Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Package Received!!!

I want to share with all of you the wonderful package that Cathy put together for me, which arrived today. She went all out! First, the coffee: an around-the-world sampler pack - 12 different coffees to try, each packet makes a full pot of coffee, so needless to say I will be enjoying all the different beans from around the world. I think I will save these for the weekends so I can really enjoy them and notice the differences in each type. The yarn: 2 skeins of sport weight cotton in the most beautiful shades of pink. The goodies: Dove chocolate, bee balm lotion (smells so good), a set of four pretty pink stitch markers in their own little bag, some glittery beads, some cute patterned tissues, sheep-shaped post-it notes, a hot pink notions holder that will be just the thing to keep in my on-the-go knitting bag so I don't have to worry anymore about my scissors poking in the wrong place. To top it all off, she made me the cutest apron with a blue flower applique. I know I will be wearing it for my holiday baking, coming up soon.

Thank you, Cathy!

Contest #3

- Dare to try a new coffee.

Green Mountain Lake & Lodge

Blech - I will never drink it again. It's way too strong for me! Reminds of the sludge I drank in Army Basic Training to stay warm out in the field.

Share your favorite knitting/crochet project.
My favorite knitting project could only be Bags since it is wat I have done the most. I really like socks but am a beginner right now.

All of the bags I have made have been for myself, except for the 4 I have done for swaps. My kids have asked for bags but I haven't gotten to the point of making them yet. LOL My favorite yarn for them is Cascade 220 or Lamb's Pride Bulky. I love to felt!

Contest #3

My latest adventure in coffee was -- don't laugh -- attempting to buy decaf from a bodega in my neighborhood. There are three bodegas within 1-2 blocks of my house, but when I asked the proprietor of the first where I could find decaf, he laughed and said "We don't carry it! No one comes in here wanting decaf." At the second store, the owner told me "We used to carry decaf but only sold about 1 can a year so we stopped selling it." Perplexed (and thinking "doesn't anyone in the neighborhood ever need decaf for a dinner party?" which is why I was looking for it), I finally found a pound of Equal Exchange decaf and it was absolutely wonderful -- very smooth, and full bodied. I'm happy I can now drink coffee in the evenings after dinner, too.

My favorite knitting project is socks. They're (relatively) quick, use a reasonable amount of yarn, are good for trying new patterns, are fun to give to friends, AND are compact enough to knit on the train. My love of sock knitting is a bit ironic, though, because I loathe having to wear socks and shoes and avoid wearing socks between Memorial Day and Labor Day every year. (With this year's unseasonably warm October, I got to wear flip flops up until about a week ago). It's more fun to knit something to give to someone anyway!

Contest #3

The new coffee I tried is some Godiva coffee. I'm not usually a flavored coffee fan, but I was given the coffee as a bridal shower present, and how could anything with chocolate be bad? And it didn't disappoint. The coffee has pure godiva cocoa in it. It's pretty bold. I expected more of a mocha, but this was plesantly more intense. I don't think I'd like it every day, but it's an excellent weekend coffee.

My favorite knitting project is dishcloths. You can't get any more instant gratification than with a small cotton square, and they're actually useful! I've knit dishcloths and facecloths for family and myself. I've also knit the round discloths from Mason Dixon knitting, and tied up with ribbon around soap or chocolate, they make really cute gifts.

Contest #3

The most recent new coffee I've tried is a Maple Spice Latte, made by me using Monin's Maple Spice syrup and Just Coffee's espresso beans. The verdict? Mmmmmm, yummy! I've become slightly addicted to it, and have been adding it to my regular old joe when I work. It's sweet, mapley, and slightly spiced. A taste of autumn in a cup!

My favorite knitting projects? Hats. I love making hats. I've made them for my husband, myself, my four kids, nephews, and the Dulaan Project. I've used all kinds of yarns- for the kids I use Bernat Softee-Chunky a lot; it's warm and washable, as well as Lion Brand Wool-Ease. I made a darling hat last year out of a yarn made from a thin strip of polar fleece- warm and cute!

For my husband and myself, I've used Debbie Bliss Cashmerino- squishy, soft and washable, and Manos del Uruguay, with it's fabulous colorways.

I plan on making many, many more hats. They're fun, quick, and can be personalized in so many ways!

Here's my Sophie modeling my latest creation-


Contest #3

I am generally not a fan of flavored coffees - I like regular, black, plain-jane coffee. So I figured with this contest I should try a flavored coffee. I tried Autumn Spice at Espresso Royale, which is described as having cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. What did it taste like to me? Kind of like someone threw a circus peanut in my coffee. And I'm actually a fan of circus peanuts (in moderation!) but not in my coffee. I cannot explain why Autumn Spice would taste that way, but it did. So, umm, no, I will not be having that again!

