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Category Archive for: ‘General’

Friday Roundup: The Waiting is the Hardest Part

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What I’m Knitting

As promised, I’ve been working away on the hat to match my Mystic Falls Mitts! I finally came up with a swatch that made me happy, so I cast on and got to work. This is just a quick phone snap, and obviously blocking is desperately needed here, but I think you can get the idea:

FullSizeRenderI haven’t exactly figured out how I want to do the decreases in the colorwork pattern yet (I know, I know, bad designer!), but I’ll have to work it out soon. That’s 1.5 repeats of the pattern in the picture there, and I don’t think I want to go much past 2 repeats before starting the crown shaping.

What I’m Cooking

I hadn’t made curry in a while, so I whipped up a veggie-filled red curry over rice for my weekly meal-for-a-crowd this week:

IMG_8896It was delicious, but then you can’t really go wrong with full-fat coconut milk curries. Mmmmm….

I also baked some banana-oat muffins this week, which fascinated my son. I put him in his high chair right next to me so he could see the whole procedure. And then he was introduced to the joy that is licking the spoon after the batter has been mixed (vegan baking means no raw eggs to worry about, bonus!):

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He was not, however, a fan of waiting until the muffins were cool enough to eat before he got a taste.

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What I’m Reading

After devouring the first book in the Naturals series, I moved on to two and three! I’m halfway through book three right now (the most recent one published) and it’s just as good as the first two—love it when that happens. I’m going to have some withdrawal when I finish this one…

TheNaturals

New Pattern and a Contest!

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Your regularly scheduled Friday roundup will be back next week—but today I have a new pattern release to show off! (And a contest! See the bottom of this post for a chance to win a copy of the pattern book.)

52017220_9Here are the specs:

Pattern: Woodmere Mitts (Ravelry link), published in Knit Picks’s Petite Presents collection.

Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Sport, shown in Marina and Dove Heather. The mitts as shown used about 2/3 skein of the main color and about 1/2 skein of the contrasting color.

Notes: This pattern was so much fun to design! Like my Mystic Falls Mitts, I decided to go with a totally different pattern on the back and front of the mitts. This keeps things interesting, and having a simple, easy to memorize pattern on the palm is a nice break after the more complex colorwork on the back.

52017220_13I also included instructions for plain, single color mitts with this pattern. It’s a good basic recipe (and you can add your own twist to with variegated yarn or texture patterns, if desired).

52017220_4And now, on to the important stuff! First of all, let me just say that this is probably my favorite Knit Picks pattern collection of all time. The book is gorgeous. There are thirty(!) accessory and home patterns in it, all made with less than 150 grams of yarn. That means it’s ideal for anyone with a big leftovers stash. Seriously people, the only reason I’m giving away a copy is that Knit Picks graciously sent me two!

32768To enter, just leave a comment on this post telling me about your leftovers stash (is it huge? Nonexistent? Constantly being used up by your never-ending hexipuff blanket?). To be eligible to win, your comment must be received by the end of day (EST) Monday, January 18th. On Tuesday morning, I’ll use a random number generator to pick the winner!

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: This contest is open to anyone worldwide, but make sure you leave some way to get in touch with you. Your Ravelry name, email address, or website are all fine—just make sure I have a way to send you a message if you win! After spending quite a bit of time trying to track down winners in previous contests, I’ve decided that this is an eligibility requirement. You must include a way to contact you to be eligible to win!

Friday Roundup: An FO and Spring Rolls!

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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:

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My setup…

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With vegetable fried rice and homemade peanut dipping sauce

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What I’m Reading

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

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Pardon My Absence

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No Friday Roundup post today, as I’m attending an all-day writer’s conference (and had no time for knitting, cooking, or reading this week anyway! Yikes!).

