23 December 2013

Etsy Treasury: Victoriana

I've been plugging away at some non-bloggable knitting (shareable in a couple of days), and in my downtime I've started curating Treasury lists on Etsy. Such fun! I have a tendency to get an idea in my head and then fall down the Etsy rabbit hole until I've seen all there is. My time suck is your gain :)

Two to share with you today:

  • Victorian Engraved Jewelry I have a few pieces like these that I inherited from my paternal great aunt and grandmother (baby bangle and an Elgin watch) and find this kind of handwork so lovely
  • Mourning Jewelry Having just re-read Possession by A.S. Byatt, I've got a thing for hair and jet mourning jewelry. Again, the handmade aspect is so appealing, and the slightly macabre (check out the last ring - OMG!) and personal aspects of such items are so interesting in today's mass-produced world
Happy holidays to you all (whether your holiday of choice has already occurred or is coming soon)!

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen
P.S. More knitting in the New Year - promise!

09 December 2013

Maker Monday: "Mommy Pizza"

At some point about a year ago, I got it into my head to conquer pizza. I'd tried making dough a dozen years ago and ended up with a long-standing fear of yeast. I'd made a big mess in my kitchen and then discovered that you could buy ready-made dough from the store. 

For whatever reason I finally decided to face my fears and researched a lot. The interwebs told me I could make a dough without a lot of kneading (and Cook's Illustrated helped) and could roll it out without everything getting coated in dough bits - not quite as much fun as tossing it in the air, but just as tasty (and feasible for me). Cook's also started me in my sauce path, though the addition of basil into the sauce via the crushed tomatoes was my own genius (I wanted the flavor but knew the kids would object to big green leaves on the pizza plus finding nice basil all year round just isn't in the cards. The internet also gave me the idea to incorporate the broiler. 

The pesto pizza came late to the game but is now a necessary component for me and Nick. Just be careful! I set a blind-baked crust on fire one night when the oven rack was one rung higher than usual. Oh, was that dramatic! I ended up covering it with a baking sheet and letting it smother. The good thing is that the oven is the safest place for a small fire :)

Anyway, the best thing is how forgiving the dough is. No specialized equipment needed! No Kitchenaid, Cuisinart, or laborious kneading. I think you could even get away without pizza tiles and peel, just using a couple of baking sheets (one in the oven to heat up and a second to get the pies into and out of the oven). Mix up that dough and leave it alone. It only requires a tiny bit of planning to have your own scrumptious pizza!

Pizza dough
3 cups bread flour plus more for counter
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 packet dry yeast
1 3/4 cups hot water plus up to another tablespoon depending upon humidity
2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for bowl 
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Cornmeal for sprinkling

Whisk flours and yeast together in large bowl. Whisk water, salt, oil, and honey together in two-cup liquid measure (or small bowl). Pour liquid into flour mixture and mix together with rubber spatula. If mixture is dry, add 1-3 teaspoons of water. Dough should come together into a shaggy ball at this point. Drizzle oil into bowl and roll ball to coat it and sides of bowl. Cover bowl and set aside to rise for at least an hour. If you won't be proceeding for more than four hours, refrigerate for up to eight hours. 
Preheat oven with pizza stone or tiles set on middle rack to 500 degrees 1 hour beforehand. 
Uncover, punch down dough, and reform into a ball. Sprinkle clean counter with flour and divide ball into four. Sprinkle balls with flour and cover with plastic wrap for approximately 30 minutes. 
Sprinkle a handful of cornmeal onto a sheet of parchment paper and place one piece of dough in center. Cover with plastic wrap and press dough to flatten. Repeat with remaining three pieces of dough. Roll out dough allowing it to rest for a few minutes at a time until you have an oval approximately 10 x 14". 

All the ingredients

Just-mixed dough

Risen dough

Divided and resting dough

Tomato sauce
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes (with basil for preference)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves minced garlic

Heat olive oil in saucepan. Add garlic and tomato paste and heat for 1 minute. Add crushed tomatoes and simmer for 30 minutes. Set aside until ready to use. 