My favorite knitting project overall would have to be toys. I have a stash of every color or the rainbow (and then some) of worsted weight washable wool and wool blends like Plymouth Encore and Wool-Ease and a bunch that lost their labels long ago. From these I have created kittens, turtles, robots and even a seahorse and a nautiloid. I get inspiration from the Knitted Toys KAL and the many awesome toy patterns that show up on Knitty. Mostly I knit toys for my own kids and the joy they take in them once they are done I know comes in part from it being a handmade object, and that they can pick the colors or suggest changes they would like. I love to knit them because I know they are loved. A couple of the first toys I knit were robots for my son while he was learning his colors, so I did one in primaries and one in secondary colors.

Contest #3

I tried the Pumpkin Spice Latte from Steep & Brew. I liked the "spicyness", but I'm not a big latte fan. To tell the truth, it was my first real latte. I prefer flavored black coffee.

My favorite knitting project is socks. They are so nice and quick. I love making socks for myself, because I know they will fit. I also love to dye my own sock yarn, I am partial to using easter egg dye because it's so cheap the day after easter!

Contest #3

A coffee I tried in several places, and liked, is caffe mocca - coffee with chocolate, a sort of hybrid between hot chockolate and coffee. I am sure this is no news for most of you, but I don't usually try many 'fancy' coffees in cafe's but stick to the 'normal-fancy' ones. But anyway, mocca tames my sweet tooth, and gives the coffee boost, so it's a 2in1 solution for me!

Project I love an do over again are hats. I have two basic patterns I do over again for presents etc. Both from the S'nb handbook - the Umblical cord hat I do as written, just changing yarns, and the Hot Head I do in the round. Both's sizes I can modify, and colours of course, but these are so quick and so fun to to, I never get bored with them.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Contest # 3

My favorite flavored coffee was Orange found in a cafe in RI. It had chunks of orange peel in the beans so when you ground them it mixed together. It was heavenly. I'm not into fruity - flavored coffees but a mug of Orange with a shot of chocolate syrup was awesome.

My knitting obsession is hats. I knit tons of hats. So many hats that I was no clue what to do with them. I even knit a shower cap out of 100% waterproof yarn that I hand spun. I love hats!!!!

The yarn was recycled plastic bags, and old Halloween wig and other stuff. If you want to see more check out this link to all the pictures. It was fun.

Contest #3

Today I tried the new Cinnamon Latte from Caribou Coffee. I really enjoyed the strong cinnamon-y taste and will definitely indulge again. It would be perfect for sipping near a roaring fire on a blustery day. I didn't get the whipped cream on the top. I can only imagine how good that might be. I've been after my friends at Caribou for ages to convince them they needed something to compete with Starbucks Pumpkin Spice. They tried with Pumpkin Pie latte, but in my opinion it fell short. The Cinnamon might have a better chance.

As for my favorite thing to knit, lately it's most definitely been socks. I had been afraid to attempt them, but I've just finished my first pair and I'm hooked! My stash of sock yarn is multiplying out of control. I used dpn this time. I'd like to learn to make them on circulars, but that will have to wait until after the busy holiday season.

I am also enjoying knitting items for my new granddaughter (Sophia Hope) who is expected about Thanksgiving time. She's already very spoiled!

Contest #3

I tried some Makers Mark Coffee that has bourbon flavoring. Wow it was a potent smell and really too strong a flavor for me. Flavored coffees aren't my thing. I found that I like it if I just use 1scoop of beans to 2 scoops of a regular full bodied roast. It is really a special occasion kind of coffee- I would not enjoy it for everyday.

I must say- I love to knit SOCKS- especially on the magic loop. I always have a pair on the needles . I have joined a couple sock clubs and that is great fun- having a surprise package arrive in the mail periodically. I have a friend that is always finding new sock clubs for me to join. She is contributing to my delinquency! Ha! It is fun joining together. I make socks for everyone but the dogs- humm- maybe I should try paw covers with the leftovers.

I do have a favorite crochet pattern too. I make a star shaped baby blanket in multiple colors. This is my tried and true pattern. I think every baby should have something homemade. I am always making one for teachers and staff in my school. I usually use a washable yarn in a variety of colors. You can see one I made for Allison's little one, James on her blog at

Contest #3

I'll have to agree with everyone who gave a bad review to the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte. You hear so many people raving about it this time of year, but I just find it gross, even with half the syrup. I don't think I'm a fan of Starbucks in general though. Their coffee tastes burnt, and they mask it with sickeningly sweet syrups. I won't be going back to Starbucks for that again.

As for knitting, I've been loving socks for over a year now and I've made around 20 pairs, but I've recently started lace knitting which I like even more. There's something about turning very fine yarn into something delicate and excquisite, that can also keep you warm. Now that I have the time to do it, lace is my favorite thing to knit. I've only knit lace for myself so far, but I would like to make something nice for my mom. So far my favorite lace yarn is Handmaiden Sea Silk. It's gorgeous to knit with and blocks beautifully. Here are my two latest lace projects.

