Wednesday, December 26, 2012

It's Soup Time!

This is the time of year that I really love homemade soup and chili. Last week I made a new three-bean and beef chili recipe that I found on the Food Network website. It was so good! This week I decided to make Tim some soup especially for him. He has been begging me to make a chicken, noodle and vegetable soup that he had at a friend's house. I asked for the recipe last year, and all I got was a text with what she "usually" puts into it. No accurate amounts, no specifics for cooking. I made it and I hated it! So I ditched the text and figured I was done with that!

Tim brought up that recipe again and asked me to make it. I cringed, knowing I no longer had the "recipe!" After some discussion I decided I would attempt the soup again only this time I would pick up veggies that I like and think work well in soup. It turned out really good, so I thought I would share it with you. Now that I've typed it up, I'll remember it!

Chicken, Vegetables and Tortellini Soup
  • 2 chicken breasts, simmer for 45 minutes in water; let cool and cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 1 carton of Kitchen Basics Chicken Broth
  • 1 14.5 ounce can great northern beans
  • Half of a package of Trader Joe's (dried) cheese tortellini, cooked and drained as directed
  • 1 to 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Prepared pesto
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat; add garlic, onions and carrots. Cook stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes. Add chicken broth, beans, cooked chicken and beans. Simmer for 20 minutes, adding some water if necessary. Add the cooked tortellini, spinach, peas, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for another 15 minutes. Serve with a dollop of pesto in each bowl.

Enjoy!

Nancy



Thursday, October 18, 2012

I'm Crocheting One Large Granny Square

We have been getting in a whole lot of new yarns since I last blogged. It's kept me busy in the shop. In the process I have fallen in love with many of the new yarns. One of the new yarns to us is Classic Elite Liberty Wool and Liberty Wool Print (122 yards per 50 gram ball). It's a really soft superwash wool that knits at a light worsted-weight gauge (5 stitches = 1 inch on size 7 needles). This week we got in Classic Elite Liberty Wool Light (200 yards per 50 gram ball). The new yarn is the same lovely fiber but knits at a sport-weight gauge (6 stitches = 1 inch on size 4 needles). We have pattern books for both yarns.

I decided that I would crochet --- yes, you heard me, crochet, with some Liberty Wool and Liberty Wool Print. I'm using a basic granny square pattern and changing my colors every couple of rounds, varying the number of rounds as I desire. It's been a couple of years since I crocheted anything, but I am really enjoying it. My daughter likes the resulting design of the granny square blanket and "reallyyyyyy" wants to take it with her to college next year. I told her it won't be big enough for her to cuddle under, as it will only be about 32 inches square when I am done! I'm using 7 different colors, but a total of 10 skeins (3 of the colors I am using required 2 balls of each).

My big granny square blanket
Speaking of crochet, yesterday Barbara Anderson came in the shop wearing the spoils of her winnings from the March Madness Scarf contest we had this spring. She won a $100 gift card to our shop and bought lots of lovely yarn to crochet a long coat. She chose yarns that had silk in them, so it has nice drape. I took a picture so you could see how beautiful her coat turned out.

Barb's beautiful crocheted coat
 Happy knitting & crochet, too!

Nancy

Friday, August 24, 2012

I finally finished my shawl for the KAL!

The back of my shawl with the tails tied in back.

The front of my shawl showing the asymmetrical tails.
After a bit of thought and worry, I finished the Rockefeller Shawl for Westknits Mystery Shawl KAL. I ran out of both yarns, but got an extra one of the dark gray (Color A) and begged for a remnant of the Opal Vincent van Gogh (Color B) from my friend Stacy. Even at that I had to modify the pattern for the second wing/tail. They were both supposed to look the same as the evenly striped one on the left above. In the end I actually like the modification better. I think it would have been too busy. I'm really pleased with it, and would definitely recommend knitting it. Just make sure you have more yarn. I think you need at least 525 yards of each to make it the way Stephen West designed it.

I've taken a short break from all the blanket squares, but only have about 5 left to knit. I will keep plugging away on them! I dread blocking all of the remaining ones (I've blocked only about 25 of them so far). 

Keep on knitting!
Nancy

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Mystery Shawl KAL is Progressing

I have completed all three of the clues for Westknits Mystery Shawl KAL. It's been entertaining to knit, but I'm not sure I will wear the shawl. Unless we add more than an I-cord to the outside edges of the front it will be a bit narrow to sit on my shoulders. I may have pulled the I-cord a bit too tight when I started Clue 1, so heed my warning! If you decide to do the Rockefeller when the pattern is available on August 10th, make sure you read all the FAQs for each clue on the Mystery Shawl Knit-a-Long group on Ravelry!

Follow this link to see my shawl so far.

Keep on knitting!
Nancy

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I'm Somewhat Out of Control!

On Friday I joined the West Knits Mystery Shawl KAL on Ravelry. I had a really weak moment ... you know how I am about sock yarn! I might even say there was a bit of peer pressure involved. Regardless, I am now doing and enjoying two KALs at a time. I am actually done with Clue #1 for the Mystery Shawl, but I have a couple more inches to knit on my Independence Pillow button band for this week. I will try to get it done tonight. I need to be ready for the next step of my pillow on Thursday! Of course I'm still working on my blanket squares, so that's also part of my knitting agenda. I LOVE IT!

