Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hand Dyed Yarns from Fiddle Knits!

I'm so excited to start sharing my latest fibery adventure!
Dye-A-Tonic -- "Earth"

Currently there are three yarn lines: Dye-A-Tonic, Swoolk, & Fiddle Strings.

Dye-A-Tonic is my main obsession right now. It's a fingering weight superwash merino/nylon blend. These skeins have 462 yards making them great for socks or, my personal favorite, shawlettes! With a single skein of this yarn you can complete my Frosting Shawlette, Sugared Berries Shawlette, or the Blackberry Blossom Scarf. Of course, you could also use Dye-A-Tonic for any of my sock patterns as well– Red Bird, SnakeWinder, and June Apple.

Swoolk -- "Lucky"
Swoolk is also a fingering weight yarn. This one is a 70% merino/30% silk fiber. The silk content gives the yarn a subtle sheen. Skeins have 440 yards. Still enough for a pair of socks or a small shawlette, scarf, or cowl. I don't currently have pattern support specifically for this yarn, but it's coming! Swoolk will be the first of my yarn lines to get it's very own pattern. Not to completely spill the beans, but it'll most likely be a shawlette.

Fiddle Strings - "Favorite Jeans"
Fiddle Strings is a lace weight 100% merino yarn. Skeins have 880 yards to their 100 gram weight. At the moment Fiddle Knits Designs doesn't have any patterns for lace weight, so this will be something new and exciting all around.

Buying Fiddle Knits Yarns
Hand dyed yarns are available in my Etsy Shop: You can get there directly through that link, or via the hand dyed yarns page on my website. The website will keep track of all the colorways offered and give a description of each yarn line.

Fiddle Knits Kits
Once I get designs specifically for each of these yarns you'll start to see Fiddle Knits Kits available via my Etsy shop. A knit kit will include a skein of hand dyed yarn and a full color printed pattern.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

First Friday Shrug

Have you seen the Holiday Gifts issue of Interweave Knits? If you ave then you might have noticed a Fiddle Knits design amongst the other wonderful patterns in this issue!

First Friday Shrug
The First Friday shrug is knit from Malabrigo lace on size 3 / 3.25mm needles. Yes, it's lots of stockinette on tiny needles, but it feels so divine to be wrapped in this shawl! The Malabrigo lace floats and moves with you. Armholes allow for maximum movement so pretty doesn't slow you down.

The First Friday design begins with a provisional cast on. If you use scrap yarn to hold the live cast on stitches while you work make sure to choose something with a high cotton or other plant fiber content. If you don't you might find the live stitches begin to felt closed, especially if you choose to work your piece from a single ply wool yarn like Malabrigo Lace.

Purchase print or digital copy for $14.99 USD

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Slow Cooked Chicken Stew: A Little Sweet, A Little Savory

When Chris and I moved one of the things on our essentials list was a slow cooker. Mostly we got it because we wanted to make pulled pork. We also figured it would be helpful for those days when I'm on design deadlines and Chris is at work all day. The thing is, neither of us had ever cooked in a slow cooker before and our recipe repertoire for it was blank. This means a lot of experimenting. Thus far they've all been successful. Last night I put together this chicken recipe. I don't believe in measuring very much when I cook. Instead I go with the "whatever seems right" method. In the recipe below I gave the amounts on any ingredient that I did take note of.

Serve over rice or with biscuits or naan. 


Dry Rub 
(use enough of each spice so the combined ingredients can throughly coat all the chicken)
  • brown sugar, approx 2 tbl spns
  • cinnamon, 1/2 tsp
  • cumin
  • chili powder
  • black pepper
  • paprika
  • garlic powder
  • oregano
  • rosemary
  • celery salt

4 Thick-cut boneless chicken breast
Potatoes, cubed
1 large tomato, sliced thick
1 cup water
chicken bouillon (proper amount for 1 cup liquid)
1 bay leaf, black pepper, rosemary
1 Tbl spn lemon juice
1 large onion, sliced
5-6 large garlic cloves, sliced or minced
olive oil
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup heavy cream


Saute onion and garlic in olive oil.

Place potatoes in cooker. Cover with water, bouillon, lemon juice, bay leaf, rosemary, and black pepper.

Place sliced tomatoes over potatoes.

Combine all ingredients for dry rub and fully coat each chicken breast. Lay chicken over tomatoes.

Layer onion mix over chicken.

Cook on low for 6 hours.

When chicken in done (make sure inner temp is 170) mix flour, milk, and cream in a bowl and add to cooker. Cook on high for about 15 minutes to thicken sauce.

Serve over rice or with biscuits.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

In the Works: Ionian

It's a miserable rainy day here on Long Island. Perfect for knitting, which is exactly what I've been doing! There are 2 designs currently on my needles – a bath rug and a unisex beanie. I've been favoring the beanie today because it has a little more going on. (The rug is a good social project, but it doesn't keep my attention well when it's just me and my knitting.) I've dubbed this beanie "Ionian." It will eventually be a part of another collection of hats named after musical modes. The Dorian slouch hat will also have a place in this collection. When will it come out? At the moment I have no idea. Sorry folks! This collection is in the very beginning stages. If I don't have it ready by January 2012 then I'll probably end up holding it until next September. Yikes! A whole year away! That's really not that unusual in the design world, especially when you're talking about putting together an entire collection (or book or magazine). It takes a decent amount of time to write, knit, edit, and photograph several designs. For now I've taken a photo of Ionian on my needles so you can get an idea where it's headed:

The Ionian beanie in progress
Excuse the poor photo quality. Miserable rain is good for knitting, but not so good for photography!
As you can see, Ionian is a cabled design. The pattern will be offered in 2 or 3 adult sizes and also in baby/toddler sizes with smaller ribbing and cables. Matching father and son beanies anyone?

Back to knitting! Maybe I'll pull out the bath rug and get some work in on that too.

Monday, September 5, 2011

On the Road: Stops 1 & 2

When I began organizing the Shades of Green tour it seemed so far away, but stops 1 and 2 have already been complete!

Stop 1 on the tour brought us to the Knit-a-While blog hosted by Ida. Here you can read an interview with me as well as get Ida's opinions on the collection.

Stop 2 is the Knit Girllls videocast hosted by Laura and Leslie. Response to collection has been great over here. (I just finished reading through the comments!)

Remember, at each stop on the tour there will be a giveaway for a PDF copy of the Shades of Green Collection. Mark your calendars for the remaining stops:

Friday, September 9 – Sunset Cat Designs blog hosted by Stephanie
Wednesday, September 14 – Rainlover Knits videocast by Sarah
Thursday, September 22 – Crafty Girly (Deco Handspun) blog hosted by Lissette
Friday, September 30 – Subway Knits podcast hosted by Maria
Friday, October 7 – Knits with Benefits blog hosted by Kate

A Certain Shades of Green Shawl
Garden Grove Slouch Hat

Blackberry Blossom Scarf

Cutting Ferns Shawl

Peridot Tunic

Serpentine Beanie

Baby Greens Beanie

Leafy Greens Hat

Travel Mug Cozies
Green With Envy Hat