i finally made a ranunculus

Happy December! Can you believe it! Just like that it's another December! Today I put away the fall decor and this evening we are going to bring out some of the Christmas decorations. I'm always a little sad to put away fall but I am excited to see the house decorated for Christmas!

 I finished my Ranunuclus a couple of weeks ago and couldn't be happier.  I've wanted a white sweater for some time and don't know why it took me so long to make one.  
Well, actually, I do know why... the same reason so many other knitters shy away from white.  First, your hands need to be clean when knitting with white.  And second you need to be careful when wearing white.

Well, I'm taking a different approach.  I'm going to wear it.  And wear it often.  I'm going to drink coffee and wine and eat all sorts of food while wearing it.  I'm going to treat it well but not baby it.  And if something shall fall onto it and stain those precious stitches I will promptly ship it to my friend Gina from SkeinCocaine and ask her to dye it and remake it into something beautiful.  

Pattern: Ranunculus
Yarn:  3 skeins Vidalana Ascendance in Limestone 
Needle Size: US 9 (By mistake!  The pattern calls for US 10)
Size: Small
Mods:  I didn't make any modifications but wish I did!  I would have picked up more stitches in the underarm!  Next time!  

bandana cowl

The Bandana Cowl has been around for a while but I guess it took a KAL for me to become aware of it! I am so happy I finally did!

I can see a bunch of these in my future.  It was exactly what I needed to feel some instant gratification and check a few gifts off of my list.  
It's a free pattern over on Ravelry and I followed the pattern exactly also using used recommended yarn.  It's soft and cozy with zero itch factor for my skin.  I wouldn't say I am extremely sensitive when it comes to wool around my neck but I certainly am somewhat sensitive.  And this 100% Extra Fine Merino doesn't bother me at all.
While I was knitting, I was ordering more yarn.  That is a true mark of good wool!
I also asked my husband if he would like one.  He mentioned that he would love a cashmere one.  Ha!  Who wouldn't.  But of course, I aim to please, so I ordered the Jade Saphire for his gift.  (You will need 2 skeins, and make sure you order the 8 ply!)

The Plenty yarn leaves you with absolutely tails of yarn left.  That's it.  I LOVE when I don't have any yarn left!  

Purl Soho is hosting a KAL that started in October and runs to the end of this month, November 30.  Hop on over to check out the prizes (Amazing!) and enter to win!

Pattern:  Bandana Cowl
Yarn: Plenty, 139 yards in Reed Grey and Night Blue
Needles:  US 10
Size:  One size

the peach truck

Summer has slipped away and although these memories are a bit distant they still bear mentioning.  
For the past two summers, this was a highlight.  It's a simple pleasure and I am very grateful to have had this experience.  
I think everyone has at least one fruit they associate with summer.  
For me, it's strawberries warmed by the sun, ice cold watermelon cut in cubes and peaches that drip down your hand while you are eating them.  
Has The Peach Truck come to your area? If you ever see it, I am here to tell you they are some of the most amazing peaches I have ever eaten.  You can preorder and then pick up from the giant orange truck dishing out 25lb box's of peaches to be exact.  I plan on making it a reoccurring summer activity.  They are just that good.  And it just screams summer!

Delivering since 2012 but I didn't catch wind of this until last year!  
There were a lot of recipes running through my mind and ideas of things I wanted to do with this batch of peaches.  This recipe was definitely on top of the list.  And it did NOT disappoint!  

In the end, I didn't use many peaches in this recipe but this cheesecake is OUT OF THIS WORLD!  
I highly recommend watching her gorgeous video for all of her tips.  I just love the mindfulness she puts into making.  If you want to give your taste buds a lot of joy get to the kitchen NOW!  And maybe throw a little pumpkin seasoning into the batter.  That is what I will be doing.  

