Coffee Shop Upgrades

coffee-shop-upgrades

Do you depend on your morning Starbucks drive thru? Are you a loyal patron of your local (organic, fair trade, in-store roasted) coffee shop? Are you ready to take your coffee game to the next level? Here are 4 ways to do just that.

  1. Cup Cozy

 

You know those little paper collars? What if we replaced those with something reusable, fun, and just your style. Sound good? Knit coffee sleeves fit your cup snugly and protect your fingers while keeping your coffee hot (or cold!) and proclaiming your cup of joe as absolutely yours. (No more trying to figure out coffee cup ownership by comparing lipstick stains!) These cozies from www.knittyvet.etsy.com

  1. Travel Tumbler

Like the coffee cozy idea but want to go one step farther? How about your own coffee travel cup? Great for folks concerned with their eco-footprint and those who like the heft of a nice coffee mug in their hands. Even better, these cups still fit in the car holder, unlike your favorite mug at home. Pro tip? You can use a knit sleeve on your travel tumbler. Fancy! These tumblers from www.bovepottery.etsy.com

  1. Caffeine necklace

Not ready to ditch the paper collar or cup? Need to start smaller? How about a caffeinated little necklace. No really, it’s the caffeine molecule! You can look smart and proclaim your love for your stimulant of choice wherever you go. Necklace from www.molecularmuse.etsy.com

  1. Coffee Signs

You love the coffee shop so much – why not take it home with you? An eye-catching sign reminding you of all the great ways to mix up beans and hot water will tide you over until your next coffee run. Sign from www.woodprintz.etsy.com

Which coffee shop upgrade would you start with first? What are YOUR favorite game changers? Share below!

Bye. Going to get coffee.

(*all images property of shop owners*)

coffee-shop-upgrades

Raspberry Tarts – All on a Summer’s Day

tart

Who likes raspberries? Who likes tarts? Good, that should be just about everybody. It certainly describes my family. We are very lucky in raspberries. Thank the previous owner of our suburban Twin Cities home. They thoughtfully provided a full raised bed of late summer bearing brambles tucked into the back of our secret (fenced) garden. This year I pruned, fertilized, and am now picking about 1 qt of berries per day.

But really, back to the tarts. Because raspberries should get hooked up with sugar, flour, butter and egg as quickly as possible. This recipe is originally from “The Anne of Green Gables Cookbook”. I’ve seen it floating around the internet in a few places and tweaked it into my own little delicious treat.

I am joined in this venture as usual by my trusty helper… who incidentally just turned 4! Four years old and baking like a champ…

Find the finished recipe below the fun pictures.

Summer’s Day Raspberry Tarts  

Gather ingredients – we will need more sugar than this but it didn’t all fit on the cutting board.IMG_2924Mix up your dry ingredients, cut in butter. We ended up doubling this recipe (again, we have a lot of raspberries) and used 1/2 butter, 1/2 shortening. I would recommend sticking with butter – they turned out almost TOO flakey (OMG, is that a thing??).

IMG_2925

Add egg yolk and lemon juice to the dough, give a little stir and pop in the fridge until ye olde berries are ready.

IMG_2927

Mix up the cornstarch, water, sugar, and fresh berries. I decreased the sugar a little from the original recipe… still plenty sweet!

IMG_2931

Give a little stir and heat on medium heat until everything starts to thicken. Keep stirring, otherwise the bottom of your saucepan will get sludgy. Trust me on this.

Once your filling is ready take it off the heat and let it cool a bit. Take out the dough and roll about 1/8 inch thick.

IMG_2933 IMG_2934

I used a biscuit cutter at this point, but a clean cup or something else round would work too. Place into muffin pans… cause seriously, fancy tart pans are way beyond me. No need to spray the pan. Fill each little tart shell with raspberry filling – about 2/3 full.

IMG_2936

Bake as directed! Enjoy the smells!

And voila. So good. So flakey. Taste like summer. I think we will bring these with us for our annual Labor Day cabin trip Up North. Yes, around here we capitalize Up North. Enjoy!

