Thursday, October 20, 2016

Snowflakes and Apples

Hi, Knitters,
I hope you are all having a good week. The fall weather has been on the warm side this year and we have been enjoying it as much as possible. We can't take the warmer weather for granted around here as winter is right around the corner.

I want to thank you for the support for the Mitten Knitting Season pattern sale I had over the last week. It was a hit and so I hope to see lots of your Waiting for Winter Mittens all over the place, stacks and stacks of them. My daughter gifted the mittens I knitted for her cross country sister at the last meet. I didn't hear much about it so I hope she likes them. And I have to say that if I don't hear anything about a gift, knitted or not, I never worry about it. It doesn't bother me at all not knowing if the person likes it because the fun for me is making the gift. After that I let it go. Although it is added fun if you do hear that the gift is enjoyed, of course.

Now, you may be wondering why I have the photo of a hat I designed in 2014 as the first photo. Yesterday or the day before that I noticed that my hat pattern, Split Back Snowflake, was getting some attention on Ravelry. It was rising back up in the Hot Right Now Patterns on Ravelry. Sometimes these things happen and I assume it's been mentioned somewhere or someone is knitting it and posting about it but I didn't know what was up this time.

I posted the original photo of my niece wearing the hat on my Instagram and people started letting me know that Staci Perry of Very Pink Knits had been posting about knitting her own Split Back Snowflake Hat. Staci is a prolific knitter, designer and knitting teacher and she has a very popular YouTube Channel called VeryPink Knits, where she does loads of tutorials and tutorial-style projects. You should definitely check her out. Thank you, Staci, for knitting the hat! 

Here is the back of the hat and thus the reason for the pattern title. The cable-rib brim is worked flat and then it is joined to begin working in the round for a short ribbed section and then moves into the colorwork section of the hat. When the hat is worn it should be tipped back a bit which makes the flat section hug the back of the neck (perfect for a low ponytail, too!) and the split creates earflaps to boot. There are so many good things about this hat. It is perfect for a new-to colorwork and new-to cable knitter because the patterns are simple and a hat is small with small sections of each. The hat also provides good variety for interest and moves quickly on the worsted weight yarn.

If the split back detail is not for you there is a more traditional option in the pattern, too.

The photos above show the traditional brim with a simple 1 by 1 rib to turn up or to wear down for a slouchier fit.

With two skeins each of two contrasting colors of Quince & Co. Owl you can get two hats including the pom poms. Three skeins of Owl will get you one hat, either version.

Anyway, it's been fun to revisit the Split Back Snowflake Hat pattern. My niece is the model and she is just so darn cute. 

Now for another subject, apples and apple picking. For the last ten years that I've been writing this blog I have talked about my love for apple picking and pumpkin picking in the fall. It has been a longstanding autumn tradition for us to head out and pick those apples. We like trying all sorts of kinds of apples and I am always fascinated by the variety and tastes and textures.

This year we focused on Northern Spy, Jonagold and Cortland for our picking. My son and his wife, and one of my daughters joined us so it was a small group by our standards but we had a blast and the weather was gorgeous.

I love how the rows of apple trees look so unassuming but when you get in there and look the apples are everywhere. We had the best weather. Oh, and I just remembered that as we were walking out of the rows of trees I ran into my buddy Jaala Spiro of Knit Circus with her kids. That was fun.

The apples this year were big, gigantic even. Some of the apples we picked were the largest I've ever seen.

In 2010 I posted about making applesauce in the oven and I shared my No Recipe Baked Applesauce recipe. Click here if you want to read about it!  I use this guide every time I bake applesauce and it never fails. In the old post it was fun to see TC playing her French horn in the background and my then newly remodeled kitchen. Seems like a long time ago. 

 Married life agrees with them!

I've made apple crisp and applesauce and I've eaten a lot of apples for snacks over the last week or two. I love it all. I've also blended a generous amount of cinnamon into plain cream cheese and added raisins for dipping with sliced apples. It's all so good and delicious.

I can't think of a better way to celebrate autumn each year. 

The colors are finally changing around here and it never gets old. The photo above was taken with my phone and I can't believe how good it turned out. My husband was with me on a hike and I told him how the landscape looked just like a painting. Then later when I looked at the photo I had taken it really looked like a painting in the photo. Sometimes it is hard to capture what you see in a photo. This time it worked.

The photo above was taken on my run in the late afternoon yesterday.  It was a pretty good view.

