Stitches East

Katie, Colleen, Carole & I made it to Stitches East on Saturday. We had a blast – our day was filled with a lot of laughs, ooohs and ahhhhs, and a bunch of purchases.

After about 6 hours of shopping for yarn and admiring knitted pieces I got home and immediately wound up one of the skeins I bought and cast it on.  When you see it you might understand why.  It’s Madelinetosh Pashmina in Filigree. It is delightful to knit with, plus I am in love with the color. I picked it up at the WEBS booth which was packed with great stuff.

I’m working on the Honey Cowl. Another pattern perfect for a beginner & it’s free!  All you need to know is your basic knit & purl stitches.

Here’s a peak at the other goodies I found and cannot wait to get started on!

Don’t forget! You still have time to enter our current Giveaway!

Giveaway & Square Update

Good Morning!  We have another giveaway!

My dear friend Carole sent me a beautiful gift the other day.  A Vera Bradley Curling Iron Cover…at first I was a bit confused (no curls here).  There was a little explanation at the bottom of the note, “wondering what this is for? A cute way to store your knitting needles!” I agree it is a perfect way to store your needles.  We want one of you to have one too!  Leave us a comment to enter – we will announce the winner on Tuesday!

We are making progress on our Weekly Knit-a-long.  I am loving the patterns and textures!

Have a great weekend!  Kara and I are headed to Stitches East tomorrow at the Hartford convention center – will you be there?

Nice & Tasty: Flatbread Recipe

I don’t know where the idea for this recipe really came from but I had it swirling in my head for about 2 weeks before I went to the grocery store to buy the ingredients.  It didn’t disappoint. I had been craving it for awhile and when I made it, it turned out to be everything I wanted it to be.  It’s so simple and I think Sandra Lee & her Semi-homemade cooking would be proud.

Ingredients:
1 pkg. Pillsbury Pizza Crust
4 tbsp Olive Oil
1 Pear sliced thinly
1 lb. Bacon
1 small sweet Vidalia Onion sliced thinly
1/2 c. balsamic Vinegar
1/4 c. Crumbled Feta Cheese
1 tbsp. butter

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Take Pillsbury Pizza crust and split it into two, then roll each dough out separately with rolling pin until dough is very thin.  Take 1 Tbsp of Olive Oil and rub on both the bottom and top sides of the crust & place on cookie sheet. Bake Pizza crusts until crispy & brown – approximately 12-15 minutes.  Remove crusts from oven, then immediately remove crusts from cookie sheet and onto a serving plate. Drizzle 1 Tbsp of Olive Oil on each.

While the pizza crusts are in the oven, take 1 lb. of bacon and chop into small pieces, the cook on stovetop until brown. Drain and set aside.
In a separate pan heat butter until melted, then add thinly sliced onions to pan.  Cook for about 4 minutes, then add Balsamic Vinegar and cook until onions are soft & transparent and most of the balsamic has evaporated. Then remove from heat.

To assemble pizza take Pear slices and lay on pizza crust, then spoon onions, and bacon over pears. Lastly sprinkle with feta cheese.  Serve warm or cold.  Makes 2 flat breads& serves 6-8 people as an appetizer.

Notes: When rolling out dough, I don’t recommend using any additional flour on your rolling surface. It tends to be harder to get the dough thin enough.

It’s a little juicy & sweet from the pears and a little salty and tangy from the bacon and onions. It’s such a great combination of sweet & salty!

Enjoy!

Show Your True Colors

Yarn skeins are works of art.  Why not display your stash?

It is such a dark rainy day in New England… I think it would be a great idea to sit down with a cup of coffee and some of this stash yarn.

Giveaway Winners!

Thank you all for your participation in our Giveaway!  We’re happy to let
Nest Design Studio, Marcy, Sharon, Janel Gerber & Flannel Jammies
know that you are now carriers of a new Envirosax bag!

We hope you enjoy the bags as much as we do!  A special congrats to Flannel Jammies who also won our bonus giveaway – a set of 4 dishcloths! I’ll be sending you an email shortly to get shipping info and your gift will be on its way to you.

We also wanted to share a link to my I <3 Aran which was featured in Tanis Fiber Arts TFA Tuesday! I’m so excited to see my sweater somewhere other than Nice & Knit!

“Just Enough Ruffle”

A look at Barb’s Koigu Ruffle scarf from both Katie & Kara

Kara’s Koigu Ruffle
I find Churchmouse Yarns & Teas Patterns so inspiring.  The yarns they use, colors they pick, their photography…all leave me with a feeling of – I have to make that RIGHT NOW!  Their scarf pattern called Barb’s Koigu Ruffle was no different.

Katie made this scarf first and I fell in love.  It was around this time last year and it just felt like the perfect fall scarf.

It’s made with Koigu yarn, which if you’re familiar with that you’ll know that the options are really endless and depending on what color you pick you can really change the “look” of this scarf. I picked one with so many different colors I could probably wear this with just about anything!

