Saturday, June 29, 2013

 A quick pop in before we run out for the day.   I know I've been absent on the boards and am a little slow answering email this week, but it's that time between end of school and beginning of summer activity and there's a lot going on around here.  

We had graduation from Middle School, complete with the dress and the shoes and the friends and the dance. Maya and her buddies have now learned that it's all about the shoes, which will be trouble.   (and the adorable dresses, but they really love the shoes)

There has been lots of  knitting --  I'm making some headway on a bigger project.   Actually a few bigger projects, but this one is at least photographable.    You'll be seeing a lot of Plucky this fall, and some more O-wool, a bit of Green Mountain Spinnery, a dressy holiday sweater in some gorgeous yarn from Ball and Skein, some more SHELTER, and a new yarn dyed by a friend of mine called Duck Duck Wool 

So far.

And I'm playing with cables.  I'd forgotten how much I love dense, repeating cables.


Plus, I have a new drink for you, which I made up I realized the bourbon was all gone:

2 oz Applejack
6 oz ginger ale
juice of half a lemon
dash lemon bitters

Add ice to glass, and pour applejack, lemon juice and ginger ale.   Shake a dash of lemon bitters in and add lemon slice.


Off for run, then out to beach.   I promise to check in next week - with at least a drink, but maybe also a project....

Friday, June 21, 2013

It's Time.  

I usually don' t think about Instagram until the end of the day, but  if you want to see where I am around 5 pm, those pics are a good indicator.  Aren't they?  And as we hit the first official day of summer,  I'm realizing that my end of the day pics have a theme.    

The sun is best out front from around 4-7pm, so that's where I migrate.  The writing is done, the swatching is over and the computer has usually just been shut down.   Dinner is on the horizon, but not quite yet.   And these are the rare days when  I don't have to dropoff and pick anybody up.  Instead, I love to bring the knitting out and sit still for a bit.   

  Which, apparently,  I've been doing.  I also apparently like to cross my legs on the coffee table (bad manners).  And, if you don't see the drink on the table, that's because it's balanced over here on the railing next to me.

I did have a couple more of these photos, but you get the idea.   After a long week, it's a double day of finals for the big one, and the little one is coming home from school looking like this, so I'm gonna say the pressure is off in 3rd grade already.   For me,  it's the parental home stretch before summer.   Graduation dress bought, dance setup committee slots signed up for, and end of year gifts in their little bags.

Time for a few drink recipes so you guys can enjoy your porches as well!   

A couple of  easy summer favorites are below:

Bourbon and Ginger

Fill tall glass with ice
Muddle a few mint leaves in the bottom with the ice cubes
Add 2oz Bourbon
Fill remaining glass with ginger ale
Squeeze half a lime in there and add slice


Shiraz Punch

This one is for when you have friends with you -- it's like sangria without the fruit.  
 I've adapted it from a Martha Stewart recipe to make things simpler and a little less sweet.

About 6-8 mint sprigs
1/4 cup of sugar
1 bottles of Shiraz (another light red works just as well)
1.5 liters of club soda  (lemon flavored seltzer does the trick too)
1/2 cup of St. Germain

Combine all ingredients in large pitcher, being sure to smush the mint against the ice to release the flavor.  You can play with this as you like, substituting Cointreau or another sweet liqueur for St Germain or a different type of seltzer for a hint of another flavor.


I hope you get to start your summer off doing whatever you love to do!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

OK, so I logged onto Ravelry this morning and saw the first Fall patterns popping up.  Wait up!  I don't know about you guys, but I'm still getting ready for summer, and not at all ready for a big wool sweater on my lap just yet.  

Instead, how about a quick summer knit?  
Short sleeves, a bit of lace, and open fronts mean that this cardigan will fly off the needles in no time.   

Margarita  features a really distinct lace panel on back that's absolutely addictive to knit, and way easier than it seems, since the geometric nature of the diamonds is rhythmic and makes mistakes easy to spot as you work them.  (ask me how I know)

 It's an easy toss-on cardigan for summer.  The bold lace on back is echoed in the lace detail that finishes the ribbed collar, and the casual length and short sleeves make it perfect to throw over a sundress or shorts.  The fit is open, meant to show off what's underneath, but directions are included to make the fit more traditional if you like a more closed silhouette. 

I worked this in O-Wool Balance, in a gorgeous minty green called Peridot.  (oh, this green!!)  Balance is a 50/50 blend of organic cotton and wool, and it adds the perfect casual, but distinct vibe to the lace.  I think that this yarn hits the perfect balance of light and soft and warm, and it's just a bit rustic, which I'm always looking for.   It makes Margarita feminine, but not too fussy or girly.  Something I love in a sweater - so expect to see Balance around here again!


Margarita is for sale on the sidebar to the left, or on Ravelry for $6.50. 

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

Yarn - O-Wool Balance -50% organic wool, 50% organic cotton, in Peridot. 600(650,700,750,800,850 900)(950,1000,1050,1150,1200)yards. 130 yds per skein.

Needles - US#7/4.5mm (long circs for the cardigan and collar, DPNs or magic loop for sleeves)  

Notions - Stitch markers, darning needle, waste yarn or stitch holders.

Sizing - Actual finished sizes: 28.75(30.5,32.75,35,36.75,38.5,40.5)(42,44,46,49,51)” at bust. Choose the size that gives you about 2” of negative ease, based on actual bust, for the fit shown.  Modified shaping options allow you to add 4, 4.5, or 6” to this measurement.  Revise yardage if you use modified shaping.

Gauge - 5 stitches, 7 rows per inch on US#7/4.5mm needles in stockinette, Lace panel measures 10” across on back.


