Monday, December 22, 2014

This is a time of year to be out of the house and away from the computer, so pardon the silence. I hope that you are all out in the world as well - spending time with family and friends and that you are enjoying your holidays -  if, like me, you are already on night 7!   If not, I hope you are having a great time preparing for a fun week ahead.

As for a yearly recap -- in 2014, I managed to reach a few of my goals - mixing in new construction methods - such as continguous, EZ, bottom up, and seamed -- teaching classes, doing the amazing Lantern Moon retreat, and working more accessories in the mix. 

In 2015, I have a few more things in mind - including a bit of European travel and more new techniques.  The teaching will still be very limited as my kiddos have many things to do and I want to be here while they do them - however.... Squam!!! and Slater Mill!!! (still room in that one class....), plus a class at WEBS this March, and a little trip to the Pacific Northwest are on the books.  Time with my knitting friends, exploring new yarns, and a sweater for a little boy are also in my head.  

Already, a few things are almost set to go once January arrives:

Like Shirley Temple...  


and Ommegang...

And Zacapa, my first men's sweater design - which will be photographed properly in Quebec next week!  

There's a Tiki-themed accessory collection getting knit up, and some gorgeous colorwork with Jill Draper's Rockwell, a project with Julie Asselin, and of course, more Plucky in my stash that must get knit.  Plus, my first magazine submission will be published soon.  So stay tuned!  

Again, Thank You so much for all the beautiful knitting you did in 2014.  I do try to see and comment when I catch your Ravelry projects and I appreciate every single one of them!! You guys make me look good and let me continue doing this thing that I just love. 

Thanks for choosing to spend your time and yarn on my designs.  :)

I hope to be seeing more of all you and your needles in 2015.....  Happy Everything!!

Sunday, December 07, 2014

A new collection!  Four friends and four hats - all with pompoms....

Bristol Ivy, Alicia Plummer, Melissa Schaschwary, and myself.  Like many designers online, we each work alone, but we are lucky enough be a part of the amazing social circle called Ravelry. Thanks to that connection, we used to ping each other occasionally about things, and those pings became snippets of conversation - which over time have grown into a constant 4-way thread of text.   It's become our virtual coffee shop, where we touch base and talk shop (or not...) and have a bit of company each day.

And in one of those conversations, we started talking about the perfect pom pom hat.  A few texts  later, this little collaboration was in the works.  

The idea of the pom hat is translated a little differently by each of of us,but each one is warm and fun and appropriately pommed.  Different yarns, different stitch patterns, different shapes - but each one a cozy and wintry hat that we would be wearing if we could tramp through the snow to visit the other three at a real, live coffee shop with a fireplace and steamy mugs to drink from...

Hot Toddy is my contribution, featuring classic cables and simple detail.  This gorgeous tweed is called Donegal Soft and it traveled all the way from Ireland, so when I look at it I'm reminded of the history and tradition from whence it came. The creamy shade and rustic hand is just gorgeous in simple cables, and I've added some fun detail at top and bottom.  Hot Toddy is quick to knit and easy to wear, plus it has a pompom!!

It's perfect for a stray skein of tweed or heavy that worsted you may have lying around.  And all the details are on the Ravelry page.  You can purchase the PDF there or in the hat section of this blog for $4.00.  

Want to knit all 4? Buy any of our pom hats and you'll find a code on your PDF good for 25% off the others! And those are.... Bristol Ivy's London Fog, Alicia Plummer's Caramel Brulee and Melissa Schaschwary's Stollen - valid until January 8th!

Thursday, December 04, 2014

So, you guys cleaned poor Victoria over at Eden Cottage out of her Langdale Aran in no time!

But she's decided to take a limited number of backorders on the yarn until 12/7 so that you can still order now and take advantage of the free shipping offer on your PDF!  Knowing you guys, her supply won't last that long, so pop on over if you thought you missed out and was hoping get your cowl knit up in Driftwood, shown below.   And if not, she'll still be restocking the shop again on Feb 1.

