Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Day 20: Do you knit in public? Was anyone offended/incrediblyhappy/curious that you were doing so?

I love knitting on the bus/train when I'm going to the post office, the grocery store, or where ever. Mostly I get looks of disbelief. Yes, I'm a 20-something young woman knitting in public.

Knitting on the MAX Blue Line

Also I knit Tuesdays, Thursdays, and one Friday a month at Black Sheep at Orenco with Tina and all the other lovely people that come.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Day 19: Do you watch movies and/or listen to podcasts while knitting? What are your favorite things to knit to?

It depends on the project. Something easy or repetitive almost requires me to listen to or watch something. When I was finishing Tracie's Hemlock blanket, I watched all three Lord of the Rings movies - the extended editions, mind you. I also like to read when I'm knitting. Working on the bus/train is also fun; the looks some people get because there is a 20-something young woman knitting in public are hilarious.

Three-Bean Chili

I know, I know. I'm WAY behind on my knitting posts, but I really wanted to share this. I made it tonight and will definitely be made again.

Three-Bean Chili

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (15 1/2-ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 1/2-ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 1/2-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14 1/2-ounce) (roughly 1 3/4 cups) can vegetable broth
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tablespoon yellow cornmeal
Toppings of your choice

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic to pan; saute 3 minutes. Stir in 3/4 cup water and next 9 ingredients (through diced tomatoes); bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes. Stir in cornmeal; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat and serve with your favorite toppings.

Onion, pepper, and garlic sauteing away.

Everyone into the pot!

It was delicious.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Day 18: Do you knit English or Continental?

I'm an English style knitter though I've taught myself to knit Continental when doing colorwork. I knit all the color work of Lusekofte-sque Mitts two handed. Maybe one day I'll do an entire project Continental style.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Day 17: Have you ever had a project that you loved become ruined? What’s the story behind it?

None that I know of. Unless one getting lost by USPS counts. I made a lovely round wedding blanket for my dear friend Ashley in September of 2011. Katie sent it off to her and we never saw it again. I'm really ticked off that they lost it. Not because of the cost, but because of the time that went into it and the reason Katie and I made it. Yes, both of us made it. Katie dyed the yarn and I knit it up.

Katie's beautiful hand dyed yarn

Lighting sucks but the finished product.

Ignoring my stuff in the background,
Aero is doing a fine job of showing size.
I should have blocked this out with all the picots, but didn't.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

Day 14: What’s the worst yarn/fiber that you’ve worked with and why?

After working with the wonderful wools and blends that Black Sheep carries, I have come to detest working with most acrylic yarns. Caron Simply Soft is okay still, but I have issues working with Red Heart. It squeaks and isn't soft and just feels wrong in my hands. *shudders* I'll keep my soft and pretty wools now thank you.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Day 13: Do you have yarn that you love but can’t find a project for?

Yes! I've had this wonderful River's Edge sock yarn for over a year. I bought it at SAFF (Southeastern Animal Fiber Festival) 2011 and haven't found the project for it yet. It is 380 yards of hand dyed 70% superwash Blueface Leicester wool and 30% nylon sock weight 2-ply yarn. It's soft and gorgeous but I don't know what to use it for. It was the only thing I bought at SAFF and I want to use it, but I don't know what to do with it. Nothing I've looked at seems right.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Day 12: Where do you keep your stash?

Right now my stash lives in shoe boxes in my closet. I took time a few days ago to organize it a bit and box everything neatly. My needles aren't here as they are in another bag across the room because I forgot.

In the process of being organized.

All nice and neat!
Blue Box - Supplies (stitch markers, wool wash, etc.)
Orange Box - Yarn for personal projects
Red Box - Gift Bags, Tissue Paper, etc.
Pink Box - Christmas Present Yarn
Brown Box - Yarn Scraps and Ends

Friday, November 16, 2012

Day 11: Do you have a “Knitter Hero” or someone that is just way too awesome for their own good?

I suppose my "Knitter Hero" (or heroines) would be all my knitting friends. They do such awesome projects and inspire me to challenge myself and do more. Here's just two of them (mostly because I could find pictures of their stuff to share).

