Free Cowl Knitting Pattern – available for a limited time!

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Hi friends,

Remember the Chunky Cable Cowl I posted awhile (okay, more than awhile) ago?  I have made items from this pattern several times since I designed it two years ago, and I always enjoy making it.  It knits up quickly and the result is a soft and cozy cowl that’s perfect for fall and sees you straight through winter.  Now is the perfect time to get a head start on Christmas gifts, and this works up so quickly you’ll be able to knit one for every one of your friends and loved ones (and they’ll thank you, too).  🙂

DPP_0003I want you to enjoy this pattern – and its result – as much as I have! I’ve decided to share this pattern for free for a limited time.  Head over to Ravelry to download your own copy for free!  Simply add the item to your cart and enter the coupon code HAPPYFALL14 at checkout to receive a full discount of the purchase price.  When you’ve completed your project, be sure to come back and share photos with me – I love to see them!

While you’re at Ravelry, be sure to also check out my Moss Stitch Mug Cozy.  Worked with bulkMoss Stitch Mug Cozy - Buttonsy yarn, or two strands or worsted held together, and size 10 needles, this little mug cozy is a very fast knit and is the perfect small gift or stocking stuffer.  It’s a great way to use up scraps from all the other projects you’ve finished this year.  This pattern is easily customizable to the size of mug you prefer and only requires a couple dozen yards of yarn and a couple of your cutest buttons.

Happy knitting!

Pinecones and the park

Hubby and I spent a leisurely morning at a park in our area recently.  It’s a great little place – never too crowded, except on those too-gorgeous-to-resist days, when the park is crawling with photographers trying to get that perfect family portrait.  You park, you walk past the playground areas, and suddenly, you come upon a covered bridge, which we don’t have many of around here.

There are picnic areas, and once you’ve crossed the bridge, if you are in a mind to go off the beaten path a bit (which we always do), there’s a little path that goes around and loops back to a gorgeous rocky area of the river.

We finished the loop and came back up the path to the covered bridge.  As per the understood laws of society, the interior is covered in “Jimmy loves Norma” in every imaginable form.

On our way into the park, you know what else I noticed they have there?  Pine cones.  That’s right.  I spent the last 15 minutes or so of our adventure picking up pine cones.  They were just so huge and perfect and fresh!  (No, I do NOT have a pine cone fetish.  At all.)  You see, I came across this wreath project awhile back that I have been just itching to make.  I mean, how beautiful is it?  And it really can stay up for two seasons – fall and winter – which makes it the perfect project for me right now.

This garland and this topiary are just two more projects I would love to make for our home.  I have gobs upon gobs of pine cones now, so I ought to be able to make several.

Hubs got a bit bored towards the end.  I tend to get tunnel vision, and that day was no exception.  He had that “Isn’t this enough pine cones?” look on his face (on other days, you may also enter “yarn” in place of “pine cones”).  But he was such a good sport about it.  That’s just one of the many things I love about him.

-Shannon

Fire up that stove – it’s time to cook!

Fall is finally here, bringing with it all the sights and sounds and smells that are so familiar but bring with it a quiet sense of surprise and joy every year.  At least for me.  It is my favorite season, so maybe I am a bit biased. 🙂

The one thing that those around my neck of the woods can count on every year is that when the weather starts to cool, I start to BAKE!  And cook.  I enjoy both.  But more than anything, I love to bake.  Cakes, cookies, breads, muffins, pies…the list could go on.  And I enjoy eating all of those  just as much as I enjoy making them.

Each cook has their own style, their own way of doing things that works for them.  To me, cooking is an art, and food is part of the creative process.  Cooking is to be enjoyed, and if I am in a state where I can’t enjoy it, I don’t do it.

Thankfully, life has slowed down a bit for me lately, and after a pathetic absence from my kitchen the past few months, I find myself enjoying cooking more again.  I’m making my old tried-and-true recipe favorites, and I’m looking for some new faves to add to that collection.

So, I thought I would ask you all: what are your favorite recipe sources?  Cookbooks?  Websites?  Blogs?  Fill my head with inspiration, and let’s cook together!

-Shannon

Fall Mantle Decor

My poor mantle had somehow managed to get overlooked all summer long until suddenly I found fall staring me in the face – leaves falling, cooler nights, the whole shebang.  I was at Michael’s yesterday, and they were having a GREAT sale, so I decided to give the ol’ girl a face lift.  Tell me – what do you think?

Before…

…and after!

Inspiration and Faves, Week of 9/9 – 9/15

This morning I noticed that quite a few leaves have started to fall from the crape myrtle in my front yard and I realized the autumn season is right at our door, even here in the South.  Today I thought I’d share some of my current home decor faves for the upcoming fall season.

1. I just love the look of mercury glass, and Pottery Barn’s Champagne Mercury Glass Pumpkins caught my eye, as did the mantle display featuring these beauties alongside a rustic assortment of pumpkins, dried vine, and a variety of charming aged platters in a silver tone to complement the silver of the pumpkins.

2. Kim of ethanollie currently features a cute vintage wicker picnic basket in her Etsy shop.  This would make the perfect basket set for the picnic I have been contemplating for hubby and I this weekend.  The weather here has just been too gorgeous to pass up – I’ve been driving with the windows down and spending as much time as I can outside all week.  Anyone else?  I know I can’t be the only one…

3.  The Traveler side table from Anthropologie… what can I say?  I am a sucker for old trunks – always have been – and this would be just too cute in my living room at the end of my sofa.  Alas, the price tag does not agree with me, but a girl can dream/drool, right?

4.  I must apologize for this next one as well.  It’s definitely out of my price range, but I love to window shop even when I can’t buy.  Pottery Barn’s Clift Glass Table Lamp Base in Espresso looks just charming with the complementary Espresso Burlap Tapered Drum Lamp Shade.  I love the look of burlap, this fall more than ever.  There’s something very rustic and homey about it.

5.  Another rustic beauty, the Happy Halloween Banner from Pottery Barn is sure to charm at your autumn parties this year.  In fact, it’s inspired me to try to make my own burlap version…I’ll update on that later.

6.  Fellow crafters, beware!  I just fell in love with this paper sewing machine from Anthropologie.  Is anyone else trying to figure out how to make this out of old pattern papers?

7.  Last but not least, this rustic barbed wire heart wreath from gazaboo stole my heart too.  There is just something rustic and charming about this piece that makes it appropriate for both city and country life.

Tell me what you think!  Where are you finding inspiration as you prepare your house for fall?

Cheers – Shannon