5.30.2010

Brickhouse a New Way!

Do you remember Brickhouse?  

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I wore it all fall and winter but I decided the fiber (Schaefer's Heather) was too heavy for spring/summer wear and that I really wanted one in a lighter fabric.  So, I bribed my friend Ginny, with yarn (of course!), to make me one with Schaefer's Audrey.  I gave her two new colors that are debuting at TNNA later in June.  The bricks are done in Irene Sendler, and the mortar in Spruce.  It's important when choosing colors for Brickhouse that they contrast with each other so that the bricks don't get lost in the mortar.  These two colors won't be available for a bit, but I am SO excited about how it came out I had to share with you!  Plus, I got my buddy Caitlin to take the pics and I got to accessorize with her AWESOME purple plastic purse, don't you want one just like it?

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5.20.2010

And I'd like to thank...

Wow!  I am so thrilled with the response Summer Duet is getting.  I know it's only been 48 hours but I'm really hoping I get to see other people's versions soon.  There is a Ravelry page set up here, so if you make one, please post pics and notes.

A huge THANKS to Betz White, who wrote a lovely  post about Summer Duet!  Also thanks are due to Whip Up and Craft who both found the pattern and shared it with their readers. 

WOW, to date there have been 450 downloads of the pattern, AWESOME!

I'd love to have a knitted version of the top band for those who don't crochet and I am WAY too busy getting my latest pattern line together for TNNA.  Anybody out there motivated to help me out on this?

And because this post can't not have a pic, here's a seriously cute one of a new design:
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5.17.2010

Summer Duet


At long last the project I envisioned a year ago on my trip to NYC has been realized.  Many years ago I went to school for Fashion Design and learned all about pattern making, grading, and other highly detailed minutia.  I worked in the garment industry for a bit and then the siren call of my loom and the dye-pots drew me away from sewing.  I still get the itch to sew, and do from time to time... but this is my first foray into a combo yarn/fabric project.  This design happens to be crocheted on the top, so it's my first crochet project as well.  To celebrate this accomplishment I've decided to make it FREE!

Introducing Summer Duet, an amazingly simple (first time crocheters and sewers can handle this!) summer top.  In fact, it is so easy, that I had to make three!  Summer Duet is made in two parts, with a few easy steps:  first you choose yarn and fabric that you LOVE, then crochet the top band for your size, finally cut and sew the bottom and attach together.  The pattern is written step by step with diagrams and photos to outline any parts that might be tricky.  If you don't crochet, this might be the project to get you to learn!  Yarn and material requirements are listed in the pattern and on the pattern page. 
Summer Duet
Fabric: Betz White's Organic Sateen Flutter Print; color Spring Green
Yarn: Classic Elite Wool Bam Boo 
Model: Guess Who? (Size Small)
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Fabric: Liberty of London, Tana Lawn; color Multi Droxford 8018
Yarn: Rowan Lenpur Linen; color 566 
Models: My Squammie BFF Kimm and Ms. Baxter (size Medium)
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Fabric: Irish Handkerchief Linen
Yarn: Classic Elite Wool Bam Boo 
Model: Ms. Baxter (Size Small)


I really am in love with the fit and feel of this top... I am so glad two of them are made in my size!!!! I especially enjoy the feel and drape of Betz's new organic sateen fabric, check it out!
There are a few people I have to thank for helping me take this "idea"  and make it reality:  Maya, for listening to my never-ending phone calls and finding this GREAT tutorial on using Illustrator to make patterns, Hadley, for her excellent tech editing, and my models Kimm and Caitlin for their patience and ability to look into the sun without frowning too much!!!!

5.11.2010

Invasion of the Asparagus!

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A few years back I installed a small raised bed garden in our yard.  I instantly planted one of the beds with Asparagus, one of our favorite spring veggies!  It took a few years for the asparagus to establish and this year it has EXPLODED.  I have a few things I always make when we are "rich" in this veggie and I wanted to share one with you.  This soup is seriously easy, and makes a great FAST dinner with these popovers and a salad on a cool spring evening!

Curried Asparagus Cauliflower Soup
2 Tablespoons butter or olive oil (I like butter : )!)
1 medium onion, diced
2 teaspoons curry powder (or more...)
1 small head cauliflower, washed and broken into pieces
1 bunch asparagus (approx 1 pound), washed and cut into 1 inch pieces
Approx. 3 cups broth of your choice (vege or chicken work equally well)
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup milk or light cream (optional)

Heat butter (or oil) in your favorite soup pot, when melted and warm add onion and saute until translucent.  Try to not let it brown too much.  Add curry powder and saute, for one minute more. Add broth, asparagus and cauliflower and bring to a boil.  Lower heat to a simmer and let cook until veges are tender.

If you have an immersion blender, stick it in the pot and cream soup.  If you don't then transfer the soup to a blender or Cuisinart in batches and blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.  If you like your soup to be creamier then add up to 1 cup of milk or cream.  Reheat without boiling.  Serve.


Other ideas for your (and my) asparagus here:
Asparagus Pancetta Hash
Grilled Aparagus (sometimes we even do this on our panini maker)
Basic Quiche with Asparagus and Gruyere (I make with low-fat milk... : )!)

Anything you love to make with Asparagus?  I am SO open to new ideas!

5.07.2010

A Sneak Peek!

     I've been REALLY quiet on my blog, but REALLY busy in real-life!  I have more than one secret project in process, I'm getting ready for TNNA and my garden keeps calling to me. 

     Amidst all this I finally finished a prototype for a free pattern I am working on and wanted to share it with you.  It's quite the diversion for me... crochet and sewing, combined in a sweet spring top.  I plan to spend this rainy weekend perfecting the sewing portion of the pattern. If all goes according to plan it could be "live" next by next weekend!


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Yarn: Classic Elite Wool Bam Boo
Fabric: Betz White's Organic Sateen Flutter Print