Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cabling without a cable needle and Fingerless Gloves patterns

Woah, that's a long title. Just wanted to share a few things I've done/mastered lately. First of all, here are a couple of really cute fingerless glove patterns. They are really great gifts for people. They are quick but are a very useful item to have and I love these 2 patterns particularly because of the lovely details they have.

Suzie's Reading Mitts

Emerald Green Hand-warmers

I am now working on a cabled hat as well. I looked up a refresher on how to cable without the cable needle and found a great set of instructions on Knitting Daily's website. Cabling without the needle

You save SO much time not having to pick up and put down the cable needle. It's a little fiddly at first, but after a couple of cables, you get the hang of it. It also helps you understand the construction of a cable as well. Hope it helps you like it has me! Happy Cabling!

Hope everyone has a lovely lovely Thanksgiving. I'm making my first turkey this year! It's just Pinky and I and I'm excited about making the whole meal myself (except for the delicious pumpkin cheesecake I got from Sweet Jane's!!!) Here is our menu:

-roasted turkey with sage, thyme, garlic and spices (we're cooking it on the grill!)
-my grandma's cornbread dressing recipe
-fresh cranberry sauce with apples and pecans
-mashed potatoes
-gravy (courtesy of Williams' mom says it's the BEST!)
-green bean casserole with french fried onions (Pinky's request)
-roasted veggies with goat cheese (zucchini, squash, fennel, parsnips, peppers)

I think and hope it will turn out great! I'm brining the turkey right now so it better not get dry while it's cooking!! I'm sure we'll take pics and I'll let you know how it all turned out!

Happy Turkey Day!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Mattie's Favorite Song

For a long time now Mattie has barked every time I say "cat." Check out the fun song, thanks to Conan O'Brien...

Monday, November 16, 2009


my newest sweater
Originally uploaded by elletrain
My latest finished project! I love finishing a sweater when it fits well and turns out how you envisioned it. I love this sweater! I made some changes to the cuffs and the bottom band, but other than that I followed the pattern for the size small. It couldn't fit any better and I love love this yarn, Silky Wool from Elsebeth Lavold. I've used it before on a cardigan and it's the knitted item I wear most out of my creations.

The yarn is a nice wool and silk blend, and it's a DK weight so it's light enough to wear a decent amount here in Nashville. I wish it were a bit cooler today so I could wear it to knitting tonight. I might just wear it any way! I still have to wash the sweater and I think the yarn will soften up more, but not today...I'm sweatin' it out and wearing this puppy!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Goodwill strikes again... my awesome find

Yay! A new coat for $6! It's from Sears, back in the 70's. Love this. I've been looking for one for a while. I didn't find much else at Goodwill today, but this was an awesome purchase. I also bought a couple of books at the bookstore today for Christmas gifts. When all else fails, buy books. You know some people are very difficult to buy for and I feel like it should almost be required to send out a Christmas wish list to all of your family so they know what to get you. In fact, I will send one out to my family right now! I think it will include:

-gift certificate to OR, or to Bliss Yarns, my local yarn shop
-anything from the home section of Anthropologie (esp. if there's a bird on it)
-a list of some of my favorite sellers on (including matteart, sarahearn, and chezsucrechez)

...and maybe a gift card to Goodwill...hahahaha!

Help your family out...send them a wishlist!

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Black Hole Cowl pattern

So, this all resulted out of me losing my favorite black scarf a couple of years ago when my rear windshield got broken during a storm by a giant tree branch. The backseat of my car was covered in glass pieces...and so was my favorite scarf my brother had gotten me in college. I was super sad to lose it, but sure that I couldn't wear a glass-ridden scarf, even with as much sentimental value as that one had. I bought some Big Wool a couple of years ago in black to replace the scarf. I wore that scarf almost everyday in the winter for many years, so I wanted something similar. This yarn has gone through a few different test-runs over the last couple of years...I tried to do a ribbed scarf like the one I lost, then I tried a crocheted scarf, then I tried a crocheted ruffle scarf...none of them were very awesome and I'll admit I rarely make a knitted scarf anymore due to the time commitment involved :)

So, this last Saturday I was inspired by all of the lovely cowls I saw on Ravlery and decided to make my own. I knew I wanted a huge, over-sized cowl that would be super warm and resemble the look of wearing my beloved scarf (it was like 7 feet long so very thick when wrapped around my neck). I started chaining stitches on my giant 16mm crochet hook and here's what I came up with:

The Black Hole Cowl

3 skeins Rowan Big Wool (only used approx. 220 yds)
size P (15 or 16mm) crochet hook
large button (it's good to find one with large button holes b/c your yarn is chunky)

SC = single crochet
TR = treble crochet

Chain 50.
Join chain into ring with a slip stitch, being careful not to twist the chain.
Round 1: Chain 1, then SC in 2nd chain from hook, and each chain around. Join last SC to first SC of round with a slip stitch.
Round 2: Chain 2, DC in each SC on next round and join last DC to first DC of round with a slip stitch.
Round 3: Chain 3, TR in each DC around. Join last TR to first TR of the round with a slip stitch.
Round 4: Chain 1, SC in each TR **in the back loop only** (this creates a nice ridge on the front of your work). Join last SC to first SC of round with a slip stitch.

**Repeat rounds 3 & 4, 4 times.

Next round: Chain 3, TR in each SC around. Join last TR to first TR with a slip stitch.
Last round: Chain 1, SC (regular SC on this round, NOT in the back loop as in round 4) in each TR, at the same time decrease 5 sts evenly around (this brings in the neck edge of the cowl so it's not quite as gaping). Join last SC to first SC with a slip stitch. Cut yarn and tie off.
Finishing: Try on the cowl and fold one top corner diagonally to the other front side of the cowl. Mark this button placement with a piece of your yarn. Secure the button to this spot. Weave in your ends. Try it on again...voila! Your neck is surrounded by a void of nothingness...I mean the Black Hole cowl :)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Easy Chili dinner

Easy Chili dinner
Originally uploaded by elletrain
I thought I'd share my new quick, easy dinner recipe when you want chili but don't have time to make it properly.

1 can Amy's Organic Chili (we like spicy, but it comes in mild and medium too)
1 can organic diced tomatoes
1 can organic black beans

Heat these three cans together and add whatever extras you want, like more chili powder, a little beer or a Hershey kiss, some cinnamon and nutmeg, etc. (For those of you that like Cincinnati chili you know what I'm talking about!) Be sure to add your spices and extras when you first start to heat it so they have time to incorporate. Heat until hot all the way through (probably 15 minutes).

Serve over organic spaghetti noodles and top with cheddar cheese and any other chili fixings you like. It's yummy, easy, and healthy! Good for cold days :) It's what we're having for dinner tonight!