17 September 2015

NYC Yarn Crawl is coming up! 25-27 September 2015

Ooh, it's getting to be that time of year. The time when it's not in the 80s, when you want to grab a sweater before you head out, when thoughts turn to yarn and knitting. The most wonderful time of year!

Kicking things off this Fall for me is the NYC Yarn Crawl from 25-27 September. This year there are 11 shops participating in Manhattan and Brooklyn. I will, of course, visit Knitty City (my knitting home away from home) and may venture to some other shops. Purl Soho and Downtown Yarns are always fun to visit, and you never know what sort of direct-from-Milan treasure you might find at School Products Yarn, so we shall see if I can make time to visit those shops. I've never been to Seaport Yarn or any of the Brooklyn shops, so perhaps it's time to leave my borough!

If you're going to be crawling, let me know! I'd love to meet up and squish skeins of yarn together. And if you visit Knitty City, be sure to say "Hello!" to Caught in the Rigging - she's hanging out in the Knitty City window until the end of the month.

16 September 2015

#kdknitphotohop winner!

And the winner is the talented @remembrancespottery! Yahoo! Be sure to check out her Etsy shop (link in her profile over on Instagram) - lovely pottery including buttons (!).
The photo hop was LOTS of fun, and I'd love to keep doing something like it. However, posting to a prompt daily and keeping up with everyone else was a lot of work, so I'm thinking of something like a weekly prompt (every Monday?) and favorites/roundups posted the following week. Let me know what you think.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!

15 September 2015

#kdknitphotohop recap

Many thanks to everyone who participated in the #kdknitphotohop over the past week. It was lots of fun! I got to meet new-to-me Instagrammers and give away some patterns. Here's where we started:
SPARKLE winner


JOY winner
and BIRTHDAY winner
Thanks, again, to everyone who played along! It was so fun that I'm thinking of doing a weekly prompt (seven days in. a. row. was kind of a lot for me, though that could be because it was also the first week of school, the week leading up to my and my husband's birthdays, as well as preparing for Penelope's belated birthday party - summer birthdays can be tough on a kid).

Tomorrow I will announce the yarn giveaway winner for enough Miss Babs Yowza in Oyster to knit the Caught in the Rigging cowl.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!

11 September 2015

Pattern: Captain Austen's Scarf

Captain Austen's Scarf
Captain Austen's Scarf on Ravelry $7 (no account necessary)

A cozy scarf is a must for walking the deck of your ship, and what better way to dress it up than with a little of Frank Austen’s fringe? He worked the very same fringe (on some curtains) while on shore leave with his sister Jane. Luscious, bulky Malabrigo Twist makes for a quick knit, and the reversible Seaweed stitch pattern will keep your interest until it’s time to tie that fringe and board your ship.

Captain Austen's Scarf by Kathleen Dames

This pattern is designed so that you can use every yard/meter of two lovely skeins of Malabrigo Twist or 300 yds/274 m of your favorite Aran weight yarn. The Seaweed stitch pattern is lovely to work in knits and purls, plus it is easy to remember after one time through the pattern. And like all the best scarf patterns, it's reversible! Seaweed looks different but equally attractive on the reverse side.

And then there's the fringe! While, in general, I'm not fringe-y, I love working this fringe and can see how Frank Austen could work up fringe for the drawing room quite happily (even if he had a bad cough). You could leave off the fringe (I worked up a plain version of the scarf for my fringe-averse husband), but I think it really adds a special touch to this scarf

What you'll love about knitting Captain Austen's Scarf:

  • Seaweed stitch is a straightforward knit-purl pattern - easy to work, provided in both written and charted versions
  • Designed to use up just about all of two skeins of Twist - no awkward amounts of leftovers
  • Fringe edging is fun to create - you'll start looking at everything around you to see what else might need fringe

What you'll love about wearing Captain Austen's Scarf:
  • There is no wrong side to this scarf - sometimes you fall for a scarf that has to be worn "just so" to be seen to advantage; this scarf looks great front- and reverse-facing
  • Worked in a lusciously soft yarn like Malabrigo Twist, you will love having this around your neck all winter long
  • You will entertain yourself with that fringe
  • Makes an excellent gift for any man or woman - just choose a favorite color and knit away!

Captain Austen's Scarf by Kathleen Dames

Size/Finished Measurements
70" long x 6" wide, including fringe

Malabrigo Twist [100% merino wool; 150 yards/137 meters per 100g skein]; color: Ravelry Red; 2 skeins
US8/5.0mm needle(s)
US H-8/5.0mm crochet hook (optional)
Tapestry needle

20 sts x 22 rows = 4" square in Seaweed stitch pattern

Skills Needed
  • casting on
  • binding off
  • knitting
  • purling
  • following written or charted instructions for Seaweed stitch pattern (both included)
  • working fringe (written instructions included)

Captain Austen's Scarf by Kathleen Dames

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!

07 September 2015

Recipe: Kathleen's Granola

After posting a picture on Instagram/Facebook of a tray of granola ready to go into the oven last week, I received a lot of notes asking about my recipe.

My overall principle after lots of tweaking and eating is one Tablespoon each oil and sweetener for every cup of stuff, then baking for about six minutes for each cup of said stuff. So, feel free to go nuts (or seeds or whatever makes you want to get up in the morning and have a delicious breakfast)!

