old spice

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how’s the weather where you are? i have to say, it’s been kind of awful here—when it’s not wet or snowing, it’s so bitter cold that no one even wants to step out and retrieve the mail.

i haven’t gone running in a week and i’m starting to feel stir crazy. the stationary bike is a great alternative, but i get bored; i miss tooling about the neighborhood. however, the streets here are narrowed by all the snow and last time i was out, i nearly got hit several times by drivers not watching where they were going. or more laughably, those looking straight at me, completely flummoxed about what they are supposed to do to avoid hitting me. sigh; i guess it’s a good thing right now; we have a lot of organizing to do before the holidays arrive.

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last weekend we headed out eastward on a fiber scouting trip for our 2014 bare naked club. we had to battle weather in both directions, but it was worth it—we visited our mill and a delightful farm which i can’t wait to share with clubbies next year.

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during our trip, we got to stay with and hang out with our dear friend anne marie who we miss so much in wednesday night class. she had just finished her herrington cowl, a new pattern designed by knitterella, using bare naked wools breakfast blend fingering and stone soup fingering yarn. anne marie knit hers so quickly that she even won a prize in the herrington KAL we are having in our BNWs ravelry group.

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when we arrived on friday, the cowl was still damp and i saw that anne marie had devised a brilliant method for blocking it. she suspended it between two oatmeal boxes, which she could roll easily to reposition the cowl periodically. she said she saw a similar idea using paper towel role, but the oatmeal boxes give you a little more suspension and airflow. i love it; i am totally borrowing this idea to use in my blocking classes. (note to self: procure oatmeal boxes).

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the results speak for themselves—perfectly smooth, uncreased fabric that drapes beautifully. anne marie used a mix of stone soup fingering in pumice and brooks farm acero in a blue/brown mix. lovely!

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we had SUCH a nice visit—in addition to visiting the farm and mill together, we had two evenings of knitting. i worked on secret club projects and my bay leaf and lime shawl (above). anne marie worked on her baci cowl with the studio june springy sport i brought along to her for test knitting.

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this is the cowl that is included in the baci scarf fundraiser pattern. if you’ve been waffling about whether to purchase it or not, i hope this most recent addition to our collection of photos will tip the scales for you!

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just look at how stunning it is, falling straight from the neck—wow. the drape on this fabric is excellent and it has nice body and weight built in from the cable and garter texture. do you want a closeup to drool by?

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mmmm-mmm.the color is midnight teal; i’m not sure it’s listed in jill’s shop yet, but you can check for it here or ask jill about it. pattern for purchase in the knitspot pattern shop OR buy it in our ravelry shop.

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and it is so handsome twisted to cozy up around the neck—simply luscious. i feel like my works in progress can’t possibly follow that up; thank you anne marie.

in case you missed it, all proceeds from the december sales of this pattern will be applied to our scholarship fund, benefiting one student who participates in foster care 2 success programs. read more about the fundraiser in this blog post.

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i am currently working on a design for a coordinating hat and fingerless mitts, using a second red shade of studio june springy sport—a color named here comes trouble (i don’t see that in the etsy store at the moment, but i’m sure jill will be happy to take orders).

i love this red—it’s brighter than the red scarf colorway i showed you last week, but is a wonderfully clear and strong color.

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it’s a bit hard to photograph, especially on such a gray day, but this second photo is a good representation. there are subtle variations that i’m hoping to capture more accurately when i can photograph it in better light. this will be a slouchy stocking hat with a rounded shape. the brim has the same dense cable-and-garter motif as the hem of the scarf, but the top is a looser variation of the scarf body pattern to make it slump properly, with a rounded ‘plop’. so far, i’m in love.

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we drove home sunday in more snow and bad weather, but managed to get here in one piece to begin a busy week. there was a lot of organizing and pre-holiday preparation awaiting us there.

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in fact, we got home just in time for me to make it to the christmas celebration of my monday knitting class (held on sunday for that week). i promise it was WAY more fun than these knitters make it look, haha. for one thing, we had great food as you can see.

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and then there were the presents—wow.

i worked on my bay leaf and lime shawl—you can see from the photo that i started out the afternoon with barely a couple of inches on the needles, but by the time i left it was looking much more substantial, thanks to a quick-knitting stitch pattern and delicious yarn that i can’t put down.

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i’m knitting with yarn hollow superior, a BFL wool, cashmere, and silk blend in an exclusive color called lime rickey, which will be featured in our holiday surprise kit, to be available very soon.

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i’ve been working on this shawl throughout the week and am really close to the finish, having segued into the openwork lace pattern for the shawl body, now.

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since the rows just get shorter and shorter from now on, i should be finishing up tonight or tomorrow, depending on how soon i get away from this computer, today. i need to put the final touches on the pattern so i can submit it for proofreading; i hope to have everything ready to release by mid week, but we’ll see . . .

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wow, this yarn has beautiful luster and bloom—it seems as if, in this colorway, it’s even more lush and gorgeous. the yarn/color interaction here is magic. i’m really smitten with lime green for christmas this year.

