Friday, November 30, 2012

Today's the day for the contest!
(OK, tomorrow, but I won't be near the computer so am planning ahead here...)

Click to visit the Lansing Area Aids Network and make your donation via paypal.

Then shoot Steven an email with your contact and donation info.

And be entered to win some of this great stuff.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Coming off of  hosting Thanksgiving and Maya's big play and an actual knitting submission deadline, plus a big dessert/cocktail party we decided to throw on the Saturday after the holiday (just to keep things going), I was a little wiped.   You  have no idea how good it felt to pick up the needles and make this for Zoe, with no pencils, no plans and no schedule.

It's Plucky Bulky in Icy Audrey, and it began as a swatch for a cowl design, but after I cast on, I realized I wanted to keep going and going and going without a destination.  A few TV shows later, Zoe had a hat. 

And I had my sanity back.   

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Just add a little of each to the bowl when you're mixing.
In case you can't see, that's bourbon and cointreau.

(Just for you, Diana --  no eggs!)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

 I wanted to tell you about a fundraiser that Steven Ambrose of Bitches Get Stitches is working on for this year's  World Aids Day,  which falls on December 1.  You may remember Steven from my earlier Rhinebeck post, as he's the brains behind Nips With Steven - where he photo-essays any Rhinebeckians who are game enough to pose with his bottle of booze -  and he's a thoroughly entertaining blogger in general.   But he's also doing some good deeds out in the world when not photographing drunken knitters and knitting or blogging. 

 Last year, he organized a fundraising contest for the Pittsburgh Aids Task Force and raised just under $5,000 to help them with their work, and this year he's decided to help the Lansing Area Aids Network in the same manner.

Straight from Steven's blog, here's the HOW:

1. on december 1st, click this link to visit the lansing area aids network website and make a donation via paypal. the suggested minimum donation is $40, the cost of one rapid hiv test. however, i know $40 is a lot money for a lot of people (myself included). since i don’t want to discourage anyone from making a donation they can afford, all donations will be accepted, even if it’s only $1.

2. shoot me an email at with your contact information and the amount you donated. the details of your personal information will be kept confidential. this is so i can keep track of the total as it grows, and so i can make sure you get your prize.

3. winners will be chosen at random. it could be you!
the fine bold print:

*entries will only be accepted on world aids day itself (dec 1st)! this means 12:00am – 11:59pm is your 24 hour window to make a donation and send me an email to be entered to win some loot. i’m in the eastern standard time zone here people, so my giveaway is too!
And, since I posted this a bit before I should have, if you have already made a donation because I didn't have all the information yet, email Steven at and he'll enter you.  My bad for posting too early!

The prize page is here, and there's some fabulous stuff on it.  Patterns, yarns, books, bags... take a peek!

So while you're being Thankful for all you have this season, maybe throw a little extra karma out there into the world towards Lansing - and you may walk away with something pretty awesome, in addition to the feeling that you did a nice thing.

And if you're a BabyCocktails fan, there are 5 packs of 4 BabyCocktails patterns of your choice in the mix.  Just sayin'

Have a great holiday!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Just checking in as I have a half hour before running out.   

Sometimes I find that a half hour is just enough time to waste, and not enough time to get anything done, you  know?  So here I am, posting instead of doing one of the thousand other things that might be a better idea. 

Anyways,  since this weekend was already hugely packed with Stuff,  one of my oldest and favorite-est friends who lives far away was in town for a conference.   As luck would have it, she could stop by and spend the night on Friday and I could send Craig to help with Oklahoma wardrobe for the Friday show and miss the performance, since Maya was third cowhand from the left in that one.  Phew.

So I got to hang out with her and we  made these. 

Pear-Lavender Gin and Tonics

2 oz gin
2 oz of pear nectar ( Goya pear nectar comes in a single soda-sized can at your supermarket)
Add ice to glass
fill remainder of glass with tonic water
add 2 shakes of lemon bitters and stir
add a slice of lemon to the top
and last, take a few lavender petals and crush them in your fingers, sprinkle on top
 (culinary lavender is at any fancy supermarket, or a Savory or Penzey's if you're lucky to have one nearby!)

 We had them in front of the fire and spent the night catching up till Maya got back and filled us in on the first performance.   It was another Girls Gone Mild Evening, and it was great.

Friday, November 16, 2012


Most of the activity in the house for the last and next few days revolves around Oklahoma! (where the wind goes whistling down the plain).  I can sing most the songs from the movie by now, since Maya scored the lead role and has been crooning around the house for weeks.   

She's the one in the pretty frock, above in one of the show's  awesomely posed PR pics.  It's hard to recognize her all girly, but there she is and I am dyyyying to see her do her thing this weekend.   I've seen a little during the dress rehearsal and was already a puddle of proud parental tears.  We'll be going to all the performances -- two in actual seats and two backstage, since it's a cooperative theater and many jobs must be done.  

And of course, we will be hosting various grandparents and friends who are coming out for the event and staying through to Thanksgiving, so it's kind of like our holiday begins this weekend and continues onto next.   Our guest list has gone down a bit though, and is hovering at 15.  Very do-able.    I love all 15 of them dearly, and am looking forward to all of it.

