Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year's Day Soup

Katie's having a friend over for New Year's Eve who will spend the night. On New Year's Day, Tim is going to paint our hallway on the main floor then will continue the color upstairs. I'm going to knit and watch movies most of the day. So I've decided to make some snacks and soup for us to eat that day.

My main dish is going to be Megan's Cream Cheese Potato Soup. She gave me the recipe today (after bringing it in today for us to have for lunch). It's so incredibly yummy! I will also have veggies and dip, crackers and cheese spread, and a few other snacks that I haven't decided on yet.

Megan told me I can share her soup recipe with you, so here goes! It sounds simple enough that you can still enjoy a day of relaxing knitting.

Cream Cheese Potato Soup
  • 4 cups potatoes, peeled and cut up
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, cut into chunks
Put potatoes, broth, onions and spices in pot. Boil on medium heat until potatoes are tender. Smash some of the potatoes to thicken the broth. Reduce heat, add cream cheese, and stir until melted. If desired add shredded cheddar cheese to each bowl when you serve it.

See you all in 2010!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Carol's BIG Idea!

Our good friend and part-time employee, Carol, loves to knit shawls and wraps. She usually has at least one or two going at all times. When she wears them in our shop, everyone loves them. One reason Carol's shawls/wraps are so beautiful is that Carol is an artist. She taught art when she worked full time. But beyond that she has an artist's eye that our customers really appreciate.

Carol proposed that in 2010 we offer a Friday afternoon Knit Together from 1-3 pm here in the shop. Her plan consists of six 2-month long shawl/wrap projects. To make it more fun she made her idea even bigger by offering a virtual Knit Together that she will handle through my blog. She will introduce each project to blog readers here and on the Knitted Together group on Ravelry, where you will know her by the name of Wiz. Carol/Wiz is always the cheerleader for our group. She's a moderator there and I frequently hear from our customers who are on Ravelry that she always makes them feel good about their finished projects.

Watch for the next blog this week. Carol will be the guest blogger.

I hope you have a Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Snowbound Knitting

When I left the shop on Tuesday night (earlier than normal because of a whole lot of snow), I had the foresight to bring along a few projects to work on for shop samples. I brought home one skein of Elsebeth Lavold's Silky Wool for a cowl and one skein of Mirasol Tupa for a scarf. Both are incredibly lovely to knit! We recently got these and other new yarns in at the shop and it's always nice to have samples in the shop for customers to see.

When I got up yesterday (Wednesday) morning I knew we weren't going to be coming in to the shop. There were nearly 16 inches of snow on the ground and the snow plows hadn't been by at all! It was going to be the perfect day to stay in, watch movies and knit! Knitting any time is definitely something you don't have to twist my arm to do, but knitting on a day when I would normally be really busy in the shop doesn't usually happen until I'm home at night. It was a wonderful way for me to feel like I was actually accomplishing something for the shop, yet I was doing my favorite things; lounging in my sweats, knitting, and watching movies with Katie.

By late afternoon we were all feeling a bit stir crazy and wanted something other than soup to eat for dinner. Tim had gotten the driveway cleared, so we headed out to Super Target (without cleared roads it was only possible thanks to his truck with 4-wheel drive and his superb driving skills). It was bizarre on the roads, some vehicles were just left abandoned in the middle of the snow drifts! Super Target was dead quiet. Maybe only 20 cars in the parking lot, which hadn't been cleared. Inside we had fun buying things to make Peanut Butter Blossoms (cookies) and other nonsensical food items and stuff. Tim was so cold, he even bought a cozy blanket for lounging!

Today we are back at the shop and attempting to get back to normal. Customers are few, but that has given me opportunity to blog! The poor UPS guy just ran in, dropped off a package and told me he's trying to get two days of business completed in one day. I'm glad I don't have to lug packages around all day!

If you have a few last minute gifts to make, you may want to whip up A Noble Cowl or the One Row Lace Scarf. Both are fun to knit. The cowl takes the longest to make, but is well worth it! FYI: I only cast-on 20 stitches for the One Row Lace Scarf in order to get the most out of my one skein.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Wrapping up your holiday gifts

If you haven't picked up a copy of Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts issue, you must! (We only have one issue left at our shop, but I'm sure you can still find a copy at Barnes & Noble, Borders, or from Interweave directly.) I found so many great projects that I'm putting on my Christmas To-Do list.

