b i r t h day

A birthday cocktail. A really good cake made by mom. And an extra long weekend spent with those I love. 47 is OK.

handknits in the wild

I started knitting about 6 years ago and have certainly acquired a substantial collection of handknits to wear during cold months since then / shawls being the greatest variety to add to outfits. I designed a few of my own shawls as well - add those to the mix and my handknit storage is at its limit! Well, one can always smoosh in some more, right? I rotate some shawls on a weekly basis on the hallway closet door hook  ... however, there are always so many that never get worn as much. And yet I keep knitting more. Um, yeah!

On Saturday, I wore my French Outlander Shawl that hadn't seen daylight in awhile and I had missed it. Like an old friend. It is worked in Zazu Yarns colorway {Glitter base} 50 shades of Brown accented with Ginger's Hand Dyed Sheepish Sock colorway Lallybroch. Outlander releases Season 3 this year ... methinks I need to do another Outlander-inspired shawl. Yes, another!

January Fleurs // free chart

January Fleurs
Complimentary Chart from The Sampler Girl C2017

Color code

solid square = DMC 611
solid dot = DMC 734         
2      DMC 315         
O     DMC 3835
W     DMC 352         
I        DMC 316

the sampler girl podcast / Ep 78, Happy New Year

Show Notes for Episode 78 / Happy New Year

cozy shlanket mkal by Mina Philipp

tree motif from Dimitie Scarf by Lucinda Guy / Northern Knits Gifts: Thoughtful Projects Inspired by Traditions
dragons teeth hat by Mina Philipp
oats cowl by Tin Can Knits
aspen winter cowl by Laura Gesin

2 prizes for knitallthecowlsandhatskal: project bag from Bags She Built on etsy & a skein of yarn and pattern from my stash

Amber of Makers Haven Podcast (youtube)
Molly of A Homespun House (youtube)
Jaclyn of Brooklyn Knitfolk Podcast (youtube)
Shelter Worsted Yarn colorways Fossil, Homemade Jam, and Postcard
Red Heart Super Saver colorway Macaw
Patons Worsted colorway Dark Grey Marl
Bijou Basin colorway Outlander inspired Redcoats
Berroco Vintage DK colorway Smoke
fibrespace yarn shop

a tree and sweet potatoes

A few years back, my Mom gifted me Northern Knit Gifts: Thoughtful Projects inspired by Folk Traditions. It has gorgeous Estonian, Scandinavian, Icelandic ... you get the idea ... designs and I rediscovered it the other day. There is a lacy scarf that is comprised of mainly eyelets but at both ends is to be worked two tree motifs. I immediately thought one would be sweet knit up on its own. I think it took 15 minutes to knit so chances are I'll be making more. Don't know what I'll do with them - they are too lacy/holey to be a blanket ... anyone have an idea? A few strung together in some kind of garland would be nice for Christmas or maybe sewn into a little pillow but I want the lacy bits to show so not sure about stuffing it ... I welcome your thoughts!

I have been craving sweet potatoes! Since I'm the only one mad crazy for them, I concocted my own baking dish of this yummy, topped with fat marshmallows. I think it's cooled down for me to eat now!!!

another day, another hat

This little child's hat was super quick and the end result is adorable. Double Seed Stitch creates a really nice texture, especially for a hat foundation. This free design, Beloved, is worked in bulky yarn and zooms off the needles. It makes for a sweet gift knit.

I've been putting together a NEW podcast episode so plans to record are in store this week! The holidays are over and I am trying to get back to regularly podcasting; thank you for your patience. I had taken down older episodes on iTunes and they are now back up. The Sampler Girl Podcast on iTunes

The week started quite cold and raw; this morning wasn't as biting but still cold. I love winter weather so I'm prepared however, when the wind kicks up, it can be quite a doozy! 

See you again soon. xx

winter hat

We had our first snow this weekend! Saturday was a winter wonderland even though we ended up with less than an inch but it was bitter cold with fat flying snowflakes for many hours. Winter bliss! Especially for a knitter. I spent an hour or so at the knitting shop casting on a new design by Mina, Dragon's Teeth Hat, which I finished up this afternoon. I can't bear to take it off! Super cozy and warm. I used Berrocco Vintage DK in colorway Smoke with size US 4 and 6 needles. I made a pathetic but cute little pom pom out of the same yarn, different colorway whose yarn label I don't have at hand, sorry. It's a lovely rust/red/brown color and accents it really nicely.

So the weekend is coming to a close. Bummer. Monday seems to pop up too quickly, just as I got settled in to the weekend frame of mind.

Hope your Sunday has been well-spent and sweet filled. Perchance with knitting or handwork?

grey and red

More rain. What a soggy beginning to 2017! Waking up to the pitter patter of rain is quite nice especially since it's a work-from-home day for me so I didn't have to drive through busy lanes on the way in to the office. The short & sweet drop to the elementary school was puddle-laden enough. Grace cat is currently atop a chair by the window, watching the world slosh by. I think it's trying to clear up so here's hoping the sun returns. In the meanwhile, it gives a quiet, somber mood to Tuesday here.

Last night I was able to make keen progress on my Aspen Winter Cowl. It is such a delightful knit, I highly recommend the pattern by Laura Gesin. Laura hosts an audio podcast, Knit Read Pray (itunes). I recently was swept away in color-combo-goodness by Jaclyn of the BrooklynFolk Podcast (youtube) when she knit some slippers for a friend in Paton Worsted Dark Grey Marl accented with a touch of cranberry red yarn. Yes! Oh my - so gorgeous together. It was the first choice I had for this cowl design and works perfectly. The red is Bijou Basin Himalayan Trail in colorway RedCoats which I had in my stash - it is fingering weight so I'm holding it double. Size US8 neeldes and this project makes me giddy. 

Dinner tonight will be a weekly meal favorite ... spaghetti.

yarn & onion rings

A brand new year! 2017. Amazing, this time thing.

I haven't posted here in too long. Anyone still reading? Drop me a note in the comments and let me know what you've been up to. I aim to be more regular on the blog again as I've missed blogging very much.

For a New Year's Day cast on, I had picked the Cozy Shlanket MKAL design by Mina Philip, so on New Year's Eve, I scooted over the my LYS and picked out these lovelies:

Brooklyn Tweed Shelter 'Worsted' in colorways (left to right): 
Homemade Jam

I managed to complete Clue No 1 by midnight yesterday and I'm giddy over how it is working up. It was a rainy morning here so the picture doesn't show the yarn's beauty ... trust me ... swoonworthy! Clue No 2 released on Sunday, so I'm ready.

Tonight we had burgers and I fixed oven baked onion rings to accompany the simple menu. They were very simple and very tasty. I'll surely make them again.

:: Before ::

:: After ::

BAKED ONION RINGS (easily doubled)
recipe from http://www.lecremedelacrumb.com

1 large sweet onion
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
2 eggs + 2 Tablespoons water
nonstick spray

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line baking sheet with foil and spray heavily with nonstick spray.
Peel off the outermost layer from the onion and discard. Cut off the ends and slice the rest of onion into thick rings. Separate the rings and palce in a bowl of water. 
Place panko crumbs in a medium bowl. In a second bowl, stir flour, salt, and chili powder. In a third bowl, whisk together the eggs and water.
Take one onion ring and toss it in the flour, being sure to coat well. Next, dip it in the egg mixture, being sure to coat all sides. Lastly, toss the ring in the panko crumbs to coat. Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining onion rings.
Spray the rings with nonstick spray - this makes them extra crispy! Bake onion rings for 15 minutes until golden brown. 

Saturday Reads