Knitting Patterns: Symmetry Spires Socks

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As they say, “A day late and a dollar short.” My apologies for the delay in getting the new sock pattern: Symmetry Spires Socks uploaded to the webpage.  It took me a bit to sweet talk Mountain Man to pose for pictures.

Without further ado, I introduce to you the Symmetry Spire Socks.  Inspired by Symmetry Spire above Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park. Symmetry Spire rises over Jenny Lake as a lovely granite spire that forms north side of the entrance to Cascade Canyon. While appearing insignificant compared to the larger peaks of the Cathedral Group, Symmetry Spire has played a key role in the history of mountaineering in Grand Teton National Park with many famous Teton climbers using Symmetry Spire as training climbs for numerous first ascents in the park.

This unisex sock pattern features an easily memorized 3 row chart pattern that flows of the needles that is available in three sizes to fit a wide range of feet sizes.  The suggested yarn is Mountain Colors Crazy Foot in colorway Copper Mountain; Crazy Foot is a versatile but durable yarn of 90% superwash merino, 10% nylon with great yardage.  But  the pattern will easily accommodate a wide range of sock yarns from your stash.

Find the Symmetry Spires Socks on our Knitting Patterns page.

eBay Store Update Friday, April 19, 2019

yqndq5ujrfemtzjvxuk00a.jpgI’ve updated the Teton Knitting Company eBay Store with a gorgeous selection of Wollmeise Pure Sockenwolle and Wollmeise Twin Sockenwolle.  I’ve gushed about this amazing yarn many times before on this blog.  It’s one my goto sock yarns for knitting shawls, wraps and socks for Mountain Man.

What is there not to love with brilliant, handdyed colors, generous yardage, extra large 150 gram skeins, and a durable 6-ply yarn?  There is a reason why knitters collect this yarn!

I have several harder to find colors available in this update:

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Suzanne in Sockenwolle Twin, Mond im 7. Haus in 100% Pure Sockenwolle, and am kalten Polar in 100% Pure Sockenwolle to name just a few.

As always, yarn ships free in the US.  Thank you for your continued business and support!

Knitting Patterns: The Albright Peak Scarf

f1rMhXPEQdCPt5tT3vDWrQAs the winds howled around our house this winter, Mountain Man asked me to knit him a scarf to ward off the bite of the wind when he wasn’t skiing.  A long, narrow scarf that he could wrap multiple times around his neck.

I’m thrilled to knit for Mountain Man anytime, anyplace since from the very beginning of our relationship he has always shown a love for hand knitted items.   He uses the fingerless gloves just about every day from October to April to keep his hands warm in his office. He treasures every pair of socks I have ever knitted for him. To date, he is the only person to ever actually wear out a pair of socks.

Hedgehog Fibres Sock has always been one of my go to sock yarns as I love the beautiful colors, the yardage is generous and has enough twist with a bit of nylon to hold up but still is soft to the touch.  Mountain Man’s taste in colors is a bit different than mine but considering the drabness of the winter, I was all too happy to indulge in his request for a bright yellow scarf.

FAnxI0vlSYeYkCRqqXwd2gThe flow and peaks of the twisted stitches reminded me of the lines of Albright Peak, that raises majestically above Phelps Lake in southern Grand Teton National Park.  The Albright Peak Scarf is designed to be unisex as the pattern of ribs of twisted stitches with increases and decreases gives the appearance of cables without the difficulty, working well for either gender.

This pattern is free and available for download on our Knitting Patterns Page. This is just the beginning of our collection knitting patterns.  More will be published in the weeks to come.

Thanks for knitting with Teton Knitting Company!

Hashing It Up

Breakfast hash is an essential mountain breakfast.  Forget the cans of Hormel Corned Beef Hash.  Good breakfast hash is so much more.  You got your crispy, but creamy potatoes, the kick of the peppers, the savoriness of the onions, sweetness of tomatoes, with the meatiness of bacon or sausage.