Swallowtail Shawl
Swallowtail Shawl

Cherry Leaf Lace shawl
Cherry Leaf Lace Shawl

Contest #3

Yesterday I tried a "butterscotch" flavored coffee from a Coffee Shop called "Arabica" out on the south side of Chicago. On one hand I was really disappointed because I was hoping for something really flavored (I was in the mood for a sweet treat). This was not very flavored at all. On the other hand, if I had been in the mood for just coffee - this would have been wonderfully subtle. It was the kind of coffee that you could drink every day even though it was flavored

As far as fave projects go - it was a beaded, "Lilly of the valley" lace bracelet that I made my mom. I used a mercerised cotton - very tightly spun and very little stretch to the final product. This pic is actually from the kitty page, but mine looks basically identical. - right down to the color of the yarn (something I just happened to have in my stash). I knit mostly for my self and my family - and a bit for swaps., mostly because I don't want to put in the work unless I'm sure the end product is going to be appreciated.

Contest # 3

Coffee Review: I decided to try a Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks after hearing several respected coffee addicts rave about it. I have to say, it did nothing for me. I couldn't even finish it. I should know better when spending that much on one cup of java to go with a sure thing!

Favorite Knitting Project: Well, I will have to share two. My 'first love' that sucked me into knitting to the point where I knew that I would never turn back, was felted bags. The magic of it all (and it's ability to hide my mistakes...) inspired me to knit dozens and dozens of them. I would sell them and send all of the profit to a missionary working with homeless girls in Russia. It was very rewarding. (This is the latest felted bag that I finished)

And then I met socks. Socks on 2 circulars. A new love. I still love making a felted bag here and there, but spend most of my time knitting socks.

Contest #3

Today I am trying Caramel Kiss decaf coffee from Artisan's Roasters, a coffee I picked up at Winners (aka TJ Maxx) last week. It has a light hint of caramel and it's not too bad. I'll finish the package although I am not sure I will go looking for more.
My favorite project involved a ball of blue curlilocks mohair from Fleece Artist which turned into the loveliest triangular shaw, complete with fringe. I've done other shawls but none turned out so well.

Monday, October 29, 2007

~ Contest #2 ~

Using the handy dandy Randomizer, the winners have been selected.......and the winners are:
Coffee Review
2. Kat
*Prizes ~ coffee from a local roaster and treats.

Yarn Review
*Prizes ~ yarn goodness and accessories. Special thx to Marisol and Laurie for donating the prizes. You guys are awesome.

Congrats winners! Please email me at asimplifiedlife at hotmail dot com with your snail mail addresses so we can get your goodies out to you. Also, once you receive your package, please post a pic if possible of your goodies.Thx.

Thanks to everyone who participated you all are winners to me. I now have several newbies to try.


I have never really tried anything other than Mocha Lattes from Dunkin Donuts. Although I did try their Pumpkin Latte and that was pretty good. The best thing I like to knit is socks. I never did especially on dpns, but once I learned on magic loop I really enjoy it. I also like making dishcloths.

Contest #3

When I worked at the Borders Coffee shop I got to try a lot of different coffee concotions. Most of which I made up myself. The one I never really have like was "Egg Nog Latte" :P Not really a Nog fan. It's just... weird and leaves a strange taste on your thoung.

The one I liked the best, S'mores Mocha Latte. I love marshmellows. That was the best one with a little dark coco, whip and little mellows on top.... sugar rush heaven. Now I wouldn't drink this all the time, but it's my favorate "I've been really good" or "it's been a really bad day."

For knitting, I love making wrist warmers. It's fun, small, and a neat little gift thing to make. I can even incorporate some of my gamer-ness into them. I've found the LanaGrossa Quatro works best for them. Though it seems this line is discontinued so i'm going to have to come up with something else soon.

These are the latest ones. Made as part of a wedding gift set for a gamer-couple, they really liked them.
"For the Horde" :)

Contest #3

I’m not a big fan of flavoured coffees, but I do like to top them off with a sprinkle of cinnamon. So, when I saw Pumpkin Spiced Latte at Starbucks last weekend, I thought I’d give it a go. The idea is wonderfully seasonal, but the reality was rather unpleasantly disappointing. Too sweet and too many ‘artificial’ tastes competing in one cup for me, I’m afraid. I wish I had liked it, but it’s back to the plain latte for me.

As for favourite knitting projects – I think socks are my favourites. I always have a pair on the go between (and as well as) larger projects. I love the fineness of fingering yarns – particularly merinos – and really enjoy seeing how a multicoloured yarns knits up.

Contest #3

The coffee I tried was Highlander Grogg. I am not a fan of flavoured coffees, yet this one intrigued me. The scent was intoxicating and the coffee teased the palate and the senses delightfully. I loved the cinnamon/nutty flavouring. This is definitely not a coffee I was at 6am, but it is one I would gladly drink after dinner.

