8 Years & Counting...

Eight years ago Monday, a medical student asked me to marry him, and I said yes! This amazing guy changed my life forever, and even though there's been some ups and downs, I wouldn't change a thing. Here's us that night (and this was before he asked me!):

Yes, those are overalls. Don't be a hater.

In case you hadn't figured it out by the Superman getup, Halloween is our engagement anniversary. I had mono, and that day was the first I'd felt like going out in weeks, so he came and took me out to Olive Garden (which is pretty much my favorite restaurant of all time), watched Superman with me, and tucked me back into bed, playing his guitar and singing me to sleep with an original song he wrote just for me. He had my ring on his pinky, and as the song came to a close he sang, "Will you marry me?" Needless to say, that woke me back up. ;)

To celebrate our 8 years together, I'm offering Buy 2, Get 1 Free on every pattern in my shop now through Monday! You don't need a coupon code or anything, it's automatic if you have at least 3 patterns in your cart.

Have fun shopping! Click here to be taken to the shop.


Deliciousness: Raspberry Crescent Squares!

About a week ago, my oldest brother became a father, and I became an aunt for the third time. Since the baby was a girl, I decided to make some yummy pink snacks to celebrate!

Can't get much girlier than this, right here.

Really, if you need more of an intro to this recipe than that photo, you've got issues. Seriously though, these things are AMAZING. You're going to want to double the recipe (which is really easy, by the way), because you'll have eaten half of them before anyone else can reach the pan. They're also stupid easy. Here's what you need:

For the Squares:
  • 1 can seamless crescent dough
  • 12 frozen raspberries
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup raspberry jam
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
For the Topping:
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten (toss a splash of water in there, too)
  • 1 Tablespooon Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Note about doubling: If you're going to double the filling, buy 2 extra cans of crescent dough. I always have about half the filling left over!

Preheat your oven to 375°. Open your can of seamless crescent dough and cut it into 12 squares. I kind of biffed it on mine and cut rectangles. Next time, I'll cut 3 long strips and then cut each strip into 4 pieces.

Der, Sarah. These are not squares.

Toss everything else except the raspberries into a bowl and cream it all together. If you have a Magic Bullet, like I do, you can use that. Otherwise, just use a mixer. Flatten out each of your little pieces of dough so they're about 3-4 inches square. Plop about a tablespoon or so of filling in the middle, and top it with a raspberry.

Almost done already! See how cute and pink?

Fold each corner towards the middle of the square, and pinch the edges together, like so:

The mathematician inside me would like to point out that technically, this is a parallelogram, not a square.

Repeat for the remaining bits of crescent dough. Line them all up on a greased cookie sheet, and baste with the egg wash. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together, and sprinkle over the top.

Now we're cookin' with gas! Or...something.

Put them in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until the crescent rolls are cooked through. Remove from oven. Hoard from others. These are really, really good warm.

I think I ate about 4 of these right away. Best not to think about the calories, really.

I feel like there are probably endless variations of these. Cream cheese + apple butter + apples? Cream cheese + peach preserves + peaches? I bet almost any fruit would be equally tasty. My original inspiration for this recipe used strawberries; you can find over at Rumbly in My Tummy. You could even top them off with nuts, or powdered sugar, or candied sprinkles, if you wanted a little bit of crunch. However you decide to go, you're going to be really happy. Don't say I didn't warn you!

Oh hey, it's about time I announced the winner of my Infinity Scarf giveaway, yes? It's Pamela McGary! Congrats, Pam! I'll PM you over on Ravelry to get your mailing address. :) Thanks to everybody who stopped by! I've got a little hint for you: You're going to want to come back, because my next giveaway is going to involve about 1600 yards of alpaca yarn, a magazine subscription, another project bag, and, if I can swing it, a pair of Signature Needles!


Infinity Scarf Giveaway!

It's that time again! Today I have a whole project's worth of goodies to give away:

They could all be yours! Yours, I say!

I received this lovely book, Easy as 1-2-3 Skeins, in the mail a few weeks ago from the publisher; it contains a cowl pattern of mine named Infinity & Beyond. This cowl knits up ridiculously fast on US 11 needles, and can truly be styled in a near-infinite number of ways. The simple drop-stitch pattern serves as a series of buttonholes for two giant buttons, which means that you can wrap, fold or scrunch the fabric in any pattern you choose, then pop through a button or two to secure it in place!

