Monday, June 23, 2008

Cocoons and Cupcakes



Took a quick break from sock knitting to blog my latest creations....one knitting and one culinary. Both highly scrumptious!

DETAILS:

Pattern: Cocoon Lace Scarf by Evelyn A. Clark for Fiber Trends
Yarn: Alpaca With a Twist's Fino in "First Frost"
Needle: Size 7, 32" Addi Lace
Time: 14 days total
Fun: B....very interesting knit, not too difficult to memorize after a while, and I do love the way that it has a different (but beautiful) look on either side. Only drawback...it seemed like this scarf went on for-e-ver and not sure why.



I made this for Ben's teacher for her end of the year gift and I think she really liked it. After admiring my Icarus Shawl (using the same yarn), I hoped she would love this one, too. What a wonderful teacher she was...thank you, Mrs. Pirozzi!

*HINT - Instead of using that fancy, expensive long Post It tape, try putting your chart into a clear, protective sleeve (like you would any pattern) and use a roll of painter's tape (cheap and will last for a LONG time) to keep your place on the chart. It peels off like magic and can be written on, too. I put one piece above and below my line and it never moves or bunches up, even when I peel it off a million times. When the edges start to lose their stick, just rip off another piece from the roll. Easy as pie!*

Now, on to more yummy projects....

Introducing....

"Corn on the Cob" Cupcakes!



Jackie found this book, Hello, Cupcake! at Barnes and Noble last week and I just fell in love with it! Apart from the delicious and totally adorable cupcake recipes, there was this sentence written on the back:

"No Baking Skills or Fancy Equipment Required!"

And I KNEW I had to buy it then and there.

psst...it's kind of a secret that I am horrible at baking...well, except for apple pie.

Look at the close up on these fancy cupcakes:



We had such a fun time making these...we only needed to buy several shades of yellow/white JellyBelly jelly beans, buttercream frosting, corn holders, yellow Starbursts and colored sugar (we tried to find the black and white for salt and pepper, but had to settle for green as the dill or something). I let the kids arrange the "kernels" and Ian was in charge of making the Starbursts look like melting pats of butter. I'm definitely making more cupcakes from this book - what a great activity!

As for the podcast.....I am so mad!! A week ago, I had the whole outline written and everything saved (I am anal about saving my documents every paragraph or so)...and, when I turned my computer on the next day, NOTHING had saved. Then, the power supply on my computer broke and now I have to start all over again. ARGGHHH! And, you know, this may sound silly, but I had written down all these witty (or at least I thought they were witty) things to say on the new show and, now, I don't know if I can remember them or think of something just as good. With my brain being what it is these days, it's hard to know when I'll be lucid or when I'll be saying, "You know, that thing!"....as the ManchVegas Knitters have witnessed many, many a time in my presence. (a shocking number of times, I must say)

Anyway, I'm back on top of things and should (cross your fingers!) be able to finish the podcast by Friday or Monday at the latest. So, keep a lookout! (and, remember, if you'd been having trouble downloading podcasts, just unsubscribe from it, wait a while (not sure why) and then re-subscribe and you'll have all the episodes correct and in order.)

One more thing....

Please check out my Lisha Lace Scarf pattern and consider investing in a copy. It's my first pattern that I've published myself (for any sort of profit) and I would love for it to be a never ending Ravelry knitting rage success. (This sounds pathetic, but....) It would make a great gift for a knitting friend...either the pattern and a nice skein of luxurious yarn OR buy the pattern for yourself and knit it up for someone you love. Either way, it's pretty cool.

You can buy it here, on my blog....(see Jackie's beautiful pic on the right sidebar) and the "buy now" button. And I'm trying to get it available to buy on Ravelry. See the link here for pattern details.

Let me end by saying, buy now thank you!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Lisha Lace Scarf



I am very, very happy (and relieved) to finally publish my newest pattern....The Lisha Lace Scarf.

DETAILS:

Yarn: Sereknity's "Luxe", 2 oz./400 yards of light fingering weight 100% cashmere, Waterlily colorway.
Needles: US 5 straights or circs
Other supplies: 2 stitch markers, tapestry needle, measuring tape, scissors, blocking wires (optional)



Close up of the Lace:



Description:

"This luxury scarf pattern was designed with friendships in mind...It was created and inspired by my friend, Lisha, and uses the beautiful, handpainted yarn of one of one my dearest friends, Heather of Sereknity Yarn and Fiber. My best friend, Jackie, was kind enough to model my design and makes the scarf look so lovely. This scarf would make a wonderful gift for a loving friend, especially a fellow knitter!"

This pattern has been a work in progress (and I'm an impatient person!) for a while and I was able to finish it in February. With the help of my beautiful model, Jackie, I snapped up some terrific pictures last week and got the whole darn thing done and uploaded today. (Poor Jackie was wearing this warm cashmere scarf on the hottest day of the year...it was over 90 degrees and she wore it bravely for a good hour of photographing. Thanks, Jackie!!)

