Have you knit a Vermonter? Do you pause before you pom pom? I always do :) I'm really digging this red one without it. But then again, it would be so fun! What do you think?
Hi friends! Use the Coupon Code SHOP20 to take 20% off of everything in my Etsy shop and Squarespace today only. That includes the Spiral Cowl pattern and Licenses too! I have a sweet pile of cowls knit and ready to go and a few sets of needles left for the knitters in your life, more are on the way soon. Hope you all had a peaceful and delicious Thanksgiving! Much Love, Abi
Hey there! Sorry in advance for the late night, bad lighting photos but this FO is too fun not to share right away. You know by now that fast, fun, addictive knits are sorta my thing and The Alex Hat did not disappoint. I have another one the needles already and have a feeling a few will make their way onto a gift pile this holiday season as well. Robyn is a designer true to my own heart. Check her out! As for the hat, fun to knit, fun to wear, what's not to love? Make one, or ten.
(The very first Drop Stitch Cowl I knit, November, 2011)
Way back in 2012(!) when I first shared my Drop Stitch Cowl pattern I had no idea where it would take me. At the time my Etsy shop was vibrant and profitable, but I was dealing exclusively in vintage goods. The idea of knitting for a living seemed impossible, if not scary. It's one thing if a customer passes on a vintage item but when you put your creative self out there and you don't get a response it feels like rejection. I wasn't sure I was ready for that.
But then something happened. The first time I wore my Drop Stitch Cowl out, several people asked me where I got it. I told them I knit it. They asked me to knit one for them. I thought, "what the heck?" and did it. That was a little less than three years ago and I've stopped counting but I've easily crossed the 300 mark. I've shipped all over the world. I have customers who come back every year. I knit a set of cowls for a bridal party (that was the coolest). I have run into people wearing my cowl randomly in different places. Locals have caught me knitting in line at the grocery store during the holiday season because that was the only way for me to keep up with orders. A Museum reached out to stock Drop Stitch Cowls in their gift shop. It's very, very satisfying.
(Working on a Drop Stitch Cowl, November 2012)
We all know knitting projects usually takes a long time, material costs can be quite high and people who buy knitting are used to paying for machine knit pieces. How can a hand knitter compete? As I was designing the Drop Stitch Cowl, not only was my intention to create the "potato chip" of patterns, one you just couldn't stop knitting over and over again, but I also had economy in mind. The design takes just one ball of Super Bulky. One needle. And, depending on how quickly you knit, a couple of hours of your time.
From there, I designed The Vermonter, the Textured Cowl and most recently the Spiral Cowl. Each one of these designs has the harmonious pairing of economy and fun at it's core. Each one offers an opportunity to share knitting, hand knitting, with local and global wearers, either by market, storefront or web site.
(A bag full of Cowls for a local customer, December 2013)
Up until now my patterns have been for personal use only, those still can be found on Ravelry, but I'm really happy to share that I am now offering Cottage Licenses for three of my most popular designs. That means if you've ever considered selling knit wear or would like to carry my cowls or hats in your shop or at your craft market you can now purchase a license to knit them for profit yourself. My intention doing this is to spread the wealth around and make knitting a viable option for income as we grow and support the hand made markets together.
I am offering the License as a one time purchase. A lot of designers ask you to renew on an annual basis but I felt like this is the best way. Once you purchase the License for the pattern you'd like to knit you can knit away to your hearts content. This is the perfect time of year to begin as the holidays approach. With one sale, you'll make back your license fee.
Licenses can be purchased through my website SpiderWomanKnits. If you hop on over there you'll be able to find all of the details about the extras I've included with the License as well. I'd love to know what you think, I'm excited to offer this opportunity to my fellow knitters. If you do decide to go ahead and start knitting my designs, I wish you much success and am here to answer any questions you may have.
