Sunday, October 8, 2017

Finishes at the Topsfield Fair, Plus a New Cross Stitch Pattern

Hello, readers!  I hope everyone has been up to fun things since my last update.  It's October here in Massachusetts, which means it's time for the Topsfield Fair!  This is the oldest fair in America, and it's in it's 199th year.  I had never entered a fair before this year, so I was pretty happy with my finishes!  Here's how I did.


This first piece is the Whiteout shawl by Melanie Berg.  Mine is knitted in Shibui Knits Lunar in Ash, Fjord, and Blueprint.  It's a deliciously soft, sheeny, lofty extra fine merino and mulberry silk blend.  I was very happy with a second place finish.


My second entry was an adaptation of the Sunny Days Tank by Patons (free pattern!).   This pattern is written to be knitted as a front and a back piece and then seamed together.  I knitted two separate pieces for about 3-4" so the bottom edge is notched at each side for a little bit of movement, then I joined them in the round to avoid side seams and kitchenered the shoulders together.   I used about 5 balls of Knit Picks Lindy Chain yarn in Bluebell, which is a cool-to-the-touch, summery linen-cotton blend.  This one brought another red ribbon home.


My third and final piece was the Snowflake Fingerless Gloves by Cailyn Meyer.  Originally, this pattern is written to use a dark background color and a gradient of contrast colors.  Instead, I cut out all of those color changes and used Knit Picks Chroma Fingering yarn in Black and Lupine.  Lupine has a very long color change gradient that fades from blue to purple to hot pink.  I think they turned out pretty well, and the judges must have agreed, because these mittens won a blue ribbon!

I have some room for improvements next year, and I took in some inspiration from the dozens of other beautiful pieces on display.  All in all, I'd call it a success!

"All Things Bright and Beautiful" Cross Stitch Pattern - adapted from my original embroidery pattern
Before I go, I have one other thing I'd like to share with you - I adapted one of my embroidery patterns to be a simple cross stitch, because I thought it might be easier to read than the teeny-tiny stitches over a single thread on 28-count linen.  If you'd like to purchase a copy, head over to my Etsy store!

That's all of the updates I have for today.  Happy Stitching!

-Erin

Monday, September 25, 2017

Yarn Binge! Post-Travel Report: Bermuda and Washington, DC

Hello, followers!

I've just returned from a week long cruise to Bermuda, followed by a weekend trip to Washington, DC.  I didn't take my embroidery with me on the cruise, but I did make some headway on some of my knitting projects, and I found some *lovely* locally dyed yarn during my travels!


Starboard Shawl - original design.  Should be published within the month!
I'm working on an original design for a stashbuster shawl to use up the half-balls of sock yarn I had left from Joji Locatelli's Starting Point wrap.  I call this the "Starboard Shawl" for its nautical stripes and a few subtle sea-themed details.  I'm hoping to have this published to Ravelry within the next month!  It's a little over halfway done at this point.  The main color (gray) is Shibui Knits Birch in Ash, and it's SO SOFT!  The contrast colors are from Malabrigo and Skeinny Dipping Yarn - I'll go over them in more detail once I finish the shawl.  I really do love it - it's coming together so nicely, and I'll be happy to post my first "real" pattern!


"Veda's Peacock" - pattern by Nancy Marchant
This next little WIP is Nancy Marchant's brioche "Veda's Peacock" from her book Knitting Fresh Brioche.  I'm really enjoying it!  It's my first full brioche project, and it's going well, although it's slow.  The yarns are Madeline Tosh Dandelion in Grasshopper (green) and Black Bunny Fibers Bartram in Archipelago (blue).  I don't recommend this for a brioche beginner, though - it's better to start off with some simple stripes so you can really understand the construction.


Hue Shift Afghan in progress
Did a few more squares on my Hue Shift Afghan.  This is the fourth and final quadrant - I've got 80 of 100 squares done!  My sister is knitting this along with me from Ohio, too.  I'm using the Jewel Toned color kit.


"Bermuda Cedar" and "Teal" colorways from Sheepwrecked Yarns
 I stopped at The Black Purl yarn store in Hamilton, Bermuda while we were there and picked up two of her lovely hand-dyed yarns on a merino-cashmere-nylon base.  I can't wait to start something pretty with these!  The shop was lovely and cozy, and the owner, Cindy, was welcoming and friendly.  Definitely worth a trip if you're in Bermuda!


Left to right - "Laser Space Cat" by Tempting Ewe Yarns, "Acid Bomb" by Qing Fibre, and "Van Gogh Sunflowers" by Dragonfly Fibers
When I came back from Bermuda, we went on a quick weekend trip to Washington, DC to meet up with some friends and play some Ingress.  I stopped by Looped Yarn Works in Dupont Circle and bought a few more skeins to add to my stash.  The "Laser Space Cat" by Tempting Ewe Yarns is my favorite - it's sparkly and wonderfully bright.


"Claudius Fancius Maximus" - my new ragdoll kitty!
And finally, because I know a lot of you are cat lovers, I should share a couple of pictures of my new boy, Claudius Fancius Maximus, or "Fancy" for short.  I'm officially fostering him through his rabies quarantine (he came into our hospital as a stray tomcat with a bite wound abscess about two months ago).  He's a love - and super handsome!