I've substituted maple syrup for the honey and might substitute coconut oil for canola just to see. If I run out of one kind of nut, I've doubled the other, but I do prefer the combination. And I like to think that the flax seeds give my coat a glossy sheen, but that could just be me being silly. Don't skip the salt! In all my time in the kitchen (cooking was my hobby before I became a knitter), the most important lesson I've learned is that salt brings out sweetness in baked goods.

This is IMO delicious atop your favorite yogurt with some fruit mixed in (you can skip the cranberries in that case), but I love to eat it as cold cereal with dried cranberries and soy milk (more calcium for my bones). When I run out of granola and have to eat something else for breakfast, I am not a happy camper, so this stuff gets made often.

Caveat: I am not a nutritionist. Nor am I a professional chef. This is how I like it. YMMV.

Kathleen's Granola
approx. 1 quart

4 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 cup sweetened coconut, loosely packed
1/4 cup flax seeds, ground
1.5 teaspoons kosher salt

6 Tablespoons canola oil
6 Tablespoons honey

1 cup dried cranberries (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 F. Line large baking sheet with parchment. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add oil and honey to bowl, then mix thoroughly to coat dry ingredients. Pour onto lined baking sheet and spread evenly. Bake for approx. 35 minutes until fragrant and toasted brown. Cool thoroughly on rack. Store in covered container. Add cranberries before serving.

  • I use a rimmed half sheet pan, sometimes known as a jelly roll pan. It is approx. 18x13".
  • To cut down on the number of utensils I dirty, I fill my Tablespoon half-way with salt. Then I use the Tablespoon for the oil and honey as follows: Fill with oil, pour in bowl; fill with honey, pour in bowl; repeat six times. The oil prevents the honey from sticking to the spoon.
  • I used to add the cranberries before storing the granola but have discovered that, thanks to osmosis, the moisture in the berries tends to leave said berries and permeate the granola. Not enough to make the granola soggy or anything, just enough to make the cranberries hard. Me no likey. 
  • This recipe has been doubled and halved using 9x13" and two half sheet pans, respectively. Bake for 20-25 minutes and 45-55 minutes.
Kids start back to school tomorrow-ish (classroom visits). Once they're back in their school-year routine, I'll get back into mine. In the meantime I'm enjoying the last of summer as best I can (it's HOT out - ugh). Hope you're having a good time, too.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!

P.S. There's still time to join in the Instagram #kdknitphotohop! See my profile for details.

04 September 2015


As I mentioned Wednesday (and made official in yesterday's newsletter - subscribe already! - and on Instagram), I've decided to try a photo hop on Instagram. I have friends who did the #sewphotohop, and it looked like lots of fun, but I don't sew. Maybe I haven't been looking in the right places, but I haven't found any knitting-focused hops, pads, or pods other than my Geeky Girls Knit #ggkcraftypad, and I'm not quite ready for a whole month yet. A week seems doable right now (the kids start back to school next Wednesday). Could you handle a week? It seems like a fun way to get to know other Instagrammers and make the run up to my birthday super fun.

Care to join me? I plan to give away a pattern a day of your choice, plus one of you lucky Instagrammers will win enough MissBabs Yowza to knit your own Caught in the Rigging cowl.

All you need to do is
  1. follow me on Instagram
  2. repost the photo below (I use the Repost app)
  3. tag your photos with the hashtag #kdknitphotohop

So, what's the deal with that hashtag?
  • kd - that would be me, Kathleen Dames
  • knit - we all love knitting, right? Right!
  • photo - fun photos on Instagram
  • hop - we'll have a hopping good time
Put it all together, and you've got #kdknitphotohop!

And here's the prompt list in case you can't read my handwriting:

 9/7 sparkle
 9/8 begins with K
 9/9 JOY
9/10 knitting
9/11 Jane Austen
9/12 hearts
9/13 Birthday!

Hop on over to Instagram and follow me, so I can follow you back, and let's have some fun!

I hope you have a great weekend. Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!

02 September 2015

Happy birthday from me!

OK, we have almost two weeks to go until the big day (I'll be 44 on 13 September - yay/sob), but I've decided to start giving presents to you dear ones early:

  • Caught in the Rigging is now available for free on Knitty - perfect for that special pile of wool you've been hoarding or adding to your Fall Fiber Festival shopping list.  I'm going to Rhinebeck - will I see you there?
  • Birthday sale on Ravelry: Buy two patterns, get one free - no coupon necessary. Place any three of my patterns in your cart, and you will only be charged for two. If you want, buy two, and let me know to whom you would like me to gift the third one. Share the love!
    happy birthday from me! buy two patterns, get one free
  • So, I'm kind of intrigued by these Photo-a-day things on Instagram, but I haven't found a knit-ish one that I want to join yet. Have you done one? Would you like to try doing one with me? I'm thinking one week long to get our feet wet (if it's awesome, we can do more), leading up to my birthday, maybe some prizes at the end (patterns, enough yarn to knit a Caught in the Rigging cowl, I'm open to suggestions). Let me know in the comments or via email (kathleen at kathleendames dot com) what you think.
That's it for presents and excitement today. Who knows what tomorrow will bring :)

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!