Happy Halloween Weekend

Minimalist Cardigan

The Pattern: Minimalist Cardigan by Ruthie Nussbaum Find the Pattern on Raverly
Size: 35 1/2
The Yarn: 11 skeins of Valley Yarns Sugarloaf in Sienna (891.0 yards/814.7m)
Needle size: Size 7/4.5 mm

Started: 10/16
Finished: 10/24

This is another project that has been in my queue for a while. I might wear it like this.

Minimalist Cardigan

Or like this.

Minimalist Cardigan

I wish I made the smallest size, because it came out a little baggier in the shoulders and arms than I'd have liked.

Minimalist Cardigan

I really like the texture of the moss stitch. I'm also really happy with the yarn. I love the color and the squishiness.

Pumpkin Bread

It's pumpkin season, so I made this pumpkin bread recipe that I found on Tasty Kitchen. It makes 2 loaves, I have only been making a half recipe at a time. Partly because J and I won't be able to eat two loaves before they go bad. But mainly because I only have one loaf pan :)

The recipe calls for shortening. Instead I substituted coconut oil and butter. Coconut oil is supposedly very good for you.


Hey look crocheted baskets

Neo Baskets by Rosanna Contadini

An interesting product I saw at the MoMA design store a couple days ago. The set goes from $220. MoMA lists them as knitted baskets, but up close it is clear they are crocheted.

They are made out of neoprene, a flexible rubber used in the automotive and plumbing industries. Interesting material, soft to the touch and holds the bowl shape well.

The designer is Rosanna Contadini. She and two other designers, Isabella Nardone and Analia Restrepo, design handbags, home decor products, and jewelry all produced from neoprene. Check out there other items at Neo


Mitered Hanging Towels and Scroll Shaped Semolina Bread

Mitered Hanging Towels

The Pattern: Mitered Hanging Towels by Cristina Bernardi Schiffman Find the Pattern on Raverly published in Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines and available online at canadianliving.com
The Yarn: 3 balls of Red Heart ECO Cottom in vanilla, denim, and linen marl - one of each color (145yd/133m per ball)
Needle size: US8/5.0mm

Started: 6/17
Finished: 7/10

I made these for a gift, but I still don't have a recipient in mind. This was a nice project to give me a break from Anthemion (This thing is taking forever!). You could knit one of these in a day or over the course of a couple evenings.

I bought this yarn with no particular project in mind. I just happened upon it when I was at Knit-A-Way. I loved the look of the denim and linen marl colors. The yarn is 75% recycled fabric remnants from t-shirts and 25% acrylic. It felt a little bit stiffer than other cotton blends I've used in the past. It is a good yarn for householdy items. So when I ran across this pattern in Mason-Dixon I decided to dig out the Red Heart.

Mitered Hanging Towels

The buttons are 28mm in diameter and made of horn. I got them at M&J Trimming on 6th Avenue between 37th & 38th. They broke my bank at about $5 a piece, but they are so handsome and perfect for these towels I couldn't leave them behind.

Here is my latest baking creation.

Pane Siciliano

Pane Siciliano. Again from the Bread Baker's Apprentice. I didn't get the shaping quite right. I think the problem was the surface tension on the dough. So when they rose they sort of just melted together, making the scroll shape less obvious than the loaves pictured in the book.

Pane Siciliano

I ate one loaf over a week and froze the other two loaves. They weren't quite as good out of the freezer, but they make good cheesy garlic bread.

This is how I do cheesy garlic bread:
Place desired number of slices under the broiler to toast.
Crush one clove of garlic and rub it on the toasted bread.
Place a layer of cheese on top. I use shredded parmesan, but you could use mozzarella or whatever.
Stick the bread back under the broiler until the cheese starts to brown. Enjoy!


Gulf Oil Spill: How you can help...

Workers clean oil off a brown pelican at a bird-rescue center.
Photograph by Sean Gardner, Reuters

For anyone interested in helping out with the oil spill disaster, here are a few organizations that have set up oil spill relief funds.

