A Knitting Year in Recap

I decided it would be fun, or maybe OCD is the word, to compile what I knit (and crocheted) this year.... so here's a list of my fiber accomplishments with links where I can.  (Some of the items on the list are due to be released in the next few months, so you get no pics.... but that doesn't mean I didn't knit them!)

Listado Cowl x2
Skull Hat for Miss B  (pic above)
Mystery Hat x5 (you will see this baby real soon!)

An Act of Love
Mystery Vest #1
Mystery Vest #2
Leyfi (half way done... sleeves still to be finished!)
Brisa Shrug
Shawl for Knitscene (you will see this SO SOON!)
Eventide- in Heather for me! (pic above)

Aile x 10
Beaded Cuffs x 8
Butin Collar x 2 (this just was published, it will get it's own blog post later in January!)

Tuxedo Pants for Baby V
Monkey for Chunky Monkey Sauce


Acorns (lots)
Owls for Miss B (never even took a pic of these, from Amigurumi World)
Summer Duet x3



*** OMG.. this must be remedied, RIGHT NOW!  Guess what's on my needles?
Maybe next year I should take it one step further and count all the stitches?

Happy New Year to you ALL!!!!!!!


Deathflake for my Girl!

I finally finished and gave my girl her "Deathflake" Hat last night at our annual family celebration.  It was so freshly off the needles that I didn't have time to block it before I gave it to her, and now she won't take it off, so it's not going to get blocked for quite some time! 

Yarn:  Berroco Pure Merino, 2 balls Black, 1  ball white
Pattern:  Munchkin, rewritten for the smaller gauge with this chart AND some latvian braid for detailing (my first!)

I found out about the chart when Stephanie tweeted about it earlier this fall and knew right away that it was destined for holiday knitting.  Then when studying one of my co-workers Christmas Sotckings I was smitten by her Latvian braid details and I decided that had to be part of it as well. 



Last Minute Gifting: Dulce de Leche

Need any last minute gifts? Well, I did (since we might have eaten a few too many of the caramels) and I decided to whip up some Dulce de Leche. It is scary easy, super inexpensive, and a great conversation piece, what could be better?
6 mini-cans Sweetened Condensed Milk 
(I found mine in the Latin American section of my grocery store.... you can also use bigger cans, the small ones were just too cute!)
A Crockpot
Paper Towel
Kraft Paper
To Make:
1.  Take the labels off all the cans.
2.  Place a few papertowels into the bottom of your crockpot.
3.  Place cans on top of the papertowel and fill with water so that they are completely immersed.
4.  Cover crock-pot and cook for 8 hours on low.
5.  Take cans out of crockpot, and let cool.
Make labels! I used kraft paper and followed Maya's directions for printing on it. Then I used my girl's sticker maker, which I secretly covet to apply them.  You could, though, use a glue stick or other strong glue!

It's that easy... go ahead, you know you want to make some "cooked cans" too!


An Act of Love!

Right about this time last year I started thinking about knitting my man a sweater. I knit him one when I first learned how to knit that was a GINORMOUS FAIL. It is so bad, in fact, that you will NEVER see pics of it. It really was time that he have a sweater made by me! I am smitten with seamless yoke sweaters and while knitting Cascabel I realized that I wanted to work with Elizabeth Zimmermann's EPS system for a seamless yoke sweater and just go for it. 
One of the best parts of this project is that I didn't have to write the pattern, I made decisions as I went, figured out color work and numbers on the fly... this sweater is not supposed to be duplicated, it's just for him, just this once. Oh my, how freeing! All of my knitting/designing is always meticulously documented and thought about at every step of the process so that others can follow my directions. Max's sweater was all about each moment and stage of the design. I wish I could share what my notes looked like for it, unbelievably sketchy, but true to form, I LOST them, how perfect is that?
My honey is shaped like an upside down triangle... i.e. his shoulders are bigger than his waist. So I cast on the appropriate number of sts for his waist size and then did gradual increases to get to his chest size. I knit the sleeves a bit on the snug side as I know he doesn't like them baggy and then worked some decreases for the yoke before starting the colorwork. I was worried it would make his chest look too wide if I started the colorwork sooner. I'm not sure this step was necessary but it works! 
I ended up using Cascade Ecowool. The body is color 8049, the cuffs 8085, and the colorwork 8061 and 8017. I love the wooliness of this yarn, knit at 5 sts to the inch it's a bit dense and wind resistant. I think it will make a great ski sweater! Though, next time I knit a sweater for him I think it's going to be in Shelter
I'm unbelievably lucky that Max is a partner in this venture and one perk is that I have a live-in computer guru.  (And hence, I have a pretty awesome website that doesn't break that often.)  This sweater is just one way to thank my love for being everything and then some!


So much to tell you...

Well, when it rains it pours and since I checked in here last I have lots to tell you about!

***I did an interview with Allegra of Petite Purls for the Renaissance Mom series on their blog.  Grab a cuppa tea (or coffee) and sit down with us for a spell.  It even includes some pics of my family!!!

***I am SO EXCITED to have been invited to teach at the Loopy Ewe Spring Fling.  Sign-ups are open until Dec 22nd when the lottery will take place.  I'll be teaching along side Anne, Kirsten, and JC... the whole weekend is sure to be a blast.   I cannot wait to meet Sheri and her elves in St. Louis this April!  

***This weekend I taught 3fer at The Yarn Spot in Wheaton, Maryland as part of their one year anniversary celebration. The class went wonderfully. I've got a few new converts to working with beads... one of my favorite obsessions to share! Some of my students even came wearing their recently finished Undulating Waves
***I've been SUPER busy with some holiday knitting I'll be sharing with you over the next week or two as I begin to gift all the handknits to their proper owners... above is the first of them. Meet Monkey Sauce, made for Chunky Monkey Sauce for her first Birthday. I LOVED knitting this guy, he worked up super quickly... I was worried he'd be finicky to finish off but seaming him up was painless. I love the way the perfectly placed short rows shaped his monkey mouth and nose.  I used this pattern by Sarah Gasson and am proud to say I didn't modify it at all!


Petite Purls Winter

Oh my, have you seen the latest Petite Purls?  It's enough to make me want another bambino... almost!  This summer I developed a lovely e-mail/twitter friendship with Allegra from Petite Purls and she asked me if I'd like to design a little something for their winter edition... how could I refuse?  I immediately opted for making leg warmers as they weren't something I thought of when my girl was little and I wish I had!  How perfect to be able to encase her little sausage legs in an extra layer of warmth while she crawled around our log cabin's cold floors.... ah, those were the days!

Introducing:  Leg Ups! 
Made with two coordinating colors (Indigo and Thistle) of Schaefer Yarn's newest yarn Chris; a worsted weight superwash that is perfect for high use applications... like leg warmers, of course!  The brioche stitch with it’s ribbed elasticity and dimensionality is perfect for these super simple leg warmies. Once you get the stitch pattern set up they were super fast and fun to knit on the go.  If you have questions on working the brioche stitch take a look at the queen of brioche, Nancy Marchant's website... all of them will be answered, and then some; it's an amazing resource!

A big thanks goes out to Allegra, Brandy, Joan and Colleen (for her SUPER fast model knitting skills)!!!!