I've been having a bit of trouble adding it to my Ravelry pattern store and I'm not sure if because it's not a free pattern or because the pattern is just B-I-G (29 MB). Anyone have any tips?? (oh, and if it takes a while for the pdf to download for you once you pay for it, please be patient...it IS big and it will get to you...if not, make sure to email me right away and I can fix it for you.)

Anyway, I hope you like it and it's available to purchase here on my blog (see right sidebar)...and will soon be on Sereknity Yarn and Fiber and at the Yarn and Fiber Company, as well. (hopefully on Ravelry, too...once I figure it out!)



So.....what do you think??? (and, yes, it's as lusciously soft as it looks....even more so!)

Thursday, June 05, 2008

MEME...and My New Jewelry



As soon as I received the email from Dream Weavers Yarn, I rushed over to their website to check out the awesome new jewelry they are offering. It is Debra's Garden gauge pendant and it's sooo cool! At first, I wasn't sure what color I wanted (they all looked good), but then I settled on black...I figure, it goes with everything, right?

The pendant came quickly and I think it's worth every penny of the $16 I paid. Not only is it cute and attractive, but not-so-amazingly practical. I've used it at least a few times since I got it the other day. I've gotten a number of compliments on it and a few people have even commented that it looks like a seashell or nautilus. Excellent buy...and would make a great gift. Especially if you want something small and special for someone. It comes in lots of colors, too. Though, I do wish there was a very shiny silver one. (maybe someday there will be....)

I'm still in the process of cleaning out my house....old clothes, old books, and JUNK! It's a very l-o-n-g process, but very soothing and lightening, if that makes any sense. I can see why monks or the like would feel so free after giving their possessions away. I feel like I'm not so tied down to the house and all my THINGS. Now, if only I could stop buying more things. sigh

After that wonderful birthday I had, things are gradually becoming more calm. The family and I have been spending time in the pool (now that it's heated, it's so much better) and Ian and I rebuilt Ben's slide, which is very cool...and not so decrepit. I'm also in the process of designing two more sock patterns and that's taking up all my spare time. That, and knitting a lace scarf for Ben's teacher. Wanna see?



It's the Cocoon Lace Scarf/Shawl pattern from Fiber Trends. Very pretty and feminine looking. I'm using the rest of my Alpaca with a Twist "Fino" in the First Frost colorway (the leftovers from my Icarus). I hope I can get it done before the 20th. Cross your fingers!!

I got tagged by the lovely (and super talented) Kimberly of A Giving Flower blog for a MEME. So, here it is!

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?

Well, we were living in Raymond and I was substitute teaching at the local elementary school where Tim was going...no Ben at that time...and I was 25! (omg...has it been that long?) I wasn't even a yoga teacher then!

2. What are 5 things on my TO-DO list for today?

On Thursdays, it's usually these things: laundry (wash and fold), bills (ick), getting anything packed I need to bring to the post office, cleaning a bit after the destruction of Wednesday nights when I'm not home and getting some knitting done.

3. Snacks I enjoy:

Oh, this is a dan-ger-ous subject! Chips, REAL strawberry ice cream (not that fake stuff) and things with chocolate in them....preferably in bar form.

4. Things I would do if I were a billionarie:

I don't think I would handle it well. I seem to do better when there is LESS money, compared to MORE money. When there is MORE money, I can't help but spend it. So, I'd rather NOT win the lottery or get a billion dollars. (Though, I would not refuse my mortgage being paid off or a new Subaru Forester.)

5. Places I have lived:

Cranston, Pawtucket, Providence and Johnston, Rhode Island
Amherst and Worcester, Massachusetts
Raymond and Londonderry, New Hampshire

6. Jobs I have had:

Assistant to the Guidance Counselor in high school, waitress, bus girl, candy striper at local hospital, babysitter, clerk at a gun store (yup), clerk at a craft store, substitute teacher, yoga teacher, clerk at a yarn store, and mom.

7. Bloggers I am tagging for this MEME:

Ericka of Armed With Pointy Sticks
Jackie of Hello Jackie
Lora of Lora's Keyhole
Laurin of Scrap and Knit (because she's WAY behind on her blogging)

Any bets on if I'll get that lace scarf done in time? I've got 7 repeats out of 30 done and I started on June 1st. But, I don't knit consistently on it...but in bursts. Any wagers?

Oh, one more thing....I'm going to do a NEW podcast next week or so for the announcement of a new pattern I have...plus other cool stuff. If anyone has anything that they want me to mention or talk about or whatever, lemme know. There will also be a contest to win some yarn and free goodies...so download the podcast when it comes up and you could WIN!!