Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Introducing Long Island Iced Tea, a Grandpa Vest I didn't even plan to make, but now that I own it, I am in love with this - and can't believe I lasted so long without a cardigan vest!  What was I thinking?

As you might guess, this yarn was intended to be a long sleeved sweater. I was working on it and for some reason, I just stalled before adding the sleeves.  I knew it was the next step, and I fully planned on knitting them, but instead, I kept wearing the unfinished vest around the house -  over a flannel, over a tee, over a casual dress -- it just worked with everything. 

Gabriella also gave it a whirl, with a simpler shirt - and since she's taller than my sister and me, she wears it with a little less length.  Still looks good.

Who am I to argue, right?  It wanted to be a vest and it's pretty perfect this way. A little slouch, some cozy pockets, a lot of simple ribbed knitting and - another bonus - it was done in no time.

The texture of the ribbing allows the beautiful shades in the hand dyed yarn to really shine, and the oversized fit really lets the drape in the MCN add to the slouchy feel of the piece.  This is one of those times that the yarn + pattern combo is fantastic! 

Melissa Thompson of Sweet Fiber yarns does some incredible shades - and they are all available for pre-order on her website:   Mine is knit in the tea leaves colorway - a gorgeous mix of greens with hints of brown and pale blue thrown in - hence the pattern name!  ;)

All the details, plus a few test knits are up on Ravelry and the pattern is for sale both here on the blog and there for $7.00.


And a Long Island Iced Tea is a classic cocktail -- a  mix of 4 spirits in one powerful drink!  I'm not entirely sure who came up with this or why, and if they actually thought it tasted like iced tea, but it's a fun thing to try (and please do so in moderation...)

Add the below ingredients into a highball glass full of ice and stir gently.

Equal parts vodka, rum, gin, tequila (1 oz ea)
2 oz lemon juice/1 oz simple syrup or a packet sour mix
2-4 oz of cola

Garnish with a lemon twist or wheel.

Friday, March 09, 2018

Genever is a fun little colorwork hat that just makes me happy. 

It was designed to celebrate my feature as the March Designer of the Month over at Stephen and Penelope, the charming yarn shop in Amsterdam owned by Malia Mather and Stephen West.  If you are in the area, do stop by and although I'm not actually there (snif), a few of my sample knits are!

And if you decide to buy your yarn to make this FROM Stephen and Penelope, they have a special Ravelry code they'll give you for $2 off the pattern. That works either online or in person, and it won't expire, ever.  Because.. Genever - there should be some reward for purchasing your yarn for this in the country that made the predecessor to today's gin, shouldn't there be?  We OWE them, don't we?  Because gin.  

The hat itself is a combination of travel memories for me.  I first found out about Genever when traveling to Amsterdam myself a few years ago - the time I met both Malia and Stephen, and sat in on a knit night at the shop, which was the first one in their new location. I also went to the Bols museum to learn all about Genever (highly recommend) and spent a little time sampling as I wandered the city.... 

Plus, the Genever design itself came out of my travels to Shetland last summer, where I spent time with Malia and got to know Andrea Rangel, who dreamed up this lovely little motif and added it to her amazing stitch dictionary, Alterknits

Combining Andrea's motif with Malia's shop in a stranded colorwork hat just seems right.   And like I said, it makes me happy.  I can't wait to see the colorwork combos you come up with!!

Saturday, March 03, 2018

So, yes I did start off nice and slow, didn't I?  I haven't even managed to blog for an entire month.

But I DID release two patterns I wanted to tell you about - again with the wonderful folks over at YOTH.  Last year, for Stitches West, we worked on the Vodka Collection, and we had said this would be the first in a few collaborations with Veronika and her lovely yarns.

I'm looking at the different ways in which we all knit, and thinking about collections that would encompass the different kinds of knitters out there. The Vodka Collection was an exploration of the same shape of cardigan in 3 different ways, ranging from  some stockinette-heavy TV knitting to some  more committed cables - and you can read about those HERE.

So THIS year, we wanted to do another collection and I wanted to look at different types of knitters again, but this time in terms of the types of yarn we pick.  I started with big goals - another 4 (or even 5!) pieces, each in a different weight of YOTH's beautiful yarn, all ready in February.

But thinking about yarn weight made me think about the time of year, and in working on the different pieces, we agreed that we could turn this into a series - there will be more tequila projects as the year goes on, each based on the weather and season of what we want to knit when, and timed as such!

 With that in mind, the first two pieces are Agave and Reposado - something for the last cold weeks of winter, and something for the first warm days of spring!

If you are torn as to which you feel like knitting, the Ravelry code TEQUILA will get you $2 off a purchase of both - without any expiration date - because sometimes we are just between our knitting seasons and need choices, right? 

Agave is a deeply cabled, squishy and satisfying hat, knit in YOTH Father, one of my all-time favorite yarns ever. It's round and soft and makes one of the best fabrics out there, with great stitch definition.  I added some detail at the transition from brim to cable, and some more fun lines at the crown, and it's one last hat to get you over the hump of March.

THEN... Reposado is a light and airy tee, which can be knit now and then worn just as the weather starts to warm up.  It looks great over a loose shirt or dress, and it also works with a tank underneath, for when it gets even warmer.  It has a loose, delicate feel and is knit in YOTH's Best Friend, doubled.

The doubling of the cotton/wool yarn adds to the rustic look to the fabric and makes for a larger gauge knit, which takes less time to knit!   No sleeves, a little lace, and a nice open neckline.

The other pieces in the Tequila Series will follow, a couple for summer and then again in Fall.  Different weights, different types of fabrics - but each for a different knitting mood.   And I have an excuse to keep using ALL of YOTH's lovely base yarns.... (brilliant, right?)

So that was February.  I do have a few things in the works for March....