My favourite knitting projects have always been sweater. My almost 18 years aog I learned to knit and my first project was a Gansey, I have been hooked ever since. I knit sweaters for my family and friends.

My all time favourite yarn for fair isle sweaters is Dalegarn's Heilo. Next in line is Cascade 220, for it's wonderful durability and excellent colour choices. Finally, Brown Sheep's Nature Spun. for the same reasons I like Cascade 220. I use Nature Spun when a lighter weight yarn is needed.

Contest #3

Just this weekend I tried Green Mountains Pumpkin Spice. We made it at home and it made the house smell wonderful. The weather has just cooled for us here in NC, so it was the perfect coffee to welcome fall. I did like this coffee except that I needed to add cream and sugar. I am normally a black coffee drinker but this one definitely begged to be sweetened. Once the cream and sugar were added it tasted like a dessert. This coffee and my sour cream coffee cake made for the perfect Sunday morning. I would definitely drink this again but probably just seasonally.

My favorite knitting project lately is socks. Definitely socks! I used to hate making them but now with two circulars or magic loop method, I cannot make enough. Not everything I make for me seems to work out but socks always do. I have made a couple of pairs for me and I am working on a couple of pairs that will be Xmas gifts. Most of my friends and family live in the northern states and they appreciate warm items. A great pair of superwash socks will definitely be worn.

As for my favorite yarn to knit the socks with, I have yet to decide. I have recently made socks with Knit Picks Essential, Wollmeise (shown below), Scouts Swag and hands+notions(etsy) and I have loved them all. I am still looking for the perfect sock yarn. Everywhere I look there is more beautiful hand dyed yarn. While I am searching the looking and buying has been great!

Contest # 3

- Dare to try a new coffee.

* Tell what new coffee/flavor you tried. Describe what you liked and didn't like about the new coffee.

Was it something you would drink all the time?
Would you just drink it every once in a while?
Or would you never drink it at all?

- Share your favorite knitting/crochet project.

* Tell us why this is your favorite knitting/crocheting project to do.

Is it mostly for family?
What is your favorite type of yarn to use for the project?

Contest #3 will run until next Sunday.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

~ Contest #2 ~

Hello all,

the contest is now closed and I will post winners tomorrow. Thx all ~ the entries are awesome. I believe there are 46 of them. ;D

Off to pick the winners.

out today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sent my pal a very nice package today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Contest #2

My favorite coffee is a hard question to answer. I have several. Usually I drink Columbian with my sugar free vanilla creamer. It's nothing special, but it's a favorite because I look forward to it when I wake up before heading off to school. When I have more time, and maybe a little more money, I make or go pick up Vanilla Lattes. When I pick them up I hit up starbucks. I've tried other coffee places, and I still think starbucks has the best. (I'm a big fan of having vanilla added to my coffee, obviously.)

My favorite yarn is hands down Malabrigo merino. There's no contest for me. When I first started knitting I was mostly using acrylic yarn that I could buy for cheap. I took a recommendation from a friend to do a project in Malabrigo, and I've never wanted to work with acrylic again. I try to fit Malabrigo into every project that I do. It's my favorite. My particular favorite colorway is "cactus flower," which is such a pretty pink.

Contest # 2

My favourite coffee is some Blue Sumatra from my local coffee shop, MacBeans, it's just as they describe, "heavy bodied, broody, syrupy and chocolatey". Nice with a dash or more of full fat milk or if I'm feeling like I deserve it, some cream, MMM!

My favourite yarn, difficult one! I love knitting with Debbie Bliss cashmerino, have just completed her Hooded Jacket for my friend's baby girl in a gorgeous dusky "pink".

It knits up so nicely, you can see all the detail, it's a treat to seam up and it's so gorgeously soft.

However I am knitting up some 'Monkey Socks' just now and am falling in love with Koigu Painter's Palette Premium Merino (I got some in the last swap), I love knitting on my double points, especially if they're 2 - 2.5mm, and this yarn just knits up so beautifully and is a joy to put on your feet, the colourways are also beautiful!

Contest #2

Favorite Coffee
My favorite coffee is Peace Coffee's Espresso Blend, which I mix with Silk Plus Soymilk and Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate and drink from my favorite coffee mug:

Favorite Yarn
Favorite yarn is much trickier! I like to dye sock yarn, and Wool2Dye4 SuperSock is my favorite base. For commercial sock yarn, I'm very fond of Meilenweit and Trekking.


