Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Hi guys!  I'm just back from Scotland and London and have a little something to share before I flip the laundry.   I do promise to share my photos and blog properly about the two trips, but for now my thoughts are still jumbled and the photos are not downloaded, so tune back in later for all the travel stuff.  Suffice to say that both trips were fantastic!

In the meantime, a new design - Desert Sunrise.


Rounding out the 2017 BabyCocktails Summer Collection - with Honey Vodka and Fog Cutter - Desert Sunrise is a simple pullover with some really beautiful colorwork detail.


I thought this combination of yarn and design would be the perfect thing to finish up my summer with and bridge the gap as the weather turns cool this September.  It's knit in Magpie Fiber's new Solstice yarn, a stunning mix of Domestic merino and cotton, plus silk.  The combination gives the yarn a rustic, soft and airy hand, that's round and lovely and feels great against your skin, and Dami has dyed up such a beautiful collection of colors that you won't be able to choose just one.  Which is why I ended up with colorwork!  You can see the gorgeous kits she's made up right here.  Shown below is one of them - called Too Shy.  She has a few others paired and they are all stunning!



I know I will be wearing this with a tank underneath and a pair of cutoffs  --  actually, the same tank and cutoffs that Gabriella's borrowed to wear in the pics -- when the first cool evenings begin.



Desert Sunrise is knit from the bottom up, with most the attention paid early on.  Sleeves and body are joined at the underarm, and the yoke is knit seamlessly to the top, with just a few short rows to add neckline shaping.  All the wonderful stockinette makes for some peaceful knitting, and again - this fiber is just dreamy on the needles.  

All the details are on Ravelry and the pattern is available for $7.  But since it IS July and I know a sweater may be asking a lot of you all right now, the code DesertSunrise will get you $1 off until July 22.

And yes, there is a cocktail called a Desert Sunrise --  the original is a little too sweet for me, so I've created a variation, but the cool thing about one of these is the ombre effect that you get when you add the grenadine at the end.  I thought it quite appropriate that at colorwork sweater have a colorwork cocktail....

Fill a highball glass with crushed ice.  Pour the following over ice and stir gently.

2 oz vodka
2 oz orange juice
2 oz pineapple juice
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1 dash lemon bitters

Then slowly pour a splash of grenadine syrup over the drink, top with a sliced orange or pineapple and a cherry and serve!  





  • Enjoy!!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


Fog Cutter --  this one is a striking, but simple summer sweater that's just perfect for a cool day at the beach.  And it was just a bit foggy the day we decided to visit, so this design got named for an all time classic/traditional Tiki drink -- A Fog Cutter!

And I know I'm asking a lot for you guys to think about knitting in June, so the Ravelry code SummerSweater will get you $1 off the pattern until this Friday, perhaps as the little nudge that a summer knit might require? 

Or maybe photos are a better nudge --


Either way, Fog Cutter is all about this beautiful and striking panel on the front. Cables, lace, and texture combine in a motif that reminds me of little waves and tiny stones, kind of undulating back and forth.  The addition of the texture in those cables creates such a great contrast, and the edging as it hits the body is nice and sharp. (and yes, it's easier than you think it would be!)



Besides the cable panel, details such as a split hem, a ribbed yoke and distinct seams draw the eye, and then the rest of the garment is all easy reverse stockinette.  Although seamed, the lines are straight and the finishing is simple.


The sweater is knit in O-Wool's beautiful Balance yarn, a mix of organic cotton and merino that's got the perfect amount of ply and crispness for a polished but casual vibe, and it shows a pattern beautifully.  I chose the Natural as I wanted a true basic piece, but I think this would work in any of her colors - and some of them even have a little heather, which would be stunning.  (Agate, Igneous, and Jade - I'm looking at you guys....)


Gabriella is wearing my sweater with about 5" of ease and a high hip length, but this is easy to modify for depth or width and notes are included in the pattern.  I suggest about 4-5" positive ease for a fit as shown.  All the details and the PDF can be found here (don't forget your SummerSweater code this week!).

And as for a Fog Cutter?  According to tiki bars everywhere and the internet, it's really all about the glassware and accessories, so have a little fun.



1.5 oz light rum
.5 oz brandy
.5 oz gin
1 oz orange juice
3 tbs lemon juice
1.5 tsps of orgeat
1 tsp sweet sherry (amontillado works great)

Shake all ingredients except the sherry with ice in a shaker.  Strain over ice into a tall glass and then top with the sherry!  And then add your choice of umbrella, stirrer, slice of fruit, feathers or whatever's handy...


Thursday, June 01, 2017


Introducing Honey Vodka!

You all know how much I love Jill Draper's Mohonk yarn, which I used in my Edradour design.  It's light and airy and rustic and soft and I really do reach for it ALL WINTER LONG.


So when Jill texted me to say she was working on a fingering weight version of Mohonk, and would I want to play with a couple of skeins....?   Why, yes I would.  I totally jumped on the chance to design a summer accessory that I'd reach for just as much.  Something open and airy that would add just a little warmth to a summer night or cloudy day....

