Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Interweave Knits Fall 2010 Review

Interweave Knits, issue Fall 2010!

Best Liked:
Leyfi Pullover
Breacan Swing Coat
George Street Pullover and Cowl
Elementary Vest

Least Liked:
Point Gammon Pullover
Inversion Gansey
Running Stitch Skirt

Those the fall in-between:
Brattleboro Hat - - This is a book excerpt from New England Knits. It is cute, but I don't like the way the button band is finished. I have made this hat now and recommend knitting the band whole and not picking up stitches later. Love the textured stitch and think this hat could be worn by many different types of people.

Alpen Socken - - Lovely cabling detail! Not over designed. Leaving the bottom of the foot in stockinette makes a nice contrast. The picot top works well with the design. I appreciate that there is more than one size option.

Proverbial Cap - - Again, love the cabling detail in this also. Nice symmetry. Only one size is given, which isn't good for use larger skulled beings, however it could easily be knit up in a larger gauge.

Bavarian Tulip Mittens - - Not a lot to say, but that is because I am not a mitten fan in general. The cabling is nice and works well with the shape of the mitten.

Leitmotif Cardigan - - Lovely cable designs. I like the interesting construction. I am not a fan at ALL of hook and eye closures, especially with knit garments, but that can be easily changed. The pictures Interweave has do not fit the model well, I recommend looking at the designer's post about the garment, it is much more appealing in her post.

Hawthorn Pullover - - I like the cable ribbing and it looks like it makes a nice fabric. This sweater has the comfy appeal. I would love to see it with some waist shaping though, maybe at the sides. I think this would be a great top with the waist shaping.

Plein Air Tote - - Love the cabling detail and the structured look. The construction is interesting and I think it would make a durable bag. It's a bit big for me, but I think about 2/3rds that size would be nice. Not saying I am going to make one . . . not saying that I am not going to though either. ☺

Cloisonne Jacket - - Again, hate hook and eye closures! The jacket however is adorable. I'd probably use a lovely variegated yarn instead of the blue. The colorwork is nicely designed and I love how she ties it back in with the lace bottom. This still looks good even though there is no shaping due to how the top is meant to be worn. the small collar is just the right size. This garment is versatile and could be worn in many settings. Would probably change the sleeve length to either wrist or elbow so the sleeve and hem did not end at the same length.

Pizzicato Scarf - - Not sure. Looks like a comfy scarf, but doesn't seem like anything special. Shift in ribs is hard to see in this yarn.

Sea And Sky Shrug - - Not personally a shrug person, but I think this is cute and well fitting. I like how the sleeves are a little longer than the body. It looks very flattering on the model.

Family Pillows - - Nice smaller colorwork projects. The argyle one is well done. Plaid one is interesting and I like the texture on it due to the raised stripes. The bolster definitely has a nice woven look to it.

Slanting Plaid Stole - - Interesting, but nothing special. It is a simple and nice design.

Peavey Jacket - - A nice big comfy sweater. This could work for a man or woman. Plaid colorwork is well done. The textured collar echos the pattern in the alternating sections. Love how the bottom is left in pattern. I think for a man this might look better with a thin collar that extended up from the button band.

Chiral Cardigan - - Interesting construction. Feminine, but not overly so. Would probably choose more subtle buttons. I love how the rest of the cardigan was left simple to draw attention to the front ruffle. The waist shaping in this also help the fit. I like that the sleeves are fitted. If I was a little more girlie, I would probably make this.

Williamsburg Cardigan - - Love the look of this comfy cardigan. The texture is subtle but wonderful. A nice layering piece. Would probably shorten the length so the hem and cuffs of the arm did not end at the same place. The buttons work well in this. Waist shaping might look good in this, but the loose style works without it.

Tamarix Quilt - - Love the geometric detail in this. I also like the big blanket projects that are knit in pieces because it makes it more portable. The simplicity of the mitered square in a lovely design. This is a likely future project.