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so much so that i unintentionally painted my nails in a perfect match this week—no kidding, i just thought it would be a great holiday color when i applied it on friday, but when i sat down to knit that night, i had to chuckle. hey, at least i mean it when i say i love it. BTW, this is color dosh, from butter london (love this brand).

in addition to all the holiday knitting and design work, we’ve been preparing an awesome december chapter segment for our 2013 fall in full color club eBook, to go with the custom yarn we had spun for this month’s shipment. i couldn’t be more excited for the release, which will be monday at midnight. we have a fun monthly installment planned—be there or be square.

this fall, the collection already contains eleven patterns and we still have two months to go. if you missed out on buying a yarn membership, you can still join any time as an eBook member. it’s a great buy and a wonderful gift for that accessory hound in your life, one holds discovery the whole year through with projects ranging from easy-peasy to complex and thoughtful.

with our las vegas family arriving in just five days time, david and i are scurrying about, trying to get the house ready, in between work tasks. he is putting the final touches on trims, hanging closet doors, and figuring out solutions for trouble spots (we still haven’t figured out where the kitchen trash will go exactly . . .

we are finally at the point where we can go out and get furniture for our new living area and we’re anxious to create our sanctuary in which to share meals and relax. david and i spent most of yesterday hunting for furniture—which meant driving around in a slippery snowstorm because it it was the only time we could get away, haha. we did  target several great pieces that will work; we just have to figure out where each one can fit before we finalize the purchases. we’re shopping vintage, which makes it tricky—we love 60s and 70s style furniture. i’ve fallen in love with broyhill brasilia . . .

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back home, i’ve been trying to spend an hour or two each day organizing something. one of david’s requests for the new kitchen was to put all the spices in matching, labelled bottles. what, there’s something wrong with my old system of just knowing which spice is which from the bottle it resides in—most of which have been around since the year one??

okay, i had to concede it was not a very friendly cooking environment for the uninitiated. david put a lot of effort into locating the right jars—ones with square bases that could be packed into the new spice cupboard as efficiently as possible.

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however, moving everything over to new system had to be the single most tedious task i’ve tackled in recent memory—it took hours. which wasn’t all bad because in cases where i questioned whether i should keep some odd, old-ish thing i rarely used—you guessed it; as the hours passed those went with ever-quicker speed into the circular file.

for the most part, this all worked pretty well, but we have some jars that hold larger quantities and for those we have to get bigger square bottles (which won’t match after all, right??)

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the other issue will be that i won’t be able to recognize anything at a glance now, since they don’t reside in their identifying containers any more, haha. but i’m a quick study; i’ll figure out a system (i’ve already got them grouped according to baking spices or cooking ones)

ok, that’s enough lolly-gagging around the blog; i’ve got a pattern to write and more chores waiting as well (i finally have a coat closet, YAY. but it needs to be organized, boo). and i kinda sorta hoped i could maybe get into that kitchen to actually cook today; boy oh boy, some hot homemade soup would be nice!

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coming next week, a guest post from our 2013 scholarship recipient, brandy, featuring her photo essay and semester notes. also, we have several more designs to release in our holiday pattern parade; look for one or two more this week.

12 Responses to “old spice”

  1. Flan says:

    Ooh, I’m smitten by the cowl, and by the great jars ! Where did Davud end up finding them?

  2. LeAnn W says:

    I love the bay leaf & lime shawl! What a color.
    As a side note, I grew up with some Brasilia – it’s the furniture my mom chose for her dining room & her bedroom suite. Most all of it made the move from So Cal to their Montana home after dad retired. Hadn’t thought about it in some time.

  3. Robby says:

    I really love that green too! None on my nails, but no color there ever for someone that works in a kitchen. Those spices you tossed? You’ll be so glad you did. I now get mine from a local spice shops and it just brightens flavored so much when the slices are as fresh as the rest of the ingredients.

  4. Mary says:

    Alpha order for spices – that’s my approach. Easy to find everything!

  5. Jo Morgan says:

    The spice jars are really nice. I have been thinking about doing something similar and buying my spices in bulk because I’m tired of buying a whole jar of stuff I rarely use. I am knitting away on a nice Squish Me hat and loving it after ripping a hat by another designer which was easy but fiddley and annoying! Weather is crazy everywhere! We were below freezing and minus numbers at night for nearly a week, but now temps will be in the 60′s and back to arctic numbers for the weekend! Sorry you are missing your runs!

  6. Susan-from-Athens says:

    So nice that you’re getting your home together again. It’ll be lovely to have your haven restored all refreshed and new. And congratulations on organising your spice rack. Mine is long overdue.

  7. kyrie says:

    I actually use TP cores for blocking hats and cowls. Oatmeal cans would be better, but I don’t eat oatmeal… Love the cowls, scarves, hats, etc – lots of good quick ideas for last minute holiday stuff!

  8. josiekitten says:

    I am loving those funky fingernails of yours Anne! Once everything is moved back in and you have your furniture, you will be soooooo happy! Then we can all look forward to more of your cooking blog posts. I’ve really missed those!

  9. stashdragon says:

    I love all the knitwear you show here – but the square spice-jars nearly steal the show! Provenance?

  10. Hattie says:

    I can’t keep up with you… the december red scarf didn’t floor me, but the COWL, well you’ve got me, I’ll be grabbing that pattern soon so I guess it worked lol.

    Also the weather here is just as bad… they JUST cleared the snow from 3 days ago and it dumped on us again today. Took me almost 2 hours to pick up hubby from work and the kids from school (usually takes about an hour)… complete nightmare.

  11. Pandamomium (Rav) says:

    Agree with stash dragon the spice jars got me. Please share where David got them?
    BTW the knitting is great too. :-)

  12. janmaus says:

    OK–the knitting is fabulous, but matching spice jars? What an over-the-top idea!! What would cooking be if I didn’t have to completely empty my spice shelves several times a week and remind myself about the hidden treasures in the back? Could I use that spare time to knit?