Spoiler Alert!!! Through The Loops Mystery Shawl: Clue One!


Spoiler Alert! Spoiler Alert!!!! Scroll no further if you don't want to be spoiled!!!!


A fall shawl!!!!

I think I told you guys a few weeks ago about how I really wanted some new shawls since I gave almost all of mine away last winter? Well I joined Through the Loops Mystery Shawl on ravelry!

Last summer my instagram pals Kayanna, Dianne, Michelle, Colleen & I did a mystery shawl together with some mixed results. I think we all finished but I'm not sure if anyone truly loved theirs? I didn't love mine. Actually, scratch that out. I loved mine BUT it was incredibly small and not even remotely practical. I only recently (like last week) brought it to my local yarn store to see if I could do anything with it,. I don't think it was the designers fault, I think I probably didn't realize how the measurements worked out. I'm not very good at those sort of things.

So this summer! Mystery Shawl! Let's do this!!!! I was feeling a little nervous. But I wanted to try it. I'll be 100% honest with you guys, I joined because I loved the icon. Isn't that terrible? Judging a book by it's cover...joining a knit-a-long because of it's icon! ;) I mentioned that I loved it on Ravelry and the designer said she loved Edward Gorey. SOLD! COUNT ME IN! I'M SIGNING UP!

The intro pdf made me pretty confident I made the right choice, Kristen has you pick three colors and wrap them around a toilet paper roll to see how you'll like them together. Totally clever.

I'm using the following yarns on size 6 needles:

  • Plucky Feet in Sticky Toffee. This yarn started life as a pair of socks but I didn't love how they fit so I frogged them. I might go as far as saying that if there was ever a color I felt was dyed for me, it would be sticky toffee. It truly glows.
  • Plucky Feet in Lonesome Highway
  • Sundara Petite Sock in Rhythm of the Saints. Ok, I *love* this yarn. It's stunning. Photos will never do it justice. Imagine the prettiest burgundy your brain can think of, then add a tiny dash of pink. That's this skein. The base of this yarn is different than the Plucky, it has more twist and I like the texture that it's giving the lace.

The colors are Halloween/Autumn inspired. It's my favorite time of year. I can't get enough of it. I think it's going to match my Halloween donut quilt. (side note: did you guys know there is a line of fabric called Nevermore? I want it ALL! )

On a scale of 1-5 of trickiness, I'd give this a solid 4. I sat through 5.5 episodes of NCIS, plus two hours of complete quiet for the lace section. That being said, I am *not* a very confident or intuitive lace knitter. HOWEVER! The pattern is written super well. It has both chart and written directions, plus row counts. Incredibly helpful. I was off once and was able to rip back and fix my mistake so that was cool! By the last section of repeats I finally figured out what I was doing. It only took me a full day of knitting to figure it out. ;)

It's going to be 106 degrees this weekend, that makes me wilt just thinking about it. The only good thing about summer heat?

Summer veggies!!! My garden is already giving us generous hand fulls of these little cute tomatoes. I can't for the life of me remember the variety but they come in yellow, orange and red. I tossed them with some spinach, pesto, eggs and homemade garlic sausage for a fast & easy frittata. YUM!




(the well loved medium multibowl & tart dish courtesy of Le Creuset :))

Garden Peppers

Look at these beauties!

I've been able to pick a decent amount of peppers from the garden about every two weeks so far this summer. I have 4 plants, two bells and two Anaheim's. They are loving the mild summer we are having for sure!

Last summer I planted a large garden, this year I've kept it kind of small and everything in containers. I have two tomato plants, one is a black krim and that seems to be the happiest. I'd go as far as saying that it has become my favorite tomato, it's beautiful and very meaty. I have 14 lemons on tree. We've had lots of potatoes and onions.

I pulled up all my garlic that Jackie & I grew together on our cross country garlic experiment. We went through school together, she still lives in MA & I live here in Northern California. This fall she sent me hard neck garlic bulbs to plant and it was SO much fun. We were constantly tagging each other in photos on facebook as our garlic grew. I ended up with over 20 heads of garlic. I have them hanging in our pantry and it's really satisfying to just walk in & snip a head off as I need it.

We have a mystery plant too! I decided not to use our raised bed this year, we planted corn/tomatoes/peppers/etc in it last year and I thought the soil could use a rest. We've been spreading compost in it every once in awhile and now...MYSTERY PLANT! I've been posting photos of it on facebook and instagram, the majority thinks it's either a cucumber or a pumpkin. I'm leaning towards pumpkin because I've always wanted to grow pumpkins.

Once I have another ripe tomato I'll post my new favorite salsa recipe. I canned a lot of salsa last summer and we went through it SO fast, this year I've been making 2 jars a week of fresh salsa and I keep thinking "ok, this week I'll put some in the freezer" but it never happens. It's just easy to put it on everything, eggs, tortilla pie, chicken breasts..we are salsa addicts and we might need a 12 step program!

If you've noticed July was quiet around here, I had a blog glitch but I think Chop fixed it last night so I'll be posting July's Aurifil BOM post, a Farmer's Wife Block that I hand pieced (!!!), a new Guising mini quilt and two shawls I knit last month. And! The Pumpkin's have a new tomato pattern exclusively on kitschy digitals!


January Fun

Where did January go???