The information on the backorder is here, and she'll be dyeing and shipping before Christmas, so you won't even have to wait long for your package to arrive:

In other yarn-related news,  I  know that many of you have my Chartreuse pattern in hand, but no Scholar in stash and have been waiting for the next update over on the Plucky Knitter blog.   I hear she's planning a big one for this Friday - and Scholar is on the menu.  They have already begun posting colors and information, so if you are interested in that, the information will keep appearing  here:

To end, I have a bit of bad news -- I've been playing with the cocktail for Cardamom Rose all week, and to be honest, I just don't like it.  I've worked all kinds of combinations according to the recipe I have, and although I love the name of the drink for the cowl and the pale pink color is spot on, I cannot, in good conscience tell you to drink this stuff.  I like you too much to make you do that!  I think it's the rose water that kills it - as the cardamom-gin-lemon combo is pretty good.   

Anyways,  this is the link (below) to the recipe if you want to give it a go, but I highly recommend knitting the cowl while having an Anchor Steam Holiday beer instead!  Those are great, and only in the shops for a little while - much like Scholar and Langdale Aran, apparently!

Monday, December 01, 2014

I'm teaching at two really special events this year, and am so very happy to be able to finally share all the information about both of them!

In order of their actual happening, there's Slater Mill's Knitting Weekend this January 16-18 in Pawtucket RI - and then Squam Art Workshops June 3-7 in Squam NH.  Both are amazing events that I've "been" to or taught at the past, and I am just so honored and excited to be involved in both of them this year.

I've already mentioned a bit about Slater Mill a while back, but there are still a few spots left in my  classes and the weekend is shaping up to be a great one, so take a look and see what they have planned.  Other teachers include Bristol Ivy, Gudrun Johnston, and Ellen Mason!

The weekend begins with a Friday night cocktail reception featuring a triple trunk show of Gudrun Johnston's, Amy Christoffer's and my designs, an exhibit of Ellen Mason's amazing Stitcher's Wardrobe, and a presentation by Adrienne Martini, author of Sweater Quest: My Year of Knitting Dangerously.  Classes are given both Saturday and Sunday mornings, and as if that's not all enough, the folks at Slater have added a tavern lunch with the designers midday on Saturday.   Plus, it all happens in these gorgeous, renovated mill buildings.

On both Saturday and Sunday, the marketplace will be open with some amazing fiber vendors including Julie Asselin, Fox Hill Farm (they make the gorgeous cormo from my Beekman Tavern design),  Ball and Skein, Dirty Water Dyeworks, and Barbara Perry's Foxfire Fibers.

In addition to all that, we are working on a Weekend Knitting E-book, with designs from Ellen, Amy, Bristol, Alicia Plummer, and myself, featuring designs inspired by the mill and using yarns available in the Knitting Weekend marketplace.

And, the other great thing about Slater Mill is that you can purchase tickets for the entire weekend, or you can just show up for the things you want to do - details are here:


The second great weekend is a secret I've been dying to share!  After showing up at Squam last year as a "squannabee" - I've been asked to come back as a teacher this year!!  

The Workshops are up at the lake, in Holderness NH on the first weekend in June this year.  Elizabeth has curated a set of artists and teachers with skills in fiber arts, textiles, woodworking, mixed media, poetry, and more for a retreat that promises to inspire every kind of maker in so many ways.  The rustic setting, the gorgeous lake, the time to recharge and learn and create - and let's not forget the Saturday night marketplace - will all make for an amazing experience, and I'm just so incredibly excited to be a part of it! 

I'll be teaching an in-depth design workshop and a detailed 2-part class on working with cables and what we can do with them, titled "Cable Magic".  I'm excited to dig deep into these as the classes offered at Squam are nice and long and allow for us to get really involved in our topics.

I don't have enough amazing photos to share for this one YET since I'll have to take them in June but there are tons of pics and stories plus ALL the other important Squam details right here:


Friday, November 28, 2014

Introducing Cardamom Rose - a design that's come out of the increasingly loud travel bug I've been nurturing this year.  A family trip is in the works, and all internet trolling seems to include yarn, doesn't it?  So, look what I found while "researching"....

A happy accident too, because I loved this yarn the moment I saw it online and it was even better in person. Reminiscent of the English countryside from whence it came, Eden Cottage Yarn's Langdale Aran is both delicate and hearty at the same time. Soft as can be - with a lovely roundness and spring to the fabric that's just perfect in a cowl.