Greater New Orleans Foundation – Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund
National Wildlife Federation Wildlife Emergency Fund
(You can also donate $10 by texting "WILDLIFE" to 20222)
Oxfam America Gulf Coast Oil Spill Response Fund
United Way Greater New Orleans Gulf Oil Spill Fund

And check to see if your employer will match your donation.

It has been estimated that the spill is already far larger than the Exxon Valdez oil spill from 1989.
BP spill vs Exxon spill comparison chart.
NY Times article on the rate of oil flow into the gulf

More info on the oils spill and how you can help:
The Daily Green
Deepwater Horizon Response
Google News
National Wildlife Federation
NY Times
Oil Spill Volunteers
Take Part
White House


Prairie Tunic and Focaccia Bread

Prairie Tunic

The Pattern: Prairie Tunic by Veronik Avery Find the Pattern on Raverly
Size: 33
The Yarn: 2 1/2 skeins of Valley Yarns Sheffield in Mirage (545yd/498m)
Needle size: US6/4.0mm

Started: 4/14
Finished: 5/22

Prairie Tunic

I've been wanting to make this for 3 years now. Not sure what was stopping me. It is a great little top.

I am a bit unsure of what to wear under it. I've been experiementing with a couple tanks - one regular tank and one racerback.

Prairie TunicPrairie Tunic

The instructions tell you to knit this in two pieces, but I'm terrible at seaming. So I wanted to do this in one shot. So I cast on for both the front and back and joined to knit in the round. About 5 rows in I realized that there are supposed to be slits up the side - will I never learn to read a pattern before I start? So I frogged it tand started over.

This time I cast on the back piece and the front piece using two different balls of yarn, then knit two at a time (like with socks or sleeves or other things that come in pairs). Once they were 4" long I joined to knit in the round (the pattern calls for 6 inch slits, but that seemed really long to me). When joining make sure that you are on a RS row and that your work isn't twisted. I continued like this until I got to the the triangle shaping.

Then I knit the left triangle about 50 times. I had two problems.

One: When you get to the triangle decreases you also need to adjust where you start and end the lace panels. BUT the pattern doesn't say by how much. By looking at pics of finished Prairie Tunics on Ravelry I decided to eliminate one decrease and yarn over from the beginning and end of each panel on each third row.

Two: There was errata that I didn't know about. Note to self - always check for errata. The errata isn't much different than what's in the pattern already, it simply eliminates one of the decreases on the inner side of the triangle. Once I discovered the errata it went smoothly.

The twisted cord took me a while to get right. I kept dropping the ends when I was twisting. I finally tied loops in the ends and hooked them around my index fingers. Then I just rotated my wrist to get the cord to twist. I also stood to the side of the door knob that I had the other end looped around, rather than directly facing it. When I was facing it the end kept slipping over the knob.

Prairie Tunic

I have one glaring mistake. I messed up one of the lace repeats. Whoops! It's really obvious to me, but hopefully I'm the only one who notices.

Prairie Tunic Leftovers

The yarn was good. It is a cotton/silk mix, so there is a little bit of shine. No problems with splitting. I usually avoid plant based fibers, because I like the strechiness of animbal based fiber. But a cotton mix is good for light summer clothes like this. I used about 2 1/2 skeins, there was 22 grams of the 3rd skein left over.


I also made this really yummy focaccia bread. It is from the Bread Baker's Apprentice. It takes about 3 days to make, but it is so worth it.


It is great plain or dipped in marinara sauce.


Textured Shawl & Braided Bread

My third shawl for 10 shawls in 2010.

Textured Shawl

The Pattern: Textured Shawl by Orlane Find the Pattern on Raverly
Size: 44in/112cm neckline; 28in/72cm sides; 20in/51cm neck to tip
The Yarn: Three balls of Valley Yarns Sheffield in Light Grey (360yd/329.2m)
Needle size: US9/5.5mm and US10.5/6.5mm

Started: 4/4
Finished: 4/13

This was a really quick knit. Its simple and beautiful. I wanted to use a light solid color to show off the textured pattern. Dark colored yarns work well with lace because you get light shining through to highlight the pattern. But with a solid peice like this I felt that a dark color would just eat up the textured pattern. I also decided against varigated yarn because I thought it would make the texture disappear. I love how the textured portions look against the simple stockinette stitch. I think this would be lovely adapted into a blanket.

