Category Archives: Uncategorized - Page 2

Holiday Sale!

PieKnits - Serving up fresh designs

Ok, so I’m catching the Cyber Monday craze. Right now and all the way through this Friday (12/3) all patterns are 15% off! Lots of great gift knitting patterns too.

View all my patterns here: www.pieknits.com/blog/pieknits_knitting_pattern.html

Happy Knitting!

SNB Giveaway Winners!

Thanks so much to everyone who entered! I loved hearing what everyone was interested in learning.

And the winners are…

Winners are commenters #14, 24, 42

Congrats to Orli, Rebecca, and Anna-Liza! I’ve sent you all emails.

Thanks again!

Stitch ‘N Bitch Superstar Knitting Book and Giveaway!

It’s finally here, the new Advanced Stitch ‘N Bitch!

Stitch 'N Bitch Superstar Knitting

I, like many many others, learned to knit for Debbie Stoller’s original Stitch ‘N Bitch book. It’s so great to get to come full circle and have one of my own designs published in this most recent one. This book is really the next step for so many knitters. I like what Debbie says in the Introduction; this book shouldn’t be viewed as a book necessarily for “advanced knitters” but one for anyone looking to advance their skills. And Debbie breaks down 21 different techniques in her clear, easily accessible language.

The book itself is separated in to three parts.
Part I is all about the techniques. Now I’m a self professed technique junkie and love some of my technique books in my library but even as a technical person I will admit many of them read like stereo instructions. In here methods like Lace, Double Knitting, Colorwork, Cables, Embellishing, Intarsia, Fair Isle, Steeks and Cast-on and Bind-off are all broken down in detail. I really think the first step to becoming a fearless knitter is understanding how things work. The section on decreases alone I think is worth this book.

Part II covers creating your own pattern. When I was getting into knitting design I searched everywhere for whatever info I could find about this. I think this is the most straightforward info I’ve found that covers different garment construction, design considerations and the harder to find knitty gritty math.

Part III of course is the awesome patterns, 41 of them. These patterns give you opportunities to try out the techniques you just learned and include all kinds of accessories and garments from child to adult.

A sneak peak of more the contents and patterns can be seen here.
Debbie is currently on tour for the book and those tour dates can be found here as well as additional pattern photos and Ravelry link.

Now for your chance to win one of three copies of Stitch ‘N Bitch Superstar! Just enter a comment below saying “What knitting technique or skill would you like to learn or practice?

Contest ends Saturday Nov. 13th at midnight (central time), good luck!

Contest is now closed, thank you to everyone who entered! Winners announced here.

Recipe: Doggie Biscuits

Halloween doggie treats!

Batty dog biscuits

I admit I have a bit of a baking addiction. Since I’m trying to cut down on baked sweets, and can only foist so much sugar upon my co-workers before I fear they’ll start to hate me, I was thinking about alternatives. After literally tripping over our dog I remembered dog recipes. I could bake something for a pup Aejaz, and actually feel good giving him something with no fillers, or other junk.

Aejaz says "WANT"

While I didn’t have any cute dog bone shaped cookie cutters, I do have lots of Halloween ones. Some festive bats worked perfect and I’m pretty sure Aejaz is happy with any shape. These could probably be called Drool Biscuits.

Gourmet Doggie Biscuits
adapted from Food.com

  • 2 – 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup powdered milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 4oz. jars pureed baby food (any flavor, I used carrots)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, or stand mixer, combine all ingredients together into a thick dough.

Knead on a floured countertop (or with dough hook) for about 4 minutes until the dough is nice and smooth.

Sprinkle a little more flour over the dough to make rolling easier.

Roll out the dough to about 1/2 inch thickness.

Use cookie cutters or a small drinking glass to stamp out shapes. Alternately, you can use a pizza cutter to cut into squares.

Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for about 22 minutes. At this point they will still be moist. If you prefer them drier (keep longer) cook for 5 more minutes then turn off oven and let sit for 20-30 minutes.

Let dog biscuits cool before serving.

To keep fresh, store in a sealed container.

Andhra-Style Egg Curry

I don’t usually care for eggs, but there’s something about this style of egg curry I just love. After perusing online recipes and watching my Mother-in-law while she was here, I came up with my own version to match what I’ve remembered. Mr. PieKnits is from the Indian state Andhra Pradesh, and like most places, it has it’s own regional style of cooking. This matches closer to what you’d get as “home-cooking” vs. what you’d find at an Indian restaurant.

Yummy Andhra-style Egg Curry

Andhra-Style Egg Curry

  • 6 eggs, hard boiled
  • Tamarind pulp, nickle sized piece
  • 2 tablespoons oil or ghee
  • Tiragamata spice mix (1/2 teaspoons ea. of urad dal, mustard seeds and cumin seeds)
  • 4-5 curry leaves
  • 1 onion, diced fine
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic (minced or paste)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • Chopped fresh coriander leaves to garnish

1.  Boil eggs, peel and make four slits around egg lengthwise being careful not to cut all the way through. Set aside.

2. Place tamarind pulp in small amount of water to steep.

3. Heat oil/ghee and add Tiragamata spice mix and curry leaves and fry until you hear seeds pop.

4. Add onions, garlic and ginger, saute until translucent.

5. Add tomatoes and chilies cooking until oil separates

6. Add spices, tamarind water and 1 cup additional water bring to a boil then down to simmer for 5-10 minutes.

7. Add in eggs and season with salt, simmer an additional 4-5 minutes.

8. Just before serving, sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

9. Serve with hot rice (Basmati or Sona Masuri) or Roti and enjoy!

Note on ingredients: If you can’t get or find some of these spices/ingredients feel free to substitute or omit. Don’t let it stop you from trying Indian. There are no definitive recipes for curries! Every house has their own way, so experiment.