Much love and Happy Knitting, Spidey xo
You all know that Vermont kicks some serious tush in Autumn. Last September the kids and I moved to a sweet little village with the most wonderful walking trails almost outside our door. We also welcomed a new pup into our life too so this all perfect. These woods have been so good to me. This spot above is one of my favorite places to just pause and take in the change of this season.
The trails meander through nurturing woodlands and then open up into sunny fields and dramatic vistas that no local ever grows weary of.
The colors of Autumn are so inspiring. Of course, so is the drop in temperature when you're a knitter. This week I worked on this batch of Spiral Cowls, so satisfying.
This time of year can be challenging as we put in the storm windows, get out all the cold weather gear and brace for winter but there is so much to appreciate along with it. What are you appreciating most now about Autumn? I'd love to know.
Ah, friends, it's been a while. Years. So much has changed for me. I've spent the past few years dismantling dreams and building new ones. It's a long story, one that involves divorce and moving. I'd like to eventually share bits and pieces of it with you but know that the kids and I are in a good place, doing good things and I can't wait to share all of that with you.
Through it all knitting has been my constant. I designed this particular cowl just about when all of the change began, about three years ago. I didn't write down my notes at the time and the cowl sat, unworn and untouched, until the end of August when I finally buckled down and recreated it so I could offer a new design for all my knitting lovelies. It's another very quick, very addictive knit that is perfect for the upcoming gift giving season. You can find the pattern on Ravelry. I love the way Leslie's turned out.
I've already had such a warm and generous response to the pattern which makes me feel overwhelmingly grateful for your support of my work and in turn the new life I am building for the kids and I.
Ahhh...gosh. So much to say. Next time.
If you're on Pinterest, I'm sure you've seen the frozen banana "ice cream" pin by now. If you're not on Pinterest or have never made this frozen confection before I highly recommend that you promptly fix both of those things. Pinterest will make your life better, it will. And you can eat this dessert for breakfast. Case closed.
I was delightfully surprised by how satisfying this simple dessert is. The original pin shows frozen bananas being placed in a blender and then whipped into a fluffy cloud. Well, my blender is broken and I didn't want to bother with freezing the bananas anyway. So, I simply sliced ripe bananas and whipped them with my handheld immersion blender until they were a fluffy cloud. It worked very nicely. So, if you don't feel like freezing the bananas or don't want to add stress to your machine by blending frozen bananas I say skip that step.
A few things about this "ice cream". First, it's not ice cream. Don't even try to pretend it is or sell it to your kids that way. That being said it is delicious! It's in a category of it's own. If it's late at night and you need something sweet you can indulge in this treat and be just as satisfied as you would be eating ice cream but actually still feel good after eating it. Really, it's that good. But that brings me to my second point, you have to like bananas. It's made with bananas so it's going to taste like bananas. I love bananas. I've seen pinners comment that you can "mask" the banana taste with the other ingredients but I don't see how that's possible or why you'd even want to. Just eat something else. See, lots of bananas in there.
Four ripened bananas, sliced into 1/2" pieces
1-2 tspns of high quality dutch process cocoa or to taste. If you're gluten free just be sure your cocoa powder is too. You can omit this.
2-3 tbspns peanut butter or to taste, I used an all natural, unsweetened peanut butter because i felt like it would offer a creamier texture. If you've ever tried to melt regular peanut butter and pour it on ice cream you know how it freezes solid? I was trying to avoid that. It worked. Of course, you can omit the peanut butter too.
Blend all of your ingredients together in a blender, food processor or in a bowl with an immersion blender until light and fluffy like a cloud. Place in a freezer proof container large enough to hold a pint. Freeze for several hours. Done!
You'll have to allow it to thaw for a little bit before you can scoop it but the texture of mine was like gelato! So perfect. I can't wait to make this again. I'm going to be adding cinnamon and more peanut butter for sure next time but the add in possibilities are endless! Rum and raisins (not blended, obvs.)? Shredded coconut? If you're looking at bananas on your counter right now that are about to turn, you know what to do. Enjoy!