Hoarfrost Mobius - - Interesting looking. Love the delicate look. I have never knitted with a steel blend, so I am not sure about that. So thin and lacey that is is definitely meant more for looks than any practical use. It is a pretty accessory though.

Arching Cables Jacket - - Surprisingly I think this is a cute layering piece. The construction is interesting. The belt feature is thick enough to work well as the the only part that closes the garment. Not over designed. The collar is a good size to match with the other ribbing sections. Not sure if this would look as nice on a bigger girl though.

Overall :
I like that this issue had focus items with the cabling and the colorwork. It brings more structure to the issue. Plus these are two areas that I enjoy. I think this is one of their better issues. I like the photo index in the back, which also has the page number of the pattern. I think they still have some issues with the clothing to wear with the featured pattern, but it was better this time.

Would love to hear your opinions on the issue and the style of review? Which way do you like better?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Weekly Update #12

Since I am definitely sticking with the video blogging/ video podcasting, I am trying to bring a little more structure to it. So the next few weeks will probably be some transition as I figure out how I want to situate it.

What's going on : Elmwood Festival of the Arts was this weekend. One of the joys of where I live, I walk out my front door and am surrounded by the festival. Some lovely things, just wish I could afford them! ☺

Doctors appointment is this Wednesday. I know it's wishful thinking to think this appointment will clear everything up, but I am still hoping.

Finished Objects: No finished objects this week.

Knitting Works In Progress:
Shetland Pi Shawl - Started Clue 4, the rounds are so long now, that the slow gradation of the yarn is completely lost. Still like it so far, we shall see how it goes.

Cloud Chaser - Have made it past binding off for arm holes on the back piece. Hoping to finish it in time for the cooler weather. Love cabling.

September Bakers Dozen Square

Yoga Socks

Crochet Works In Progress:
Vera's Blanket using the Esther's Square. Square Countdown = 8/48

Sewing Works In Progress:
Raw Edge Circle Quilt - Little Pea's Quilt is slowly being worked on. I am counting on him not arriving until February when he is due. ☺ (I am assuming he is a boy . . . but they don't find out for a couple more months.) Square Countdown = 6/64

Giraffe from Soft Animals A to Z by Carolyn Vosburg Hall. Cut out pieces and just starting to sew them together.

Tempting Ideas :
Hairpin Lace - Ah, this is something I repeatedly look at because of how beautiful it is. A few inspirational patterns I would like to try (RAV Links):
Lotus Smock - Love it and it looks good on multiple body types.
Village Summer Skirt - I am usually not a fan of fiber skirts, but love this and the hippie look of it.
Hairpin Lace Shawl - Love how this coupled with crochet looks so delicate.
There are many more beautiful patterns and projects in hairpin lace and I am trying hard to resist starting one of these. We shall see if I can resist.

Favorite Thing:
Celestial Seasonings Tea - I have been drinking a lot of tea this week. I love the Black Cherry Berry mixed with the Lemon Zinger. I use my tea maker to make a big strong batch and drink it for the next few days mixed with a little honey and ice cubes. I love Celestial Seasonings because each flavor states whether it is gluten free! Plus, they have great flavors.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Seeing Green . . .

I'm not one who pays a whole lot of attention to the color I am wearing or knitting. It all goes by mood, so imagine my surprise the other day when I was waiting for the car to get fixed and realize I had a green sweater on, a green purse with me, and two green knitting projects inside the purse. It was all just a little over kill of green for me!

One of those green projects is my September Baker's Dozen Square:

BD September

BD September

Yarn : Stitch Nation's Alpaca Love
Color : Fern and Dusk
Content : 80% wool / 20% alpaca
Care : Hand wash and lay flat to dry
Needles : US 5 / 3.75mm
Pattern : Top of Page 96 in Beautiful Knitting Patterns by Gisela Klopper

So far : I am completely love the Alpaca Love yarn! The Member of the Month (MoM) for September wanted purple, green, or a combo of both and preferred a wool blend. Since I didn't have any of these in a worsted or bulky weight like she preferred I decided to try a new yarn. Love the way it feels and the way it is knitting up.

