Fast Food Thursday: Grilled Potato Salad

If you're a weather watcher, you know temps in the Mile High City have sent the mercury to historic heights. Certainly not the time to roast potatoes, bake a cake or do much besides lie on the sofa and sigh, like a Tennessee Williams' heroine.

When having guests or faced with the salad assignment for a potluck, I go with this, which takes most of the cooking outdoors: 

The No-Mayo, No-Fail Potato Salad


2-3 lbs mixed potatoes (I used red and Yukon Gold)

1 cup cherry tomatoes

1 cup green beans, cooked and cooled (I used frozen and nuked them)

4 scallions chopped

1-2 Tbs chopped Italian parsley

1 Tbs fresh chopped basil

Your favorite vinaigrette dressing

1 Tbs olive oil

Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

Chop and microwave potatoes until barely tender. Brush potatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in grill basket and grill over medium heat until the outsides are crispy brown and insides are deliciously smooshy. Cool. Combine with vegetables and herbs. Toss with vinaigrette just before serving.

Enjoy. Then put your feet up and knit.

Free Pattern Wednesday: Auntie Mitts

If you are "afeared" of lace, these sexy mitts are a great starter project. Knit flat using the simple two-row "Stripe with Twisted Bars" pattern from Barbara Walker's second treasury, they whip up in a flash and look great peeking from underneath a simple cardigan or leather jacket.

Yarn: Sport weight (I used my own wonky handspun)

Amount: 100 yds

Needles: Size 6 US


Lace stitch is a multiple of 6 sts plus1.

Cast on 37 sts very loosely.

Row 1 (right side): K1, *yo, k1, k3 tog, k1, yo, k1; rep from *.

Row 2: P1, *k5, p1; rep from *.

Repeat rows 1 and 2 for 6.5 ins or until you reach desired length. BO loosely.


From CO edge using mattress st., seam mitt (about 4 ins.), leaving a 1.5-inch opening to accommodate thumb, continue seaming to BO edge.

Weave in ends. Add buttons to embellish. Wear with leather. And attitude.

Fast Food Thursday: Make It Work

With Project Runway starting at 7 p.m. MST--and me determined to have butt-on-sofa-needles-in-hand precisely on time--dinner last night was a hasty enterprise. With some spousal grilling assistance, we enjoyed Teriyaki Chicken Salad ala Project Runway.

Two boneless chicken breasts, marinated in the medium hot Yakitori sauce from Wok & Roll (Soy Vay Very Very Teriyaki would also work)

1-2 cups chopped pineapple (happened to have some in the fridge)

2-3 Tbs chopped scallions (happend to have those in the fridge, as well)

4 cups baby spinach or mixed greens

Rikki's Gourmet Miso Dressing

Grill and slice chicken.  Toss with fruit, vegetables and dressing. Enjoy. Turn on TV.

Dedicated to Roxanne, who introduced me to the addiction that is Wok & Roll.


Free pattern Wednesday: Audrey's Bag

In the continuing battle to update my Ravelry pages (nakeidknits), I'm going to offer free patterns on Wednesdays. (Wanna bet how long this'll last?)

Below you'll find a little bag I designed a few years ago. It may be a bit blingy in the post-novelty yarn era, but it's a jiff to knit and draws its share of compliments.

Herewith Audrey's Bag:

Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted in Black; Trendsetter Aura in Charcoal

Amount: 1 skein each

Needles: Size 11 US


Cast on 40 sts.

Knit for 1 inch.

Self handle:

K15, bind off 10, K15.

(Knit both sides simultaneously) K15, attach second ball of yarn, K15. Repeat for four rows.

K15, cast on 15 using knitted cast on, K15.


Knit each row until you get double the depth of the bag you want. (Remember to account for the depth of the self handle on both sidesand for felting.)

Self handle: 

K15, bind off 10, K15.

(Knit both sides simultaneously) K15, attach second ball of yarn, K15. Repeat for four rows.

K15, cast on 15 using knitted cast on, K15.

Knit for 1 inch.

Bind off loosely.


Fold in half and seam sides. Felt lightly. (I slipped a slim dowel rod into the bottom of the bag to stiffen it. And trimmed the bag with a satin ribbon.)

Carry with aplomb.

Pattern redux: Audrey

This is a top I designed a few years back. Of course, I called it "Audrey," how could I not?

When I wore it last night I was reminded of its beautiful drape and forgiving silhouette. It's an easy, if not a quick knit, with waist shaping, a picot hem and boat neck dotted with eyelets. If you're feeling that Lilly Pulitzer vibe, swap out the organza ribbon for hot pink satin. Or a bright plaid.

I'm dredging it out to update my Ravelry pages.

