Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Baby Knits - warning there is a lot of cuteness in this post

I have been doing a lot of baby knitting. I have niece due late next month and I was commissioned for a few baby items.....and let's be honest, once you start knitting baby things it is really had to stop.

Last night I finished this braided ball (photo above) and then proceeded to play dodge ball with my husband. He thought is was a pretty cool baby toy. It squishes pretty easy and is super soft. I think I'm going to make a some more with other yarn leftovers. I was thinking it is a good toddler toy too because it can be thrown without hurting someone and it is easy for little hands to grab one of the single parts of the braid.

Okay, next baby item, well, items is a set that I think turned out super cute! This berry hat and baby legwarmies are knit from super yummy Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. I was knitting these before church one Sunday and all the moms were freaking out about how awesome baby legwarmers are so I hope to knit some more of these for babies on the way.

Lastly, the two cute things I made for my soon-to-arrive niece. First this Blankie... which I am in love with. I seriously could have just kept it for my own lap blanket, I hope it becomes my niece's favorite blankie. This photo doesn't really do the colors justice so go ahead and click on the above link to see some more photos.

I also couldn't help but knit this cardigan. When I saw the Maile pattern awhile back I faved it, but didn't know when I'd get a chance to knit it. I think it turned out really great and I can't wait to see what it looks like on a baby, haha. The photo isn't great, but if I get an on baby shot I'll be sure to re-post a photo.

So have I inspired you to knit some baby items?

Friday, April 23, 2010

FO: Chocolate Jekylls

This week I finally finished my Chocolate Jekyll Socks. I say "finally" because they have been on the needles since January, but I don't really mind that they took me so long. They were great purse knitting... on the bus, waiting for rides, and such. These also were set aside quite a bit... there was my sweater, a baby blanket, and a baby sweater that all took priority (see, I'm gonna be an aunt soon so I had to kick up the baby knitting).

This pattern, Jekyll & Hyde, was enjoyable. It was easy to memorize and it was still interesting to knit. I realize the actual texture of the sock is difficult to see, but I think it is best described as thermal looking.

I knit these socks because I was wanting some simple yet fun socks to wear with my
ballet flats to work. These totally fit the bill. The yarn I used was Malabrigo Sock and it is wonderful! Super squishy and cozy. I'm looking forward to seeing how it holds up since it is 100% superwash merino wool. I'll let you know!

Since I enjoyed having these socks as I side project I might just cast on another pair... not the same pattern, but again on my double points needles (dpns). For me, knitting socks on dpns is about enjoying the process of knitting a sock. When I cast socks on magic loop and two at a time it is generally cause I just can't wait to get them off the needles and on my feet!

Happy knitting all!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Broccoli, Red Pepper, and Cheddar Chowder

I have been feeling veg deprived. In reality I haven't been, but with springy weather I just can't seem to get enough garden goodness (even though our local gardens aren't producing yet). I came across this Broccoli, Red Pepper, and Cheddar Chowder recipe on epicurious.com and thought it sounded like it was just what I needed. I did make some changes to the recipe so I thought I'd share my version with you - and I must note that although my husband doesn't like broccoli (unless it is raw and dipped in ranch) he gave me the go ahead to make this soup again!

A lot of my changes to recipe were just because that is what I had on hand so feel free to read through mine and the original and make your own changes - you could probably use milk in place of the half and half and cream cheese to reduce the fat even more.
  • 3 small heads broccoli (1/2 pound)
  • 3 new potatoes (1/2 pound)
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1/4 cup neufchatel cheese (low fat cream cheese)
  • 6 oz extra sharp Cheddar, coarsely grated (1 1/2 cups)
Cut the florets of the broccoli off, into about 1 inch florets. Cook florets in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice water to stop cooking, then drain. Reserve 3 cups cooking water for chowder.

Cut potatoes into 1/2-inch cubes - I leave the peal on. Cook potato, onion, bell pepper, broccoli stems, and garlic in butter in a 3- to 4-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add cumin, salt, pepper, and mustard and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add flour and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add reserved cooking water and simmer (partially covered), stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in cream cheese,half and half, and cheddar cheese and cook, stirring, until cheese is melted, then season with salt and pepper.

Another job for your immersion blender here - remove pot from heat, insert immersion blender and puree until soup is partially pureed (use caution when blending hot liquids) or however smooth you want the soup. Add florets and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 2 minutes.


The Lamb Shoppe

This weekend Katy and I decided to check out a yarn shop in Denver that we had been hearing about, Lamb Shoppe. (photo snagged from their site)

It was very fun to browse around their shop. I took mental note of a few things... they have a wide selection of Cascade yarns (more than just 220), they have some Malabrigo, a few Zauberballs, and a selection of Rowan yarns as well.

I was most excited to find Elsebeth Lavold's Silky Wool. I have decided I am going to make Manu with this yarn, probably in the Dark Oak colorway. It is unique color, sort of gray, sort of brown, sort of plumb.

Overall this was a neat shop. It also has many drink choices and a coffee bar. There are a lot of tables and chairs so you can enjoy an afternoon of knitting without feeling like you are in the way. Katy and I sat and knit for at least an hour and never felt like we were being an imposition.

So if you are heading towards Denver and feel like taking a rest and a browse in a yarn shop I'd say check out Lamb Shoppe!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Lendrum Bag (and a bit of catch up)

I have had quite a few blog posts written in my mind over the last month that haven't made it into type. I have completed quite a few baby projects this month. Some of them were for my niece, who is due to arrive next month (although more likely to be June). And some of the baby items have been for others to gift, which are fun just the same.

There has also been some crocheting. The hot-pad on the left was sent off for my cousin to enjoy.

Our Boulder Knitting Collective group had ourselves a crochet brunch workshop in March. At this workshop I attempted my first granny square and hot pad backing.

I have concluded that at this point my crochet likes are limited to baby blankets, afghans, and potholders. But in those three categories I do really enjoy the result. (hence the baby blanket for my niece - see link above)

Well, as the title of this point tells you I have new bag for my Lendrum spinning wheel! Hooray! The design and amazing construction of this bag was by SpinderellaBags. The owls (there is one on the back too) are my embroidery that was originally planned for a laptop bag that was an epic fail. I am so glad Lauren from Spinderella was able to save them from a much sadder fate.

I have more photos of my new bag on my flickr page, model shots and all.

I am very excited to have this bag, it makes my already portable wheel so much more portable. I am now able to pack up my wheel without worries of scratching or dining it as I take it to and from and in and out of the car. All that means I am much more likely to take it with me to knitting group/friend's houses and so on.

Currently spinning some silky angora and alpaca... soon to be made into some 3-ply amazingness.