Finished Project: The Age of Brass and Steam

Over the summer I decided it would be nice to have a smaller project after finishing my sweater.  I had some Wolle’s Yarn Creations color changing yarn in my stash that I was really wanting to knit up and The Age of Brass and Steam seamed to be the perfect pattern to show off the beautiful color transitions.

Age of Brass and SteAMI added one extra repeat of the pattern and then knit the garter stitch edge until I finished up the skein to be sure to make the most of all the wonderful color.

Wolle's Yarn Creations shawlIt’s much bigger than the original pattern but I love how the cotton fabric drapes.  I’m very pleased with this project.

Afternoon at Good Intent’s New Cidery and Tasting Room

Last year I posted about a great meal that we had that was made better with Good Intent Cider.

Good Intent Cider got even better because this weekend they opened their tasting room at 167 South Potter Street in Bellefonte, Pa.

Good Intent Cider tasting roomMike and I went after running a few errands and we were very excited to enjoy all the cider we know we already love in their tasting room. Their space is so quaint with lots of exposed brick and wood.

good intent 3We each enjoyed two glasses of cider.  We each had a Good Charmat and then Mike tried their perry which is called Calebasse Bosc and I had the original Adam’s Apple.

good intent 5good intent 4There were a lot of people coming in and out and everyone was so friendly.  It ended up being a great time talking with new people and enjoying cider on a perfect fall afternoon.

And of course I got a sweatshirt before I left because I love a good hoodie and I’m sure it won’t hurt if there’s another person out there wearing their gear.

good intent 2I really hope that Jenn and Adam’s success continues.  I know we’ll be back.

Finished Project: Lemongrass

Finished Lemongrass sweaterCheck it out.  An actual finished project!  I finished knitting my Lemongrass sweater  back in May.  It just needed to be blocked and I had to sew on the buttons.  But where’s the incentive to do that when you finish a sweater when summer is coming? So it was finished this week.

Lemongrass sweaterI used Austermann Murano which is a bulky self-striping yarn.  It’s now discontinued so I got it at a discount. I purposefully made my yarn selection because as my first real sweater, I wasn’t confident I’d even get through it or that I’d even want to wear it.

side of my LemongrassBut I did and I do because the pattern is so well written and easy to follow.  I love the cable pattern down the front and the way the sides come together with buttons. The only changes I made were to the stitch used to increase for the arms and putting two buttons on each side.

So I’m pretty pleased with my big warm bulky sweater and even though I’m sad to see summer go, at least I can look forward to getting to wear this new sweater that I knit myself.

Lemongrass sweater

11th Annual Gourmet Granary Candlelight Dinner

Last night was the 11th Annual Gourmet Granary Candlelight Dinner in Lemont, Pennsylvania. The event was catered by EcoVents and benefited the Lemont Village Association.Granary Gourmet Dinner - LemontIt was a cool evening, perfect to enjoy a Spanish themed multi-course meal in the John I. Thompson Grain Elevator and Coal Sheds.

Outside the Granary, Lemont, PAThe evening started with plenty of appetizers and wine from Mt. Nittany Winery and beer from Otto’s Pub and Brewery.

AppetizersTo start there were cracked marinated Spanish olives, salted almonds, a selection of cheeses, figs with goat cheese and serrano ham, and a variety of empanadas: mushroom and cheese, chicken and poblano cream cheese and beef and potato.   I tried two of the empanadas and the fig with goat cheese and ham.  My favorite was definitely the figs.

empanadas and figWe joined three other couples at our table for the rest of the meal.

table one in the granaryThe next course was a salad with arugula, grapes, and almonds with a saba vinaigrette and bread made my Ron and Sue Smith.

salad with arugula, grapes and almondsThe next course was a pumpkin and bean soup.

pumpkin and bean soupThe main course included papas bravas

papas bravasvegetarian paella

vegetarian paellaBasque-style chicken with prosciutto and olives

Basque-style chicken with prosciutto and olives and chick peas and chorizo (which was my favorite part of the main course).

chick peas and chorizoDessert followed with coffee from Cafe Lemont and a cherry almond tart.

cherry almond tartOnce again, it was a lovely event with a great crowd.