I already made a couple of the Little Entrelac Bags shown on page 103 of Holiday Gifts. They will be fun to use as a gift bag for something fairly small. They were so much fun to make and I learned a new technique; entrelac in the round. The instructions are easy to follow and I made each one in less than 2 hours (minus the felting process and the cord handle). We have a lot of great colors of Noro Kureyon in the shop should you want to add a few of those bags to your list of must-make projects. It takes less than a skein to make one bag and with the leftovers you can make the Kureyon Coffee Cozy. I've made many of them this year and they're a great "first" in-the-round project. Especially since you felt them (which hides the mistakes you might make...).

Holiday Gifts also has some great ideas for actually using yarn (think about some of the leftover yarns you might have from your projects) to make bows on packages and decorate gift tags. I think that sometimes I toss out yarn leftovers just because I can't think of anything to do with it. Wow! I'm going to stash my little leftovers (especially Rowan Kid Silk Haze) in a sealable baggie and use them each year for gift wrapping.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner I want to share one of my family's favorite recipes. I like to make this for Thanksgiving and Christmas for a side dish. I hope you enjoy it!

Scalloped Corn Casserole
  • 1 16-ounce bag of baby sweet corn, thawed in the refrigerator
  • 1 15-ounce can creamed corn
  • 1 8-ounce container of chive sour cream dip
  • 1 cup finely shredded cheddar jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sweet yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 stick butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
Mix all ingredients together, except cheese. Pour into a greased 9x13-inch pan or a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-60 minutes, until the mixture no longer wiggles when you shake the pan.

I hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving, taking time give thanks, to enjoy family, delicious food, and fun.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I've got this shawl thing going on!

Lately I've been intrigued with shawls and shawl patterns. I'm not sure if I'll wear any of them, but they're so much fun to knit.

This weekend I was super busy and for the most part that didn't seem to include knitting. You might have heard me groaning about that! Finally on Monday (and instead of blogging) I dug out a skein of Schaefer Anne that I had intended to make socks with. I grabbed an Addi Lace Size 6 needle and started a triangle shawl using the Gull Lace pattern that Elizabeth Zimmermann used for her baby sweater for the February project in her book, Knitter's Almanac. I haven't made the baby sweater, but I made the February Lady Sweater this past February for one of our Knit Togethers. I liked that simple 4-row lace pattern and had an idea that it would be fun to use again. Carol, who works at the shop, used the Gull Lace pattern on a pair of socks, so I got to thinking it might be fun for a shawl.

I'm also working on Ysolda Teague's Damson with the Ella Rae Lace Merino that I was going to use to make the leaf scarf I blogged about awhile back. Another shawl I'm close to finishing is the Revontuli, using 2 balls of Zauberball Crazy. I think there's at least one or two more shawls in my WIP pile!

Here's the Gull Lace pattern just in case you would like to play with it. If you want to make a shawl with it, you can easily make a rectangular one by casting on multiples of 7 stitches (plus you may want to add on a garter stitch border of 5 to 8 stitches on each side and a garter stitch edge at the bottom and top). If you want to try to make a triangular shawl, talk to me about how to work your 7-stitch pattern repeats into the triangle.

Gull Lace pattern (multiple of 7 stitches)
Row 1: *K1, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, k1; rep from * across.
Rows 2 & 4: Purl across.
Row 3: *K2tog, yo, k3, yo, ssk; rep from * across.

Now if you get hooked on shawls and lace like I have, you won't have a lot of time to cook! I thought that with cooler fall nights you might like to try my sloppy joe recipe. It's simple and would make quite a few sandwiches. Of course you could always double the amounts if you need to feed an extra hungry crowd!

Nancy's Sloppy Joes
  • 1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. prepared yellow mustard
  • 2 T. cider vinegar
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 T. Worcestershire sauce
Brown ground beef and onion; drain off fat. Add other ingredients; let simmer for 30 to 45 minutes.

Monday, October 5, 2009

My sad sock story

If you've ever knitted socks for someone, you know that knitting them is a true act of love. That said, my story is sort of a sad one ...

