Category: Features (page 1 of 78)

Probably something you would like…

10 Tips to Start Living in the Present

10 Toxic People You Shouldn’t Bring With You Into The New Year

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The 30 Most Amazing Photos Of Frozen Things You’ll Ever See Actually, there are about 6 or 7 that are amazing, some that are pretty good and a couple that leave you wondering why anyone would publish them, but the ones that are amazing are worth going to see.

This is the trailer for “Addicted to Sheep”, a feature length documentary that I want to see.

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Magical Russian Fairy Tale Photographs. These really know me out!

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Special Delivery: Rare Set Of Elephant Twins Born In South Africa

Best Wedding Photo of 2014

25 Must-See Wedding Photos From 2014. These are all pretty amazing.

What’s making you happy this week?

Probably something you would like…

I don’t know about you, but the last couple of weeks have been emotionally exhausting. I am in dire need of reminding that the world is a wonderful, magical place. Here are a few of the things that are making me happy this week:

 

The Man Who Quit Money: An Interview with Daniel Suelo. Interesting read.

Dishwasher Cooking

Dishwasher Cooking is apparently a thing.

Abandoned Textile Mill

A colourful past: Haunting images of abandoned textile mill show wool still on the looms and stacks of yarn on shelves. Amazing pics.

Van Gogh Inspired Solar Bike Path

Solar-powered Glowing Bike Path in the Netherlands Inspired by Van Gogh’s Starry Night.

Is there anything making you smile this week? Please share with us here.

A quilt for the baby

I am blessed with a man who is willing to try anything and is good at just about everything he tries. As far as Mike is concerned, so long as there are Youtube videos, her can probably figure it out.

So it was no surprise that when he started sewing clothes for my step-daughter Gabbi last year, he was a much better sewist than I am right out of the box. (His attention to detail is and patience are a lot greater than mine as well.) This week, he decided he wants to make a quilt for our baby’s nursery and this is the one he selected:

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I’m super excited, because I love this quilt and it fits in perfectly with out son-to-be’s room, but there is no way I could possibly have the patience to cut out all those fiddly coast lines! Lucky for me, I don’t have to.

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Mike did task me with picking out the fabric I wanted for the continents. It was much more difficult to put seven prints together than I thought it would be, though. I originally tried using fabrics that sort of represented each continent (i.e. stars/stripes on North America, bold pinks and reds for Asia) but it the fabrics were fighting with each other and it looked too noisy.

 I’ve pulled together five options from our own fabric stash and the local fabric shop. I like them all in different ways but I would love to hear what you think.

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First up is dots of different sizes and colors.

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Next, the blues.

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This one is all bold prints. mostly from the latest Denyse Schmidt collection.

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This is an even bolder collection that I put together from what we have on hand, but it needs to be filled out more.

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Finally, the plaids. I love the gentle colors in this grouping but I think it is too pale to go with the rest of his nursery.

Keep in mind that the water background will be either white or a pale, pale blue.

Help me out, readers! Which collection do you like best with the pattern? Or should I scrap these and start over?

 

Modern Country Knits is Here!

Modern Country Knits

It’s hard to believe it’s really here! Putting together and publishing a book seems to take forever until you are holding a copy in your hands. Then it all seems to have happened at lightening speed. I shot most to the images for this book in January/February, practically yesterday.

The real star of this book, though, are the designs. We hired some amazing designers to give us their take on Modern County knits and they really delivered. I’m posting some of my favorite images below but honestly? Every pattern is the book is something I would want to make and wear. In fact, I insisted on it, because no one wants to buy a book with one or two great patterns in it.

(I’m putting in links to Ravelry so you can heart and queue your faves!)

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This is the Pella Pullover by Carolyn Noyes. It’s knit in Findley DK ( a Merino/silk blend, so it’s warm as the dickens, but light.)

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This sleepy lamb was so comfortable in Shay’s arms that she couldn’t keep her eyes open.

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I adore the mini cables in the Paducah Pullover by Bonnie Franz.

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The Cloud croft Pullover by Galina Carroll wins the prize for “garment everyone on the shoot wanted to swipe”. It’s made with Herriot Great, our 100% baby alpaca bulky yarn, so it knits up fast.

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The Mattatuck Tee by Tabetha Hedrick. I’ve worked with Tabetha a lot and she always brings something so fresh to her designs. (In case you’re wondering, we took about 400 shots to get the horse to cooperate. He was our only diva model.)

Mattatuck Tee

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County Line Vest by Theresa Schabes. Knitted plaid, y’all. It’s so cool.

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The River Falls Cardigan by Susan Adkins is so delicate and feminine. It’s made with Zooey ( a cotton/linen blend) so this model is freezing in this pic!