Summer’s Day Raspberry Tarts

SERVINGS 8-10 YIELD 8-10 tarts
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 14teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup fresh raspberry
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup sugar

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles tiny peas.
  3. Combine egg yolk and lemon juice with a fork.
  4. Sprinkle egg yolk mixture over flour mixture and stir together with a fork until it forms a ball. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  5. Combine cornstarch and cold water in a small saucepan until smooth. Stir in sugar and raspberries. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until thickened, about 10-15 minutes. Allow mixture to cool.
  6. Remove dough from refrigerator and roll 1/8″ thick. Cut tart shapes with biscuit cutter or top of cup.
  7. Spoon filling evenly into tart shells, filling each no more than 2/3 full.
  8. Bake at 425° F for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° F and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.
  9. Remove from oven and cool, in pans, for 15 minutes. Remove from pans to cooling racks and cool completely.

May Day Blooms

Happy May Day Folks!
When I was a little bitty thing we used to hand weave paper baskets and bring them to our neighbors stuffed full of flowers. I’m a bit bigger now, and the whole internet is my neighbor, so I say you all get flowers! I’ve put together a little collection of fun handmade finds from Etsy to brighten your day and warm your heart. Click the pictures of the items to learn more about each. Enjoy!

1. A trendy Floral Hoop Necklace from FreddieandGeorgia

2. A stunning Flower Crown from OhHiRosie

3. These marvelously bright Mini Clothespins from MAKINGtheNESTofIT

4. Some stunning Hand-Painted Yarn from LBArtYarn

Hand Painted Yarn

5. A beautiful resin Flower Necklace from NThandmadeJewelry

6. This amazing Felted Iris Hat from FeltedFlora

7. A sweet Baby Girl Shirt from primposies

8. These elegant Rolled Flowers from PaperPerfectPetals

9. This bright Zippered Wristlet from UnexpectedTreasure

10. A gorgeous Poppy Serving Bowl from TurningTrueStudios

11. And my Sunflower Cup Cozy From KnittyVet

Sunflower Coffee Cozy

Wow! Thank you to all the creators of the above items for sharing their gorgeous work.

Remember I am still offering FREE SHIPPING through Mother’s Day with the code MOMGIFT15 in the KnittyVet Shop. Now go enjoy your May Day!

Best Ever Sourdough Biscuits

Last week I had a magical day. A sublime day. I still don’t know how it happened.

I made 3 separate recipes that were SPECTACULAR (if I do say so myself… but the family did agree, in my defense).

Number one was a sublime molasses cookie recipe. I feel like I’ve made this recipe before, but I don’t know, maybe the stars aligned or something. They turned out crisp/chewy, just the right amount of spice and sweet, and they lasted for a few days perfectly (until they all got chowed) in the TARDIS cookie jar. Yes, I have a TARDIS cookie jar. Find the recipe here: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/molasses-cookies/

Number two was a lovely wild rice cream of chicken soup. I’ll post the base recipe here but I may go back and write more about this later since I did change some things. http://www.food.com/recipe/minnesota-cream-of-chicken-wild-rice-soup-134627

And Number three. Number three turned out to be the Best Ever Sourdough Biscuits. I’ve made biscuits before… and sourdough biscuits before… but these were fantastic. Light, buttery, just a hint of tangy sourdough. I’ve made them again and wow. Just wow. The beginning of this recipe is from http://www.tasteofhome.com, but you should try mine instead.

So –>

– Best Ever Sourdough Biscuit Recipe –

Prep/Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Makes: 12 Biscuits
Oven: 425 degrees F (I used 400 with convection)

Ingredients
2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup cold butter
1 cup sourdough starter
1/3 cup of plain yogurt
1/6 cup milk (just put your yogurt in the measuring cup first, then add enough milk to reach 1/2 cup. I used skim milk but I bet 2% or whole would be even better)
Melted butter for tops after cooking

Directions
1. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients and mix. Cut in the cold butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Great kid activity. E can attest.
2. Combine sourdough starter, yogurt and milk. Stir into the crumb mixture until the dough just holds together.
3. Turn onto a well-floured surface and knead 8-10 times until the mix begins to behave like dough. Then STOP or your biscuits will be tough. Roll or pat to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with a floured 2.5″ biscuit cutter. Place 2″ apart on a greased baking sheet
4. Bake at 425 (or 400 convection) for 12-15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. Remove and brush tops with butter (if wished) and allow to cool on a wire rack. They taste best when still warm! With honey! Yummm….

