Time for a Swap....

Swap Package I received from Steph179 last spring!
It's time for another swap over in my Ravelry group!  Last spring's was SO FUN, and I've decided it's time to have one again!

Want to join in?  Head over to my Ravelry group and agree to the rules there!  Then it's time to start chatting and gathering... : )!  I'll announce swapmates in my Ravelry group when the signups close!

11/6/12 ETA:  The swap is full... assignments have been made, and I can't wait to start stalking my swapee  :)!


A Lolly Pod for Dot!

One of my students turned knitting buddies, Angela, knit a Lolly Pod for her brand new niece, Dot.  Last week she shared some SWEET photos with me taken by Agnes Kindberg when she was 4 days old... precious, right? 
Angela used Jill Draper Makes Stuff Hudson for the Pod, and Splendor for the Hat in Bottle, one of my favorite colors!

Welcome to the world Miss Dot..... I can't wait to see what knitwear you will pose in next!


My Book Here....

It's finally time to let the cat out of the bag...
Guess what? I'm writing a book!  Last month I signed a contract with Potter Craft, a division of Random House!  Crazypants, right?  I am so excited for this next year of plotting/planning/designing/knitting/and writing.  I've pondered this next step for quite a while and finally decided it was TIME to take the plunge!  I'm sure it will be inspiring/challenging/and fun all at once, or at least in waves, and I'm ready to take it on.  I already have plans to balance book work out with Mystery KAL's, new kits, and other projects so I won't be disappearing in the least.... no worries!

I can't go too deep into what the book is about, just know that it will be chock full of my style, wit, and knitting adventure. It will be a book to help you stretch your knitting skills and it won't be out until Fall of 2014, so you have time to finish up what's on the needles!!!!!

Hopefully my family is prepared to eat hummus, pasta, and eggs for the next 12 months. 'Cause my time in the kitchen?  That might be what suffers!


Rhinebeck 2012!

This past weekend I shot down to Rhinebeck for 48 hours of friends, babies, animals, yarn and wool fumes!  My camera was right by my side and am excited to share some of what it caught with you!
Rhinebeck 2012
My personal favorite at Rhinebeck!
Rhinebeck 2012
So regal!
Rhinebeck 2012
A cow sheep!
Rhinebeck 2012
All time favorite haircut!
Rhinebeck 2012
Ravelry meet up on Saturday!
Rhinebeck 2012
Miss Zoe, who obviously has very good taste in knitwear!
Rhinebeck 2012
Zoe and I wearing our Trapeze's together!
Rhinebeck 2012
I met JanElinRN in real-life... I was so enamoured with her Accola I forgot to take a picture of her face! Oops!
Rhinebeck 2012
Melissa Jean's Button booth with Space Cadet Yarns and my kits... too busy to get into!  Woot!
I'm almost proud to say: I CAME HOME WITHOUT ANY YARN!  I've got a lot of projects on my plate right now which means no time for vicarious knitting....
Rhinebeck 2012
But, I did get a really nice mug from Jennie the Potter, so don't feel bad for me!
Of course there is so much I missed, I totally forgot to take a picture of my crew. Spending more time with Jill and friends only just cemented how much I adore her and them. If you are at Vogue Knitting Live in Chicago this weekend, go give her a hug from me? I miss her!

Oh, and the winner of the November Knits giveaway?  Congrats go to SillyLittleLady, get in touch and I'll have Interweave send your book out to you : )! Love her knit Viking Helmet!  If you don't know what you are being for Halloween, it might have just been solved! 


November Knits Blog Tour and Giveaway!

Welcome to the next stop on the November Knits Blog Tour!  Last year I was honored to be asked by Kate and Courtney of The Fibre Company to be part of their latest book project November Knits.

I adore the last book they did together, Vintage Modern Knits and said yes right away!   November Knits captures the essence of fall with 23 projects that range from casual cardigans and scarves to sweet, stylish wraps and sweaters. The book is divided into three moods: Farm Hands, Ivy League and Southern Comfort. There is MUCH to drool over and knit in this book!

