The knitting/cyber world had buzzing about the new Clotheshorse online knitting and crochet magazine.  I know what you’re thinking, “Oh no, not another knitting magazine.”  But this one is different.  I had the pleasure of seeing what was going into the magazine before it was published when I met up with Heather Dixon and Mindy Brown, co-founders of Clotheshorse magazine at TNNA in January.  What makes this magazine different?  Clotheshorse is a fashion forward and season appropriate magazine.  The pieces in the magazine are inspired by current runway fashions.  The selection of patterns are wonderful, they have everything from dresses to jewelry and knitting to macrame.  Clotheshorse is fashionable and wearable, there is something for everyone!

 

 

The Spring/Summer 2012 Issue has 25 fashion forward patterns.  Two of my favorite patterns are:

 

Peekamoose by Heather Dixon

 

Cobalt by Mindy Brown

 

The great thing about Clotheshorse Magazine is that you don’t have to buy the entire magazine if you like just one pattern.  The patterns are all sold individually so you can pick and choose what you would like to make.  If you like one pattern in the whole magazine, just buy the one.  If you like ten, then buy ten.  That’s the beauty of it!  Every issue offers a free pattern.  In this issue the free pattern is Morea a macrame necklace  that is done beautifully by Mindy Brown.

Not only does this new magazine have knitting, crochet and macrame patterns but they also have a great product review page where they reviewed products like Lavishea Lotion Bars, Soak, Knitter’s Tool Tin by the Sexy Knitter and more.  What I enjoyed most about this issue was the Interview with Amy Small of Knit Collage.  I love to read about how yarn companies were started and the inspiration and drive behind the yarns.  Amy in particular has a fun and interesting story about how she got started and her production, make sure you read the interview with Amy Small!  Another fun read was the “Shop Report.”  We all know that Purl Soho is a wonderful place- but in the “Shop Report” Jennifer Wendell wrote about Purl Soho and about the texture and color to the point where it transports you there.

 

I hope you enjoy this issue and all the future issues of Clotheshorse Magazine.  Mindy and Heather have been very generous as to sponsor two give-aways. Each winner will receive a free PDF of the pattern of their choice.  To enter for a chance to win all you have to do is post a comment in this blog post by Sunday March 4, 2012 by 11:59pm Pacific Time. Good luck to all who enter!

Cadmium by Jennifer Lori, Mercury by Heather Dixon & Palladium by Gyorgyi Suta

A couple days ago I had a hankering for some coconut cupcakes.  Yum!  I went online and found a few recipes.  After looking through all of them I had it narrowed down to Martha’s recipe and the Barefoot Contessa’s recipe.  It wasn’t a hard choice when I looked at the ingredients – the Barefoot Contessa wanted me to use SIX sticks of butter for 20 cupcakes!  Are you kidding me?  So naturally I went with Martha.

I used this recipe here – but of course I am terrible at following directions.  So I goofed a little.  When I was reading the instructions it said to pre-heat the oven (check!), then to whisk all the dry ingredients together.  So I did that…. then it said to cream the butter and sugar together. Damn it Martha!  Sugar is a dry ingredient!  I had only butter and coconut milk in my sad wet ingredient bowl and then this big dry ingredient bowl with flour, baking powder, salt, coconut and of course sugar.

I continued to mix – I figured if these cupcakes came out bad that I would blame it all on Martha.  So I went ahead and mixed in my eggs (one at a time) – because after the wet ingredient dry ingredient fiasco I learned my lesson.  Always read the whole paragraph!  Then I mixed in my dry ingredients in three batches (like Martha said).  The batter looked a little thick and kind of sticky after mixing in all the ingredients – so I just added more coconut milk until I thought the consistency looked right.  If they were too gooey I’m not sure who I would have blamed that one on.

So I line my cupcakes with these brand new silicone cupcake liners that I got at Bed Bath & Beyond and fill them up 2/3 of the way – into the oven they go! Here I go to make some frosting.  Now again being bad at directions – “nah – I don’t like Martha’s frosting recipe, I’ll make up my own.”  I knew I wanted a cream cheese frosting and pulled it out of the fridge a while ago to bring it up to room temp.  I mixed the cream cheese with 1/2 a stick of butter the rest of the coconut milk, about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar (I lost track) and a about 2-3 tsp of lemon juice and 3-4 tsp of vanilla extract.  Mixed it all together till it tasted right.  It was good!  But a little runny.

