Tag Archives: shelter

Riding High on Yarn Fumes

A couple of weeks ago, Sonia and I loaded up our cars with all sorts of fun things from Stash and a huge amount of enthusiasm and headed up to Seattle for Vogue Knitting LIVE. We had such a great time creating a unique booth and showcasing some of our favorite dyers, button-makers, books and magazines.

The Pompom garland was a huge hit! 

It was such a delight to meet designers, yarn dyers, and other knitting celebrities over the course of the weekend. You can read more about our weekend and all the amazing people we met on the Stash Blog.

Of course, no knitting event would be complete without a little stash enhancement! Unfortunately, I forgot to snap a photo of the whole haul together, but here’s the yarn:


Clockwise starting at Top Left: Brooklyn Tweed Shelter (purchased at the Churchmouse Yarns & Teas booth) in a sweater quantity, Freia Flux Sport (2 skeins, purchased from the StevenBe booth), 2 Skeins of Hazel Knits Entice, and a Gradient Set from Black Trillium

I also bought an amazing new knitting bag from Chicken Boots! It’s this style, but in a super fun raindrop fabric.

Of course, being at VKL has only been making my knitting obsession even stronger. I’ve been whipping out a few baby hats for a close friend, which I’ll post once she receives them, and plugging away on a fingering weight sweater and have finished a couple cowls. I’ll be back later in the week with some pics of the newest FOs!

Happy Crafting, Friends!







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Shadow Pullover

After a whole lot of knitting, seaming, ripping, and re-seaming…I give you my newest handknit sweater!

Pattern: Shadow by Olga Buraya-Kefelian from the Brooklyn Tweed Wool People Collection

Yarn: Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in Sweatshirt

Modifications: My gauge was a tiny bit off (I know, I know…you’re all shocked and surprised!), but it really wasn’t a big deal. My swatch didn’t grow at all, but I knew that when I wet blocked the sweater it would most certainly grow. So, I didn’t sweat the small gauge difference and blocked the sweater to the measurements I wanted. To make up for the difference in row gauge, I increased 2 rows sooner on each repeat when knitting the sleeves. Then there is the issue of the neck. I followed the pattern, knit the boat neck according to the pattern and had some horrible results. I had decided to attach the neck and shoulders before blocking to make sure the sweater fit. I joined the neck in the round, did the purl row that the pattern required, knit the inside of the neck and whip stitched all of those stitches to the inside of the sweater. Well….I tried it on. And let’s just say, it wasn’t pretty. The neck was wavy and too tall for my short neck. I pulled out all of the whip stitching (which proved to be far more difficult than I had anticipated because the yarn felts onto itself if you look at it funny), and pulled back the neck. The neck is probably 1/2″ shorter than the pattern calls for. In order to make sure the boat neck wasn’t wavy, I changed to a smaller needle when I knit the lining and decreased 8 stitches evenly around. Despite the pattern recommending seaming with a lighter weight yarn, I foolishly seamed with Shelter. The seams were far too bulky and the yarn isn’t nearly strong enough to seam a sweater. I pulled out all of the seaming and used some MCN grey sock yarn to seam it up. It was well worth the extra effort I put into making sure the seaming wasn’t too bulky and will hold up over time.

Let’s talk about the yarn, shall we? Shelter is a very lofty, 2-ply yarn that is a blend of Targhee wool and Columbia wool that gives it a very light, slightly wooly quality. It is certainly a more rustic yarn than many of the luxurious blends I typically knit with. But the loftiness makes it a fantastic sweater yarn. The entire sweater only took about 980 yards and weighs less than a pound. For those sweater knitters out there, you understand that this is kind of a big deal. The finished sweater barely weighs anything, which I think will be helpful in retaining the shape of the sweater. It also means that it doesn’t need to be -20 degrees outside for me to wear a fabulous cabled sweater without getting heat stroke. Cables usually eat up yarn yardage like there’s no tomorrow. Shelter, though? Not so much. I’m not sure I could wear a scarf or something really close to my skin in Shelter…but it softened up a decent amount when washed. I’ve worn the sweater twice already with just a short-sleeved shirt underneath, and the itch factor hasn’t bothered me at all.

Look at those fabulous cables!

Now…about the pattern. The pattern was extremely well-written and easy to follow. My only complaint is that the sweater was knit in pieces, which makes it impossible to try on as you knit. I don’t mind the seaming, really…it’s more that I was a little skeptical that the sweater was actually going to fit once I was done! It does, of course…but you really have to trust your gauge swatch and hope for the best! The sleeves are a little large at the cuff, but they match the a-line shape of the sweater.

All that being said, I’m completely in love with the finished sweater. It’s actually my favorite handknit sweater thus far! How about a few more pictures?

I did finish another knitting project last night, but it’s of the “secret holiday knitting” variety, so it’ll have to wait a while! But…I also finished a woven scarf for a customer that I can show you!

Woven in The Sanguine Gryphon Bugga! (merino/cashmere/nylon) in Tulip Tree Beauty

I think that’s all for now! I just picked up a sock-in-progress that I abandoned way back in February, so hopefully I’ll have something to report on that soon!


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I feel like I’ve been talking a lot about food…

I swear, this is still a knitting/spinning/sewing/crafty blog! It just happens to be that time of year when our garden is producing all sorts of goodies and we need to do something with all of the veggies!