Next is my yoga socks. I have decided to give in, my feet often get cold and I have been doing more yoga and tai-chi. So I figured this would help. I am making my own pattern using a cabling stitch in Charted Knitting Designs : A Third Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara G. Walker, called the Wrought Iron Panel I, which is on page 46.

Yoga Socks

Yarn : Serenity Garden Yarn
Color : Grass
Content : 100% Micro fiber
Care : Machine wash and dry
Needles : US 1 / 2.25mm
Pattern : Charted Knitting Designs : A Third Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara G. Walker, called the Wrought Iron Panel I, which is on page 46.

So far : liking the yarn and the cable.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Going into battle . . .

The name of the Brattleboro Hat makes me think Battle, instead of Brattle. Which makes me think this was the perfect pattern to use for a chemo cap. Mami_dearest on Twitter is knitting chemo caps for her cousin Becky who has breast cancer. I offered to help her out and knit a cap.

Brattleboro Hat

Brattleboro Hat

Brattleboro Hat

Yarn : Cotton Ease
Color : Stone
Content : 50% Cotton / 50%Acrylic
Care : Machine wash and dry
Needles : US 8 / 5mm
Pattern : Brattleboro Hat from IK Fall 2010
Modifications : Knit brim as one piece instead of binding off and picking up those stitches again.

Overall, the pattern was really quick. I knit it up in one night. I would have to adjust it to make it larger if I wanted to make one for myself, but I can definitely see using this pattern again. The hat ended up nice and squishy and stretchy . . . everything a hat should be. I would recommend this pattern.

Giving is always better than receiving, many positive thoughts to Becky as she goes through her treatment and kicks cancer's butt.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Food Friday - Apple Coffee Cake

I've been trying to get more adventurous with the gluten free baking so I decided to look for a coffee cake recipe. I found this Apple Coffee Cake recipe from Gluten Free Steve. I decided to try it because the thought of apples in there too reminded me of bear claws.

I chopped up two granny smith apples. My apple pieces are fairly small.

All of the dry ingredients.

All of the wet ingredients.

I mixed the two together first, instead of mixing the apples with the wet ingredients.

Then mixed it all together and put in in a greased 8x8 pan. Forgot to take a before picture with topping on it.

Fresh out of the oven!

Overall, this was delicious. The boy even commented that this was close to the real thing. I think out of all the gluten free baked goods, this one disappeared the fastest. I think these would be good with small variations too. I want to try one without apples and I want to try baking it as muffins.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Post of His Own

From the moment he had eyes, Elijah demanded his own post. Being on the video blogging/video podcast wasn't enough. He kept reminding me how long I took to finish him, he was special and deserved special attention. I tried to explain to him that all finished projects get their own post, but he was too busy hearing himself talk to listen to me. So we will just pretend that he is getting something extra special. After all, you know how elephants can be.

He's fairly sure he's ready to take on the world.

He wanted you to see that he is cute from many angles.


He's not so much a fan of this picture as he doesn't think it compliments his trunk as a picture should.

Yarn : Red Heart
Color : Pale Blue
Content : 100% Acrylic
Care : Machine Wash and Dry
Needles : US 3
Pattern : Elijah by Ysolda

Overall : He took a lot longer than expected, just because I kept putting him off. He's adorable and I am glad I tried to do Ysolda's ears instead of modifying them again. I like the eyes better this time, all I did was do some duplicate stitching. He's going to be saved away for Garren's Christmas present . . . along with the giraffe that I will finish.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The inevitable in Buffalo

We lived 3 years in Buffalo before it finally happened. We went out to go grocery shopping and someone had broken into our car! The driver's side window was bashed in. Nothing was stolen, because we don't leave anything of value in our vehicles. Still, greatly disappointing as we now have to pay to get the window repaired. Highly annoying!

Weekly Update #11

Finished Objects:
~Elijah : duplicate stitched his eyes on in some black acrylic.