Just a few of the many style options...

The pattern uses just one skein of amazing, bulky yarn; in this case, Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande. I happen to have a skein left over in the very colorway the pattern calls for, so I thought, why not share the love?

Alpaca is my favorite fiber ever. Y'all should feel special I'm willing to part with this!

As far as the book goes, there are FIFTY-EIGHT patterns here, including everything from socks and scarves to baby garments and tank tops, and each pattern calls for at most 3 skeins of yarn. With the holidays fast approaching, this will be a fabulous resource to have at your fingertips! Who among us doesn't have the odd skein or two lying around we have no idea what to do with?

Super-cute project bag has room for the book, the yarn, and then some!

Also up for grabs is this lovely project bag from Mindy over at Knittin' Ninja Designs. Mindy has generously sized her bags at 13 inches x 13 inches, and finishes them professionally with French seams on the inside. I asked her to send me something sexy, and she found this sensuous red scrollwork pattern for me - isn't it fabulous?

Okay, now the part you've all been waiting to hear about - how to enter! I've decided to keep it super easy this time. All you need to do is come join Club Sexy over on Ravelry, and make a post in the Introductions thread. Don't be shy, either! Tell us how you started knitting, who taught you, what you like to make, and anything else that comes to mind. Then come back here and leave a comment so I know who's who! :) I'll draw a winner on Wednesday, October 26th. In the meantime, why not go check out Mindy's shop? These gorgeous drawstring fabric bags are selling for just $6.00 each, or 3 for $15.00. Can't beat that price with a stick! Except you can, because Mindy is offering 10% off any order now through October 23 when you use the code, "SexyKnitter10" during checkout! Seriously, go...go now!

Picks of the Day:

Want your Etsy Mini in this spot? Click here!


Beatriz is Here!

Hoo boy, I've been waiting a long, LONG time to show you guys this one!

Beatriz Dress, from Knitscene Winter 2011

I have been working on this design for almost two years; last year, it found a home at Interweave Knits. Although originally scheduled to appear in the Holiday Gifts issue of Interweave, it eventually got shuffled around a bit and included in this winter's issue of Knitscene, and I couldn't be happier! Knitscene has long been a favorite of mine, and I almost always love how they style the knits. You can get a sneak peek at how they styled this knit for the magazine right here, as well as getting a preview of the rest of this issue. The issue won't be out on newsstands until October 25th, but if you decide to order online, you can get 18% off your order by entering the code "XTRA18" during checkout. (Side note: You can also preorder IK's special issue, Jane Austen Knits, while you're at it!)

This dress, worked from the top down, is worked with Kollage Yarns' amazing Scrumptious, a truly delectable combination of 70% angora and 30% silk. I had a hard time taking the sample off after the photo shoot, it felt so good against my skin!

Fab photo courtesy of Sara McDonald

The dress begins with a hem to give the boatneck a bit of stability; an elongated circular yoke forms the dolman sleeves, then the body is continued in the round. Large, lacy leaf motifs decorate the bottom of the skirt, which gets finished off with another hem. The entire piece is worked seamlessly, and is sized for busts 32"-48".

Add a sparkly belt for a bit of holiday bling!

I've added the Beatriz Dress to the Ravelry database, and just can't wait to see everyone else's projects! This dress was really fun to knit and especially fun to wear; I'm really looking forward to having one of my own!

Picks of the Day:

Want your Etsy Mini in this spot? Click here!


Deliciousness: Caramel-Filled Brownies

That's right, caramel-filled brownies. Doesn't get much better than this, let me tell you.

See the caramel oozing out of the middle there?