Mountain Man’s family takes their breakfast hash very seriously.   And they constantly try to outdo each other over their breakfast hash.  There have been hash downs that make Bobby Flay’s Throw Downs look like child’s play.  So when I joined this crazy, loving family, I knew to be fully accepted I was going to have to: 1. Learn how to make breakfast hash and 2.  Get very good at it very quickly.

Thankfully, Mountain Man was willing to teach me a the family basics and from there, I built my working recipes.  I say working recipe because I constantly adapt it to what is on hand to make it work.  Quite often I make this the morning after making tacos the night before because I have many of the ingredients on hand and ready to throw into the skillet without a lot of last minute work.  I also cater this to who I’m feeding.  If I’m serving vegetarians or vegans, I will cook the meat separately, allowing people to add it to their preferences.

The potatoes can be boiled ahead of time, even the night before.  Just cut and dice your veggies the night before to make for a quick breakfast.  A cast iron skillet is essential for crispy potatoes but a high quality non-stick skilled will work well.

Mountain Breakfast Hash dcktckmbsuqvijertzp9q.jpgServes 2-3 but easily doubled or tripled to feed a crowd.

  • 1 lb potatoes cut into 1 inch chunks (Yukons are my first choice but reds or russets work equally well)
  • 6 slices thick bacon cut up or 6 oz chorizo or breakfast sausage
  • 1-2 tablespoon vegetable oil if cooking vegetarian hash
  • 1 teaspoon of Penzey’s Ozark Seasoning
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes cut in half
  • 1 jalapeño pepper finely diced (ribs and seeds removed if you do not want it as spicy)
  • 1/2 of a red or green sweet pepper cubed into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 yellow onion diced
  • 1/2 cup of shredded cheese of choice (Cheddar or Monterey Jack are popular choices)
  • Choice of toppings: chopped cilantro, salsa, sour cream, avocado

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  1. In large saucepan, place potatoes in salted water until covered by 1 inch of water.  Over high heat, bring pan to a boil and boil for 15 minutes. 5765dWDITJqWhco9RgAcDw
  2. While potatoes are boiling, in a 12-inch skillet, cook bacon or sausage until cooked to desired doneness.  Drain and reserve drippings.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of drippings back to skillet, adding vegetable oil if drippings do not equal 1 tablespoon.  Heat skillet over medium heat.  Drain potatoes and add to skillet, seasoning with Ozark seasoning.  Cook, stirring every 3-5 minutes until crust begins to form on the outside of potatoes, adding oil if needed if the skillet gets dry to ensure the potatoes get crispy and golden brown.          0Z8eaJxCTkK%JJKebuzwCQ
  4. Add tomatoes, jalapeño, sweet pepper, and onions.  Cook until tomatoes release their juices and onions are golden.
  5. Remove skillet from the heat.  Cover hash with cheese and cover until cheese is melted, 1-3 minutes.
  6. Serve hash with choice of toppings.

From These Humble Beginnings

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It doesn’t look like much.  Really just an old garden shed that seen better days, odds n’ ends left in there when all the tools got transferred to the newer and bigger shop.  It’s home to a few rogue groups of yellow wasps and the occasional cat-faced spider.   Hard to think of being anything more than just a garden shed overlooking the orchard and garden.  It is easy for anyone to overlook to be something more than what it is.

But Mountain Man suggested it when I was musing outloud about where to set up a dye studio.  We live in a pretty small A-frame house where Mountain Man works from home, so an entire room is set up as his office, and a lot part of the downstairs is dedicated to all things outdoors: i.e. the Gear Room.  Setting up long term in the kitchen is a no-go for me for fear of contaminating food and cooking surfaces with dye powder and I’m not exactly the neatest dyer to ever walk this earth.  Not to mention the kitchen is in the midst of a three year remodeling project with no end in sight.

“The garden shed,” I said outloud after Mountain Man suggested it after I was running out of ideas.