This pale pink shade (Driftwood) was sketched out to be delicate lace, but the geometric texture was so crisp and distinct in the fiber, and once I spent a few rounds working the simple lace repeat, I was hooked. (Perhaps that’s just an excuse to make another design down the road…?)

It's a great, easy knit with some quick, satisfying results! And a good excuse to try a yarn from afar.
Victoria is in the process of adding a whole selection of new yarn to her shop, and will be ready on Sunday 11/30 with an amazing selection of colors and yarns for you to check out.

The pattern is for sale in the patterns section of the blog or on Ravelry for $5, and all the info is on the Ravelry page, here....

And there's limited-time fun things for you, too: 

We’ve included a code in the the Cardamom Rose PDF for free international shipping from ECY with the purchase of at least 3 skeins of the Aran, valid from 11/30 to 12/7 - so you can take advantage of the shop update, no matter where you live!

Plus, from now until 12/7, if you purchase Cardamom Rose, you can also get any of my hat patterns for 25% off - cause I also think hats are a great way to try out new stuff… Code for that is Hatsandacowl.

Find the yarns and more info about Eden Cottage Yarns here:

Monday, November 24, 2014

Hard to believe it's Thanksgiving Week!  We are hosting a big crowd, so don't expect to see me around the internest for the next few days, but before I go I wanted to say THANKS for the amazing response to Chartreuse.   I'm so excited to see you guys start knitting these up and I am so very happy that you liked the design so much! 

And as you knit, know that the Chartreuse KAL/FAQ thread on Ravelry in my BabyCocktails group is there and that we've already begun talking about yarn subs and sizing mods other project-beginning type questions. Feel free to share pics and questions and thoughts or just pop in for general conversation as you work!

In other bloggy news, I wanted to share some of the photos from my trip to California and thank everybody who made it over to A Verb For Keeping Warm to say hello.   The shop was just as amazing as I'd heard, and meeting Kristine was an absolute treat.  Her textile-related talents go on and on, and she is as charming as she is talented.  I got a little sneak peek of a book she's got in the works, which is gorgeous and fascinating and I can't wait until it exists in real life!!  She's just so incredibly inspiring, and oh, her colors...

Of course I went home with a bit of yarn, and a hankering for more - so expect another project in AFKW yarn as the months go on.  This time I have her Annapurna to play with, and visions of a shawl for spring.....

Besides Kristine, I got to meet her staff (Thank you again for the perfect cocktails and my absinthey parting gift!) and a bunch of West Coast knitters, who were all just lovely.  Glenna and Stephany - who have been internet friends and testers for years now, did me the huge favor of bringing along some of their Plucky knits so I didn't have to pack as many sweaters as usual (yay!).  There was meeting and greeting, plus the usual trying on and purchasing yarn and hanging out.

And, my OTHER sister, Alene, came.  (wearing Glenna's Paloma here)  She's a knitter too, but primarily a geologist and busy person so you don't see her on Ravelry - although I think being in the shop got her going a bit, and I think she may be back there soon.

The pics may be a little fuzzy and the light isn't exactly right, but I blame my camera phone (the real camera was just too big to add to the bag!) and apologize profusely.   Anyways, I should get over to the store.  There is a long list calling my name and many things to get started on.   Enjoy your holidays if I don't get back here before Thursday --  Save travels to everybody - Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Introducing Chartreuse, a seamless, shawl collared cardigan I designed specifically to showcase a cable design that I've had pinned to my wall forever. I wanted something simple but distinct, and I really wanted the cables to be the focus.  So, here we are. Cables, stockinette, pockets, and a shawl collar.  It was a fun sweater to design, and I had to pry the sample back from Melissa here.  I absolutely love this one, and I hope that you all will as well...

I love how deep and bold and rhythmic the lines of the motif are when knit up. If feels classic, but not exactly.  The detail really stands out in a panel, and there's a subtle assymetry to the lines that keeps the eye - and the knitter - interested. (With huge thanks to Dawn Catanzaro for figuring out the tweaky bits that made it work just right)

To showcase the cable panels, Chartreuse features simple vertical and horizontal details that play off of one another. The shawl collar wraps around the neck at back to continue the motif in an unbroken line and the horizontal shirt back detail distinctly accents this while separating the long, vertical back cables distinctly from the collar above.

