Category Archive for: ‘FOs’

Friday Roundup: Thankful


What I’m Knitting

As promised, I’m knitting away on other designers’ patterns for the Indie Designer Gift-A-Long! I finished my Cascada Mitts—didn’t they come out beautifully?

IMG_0778_mediumI was planning to keep them for myself… but the stash yarn I chose just happens to be my sister-in-law’s favorite color, and I think she’d love these. So they’re going to her, and I’ll just have to knit another pair for myself.

Here are the FO specs:

Pattern: Cascada Mitts by Karen Troyer Ladman

Yarn: Cephalopod Traveller in Finger Lakes, about 1/2 of a skein (left over from my Concord Vest)

Notes: This is my favorite kind of gift knitting—simple enough so the pattern is easily memorized, but complicated enough to keep the interest and attention. I didn’t even have second mitt syndrome on these!

I’ve also discovered that Magic Loop is my absolute favorite way to knit mitts, although I tend to prefer DPNs for sleeves. Separating the mitt into two pieces (instead of 3 or 4 with DPNs) tends to work better, since there’s usually patterning on the back and stockinette or a simpler pattern on the palm.


I’ve started the next pattern on my Gift-A-Long list, an adorable aviator hat for my son. More about that next week!

What I’m Cooking

Whew, a whole lot of stuff, thanks to US Thanksgiving being yesterday and us hosting dinner for 15 people! I did manage one recipe from my low-fat vegan cookbook challenge, but then all bets were off when the big day rolled around, haha.

Here’s a cauliflower ricotta lasagna from the cookbook (forgot to get a pic while it looked all pretty, oops):

IMG_0760And the few things I managed to get pictures of on Thanksgiving Day (there was a lot going on!):

For an appetizer, I made tiny deviled potatoes. I bought a cheap pastry bag and tip to pipe in the filling, and they tasted as good as they looked:


I made roasted balsamic Brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, and zucchini gratin for the main meal, which you can kind of see in this pic of my plate (along with my mom’s fantastic marinated fake meat turkey loaf!):


And for dessert, I made two kinds of apple pie, which went perfectly with the four other kinds(!) brought by other guests:

FullSizeRender-1 FullSizeRenderIt was a fabulous meal and a fun night with family and friends. We’re still enjoying delicious leftovers. :-)

What I’m Reading

My friend Amy Reichert’s book released this summer and I’m finally getting a chance to read it! Lots of fun and yummy food so far.


Friday Roundup: Lace/Cable Hat FO!


What I’m Knitting

We managed a photoshoot for the lace/cable hat, so I have an FO to show off this week!

Version 2Here are the specs:

Pattern: My own, to be released sometime in the next month, hopefully. I’m kind of stuck for a name—let me know if you have any suggestions!

Yarn: Frabjous Fibers March Hare in color Curiouser. Although the picture above is pretty accurate in terms of color, it doesn’t quite capture the subtle nuances of this colorway. It is gorgeous. I bought the single skein on our recent trip to Seattle because I absolutely couldn’t resist it. The yarn was lovely to knit with, too.

Notes: I’m really happy with the way this hat turned out! I wanted a longer hat to cover the ears, which took some finagling since the lace/cable pattern has a 16-row repeat (meaning length is harder to adjust to taste). But 2.5 repeats worked out nicely. I’m just finalizing the pattern writing and then will have it up for testing in my Ravelry group. Come check it out if you think you might be interested in test knitting!

IMG_0128 copy

What I’m Cooking

I made a truly delicious vegetable korma Indian dish this week, but I forgot to get pictures. Oh well. Trust me though, it was amazing.

I did get a shot of my latest recipe from my personal cookbook challenge, though. This is garlic broccoli and chickpeas:

IMG_0158I was kind of amazed by this recipe. It’s just  broccoli, chickpeas, and smashed whole cloves of garlic, roasted with a little olive oil and spices… but I couldn’t believe how flavorful it was! Just, uh, don’t make this one if you’re going to be in a small room with anyone for a while, if you catch my drift.

What I’m Reading

After finishing the Terry Pratchett book (sniff), I needed something to read on my phone while putting my son to sleep… so I started in on Jane Austen’s oeuvre! I reread her books every few years—there’s something so comforting about them. This week I read Persuasion and Sense and Sensibility, and I’m just starting in on Northanger Abbey.


Friday Roundup: A Finished Vest and a Ridiculously Cute Model


What I’m Knitting

I finished the vest, woohoo! I conscripted my son for a photoshoot and actually had a really hard time choosing which of these photos to use to show it off. Sometimes I can’t believe this adorable guy is actually my son and not a retouched Gerber baby, seriously.