The two colors of sock yarn for my Mystery Shawl KAL.
This is the completed section from Clue #1.

Happy knitting!
Nancy

Thursday, July 12, 2012

To Cable Without a Cable Needle is Amazing!

The unblocked front of my Independence Pillow.
I don't think I'll ever use a cable needle again when I have to do a 4-stitch cable. I completed the front of my Independence Pillow for the KAL from Knit Purl Hunter and started by using a cable needle. After about 2 rows of cables, I watched the Cables Without a Cable Needle video and tried it. What a fantastic and SUPER SPEEDY cable technique! And what great videos Michelle Hunter has created. I really recommend that you bookmark her Video Tips Lessons page and watch them whenever you need help! Her videos are close up and Michelle does the knitting steps slowly as well as repeats them.

Keep on knitting!

Nancy

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Join me for a new KAL!

I'm back in the shop after my fantastic mini knitting vacation at home. And I'm just in time to start a new KAL! Michelle Hunter of Knit Purl Hunter started a new "Progressive Needles" knit along, and her first clue came out today for the Independence Pillow. You will need two skeins of HiKoo Simpliworsted to make one 12-inch cabled pillow. We have the yarn in stock at the shop, so be sure to stop by. You will also need three 1-inch buttons and a 12-inch pillow form for finishing. As always she offers outstanding videos to help you through the process. I'm really excited to watch her "Cables Without a Cable Needle Video." You have a month to finish the project and can win great prizes; check out Skacel who sponsors the KAL for all pertinent information!

As for my mini vacation, we had a lot of fun as a family. Tim took off the doors and the front roof panels of his Jeep and we drove around and played House Hunters in the heat. Not because we are planning to move, just because we like to look at architecture. And yes, it was fun even in our record heat. We also managed to make some good meals together. We made fish tacos one night. And last night we made steak, grilled veggies, mushrooms, and potato salad. It was a feast. 

Whenever I was at home over my vacation, I knitted on my sock yarn blanket squares. I am a few rounds short of completing five squares in five days, so later today I will have 51 total squares complete. (Hey Stacy, are you still ahead of me?) I also worked on the linen version of my Bias Before & After Scarf. I didn't get too far, as it's hard on my hands to knit with linen. I may have about 8 inches done, but it will be an ongoing mindless project I can pick up when I feel like it!

Keep on knitting!

Nancy

Friday, June 29, 2012

My Knitting Vacation Begins Now!

We decided to close the shop for a mini vacation (actually ours is a "stay-cation") starting at 4:00 pm today and we will reopen at 10:00 am on Thursday, July 5th. You can probably guess what I will be doing. Lots of knitting and yarn related activities of course! No specific plans but I can tell you I will definitely work on my sock yarn blanket squares. I've got 46 squares done, which leaves me with 17 to go. I may be able to knock off another 5 squares while I'm vacationing in the cool comfort of my home. (It's 90+ degrees here and will continue through next week, so couch surfing is perfect!) I'm also going to work on a Bias 'Before & After' Scarf. I've started two of them, so we'll see if I can make some progress on one of them :)

Have a wonderful Fourth of July and I will update you on my knitting progress at the end of next week!

Keep on knitting!

Nancy

Saturday, June 23, 2012

I'm sort of in a rut ...

I know. I am obsessed with making the sock yarn blanket squares. I'm working on my 41st and will most likely finish it today. It's not that I'm not knitting other things, but forgive me, the squares are MINDLESS! And sometimes mindless is really nice! I only have 22 squares to go and I'm sorting them into piles of like colors. I can see that I need a few more greenish ones and no more pink or purple ones! I have 6 solid or semi-solid squares to knit that will make the whole layout nicer ... even if knitting them will be super boring.


I also need to make sure they are all blocked (as you can see in the picture, a bunch aren't blocked yet). I'm not good about keeping up on that. As far as I'm concerned it's never fun to block and put your knitted pieces together! My plan for assembly is to make a 7 x 9 block grid on paper and number each square on it. Then I'll lay the blocks out until I like the way I have all the colors. I have some string tags that I will number from 1 to 63, and I will attach a string tag to each block, so I can assemble them in strips according to the paper layout.

I don't know how I will attach them together, but have tested a couple of techniques, from crochet to seaming with a yarn needle. If anyone has a great idea for me, please let me know!

Keep on knitting!

Nancy

Friday, June 8, 2012

My Makeshift Blocking Board

Here's an idea for you (it may not be a new one, but it was new to me ...)! I went to Lowe's on Monday and bought my new "blocking board" for my sock yarn blanket squares. Lowe's sells a package of four 24.5-inch square foam mats. I bought the gray set which are meant to be used for exercise or exercise equipment. (They also carry the same size set in primary colors for kid's playroom floors.)The package was less than $20, and I can configure all four into a square or a long rectangle. I've marked four 7.5-inch squares on the textured side of one of them to block my squares. I think they will be just as handy when I'm trying to plan the layout of the blocks and strips for my blanket, too.