Our nephew Ben got married this year and he and his wife Karie came to Iowa this summer to visit the Iowa side of his family (they live in Los Angeles). So on the Fourth of July we had Ben and Karie over for a cookout and a trip to see fireworks. Prior to the fireworks, we ran by our shop to show it to them. Karie told me she wants to learn how to knit and if I'd had more time I would have crammed in a lesson, but time was far too limited. Anyway, I showed her some socks that I'd made and she told me she would really love some. I told her I would make a pair for her, knowing that in California it still gets cold enough to enjoy wool socks in the winter. Her favorite color is orange, so a week or so after their visit I got in a shipment of sock yarn from Skacel. There was a perfect pattern and color of yarn, so I got started. Within a week or two I'd quickly knitted up a pair of socks for Karie. I wrote her a quick note about all the love that goes into a pair of socks and told her how to care for them. I popped them into a padded mailing envelope and Tim took them to the Post Office to mail. As time went by, I began to wonder if Karie didn't like them, since I hadn't heard from her or Ben. Finally, about two weeks ago Tim sent Ben an email to see how Karie liked the socks. Ben sent a return email that they hadn't gotten the socks yet! (This is where I start to get tears in my eyes!) Over a month had passed since we sent the socks, so it appears they are lost for good. That or one of their neighbors will be enjoying warm feet this winter! Our Post Office said the package may still show up as they sometimes get caught in the equipment, but I'm not going to hold my breath!

This past Friday evening I started another pair of socks for Karie. I even like this yarn better. It's a Trekking XXL sock yarn that is red, orange and hot pink. When it's done I may try to ship it to Karie's office, since she and Ben currently live in an apartment. This time when I write my note to Karie I can tell her that the new pair of socks has double the love knitted into them!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

I'm getting ready for Christmas

I have to thank Rose the Sock Maniac for her guest blog last week! I've been really busy with the shop and was struggling to get a blog posted. Rose thought you might like to see her recent sock yarn organization. Her husband built some modular shelving for her and she's filled it in with her sock yarn collection. Happily I decided she still has room for more. Of course her husband said he could stuff some old underwear in the back of each bin to fill it out. (Clean or not, no thanks, Mark!)

We recently got in Judy's Colors Stocking kits and in October we decided to knit stockings at the Thursday night Knit Togethers. I suggested Judy's Colors kits or the Nancy Lindberg stocking pattern for the pattern choices. We carry Nancy's pattern, but I knitted it for my daughter, Katie about 14 years ago. So this time I've decided to knit one of Judy's Colors stockings.

After much mulling, I decided to knit the stocking called Christmas Rose. (I should have saved that one for Rose to knit! Sorry, Rose ...) I got my stitches cast-on this week and have been working on my tension. It's been a couple years since I knitted a Fair-Isle hat for Katie, so my tension isn't perfect. I may rip and start over. Then again, after a good blocking it may not even be an issue!

If you're interested in seeing Judy's Colors Stocking kits and actual samples, come by the shop to see the trunk show of her stockings. We will have them in our shop from Friday, October 2 through Saturday, October 10.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Sock Maniac

I'm doing a guest blog for Nancy so she can continue to knit. Sometimes it's hard for her to stop knitting long enough to write a blog entry. This is my first time blogging!

Who am I? I'm known by many names. I'm most frequently known as Rose, Rosie by my family, or Grandma Rose by my granddaughters.

I'm RosieL on Ravelry. And, for anyone who has made my basic sock pattern, I am RosieL of RosieL’s Socks, the basic sock pattern that I wrote. There are now three versions of my pattern (56-stitch, 64-stitch and 72-stitch), plus Nancy has adapted my pattern for Magic-Loop instruction. It's a good basic pattern, and you can always do your own thing on the cuff as long as the pattern you use is a 4- or 8-stitch repeat. To get my sock pattern, you either need to buy some sock yarn at Knitted Together or take my beginner sock class. So I guess another name for me is “sock teacher.” I've been teaching the beginning sock class on a monthly basis at Knitted Together ever since the store opened. To take the sock class, you need to be experienced enough to be able to knit and purl (as in ribbing), increase, and decrease. I teach the basics with my mini-sock pattern on double-point needles (which I prefer). After you learn the basics, you can try other methods of making socks. Magic loop is very popular, and Nancy can teach you how to move on to that method. I personally prefer working on double-point needles.