Simple pockets don't interfere with the other elements, and provide an extra cozy spot for hands.
Chartreuse is knit seamlessly from the bottom up, using a version of Elizabeth Zimmerman's saddle shoulder method. As always with my patterns, there are modifications to adjust the fit for length or width included in the instructions. Notes about altering pocket placement or size are included as well.

My sweater is knit in The Plucky Knitter's Scholar, a worsted weight merino-cashmere blend that's amazing both to knit with and to wear. The yarn is soft and round -- and rustic without being sheepy. The combination of merino and cashmere keeps it light and soft when worn, but it still has a very satisfying weight to it.  And it loves the cables. Loooves them!  I really can't say enough about this yarn - except that I've already begun designing a second sweater in it  ;)  And I may have ordered still more in the last update (in a dusty blue shade called Thank You Note, mmmm).

If you don't have Scholar (keep your eyes on the Plucky blog for future updates!), I would suggest another worsted weight wool yarn in a solid, heather or tweed. I'd stay away from anything with too much weight or drape to it, and I'd stick to solids or subtly variegated fibers as the cables won't stand out in a busy fabric.


Chartreuse is available for purchase in the Patterns section of this blog, or on Ravelry for $7.00. Some details are listed below and the rest of the information - plus the lovely test knits - can be found on the Ravelry page.

Plucky Knitter Scholar Worsted, shown in Technicolor Teal, 255 yds per skein. 1450(1550,1650,1750,1850,1950)(2050,2150,2200,2250,2300,2400) yards

33.5(35.25, 37.5, 39.25, 41.5, 43.25)(45.5, 47.25, 49.5, 51.25, 53.5, 55.25)" Measurements are finished bust size. For the fit shown, pick the size that gives you 3-4" of ease, based on your actual bust.

5 stitches, 7 rows per 1" in stockinette. Gauge based on finished, blocked fabric. Cable gauge is given in pattern.

US#6/4mm needles. (Or size to obtain gauge) Long circulars for body, shorter circulars or DPNs for sleeves.

I'm also loving Chartreuse, the drink. (and yes, I know the color Chartreuse is a bright acid green, but who can wear that? I was not about to knit this in acid green.)

The Last Word

   1 oz gin
   1 oz Chartreuse
   1 oz fresh lime juice
   1 oz maraschino liqueur

Shake together in jigger with ice and pour into a small champagne or cocktail glass and drink while still cold. I also think this is pretty good without the maraschino - and to be honest, I prefer mine that way - but the official recipe does call for it, so I've included it here.   Chartreuse itself is also amazing added to a simple lime gin and tonic - and I'm toying with the idea of adding a touch to champagne and seeing what that's like...

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Sorry I've been silent!  Since coming back from California (a belated post will follow soon....) I have plunged deep into Thanksgiving planning AND....

I've been busy putting the final touches on my Chartreuse pattern for release.

Launching Thursday.  I just have to do all the technology bits tomorrow.

You start with the sleeves, which make perfect Thanksgiving holiday travel knitting. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

As promised,  a couple of cocktails for Halloween!

The first is a Pisco Punch - which is the drink  that my new hat pattern is named after.   As most of you know, I do try to tie the cocktail to the project in some way, shape or form - so this time, I decided to work the San Francisco angle.  Since my trip to San Francisco was my perfect excuse to contact Verb in the first place, and both the shop and the yarn used were based in the Bay Area, it makes perfect sense to tie the whole thing back to the city!  So I looked through my books and  Googled "historic San Francisco cocktails" and found this one.

And the story behind the Pisco Punch?  It's a cocktail originally made by a Scot named Duncan Nicol, who introduced it in the 1890s when he was bartender at the Bank Exchange Bar in downtown, bustling Old San Francisco.  Plus - fun fact - the bar was located in the Montgomery Block, which was the only building left standing downtown after the 1906 earthquake and fire.  The TransAmerica Pyramid is there now, as the building was demolished in 1959. 