An inexpensive and portable blocking board!

Keep on knitting!
Nancy

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Vera Bear KAL for June

Oh honey!  Let me tell you that I barely got this blog posted in time.  The June KAL is going to be Vera Bear by Annita Wilschut.  This pattern is by the same designer from our April KAL, Jacobus the Monkey.  Purchase your pattern on Ravelry, then purchase your knitting supplies at KT and join us Thursday evenings from 6-8:00pm beginning June 7th.

Knit me, knit me, knit me ...
Vera is very teddy-bearish looking and is fun, fun, fun to knit!  If you are up for an extreme challenge while you knit this bear, you can download your pattern in Dutch.  But don't expect any help from me going forward.

Happy Knitting and hope to see you for the KAL
Renee

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Sock Yarn Blanket Revisited

We had a fantastic long weekend. We started off with a trip to the downtown Farmers Market. There were lots of people and pets wandering around, but the temperatures were cool. Then just before we left the market the sun came out and we could feel the temperature climb about 10 degrees!

As for knitting over my long weekend, I finished my Meandering Mesas scarf and blocked it on Tuesday. It turned out really nice! Then I organized my sock yarn blanket squares. I had 24 done when the weekend started, but by the end of my three days off, I finished two more and have one more nearly done and another started. They are so pretty! I've also searched my stash for some solids and semi-solids to break up the patterns and found at least 4 of them. I think I need a 15 gram ball of a good green and possibly a red, orange or purple solid, too.

Some of the blocked and unblocked sock yarn squares.

I need to get some of the 26 squares blocked. That's not my favorite part, since they really need to be pinned out! I think I'm going to buy a foam square of some sort and draw out the block size on it, so I can pin each square out one at a time for blocking.

Other than blocking, I really like working on the blanket again. I hope I can keep up with it, since I need 63 total to make the size blanket I want.

Keep on knitting!
Nancy

Friday, May 25, 2012

Have a good holiday weekend!

We have chosen to close the shop tomorrow so we can have a nice long 3-day weekend! I'm so excited to go to the Farmer's Market with all the other crazy people. We will join the fray of strollers, dogs and people just so we can enjoy an unusual breakfast. We will stop by Saloo's and have some delicious Indian food and pop by Java Joe's for coffee! We may or may not buy anything else.

I'm sure I'll find plenty of time to knit on my long weekend. I'm hoping to finish my Meandering Mesa's scarf. I have about 20 grams of yarn left ... so I'm 80% done.

Other knitting WIP news: I finished my Rowan Kidsilk Haze Stripe scarf on Wednesday evening, so as of yesterday it's hanging in the shop. (I will definitely knit another one.) Then last night my friend Stacy B. gave me a small ball of our gorgeous Regia sock yarn from the new Kristin Nicholas design collection to knit a blanket square. She is now way ahead of me on her blanket squares, so I think I may need to get my rear in gear! Thanks for the kick start, Stacy!

Also yesterday our new Rowan sales rep came and we placed our fall order. Can I say AWESOME?! I'm really excited for our fall inventory to come in August.

Have a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend.

Keep on knitting!
Nancy

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

It's Been Gorgeous Knitting Weather

As a yarn shop owner, I hear all the excuses to not knit in the warm weather. Really! But when the weather is beautiful like it has been, I still knit as much as I always do. I need that time for relaxation as much in the summer as in the winter. What about you? Do you still knit, but only in the evenings? Or when it rains? Or on your deck while drinking your coffee in the morning?

What kinds of things do you like to knit when it's warm? These are the questions that I seem to always ask beginning in May. This year May has been exceptionally lovely. Even yesterday when it was 91 degrees, I had no clue it was that hot because it wasn't humid. It's rare in Iowa that you can say it was a perfect day and have the temperature that high! I still knitted ...

This past week I worked quite a bit on my Rowan Kidsilk Haze Stripe scarf, knowing that it will be perfect to wear this summer ... and anytime of the year. The yarn is so light, luxurious and beautiful to knit with. One of our customers is knitting a gorgeous cardigan out of the same yarn. It will be lightweight and nice to wear even in summer. You know if someone ever asks me what yarn I can't live without, my answer will be: Rowan's Kidsilk Haze! You can use any needle size from a US 3 to a US 8 depending on the pattern or the desired results. We will be placing our fall/winter Rowan order next week, and the one definite on our order is MORE KIDSILK HAZE! The rest of the order is never as easy to pick out, but with Rowan I always fall in love. What about you? Do you have a favorite yarn you don't want to live without?

I can hardly wait to wear my Kidsilk Haze Stripe scarf.

My other question: What do you like to eat when it is hot? We grill quite a bit, but we have been trying to eat at least one meal a week that doesn't include meat. Last week I picked up fresh vegetables to roast, and made a quick pasta dish using Penzey's spices. It's rare that Tim likes eating meals that don't include meat of some variety, but he has already asked me to make it again (and I have)! So I thought I would pass this "recipe" on to you.