I like my summer knitting to be pretty easygoing, so I went with a cowl (as opposed to a shawl) for a little less knitting, a lighter garment, and more importantly - some immediate gratification.  Honey Vodka takes just one skein of Mohonk Light, and knits up in no time.


I chose a simple, bold lace motif with stockinette "ribs" that would show off the subtle texture and color shifts in the yarn.  It's one of those patterns that gets in your head easily and it makes for some soothing, satisfying porch knitting.  It's easy to modify for length or width, and I've added notes on how to do so in the pattern.

I've also made sure that if you want to alter your cowl, you don't have to worry about ending on a specific row.  Before finishing up, you switch to a smaller section of accent lace and ribbing, and can knit to your desired length as needed.  I used only one skein for my cowl, but I do think this would be a lovely 2-skein project and could wrap double around your neck or be worn nice and long.



I chose this beautiful neutral shade, which Jill called Sand.  It matches pretty much everything in my summer wardrobe of tee shirts and faded denim and feels just so effortlessly summery to me.

However, you know Jill dyed up a whole rainbow of gorgeous shades that you can choose from - check them out here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/jilldrapermakesstuff?ref=l2-shopheader-name

The pattern is up on Ravelry for $6.00 right HERE and will be on the blog as well!

I hope you guys like this one and can spend a few leisurely hours knitting away on your porch soon.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Because two patterns in one week are always better than one, right?

You may have noticed the gorgeous, colorful images popping up everywhere for Pompom Quarterly's 5th Anniversary Issue.  I've loved this magazine from the beginning - every issue has felt so bright and fresh and charming, just like the lovely people behind it.


I have been lucky enough to work with them before - I had a tunic named Olivette  in a previous issue and I've been interviewed on the Pomcast - and to be honest, I will work with Pompom again pretty much anytime, anywhere.

So when I got an email earlier this year asking if I'd be willing to design for this special issue, I was absolutely honored to say yes!!  My shawl design is only one of 16 stunning creations in this thing - which is full all kinds of projects from a group of fantastic designers, covering the spectrum from sweaters to socks and from complex to quite simple.


I was pinged to add a shawl, and decided to do a big rectangular wrap - something bold and lacy.  The final product reminded me of a Spanish Flamenco dancer, and I imagined one of those gatherings with musicians and a dancer flipping her skirt about, so I've gone with Sevilla as my celebratory drink name.



And yes, since this is supposed to be a party issue, I do have a cocktail recipe - with two versions!
I'm a fan of the frothy, so I prefer No. 2.

Sevilla No. 1 

Pour equal parts dark rum and sweet vermouth.
Add 1 twist orange peel.

Stir well with ice and strain into glass.

Sevilla No. 2

Pour equal parts dark rum and port.
Add 1 egg white.
Add a half teaspoon powdered sugar.
I also like to add a touch of lemon juice to keep this one from getting too sweet.

Shake well in jigger with ice and strain into glass.


And since these guys don't do anything halfway, stay tuned for more info on Pomfest - the big birthday celebration in London this July. It's going to be a great weekend, with yarn shop knit nights, a big party, a marketplace, and a whole lineup of crafty speakers and designers from the issue (such as myself) doing things throughout the weekend...

I'm thinking some kind of cocktail/knitting chat.  We are looking into if I'm allowed to share ;)




Wednesday, May 03, 2017


Remember when I lost myself in some Malabrigo Twist this winter?  (if not, see this post)


I had bought some beautiful yarn, found a satisfying texture, and was trying to just find my mojo again - without the pressure of being a knitwear designer.

Well, the sweater I knit did what I needed it to - it gave me some wonderful, stress-free knitting time. And when it was all finished, instead of just wearing it, you know I went straight to writing it up and turning that non-work into some professional knitting once more, so here's Oaxacan Rose. 


But I'm glad I did - because this combination of some gorgeous yarn (Malabrigo Twist, which you can find tons of -- like 22 colors of - at WEBS) and some soothing texture is something everyone needs once in a while.  And the resulting sweater is one of those garments you kind of LOVE wearing.  It's easy and soft and goes with almost anything.


I don't usually design simple basics - and for that reason alone, I often avoid vareigated yarns.  But I've got to tell you, I am in love with this Twist.  It's soft, round, gorgeous fiber and watching the colors shift on my needles was mesmerizing.  The combination of gray and lavender and gold here in Zinc made me so incredibly happy.  And, I found that a little texture and some simple details were enough to keep me totally enthralled.

Oaxacan Rose is a wear-everywhere pullover - what my friend Erin calls a "sweatshirt sweater".  A cable, some detail at the seam, and a couple of other small bits keep the knitting interesting and the final garment polished.



I hope you all like it!  More details and the test knits can be found on Ravelry here, and the sweater is also listed on the pullover page of the blog for $7.00. As always, there are notes and commentary in the PDF about how to modify this for your shape if desired, and you can find me on Ravelry if you need any advice about sizing and yarn choices or as you knit....