In lieu of a post, here’s a picture of my fridge, sporting one of my favorite comic strips:

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Friday Roundup: Baby Hat Edition

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What I’m Knitting

I know I said I’d be working on the green textured sweater design this week, but I had to put that on hold for some emergency baby knitting (we’ve all been there, right?). A good friend of mine just had a baby boy a few days ago, so I cast on this mini-sized Koolhaas Hat for her little guy:

Koolhaas WIPThe yarn is buttery-soft Knit Picks Comfy in a lovely heathered gray colorway. This is my first time using Comfy, and I really like it! It’s 75% cotton, 25% acrylic, which is just about the perfect blend for my taste. It isn’t as heavy or unyielding as 100% cotton, and the touch of acrylic makes it really easy to wash.

Just when I was at the decreases of that hat, I decided I wanted to work up a little hat for a baby shower I’m attending tomorrow. This decision may or may not have been influenced by the fact that the guest of honor had another baby shower in a different town last week, and every. single. thing was purchased off their registry when I looked a few days ago. Oh well–one of a kind presents are good too, right?

So I cast on a super-quick baby bonnet this morning and have been knitting furiously in the car on the way to run errands (when I wasn’t the one driving, of course!). This one is also in Knit Picks cotton, some Simply Cotton Worsted left over from my Kari Baby Blanket. I’m ready for the decreases and on track to get it finished tonight:

baby bonnet WIP

What I’m Cooking

Another round of the delicious, wine-infused mushroom stroganoff (this time with added broccoli to up the veggies) over quinoa pasta:

mushroom stroganoffI had a head of cauliflower to use up a few days later and was planning to roast it… but that took about 45 minutes and the husband and son were hungry now. So I steamed it and mashed it with garlic, Earth Balance spread, and chives from the garden, then served it with veggie burgers. Delicious! The baby LOVED it. He ate a whole plate by himself.

cauliflower mash

What I’m Reading

I’m still working on The Dream Thieves–but I do have some other writing/reading related news! One of my manuscripts is in a really cool online contest called The Writer’s Voice (modeled after the show The Voice, apparently, but I’ve never seen it so that doesn’t mean much to me!). The contest entries went live today, and in a few days, literary agents are going to request to see manuscripts they find interesting. Wish me luck! If you’d like to check out my entry, it’s here.

Friday Roundup: You’ll Have to Take My Word for It

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What I’m Knitting

I made some progress on the sweater sleeve I was talking about last week, but reverse stockinette doesn’t make for very exciting pictures:

sleeve WIPAlthough I guess that line of loose stitches at the place where the DPNs change is exciting (for a certain value of the word). I’ll have to do some major tugging during blocking to get that to even out.

What I’m Cooking

My mom had a birthday last week and we hosted a party for 20 people at our house. My mom’s a strict vegan, so I went all out on my share of the potluck lunch: stuffed mushrooms, coleslaw, and the pièce de résistance: a vegan, gluten-free, refined-sugar-free cheesecake.

And I got exactly zero pictures of any of it. Bummer. But trust me, it was all beautiful and very very tasty.

I made an enchilada casserole later in the week and missed getting pictures of that too… but I did remember after I heated up my leftovers! This is one of those dishes where the leftovers almost taste better than fresh.

enchilada casseroleNom. Comfort food at its finest.

What I’m Reading

Still working on The Raven Boys (which is getting really, really good!). Maybe when my son stops teething I can sneak in a little more reading at night before bed, sigh.

Deb, are you out there?

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I haven’t heard back from the winner of the Golden Morning book yet! Deb (who left the comment “I have moved to lightweight yarn for warmer weather and airy shawl patterns” on 4/13), you didn’t log in or leave an email address, so I have no way to get in touch with you if you don’t contact me.

In the interest of fairness, if I haven’t heard back from Deb by Friday, I’ll use the random number generator to pick a new winner. But hopefully Deb sees this before then!

New Pattern Release and Contest!

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Boy, people aren’t kidding when they say babies are a lot of work, haha. I’ve been working hard to keep up with my knit design work, and I’m afraid my poor blog has suffered. But I’m resurfacing to show off a new design!

Scroll down to the bottom of this post for your chance to win a copy of the pattern book that includes this design.