Behind those all important happenings,  I've just finished my Sunshine Yarns cowl and am really happy it.  The undulating stitch pattern gives this cowl  an amazing drape, and I love how the lace is sometimes hidden, sometimes not.   I am going to let the pattern sit for the next week, since I have no bandwith to catch any mistakes right now -  and hope to release the week after Thanksgiving.   

But in the meantime, if you have a skein of Sunshine merino sport lying (225 yds) around, you may want to wind it into a cake.


In addition to the cowl-making and play preparation, I have also just finished the pattern materials on that white sweater, which many of you have been asking about.   Still a secret, sorry!  (unless you witnessed a certain group photo shoot at Rhinebeck ;)  Anyways, the collection that it is going to be a part of won't be coming out until next Fall, and I promise to let you know all about it then!


For upcoming knits, I am working my way towards colorwork on the gray sweater, still playing with the brown and purple skeins I showed you last week, have begun work on the collaborative project I mentioned,  and just got this in the mail a few days ago.   ARAN.  Yep, ARAN.


So, the drinks around here have been the pre-made kind.  And they are very good.

Happy weekend!  I'll check back in before Thanksgiving with a Pre-Turkey cocktail for you guys.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Debbie's photo of her Moonshine test knit.  Beautiful, right? 

In preparation for the pattern release, I did buy a bottle of the stuff, and have yet to open it and take a swig. 

I also watched an episode of the brain-numbing new TV series, Moonshiners, where some idiot was "holding onto" an entire still in the back of a pickup truck.  You know where this is going right?  It took the back of the cab off when it hit the floor.   And you could barely understand a word the moonshiners said when it happened, as they stood around in their shirtless overalled glory and scratched their toothless heads over how that coulda happened. 

I promise, the pattern itself is far from stoopid, and the word "ain't" will not be included in the text.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

First, what's Off the Needles.   This is my original Black Cherry Lambic, which I've always loved, but wished was just a bit longer.   So, before Rhinebeck I ordered one more skein of Plucky Primo in Bashful and put an extra 14" onto the scarf, for a final length of 70". The added length allows me to wrap around it my neck and still get nice long, woofy textured ends for hanging down.   It has now replaced all my other neckwear and I never want to take it off.   In fact, I took the scarf off the table after photographing it and am wearing it again - indoors, with a tee shirt.   And I bet I"ll keep it on for the rest of the day because it just makes me happy.

Also just Off the Needles is this orange number you see on the bottom of my little yarn pile.   The yarn is my old friend Dani's Sunshine Yarn Merino Worsted  in Heirloom Tomato.  It's the perfect shade of deep orange.  I found a truly addictive stitch pattern and created a cowl that - so far - can be worn three different ways.   I need to weave in the ends, take a few photos, and do some writing, but am hoping this can be on some of  your needles by the holidays.


What's On the Needles is some Valley Yarns Stockbridge from WEBS.   I hadn't even planned to begin this, but last night it just seemed like the right thing to get going on, and by this morning, I'm already a couple of inches in!  I have plans to take Mary Jane Mucklestone's Craftsy Class on colorwork before I get to the green and light gray pieces of the design.  I've met Mary Jane out in the world, and it is not surprising she's a color guru, because she's someone who just radiates happy.  And her sense of design is kind of awe inspiring, so I trust her implicitly with my color education - and I'd better get started, right?   Luckily, I can work the straight sockinette portion while I watch and learn.  We'll see how that goes, but so far I'm loving the soft alpaca-wool combination going on.   And the fact that this stuff is $4.49 a skein.


What's Near the Needles are those two other skeins lying on the Sunshine Yarns Cowl in the photo above.    The brown is Green Mountain Spinnery's Capricorn - a bulky yarn that will soon be getting a bit of texture.   The purple is Blue Sky Alpaca's Worsted  Hand Dye, which I am always a sucker for.  It's getting  a lace and texture combo and buttons.   I expect these two will be showing up sometime in February, and I'll show you more once there is more to show.

Besides that, there is a bit of writing going on over here, a Knitting Sleepover tonight (ha - more on that later!), and a school play next weekend, followed by  Big Thanksgiving.  So much fun, I can barely contain myself. 


My girl Amy  likes a real drink, so I'm thinking of making something with whiskey or bourbon tonight.   
There's a collaborative project in the works, so we'll need a few,  right?  

Horse's Neck

2 oz blended whiskey over ice
ginger ale
lemon rind, peeled in a long strip and hung on the edge of the glass

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Since we were lucky enough to be out of the storm's eye, Halloween went off as scheduled in out town.    We had spooky drinks with great names.  (This one was a hard cider of sorts with cherry juice in it).  Followed by Spooky Beers while walking around.
I knit something orange.  (See that Dani?  It's yours!)

 Zoe was a zombie bride. 

And Maya was a dude.  

That about sums it up.   Thanks for an amazing response to Bloody Mary!  I am dying (pun intended, heh) to see the WIPs start popping up and am so glad that you all liked the pattern.