~Bakers Dozen Squares : Both all finished.

~Brattleboro Hat : Quick knit, finished in one day for mami_dearest on twitter. Her cousin is going through breast cancer.

Works In Progress (WIPs):
~Shetland Pi Shawl KAL : Eating up yarn like crazy. Frogged Rainbow Knee Highs that I have been working off and on, so I'll have more yarn for the Shawl.

~Blume Hat : Still slowly working on it.

~Raw Edge Circle Quilt : Hand sewing circle pieces onto the squares.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Bakers Dozen Square - August #2

Sorry, no video blog/podcast today. I am having some serious sinus migraine issues! I will record tomorrow though, hopefully! ☺ Until then, the second Bakers Dozen Square.


Here is the initial square, before the trim was added.

Detail shot of the middle.

Reblocking with crochet trim.

: TLC Cotton Plus
Color : Lavender
Content : 51% Cotton/ 49% Acrylic
Care : Machine Wash and Dry
Needles : US 5 knitting needles and size E (3.5mm) crochet hook
Pattern : Top of page 120 in Beautiful Knitting Patterns and simple double crochet trim

Overall : I like this yarn, but it is a little splitty. Would use it again. Love how the pattern turned out, it looks great with the lace. Knitted the center piece and blocked it. I knew I would need a trim, but needed to know how far the center would block out first. I almost always use a K1P1 bind off, which makes it easy to pick up stitches for connecting pieces or adding more. The cable made it block out a little less than I expected, still love it though.

This is definitely one of the reasons why I love these types of groups. It gives me a reason to essentially swatch things that I may not take the time to do for myself. It's helping me learn more about yarns and stitch patterns. So glad I joined this group.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday Inspirations

Swatch Cards - - Love these little cards from Katie of Duo Fiberworks. I have a similar problem with my yarn labels and swatches and think this is such a nifty idea. Now I just need to go get some card stock to print these out!

YarnGasm Podcast
- - new podcast I found through Indie Designer Day on Canary Knits. It's new and there are only a handful of episodes, but she is easy to listen to and interesting.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Garden Update and Shetland Pi

First, one of the many bunnies that live in our backyard. It always amazes me that one can live in a big city and still have so many woodland animals about. I love it!


Even though I was on the second floor balcony, he sensed fear at me taking his pictures and started to flee!

It looks like not all the plants that sprouted were the hot peppers! It looks like we have a baby bell pepper! So jazzed!

Every few days I go out and picked peppers. This was this mornings pick!

The little tomatoes are starting to turn red!

Every time I blink the Coleus plant seems to have grown! The seeds were a variety pack, only the pink and red seem to have grown though. Still lovely!

Not garden, but it is as colorful as the garden! The Shetland Pi KAL is moving along nicely. This is through clue #2. The colors are transitioning quickly. A little disappointed that the colors moved from green-yellow to orange-yellow without ever having a just yellow. Oh well, it is still lovely.

Comfort Pi

A bit closer up on the lace.
Comfort Pi

I am only through clue 2 of 5. I am truly beginning to worry about where I will have enough room to block this out! I guess I'll worry more about that when the time comes, but it is a serious concern. The bed is probably the only place large enough to block it, but unfortunately we do need somewhere to sleep!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Food Friday - Chocolate Mint Brownies

On the back of the of the Penzey's Hot Chocolate with a Hint of Mint container there is a recipe for brownies. The husband really wanted me to try these.

The mix is delicious and does have just a hint of mint.

Love this flour, it doesn't have any gritty texture and worked really well with this recipe.

I almost forgot to take a picture after baking, couldn't wait to try them.

Super fall apart yummy! The outside has a nice crisp, but the inside is nice and soft.

