin recipes a shot, and did much better with these than I did with the curacao.


In the martini glass is a Gin-Lemon-Basil concoction.  This one's nice and lemony and sour.

Muddle 2-3 large basil leaves and ice cubes in jigger.
Add juice of 1/2 lemon
Add two drops lemon bitters
1.5 oz of gin
and simple syrup if you want it a big sweeter.

Shake and pour through strainer.  Drink while cold!


In the smaller glass is a little pomegranate -ginger ale combination.  (As I did really like that other ginger ale drink!)

Put 2-3 ice cubes in glass.
1.5 oz gin
quick shot of pomegranate juice (1-2 oz)
slice of lemon or orange (both worked well)
fill with ginger ale


Give each of them a try and see what you think!  

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Photo, as always, by Caro Sheridan, Splityarn @2012

Just a little preview of next week's sweater.    As you may remember, the buttons were going to be either these lemon ones, or a couple of bright oranges.  Lemon won.

 Later today, I'll be playing with the Bombay Sapphire itself and edit this post to give you a sneak peek drink to go with the sneak peek photo, so tune back in anytime after beer thirty and have your glass at the ready.

Hi again.  I decided to experiment a little with blue here.

Crystal Slipper
.5 curacao
1.5 gin
2 dashes of orange bitters

And it was a bad idea.   Sipping that thing gave me a shudder that included a left eye twitch.   Unfortunately, I don't think Curacao has any redeeming qualities beyond the food coloring property of bright blue.  The only good thing about the Crystal Slipper is that it matches the blue yarn perfectly.  Don't drink it.

However, the second cocktail was much better and my eyes have remained twitch free.

London Buck

2 oz gin
juice of 1/2 lemon

4 oz ginger ale
ice cubes

This one's lemony and refreshing (like my buttons).   

Monday, September 17, 2012

It's been so long since I managed to actually post about a cocktail that the photos are getting backlogged in the camera.

So, today's a good day to catch up, right?  I've just shot my next two patterns, I have a sleeve left on the needles for Rhinebeck, plus a neckline to finish up,  I am writing up a November pattern, and am in the midst of sketching for Dark and Stormy #2.   So, knits are in the works, but very little of them are in any kind of shareable form.  The drinks, however are absolutely ready to be shown.

 This drink was a Delmonico #2. 

1 dash  of orange bitters,
 .5 oz of dry vermouth
1.5oz gin.  
Garnished with a lemon peel (and a squirt of lemon juice).

It's a sipper - and the perfect excuse to use these pretty etched glasses.

But sometimes you don't want to sip.   So, we decided to celebrate the end of summer with traditional Cape Codders.

  I'd forgotten how good these are. 

Cape Codder
1.5 oz vodka
5.5 oz Cranberry juice
slice lime in half - squeeze one half  and plop it in. 


And last weekend, we had a little brunch before meeting Caro for the latest BabyCocktails photo shoot.

And wouldn't you know it?  The brunch joint had a do it yourself Bloody Mary bar!  Who am I to say no?

  Especially when the pattern being shot IS actually Bloody Mary.  I got a little practice in towards making the perfect drink.

I made this one with lemon, tobasco, a little horseradish, and all kinds of crunchy stirrers.  The two left in the shot are asparagus and celery.   In New Orleans, I had Bloody Marys with sugar cane as the stirrer and cajun spices on the rim.   And occasionally, I've had them with worstershire sauce added.   I have to think a bit more on the perfect mix, so if you have any mystery ingredients you love in yours, do let me know!  

The pattern will be out in Oct, so there is still time to plan.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

They're calling it the first day of school around here.  The little one is over there from 8:15 to 11:30 and the big one goes from 11:30 till 2:15.  Just to taunt me.  I'm going to wait until tomorrow to say it's the first day of school here at home, but in the meantime I can kick off the school season, can't I?  

St Germain is a hat and mitten set I knit up last winter, but didn't have finished in time for the cold weather, so I've been patiently waiting for Fall so I could share.  It's a quick project that you can get done in plenty of time for that first day in the winter coat.  

The good photos, are as always, by Caro Sheridan of Splityarn!

 This is all about the delicate flowered detail, which is both simple and intricate at the same time.  The set is knit in a lovely yarn from Bijou Basin Ranch, called Bijou Bliss, which is a 50/50 yak and cormo mix that I purchased at last year's Rhinebeck.   The mix is soft and warm, and feels very light on the needles.  I loved working with it, and for wearing, it's light, warm and soft all at once.

St Germain itself is a French liquor made from elderberry blossoms.  It's still gathered in burlap sacks by old men on bicycles in the French countryside, and it absolutely tastes and smells  like delicate flower petals.  So when I saw this feminine floral motif,  I knew exactly what the pattern was going to be to be called.   

Just like the liquor, the hat and mitten set are subtle, but not as subtle as you think.  The texture and the floral theme adds a lovely, delicate touch to jeans and a basic jacket.  Both hat and mittens knit up easily, and the flowers are simpler than they look.  
And this photo was by me, but it shows off both as a "set", so I used it.

Instructions for the hat are given in two sizes, and the mittens are one size fits all, but easy to modify. 

All the information is on Ravelry, but a few basics are below.   The pattern is for sale on the sidebar or on Ravelry for $6.50.

Yarn – Bijou Basin Bijou Spun Bijou Bliss.  2 skeins, 150 yards each.   In #12, Sky.
Needles – US#5/3.75mm circulars and DPN needles.   
Notions  Darning needle, stitch markers, and waste yarn or stitch holders for the thumb.   
Sizing  Hat = 19(22)” around, depth can be adjusted as needed.  Mittens = 8” wrist, length can be adjusted as needed.   
Gauge   Blocked, in stockinette - 6sts, 8 rows per 1”.    

And for the drink, St. Germain has a great website with all kinds of recipes, which I cannot even try to top.   My favorites are the Elderfashioned and the Gin and Tonic.   Give both of them a shot and let me know what you think!

Here's hoping your first day of school was a full day :)