robinia sweater

My latest project off the needles; The Robinia Sweater by Anne Ventzel. 
From the anticipation of receiving the yarn to the completion of this knit, the process was a true joy.  
I received this yarn via special delivery to a hotel in Porto, Portugal arriving from Denmark.  That in itself seems a bit magical to me.
 You see, I had the urge to immediately cast on for this sweater from the first sighting on Anne Ventzel's instragram account.  She dangled her soon to be released pattern in front of our eyes and I fell in love.  I immediately messaged my friends over at önling to inquire if they would perhaps be putting together some kits for this beauty.  I relayed what colors I would be interested in making and önling did not disappoint! 
I wanted to work on this project while traveling, however, we were not sure the yarn would arrive before we left in mid September.  We were headed to Madrid with Libby to help her get settled for her new adventure.   (Teaching English for the next 10 months.)  We then would be traveling to Portugal so arranged for the yarn to be shipped to a hotel in Porto, Portugal.      
You can only imagine my anticipation when arriving to the hotel!  I was met with the most wonderful package filled with not only yarn but a few treats to heighten the experience even more; a beautiful knitting bag to accompany me on my trip.  
I've thought so much about our knitting projects and how they relate to our lives.  It's almost like little flings.  Little bursts of time spent with something you love.  
This one project was like a beautiful love affair.  I took it on my journey both mentally and physically.  

 In the vineyards of the Duorro Valley, on the planes, boats and trains, at the beach and in the cities of Portugal and then back to Spain with Charlie and Shelly to visit Libby.  This knit has all of those memories and emotions woven through the stitches and will be felt every time I wear it.  I am forever grateful.  

Pattern:  Robinia Sweater
Yarn: Held single:  Isager Eco Soft, 3 skeins (actually only used 2, but it is nice to have an extra!)
Held triple:  Isager Tweed 3 skeins in Mustard , önling silk mohair no. 10 4 balls in color 1916 , önling No. 12, 1 cone in color Camel, no. 37. 
Size: S
Needles:  US 6, US 7, US 8
Mods:  Absolutely zero.  I followed the pattern exactly.  I did run into a bit of an issue on the neckline as mine was a bit loose so I rectified that by using elastic thread to tighten.  
I must say holding 3 different yarns can be a bit tricky so I found that when I placed all three next to me on the floor it made it easier to pull from all three at the same time. 

a quarter of a century

Wow. When I first started writing in this space, my girl turned nine. Today she turns twenty five. Holy cow.
There is so much magic in her I can't believe she is even mine.  I thank God for my children and the gift of raising them every single day.  
She is living for the year in Madrid, Spain.   I made her a Daily Pullover to take with her and I am always thrilled when she texts me a photo and she is wearing it.  She has told me it is her all time favorite sweater.  She even text me a photo this morning of her Birthday Outfit.  (Photo below.)
We talked about the Daily Pullover on Episode 30 right before we left for Madrid.  It feels weird to not have her in this country.  Especially for her birthday.
But it helps when you copy her outfit.   HA!

Yarn:  Linen Quill in Kettle Black
Needles:  US 4
Mods:  The pattern calls for short rows in the upper back and in the bottom of the sweater.  I decided to omit those rows altogether for Libby's version.  I think it worked out perfectly fine and will omit those sections on my next Daily Pullover.  

dusting off this space

Well, hello there! It's been a while!
I can't believe it has been almost 2 months since I have been here.

I've been traveling a lot.  

Madrid ✔️
Porto ✔️
Duoro Valley ✔️
Algarve ✔️
Lisbon ✔️
Philadelphia ✔️
Barcelona ✔️
Madrid ✔️
Nashville ✔️
Phoenix ✔️
Sedona ✔️
Los Angeles ✔️

Yep.  That pretty much covers the places I covered in the last couple of months.  It was great.  I mean really great.  But, now it's time to get some things accomplished at home and take care of some business! 
My mind is swirling with things I want to knit and things I want to do.  Basically, I just want to make all the things!

Happy November, friends!  xx 

never ending story sweater

Okay... I'm going to start off by saying "YAY! It's off the needles!"
I actually have not had that feeling about a project in a long time. This is one I just had to power through.

I'll blame the half fisherman rib for that.  Shouldn't have been a surprise to me as the pattern is clearly a Half-Fisherman Rib knit!  
The thing is, I had never knit an entire sweater in half fisherman rib.
I love the yarn choice and bought this in several colors as it is a dreamy cotton. (I believe it about to become discontinued.)  I had plans to make a few but probably need to search for another cotton sweater to make instead.  

