Nana's Knitting Shop

Knitting tales of a lifelong knitter
and yarn shop owner.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

I've Got Nothing...

on knitting this week, but I do have the best blueberry pie recipe ever. Blueberries are inexpensive and delicious right now and this pie hits the spot on a hot day!

Freshy’s Blueberry Pie

Bake a Pillsbury pie crust at 450 for 9-11 minutes until golden brown. Cool.

¾ C sugar
3 Tbs cornstarch
¼ tsp salt

Blend in:
2/3 C water
1 C blueberries

Bring to a boil in a saucepan stirring constantly until very thick.

Stir in:
2 Tbs. butter
1 ½ Tbs lemon juice


Fold in: 2 C blueberries
Chill about 1 hour.

1 C whipping cream until thick. Add 2 Tbs confectioner’s sugar and ½ tsp vanilla.

Spread half of the whipped cream mixture over the pie crust. Top with blueberry filling. Chill at least 1-2 hours before serving. Garnish with remaining whipped cream.


Saturday, July 26, 2008

I'm Incredibly Lucky

to know so many really good knitters. Until now, knitting was a solitary sport and I never got to see anything anyone else was knitting. I went to my local yarn shop, bought yarn and went home and knit - all by myself. Now, I get to see all of the wonderful things the unbelievably talented people I know knit.

Kristen, who we don't think ever sleeps, made this amazing sweater:

It's Eunny Yang's Tangled Yoke sweater and it's made in Rowan's Felted Tweed. I'm particularly jealous of this completed masterpiece because I have it on the needles, but of course, it needs sleeves. Kristen generously let me hang it in the Shop so make sure you see her incredible work the next time you stop by.

Oh, and while you're here, check out Kristen's Juliet made from Venezia Chunky. Alex's hat is pretty spiffy too, don't you think?

Sarah came into the Shop one day right after I got the Spring Vogue a year or so ago. I had seen a most amazing dress in this particular issue and I made Sarah buy the yarn to make it. I really mean it; I made her buy the yarn. It had to be made and it had to be made and worn by Sarah. Her husband Jon and I are very glad she did.

This beautiful dress is made from Cascade's Fixation sock yarn!

Michelle made this lovely Noro number using Silk Garden. It looks so perfect on her that my sister Kay had to make it too! Michelle was kind enough to let me display her jewel at a conference I was speaking at and the crowd went crazy for it! Thank you Michelle; your knitting is amazing.

Patrice made this kimono using Venezia. The pattern is from the Knit Kimono book by Vicki Square. Bravo, Patrice, it looks great!

These two certainly look like trouble, don't they? They're sisters of course and Miss Cory taught Kelly on the left to knit not so long ago. She's wearing her first project from Cory's capelet class made in Malabrigo. Eileen, on the right, has taken a lovely cardigan using Pastaza off the needles, but alas, it is in need of blocking and I think she's stalling...

I had to steal this picture of Theresa's stranded mittens. Debbie Bliss Pure Cashmere sure makes a beautiful mitten, doesn't it? Check out those thumbs!

Georgann doesn't sleep either. She told me she was never very good at sports and didn't like gym class much. Well, what she lacks in physical prowess, she sure makes up for in talent. She does it all! Look at her Lizard Ridge afghan! She's got 14 squares done and the class was just a short time ago!

Blocked and beautiful, Georgann came in to show me yesterday and we started fooling around with how they would be put together. Georgann wanted to offset them in black so they would look like stained glass windows and she's going to crochet a border in black 220 around each one and then sew them together. Here's how it's going to look:

Wow, right? Be sure to check out Georgann's double pointed needle cases and sock sacks the next time you're in the Shop. I'm offering the Lizard Ridge afghan class again on August 14.

I wish I could show you more pictures of completed works. Ann came in wearing her Gathered Pullover from the Winter Interweave and I was so bowled over I completely forgot to take a picture! She made it using Dolce and it was magnificent.

The same is true for Tracy's Salt Peanuts by Veronik Avery from the Best of Interweave book. It's beautiful and I'm mad I can't show it to you!

I don't have pictures of Kris's Wicked, Joanne's baby Dale, Kathy's Lacy Kerchief Scarf, Wendy's socks, Deb's Ruffled sweater, Catherine's baby sweater, Beth's Rusted Root, and on and on. So, it is most definitely time for the Second Annual Nana's Talent Show! Watch your EMail and my website for details. September will be a great time for a Talent Show, don't you think?

