Archive for the ‘lace/shawls’ Category

eastward, ho

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

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i’ve always just loved the lace pattern that is the hem of the empreinte crescent shawl and now i have one in lusciously soft organic cotton lace—it feels like cashmere, but summery. mmm. even the name—forest mist—feels cool and fresh. i enjoyed every minute of knitting this project.

we are on the move today—david an i are traveling to albany for a visit with my mom over the holiday weekend. i had hoped to get a blog up before we left this morning but i just ran out of time—too many green beans to pick and square away, haha.

(i’m SO not kidding; i was out there as soon as it got light to pick whatever i could before we leave).

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i did get my knits blocked and once we are there and settled, i’ll be back with a real post, hopefully late tonight. have a good day and see you soon!

summer bounty

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

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i’ve shared a lot about the wealth of our garden in the past few weeks, but now that school is back is session, i realize i am missing one of summer’s additional riches—the happy noises of children playing outside on those long sunny days of summer.

we are lucky to live in a home that doesn’t have air conditioning; we have to throw our windows open wide to capture the breeze (if any) when it gets hot, but because of that we can enjoy the music of kids having fun.

just before they went back to school this past week, our neighborhood held its annual block party, which is where i snapped this great photo of two brothers showing off a colorful stack of prizes. i really admire their forethought in concentrating all of their winnings on one particular item for maximum effect—more IS more, after all. i believe we could be looking at a renowned design duo of the future!

what i love even more??

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that upon seeing some friends who arrived late, they immediately shared some of their own winnings to help them get started on the fun. adorable, no?

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in fact, the day was filled with smiles—i work the welcome booth where everyone checks in to receive tickets for games door prizes, so i get to see everyone.

good thing it was all so much fun, because later on, back at the ranch, it was all work and no play for yours truly—there was plenty of garden produce to get squared away.

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we are not getting loads of any one thing on a daily basis except green beans; they just keep coming, haha. that said, there is still plenty to take care of by the time saturday and sunday roll around because most days, i just throw it all in the fridge to deal with later.

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yep, that’s right—we are digging up a few new potatoes when we want those to eat; the fingerlings are ready and boy oh boy, are they deLISH.

and so good eaten with green beans (we are finding out that many foods go well with green beans, now that we are consuming them daily).

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i send them home with friends as well and when i gifted a pound to mark and bil, mark texted me a photo of a yummy ligurian pasta dish—trofie— made with green beans, potatoes, and pesto.

while that sounded like the ultimate comfort dish for a cold winter evening, for summer i thought it would be less heavy as a salad or side dish with just potatoes and green beans and no pasta (and i’m not the first; there are many recipes out there for such a salad).

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so i tried that and it was good.

and of course there was one chilly evening when a pan of roasted potatoes was in order, i so i did that too and threw in those baby carrots i blogged about a couple weeks back.

which we ate with green beans cooked in tomato sauce—O.M.G., so good

that second basket of tomatoes, eggplant, squash, peppers and onions? i made into david’s favorite stew—ratatouille

YUM! especially with fresh-picked vegetables; you just can’t go wrong. meanwhile, i’ve been putting up green beans in the freezer—about a half dozen bags each week. i probably have all i need in there right now, but what else am i going to do with them all? i figure i can always share the frozen ones in the depth of winter when we are all just starving for fresh garden flavor.

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and here’s a good one—we had a full day of rain last week that dumped torrents of rain on our parched garden. a few days later i was out picking beans and what did i see on the pea vines that i thought were “over”?? a fresh crop of peas!

i didn’t even know pea vines could continue producing after their one crop was in. we ate those last night with some salmon, yum, yum.

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now i know you are dying to see what i made with all those peaches i showed you last week. but first i must say that these peaches are some of the best i’ve EVER eaten. and such good keepers; after putting up fifteen bags in the freezer, i still had about two dozen left over, which we’ve been keeping on the counter and not one of them has gotten spotty or rotten.

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on monday, i cut up eight or ten of them, mixed with sugar and spices, and put them into a pie shell i was keeping in the freezer.

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i figured out a solution i like for a gluten free streusel topping that is not too crunchy, yay.

