Thursday, June 28, 2012

news, etc. - dessert for breakfast

I am a HUGE proponent of dessert for breakfast. If there is ever a left over slice of cake or chocolate chip cookie, I have no qualms about eating it in the a.m. Some people - who shall not be named - have questioned my practice. So it is with great delight that I share this article from Time magazine, which this week reported that eating dessert for breakfast may actually aid weight loss. 

photo by

While researchers from the study referenced stress that dessert for breakfast is not the ideal diet for everyone looking to loose a few pounds, I, personally, take this story as a little bit of vindication for my occasional indulgence in morning after birthday cake.

I may have to indulge myself further with an "Eat Cake for Breakfast" T or tote from Kate Spade.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

sick knits, etc.

I was home sick today. As I was lying in bed, I started to think about knitted things that would be fun and functional for sick days. My first thought was a hot water bottle cosy, and I found a bunch of cute patterns online. Here are some of my favorites.

I love this pastel cosy, with double buttons, from The Yvestown Blog. The pattern is available for free on the shop website here. I need to practice my crocheting skills so that I can whip this up!

This hot water bottle cosy pattern, by Christina Pridie, is available on Ravelry here. It is a very clean design, and would be a great way to practice cables.

If you are looking for the reward without the work, this knitted, hot water bottle cosy by LoftLines is available for purchase on Etsy here.

A hot water bottle cosy would be a great project to take on a trip, because you can easily use just one type of yarn. I hope to make one for myself soon -- though lets hope I don't get sick again in the near future!

Monday, June 25, 2012

dessert, etc. - summer sweets

The fourth of July is a little over a week away, which means it is time to start brainstorming party ideas. My first thought for a party always goes to the food - by which I mean the dessert - and so I was happy to find a  bunch of fun America-themed dessert ideas on pinterest. Here are some of my favorites.

I love these American themed fruit skewers from Party City. It is clever without being overly complicated. 

Another cool way to serve fruit on the fourth is this cookie cutter fruit salad from the blog Wit & Whistle. The author mentions the possibility of adding white rasberries, which I think would be awesome.

Moving away from fruit, I think I might bring back the S'mores on a Stick I made a few weeks ago. They were easy to make, easy to serve, and delicious. Fine the recipe here. You could always replace the pinwheels with mini-American flag toothpicks.

This is not particularly fourth of July themed, but I had to add a few pictures from the Oh Happy Day blog post Giant Banana Split. Now that's my kind of sundae.

Do you have any cool fourth of July dessert ideas? Share them in the comments!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

garter stitch, etc.

My union jack tea cosy project has reignited my love of garter stitch. It is a quirky and fun stitch that I often forget to use.


I am happy to see that garter stitch is becoming a trend for the fall. I came across this sweater in a British Vogue, which I picked up while waiting for a connection at Heathrow. It is a cashmere rollneck, worn back to front, from JW Anderson.

I also love this electric blue sweater from AlisaDesigns on Etsy


I might have to whip up a chunky, garter stitch infinity scarf like this one by Andrea Sanchez for next winter! Pattern available for free on Ravelry. 


Saturday, June 23, 2012

anna styles - dinner and a show

Tonight I am going to dinner and a show with some friends in Boston. It is very sunny and warm out, so I wanted to wear a summery outfit that was still evening appropriate.

I decided to go with a new dress I bought on sale in Amsterdam while I was there last week. It is by the French label, Egerie. I don't normally wear bright colors and crazy patterns together, but I love the tropical feel of this dress.

To keep attention on the dress, I paired it with simple pearl earrings, and my favorite gold, cuff ring from Henri Bendel. I also slipped on my everyday black flats from Cole Haan, since I was going to be doing a lot of walking.

Summer is my favorite season, and I'm looking forward to many more fun outfits!

Friday, June 22, 2012

anna knits - union jack tea cosy update 3

Despite packing my knitting up for my trip to Brussels and Amsterdam, I did not get anytime to knit while away. I usually knit on the plane, but I was too busy this time reading the hilarious book The Year of Living Biblically by A. J. Jacobs. 

Since coming home though, I've made a some progress on my union jack tea cosy. I finished the two outside panels - done with intarsia! - and now just have to knit the two inner pieces. 

You can see my progress here and hereThe pattern is available as a free Ravelry download here

Thursday, June 21, 2012

anna sews - elbow reinforcements

One of my favorite items of clothing is a slouchy, grandpa sweater I got from J. Crew a few years ago. Here is me wearing it under a leather jacket a few months ago (it is currently 90F in Boston).

