beatrice mitts

Like I said... I am crazy about this yarn.
And, I feel like I get extra bonus points for lining up the stripes!  (Always the hardest part for me!)

Yarn:  Trench Coat by turtle purl  approximately 225 yards.  The yarn is shipped in two skeins of approximately 225 yards with a total of 450 yards.  One pair of mitts uses one skein.  Therefore, you are able to get two pairs out of one order.  (Two skeins.)
Pattern: Beatrice Mitts
Needle:  US 2

*The free pattern for Beatrice Mitts will be coming soon!  ๐Ÿ˜

this yarn...

I am crazy about this yarn.  ( And so happy I finally have a pattern to use for some of my stash sock yarn. I'll be sure to write it up when I am finished.)  And here is the great thing.  You get two small skeins in the order.  One skein makes one pair.  SO, two pairs or two gifts can be made with one order.  Love it!

A note about the yarn if you happen to purchase it.  Apparently, it is not colorfast.  Meaning, it will bleed when washed.  (WHAT?!!!)  I found a great tip which I will definitely try before I wash them.

Happy Monday Friends!

rain or shine sweater

Back in September I spent a few days in Nashville.  Of course, I hit one of the local yarn stores, Bliss yarns.  The store was lovely.  I love when a yarn store has a lot of updated sample sweaters.  Really makes it inspiring and changes the shopping mood.  (Take note yarn stores!)  Upon walking in,  I immediately spotted a sample of the Rain or Shine sweater and knew I wanted to make one for myself.
The lovely owner let me try on her sample.  (Another benefit of having samples!) It just felt so good.  Not at all binding.  Super light and flowy.  The drape was a dream.  I inquired what yarn she used and asked for her to share her notes.   She used Manos Del Uruguay, Milo, which calls for needle size 4-6 however she went up a size in order to achieve the drape she wanted. 

I cast on at the beginning of October (October 2)and gave myself a month deadline.  (I LOVE a goal!) Happily finishing on October 31!  It was a dream to work on.  Really super easy with a memorable pattern repeat.  At one point you have a lot of stitches on the needle but just round and round you go!  It was also a surprisingly easy knit to travel with as well.  It just seemed to melt into nothing.  Thank you Milo!

Pattern:  Rain or Shine
Yarn:  Manos Del Uruguay Milo color 12800, Natural 3 skeins.
Needles:  US 7
Gauge 5 st = 1"
Size:  Size 1, cropped
Mods:  As per the shop owner at Bliss Yarns, I went up a needle size.  This threw off  the gauge  but since it is such a boxy sweater, it didn't matter.  I was going for the drape, not necessarily the fit.


Happy Friday, friends!

vote for AFTKW

Hi there friends! So the sweet peeps over at Love Crafts nominated A Friend To Knit With for a love Craftie award.  I was so thrilled to hear this.   The Craftie award recognizes bloggers and gives you a chance to show your love too!  I would love (so much Love!) and so appreciate it if you could take a few extra minutes and head over to LOVE CRAFTS to give AFTKW a vote!  You just have to scroll down a little and hit the "Vote For Your Fave" button.  There is a list of top blogs in several different categories so you might just find a new favorite and become even more inspired to Create!

Voting ends November 18.

Thank you so much in advance.  ☺️❤️

xx, leslie

faux leather labels and faux cables

I have been wanting to purchase some of these cool faux leather labels, to sew on hand knit items, for some time.  Just really never took the time to research the selection out there.  Finally, I headed straight to etsy and entered my search, settling on this cute shop.  This exact size label wasn't offered, but the shop owner had no problem making what I wanted and she was really great to work with.
She has a lot of font's to choose from... this being my hardest part of the process!
I am absolutely thrilled with how they turned out.
And these mitts?  Oh boy do I love them.  The faux cables were so much fun to make and the yarn is dreamy.  This pair took only one skein of the two skeins included in my July Knitcrate.  Since these are a gift for a friend, I will be able to make another pair.  Yippee.
Pattern:  Ringleader Handwarmers
Yarn:  Knitologie Glowing Worsted 40% Superwash Merino, 30% Silk, 30% Apaca by Knitcrate
Size:  B

Labels by Paper Sushi

hello friends

Well, hello friends!
I just can't believe it has been a month since I have been here.  I think time is going faster than ever.
Life has been busier.  And does anyone with an empty nest feel like you are busier than when the kids were young?  How is that even possible.  I guess we just trade different aspects of being "busy".