I think I’ve mentioned that we’re using a raised bed in our neighbor’s yard for green beans and pumpkins. Seth made it very clear this spring that he wanted TONS of green bean plants. Well, we have TONS of green beans due to all these plants. All of our plants that we grew from seed started producing beans a couple of weeks ago and now Every. Single. Plant. (about 15-20!) is producing beans. We picked a quart sized ziplock bag full the other day and then easily picked twice that today.

We’ve been having trouble deciding how to preserve the beans for the winter, since we obviously can’t eat all these before they go bad! Seth requested something spicy and flavorful instead of just canning or freezing as-is. When I was browsing around Borders the other day I picked up “One Big Table” by Molly O’Neal. It’s a gorgeous (and heavy!) book with 600 recipes from around the country. It also has beautiful stories about the history of food in America. Almost as soon as I started flipping through it I found a recipe for Dilly Beans and knew immediately that we could make them with the abundance of green beans we have!

The recipe called for 4 lbs of green beans, but we only had 2 lbs so I halved the brine recipe and used half the amount of spices for the jars.

Some of the jars waiting for the brine

We didn’t pack the jars as tightly as they must have in the recipe and we ran out of brine. Thankfully, it was easy enough to whip up another small batch of brine and pour it in the last couple of jars. We boiled them in the canning pot, and now we just have to wait a month before we can try them! We could eat them before then, but the recipe recommends waiting 30 days so that the beans can absorb all the flavors from the spices and brine.

While we were waiting for the second batch of brine to finish simmering, we also tried a salsa recipe from “One Big Table” with some tomatoes from the garden and cilantro from our little herb pot.

The recipe called for 2 large tomatoes, 4-5 jalapenos, a couple cloves of garlic and some water to be tossed into a pot to simmer for a bit:

After it was done simmering, we strained out the veggies (and reserved the water), put them in a blender and blended in the cilantro. Seth liked the consistency, so we didn’t add any of the water….but the salsa was HOT! Seth’s tolerance for spicy food is pretty high, so it really spoke to the spiciness when he said it needed more tomatoes. We tossed a large handful of cherry tomatoes into the blender, and while it did thin out the salsa a bit the consistency was still pretty good.

Next time: More Tomatoes, less jalapenos! Then maybe it won’t look so green!

I believe I promised some pictures of the sweater I’m working on!

Shadow is knit in pieces, so basically it just looks like a big cabled rectangle so far!

I love how the cables really pop against the reverse stockinette stitch

Let’s see…what else is exciting in the crafty department? Oh! I got a whole bunch of new fabrics in the mail today, so keep an eye on the blog and shop for some bags with new fabrics!

Hope you all have a lovely holiday weekend!


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Breaking out of a spinning rut

I’ve been in a total spinning rut since Tour de Fleece. I think it was a combination not knitting much for the whole month of July and going to Sock Summit and stashing some really beautiful new yarns. I went on a total knitting kick and hadn’t touched my wheel in a couple of weeks. But yesterday, I spun up a whole beautiful braid and I think my spinning mojo is back.

Kreacher on Falkland dyed by Two if by Hand 

It’s about 165 yards of aran weight yarn.

Of course, there’s also been some knitting. A few days ago I swatched and cast on for a new sweater. I don’t have much done, but here’s a peek at the swatch:

Look at those scrumptious cables! The yarn is Shelter in “sweatshirt”, which happens to be the same yarn and color from the pattern. I rarely pick the same yarn as the pattern calls for, but this was just a perfect pairing in the perfect color. 

I’ve also been doing some sewing. Specifically, sewing up a couple of ipad cases. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures before I popped them in the mail to their recipients. There’s been quite a bit of interest in the woven cases, so I’m hoping to come up with an ipad version of that too.

There’s also been a TON of baking going on in this house…which is kind of weird because it’s been so gosh darn hot this week. But, I’ve only been baking in the mornings when the house is nice and cool and there’s a breeze coming through the windows. Let’s see…this week I’ve made Banana Bread, another batch of Blueberry Banana Muffins, Zucchini Bread (from this bread machine cookbook), and Chocolate Zucchini Cake.

Oh, Chocolate Zucchini Cake, how I love you. The recipe I used isn’t the healthiest recipe out there, but out of the ones I’ve tried it tastes the best. Earlier this summer I used up the last of our zucchini crop from last year with a different recipe that was loads healthier and it tasted TERRIBLE. I mean, it was edible. But it tasted like vegetables. And really, who wants their chocolate cake to taste like veggies? Not me. So, I’ll stick with my less healthy version, thank you very much. I sprinkle my cake with a dusting of confectioners sugar instead of frosting it. It honestly doesn’t need much, it’s pretty delicious straight out of the pan.

Since it’s been so hot, we’ve used the grill all week and last night we tried grilled pizza for the first time. Not only was it ridiculously easy and quick…but delicious, too!

Those of you who know me, know that my pizza is the one covered in cheesy goodness without a vegetable in sight. Seth’s, of course, is the one covered in veggies including some of the first tomatoes from our garden! I used the bread machine to make the pizza dough (so easy…just toss in the ingredients and turn it on), and the recipe (also from the bread machine book linked above) makes enough for 2 large pizzas. I put half in the freezer, and split the remaining dough so it would be easier to manage on the grill. The pizza only took a total of about 6-7 minutes on the grill, which is far less time than the 20-25 minutes it takes when I make it in the oven (I use a cast iron skillet). Definitely my new favorite way to make pizza!

I’ll be back in a day or two with some weaving (I’m going to go warp the loom as soon as I hit “publish” on this post!) and probably a sweater knitting update.

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