Monday, March 26, 2012

Hiya friends! Have a quick sec for a little story involving knitting and chocolate?

chocolate photo by John Loo via Flickr

About a week ago I was busy working on the final touches for next month's Stumptown pattern and needed a break. I went to the website of one of my favorite chocolate makers (Vosges) aaaand five hours later had designed a truffle and entered a contest with it.

Now my truffle is in the running to actually get made!

It's down to voting now. I wish they would just pick the one they like but alas, I get to beg ask everyone to vote for me instead. It's obnoxious, I know, but I really want to win this thing!

Photo by Windell Oskay via Flickr

Ratcha Anachak Thai
Vote here
I often find myself gathered with friends… talking, eating, playing, knitting, sharing, dreaming. We talk of travel, love, ideas, and chocolate.

I recently dreamed of a milk chocolate truffle while eating noodles with friends at a local food cart. The spicy peanut sauce kept us warm in the Portland rain.

+ Peanut Butter
+ Galangal/Ginger
+ Brown Sugar
+ Coconut Milk
+ Lime
+ Cayenne
+ Finished with a dusting of toasted sesame seeds

I long to share these truffles with friends at our next gathering as we knit and daydream together. I expect they would disappear quickly!

Like it? Please vote for me here. Tell your friends too, if you're feeling extra kind! Thank you all!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Ides of March

Greetings knitpeople! It's mid-March again. In Portland, that means rain, rosemary shoestrings at Burgerville, and, naturally, a sock pattern. This one is even featured in Knitting Socks from Around the World: 25 Patterns in a Variety of Styles and Techniques!

Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar

ACT 1, Scene 2:

CAESAR: Who is it in the press that calls on me? I hear a tongue, shriller than all the music, Cry 'Caesar!' Speak; Caesar is turn'd to hear.

SOOTHSAYER: Beware the ides of March.

CAESAR: What man is that?

BRUTUS: A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.

CAESAR: Set him before me; let me see his face.

CASSIUS: Fellow, come from the throng; look upon Caesar.

CAESAR: What say'st thou to me now? speak once again.

SOOTHSAYER: Beware the ides of March.

CAESAR: He is a dreamer; let us leave him: pass.

Ides of March
Ides of March

The Ides of March was once a festive day dedicated to the Roman god Mars. In modern times, the term Ides of March is best known as the date that Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 B.C. This sock design was inspired by ancient Roman tile. Just go ahead and jump in - there is nothing to beware of here!

Sizes available: Women’s Small, Medium, Large

Foot circumference: 7 (8, 9) inches 17.5 (20, 23 cm) unstretched. Will stretch to fit 8 (9, 10) inches 20 (23, 25.5 cm).

Gauge: 32 sts/48 rows = 4" in st st

Needles: 1 set US #1/2.25mm 32” circular needles (magic loop) OR 2 sets of 24” circulars (two circulars) OR double pointed needles, or size to get gauge.

Ides of March
Cabled Cuff

Yarn: Two contrasting colors of fingering-weight yarn that gives you proper gauge. You’ll need approx 50 (70, 90) grams of the Main Color and 30 (35, 40) grams of a Contrasting Color. Sample shown is knit with Shalimar Yarns Zoe Sock (100% SUPERWASH Merino wool; 450 yd per 4 oz skein), color: cayenne; 1 skein and Dream in Color Smooshy (100% SUPERWASH Merino wool; 450yd per 4oz skein), color: purple rain; 1 skein.

Notions: Cable needle, Tapestry needle, and (optional) a stitch marker to indicate the beginning of the round.

Ides of March
Slipping stitches under the foot

NOTES: This advanced sock pattern is worked from the cuff down with two colors. It includes a sideways cabled cuff, mosaic knitting, a heel flap, and a grafted toe. The slipped stitches create a fabric that is slightly less stretchy than standard stockinette stitch. Keep this in mind when choosing yarn and sock size.

Ides of March
What are you waiting for?

Oh yeah, the pattern comes with a word seek puzzle at the end, just for fun!

Buy this pattern now here: $4.99

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Laurelhurst Socks

Greetings friends and welcome to March!

I can’t believe we are already halfway through the Stumptown Knits club patterns! After a scarf and hat, it seemed like it was time for a sock pattern. Socks are my comfort zone, and this time stripes are involved! There is only one sock pattern in this collection and I’m really happy with it:

Hello Laurelhurst Socks!

Laurelhurst Socks
Laurelhurst Socks

Laurelhurst Park

Laurelhurst Park is a beautiful patch of nature in the center of a busy neighborhood in Southeast Portland. It’s been named “the most beautiful park” on the west coast by the Pacific Coast Parks Association and was the first park to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

To me, Laurelhurst Park is a fine place to read under the shade of the conifers on a sunny summer day. (One can dream, right?) 

I designed these socks with conifers in mind for the lace cuff. The detail is inspired by the Douglas Fir, a local tree with a distinctive cone. Can you tell?

Douglas Fir cone (center)

Laurelhurst Socks cuff detail
Douglas Fir Cone Lace Cuff

Sizes: Women’s Medium (Large)

Foot circumference: (2 sizes)
7.5 (8.75) inches (19, 22 cm) unstretched. Will stretch to fit 8.5 (9.75) inches (21.5, 25 cm).

Laurelhurst Socks
Two colors

This pattern is worked from the cuff down with two colors. It includes lace, stripes, slipped stitches, a stranded heel flap, and a grafted toe. There are two different striping options: Wide Stripes (Grey and blue sample) and Skinny Stripes (Grey and red sample). The lace is charted.

Laurelhurst Socks
Red: Skinny Stripes. Blue: Wide Stripes

Yarn: Fingering-weight sock yarn in two colors that gives you proper gauge. Sample shown: Plucky Knitter Primo Fingering [75% Merino Wool, 20% Cashmere, 5% Nylon; 385yd per 100 gram skein]; colors: Wide stripes: (MC) Elegant Elephant, (CC) Bohemian Blue. Skinny stripes: (MC) Flannel, (CC) Peep Toes.

Laurelhurst Socks
Bohemian Blue with Elegant Elephant

Needles: 1 set US #1/2.25mm 32” circular needles or double pointed needles, or size to get gauge.

Notions: Stitch markers, tapestry needle.

Gauge: 32 sts/48 rows = 4" in st st

Laurelhurst Socks

This pattern was tested by Basaltimum and teilzeitheldin. Basaltimum knitted the red pair. Socks were modeled by Star Athena and Lee Meredith. All photography by Vivian Aubrey.

Lee in Laurelhurst Socks
Lee pretending it isn't so terribly cold out

Laurelhurst Socks
Hand knit socks are just the thing!

Laurelhurst Sock Pattern is $4.99

Laurelhurst Socks

Want more? This pattern is part of the Stumptown Knits Collection: a monthly pattern club featuring 6 accessory patterns inspired by the place you live and the place you love. For me, it's Portland, Oregon.

Benefits for joining the club:
  • When finished, the club will be compiled into an e-book. The e-book will be included in the cost of the club for those who join.
  • Half the cost of buying the individual patterns.
  • Individual patterns as well as finished e-book (at the end of the club) can be stored in your Ravelry library.
  • Knit-a-longs! This time we will have official knit-a-longs each month with prizes! See my group here for info in January.
  • 20% off discount codes to use at Twisted. All of the yarns used in this club are available for purchase there and if you want to match the yarns I’m using, you can!
Join now! Only $15.99
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What are you waiting for?!