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!

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!

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!

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,

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!

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!