Introducing Souviens

Souviens Cowl Pattern by Leah B. Thibault

Did you ever have one of the experiences that just stuck with you, in a good way? This past summer's trip to Quebec City, remains one of the best trips I've ever taken and the whole household talks about it constantly - making the Quebec motto of Je me souviens -  I remember - very appropriate.

This cowl/stole pattern is a tribute to that great city, and features a lace version of the Fleur di Lis so prominent on the province flag. The large scale lace pattern is backed with a no-sew lining, to provide extra warmth and a (subtle or bold) pop of color. The stole version also provides instructions for adding a drawstring, so it can be worn around the shoulders as shown, or cinched up into a big cowl. 

The samples shown are both knit in Coop Knit's Socks Yeah, a favorite yarn of mine for its color palette, texture, and affordability.  Souviens is available as a PDF pattern, a 2-skein cowl kit or 4-skein stole kit in three different colorways. 

The pattern can be purchased for $6 USD via the following:

Ms. Cleaver Shop | Ravelry | LoveKnitting

Share what you've made!

Use #mscleavercreations and/or tag me @mscleaver on Instagram!


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Introducing Sprout & Flutter

Sprout & Flutter Knit Hat Pattern by Leah B. Thibault

Sometimes, it's fun just to play - and for me as a designer, designing a hat is like play - after all, sometimes you need a sample you can knit up in under a week! 

The product of my early winter play is this pair of hats  - Sprout (blues) and Flutter (purple/pink). Both hats use simple construction and contrasting colors to play up fun-to-work stitch patterns that use slips and wraps to create texture. Quince & Co's Phoebe yarn, used in the samples, has a lovely kettle-dyed quality that lends extra depth to the colors. 

The samples were designed to be a closely-fit beanie/toque,  but instructions are included for making your version a more slouchy, as desired. I would have loved to have some "on-head" photos, but Little Miss Cleaver has definitively told me, "Mama, no pictures." But she's consistently wearing Flutter, and that's a win in my book, so I'm not complaining.

I'd also like to put out a special thank you to Patti, Katie, Maryellen, Jessi and Jodi for their feedback!

The PDF Pattern contains both designs (for the price of one!), and is sized from newborn to adult large.

The pattern can be purchased for $6 USD via the following:

Ms. Cleaver Shop | Ravelry | LoveKnitting

Share what you've made!

Use #mscleavercreations and/or tag me @mscleaver on Instagram!


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Winter Warm Up Sale!

It's blizzard conditions here in Maine today, but even so, I'm focused on spring. At least design-wise, that is.

I'm hard at work pulling together my spring collection; WILDFLOWER, which means I could use some more space in the "Studio"/spare bedroom - so I've put a bunch of my winter kits, patterns, samples, and more on sale in the shop.  The items listed here are just a handful of the sale goods, so be sure to look around before the end of the sale on January 12th. And if you're more of a Ravelry person, all the WOODLAND patterns are 20% off for the same period, no code needed.

I get some space and you get some cozy knits for the long stretch of winter still to come. WIn-win!!

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No Chill, No Spread, Cut Out Cookies

No chill no spread cut out cookies

A confession. I've never liked sugar cookies.

I don't know what recipe my mom used, I seem to recall it had lemon extract in it, but while I found the decorating fun, I never actually wanted to eat the cookies we made around holiday time. It was all too sweet, too artificial tasting. 

Now, as a mom myself, I wanted to share the fun of Christmas Cookie decorating with Little Miss Cleaver, but I wanted a cookie base that actually tasted good. 

This is third year these cookies have been in holiday rotation and in my book, this recipe is a winner. It's almost halfway between a sugar cookie and shortbread in taste, no weird lemon falvor and I'm happy to eat them plain if the kid poops out on decorating (not likely this year).

The biggest hassle of them is that it makes a TON of cookies - 4-5 dozen depending on your cutter (we fill five 13"x 18" half-sheets), so I've included a half batch recipe below as well.

As for frosting, I whisk up a batch of the world's easiest frosting, which once you've made it once, you'll never have to look at the recipe again. 

To print, select button at bottom of post.

Cut Out Cookies - Full Batch (makes 48-60 cookies)

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch

Cut Out Cookies - Half Batch (makes 24-30 cookies)

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • slightly less than 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 Tablespoons cornstarch

Preheat oven to 375 Degrees Fahrenheit.

Using a stand mixer or wooden spoon, cream together cold butter and sugar until it reaches an even consistency (Tip: if using a spoon, use the spoon end to pound the butter into the sugar until it starts to look like coarse sand before attempting to stir). 

Add eggs one by one, until mixed in completely. Stir in vanilla. 

Add flour and cornstarch and mix until dough starts to form a ball. (Tip: If working by hand, it may help to kind of knead the dough together with your hands).  

Working with about 1/4 to 1/2 of the dough at a time, roll out the dough to an even thickness of 1/4 inch. Cut out shapes and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, placing shapes with narrow parts in the center of the sheet .

Bake for approximately 11 minutes or until edges turn slightly brown. 

Cool on a wire rack completely before frosting. 

Easy Frosting

  • 2-3 Cups powdered sugar
  • About 5 tablespoons water
  • Food coloring

In a large bowl, add water to sugar a little bit at a time and whisk together until frosting reaches desired consistency. For ease of frosting, you'll want it to start to pull off the whisk in a slow thick line, rather than sticking completely or dripping off.

If desired, section out some of the frosting into a separate bowls and add food coloring drop by drop until desired color is achieved. 

