12.22.2011

Warm Holiday Wishes!

Wishing you all a warm and wonderful Holiday Season!

I'm taking a wee break to be with family and friends, I'll be back after the New Year!

For those of you participating in the Kinetik Kal: No worries, I'll be checking in on my Ravelry group often... it is TOO fun helping you choose yarn and beads!

12.19.2011

Beaded Eye-Glass Cord: Tutorial

Need a last minute gifting idea? I shared this easy eye glass cord tutorial on over on whip up and I want to make sure you saw it too! Video tutorials are included for the tricksy beading steps so anyone who knows how to knit can tackle this project and get it done in a night!
Eye-Glass Cord
Beaded Eye Glass Cord

Materials
  • Approx. 20 yards of fingering weight yarn
  • Two Size 1 (2.25mm) double-pointed needles or size needed to obtain gauge
  • Approx. 6 grams of Size 8 glass seed beads
  • Dental Floss Threader
  • Tapestry needle
  • Eyeglass Grips (I got mine here)
Notes:
  • Finished length: 27 inches (69 cm) long
  • Skill Level: Easy
  • If you want to lengthen or shorten your bracelet or necklace it is easy! There are approx 9 beads used per inch of i-cord, (3 reps of stitch pattern.) So, if you want your finished piece an inch longer add 9 beads, or if you want it shorter, subtract 9 beads.
Set Up:
Thread 225 beads onto yarn with dental floss threader.
(Wondering how to thread on the beads? There is a great video tutorial here)

Cast on 3 sts as follows:
Hold yarn ready to work a long tail cast on with at least a 8” tail.
*With rh needle or a crochet hook reach through center of one eyeglass grip grab long end of yarn and pull through, then cast on one st with long tail cast on (2 sts on rh ndl), lift first st over second st; rpt from * two more times. [3 sts on ndl]
Slide sts to other end of ndl.

You will now be working beaded I-cord on these 3 sts as follows:
K1, k1 w/ bead, k1. Slide sts to other end of ndl.
K1 w/ bead, k2. Slide sts to other end of ndl.
K2, k1 w/ bead. Slide sts to other end of ndl.
Rep these 3 rows until all beads have been used.
(Need help with this beaded I-cord? There is a video tutorial here)

Knit one row.
Bind off as follows:
K1, then pull yarn through loop on second eyeglass grip and place onto rh ndl.
Take first st on rh ndl and slip over the second st. [1 st on rh ndl]
Bind off 1 st.
Pull yarn through loop on eyeglass grip again and place onto rh ndl.
Take first st on rh ndl and slip over the second st. [1 st on rh ndl]
Bind off last st.
Cut yarn leaving a 6 inch tail, pull end through last stitch.

Weave in ends. Block if desired.
Eye-Glass Cord

12.14.2011

Korknisse in my Haus!

Over the weekend I took a break from deadlines to knit a wee decoration for the kitchen table.  As much as I've been talking about the holidays I realized we still had ghosts up from Halloween... whoops?
korknisse
These Korknisse have had a special place in my heart for some time and I saved a few wine corks this fall so I could finally make them!  As you can see on Ravelry... I am not the first to be afflicted by the Korknisse addiction!
korknisse
A special thankyou to Maya who let me invade her home at an ungodly early hour to use her yule log tray, I see one of these in my future!

12.13.2011

Shaved Brussel Sprouts

Well now, we've been making candy all weekend (this and this, if you must know).  To counter act all the sugar I decided to make my family's favorite veggie last night.  This is seriously one of the yummiest ways to eat a misunderstood vegetable....

Shaved Brussel Sprouts!
Shaved Brussel Sprouts
1 pound brussel sprouts
2 medium shallots, chopped
1 - 2 tbsp olive oil or herbed basting oil (if you have it!)
sea salt and pepper
squeeze of fresh lemon
aleppo pepper (optional... my man and i put this on everything!)

