Purls and Knit

Musings from an Environmental Engineer who tends to be full of knit.

NEW BLOG! March 1, 2010

Filed under: Other Sweet Stuff... — knitbee @ 6:17 pm

My blog has moved!


New and exciting stuff check it out!


Thrifty Finds! November 13, 2009

Filed under: Other Sweet Stuff... — knitbee @ 5:41 pm

I had an awesome day of deals!


Mordants and Onion Dye November 10, 2009

Filed under: Fiber Working,Yarn and Dyeing — knitbee @ 4:47 pm

I have been experimenting with some natural dyes. I have done coffee, walnuts, onion peels, etc.  I have not needed to work with mordants until now due to the color fastness of these dyes. I had three skeins of merino burning a hole in my yarn closet so I busted them out to get dyed with the onion peels that I have been accumulating for the last month. They are still soaking overnight but here is a picture of the dyes with their respective mordants.


I will post pictures when the yarn is done 🙂


Real Simple October Food Experiment October 15, 2009

Filed under: Food — knitbee @ 10:39 pm

The boys (Alex and Josh) and I have been a little bad about cooking dinner and eating together this semester, so we decided to cook through the Real Simple magazine menu for October.  I absolutely love this magazine and we thought that by having to cook every week night we will eat better and eat out less.

Week 1

Monday: Tilapia with Peppers and Olives

We really like this meal and it was a good way to start off our month of cooking at home.  We do not often eat fish, mostly out of cost and laziness.  I did a stint of pescitarianism a year or so ago and loved it so it was really nice to have  a fish dish to start off. The fish was yummy and we decided to add some rice because we are pretty hungry people and wanted a little extra. The onion and pepper mix was perfect to go with the fish, we omitted the olives because we are lame and don’t like them.

Tuesday: Beef and Bok Choy Stir-Fry

I had never tried bok choy before and I really enjoyed trying it.  The bok choy is pretty tangy and went really well with the salty of the steak in soy sauce glaze. This was one of my favorite meals of the week and Alex was the chef this night.

Wednesday: Spicy Orange-Glazed Drumsticks with Green Beans

I really really looked forward to this meal all week. I love spicy and orange so this was right up my alley. The green beans were super yum and it was great with the compliment of corn bread. I loved the sauce, chicken kind of weirds me out for strange reasons but I think this would be really good in other recipes.

Thursday: Roasted Pork with Brussels Sprouts and Apricots

This meal was a little bit of a stretch for us because green vegetables generally are not welcome with the boys (Alex is a better sport than Josh, he will want that noted).  I love Brussels sprouts and this was a really great recipe for them. The pork was yummy as all tenderloin is but the sprouts were the star of the show for me.  The tangy of the sprouts with the sweetness of the apricots and almonds definitely did it for me.

Friday: Spaghetti with Sweet Potatoes and Ricotta

All I have to say about this is WOW. I never would have thought that sweet potatoes and spaghetti could rock my world the way that this did.  I am not a huge fan of ricotta cheese but I gave it a chance with this and oh it was so good.  The nutty sharpness of parmesan cheese with the sweet softness of sweet potatoes and then you throw pasta into the mix, it is hard to go wrong really.  I will definitely be making this dish again. It was super easy and I usually have all the ingredients on hand.

The food experiment is going well thus far. We have not been taking pictures of all of our meals this week but I will still do a review of  our favorites at the end of the month and I will do my best to have Alex do another guest post 🙂

For all these recipes please visit www.realsimple.com.


Hybrid Mittens Take 2 October 14, 2009

Filed under: Fiber Working,Knitting Patterns — knitbee @ 6:15 pm

Hybrid Mittens in the Round

I have had requests for the Hybrid Mittens pattern in the round.

I have decided to make Alex a pair of mittens to go with his hat that I made for him. These are knit on larger needles and slightly larger since they are for men and I plan to felt these.

Using Worsted weight yarn and US size 9 needles

Cast on 36 st. Place marker to show beginning.

Join in the round and work desired Cuff length ( I did 2.5″ in a 1×1 ribbing)

Work Mitten Body

Knit two rows

Knit 14, KFB, Knit 4, KFB, Knit 14(38st)

Knit 1 Row

Knit15, KFB, Knit4, KFB, Knit 15 (40)

Knit 3 Rows

Knit 16, KFB Knit 4, KFB , Knit 16 (42)

Knit 3 Rows

Knit 17, KFB, Knit 4, KFB, Knit 17 (44)

Knit 2 Rows

Knit 26 st, place 8 st (the 8 you just knitted) on stitch holder, knit 18

Knit 18 st, CO 2,  Join with other section and Knit 18 (38)

Work in stockinette stitch until the stockinette section measures 5″

Work Opening (first hand)

Knit 1, BO 17, Knit to end of row.