——–

Happy cooking you guys. If you make this recipe feel free to post comments or photos here or my facebook (www.facebook.com/knittyvet) or instagram (@knittyvet) or twitter (@knittyvet).

And remember I have a Mother’s Day Shipping Sale at the KnittyVet Etsy shop right now – FREE SHIPPING on any order over $10! Just use the code MOMGIFT15 until Mother’s Day.

Ok folks, thanks for reading, and enjoy those biscuits! Man, I’m so hungry now!!!!

"Sapphires" A new sock knitting pattern, or how I learned to stop worrying and love knitted sock design

Oh, I’m so excited! Seriously, big time, excited. Today I launched my first peer reviewed (ie test knit), big time sock pattern. It’s legit yo.

This sock pattern entered my brain when I found myself the owner of some lovely Cascade Heritage Paints in a gorgeous, glowing, blue sapphire color. (It had somehow made itself into my bag at a visit to Webs in Noho, MA… seemed to happen to me a lot). I knit up a pretty cool pattern called Brienne by Purrlescent, but I wanted more. I wanted… more sapphires. Sapphires…

I started looking through books, getting ideas and inspiration. I found what I wanted in a classic Barbara Walker Book of Knitting Patterns. Honestly. These books. My dear MIL gave me a set for Christmas one year, and I am forever in her debt.

The pattern was in a lozenge shape, and I thought that if hooked together correctly, maybe with some ribbing in between, I could make a sock.

So I knit a little test swatch on my favorite rose colored #2 DPNs (I am a knitting nerd do not judge me), found my gauge, did a little math to figure out how many I’d need to cast on, threw caution to the wind and started knitting.

The knitting was the easy part. I took notes as I went. I tried to be specific and organized. I am not that person at heart. In the end I had a lovely sock… and the notes from hell. This is when the real fun started. I looked at sock patterns on Ravelry. In books. I reached out to knitting communities on Facebook (thanks Knitting Heart Pattern Group!) Provided with some inspiration I made an outline and tackled the written form. Really not that hard, just extremely tedious. I don’t know about anyone else, but my eyes tend to glaze when reading knitting patterns unless I’m actually knitting. I talked myself through this section. So far so good.

However, the chart. I knew what they looked like, I knew how to knit from one… but how to CREATE a chart? So internetting I went. Now, I bet *real* knit designers have programs for this sort of thing, but I was improvising. My first time. Learning experience. I was lucky enough to stumble upon this really excellent tutorial and excel template from Color Yarns LLC that I could adapt to my needs. They rock.

So now I had a chart… but how in the world to make all the knitting notations? I sure didn’t see all those dots, y slashes etc etc on my QWERTY keyboard… Back to the internets! This time I found Knitter’s Symbols Fonts by David Xenakis. I was able to download the font, download the crazy looking key sheet, reformat my excel sheet (Font 14, Bold, Column Width 0.16″, Height 0.12″ in case you were wondering) and viola!!! I could begin filling in the chart with my pattern.

I did some figuring and re-figuring on how to explain some aspects of these socks… especially beginning and ending the ovals. It is fairly intuitive but a little tricky to put into words. Once I had a version I was more or less happy with, I tossed it to my plucky test knitters Sherry and Nissa. They knocked this thing out of the park confirming gauge, finding mistakes, and making sure the pattern made sense. Seriously. They are amazing.

The final hurdle? Getting the final .pdf file from 25.7 Mb to 747 Kb. It had to do with embedded image size and resolution. It was solved at midnight. Don’t even ask.

So here we are. Sock pattern number one. I hope to create more in the future – hey – I already know what column width and height to use! Please let me know what you think and if you have any comments or questions – I usually respond quickly! Thanks for the support and help oh internet peoples!

Ravelry Link: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/sapphires
or

Etsy Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/230836398

Enjoy!!

Launching Something New : Knitted Play Bracelets

I’ve been working hard at the Etsy shop recently – updating photos, SEO (should I think about a post on this?), and promoting in and outside of Etsy. I also had an idea for a new product, inspired by my own daughter’s desire to play with my yarn. Not that I am upset about her playing with yarn – she just seems to be taking after me 🙂

Anyhow, she wanted some “lovely jewelry” to wear, and I wanted to make her something that would last through her hard wear and boisterous play. I grabbed a pair of double pointed needles and started knitting i cords. A few days and some cycles through the steam washer later I had something I was happy with, and something I could hardly get her to part with!