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the results were wonderful. i shared them with my monday knitting class and we groaned over how delicious those peaches are, mmm-mm. the pie crust was not my favorite gluten free option so far—the flavor is good, but pieces of the rim kept falling off as it baked. i think that dough is just too tender.

because i still had peaches and because my weekend baking is usually gone by the time the wednesday class meets, i thought i’d bake a second treat on wednesday

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from the america’s test kitchen gluten free cookbook, cobbler made with a cornmeal biscuit topping. it was a huge hit with everyone; erica and emily especially liked it. it was delicious . . .

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it’s really got more of a shortcake character because biscuits are dense. i still prefer a softer cobbler cake, more like the one from my traditional recipe. i’m going to keep working on it.

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i love making and tasting all those baked goods, but i think my favorite way of eating summer fruit is raw—so refreshing. this has been my breakfast nearly every day this week.

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i have a pile of finished knits that need blocking as well as several projects on the needles.

i’ve got two finished bocce caps knit with sport weight yarn—one in brown organic cotton and one in the special mauve fifo. the bocce cap pattern will be released in about a week or so; we have a new blanket pattern to be released first (check back monday for that!)

i have a third bocce on the needles now in our kent DK yarn, which knits to the correct gauge. sarah picked out the driftwood shade for me to work with this time.

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i just barely started it, and had to set it aside while i got other items caught up but it will be great for knitting on here and there, since it’s so portable. lately, i get a lot done by keeping such a project in the kitchen where i can pick it up to knit a round or two while a pot boils or when i need to take a load off.

that’s what i did with my empreinte shawlette—i’ve been working away at it pretty diligently, here and there, making a big difference in my progress.

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and now it’s sitting in the finished pile, waiting to be stretched and blocked (hopefully tomorrow)

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speaking of finished items, sarah showed up for work last week wearing her billow cloud cowl, knit in the worsted weight organic cotton, in the cool, refreshing sage color. she’s got it paired with her deep green wheaten cap, knit in the sport weight of the same cotton. she’s so proud of it and rightly so—it’s beautifully knit. you can see more of this project and other cotton favorites in our cotton KAL on ravelry—come join us!

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speaking of the wheaten cap, sarah’s mom, anne C. whipped up a sample for us (thank you anne!) in one of our new shades of stone soup fingering yarnriver rock. is it not stunning? wow, i thought i loved all the shades equally, but this one is something else . . . you’ll be seeing lots more of it as we get better photos (we know they they don’t do it justice and we’re working on that).

and finally, what girl doesn’t need one of these??

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i came downstairs last sunday morning to be greeted by our new sign, which david framed out to match the fencing on our property. i had to giggle that it was placed to point into the open washroom door.

he put it in the ground that day and now we have signage that is very visible on 15th street. yay.

i’m working on a bunch of secret projects as well as swatches and designs for classroom projects we’ll be tackling at our rhinebeck after party retreat and at yarn in the barn in michigan.

oh wow, look at the time; i haven’t even been to the office today and i need to see emily and erica before they go—time for me to boogie. i’m hoping to get some blocking done tonight or tomorrow so you can see how pretty that lace blocks out in the cotton. and i know i’ll be doing some bike riding with david this evening, too.

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hope you’ve got some fun things planned as well—summer won’t last forever; have a wonderful sunday!

four words

Monday, August 18th, 2014

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CORN for the freezer. i bought this early on saturday at the farmer’s market, fresh picked that morning and put it up that  night after supper. this is gonna taste SO good in january and february! (or even november, haha).

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TOMATOES which i also put up on saturday night. i had thought i’d make ratatouille, but when i saw the amount, i decided squirrel them away for winter instead. there are more for ratatouille (along with fresh eggplant and squash); they’ll be ripe later in the week, probably wednesday.

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PEACHES at their perfect peak of ripeness; beckie and i took a ride to the orchard on saturday morning before yoga class and scored big time. i bought two boxes, which ended up being a lot more than i thought. after writing a pattern on saturday afternoon and sunday morning, i got to work and spent the rest of the day peeling and slicing or cutting them up to freeze.

their flavor and fragrance are so good it aches. i will leave it to your imagination what i baked with them this morning—pictures tomorrow, i promise.