I just got back from Stitches Midwest in Schaumburg, IL where I purchased my very first pair of Signature Needles. I haven’t yet, but I’ll soon be casting on my first pair of socks with my new needles and can give you a full report. They're on the pricey side but I have heard rave reviews and really wanted to give them a try. Due to the high price, my husband thought they were possibly battery operated or even knit the project for you, but what would the fun be in that?!

I'm also known as “chief volunteer” at Knitted Together. Nancy and I met through knitting at our church in late 2000 and we have been great friends ever since. I was so excited when Nancy and Tim decided to open Knitted Together. I live less than a mile from the shop and I'm frequently at the shop knitting. When Nancy gets busy with customers, I’ll pitch in to wind yarn and help customers. I eventually learned how to work the cash register so if you're in the shop and someone is checking you out that's not the most proficient on the register, it’s probably me (hey, a little grace, please!).

I most recently became known as “sock maniac” when I attended Stitches Midwest
with five of my knitting friends. My friend, Marsha's fancy phone actually announces the caller, so while at Stitches, Marsha changed my name in her phone so it would say “sock maniac” when I called. This was my tenth time to attend Stitches, and as usual I loved it. It's the most fabulous get away for a knitter. This year almost all of my "market" purchases were sock related. I think it's my duty to try new sock yarns, especially since I have also been called the “sock maven”. I love socks for their portability, and of course, all the fabulous sock yarns that are on the market. I have a sock bag that I always take with me wherever I go that contains a basic sock in progress. I knit other things than socks though. I'm currently working on a man’s sweater for a friend, a baby blanket for my niece, a bag, three other sweaters for myself, and more WIPs than I dare mention.

This year we started the “KT-Socker Club” at Knitted Together where we are knitting patterned socks. If you're curious, ask Nancy about it or check the Knitted Together Events Page (listed as K-tog #2 on Tuesdays each month). Maybe I’ll save details for that in another guest blog spot if Nancy invites me to blog again.

Nancy frequently closes her blog with a recipe. I’m going to share my favorite cookie recipe. I have made this recipe for years. They are simply delicious cookies as the name implies and the recipe makes more than enough to share! I make them for my boss (of 30 years) for his birthday ever year.

Delicious Cookies (Note: recipe was corrected at 1:05 PM on 9/19/09)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup margarine
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cream of tarter
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup Rice Krispies
  • 16 ounces chocolate chips

Cream sugars and shortening. Add egg, vanilla, salt, soda and cream of tarter. Mix well. Add flour. Blend in oats, Rice Krispies, and chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoon onto cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Rose, RosieL, etc.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I'm never to busy to knit!

I've been neglecting my blogging duties in favor of knitting. Shocker there, right?! I'll try to do better in the future.

I thought you might like to know I finished my sock yarn scarf last week and started a new one. The one I finished (shown below) is perfect for a man, as it's a little too wide and a little too short for a woman. I also chose a yarn that was more masculine in pattern. My husband wasn't interested in it until it was bound off, washed and blocked. It was then that he immediately decided it's his. I told him it's going to live at the shop for awhile, since it's the perfect gift idea type of project. As for the new sock yarn scarf I'm knitting, it's narrower and I'll ruffle both ends. I'm using Knit One Crochet Too's Ty-Dy Sox. Wow! It's so soft and beautiful. I'll give you a pattern when it's done one of these days. The beauty of these scarves is that you don't have to think. They are the perfect TV-watching project!

I'm including the pattern for my men's Sock Yarn Tube Scarf(done in Opal Rendez-vous color 2064) just in case you want to make one. Opal sock yarn is one of my favorite sock yarns, because the designs are usually incredible, and it's become collectible. They collections aren't created in large quantities like many other sock yarns, and they are only available for a limited time, increasing MY frenzy to get the ones I want right away.
Sock Yarn Tube Scarf

Finished size of scarf shown: 7x55 inches.