About 25 minutes later the cupcakes were ready to come out of the oven. They looked normal and cupcake like.  I did it!

I waited till they were cool and frosted them and then sprinkled coconut over the frosting.  I took a bite – they were oh so yummy!  Rory didn’t really like them all that much since he doesn’t like cream cheese frosting.  I was not aware of this.  But he ate the cakes that weren’t frosted yet.  He loved those – they were very moist.

Since I only had one cupcake tin I make a cake out of the rest of the batter.  I think it came out good…. it looks good, but I haven’t tried it.  The only thing is that it took about twice as long to bake.  I am going to bring it to the shop tomorrow so that I don’t eat it all up.  All in all the coconut cupcake endeavor was quite the success. I would have liked it to me more coconut flavored, maybe next time I’ll use six sticks of butter for more coconut flavor.

 

Time for a freebie don’t you think?  This is a quick fun knit and I hope you enjoy making it as much as I did.  I used Debbie Bliss Donegal Chunky Tweed and of course it has been discontinued.

 

I originally knit this up in Madelinetosh Bulky the one I bought from Imagiknit on my visit to San Francisco, but I call that one the “prototype.”  That’s what I call everything that didn’t quite turn out the way I wanted it to the first time.  Anyway that yarn too has been discontinued…. of course.  Don’t you hate that?   As soon as you discover a yarn and fall in love with it, its discontinued!

Another great yarn for this project would be (one of my favorites) – Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted Hand Dyes (keep in mind this yarn is not a worsted).  You would only have to use one hank of each color of this yarn to make the cowl.  Some good color combinations would be:

                                                       Charcoal with Lagoon

   

 

                                                     or Rusty Orange with Putty

  

 

This is a fun pattern to choose colors for because one of the colors is your dominant color and the other one is a “peek-a-boo” color.  But if you turn your cowl inside out then your peek-a-boo color becomes your dominant color and then there is just a little pop of the other color on the edges.

 

      

 

Have fun knitting this cowl, and hopefully you can get a little wear out of it before it gets too warm!  See the link below for the free pattern!

TNNA,  Woohoo! …. thankfully it’s over.  Now I can recover for about a month or two and start planning the next one.

This post is a little over due, but when you see the little video Rory (the bf) and I put together you will see that it was definitely worth the wait.

 

This was the first time TNNA has ever been in Phoenix.  I am  so used to it being in Long Beach -  just a short 30 minute drive for me.  This time I had to get in my tiny little peanut of a car and drive across STATE LINE (not lines… just one).  It was quite the drive, very boring, lots of cacti.  I didn’t think my little car would make it, it was packed FULL!  I should have taken a picture.

 

After the seven or eight (I lost track after the one hour detour in the middle of nowhere) hour drive I finally made it to my hotel.  Yes!  The next day was set-up.  After months and months of planning of course not everything pans out exactly the way you planned, but I think I had a pretty good looking booth anyway.  Here, see for yourself:

My little booth corner

 

I even had those really yummy Lemon Rosemary cookies I blogged about back in September.  I packaged them up and handed them out to everyone and anyone who needed a little sugar boost.

I didn’t really get much of a chance to shmooze with the vendors because I spent all my time hanging out in my booth.  So unfortunately I can not report back about all kinds of fabulous new yarns and products.  But while I was stationed at my booth I was meeting all kinds of fun people.  Designers, LYS owners, yarn company owners and much more.  We had a little mustache party. Here is a little video Rory and I put together of all the mustache fun.  Please enjoy!

 

 

I debuted two new patterns, Olga’s Vest and the Starry Pinafore.  The Starry Pinafore has not been published yet, but Olga’s Vest has been published!  This is a vest that can be worn ELEVEN different ways.  I didn’t originally design this garment to be so versatile, but when I realized that it was I knew I had to name it after my friend and fellow designer Olga Buraya-Kefelian.  Many of her beautiful designs can be worn more than one way – love her!

 

The Starry Pinafore is coming soon, I promise.  I just have to do a little more math and more typing (arg).  I hope to have it ready for you in a few weeks.  Here is a little sneak preview:

 

Save 10% off Olga’s Vest on Ravelry with the coupon code: OlgaJazzyVest ow through February 13th, 2012 at 11:59pm Pacific time.