This is Roundstone Coat, from the Knit Picks Fall 2014 collection, Burnished:

Roundstone backIt’s designed in bulky wool for a toasty outer layer, perfect for fall outings.

Roundstone Front

The bold cable pattern is my favorite part of this coat. It’s challenging enough to keep your interest, but easy enough to be fun:

Roundstone detail

Here are the pattern details:

Available for purchase on the Knit Picks website here.

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS
S (M, L, 1X, 2X, 3X, 4X)

35 (39.5, 43, 47.5, 52, 56.5, 59)” finished bust measurement; garment is meant to be worn with 2-3” of positive ease.

YARN
Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Bulky (100% wool; 137 yards/100g): Masala 24681, 9 (10, 11, 11, 12, 13, 14) skeins.

NEEDLES
US 10 (6.0mm) 24-32” circular needle, or size to obtain gauge
US 9 (5.5mm) circular needle, at least 47” in length

NOTIONS
Yarn Needle, Stitch Markers (at least 6 should be the removable type or safety pins), Cable needle, Stitch holders or Waste Yarn, 6 buttons, 1” to 1.25” in diameter

GAUGE
14 sts and 21 rows = 4” over St st, blocked.

Knit Picks generously provided me with an extra copy of the pattern booklet that includes the Roundstone Coat. The collection, Burnished, is gorgeous. There are at least half a dozen sweaters I want to make immediately!

Burnished KPFor a chance to win the collection, leave a comment by the end of the day this Thursday, September 25th and tell me what you’re planning to knit this fall. On Friday, I’ll use a random number generator to choose the winner. (Contest is open to everyone, so international entries are welcome!)

WIP Wednesday: It’s a Big One! (Well, so to speak…)

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Well geez, posts have been thin on the ground around here, haven’t they?

But I have a very good reason, I promise. Ready?

I’m pregnant! My current WIP that’s taking up an awful lot of my time and attention is a baby boy or girl, due to be completed around the first week of July 2014. This is the first baby for me and my husband. We’re really excited (and I’ll be even more excited when the all-day “morning” sickness subsides, yuck).

You know what this means, right? Baby knits! (And possibly baby designs… but that’s a little further down the road.)

I whipped up these booties for our announcement post on Facebook:

Saartje's Booties

 

They’re Saartje’s Booties (Ravelry link), which I’ve made for several other little ones… but it was a thrill to make them for my very own baby! I used some Madelinetosh Sport left over from my Put Together vest to make them nicely unisex.

We’re probably not going to find out the baby’s gender ahead of time, so I’ll be on the hunt for yarns and patterns that work for boys or girls. Any suggestions?

FO Friday and New Pattern Release: Reilly Pullover

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Boy, things have been crazy around here! Rhinebeck was awesome, and I promise to have a post up on that in the next few days. But in the meantime, I have had not one, not two, but three new sweater patterns released this week! So as not to overwhelm this post completely, I’ll space them out into separate posts.

First up: a design in Knit Picks’s newly released Swish Collection, the Reilly Pullover!

KP Reilly PulloverAnd here’s the original sample, the FO I couldn’t show you back around this time last year, in its glory at Rhinebeck:

Reilly at Rhinebeck

Forgive the slightly glazed look and the slumped posture-it had been a long day! 

My inspiration for this sweater was my love of Aran patterning, but I wanted to keep it simple because it’s easy for cables to overwhelm a sweater. I knew I wanted a large front cable, and two smaller ones. Making the side cables wavy seemed like a good way to add a modern touch.

Here are the FO details:

Pattern: My own Reilly Pullover

Yarn: Swish Worsted in Marine Heather (the green sweater is in Jade). I really, really like this yarn. It’s soft and nice to work with, but as you can see, cables pop just as well as they do with a stickier, more rustic wool.

Notes: This sweater combines three of my favorite elements: cables that are complex but not hard to keep track of, a v-neck, and raglan, all-in-one-piece construction.

KP Reilly top

Stay tuned for more Rhinebeck pictures!

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