In My Etsy Shop

On the Needles

 

Monday
Aug302010

Autumn at Wool Candy

I woke up the other morning, the window to my bedroom thrown wide against the summer heat, and I smelled it:

Fall.

There's always this teensy twinge of... something. A coolness, almost a freshness. Like the wind is coming from a slightly different direction. 

I love the fall. I didn't always. When I was a kid, it meant the end of summer, and time to go back to school (I hated school until I got to college. And then I couldn't get enough of it -- I have 2 graduate degrees to prove it!).

But now, you know what fall means, right? What it portends, what it brings? 

That's right, my lovelies. 

Knitting. 

Lots of knitting.

Warm, cozy sweaters for the winter. Brightly colored hats, puffy-warm mittens, sleekly colorworked gloves. Thick, cabled socks to wear under big, chunky boots. Scarves, scarves, and more scarves. And who could forget the ubiquitous and ever-so-useful triangle shawlette? 

To ring in the Fall, there are lots and lots of exciting happenings over here at Wool Candy.

First, it will be "out with the old!" This weekend will be my annual Labor Day Sale.  From Thursday, September 2nd through Monday, September 6, everything in stock in the Etsy Shop will be 15% off. Discontinued colorways (which will be marked) are 25% off. 

On September 7th, it's "in with the new!" I'm introducing a new yarn base! I snuck in a little plug for it in my last post about my lovely Pogona.

 Eclair Silk Sock

Eclair Silk Sock. 50% Silk, 50% superwash merino, premiering in several brand new fall colorways. 

I'm extremely excited about happenings in October. I've been collaborating on a kit or two with the lovely and talented Brenda from Phydeaux Designs.  The first kit will be a limited edition fall colorway and a custom designed autumn shawl. Here's a little peak at Brenda's amazing work:

WIP:  Wool Candy/Phydeaux collaboration!

I hope this will be the beginning of a long collaboration. So far, it's been an absolute blast -- not only working with someone so talented, but also making a new friend! 

Wednesday
Aug252010

Pogona

Welcome to my newly designed blog! It needed a bit of a freshen.. What do you think?

And you know what?

I finished something else. I KNOW, right? I'm so proud of myself. ;)

Pogona

This is Pogona (Ravelry), by Stephen West, and knit from a brand new base, premiering in my Etsy shop after labor Day. (Gotta sneak that in... it's not JUST my own knitting here at Wool Candy. *wink!*)

Eclair Silk Sock, in one of many new fall colors. 

Pogona

Verdant. 

See, in the Bay Area, where I live, this is the color of winter. All year, the hills around me are a beautiful yellow-gold. But when winter and the rain comes, everything turns a beautiful, rich, verdant green. For a month. And then we're the Golden State again.

Pogona

Have you knit a Pogona yet? If you haven't, you really must. It's a fantastic pattern -- such incredible, striking results for very, very little effort. This took me one week to knit. I was knitting a LOT, 'cause I just couldn't put it down (and I'm going to knit another one out of worsted weight. As soon as I find some that will work.). I just wanted to see what would happen to it's interesting, blocky-yet-curvy shape when it came off of the needles and took a nice bath.  

And the result? Oh my goodness. It's magic. Pogona has such a beautiful drape, such sumptuous, sinuous movement. 

Pogona

I actually, really truly feel like my knitting mojo is coming back, finally. It feels great. I finished Pogona, and cast-on for another project right away, and have 2 more in the queue. Okay, so they're all some variety of stockinette, but we'll start with that. 

Fall is coming... prime knitting season. It's almost here. I know -- I smelled it in the air the other day. Never you mind that it's 100 degrees out today and I'm hiding in the public library because they have air conditioning. FALL IS COMING!!! 

And with Fall... some exciting new happenings around here at Wool Candy. More on that soon... stay tuned! 

 

Monday
Aug022010

Shop Update! 

Happy August!

I've updated the Etsy Shop with a couple of new colorways -- and a limited edition colorway.

Meet Citrus (shown here on Lollipop BFL):



Citrus is available in BonBon Bamboo, Lollipop BFL, Marzipan Merino, Souffle Fingering, and Macaron MCN.

Sunflower (Shown here on Souffle Fingering -- it really has a sunshiney-glow on this base!):



Citrus and Sunflower are available in BonBon Bamboo, Lollipop BFL, Marzipan Merino, Souffle Fingering, and Macaron MCN.

River Rock, inspired by the rushing Merced River, is a limited edition colorway. There are six skeins total. Ever. 2 each in Lollipop, Macaron and Marzipan. Shown here in Marzipan:



Thanks for looking! :)
Tuesday
Jun292010

Sarah's Little Wagashi Sweater

No WAY! I knit something! And I finished it!