1. Clean off the sprouts by cutting off the bottom and taking off the outer leaves until there are no blemishes or dirt.  
 Shaved Brussel Sprouts!
2. Shave your sprouts.  I used my Cuisinart with a 2mm blade and just pumped them through.. this step would be ALOT more work if you had to do it by hand!

3. In a wok or other deep sided pan heat up your oil, then saute the shallots until soft and just a bit transluscent.  Then add the sprouts... turn up the heat a bit and start cooking them!  You actually want to "almost" burn them a bit.. stir often but allow to sit in between stirs.  Allowing them to get really hot actually draws the sugar out of them and causes it to caramelize a bit... part of why this dish is so freakin' good!

4. When they are done season with salt and pepper, squeeze on a bit of fresh lemon and serve!

We ate them last night with black bean burgers, roasted sweet potatoes and chipotle mayo... guess what I am having for lunch today?

12.08.2011

Final Adorn Pattern: Helleborus Scarf AND Cuff

Oh my, is Adorn really over?  Well, not really, but my designing for it is!  What a fun project this has been!  Thanks to all of you knitters who trusted me to deliver a pattern to you once a month for 8 months sight unseen... I have to say I really did love the challenge!  In fact this month, I designed you a simple lacey cuff and I just couldn't stop playing with the stitch, so you know what?  You get a scarf pattern too!  Sorry?
December's Adorn Pattern!
Helleborus is based on an offset eyelet stitch with beads placed strategically to create little flowers.  The big trick in this pattern is that the beads pop to the opposite side of the work, which means they are placed on WS rows.  The idea is that you can knit the cuff to learn the technique and make a present at the same time and THEN go on to the scarf!  Make sense?
helleborus_cuff_1
Helleborus is the genus of the winter rose or lenten rose, one of my favorite flowers at the end of winter, a very first sign of spring in my neck of the woods!!  The flowers go around your wrist on the cuff, but on the scarf they are placed to represent a Helleborus flower which has 6 petals.  It was great fun laying out this chart!
helleborus_scarf_half
Wondering what yarn I used?  The scarf is knit in Juniper Moon Findley.... I bought it to make Skywalker when I was in OK earlier this fall BUT when I started to swatch for this design it just BEGGED me to be used.  How can I refuse a yarn so sweet as Findley?  Findley is 50/50 wool silk laceweight that has the perfect twist, it could easily stand up tot he beads being slid along it.  It's not often that a wool silk doesn't start to bloom and show wear when you are working with beads, but Findley is finished in a way that keeps the fibers in line!   You want this yarn, really you do!
To highlight the flower further you will notice that the center bead is different from the outside ones.  I used Japanese glass seed beads for the circumference of the flower and one Czech crystal bead for the center... I LOVE these beads as they really catch the light and sparkle!  If you want to incorporate some into your Helleborus a large selection is carried here.  (Please don't hate on me for sharing that link with you... it might be a bead shopping rabbit hole!)

12.07.2011

Announcing: Kinetik Mystery KAL

Kinetik Mystery-KAL

Sign-Ups are open!  
For more information go here or to my Ravelry group here.

We had an unbelievably great time last spring when I  held my first Mystery KAL... and I cannot wait to get the party started on this one. 

This KAL has options for LOTS of beads, SOME beads, or NO beads.  You'll decide after you work the first clue which is for YOU!  I’ll be providing video technique support, laughter and whatever else you need to get this mystery KNIT!

Teknika Gloves: A new pattern for Knitty!

One of the many secrets I worked on this Fall is finally out of the bag! Phew!
Teknika Gloves
Teknika Gloves in Knitty's winter issue!
Teknika is a seemingly complex but deceptively simple colorwork glove made with only two yarns and some conductive thread sewn into the "controlling" digit! 
Teknika Gloves
What is Conductive Thread and WHY use it?
When you use a touchscreen with your finger, your skin acts as a conductor to send a low voltage message to your device that tells it what to do. If you are wearing gloves, the conductive property of your skin is masked and then your touchscreen can’t complete the circuit with your finger! Enter conductive thread, a material that conducts electricity at a low voltage. If you incorporate this into your knit fabric then you can use your phone and NOT take off your glove/mitten to do it!