The last month has been spent packing and unpacking my suitcase.  Had a fun trip to Cabo for my husbands job, the best trip to Boulder to visit my college girl, Libby, a really awesome trip to Aspen to see friends, and a loving trip to Florida to be with my sweet mom.

I have been knitting all along the way.  Made a sweater.  A pair of mitts.  And the two tone twist up there.  We are approaching the coziest time of year and that one is perfect for it.

I'll be back to share more soon!

weekender sweater with crew neck

I must say, I am pretty happy this sweater is off the needles and I can honestly say I like it.
As I mentioned, I wasn't happy with the neckline of the Weekender on me.  It's not that I don't like how it looks, I think it truly is one of the most darling sweaters out there, I just didn't like how the boatneck felt on me.
So, I decided to rework the neckline into a simple crew.  This feels so much better on my neck.  This I can wear.
I've put the changes I have made over on Ravelry.  But, only for my size.  If you would like help, however, I am happy to help.

Oh!  And one small thing.  This yarn is Malibrigo Rios.  A superwash yarn which can be machine washed and dried.  Um.  I did just that and it shrunk!  I need to rewash and pull and try to reshape it to the original size.  It's a lot smaller than it was.  Ugh.

Pattern:  The Weekender
Yarn:  Malabrigo Rios, 063 Natural 5 skeins
Size: S
Needles: US 7 and 8

the most amazing pumpkin bread

I wanted to send my college kids a care package so that gave me an excuse to bake pumpkin bread. (It's finally fall!)  It just happens to be everyones favorite in our family!  My girlfriend Amy makes and gifts this bread all fall and we just happened to be the lucky recipient on a few occasions.  
 It's amazing alone but the cream cheese frosting is the real show stopper.  It's truly AMAZING.
 Charlie showed up just in time and snagged the plate I was photographing.  Pretty fitting that he was wearing a gingham shirt that matched my napkin!
{Um.  Pass your plate, Charlie.  I'll eat your icing.} 

Pumpkin Bread:
4 eggs
2/3 cup water
1 cup oil (I used avocado)
1 15 oz can pumpkin
3 1/2 cups flour
3 cups sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp clove
(you can also use pumpkin pie seasoning)
nuts (optional - i don't use them)

-Beat eggs; add oil, water and pumpkin.  Add dry ingredients.  Mix well.  Bake in a greased and floured loaf pan at 350˚ for 45-60 min until cooked through.  Makes 2 regular sized loaves or 4-6 small depending on the size of your loaf pans.  A good rule of thumb is to not fill your loaf pan more than 1/2 way full!  

Cream Cheese Icing:
1/2 cup butter
8 oz cream cheese
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

-Beat until creamy!

Enjoy your weekend.  Temps have just dipped in the last 24 hours and all I want to do is knit.  (Naturally!)
I finished my Weekender.  I quite like it!  Pics next week.
Onto my new project!

my mom turned 84 yesterday

{Circa 1977}
My sweet mom was a nurse.  During this point in her life she was a school nurse.  At the high school where my sisters and I attended.  It was pretty cool to have her as our school nurse.
I love this photo of her in the nurses office.  Knitting away.  And I remember that sweater with it's stripes wrapping around the sleeves.  Her fingernails painted as usual.  I just wish I knew what was on that piece of paper that was making her so happy.

Happy Birthday Mom.  I love you with all of my heart.

reworking the neckline of the weekender

I've reworked the neckline of my second Weekender.   I'll be sure to share if I like it!  It's going to be just a simple crew.  Like many sweaters, the weekend is knit both flat (stockinette) and in the round.  I've never noticed my tention being off so much like it is with this Weekender.
I have a goal to get this lovely off of the needles by the end of the week.
P.S.  It's almost sweater weather!

i needed to break up

Yesterday it became clear to me what needed to happen.  I had been thinking about this for a while.  Some things just don't feel right.  Like the fact that I knit you on the wrong side.  See, things just haven't been good for a while.  And then the hole.  After I washed you.  I thought it was me.  That I did something wrong like dropped a stitch.  But, then I realized that it was a break in the yarn.  And then your neck.  It just didn't feel right.  I tried.  Honestly.  I tried to make you the right sweater for me.  
But things just couldn't go on any longer like this.  I'm sorry.  I'm going to need to break up with you weekender.  But please know.  It's not you beautiful Weekender pattern.  It's me.  It's all me.

i knit a sock

As I mentioned, I spent 10 days out west.  As usual, I packed several knitting projects.   Before I even pack my clothes, I pack my knitting projects.  

