Archive for December, 2010
I took a little trip to Lion Brand Studio (wow I really can’t stay away from the place) to stock up on some baby toy supplies. Of course, that meant buying some more angora merino yarn. Since I’ve been knitting with this yarn so much recently, I wanted to post this video I found about sheering angora rabbits for spinning. My mom is a spinner and she’s always wanted angora rabbits. Maybe someday her dream will come true!
ps. At the Lion Brand Studio, one of the women told me that the angora merino is hard to rip out. She heard that if you put it in the freezer, it makes it easier to do so. Has anyone else heard of or tried this method? I wonder who thought it up…
Rabbit photo by Angoria.
I spent the weekend working up this frog for a baby shower present. I’m using an Oliver Boliver pattern and mine is certainly interesting! He’s made of Lion Brand’s LB Collection Angora Merino which, I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned, is my favorite yarn for baby toys right now. It’s so soft and fluffy. The color is Avocado which is such a yummy name for a yarn color.
I adjusted the pattern and knit each piece in the round on size 7 double pointed needles. I like the way it looks because my seams always look crappy. Overall, I like how he’s turning out. I’ve only made toys using patterns by Ysolda which I really enjoy because you don’t have to sew any of the arms or legs, etc onto each other. This was a leap of faith but I really like how it’s going.
He just needs eyes and a little smile and it’ll be time for another blog update!
Christmas time has come and gone. I was excited to start blogging up a storm about the adorable Xmas I was planning but my forgetfulness got the better of me and I left my computer charger in Manhattan!
Disappointed as I am, here are some of the homemade presents I made for Christmas. Of course, I’m all about homemade gifts. They’re fun to make, they’re inexpensive, they’re really appreciated, and they usually impress people. This gift was inspired by a lot of time surfing on Etsy and this recipe by Baked Bree.
I started by buying a dozen quart-sized mason jars. This was probably the most exciting part of the gift because I found out that my local hometown hardware store sells them. And at $13 a dozen, I don’t think I’ll be buying them from the chic baking store in Manhattan anymore. (Apparently it’s common knowledge that hardware stores carry mason jars, I was surprised. Maybe I’m out of the loop.)
Anyway, Bree’s recipe is really beautiful. You should check out how her jars came out. They call for:
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1/2 cup Heath Chips
which I layered in order in the jars. The rest of the recipe is on her blog.
I also used a recipe for Butterscotch Chip cookies which starts with a jar layered with this:
1 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butterscotch chips
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup rice cereal
On the recipe tag, I wrote out all of the jar’s ingredients along with the wet ingredients which are:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1. Empty the contents of the jar into a large mixing bowl and add the wet ingredients.
2. Mix until completely blended.
3. Roll into walnut-sized balls and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
That’s a picture of the finished product amid the Christmas mess. I went to the Christmas Tree Shop (which I have to say, is one of my least favorite places to shop) and bought two 10×10″ festive fabric napkins for only a dollar. The napkins were my mom’s idea. She knows how to innovate like no one else. I really like the snowflakes on these because they’re a little more secular and still beautiful (read: red and green plaid didn’t make it).
I cut each napkin into quarters and trimmed the hem off. It left me with a little bit of a rugged edge but I liked the home-made look. I wrote up the recipe cards with festive colors on a plain index card. I would have liked to have done a more decorative card but time kept me using white ones and swiftly-dying markers. After punching a hole in the recipe card and gift tag, I put a rubber band around the fabric to hold it onto the jar and tied everything together with a piece of shiny red yarn (hooray for stash-busting, even if only a few yards).
I made one for everyone in my family. It’s a fun gift because it’s everything you need for a lazy day-after-xmas cookie baking kind of day. I have a feeling it’ll make a great gift for other occasions, too. And I’ve got a bunch of extra mason jars so we’ll see what happens with those!
What adorable gifts did you make? Or bake!
Last week I was so excited to see one of my best friends’ open studios. Kristen’s work this fall has been all about tea parties. She’s got a really cool concept and, of course, I love the idea of painting gooey cinnamon buns!
I’m so proud of Kristen and I cannot wait to see what she’ll have in the spring! Go look at her work here!
It’s been a busy busy week. I’m very excited because I think this will be the most creative Christmas ever. Before I can reveal any of my presents, I’ll just have to write this blog post to Santa. Want!
To make these charming little cupcakes.
To pack everything with this sweet tape!
To be able to afford almost 4,000 yards of Brooklyn Tweed’s Shelter yarn for an afghan. (Feel free to donate :p)
To pick up crewel embroidery again.
Winter is all about big comfy warm knits. I made this scarf for my friend Amy who instructed I make her the biggest scarf ever. She took this picture which I absolutely love.
What’s your favorite chunky knit? Any favorite yarns?
What do you give the girl that has everything (in boxes)? I wanted to bring my friend Ashley something special to welcome her into her new apartment. Wine is a classic and always appreciated but I like to think that I am less conventional. Last year, Ashley gave me a really beautiful flower when I moved. I went with a new recipe I found and made these hot chocolate cookies from Baked Bree. They certainly didn’t turn out as beautiful as Bree’s but they taste amazing!
Ashley’s got a great little studio that her cat is just loving. What a great space, you lucky girl!
These cookies were a great double whammy because I brought half of the batch to Chanukah dinner with Jon’s family. I think they were a hit…even though there were leftovers, his mom asked to keep them. I hate to see a great cookie go to waste, don’t you?
What do you give for housewarming gifts?
By the way, don’t these cookie pictures look fantastic. I think it’s time to start using a real camera and leave my iPhone to the snapshots!
I promised to have photos of my finished faire isle present. Well, here they are!
When it’s time for gift giving, there’s a present for everyone and every occasion. This year I decided to knit for the dogs in Jon’s family. It was pretty exciting since I’ve never done that before. But it turned out well! I love used this DROPS design pattern. I’ll be honest, the pattern was a little hard to follow, but I got through it and it paid off.
Those Charlie Brown colors are Lion Brand’s LB Collection Superwash Merino in Dijon and Mahogany. I have to say, I’ve been using LB Collection yarns a lot recently. They’re soft and the colors are beautiful and, most of all, they’re incredibly affordable. I like to keep handmade knits inexpensive but these yarns don’t skimp on quality.
Look at how happy Jah is in his sweater! 🙂
Along with showcasing the projects I’m working on and sharing recipes and patterns, I want to tell everyone about the projects my friends are working on and the blogs I’m reading.
Right now, I want to tell you about Jon’s blog Burgerlution which is an outlet for his hamburger obsession. Jon and I are making a documentary about burgers and you can find out more about it and the delicious patties he’s eating on his blog.
Tonight I’m enjoying some delicious macarons from the Macaron Cafe on 36th Street. I have just been going through a macaron obsession since the summer. Chanukah is here! And Jon got me these adorable limited edition Ray Ban sunglasses. I’m obsessed with them too! (You’ll have to excuse the quality of the photo! I was so excited I took a picture on my phone.)