I will leave you with one final picture. Miss Priss, as you may know, has been on vacation in Massachusetts for 3 long weeks with my grandchildren. Well, I say 3 weeks is too long and since she's not here to defend herself and because I'm mean, here is what Miss Cory looks like when she's doing inventory:

Yup, those are cupcakes on those lovely pants. Tie dye shirt, Malabrigo hat, one green glove, Earth shoes, cupcake pants, and a feather duster - Stacy London, if you're reading this, please come and save my child. She really needs a healthy dose of What Not to Wear!

Come home, Cory, your mother needs you!

Friday, July 18, 2008

There Must be a Plan!

I've finished ordering all of the Fall yarn and it will be here before I know it. There are so many new and beautiful yarns that I'm dying to get my hands on, a detailed plan to get much of what's on my needles off by the time it arrives must be in place. (To give you a little hint of what's in store, this will be the Fall of Fair Isle. I'm planning some terrific classes for every skill level that will be tons of fun.

But in the meantime, there must be a Plan, a Grand Plan. To keep myself from being completely overwhelmed, I'm going to review what's OFF the needles. There are two new Aran Afghan Squares which makes a total of 14 - whoo hoo, only 6 to go!

Ann McCauley's square.

Ginger Smith's square.

The beautiful Gulris Knit/Crochet Cardigan by Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton for a class in August is off the needles. I'm only showing you the sleeve because Shayne is crocheting the ruffle on the rest of the sweater. The class is full, but if there is additional interest, I will offer the class again.

It is knit in Cascade's Venezia which is a merino/silk blend that knits like butter.

Pretty amazing, isn't it?

Okay, so now for the Grand Plan. First up is to finish the Medallion Tunic from the Summer issue of Vogue Knitting. Made from Pima Tencel, I've completed the back and am cruising on the sleeves.

If all goes well, I hope to have this off the needles by mid August. I really want to wear it with white pants so much to my Mother's chargrin, I'm going to wear it before and after Labor Day. Stacy London thinks that wearing white after Labor Day is okay so I'm going with her.

Next up will be Catherine Parr. This Starmore classic is being knit in 220 and I've got several friends knitting it with me. Two of them have started their sleeves which is weighing heavily on me. I really don't like being behind. I've knit up to the armholes and since we're adjusting the sleeves and armholes, the sleeves must be knit next. Can I do both Catherine Parr and the Medallion Tunic at the same time? Maybe. Even though this picture doesn't show it, I'm up to the armholes, I really am.

Then, it's back to my lovely Dale. From the Best of Tiur Book and done in Dale of Norway's Tiur, this too needs sleeves.

If you recall, I'm making the Tangled Yoke for my dear Sister Kay. Kristen finished her Tangled Yoke and it's absolutely gorgeous. I'll post a picture of it as soon as I can.

Kay's Tangled Yoke is done up to the armholes. Yup, you guessed it, it needs SLEEVES. Surely, you've noticed a trend here, right? EVERYTHING I'M KNITTING NEEDS SLEEVES!

Look back for a minute...most of the photographs here are either of sleeves or sweaters in need of sleeves. I'm clearly sleeve obsessed, sleeve deficient, and sleeve phobic.

I'm teaching a baby sweater class right now and guess what I made my students knit first? Oh, that's right, the SLEEVES. I'm at least not promoting sleeve-itis. Git 'em out of the way, people. Don't fall into the sleeve trap or you'll end up just like me. One blessing, I suppose, is that three quarter length sleeves are back in fashion.

Who knew it would be so simple, this Grand Plan; just knit sleeves.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Tamming It Up!

Nancy Marchand's Brioche Windmill Tam has taken Nana's by storm!

We had several classes on it and on Harlot Day, the South Suburban S&B group decided to make it too! The great thing about this tam is that it looks terrific on everyone. Alas, it can be a booger to knit. Even though it is a small project, it can cause great anxiety and I've witnessed much ripping.

As Nancy Marchand says, "Rounds 1 and 2 can be tedious rounds because you have so few stitches. Do your best to plow through them because it quickly gets easier and very enjoyable."

Most, however, have to plow through rounds 1-11 before it gets easy and very enjoyable. Once you master it, knitting them becomes addictive!

Tracy and Kristen were the first to finish from our class. Here's Tracy's:

Tracy liked the technique so well, she went on to start Nancy's Capelet from Interweave's Wrap Style:

Pretty cool, isn't it?

Here's Kristen's tam:

Georgann has made four since our class:

Here are the S&B Group's tams:

Linda was the first of the Group to finish:

Here's Tammi's:

Joanne was thrilled to finish hers:

For those of you who would like to make it, but are a little imitimidated by the pattern, I will be offering another class on Tuesday, July 15 and 29 at 6:30 p.m. Check it out here.