We do recommend that you iron ruffles out on the scarf after making it.  It might seem and feel a little scary but it makes all the difference in the world. It was a quick knit, you can complete this in a couple of days and it’s so simple – all you need to know is how to knit, purl, and increase and decrease. If I remember correctly at it’s longest point you have something like 600 stitches on your needles!

Katie’s Koigu Ruffle:

Winners will be announced later today for our giveaway!

Knitting Notion Favorites

Some of my favorite knitting supplies.

One of the best gifts I have received from my Grandma is this Interweave Knitting Companion.  It is a great source for all the technical aspects of knitting.  There are great illustrations to accompany the directions – wonderful!  Between this book and YouTube video tutorials I have learned to really knit.  What are your favorite knitting books?  Do you have a favorite Youtube knitting video?

I learned to knit using Susan Bates needles.  It was fine.  I was introduced to Addis shortly after I began knitting and have never gone anywhere else.  Addi needles feel “just right” to me.  After purchasing many different sizes and lengths I finally purchased the entire set of Addi Clicks.  It is so great to have all the sizes and cord lengths in one neat and orderly place.  Do you have a favorite needle?  Has anyone tried Addis and switched to something else?

How do you read a chart?  I have tried the magnets and stitch counters, but with 3 boys running around the house these have proved less than perfect.  Those stitch clickers are just too tempting for little men!  Pam from Knitting Criations led me on to highlighter tape.  It is the best for me.  I love the ability to see the row before under the tape and it is reusable.  I highly recommend this method!

All of my knitting notions have the cutest home in this felted bag.  I think these would make a great Christmas present for my knitting friends and hope to create some myself.

Lantern Moon has a most beautiful line of knitting bags.  I purchased this one from my local yarn shop and love it.  It has pockets around the inside and fits a lot of yarn, patterns and notions.

Progress on Peabody.

This yarn spindle is the greatest!  My sister Colleen purchased this at the Yarn Seller in York, Maine and gave this to me last year.  It is the perfect way to keep your yarn from running away!

What are your favorite supplies?

For You: A Giveaway

We think these bags are the best and we want to share them with you!  So, we’re giving away 5 Envirosax bags.

            

They make a perfect knitting bag because they’re so light weight and they’re stylin’ too.  They’re also good for things like gym clothes, groceries, a purse, camera bag, beach bag, or gift bag. If you need any more ideas for this bag than that — then you don’t need this bag!

Here’s one of mine (I have several).

Here’s what I keep in the bag

Since this is a knitting blog, we’ll make this giveaway knitting related and throw in a special prize for one of the lucky 5 to win a bag.  One of you will also win a set of 4 dishcloths knitted by yours truly.

These dishcloths are called “Grandma’s Favorite”  It’s a free pattern and it doesn’t get any easier than this.  To all of you saying you want to try knitting — this is a quick project for you to start with!  I love the name too because they do remind me of my Grandma. She makes them often.   When I was getting married she gave me a few for a bridal shower gift. I use them everyday.

     

So leave us a comment and tell us who taught you to knit? Grandma? Mother? Friend? If you don’t knit, that’s OK too. Just leave a comment and tell us what your plans are this weekend –  I’ll be making dessert

We’ll pick a winner on Tuesday!

Hand Felting

Last year I saw the most beautifully handfelted pair of slippers on Grazim’s Etsy shop. I was instantly inspired to try hand felting.  With the help of a great tutorial, I began learning this wonderful & rewarding craft.  Like painting and pottery you do not pick up the brush or clay and make a masterpiece on your first try.  There is an art form to molding the wool, soap and hot water into something beautiful.  I have thrown out plenty of wool in my first attempts…but my initial frustration has been well worth it.  I love to felt!

I have an Etsy shop with some of my creations – katiecreated.etsy.com

The felted flowers make great additions to knitwear.  

Sweater is Featherweight by Hannah Fettig.

Brooklyn Tweed: Umaro Throw

Over the past few years of knitting I’ve made a lot of things but this one is my favorite.

The pattern comes from Jared Flood, of Brooklyn Tweed, who I consider one of my biggest knitting inspirations.

Pattern:  Umaro
Yarn: Cascade Eco Wool (held double). It’s a very affordable choice for an afghan.
Ravelry Project

Was it hard?
-No. The BT directions are always so clearly written and thorough. I did find it a little tough work on this if I was somewhat distracted – That usually led to mistakes.  The skill level for this pattern is easy and any beginner knitter could do it.

Was it quick?
-Quick for an afghan, yes. But it does take time. The amount of time you spend on this project will be well worth it. It’s knit on a size 15 needle and the yarn was held double so you see progress very quickly which will keep you going.

I love afghans. They’re probably my most favorite thing to knit and to give. They’re so simple to knit – no shaping, no seaming, and you just weave in the ends when you’re done. Every couch should have a knitted afghan.

Yesterday was like Christmas in October because THIS showed up at my house…I can’t wait to swatch it up and start a biiiig project with it!

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