A Little Knitted Eye Candy

We’ve been busy little knitting bees lately, and have a few new items in the Etsy shop.  Here they are for a little January eye candy.

Noro Fingerless Mitts – brilliant colors.

Noro Fingrless Mitts

And another pair, slightly different, more of a coordinated pair than a matched pair.

Noro Fingerless Mitts 2

An Irish Donegal Tweed Chunky Lace Scarf, pretty muted coloring won’t overwhelm your ensemble.

 Irish Tweed Wine Sca

Slated Colored Textured Cowl, I love how this is shaded, it really reminds me of slate flooring.

Slate Cowl

I have a lot more to list, so keep watching for a lot more new and beautiful things soon!

Happy January to all my readers.  Stay warm!

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Holiday Doings!

We did our first little sales event this past weekend!

There was a holiday celebration sponsored by the city of Carmel, IN.  There were carriage rides and lighted trees, beautiful shop windows everywhere, and lots of holiday music.  Many of the area merchants had special events going on and we were invited to set up a sales table on the second floor of The Simply Sweet Shop.

carmel photos 021

They had a cute little gingerbread house right in front.

carmel photos 022

This shop is in a darling old house, and has lots of unusual candy.  There is also a a tiny kitchen where Chef Terry prepares delectable lunches and pastries!  If you are in the area, you must have lunch there.  They have a really great menu, which includes lots of vegetarian choices, even vegan food is easily available.  Yay!

Simply Sweet Shoppe is located right in the arts district in Carmel, I plan to have a nice day out there sometime soon (after New Year’s I think) poking around the shops, and of course, lunching at the candy store!  Vegan panini with a side of tabbouleh?  Yes, please! And maybe a bit of nice dark chocolate to follow.

So, Cheryl arrived first and set up a very beautiful table.  She has a very artistic eye and a talent for making things look pretty!

Sales Table

Most of the day was quite slow, but several pairs of fingerless mitts did find a new home.  We also met several other local artists, and had some knitting time together.  I fear we will not be able to knit together during the holiday weeks, as there is so much going on then, so it was fabulous to have a nice long time to chat and knit.

While we were there something funny did happen.  The owner of the sweet shoppe asked us to hold a couple of things for her, so we took them off the table. But, we did not take them out of the Etsy shop, and that was a mistake because one of those items sold that afternoon!  We had to explain to the very understanding shopper in front of us that the item she wanted to purchase was no longer available.  She was disappointed, but fortunately very understanding!

The other vendors had an array of products.  One of them (Pop Your Tab Jewelry) was making necklaces and earrings from recycled pop tops from cans.  Here’s a sample.

Pop Top Earrings

She had a lot of very creative ideas.  Here are a pair of Peanut Butter and Jelly Earrings!  See the tiny cell phone and the teeny star fish on the other earrings?  Cute ideas.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Earrings

They had some adorable necklaces with word charms – words like ‘love’, ‘peace’, etc.  I believe those sold very well; I saw a lot of her shoppers were younger girls.  I think it’s great kids want to wear ‘love’ and ‘peace’ displayed on their person!

What I liked about these was the recycling ethic displayed.  I love the idea of wearing something that might help me be mindful of my footprint on beautiful Mother Earth.

You can email them at jamiejo.ayers@gmail.com to learn more about their creations.

Amanda Wood, a very experienced event planner, was there too.  She plans weddings and fabulous kid’s birthday parties (among other things).  She has a lot of creative ideas and is offering a “Soda Pop Saturday” party.  Kids get dropped off (parents make a reservation) one Saturday morning a month, stay a couple of hours, receive an old fashioned soda pop in a bottle, do a craft, play games, get a healthy snack.  Parents can do errands or (my choice!) enjoy a nice, peaceful, leisurely breakfast where they can actually talk to each other.  What a novelty.

Here’s her table display.  And here is her facebook page.

Soda Pop Saturday

There was another jewelry vendor – very different products from Stella and Dot.  Here’s a bracelet I liked.  White tigers!

White Tiger Bracelet

Her table was lovely.

Stella and Dot

Unfortunately, I’m unable to find her contact info, but I will make it a mission to find it.

There was a painter named Debbie Slack there.  She does several different kinds of paintings (see more on her facebook page).    I loved the painted glassware!

