8.31.2010

The Zen of Kitchener Stitch!

I know that there are a lot of Kitchener Stitch tutorials out there, but since MANY of my patterns use Kitchener Stitch (Mythos, Migrations, Circulate, Beaded Cuffs, Aile, Eventide, the list goes on...) I like to teach it in my classes. So, I've decided I want to show you how too!

Why do I love Kitchener Stitch, you ask?  Really because there is a Zen to it, a peaceful rhythm that once achieved helps me find that quiet place we all strive for.  (OK, can you tell I read Eat Pray Love AND saw the movie recently?)  Think Karate Kid, "wax on, wax off", and chant the words in your head as you do it, I promise you'll get your groove on soon enough!

What is Kitchener Stitch?
Kitchener Stitch is a method of grafting two separate pieces of knitting so that they are seamlessly connected by a row of stitches that you've created as you join the two pieces together as one.

Kitchener Stitch

Hold your two needles parallel to each other with wrong sides together

First SET UP like this:

1.  Go into 1st st on FRONT needle as if to PURL, pull yarn up and leave st ON needle.
2.  Go into 1st st on BACK needle as if to KNIT, pull yarn up and leave st ON needle.  

Then start GRAFTING like this:

1.  Go into 1st st on FRONT needle as if to KNIT, pull yarn up and drop st OFF needle.
2.  Go into next st on FRONT needle as if to PURL, pull yarn up and leave st ON needle.
3.  Go into 1st st on BACK needle as if to PURL, pull yarn up and drop st OFF needle.
4.  Go into next st on BACK needle as if to KNIT, pull yarn up and leave st ON needle. 

Repeat steps 1 - 4 until all the stitches have been worked, the big trick is how much tension you use when you pull the yarn up through the stitches, you want to have enough tension so that the stitch being created isn't saggy, but not so much that it's tight and distorts the line of stitches you are creating.

Here's your "Zen of Kitchener Stitch" cheat sheet to print and stick on a 3 x 5 index card in your knitting bag:  (click on the image and then print)


Don't forget to chant the words aloud (or in your head) as you work it!

8.23.2010

In gratitude (and the winners!)

Wow, thanks so much for all the LOVE and wonderful feedback on Ailé, your support really was perfectly timed!
aile_piscopia_flat2


If I could share with you what was going on in my professional world right now, your head would start spinning, and then you'd probably just want to buy me a beer... suffice it to say, being able to host a giveaway, share my new design with y'all and read your comments has made this last week a little bit easier to manage.

But I digress, you want to know who the winners are, don't you?

Congrats to Diana and Leanne (blogless).  Please e-mail me with your address and I'll get your kits right out to you!

8.17.2010

Ailé (and a giveaway to celebrate!)

aile_piscopia_neck
Ailé in Schaefer Yarn's Andrea in Elena Piscopia

Introducing Ailé... this bit of bijouterie, reminiscent of wings, is written for both sport and lace weight yarns.  I designed Ailé to use up some wee little bits in your stash and get you playing with beads.  My favorite part is choosing beads and a clasp to coordinate.  Start looking in your jewelry box or local antique store for clasps.  The best clasps are ones that have been lying around just waiting to be repurposed for Ailé. 

aile_waters_neck
Ailé in Schaefer Yarn's Susan in Ethel Waters

Ailé is a wonderful project to bring with you while you travel, it is unbelievably compact, easy to pick up and put down and FAST to make.  I made each of the necklaces shown in an evening! I think some special people in my life will be receiving Ailé for the holidays... time for me to do some more clasp shopping!
aile_gibson_neck
Ailé in Schaefer Yarn's Susan in Althea Gibson

To celebrate the release of Ailé I've decided to do a giveaway: 

**
Leave a comment by August 23rd at 5 pm and you will be entered to receive a set of kits for Ailé.  (For both the sport and lace weight versions!)    

**If you also purchase a pattern and mention that in your comment  it will count for 5 entries... greatly enhancing your chances of winning!   

**I'll be giving away two sets of kits, won't you join in the fun?

As with all my patterns, Ailé is both charted and written out and has been both test knit and test worn.  You can see details and purchase Aile on my website or on Ravelry.  Can't wait to hear what you think!

8.13.2010

Sneak Peak

aile_piscopia_neck


Introducing: Ailé

(pattern will be released next week)
 
Have a wonderful weekend, and don't do anything I wouldn't do! 
(that should keep you safe, but not bored!!!!)

8.11.2010

Oven Dried Sungold's

sungolds_pouring

Every summer I wait patiently for the cherry tomatoes to ripen so I can make our favorite summer condiment.  Our CSA has rows and rows of cherry tomatoes, a veritable u-pick jungle and it only takes a few minutes to fill my bucket!  The recipe is embarrassingly simple and too yummy for words....

Need:
Cherry Tomatoes (I use Sungolds as they are super sweet, and not too big)
Salt (I grind this in a mortar and pestle, don't tell my Dr, but I LOVE good salt!)
Fresh Basil
Fresh Garlic
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

sungolds_cut 
Slice tomatoes in half and place cut side up on a heavy baking sheet.  I use one with sides so they don't slide off when you put them in the oven. (Please don't ask how I learned this.)  Place so they are just touching each other, you want to get the most on the tray you can without overcrowding it.  Sprinkle lightly with salt.

Turn oven on to 200 degrees, or "warm" and place tomatoes in center of oven, cracking open the door of the oven a bit.  Slow roast for 4 - 5 hours or until the tomatoes are quite shrunk, but not crunchy.  (If you overcook they are excellent to snack on and throw in pastas and salad, so no worries!)  I do this in the evening so I'm not unnecessarily heating the kitchen in the middle of the day, alternatively if you have a food dehydrator, use that.  If you are using an oven, it is important that you crack it open a bit so that the moisture can escape.

                            Before                                        After
sungolds_b+a

While the tomatoes are cooling, or the next morning, chop up 1 good size clove of garlic. I try to use really fresh garlic, as it's just coming in when the tomatoes are.

Then chop up a big handful of fresh basil.

sungolds_basil

Gently stir together the garlic, basil, more salt to taste, and tomatoes in a bowl, or right in the baking sheet.

Pack into a quart size canning jar.  Slowly pour olive oil over them until they are completely submerged.  Place in the fridge for at least 6 - 8 hours to let marinate. 
sungolds_done
How to eat:  
With cheese and crackers
With a schmear of goat cheese on a baguette
over lettuce greens (it's like a chunky salad dressing)
over capellini or spaghetti
over quinoa or bulgher wheat for instant tabouli
Straight out of the jar

I would eat these with-in one week of making, though ours never make it that long....  enjoy!

8.09.2010

A wee little break!

max2_camping  

Just back from a rejuvenating family get away in the Adirondack Mountains.  We had the finest time slowing down and being together.  The only agenda was to slowly indoctrinate the girl to trail riding, every day a harder and longer trail was taken.  Luckily on the last day, the insanely fun 16 mile trail we chose had ice cream at mile 13. It's not hard to push yourself a little bit more when there is ice cream to look forward too! 

I have to admit, I did A LOT of deadline knitting, with a quota to be filled every night (sometimes by campfire light)... so no worries, it wasn't all fun and games!

campfire_deadline   
What adventures have you had this summer?