Katie is my absolute best friend. She taught me how to knit and can also crochet, tat, dye, spin, and probably many other things that I can't think of at the moment.

Baby Girasole

Leaves on the Line


Tina owns my favorite local yarn shop, Black Sheep at Orenco, and challenges me to go bigger and better. She's the entire reason I did colorwork gloves and I will be attempting a sweater/cardigan in the relatively near future.

Bears made by Barbara, Tina, and Julianne

Steeked Scarf - Steeking terrifies me!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Day 10: Do you have a favorite pattern or designer?

I don't really have a favorite pattern or designer. I browse Ravelry a lot and save patterns I like. I think my favorite pattern I've worked is the Hemlock Ring by Jared Flood.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Day 9: What fiber or yarn do you love working with?

I'm pretty much in love with anything with superwash wool, be it just the wool or a wool blend. I work with Cascade yarns a lot; my favorite there so far has been Heritage Silk, a 85% superwash wool and 15% mulberry silk blend. It was absolutely decadent. One day when I have the money, I would love to work with Black Trillium or Alcidina.

Cascade Heritage Silk
Cascade Heritage Paint in colorway David's Eyes

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Day 8: What’s your most challenging project?

My most challenging project was probably the mitts I have recently finished for my Granny's Christmas present. Though I've done fingerless mitts before, doing colorwork like this was a challenge. I made Lusekofte-sque Mitts in Cascade Superwash Sport Blue Velvet and White. I loved this color combination. They are a bit smaller than I would have liked because of the tension of the floats of white, but I still adore them.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Day 7: Your least favorite?

It took me a long time to figure out my least favorite project. It wasn't until today, talking to Katie, that I realized what it was. I kept trying to pick from my finished projects. I realized that my least favorite isn't finished.

I started on this Centerline Cable Scarf back in May. It has been sitting in my unfinished pile since June or so. I love the design; it's very pretty. My hands do not love the design. There are so many cables so often that I can't work the scarf for very long. I'm lucky to get half a pattern repeat done. I don't even know where I am in the pattern anymore; I believe I am five rows from the end of the repeat. I think I'm going to finish the repeat and be done. It's also on cheap Red Heart acrylic yarn that feels so wrong in my hands after working with the wonderful wool and wool blends from Cascade Yarns and Black Sheep at Orenco. I don't care how long it is or isn't. I need the needles back and this scarf hurts something fierce and I'm ready to be done! Blarg!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Day 6: What is your favorite piece that you've knit?

My favorite piece changes with nearly each project I do. My favorite right now is the Hemlock Ring Blanket I made during the month of September. I knit it up as a wedding gift to a friend before she went on her honeymoon in early October. I was knitting like crazy the entire month trying to finish it on time. It was close, but I did it!

I knit it on US 10 dpns and 40" circular needles using nearly four balls (close to 858 yards total) Cascade 220 Superwash in Mocha.

Days 4 and 5

Silly me who was out knitting last night forgot to post... oops. So double posts today.

Day 4: How did you learn how to knit?

My bestest friend taught me how to knit in February of 2011 mainly because I needed something to do to keep my hands busy (and myself awake) during our 8 am senior seminar. It was an interesting class, don't get me wrong, but it was based around discussion and movies. One thing I have learned about myself is that if there is a movie in class, no matter the movie (even if it is the most interesting thing on the planet), I will fall asleep. If my hands are busy I don't fall asleep as much or as easily. So I asked Katie to teach me how to knit. Anything I have needed to learn since I've either gone to Katie or looked it up on this fantastic place called the internet.

Day 5: How long did it take from the time your learned how to knit, to finish your first project?

According to Ravelry I cast-on my first project (which happened to be the day I learned) on February 13th and I finished it on March 7th. So not very long at all. And there was even a color change in it!

Project One as seen on Day One with Aero the bear.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Day 3: Do you have any other WIPs (works in progress)?

Do I have any other works in progress? Is it not 8 weeks and counting until Christmas? Of course I have WIPs. And not only the ones actually on needles - I have several planned as well!

So, Project One I talked about yesterday, but today is Projects Two and Three and beyond. Two and Three are both personal projects (for a change!)