Oh right. I went on a major cleaning spree and vacuumed up my power cord and had to wait for another one to arrive. Awesome right? I have an iphone which I truly love but I *hate* writing long emails on it so please give me a few days if you've emailed me.

I've been doing lots of fun stuff, up until late last week it's been bright & sunny here. I've been gardening, our first heads of cauliflower look so amazing, they are my PRIDE & JOY. I sometimes go outside just to look at them and think...I FREAKING GREW CAULIFLOWER. CAULIFLOWER!!!! We've been enjoying giant salads from the lettuce. And my lemons went to curd and marmalade.

I've finished the first 4 months of Dessert of the Month Club and I kind of am dying over how crazy cute it is. So far February & April are my VERY VERY VERY favorites. How are your truffles coming along? You can sign up at any point during the year.

Did you enter your January block to the Aurifil flickr group? You could win $100 worth of thread! I don't know about you but I'd love $100 worth of thread. I'm all out of white for piecing so I've switched to light lavender. Kind of a pretty secret in my quilt blocks ;)

I've been slowly but steadily working on my SOCKS! So I started the month thinking I'd be making Pomatomus but I lost confidence in my knitting skills and frogged. Then I started on Hermione's Everyday Sock but I wasn't in LOVE with them and was running out of yarn scary fast. I took a knitting class and learned magic loop socks!!! from the toe up!!! I'm working on super plain Gusset Heel Socks & they fit PERFECTLY. I'm using a Madelinetosh yarn, this sock won't win a beauty contest but I've learned so much & I'm very inspired. Not to mention I'm obsessed with looking at sock yarn online. I blame Kayanna completely for all of this. I'm hoping to finish my second sock this week so February 1st I can cast on for some very pink socks. I bought a skein of Madelinetosh from a girl on ravelry called VALENTINE & I'm dreaming of some simple lace socks. I even bought fancy wooden sock blockers!

I'm kind of (very) obsessed with making box bags. Robert Kaufman and Laurie Wisbrun very generously sent me some Modern Whimsy to play with and I made my good friend Brie a box bag for her knitting. This fabric is so bright & spring-y & just the pop of color I need, our beautiful sunshine has given away to actual winter. Lots of rain & clouds! Thank you RK & Laurie for brightening up my stash! I'm thinking by the first week of February I'll re-open my etsy shops (yup, two of them!) with new treats! eep!

Off to tackle my inbox! Yippee!!!!


This Week:

I'm pretty excited for tomorrow. It starts a new week. A new week that involves Chop birthday (the 21st!) and Christmas. This week:

My lemons started to ripen!

I made a giant veggie lasagna!

I had a mega baking day with my mom!

I finished knitting a sock!

I worked on some of my cross stitch!

I daydreamed about creating something rad from this pile of fabric!

I'm ending the week with a date with Chop...scrabble!!!!

Can you tell I'm in love with Instagram? It's a free app for iphones and ipads, if you have it, let's be friends! comment with your name so I can follow you :)

If you are looking for a last minute gift, check out our Hoop Travel Bag, or maybe Snow Globe Cutie, or even Playful Mr. Fox!

I hope your upcoming week is fun & inspiring :) (and filled with candy, chocolate, cookies, pie...really whatever yumminess you are cooking up for the holidays!)

{*~Winner & a view from Porkchop Acres~*}


I should be showing you my Farmer's Wife blocks but instead I'm showing you my farm. Kind of. This is tomato-town. Monica has started calling my garden, Porkchop Acres. I'm going with it.

Fact: Our Amish Paste tomatoes look like fat chili peppers and my favorite snack is a weird little all natural chocolate pudding cup with a tablespoon of maple almond butter mixed in. Weird but true!

Let's get to the winner!

Chop & I put everyone's name in a hat and he picked Kait!

Kait said:

"This sounds like some great software and I am so glad you can get it for Macs!  I currently just try to keep all the pertinent info in Flickr and my blog.  My boyfriend is a web programmer and we talked for a while about building me a website to take care of all this stuff but I ultimately wanted too much from it for the time he had to give.  That's all I'd say about this software (though I completely agree with your one complaint), that I'd like to be able to put the info online so I could access it from anywhere, like my smart phone while at the fabric shop.  Thanks for the review Amanda!"

I'm so thankful for everyone who came by and read my review! I was excited to review something that hasn't been reviewed a zillion times and I wanted to be completely honest with you guys. I'm not really a "super blogger" but maybe my review helped you? I know I liked reading all your comments about how you organize your WIPs. Wouldn't it be great if quilters had a ravelry?!

I'm pretty sure I'm going to fall asleep at my laptop, I've started doing TRX training at the gym & it's kicking my BUTT.  Chop & I are going to see Toby Keith & Eric Church tomorrow night as an early birthday gift!!!! I'm REALLY excited but I have a ton of work to do still. : / Eek! Not to mention 9 lbs of peaches hanging out ripening and begging to be canned! I'd be completely lying if I said I wasn't stressed out right now. I totally am. I'm trying to embrace busy is good. Thankfully yesterday I had a few hours of fun time with Tracey!

I'll be back soon with this weeks Farmer's Wife block! In the meantime, say hi to Ang and tell her how awesome her blocks are! They look so graphic and bold this week! And that shot of all her blocks together? AWESOME! And be sure to see Grumpkin the Pumpkin, a little embroidery pattern I designed for the super cute blog, We Love French Knots! Thanks for inviting me Bari!