Roasted Veggies

  • 1 large sweet onion, roughly chopped (I used a Vidalia onion)
  • 2 small green or red peppers, seeded and roughly chopped
  • Asparagus spears, cut into 2- to 3-inch pieces
  • Baby Zucchini (Trader Joe's sells a package of them that are incredible), cut lengthwise and halved
  • Olive oil
  • Spices (I use sea salt, pepper, and Penzey's Mural of Flavor)
  • Small tomatoes (whole grape, or slightly larger, diced) set aside
Preheat the over to 450 degrees. Toss chopped veggies with olive oil (not the tomatoes). Spray a large, shallow pan with oil. Then spread out veggies on the pan. Sprinkle with spices. Give a quick stir. Roast for about 20 minutes. Add tomatoes and stir again. Roast an additional 5 minutes. Serve with pasta.

Sicilian Pasta

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons Penzey's Sicilian Salad Seasoning
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup Penzey's Shallots (they are dried)
  • Olive oil
  • Pasta (I used a Trader Joe's Organic pasta)
  • Parmesan cheese, shredded
Cook pasta according to directions. While pasta is cooking heat butter in a small pan. Saute Sicilian Salad seasoning and shallots in butter. Drain pasta and put into large serving dish; drizzle with a little olive oil. Add the sauteed ingredients to the pasta and toss. Serve with a sprinkling of shredded Parmesan cheese and a lots of roasted veggies. Enjoy!

Keep on knitting!
Nancy


Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Great Jacobus Monkey Party!

Tonight we had a party to celebrate the end of the KAL for Jacobus the monkey. We planned it a couple of weeks ago, giving all the knitters time to get their monkeys done and ready for their photo moments!
A whole lot of monkeyin' around!
At least one of the monkeys showed up without it's maker, but we all --- knitters and monkeys alike --- had fun. We enjoyed wine, fruit, dessert bars, cookies, and chocolate (yum!) after taking pictures of everyone.

OK, which ones are the monkeys?

Human treats ... sorry monkeys.
In June we are having a KAL for Vera, the bear by the same designer as Jacobus. Renee brought her bear, affectionately named Bart, so we can give you a sneak preview of what's to come.

Bart (aka Vera) the bear.
Stop by to pick out bear yarn if you decide you want to participate on Thursday evenings in June!

Fasten your seat belts guys!

Keep on knitting,
Nancy

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Shades of Blue: Skinny Summer Scarves

Renee and I have been feeling blue ... in a good way though. We have been knitting our many skinny scarves all in shades of blue. We choose yarns that make them wearable as decorative indoor scarves. We ended up with nice size scarves by using only one skein of yarn for each of the scarves!
Shades of Blue Summer Scarves!
Names of the scarves shown in the photo above from left to right: Noro Tanabata Garter Stitch, Cascade Sierra Open Star Stitch, Noro Shiraito Daisy Stitch, Rowan Revive Bias Lace, Araucania Ruca Dappled Summer Lace, Rowan Kidsilk Haze One-Row Lace, and Schulana Tamarillo Drop Stitch Skinny Scarves.

A bowl of assorted colors in the yarns for the above scarves.
If you would like the patterns for any of our scarves, we have typed them up and each is available with the purchase of a skein of the appropriate yarn for the scarf.

Another Potato Chip Scarf using 2 skeins of colorful Rowan Summerspun.
Stop in and check out our lovely little scarves! We hope to see you soon.

Keep on knitting!
Nancy

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Meandering Mesas Scarf KAL

Tonight we begin the Meandering Mesas Scarf KAL at 6:00 pm at Knitted Together. I started my scarf awhile back, but set it aside for all of the "summer" scarves we have been knitting for the shop (oh and a couple other projects as well ...). This week I started to work on my scarf again and it seems to move along rather quickly. The pattern is from Mountain Colors and calls for one skein of Crazyfoot sock yarn, size 6 US needles, and a cable needle. If you've never cabled before, this is a nice reversible cable that is crossed every 10 rows. Other than the cable row, you just have to knit the knits and purl the purls (except for the first 3 and last 3 stitches which are in seed stitch and you knit the purls and purl the knits). In other words you don't need to look at your pattern unless you are on a cable row once you get going! Easy.

You can see the reversibility of this cable scarf.

Keep on knitting!
Nancy

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The winner of the NCAA Scarf Contest is ...

I know this is a bit late, but as the saying goes, better late than never! We want to thank our winner, Barbara Anderson for making the incredible scarf for our NCAA Scarf Contest. She used Mirasol Nuna and designed a very classy tiger stripe pattern for her Missouri Tigers! Barbara did a beautiful job ... actually a bit better than her Tigers did. They lost in the first round. Oh well ... we eased Barbara's pain with a $100 Knitted Together Gift Card!

Check out the pin Barbara put on her Missouri Tiger scarf!
We hope you can stop in today through Saturday to shop during the Mid Iowa Shop Hop! You will enjoy 10% off select yarns here at Knitted Together today through Saturday. You will also get your passport stamped and if you go to all 6 stores your name will go in the running for the $300 grand prize. You can pick up a passport here, Heartland Fiber Company, Knitting Next Door, Ames Knittery, Rose Tree Fiber Shop, and The Yarn Basket.