Contest #2

One of my very favorite coffees is just Columbian, sometimes with 1/2 and 1/2, sometimes black. I like dark roast, strong strong coffee! I like to try all kinds, I love espresso, too. When I order at Dunn Bros. or Caribou or Starbucks, I like to get a Caramel Macciato with an extra shot... I like to grind the beans, but I also like ground coffee. This a pic of my coffee today in one of my favorite cups. I like Starbucks cups and mugs.
Yarn? Well, I love lots of yarn, I really like the softness of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino, Malabrigo merino, there are lots of yarns I love... I also use a lot of fingering yarns (plain and flesh and hair colors to knit those little dolls from the book Knitted Babes by Claire Garland)

*Contest #2*

My favorite coffee by far is Dunkin' Donuts coffee. I don't know what they put in that stuff (crack, maybe?) but it just tastes sooo goood! Since I've moved from New England, its hard for me to get my drug of choice... I usually have to make the trip home, but I did find a Dunkin in the South Korea airport! I have tried their bagged coffee at home, but for some reason its just not the same :(

And favorite yarn?? Thats a tough one. I have lots of favorites, but I think I might have to go with Rowan Calmer... its sooo soft and yummy, and comes in great colors.

Contest #2

Favorite coffee and favorite yarn. That's like asking a chef "what's your favorite food" or a literary critic "what's your favorite book". In some ways, it's dependent on the season, on my current knitting interest and also just what I feel like on a given day. So, for this contest, I'll substitute "favorite" for "guaranteed to please"!

In the coffee department, should I end up stranded on a desert island and can only have one bag of beans delivered, it'd contain these:

Peets Aged Sumatra
Peet's Aged Sumatra. This stuff is absolutely heavenly. Lots and LOTS of flavor but very low acid so it's totally drinkable. Because of the mildness of flavor, it's definitely *not* suited for the rigors of espresso-making. All the best qualities of this bean come out using a drip or filter process. Yeah, Sumatra. Always a winner.

Ok, let's move on to yarn. Generally, I'll choose some flavor of sock yarn since socks can be knitted anywhere, anytime, and offer nearly endless possibilities for patterns and shape and size. They're the Swiss Army Knife of knitting. That being said, there are plenty of amazing yarns out there - Curious Creek, Koigu, Natures Palette. However, after stalking one particular supplier for well nigh on a year, I finally had a package show up on my doorstep that contained this:

Yes, friends - this is Wollmeise. A wonderful husband and wife team (husband does custom ironwork!) in the south of Germany that make the most delicate, squishy, colorful and truly *touchable* yarns. Her range of colorways is amazing ... if my stash contained nothing but her yarn, I'd be a perpetually happy knitter.

Contest #2

My favourite coffee (at the moment, at least) is the Ethiopian Yirgacheffe from Bridgehead Coffee here in Ottawa. It's a medium roast with a lovely floral, citrus-y flavour and is best when brewed strong. Unfortunately it's only a limited edition, and I don't know what I'm going to do when they don't offer it anymore. Bridgehead only stocks fair trade, shade grown, and organic coffees (their tea and chocolate meet these requirements too), and all of them are delicious.

As for yarn, I love working with anything from Mista Alpaca. I've been playing around with some swatches using their laceweight, and nothing drapes like baby alpaca for shawls and stoles.

Contest # 2

My favourite coffee has to be the first cup of the day. No matter how busy we are I try to make time to get up a little early and make a latte for my DH and I. I bring them up to bed and we have 15 minutes before the real day starts. At the moment, I'm making latte with Double Roast Santos from Pumphrey's in the Grainger Market in Newcastle upon Tyne. We like it with a bit of a milk froth on top and a sprinkle of cinnamon. My DH likes a large coffee in the morning so it usually comes in a 10oz T G Green's Cornishware mug.

Unfortunately, I have very little fidelity when it comes to favourite yarns. It's usually a case of 'love the one you're with...' :) At the moment I am besotted with this yarn. It's a Claudia's Handpainted Yarn. These colourways are Boot Camp and Desert Dusk. I'm planning to make the Chevron Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts.

Contest #2

My favorite coffee is Kaladi Brothers. ( Its roasted right here in Alaska. They have lots of different coffees from different regions all over the world. And even their decaf is wonderful! It is a rich tasting, full bodied type of coffee. It smells incredible and if you drive by when they're roasting you'll want to pull over and grab a cup! My favorite yarn is Noro Kureyon. It knits up beautifully and the colors are incredible!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Contest #2

For my favorite coffee, I just couldn't choose one, so I'm going to talk about two of my faves that I always turn to. The first one is Torrefazione Italia's Palermo blend. I love bold, rich roasts and I love the taste of this coffee. I probably drink 3-4 cups of coffee daily, most of it consumed in the morning, at home and at work. Here's a picture one of my favorite coffee cups with a picture of Edvard Munch's 'The Scream'. It pretty much describes how I feel when I wake up :)

My other fave coffee is a very sensual coffee because of the fragrance and flavor added to it. I'm usually not one that goes for flavored coffee, but this one is an exception. I LOVE lavender and when I found out about a lavender coffee, I had to try it out and I'm hooked. It's Purple Haze Lavender blend. It's a medium bodied coffee blended with organic lavender oil and makes for a very relaxing drink on the weekend. I also like that they use fair trade organic coffee for this too.

