two tone twist

Hey friends!  I've been working on getting this simple yet luxurious pattern written up for sometime, and finally found the time.  Yippee! 
It uses just two skeins of Woolfolk Far.  If you've never felt this yarn, it's a true dream.  It is so soft.  Soft like cashmere.  
It's one of those knits that you don't have to pay attention to while knitting it.  Even better.  It does require knowledge with the provisional cast on and the Kitchener stitch.  But heck, if you don't know how to do either of those, YouTube does!  And learning a new skill is what it is all about.  
The piece is reversible so you can show just one color.  The simple twist lets both colors show.  
I intended for it to be made with tonal colors.  However, since knitting is all about being creative, you can use any colors your little heart (BIG HEART) desires.  
I honestly wish I had this in every color combo.  It adds that perfect amount of warmth on chilly (cold!) days.  
I'll be offering the pattern for free for the next 24 or so hours.  So, hop on over to download it using code TWISTYLOVE at checkout.

Enjoy!  xx

march knitcrate

Awe. March has a lovely knitcrate. I am so loving this subtle sparkle in this super wash Merino.
Can you see it?  You may have to zoom in as it is ever so soft.  That's what makes me really love it.
The theme is Whisper.  The time when we approach a change of season, from chilly Winter to the early promise of Spring.  Or, in other parts of the world, where we change forth heat of Summer to the hope of a gentler Autumn.  Transition time.
Sock crate.
Yarn ::  Vidalana Shimmer Sock.  70% Superwash Merino, 20% Nylon, 10% Stellina.
Pattern ::  Treeometry   You can see the resemblance of trees on the socks!
Membership Crate.
Yarn ::  Knitologie Sheen  75% Merino Wool, 15% Silk, 10% Cashmere
Pattern ::  As always there are two patterns.  One for the knitters and one for those who love to crochet.  The knit pattern:  birdseed.  A simple beanie.  The yarn knits up like little seeds across the body of the hat.  The crochet pattern:  solennelle.  A pretty little shawl that works up fast and is the perfect lightweight accessory to add a little flair to an otherwise basic outfit.
Bonus :: A zippered pouch for your project.  With just the perfect words of wisdom displayed on the front.

As always, your first crate is 20% off by using the code FKW20 at checkout.

glorious green

Happy St. Patricks Day sweet friends!
Have  you seen SkeinCocaine's new line of fibre goodness?  I had to get myself a skein of the Camo colorway.  I'm going to knit a pair of socks.  Can't wait to see how this yarn knits up.
After my last post, sweet Susan asked for my green smoothie bowl recipe, so I thought I would share in case anyone else was interested.  I am not a measurer when I cook.  I just usually throw things together.  I love how you can do that when you cook.  (Baking, not so much!)  However, I know the importance of measuring and how much easier it is to share recipes!  So, I made one today and made sure to measure as I went.  😊

Glorious Green Smoothie Bowl ::

1 frozen banana
1/2 pear (or apple)
1 date
1 cup packed spinach (or 3 kale leaves discarding center stem)
1 TBLS water

Blend in Vitamix until smooth, making sure not to blend for too long, as you want it to remain cold.

I like to add granola to the bottom of the bowl before the smoothie.  Top with granola or fruit or seeds or nuts, or anything your little heart desires.  I mean your big heart!  Top with whatever your giant, beautiful heart desires.  I like to add granola, (thank you for this delicious granola sweet Suzanne!) bee pollen, and sometimes fresh sliced banana.

Enjoy!

winners

My favorite new bowls:
Frozen banana, pear, dates, kale.  Blend in Vitamix.  Top with granola and bee pollen.  😍

Thanks so much friends for entering the fun readers.com contest.  As always, I wish everyone could win a new pair of readers.  Wouldn't it be so nice to be like Ellen and just be able to give a pair to everyone who entered?!  I would just LOVE that!  I also love that we are all in this boat together.

The random number generator chose 3 numbers/names.
Number 55 :: Jill
Number 54 :: Coffeelover
Number 44 :: Stella

Congrats!  Please email me (lesliemfriend at gmail dot com)  and we will make sure you are seeing your stitches in no time!

