Sunday, August 31, 2014

Cupcakes from Brittany's Bakery

I love cupcakes.  I love the frosting, the fun little wrappers, the wide variety of possible flavor combinations, I love all of it!  So when I found out that my friend Brittany was thinking of starting a cupcake business sometime in the near future I was thrilled. Not much of a baker myself (too messy and scatterbrained...hm) I'm all about making friends who are!  Hehe, only joking.  (You are awesome for many reasons, Brittany!)
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Brittany of the future Brittany's Bakery kindly offered me a little sample box of her cupcakes to test out and enjoy.  If you haven't been to a gathering with Brittany's cupcakes in attendance you are truly missing out.  They are moist, sweet, and beautifully iced each and every time. It's always a treat to see what's baking in this lady's kitchen and what wonderful new flavor combinations she's coming up with.
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Clockwise from the top left, this sample box contained Funfetti, Carrot Cake, Reese's Cup, and Apple Cinnamon. I loved them all.  The Funfetti tasted like a little slice of birthday cake: sweet and fluffy like a puff of cotton candy.  The Carrot Cake was a subdued and sophisticated confection with subtle carrot and spice flavors topped with cream cheese icing (my absolute favorite).  The Reese's was extremely moist and chocolaty.  Reese's are some of my favorite candies and I think with a little more peanut butter in the mix this cupcake will be a total winner.  The Apple Cinnamon cupcake was probably my favorite partially due to it's innovativeness and cream cheese frosting, but also because it tasted like an apple pie in cupcake form! I've never had anything like it. Spicy, sweet, and just the right consistency with little pieces of apple baked in.  Delicious (have I said that word enough today?).
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Brittany's cupcakes are a treat for sure, but Brittany herself is also a treasure in our community.  Her Ohio charm and fiery personality make her a perpetually interesting companion.  A runner, mother to a very active two year old boy, and for-now Army wife, she does it all and then some.  Her home always smells like cinnamon and freshly baked cookies and I swear that aside from one basket of laundry I have never seen her home out of sorts.  Some of the ladies in our running club just call her Martha (short for Martha Stewart).  She may only be dipping her toes in the world of cupcakes for sale right now but don't be surprised to hear about a wonderful new bakery popping up soon!
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Friday, August 29, 2014

Boot Cuff Giveaway! - ENDED

I'm celebrating reaching 100 likes on my Facebook page! Enter the giveaway below. Germany and US residents only.
 Thanks for participating!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Start One for Me...Finish Two for Her

Earlier this week I wrote about starting a project for myself.  A big squishy project that would be perfect for the autumn weather we're having.  Well, I haven't finished it.  In fact that project has been ripped off the needles and wound back onto the ball of yarn it came from.  I didn't have the right sized needles to make it work. (Have to purchase more, darn.)  In the place of mama's knit there have been two projects crocheted for my little lady.  Sure, crochet is much faster than knitting and it's much easier to whip up a project for a baby than for an adult, but I'm still going to think of this as a metaphor for motherhood.  For every thing you start for yourself, you finish several things for your kids.  It's a giving thing.

If it didn't feel so darn good to put handmade things on my baby's body, I would certainly take offense at having no hand-knits for myself yet. What's that? I signed up for a craft show in October too?  Am I mad?  We'll just see what happens with that.  As it is I love seeing baby G in things I've made (have I mentioned that before? Once or twice? Hm).  Now bring on the cuteness!

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I just can't pass up making crowns. It's starting to border on an obsession.  This little one has three? Four? I've lost count. They are too charming (and mama might want some matching ones for herself...too silly?).  Yarn: Mystery Lang!  I think it's Classico. Found the wrapper.  It's Austermann Merino 105, color 317.  Pattern: Tiara Headband by Esther Chandler.

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The hat is made from the same yarn as her legwarmers. I'm not 100% crazy about it, but I think it looks like a starburst and that makes me happy.  It's also extremely soft, kind of a necessity when you're knitting for babies. Yarn: Patons Melody. Pattern: Strawberry Berety By Amanda Tipton

Now if you'll excuse me I have an orange baby gnome hat on the needles...Stop by tomorrow for some talk of cupcakes and yarn! Oh and a little giveaway, too!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Ice Queen

Hello my dear reader on the other side of the screen. How are you today? I really would love to know.  My day was so very full.  Full of errands, a foreign language, and foreign laws.  Today I missed the simplicity of living in a familiar place. Today I reveled in the flavor of living somewhere new.  So many feelings in a twenty-four hour day.

Last night I finished a project that had been living in the bottom of a basket of yarn.  I started it weeks ago and then lost interest for one reason or another.  I was inspired to pick it up again when I found someone who was looking for just what I had begun to make!  Funny how the world works. Now I'm working on something for myself.  I feel like I am always making something but when I look in my closet there are so few hand-knits for myself!  Perhaps it was time to spoil myself a little.  I bought a skein of silver Rico Creative Liesl on sale at a local craft shop.  It's shimmery in all the right places and oh so soft...but I will tell you more when I've finished my little something with it.

It's nighttime here in Germany and everything is still.  I think it's time for me to put on a little radio show and tune out the world to the click clicking of my knitting needles for a little while.

I'll leave you with my latest little thing. And sorry for all my recent photos being on the clothesline and back deck.  It's really the only place that gets sunlight now that Germany has decided that it's autumn.
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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Norwegian Star Hat for K

I went on a little knitting adventure this weekend and tried my hand at Fair Isle knitting.  Doesn't that name sound enchanting? It makes me think of bright green grass and fog rolling over hills. It makes me want to go to Scotland. Ahh, a vacation to Scotland would be nice.