And now onto my favorite yarn. I'm still a new knitter and just wanting to try all kinds of yarn (and still have many more to try to knit with), but I love knitting socks out of Duet Sock Yarn from A Swell Yarn Shop. The superwash merino yarn is so squishy soft and they make great socks and I love the colour combinations she comes up with. My latest acquisition is this colourway called Pumpkin Caper perfect for the fall!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Contest #2

Hmmm....There are sooo many great coffees out to limit it to just one. I would have to say that my favorite is a hot, strong, steaming cup of Gingerbread coffee. Whether a gingerbread latte as in the photo below (this one is from Dunn Bros. - I also get them at S***Bucks) or a brew of Gingerbread beans from Candlelight Coffee House here in San Antonio....I love it! Every fall I sink into a state of bliss as the fall flavors come out...because I know I have a few months of great coffee drinking. I love the cinna-gingery smell and the taste, with whipped cream on top if I have had a rough is bliss!! I was thinking about why I like it so much tonight - I think it is because I loved gingerbread cookies as a kid - and since moving back to San Antonio, I cannot find a good jewish bakery that has them to rival the ones at my local bakery back home (Three Bros Bakery). Go figure....
Beside the coffee, you can see one of my favorite yarns - Manos Del Uruguay, color 113 (Wildflowers), being knit up for My So Called Scarf. I love how it gets thin, then thick and the colors are absolutely amazing - all my favorites...I am still learning to embrace the fact that the scarf will not be uniform in width because of the varying thickness of the yarn...I am almost there!

~ Contest #2 ~

This one has 2 parts and lots of prizes.

1. Coffee review ~ describe in detail your favorite coffee. Tell us why you like, how often you drink, describe the intensity and aroma, etc. If possible, include a picture with your favorite cup.

2. Yarn review ~ be as detailed as you are able; tell us why you like it, describe the texture, etc.. If possible, include a picture of the yarn and/or a finished item.

*if available, please include links to purchase your favs for those of us who may be interested in sampling for ourselves.

All entries must have "Contest #2" in the title and labels, see bottom of post window for this feature. From these entries, I will draw winners on Oct. 28th. Prizes include yarn, coffee, and goodies, and I'll post pics of them soon. ;D

Contest #2

My favorite coffee is from a local company: Mill Mountain Coffee named after our world-renowned Mill Mountain which has the world's largest lawn ornament perched on top - that's right - a NEON star. You may think it's tacky - but we love it!

My flavor of choice? Hazlenut, hi-test, with Equal and non-fat milk.

My favorite yarn? Well, that's Cherry Tree Hill Supersock. Why? It's the Louet Gems base: soft, spoingy, and oh, my, the colors? Exquisite...It knits up into wonderful warm socks, and the handpainted colors work up best in my favorite sock pattern - Wendy's Feather & Fan.

As a displaced Vermonter, CTH appeals to me because it's from the Green Mountain State...

Speaking of Green Mountains? The colorway in the CTH sock above? Green Mountain Madness...

Hmmm....Mill Mountain, Green Mountains of Vermont, the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia? Do we sense a theme? No doubt! Just call me loyal...

coffee contest #2

Kaladi Brothers'Sumatran
A certified organic coffee commanding the attention of all the senses with spicy, lively acidity and depth of body. Excellent in blends or on it's own; clean, hearty and filling.
I love this coffee! It certified fair trade. These people care about the enviroment and make great coffee! Order some here:

I love everything from Brown Sheep, Bulky for hats, worsted for felting and sweaters.

Contest #2

My favorite yarn at the moment? Blue Sky Alpaca — even the name sounds fabulous! More than thirty brilliant colors of pure alpaca in high-sheen sport weight, a growing line of luxurious alpaca silk and a superior blend of alpaca merino in a smooth worsted. They also have ultra-quick-knitting bulky alpaca wool and lovely organic cotton in six naturally occurring shades and over 30 amazing dyed colors. They royal alpaca is unlike anything I've experienced, it is a thrill just to touch it. They also have a lovely heathered sport weight line, called Melange. Love this stuff!

My favorite coffee is my Gevalia in my soon to be Sheepy Mug. A few months back I was on a cut expenses kick and told my husband we were canceling our shipments, we could live with good old Folger’s again, right? Wrong... Oh so wrong. I could have kissed the mail man when he delivered our coffee one week later. I only indulge in one cup of coffee during the week and two on weekends. That first sip can make or break a day! I deserve the good stuff! :)

I almost have my package ready for my buddy, I just have one more thing coming in the mail for her. I am so excited, I just squeked in getting them in time. Right after I ordered them they went on backorder until 11/14! Eek.

