Monday, August 17, 2009

Thank you, EZ!

How can it be that I've never knitted Elizabeth Zimmermann's Baby Surprise Jacket until now? Her original design debuted in the 1960's, and has totally stood the test of time. It's genius! So I have no excuse.

I recently purchased a Subtle Stripes Spinning Kit from cosymakes. Cosette's colors are fabulous. Check 'em out!

I handspun the wonderfully soft BFL wool into approximate 200 yards in sport/DK weight. It worked into this sweater beautifully. I was, however, a bit short on the yardage, so I pulled it together with some of my other hand-dyed handspun yarns that coordinated nicely.

Add a few vintage buttons, and ta-dah! A beautiful little jacket for a sweet baby!!

Friday, August 07, 2009

I was there...were you?!

The official word isn't in yet, but just look at how many knitters turned out to try and break the Guinness World Record for the most knitters knitting simultaneously! On Friday, August 7th, knitters from around the world gathered during the Sock Summit in Portland, Oregon to attempt to break the record. To date, the record was set in Australia at a whopping 256. I think we did it!

Here's a cropped view...see! There I am...knitting away! Being surrounded by knitters from all over the world was amazing. And of course, with the Yarn Harlot (Stephanie Pearl-McPhee) as our delightful leader, it was great fun!

Take a look at the local TV news coverage here. Pretty cool!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Down to Earth Socks

This has been a great project. Often I have design ideas that look wonderful in my mind's eye, then in reality just don't match up. This is one those rare times when it actually comes out as planned!

I started with sock blanks, hand painted them (more about that another time) and then knit theminto these great socks. They're called "Down to Earth" for the color transitions from sky, clouds, water, grass, soil and rocks. Take a look.

And here are a few close-ups of the detail.

Legs : Grass - - - -> Water - - - - > Cloudy Sky - - - ->

Ankles: Soil - - - -> Grass - - - ->

Toes: Rocks - - - -> Soil - - - -> Grass - - - ->

Friday, July 31, 2009

Eat yer veggies!

It's not hard when they are as fresh as these!!! Check out your local Farmer's Market and veg out!!

Here is a super-easy refreshing summer salad to try...we love it! Take chunks of ripe tomatoes, slices of crunchy cucumber, chopped green onions and toss them with Balsamic vinegar, a bit of sea salt, and a generous sprinkle of dill weed (or fresh chopped baby dill, if you have it.).

Grilled summer squash is another tasty treat. Trim the ends of your squash and slice lengthwise approximately 1/2-inch thick. Brush lightly with olive oil. Grill about 5 minutes on each side. Sprinkle with a touch of sea salt and serve. Yum!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Summer Lovin'

Aren't summer fruits the best?! I think if I was only allowed one kind of food the rest of my life, this would be it! Our local Farmer's Market is in full bloom and is full of wonderful summer treats.

With record-high temperatures this month, baking was one of the last things I wanted to do. But how could I let the month go by without at least one really good Blueberry Crisp? I rediscovered my bread machine. What a great summer baking tool. Yes, you can bake in 107-degree weather!

Blueberry Crisp for the Bread Machine
- remove kneading paddle from pan
- add ingredients to bread pan in order listed.
  • 3-4 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained
  • 2-3 Tbsp sugar, honey or agave nectar (according to taste)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon, or 1/2 tsp lemon rind (according to taste)
  • (optional) if berries are Very juice, sprinkle 1 Tbsp whole wheat flour over berries
In medium bowl, mix together:
  • 1/4 cup melted butter, coconut oil, or use canola oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar, honey or agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
Sprinkle oat mixture over berries. Place pan in machine and set to bake only following manufacturer's directions. (Mine baked about 90 minutes.) Let cool in pan. Serve warm or room-temperature. Really good with whipped cream or vanilla ice-cream!
  • Variation: Use any other summer fruits (alone or in combination). Blueberries and Nectarines are delicious together! Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I've been tutoring three wonderful kids - two of them for three years! Today was graduation (from elementary school) day!! Woo-hooooo!! I'm so very proud of all them. They are very bright, talented kids and will do great things with their lives. I'm thankful to have a little part in that!!

For "Congratulations" gifts, I made them fingerless mitts. They were a big hit with all three, AND were the envy of all the other kids on the playground!!


Plain ol' Mitts


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Welcome, Baby Brody

Pinwheel Baby Blanket
Lion Brand Vanna's Choice Baby in Aqua
Finished with a crocheted picot lace edging

Sunday, May 03, 2009


Fiddleheads! I love that word! It's fun to say, and the arrival of the little ferns signal spring is here! It's also the name of a fun scarf design from Morehouse Farm.

The scarf is an enjoyable knit. Since my yarn was larger than called for, I modified it a bit. This gave it a whole different look. I will most likely make it again with a smaller-gauge yarn.

I love how the colors work together in the Fiddlehead ends
...very fun!!

Spun into a two-ply yarn, Cosy's colors work together so nicely.

The fiber is Falkland roving from cosyspins. I am constantly impressed with her color combinations.

This was the first time I've spun Falkland. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's very "sproingy" and has a great hand. Although not the finest of wools, I do like the feel of it against my neck.