See more recipes here.

White Bean and Rosemary Spread/Dip

I have a great food processor, a love of all things hummus-like and a gigantic overgrowing rosemary bush. This recipe? perfect solution.

Yummy White Bean Dip

Excuse the utilitarian serving bowls. Bad blogger me didn’t want to dirty some pretty serving dishes just for the sake of a photo. Call it being lazy green.

White Bean and Rosemary Spread/Dip
adapted from Food.com

  • 2 (16 ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped (1 teaspoon)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (I go light on this)
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest of
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons tahini sauce (optional)
  • 2 – 3 sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, chopped (optional)
  • 1/8 – 1/4 cup olives, sliced (optional)
  • 1/4 cup toasted nuts (optional)
  • rosemary sprig (to garnish) 

Combine all except optional and garnish ingredients in a food processor bowl fitted with the steel blade. Process until smooth, about 30 seconds.

From here you can divide into separate portions to add optional ingredients or leave as is. I added tahini sauce to the entire batch, then sun-dried tomatoes to 1/3.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl(s) and refrigerate at least 20 minutes to let flavors meld.

Use as a spread on sandwiches or serve with crisp bread, chips/crackers and/or veggies as a dip. I may go do that immediately upon completing writing this…

Blob o’ Lace

I’ve been chipping away at the hip scarf; it’s an easy pattern but somewhat monotonous for long stretches. Unfortunately, it’s not very exciting to show in progress, lace being the tangled looking mess of string it is on the needles.

Lace blob

I have an idea to try spraying it with sparkle fabric paint for a some extra glitz. Thinking it’ll probably be best to test that idea on a swatch, anyone ever used the stuff before?

And in completely unrelated other news- I got glasses!

New specs

Hopefully now I will not have to sweat it through my next eye test at the drivers license office, heh.

I’m still alive

I’m still here, just been summer busy! I do have a few things finished, just yet to get to taking some photos. In the meantime I thought I’d share a cake I made and decorated for a friends wedding shower. I love food decoration. I think I just never grew out of wanting to play with my food.

Beach Wedding Shower Cake

The couple is having a destination wedding so my other friend and I who hosted went with a beach theme. I tinted the frosting (I’ll admit it’s from a can. Not being a huge icing person myself I rather dislike making it from scratch). Then I made the shells from melting white chocolate and pouring it into molds. I then dusted them with edible gold dust/luster, pretty!

The “sand” is crushed vanilla wafers with a bit of brown sugar. This was also my first layer cake. My Mother always considered layer cakes the enemy, having terrible luck with them. So I had yet to venture trying on until now. With some handy internet tips think it turned out ok!

Bellydance Class Performance

Also got a group shot of my bellydance class from our recent Spring recital. Shows us all wearing our handmade headbands I posted about last time. I had a great time and think we did pretty good!

For the Hips

Lately I seem to be spending more time with belly dance and thus less with knitting so I thought why not combine the two. Ok, so not knitting while dancing, but knitting a dance item to clarify.

Hip scarf in progress

Here we have the beginnings of my new hip scarf! It’s a bit further along now than this photo (I’m behind, re: above). The pattern is the Faux Spanish Lace shawl (Raverly download) that I plan to knit to a size that ties around my waist. The edge will be finished off with beads and tassels as well. I love the color of this yarn, a great thrift store find. It’s the same I used for my zill covers, matchiness!

The Bad-Ass Bowler Bag

The weekend before last I was lucky enough to take a class at the DFW Fiberfest – “Photograph Finished Items & Fiber” from the wonderful Franklin Habit. It was just what I needed as my Nikon D80 and I have had a slow start to our relationship. I feel we understand each other better now. Bonus was I got to use my lovely B-day gift (thanks Sis!) this awesome camera bag from Photojojo. While my standard bag is great if I need to carry all my gear, not so much if I want to take it somewhere casual and not look like a wedding photographer.

Recipe: Nutty Meringue Cookies

A good friend of mine started “cook through” blog awhile back where she is cooking her way through The Joy of Cooking. Although I read several “foodie” blogs I really enjoy her posts. As she is someone who wanted to start learning how to cook and just started at it, which is exactly what I did, learning as I went.

One of her posts that I kept thinking about was for “Nutty Meringue Kisses“. Airy crunchy cookies studded with pecans that are surprisingly low in fat, sign me up! So I got out my copy of The Joy of Cooking I scored at the thrift store but alas, that recipe wasn’t in my version!

mmmmmm

From her description of the recipe I set out scouring the web to find something that sounded similar. The inclusion of almond extract is what really sold me, I love almond extract! I could not find a recipe that looked spot on but I found a decent looking one and modified it. They were worth the hunt, delicious. They even earned a rare Mr. PieKnits approval (he typically doesn’t eat sweets).

Nutty Meringue Kisses

Pecan Meringue Cookies

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon
    vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2/3 cup superfine or granulated sugar
  • 1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

1. Preheat oven to 250°F. Cover baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Beat egg whites with an electric mixer on medium speed until foamy. Add the salt and continue to beat/whisk at high speed until the whites barely hold soft peaks.

3. Gradually add sugar, approximately 2 tablespoons at a time, beating in each addition until mixture is stiff and shiny and stands in peaks.

4. Beat in extracts (can use all vanilla, all almond or half and half like I
did). Fold in pecans.

5. Drop meringues onto cookie sheet using two spoons. Alternately fill pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch tip and pipe on to sheet.

6. Bake 45 minutes. Switch off oven and leave in cooling oven for another 45 minutes.

Makes about 12 cookies.