 Pattern:  Never Ending Story Sweater by Susanne Muller
Yarn:  Buttercup cotton by Purl Soho in Woodland Gray
Size: S
Needles:  US 4 for body and US 2 for cuff's.
Thoughts:  I absolutely love wearing this and truly would love one in black.  However, I am just not sure I can power through again.  It wasn't as if I thought this was an "enjoyable" knit.  I felt that the pattern was a bit tricky in some areas.  I also worked on the i-cord neckline a few times trying to get the right side to look like the left.  A friend over on YouTube suggested that maybe picking up stitches on the "down" side is different than when picking them on the "up" side.  Perhaps.  

number 29

If you are interested in seeing my finished Never Ending Story Sweater and learning where I purchased  this really awesome bag, I talked all about it on the latest episode over on the YouTube Channel.  
And this is a behind the scene shot of my very professional set up and the above photo being taken.  ☺️😂

never ending story sweater

I've been working on the Never Ending Story Sweater.  I absolutely love the look of this pattern but my work looks sloppy to me.  I'm hoping things will all even out in the blocking process.  I really struggled with the neckline.  More on that later.  
Loving the yarn choice and definitely will make more summer sweaters out of this lovely cotton.  It may be discontinued soon as I bought it on sale and it doesn't look like Purl Soho is replenishing their stock.  
 We have been travling out west visiting two of our kids and this knit has been lucky to be along for the fun! 


Last week while I was swimming my morning laps I had an urge to eat a biscotti.  Not a usual craving for me for as I am swimming.  I am usually thinking about toast.  And actually, any toast will do.  Must be a carb craving.  But this particular morning it was Biscotti.  Orange walnut to be exact.   

As soon as I arrived back home I searched my recipes for a particular recipe that someone gave me years ago.  I had never made them but remember eating hers and enjoying the soft texture which I really like in a biscotti instead of the traditional crunchy ones.  
While my hair was still wet I was mixing the dough and sneaking in tastes that made my mouth wanting more.  I made one batch of orange walnut and then while they were baking made more dough to make an almond version.  I made two smaller "logs" with this batch instead of the one big "log" I used for the Orange Walnut. One log will give you a big biscotti and two logs will give you smaller biscotti.   In the end I couldn't decide which flavor or size I preferred more.  
Easy Biscotti
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt 
3 eggs
1 1/4 cup sugar
1-2 tsp extract of your choice
1 cup of nuts of your choice

Preheat oven to 300˚.  Combine flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.   Mix eggs and sugar.  Add extract.  Mix in dry ingredients and then nuts.  Form into either one big "log" or two small "logs" onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Slightly flatten dough.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool slightly.  Cut with serrated knife into one inch strips.  Turn on side and bake for 2 minutes.  Flip onto other side and bake an additional two minutes.  Let cool on rack.  

If you like a crunchier biscotti bake longer durning this second baking time.  (6 minutes per side.)
For the orange walnut, I used 2 tsp of orange extract and 1 cup of walnuts.  For the almond version I used 1 tsp almond extract, 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1 cup of slivered almonds.  

After baking, grab your knitting, a cup of hot tea or coffee and start dunking!  

simple stripes sweater

This is without a doubt one of those sweaters that when it came off the needles I slipped it on and felt a huge "I LOVE THIS SWEATER" sort of feeling!
Is it the softness of the yarn?  Definitely.
Is it the weight of the yarn?  Absolutely.
Is it the colors?  Um, YES.
Is it the delicious visual candy?  Of course!
Is it the fit of the sweater?  Y.  E.  S.  

I've made this sweater before in a brighter palette and didn't think that one could be topped.  But for this time of year, this will certainly be the one I gravitate towards.  
I love how each mini  has its own show going on.  Some gave a soft speckle (SPARKLE!)  and some gave a more bold speckle. (SPARKLE!) And some just did a little stripe dance all on their own.  

I knew I liked this pattern because of my first go around.  And this just confirmed what a great pattern it was.  And although I adore stripes and the feeling that comes once a color is completed, I'd love to try this out in some sort of a solid yarn or variegated yarn.  My mind has been racing with ideas.  