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GREEN BEANS  (which technically makes it five words) which is what i’m working on now (i took a break to throw up this quick, drive-by post!). we ate some of these fresh in a nicoise salad david put together last night. salad is one of his four or five specialties (besides, of course, his special specialty, which is loving ME). i’ll freeze all of these because as you know, there will likely be more in a few days.

i’ll be back later today or tomorrow with a long post—i have lots of knitting to share and some new recipes for green beans (because when you eat them nearly every night, you need variety, right?).

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the empreinte crescent shawlette i have on the needles now in organic color grown cotton lace is nearly done; i’m hoping to finish it off in class today—isn’t is stunning? this is the forest mist shade; i love it, i keep stopping to look at it. it’s gone so quickly now that i’m on the garter section; it’s perfect knitting for the kitchen, to pick up whenever a pot can spare a few unattended minutes. a good reason to rest my ankle, haha.

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ok, that’s enough rest now—back into the kitchen for me. happy monday!

oops! i forgot to mention my NEW craftsy class will be live very soon.

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for a chance to win this class for FREE, click here. but hurry, the contest ends tonight!

Hooked on Cotton

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

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We have spent the summer really enjoying knitting up Knitspot favorites in cottons. Many of us have fallen in love with Anne’s stitch patterns in cottons, that blankets and sweaters have been cast on. Many also realized cotton is not just for summer. It’s great for year-round wear. It’s great for baby knits. It’s great for people that live in hotter climates or winter somewhere sunny.

I just finished a fab housewarming gift – I’m a Soft Touch

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and paired it with soap from my favorite artist – Ida Belle. This will not be my last face cloth.

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The pattern has three different choices for stitch patterns, so I’m definitely making them all. Depending on the final size you want, you can easily get all three out of one skein of sport weight cotton.

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My mom is always knitting cotton dishcloths during car rides for her gift box. She loves to give them as hostess gifts. I must say they are one of my favorite things my mom has made me. I feel how much she cares for me every time I use them. I love feeling the hadnknit stitches as I scrub our dishes. And they wear amazingly!

I’m thinking the next things I need to do (well, other than finish my Zig Zag Mitts) is cast on a blanket. I LOVE cotton blankets and the feel of the organic cotton is just too good for words. And if you’re thinking along the same lines, I have great news – we have lots more yarn in stock!

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We’ve even scored some of the most coveted color – Fifo – in fingering, sport, and worsted (above)! This is the rarest mauve color of color grown cotton and the yarn Anne chose to kick off the Passion Knitting club. Anne designed Banjo (details on ravelry here) to bring out the features of this unique fiber.

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in Anne’s words…

When I saw my first cake of Fifo, I was reminded very much of vintage cotton fabrics I’d seen in everyday vintage quilts and old work clothing—a tough, tightly spun fiber, worn soft with age and use, the colors dulled a bit from many washes. It brought to mind that quintessential item of work clothing—the workman’s bandana. I thought that emulating a bandana print in our first purple club project could be a lot of fun, making for a versatile piece that could be used as a shawl, head covering, table topper, curtain, scarf— whatever you like it to be. 

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We have extra skeins of this yarn for clubbies here,

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or we still have a limited number of Passion club memberships left. Join us now here and we will get this yarn right out for your exclusive pattern, plus you get three more future packages of lovely purple surprises. And pretty, pretty patterns! Already for July Anne threw in a bonus pattern – Hobo Square - and there’s so much more fun in store!

If you’ve fallen in love with the rare shade of Fifo, may I suggest the fingering

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for a lace shawl, cowl, or sweater?

Blümchen

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or Sprössling

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would be darling in cotton! And back to the blanket topic, Anne has patterns ranging from fingering to worsted. Once Barb started knitting up blanket swatches in cotton, it got my wheels turning!

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My particular favorite gift giving pattern right now is Roger That.

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And you could pair it with a Slouch Potato hat! Wouldn’t that be the best gift for someone heading off to college? Or make the small blanket and the smallest hat for a toddler? I just finished a Slouch Potato for Padraig in MCN

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and I can’t get over the cuteness of this hat on him! I need to get another on the needles in cotton.

If you want to see everyone’s WIPs and FOs, check out the cotton KAL thread on ravelry. Stunning things are flying off the needles!

I’ll be back soon to report on Michigan Fiber Festival. Join us this weekend in Allegan, Michigan. It’s a great show and we’re bringing so much Bare Naked Wools yarn we had to rent one of these…

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