I joined a yarn club for my fave alpaca yarn, and it's been keeping me busy. Last month I received a stunning turquoise blue and purple hand-dyed skein, and it needed to be made into something extra beautiful.
I used a free pattern off of Ravelry called the 'Simple Luxury Scarf', and just adjusted my needle size to the weight of my yarn. The shawl turned out gorgeous, and the pattern really allowed the colours of the yarn to shine.
Grandma Sent 5 MORE Bags of Apples...
This fall I posted a quick recipe for applesauce, because my grandma supplied me with a few bags of beautiful organic apples. Well my Dad came for another visit in mid-November, and he brought five more bags of apples with him! Apples keep fairly well if you have the right place to store them... Unfortunately I do NOT! I have no root cellar, my garage is way below the freezing mark, and both of my fridges are filled to the brim. This month I was also busy with work, training courses on my days off, and planning my daughter's birthday. SO, what is one to do with a glut of apples, if not applesauce (and no time to speak of)? Apple Juice! Pure, sweet, lovely, apple juice. Warmed with a cinnamon stick, or cold over ice with a bit of Perrier. This stuff is AMAZING!!!!
Making your own apple juice is a bit more involved than you might imagine. Washing and coring the apples is a lot of work on its own... Then you have to run them through a juicer, and then double or triple strain the juice to remove the pulp that floats around on the top (this is a painfully tedious process, but worth the work, for the clarity of the juice). After that you have to boil your juice, ladle it into hot sterilized jars, and put in a water bath canner for 25 mins or so. It took me about 5 hours all said and done (about half the time it would take me to do applesauce). The taste is incredible, and NOTHING like store-bought apple juice!
The Hooded Cowl
I am still looking for multi-purpose knits to create, and what better than to take something as cozy as a cowl, and add a hood?!? I'm just imagining those winter days where the wind and snow seems to just appear out of the blue, leaving you wishing you had a hat laying around. I'm using the Failynn Fox Cowl Pattern as a very rough guideline for this hooded wonder. That's the great thing about great patterns though... they can be adapted to make a million different things. I used two strands of golden Homespun yarn, and my now well-used 15mm circular needles, to whip this up in just one day. I'm smitten. Hope you are too.
I've been loving the boot cuff trend... It looks like everyone's walking around with cozy knit cabled socks on! Then I found some 2 colour boot cuffs on Etsy... What a brilliant idea! 2 cuffs for the price of one! The pattern I found on Ravelry is a reversible cable pattern, which adds even MORE diversity in how they can be worn, because they can be folded over your boots, or left up. I'm in LOVE with this idea! Inspired, I also made a neck warmer for my niece, that can be folded and worn as an ear warmer (I haven't pinned Lauren down to get photos of that one yet!). I'm inspired to see what other knit items I can make more versatile...
Broken Rib Cowl
Finding a pattern for a chunky infinity cowl, with no seams is difficult. Strangely difficult. I hate seams. They're difficult to do, and even when done well, they're kinda ugly. So, I made my own pattern yesterday... and it turned out really well. So I've decided to share it with you (and If you're not a knitter I'd be happy to make one for you)! It's called a broken rib cowl because of the stitch it's made of, and it makes it textured and fully reversible... with NO SEAMS!!!
Broken Rib Infinity Cowl Pattern
You will need:
2 skeins of extra bulky yarn
15mm circular needles
Using long tail cast on method, cast on 70 stitches onto your circular needles. Normally you would ensure the yarn is not twisted when joining... (If you want a loop cowl not an infinity cowl this is what you would do). Join with a single twist in the yarn (take the end of the joining side, the side with no yarn ends, and turn it up and over the needle one time). Place marker, knit all the way around. Second round, Knit one, Purl one the entire way around. Row 3 knit all the way around, Row 4 Knit one, purl one all the way around. etc... Just repeat row one and row two until you've used up almost 2 balls of yarn or until it's the desired width (This one, for reference, is 14 inches wide). Bind off and weave in ends. Taa-daa!!!