IMG_9739 I’m really pleased with the way the vest came out! Sizing it will be a little bit of a challenge, since the cable pattern I used on the chest has about a 3.5″ vertical repeat, but I should still be able to offer it in at least 4-5 different baby/child sizes.


Here are the specs on the FO:

Pattern: My own, to be released in the (hopefully) near future!

Yarn: Good for Ewe Claddagh in Leprechaun Green, about 1.5 skeins. I was worried about running out of yarn, because most of the sport-weight vests I found on Ravelry called for 350 yds and up and I only had 328 yds. But somehow I still have a half-skein left. No idea how that happened.

Notes: I’m really in love with this construction. Knitting the cable strip is fun and easy, and it was so portable at this stage that I could just throw it in my purse and go. And since a third of the knitting had been finished, knitting down from the strip and then up for the top felt like they went ridiculously quickly.

What I’m Cooking

I started with some yummy oatmeal raisin muffins for Saturday morning breakfast:

IMG_9668And then some banana french toast, made vegan by using a flaxseed mixture instead of eggs since we don’t usually have eggs in the house. It was  delicious! I used this recipe. Totally making this again—I really like that it didn’t have any added sugar but was still nice and sweet from the bananas. We didn’t even need syrup.

IMG_9669On the cookbook challenge, I knocked out another two recipes this week. First up, lentil chipotle burgers! I had never made my own veggie burgers before, so this was kind of a challenge for me. But beyond them being a little crumbly, I did a pretty good job. And even the crumbly ones tasted delicious.

IMG_9674And finally, pasta with mushrooms, red onions, and edamame pesto. Very tasty. The addition of the edamame to the pesto means you don’t have to use much oil at all. Brilliant!


What I’m Reading

I’m on to the last book in the Tiffany Aching series, The Shepherd’s Crown. I have to hurry, because my husband is reading the series too and he’s only one book behind me!


Friday Roundup: An FO and Spring Rolls!


What I’m Knitting

I finished all the knitting on the little nautical sweater (mark 2)! Here’s my son testing the fit. This is pre-blocking, so the white stripe won’t pull up as much in the center as it does here.

IMG_7599 IMG_7614So I know I’m biased, but how freaking adorable is he???

I’m going to be blocking the sweater this weekend and then whipping the pattern into shape for testing next week. (PSA: If you’d be interested in testing one of the sizes, join my Ravelry group where I post all my tests! You can even sign up to be notified when I have a new test up so you get first dibs.)

What I’m Cooking

Thanks to a dreadful cold that knocked me out for several days, I didn’t get much cooking done this week. I did manage some rice, lentil, and kale soup:

IMG_9470And the second thing I cooked was actually really cool! I made spring rolls for the first time, using rice papers (so weird!), crispy tofu, rice noodles, and veggies:


My setup…


With vegetable fried rice and homemade peanut dipping sauce


What I’m Reading

I just started the third in the Tiffany Aching series, Wintersmith!


Friday Roundup: Hey, a Finished Object!


What I’m Knitting:

It’s been a while since I’ve had an FO ready to show off for FO Friday!

Here’s my nautical baby pullover (actual name forthcoming, obviously…):

IMG_8855 IMG_8871The specs:

Pattern: My own. I started the pattern writing and am aiming to release this one at the beginning of the fall knitting season—hopefully early to mid September.

Yarn: Universal Uptown Worsted in Royal Blue (2 skeins) and Cream (1 skein). I liked the yarn a lot! For 100% acrylic, it was very non-squeaky and soft. I’ll probably use it again for super-easy-care baby gifts.

Notes: This was a fun, relaxing knit. It’s top down, all in one piece, so the only thing that was complicated at all was the short rows on the shawl collar (which, frankly, were a good thing after all that stockinette). I was aiming for a 1-2 year old size and was worried that it came out a little small, but I tried it on my son (1 yr) and it fits him well with a little room to grow. Perfect! Now the weather just has to cooperate for outside pictures.

What I’m Cooking:

Not something I made from scratch, but something I ate several times this week: I just discovered this new and amazing product:

IMG_7131That is dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free mac and cheese! And it’s delicious. I throw in some frozen peas and broccoli to up the veggie quotient and it’s a fabulous quick lunch or dinner. Plus my son loves it—bonus!

I did manage to make some yummy tofu Pad Thai, which I always crave in hot weather for some reason:

IMG_7154And these excellent maple-syrup-sweetened, vegan banana oat muffins:

IMG_8835My son adores these as well, which is great because I’m always loathe to give him the sugary store-bought ones.