Duncan never told a soul the actual recipe, so people have been trying to recreate it ever since his death in the 1920s.   What they do know is that it involved pineapple gum syrup, pisco, citrus, and water.  After reading a whole bunch of versions, I'm leaving out the water.  I find no purpose for it besides diluting the good stuff.  And pineapple gum syrup is hard to find, so a bit of pineapple juice, plus a dash of simple syrup seems to do the trick. 

Pisco Punch

2 oz pisco
2 oz pineapple juice
.5 oz simple syrup
1 oz lemon juice

In a cocktail shaker, combine all ingredients and shake.   Pour into shallow champagne or martini glass to serve.  


And one more -- this is something fun and seasonal that we've been making around here:

Cider-Ginger-Bourbon Cocktail

4 oz fresh apple cider
4 oz ginger ale
2 oz bourbon
1 oz lemon fresh lemon juice
slice lemon/slice apple
crushed ice.

Pour all ingredients over crushed ice in short glass.  Garnish with lemon and apple on rim of glass.

This one goes down kind of easy - so watch it.  

That's it for now - Happy Halloween!!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

I went to Rhinebeck, came home, left for a weekend back in New Jersey, came home, and am now on my way back out to San Francisco!  It's turning out to be a nomadic few months over here.

So it makes total sense that my next pattern is tied to said travels, yes?

Pisco Punch is a fun and easy textured hat, designed specifically for A Verb For Keeping Warm's gorgeous Pioneer yarn.  The 100% organic wool is great stuff, dyed in-house and locally sourced.  My skein band lists the farmer, the farm, the year of the flock, and the year it was milled.  Amazing.

Balancing late Fall timing with the fact that I had one skein in stash, I went for a pre-holiday hat design.  Something easy and quick enough to use as a gift or wear yourself as the weather turns...

The organic wool is gorgeous itself, but when you use it in a texture that has both positive and negative spaces, it just works.  It's round and rustic and soft and almost pops in this motif.  I swatched and was in love.  The hat features a double ribbed brim that plays off the texture a bit more, and a simple gathered purl crown for a third layer.  All of the motifs are simple, so it's perfect TV knitting.

The design can be easily modified for depth or width if desired, and instructions are in the pattern if you want to do so.  All the details are on Ravelry - where you can purchase the PDF for $4.00.  

If you don't know about AVKW,  it's one of the most inspirational shops out there. I'm pinching myself that I get to do an event there...   Kristine has her toe in a few crafts - so she carries carry fiber, yarn, and fabrics dyed into gorgeous shades of everything right there in their own studio, with natural ingredients. They even have their own educational dye garden.  In addition, they also carry tons of other great yarns, fabrics and materials - including Plucky!

So, yeah - when I realized we were off to San Francisco, and I realized that my sister's house is about a mile away from AVKW, I sent an email to see if maybe there couldn't be some kind of a visit.  And there can!  I went for something casual and easy since it's supposed to be a vacation trip, but I was not going to pass up the chance to stop in and say hello!   Details are below if any of you are local --  I'll be there with a bunch of my designs, Kristine just updated the supply of Pioneer,  and Sarah has sent over a new box of Plucky to have available as well --- sounds like a great couple of hours to me!

I owe you a story and a recipe for Pisco Punch, the cocktail - and I have a special Halloween drink, but this will get waaaayyyy toooo long - so I'll be back tomorrow with a new post on those -- stay tuned!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Coming back from Rhinebeck is always a bit of a let down - but it helps if you have another trip to look forward to!   I've started packing for San Francisco in two weeks, and I'm finding some long lost knits (Hello Irish Coffee) to accompany me.  I have already sent a box of other things over to A Verb For Keeping Warm so they'll have plenty of my samples on hand when I visit on Thurs, Nov 6.  Am hoping to see a few of you there!   In addition to the trunk show, there's also a small pattern in the works for the occasion, but that one will remain a bit of surprise for now....

In the meantime I put off a small, annoying procedure for when I knew I had about 14 days of downtime.  I spent most of yesterday on the sofa here, surrounded by Plucky and Eden Cottage and TV, while Zoe made me muffins.  (not bad, right?)