Wondering where to get conductive thread?  I bought a batch of it and am selling it in my Etsy shop in case you NEED some too!
Teknika Gloves
The Yarn: 1 skein of Spud and Chloe Fine serves as the ground color, while one skein of Crazy Zauberball is the contrasting color... the Zauberball changes in long intervals allowing the gloves to look like I used LOTS of color in them!  It's no secret that I love the line of Spud and Chloe yarns, Fine is phenomenal for colorwork!
Teknika Gloves
When I first sent the glove idea into Knitty I though I was going to be using 4 colors, but I realized that I didn't want to knit them.  I was scared of all the ends that would need to be woven in before I even began!  I quickly changed my tune and found an alternative... do you know why?  Knitting is supposed to be FUN!
Teknika Gloves

12.06.2011

Final Adorn Sneak Peek!

The final Adorn pattern is almost ready and I want to give you a sneak peek....

December's Adorn Pattern!

12.02.2011

A Friday Round-Up

Oh my, I missed you yesterday... a whole day without blogging?  Crazy pants!
I've got a several fun things to share with you:
1. Susie asked me (and yes, I squealed out loud when I got the e-mail) to do a Holiday Gift Guide on the Juniper Moon Farm blog.  Go read all about some gifting ideas I have for this year and then enter the giveaway.  JMF will be running posts like this throughout the month of December I can't wait to see what ideas I am going to get from it! 
2. Tina at the Knitting Contessa, asked me to do an interview for Knitting Contrissmas.  I adored answering her questions... she is such a sweetheart!  Go take a peak and leave a comment, there's a giveaway there too!
3. My friend Hunter has released pre-orders for her new book, The Knitter's Curiosity Cabinet.  The book will be out later in the spring... but for now you can go torture yourself by looking at all the gorgeous patterns that will be in it!
4. I bet you want to know who won that Ribband kit, don't you?  Congratulations to #2, GerryART!  Get in touch and let me know which color you want : )!

5. Want a hint about the next, and last *sniff*, Adorn pattern?  Juniper Moon Farm might just have something to do with it!  I've got a final photo shoot this weekend, so the pattern should be off to you next week!

11.30.2011

6th Grade Biology: Embroidery Style

Earlier this Fall my girl was given a very standard 6th grade Biology assignment: 
 Make a model of a cell and label all it's parts.  

All on her own she realized she could embroider a cotton napkin and make the assignment FUN!
My girl's 6th grade Biology Project!
I need you to know I had nothing to do with this project besides having a studio FULL of supplies she could easily use.  Well, that's not totally true, I did teach her how to embroider....
My girl's 6th grade Biology Project!
I adore the detailing she did on this, using the running stitch to outline items, and some smaller stitches and scribbles to delineate cell parts... and just look below at the key.  This Mama is PROUD!
My girl's 6th grade Biology Project!
Miss B was about 9 when she learned how to embroider... do you think your kid(s) might enjoy this type of handwork?  If so, Maya has a great post about embroidering with children that you should check out! 

It's the last day of NaBloPoMo, and I made it, WOOT!  No worries, I still plan on blogging, though I think I'll take a break for a few days, ok?

11.29.2011

Mademoiselle Socks!

Introducing Mademoiselle Knee Highs!