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Decorah Cardigan by Zahra Jade Knott. This card uses Findley and Findley DK. Again, warm but light.

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Maryville Cardigan by Lois S. Young is a super fun Fair Isle.

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In addition to the new patterns, we’ve included 10 of Juniper Moon Farm’s most popular patterns that are no longer available in booklets. And the most popular of all is Darlington Dress (formerly called Hattie) by Caroline Fryar. My friend Caro Sheridan took this picture and it’s everything knitwear photography should be.

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Abilene Stole by Yoko Hatta is a work of art.

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The Williston Hat by Nadia Elgawarsha. Not only is the hat super cute, it was so much fun shooting our model Maddie with Cini, our beloved Maremma.

This is just a taste of what’s in the book, believe it or not. You can see all the projects in the book right here.

And, if you live in Pennsylvania, you can get your very own signed copy of Modern Country Knits and see all of these gorgeous garments in person this weekend! I’m doing two book signing at two wonderful local yarn store.

  • I will be at KNIT in Newtown, PA on November 22, starting at 10 a.m., signing books and showing off the trunk show. This is a little GEM of a shop, and the women who run the place are amazingly helpful. KNIT is located at 10 S. State Street in Newtown PA in Bucks County. For more details, give them a call at (267) 685-0794
  • Sunday, November 23 I will be hosted  by Purls of Wisdom in Phoenixville, PA from 4-6 p.m.  This event is being held off-site at the Kimberton Inn, and you must get a ticket in advance by calling 610 933 5010. They are also doing a small dinner with me after the main event that should be really fun! Details on the Purls of Wisdom site. 

Stranded Colorwork Sourcebook Winner!

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Oh my goodness! I completely forgot to pick a winner in our book giveaway! In my defense, Mike worked from home yesterday and today is a holiday, so he’s home again, and it just felt like one extended weekend around here. I am so sorry.

 

The winner, chosen at random, is…

 

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Carolyn, shoot me an email with your mailing address and I will get this out ASAP.

And to the 109 people who didn’t win, please do add this lovely book to your holiday wish list. It really is a treasure and there is simply nothing like it on the market today.

The Cure for What Ails You

With cold season upon us, I thought it was a good time to re-post this recipe. Enjoy!

A few months ago, my friend Jerry told me that he always keeps a jar of his special cold remedy on hand- honey with lemons and ginger- so when he gets sick he can stir it into tea or hot water. I had an abundance of honey on hand from our own hives, so I decided to give it a try. I had no idea I would be needing it so soon!

Honey Ginger Lemon

Jerry was a little sketchy with the details, so I just sliced up one Meyer lemon (that’s what I had on hand; a regular lemon will work just fine) and a small knob of ginger, about the size of my thumb. You can use less ginger if you aren’t a fan. Put the lemon and ginger in a jar and cover with honey.

Cold Relief

I keep mine in the refrigerator and it seems to get better the longer you infuse it. I don’t know that it’s actually making my cold better but adding a dollop to my hot tea is certainly making my throat feel better! I call it Wonder Honey!

Wouldn’t it be lovely to keep a few small jars of Wonder Honey on hand to gift to friends with colds?

The Gnocchi Update

** Susan here! A few weeks ago we posted about the dogs of Juniper Moon Farm and several of you asked for a Gnocchi update. I am pleased as punch to let my (other) friend Amy bring you up to speed on his adventures.  (Other) Amy lives in the same town as the farm with her husband (other) Paul. We met them when Amy came to Shepherding Camp a few years ago. They are just lovely and perhaps the only people I would have even considered allowing to adopt sweet Gnocchi.**

 

 

Remember that sweet little dumpling of a puppy who was the runt of Lucy’s litter?

 

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Well, Gnocchi’s all grown up now and guarding a flock of his own.

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In August we were so fortunate to adopt Gnocchi for a livestock guardian dog at our little farm. It only took a Ziploc full of cheese, ½ lb of sliced ham, and 2 fresh eggs to bribe Gnocchi to get in the back of my Subaru to ride from Juniper Moon Farm to his new home 20 minutes away at Sweet Gum Farm. That, and a lot of TLC and patience from me, Amy Karasz and her daughters Oona and Neve. Leashes and cars were new to Gnocchi, but he was such a good sport. He settled right in and now watches over 3 wool sheep, 3 dairy goats, and 7 chickens.

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Gnocchi spends his days lounging in the grass or the barn with the sheep and goats. He greets me every morning and evening with the most adorable bouncing happy-dance. He is super snuggly and eager for a scratch behind the ears. Whenever I pet one of the sheep or goats, I can almost guarantee he’ll insert his head between them and my hand to get attention for himself. But if he hears one leaf rustling in the woods, he’s off– always on duty! At night he patrols the pasture, and I’m reassured when I hear his deep WOOF in the darkness.   I’m thankful he didn’t inherit his mother’s wanderlust. He’s never once tried to go over the fence.