Sip and Paint

Today I hosted my friends for a Sip and Paint party on my deck. I had such a great time. Thank you to our teacher Amanda who guided us through the process as we recreated Kandinsky’s Houses in Munich.

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This is my finished version.

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They all turned out so good.

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It was a wonderful way to spend a summer day.

Chickpea and Vegetable Tagine

It’s been a while since we’ve tried a new recipe and one that I absolutely loved.  But tonight we made a great one.

Chickpea and Vegetable Tagine from the most issue of Cooking Light was really easy to put together.

Chickpea and Vegetable TagineThe recipe suggested serving over quinoa but we had couscous on hand and used that. It was so flavorful because of the cinnamon, cardamon, cumin and turmeric and the cooked tomatoes. We grilled chicken for the week and had that as well but this easily could have been it’s own meal.

Visiting Purl Soho

A couple weekends ago I visited my friend Elena who lives in New Jersey.  We decided to go into the city for a night.  While we were there our plan was to explore, take pictures, and eat delicious food.

During our explorations, we visited Purl Soho.

Purl Soho Store FrontI’ve only knit one of their patterns before but I admire their patterns regulary and read their blog.  I love their color choices and the style of their finished pieces.

Purl SohoTheir shop is filled with color.  And since I am a knitting nerd, seeing their samples in person was almost like spotting a celebrity.

I was able to control myself and only buy one skein of yarn.  I got their Line Weight in Desert Blue so that I can knit their Hat to Match for myself.

Purl Soho Line Weight

Finished Project: Cable and Eyelet Hat

It’s my first finished project of 2014!  It’s a Cable and Eyelet Hat.

Cable and Eyelet HatI changed the pattern a bit, omitting some of the straight knitting and purling rows between the cable and eyelet detail in favor of repeating the cable and eyelet rows an extra time.  I like the way it turned out and think would have been even longer if I did it the way the pattern was written.  I think my brim is shorter too.

This is the top.  I changed the decreases ever so slightly so as to not be knitting the two stitches together at the end and beginning of the next row.  I still think it looks pretty.

top of Eyelet and Cable hatIt feels so good to finally finish a project.  I started the first sleeve of my sweater last night and I am very pleased with how it’s looking.

Welcome to my tarn factory

A few months ago, I discovered T-shirt yarn or tarn.  I was checking out Wool and the Gang’s Jersey Be Good and finding myself wanting to buy tons of colors.  But I restrained myself and instead started googling and learned how easy it is to make your own. I found some great tutorials like this one here.

It seemed like a great reason to clean out my closet and I grabbed some old T-shirts that were definitely ready to be recycled.

Here’s what I did.

First I cut the neck and arms off the flat T-shirt to make more of a rectangular tube.  I folded it in half and began cutting one inch strips being sure to stop before I got to the folded edge.Tarn OneHere you can see the finished cut T-shirt with Willie.  Cats are very curious about tarn making.

Tarn and WillieNext I began cutting alternating sides so that it became one long strip of fabric.

Cutting Tarnone long strand of tarnT-shirt is stretchy so you need to stretch it out so that the ends and corners fold in to make one long continuous strand that is a bit more uniform in shape.

Tarn comparisonCurled up TarnAnd then you wind it into a ball to use for whatever project you wish.

Tarn ballI made four balls out of old T-shirts. I’ll likely make a scarf out of this for the spring once I finish some other projects.

Tarn ballsAnd my next goal is to attempt to do some old flat T-shirt sheets.  I hope to turn those into a rug.

Updates on projects and other things

It’s been a while since I posted any projects because I haven’t actually finished anything yet this year.

I decided that I wanted to try my first real sweater and it’s been taking a bit of time to finish up.  I’m working on Lemongrass and I am loving everything about it.

Lemongrass SweaterFor a first time sweater knitter, I’ve found the pattern is very easy to follow, the construction is very simple and using a bulky yarn makes each section go quickly.  I just hope I finish it in time to wear at least once before the weather gets too warm.

I’m also working on Hermione’s Cable & Eyelet Hat for a friend’s mom.

Hermione HatThis is a quick knit too and I hope to have it finished within the week.

This week, another exciting this that happened was my card catalog was featured on Asja Knits. Asja wrote a post about yarn storage and found so many creative ways knitters are storing their yarns. It was very exciting to see my storage method listed with so many other beautiful and creative yarn stashes.