Overall conclusion : Very good, even the husband liked them and he doesn't like most of the gluten free baked goods I try. The recipe is easy, quick, and delicious. I would definitely recommend these.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Bakers Dozen Square - August #1

BD August.1

Yarn : Bernat Baby Stretch
Color : Purple Ping Pong
Content : 48% Acrylic/44% Cotton/3% Polyester/3% Nylon/2% Elastic
Care : Machine Wash and Dry
Needles : US 2
Pattern : bottom of page 117 from Beautiful Knitting Patterns.
Modifications : Added approx 8 more rows between center peaks and eyelet row to make square larger and to make it look more proportional.

Overall : Loved working with the yarn, would probably make yarnovers into double yarnovers just so they would be seen better. Otherwise I think it turned out lovely and would use this yarn again in a heartbeat.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Joys of blocking

My mind is scattered enough that I cannot be a dedicated crafter and work on only one project. Although, this means each project takes longer to finish, because they don't get that special attention. This often makes it feel like I do a lot of crafting and yet accomplish very little. I think it also makes finishing an item even more sweeter though.

One of the Bakers Dozen Squares is off the needles.


And it is now blocking!


I am a huge sucker for lace in textured yarns. I have a bit of this yarn left and may make myself something small. Will do a full post about it tomorrow. Off to knit clue #2 from Wendy's Shetland Pi KAL and finish up the second Bakers Dozen Square.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Weekly Update #10

~Justice's Gifts : My sister Echo and my niece Justice are quite creative. They should have a blog of their own . . . that they use . . . hint, hint, hint. :)

~Toe : Yeah, tripped over part of the exercise bike and hit my toe just right. It's all purple/red colored. My toenail is messed up, you know, all the lovely things. It's hurts less if I tape it to the other toes, so that is where it'll be for a while.

~Elijah : All finished, just need to embroider eyes.

~Bakers Dozen Square : Almost done with the textured square.

~Blume Hat : Frogged, dyed more yarn, changed to size 2 needles, and am alternating skeins.

~Shetland Pi KAL : Wendy of Wendy Knits is have a Shetland Pi KAL. Here is the (RAV Link) also. Done with section 1 and can't wait for section 2! (miss spoke in the video, part two is out on Wednesday)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday Inspirations

~Tubular Cast On - - I am trying to learn more ways to cast on, this tutorial from Romi is good and I intend to try it on my next pair of socks!

~Ashworth Scarf - - Love this scarf from Laura Chau of Cosmicpluto Knits. RAV Link. I love the pleating cable-like design. This is definitely on my to do list.

~Remnant Stitching - - Huge fan of Victoria's stitching. I have posted links to her a few times in the Sunday Inspirations. These are lovely.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Knitty Fall 2010 Review

Knitty Fall 2010 Issue Review!

And those that fall in between
~Perlieu : I am usually not a fan of art yarns, but the yarns used in the pictures works wonderfully with the pattern. Although I am not sure it would be anything special if a non-art yarn were used.

~Iced : I like the style/shape of the garment. Not a fan of the chunky yarn/gauge though. I would make the sleeves go down to the wrists and make it so the bottom hem didn't roll up. Love the buttons. I do not like that there is no pictures of how they want the snaps put on.

~Victoria : This has all the features of a nice comfy sweater. As always, I am a fan of the textured stitches. I like the way the collar can sit many different ways. I like that even though the body is baggy, the arms are fitted. I could see myself making this.

~Trout River : I like this solely as the vest. I am not a legwarmer person and the idea of the sleeves being buttoned on are not appealing to me. i like the addition of the variegated yarn to the hems to add a little color. The waist shaping makes for a good fit.

~Lamina : I think the pattern and yarn look wonderful together. A little too girlie for me, but aesthetically is it very pleasing.

~Ms Clarke : I like this. It has a similar look as the Echo Flower Shawl. The geometric edging is lovely. The color works well with this. I am personally not a bead person, but the beads do look nice in this pattern.

~Kink : Honestly, a little too girlie for me and I am not much of a cowl person. However, it is a cute decorative piece.

~Mystery + Manners : In general I am not a fan of mittens. The colorwork is lovely and looks very well designed.