If that picture doesn't speak for itself, this one should. These brownies are unlike any other brownie I've ever had in my life. Not only do you get two layers of fudgy, chewy, chocolatey brownies, you also get a thick, gooey layer of caramel in the middle! They're finished off with a healthy sprinkling of chocolate chips. Prepare to be wowed! On the surface, it seems like filled brownies would be kind of a hassle to make, but I found this recipe surprisingly easy. You might be making a trip to the grocery store, because you're going to need a TON of bittersweet chocolate (12 ounces! That's like...6 squares!) and a couple of bags of caramel candies, as well as a bit of heavy cream. On the upside, you don't have to make the caramel from scratch, and everything besides the filling can get mixed up in one bowl. You do have to bake them twice, since the first layer gets baked on its own before the filling and top layer are added, but I promise you it's totally worth the extra step.

I followed Annie's recipe exactly, except that I used a 7" x 11" baking dish instead of the recommended 9" x 13" size (I didn't change the baking time), and I didn't line the dish with foil. My dish was so full I thought it was going to start slopping over the side, but there was just enough room, and my brownies turned out delightfully thick and fudgy. One thing you should be aware of about these brownies, though, is that they're practically un-sliceable while warm. If you want them in tidy squares (or squares at all, for that matter), you'll have to wait until they come to room temperature. That said, they're absolutely unbeatable warm, so go right ahead and dig yourself out a big spoonful - we did! Plop a big scoop of ice cream on top, and I guarantee you'll be thanking me later.

Get the recipe from Annie's Eats, right here. Look, there's even a printer-friendly version!

Picks of the Day:
Want your Etsy Mini in this spot? Click here!


Sneakety-Peek, a KAL, and a prize winner!

I have a little secret: I'm going to have a pattern in the Winter issue of Knitcircus Magazine! Okay, okay...not that big of a secret. But I'm excited to get to show you a little piece of it:

I'll let you all have fun guessing what it is!

For this issue, I'll also be hosting a video tutorial on how to work applied I-cord as an edging. Trust me - it's super easy!

I also have another fun bit of news, which is that the fourth quarter KAL over at Club Sexy has just begun! For the last quarter of the year, completing a project by the end of the year using any pattern of mine will qualify you to win some fabulous yarny prizes! We have four skeins of yarn to give away this quarter, and they are all super gorgeous. Our sponsors, Grinning Gargoyle, MamaZooma, and Our Humble Castle have really outdone themselves! Here's a little glimpse of what we have to give away:


Drooling yet? Come on over and join the club, then read all about the KAL right here. We'd love to have you!

Looking for the winner of Alex Tinsley's giveaway? It's KnittingDancer! Congratulations, Teresa, you've won a copy of Alex's Go Go Malabrigo Collection 1! Drop me a line over on Ravelry (I'm TheSexyKnitter) and we'll work out the details. Didn't win? Don't forget - you can still get 20% off all of Alex's patterns through the end of today! Just enter "sexyinterview" during checkout!

Picks of the Day:

Want your Etsy Mini in this spot? Click here!


Now offering Etsy Mini spots!

I, like many of you, have a few Etsy shops. I have one very active shop, TheSexyKnitter, and countless other registered shop names that may or may not ever get used. Probably also like many of you, I'm in a constant state of trying to figure out how I can get more traffic, views and sales out of these shops.

Enter The Sexy Knitter Etsy Mini spots!

I really enjoy visiting a blog that has those "You might also enjoy" galleries at the bottom of a post. Chances are, if I'm already reading the blog, I probably DO want to click on something in the gallery and visit whatever-it-is they're linking to, be it another blog post, recipe, or shop. I don't think I'm alone in this, or those types of widgets wouldn't be as popular as they are, right?

So, what are The Sexy Knitter Etsy Mini spots, you ask? Well, they're a chance for you to have items from your Etsy shop featured at the bottom of one my blog posts! Your Etsy items will be billed as "Picks of the Day"; see an example of what these will look like at the bottom of this very post.

How much will it cost?  Etsy Mini spots will cost $5.00 each; unlike pricey monthly ads on other blogs, these will stay with their associated posts until your shop or this blog closes for good.

What happens when the blog post I paid for goes into the archives? Won't I lose traffic? When the blog post your Etsy Mini appears with goes into the archives, so will your Etsy Mini. Because I categorize my posts, I do get a lot of traffic to the archives through folks clicking through the tags, so your traffic numbers will only keep going up as my readers continue to peruse these posts.

