Happy Halloween! After seeing a lot of “years ago” pictures of Halloween on Facebook today, I decided to see if I had any. I’m thinking that we never made a big deal of this when I was growing up, as there is no photo evidence of pumpkin carving or goofy costumes. (I do remember trick or treating, though.) So I’m sharing one of my favorite pictures from when Web Guy (age 3) and Knitting Daughter (age 8 months) were celebrating Halloween one fall. They both went in pumpkin costumes that year, but KD was crying in the one photo I have, so I thought this outdoor shot was better. Do they still make those pumpkin leaf bags? I thought that was such a cute idea back then, and we had plenty of leaves to fill them.
We have plenty of fun things to share with you in tonight’s Update, and we waited a little later in the evening so that you could get your fill of trick or treaters (and chocolate). Just up, you’ll find:
Camp Loopy Colorways – We divided you up into Trail Guide groups for Project Two of Camp Loopy, and one of the activities we had in our Ravelry Group was for each Trail Guide group to come up with their own colorway that reminded them of Camp Loopy. You submitted inspiration photos and names and we sent them on up to Lorna’s Laces to work their magic. You did a great job of coming up with colors, and Beth and crew did a great job of turning them into yarn! You’ll find them under the Camp Loopy section on the homepage. (Shown here in “Giggles in the Night”.) We have a few more things that we’ll add to that section in the coming months, just to keep your camp memories fresh. (Note – check the blog later this week for Project Two winners and Project Three voting. We haven’t forgotten!)
Woolen Mill Street Yarns – we have a new indie dyer to share with you, and she has started with a big batch of roving, which I know you spinners will love. (Shown here in “Nightmare” – appropriate for Halloween!) Christina is from right here in St. Louis and we’re happy to add her beautiful line in. We’ll be adding her sock yarn in next, so watch for that in the coming weeks.
Dragonfly Fibers Dragon Sock – Kate’s merino fingering weight in 15 new colors and 8 re-stocks. When Elf Lori was unpacking this big order last week, one of you called in to say, “What is that pretty color you’re unpacking on the Loopy Webcam right now??” I always have fun seeing the colors that Kate comes up with. Every one of them is gorgeous.
Swan’s Island Fingering – still selling like hotcakes, so I know you’ll be glad that we’ve re-stocked all colors. We’re keeping up as fast as they can send it out to us. I’ve got a skein set aside for a pretty shawl. (Shown here in Oatmeal, because that’s the color I nabbed for my very own.)
We’ve also added re-stocks in: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock, Go Knit Bags, and Namaste Bags.
Be sure to “like” us on Facebook and sign up for our tweets on Twitter. We always post when we’ve done the Update each Monday, as well as popping in to talk on Facebook during the week, too. (I admit – I mostly only tweet on Mondays, but I try to update Facebook a bit more often.)
Happy shopping and I hope you find some fun treats to add to your stash!
I was sad to hear that I missed the first big snowfall in Fort Collins, because I’ve been working from St. Louis this week. Here’s a picture of our back deck that WH sent to me the morning after the big snow. (Here’s what the deck looks like without snow. Big difference!) I love snow and cold, and I hope there is plenty of it in store for us this winter. The nice thing about Fort Collins is that apparently it snows one day and then the next day it can be in the 50′s or 60′s. So you get the pretty white stuff, but it doesn’t stay around long enough to get tired and dirty looking. Today is supposed to be in the 50′s, so I’m sure it will be gone by the time I get back home tonight.
On the other hand, St. Louis is a baseball town, and it has been fun to be here during the World Series games. You just can’t beat last night’s game (if you managed to stay up for all 11 innings and watch it). The two teams seem well matched in this series and they both have provided some great baseball moments over the past week. I won’t even be too sad if Texas wins tonight. Great team, great players, and they lost last year in the World Series. Two years in a row doesn’t seem right. I’m still going to root for the Cards tonight, but either way, I’m sure it will be another good game.
Today I’m sharing a recipe from my friend Audrey’s mother-in-law. We’ve been making these bars for about 20 years, and they are always a hit. (And always a good way to use up ripe bananas.) I hope you and your family enjoy them as much as we do.
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (3-4)
1 cup nuts (optional)
1/4 cup sour milk*
2 tsp. vinegar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
4 tsp. water
1 tsp. vanilla
Frosting Glaze (see below)
*You can use regular milk and make it sour. Measure slightly less than 1/4 cup of milk, and add a bit of vinegar to bring it up to the 1/4 c. mark. Let it sit for 5 minutes to sour before adding it to the batter. You can also use buttermilk if you have that.
Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, bananas, nuts and milk. Then add all dry ingredients, plus water and vanilla. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.
Let cool and then frost.
Frosting: 6 Tbl. butter, 4 3/4 cups powdered sugar, 1/4 cup milk, 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla. Blend well.