Ok, now for a wee bit of knitting talk.  Feel free to skip this part and go on to the photos! Not wanting to completely overwhelm myself with a new technique I picked a small project.  This pattern, to be precise.  After consulting K I decided to forego the earflaps and do 2x2 ribbing for about 9 rows instead.  The yarn I used is Knit Picks Wool of The Andes worsted weight in Autumn Heather Tweed and Fjord Heather (less than a 50g ball of each) and US Size 7 needles.  Whew. On to my favorite part, more photos!
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Wow, that was a lot of photos. Can you tell that I'm super proud of this hat? As you can see, this hat is perfect for lounging around in one's bathrobe and playing guitar.  K is looking forward to many months of warm ears.  I know nothing keeps me as warm as some handknit love.

If you enjoyed the yarn speak up there in paragraph two, consider following me on Ravelry!  It's great fun.

Friday, August 22, 2014

{This Moment}

Joining Amanda today. In her words...
{this moment} ~ A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 
. . . . . . . . . .
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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

In My Studio | 20.Aug.14

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With the new chill in the air and a craft show just two months away, my work in progress basket has simply exploded.  I'm constantly doing something with yarn or scribbling away in my sketchbook. My poor husband K has been finding little bits of tassels and half created crochet concoctions squirreled away in all parts of the house.  He's far too kind to say much of anything about it...aside from the large pink watercolor stain on our new kitchen table which he took a small offense to (don't worry, it mostly washed out).  I don't suppose anyone expects to live in a simple and tidy house when they're married to an artist.

Has the knitting or crocheting bug bit you yet?  Are there Christmas presents and Autumn crafts calling your name yet? Tell me, what are you working on?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Chunky Knit Baby Legs - Free Mini Pattern

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Is there anything cuter than fat little baby rolls wrapped in mama knits?  I'm pretty sure I say that at least once a week but it doesn't get any less true.  Yesterday I needed a quick knit to keep my hands busy while my brain took a break at the end of a long day.  And since the weather in Germany is turning rapidly to cold, windy days I thought some fluffy little legwarmers for my baby G were just the ticket.
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Here's how I made them:

Baby Legwarmers (Make 2)
Using super bulky yarn (in this case Paton's Melody) and US size 10, 6mm double pointed needles cast on 20 sts (7 sts on first needle, 7 sts on second needle, 6 sts on third needle).
Careful not to twist, join for working in the round.
Knit 2, Purl 2 around for 3 rows.
Knit all sts until piece measures 7.5" from cast on edge.
Knit 2, Purl 2 around for 3 rows.
Bind off loosely.  If you have trouble doing a loose bind off, I recommend using a needle at least one size larger for bind off than what you used in the rest of your project. Weave in ends.
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Does anyone recognize this quilt?
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Uh, yes. That is a baby who is about to crawl. Yikes!  Hopefully these little baby legs will keep her knees from getting too banged up on the hardwood floors.  She is such a curious baby, who knows where those little legs are going to take her!
I hope you enjoy this free mini-pattern.  Who will you make these baby legs for?

Monday, August 18, 2014

DIY Tassel Garland With Yarn

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I might be a wee bit obsessed with garlands in my house.  Right now I have finger knits, granny squares, name pennants, and microbrew coaster garlands.  They're everywhere!  So in keeping with that theme I decided to jump on the tassel bandwagon and add those to my garland collection.
Here's how I did it:
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Gather your supplies.  Yarn, a picture book measuring about 8" wide (depending on how long you want your tassels), scissors, and a yarn needle (not pictured).
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I started with this vintage sport weight yarn (given to me by my grandma) but you can use any type of yarn for this project!  I used almost the full 185 yds for 8 tassels.
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Step 1: Take a piece of yarn roughly twice as long as the width of your book (in this case the length of yarn should be 16").  Lay this yarn on the edge of the book as pictured.
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Step 2: Holding the end of your yarn that's attached to the main ball against the spine of the book, start wrapping! Be sure not to wrap too tightly.  I like to wrap the yarn around the book 40 times but you can do more or less depending on how thick you want your tassel to be.
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Step 3: Once you've finished wrapping, cut the yarn.  Make sure that both of your ends are at the spine of the book.
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Step 4: Take the 16" piece of yarn that you laid across the book in step 1 and move it towards the BACK cover of the book.  Tie a single knot and hold it in place.
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Step 5: Cut along the spine of the book on the FRONT cover side.
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Step 6: Now double knot that yarn you single knotted in step 4.
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Step 7: Fold the bunch of yarn in half over this knot, hiding the knot and creating your tassel.
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Step 8: Cut a 20" piece of yarn.  Hold this piece between your fore and middle finger leaving an 8" tail.  Wrap the longer tail around the top of the tassel 6 or 7 times.  Tie off.
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Step 9: Trim the ends to make it all tidy.
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Step 10: Once you've made the desired number of tassels, string them on a piece of yarn, twine, or ribbon!  And tada! You have a tassel garland.
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Wasn't that fun?  I can't wait to make more of these for around the house.  The color combinations are endless.  What colors will you use?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

{This Moment}

Joining Amanda today. In her words...
{this moment} ~ A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 
. . . . . . . . . .

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