Yarn :: ✔️
Pattern :: ✔️
Needles ::✔️
Notions ::✔️

I was packed and ready to go.  Only two projects (a pair of socks and a pair of mitts)  and feeling pretty nervous about not having enough.  But this trip was different.  I barely knit.  I'm not sure why.  Maybe just too busy?  Now that sounds ridiculous.  But maybe.  Just maybe. However, I did manage to finally complete a pair of socks.  Now, don't go thinking I knit the entire pair while away.  I've been working on this pair all summer.  In truth, I knit half of a sock.  ๐Ÿ˜Š
And I was pretty darn happy with that.
The pattern really is super darling.  It's from one of my Knitcrates.  May's knitcrate to be exact.
That little butterfly pattern was so much fun to knit.  And I'm happy to say, that I am wearing them right now.  Cool temps this morning ya know.  Or maybe it's the air conditioner!

Happy Friday the 13th!  

fall ready

I'm ready for fall.  I am.  I truly am.  I thought I would be so sad to see summer end.  But you know, I am feeling pretty giddy about fall.  Warm days, cool nights.  I'm IN.
We just came home from 10 days in Lake Tahoe and the last weekend was a gift.  My sisters and husbands traveled out so that we could all be together.  
Time in the Sierra Nevada's.  With my man, my sisters and my Hipster Shawl totally put me in the mood.  I LOVE hand knits!
Lake Tahoe, September 10, 2019
And my family.  ❤️

july/august knitcrate

Well, hello.  I can't believe I forgot to show you July Knitcrate.  And it was a good one!  And by good one, I mean I seriously couldn't stop touching the yarn. Must be the silk.  Or the Merino.  Or maybe the Baby Alpaca.  It is just so yummy and soft and the pattern is right up my alley.  
Membership Crate:
Yarn:  Knitologie Glowing Worsted. 40% Superwash Merino, 30% Silk, and 30% Baby Alpaca  Available in 3 colors.  This is the color way Flying Trapeze.
Pattern:
    Knitting: Ringleader.  A super cute fingerless mitt pattern.  I'm all over it.  Actually winding my balls of yarn today!
    Crochet:  Risley Cowl.
And this is the August Knitcrate.  (Can you believe it is almost September!)
     Extras:  Well, I forgot to take a photo but the crate included a cute little elephant progress keeper.  I was already using it on my Weekender!
Membership Crate:
Yarn:  Knitologie Worsted Merino.  100% Superwash Merino Wool  Available in 3 colors.  This is the color way Kestrel.
Patterns:
     Knitting:  Eklutna Lakeside Shawl.  The perfect knit in preperation for fall.  Created for the late summer scene in mind.
     Crochet:  Alpine Leg warmers.
The extra:  just a couple of darling stitches.  I immediately put them in my knitting journal.  Cause you know, I love stickers and pens and all the paper things.

As always your first knitcrate is 20% off by using the code FKW20 at checkout!

melted mirage

While in Barcelona in the Spring we happily stumbled upon a cute little yarn shop.  (I wrote about it here.)  Inside, the walls were filled with colorful skeins of yarn and shop samples.  Simply stunning.  As I do in all yarn shops I visit,while in another country, I asked if they had any local yarn.  I was thrilled to see an entire wall filled with all things local.  
I'm not one for purchasing yarn without a pattern.  (Unless it is a skein of worsted that I know I can use to make a pair of Toast. ) So, I checked the sample wall in the shop and fell in love with her version of the Melted Mirage.  I tried on the drapey shawl and just loved the way it felt.  Lightweight yet warm. It just so happened that the owner knit it out of this same yarn.  
I tried all sorts of color combinations but in the end settled on these two beauties.  Just two colors and the brioche stitch.  This time I am inserting a lifeline every so often.  Cause I haven't come close to mastering how to repair brioche mistakes!

Happy weekend, friends!

flock ack

Last month I had the honor and complete pleasure of being invited to Nantucket. Wow. What a magical place that is! Honestly, If you've never been, grab your flock and get yourself there!
Hahaha.  I crack myself up!  You see,  fLoCk just happens to be the name of the most awesome yarn shop in Nantucket!
That's me up there.  In front of fLoCk, sporting one of the shops samples that I fell in love with.  
Well, the sweet/cool/creative owner, made the pattern using 2 skeins of knit collage yarn.  I agree, it's not an everyday hat.  Or maybe for some it is.  It's just one that I wouldn't wear everyday.  It's more of a statement hat, don't ya think?  (Whatever that means.)
Of course, I bought the yarn to make one.  I just had to!