  • 2 balls of Opal sock yarn or the equivalent in yardage (you need approximately 930 yards total)
  • Size 3, 16-inch circular needles and extra pair of Size 3 straight needles or 32-inch long circular for 3-needle bind off.
  • Stitch markers
  • Tapestry yarn needle

Cast on 90 to 100 stitches (the scarf shown is 100 stitches for the width and length given). Carefully join to work in the round, placing a ring or pin marker for the beginning of the round. Knit all rounds, attaching a new ball as necessary. After about 6 inches, use yarn tail to weave open end closed. Knit to desired length, leaving enough yarn to work a 3-needle bind off. Place half of the stitches on one needle and the other half on another needle. Use a third needle to bind off the stitches from both needles. To find out more about 3-needle bind off click here.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Sale yarn ... stash enhancers

There's nothing wrong with a little stash yarn, is there?! Long before I opened my shop I had accumulated quite a bit of stash (I filled 4, well maybe 5 or 6 of those JUMBO Rubbermaid containers). Since then I've continued to add stash to my stash. Sometimes it's just my need to own a particular yarn, other times I have plans (possibly distant plans...) for a specific project and NEED that particular yarn. I've also bought sale yarn and stashed it. Sale yarn is one of those things that can be good, but can also present problems. It's hard to know how much you'll need unless you know exactly what you're going to knit. You can always guess, but what if your guess is SHORT!? I always say, buy an extra ball when you buy discontinued yarn!

What turns a yarn into a SALE YARN? Sale yarn can be a discontinued yarn style or color from the manufacturer, which is when it's really important to know you've purchased enough! Sometimes sale yarn is just on sale because shop owners (like me for one) have decided certain yarns need to move on, since there's always new yarn that needs a home on the shelves! Be sure to check out our Sale section for special buys. We'd love to enhance your stash with discontinued yarns that need a good home! Occasionally we'll offer yarns that are ONLINE ONLY sales. You'll find the special deals on the online store when you click the "SALE" button. Remember, the Online Only Sales yarns are full price in the shop.

With Labor Day coming, I decided I needed to post another one of my favorite recipes. I got this one from the Lutheran Church of Hope cookbook. (I think church cookbooks are my favorite kind of cookbooks!) If you head to the Farmer's Market, pick up your sweet red bell peppers there!

Zesty Stuffed Bell Peppers

  • 2 (2 cup) bags boil-in-bag rice (Uncle Ben's brand is what I've found)
  • 4 large red bell peppers
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage (if you live in or around Des Moines you must use Graziano's sausage!)
  • 1 can Ro-Tel diced tomatoes & green chilies
  • 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • Jar marinara sauce (this is my addition as it adds a little more sauce, *especially if I'm baking it low and slow)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare rice according to package directions. Remove the tops and seeds from the peppers; slice in half. Blanch the peppers in boiling water for 5 minutes. Brown sausage and drain fat. Fold in tomatoes and rice. Heat through. Add cheese; heat until melted. Remove from heat; divide mixture into prepared peppers. Place peppers in baking dish, and if desired, spoon a little marinara over the peppers. Bake for 15 minutes. (*Sometimes I've covered the pan with foil and baked this dish at 325 degrees for an hour or more if I'm not in a big hurry.)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Knit-Together Nights

Every Tuesday and Thursday evening from 6-8:00 PM we have a lot of fun knitting together on our projects. On Tuesday night we have two groups meeting. The KT-Socker Club meets in the section of the shop in front of the fireplace, and every other month we start a new sock pattern (hopefully giving everyone a chance to finish a complete pair). The other Tuesday night group meets at the large table on the backside of the fireplace. Each month we pick out projects to knit on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. To find out what the monthly Knit-Together projects are, check out our updated list on our events page.

The groups of knitters that meet here have created a wonderful community. We support each other in our knitting and in our lives. Most of the time we hear some hilarious stories about Dana's kids which usually has us all laughing uncontrollably! (You see Dana's kids are really smart, and some of the conversations are just plain funny.) The even funnier thing is that at one point as we were working on our website, my husband and I were talking about Skyping the knit togethers (a.k.a. K-Togs). Can you just imagine some of the bizarre conversations that all the K-Tog voyeurs would be able to watch?!

If you're looking for a community of knitters and lots of wonderful (and possibly silly) conversation, you should come to one of the knit togethers. Beside the friendships, conversation, and laughter, you will learn so much. When someone new comes to the K-Tog who considers herself a beginning knitter, with no more than basic skills, we love to teach her new skills that helps her move forward.