Keep on knitting!

Nancy

Saturday, April 21, 2012

We are busy knitting little scarves

This week has been scarf knitting week for me and Renee. I know what you're thinking. Scarves! How boring! But what a perfect way to try out a new yarn or try out a new stitch pattern! Skinny, lacy, textured, or wispy scarves are fun to knit as well as wear as a wardrobe accent at any time of the year. 


I have enjoyed trying out some new stitches ... well not actually new, just new to me. I've been thumbing through all my Barbara Walker "Treasury of Knitting Patterns" (I have them all and have treasured them for years - now you know why they are called treasuries) and trying out some simple lacy or textured stitches that work well for scarves.


The start of a skinny scarf using Barbara Walker's Open Star Stitch.


You will have to stop in next week for the Mid Iowa Yarn Shop Hop April 25th through April 28th and see the scarves Renee and I have made. The yarns we've chosen are quite nice as well!


Keep on knitting!


Nancy

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My Whirlwind Weekend

My oldest daughter Elizabeth moved to Gunnison,Colorado a month ago and we made a quick trip out this past weekend to deliver more of her things.  Gunnison is near Crested Butte which is near . . . nothing.  Look on the map at southwest Colorado.  Look for a large area labeled 'middle of nowhere'.  That should give you a pretty good idea of where Gunnison is.  A mere 13 hours away.  We left Saturday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. and drove straight through, arriving around 8:00 a.m. Sunday.  I know what you're thinking:  Renee is really bad at math because that is a little more than 13 hours.  Yessiree, I have a story for you.  

My husband, the steering wheel control freak' drove, I was shotgun and my second-born favorite daughter, Traci, was trapped in the back with the ever-whining wiener dog.  Jim:  I can drive the whole way.  I took a nap this morning and I am fresh as a daisy and ready to go.  Traci:  Good because I stayed out waaay too late last night and had one too many beverages and I am far from fresh as a daisy.  Me:  Perfect.  I have two headlamps in the car and I can knit on the June Knitted Together KAL 'til my fingers fall off.  Wiener Dog:  Did anyone bring the Beggin' Strips??? 

We drove through Iowa sprinkles as I watched gently rolling hills starting to turn green.  Once we hit Nebraska (could it be any flatter?) we drove through a spectacular lightening show and listened to the radio blare out tornado warning alerts through the middle of all the good songs.  I looked at Jim.  He looked at me.  Jim:  I've got this.  Me:  That last shot of lightening was so close that I don't think I'll have to highlight my hair again for the next three years.  We hit eastern Colorado and I got the answer to my 'could Nebraska be any flatter' question - yes it could be flatter and here it is.  Once we got to Denver the freezing rain kicked in and we drove for an hour at 20 mph.  The only other vehicles on the highway were snowplows and the cars in the ditches.  Three hours later we are zipping along when Jim looks at me.  I look at Jim.  Jim:  I can't make it any further.  You're going to have to spell me.  Me:  Sure!  Me thinking:  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  THE MOUNTAIN PASS IS COMING UP!! YOU WANT ME TO DRIVE THROUGH THE MOUNTAIN PASS??!!  Jim:  You will be fine.  The weather is great.  Fifteen minutes later we hit the flashing sign indicating we are now driving through Monarch Mountain Pass - Travel Not Recommended.  I look at Jim sleeping.  I look at Traci pretending to sleep.  I look at wiener dog and see this thought cross her little mind:  Did you seriously forget to pack the Beggin' Strips?  I was on my own, flying solo.  So I put the death grip on the steering wheel, squared my shoulders and crawled through the pass.  On-coming drivers waved.  I waved back but was internally screaming, "STOP LOOKING AT ME!!"  Once we got to our destination, Elizabeth asked how the pass was.  Before I could even open my mouth Jim and Traci gave a weather report that sounded like we had just traveled through paradise.  What really happened is that I drove through a blizzard!  It was THE worst blizzard on record!!  Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.  

We spent Sunday with Elizabeth and the boyfriend, henceforth referred to as Christopher.  Monday morning we got up, said our goodbyes and headed to the Gunnison Coffee Company for the best cup of coffee on the face of the earth.  When we explained why we were in Gunni, our server asked how long we would be staying while delivering 'stuff' to our daughter.  Server:  Wow!  That must be some pretty important stuff!  Me:  Not really.  As a matter of fact it was mostly hand-me-down furniture.  Me thinking:  But it was sure great to see my first-born working somewhere that makes her happy, in a place that makes her happy and living with her love, Christopher, who makes her happy.  I'm not going to look over my shoulder at the mirror to check, but I'm pretty sure my behind is in the shape of a car seat.  And I would do it all over again for my first-born favorite daughter.  Just not this next weekend . . . 