Using a spatula, transfer frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a decorating tip. Twist pastry bag shut or tie with a twisty-tie to seal and decorate away! 

(And before anyone asks, the sweater cookie cutter came from this kit that I got at Christmas Tree Shops, the other cutters are from Le Roux Kitchen)

Cookie recipe adapted from https://bakingamoment.com/how-to-bake-easy-and-delicious-cutout-cookies-with-neat-edges/ 

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Getting in the Holiday Spirit

This weekend I had a little fun with some sheep ornaments I was making. I hope it brings a little holiday joy to you too.

You can also pick up one of these little guys in the shop for your own tree!


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Tidings Craft Fair

Giftworthy

Southern Maine Folks! 

This Sunday, December 3rd, I'll be participating in my first craft fair! I'll be one of the many wonderful vendors at Tidings Craft & Art Fair at the Ocean Gateway in Portland. I'll have all my embroidery and knitting kits on hand, and some special fair deals. 

There's free parking , live music, and kids activities - so come on by!

Not in Maine? You can always order via the online shop, but if there's something you have your heart set on, I'd suggest ordering before Sunday, as I won't be restocking these items before the holidays. 

More details on the Tidings Fair can be found on their Facebook Page.

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Indie Design Gift Along 2017 - Shawls & Cowls

It's GIft Along Time again! 

Every year a growing group of independent knitwear designs band together on Ravelry to host a knit-along to kick start your holiday gift knitting! 

This year there are 311 designers from 31 countries and 6 continents, with over 18,150 patterns eligible for the giftalong's 2,000+ prizes.


From now until midnight EST on Nov 28, over 5,000 of those patterns are 25% off with the code giftalong2017

 

But 5,000 patterns is a lot to look through, so over the next few days, I'll be highlighting some of my personal favorites from the offerings - today I'm wrapping up my list of favs with shawls and cowls.

Clicking on any photo above will take you to an individual pattern page, or you can see all my Gift Along favorites on Ravelry here. 

I've got 16 patterns in the sale,  including two sweaters.  

As an added bonus, all kits on MsCleaver.com are also 25% off for the same time/same code. - ENDING TONIGHT!

Happy gifting!!


 

 

 

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Indie Design Gift Along 2017 - Socks & Hats

It's GIft Along Time again! 

Every year a growing group of independent knitwear designs band together on Ravelry to host a knit-along to kick start your holiday gift knitting! 

This year there are 311 designers from 31 countries and 6 continents, with over 18,150 patterns eligible for the giftalong's 2,000+ prizes.

From now until midnight EST on Nov 28, over 5,000 of those patterns are 25% off with the code giftalong2017

But 5,000 patterns is a lot to look through, so over the next few days, I'll be highlighting some of my personal favorites from the offerings - today we'll be looking at those most gift-able of knits, Hats & Socks.

Clicking on any photo above will take you to an individual pattern page, or you can see all my Gift Along favorites on Ravelry here. 

I've got 16 patterns in the sale,  including two sweaters.  As an added bonus, all kits on MsCleaver.com are also 25% off for the same time/same code.

Happy gifting!!


 

 

 

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Indie Design Gift Along 2017 - Women's Sweaters

It's GIft Along Time again! 

Every year a growing group of independent knitwear designs band together on Ravelry to host a knit-along to kick start your holiday gift knitting! 

This year there are 311 designers from 31 countries and 6 continents, with over 18,150 patterns eligible for the giftalong's 2,000+ prizes.

From now until midnight EST on Nov 28, over 5,000 of those patterns are 25% off with the code giftalong2017

But 5,000 patterns is a lot to look through, so over the next few days, I'll be highlighting some of my personal favorites from the offerings - starting with Women's Sweaters.

Clicking on any photo above will take you to an individual pattern page, or you can see all my Gift Along favorites on Ravelry here. 

I've got 16 patterns in the sale,  including two sweaters.  As an added bonus, all kits on MsCleaver.com are also 25% off for the same time/same code.

Happy gifting!!


 

 

 

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Transferring Embroidery Patterns to Opaque Fabric

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Generally, when it comes to transferring a printed pattern on to fabric for embroidery, my favorite (easy and cheap) method is to tape it to a window and trace.  But what do you do if you can't see through the fabric, even with a window/light box? 

Enter tracing paper. 

A pretty common notion in the sewing world, my mother taught me to mark my sewing fabric with tracing paper and a jagged edged wheel. For transferring embroidery designs, we'll skip the transfer wheel and use a pen, pencil or stylus to do pretty much the same thing.

Transferring an Embroidery Pattern to Opaque Fabric

To transfer an image to opaque fabric you will need the following:

  • Fabric
  • Embroidery design printed to appropriate scale and facing the finished direction
  • Single-sided transfer/tracing paper in a contrast color (I used double-sided here, because it's what I had on hand. In a pinch, you could rub a piece of chalk generously across a sheet of paper and use that.)
  • A pen, dull pencil, or stylus. Something with a decent point to get details, but not so pointy you poke through the paper.
  • Chalk pencil or water-soluble pen (optional)
  1. Sandwich the transfer paper, chalk side down, between the fabric.
  2. Trace over the pattern using your pen, pressing firmly and going over each line several times as needed to make a clean mark. 
  3. Remove pattern and transfer paper.
  4. The chalk marks can be very light and easy to brush off - if desired, trace over your marks with a chalk pencil or water-soluble marker for a more clear line.

That's it! Easy-peasy, right? 


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