Now, I have a confession about the scarf that I started last Friday using Ella Rae Lace Merino. I ripped it out today... I would have ripped it out sooner, but I didn't want to do it until I got confirmation from someone else. The pattern was just too much. When I knit lace I prefer to have a pattern row and a purl row. That scarf was all pattern! I'm going to try something else, and when I figure out what I'm doing, I'll let you know. On a happy note, the fact that I couldn't work on the scarf this weekend was a good thing. I actually finished my Mountain Colors Moguls Moebius. Today I brought it to the shop for a sample, so come in and see it. It was good to get a WIP off my list! I also worked more on my circular sock yarn scarf. It's almost done, so I'm making a commitment to complete it in a week or so. As soon as I do, I'll post a picture for you, plus tell you how to make it. It's the mindless project that everyone should have in their car!

Friday, August 28, 2009

New yarns gets me excited!

We've been getting loads (and I mean loads) of yarn in for this fall. Every box I open provides me with an adrenalin rush, creating more excitement to add just one more project to my WIPs!

This week we put the new Ella Rae Lace Merino into our inventory. It's not a lace-weight, it's more of a fingering/sock weight. Need I say more? I probably don't since I've already clued you into my addiction for fingering/sock yarn, but I have to tell you this 100% merino yarn is so soft and the colors are so intense that you just have to see and feel it.

We have Ella Rae Book 13 which has three or four patterns for sweater designs in it. But if you don't have the desire to knit an entire sweater on U.S. Size 4 needles, one scrumptious 100-gram skein (460 yards) will make a pair of socks or a beautiful lacey scarf. When I was searching patterns on Ravelry, I found Brooke's Column of Leaves Scarf, which I've decided to try. I'm going to work the center leaf section twice so it will make the scarf wider than it would have been (I'll give you dimensions later). (The designer used Mountain Colors 4/8s which is a worsted-weight for her sample scarf, so she cast-on only 39 sts.) I've upped my cast-on to 60 sts and I'll knit my scarf on U.S. Size 6 Addi Lace Needles. I'm hoping to post some photos after this weekend, so check back for an update on my scarf.

Last night at our Thursday night Knit Together one of our regulars brought in Caramel Rice Krispie Treats to share (thanks to my friend Kelly P, a.k.a crochetkelly on That really made me think that knitting and cooking or baking are similar in many ways. They are creative and they are comforting!

I'll post Kelly's recipe soon, but for today I'm including one of my favorite Blue-Ribbon winning (as in the Iowa State Fair) recipes. I made Chinese Chewies to enter into the fair when I was in grade school, and won a blue ribbon. These bars are somewhat similar to pecan pie because of the brown sugar in the filling. The coconut and the pecans are good together and I've found that even people that don't normally like coconut seem to like them. I hope you'll bake a pan of them to share with your favorite knitting friends and family.

Chinese Chewies
  • 2 Tbl. sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 Tbl. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut, flaked
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Mix together the first three ingredients. Flatten into bottom of an 8"x 8" x 2" pan. Bake 15 minutes at 375 degrees. If using a glass pan reduce cooking time for the crust by about 5 minutes.

Mix remaining ingredients and pour over the crust. Bake for 45 minutes (reduce by 5 to 10 minutes if using a glass pan). Let cool and cut into bars.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My current obsession is ...

Sock yarn, sock yarn, and more sock yarn! For those of you who know me, this really isn't a surprise, but I can't seem to own enough sock yarn. I really love to knit socks, and I always have yarn left over. With my left-over sock yarn I've been knitting sock-blanket squares. Well, it's also the sock squares that I've been making that are feeding my current frenzy. That and all the new sock yarn that we've gotten in!

This month in our Thursday night Knit-Togethers at the shop we've been swapping 20-gram balls of sock yarn and then knitting squares for our own quilt-like blankets. I've made 16 squares out of the 63 I've decided are necessary for my blanket. That means I only have 47 to go! If I make only one square a week, I'll be done knitting them in less than a year! It takes me a couple of hours to make one square depending on what else I happen to be doing.