Renee

Friday, April 13, 2012

Tiny Rosetta Monkey is Done

I was able to finish Rosetta in time for everyone to see her last evening at the Jacobus monkey KAL here at the shop. Rosetta ended up being about 9.5 inches tall including the tuft of yarn hair that I added last minute (you know how baby orangutans always have that fluffy hair on the top of their heads). I also only used a little less than 30 grams of a 50 gram ball of Regia 4-ply sock yarn. I used a tiny bit of pink Opal sock yarn for the face, hands, and feet. So if you are inclined to make a Jacobus monkey with sock yarn you will probably have at least 30 grams left of something laying around.

Tiny Rosetta perches on a crystal compote.
I may just have to make another monkey. Just think about it; a monkey would make a great gift for anyone (of any age) on your gift list! You can continue to join us at our Thursday night KAL through the month of April! I think we'll take a group photo of all the monkeys at the end of the month and post it here. It's sure to be good for a giggle!

Keep on knitting,
Nancy

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Monkey Business All Around!

Last week we started Renee's KAL for Jacobus. We had quite the crowd last Thursday - the chairs were filled with people starting their monkeys. What with Judi's Magic Cast-On and magic loop learners, we were kept busy. Renee brought Banana cup cakes that were really moist and delicious. They were perfect for all the monkey business as we knitted together!

I got my Jacobus monkey started, and promptly named her Rosetta because of my friend Rose and my yarn. I'm using Regia Flusi sock yarn in a rose, blue, red and orange colored stripe with Size 0/2 mm Addi Turbo needles since I needed to go down a couple of sizes from what I normally use for sock knitting. The fabric seems to be just about right for stuffing. I'm nearly done with her, but I'm afraid I may have issues stuffing her since she's so tiny. My plan is to finish her by tomorrow, so I can parade her around tomorrow evening at the KAL. I still have to knit her second ear, tail and finally her last leg. Right now she's a one legged monkey!

If anyone else wants to start knitting Jacobus with us, purchase and print your pattern from Ravelry and stop in Thursday for our KAL a little before 6 pm. We can help you pick out yarn and needles if you don't have the right size.

One legged Rosetta with her lips still flapping!
Keep on knitting,
Nancy

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Cat Fights at Our House

From left to right: Louie and Hughie on my lap 2 weeks ago!
When our female cat Allie died in January the vet said that we might notice a battle between our two male cats for ruler of the house. We didn't notice anything at all until last week. Hughie and Louie are litter mates, so have been together forever. They turned 9 at the end of March. The boys (as we often refer to them), have playfully wrestled and fought for years, but in a nice way if that's possible?! Early last week after I fed them breakfast, Louie started attacking Hughie. 

Louie caught in the act of cleaning, put on his evil eyes :)
You know how cats have a special person that they respond to, well I'm Hughie's person, so now anytime Hughie gets up on my lap or comes near me Louie just comes close and shows Hughie his "evil" eyes and makes a funny sound and away they go. Poor Hughie is looking a bit haggard with all the cat drama. We are hearing a whole lot of hissing from Hughie, plus thundering cat paws chasing through the house. Good news for Hughie is he is much smaller than Louie and he can hide behind our low profile king-size bed and the wall. Louie won't fit. 

Hughie is hiding his eyes from Louie!
Last evening it occurred to me that a week ago we started giving Louie a new medicine for his constant upper respiratory problem (sneezing and coughing) and I noticed it's labeled "for canine use only"! I told Tim maybe Louie is having a really strange side effect that makes him think he's a dog ... and what do dogs like to do? Chase cats! 

Hopefully things will calm down really soon!

Keep on knitting!
Nancy

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Customer Profile - Sara Fritzsche


Say hello to Sara Fritzche, lovingly referred to as 'Sara One' here at KT. By day Sara is a Financial Analyst/Accountant. Aside from knitting and crocheting, in her spare time she enjoys photography, traveling and reading. Sara is not a pet owner at the moment but may find herself with a cuddly something or another one day if she continues to look at pictures on the ARL website.

Sara learned to knit and crochet in college. Her old friend, Maddie Boyer who lived down the hall taught her to knit. Her friend and then roommate, Colleen Hinka, taught her to crochet.

Sara's favorite yarn is Rowan Lima. Or Purelife Cotton by Rowan. Well, most yarns by Rowan are her favorite. She just loves the colors and textures. It wasn't love at first sight for Sara and Lima, but after feeling and knitting with it she fell 'head over heels' in love. Her favorite knitting project is the Lima sweater she has been knitting on for the past three years. She promises to finish it. Someday. Sara's class wish at KT would be for remedial seaming - for people who avoid piecing sweaters together because they were bad at sewing class in junior high.

Sara's favorite thing about Knitted Together is . . . everything! She loves the friendly, helpful staff and the colors and textures that fill such an inviting space by drawing you in and making you feel at home. She also loves the caring friends who are always sitting on the couch and are good for a story or a pick-me-up on a bad day. Knitted Together is truly her home away from home.

So next time you are at KT and you see Sara, be sure to say hello!