Textured Shawl

The Sheffield yarn was ok. It feels nice and was priced well. I think I just don't really like yarns with angora. I find that they shed alot. So the entire time I knit this I was a total mess. The yarn was shedding all over my lap and the little hairs would float up and stick to my face. Yuck. But it does look really pretty and feels soft.

Textured Shawl

I cast on using a crochet method where you make a crochet chain and then knit into it. I don't think this was the best choice. If I were to do this again I'd use a cable cast on. But if your interested in the crochet chain cast on Eunny Jang has a good tutorial here: Invisible Crochet Cast On II.

After casting on here's what I did:
26 rows of stockinette
9 repeats of textured pattern
18 rows of stockinette
9 repeats of textured pattern
18 rows of stockinette
7 repeats of textured pattern
BO with US10.5/6.5mm

Leaving me with only had 94in/23cm of yarn.

Textured Shawl

When I look at Orlane's shawl I think mine turned out kind small. Ooops. We have approximately the same yardage (Orlane used 328yd/300m), but different weights (I used worsted and Orlane used DK). So maybe that's why? I didn't swatch or anything before hand. I typically don't unless I'm doing a sweater or something where the fit matters. I might try blocking it again to get it just a little bigger. But I kind of like the kercheif size.

Here is my latest baking attempt.

Cranberry Walnut Bread

It looks so pretty. It's cranberry walnut celebration bread from Bread Baker's Apprentice. Along with the cranberries and walnuts there is also orange zest in the dough. And surprisingly it is really easy to make the braided shape.


Clothilde & Pretzels

Another shawl completed for 10 shawls in 2010. I have actually been meaning to post this for a few weeks now, but I'm lazy. I finally got my butt in gear and retouched my photos. Of course retouching wouldn't be necessary if I just took better pics in the first place.

Pine Over Gold Clothilde

The Pattern: Clothilde by Kristen Hanley Cardozo Find the Pattern on Raverly
Size: neckline 64”/162cm; sides 33”/84cm; neck to tip 45”/114cm
The Yarn: One skein of Sundara Yarn Fingering Silky Merino in Pine over Gold
Needle size: US6/4mm and US10.5

Started: 1/23
Finished: 4/4

I'm really happy with how this turned out. The yarn is delicious. If I could afford to I'd use Sundara yarn all the time. Its soft and shiny and the colors are great.

Following Cattywampus's project notes I completed 4 repeats of the Gull Wing Lace and two repeats of the Spearhead Lace. I was a little bit afraid that I would run out of yarn. Cattywampus said she only had 12 grams left. I don't have a scale and have no idea what that really means in terms of yardage. But she had used the same yarn, so I put in a lifeline after finishing the Gull Wing Lace section in case I had to take out a repeat of something. The lifeline turned out to be a total lifesaver. I didn't run out of yarn, but I really messed up somewhere.

Pine Over Gold Clothilde

I'm still not sure what I did, the pattern was really easy to follow. But partway through my first Spearhead Lace repeat I noticed the sl-k2tog-psso's weren't matching up. I kept trying to fix the part that was screwed up but then it would mess up the next part. This led to much frustration and and angry muttering and I was forced to put clothilde away for a few days in order to preserve my sanity.

Pine Over Gold Clothilde

Luckily I'd put the lifeline in. This was my first time using a lifeline and it made it so much easier to fix my error. For those of you unfamiliar with lifelines check out the fixing mistakes section on knittinghlep.com.

I also made some soft pretzels.

soft pretzels

I got this recipe from The Best of Cooking Light Everyday Favorites. I topped half with salt and sesame seeds and put asiago cheese on the other half. I prefered the asiago cheese topping. They were really good the first day, but weren't that great the next day. They got kinda tough. Anyone know how to solve that?