Why not just sell sidebar ads? People tend to ignore these ads because they're not part of the content they came to see. With Etsy Mini spots, your items will be the last thing people see after they finish reading my blog post. Besides...not only are sidebar ads tiny, they're also charged on a monthly basis; with my Etsy Minis, you get a chance to showcase specific, current items from your shop, and you only have to pay one time for a forever spot. Because of the way Etsy Mini works, only current items in your shop will appear, which means that if you sell an item, another one will take its place.

Can I choose which post my Etsy Mini goes with? Yes! You may choose any existing post on the blog, or choose from the following categories for upcoming posts:
  • Videos
  • Recipe reviews
  • Designer interviews
  • Giveaways
  • Tutorials
  • Style posts
  • General (may include travel posts, design posts, new pattern releases, etc.)
Note that each post may only have one Etsy Mini, so spots for existing posts will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis.

What is the current traffic like on this blog? Current traffic ranges between 100-200 visitors per day, and popular posts like giveaways, designer interviews, and recipe reviews average between 500-800 readers per month. As the blog gains more popularity, these numbers will only keep going up!

I think I'll just wait until you have more traffic. You certainly could do that, and I'd love to have you later too, but be aware that the price of $5.00 per Mini is likely to go up in direct relation to my traffic. Why not get in early, instead? :)

If I have a coupon code, will you post that too? Yup, just be sure to let me know when the expiration date is! My readers love a good deal.

Will you create a Mini for me? Etsy Minis can only be created by shop owners, so you'll have to provide the Java script for me. Don't worry though, it's super easy! To create your Mini, follow these 3 easy steps (click the photos to enlarge):

Step 1: Log into Etsy with your shop account, and click on "My Account".

Step 2: Scroll down the page a bit and click "Etsy Mini".

Step 3: Choose "Items from my shop", "Thumbnail", 5 columns, 1 row. Copy the code that will appear in the box, and send that to me. I do the rest!

You've convinced me. How do I participate? Shoot me an email at thesexyknitter@gmail.com, and include the following things:
  1. Which blog post or category you want to appear in, 
  2. The Java script code for your Etsy Mini, 
  3. Coupon code and expiration date (optional), and
  4. Your Paypal address so I can invoice you.
I'll take care of the rest! Please note: I'm happy to accept both knitting and non-knitting related items (including knitting/crochet patterns and stitch markers), but they should be PG-13 rated at highest. No nudity will be posted here! :)


Picks of the Day:

Want your Etsy Mini in this spot? Click here!


My Interweave Debut!

The internet has been all abuzz this weekend over Interweave's latest special issue, knit.wear. This issue focuses on classic, simple garments styled with a twist. The issue also features my first pattern published with Interweave, the Reversible Scarf Tank! I was really excited to be able to design for this issue after there was a little mixup with another submission of mine that I didn't realize was being held for publication (oops).

My original proposal

The inspiration for this tank came from a memory of a Project Runway contestant from aaaaaaaaages ago (so long ago, I'm not even sure who it was now) who wore a one-shouldered top with a long scarfy thing to a judging panel. It was only on screen for a few seconds, but as soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted to translate it into knitwear at some point.

Finished garment! Pretty dang close to the original, yes?

My version is knitted from the tip of the scarf downwards in one seamless piece. There's enough going on with the reversible lace and strap shaping to hold your interest, while the body gives you a nice break as it's all in stockinette. There's quite a bit of negative ease around the bust; combined with the weight of the scarf, this is what holds the top in place. The skirt gets a beautiful swing shape due to circular yoke styled increases and is finished with a single round of decorative yarnovers couched in garter stitch.

No hem, and NO rolling.

 Now, you may be thinking, "Why would I want to knit a strapless top as we're going into fall?" Well, the answer is in the styling! See, since this top has the scarf attached to it, it's the perfect transition piece to wear as the weather starts getting cooler.

Throw a blazer on over it and you're good to go!

You'll notice in the last photo that you've got more than one option for styling the scarf, so if you're nervous about just throwing the scarf over your shoulder, just tie it on for a more secure feeling!

If you're interested in the pattern, you can find the IK special issue at your local yarn shop or book shop, or buy it online. The pattern's in the Ravelry database, too, in case you want to favorite it or add it to your queue. :)