Project Two is a Mericash Cowl that I am making to go with some lovely fingerless mitts I made a few weeks back. I use these mitts a lot and now that the weather is getting colder, especially in the early mornings when I'm on my way to work, it will be nice to have a cowl too! The yarn is Cascade Heritage sock yarn and a nice soft 100% superwash wool in baby blue. I love the color and the super softness of it. (Yarn, as always, bought from Tina at Black Sheep at Orenco.)

Project Three is a redo of one of my projects in my first year of knitting. I crafted a Hufflepuff scarf just over a year ago now. I loved it, but it was really wide and, having been knit in the round, it was really thick. My new scarf is 6 inches or so across and is growing in length. I'm excited to have it done too!

Original Scarf measured roughly 10 inches
across and 90 inches long.
Those are all my projects technically in progress though I have several more Christmas presents planned.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Day 2: What is currently on your needles?

I have several projects on my needles right now, but as tomorrow is another 'show us your wips' day, I shall only show you what I am working on right this minute. Like I just put it down to write this and then I shall be picking it up again.

Project One is a pair of socks. I'm making Hermione's Everyday Socks (or on Ravelry) for a Christmas Present/Request. I'm using Regia 8-ply sock yarn that is 75% Superwash New Wool and 25% Polymide. They will be washable, durable, and warm. Perfect for wearing around or inside boots on cold days at the farm. As usual, the yarn and needles were bought at my very favorite lys, Black Sheep at Orenco in Hillsboro. I spent the better part of this morning there, actually, knitting and visiting with the wonderful, amazing owner, Tina.

Regia 8-Ply Alaska Color #08942 

I'm not as comfortable working socks cuff-down or one at a time, so this is a bit of a challenge for me. I like doing them toe-up and I really enjoyed working my last ones two at a time so I knew they both used exactly the same amount of yarn.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Day 1: What was your first finished project?

My first project... I would say that was a long time ago (and in some ways it was), but it was February/March of 2011. Yes, I've been knitting for just under two years.

This project was originally for my mom. She loved it, used it, and then I inherited it back when she passed away two months later. So this is both a happy project (Yay! First project done!) and a sad project (referring to why I received it back).

It's simple and completely garter stitch, but I am slightly impressed that I did a color change in my first project. I still wear it a lot and it makes me think of my mom every time I do.

30 Days of Knitting Challenge

I stole this from Katie when she put it on Tumblr and I'm going to try to keep up. Don't worry, there will still be food porn, but there will be knitting and yarn too.


Day 1: What was your first finished project?
Day 2: What is currently on your needles?
Day 3: Do you have any other WIPs (works in progress)?
Day 4: How did you learn how to knit?
Day 5: How long did it take from the time your learned how to knit, to finish your first project?
Day 6: What is your favorite piece that you’ve knit?
Day 7: Your least favorite?
Day 8: What’s your most challenging project?
Day 9: What fiber or yarn do you love working with?
Day 10: Do you have a favorite pattern or designer?
Day 11: Do you have a “Knitter Hero” or someone that is just way too awesome for their own good? Do share!
Day 12: Where do you keep your stash? Post pictures!
Day 13: Do you have yarn that you love but can’t find a project for?
Day 14: What’s the worst yarn/fiber that you’ve worked with and why?
Day 15: What was your least favorite pattern and why?
Day 16: Have you ever had a knitting related injury?
Day 17: Have you ever had a project that you loved become ruined? What’s the story behind it?
Day 18: Do you knit English or Continental?
Day 19: Do you watch movies and/or listen to podcasts while knitting? What are your favorite things to knit to?
Day 20: Do you knit in public? Was anyone offended/incredibly happy/curious that you were doing so?
Day 21: Do you knit gifts for friends and family for the holidays or birthdays?
Day 22: Have you ever stricken someone off your to-knit-for list because they didn’t appreciate/take care of your last knitted gift to them?
Day 23: If you had the supplies (and patience) for it, what project would you start today?
Day 24: Have you ever made your own pattern or dyed your own yarn? How did it turn out?
Day 25: Do you have a knitting book or a place where you keep patterns, ideas, size measurements? Post a picture of it!
Day 26: Have you ever been a part, or wanted to be a part of a knit-a-long? What was it? If not, why?
Day 27: How do you acquire most of yarn? Online retailers, local yarn shops, swaps, or large chain craft stores? What’s your favorite?
Day 28: Do you do any other crafts besides knitting? What are they, and did learning to knit come before or after learning these other crafts?
Day 29: Do you have any tips, or things that you’ve learned from knitting?
Day 30: What’s your name on Ravelry? If you don’t have a Ravelry account, why?