News Bulletin

Thought I'd finally let you know what I've been up to.

Mid-Feb I was really busy putting my portfolio together. I had a review to get into upper division at FIT scheduled for the 26th. I worked really hard to get everything together, then there was a freaking snow storm and my review was rescheduled for March 11.

In between I went to Vegas.
My first time. J and I stayed at Cesear's Palace. Here's the view from our room:View from Cesear's Palace
That big pool of water is the Bellagio fountain. I swear our room was bigger than our apartment. Guess that's not so surprising considering we live in a studio.

MGM Grand
Our friends from Fargo met up with us there and we had a really good time. I even played poker. Now J and I want to go down there for a weekend every year :)

When we got back my schedule was thrown off and I still haven't gotten totally straightened out. I had my portfolio review and was accepted into the BA program. Yay me!

Oh I've also taken up baking bread.
This is a loaf of sandwich bread and some buttery rosemary dinner rolls. Yum.

There has been some knitting too. I participated in my first Ravelympics. Its an event on Ravelry where you try to knit a project start to finish during the Olympics. Unfortunately I was a total failure and didn't finish my project. I did finish this before the Ravelympics started:
Duck Soup for Elise
Another Duck Soup Sweater. This one was for Elise, the daughter of our friends that met us in Vegas.

Here's the project run down:
Duck Soup by Anny PurlsFind the pattern on Raverly
Yarn: MC Cascade Yarn 220 Superwash Color #858 - 2 skeins
Closures Regia Design Line by Kaffe Fassett Color #4451 - maybe 1/4 of a skein
Size: 18 months
Needle size: US9/5.5mm and US1 for closures

Duck Soup for Elise
Pretty cute.

And I did another swap. This is what I gave my partner:
Yoga Swap for hatfactory
And I got this lovely package in return:
Yoga Swap from hatfactory

Whew! A lot has happened.

Now I'm working on:
Getting my portfolio in digital format to apply for a scholarship
Finishing my Clothilde shawl (I'm currently mad at it)
Finishing my Whisper cardigan that I started for Ravelry

Ok I'm off to knock that last one off the list. G'night!


Paperchase Mug Cozie

Paperchase Mug Cozie

The Pattern: winged it
Size: Fits a Paperchase mug - approx. 3¼" (8¼ cm) high & 3½" (8½ cm) in diameter
The Yarn: Left over bit of Noro Kureyon in 240 pinks and purples
Needles: set of 5 US5/3.75mm DPNs

Started: 1/24
Finished: 1/24

Paperchase mug cozie

I've been eyeing Cathy Carron's Garter Mug CoziesFind the Pattern on Raverly. It's a really nice looking pattern, but I thought $3.50 for a mug cozie sounded kind of pricey. If it was $2 I probably wouldn't have cared. I know that sounds silly, but right now that extra $1.50 is a deal breaker. So I decided to make up my own pattern.

Paperchase mug cozie bottom

CO 8 sts. Using the cable cast on method.
Divide the sts among 4dpns. Place marker. Join to knit in the round.
Row 1: K8 sts.
Row 2: *K to last st. on dpn inc. one st. Repeat from * 4 times.
Rows 3-16: Repeat Rows 1 & 2 7 times. (40 sts.)
Row 17: K across.
Row 18: Sl 1st. k to end. Turn.
Row 19: Sl 1st. p to end. Turn.
Rows 20-21: Repeat rows 18-19.
<-- start of Garter ribs. Odd rows are RS rows, even rows are WS rows. You can remove the marker now-->
Rows 22-31: Repeat row 18 10 times.
Row 32: Sl 1 st. k to end. CO 12 sts. Turn. (52 sts.)
Row 33: Repeat row 32 (64 sts.)
Rows 34-35: Sl 1 st. k to end. Turn.
BO all sts.