Mommy Juice

Mommy Juice

Holiday Lights Wine Glass.  Holiday lights are just about my favorite holiday motif.  They are pretty, shiny, colorful, and anyone can appreciate them.

Holiday Lights wine glass

She also had a painted martini glass.  This is such a versatile item, it can be used  for serving fancy desserts or little nuts or candies on a holiday buffet.   I might order one (or more) with holiday lights on it!

Martini Glass

There were several nice teenagers who offered woven scarves to raise funds for an orphanage in Bolivia.

Woven Scarves

Here is info on their fundraising project.

Orphanage Fund Raiser

The world debut of one of my new scarves took place at this event too.  This is an entrelac scarf knit from Noro Silver Thaw.  It’s not in the Etsy shop yet, but will appear there in the next few days.  Lots of visitors had to touch this one!  It’s incredibly soft and cuddly.

Silver Thaw Entrelac

The weather has finally become a bit more seasonal here in Indianapolis.  Today’s high of 39 has already been hit, and we will be falling all day.  The weatherman says there’s a small chance of flurries this afternoon.  Time to dig out the heavy coats and all the hand knits!

Frosty Times Two

It’s that time of year again, we had our first frost of the season Sunday evening.  It was mildly surprising to wake up see frost, it’s just a bit early for us this year, our usual frost date is Oct 11, we were three days ahead of schedule.  I guess that a pretty average date for the first frost, after our horrendously hot and dry summer.  Nice to see things are back to normal (I hope).

This weekend’s project will be cleaning out the garage so at least two cars can get in.  Craig was already complaining today (second frosty morning in a row) that he is tired of scraping his car.

Cecily will have to learn to get up a bit early and go out and start her car so she can see to drive to high school.  I remember the days of stumbling out of bed (college days for me), going out into the freezing Chicago dawn and getting the car going.  Don’t miss that at all!

Garage tidying is a good kid project, there is always a teenager around here looking to earn a buck or two!

My second frosty item is my Frosty Scarf in my Etsy shop.

Here are a couple of pictures showing the lovely color transitions and texture.

It’s a beauty and I’m very happy with it!

I’m hoping to finish the Wingspan shawl (although it is really more of a large scarf) today.  Then I plan to finish up something I dropped in mid-project, a mohair scarf.

I don’t really enjoy working with mohair, it can be  a bit tricky to see the stitches. In the past I haven’t enjoying wearing mohair as I find it a bit tickly, but it is very pretty and ethereal in a garment.  I adore the way it floats around the wearer!  I believe I will try to wear it again and see what happens.

Vegan Eating and Another Etsy Shop Update

People ask me all the time “what do vegans eat?”   I was at the dentist for my routine cleaning a couple of days ago and the hygienist was saying how little build up I have, must be that I have “good saliva”.   I asked her if what we eat has any effect on tartar build up.   She said she thought it probably does.

So, I mentioned I eat a vegan diet, and of course, her first question was “what do you eat???” in a shocked voice.  I laughed and said “plants”.  She then asked routine question number 2 “where do you get your protein??”.  I replied “seeds, nuts, tofu, and vegetables”.  Thinking back I should have added “the cows eat only grass (unless they are force fed corn), they seem to get plenty of protein”.  But, it’s a good policy not to be too snarky to the person probing your gums with a sharp instrument.

She couldn’t fathom what kind of meals I eat, and I’ve heard that a lot before, so here’s this week’s dinner menu.

Monday – Taco Salad and quesadilla made with vegan cheese (Daiya is my favorite vegan cheese, kudos to my Kroger for carrying it!)

Tuesday – Pasta with jarred sauce and roasted vegetables

Wednesday – Sauteed Tofu in bottled teriyaki sauce with rice, green beans and a raw vegetable salad

Thursday – Vegetable Soup (homemade in my pressure cooker) and a bought italian round bread from La Brea Bakery

Friday (today) – Couscous and curried vegetables, I will probably sprinkle some pepitas (pumpkin seeds) on mine

Saturday – Veggie plates (like Cracker Barrel, only vegan)  Baked potatoes, salad or maybe cole slaw, carrots, and probably green beans (we love them a lot!), maybe corn.  It’s possible I’ll get ambitious and make some french bread or something similar.

Sunday – Potato and cauliflower curry (with peas), basmati rice, probably with a raw vegetable salad.

