Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

2010 was one of those years that I am glad to see come to an end. Not that there's, of course, any guarantee whatsoever that nothing bad will ever happen again just because it all seemed to happen in one year. But our family and our circle of friends had its share of  accidents, surgeries, and tragic events that left me breathless at times, not knowing where and whom to help first.

Naturally, what I came to realize over and over again, is that we are not alone, not when bad things happen, and not when we are helping someone.  The Pulling Together and Sharing in the Grief was a tremendous experience, and I want to thank you all for being there, and allowing me be to be there for you. It's always such an honor to be permitted to make a difference.

My gratefulness goes out to those of you who are still with me here on this little blog, for hanging in there with me when the words just wouldn't come. I am looking forward to writing and creating more again in the coming year! More yarn will be dyed, the colors are calling already.

I hope you all have a great ending to 2010, and will begin 2011 with renewed energy and outstretched arms, ready to receive whatever may come.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

come to mama...

We got a bit of snow yesterday: this is what it looked like when we opened the front porch door. About 6-8 inches or so, on top of no snow we had before.

The house across the street looked especially wind - and snowblown, but sooo pretty!

Today the skies are clear, and I am looking forward to a walk in some wintry woods. I got up this morning when everyone was still sleeping, and made bread.  Thanks to my mom, who gave me some Christmas and birthday money early, I was able to afford THIS baby! I got it for a lot less than is says there, because it was a discontinued color. Hehe.  Mine is black metallic which sparkles. Real fancy. But what I care most about is the 6 quart bowl! I can make 2 large loaves of bread in one sitting.

rye bread

same rye bread, with a bit of knitting added while rising
(Project started last night: Cerulean Cardigan, in Ecological Wool) 

whole wheat bread
I am also using the mixer to make myself gluten-free bread, which is a whole lot stickier and is harder to mix and knead. But today was baking day for the family. The house smells really nice, and I get to feel all smug and competent.  :)

PS: Lyrics.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

felt nativity scene made by dear husband many years ago

the three wise men are almost there!

free form embroidered, pine needle filled tiny pillow made by Crafty Girl
(that's glittery felt!)

From our family to yours, Happy Holidays!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

elf story

Yesterday, I took an hour in the morning to wrap some gifts.

Tall son was due to come home from college last night, and I was using his room to gather paper, scissors, tape, tags, and: gifts. Had it all nicely together, brought out from various hiding places. This year, I gave myself a break - or rather let myself off the hook - and didn't knit things for everyone. Rather, I went shopping here and there, trying to accommodate the moderate wish lists of a teenage daughter and a son in his third year at college; thinking of what relatives might like. I had already brought gifts to Germany when I went there in October, so that part was done.

I proceeded to wrap the gifts, and knew the whole time I was missing something. One gift card. You know, small, practical. The kind where the recipient can fulfill one larger dream or several small ones. I had gotten it a while back.

First I had kept it in my purse, to remind myself that I had it.

Then I thought that I had better take it out of my purse, because what if it fell out somewhere? So I hid it.

When I went to find it yesterday, it wasn't in the spot I thought I had put it. I proceeded to wrap some more gifts, and thought Oh well, it'll turn up.

By the time I had to go to work at our food co-op, putting in a longish shift all the way till 9 pm, I let the matter rest. I was hoping it would just come to me, that I would suddenly recall where I put it. You know how sometimes the more you try to remember something, the less you do remember? But dinner break came and went, and I was none the wiser. Just more tired. By the time work was finished, I still had no clue.

Crafty Girl was at a friend's house, Tall Son had run out to meet some friends. Once again, I was safely ensconced back in his room, wrapping. I was nearly done. (Not that the pile was so huge. It takes me longer than the average elf to wrap gifts because it is not one of my strong suits. I will never be able to get a job at the Macy's gift wrapping department.)

That dratted card! I needed to find it. Dear husband had by now picked up Crafty Girl. She sat up reading. Where was the card? Everyone was giving me blank stares, including the cat. I finally ran out of places in the house to look, so I went into our bedroom, where dear husband had already gone to bed. Sorry honey, I need to turn the light back on. Can't find a gift card in the dark.

By 11:30 pm, my dresser drawers were very nicely organized. I found socks I thought I had lost, old pantyhose is now in the trash (can't even remember when I last wore hose.)  But that card? Still elusive. Hubby snored on.