Contest #2

1. Coffee review - My favorite coffee is a Latte Macchiato from the café across the road of my house (sorry, I can't post pictures because my own laptop is broken, and my boyfriend's laptop doesn't have the camera software). I like my coffee quite weak with lots of milk, so this type of coffee is perfect for me; and as the café is so close to my place I've become a regular and the waiters there already know what I usually order and how I like my coffee.

2. Yarn review - I absolutely love the yarn I'm currently knitting with, Schachenmayr nomotta Alpaka which is 100% alpaca. I'm making a cardigan with cables from a German knitting magazine, and this yarn is just heaven to knit with. It is so soft that other, more simple yarns feel like steel wool, but that doesn't keep me from knitting with it! This yarn is so nice that even ripping parts of the cardigan is a pleasure because I can knit with the Alpaka even longer. Yay!

Keep them coming!

I love reading all these contest entries!! Some yummy ideas for coffee and luscious yarns!! Keep those entries coming and remember.... there are two more contests with lots of prizes!!


Contest #2

1. Coffee review ~ I've recently purchased the Breakfast blend from 'Pounds for Paws'. Not only is it a smooth and bright cup o' joe, but the company makes a 25% donation back to Ho-Bo Care Boxer Rescue, the rescue group where I adopted Allie from! I don't have a photo of me (or Allie) drinking a cup - I'll have to get that sorted!

2. Yarn review ~ One of my favorite yarns is alpaca, especially the alpaca from a friend's farm! Here I am holding Fleur, who was born at Almar Farms two months ago. I get my yarn either directly from the farm or at my local yarn shop, YarnArts. I love this yarn because of the drape, the softness but most of all because I am supporting a local alpaca farmer.

Contest #2

1. Coffee review ~ I'm on a cinnamon kick. I recently read Garden Spells, a wonderful little book, and in it they talk about brewing coffee with cinnamon. So, when I set up the coffee maker, I add a few sprinkles of cinnamon to the grounds. Add some (non-fat) cream and sugar and it is perfect on these dreary fall mornings!

2. Yarn review ~ I love the long color bands and the unpredictability of Noro Kureyon. I'm slowly working on Lizard Ridge, and have joined the Kureyon club, so I'm sure to have an unusual blanket when I'm done. I'm in no hurry, because the colors are always a delightful surprise.

Contest #2

Favorite coffee:
Cafe Bustelo, prepared in a Moka espresso maker on top of a camping stove, with plenty of half and half and sugar. Strong, rich, and creamy... yum. This is my favorite way to wake up on cool, crisp mornings while camping in the mountains.

Favorite yarn:

Mmmmmmalabrigo merino worsted, because it's so soft and scrumptious to work with. I like the weight and feel of it between my fingers. Plus the finished knits are so scrumptious you just want to hug them!

Contest #2

Well this is my first entry on this blog. I was just invited to join yesterday. I'm so glad that I get to participate in all the fun.

1. My favorite coffee... Well that is hard. I do love Starbucks Peppermint mocha mmm mmmm. But the nearest Starbuck's is a couple hours away. So I drink the mochas that they sell on post. Not as good but you take what you can get. At home I love this German coffee that I can get at my local Edeka. It's called Kronung by Jacobs. Not to strong and not to weak. Much better then the store bought you can in a grocery store.

2. My favorite yarn that's even harder to pick my favorite. I love sock yarn dyed byIndie dyers such as Yarn Pirate, LoveSticks, Vesper Sock Yarn, Blue Moon Fiber Arts, Yarntini, Duet Sock Yarn, & Zen string.

**Hi Kim, I started getting your goodies today, I'm so excited to send it to you!!***

Contest #2

1. My favorite coffee of all time as been the lattes that my daughter would make me every morning and bring to me wherever I was in my favorite mug (that you see here). It always was made just the way I like it..with the added measure of knowing she had made it just for me. She's away at college now, and I'm missing her and her lattes very much!!

2. My new favorite yarn to knit with is Wollmeise sock yarn. I have made two pair of socks with it now and I love how it knits up and how they feel on my feet! And Claudia has such marvelous colorways!! Here are a pair of Monkey socks I knit in the Zenzi colorway.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Contest #2

My favorite coffee? Anything I am drinking at 8 am. I like it hot with lots of milk but otherwise I really live in the moment. I don't have a favorite bean except for the one I am drinking right then.

My favorite yarn: Malabrigo lace weight. The photo is "old shale lace" scarf (in progress) in the Stonechat colorway, which is a combination of garnet and cranberry with some olive-brown. Why do I love it? Merino - soft & silky. Single ply. I really like singles more than multis. I like the smoothness. I adore malabrigo.

Contest #2

I am a simple girl and i'm not a novice on anything. so here it goes

Coffee~ i really like Folger's Gourmet Chocolate Truffle. the smell of the chocolate fills the house. smells like an chocolate coffee factory. very sweet and rich. and it taste pretty good too. i mix it with Belgium White Chocolate creamer by Delight! talk about a chocolate fix. with a little caramel sauce woo!