Simmered tomato sauce

Pizza assembly
Olive oil
Mozzarella (sliced from a 1 pound fresh cheese for preference, though you could use shredded)
Pesto (optional)

Remove plastic wrap carefully from dough. Spread 1 teaspoon olive oil over prepared dough "round". Spread 3-4 tablespoons tomato sauce over dough (a thin layer is best or crust will be soggy). Place 1/4 of the cheese evenly over sauce. 
Slide pizza onto preheated stone and bake for 6 minutes. Switch to broiler for 2 minutes. Remove from oven, switching back to 500 degrees and allowing oven to return to temperature. Slice pizza and serve. 
Repeat with remaining dough. 
I usually blind bake one pizza round with just olive oil and then spread pesto over it after it comes out of the oven. 
Remaining sauce and cheese may be frozen for future use. Dough balls may also be frozen, but I always make four pizzas. 

Prepared pizza ready for the oven

Baked pizza

Pesto pizza (there is a danger of burning the blank crust, so be careful!)

In our house it's called "Mommy Pizza" to distinguish it from delivery. The crust is thin and crisp and the sauce quite tasty. 

Let me know if you give it a go, and thanks for stopping by!
xoxo, Kathleen 

04 December 2013

Sweaters of the last week (Instagram posts)

The weather is a bit warm now that we are back home, so the sweater posting has slowed down (if you follow me in Instagram, you've already seen these). I'm ok with wearing a button down today but do look forward to more sweater wearing soon. 

Friday in Wavelette 

Saturday in Herring Lassie (an as-yet-unpublished design based on gansey stitch patterns and EZ's nalgar construction)

Sunday in Wavelette again (can't bring 'em all in the suitcase)

Monday in a striped mariniere with this great boiled wool coat I found many moons ago at Marshall's. It's knee length and closes with hooks and eyes and has these embroidered flowers on the cuffs and along the front edges. Isobel wasn't with me at the time or I would have been able to give you a full length shot

I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving and stayed away from the mall and big box stores. I spent some time browsing etsy and making plans for some last minute knits and worked on that simple stole. It's very good comfort knitting. 

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen 

28 November 2013

Today's Sweater: Sotherton

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from me and mine :)

I am grateful for my family and friends. For wool and inspiration. For Boreas not being as bad as predicted for me and my traveling brood. For you sharing in my adventures. 

Gobble gobble, and thanks for stopping by!
xoxo, Kathleen 

26 November 2013

Today's Sweater: Mermaid's Cardigan

Some of you may think in just coming to selfies late, but really I want to share how much knits are a part of my life. I now have a decent-sized sweater wardrobe (and constantly have plans for more) and put it to use in my private life. 

Today's sweater is my Mermaid's Cardigan, which started out as a vague notion of putting lace sleeves together with a stockinette body. The raglan yoke style seemed the perfect way to meld the two, and the subtle I-cord edging tidied things up nicely (and gave a great starting point to the slight puffs on the sleeve cuffs). 

Tomorrow is a travel day, so we shall see if I am feeling handknit or like I should wear something that can just be thrown in the wash when we arrive (something about air travel these days makes me want a two-liter bottle of water and a long shower when I reach my destination - I think it's taking off my shoes to go through security and, of course, the Petri dish of an airplane). I've got a simple stole to knit en route (very little thinking required) and a cardigan sample to work on while there. Looking forward to some Wooly Wonka yarn knitting time. 

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen 

25 November 2013

Today's Sweater: Bloc

It's still cold here in New York, so today I chose my original Bloc pullover, which I designed and knit last year during Hurricane Sandy. There is a lot of sympathy knitted into this sweater, as I worked around and around on those stitches while watching television coverage of the hurricane and it's aftermath (and being so grateful to live on high ground). This one is in Harrisville Shetland (colorway: Midnight, which has a subtle variation of blues that you only truly appreciate close up) and Madeline Tosh tosh sock (colorway: Tomato, a vibrant maple tree orange with flickers of gold). The two yarns, both their colors and textures, play off of each other perfectly. And I had such fun figuring out the short-row garter stitch stuff for the cuffs. What I particularly love about the Shetland is that it's woolen-spun and so provides warmth without being bulky. 