Since summer is just starting, it's the perfect time to make aome Margaritas to drink while you knit? 

First there's the classic:

Traditional Margarita

Salt for rimming the glass
1.5 oz tequila
2 oz fresh lime juice
.5 oz Cointreau or Triple Sec (I prefer Cointreau)

If using salt, place in dish.  Moisten the rim of your glass with damp paper towel and dip in the salt.
Fill glass with ice, add tequila, lime juice, salt and Cointreau and stir. 
Add slice of lime and serve right away.

Then there's the lazyman's way:

Easy Quick Margarita - great for a pitcher

salt for rimming glasses 
More tequila
1/2 cup of fresh lime juice
Simple Limeade (this stuff isn't too sweet) 
or for a fun twist

Again, place salt in dish and rim glasses.
Pour about 1.5 oz of tequila for each glass you intend to make, and .5 of the Cointreau.
Add the lime juice and about 4 oz of the Limeade or San Pelligrino for each serving.
Add ice and stir. 
Slice a few limes and add to top.
You may not want to do the math on the tequila here - I just pour about 1/5 or 1/4 of the liquid.  Then splash the Cointreau in. 

or, something kind of fun and totally different, that I found online:

Beer Margaritas

1 lime, cut into 8 wedges
1/4 cup coarse salt
2 (12-ounce) bottles your favorite beer, chilled (I use Corona, regular, not light, but that’s just me)
1/2 cup frozen concentrate limeade, thawed
1/2 cup chilled tequila
Ice cubes

Rub lime wedges around rims of 4 margarita glasses. Dip rims into salt to coat lightly. In a medium pitcher, combine beer, limeade, and tequila. Fill prepared glasses with ice, then with margarita mixture. Garnish with remaining lime wedges. Serve immediately.


Monday, June 10, 2013

I didn't even go anywhere, but that Plucky Sale sure derailed everything else last week, huh?  So.  Much.  Fun. 
And also:  So. Distracting.
Which might explain this, left in the fridge next to the limes this morning.

I'm reminded of the phrase about knitting being 2% talent and 98% ability to ignore the internet - apparently I'm working on the 98%. 

However, that yarn represents a batch of cut ends.  I managed to get a lot of stockinette on the needles while surfing between forums, then I did some seaming and even some blocking, so I  finished my Green Mt Spinnery V Neck!   Which I then slipped over my head after breaking the last end off  (and carefully placed that in the fridge).   I haven't taken the sweater off yet.   And wearing this one feels good, like a fave sweater I've had forever.   In fact, my faux worker was with me this AM and she said it was hard to believe she hadn't seen me wearing this a hundred times before, but since she saw me sew the neckline on, she knew the truth.

But, I take that as a good sign -- this sweater is just so exactly what I love to wear - and it's a little dreary out, so why not take it for a test spin?  Let's say I'm double checking the fit before I finish up.

I'm sad I'll have to take it off to do the writing, but that will need to happen, won't it?

And -- as soon as one goes off the needles, another must go on, right?
Plucky Primo Sport in Sticky Toffee, Narragansett, Left Coast and Wintry Mix. 

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

We've gone through our sale days on both Dark and Stormy and  Chocolate Stout, and are finishing up Charleston Tea tonight.   I've been amazed at the response to this Plucky Sale, and it's been a ton of fun, with a great deal of chatter on both the BabyCocktails and Plucky Ravelry groups.  Lots of other designers have added their patterns to the list and their voices to the forums. 
  But we aren't done yet.
Tomorrow, we continue our walk down memory lane with Narragansett!   One of my all time favorite sweaters, in a color that's become a huge Plucky favorite as well.  Sarah nailed it when I asked for a deep blue gray, like a cloudy sky at the beach.   Right?

From 12am to midnight on Thursday 6/6,  it'll be 50% off with the code PKANNY4. 

 And if you need some Narragansett Blue yourself,  it will be available tomorrow - along with about 50 other colors!  


From Sarah:

As an expression of my deep gratitude to you and to celebrate our sixth anniversary, we will be offering a special update tomorrow, Thursday, June 6th on the Plucky BLOG. This Anniversary Update will include FREE SHIPPING anywhere in the world and will be held at 9:00 a.m. and will wrap up when the mornings offerings have been exhausted and then will resume at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. We have Plucky friends in all fifty states, the Canadian provinces, in South America, across Europe, parts of Asia, Africa and down under and you are all invited! We will be shipping anything ordered during the June 6th update for free. No minimum. No maximum.


So yep, both yarn AND patterns!!   
I'll keep adding info about the next pattern sales in my BabyCocktails forum for the last few days of the week and then take a little nap.


With all of this going on, I will hang onto Margarita until next week,
 but I'm dying to share, so how about a better view of the back?


Monday, June 03, 2013

And a little something for all of you.  

It's The Plucky Knitter's 6th Anniversary this month!  Sarah loves nothing more than a little party, and I've been invited to help kick off the festivities.  Each day this week, we're choosing a different Plucky/BabyCocktails pattern from our collection of Plucky and BabyCocktails pairings over the years, and discounting it on Ravelry at 50%.   Plus, Sarah is having an update on Thursday, with sweater quantites of the perfect yarns, in tons of colors, to knit these babies up!

To start things, we thought we'd go right back to the beginning!   

Dark and Stormy, our first collaboration:

50% off till midnight tonight with the coupon code PKANNY1.

Check back in my Ravelry group for details on the next ones - there will be a different code and pattern each day this week! 
Plus, I'll put the info about the Plucky update there too.