 
 Happy Knitting!
Renee

Saturday, March 31, 2012

I Have a Shawlette Obsession

Well, I'm just about to finish my second Hitchhiker using stash sock yarn, and decided I would knit another of Martina Behm's shawlette patterns. The pattern is Trillian and again calls for sock yarn and garter stitch (mindless, right?!), but this one has a simple lace edge on it. Simple enough to not take too much of the mindless part away! I'm also planning to knit Asking for Roses designed by Amy Swenson. It would be the perfect pattern for my Madelinetosh Pashmina in the Nostalgia colorway that is a gorgeous lavender like this Sterling Silver rose!

Sterling Silver Rose
My big question: Will I wear any of my small shawls?! I've knit plenty of them, but don't seem to wear them very often. Kind of fancy for my sweats ... although perfect for my denim wardrobe!

Keep on knitting!
Nancy

Thursday, March 29, 2012

April KAL - Don't Laugh But I'm Doing This

OK. I have always wanted to knit a sock monkey and I think I have finally found the perfect pattern. It's Jacobus by Annita Wilschut.  

Jacobus a.k.a. Mitch (skinny and flat) mid-knit!
Now he's feeling full and satisfied.
And very relaxed and and happy!
I've knitted my Jacobus (just call him Mitch) from Cascade 220 Superwash Paints in the Beach Grass colorway for Mitch's body and Cascade 220 Superwash in Banana (Get it?  BANANA!!) Cream. My next one (oh yes, there will be many) is, I think, going to be: Body by Malabrigo in Azul Profundo and Face by Malabrigo in Lettuce. OR something else. Who knows what I will choose by April 5th? I'm notorious for changing my mind 9 or 11 times.  

One of the cool things about this pattern is that you can use any weight yarn. Plus Annita's pattern has lots of photos to show you what Jacobus should look like as you are working on him.  A couple of our Thursday friends, Stacy and Patti, have already purchased their Jacobus yarns.  They opted for bodies in Malabrigo and decided to share a skein of Cascade 220 for the face, hands and feet.

The KAL is set to begin Thursday, April 5 from 6-8:00 p.m. and will continue through Thursday evenings in April. Come and 'monkey around' with us. It will be a blast! Join us and be prepared for some taste-tempting treats of the monkey variety!

Happy Knitting!
Renee

Friday, March 23, 2012

Knitting Up A Storm!

This mostly rainy week has been Spring Break for the kids and families in our school district and my daughter was fortunate enough to get away from our rainy weather for a trip to Sarasota, Florida with a school friend and her parents. She's had nothing but perfect weather for swimming and sunning! (Right now I'm just hoping she doesn't bring a lizard home with her ... )

Since we have the shop we are unable to take week-long trips away. But that being said, why shouldn't I have a little fun too?! All week long Renee and I have been sitting back at our "class" table planning KALs and classes for the next 6 months. You might be asking yourself where the fun is in that. Well, with all that planning I have "homework" of knitting samples for the shop!
Missoni Inspired Baby Blanket in progress
Meandering Mesas Scarf in progress
After just finishing the Hitchhiker sample for the new Friday afternoon KAL, I started a second one using some lovely stash sock yarn. For the upcoming KALs I've also started the Missoni Inspired Baby Blanket this week, as well as a Mountain Colors Scarf called the Meandering Mesas Scarf (a super interesting reversible cable pattern). Both projects are lots of fun, plus simple enough that anyone who has completed a Beginning Knitting Class can join in. The scarf KAL is going to be in May, so while our supply of Mountain Colors Crazyfoot is in good supply, you may want to stop in to purchase a skein soon! (The pattern is for sale here as well, but if we run out of them we can get them back in without a problem.)

I'll have more information about the baby blanket KAL as soon as I've completed my sample. I'm hoping to be able to kit the yarn since it requires a lot of colors (12 to be exact), but not a lot of quantity of most of them!

Keep on knitting!
Nancy

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Feline Abyss

Now looking at these two, I know what you're thinking. That they have neither the ambition nor the shadiness to be the culprits of the shenanigans to follow, however, let me set you straight.  The other day I was struck by a rare burst of spring cleaning. So I moved all the furniture in the living room to give the carpeting a little extra TLC with the vacuum. Under one chair I found the following: a Christmas tree ornament (so I don't vacuum under the furniture all that often. Big deal, I have other redeeming qualities. I know I do. Don't I?); numerous stitch markers; a toothbrush (NOT MINE! I brush my teeth frequently enough that I would know if my toothbrush was missing.); my pineapple charm necklace I got in Hawaii (now I can quit silently blaming my girls for cobbing my necklace); and a thimble. A thimble? I don't even sew! I got a D+ in sewing in junior high! But I'm not bitter about that grade. I actually use it to my advantage when my husband tells me he has a button that needs sewn back onto a shirt. I just tell him, "No can do-ski. Got a D+ in sewing and I would hate to disappoint 'Old Lady Sturms' with my less-than-stellar sewing skills. Just throw it away and buy a new shirt." And these were just a few of the treasures I found under the chair. And it's as if these two knew I'd found their stash! They shot over to the area like a couple of greased pigs out of a cannon. Hoarders. Mecca for Kitties. Also known as The Feline Abyss. Oh - did I mention I'm not bitter about that D+ in junior high sewing . . .

