Tuesday, February 27, 2007


The color of the week for A Year of Color is seagreen. Once my very favorite color, it has been eclipsed by darker richer olive hues. I still like it a lot and often notice it out in the world. I gave myself a photo assignment on my drive back from Montreal, to take snaps only of seagreen and never leave the drivers seat. My wee montage came out...well, wee...too wee, only I can't take the time to enlarge it, so get out your magnifying glasses! I also wanted to include the free pattern from an old Interweave Knits staff project of mine using Little Arrowhead Lace. It is really simple and quite gorgeous in real life! However, blogger hates me and won't let me do it from home. I'll see if I can't get it up later this week when I go into town. Till then!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Bully for Bauhaus

I am pleased and proud to have my Bauhaus Fair Isle sweater included in the Spring '07 Interweave Knits magazine. I love fair isle knitting , it is my very favorite thing to do. I realize that many people regard fair isle knitting as quaint and old fashioned, which is one of the reasons that I like it. However when I was dreaming up this sweater I wanted folks to remember that at one time it was on the cutting edge of alter-fashion worn by the hippest art students in the world! While browsing our well worn copy of Bauhaus I found many pictures of the students wearing fair isle and other stranded knitting. So take a peek and delight in the unexpected!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Whip Up! Whip it good!

Well, the speed of creation of this little Tea Cozy truly qualifies it for the Whiplash, competition! I love the site Whip Up and have always wanted to participate, but time seems to get away from me. As usual I left things till the last minute. Late last night when my eyes were too bleary to knit another stitch, I was about to hit the hay, too tired to make any of the ideas I'd been hatching in my little noggin. And then....I saw that old ratty EZ sweater I knit my beloved many years ago, faded and felted from use and survivor of a house fire...
Seized with inspiration, I boldly cut off an arm, gathered the top, slit the sides, and proceeded to felt it by scrubbing it in scalding water with soap and rubbing it in the powdery snow! This morning when my eyes worked a little better I added a few french knot polka-dots! whipup

Monday, February 19, 2007

Hanging Cassoulet Chads?

The Third Annual Cassoulet-Off was a grand success! Happy bean-eaters congregated for a mid winter feast with enough duck fat to keep us warm for 2 winters. This year included four entrants for the coveted prize of Cassoulet King or Queen as the case may be.

Except, Houston, we have a problem...I mean, Toulouse, we have a problem. With the specter of the Florida elections winking in the background, this year's judging proved to be a little more difficult than in years past. Our favorite, no nonsense judging organizer was unable to attend, busy reigning at another event. We were left floundering when it came to the tally. Winners were announced: #1 King of Cassoulet, The Mighty Kilted One. #2 The Matriarch. #3 Forever Young. #4 Minkie Sue!

I promised to count the "catagories" results and post them here...However...since I was an entrant and am also married to another entrant, I feel I must bow out. Besides, if you take a gander at the ballots below, your head will swim too!

Next year's 4th Annual Cassoulet-Off will be February 9th. Plenty of time to get your ingredients together and make your duck confit...Maybe we'll have some in the style of Carcassonne with mutton and partridge...Or actually have the proper vessel from Castelnaudary. This announcement even gives those "from away" time to make their plane reservations!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Countdown to the Cassoulet-Off!

Busy, busy times at Chez Mink! Even Midge came out of hiding and made an apron! Valentine-y yes, but also a little French for the 3rd Annual Cassoulet-Off, happening this Saturday. Tomorrow Mary Jane must brave the icy roads and drive to Montreal, to pick up some Toulouse sausage and her dearest daughter. If time permits Mink hopes to contribute a vegetarian version to the contest. If you are in the neighborhood, do drop in! No cassoulet required, we need judges too. It's always lots of fun.

Oh yes, I have to show the bow.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Monday, February 12, 2007

Project Spectrum: Blue Gray White

Since I don't have enough to do, I joined Project Spectrum to continue my love affair with color. This is a forum where crafters and others work with a trio of colors for 2 months. You already know how I love and almost worship A Year of Color, the group who work with a crayola crayon color for a week. Why not add another color challenge?

Here in the frozen north, blue gray and white are easy to come by in February and March. Challenging for me, was to create a project based on the colors. I was sort of all used up by those colors with my latest published sweater. What to do? I decided something instant would be most satisfying. Me and quickie projects...

So I made my Instant Mittens with just 1 yarn, Brown Sheep Lambs Pride Bulky. I fulled the mitten very slightly. Rather dull. So I lively-d it up a little with embroidery inspired by my favorite dish+valentines. Though the Shetland 2ply Jumper Weight from Jamieson and Smith was a little thick for the job, crewel embroidery yarn maybe would have been better, I'm pleased with the speedy results...now I have to make the other one.

Oh yeah, another loaf for 52 loaves! Thats 7!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Olive Tutorial

My sweetheart isn’t the cupid and roses type. This wee olive-of-love suits him fine. Maybe an olive will charm your beloved too!

What you will need:

2yds (1.8m) sport weight or baby weight wool. I used Jamieson and Smith 2ply jumper weight #83 dk olive, FC11 bright olive, and #9436 Dale of Norway Baby Ull pale olive (Baby Ull, a superwash yarn, won’t felt much, but it will get fluffier)
1.5 yds (1.4m) Jamieson and Smith 2 ply jumper weight #125 pimento
1 set dp needles size 2 (3.0mm)
1 crewel embroidery needle

Cast on 6 stitches.

Rdn 1 Slide sts to other end of needle and knit into the first st cast on,
as for an I cord, k to end

Separate stitches onto 3 needles (2sts on each.)

Rnd 2 *k1, increase 1,k1; rep from * (9 sts)
Rnd 3 knit
Rnd 4 *k 1,inc 1, k2; rep from * (12 sts)

Weave in beginning tail now, while you can, leave any extra yarn inside as extra stuffing.

Rnd 5-7 k
Rnd 8 k1, k2tog, k1 (9 sts)
Rnd 9 BO
Weave in loose end.

Make Pimento

Cast on 4 sts, knit in stockinette st (k RS, p WS) for 2 inches (5cm), BO.
Fold in 2 with right side out, wind loose ends around bottom to secure.

Stuff olive with pimento, using a needle to push it in.

Lightly felt the olive in your hands using a drop of detergent and warm water. Rub your hands like you’re making meatballs or falafel. Rinse with warm water while still rolling olive. Pinch and poke into desired olivey shape.

Beware though seemingly tedious to make at first, they become addictive, just like real olives!

2008 update! Read January 29th post!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Preview of comming Attractions

Ah yes! Well, the funny things that happen. I've been obsessing over the color Olive Green...I couldn't find anything suitable. Every picture I took ended up looking brown... Well dear readers, when obsessed, knit!