Fancy and Julius are tolerant of each other.
He's getting along okay with my other cat, Julius.  They're not in physical contact with each other due to the rabies quarantine, but I take him out of his room every few days to look at Julius and to feed them both some treats.  Supervised physical contact will probably follow once the quarantine is up in another two months.

That's all for today - thanks for stopping by!

-Erin

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Hello hello, friends!  I'm dusting off my blog space and my evenweave and getting back into stitching!  I have been focusing A LOT on knitting over the past couple of years, so you'll see some more yarn-inspired posts in here as well.

I received an Etsy commission to stitch something for a new veterinary graduate.  Here's a progress pic:


I'm going to try to have this out within the month; I'm making good progress so far.  I forgot how fun it is to stitch!

I've decided to work on building a brand, so I'm going to be working on more patterns to share with the textile world.  Watch out for more, coming soon - I've missed you all!

If anyone has any good knitting or cross stitching blogs that they'd like to plug, I'm open to suggestions.  Just leave 'em in the comments!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Ingress Enlightened Hat Knitting Pattern

Hello, again, after a bit of a hiatus!

I have still been knitting and stitching, although blogging has fallen a bit by the wayside in light of recent events (wedding, honeymoon, craaaaazy busy work/grad school, etc.).  I wanted to check in again to share something, though!

I have been playing a Google-sponsored game called Ingress.  It's basically Four Square meets Capture the Flag, played on cell phones and tablets.  There are two teams or "factions," the Resistance (blue, or "Smurfs") and the Enlightened (green, my team, the better team).  This game requires you to get out and walk around outside, and because winter is approaching I wanted to knit something to show my faction pride and keep me warm.  My solution?  A colorwork hat!  I posted the finished object on Google+, and it kind of "went viral."  I got a ton of requests for the pattern, so here it is!

(Who knows - if I get enough requests, maybe I can even be convinced to do a Resistance hat, too.)  :)

My new Ingress Enlightened hat!
My new Ingress Enlightened hat!

Enlightened Hat Knitting Pattern

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft in Black (main color, MC - 9727) and Limelight (contrast color, CC - 9607)
Needles: tapestry needle, US size 8 (5.0 mm) 9" circular needles AND US size 8 (5.0 mm) double-pointed needles*

*you can also knit the entire hat on double-pointed needles, if desired

Gauge: 1" = 5 stitches

When knitting the colorwork, make sure to leave a good amount of slack in the CC while knitting with the MC, or else the hat will be too tight.  Tack the CC into place every 3-5 stitches on the reverse side by twisting it behind the MC.

Instructions (knit in the round):
Cast on 100 stitches in MC.  Join in circle, being sure not to twist.
Rows 1-8: *k2, p2 rib*
Rows 9-10: knit all stitches

Begin colorwork
See chart below.  Chart is worked from right to left and from bottom to top.  Repeat the pattern [between the asterisks in the written instructions (*)] five times total in each row (5 x 20 stitches, 100 stitches total).


Row 1: *k10 MC, k1 CC, k9 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 2: *k10 MC, k1 CC, k9 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 3: *k9 MC, k2 CC, k9 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 4: *k9 MC, k2 CC, k9 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 5:  *k8 MC, k3 CC, k9 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 6: *k8 MC, k3 CC, k9 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 7: *k7 MC, k1 CC, k1 MC, k2 CC, k9 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 8: *k7 MC, k1 CC, k1 MC, k2 CC, k9 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 9: *k7 MC, k1 CC, k1 MC, k2 CC, k9 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 10: *k5 MC, k1 CC, k3 MC, k2 CC, k9 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 11: *k5 MC, k1 CC, k2 MC, k3 CC, k9 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 12: * k4 MC, k1 CC, k1 MC, k1 CC, k13 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 13: *k5 MC, k1 CC, k3 MC, k4 CC, k7 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 14: *k1 CC, k1 MC, k1 CC, k3 MC, k2 CC, k6 MC, k3 CC, k1 MC, k1 CC, k1 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 15: *k4 MC, k2 CC, k1 MC, k8 CC, k5 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 16: *k3 MC, k1 CC, k2 MC, k1 CC, k2 MC, k4 CC, k7 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 17: *k4 MC, k2 CC, k14 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 18: *k5 MC, k1 CC, k2 MC, k3 CC, k9 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 19: *k9 MC, k2 CC, k9 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 20: *k7 MC, k1 CC, k1 MC, k2 CC, k9 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 21: *k8 MC, k3 CC, k9 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 22: *k9 MC, k2 CC, k9 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 23: *k10 MC, k1 CC, k9 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Cut CC only; secure and weave in end of yarn.
Rows 24-27: knit all stitches in MC