Happy Knitting!
Renee

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Hitchhiker KAL

Well, you know how it is, we get a new yarn in the store and we immediately start wondering, "What can we knit with this little gem?"  First of all, our Misti Alpaca family of yarns is growing.  We introduced you to Qolla with the Linen Stitch Cowl and now we want you to meet Pima Silk Handpaint.  Pima Silk is a DK weight yarn of 83% Peruvian cotton and 17% silk.  Yes, its soft.  Yes, its dreamy.  Yes, its colorful. 


Hmmm KAL . . .  The Hitchhiker by Martina Behm it is!  Stop in at KT to choose your yarn.  With names like Ambrosia, Faberge, Fuschia Fusion and April Showers you may have a hard time choosing.You can even purchase your pattern at KT and it will be directly downloaded to your email or your Ravelry Library!

The KAL is set to begin Friday, March 23rd.  Stop in any time between 1:00 and 5:00 p.m. and join the fun.

Knit on!
Nancy

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Eat Like It's Spring Already!

I don't mean to tempt fate or anything but it certainly seems to me as if spring has sprung.  Days in the upper 70's with crisp, clear nights make me think of crisp, crunchy, fresh salads.  So I raided my recipe box and pulled out one of my favorites.  I'm sure many of you have seen the recipe before and I don't have a name for it - I just call it Jan's Salad  - easy enough - I got the recipe from my friend Jan!  Anyway, I'd like to share and hope you enjoy.


Jan's Salad
  • Mix together for dressing: 1 cup oil, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup red wine vinegar, and 2 T soy sauce
  • Brown in 2 T butter 'til toasty: 2 pkg Ramen noodles (discard seasoning packets), 1/2 cup pine nuts, 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, and 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • I use the following greens: Red and green leaf lettuces, Chinese cabbage, and scallions 
I suppose you could add a grilled chicken breast and call it a meal.  That's what I do to my husband, anyway.

Happy Knitting!
Renee

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Our Colorful Winter Yarn Festival!

You should check out our Colorful Winter Yarn Festival if you are in the mood for a ton of fun! Mark your calendar for February 15 through February 18th and be sure and stop by the shop each day if you can! Need I say there will be drawings each day?

Here are some of the highlights, but be sure to click on this link for all the details!
  • The Yarn Tasting Extraordinaire: You will get a "treat bag" of yarn samples (enough to knit a swatch of each or throw them all together into a fun scarf). Plus a complimentary wine, cheese, meat, cracker, bread, and CHOCOLATE tasting provided by us at Knitted Together and served by Gateway Market and Stam Chocolaterie. You will also get a $10 gift certificate to use on your purchases that night only! Order your ticket now!
  • Trunk Show of Yarns and More: Trunks full of Dream in Color yarn and Mountain Colors yarn ... as well as a nice sampling of Schaefer Yarns!
  • Great Bags: Maruca Designs from Boulder, Colorado! American made and delightfully fun!
  • Workshops each day: 1 hour classes that give you a taste of techniques for things like entrelac, lace, the moebius cast-on, bead knitting, stranded knitting, and knitting socks with hand-painted yarns.
  • The Launch of our New Contest: The NCAA Team Scarf Challenge! You could win a $100 gift card!
  • And last but not least, February 18 from 4:00 to 6:00 pm we will have THE GRAND FINALE PARTY, that will include wine and treats ... plus a gift card drawing!
We hope to see you at the festival!
Nancy & everyone at Knitted Together

Sunday, January 8, 2012

We Love You Allie & Always Will

As a child I asked for a kitten every time I was up for a gift (Christmas, birthday, and any other gift giving event). Since my father didn't like cats my dream was never fulfilled until Tim and I were married and my dog had died. Our daughter Katie was 2 when we adopted the cutest little calico that we unanimously named Allie.


Allie knows Addi Turbos are the best needles!
Last Friday we sadly had to say good-bye to our Allie. She was almost 15, and had been sick for a couple of weeks. Last week everything went downhill and we found ourselves attempting to nurse her back to health. Unfortunately she was unable to eat, so she rapidly got weaker.


The weather on Thursday was in the 60s and sunny, so I opened the curtains to the back yard for Allie to look out if she felt like coming downstairs (she spent most of her time in our Master bathroom which is the where she began her life in our house). After much deliberation and many tears, Tim called the vet and scheduled to bring Allie in Friday morning. Friday morning we served her Maple Pecan Crunch cereal in a saucer of milk. She was so happy, considering she was constantly fighting to get into Tim's cereal bowl every morning.


Allie enjoyed her "maple milk" breakfast!

When we came home from the vet's office we found our other two cats looking nearly as sad as we did. To think they could sense the change in our home was amazing. Cats are funny creatures. We have been fortunate to have 3 of the sweetest cats belong to us ... or more likely we have belonged to them :)

If you've ever opened up your heart to a cat or a dog, you know as I do that the love of a pet is worth the pain of loss you endure in the end. We love you Allie, and always will.


One Monday last summer Allie was surfing Ravelry with me