I've been knitting my squares on the magic loop. It's not that I'm dpn phobic, but it seems to go faster for me on an Addi 40-inch circular. (FYI: I'm using Size 1 needles which are equivalent to US Size 1.5.)

It's fun to see the sock yarn patterning of each square. The four squares shown below left are made from my left-over sock yarn. One day it'll be fun to have a memory of those socks attached to my blanket.

It'll be interesting to lay them all out before sewing the blanket together. I'm sure it will be fun keeping my cats off of them ... maybe I'll have to lay them out at the shop instead.

The sock yarn shown above left is from Opal and Regia. We might be able to get more of the yarn for the top two squares (both from Opal) and the yarn for the bottom left square is currently on backorder (Regia).

We're planning to do this as an open-ended swap and Knit-Together, so you may join us if you'd like!

Friday, August 14, 2009

A New Chapter...

Hi everyone!

I’m really, really excited to be blogging for the very first time. It coincides with the launch of our new website. The blog and website will allow us to reach our customers more easily and allow our customers to reach us much easier as well. At Knitted Together we like to consider our customers as our friends. So our hope is that any new web-only customers will also feel our friendship as they enjoy a bit of the Knitted Together experience online. Be sure to check out for everything we have to offer: class info, monthly newsletter, shopping, everything you want to know about the Wyatt family and what led us to creating our shop, our customer projects, and more!

Well, for those of you who don’t know me, I’d like to start my first blog by telling you some of my knitting history.

I learned to knit with my mother when we took a “mommy & me” class at a small shop in West Des Moines, Iowa sometime in the early 1960s, somewhere around 1962 to 1964. One of the first projects I remember knitting was slippers. The pattern was a simple flat piece that was garter stitch with a knit 2, purl 2 ribbed toe and you seamed from the toe to the cuff. I also played couture to my Barbies, knitting all sorts of rectangular things for my dolls to wear. I certainly wasn’t going to give Nicky Epstein any future competition when it came to my doll clothes designs! By junior high I put my knitting on hold and picked it back up sometime during my college years.

By my late 20s I was working in Alice Brown’s yarn store (Macra-Weave Plus which was located in Windsor Heights on University Avenue and 73rd Street). Alice helped me to refine my knitting skills and I became obsessed with knitting, and started making sweaters. Yarn had become really exciting with lots of textures and brilliant colors. It was the early to mid 1980s and knitting had become popular again. Besides knitting, Alice also taught me how to treat customers with kindness and friendship. Every day we had a group of women come into the shop to sit, knit, and talk -- it was the beginning of what everyone calls a knit-along! I’ve been blessed by a few of the customers from Alice’s shop wandering into Knitted Together, and I’ve really enjoyed catching up!

About a year after Alice retired and closed her shop I turned my knitting interests into a job at Meredith Corporation (Better Home and Gardens). Eventually I got to do a knitting magazine called Knit It! and a crochet magazine called Simply Creative Crochet. I think doing those magazines may possibly be the best thing I could have done in my journey to becoming a shop owner. My knitting friendships with lots of incredible designers, my knitting skills and pattern editing, all have helped me to become a better knitting shop owner.

I can’t wait to tell you what I’m knitting these days. I’m planning to keep you posted weekly on my current favorites in patterns, books, tools and yarns. I’m also going to give you a weekly recipe that we like at our house plus lots more.

I hope you enjoy our first recipe. It’s one that we eat frequently for lunch and is pretty healthy.

Tim’s Chicken and Veggie Salad


      • One grilled chicken breast (we actually slice one breast into thin halves … they cook more even and quicker … then use one half per salad … you may want the whole breast)
      • Dice veggies to the size of your liking (medium size works best … remember this isn’t a lettuce salad). The following list is what we use:
        • Red peppers
        • Yellow peppers
        • Celery
        • Cucumber
        • Sweet red onion
        • Tomatoe chunks or cherry tomatoe halves
        • Avocado
      • Green olives and Kalamata olives
      • Cheese: (we use) Gorganzola crumbles, (you may like) feta crumbles, blue cheese crumbles, etc.
      • Brasswell’s Creamy Vidalia Onion dressing

We put the ingredients into a bowl that the salad would be served in as we cut and mix everything … then add the dressing and toss it together.