The problem is, I've worn it so much there are holes on the elbows. I've been meaning to get elbow patches for a while now, but I did not get a chance before leaving for Europe last week. I knew I wanted to bring the sweater - since it is the perfect plane ride companion - but I needed to do something about the elbows.

I stumbled across this post for Duplicate Stitch Heart Elbow Patches on the blog one sheepish girl.

I love the idea of heart patches, but my sweater is not chunky enough to achieve the same type of duplicate stitch. Adding another round of stitching though was sure to act as a good reinforcement. Here is what I came up with:

For the stitching, I used Rowan Yarn Cashsoft 4 Ply in Eau de Nil 450. I had it from my knit your own dog (pug!) project. 

I think it came out well. It worked great on my trip, and reminds me of something that would be sold at anthropologie. 

After I completed this project, I came across the company Woolfiller on pinterest. The company (based in the Netherlands) sends customers a kit to repair holes in wool clothing through melding wool with wool via a felting needle. It was featured in Time Magazine's 50 Best Inventions of 2010

The results are very cute, and there is a lot of room for experimentation. I may have order a kit for my next sweater emergency!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

travel, etc. - brussels + amsterdam 2012

I got back yesterday from a quick trip to Europe. I visited Brussels and Amsterdam; two places I had never been before. Both were gorgeous and super fun! Here are some of the pictures I took. Follow me - annaknitsetc - on instagram for more!


EU Parliament Tour - Thanks, Maria!


Knit (crochet) bombing!

Pretty flowers and slanted houses.

Street art.

Heading home.

Check out the song "Amsterdam" by Peter Bjorn and John on 'the knit mix' music player via grooveshark. Press the play button on the right hand panel player --> --> --> (update: this song is now only on the knit mix archive, not the player)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

travel, etc. - knitting bag

I am going to Europe tomorrow for a week! I will be visiting Brussels and Amsterdam. Since I am travelling on the plane alone, I decided to bring some knitting. Here is how I pack up a project:

Step One: Pack up knitting bag. Mine is a free bag I got from Clinique. I like that it zips. Usually it holds all my knitting, but I am using particularly long needles for this project.


Step Two: Pack scissors and tapestry needle separately if you plan to carry on your bag. I put mine in my liquids baggie.

Step Three: Zip the bag up (as best you can) and pack it in your carry-on.

I am being very ambitious and taking my Union Jack tea cosy, which has a lot of intarsia. I really want to finish the project, and once I complete this second flag piece, I just need to make two plain red layers. See my Union Jack tea cosy progress here and here.

Wish me luck! I'll be back June 19th.

Monday, June 11, 2012

anna runs - surviving my first 5K

I ran my first race yesterday! It was the Halfway 5K (5K sponsored by the Halfway Cafe) in Canton, MA. It was a beautiful day, and having friends and family there made it lots of fun - even for someone who has long considered herself a "non-runner." 

I was able to wear the shirt I made for the race to advertise my blog. The woman behind me at the start line told me she was a knitter and that she would visit anna knits, etc., which was exciting!

See how I made the shirt here.


Post-run - I made it!

Overall it was a great event and a great experience. I'm not looking for something too soon, but I'd definitely be up for another race sometime in the future!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

anna knits - knit your own dog

My Dad randomly saw a knitting book at a bookstore that he thought I would like, so he picked it up for me. Thanks, Dad! The book is Knit Your Own Dog by Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne. You can see some of the knitted dogs, and read more about the book at

I quickly went online to order the yarn I need to knit up a pooch. For this project, I am using Rowan Yarn Cashsoft 4 Ply in Elite 451, Black 422, Mocha 417, and Eau de Nil 450, with size 2 needles.

I decided to start with a pug, because my dog growing up, Yoda, was a faun pug. 

Yoda Devine 1997-2011

I look forward to starting this project after I finish my Union Jack tea cosy!

Friday, June 8, 2012

beach, etc. - scituate, ma

I am at my Aunt's beach house for a few days, and I wanted to share some pictures. Here are my 5 beach house essentials via my Aunt Joanne's Scituate, MA house.

1. American flag.

2. Painted doorstops.

3. Flowing curtains.

Classic ball fringe curtains from Country Curtains

4. Starfish motif. 

Scarf from The Glass Onion on Block Island, RI. Earrings from Details in Providence, RI. 

5. Pastels.

~ Thanks to my Aunt Joanne for letting me take pictures all over her house! ~

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