First, many, many heart felt thanks for your support of my farm and fibery endeavours. I shipped out the first batch of yarn today and have more going out tomorrow. I love knowing that Indy and Hayden are "out there" now, along with my daily chores and labor, love, laughs, time, good energy and everything else that goes into small scale fiber production. If you happen to be on the receiving end of a skein I'm really looking forward to your feedback. You can find indy hayden twenty twelve as part of the Rav database too. If you're in the market for some sweet alpaca yarn you can find some here. Yahoo!
Ok, so, here we go again folks! I wrote up another addictive (warned) and fun cowl project for you that is sure to warm your needles and your necks. I'm calling it the Textured Cowl, because I am much more creative with my knits than my naming, and you can find it for FREE as a Ravelry Download.
I really love this cowl. I think it's suitable for a man or woman depending on the color you use and I also think that depending on color it takes on very different feelings. I can't wait to knit one in a sweatshirty gray. I am staring at an absurd amount of super bulky in my stash but, of course, not that color.
I feel like such a bore being redundant but it must be said that I love offering patterns for free, in turn, I humbly ask that you direct people who are interested in purchasing a cowl to my Etsy shop, please do not sell any yourself. I'm going to try something new here. I want my patterns to be available to everyone (read free) but if you've knit (and enjoyed) my patterns before and feel that they are worth something to you or feel inclined to contribute to my design work I've added a PayPal donation button to the sidebar. I'll be sure to keep the patterns coming. Thank you so much!
Whew. Now that I got that out of the way. I can't wait to hear what you think about this knit and look forward to seeing your creations on Ravelry. If you don't happen to be a knitter, this cowl is currently available in my Esty shop and ready to ship or you can choose your own color and let me knit for you, which I love to do.
Enjoy! And many heartfelt blessings and thanks,
Indy and Hayden gave up this particular fleece almost two years ago. I had to live with their fleeces for a while, touching them, smelling them and just generally loving them before I was able to drop them off at the local mill. Months went by as I patiently waited for them to return, spun from raw fiber into delicious, delicious yarn. Then I had to live with the yarn for a few more months, touching it, smelling it, loving it and knitting it into a variety of different works before I was able to finally decide to share some in The Shop tonight.
I had this yarn spun for knitters, blending Indy and Hayden's fleece with a wee bit of local wool so that you would get all the luxury, softness and warmth of alpaca but with just enough wool to give the yarn definition and structure. It's a 4ply worsted to heavy worsted yarn because that is the yarn that I personally turn to most often,(when I am not knitting hundreds of super bulky cowls!)the work horse of any stash I think. I've maintained Indy and Hayden's fawn/caramel coloring but the yarn has flecks of natural wool in it for a subtle tweed effect.
Look at these guys! They are mighty proud and they should be. Both the shearer and the mill owner said that their fleece was among the nicest they've seen. My plan is to have different weights spun from year to year so for now there will be a very limited amount available in the shop of what I am calling the indy hayden twenty twelve worsted blend. One skein is plenty to make a hat or a pair of mitts or, dare I say, a cowl. If you happen to end up with a skein or two, I hope that you love it as much as me. I can say that it is a true pleasure to knit up.
It was my brother Pete's birthday this Tuesday so I jaunted down to NYC to see Cat Power with him! Oh, so fun. I love when all I need is my tiny vintage Amelia Earhart suitcase and an adventurous spirit. It's not easy to leave my large brood mid week! But it was worth it, even if today felt all sorts of Monday.
Cat Power was amazing by the way.
And so was the breakfast that Pete and I had in Brooklyn which we lingered over while I knit up his birthday present and people watched. Such a perfect morning. I knit a heavily modified Mr. Cowl for him which is really a perfect man-cowl, I've knit one other, it's very flattering and masculine. My mods are raveled with other project notes here.
I think quick jaunts to Brooklyn will be my "emergency exit" more often :) Vermont has my heart for sure and always, but, oh my, it's easy to forget what a wide world it is out there while you're nestled deep in these mountains.