For this month’s contest - leave a comment and tell me your favorite sports team. It doesn’t have to be a baseball team and it doesn’t have to be a professional team – it might even be your little one’s little league team. We’ll do a drawing next week for Wollmeise. I saved a few skeins for this month’s contest!
It didn’t take long for me to become totally smitten with two-color shawls, after Camp Loopy this summer. As I was going through and approving photos, there were certain patterns that just looked so eye-catching, no matter what colors people used and no matter what yarn they knit them up in. One of those was Kristen Kapur’s Cladonia Shawl. (We’re currently out of our copies, but you can find it here on Ravelry). I loved the shape, and I loved the edging. I knit this up in Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport (Grand Street Ink) and The Sanguine Gryphon Bugga (some spider-y named color way, I think?). It was fun to knit and went pretty quickly. I did a regular picot bind off so that it wouldn’t be quite so loopy. (Do a knitted cast on of 2 stitches, bind off 4 stitches, place the 1 remaining right-hand stitch onto the left needle and repeat.) I have yet to find my blocking wires since the move (you know, they come in a big long tube? The kind that would only fit in so many boxes? FPS), so this was just steam blocked with an iron. I’ll re-block it properly when I find the missing wires.
Another shawl on my soon-to-make list (in fact, I found yarn at Loopy this week for it) is the Sothia. Gorgeous. I know that ruffle will take close to forever, but I’ve done 2 Mara’s, so I’m pretty sure I can stand it. (And hey – the pattern is on sale until the end of October. Happy Birthday Robin!)
I was also particularly attracted to Spectra (which I’m thinking I will make with Zauberball and something), Daybreak (which will be a Loopy Ewe Solid/Jitterbug mix and also? Stephen, stop with the awesome patterns already), Catkin (I already have 2 Madtosh sock colors set aside – a copper and a teal), and Pamuya (which I may knit as a one-color out of JulieSpins Silky NorthShore. And guess what? That’s a teal colorway.). I made one Pamuya for camp, but really want to make another as well. I’m not a big fan of the two colors I put together for the first one, but it was definitely an interesting pattern to knit.
Are there any two-color shawl patterns that catch your eye? Or do you have a one-color pattern that you’d like to turn into two?
1) I got to spend the weekend with Knitting Daughter, who was off for Fall Break. Here she is, posing with my parents. They put us up for the weekend and I’m also imposing on their hospitality for the rest of the week, too. It’s nice to have a place to stay when I’m here.
2) I am back in the Yarn Fumes at Loopy Central and I’ve missed being here. I find myself just wandering around, looking at the pretty colors. I may have also picked up a few skeins to take back home. I won’t confirm or deny that I might still have a thing for teal.
3) It’s really not good that we have a healthy stash of Atenti bags in stock at the moment. I’m thinking that one of those bags would make a nice carry-on for toting all of my new yarn back to Colorado at the end of the week.
4) I have not see Buddy the Visiting Dog yet, but I’m keeping my eye out for him. I did see Noon Rich (our noon-time postman) today. Not to be confused with Dude Rich (our 3:30 postman). We call the afternoon guy Dude Rich because he always greets us with “heyyyyyyyy……” like a dude. I hope he doesn’t read my blog. How else are we supposed to keep track of which Rich-the-Postman we’re talking about, if we don’t attach descriptive names?
5) I have, however, seen raccoons. My parents’ house backs up to the woods and there is a family of raccoons living in the hollowed out, dead branch on this tree. Sometimes they just poke their little head out of that hole, there, but I didn’t get any of those photos to turn out. If you click on the photo, you’ll see that cute little face a bit better. I won’t confirm or deny that I might have put some peanuts out in the backyard to feed them.
6) We have alllllll kinds of stuff up in tonight’s update for you. Fun stuff! Like: Two exclusive colors of Glenhaven Cashmerino Fingering from Three Irish Girls, Cascade Ultra Pima (Dk, cotton, 80 colors), Cascade Eco Alpaca and Eco Duo (which I used for my Girasole – love this yarn. And please note that Gracie-the-cat still curls up on this), Cascade Heritage Silk (fingering weight), Cascade Heritage Sock (fingering weight solids and multis), Shibui Sock (100% merino), Shibui Staccato (merion/silk/nylon), Universal Cotton Supreme (worsted weight cotton), Schaefer Anne (including the Jane Austen colorway, shown here), Schaefer Audrey (1-ply heavy laceweight merino/silk), Alpaca with a Twist Socrates (fingering weight for socks or scarves), Alpaca with a Twist Baby Twist (in the jumbo skeins, because anything that good needs to come in a big skein), and a new sock yarn from Lana Grossa (Grigio – long stripes of charcoal and one other color. I picked charcoal/teal for myself. Of course.)