Want to see my design, Bluebonnet Scarf?
Bluebonnet is knit with Schaefer Yarn Audrey in Thistle with 2,012 size 8 glass beads. It's worked in two halves and grafted at the center back so that the two bottom edges match perfectly!

Luckily before I sent it off I got some lovely pictures on my dear model Caitlin....
The beaded lace center panel is sandwiched in between two intricate lace panels the travel up the length of the scarf.
I spent many a happy hour knitting this... and I can't wait until I (hopefully) get the sample back so I can wear it again!

For YOU:  Interweave has generously offered a copy of November Knits! I know you'd love to take a peek through it's pages : )!  Just leave a comment letting me which patterns you are drawn to in the book by Monday October 22nd at midnight EST.  Remember to leave a way to get in touch with you!

Of course if you don't win the book I encourage you to purchase November Knits from your LYS... they can use all the support we can give them!

Next stop: Melissa Wherle of Neoknits, who has a book of her own coming out soon!


Mica Tam: An Adorn Anew Bonus Pattern

Mica Tam
Designed to coordinate with my Mica Mitts, Mica Tam combines the twisted rib stitch with a beaded variation of feather and fan.  The tam is worked from the brim to the top and is designed with just the right amount of “slouch”!  I used 200 yards of Anzula Squishy in Bark, another one of my favorite cashmere/merino/nylon sock yarns... have you all figured out that I have a STASH of MCN sock yarn by now?  I've a video tutorial for working with the beads... it's easy!
Mica Tam
Right after I released the Mica Mitts one of my Ravelry group members JanElinRN asked if I would design a tam to match... ignoring that I was in the middle of 5 other deadlines I decided her idea was brilliant and cast right on!  I am THRILLED with how this tam came out!
Mica Tam
In fact, my girl, who never wears my designs stole it the day it was dry to wear for her school pics!  I spent the whole day a wee bit nervous as I hadn't taken my photos yet, and I know what happens at recess!  (Have you ever played steal the hat when you had a crush on someone?)

I've already got one cast on for her in Fibre Company's Canopy Fingering in Obsidian, with some lovely Emerald Green beads... what do you think you'll knit one with?

The Mica Tam pattern is available both individually and as part of Adorn Anew... you choose. 


Traveling to Atlanta!

Well I'm fixin' to tell y'all about my whirlwind weekend down South teaching some of Atlanta's lovely knitters about knitting with beads! 
One of my students taught me how to talk Atlanta style... did I say it right Carol?

I flew down Thursday morning and spoke to the Clicks and Sticks Knitting Guild about my designs, history, and process... I was asked some really insightful thought provoking questions and it ended up being one of the best talks I have ever given.  I do love me some smart knitters!  (of course I don't have photos of this as my phone was tired!)  The president Karen, coordinator Carol, and were incredibly well organized and relaxed and my whole visit with them was flawless.

On Friday I taught my Beading 101 class in the morning to a room full of eager knitters, and then in the afternoon taught a more advanced class on the ins and out of knitting Spumante
A little peak of class (thanks Karen for being the official photographer!)
I fell in love with Allison's Nupps... she was using Malabrigo Sock in Indecieta to swatch with and I ADORE how each Nupp took on a different color.  I think I'll have to play with this some more one day soon!
Every time I teach to a guild I want to move to their area to get to  know and knit with the members more... Clicks and Sticks is no exception, and if the Atlanta traffic wasn't sooooo hellacious I might even think about it!

Then it was time to be shuttled across town to teach a Friday night class on Mudra Cuffs at Lovin' Knit!  I taught at Lovin' Knit the year before and adore it's owner Pat (and her pup Addi) it was a joy to go back!
Don't you love Lovin' Knits yarn bombed bicycle?
Before class started I was visited by Janiegirl96 who had her finished Trapeze Mystery KAL to show me... Pat made us pose for a shot, didn't her's come out great?
Then it was time for class...
Mudra Cuff late night partay!
The next day I taught a brand-new workshop and LOVED every minute of it..... 6 students and I deconstructed each stitch in Skywalker and figured how to add beads to them.  We had quite the adventurous 6 hours of knitting, and all of us (including me) learned more than one new skill.  I was SO busy teaching and swatching in the class that I got no pictures.  In my mind that's a sign of a class gone well.