Right before I ended my run and headed home I stopped to take one last photo. You know, having a phone with a camera is one of the best things ever. I really enjoy being able to capture moments in time so randomly. (This makes me sound old but when you don't have a cell phone until you are in your mid-forties you can understand that it seems pretty wonderful.)

Have a great rest of your week, dear Knitters. I'll be back soon with more.
xo ~ susan


Holly said...

Love fall, thanks for your memories.

Barb Buteyn said...

Beautiful pictures! Fall is the perfect time for knitting hats and mittens and scarves in preparation of what is coming.

Suze said...

I just love this. All of it. Happy fall, from one Susan to another :)

Anonymous said...

I am thrilled to read this blog and find out there is another easy way to do the applesauce... I have one recipe that requires a LOT of work and this one you have is so much easier. I am wondering how you store the applesauce. Do you sterile the canning jars? Would you also share your apple crisp recipe, too? I am so much like you... love to knit and bake things like this...
Thanks so much!

Carolknits said...

I really enjoyed all of this blog, esp your philosophy of gifting. It is very upsetting to give a hand-knit item and then never see the recipient using or wearing it or even expressing a kind "Thank You". I haven't yet learned to "let it go", but you have inspired me to try again.

Kimmy said...

Susan, thanks so much for reminding me about your Split Back Snowflake Hat. It's definitely one that I MUST knit sometime and probably more than once. Like you, I LOVE apples. In fact, if I had to choose (only) one food that I could eat the rest of my life, it would probably be apples. My favorite are the tart-sweet ones that usually have some amount of green in them, although Fujis are also at the top of my "favorites list". I also planted Gravenstein (probably my all-time favorite), Granny Smith and Bramley's Seedling apple trees that are all doing well in our California climate. The Bramley's apple tree is rare in the USA, but popular in Britain. Mine get to be the size of grapefruit and are especially good for baking and applesauce. BTW, I've had one of those apple peelers/corers for years and love mine too. Knitting, apples and enjoying the beautiful outdoor scenery with loved ones. What could be better? Hugs from Kimmy P.S. I love Stacy Perry / Very Pink Knits too.

Tamarack sewing said...

I love visiting family who live in the upper Midwest area just for that picking in October is wonderful. Thanks for sharing. I need to plan another trip for next year!

tamalady said...

I have way different memories of apple picking than you do. Every fall grandma and mom would make me go along with them. I seem to be an apple magnet because they were forever falling out of the trees and hitting me on the head. One time I looked up at just the right moment and one landed on my nose. That really hurt! I prefer to stop at the roadside stand and get my apples.

Susan B. Anderson said...

Hi Deb,
We just eat our applesauce right up so it is stored in the fridge in air-tight containers until it is gone (which is fast!).

I can share my apple crisp recipe. I'll do that on a blog post coming up. If I forget, please feel free to remind me:)

Cindy Haub said...

I love fall, I live in Pennsylvania and the colors of the changing leaves are amazing! Looking forward to taking a class with at VKL in New York😀

Carol Desrochers said...

Susan can you send me your favorite apple crisp recipe?

smknits said...

Hi Susan, How can we get a copy of your favorite apple crisp recipes? I love apple crisp and still looking for a favorite. Thanks.

Pam K said...

Hi Susan; I made your applesauce tonight! Nice and easy. Thanks. Now I want your apple crisp recipe:).

Kimberly Howell said...

Hi Susan! I absolutely love reading your blog posts and enjoy your patterns as well! I am taking your Egg to Owl toy class at VKL in Minneapolis. I haven't received the pattern yet and I know we're supposed to have the egg completed before class. Have you sent the pattern yet? Thanks!

Susan B. Anderson said...

Hi Kimberly Howell,
I just contacted VK Live and reminded them to send out the homework to the students in my Egg to Owl workshop. I hope you get it today! Thank you for letting me know.

Keep me posted if you have time.

I can't wait to meet you in class, we will have a great time:)

Kimberly Howell said...

I received the pattern about an hour ago. I'm looking forward to meeting you at VKL! Thanks for your help!

Sam I Am...... said...

You made me hungry! Your photos are great. I took your craftsy class for the giraffe and one grandson got it while the others got something else so now the other grandsons want giraffes! LOL! They're also getting mittens from your pattern this year for Christmas and after Christmas I am making the Smooth Operator socks for MOI! LOve Fall and it amkes me homesick for the of these days I'll be back up North. Enjoy! Yes, please post the apple crisp recipe next time. I copied the applesauce one so thank you for that! Way easier than the stovetop! Your newlyweds are so cute!