Monday, July 29, 2013

anna knits - amigurumi octopus

The process:

Read about the knit pug here.
Last week I gave you a sneak peek of my amigurumi octopus. I had some time this weekend to put all the pieces together (it took longer than you'd think) and voila! Here he is.

I used this Octopus pattern by Hansi Singh via Ravelry. It is a great pattern, with detailed pictures to supplement the instructions. It is worth the $6. Instead of worsted weight yarn, I used sport / 5 ply yarn - specifically Kambgarn  in rosebloom and glacier green - with size US2 double pointed needles. This way, the octopus came out a little smaller and more delicate. The only downside was I was unable to double up the pipe-cleaners which fill the legs, making it less moveable.

I am planning to attach the octopus to a large tea cosy I am knitting; something I first saw on Ravelry. I'm not sure it will work out exactly as I envision it, but I'm optimistic!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

anna knits - amigurumi sneak peek

Sneak peek of my latest amigurumi:

I just have to assemble all the pieces, and then I have a special surprise for this guy. Stay tuned!

Learn about the Icelandic yarn I used for the project here

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

yarn, etc. - purl soho

I was in NYC this past weekend, and had the opportunity to visit Purl Soho-- an amazing yarn and fabric shop.

Knit sushi!

The store also has a great knitting blog called The Purl Bee, which has lot of beautiful (and free!) knitting, crochet, and sewing patterns. If you haven't check it out yet, I highly recommend it!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

knitting, etc. - my craftsy picks

Knitter friends: Have you ever had the idea for a knitting project and searched the internet for the perfect pattern just to end up with a million tabs open and no way to compare all your options? Introducing Craftsy: The latest way to browse thousands of patterns - including hundreds of free ones! - and easily save them to a custom wishlist. An account is free, and if you are a designer, you can easily upload your patterns and sell them with no fees. Plus, there are tons of great classes to sign up for, and other craft sections, like jewelry, crochet, quilting, and cake decoration.

To illustrate how Craftsy works, I pulled together some of my favorite knitted shawl patterns:

During New England summers, you never know if the temperature is going to drop. That's why I feel shawls are such a great summer knitting project. On my Craftsy page, I tried to pick designs that were (1) pretty, and (2) easy enough to knit up fast, but challenging enough not to be boring. Here are some details:

I hope you enjoy the page, and please let me know if you try any of these featured shawls! Once I'm done with my current tea cosy commission, I hope to start one of my own.

Monday, July 15, 2013

hair, etc. - heatwave strategy

Boston is in the midst of a heatwave, and with temperatures expected to be in the 90s all week, I've been looking for inspiration for how to keep my hair off my shoulders and out of my face. Here are some of my favorite finds:

Hair clips: When you're dripping with sweat, there is no better way to catch those pesky flyaways.

Side braids: I love this twist on one of the season's biggest trends.

Braids with a hair clip: In this heat, two hair wrangling strategies are better than one.

High pony: Does the job. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

anna bakes - 4th of july pie

For the fouth of July this year, I decided to bake a red, white, and blue American flag pie. Check out my inspiration via Woman's Day magazine here

Here's my pie:

And here's how I did it:
Step 1: Make your pie dough. Refrigerate. 
I used Ina Garten's Perfect Pie Crust recipe with a 9in pie plate, which left enough extra dough to make a crostata the next day.

Pre-heat the oven to 400F.

Step 2: Assemble your fruit, keeping the blue fruit separate (this will make up the stars part of your pie flag).
I used 4 peaches (white), 1 carton of raspberries and 1 carton of strawberries (red), and 1 carton of blueberries (blue). I also used the zest of one orange to flavor the fruit. 

Step 3: Wash, cut, and combine your fruit with granulated white sugar, lemon juice, and orange zest. 
I used 1/4 cup sugar for the blueberries, which were on the sour side, and 1/2 cup sugar for the rest of the fruit. Set aside. 

Step 4: Roll out one half of your dough until it is pretty thin (you will almost be able to see through it).

Step 5: Arrange the dough in the 9in pie plate. Refrigerate.

Step 6: Roll out the other half of the dough and cut into stars and stripes. 

Step 7: Assemble the pie. 

Step 8: Bake at 400F for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350F and cook for another 40 minutes. 

Step 9: Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

anna knits - fair isle cowl update 2

On my bus trip to New York last Friday I finished my fair isle cowl. I used red and gray baby alpaca yarn from Block Island's North Light Fibers on size US3 circular needles (I love circular needles for travel knitting). The pattern is Adelia Cowl by Tanis Lavallée, which comes with a pattern for a matching set of gloves. I knit the Adelia fingerless gloves a few months ago, and have been really happy with them. You can check them out here.

Read about my purple nail polish here!

The bottom is folded over and sewn back to create an super thick edge:


Who wore it best?  
See my progress here and here, plus more behind the scenes photos by LIKING anna knits, etc on Facebook.
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