readers giveaway

If you wear readers, do you remember how you felt when you first wore them?
Well,  I was actually so excited to wear them.   I even wrote a blog post about it all of those years ago!  It's been almost 12 years. I really can't believe it!
Through the years, I have gone through many pairs and many styles of readers.  MANY pairs I tell you.  I always have a handful in rotation floating around the house.  All usually ending up next to my bed.  I try to save one favorite pair for special times.  And, I usually have one stronger pair designated to nights out for dinner.  Cause if you wear readers, I know you are with me on this!  Those dark restaurants always make me think that my eyes are worse than I thought! :)
The company I always lean towards is Readers.com.  I have found that for the price they can't be beat.  So many styles to choose from that you can have a handful of styles to choose from to match your mood (or your outfit!).   It's true what they say... happy eyes, happy wallet!
Well, guess what?  Those nice peeps at Readers.com are giving away a pair to 3 of MY readers.  You get to choose the style and the strength.  So, if interested, (for you or a friend!), please leave a comment here before Tuesday the 12th, 5pm EST.  I'll have the random number generator choose 3 names.

february knitcrate

Can you believe that tomorrow is March 1st?!!! SO crazy!
So, before the calendar actually flips, lets look at February's Knitcrate!
The theme is Good Vibes Only, a wish for 2019 to be better for everyone in our community and beyond.  A time of reflection on ourselves and our attitudes, and a call for us to be supportive of each other.  I personally try to live my life this way, so I totally felt as if I shouted a big "Hell Yes!" when I read this theme.  To support each other in every aspect of life... it truly is that simple.
Membership Crate.
Yarn :: 2 skeins Halo DK.   236 beautiful yards of 50% Alpaca, 30% Wool, and 20% Nylon.  A surprise of either two color ways.  Iridescent, glowing green Malachite and luminous purple, Electric Abalone.
Pattern ::  As always, 2 patterns.  The knitting pattern featured knitting designer Kiri Fitzgerald's Belita scarf, a combination of lace and squishy stitches.  It looks like a super fun knit.  And the crochet pattern by Jennifer Hayes.  Belle Askew is a shawl with a triangular shape featuring surprising details even to the knitter!  
Sock Crate.
Yarn :: Snow Stylish.  Well, this is one colorway I truly flipped over.  And doesn't the yarn knit into something so gosh darn amazing?!!!  Pure happiness!
Pattern ::  Maeve Zana designed this awesome pattern named Striped Lightning.  Maeve utilized the pooling of this variegated colorway in a truly exceptional way, celebrating the color changes with high-relief twisted stitches.

As always, your first crate is 20% off by using code FKW20 at checkout.    

l o v e

Hi there friends!
Wow.  I feel like this space needs a bit of dusting off.  I think it's been an entire month since I have visited here.  I believe that is the longest I have ever gone without checking into this space.  (In 12 1/2 years!!!)

My sweet mother fell on January 27th and broke her hip.  At 83 years old, that is a tough surgery to recover from.  My sisters and I spent 2 1/2 weeks with her, making some tough decisions and getting the new chapter of life implemented.  It truly is heartbreaking but we are so grateful to have this beautiful time with her.  Dementia sucks.  Totally sucks.  But, we are certain our mom feels the love when we are with her.  And that is what is all that matters.

While we were all together, my sister Shelly and I made 60 of these darling hearts for a friend's birthday.  From start to finish you can make a heart in about 10 minutes.  We used scraps of Lion Brand wool ease yarn.  They were totally therapeutic and came at the perfect time.  A lovely memory we will always have.

motive in february

Hiya Friends! Sorry for the crappy iPhone photo. I don't travel with my camera anymore and just rely on my iPhone. It's just so much easier. Except when I don't get the same quality photos.
I wanted to mention that I am teaching a class at Maker + Stitch in Edwards, Colorado on February 2nd!  I'm super excited.  We are going to make Motive mitts.  So while I was in Tahoe last week, I experimented with a couple of yarns.  I just made short cuffs to get to the fun part... the heart!  Not sure we like the mixture of the mohair for the heart.  (Just couldn't get the right gauge.)  Still debating and deciding on the specific yarn we will end up using.  
Lake Tahoe, January 17, 2019

But we will have a LOVE-ly time.  Can't wait!

the slouchy cardigan

If you have been here for a while, you know Greetings from Knit Cafe is truly one of my favorite books. It was published in 2006 and I still love it as much now as I did then. I'm not exactly sure how I ever heard of it, or how I received it. Did I buy it from my local yarn shop? Did my mom give it to me? I wish I could remember. But, what I do remember is that it's pages were turned by my hands so often that they are worn and remind me of this time. My kids were young. I knit every single night from 8pm-11pm.  I'm not kidding.  At one point I wanted to challenge myself to make everything in this book!
The author of the book is Suzan Mischer.  Suzan was a former CBS vice president and the owner of Knit Cafe, a sleek yet homey neighborhood yarn store on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles.  Oh, how I wish I had gone there. (It's doors are closed.) The book is a result of the shop and includes 30 patterns ranging from hiking socks to a bikini.  There are baby items, pillows, bags and my number one favorite the Slouchy Cardigan.  I made three of them and documented two here and here.  The cardigan has a hood but I omitted it in two of them and love them just the same.  They are still my most favorite, wearable sweaters in my wardrobe.  
My mom loved the pattern equally as much and made four of them!  This is her sporting one last week when Libby and I went for a quick visit.   The original book has a few pattern corrections.  I'm pretty sure they are on Ravelry.  Feel free to reach out if you need any help.  I also made some changes to the cap sleeve.   Those are documented here.
The bell sleeves are such a love of mine.  As are those hands.