I"m waiting on the pattern.  The owner just sort of winged it and she needs to write it down.  And she really needs to find the time to do that.  I totally get that, as time is scarce and lives are busy.  I'm good waiting.  Cause the yarn is great to look at all on its own.
By the way... fLoCk sells homemade sourdough bread made fresh daily.  How awesome is that?!  I never wanted to leave.

my weekender

So, I'm in Chesterton, Indiana with my Andrew for a golf tournament and for some reason I was reminded of my Weekender sweater.  You see, I have had some issues with it.
For those of you not familiar with the Weekender sweater, this is what it should look like.  The slipped stitch seam down the center of the front and the back is what is particularly appealing to most.  And, quite honestly, what makes this sweater special.
The sweater is worn on the purl side, but is knit on the knit side.  Andrea did this because most of us prefer the knit stitch over the purl stitch.  (Yes, definitely me!) So, when you are finished knitting, you just flip it purl side out.  However, when I was knitting mine, I alternated the balls of yarn to prevent pooling.  (Turns out that was unnecessary as there wasn't any pooling.)  And I ran my yarn inside (on the purl side) and that was the RIGHT side of the sweater.  ๐Ÿคฆ‍♀️ I didn't realize this until I was separating for the sleeves.  I decided to just leave it and wear this one so that the knit stitch would be the right side of the sweater.  (Confused yet?)
So here it is before I blocked it. (Knit side out.) I was pretty happy at this point.  I tried it on, it fit nicely.  I decided it would be one of those sweaters I can wear a lot.  I have been wanting a navy sweater so the color is pretty much perfect.
Last week while visiting my sweet mom, I had some time to block it.  I thought drying it in the Florida sunshine would be nice.  Well, Malibrigo Rios is superwash.  And superwash yarn grows.  So, from the washing machine to the dryer it went.  It was reverted to the original size and all was well.  However, it wasn't.  Because, a hole was found in the front of the sweater where the yarn broke somewhere in the process. ๐Ÿ˜ซ I have never had this happen before.   It's currently sitting in time out until I decide what to do. (Chances are I will probably see if I can mend the hole.But I may consider ripping it out. )
In the meantime... I"ll work on a pair of socks.  ☺️

homemade granola

Hiya friends!
Well, I finally perfected my favorite kind of granola, and I want to share it with you.
You see, I like chunky, yet a little flaky, granola.  You know the kind.  The kind where you don't make a mess when you go to shove a big handful into your mouth. The kind where you can grab a chunk and shove that into your mouth instead!   I've been working on this for years.  Years I tell you!  And, the magical day I made a batch that was just the right consistency, I said OHYA!  Write this one down girl!
{the dry ingredients}
But, here's the thing.  I use all ingredients from Trader Joes.  Which is great for those of you that have one near you. It's also great, because the only thing you will need to measure will be the coconut oil and the honey.  But for those that don't have a Trader Joes near you, I will tell you the amount in each bag.  Oh!  The only other possible bummer may be that this recipe makes A LOT.  However, we have found that it freezes beautifully.  The other great thing is that you will have enough to give to your friends you knit with!  Or heck, those non knitters are worthy too.  ☺️
{tthe liquid ingredients}
Okay.  You are gonna need a big roaster for this amount.  You know the one you use for your turkey? Yep.  That's the one.  If you don't have one, I"m sure a friend does!
So, dump all of the dry ingredients into the roasting pan.  And give it a quick stir with your clean hands.  Easy peasy.
Next, mix the melted coconut oil together with the honey and pour it over the mixture.
And you guessed it.  Mix it with your hands.  This part is a little messy.  And sticky.  But don't be scared.  It washes off rather well.
Next you are going to bake in a 350˚ preheated oven.  It's gonna take about an hour.  So leave yourself enough time.  Here's the important part.  You are gonna need to stir every 15 minutes to get it evenly browned.  So get your knitting ready, pour yourself a cup of tea, and set your alarm for 15 minute intervals.  At the hour mark  (your 4th time stirring) I start stirring every 3 minutes or so.  Just to get it that right golden color.
My favorite way to eat this these days is on aรงaรญ bowls or any smoothie bowl.  (Do you know how to make those?  Super easy.  Let me know if you need help with those.  Maybe I should do a blog post on the how to's for a bowl.)  But you can eat it in a bowl with your favorite milk, over yogurt or ice cream.  And there is always the just grab a big handful.  The skies the limit!