All meals here are served with seasonal fresh fruit (right now sliced peaches or nectarines, grapes, raspberries, strawberries, quartered oranges, etc.)

Doesn’t sound too spartan, does it?  Kids seem to like it, and we are all pretty healthy (my cholesterol is awesome!).  My 17 year old daughter was texting me from school (study hall) on Tuesday – here is her text verbatim  –  “tofu tofu tofu 🙂 can we have tofu tonite pls pls pls”  I was laughing pretty hard, never thought I’d have teenagers begging for tofu!

I try to keep meals pretty simple for the most part.  Vegan cooking is just like SAD (Standard American Diet) cooking; it can be as simple or as complex as you want to make it.

We had another big update in our Etsy shop this week with lots of gorgeous new knitted accessories.  I’d love to hear feedback on our photos and products.  Suggestions on what you’d like to see in the shop are also welcome.

Here’s a great crimson ruffled silk scarf.

This is an unusual wrap/scarf that Cheryl knit (these are all hers, actually).  She has a fabulous eye for patterns, she will knit something I think is nothing special and it always turns out wonderfully.  She gives me lots of coaching on pattern selection (thank goodness).  This is Noro yarn in beautiful jewel tones.  The wrap is knit in wedge sections that make it curve around the body.


The red hot chunky cowl.

And, it’s partner, the watercolor version.

The pink variegated scrunchy cowl

The mohair rainbow cowl

The pinky-peachy hand dyed cotton ruffled scarf

The neutral wool/silk/angora cowl (maybe my favorite of this batch, it reminds me of the winter woods).  This is Noro yarn.

And, to finish – the Pink Roses Cowl.

I’d love to hear which is your favorite!

Temperature Wars

The recent warm weather has sparked the opening battles in the ongoing temperature war at my house.  One party (him) says “why are all these bloody windows open, it’s freezing, look, all the papers are blowing everywhere”.  Party #2 (me) says “I like fresh air, it’s nice out, put something on the papers”.    Muttering from P. #1.  I say “close the windows if you’re cold” and think “as soon as you leave, I’m opening every window in the house”.  Lots of dramatic window closing follows.  Aaah, spring.

I think it’s because he grew up with pretty much consistent weather all year round (cool and wet), and I grew up in Chicago, where for 5 1/2 months there is winter!  (well, when I was a kid anyway, don’t know what you call that craziness they just finished, didn’t look much like any winter I recognized!)  

When I was a kid, when you got a decent day in the spring, the grownups opened up the whole house until it got cold again (around an hour before sunset).  You just turned off the furnace and wore a sweater!  So that is what I do now, even though in Indianapolis our typical winter is nothing as dramatic and long as Chicago’s!

I’ve finished knitting the green Mae Geri scarf.  I have found scarves incredibly boring lately, and this was no exception.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice pattern, the lace is really pretty.  Can’t say I love the way the rows along the sides want to fold over, but that’s what happens with a lace center and 3 stockinette stiches on the side.  Someday I’m going to figure out how to avoid that.  Is there a magic number of stitches to make the stockinette?  Some secret stitch to insert before the stockinette?  Knitting, your mysteries continue to engage me.  If someone could enlighten me about this, I’d be grateful.

Anyway, for some reason scarves are boring me to bits lately.  I think it’s because they don’t change shape, just endless repeats of the same, unchanging thing.  My short attention span is showing.

Here’s a picture of the finished scarf.  The whole thing like this, only really long.

Now, I’m on to the Hitchhiker shawlette.  Knitting this in Zauberball sock yarn.  If you click on the second colorway from the left you’ll see mine.  It’s a bright orange/yellow/pink/purple.  The yarn was a gift from my generous friend Birgit (hey Birgit!) and I’ve held onto it for a long time, couldn’t decide what to do with it.  It’s got a really long color repeat and is changing colors slowly across the shawl, looks beautiful.  It’s also getting wider and will finish as an asymmetrical shape with a sharp point on the (beginning corner) – much more interesting to knit.

What do you think of the colors?

Going to try to paint the dining room this weekend, so will probably be too busy/tired/frazzled to do much knitting (but the dining room should look great).  Going with a nice deep turqoise, that is supposed to enhance creativity and that is where I write my blog!  Let’s see if it gets noticeably better!