I originally designed these for Rae's Yarn Boutique in Lansing Michigan for their 2011 sock club.  Copyright has reverted back to me, so now you get to knit them too!
Mademoiselle Knee Highs
These eyelet knee highs are worked toe-up with a triangular shaped heel gusset and eyelet shaping for the calf along a sturdy back seam.  The beauty of toe-up socks?  You can try them on as you knit them to make sure they fit YOU and then adjust for perfection.
Mademoiselle Knee Highs
I used one of my favorite sock yarns, Schaefer Anne for these... it's generous 560 yard put up meant I could get a pair of knee highs out of one skein.  The mohair content makes for a lovely bloom that allows the eyelets to soften.  Think delicate fishnet with these babies!
Mademoiselle Knee Highs
You can read more about them, and purchase the pattern, here.  

11.28.2011

If I Had More Hands... III

Well, I haven't done one of these posts in quite a while.... and there are a few things I wish I had more hands for right now!  I am DEEEEP into secret knitting and I have to get some present making started!
copyright rockandpurl
Glacial by Ruth Garcia-Alcantud
I need a new cardi, and I love the collar and shaping on this one!

Image copyright ronsfavoritewife
Cowboy Booties by Corinne Fourcade
These are the PERFECT 'lil girl baby present, and I might just have some Alisha Goes Around Tidings of Magpies in Peony leftover from another project that are destined to be these!

Copyright Kate Davies
Sheep-Heid by Kate Davies
I have leftovers from my Venezia that WILL be this hat... though I want to find some purple for the sheep... this hat must have purple sheep!


Also, the giveaway for my brand-spanking new, not yet released Ribband kit is still going strong : )!

11.27.2011

Last Day of Vacay... wah!

Well... for the first time this month of couldn't think of a post for #NaBloPoMo, so I will torture you with some pics of our Florida vacay, ok?

The cutest Dog-Faced Puffer Fish at the South Florida Science Museum.
Great Balls.... of Yarn, need I say more?
Hand Painted Turkish tiles at a local tile store that gave me the "wants."
Last night's appetizer: Ipswich Steamers
Last night's dinner: Lobster : )!!!!!!
Soaking up all the short and sandal wearing we can... it's going to be silk long johns and boots for the next 4 months!

11.26.2011

Beads!

One of the things I love about Florida?  The bead stores!  One of Ithaca's only drawbacks is it's lack of a beading store. Whenever I travel, along with visiting yarn stores, I always hit a bead store or three!

Yesterday I dragged 3 generations of Nelkins to Boca Beads... my mom patiently sat and chatted with some ladies at the main table (it felt surprisingly like a knitting store in this regard) as the girl and I roamed the aisles.  Boca Beads has a GREAT selection of size 6 and 8 beads and I "did some damage" as they say!

Want to see?  
One set of beads I got is for the next Mystery KAL I am planning for January.... my girl did some stringing for me last night and I stayed up a bit too late casting on.  I am SO EXCITED for this design, I think it is going to knock your socks off.  More information will be coming about the KAL in December!

11.25.2011

Giveaway: Soon to be Released Ribband Kit!

Well, it's the last Friday of NaBloPoMo, which means this is the last giveaway for a little while... so I want to make this one special!

Who wants to win one of my not yet released kits?

Introducing The Ribband Kit:
This 32 inch long beaded strand can be worn as both a multi-looped bracelet or a necklace. Made with a lace weight Alpaca/Silk yarn and over 450 beads (both glass and Czech Crystal). The 4 stitch pattern is repeated over four rows... making Ribband great "take along" knitting during this busy season!

Ribband is being released next week first through an exclusive deal on Craftsy... it won't be available in stores until January 2012, so that makes this giveaway extra special!

To Enter:
Leave a comment and a way to get in touch with you... Comments will close Tuesday November 29th at 12 noon EST and I'll pick a winner via random number generator! 

11.24.2011

Feeling Thankful!

To all of you who celebrate Thanksgiving enjoy your festivities!
Today, I am feeling thankful that my parents decided to move to Florida and that it is over 40 degrees warmer here than at home!  

11.23.2011

The Solemate/Brickhouse Giveaway Winners!