 

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Gnocchi also gets along well with our other two dogs, Gus and Maggie. Gus is a border collie, and as you’d expect, too obsessed with fetching and herding to pay much attention to anything else. But Gnocchi’s especially enchanted with Maggie, a 7 year old mutt. He would sniff her butt all day if he could. I guess he likes older women.

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I adore this big white teddy bear of a dog. And I sleep easier at night knowing he’s out there watching over our livestock.

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Happy Wovember, Everyone!

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is the greatest month of the year- WOVEMBER! Wovember is the project of one of my very favorite people, a friend that I haven’t met in person yet, Felicity Ford.

Here is how Wovember is described by it’s creator:

“The idea is to show our collective appreciation of WOOL by wearing as much of this fabulous fibre as possible, and celebrating WOOL and its unique qualities in stories and pictures throughout the month of November. We hope that through our enthusiasm and creativity we can raise awareness of WHAT MAKES WOOL DIFFERENT, and jointly create a force for WOOL APPRECIATION strong enough to effect changes in how garments and textiles are described and marketed.”

As knitters and sheep enthusiast, you will undoubtably want to visit the Wovember website every day this month for amazing photography and thoughtful, well-researched articles about  sheep, knitting traditions, cottage wool industries and so much more.  Where most of what you can find on the internet barely skims the surface, the folks at Wovember dig deep into their subject matter and what they publish is one a whole other level of wool scholarship.

This Wovember is an extra special one for Felicity because it also marks the publication of her book, KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook.

 

Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook by Felicity Ford

Can I tell you a secret? I have been agonizing over how I could possibly write a review of this book that would begin to do it justice. I feared that my writing skills weren’t up to the task because this book is important. It’s also lovely and sublime and everything I hoped it would be. I caused myself all manner of anxiety over writing about it because it is a book that is worthy of more than the few cursory sentences that my pregnancy-addled brain can manage this week.

Well, lucky for all of us, the amazing Ms Ysolda Teague has written a review of Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook that is worthy of Felicity’s book. Please, please, please do yourself a favor and pop over to Ysolda’s blog to read it. (You should be reading Ysolda’s blog on the regular anyhow. She is one of the smartest young women I’ve ever met and I admire the hell out of her. I have also had the pleasure of watching her knit– it was like watching a master paint a portrait.)

Then come back here because, in addition to my own copy of Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook, I ordered a copy to give away to one of you.

To put your name in the hat, just leave a comment on this blog post between now and Friday morning at 10 a.m. EST. One will will be chosen at random and I will announce the lucky duck here on Friday.

If you cannot wait to get your hands on a copy of Stranded Colourwork or you just aren’t feeling lucky, please do order a copy for yourself. Don’t be put off by the fact that it ships from the U.K.– mine arrived in just a couple of days.

Cinnamon Rolls with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Icing

Every once in a while, I get a great idea.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Icing

I am not a huge bagel person (they are just so big and ready and full of calories! Plus I aways have a blood sugar crash about 2 hours after eating one.) But Michael knows about my obsession with pumpkin so a few weeks ago, he returned from Einstein Bros with a pumpkin bagel with pumpkin cream cheese for me. The bagel was pretty good but the cream cheese was AMAZING! I’ve have a few more pumpkin bagels in the intervening weeks, but only as a vehicle for the delicious pumpkin cream cheese. And then one day it hit me.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Icing would be incredible.

Cinnamon Rolls with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Icing

Yesterday I made several batches of cinnamon rolls and whipped up a batch of Pumpkin Cream Cheese Icing.

Cinnamon Rolls with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Icing

I made the cinnamon rolls in lined muffin tins, because I prefer the way they look when they are baked this way.

Cinnamon Rolls with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Icing

The Pumpkin Cream Cheese Icing was so good and so easy!

1  6-oz tub of Pumpkin Cream Cheese

1 stick unsalted butter

2 cups powered sugar

1/3- 1/2 can of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)

Cream together the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of your electric mixer. Slowly add the powdered sugar and beat until it’s all incorporated, then add the pumpkin. I wanted to make pipe-able icing for my cinnamon rolls, so I needed it to be on the thin side. Therefore I used 1/2 can of pumpkin. But if you are icing cupcakes, you’ll want it to be thicker so you should use less pumpkin.

Enjoy!

Probably something you would like…

 

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Still need a Halloween costume? These downloadable and printable masks designed by Wintercroft are amazing! (Thank you, Elizabeth S. for sending me these!)

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Um, how great is this Alexander McQueen cabled skull sweater? For $1000 bucks and some change it could be yours! Or you could chart something similar and make it yourself.

What’s making you happy this Halloween week?

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