 Pattern:  Simple Stripes by Suvi Knits
Needles:  US 4
Size:  M
Mods:  The pattern is written for 5 colors and repeat of the colors 3x.  However, the Perfect Palette comes with 15 mini's in 15 luscious colors.  For this version, I omitted 3 of the colors in order to make it a little shorter.  Each body stripe has 13 rows and each arm stripe has either 10 or 11 rows depending on how much yarn I had.  I'm not too fussy in the fact that they both have to match perfectly and in the end they both ended up the same length.  

You can see this sweater in action during this YouTube episode.

eat cake

Hi!  In my blogging lifetime (almost 16 years!  WHAT?!)  I have mentioned how summer tends to kick my butt and this summer is no different.  You know when your kids fly the coup and you think life will probably slow down?  Well, I'm here to tell you it doesn't.  And, I am totally okay with that.  I currently have two children at home and I am loving every minute.  Andrew has been home since December as he took a semester off of school and in June I flew to Denver and drove home with Libby.  Libby will be home until September and then she will be moving to Madrid for at least a year to teach English.  
(Super exciting times!)

The other day Libby was asking why cake isn't made more often.  It's true.  I don't know about you, but I only make cake for birthdays.  Or holidays.  Or I make a breakfast cake.  Like banana bread, or zucchini bread or coconut bread, but those are really considered bread so those don't count.   I never whip out the Kitchen-aid mixer and make a good old fashioned vanilla cake for no reason.  
Libby and I decided we should change that!  Libby scoured the internet and found a recipe that looked delicious but required amounts of ingredients that we did not have, so she cut the recipe in half.  
And let me ask the question... Why isn't that done more often either?  Because hey!   A single layered cake is the perfect size for dessert.  You know, just to satisfy the cake craving!  

My heart grew a few sizes when Libby wanted to make a stencil to decorate the cake just like I have for all those years decorating birthday cakes.  

Eat Cake!  

best friend butterfly blanket

 I don't think I have mentioned this blanket in this space before.  Only on my YouTube channel.

However, I want to make sure you have access to it also!

This baby blanket was born of a love for my grandmother, Lillie, and her butterfly blankets.  If you were lucky enough to be my grandmother's friend, then you were lucky enough to receive a butterfly blanket and most certainly had one on thrown on the back of your sofa.  My sister and I decided to rework the vintage style into a more modern solid color version and gift it to the newest generation: babies!  We like working it in acrylic yarn.  That way, the parents of the baby don't have to be too fussy and the blanket can be dragged just about anywhere and everywhere.  Then it can be thrown into the washing machine without any worries.  Trust me, the new mother will thank you! 

Head on over to grab a free copy of the pattern.   

P.S.  I have a tutorial demonstrating exactly how to make the butterfly stitch here.  

the classic

The Classic.  Truly a sweater I can't recommend enough.
I love everything about this sweater. 

It hit the sweet spot on needle size, on yarn choice, on wearability and on a piece that will fit into my wardrobe for many years.   
I'm not going to lie.  The twisted rib is a bear.  Even more so trying to rip it out.  I mistakenly took the back for the front and the front for the back, ribbing for 4.5" on the front which the pattern didn't call for and had to rip out 2.5" of twisted rib.  Ouch!  I tried the freezer trick but this did not help one little bit.  
I ended up cutting off the extra 2.5 and miraculously getting the stitches back on the needles.  
A simple raglan sleeve is my favorite fit.  

Pattern:  The Classic by Espace Tricot  (Free pattern!)
Yarn:  Held Double:
           Sonder Yarn Co. Sunday Morning 4 ply.  3 skeins in Cover to Cover.  
           Sonder Yarn Co. Halo.  3 skeins in Rocket
Needle Size:  US 7
Size:  I knit a smaller size than I normally wear because I did not want the 10" of positive ease.  I have about 5" of positive ease.  
Modifications:  I knit 2" more on the sleeve before starting the twisted rib.  

summer of stripes KAL part 3

Welcome to the accessory portion of the Stripes Inspiration for the KAL that will be starting on June 21!  Grab your scraps, your stash or head to your LYS and join Gina and I for some summer fun!  There will be fun prizes and you may even meet a new friend!  
I found a few stripy socks and accessories that caught my eye!