If you do decide to cast on, know that the KAL is still going on in my BabyCocktails group - and finishing by May 15 doesn't matter.  If you want to join in for camraderie and prizes and chatter, just add your project and your voice to the thread!!

As for the drink, it's one of my favorites -  I can't take credit.  They make it at Deep Ellum, a spot right near the Cradles to Crayons warehouse I volunteer at each Wednesday.  I don't know the exact recipe but it's a combination of mezcal, grapefruit liquor, lemon, grapefruit juice, and peychaud's bitters.  And it's fantastic.



Friday, April 07, 2017


Hey guys, I've just started a new KAL over in my Ravelry group this week.  It's from 4/3 - 5/12, as there will be prizes, special discounts, a few drinks, a bit of conversation and lots of support and encouragement from your fellow knitters while you knit any BabyCocktails project want!

My KALs are low pressure - no hard start or finish dates, and all I require is that you participate on the group chat and share your WIP photos. Prizes are announced and awarded periodically, and all projects that are linked to the pattern page with images on the thread are eligible to win.

I've just announced the first two prizes, to be awarded this weekend -- on 4/9.

The first is a skein of Ellen Mason's Doc Mason's Wool, which is sourced from her family farm! Ellen is a good friend of mine and does everything with intention and love and care and this gorgeous farm yarn is no exception.  Along with the yarn, the winner can also pick one of my hat patterns to go with the skein - and I've included some lovely notecards and one of my favorite bottle opener keychains.


The second prize was donated by Vemo, one of the lovely BabyCocktails knitters, and a lovely person who I've come to know over the years.  She is moving to a new condo and needed to destash a few of the extra skeins she'd bought for various BC projects in the past, so she's donated a couple lovelies. This one is a gorgeous deep green from Victoria over at Eden Cottage Yarns - in her lovely Oakworth DK.  I've added a notebook and one more keychain to this skein as well, and the winner can also pick a pattern to go with the skein,



And starting today, a special discount! Through 4/14.

For those of you who like a little hat knitting, the code WH-AprilKAL will get you $1 off my Whiskey Highball pattern right here, and the lovely folks at The Yarn Collective have mirrored that discount with 15% off the Bloomsbury DK I used to make this.  The Bloomsbury DK comes in a variety of gorgeous colors, and the link to purchase is right here. 



Next up, more YOTH yarn is in transit, and I have a discount on both that gorgeous Father yarn and The Vodka Collection patterns when it arrives!

So I hope you'll join in - the link to the KAL is right here....

Friday, March 24, 2017


The next shipment of yarn is ALMOST ready....

I don't know about you guys, but I'm counting down to that Father Yarn from my friends at YOTH, and I'm also so happy that they thought ahead to order more when the collection came out, because you guys did scoop up the first batch pretty quickly!

But more is just about ready, and if you are lucky enough to be going to Vogue Knitting Live in Vegas this weekend, Veronika had some mailed straight to the show, so there WILL be a limited amount of Father on hand in their booth. For the rest of us, the big shipment is coming late next week and will be up on the website by 4/5 - plus shipping out to shops that carry it at the same time.

In all the colors. Yes.

So... just another week or so!  And I've been prepping for a KAL in my BabyCocktails group on Ravelry, starting on 4/3.

The Vodka Collection thread already has a bunch of chatter in it,  and people have started thinking about yarn choices and which sweater they want to make, and what sizing mods they may have in mind, so if you've been waiting to cast on (or have recently cast on), feel free to join in.


For now though, a little commentary on the inspiration behind  With A Twist!

This one is kind of special to me, not only because I love the squishy texture and the cozy collar.

The idea for all those cables came from a kinda cool place (at least I think so) and a vintage sweater that's pretty special to me.  Below is said sweater. It's a really old, ginormous, cashmere turtleneck that used to belong to my Pop. I'm lucky enough to have a few of his sweaters, and I love them all. And even though they are HUGE (he was well over 6 feet tall and broad, and if you know me you know I'm not.) I wear them, because they are warm and cozy and because they were his,

But something about the texture on this one always sticks in my head. I have a love hate relationship with this design. I love the contrast and the slipped stitches - the motifs are really simple and beautiful -- but I hate hate hate the transitions between them. It's not a handknit, so this was something that was manufactured back in the 50s and maybe that's how the machines had to do it, but man, those transitions BUG me.  Bumpy, uneven.... distracting, right?


It's funny the things you start to see as a knitter, but it's just so very sloppy,
I see this sweater now and my head goes immediately to the ways they could have made this neater. A rib, a slipped stitch, a border element on the actual motifs?  But as I said, I love the overall idea. The big and small versions of the same stitch next to each other in vertical stripes, I do like that. 

so... 


I did it my way.  Really, that made me feel so much better! It's almost like I fixed it.

Anyways, that's a little Friday diversion, right?  

 I hope you all have a great weekend, and if you have been waiting to get any one of the  Vodka Collection sweaters on the needles, check into the Ravelry group and say hi, and maybe join in once the KAL begins on April 3!  


 me and Pop, a couple of years ago. not sweater weather that day.