There are some things I should do today.
1. I should clean off my desk. There are too many papers on it.
2. I should get my email in-box down to zero.
3. I should wash and block my Whippoorwill Shawl.
4. I should finalize a few orders from a few different vendors.
5. I should organize the yarn samples in my office.
6. I should work until late tonight.
There are some things I shouldn’t do today.
1. I shouldn’t start knitting a new pair of socks.
2. I shouldn’t take any yarn home from Loopy today.
3. I shouldn’t scroll through patterns on Ravelry.
Guess which list is going to get completed?
I do have a new recipe to share with you, and it’s something you might want to have on hand as an appetizer before your Thanksgiving dinner (or with your next soup and salad meal). This is delicious and the flavors are perfect for fall.
1 (12 oz) bag of fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 1/2 tsp. vinegar
2 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. allspice
Wash the cranberries but don’t dry them. Add all of the ingredients to a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the cranberry skins pop, stirring regularly. (This usually takes about 20-30 minutes.) Let cool until just warm, and then pour over a brick of cream cheese. Serve with Wheat Thins or your favorite crackers.
Note: One batch is enough for two regular sized bricks of cream cheese. You can also make this ahead, store covered in the refrigerator, and warm slightly before serving.
Back to the Shoulds and Shouldn’ts – do you have anything you should or shouldn’t be doing today?
Fun stuff! We started the day with a Puppy Shower for Elf Donna. Remember her cute new yellow lab named Lucy? I’ve decided that it’s a lot of fun to shop for puppy presents. Unfortunately, Lucy was not the guest of honor at her own shower, simply because we surprised Donna with the shower. But we hope to see Lucy again soon.
We’re unpacking boxes of a new yarn base from Sweet Georgia – her new Cash Luxe (merino, cashmere, nylon) base. Lots of colors. I grabbed three from the first box, just so I could share a photo with you. (Note – if you click on the photo you’ll see it up close and personal. It’s almost as good as reaching into your computer and touching it in person. Almost.) We’ll get them all photo-ed and up for you for next week’s Monday Night Update.
I’ll bet you are wondering who won the yarn cake of Raku-Regenbogen from last week’s mini contest? I’ll be sending it to Nadine in West Virginia. She shared that she’d use it to make an Annis Shawl. I think it’s going to look awesome! I’m thinking I might want to make an Annis Shawl – maybe out of Wool Candy’s Robin’s Egg or Sanguine Gryphon’s Skinny Bugga Sooty Dancer or Madelinetosh’s Merino Light Sequoia.
I have decided that one of my very favorite parts of knitting is picking patterns that I want to knit and finding the perfect yarn to go with it. I also like starting the project and getting about halfway through, and then I want to pick a new pattern and yarn and start all over. Hmmm. No wonder I have so many ongoing projects. If designers would just stop designing and dyers would just stop dyeing, maybe I’d have a chance to catch up.
What is your favorite part? Picking the project? Starting in on it? Finishing it up? Handing it over to the recipient?
I think I like the Monday Updates just as much as you all seem to! I get excited to show you the new things that have come in from the week before. Tonight is no exception. I know that many of you have been waiting on the Madelinetosh DK to get back in stock. We were waiting for them to get enough DK yarn base back to dye up our order, and it finally arrived last week. We put 40 colors up tonight, and of course we’ll continue to get more in the weeks to come. This is a heavy DK/ light worsted weight and is great for sweaters and quick to knit hats and scarves. I also used it to make two Mara Shawls last winter, and I liked them so much that I kept them both. (Please note, I wear mine the other way. The none-bib way.) Mine each took about 2.5 skeins to knit. I knit the body out of 1 skein – just keep knitting until you run out – and then used the rest for the ruffle at the bottom.
We’ve also added in a new base from Juliespins – her Lace 960. That means there are 960 luscious yards of laceweight in each skein. It’s really beautiful. I shy away from lace. I made one scarf out of 100% silk laceweight, and I think it scarred me for life. (Was it the slippery silk? Or the fact that it was knit longways? Or the small diameter of laceweight? Probably a combination of all three. Julie’s superwash merino laceweight would probably be easier on my brain and fingers.) What is a good shawl pattern for 900-1000 yards of lace? Maybe if I see the right pattern, I’ll be tempted to give it another go.
We were able to get some more of the Regia World Ball yarn in again. This self-striping yarn is a lot of fun to knit up. Many of the colors will match up with your favorite sports teams, and the Italy and Rome colors are perfect for Christmas! (Oh – speaking of Christmas – Jill at Studio June is dyeing up more of the “It’s a Loopy Christmas” colorway for us, since the first batch sold out and many of you have emailed and still wanted a skein. We’ll have it in a couple of weeks. Let us know if you’d like an email when it arrives.)
To round it out, we have re-stocks and some new colors in three of Alpaca With a Twist’s lines - Socrates (fingering weight), Jumbo Baby Twist (DK weight) and Fino (laceweight, silk and alpaca. This stuff tempts me, too.)
I started a new shawl over the weekend, and I had to re-start it THREE times. Not because it’s difficult. Just because I apparently can’t read and count from time to time. What is the most number of times that you have frogged something and started it again? Is there a maximum number of times you’d re-do it before giving up? I was extra careful the 4th time and it worked. I’m not sure I would’ve given up, just because it is an easy pattern to begin with and there was no need for me to keep screwing it up. On a hard pattern that I had to rip a lot? I might give up after the third time….
… is fun! My friend Janice had her first grandbaby this week. (No baby pics on her blog yet, but I know they’ll be there sooner or later. Edit: Now update – Here’s the post with the baby pics!) This was my first chance to knit something for a baby, as most all of my friends are out of the having babies stage, and many of my other friends don’t yet have grandchildren. I put off making a decision on what to knit until a couple of weeks ago. There are so many cute options and I just couldn’t decide. I finally went with Felix’s Cardigan and Shibui Knits Bebe Hat. (I was going to knit the socks to go along with it, but ran out of yarn. I had a little ball about the size of an acorn left over. I was sweating it as I neared the top of the hat!)
The yarn is Dream in Color’s new Everlasting Sock, in a darkish version of the Morning Glory colorway. I picked this one because I was sure this baby would have blue eyes (thus the blue) and it’s possible that he might have cute red hair (thus the green). I really like how this yarn base knit up and look forward to using it for more projects. The colors are what most draws me to this line, but the non-striping, non-pooling is a bonus. A note on the patterns – I love the hat. The pattern is well written and the texture down by the brim is cute. The cardigan – I really like the way it turned out, but the pattern itself has some mistakes in some of the counts. I see others have commented on this on Ravelry, but apparently nothing has been fixed in the pattern because the comments were from months ago and I just downloaded it two weeks ago. Just a “beware” if you knit it. I basically ignored the numbers that were wrong and knit on, which worked just fine. The infant pattern is free on Rav. I think that most infants grow so quickly that a 6-12 month size (or bigger) would get more use, so I made this one in the 6-12 month size.
There are so many more things on my to-knit list that I want to get to. And so many different yarns that I want to work with. I might end up doing only one handknit gift this season – a shawl for a friend. Is that bad?