Monday, October 29, 2012


Today is my day off with absolutely nowhere to be. What does that mean? Laundry and cooking. This week cooking is actually baking. I've been in a baking mood for the last week or so and I've been craving something pumpkin for a while. Killing two birds with one stone here, I am making Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.

This is the first recipe in a while I've actually followed the instructions exactly (well...nearly). I am unfamiliar with using pumpkin puree and so only used what was called for. Except ground cloves. Ground cloves are expensive so I used allspice instead. The only other difference in the recipe is that I chilled it for an hour before baking. Cold dough tends not to spread as much and you get thick and chewy cookies. Oh, and I used dark chocolate chips instead of milk chocolate. Love me some dark chocolate.


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (I used allspice because cloves are expensive)
2 cups (12-ounce bag) milk chocolate chips, not semisweet (I used dark chocolate)
Nonstick cooking spray or parchment paper

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray or line them with parchment paper.

Using a mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in the white and brown sugars, a little at a time, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, then mix in the vanilla and pumpkin puree. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the batter in thirds. Stir in the chips. Scoop the cookie dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cookies are browned around the edges. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let them rest for 2 minutes. Take the cookies off with a spatula and cool them on wire racks.


Batter finished and going in the fridge to chill. Side note: if the finished product is anywhere as delicious as this batter, I will be a very happy baker. (No, I won't die happy. Dying would mean I don't get to make Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies.)

Ready to go in the oven! Josie (my landlady/housemate) happens to have a 2 tsp scoop that works wonderfully for scooping cookie dough.

First batch done! Might have to eat one... you know, for quality testing...oh goodness...have...to...have...self control. Soft and warm, they remind me of pumpkin bread with chocolate chips. I suppose that's what these are, really, but I have to resist eating them all. I promised I would share.


All finished and neatly stacked on a plate. Two dozen have been set aside to share. One for knitting tomorrow morning and the other for work on Wednesday.

Also portioned out a bunch and stuck them in the freezer so I can have cookies whenever I want. Even after (maybe especially after) a long day at work.

Also seen are two tubs of Chicken Enchilada Soup
and a bag of Spinach Lasagna Rolls.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hemlock Rings

No, not actual hemlock rings. A Hemlock Ring Blanket. I knit this lovely thing up for a friend's present before she goes on a trip coming up soon.

I don't have any pictures of in in progress though I wish I did - it was a monster on my needles. It became its own project bag eventually. I knit it on US 10 dpns and 40" circular needles using nearly four balls (close to 858 yards total) Cascade 220 Superwash in Mocha. Most people at the yarn shop I bought the yarn from agree it looks better knitted up than in a ball.

Finished pre-blocking. It takes up 2/3 of the width of my full sized mattress.

I soaked in the bathtub with Eucalan for 15 min before blocking it.

Blocked out and drying. Finished blocking it out at 11:30 Sunday night. It wasn't dry until Tuesday morning. That's 16 square feet of blocking board it is on. I probably used close to 300 pins.

Post-Blocking. It's a bit lopsided from my pinning but it is still pretty.

The blanket is currently (October 2-9) on display at Black Sheep at Orenco in Hillsboro, Oregon. It is my favorite lys and I have so much fun when I'm there (typically 2-3 days a week: 2 open knit days on Tuesday mornings and Thursday nights and a Chardoknitting on the second Friday of the month). The blanket is due to be sent next Thursday (after work on the 11th) and so I am letting Tina display it for a week. When I pick it up, it will be wrapped and ready to send off, where it will hopefully be used and not just displayed.