As we count down the days to Christmas, I have been talking a lot about gifting. Today I’d like to offer the chance for one of you to get a little gift. You deserve it, don’t you? Interweave Press would like to give a copy of Op-Art Socks by Stephanie van der Linden to one lucky reader!
I am a sock lover so obviously I’m really excited for this book. There is a ton of colorwork and a lot of fun construction. As I’ve mentioned before, socks are a really fun place to play around with techniques and motifs and this book is kind of a living embodiment of that idea. The book also includes swatches of all of the colorwork in black and white so you can really get a good idea of what’s going on without the wild colors. So useful!
Enter to win a copy of Op-Art socks by leaving a comment below with your favorite pattern from the book. (US residents only, sorry!) I’ll pick a winner next Monday. Thanks, Interweave!
So, which pattern are you dying to get on your needles?
Have you picked up a copy of the fall issue of Knitscene? If you did and you read all of the wonderful articles and knit all of the pretty patterns, spoiler alert: you might find a picture of yours truly at the end!
Editor Amy Palmer was nice enough to interview me for the magazine’s first Blog Spotting feature!
I’m so honored to be part of the magazine! I’m really excited that Amy is introducing her readers to different blogs. It’s a really cool idea that is a great intersection of print meets digital! I hope to discover some bloggers myself!
What do you think?!
I’m one of those knitters that kind of knows how to embroider and will learn as soon as she checks a few projects off of her knitting queue. Or finishes those upcoming holiday gifts! But this new series from Penguin Books is getting me itching to learn!
The covers for Emma, The Secret Garden, and Black Beauty are designed by Jillian Tamaki. So gorgeous! And tonight at Purl Soho, you can see the original embroideries and hear Jillian describe her work. (And to get us started, they’ll be giving free embroidery kits with every purchase!) See you there!
I’m surprised that French macarons haven’t made more appearances here yet. They are probably one of my favorite things in the world. I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that over the summer I started my obsession with these delicate little desserts and here we are.
Since then, Jon and I have been experimenting and playing with flavor combinations and it has been fun. Like these from my birthday, rosewater with honey buttercream (and of course some adorable glitter on top).
So our last batch were a spicy winter nibble.
Gingerbread macarons with Lemon Ginger buttercream filling.
I am a huge fan of this book. There are a billion recipes for macarons on the internet and I believe that if you can get anything for free you should. But this time it is worth investing in a good book. You should really buy her book. I can’t just type out the recipe it’s not the same.The book really spells out every step of this very exact process and it has not failed me yet.
(Actually, my macarons were not growing feet in one oven that we bake in often but it’s the ovens fault. The heat is not accurate and we’ve bought a thermometer but have yet to try macarons in there again. I’m too nervous that it will go wrong and the I’ll waste all of the ingredients. But it works everywhere else.)
I took Ogita’s macaron recipe and used this Ginger spice with 1/4t of vanilla:
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ginger
It’s spicy but absolutely perfect for a cold winter dessert.
We used this buttercream recipe and I think ts my favorite buttercream recipe yet. Simple syrups have burned me too many times. I also like this recipe because I can use the egg yolks from the whites that go into the cookie part of the macaron. Hooray for not wasting!
3 egg yolks
5 Tablespoons sugar
3 oz corn syrup
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1-2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cinammon
zest of one lemon
splash of lemon juice
Beat the egg yolks until fluffy. Bring sugar and corn syrup to a boil, and immediately remove from heat. Pour over the egg yolks and beat at high speed until fully cooled. (Try not to get any on your beaters, or it will spin to the sides of your bowl.) Add the butter, a pat at a time, until fully incorporated. Finally add the ginger and lemon, to taste.
We colored the filling a little bit pink and we topped them with these adorable snowflake sprinkles. They are so cute!
I’ll be honest with you, I like looking at macarons even more than eating them.
Anyone else have a fun macaron flavor combination?
I finally found it. It’s the perfect yarn for my afghan! I’m so excited to get started on my afghan. I’ve been searching for this for a month!
I got this beautiful book from my mom. I’ve never tackled an afghan before because they take some commitment and plenty of yarn. It took me a few days to pick out which one to start with and I’m doing the bright star pattern. It really caught my eye because of this gorgeous picture in the book.
So my plan was to make it in a more monochromatic, masculine color scheme. I’m really partial to blues so that’s what it will be. My guidelines for the yarn were like this: I wanted a nice quality yarn. I’m definitely a snob but, in reality, I have to make this giant thing and if the yarn doesn’t feel nice between my fingers, I’ll hate the process. It’s a big project so it’s worth spending a few dollars on something nice. It had to be soft (it’s a blanket). And I really wanted something that had some natural fibers. 100% would be best. This book is written for Berroco Comfort yarn which is worsted 50/50 nylon/acrylic. I don’t like the way that feels even though it’s easy to care for.
This is what happened!
I had to take a day trip to my parents and I decided to stop by my favorite LYS (or local yarn store) that I used to visit in high school. Of course they had just what I was looking for and for a great price. They are such amazing ladies there! Always really helpful and happy. Even though I only go there once a year now, they still remember where I live and what I’ve been up to.
I bought 18 skeins of Berroco Vintage in dark denim, cream, chambray, sunny, and cracked pepper. I carried my bundle of yarn up to the counter and they knew exactly what I was making. This Vintage yarn is 40% wool so it’s got a nice, soft feel but it’s also machine washable.
I’ve already started the first square. I’ll keep it updated! I’m so excited to be tackling something I’ve never tried before.
I also bought these beautiful buttons. Jon picked them out for something I made him. I’ll tell you about that soon.
I found this memoir looking for a cookbook Christmas present for my mom. Dalia Jurgensen’s book Spiced talks about how she went from working a 9-5 to an executive chef. It’s a quick read and it’s pretty light reading. One review compared it to Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential and it certainly isn’t as scandalous. But I like it for a few reasons. Jurgensen’s career change is pretty inspiring. Haven’t we all dreamed of doing something drastically different? I admire her risk!
I think what I love most is how much the kitchen reminds me of the film industry. I tend to compare everything to making movies but restaurant life sounds pretty close. The hierarchy, the long hours, the male to female ratio. It’s a real family, though, and that feeling is what makes it the best.
Anyone given this book a spin yet? I’m about ready to start culinary school!