Top Left:  Weekend Shorty Socks by Summer Lee.  Are these the cutest or what!  I downloaded this free pattern immediately!  I think I need a pair of Weekend Shorty Socks!

Top Right:  Spotty Socks by Paintbox Yarns.  Another free pattern.   I mean, come on!  Aren't they just the cutest?

Bottom Left:  Trusy Toe up Socks by Tanis Lavallee.  Okay.... If you need a basic sock pattern with just enough instruction this is it!  And talk about a scrap buster!  If you need any inspiration just head to the project page.  SO many fun socks!  Again, a free pattern.  

Bottom Right:  Vanilla Latte Socks by Virginia Rose-Jeanes.  The name has me craving a latte every time I read it!  I've knit these socks as a solid version but have always been drawn to the detail and the stripes that are present in this recipe!  Again, head to the project page if in need of some inspiration! You guessed it, a free pattern.  

Top Left:  Stripe Study Shawl by Veera Valimaki.  I just adore Julie Hoover's version of this beauty.  Something I would love wrapped around me on a cool summer night!

Top Right:  Ashford Baby Blanket by Kaleidoscope Knits.  Looking for a fun baby gift that uses your stash?  This is it!

Bottom Left:  Agate Cowl by Nick Davis  This totally caught my eye.  There is just something about it.  Sort of like a updated Little Red Riding Hood!  This is made in a self striping yarn.  No need to weave in all those ends!

Bottom Right:  Stria Hat by Andrea Mowry.  This is Andrea's latest pattern which was knit during her latest KAL. A great pattern to try you Half Fisherman Rib skills.  I love it.  Another perfect scraps knit!  

Happy Weekend, friends!  

summer of stripes KAL part 2

Part 2 of the Stripe Inspiration to get you excited about the Summer of Stripes KAL starting on June 21 and running until September 21!  Gina (SkeinCocaine) and I will be your friendly hosts and hope we can all get excited about stripes.  If you've never knit stripes before, now is your time! 

 I honestly can't believe how many cute striped sweaters there are!  Honestly something for everyone.  And if you are not into knitting sweaters, I completely understand.  Stay tuned for more accessories full of stripes.  And remember to check out part 1 as there are some there, too.  
Top Left:  Simple stripes by SuviKnits.  This is the sweater that started it all.  I LOVE this sweater.  This is the one I will be making (again) as I have the Perfect Palette in Pastels.  I knit mine a little different with a 3/4 sleeve instead of a long sleeve.  It's a top down knit and the pattern is available in either fingering weight or dk weight.

Top Right: Stripes!  by Andrea Mowry.  This cute sweater has been very popular.  And I do love those 3/4 sleeves!

Bottom Left:  Chunky Rib Sweater by Knitting for Olive.  Remember... Stripes don't have to come in contrasting colors!

Bottom Right:  Rock it Tee by Tanis Lavallee.  My friend Christine reminded me of this cute summer wear.  Looks as light as a feather!
Top Left:  Sea Glass Sweater by Wool and Pine.  Oh how I love the idea of this sweater!  It is THE stash buster in my opinion.  It is knit top down in the round in a 1x1 color work pattern.  It truly offers endless opportunities to use up this scraps, minis and stash yarn!  

Top Right:  Diagonal Stripe Sweater by Patons.   Definitely an interesting knit as I'm not sure how those stripes are achieved but sure looks fun to knit!

Bottom Left:  Stripes of Joy Sweater by Tif Nielan  A worsted weight top down construction that looks very easy to wear.  I think it's the eyelet detail gives this piece that extra bit of joy!

Bottom Right:  Scrappy Striber by Pia Trans.  Another stash buster using as few or as many colors as you would like.  I love the play this gives the knitter.  I also love how the designer included instructions on how to make the long sleeve version if you would like. 

summer of stripes KAL part 1

If you watched my last YouTube video you might remember the KAL that Gina (Skeincocaine) and I will be hosting starting on June 21. We are SO excited about it and hope you will join in the joy! I feel like it is always fun to be part of a community and there will be great prizes to boot!
The KAL will run from June 21 (the first day of summer) till September 22 (the first day of autumn). 
We will be using  #summerofstripeskal on Instagram.  
I've been doing a lot of research and coming up with Striped knits to inspire you! This has been pretty challenging because there are so many cute ones and I don't want to overwhelm anyone (especially myself!).  I'm breaking it down into a couple (few) blogposts.  This is part 1!  