And when the painkillers wore off, I knew just what to do.   That's bourbon, Calvados and lemon.  It totally cures what ails you.   And the yarn helps too, at least I think so....

While I'm still off my feet, Melissa and I are going to take a short trip down to see my grandparents (It involves a lot more sitting, so perfect timing, right?)  I've packed flip flops, more Tylenol, the bourbon and Calvados, plus the Plucky and my Eden Cottage Yarn.  If that runs out, there's also some Jill Draper in the bag -- I'm extra prepared.

Because Melissa's driving - so that's feet on the dashboard and 5 hours of knitting - each way.  I could run out.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Having just returned from my 6th Rhinebeck, I can't manage to do much this morning but go through the photos!  I always come back from the festival a little overwhelmed and a lot inspired, and entirely grateful to ALL of you who make me look good with your beautiful sweaters and support my designs and allow me to do this thing that I get to call a job.  And you know it doesn't feel like a job at all, especially on a gorgeous fall day - being with old friends, saying hello to new ones, touching the yarn, drinking the cider, seeing your sweaters.....  To everybody that I got to meet and to those of you who I only saw across the Fair, thank you so much. You have no idea the joy and surprise it gives me to see a peek of one of my cables or a familiar collar across the field.  I wish I had a photo of every one of you to add here!  XO 

For many of us design-folk, Rhinebeck is also a time to connect with the industry people who we don't get to see in our usual travels (from kitchen to living room and back).  A few stolen moments with one of my all time favorite yarn people - Sarah Dimond, who you may just know as Plucky - was an absolute treat.  The added bonus of Hayley back there made it even better.

A chance to connect with a few of my new favorite yarn people was also amazing.  I managed to finish my Ommegang tunic in Bare Naked Wool's Stone Soup DK and it was worn on Sunday (phew!).  So, with sweater as an excuse, I got to MEET the amazing Ann Hanson and chat about doing more projects in her gorgeous fibers.  Thanks to Bristol Ivy and a few cups of coffee, photos were taken - so I can share a pic with those of you who didn't make it to NY.

In other New Favorite Yarn People news, I am chugging along on my collaboration with the charming Jill Draper of JillDraper Makes Stuff, and I managed to squeeze my way into that busy booth to pick some colors of her beautiful Rockwell yarn for a sweater design I've sketched up.   Gorgeous combo, yes??  I can't wait to get going on it!

Buttons are always bought - and I picked up more of my favorite stitch markers from Jennie the Potter  - you need these, you do.  Poor Jennie was so hoarse by Sunday that she could barely speak.  One hard working potter, she is.   This year's mugs were a hit - as always.   But I am dying over the little silver pendants she added to the repetoire this season.   I am wearing one right now - but since I am unshowered and in pjs, no photo yet.  

These pretty tweeds from Harrisville and Green Mt. Spinnery will become hats.  Just look at the colors in them - I envision cables in blue and lace in purple. 

And Jocelyn's showstopping O-Wool Legacy yarn will be a shawl. I also love Jocelyn, but if you've made Paloma or Margarita, you already knew that.  Great yarn, great colors, great company.

All of the above plus three nights in a charming farmhouse with 6 of my friends and an adorable baby? I'm good.  And maybe a little tired.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

I'm working my way down my second Rhinebeck sweater for this year's festival.  Because I'm crazy, I started it a little more than a week ago, and I've decided it's going to be tunic length.  

So I can't really chat. 

For those of you who are wondering -- the yarn is from Knitspot/Anne Hanson's new line of  BareNakedWool - it's the Stone Soup DK, and it's gorgeous stuff.  The Knitspot folks will be in Kingston on Sunday this year for their Rhinebeck Afterparty so my plan is to be there, with this guy on.  

I have a bit of knitting to do.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Bridget from California who loves knitting hats and mittens and small shawls.

(bbatting on ravelry)

I sent  you a PM so we can get your winnings off to you :)

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

First, the little news since you guys will forget all about it once you start thinking contest! For those of you who wanted to purchase the hats from One Scotch, One Bourbon, and One Beer separately, they are now available as individual PDFs on Ravelry.  