On to the next drawer-- I was determined, or delirious from being tired, I couldn't tell the difference. That card must be found.

is he laughing at me?

Another set of drawers cleaned out (do I really need to hold on to old sweaters?)

1 am. I finally find the card. Bottom drawer. The last place I was going to look of course. I wrap it up quick, clean up the room, go brush my teeth. The front door clicks downstairs, Tall Son is home. No, I didn't stay up for you, I promise.

Two more days til Christmas. I made a mealplan days ago.

Now where did I put that grocery list?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

shop is stocked!

New offerings in the SHOP! I am currently taking a break from lace knitting but oh boy! am I having fun dyeing up some beautiful skeins of lace weight's 1300 yards of 80% merino/20% silk pure gorgeousness!
merino silk lace - colorway craving

merino silk lace - blue sky

merino silk lace - silver lining

merino silk lace - dark cloud
 Then there's merino silk, a 50/50 fingering weight the drapes like a dream. 437 yards will allow you to make a nice sized lacy scarf, or a lace shawlette.
merino silk - chai

merino silk - dark cloud

merino silk - crapshoot

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look! I keep daydreaming about all the things I might knit for myself come about you?

Monday, December 20, 2010

and the winners are:

Thank you everyone who entered the drawing for my Periwinkle Sheep WINK yarn!

I am now happy to announce the winners.

Lisa N. wins the Craving colorway of WINK.

Debbie of the blog "Four Paws and some String" wins the Silver Lining colorway of WINK.


I am thankful for all the positive comments everyone left. I hope you will all come back and check in here to see what else is going on besides giveaways. ;)

If the winners would please send me their addresses through an email directed to me karinmaagtanchakATnycapDOTrrDOT com - I will do my darndest to get the yarn out to you as soon as I hear from you!

Friday, December 17, 2010

reasons to go find a farmer's market

While we wait for the contest from the previous post to be over, I would like to show you some reasons to go find a farmer's market! We are very lucky here to have a winter market. This is also the same market where you can find excellent handcrafts every Saturday. Tomorrow is the last day for me before Christmas. I want to thank everyone who has stopped by! I love being a part of this, and adore my fellow handcrafters and artists.

The following pictures were all taken by my daughter Crafty Girl, except for the ones at the very bottom (my yarn and hand dyed scarves).
Have fun!

Troy Winter Market

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

giving it away!

In the spirit of the season, and to celebrate over 100 sales on etsy, I am giving two skeins of a new yarn away!! (It is of course also available in the SHOP. )

Meet Wink. A new sparkly yarn that is a joy to dye, a marvel to hold, and wonderful to knit with.

Ok I'll let you take a peek.

colorway: craving

colorway: silver lining

Periwinkle Sheep WINK

75% superwash merino, 20% nylon, 5 % Stellina

approx. 430yds/100g, kettle dyed

7-8 sts/in; machine wash delicate, tumble dry low or dry flat.


Start: now.
End: Sunday, December 19th, at midnight, EST.

ENTER by leaving a comment.
SPREAD word, tell a friend, and you will be entered again - up to three times.
Your friend needs to leave a comment to be entered, AND tell me who sent them so you can be entered again!
Of course that friend can be entered again too if they tell a get the idea.

I will select 2 winners on the morning of Monday, December 20th, 2010 and announce them here. As soon as I have your addresses, I will mail the yarn out to you.

ETA: thanks for  all the love!!!! Keep the comments coming. I just wanted to add that the winner will be selected via lottery. Random number generator. Sorry I should have been more specific. :)

OK, ready? Set, go!

PS: don't forget to LIKE the Periwinkle Sheep on Facebook!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

heads up!

The Lame Blogger returns to announce a give-away in the coming week, and a pattern release for quick holiday knitting (in case you still need to make something for someone!).

There have been some milestones recently, and I need to celebrate with you. It just so happens to be in the middle of holiday season, so what could be better than a give-away?

There is a facebook for Periwinkle Sheep lovers, and it has 150 fans right now.

Then, sales on etsy have climbed over the 100  mark in recent days, there are new yarns to announce,

merino d k - hydrangea

merino d k - silver lining

and also,

I got into Sock Summit 2011!!

Stay tuned!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Recipe: Cranberry Apple Pie - reversed.