Alrighty... this is a fun post as I'm announcing the winners of my giveaway with Lorna's Laces with embedded videos, so get prepared to dance!

Ready?  The GRANDPRIZE Winner is....

Megan! with Stevie Wonder's Sign, Sealed Delivered


The runner ups (who all get a pdf of Brickhouse) are...


Jen- Muppets From Space: Brickhouse 

Knitterly Designs- Train: Soul Sister

Kacy- KC and the Sunshine Band: Get Down Tonight  

RachelR- Otis Redding: These Arms of Mine

ChristiD-  The Commodores: Easy

Thanks for playing everyone... please get in touch to win your prize(s)!  I hope those of you that celebrate are gearing up for a lovely Thanksgiving!

11.22.2011

Pattern Re-release: Munchkin

Munchkin
Remember Munchkin?  Well, Schaefer discontinued their super bulky yarn Kathleen last year and I've been wanting to revise the pattern and re-release it in a new yarn.  I was searching for the perfect replacement when I stumbled across Malabrigo Rasta in Archangel last spring at Knitty City

I made the replacement hat in a night, and then waited six months to see my favorite model for a photoshoot.  Want to see more?
Munchkin
I've re-formatted the pattern, and updated the photos... though you can see still pics of my girl (when she was younger and I was allowed to hug her all the time) here.
Munchkin
Munchkin is a great beginner hat that you can whip up in no time at all for a quick gift, or just to keep warm. The pattern is sized for the whole family, and is an unbelievably quick knit so be prepared to make more than one! It is started by making both ear flaps, these are then joined together with sts for the front and back of the head and worked around in box stitch pattern for the brim. Then it's stockinette in the round all the way up until the tassel... easy peasy!
Munchkin

11.21.2011

Guest Blogger on Craftsy!

Howdy Everyone!
Well, I'm just so into this NaBloPoMo thing that this is my second post of the day!  Guess I am a bit of an overachiever....  I'm the guest blogger over on Craftsy.com where I talk about handmade holidays.  I even waxed a bit philosophical about holiday gifting... so grab a cup of tea and check it out!
One thing in there you won't want to miss?  There is a sneak peek of my new kit!
Check it out!

I've landed in Florida and have decided that perhaps this is paradise afterall.....

See you tomorrow!

Video Tutorial: Soutache

Here is a video to help you learn how to work beaded i-cord like I used in Soutache.  I've got another simple design in the works for the stitch and I promise to share it with you when it's ready!

11.20.2011

Soutache

Have you seen the latest edition of Creative Knitting?  Well, it's got a new design of mine!  

Introducing Soutache:
Soutache is based on four strands of beaded i-cord that are braided together to create textural rope.  

I'll be back tomorrow with a video tutorial to help show you how to knit it!

11.19.2011

My NEW Stitch Strap!

I had a VERY good mail day yesterday! Guess what came?

My New Splityarn Camera Strap!

A new camera strap in my friend Betz's new fabric line Stitch, made by another friend Caro. Can I just take a moment to say... I LIKE MY FRIENDS! These two ladies creative genius' has resulted in the coolest camera strap ever! 

My New Splityarn Camera Strap!
I've had my eye on Caro's camera straps for quite some time and was just waiting for the perfect fabric to get one made in.  It was HARD to choose which one of Betz's new fabrics to get it made in... see?
Stitch by Betz White in Garden
Stitch by Betz White in Lagoon
Betz wears many hats very well, she is a designer, sewer, felter, mom, graphic artist, teacher, and friend! Stitch is her first fabric line and is printed on 100% organic cotton... I love how she took her passion for hand work and transferred it to a print line. I have some project bags in the works out of more of it.... how could I not? I found it on-line here in case you need some too!
My New Splityarn Camera Strap!
One thing I would like to add as a PSA... it is VERY hard to take a picture of your new camera strap, while the camera strap is on the camera you want to take the picture with.... you will NEVER see the out-takes from this shoot, I promise!