The bigger news is that I have a pattern in  Tanis Gray's new collection from Interweave - 3 Skeins or Less, Fresh Knitted Accessories!   I don't get to do a lot of traditional publishing, so it's a huge thrill to have been asked, and so much fun to open the pages of an actual book and see my name on a page!  Along with other amazing names like Kirsten Kapur, Ann Weaver, Susan B. Anderson and Tanis herself....

My Mixed Berries Hat, below, is one of 26 patterns in the book - which features projects that you can knit with those 1-3 stray skeins you have in stash (or that you can buy yarn for without breaking the bank!)  The collection is a great mix of techniques, yarns, and projects - so you are bound to find something you'll want to make - or have been dying to try - or have yarn for already.

Mixed Berries was a fun knit.  For this design, I used Manos Silk Blend yarn and paired it with a stranded colorwork motif that lends itself beautifully to a little textured detail around the ribbing.  Quick and easy.  Plus, I love playing with the colors...

Picking only 5 shots from the collection for this post was hard to do, but below is a small sampling of the projects in the book.  Clockwise from the top are Fania Goberstein's Twigs BoleroMarjan Hammink's A Case of Lace Socks, Margaux Hufnagel's Spraying Waves Cowl, Susanna IC's Carmilla Shawl, and Ann Weaver's Annular Mitts.   There are many more -  including moe cowls, shawls, mitts, hats, a shrug, and a tank top.

As for the contest, I have a bit of a yarn purchasing problem, so while I was playing with color ideas for the hat, I may have bought a few combinations of the Manos....  So now I have these three skeins, PLUS a copy of the book to give away.

In the comments on this post, tell me what your favorite small project is to knit and you'll be entered to win the yarn and book below.   I'll pick a name from the comments on Friday Oct 3 - and be sure to include your email or Rav name, because if I can't find you - I won't go looking.   Good luck!     

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

This week's drink comes from Uncle Jimmy, who we got to spend time with this weekend at
our cousin Jonah's bar mitzvah.  Jimmy was Craig's favorite uncle when he was little, and now he's mine and Maya's and Zoe's too.  

His favorite drink is a vodka tonic, with lemon.  Not lime.  I'm pretty sure that's what was in the glass in his hand here.  He's being photo bombed by cousin Brian, but that's a "cheers" I was getting. 

I'm also pretty sure you don't need a serious recipe for  a vodka tonic, but here goes:  pour 2 oz vodka over ice, fill glass with tonic, squeeze fresh juice from a half lemon into the glass and garnish with a slice of lemon rind.

And then go dance with someone who makes you laugh.  I wish I knew what he'd just said to Maya!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Thanks for all the comments!  I'm glad to see that you guys are still out there, and that there's some interest in continuing the blog conversations.  Now, I just have to keep up my end of the bargain, yes?
But that's easy, as Rhinebeck is just a month away, and I'm planning.

Our little house is rented again, and one sweater is all done.

It's green and cabled and cozy. (in Plucky Knitter's Scholar)  I've named it Chartreuse (fully knowing that yes, Chartreuse is a totally different acid green).   But I like the name and I am having fun with what's in the bottle and it does look good with the sweater, so hey. I think it works.  Plus, deciding so is a perk of being my own boss.

However, Rhinebeck is a three day affair for me, so more than one sweater is required. 

This one will be named Ommegang, as it's more traditional and cabled and I was totally inspired to make a classic sweater with this name after visiting the brewery this summer.  All that remains is for me to decide what goes best with the main cable here.  The design is all sketched and ready - and I even know what stitch counts I'm hoping for, but I need to fill in some holes before I can actually work the body.

The yarn is Bare Naked Wool Stone Soup DK, which is also perfect since Knitspot is doing their After Rhinebeck Party.  So, my plan is to be there, in my sweater, on Sunday afternoon.   Here's hoping, right?

So, secret knitting will resume in a moment, with the hopes of finishing before Monday.

There is a big Colman family Bar Mitzvah this weekend (Craig's family is from LA, so they do these things for the entire weekend, wedding-style).  But family visits with his side mean long periods of sitting, so I can knit! Knitting also means I don't have to talk sometimes.