“Yes, the garden shed,”  he responded, taking a long pull of his whiskey and coke.

“Let’s go see,” as we strolled out to the garden shed.

Md4FZ5ydSSmpy48S8d1qawPulling open the door to peer into the dimness, I ducked under the abandoned cat-faced spider web to look around.  With solid shelves in the corner, and a table just inside the door, I had worked with far less in my pursuit of dyeing yarn.  “Yes,” I said slowly, turning to look around.  “Yes, it will work.  Actually, it will work quite well.”

“Will it work? I’ll help you build table and shelves in there if you tell me what you want.”

I do not have many gifts or talents really when you look at it.  I’m not a gifted artist, my singing will make you wish you were deaf, my writing so-so, more people are far smarter than me and so forth.  But my one gift or knack, is taking what other people would overlook, discard, or ignore and make it mine.  My first horse was a “nag” that no one bid on at the local community college horse auction.  We went on to win the high point award for our regional horse club three years later.  My first bedroom was a corner in an unfinished basement where I stacked boxes to form walls in order to no longer share a bedroom with my sister.  My parents finally built the bedroom around me after they realized I was not going to move back upstairs to share a bedroom with my sister.  I scored a hardwall office of my very own at work after no one wanted to deal with an old store room chocked full of junk.  From classwork, to jobs no one else wanted at work, I took on what no one else wanted and made something of it because it was all I can get sometimes and that was better than nothing.

And now with this little garden shed, with its quirks, I am going to do it again.  It’s not my ideal, dream studio of easy clean stainless steel counter types, an endless supply of hot water at the touch of spout.  Sure, I’ll be limited to only being able to dye in warm weather and there will be work to do to get it ready for a dye studio.  I’ll have to use water from the hose and clean all the odds n’ ends out.  The wasps nests have already been evicted out the door and will have to be vigilant against them in the future.  I’ll make peace with the cat-faced spider when she returns in the spring as she will guard against insects and is lovely to look at.  I have had far worst roommates during my college days than a cat-faced spider.

It’s a far better dye space I’ve had before, dyeing in dark corners of unfinished basements or in the back of the garage, salvaging whatever equipment/work surfaces I could find from my family’s stockpiles of odds and ends.  The large window folds up, letting in abundance of natural light and plenty of fresh air.  With tables running down both sides, I’ll have far more work surfaces than I have ever had before.  As I work, I’ll be able to look out across our orchard and herb and vegetable garden.  The flowering plum tree and crabapple that my beloved Misty Moo and Captain Maxwell are buried under are right outside the door.

Friday was spent happily cleaning out the shed, music blaring on the bluetooth speaker, as I measured, debated, and planned.  The final layout is still in draft stages but the building supplies are on order and a plan of attack is in place to make this a reality.

To complete a journey of a thousand miles, I have to start somewhere after all.

 

ebay Shop Update: April 6, 2019

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The Teton Knitting Company eBay Shop has been updated with bright colors of Blue Moon Fiber Arts, Handmaiden, Wollmeise, Fleece Artist and Cascade Yarns just in time for spring and summer knitting projects.

Blue Moon Fiber Arts has been one of my favorite sock yarn handdyers for years now.  Tina of Blue Moon Fiber Arts never ceases to amaze with a never-ending rainbow of colors that come from her dye fingers.  Just when you do not think she can come up with any new dye tricks, she surprises you!  Knitters swear that the tight twist of Socks That Rock adds to spring to the steps of anyone given a pair of socks knitted out of this yarn.

ebedp9qprciswosfh7apw.jpgFor sheer amazing color with great yardage so you never have to fear about do you have enough yarn to make socks for Bigfoot, Wollmeise Twin is one of my go to favorites sock yarns and the Lace-Garn is one of my favorite lace yarns.  Claudia of Wollmeise dyes brilliant, intense color ways from her home in Germany.  An amazing durable 6-ply (yes, you read right, 6-ply) sock yarn is also perfect for wraps and even sweaters.