Ingredients:
1 bag Rolled Oats (Gluten Free) 10 cups
1 bag unsalted, dry toasted Pecan Pieces / 2 cups
1 bag unsalted dry toasted Sliced Almonds / 2 cups
1 bag organic unsweetened flake coconut / 1 3/4 cups
1 bag organic unsweetened coconut chips / 1 3/4 cups
1/2 bag 50% less salt roast & salted cashews / 2 cups
1 bag dried cranberries (or your favorite dried fruit)  /  2 cups
Liquid Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups triple filtered coconut oil
1 3/4 cup honey

Directions:
Combine all bags of ingredients except for the cranberries into a roasting pan.  Add 1/2 bag of cashews.  Mix with your hands.  
Melt coconut oil in the microwave.  Add honey.  Stir to blend as well as possible.  Pour mixture over dry ingredients.  Stir well with your hands. 

Bake at 350˚ for an hour stirring every 15 minutes with a wooden spoon.  Remove from oven and add the bag of cranberries.  Stir to combine.  Bake an additional 3 minutes or so (depending on your oven) until your granola is evenly browned to that golden color.  Watch carefully as to not burn.

Remove from oven.  Press down granola firmly into pan.  Let cool.  

After cool, break apart pieces.  Store in an airtight container.  You can use freezer bags to store in smaller portions. 

Enjoy!  

hiya friends!

Well, hello there, sweet friends!  Happy July!
{My current obsession... Potato skin filled with avacodo.  My version of avocado toast.}

For me, July seems like the beginning of summer.  Maybe it was because we were away so much in June.  I literally spent the night in my bed 4 nights all month.  Crazy, but good.  I was in Florida visiting my sweet mama for the first week.  The second half of the month was spent in Boulder, CO visiting Libby and then Steve and I grabbed her and headed to Lake Tahoe for a couple of weeks.  Five out of our six kids were there.  It was FUN!  Steve and I finished the month in Calistoga, Ca  with a little (A LOT) of wine tasting.

Now I am home... for a bit.  Libby is home for a quick minute, and that has been special.  Andrew is home for the summer and it has been great.  A lot of golf for him.  And of course, I try to get Charlie to come home whenever he can.  Always bribing him with food.

But the big news is... I got a new computer! ๐Ÿ˜  I haven't spent much time on my computer lately because I literally ran out of space.  With the amount of photos I have taken through the years, it literally took up all of my space. (50,000+)   I know, I know,  delete them or put them on a hard drive.  But, that just doesn't work for me because the chances of me plugging in the external hard drive to into my computer to find the one photo I am looking for just was never going to work for me.  SO, I would spend hours deleting 500 photos so that I could upload 10 photos.  Ack.  It was driving me crazy.

SO... I'm back with my computer and my camera and I plan on visiting this space a lot more often.

Hope knitting is happening a lot in your lives.  Just wait till you see my Weekender.  ๐Ÿ™„

june knitcrate

I was so excited to see this new yarn from Knitcrate. And the sweet extra had me thinking oh YA! A new tape measure!
Membership Crate:
Yarn: 2 skeins of squishy Vidalana Aloft.   Aloft is 48% merino wool, 32% Organic Pima Cotton, and 20% Baby Alpaca blend that is chainette-plied, meaning that each strand is like a tiny braid.  Therefore, it gives each strand amazing definition.   My crate contained Tiger lily.  A beautiful creamsicle orange.
Pattern:  Both patterns (the knit and the crochet) are by Susan Lowman.
Knitting:  Rows of Lavender.  A sweet crescent shawl with a picot edge and faux cables and twisted stitches.
Crochet:  Golden Afternoon.
Bonus:  A sweet tape measure covered in fabric with a sweet house

As always your first knitcrate is 20% off by using the code FKW20 at checkout!

11 years, 1 week, 1 day

I started this project on June 2, 2008.  Yep.  I worked on it that summer and fall quite a bit taking it to all my kids sporting events.  Then I just became tired of the seed stitch.  Over the years I picked it up a few times.  Maybe knitting one color.   However, for at least the last 6 years it sat in a bag.  Four years ago I moved it to the laundry room thinking if I could see it, then maybe I would work on it.  Occasionally it would catch my eye, but most days my eyes would gaze over it not giving it a thought.
Then one day, I felt as if it were longingly looking at me as if to say, "Please give me some love, Leslie".  So I picked it up, organized the yarn and decided to finish it before starting anything else.
This project sat on that set of US 7 needles for 11 years, 1 week and 1 day.  So grateful to free both the needles and the blanket.  It truly was a labor of love.

Pattern:  Seed Stitch Throw
Yarn:  Classic Elite Four Seasons