~Eda : Also not a fan of wrist warmers. I don't see their purpose. I like the Roman Column type look the design has though.

~Minty : This looks like a nice slouchy hat. I don't like how the X appears on the back of the red and white one. This looks like something my sister, Echo, would adore so I may knit this one.

~Coralie : This is far too girlie for me. I am also not sure I like the look of knitted earrings in general.

~Mad for Plaid : I like the theory of these socks, I think they just need to be evolved and tweaked. There are only two stripes in the front and two in the back. The sides look too plain. I understand that the heel was left in stockinette for color reasons, but it wouldn't be snug enough to fit my feet well. An interesting concept, I just think more needs to go into it.

~Flo : The history of the pattern is cute and the elephant is cute. Not enthused about seaming. The shape of the trunk is bothersome in the way it tapers.

As always, I would love to hear your opinions of the patterns. Let me know how you like this way of presenting the reviews compared to my other ways.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Food Friday - Gluten Free Meatloaf

I have had a craving for meatloaf. So I searched the web and found this recipe. It sounded good and yet a little unusual. I have never made meatloaf with milk in it, but hey, anything is worth one go round, right?

Karen from Fab Grandma Meatloaf Recipe (my slightly altered version):
1.25 lb ground meat - I used pork, turkey, and beef (equal parts)
1/2 cup oatmeal ( I decreased the amount oats because they give me horrendous heartburn)
1 cup 1% milk
1 egg
1/2 onion, chopped ( less onion because the husband is not as big of an onion fan)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon black pepper (I used 1/2, instead of 1/4 just because I love pepper)
No sage because there wasn't any in my cupboard.

Mix all ingredients together, I am a firm believe that your hands will do a better job than any mixing utensil. Place in an ungreased pan, mine was approx 8x8.

Topping sauce:

½ cup catsup
2 tablespoons mustard
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Mix together well and spread on top of meatloaf.

Bale at 350 degrees for 90 minutes.

I was delighted to find that Lea & Perrins is gluten-free. I am a HUGE fan of Worcestershire sauce and am so glad to have found this.

The oats that I used were also gluten free.

The following are the meats I used, I always try to use meats with a low fat content.



Here are all the main ingredients mixed together and placed in the ungreased pan.

Mixed up the sauce, as you can tell, not all of my brown sugar wanted to cooperate, but it was still wonderful tasting. I am thinking this sauce with some meatloaf meatballs would be delicious.

All baked up!

And plated with some broccoli, corn, and mashed potatoes.

Up close view.

Overall impression : This is delicious! Honestly this is probably the best meatloaf I have had even before I found out I couldn't eat gluten. I am already devising a plan to make this recipe into meatballs as I mentioned above. Super glad I decided to try this recipe. The 3 different meats together gave a wonderful blend also. I will be looking through some more of her recipes soon and trying some more stuff. I would recommend this meatloaf to everyone.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Like I need another hole in my head . . .

I need to cast on for another project like I need another hole in my head. Wendy of Wendy Knits is having a KAL for a Shetland Pi Shawl. I did a good job at distancing myself, after all, I am already working on a bunch of things right now. But then she posted the info for the swatch and it looked so easy. I told myself I would do the swatch and it would only prove to me that I wasn't meant to do this KAL. Yeah . . . sure . . . okay.

Yarn: Kauni
Color : Rainbow
Content: 100% Wool
Needles : US6 / 4mm
Gauge for Lace Panel Before Blocking : 3.25in/8.25cm wide and 2.5in/6.5cm tall
Gauge for Lace Panel After Blocking : 4.625in/11.5cm wide and 3.75in/9.75 tall

The swatch fresh off the needles, before washing and blocking.

A nice soak with a little soap.

All pinned out nice a perty!


All dry and off the needles . . . isn't it lovely. I love the feel of the yarn and the drape is wonderful.

So yeah, I swatched and now I can't wait until Sunday when Wendy posts the first part of the Shetland Pi KAL! What have a done to myself. Guess I need to work on finishing some things up before then, huh?!?