Shape crown
Repeat the pattern between the asterisks (*) 10 times total for each row.  Stitch counts at the end of each row are listed in brackets [].
Row 28: *k8, k2tog* (repeat 9 more times) [90 stitches at end of row]
Row 29: knit all stitches
Row 30: *k7, k2tog* (repeat 9 more times) [80 stitches at end of row]
Row 31: knit all stitches
Row 32: *k6, k2tog* (repeat 9 more times) [70 stitches at end of row]
Row 33: knit all stitches
Row 34: *k5, k2tog* (repeat 9 more times) [60 stitches at end of row]
Row 35: knit all stitches
*If using circular needle, switch to double-pointed needles at this step.
Row 36: *k4, k2tog* (repeat 9 more times) [50 stitches at end of row]
Row 37: knit all stitches
Row 38: *k3, k2tog* (repeat 9 more times) [40 stitches at end of row]
Row 39: knit all stitches
Row 40: *k2, k2tog* (repeat 9 more times) [30 stitches at end of row]
Row 41: knit all stitches
Row 42: *k1, k2tog* (repeat 9 more times) [20 stitches at end of row]
Row 43: knit all stitches
Row 44: *k2tog* (repeat 9 more times) [10 stitches at end of row]
Row 45: knit all stitches
Row 46: *k2tog* (repeat 4 more times) [5 stitches at end of row]

Cut yarn leaving 6" tail.  Using tapestry needle, thread cut end through all stitches in Row 46.  Secure and weave in end on reverse side.  Weave in ends on cast-on edge.

Happy knitting!

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Note: I don't charge money for patterns I post on here, but I do take the time to create them and write them up for your use!  If you think my work is worth a few bucks, please donate to my PayPal!  I'm a struggling grad student, after all.  :)

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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Finished my Fair Isle hat!

I finished my Fair Isle hat yesterday!  I love it!  It is warm and cozy and super-soft.  I wore it out last night because I just had to show it off.

Here is a quick pic.  That's all; I just wanted to share!

Have a happy Daylight Savings Day - I hope you all got enough sleep!

Cheers,
-Erin

Friday, March 8, 2013

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

I made this awesome slow cooker chicken tortilla soup last night, so I thought I would share the recipe.  My mom sent me this recipe a while ago, but I made some minor modifications to it this time around, and it turned out fantastically well!  It is full of lean protein and makes a hearty meal.  The flavor is chili-like, although the soup is more broth-based than chili-style.  I love it - and it's a good thing, because I live alone, so I will be eating it for the next week!

Slow cooker chicken tortilla soup - garnished with sour cream, a tortilla chip, and a sprinkle of chili powder
Slow cooker chicken tortilla soup - garnished with sour cream, a tortilla chip, and a sprinkle of chili powder
This recipe only has four "hard" parts:

1.  Chopping the onion
2.  Mincing the garlic
3.  Shredding the cooked chicken
4.  Trying not to eat the whole pot once it's finished!  :)

The rest of the recipe is just dumping everything into a slow cooker and waiting for it to cook.  I find the easiest way to make this soup is to start the recipe in the morning before I go to work.  Then, I shred the chicken first thing when I get home in the evening, and I eat it an hour or so later.

Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
Makes 3.5 quarts
165 calories per cup

Ingredients
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 19-ounce can dark red kidney beans, including liquid
1 15.5-ounce can black beans, including liquid
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes with green chile peppers, including liquid
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 15.25-ounce can whole-kernel sweet corn, drained
1 package taco seasoning
1 cup chicken stock
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds total weight)

Instructions
1.  Mix onion, garlic, kidney beans, black beans, tomatoes with chiles, tomato sauce, corn, taco seasoning, and chicken broth in 4-quart (or larger) slow cooker.  Stir well until completely mixed.
2.  Place chicken breasts on top of soup mixture.  Push to the bottom of the slow cooker so the chicken breasts are completely covered with liquid.
3.  Cook on low heat 6-8 hours.
4.  Remove chicken breasts from soup.  Shred into pieces with two forks.  Add shredded chicken back into soup.
5.  Continue cooking for another 1-2 hours to allow flavors to soak into shredded chicken.
6.  Serve alone, or garnish with tortilla chips, sour cream, and/or a dash of chili powder.

Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm!  Just the thing to warm you up on a cold wintry day.  :)

Slow cooker chicken tortilla soup - garnished with sour cream, a tortilla chip, and a sprinkle of chili powder
Slow cooker chicken tortilla soup - garnished with sour cream, a tortilla chip, and a sprinkle of chili powder

Sunday, March 3, 2013

First quadrant of Celestial Dragon - FINISHED!

Well, THAT took awhile - but here's a pic!

"Celestial Dragon" by Teresa Wentzler - first quadrant finished!
"Celestial Dragon" by Teresa Wentzler - first quadrant finished!

I am going to work on the bottom right quadrant next.  It only took me a year to finish this one...

I also finished a fluffy afghan for one of my pregnant lady friends!  It is slightly less square than it should be, but hopefully some blocking will tighten up the corners.

Is anybody else working on any fun projects this weekend?  Please share if you are!

Oh, and thank you to everyone who left such nice comments on my Fair Isle piece - I appreciate your encouragement!  It's always nice to know people are popping in here to look.  :)

Have a great weekend!

-Erin