What I’m Reading:

I just finished The Dream Thieves (soooo good!) and am currently on the hunt for another MG/YA book to read. I think I’m going to take a break from intense and read something fun and quick before I tackle the third Raven Boys book.

Friday Roundup: A Finished Object and a Helper


What I’m Knitting:

I finished the knitting on the nautical pullover. I’m mostly happy with it. It fits my son with a little room to spare, so that should be perfect for a fall photoshoot. I’m not altogether pleased with the way the topmost white stripe is pulled up by the collar, but I’m hoping a good blocking should even that out. Blocking will commence tonight or tomorrow, so stay tuned.

Here it is in all its unblocked, lumpy glory (see my helper underneath the table?):

IMG_8746I also knit up a very large, intricately cabled swatch this week. It’s for a design submission to a yarn company, so I can’t show a full pic, but here’s a teaser. I love the way cables look in heathered wool:


What I’m Cooking:

Some old standbys this week. We were still playing catchup from our trip, so I didn’t have a whole lot of time to cook. My favorite lentil, kale, quinoa stew made an appearance. The MVPs of this stew are my time-saving helpers, pre-chopped garlic:

IMG_7074And veggie broth bouillon cubes, so I always have broth on hand:

IMG_7073And again, I had a little helper keeping me company:


What I’m Reading:

Back to the second Raven Boys book, The Dream Thieves! (I just got a notification that it’s overdue from the library. Oops. To renewals I go!)


Elva Cardigan and Pattern Book Contest!


My newest sweater pattern is included in Knit Picks’ Golden Morning collection! This is the Elva Cardigan:

51885220_9 copyHere’s the description from the pattern:

This flowy, lightweight cardigan is designed to be worn open or with a skinny belt. The garter fan pattern, charted and described line by line, adds a gorgeous detail to the sweater back, while easy raglan shaping and flattering lines make Elva easy to pull on and hard to take off.

Constructed from the bottom up, the sweater is worked seamlessly with raglan sleeve shaping. The elbow-length sleeves are worked with a slight flare at the cuff and then joined to the body at the yoke.

Elva frontI’ve been in love with the laceweight-at-a-loose-gauge concept for sweaters since I knit myself a Featherweight Cardigan years and years ago. It was my go-to sweater when I lived in LA: just the right amount of warmth for overactive air conditioning or a cool-ish night, but small and lightweight enough to fit in my purse. So I thought it was about time I designed one myself!

Bonus: laceweight yarn sweaters are very economical. This one only takes 2-4 hanks of Knit Picks Shadow (a really lovely yarn with subtle heathering that gives the finished sweater shine and depth).

I added a little flair with the fun-to-knit lace pattern on the back:

Elva back closeKnit Picks generously sent me two copies of the Golden Morning pattern book, so you know what that means–it’s contest time!

Golden Morning coverTo be entered to win, leave a comment on this post and tell me what you’re planning for spring and summer knitting. Do you switch over from wool pullovers to lace shawls, or carry on with bulky accessories all year round?

I’ll use a random number generator to choose the winner this Friday morning, so comment by the end of day on Thursday to be entered! I’ll ship anywhere in the world, so this contest is open to everyone. Good luck! :-)

Friday Roundup: Two FOs!


What I’m Knitting:

Remember the sneak peek of the blue yarn from a few weeks ago? Well, the yarn (Knit Picks Preciosa Tonal) has now been released, so I can show my new FOs off properly.

GETS KP setHere are the specs:

Patterns: My own Give ‘Em the Slip Set, modified slightly for the different row gauge of the Preciosa as compared to the original Malabrigo Worsted.

Yarn: Knit Picks Preciosa Tonal in Maritime, 1 skein for both (with a generous amount left over!). This yarn is yummy! It’s very much like Malabrigo Worsted, but slightly lighter–and with more generous yardage as a result. I love that I got both parts of the set from a single skein.

IMG_6315 IMG_6337

Notes: I wrote these patterns and knit the original samples three and a half years ago, when I was just a baby designer. They were only the third and fourth patterns I published. It was kind of fun to knit from something I wrote so long ago and see that it was well-written and error-free. Not to toot my own horn too much, but I think that’s pretty cool. :-)

What I’m Cooking:

I snapped up some shiitake mushrooms on sale this week, so we had a sort of vegan pasta carbonara:

pasta carbonaraThe day job has still been crazy, so I was looking for quick meal ideas mid-week. In the grand tradition of taking something pre-made and making it my own, I started with this:

image1Added a whole bunch of green veggies:

IMG_6111And ended up with a tasty and healthy meal!