I love these little wool bangles – they are bright, colorful, soft and durable. They can be made in a rainbow of colors and variety of sizes. My daughter attends a Waldorf style preschool and toys like these fit right into the sensory toy theory and encouragement of creative play. They’ve also been proving popular with Etsy buyers and folks on Facebook. I especially like the custom orders that have been rolling in.

My next adventure is trying a rainbow pattern in one bracelet… we’ll see how that goes. I’m also toying with the idea of making a tutorial for these guys – any interest?

If YOU want a set of bracelets feel free to contact me in the comments, through my facebook at http://www.facebook.com/knittyvet or Etsy at http://www.knittyvet.etsy.com -Kendra

Busy Treasury Tuesday – Artist Feature

I know it is Wednesday. But yesterday I had so much fun creating treasuries with a great group of people on Etsy that I didn’t have a chance to post over here! I think instead of linking each treasury I will highlight some awesome finds from the artists I met. In no particular order…

Beautiful bright necklaces from ElliegantGems:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/108770338/gorgeous-rainbow-heart-necklaces-limited?ref=shop_home_active_6

A sweet bird painting from StudioEmmaKaufmann:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/219336681/bird-pillow-love-birds-painting-mothers?ref=shop_home_active_13

A magical fairy door from DoodleDotGifts:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/201223710/hand-painted-magical-rainbow-fairy-door?ref=shop_home_active_2

An adorable felted cloud from Fairyhollowcreations:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/222832556/grey-cloud-kawaii-keyring-hanging?ref=shop_home_active_5

Amazing espresso cups from JennyNguiDesign:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/159525845/travellers-joy-espresso-cups-and-saucer?ref=shop_home_active_14

A cute toddler dress from SecretSquirrel13:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/206868938/2-3-years-dress-in-raspberry-with-tree?ref=shop_home_active_13

A groovy giraffe from ThePaperLighthouse:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/207765119/cut-your-own-giraffe-profile-head?ref=shop_home_active_16

A folded page sculpture from TheBookVandal:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/223167380/3-hearts-folded-book-art-love-themed?ref=shop_home_active_5

A charming cross stitch pattern from redbeardesign:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/199358476/home-sweet-cross-stitch-pattern-pdf-a?ref=shop_home_active_7

A bright bag charm from WillowCraftsx:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/218508438/pretty-flower-bag-charm-filled-with-pink?ref=shop_home_active_13

A fun and funky needle book from StripyKite:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/187565388/ripples-needle-book-crafty-gift-for?ref=shop_home_active_1

An amazing copper bangle from EmmaWyattArt:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/217538145/copper-bangle-labradorite-cuff-wire?ref=shop_home_active_22

A bright poppy purse from EngeeStar:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/216847584/bright-red-poppy-zip-purse?ref=shop_home_active_8

A beaded tribal cuff from TheBeadyLittleEye:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/219853205/tribal-triangles-boho-bracelet-beaded?ref=shop_home_active_4

A lovely butterfly bracelet from 44DaisyStreet:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/204961588/turquoise-gemstone-butterfly-bracelet?ref=shop_home_active_15

A cheerful embroidered garden from CrafyFox:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/222373107/spring-garden-button-embroidery-hoop?ref=shop_home_active_1

A vibrant handmade card from HandmadePeaCards:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/189721063/i-love-you-to-the-moon-and-back-card?ref=shop_home_active_4

 WOW!!! I hope you enjoy the great items – don’t forget to visit the artist’s shops for more amazing finds! -Kendra Ann www.knittyvet.etsy.com

GIVEAWAY! Through 3/1/15 at noon CST

To thank all fans and customers I am hosting a little giveaway. The prize will be any cozy in the shop or a $10 gift card towards any other shop item. What would you pick?

Rules: 1. Head over to facebook and “Like” the KnittyVet Page: www.facebook.com/knittyvet
2. “Like” the contest post and comment with your favorite color.
3. I’ll pick the winner randomly from the comments 3/1/15 at noon CST.

No facebook account? No problem – just leave a comment here on the blog!

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