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.