A huge thankyou to Pat and Clicks and Sticks for bringing me down south for the weekend!  What fun! 


My First Icelandic Lopi (for Rhinebeck?)

Remember all that yarn I brought back from Iceland?  Well some of it got turned into a sweater vest por moi! (link to Ravelry page)

Lopi Vest 4 Rhinebeck!
I wanted a longer tunic length vest to warm my core and wear with leggings and boots...
Lopi Vest 4 Rhinebeck!
Inspired by this sweater I saw on Craftsy, I wanted to emulate the basalt columns we saw while on a hike at Skaftafell. I'm thrilled that the yoke pattern came out somewhat irregular looking, and how the orange POPS against that purple.
Lopi Vest 4 Rhinebeck!
I used this crazy easy on-line Lopi Sweater Generator for the yoke layout. Of course I ended up having to do a bit of tweaking by hand once the stitches were on the needles.
Lopi Vest 4 Rhinebeck!
Sometimes I just knit for me!  This means I take minimal notes, and design on the fly... it's perfectly liberating and an important exercise to help me maintain sanity! 
Lopi Vest 4 Rhinebeck!
We are having THE MOST glorious Fall in upstate NY.  These photos were taken in front of some maples at Cornell's Lab of Ornithology.... a big thankyou to Caitlin for keeping me relaxed while she snapped photos of me... I am so much more comfortable being behind the camera instead of in front of it!
Lopi Vest 4 Rhinebeck!
Maybe the weather will be just right for wearing it to Rhinebeck!!!! 

And speaking of Rhinebeck, will I see you there? I.CANNOT.WAIT!


Batana: October's Adorn Anew Pattern!

Ready for October's Adorn Anew Pattern?  Introducing BATANA!  Batana is all about getting to use those special buttons you have in your stash!  I don’t know about you, but I hoard unique buttons, and then never have anything to do with them... this scarflette with it’s shaped lace border and garter stitch body is the perfect solution!
It was time to design something with a sport weight yarn, and when Katie at Blue Sky Alpaca's gave me a skein of their Metalico at TNNA last June I knew right away what to do with it! When I landed home and unpacked I rifled through my button stash and landed on this gorgeous porcelain button hand-made by my friend Melissa.  Then the skein and button sat there staring at me until I had time to play with them.  While in Iceland, this just flew off the needles... in fact, I think I finished it before we landed in Reykjavik! 
Batana uses approx. 75 yards of Metalico, which means if you are careful, you will get 2 out of one skein!  To achieve the shaping on the bottom edges, Batana is worked in two halves and grafted in the middle.  It's only 8 rows of the lacy border, and then you are onto garter stitch shaping, directions are included for a fancy one-row buttonhole that might soon become your favorite way to work them! I'm thrilled with how Adorn Anew is shaping up, I've been loving breaking away from the smaller jewelry pieces and I hope you are enjoying it too.
Batana is available as part of the Adorn Anew collection, or as an individual pattern. You can purchase it either through my website, Ravelry, or Craftsy, whichever you prefer!


Apple Butter in the Crockpot!

For the last few years, one of our Fall traditions is making Apple Butter... we eat it all year long on bagels, toast, and biscuits.  This weekend we went apple picking and headed right home to cook! Want to hear how I make it?

First, make apple sauce (your favorite way).  I core and cut up my apples, leave the peel on and cook over a low heat.

When it's time to "sauce" it I use a food mill held over my crock pot and keep grinding until it's full! The extra sauce goes into a glass bowl in the fridge to be eaten with granola : )!

Then, add about a cup of fresh apple cider and at least 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. Stir and put the lid on. Then cook on the lowest setting for at least 10 hours.  It's important to add the cider as this will keep it from getting too thick and burning.  Right before it's done I take the lid off and let it evaporate off any extra liquid (normally 10 or 15 minutes).  I know some people add sweetener, but I find the sweetness of the apples to be enough!
Apple Butter... it's that easy! 

And because I just couldn't stop cooking with apples, we also made Maya's Grandma's Apple Cake... mmmmmm!  What did you do (or eat?) this weekend?