Do you happen to have a 12 oz bag of cranberries? An apple left over from making the Thanksgiving Apple Pie? How about a couple of eggs, some sugar, and a cup of flour? Then you can make this delicious and easy upside-down pie. Or crumble. Not sure what to call it. The original recipe that I worked from called it a crustless pie, but it really isn't crustless.

some frozen cranberries were added to the dish for styling purposes only

1 10 inch pie plate, sprayed with vegetable oil spray (or buttered, as you like).

1 12 oz bag of fresh cranberries, rinsed and picked over, and patted dry.

2/3 cup of sugar, divided. CAVEAT:  I like my cranberries to retain some of their tartness. The original recipe called for 1 1/2 cups sugar.

1 Northern Spy apple, peeled, cored,  and cut into pieces the size of cranberries.

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup chopped walnut pieces.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Spread the cranberries in prepared pie dish, top with apple pieces; sprinkle with 1/3 cup sugar, and cinnamon. Sprinkle with walnut pieces. Set dish aside and make topping. It only takes a minute and the fruit won't draw too much juice.

Cream together:

2 large eggs

1/3 cup sugar (add more here if desired, up to one cup, but I'll tell ya that's making it way sweet.)

Add 1/2 cup canola oil (or other taste-neutral vegetable oil) and blend well.

Add 1 cup flour and blend well. I used Bob's Red Mill gluten-free flour blend, but any flour, wheat, white, will do.

This will make a thick batter. Spoon batter on top of fruit mix in pie dish, distributing evenly.

Bake in 325 degree oven for one hour.

Let it cool a bit before digging in.

I can't have dairy, but I imagine a dollop of whipped cream on top would go great with it!

Enjoy. :)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Opera Company of Philadelphia "Hallelujah!" Random Act of Culture

How to stop holiday shoppers in their tracks.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I'll go, if they'll have me

Thank you everyone for your lovely and encouraging words. I saw many of you this weekend too who came to the market on Saturday and the holiday open house today. Everyone is wanting me to go. It lifted my heart to hear so much praise and encouragement.

It will cost me and my yarn about $3000 to go to the Sock Summit, stay for 5 days, and come back. That does not include the actual stock I am bringing- just transportation/flights, hotel, and booth fees. I will not be taking any classes.

But I am convinced now that it will be worth going. I have 9 months to plan, plot, prepare, and best of all, dye lots and lots of lovely yarn. :) Meanwhile of course, there will be other shows to go to, yarn shops to supply, the etsy shop to maintain.

I'll be putting in my application this week, making hotel reservations, and getting the (yarn) ball rolling for Sock Summit 2011! Sample knitting will begin after New Year's, who's ready to jump in with me?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

should I go or should I stay?

Just came home from knit night at the Spinning Room. Full of wonderful conversation and knitting.

Still in the middle of trying to blog about everything I saw in Germany last month.

Now I have an email from the Sock Summit organizers, asking me if I want to be a vendor again next year (they are giving vendors that attended last time first dibs). I have 5 days to decide what to do.

Should I go? Not go?

One the one hand, business wasn't as great as most vendors were expecting. On the other hand, I myself am much better set up to prepare and be ready. I had a blast while I was there, I met the most amazing people,and I am not just talking about all the knitting celebs. I feel like my yarn is good enough, and I have much more to offer as far as variety and color.

Please, gentle readers, give me questions to ask myself for the next couple of days, things to consider, pros and cons to mull over. (Aside to my bookkeeper: the booth fee stayed the same.)  Do I cross the continent again to be part of Sock Summit 2011? Should I go, and represent the fair state of New York?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


On Tuesday, October 26th, 2010, my parents took me on a daytrip to Coburg. We parked in a Parkhaus in the center of town and made our way through narrow streets

 across a Marktplatz

 and after a bit of shopping (no yarn!) we had lunch in a Gasthaus.

After lunch, we hiked up to the Fortress Coburg. If you are not into historical buildings or fortresses built over several centuries, which were destroyed, restored, renovated, made accessible to the public and that house numerous historical artifacts and an art collection, don't bother reading on. ;)

one of two courtyards

my mom in a watch tower

view of the valley below

an airfield across from the castle

chapel and building which houses historical artifacts

portrait of Martin Luther, who lived here for a short while

capturing a dramatic parting shot as clouds moved in