I don't have a Maker Monday today because I didn't make pizza this weekend and was in too much of a hurry when making my granola to take pictures (I also had to make a cake, cupcakes, cookies, and a batch of caramels for a birthday girl who got her braces off). So, now you have homemade pizza and granola to look forward to next month. Aren't you lucky!

In addition to my usual stuff, I'm winding up yarn for two new designs. The yarn is from the wonderful Wooly Wonka, and I'm really looking forward to knitting it up. Sorry that you'll have to wait a bit for the designs, but I think they'll be worth it ;)

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen 

24 November 2013

Today's Sweater: An Aran for Frederick

Is there anything better on a cold November day than wrapping up in a cozy Aran sweater? XOXO, twin waves, and a Celtic flourish tell the story of love on the Cobb in Lyme. 
And Brooklyn Tweed Shelter is surprisingly soft next to the skin (short sleeve t underneath, since I do live in an overheated NYC apartment). 

What are you wearing this Sunday?

(I plan to post more of these, since I really do live in my handknits.)

Happy knitting, and thanks for stopping by!
xoxo, Kathleen 

16 November 2013

Maker Monday: laundry supplies

In addition to being a knitter and designer, I like to make other stuff, too. I bet I'm not the only one! So, I thought I would share some of the other things I make with you. I'd love to hear about what you make, too :)

Some time back in my crazy homemaker phase (it's probably not a phase, if I'm still doing it, huh, maybe more of a "thing"?), I decided to try making my own laundry detergent. The dirt in NYC is particularly dirty (all the car exhaust, methinks, perhaps adds a greasiness to the dirt and makes it really stick), and I had been dissatisfied with all the commercial detergents I had tried. Add to that Isobel's full-body rash after wearing some clothes washed at a relative's house, and it became clear that I needed to find a better solution. 

After exhaustive research on the interwebs (as we all know you can lose days of your lives thanks to google and, now, Pinterest), I found a powdered detergent recipe with potential. (I discounted liquid recipes pretty quickly, as they seemed messy, some required "curing" time, and it seemed counterintuitive to spend extra time dissolving the stuff in the cooking phase only to disperse it in water later.). Powdered bar soap, washing soda, and borax were the ingredients in most recipes, and I ended up with a 1-1-1 ratio. There are recipes out there with different proportions, but this works for me (and is pleasantly easy to remember). 

At first I could get all the ingredients at my corner deli and used Octagon soap. It worked pretty well, but the soap had a high moisture content, so I would have to microwave it (it would puff up like mille feulle pastry, which was fun) before pulverization in the food processor. Then good, old Appletree stopped carrying the soap, and it looks like Palmolive may have discontinued it completely. Time for another soap option. 

While on the soap search, I went back to an organic liquid detergent. After homemade detergent, this stuff was awful! Our clothes were stinky. Never again. (I had tried Charlie's Soap at one point, too, back in the cloth diapering days, but I didn't really like mail ordering detergent.)

Enter Fels-Naptha, which is available at Amazon (as an add-on) and drugstore.com, as well as many grocery stores (with the other laundry supplies). I had trouble finding it in NYC but discovered I could stock up at the local market up in Maine, so every time I make more detergent, I think of being up there, which is an added bonus for me. It's a drier soap, so no microwave time, which I like, but it is hard, so it didn't work too well in the cuisinart. Now we are getting really old-fashioned: I grate the soap by hand with a micro plane zester! Turns out the zester makes the perfect teeny soap flakes. 

So, I grate one cup of soap, then add a cup each of washing soda and borax. Stir and store in a cleaned-out yogurt tub with a 1Tbsp measure from Ikea (an old coffee scoop would work, too, if you are low on measuring spoons). 

