it's a wrap

I can't believe Christmas Day is over. Where did December go?
A few of my favorite wraps:
Love burlap.  I had a few hard gifts to wrap and a bunch of burlap in my pile.  The package in the back right is from West Elm.  Painting on burlap!  Fun.  
This Target wrapping paper was perfect for Libby.  
But this?
This was my all time favorite.  Clever, clever, clever.  So darn creative!  Thank you, sweet friend!

Hope everyone had a fabulous, beautiful day.

the three

I apologize for not getting back here sooner.  Life just sort of got busy... just like yours.  We had a new sort of Thanksgiving that was truly wonderful.  I will think about it for months and treasure it forever.  My parents came to town and stayed for a nice long visit.  Just a bit short of two weeks.  Knitting happened.  Projects were ripped and projects were started.  A special visit from a blog friend and her awesome family.  Oh boy.  Isn't life fun!
Congrats to Liz, Nadine and Gale.  Please email me with your address and the Place Mats will ship immediately.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Thanks so much for all the kind words regarding the Place Mats.  Blogland truly is the best.

Okay.  On with holiday knitting!

{p.s.  glasses from pier one.  thank you, betsy.  i love them!}


I'd like to thank you for stopping by.  If it has been once, you're a new reader or someone that has been popping in for a long time.  It has meant so much to me.  Even through this last year.  You really are special.  I feel blessed. Heck, you are the reason for the chalkboard place mats!

I'd love to give away three sets of the chalkboard placemats.  Leave a comment between now and Tuesday, November 27, 5pm, EST and I'll have the random generator number choose a few of names.  You'll have them in plenty of time to use on your Christmas table.  And all year long for other things.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.


our october kitchen

Happy Halloween!
We trick or treated tonight.  Postponed because of the storm.  All is fine here.  Our thoughts are with those who were in the storms path.  Be well, friends.


Well, we are all alike.  We LOVE our bags!  Love THAT!

The winner of the mike and marley bags is #199, Jules.  Please email with your address and they will ship one to you.

Guess what?  Those nice folks over at mike and marley would like to give my readers 20% off any bag.  Just enter afriendtoknitwith checkout!  They will make great gifts... stock up now.  Offer will be good through November.

As always,   thanks for playing.


cool totes

First of all, how can you just not love that name!
And, second of all, how can you not love something that doubles as a complete winter, corner of the room, yarn holder, cheer you anytime, happy tote, to a summer, fill with sunscreen, throw everything in bag... carry to a picnic, the beach, a yarn store, a trip or just leave in your car to be a complete catch all. 
I adore these bags!  They are strong, durable, affordable and, i'll say it again, HAPPY!
Well, guess what?  The fine folks over at mike and marley would like to give one of my readers a tote of their choice.  How cool is that?!?!?!
If interested, please leave a comment here between now and Saturday, October 27th, 5:00 pm EST and I will have the random number generator choose a number.

the two

The winners of the book giveaway are #44 Cams and #168 Zenitude.  Please email me your address and I will make sure a book lands in your hands.  As always, I wish everyone could get a book.

I have a really fun giveaway coming up tomorrow.
See you then!

there are two

I'm sure you have seen this book floating around blogland as I am late in talking about it.  I adore this book.  So many beautiful patterns.  You can scroll through them on this page.  And the photography?  Delicious!
Knit Red is filled with dozens of projects, garments and accessories, knit in gorgeous reds.  Obviously, you won't have to knit your project in red, however it is a good reminder to encourage yourself and others to make heart healthy choices.  There are facts and resources about heart disease, and powerful stories from survivors of this deadly disease.  An inspirational book.

I have one of each to give away.  If interested, leave a comment here before 5:00 pm EST, Sunday, October 21.  I'll have the random generator choose 2 names and will do my best to give you your first choice.

Happy weekend to you!

for here, to go

Hi there, Ocotober!
SO nice to see you!

I have a couple of things on the needles which I am super happy to be knitting.
My here project, meaning the one that is mostly staying at home, is "devotion".  (Love that.)
A short sleeve pullover to throw over t-shirts.  Mostly stockinette with a little cable detail at the top of the front and back.
It's out of the Classic Elite Yarns book, "The road not taken".  (Love that, too.)  There are some really great patterns in this book.  A little bit of color work, cables, sweaters, vests, mittens and a hat.  Love all of the natural colors they used. 
My "to go" project, which will just hang out in my car, are these adorable mitini mitts. 
Okay, the packaging is so darn clever.  I LOVE IT!  SO creative, vintage, old time pattern like.  Almost too cute to even break open to knit.  Almost.
They are out of Blue Sky's Royal Petite yarn and pattern collection which includes seven accessories.  All super easy to travel with.
And the yarn is super yummy to boot.  100% Royal Alpaca.    
Love a little project like this.  I thought the "kit" would make a great gift for knitty friends, too.  

Have a beautiful weekend!


Oh boy.  That just sounds old to ME.
A box of cake mix and my favorite homemade icing:

1 cup butter
3 cups powdered sugar
2 TBLS whole milk (I use 1 TBLS of half and half and 1 TBLS of 1% milk)
1 tsp vanilla

Cream the butter until fluffy.  Add the powdered sugar and continue creaming until well blended.  Add the vanilla and milk, and blend on low speed for 2 minutes.  Add additional milk if needed.  Beat at high speed until the frosting is fluffy.
*I added 1/4-1/2 cups of cocoa powder to make chocolate icing.

Cheers to celebrations!


I had to look back through my archives to see when I last finished a sweater.  November.  Last November.  Holy cow.  
I was happy to be working on an interesting, stockinette stitch, pattern, with just enough "change it up" to keep my mind busy.  I love how the center insert highlights the intersecting pieces.  The visible seam was a challenge for me as my mother has taught me how to hide the seams so well.  A trip to the yarn store was actually required for teaching me how to show my seams! 
A super straightforward back piece and two sleeves with exactly the same number of rows (ha! thanks to working both sleeves at the same time).  
I am mostly a cardigan knitter, but can't tell you how much I adore the "wear" of this sweater.  The "flowy" front makes it fun and easy on the body. 
It was not my first time for a Berroco, Norah Gaughgan pattern (which I love) but was my first go around with Amy Butler yarn.  100% organic wool/cotton blend.  It is super soft and I think I could actually wear this sweater all year depending on that summer day.  I thought it gave the perfect drape for this pattern.

Pattern:  anhinga
Yarn:  10 balls Rowan by amy butler belle organic aran  color 212
Needles: size 8
Size:  34"

I wanted to let you know that Jimmy Beans Wool is carrying a limited edition of Denise2go's newest set of interchangeable knitting tools.  This special line will feature eight designs of the Denise2Go released monthly over a six-month span (through February '13).  There are only 46 sets of the "roll back to school" edition available.

And one more thing.  I don't really have a recipe for my veggie chili.  I just take every veggie I have in the fridge and saute them in olive oil.  (This time I had, onion, mushroom, zucchini, eggplant!, green and red pepper and celery.  Then I toss in a couple cans of any beans, one can of corn, and 1-2 cans of crushed tomatoes along with a teaspoon of chili powder.  Let that simmer for a bit, then spoon a big ladle into a bowl and top it with cheese (i love cheddar) sour cream, diced red onions and avocado.  Serve with tostito chips.

Enjoy your weekend!

one of those

I had one of those moments when the eggplant started to grow.  They were so tiny and cute.  It really is amazing.  And another one of those moments when I diced the beauty this evening for the veggie chili.  Wow.

Back soon with a finished (yes, finished!) sweater!

getting organized

Five knitting bags were cleaned out.  Each housing a different project.  Yep, I start some that just never make it to the finish line.  It's amazing what I had in those bags.

Enjoy your weekend!

summer '12

planted a big vegetable garden  picked wildflowers  dave matthews concert  hiked  a gorgeous, meaningful, extraordinary wedding at bedford spings  jumped into lake tahoe fully dressed  jeep rides  chambers punch  rocky mountain national park  golf teams  lake tahoe  slept in a log cabin  star gazed  fried zucchini  mountain bike ride  joan osborne concert  bought my first pair of toms  saw an elk  danced  new friends  took a dyl course  boulder  grew zucchini  camping  sunrises  finished a sweater  libby got her ears pierced  fireworks  mojito's  knit  grew eggplant  andrew started playing football county fair  melissa etheridge concert  an amazing wedding at cherokee castle  buzzard lake rode on a ferris wheel  sunsets  tomato themed dinners  charlie grew long hair  sang  saw a double rainbow  made homemade tomato sauce old friends
Just some memories I want to keep.

Happy September!

walking into the new school year

We went out for dinner last night to celebrate the new school year.
Sea salt brownies were made today.  I've made some sort of brownie on the first day of school since Charlie started kindergarden.
I can't believe how fast the time goes.  Especially this summer.  Didn't it just start?
Happy School Year.

hittin' the road

We are going camping, tomorrow. So I made us some new pillowcases, today.  Flannel.  Totally fun.  As it was to sew.  It felt g r e a t.  Knitting is packed.  That feels great, too.

Back soon.

tnna weekend

On June 22, my mother and I took a road trip to Columbus, Ohio, and met my sister there.  (Thank goodness for my father who couldn't wait to stay at home with the kids!)
Hanging out with each other is always a special weekend.  Like years past, the TNNA show did not disappoint.  Inspiration showed up everywhere!  And there is something so incredible about being surrounded by like minded people.  It just feels awesome.
The Classic Elite Booth is always one of our favorite stops.  I just LOVE the way they display their yarns.  Their new yarn for fall '12, Color by Kristin, is 50% wool, 25% alpaca, 25% mohair and 100% delicious!
How about this gorgeous number?  Maybe something I could work on that would work on my concentration!  
However, see that?  Up there?  I am SO ordering the yarn to make that.  Looks like something my brain can handle about now.  A lot of stockinette with a little detail to keep it interesting.  Cute to wear to boot!
The Blue Sky Alpaca booth is another one that always impresses me.  
The creativity pours out from every fiber.  Honestly.  My mouth hangs open as I catch new sights in that booth.  And the way they print their patterns!  Totally vintagey cool.  There are some definite things I want to make.  
My sister took a seat on one of their most awesome displays.  I was dreaming of a few of those sit upons around a table that would be set up to knit around.  Their displays truly are incredible.  
I was so excited to meet the sweet Melynda of French Press Knits. Have you made her famous felted slippers?  Still on my long growing list of "things to knit"! 
It was so much fun to meet Ysolda, too.  
ANOTHER inspiring booth.  It would be dreamy to have that work station.

SO much talent, so much creativity, so much fun!