The colors, the wool, the design...altogether a great scarf!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Shady Shawl

The Shawl: Diamonds and Pearls from The Knitter's Book of Yarn

The Knitting: Diamonds and Pearls detail

The Yarn: All spun up and plied

The Spinning: Singles on a bed of pre-drafted fluff

The Fiber: beautiful Merino roving from Abstract Fiber
in "Shady Glade"

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Green Coffee Press Cozy

Take some Recycled Wool yarn and dye it with some Recycled Coffee Grounds. Knit it up and add a few Recycled Mismatched Buttons, and TA-DA! Warm coffee!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Spring Surf Scarf

I have a love-hate relationship with Noro yarns. Love: the colors!! The long repeats of beautifully intense shades are to die for. Hate: the knots! I have been disappointed several times with knots tied in the middle of the skein connecting non-sequential colors. Boo!

This time, however, I was delighted to get a whole skein with ZERO knots!! Yipppeee! It's Silk Garden Sock Yarn in colorway #S87. It reminds me of a spring flower garden.

The Morning Surf Scarf design was simple to knit and shows off the yarn perfectly. I used a 36-stitch cast-on, and repeated the 12-row pattern until I ran out of yarn. After rinsing and blocking, the resulting scarf is approximately 8"X60". Total love!

Monday, February 16, 2009

My New Sweater...and a P.S.

My turn! After lots of smaller projects of socks, doggie sweaters, hats, and the like, I decided it was time for a new sweater for me!

I chose a design from Garnstudio's...DROPS 83-7. (Don't you wish they had cute names instead of just numbers?) And, what a quick knit. I finished it over a long weekend!

My yarn was recycled from a thrifted men's sweater knit in Ecuador. The wool is rather hairy, a bit itchy and had bits of embedded vegetation. (I'm still wondering what those sticker-y Ecuadorian plants might be.) I love the beautiful soft, natural gray.

I (almost) always make a few modifications when I knit. This time, I only made one. I reversed the left front cables to make them mirror-imaged. I hesitated with the bulky collar (it's knit double- stranded), but went with it. I like it, but would modify it if I were to make this again.

The buttons were from my stash of "orphans." Some are vintage, and each are now one-of-a-kind. All of them found there home on the front of my new sweater!

I hate having my picture taken. But, since you asked, I posted a snap made by a coworker. You can see my sweater in action here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Latte's Kool-Aid Sweater

Latte was way overdue for a new sweater. I was overdue for a Kool-Aid dyeing experiment. Here's what we both ended up with.

The Model:
Latte is a sweet little Miniature Poodle who adopted me almost ten years ago. She's all happy to be snuggled in her new wool sweater!

The Yarn:
Some buttery-soft, butter-colored lambswool recycled from a commercial sweater in a DK weight.

The Dye:
Three flavors/colors of Kool-Aid unsweetened; Tropical Punch, Orange, and Slammin' Strawberry-Kiwi.

The Technique:
After soaking the skeined yarn for about 30 minutes in warm water with a drop of dishwashing detergent (wetting agent), it was squeezed and placed in a Corningware casserole.

Each flavor/color of Kool-Aid was individually mixed with a cup of warm water, then poured over the yarn as seen below. This method will allow the original color of the yarn to still show.

The lidded casserole was then placed in the microwave and "cooked" on high for three minutes. At the beep, the yarn was allowed to rest three minutes. This process was repeated twice more, and the yarn was then set aside to cool.

After cooling, the yarn was gently washed and rinsed in warm water, given a turn in the spin cycle of the washing machine, then hung to dry.

The Sweater:
A couple of days later, I cast on for Latte's new sweater. The pattern is Casey's Coat from SNB Nation in size medium. It's trimmed with a bit of Lamb's Pride in Onyx from my stash.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Unraveling a Mystery

I just can't resist a good mystery. This turns out to be true even in knitting.

If you are not familiar with the mystery knit-along genre, it usually goes something like this: a clue, or portion of the pattern, is released to a group of knitters one at a time. This allows the participants to all work on the same project at the same time, while getting only glimpses of what the finished item will look like until the end...when everyone finishes the mystery together.

Sometimes it can be a real challenge to select the best yarn and notions to compliment the design. Yet, that is also part of the fun. Things don't always go as planned. This can even lead to happy little surprises.

Other times, not so much. My first experience with a mystery knit-along was with a shawl. While the design and my yarn were both wonderful, they just did not work well together. I ended up working only a little over half of the design, then gave up on it. At that time, I decided I would probably not join any more mysteries. I was a bit wary of the unknown.

Then, in October of last year, along came the Mystery Sock from Kirsten of Through the Loops. I jumped back in, and got hooked. The socks were really fun to make, and turned out great. They are knit from my hand-dyed Knit Picks Bare Donegal.

My newest mystery is the Sock Knitters Anonymous January Beaded Mystery Sock. I'm using Cascade Yarns Heritage merino/nylon blend. I love this shade of red. The beads are Toho size 6/0 and I'm applying them with a size 12 crochet hook.

This is Clue #1, the cuff and a portion of the beading on the leg. Clue #2 continues the beaded lace and then moves into ribbing that will end just above the ankle.

What's next? That's the mystery. We'll find out next week!! Better yet, join us! There's nothing better than a good mystery.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


We had to say good-bye to our dear friend today. Ashes has lived with us for almost all of her nearly sixteen years. I will cherish our time together and her sweet spirit that has added so much to our lives. Rest well, Ashes.