To wash clothes, I put 1-2Tbsp in the empty washer, start the water and swish the dasher back and forth a few times to dissolve, then add in the clothes as the tub fills the rest of the way. If you generally wash in cold, you may want to start with a little hot water to make sure the detergent dissolves, then switch to cold to fill up the tub. Due to the aforementioned dirt (and three school-age kiddos), I wash most of our clothes in warm to help lift out the dirt. If things are really dirty, you can follow the instrux on the borax or washing soda and add a bit more of either to your wash. For stubborn stains, I wet the bar of soap and rub it on the stain like a stain stick. Some people put vinegar in one of those Downy balls for the final rinse, but I haven't found that necessary (vinegar cuts through the soap scum that can result when soap meets hard/soft water - I can never remember which is which, but NYC water isn't a problem).

The Fels Naptha smells nice and clean and gets out any odors but does not leave a scent, which I prefer. The other soap recommended on the web is Zote, which has the added charm of being bright pink. 

The other tool in my laundry arsenal is the humble dryer ball. Throw them in the dryer with your wet clothes, and they fluff things up, eliminate static, and reduce drying time. Plus, they're made out of wool. What's not to love?! I wound eight balls of yarn from a skein of Lion Brand's Fisherman Wool, then ran them through a hot wash/cold rinse cycle a few times in some wash bags (many people use nylons, making a knot between each ball, but I didn't have any handy, so made do). One ball came apart and felted into blobs, so I cut them off and let the cats play with them. The others felted nicely and would make great toys for the cats and the kids, if I didn't keep them safe on top of the machine. 

Some folks like to scent their laundry, and I've read that you can put a drop of essential oil on the balls, but I don't bother with that. Just throw them in the dryer and let them bounce around. Generally, I just toss them back in the dryer after taking out the laundry, but I do keep that little blue basket handy to corral them as necessary. 

So, there you have it. Turns out to be natural-ish, and hopefully has less of an impact on the environment. Bonus of clean, fluffy clothes and no rashes. 

Thanks for stopping by!
xoxo, Kathleen 

12 November 2013

A Vest for Charles KAL

A Vest for Charles by Kathleen Dames, photo by Christa Tippmann
Your invited to join a KAL for A Vest for Charles over in my group on Ravelry! By now it sounds like most (though not all) LYSes have received their copies of Jane Austen Knits, Fall 2013, so once you have your copy, all you need is some yarn!

I have a few things to clear off my desk, and then I'm going to get cracking on my own sample. Shockingly, I'm going to use the suggested yarn, Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, and I think I have just enough in the Nest colorway.

What I really like about this pattern, if I may toot my own horn for a sec', is that it is *all* in one piece with no seaming. You knit the body, split for the fronts and back, and then with some short-row shaping, and a three-needle bindoff you're done! OK, you will have to find some fabulously masculine buttons to sew on, but, come on, that's the fun part. [I took the girls to Mood last weekend, while Nick was away at a conference, and it was crazy! Don't go on a Saturday if you can help it. Even Swatch wasn't there.]

Of course, the other thing I like about this pattern is that I get to post the handsome man picture on my blog again.

I also plan to start a KAL for Benwick, so stay tuned.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen

05 November 2013

Trip report: Los Angeles and Santa Barbara

Nick had a conference in Pasadena right around our fifth anniversary, so we worked it out with the grandparents to leave the children in Chicago and took our first-ever vacation together. Yes, we've known each other for 27 years, but this was our first vacay. 

First up was Santa Barbara. We stayed near the beach and found the most New England-y place in the pier for dinner. It was lovely. And three of my first four meals in California were tacos, thanks to Baja Fresh, the place on the pier, and the world-famous-thanks-to-Julia-Child's-patronage La Super Rica. I've come to the conclusion that the desert and the traffic and the sun aren't really my thing, but I could live on those tacos. 

But before my third taco meal, we found a lovely knitting shop, Loop and Leaf. Full range if Brooklyn Tweed plus a trunk show, Habu, and a wall of Madeline Tosh. On top of that, the owner has a shop rabbit! The whole place had a lovely vibe, and I highly recommend visiting should you be in the area. 