 Top Left:  Kunos Cushions by Anne Ventzel 
I LOVE the look of these pillows!  I also love the idea of knitting them and hope to one day.  (After all of my sweaters are knit.  HA!)  They are composed of slipped stitches and are knit on a US 9.  I think they would make a great summer project.  

Top Right:  Nice by Anne Ventzel
A top down easy to wear short sleeved sweater.  Looks like it would be great to wear all summer long.  Knit on US 4's.  

Bottom Left:  Sailor Sweater by Anne Ventzel
I just adore this sweater.  And would like one just like this please.  A top down in the round construction and I am drawn to the angle of the sleeve cuffs.  US7 needles.  

Bottom Right:  Bag and Cover by Anne Venzel
This is one of those knits that would be great for on the go in the summer.  The pattern consists of 3 parts. A canvas lined bag, a tablet and a phone patterns are all included.  Knit on size US2.5.

Top Left:  Beatrice Mitts.  Hopefully you picked up this pattern and yarn!  And if so, would be a great summer on the go project.  A quick knit on size US 2 needles!  (I adore the burberry colors!)

Top Right:  Oyster Sweater by Sanne Fjalland Knit-Wear 
Another Sailor Knit inspired sweater with a cute twist on the sleeves.  Not the quickest knit on US 2.5's but would be great to use stash fingering weight yarns!  

Bottom Left:  Ravello by Isabell Kraemer 
Thanks to Jennie Atkinson for sharing this one!  If you aren't into all stripe sweater this has just enough.  You can even omit a few if you like less.  Would be fun to play around with colors on this one.  And I love the neckline for summer.  US 4 needles.  

Bottom Right:  Vertical Stripes by PetiteKnits
REMEMBER... All stripes don't have to be in contrasting colors.  Some can be accomplished by texture.  If you aren't into color stripes you can always knit this beauty.  I just might have to put this one in my queue.  I adore it! I'll take it in this color! US 7 needles.

Beatrice Mitts

Oh boy! It's so hard to believe that it's just past the middle of May! I don't have kids in school anymore and I have been blaming my busy-ness on the end of the school year! HA!

 I have managed to finish a pair of Beatrice Mitts.  I adore this Trench Coat Color way and yarn from Turtle Purl.  

Pattern:  Beatrice Mitts
Needles:  US 2

We have been busy traveling the last week.  Spent a glorious night in Chicago and then headed to Denver to watch my girl, Libby, run in the Denver Coalfax Half Marathon.  I was uber proud of her!  I think my heart grew 2 sizes.  

I finally wrote up the butterfly pattern and it is currently being edited by my tech editor.  Shouldn't be long until I share that.   (Fun Fact that my friend Winsorhouse mentioned... A group of butterflies is called a Kaleidoscope!)

spring crate

I've been remiss in mentioning my wonderful blue boxes of KnitCrate that brighten my day once a month!  Oh, how I love that day!

The March Crate's had me swooning over the colors.
Their theme this month was Metropolis. 
 A city rises between the desert and turquoise seas; the faded chalk colors of stucco create channels for busy passerby.  

The standard crate carried the classic Knitologie Worsted,  A 100% Superwash Merino made in Peru exclusively for KnitCrate.  Four different colors that together form a gentle gradient.  Each individual skein is 112 yds totaling 448 yards one the four skeins in the crate.  
I can't wait to make something out of this!   
The sock crate featured cozy La Brebis Warmer.  70% Superwash Merino, 20% Sure Alpaca and 10% Nylon.  400% yards of this fingering weight goodness in my perfect shade.  I truly would love to finally knit Steve a pair of socks and this just might be the skien!  

As always you can get 20% off your first KnitCrate by entering FKW20 at checkout.  

Happy Mail Day!