IMG_6528I also made a double batch of our favorite vegan queso. This stuff is OUTSTANDING. Cashew cream, miso, nutritional yeast, veggie broth, and spices are blended together and cooked up with fresh onions and jalepeños. We put it together with some sautéed bell peppers and other fixings on corn tortillas:


What I’m Reading:

Don’t you hate it when life gets crazy the moment you start a good book? I’m still working on THE INQUISITOR’S MARK, but not because I don’t like it–in fact, I’m frustrated every time I have to put it down! Ah well, at least it means I get to savor the book longer.

Friday Roundup: Colorwork FO and Plenty of Cooking


Last week was just as busy day-job wise as the week before… but somehow I managed to get plenty of cooking and knitting done. Go figure, right?

What I’m Knitting:

The adult version of my baby/child Transposed Hat is finished! We went out to the field around the corner from our house and spent a cold fifteen minutes getting some pictures with the baby strapped to the back of my husband. I think they turned out rather well, considering those circumstances:

Transposition frontI’ll be releasing the pattern in the next few weeks, so expect more pictures soon!

I’ve also finished that secret hat I was talking about last week, and guess what? The yarn isn’t secret anymore–Knit Picks just announced that their Preciosa merino single-ply is back. I’m knitting away on the matching mitts, so hopefully I’ll have a set to show off next Friday.

What I’m Cooking:

Like I said, plenty of action on the cooking front this week! First was a rare scramble made with actual eggs rather than tofu or some other analogue. Served with fake sausage patties and toast, it made excellent Sunday breakfast:


I only had about ten minutes to throw together this next meal, so I took a can of Amy’s Tom Kha Phak (Thai coconut soup), added veggies and some cornstarch to thicken it up, and served it over rice. It worked surprisingly well. I’m rather proud of this one.

I was cooking for a crowd again on Wednesday (I do this most weeks), so I whipped up the coconut vegetable curry from Budget Bytes (adding chickpeas for additional protein). With some naan on the side to soak up the sauce, it’s soooo good.

IMG_5920And finally, continuing cold temperatures yesterday (boo) called for a large pot of stew with dumplings. I used fresh thyme instead of dried like I usually do. It made such a difference!


What I’m Reading:

I’m a little ways into the second book in THE EIGHTH DAY series, THE INQUISITOR’S MARK. It’s just as good as the first one (which I loved) so far!


Friday Roundup: Big Sister, Little Sister


What I’m Knitting:

I finished the Entrechat for my niece! Here it is with the teeny one for her little sister, due in May:

Big and Little Entrechat

Entrechat back

The specs:

Pattern: Entrechat by Lisa Chemery (Ravelry link).

Yarn: Ella Rae Cozy Soft Chunky Solids in Purple Eggplant. I bought 5 skeins of this yarn and only used 3 for both shrugs. If I had one little teeny criticism of the pattern, it’s that the yarn requirements are extremely generous. But the yarn is nice and soft, seems very sturdy, and blocked nicely despite its 75% acrylic content.

(PSA: Always, always block your handknit garments! Here’s the before blocking shot in all its ugly glory, if you need proof.)

Pre blocking EntrechatNotes: Like I said before, I now totally get why everyone and their mother has made this. It was an enjoyable and interesting knit, even when I knit the largest size directly after the smallest size. Usually I hate working the same pattern more than once (even if it’s my own!), but this wasn’t bad at all.

I found perfect little wooden sunflower buttons at Joann Fabrics, which made me happy. Their button selection can be very hit-or-miss for me, but they’re the only place in town with any kind of selection.

What I’m Cooking:

I have to get better at remembering to take pictures of my meals before I dig in, because there were a few I missed this week (like the tasty chickpea curry we had for dinner on Wednesday). But here’s what I did get.

I made this tofu scramble with peppers, mushrooms, and spinach after the success of the plain one I made last week for my vegan Egg McMuffin analogue. It was really tasty! Tofu scrambles are definitely going in the regular breakfast rotation, now that I know how to spice them properly.

Tofu scrambleI also whipped up a recipe I’ve been wanting to try for a while: seitan sloppy joes! (Seitan is a meat substitute made from wheat gluten–the tastiest sub out there, if you ask me.) They were goo000d.

seitan sloppy joes

What I’m Reading:

I finished the beta read for my friend and started in on the second book in Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus series. It’s fast-paced and funny, as usual for his books.


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