Yarn: Nomotta/Schachenmayr-Catania, 100 percent Egyptian cotton in black
Amount: Six skeins  
Level of difficulty: Not too bad
Needles: #4 US, #6 US (I used 24” circs)                             
Gauge (stocking stitch over 4 in = 10 cm): 24.0 sts by 32.0 rows.
Body knit by hand on # 4 US needles
FINISHED DIMENSIONS: (ins): ... with Moderate fit.
Finished Chest: 39.5                  Body Length: 22.5                               
BACK AND FRONT: Work 2 pieces the same.
1. Use an open cast on with 99 sts on size 6 needles. Change to size 4 needles. Work in stocking stitch or hem pattern of choice for 2.5 ins. I worked a picot row (K1, * YO, K2TOG * repeat K1) at the 1.25” mark. To complete the hem, graft the cast-on sts to the last row worked.
2. Change to size 4 needles and stocking stitch. Work even for two rows excluding hem. 
3. Waist Shaping. Dec 1 st at each end of next row, then every following 11th row twice to 93 sts. Work even for 0.8 ins (6 rows). Inc 1 st at each end of next row, then every following 6th row 8 times to 111 sts. Work even for 2.0 ins (16 rows) to total 12.3 ins, excluding hem. 
4. Armhole shaping. Cast off 8 sts at beginning of next 2 rows. Dec 1 st at each end of every alternate row for 20 rows until 75 sts remaining. 
5. Knit even until armhole measures 6.5 ins.
6. Boat neck. Right side purl 1 row. Continue in stocking stitch for 5 rows. On sixth row (right side) *K4, YO twice, K2TOG* repeat between * until end of row, K 5. Continue in stocking stitch for three rows. On fourth row (right side) purl one row. Continue in stocking stitch for 4 rows. Cast off loosely.
1. Leave center 10 ins open for neck. Sew front to back along castoff edges of both shoulder seams. 
1.        With right side of work facing, pick up and knit 108 sts along armhole edges.
2.        Cast off.
1.         Pick up 110 stitches around boat neck.
2.         Cast off.
1.        Sew side seams using invisible seam. Sew any remaining seams.
2.        Darn/weave/sew in all loose ends.
3.        Weave ribbon of choice between large eyelets on boat neck. I used 1.5” organza ribbon. Hot pink or lime green satin would be nice choices too!*
*Designed with assistance from Knitware Sweater Design software.



Free pattern: Really Fierce Dishcloth

Ruffles are for scrubbing. And just because.


Really Fierce Dishcloth

With apologies to Christian Siriano


1 ball each Lily Sugar ‘n Cream Warm Brown and Robin’s Egg Blue

2 pairs US size 6 needles

Size F crochet hook

Tapestry needle

Gauge: 4 sts/in-ish


CO 140 with color B.

Row 1: *K2, pass first stitch over second; repeat from asterisk.

Row 2. P2tog to end of row.

You will have 35 live stitches on needle.


CO 35 stitches.


Work seven rows in stockinette (color A) ending with a wrong side row.

Place needle with ruffle on top of dishcloth needle with right sides facing toward you. Knit first ruffle stitch simultaneously with first dishcloth stitch (ala three-needle bind-off); continue to end of row.


Repeat the above instructions four more times.


Work seven rows in stockinette and BO loosely.


CO 3 and work four inches in I-cord. BO.



Attach loop. Weave in all ends. Work optional single crochet border around all edges of dishcloth.


Cable Girl Mitts: Free Pattern


Yarn: Cascade Yarns Dolce, color 974, 2 skeins

Needles: US 7 dpns or two circulars

Cable Girl Mitts


CO 36 sts. Divide over 4 needles or two or one, however you prefer to knit small things in the round, and do remember to join without twisting.


Knit six rows of k2, p2 ribbing.

 Cable pattern:

Row 1: K1, begin cable pattern, then knit to end of round.


Continue in this manner until you have completed roughly 2.5 braids or 42 rows of the cable pattern. If you want shorter mitts, begin your thumb earlier, if you want longer ones, start later. 

 Begin left thumb:

Row 1: K1, continue cable pattern, through 17 stitches, K2, then knit seven stitches onto scrap yarn. Return those stitches to left needle and knit again with working yarn. Knit to end of round.


Continue as before until you reach desired length of mitt, about 18 rows.

BO loosely.


Row 1: Carefully remove yarn from live thumb stitches and place them on two double pointed needles or two circs. Seven stitches will sit below the gap; six will sit above. Start with the needle holding the lower stitches and pick up two additional stitches in the corner. Knit across six top stitches and pick up another two stitches at the side of gap and knit to end of round.


Knit desired thumb length, 9 or 10 rounds.



For right mitt thumb: K1, continue cable pattern, k9, place thumb, k2.


Weave in ends.

Wet or steam block.


Cable Pattern: Four-Rib Braid from Barbara Walker’s Second Treasury


Front Cross (FC): sl 2 sts to cable needle and hold in front, p1, then k2 from cable needle.

Back Cross (BC): sl 1 st to cable needle and hold in back, k2, the purl stitch from cable needle.


Cable panel is 17 stitches


Row 1: (P2, k2) twice, k1, (k2, p2) twice.

Row 2: P2, k2, p2, sl next 3 stitches to cable needles and hold in back, k2, sl the purl st from cable needle back to left-hand needle and purl it, then k2 from cable needle; p2, k2, p2.

Row 3: Repeat row 1.

Row 4: P2, FC, BC, p2, FC, BC, p2.

Row 5: (P3, k4) twice, p3

Row 6: P3, sl next 2 sts to cable needle and hold in back, k2, then k2 from cable needle; p3, sl next 2 sts to cable needle and hold in front, k2, then k2 from cable needle; p2.

Row 7: Repeat row 5.

Row 8: P2, BC, FC, p1, BC, FC, p2.

Row 9: Repeat row 1.

Row 10: P2, k2, p2, sl next 3 sts to cable needle and hold in front, k2, then sl the purl st from cable needle back to left-hand needle and purl it, then k2 from cable needle; p2, k2, p2.

Rows 11-16: Repeat rows 3 through 8.

Repeat rows 1-16.