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The ladies of Handmaiden/Fleece Artist dye stunning handprinted yarns from a variety of unique yarn bases.  Just look at this skein of Lace Silk in Blackberry.  The colors are so bright and ripe that you want to eat it!

So visit our eBay store to find the yarn for your next spring project!

Hope Springs Eternal

In the rest of the Northern Hemisphere, birds are singing, flowers are starting to bloom, the grass is greening, and people are getting out their shorts.  Not here in the Teton Valley.  It’s not winter, but it’s far from what most of the world would consider Spring.  This non-season is not-so-affectionly called “Mud Season”, “Shoulder Season”, or even “Bad Skiing”.  No self-respecting Teton Valley-ian would call late-March, early April “Spring” with a straight face or at least not until they were 4-5 craft beers in.

0hBC6w%oR%KfHdmFsiSxLwWell over a foot of crusty, dingy snow still buries most of my yard, the trees look like sickly, withdrawn sun addicts with not a speck of green in sight amongst this waste land.  Even our local moose has given up on our yard; heading back to its hangout somewhere in the creek bottoms.  Late October, early November has more cheer and color than this season.  Cabin fever can be rampart and many of our friends travel south to the desert retreats of Zion and Canyonlands to escape the dreariness of the Valley.  Seed catalogs pop up in mailbox, taunting me with their bright, blooming plants, laden with the fruits of summer as my garden beds still lay heaped under snow.

It’s enough to drive a soul mad and want to curse out the cruelness of the world.  The only way I have found to cope with still maintaining at least some shred of sanity is my knitting. During this season, my regular colors of soothing blues, greens and teals, turns to springy greens, bright yellows, warm oranges, and fiery reds in a desperate bid to find color and life amongst the drab, drawn out colors of this season.

But yet, even under the wasteland, one can see the settle changes that life and spring do indeed exist somewhere under the snow.   The sunlight is a bit warmer on your cheek than it was less than a month ago, the days longer and the breeze a bit warmer and not so keen to cut through you like a knife.  Perhaps there is a new species of bird hanging out at the bird feeder tonight that was not there yesterday.

FAnxI0vlSYeYkCRqqXwd2gWhen Mountain Man wanted a long, narrow scarf for his “dress coat” (read non-ski coat), I was happy to oblige since he prefers yellows and oranges.  On a wimp, I had purchased a skein of Hedgehog Fibres Sock in “Pollen” during our last trip to Bozeman in January.  Digging through my stacks of Japanese stitch dictionaries (more addicting to me than Lay’s Potato Chips), I knitted a long, narrow scarf to Mountain Man’s satisfaction of golden yellow.  I’m normally not a yellow person, considering yellow a lovely accent color, but I gladly wiped out this scarf without a word of protest from me about choice of color.  The stitch pattern knitted up quickly considering it’s a moving 1×1 twisted rib pattern.

In hindsight, I’d probably adjust the stitch pattern to be a bit wider than I did.  At 29 stitches across, (25 pattern stitches, and 2 border stitches on both sides), it ended up a bit narrower and longer than I intended.  I’ll tweet the pattern to make it wider and add a few more border stitches to make it easier to block before writing up the pattern for the test knitter.

But it’s lovely to know I can get that long of scarf out of one skein of Hedgehog Fibres.  Though I should have known, or at least suspected, since it’s one of the few sock yarns I can get a pair of socks out of Mountain Man out of without sweating whether I’m going to run out of yarn halfway through the second sock like I have with so many other socks yarns.   As a big-footed person of  women’s size 12 feett, skimpy-yardage socks yarns are the bane of my existence of a sock knitter and will get a sock yarn on my black list faster than just about anything else short of bad dye jobs.

F37PDSUWLZT2YTi+5jAToday as I hung the scarf out to dry over our fence after washing it, I found hope for spring even in the wasteland of my yard.  The holy grail of them all, finding green poking out from beneath the snow amongst my garden.

Hope springs eternal.