Paperchase mug cozie

  • The cable cast on makes for a smaller hole on the bottom.
  • I like to increase by knitting into the stitch on the previous row. It is less visible than some of the other increases (doesn't leave any holes or bars). There is a good demo video on knittinghelp.com, just scroll down to KRL.
  • The stitch marker is to help you keep track of the beginning of the row as you work in the round. Once you get to the garter ribs you're no longer knitting in the round, so the marker is unneccessary.
  • If you want longer ties increase the number of sts. you cast on in rows 32 and 33. You can use the plain old backward-loop CO here.
  • To block, soak in warm water. Then tie it around your mug while it was still wet so that it will retain the mug's shape when it dries.
If you have any questions or notice any errors e-mail me at yarnymarn@gmail.com


Kureyon Dianna

Last month I joined the 10 shawls in 2010 group on Ravelry. The point of the group is to challenge yourself to make 10 shawls between the 1st of the year and the 31st of Dec. If you're interested the challenge rules are listed at the end of this post.

Kureyon Dianna closeup

The yarn was a clearance item I picked up at Knit New York almost a year ago. I really liked the colors but I had no idea what to do with it. In an effort to destash I've been using the pattern ideas tab on Rav. And that's how I discovered this pattern.

The Pattern: Dianna by MaweLucky/Jane Araujo Find the Pattern on Raverly
Size: 52" on the longest side, 36" on the short sides, about 28" from the center of the neck to the tip.
The Yarn: One skein of Noro Kureyon Sock in 164
Needle size: 7

Started: 1/4
Finished: 1/24

Kureyon Dianna

I had a lot of trouble starting out. The designer lists this disclaimer at the beginning of the pattern:
"This pattern is not intended for beginners and assumes you already know how to work entrelac. This document will not teach you how to do entrelac. If you want to learn this technique, Google is your friend."
However, the entrelac wasn't what gave me problems. It was the lack of instructions. This thread really helped me get going. There is helpful advice from the designer and others who've made the shawl and some good links.

Kureyon Dianna edge

My problem was I had no idea what to do on the wrong side rows. The chart that is included in the PDF is blank for the WS rows and there are no written instructions either.

From the thread I discovered a chart with the WS rows included. But I still wasn't sure what to do on the wrong side, because the chart key simply lists the | symbol as knit stitches and the symbol as purl stitches.

Kureyon Dianna backside
On wrong side should be knit and | should be purled.

I guess that it is supposed to be obvious that the | on the RS are to be knit and the WS purled (and vice versa for the symbol). What confused me was that it states the shawl is reversible. So to me that also could have meant that the shawl was garter stitch. In the end I looked at close ups of completed Dianna's to figure it out.

Kureyon Dianna and leftovers

I ended up with 11 tiers, using nearly the whole skein of yarn and with only a little blob of yellow left over. If I had more yarn I would have done triangles on the last tier to make the top/neckline of the shawl straight across rather than jagged.

10 shawls in 2010 challenge rules:
  1. Make 10 shawls between Jan. 1st and Dec. 31st 2010
  2. 2 shawls must be a minimum of 500 meters (546 yards). The remaining 8 must be at least 250 meters/273 yards
  3. NO WIPS count! Meaning anything that was started be for Jan. 1st 2010.
At the beginning of January 2011, a prize drawing will be held for everyone who has completed their 10 shawls. The prizes are provided by sponsors and so far include:
  • Gradiance Shawl Sets from Painty at Unique Sheep
  • Lace collection (set of 7 patterns) from Leen002
  • Choice of 1 of 3 patterns (My Valentine, Fleur-de-Lis, or Valentine Scarf) from ShuiKuen
  • 1 skein of lace-weight yarn from Fun Knits
There are also monthly prizes.

You can join the group here. So far there are over 2000 members and nearly 500 completed projects.

**Update 2-18-10**
Recieved a couple questions about this patttern, so I thought I’d post the answers here.

If the RS was facing I picked up knitwise (i think this was the even tiers) and if the WS was facing I did it purlwise (should be on odd tiers).

On the pick up row you are only picking up 12 sts. The following row you are working 13 (joining one stitch of the previous square without a decrease). So you actually don’t do a joining decrease until the 4th row.