Knit1, CO 17, Knit to end of row.

Now you have the opening for the fingers.

Continue to work in Stockinette st  until desired length minus 1 in.

Decrease for Shaping:

  1. K2tog,K17,K2tog,K2tog,K17,K2tog (34st)
  2. K
  3. K2tog,K15,K2tog,K2tog,K15,K2tog (30st)
  4. K
  5. K2tog,K13,K2tog,K2tog,K13,K2tog (26 st)
  6. K
  7. K2tog,K11,K2tog,K2tog,K11, K2tog (22st)
  8. K2tog,K9,K2tog,K2tog,K9, K2tog (18st)
  9. K2tog,K7,K2tog,K2tog,K7, K2tog (14st)
  10. K2tog,K5,K2tog,K2tog,K5, K2tog (10st)

Cut a 5″ tail and pull through remaining stitches to close top of mitten.

Finish Opening:

  1. Pick up 17 of the bottom st.
  2. Work in 1x ribbing for 17 st.

Work in pattern for ½ in, BO in pattern

Work top portion in the same manner.

This will create an opening that will have a slight overlap.


  1. from inside center of thumb, PU 3, K8,PU3
  2. P
  3. K

Work in Stockinette St for 2 in

Decrease for Thumb

  1. K2tog,K2tog,K to last 4 st, K2tog,K2tog
  2. P
  3. K2tog x4

Please remember to knit the second mitten for the opposite hand. All you will need to do is follow the pattern except use this for the second hand. Everything else stays the same.

Work Opening (second hand)

Knit 18, BO 17, Knit 1

Knit18, CO 17, Knit 1.

Now you have the opening for the fingers.

Continue to work in Stockinette st  until desired length minus 1 in.


Cross Stitch Neckwarmer September 29, 2009


I finished this a while ago but just now got around to putting up the pictures.

Neck and Ear warmer


I got through 12″ of this pattern, which is about half of a neck warmer so I am going to have to go buy more yarn…oh shucks another trip to the yarn store 😉


So I made these great mittens and I wanted to make a neck warmer to go along with them. The yarn that I had left over was perfect and should be the right amount.

I found this great stitch a long time ago call the cross stitch. A lady had made some beautiful wash cloths out of it. I had forgotten all about it until I got my “101 Designer One-skein Wonders” book. They have a lovely pattern for a cross stitch scarf. I decided to combine what I had learned from all these patterns and decided to make my own for a lovely neck warmer.

The cross stitch pattern turned out to be quite confusing so I decided to make a video sharing what I learned with you all.


I am Dyeing! September 27, 2009

Filed under: Fiber Working,Yarn and Dyeing — knitbee @ 8:05 am
Tags: ,

So I have been branching out in my fiber working lately. I will do a series of posts on how this is true so look forward to that.

One of the ways that I have been branching out is I have been experimenting with dyeing my own yarn.  I have purchased a few undyed skeins from the yarn store here in Rolla and have been experimenting mostly with dyeing yarn using coffee. The yarn I have been working with is 100% merino wool and is quite nice feeling and I am looking forward to working more with it. I dyed the first skein a couple of weeks ago and was very successful in getting  a uniform beautiful caramel color from the coffee. I gave this skein away in a yarn swap and started missing it so I decided to do another today with my friend Sara.

Cotton Pastels

We got really adventurous and decided to try our hand at  Kool Aid dyeing some cotton yarn that we acquired in a unique way. ( See this post) We went to the grocery store and bought all the pretty colors of Kool Aid that we could get our hands on.


We decided to experiment with some small practice skeins that we put together before using our big skeins that we extracted. Some things that we learned were that cotton is not terribly good at absorbing color from the dye. Next time we will use something besides Kool Aid for the cotton.  We did get some really great pastels out of this little experience and my second try at coffee dyeing the merino was super successful.

Big Skeins

I left the merino in the wrapped up skein form so it left a variegated look to the yarn with some spots a litgher caramel than others. I am really really happy with how it turned out 🙂

Coffee try 2