Then is was back to LA proper and on to the Getty. A friend of mine from way back in the days when I answered phones the the Boston Phoenix now works at the Getty, and we managed to meet up with her for a little tour before closing. The Getty is such an interesting place. Such a modern space with amazing gardens, and then there is this art collection. 

The rest of the visit was pretty mellow (for me - Nick had to be on a panel discussion Saturday morning). Our food focus shifted to Pacific rim with Vietnamese spring rolls from one strip mall store front and amazing dumplings from another. In LA it seems the less inspiring the environs, the more inspired the food.

With all the driving and flying, I knit most of a sweater. Yup. The Cephalopod Traveller ombré set from Rhinebeck did not even enter the stash and is now a top-down contiguous pullover graduating from light up top to dark at the hems. No picture yet, since I've decided to redo the hems (turned isn't working for me). Soon, though. Well, once I finish my application for this great job and deal with a big, stinky child support problem and get my submissions together for Enchanted Knits and ... There's probably laundry and vacuuming and dinner to make in there, too. Ah, well, I can still think of being awoken by seals barking in SB :)

Santa Barbara morning
Colorful tiles at our hotel
Visiting Loop and Leaf
La Super Rica - where Julia Child got her taco fix
Hollywood sign way off in the distance. Once Nick pointed it out, I felt like Meg Ryan trying to spot the Eiffel Tower in French Kiss - I couldn't really spot it (at least not from the car such that I could get a decent picture).
In the garden at the Getty. We had a lovely private tour with my friend Melissa (we worked together at the Boston Pheonix many moons ago). Did you know that the Getty bought a marble quarry in Italy so that everything would match?
Happy anniversary! Selfie at the Getty. 
Riding the tram back to the real world in my Wavelette. Perfect sweater for fall in LA, btw. 
RUOK? Freeway sign!

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen 

22 October 2013

A Day at Rhinebeck

Saturday I headed up north (Google took me through NJ after it got confused near the GW bridge, but it was scenic that way, too) to meet one of my BFFs and her family for a day of yarny goodness at the NYS Sheep & Wool Festival, known to the knitting cognoscenti as Rhinebeck. The drive was gorgeous, but I was alone in the car and couldn't safely photograph my passing. Suffice it to say that the sun was shining, the sky was blue, and the leaves were putting on a show.

But before I left, I had to decide which sweater to wear. Lots of knitter attendees create a new sweater to debut at Rhinebeck, but I didn't want to do that, since almost any new sweater of mine will also be a new design, and to have it ready to publish around Rhinebeck, I would have had to start in the spring. Maybe next year...
Which sweater will it be? #rhinebeck #gametimedecision
Rhinebeck sweater choices
Top (l to r): Sailor's Valentine, Wavelette, Mermaid's Cardigan
Bottom (l to r): An Aran for Anne, An Aran for Frederick, Bloc
Here I am getting ready to get in the car. Nick stayed back with the girls, so I could really focus on the wool fumes. Maybe next year the whole gang will be able to come up.
Getting ready to go #rhinebeck
Almost ready (with Isobel and Penelope)
The drive was smooth and uneventful, once I got over what Google Maps had done to my original plan (I have realized that reliance on technology is not helping me get used to driving around NYC; I just don't have a firm grasp on all the parkways and whatnot and how they connect). The only hitch was the last two miles to the fairgrounds, which took me half an hour to traverse. But I did get to snap a pic of the billboard as a result of the traffic.
Almost there (took 30min to go last 2mi)!
Billboard that I got to stare at for quite a while during the last half hour/two miles to the fairgrounds
I'm working on my selfies. Here is Upon the Spanish Main, which is being tested by some lovely Ravellers even as I type. Mine is in Jill Draper Makes Stuff's Splendour Sock Yarn in Glacier, which I bought at my first Rhinebeck two years ago.
At the fair
Happy to be here in my Upon the Spanish Main shawl
And the Rhinebeck sweater winner: Sailor's Valentine! I heard from friends all over with their choices, and what I loved was that there was no concensus. Maybe I should have done a fashion show throughout the day :)
Sailors valentine at #rhinebeck
Sailor's Valentine was the winner!