(I have a hardcover but it looks like you can get a hard or soft cover here or here.)

turtle dove sweater

Okay friends!  There hasn't been a sweater like this to slide off my needles in quite some time.  Yes.  I usually love my projects.  Not all of them, but for the most part, they make me happy.  
 But this one?  It's just so darn wearable!  And the yarn is D R E A M Y.  Yes, a bit pricy, but, to me, it's worth every penny.  It just was a dream to knit with.  Truly feels like cashmere.
I love all of the simple details constructed into this pattern.  Soft turtle neck,  long ribbed sleeves, split hem.

I did make a few modifications to fit my body and needs.   (Listed below.)

Pattern:  Turtle Dove
Yarn:  Woolfolk, Luft Color L06, 9 skeins  (I bought mine here.)
Size:  S
Needles:  US 10 and 10.5  (I didn't have size 10.75)
Modifications:  I added 2" to the body + 1" to the ribbing of the body.  (So, total of 3".)  To the sleeves I added 2" + 2" to the ribbing of the sleeve.

a friend to knit with journal sale

Last year I introduced the "a friend to knit with" journal and I wanted to share with you how I use mine.  Of course, with the new year, I cracked open a new journal.
I developed a new way of organizing my projects and I really think it kept me on track with my knitting goals.  Maybe it can help with yours, too!
(That's my sketch of a knit sweater.😜  )
Okay.  So, I decide to break the year into quarters.  3 months is a very doable amount of time to accomplish a project.  Or at least 5 projects... of all different sizes.
In each quarter, I like to work on individual projects for the head (a hat or a scarf/neckwarmer) the hands (mittens, mitts) the heart (sweater, shawl/wrap) and the feet (socks/slippers).  I also like to try to come up with something I would like to knit on my own without using a pattern.
My 2018 journal went everywhere with me.  Well, at least everywhere my knitting went.  This journal is 50 pages of the most perfect grid of graph paper.  It contains a ruler inside the front cover for those time you forget your tape measure.  A pocket in the back will hold those extra yarn labels, receipts or love notes.  And, there is a calendar in the back to keep you on track with your knitting goals.
I had a page of projects that I might consider making.  And, I would list the project I actually worked on and check it off when I finished.  A total sense of accomplishment!
In the actual journal I jotted down ideas, recipes, to do lists.  But always my notes on a project.  A great way to keep track of charts and graphs.  Start and finish dates, as well.  
Of course, you can do this in any notebook but the "a friend to knit with journal" will be a constant reminder of this bond we all share.  :)  We all have a friend to knit with!

To celebrate the new year, I am going to offer 15% off journals until January 9th at midnight.  No code necessary, I dropped the price by 15%.   (It is usually $17.00)  Orders will ship on January 10th.

Happy journaling!

december knitcrate

Hello sweet friends to knit with!  Happy HAPPY new year to you!  It's page 2 of your 2019 365 page book.  How exciting!  I have a new list of things I would like to work on for this year.  And, of course, I always set some knitting goals.  Because, well, that is what makes my heart sing most.  
I'll fill you in later on in the week of how I organize my knitting goals.  But first, I wanted to share the December Knitcrates.
December sock crate is full of self striping fun.  The skeins cycle through four bold stripes of color (ending and starting with the same shade).  I am super excited to cast on for these and see these come to life.
And this cute little pin came in the sock crate as well.  I'm thrilled to start a little collection to decorate my bag! :)
Yarn: Vidalana Ember sport in Holly  (70% Merino wool, 20% nylon, 10% silk)
Pattern:  Holiday Candy by Myna Vayner
December membership crate included 2 skeins of heathered chunky.  And as always, two patterns.  One knit and one crochet.  I love that you can always just stash your yarn or use it for a different pattern.  I'm thinking of a chunky knit beanie with a faux pom for this yarn.

Yarn:  Vidalana Heathered Chunky in Clementine  100% wool
Pattern: knit, Breaks in the Line
             crochet, Snow Bonnet

As always, your first crate is 20% off by using code FKW20 at checkout.

New Year!
New Projects!
Now let's get knitting!