Yarn~ i love Manos del Uruguay... i have 2 skeins of this that i have yet to find anything worthy of it. i want to knit any and everything with it. if i was rich i would!

Contest #2

Ceme from dreary Philly (its rainy), here's my answers to Contest #2:

1. Absolute favorite Coffee - Gevalia, Blueberry -
I can drink this morning, noon and/or night. But I love to wake up to the smell of the blueberries - only on weekends can I prepare myself breakfast - during the week I'm running around trying to get ready for work. But most Saturday mornings I have a cup (fully loaded) with my favorite dish - herb baked eggs. Absolutely delicious! For my recipe on Herb baked eggs, visit my blog and check out Ceme Eats, Drinks and Shops.

2. Absolute positively my favorite yarn - as the old crew at Rosie's Yarn Cellar in Philly used to call me - Zephyr Slut - LOL! Jaggerspun Zephyr! Here it is knit up in "navy" Peacock Shawl (Fiddlesticks) and "sage" Irish Diamond (Folk Shawls)
And the lil chunky monkey doggie sitting on top, while I'm trying to block, is Meme (my lil shih tzu). I fell in love with zephyr when the ladies at Rosie's knit up the Landscape shawl in "emerald - Dorlyn" and "black - Grace." I just had to have some and now, I have so many of the colors - way too many. Grace even doubled it and did a backless top - a picture used to be posted on Rosie's Yarn Cellar webpage. I love the emerald and pink (both of which I did for my co-worker Ollie - check out my blog - Ceme Knits) and the navy. I've blocked and reblocked my Peacock Shawl and the yarn never lost its silky navy coloring. I have it in white, cream, cinnabar, peach, sage, emerald, black (currently working the Sampler Shawl from Folk Shawls), brown, suede, pink, and so on, love, love, love Zephyr.

Happy Knitting!


Contest #2

1. Coffee review ~ there are so many I love for different reasons. I love the plain ol' cuppa joe at Dupar's out in Southern California - it's the perfect diner coffee. At home, my favorite is the Austin Blend from Central Market - cinnamon and nutty with hints of vanilla. This weekend, we get to go hang out in the coffeehouses in Austin and I'm hoping to find that perfect cup somewhere. (Last visit, it was Austin Java's Texas Pecan. YUM!)

2. Yarn review ~ I just love yarn - period. (Well, there are some notable exceptions - but we'll not discuss those.) My current favorite is new to me - it's a Peruvian yarn that is new in our LYS called Merisol Yarns - Hacho. I bought a couple of skeins to make a pair of socks - using size 3 needles and making up my own little pattern - and it has been HEAVENLY to work with. This is where I really wish I had my camera up and working to show you what this yarn does - great stitch definition - but when I got to the stockinette stitch on the foot, it's like half of the stitch disappears so one ridge is almost "buried" below the other one with the second stitch bubbling up to the top. I love it!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Contest #2

My favorite coffee, day in and day out, is made with Sumatran beans brewed in a Melita filter. I love Sumatran because it's very strong, but it's also very smooth and low acid so it doesn't bother my stomach. I prefer to buy beans from a local roaster, but that hasn't always worked out. For many years, when I lived in San Francisco, that local roaster was Spinelli Coffee, until they were bought out by Tully's and turned into a big chain. Then I moved to Minneapolis and fell in love with the originally-local-but-now-a-chain Dunn Bros.. And then I moved to New Hampshire and found fair trade Green Mountain Coffee. Now I live in Switzerland where there is no such thing as a local roaster, nor is there the option of buying beans from a particular region, except at Starbucks.

Normally, being kind of high maintenance about coffee :) , I would buy whole beans and grind them in my Zassenhaus grinder:

but lately it seems to be on the fritz and I can't get the fine grind I need, so I've been buying ground beans. I drink it with a lot of cream:

As for favorite yarn--this is far harder to choose!! I guess, all in all, I'd have to go for either Bartlett Yarns or Harrisville's New England Highland. The Harrisville is the ball on the left, and the Bartlett is the brown in the mitten:

I love these yarns because I find them very easy to knit with--good stitch definition, the right amount of friction so the stitches don't go sliding all over the place (especially when my needle falls out!!), and the best part is the things I make wear like iron!!! These yarns are indestructable, which is key for me, as I tend to be very hard on the things I own.

Contest #2

Fav Coffee: This is difficult, as I do not have one specific favorite. However, I am always happy with refill (in my trusty travel mug) of the house coffee from ERC.

Fav Yarn: Yarn Pirate - I love the colors and the surprises in the Booty Club package that shows up on my doorstep every month. I'm currently coveting the Fig and Honey colorway. Another thing I really like, 480/yards per skein means I never have to worry about running out of yarn when making socks for my big feet. ;-)


yarnpiratePhoto: Primrose, Clementine and Malamute.