On the way to the Rav meetup
Walking to the Meetup
Yellow foliage
Rav meetup 1
Rav meetup 1
Rav meetup 2
Rav meetup 2
Rav meetup 3
Rav meetup 3
Mohair goat
Angora (Mohair-producing) goat
Annie's Rhinebeck sweater
Annie bananarota in her Custom Fit Jackaroo
Waiting for some lamb
Everybody wants some lamb for lunch,
but the best was the sheep's milk ricotta filled cannoli - yum!
Annie and I went the whole day without buying yarn! Some booths were just crazy, and Annie was looking for some yarn specifically for a work-appropriate cardigan, whereas I had decided to just let the whole thing wash over me and see what inspiration came. Right near the end, we headed back to Harrisville's booth, which was full of woolly goodness, though nothing quite gelled for me yet. Then we went on to Cephalopod Yarns, which had been a madhouse when we'd passed through earlier. All was quieter. Quiet enough to discover this ombre set in grey. Love! Annie found her cardi yarn here, too.
Grey ombre Traveller set from Cephalopod -
this stuff isn't even going into the stash; I'm swatching immediately!
On our way to the car we walked through Building 39, and this undyed merino glowed at me. The half-sweater sized hanks sealed the deal, and two of them came home with me. I think these are going to end up as a unicorn-inspired pullover.
Spinning Mill merino
Luscious undyed merino from the Spinning Mill
If that yarn doesn't look unicorn-y, I don't know what does.
Then we headed back to the house-without-tv with Max's BBQ in hand and listened to the Red Sox win on the radio (actually, we were so tired that we went to bed in the 6th, but they won all the same). Sunday's drive back along the Taconic was even more spectacular than the drive up.

See you again next year, Dutchess County!

16 October 2013

Countdown to Rhinebeck 2013: What to Wear?

Just three days left until the New York Sheep and Wool Festival! Lots of knitters work up a new sweater to premiere at Rhinebeck; however, since all my new sweaters are new designs still under wraps, I have to decide which of my published patterns to wear Saturday. It looks like the weather will cooperate, though it may get a little balmy (high of 68F). Hopefully it will be a little cloudy. As lovely as the sunshine is on all those colorful leaves, it starts steaming everyone in their handknits :)

So, having worn Sotherton last year (see below :), my choices seem to be Wavelette, Mermaid's Cardigan, or Bloc (the navy/tomato one) - lace for ventilation and/or knit at a looser gauge. If it ends up being quite cloudy, I would consider one of the Arans (Anne or Frederick) or Sailor's Valentine, but those are pretty substantial sweaters.
Annie and me in a pair of Sothertons at Rhinebeck 2012 (photo courtesy of Bananarota)
So, I put together a little collage to help me decide. What do you guys think?
What sweater to wear to Rhinebeck 2013?
Top: Wavelette, Mermaid's Cardigan, Bloc
Bottom: An Aran for Anne, An Aran for Frederick, Sailor's Valentine
In the end, I'll probably bring a few to choose from, so I have options :) 

Yikes! I haven't even thought about shawls. I guess it will depend a little on which sweater...

And I'll be working on some more ideas for the potential Unicorn project (what do you think of codename: PUP?) - thinking about yarn choices and such (I love finding local-ish yarns and indie dyers, so NYS&W is the place to be), as well as refining some ideas for magazine submissions. There's always more to do, isn't there?

Life has been a little stressful on the home front (problems with my ex), but I'm focusing on the good stuff, like Rhinebeck this weekend with my dear friend Annie; Nick and I going to LA next week (squeezing a five-year anniversary celebration into a work trip - can you believe we've never been on vacation alone together?), and "creating" a new knitter (private lesson for a great left-handed 3rd grader yesterday - saw her mom at school this morning who told me that she was still knitting at 9:15 last night, just as I'd warned them :)

Alright, I'm off to work on some pattern editing so that we can get some more test knits going. It's always more fun when I can share my stuff with you guys, rather than just the cats on the couch. Which should I get out of the way first: pattern grading a cardigan or translating a large lace chart to written instructions? Oh, and then there is the Pi shawl design that I knit up this summer and have to get down on pixels.

