American Wool Series

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Fall Favorites: A Final Giveaway

A while ago I posted about a mini- Twin Peaks Road Trip that I went on with Andi and Monica. On said trip I purchased a sweater's worth of Quince & Co Owl Tweet in a lovely Russet color and knit a cardigan practically right away. I have yet to take pictures of the cardigan but it turns out that I have two, count' em TWO, full skeins of this really delightful yarn to giveaway.

 Yummy, right?
Quince & Co Owl Tweet is a worsted weight 50% American wool and 50% American Alpaca blend yarn that has 120 yards to a 50 gram skein. This yarn is tweedy and loft and soft and has amazing stitch definition. 

To enter the giveaway, let me know what you would knit with two skeins of Quince & Co Owl Tweet! Please make sure you leave a way for me to get in touch - a Ravelry ID works best!

I'll close the giveaway next Wednesday. Best of luck to you!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Fall Faves: Giveaway Winner

Happy Monday! I admit, I'm having a difficult time bouncing back to work after what felt like too short a weekend. I'm pretty sure giving away some yarn will help me feel better, so let's get to it. Random number generator tells me that browncurls is the winner! Congratulations, Liesl! Here's what she had to say,

"You picked out some really lovely colorways at the trunk show.
Ruby Love is such a lovely red - I think I'd knit yet another Koolhaas hat in it."

I think Koolhaas will look great in Cadence; those cables will really pop! I'll be in touch via Ravelry to get your mailing address.

I still have to take pictures of the yarn for the giveaway this week. Believe you me, it's delightful! I'll be posting the new giveaway on Wednesday, so stay tuned for that!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

FO: Teal Glacier Socks

 A couple of weeks ago I was quite ill and stayed home from work for several days. As part of my lay on the sofa and watch trashy television shows until I'm better cure I needed a really simple knitting project. None of my current projects quite fit the bill so I dug through my stash and came up with a skein of Mountain Colors Bearfoot.
 I let the color do all the work on this pair of socks. They're for Mr. B for Christmas and they're more flamboyant than he would usually wear but I think they'll be fine for non-work days.
Pattern: Improvised 64 stitch vanilla sock
Yarn: Mountain Colors Bearfoot in Teal Glacier
Needles: US #2 (2.75 mm) Hiya Hiya Sharps
Mods: I knit these two at a time on a long circular needle. Bearfoot is a heavier weight sock yarn and my tag said to use a US #3 or #4 needle so I figured a #2 would give me a nice sturdy sock fabric. The mohair, wool, nylon composition of the yarn washes up beautifully and will make for fantastic feet-warming socks this Winter.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Fall Favorites: Comfort Food

When the weather starts to turn cold and chilly I get excited about all of the bone-warming recipes that gear me up for Thanksgiving. I eat soup all year long (it's something I get teased about at work since I usually have soup at least twice a week) but there's something about things like shepherd's pie and casseroles that get me excited to jump back in the kitchen. I'm a pescetarian, basically a vegetarian that eats fish, so I usually veggie up standard things like pot pies with vegetarian substitutes. I have favorite veggie items that my family also likes: Field Roast Celebration Roast, Tofurkey Italian Sausages, and Quorn Meat-free Chicken Pieces are all excellent substitutes for the real deal and allow me to make my beloved chicken pot pie.
After all of the light and crisp flavors of Summer I'm seriously ready for some homemade macaroni and cheese or pumpkin bread or mashed potatoes and ANYTHING.

Do you have a favorite Fall food or recipe?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Fall Favorites: A Winner & Another Giveaway

Thank you to everyone who entered last week's giveaway! Random number generator tells me that the lucky winner is #2, or Sarah, who says, 

"I wear a cowl or scarf every day from September to May! I keep feeling like I have plenty but then I always want something just a bit different when I'm grabbing one in the morning."

I feel you, Sarah! I like my collection but always want more! I've messaged you on Ravelry to get your choice of accessory pattern. I can't wait to see what you choose. By the way, Sarah is a potter and does lovely work so you should check out her website.

Last Friday was my birthday and besides doing a little too much imbibing with a great group of friends I attended a Hazel Knits trunk show at the Fiber Gallery.
Clockwise from the upper right: Cadence Laguna, Cadence Shady Verdant, Artisan Sock Haze, Entice Rogue* (yellow), Artisan Sock Rogue (red and spruce green), Artisan Sock Acorn.

 Let's just say that I spent both time and money making my yarn selection (birthday money from family purchased this lot otherwise I would have held myself in check a bit more). Hazel Knits is one of my very favorite sock yarns and I love Wendee's color sense and her wonderful yarn bases. She recently expanded her line of yarn to include a worsted weight superwash merino and I picked up a skein to give away to you wonderful folks!
Say hello to Cadence in Ruby Love. Love is right, for sure. This is 200 yards of a gorgeous ruby red 100% superwash merino that's perfect for a cozy Fall accessory.

To enter, tell me what you would knit with this gorgeous skein of yarn. Please leave a way for me to get in touch with you, a Ravelry ID works best but if you're not a member (why!?!) make sure you leave another way for me to contact you. 

Best of luck!

*Rogue colors are one of a kind colors that don't quite match the intended colorway. They're always gorgeous!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

FO: Twisted Flower Socks

 Back in April I cast on a pair of complicated socks. I worked my way through the leg of the first sock pretty quickly and then something happened, I don't really know what, but Something. I put the socks down half-way through the heel flap and there they languished for several months. Last month I decided I was tired of looking at them and picked them up again to decide to finish or frog. I guess you can tell that I finished the dang things! They're beautiful. They're also the most complicated pair of socks I've knit to date.
Pattern: Twisted Flower by Cookie A (from
Yarn: Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in Heartthrob
Needles: US #1 (2.25 mm) Hiya Hiya Sharp Fixed Circulars
Mods: None.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Fall Favorites: Layering Warmth & A Giveaway

I meant to post this several days ago but I came down with my first true cold of the season (my least favorite thing about Fall is that it overlaps cold and flu season) and was home sick for a couple of days. Don't feel too bad for me because I got in a ton of knitting time in between naps, but more on that later. 

One of the best things about Fall is the change in weather! I can't wait to pull out my tights, boots, and hand knit accessories and start layering pieces of my wardrobe. I usually end up sporting this look a tad early and swelter beneath too many layers on days that reach into the 70s. I never learn.

I love knitted accessories. My accessory wardrobe is heavy on color, texture, and pattern since I can pop anything over my plain black or gray coat and feel warm and stylish. It's true that later in the season I'm not sure if I look chic or slightly hobo-ish but at least I'm warm! At my knitting group's latest stash swap and sale I took in some under used accessories and gave them away to make room for future hand knits! This year I'm leaning heavily toward infinity scarves (i.e. looong cowls) and skinny long triangles since they're easy to wear and stay put around my neck and shoulders.

Leave a comment telling me what your favorite knit accessory is and why to win the accessory pattern of your choice via Ravelry.

Don't forget to leave a way for me to get in touch - either an email address or (even better!) your Ravelry ID. I'll pick a winner next Monday. Good luck!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Fall Favorites: Monster Movies

In lieu of music today, I bring you a couple of videos of my favorite monster movies! These are both in the comedic horror genre and are super silly and reminiscent of creature features of the 1950s and 1960s. 

Eight Legged Freaks is from 2002 and features David Arquette and - you guessed it - giant spiders! The spiders get exposed to toxic waste and become giant man-eating spiders of all varieties. David Arquette is the unlikely hero trying to squash the giant arachnids with the help of the town sheriff and her kids (daughter played by Scarlett Johansson).

Grabbers is about tentacled aliens that invade a small Irish town and are allergic to alcohol. What do the people in the know about the aliens decide to do to keep the rest of the townsfolk safe? Lock them in a pub for a party, of course! While most of the townspeople proceed to drink themselves silly over the course of the movie, the rest of the alien hunters defend the town from the aliens and try to figure out a way to take them out. 

Grabbers is currently streaming on American Netflix. Grab yourself a pint and get to watching!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

FO: Simple Skyp Socks

 I finally have a photographed finished object to share! I finished knitting these socks waaay back on September 10th and it took me almost a month just to wash them and snap a picture. That timeframe might tell you how busy we've been with the Mr. starting a new job and Little A starting kindergarten. Very!
Pattern: Simple Skyp Socks by Adrienne Ku
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in December Ribbon Candy gifted to me by my friend, Jeanne
Needles: US #1 (2.25mm) Hiya Hiya Sharps
Mods: None! Actually, the pattern calls for sport weight yarn but I just subbed in sock yarn and chose a stitch count (64) that I knew would fit. The leg is five inches long instead of my usual six inches. This pattern makes for great commute knitting since the pattern is easy to memorize and there's very little counting involved in the stitch pattern.

Friday, October 3, 2014

A Month of Favorites: Leaves & Color

One of my favorite things about Fall is the spectacular show of colors as the leaves change and the weather gets colder. Growing up in Northern California I experienced prolonged Summer and Fall seasons and the weather was gorgeous in October - crisp, cold, and frosty in the mornings with temperatures reaching into the low 70s in the afternoons and then dropping again at night. We're getting a small taste of that weather in Seattle right now and I LOVE it and hope it holds out through the end of the month.

I've never been to Asheville, NC but this video makes me want to visit.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A Month of Favorites 2014

Welcome to October! This is my very favorite time of year and to celebrate I'll be posting a month-long series of my favorite things. I did the same month-long series last year and loved how it made me focus on positive, uplifting things that I enjoy while sharing them with you. I'll be posting weekly giveaways, just like last year, and I hope you join me in sharing your favorite things via social media. #fallfaves2014

Let's kick this off, shall we?

 I love love love pears. Did you know that there are lots of different varieties beside plain old Bartletts? These beauties are Starkrimson and I can't even tell you how lovely they smell and taste. This box is looooong gone but I keep thinking about how delicious they taste.
Some of the pears became pear butter that we'll enjoy until next fall when I can a new batch. This stuff is seriously good and tasty on bread, pancakes, ice cream, waffles, biscuits, and the list goes on. So yummy! Fun fact, I worked in pear sheds packing pears for two summers in high school. While it ruined my relationship with pears for several years, it also schooled me in pear sizing (80s are big and 120s are small) and some varieties. Boscs are great for baking since they hold their shape and Bartletts are good for eating fresh since they're super juicy. 

Do you have a favorite fall fruit?