Another February Baby Sweater (Rav link to my project page), this time with a stockinette body, instead of the gull stitch. I love this pattern so, so much. Classic, simple, super cute!



This is for my friends Dan and Laura, for their teeny little girl Sarah.



In my Biscotti Merino Sport, the Wagashi colorway. This skein came out kinda dark and weird, so it couldn't go up in the shop, but I liked it anyway.



This teensy sweater is newborn sized, and used almost exactly one skein. Just enough left over to sew on the buttons!

Friday
Apr092010

Baklava Thumbprint Cookies

I haven't been knitting much lately. Consequently, I haven't had anything to blog. So, it's been crickets and cobwebs over here.

Part of the problem, is that I've got a bit of startitis. Not even startitis: it's like not-starting-itis. I have piles of beautiful yarn collected for several lovely projects. Patterns printed, needles selected. All sitting in a basket. And I just haven't cast-on.  There were even a couple of days last week where I didn't knit. Not one stitch. It's the first ever time in my knitting life that this has happened to me, and it's sort of freaking me out. I've knit EVERY SINGLE DAY since I learned to knit in 2001. Even when I had the flu and I couldn't stay awake for more than 10 minutes at a time. Even when I had food poisoning and I was hugging the toilet for 24 hours, there was knitting in my hand. I'm sure it will pass, that it's just a phase, and for now, I'm trying to just roll with it.

In the meantime, I've been cooking and baking a lot. So, instead of knitting, you get my second crafty-love.

Baklava Thumbprint Cookies Baklava Thumbprint Cookies

Here's one of my new favorite cookie recipes. Baklava Thumbprints. Soft, tasty spice cookies with a nutty filling modeled off of the sticky, gooey, delicious mess you find between crisp sheets of phyllo pastry. These are not even terribly bad for you. Whole wheat pastry flour and alternative sweeteners make them fiber-rich and not-too-sweet. They are terrific with a cup of my favorite tea: Good Earth Original, to which I'm utterly addicted.

This recipe is mostly my own, though it borrows heavily from a few recipes in my new favorite cookbook: Veganomicon. I should say,  I'm not vegan. I'm mostly vegetarian just because I really don't like meat very much (aside from In'n'Out cheeseburgers. I will ALWAYS eat one of those), and I love trying new ways of cooking and eating.  Vegan cooking forces you to think about food in a very different way from the traditional meat-veggie-starch model. It's fun. And this book has been really inspiring to me.

Actually, these cookies aren't TECHNICALLY vegan anyway. I used honey in them, because I felt strongly that honey was key to the baklava flavor I was going for, but it would be really easy to just replace the honey with more brown rice syrup, or some maple syrup, or even just turbinado sugar for some textural interest.



I hope you give these a try!

Baklava Thumbprints

Makes about 2 dozen little cookies.

1/2 cup honey (or 3/4 cup maple syrup or brown rice syrup, or just up the sugar to 1 cup)

1/2 cup sucanat or organic cane sugar  (i like to use one of these instead of the white, bleached, granulated kind, but use what you've got.)

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (or omit this if you don't care about lowering the fat and up the oil to 1/2 cup)

3 tbsp soy, almond, or cow milk (whatever you prefer)

1/4 cup cornstarch

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all purpose flour)

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

zest of one lemon

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp garam masala (optional)

for the baklava filling:

1/4 cup  shelled pistachios

1/4 cup  walnut halves

2 tbsp brown rice syrup

2 tbsp honey (or maple syrup, or more brown rice syrup)

Preheat the oven to 350 and lightly grease a couple of baking sheets.

For the thumbpring filling, chop the pistachios and walnuts in a food processor, or finely chop them by hand. Mix them with 1 tsp cinnamon, the brown rice syrup and 2 tbsp honey. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, stir together the sugar, oil, milk,  applesauce (if using), vanilla and lemon zest. Add the cornstarch and whisk everything until the cornstarch is dissolved.

Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and 1 tsp cinnamon. Stir until everything is all combined.

Roll the dough into small balls, about 2tsps each and place about 1"-2" apart on a lightly greased or nonstick cookie sheet. They won't spread out much, but they'll puff up a little. Press each ball with your thumb to create an indentation for the filling.   Drop a teensy bit of the nut and honey filling, about 1/4-1/2 tsp depending on how deep your thumb indentations are, into each cookie.

Bake for 12-14 minutes. Don't let them get too brown or they'll be tough when they cool. They should be a bit soft still, and they'll crisp up as they cool. Cool on a rack and enjoy with a nice cup of your favorite hot beverage!