Hope to see some of you up in Duchess County this weekend. What are you going to wear?

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen

04 October 2013

Jane Austen Knits 2013

Just when the birthday let-down was kicking in, along comes the new Jane Austen Knits in which I have two patterns for you! The 2013 issue is now available for preorder, and printed copies will arrive in November.

A Vest for Charles
A Vest for Charles, Jane Austen Knits 2013, photo © Christa Tippmann
Inspired by the knit-purl patterns on the vest (a henley-style pullover, really) worn by King Charles I, this button-front vest is worked all in one piece from hem to neck. Finished off with short row shaping and three-needle bindoffs at the shoulders, this one is truly seamless. I loved working with Brooklyn Tweed's Shelter again and am looking forward to making one for myself. Care to join me in a KAL?

A Vest for Charles, Jane Austen Knits 2013, photo © Christa Tippmann
Isn't the model a handsome example of an Austen man? As always the JAK staff have done a lovely job of bringing this issue together.

A Vest for Charles, Jane Austen Knits 2013, photo © Christa Tippmann

King Charles Brocade pattern above the welting, diamonds and crosses below, with seed stitch edging everywhere. I found the lovely leather buttons at Mood and got to give Swatch a scratch behind the ears.

A Vest for Charles details
Finished Size: 32 (36, 40, 44, 48, and 52)" chest circumference, buttoned. Vest shown measures 36".
Yarn: Brooklyn Tweed, Shelter (100% Wool; 140 yds/50g skein): #08 truffle hunt, 4 (5, 6, 7, 8, 9) skeins.
Needles: Size 6 (4.0 mm): 29" circular. A second needle of the same size is helpful for three-needle bindoff.
Notions: Markers; stitch holders or waste yarn; tapestry needle; 10 (11, 11, 12, 13, 14) buttons.

Who doesn't have a soft spot for the sad, romantic Captain Benwick in Persuasion? I reimagined what a naval captain's coat might look like when worn by Louisa Musgrove: braided edging and epaulets, seamless saddle-shoulder construction, and a heart on one sleeve.

Benwick, Jane Austen Knits 2013, photo © Christa Tippmann
This time I got to use String Theory's lovely Merino DK yarn. So soft yet nicely plied - a real pleasure to work with. Sometimes I love the crazy variegated colorways you find in hand-dyed yarn, but this time it was the subtle gradations that created little highlights in the cables that made me so very happy. The Cobalt colorway captures that Regency Navy and looks beautiful doing it. String Theory is extra-special for me, as they are in Blue Hill, Maine.

Benwick, Jane Austen Knits 2013, photo © Christa Tippmann
 I think I'm going to need one of these for myself, too, so let me know if you are interested in a KAL for this, too.

Benwick, Jane Austen Knits 2013,  photo © Christa Tippmann

Benwick details
Finished Size: 32 (34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44)" bust circumference, closed. Cardigan shown measures 32".
Yarn: String Theory, Merino DK (100% Superwash Wool; 240 yds/4 oz skein): cobalt, 4 (5, 5, 6, 6, 6, 7) skeins.
Needles: Size 6 (4.0 mm): 29" circular. 
Notions: Markers; coil-less safety pins or removable stitch markers; stitch holders or waste yarn; tapestry needle; 7 hook-and-eyes, sewing thread to match yarn, and sewing needle.

Jane Austen Knits 2013 will arrive at your LYS in November (or in your mailbox if you preorder), but you can get the digital edition now in the Interweave shop. Having had a brief chance to flip through the digital edition, I have to say my queue is about to get a bit longer! And don't get me started on the article on Dorset buttons. I showed it to Nick and he said "Well, that's right up your alley."

Happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen