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Hand Knit Chevron Dish Cloth Free Pattern Download

Hand Knit Chevron Dish Cloth Free Pattern Download

Since washing dishes is a bit of a chore and we're living in a cozy little lake cottage with just a tiny galley kitchen and no room for a dishwasher, I like to add some little luxuries into the routine. I have always loved using handknit dishcloths. I don't know if it is the idea that they're handmade which warms me so or if it is the amazing textures that make easy work of an otherwise boring chore.

At least a couple times a week I take a nice afternoon or late morning break to calm my mind and gear up for the next part of the day's production. Often, I'll watch an episode of whatever Netflix I'm binging on at the time, make a cup of coffee and knit. It's 20-30 minutes where I'm not on social media, the computer is occupied with Netflix so I can't be surfing and wasting time, and I can just relax and regroup.

When I want to just let my mind wander, knitting washcloths for myself and friends is the perfect project. It keeps my hands busy and the antsypants a bit under control and I end up with something useful or a lovely gift.

Lately, my favorite washcloth has been this lacy chevron pattern. It's a wee bit of a challenge at first but once you've completed a couple rows it just moves along on its own. They're beautiful and useful for the kitchen or the bathroom and loaded with texture for some serious scrubbing.

These are made using the Knit Picks CotLin yarn. I love the durability that the linen adds to the finished cloth and you can't beat the texture. It's a dk weight knit on size 7 needles. You're welcome to use whatever natural fiber yarn suits your fancy and gauge really isn't an issue. If I use something like the Bernat Cotton or Peaches and Cream I usually move up to a size 8 needle so it isn't too tight and the cloth turns out a bit bigger. 

If you're ready to pick up your needles and make a pretty treat for yourself or a friend, you can download the PDF of the pattern right here or by clicking on any of the photos here in the post.

Happy knitting!

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The leaves are turning and my knitting needles are clacking

The leaves are turning and my knitting needles are clacking

If you know me, you know that I'm a hard core knitter. Once upon a time it was my full time job. I've published under my own name, Urban Tribal Wear, S Type Creative and also written countless patterns for yarn companies over the years.

I was perusing Ravelry this afternoon for some inspiration to use the odds and ends of awesome wool that make up enough of a palette for a gorgeous fall sweater when I noticed I have a message. I haven't been on Ravelry for a while so hope I didn't let this sit there for too terribly long. 

Someone was asking for a copy of my Super Bulky Scarf pattern and the link was broken. I've decided to update my patterns with my new logo and repost them here over the next few weeks for easy access. You can find the Super Bulky Scarf Pattern here, or click on the photo of it below. Any new knitting patterns I add, you'll be able to find by searching "knitting" in the search bar at the top if you don't want to scroll through the blog posts.

Tonight I'm playing around with an idea for a boxy, drop shoulder sweater with these leftover skeins from other projects. I'm just sort of making it up as I go along. After years of knitting for business, now it is just pure pleasure and if my experiment doesn't work out, that's okay with me. It just means raveling it and starting over.

If you haven't pulled out your needles yet, I hope you find inspiration and get them clacking. If you want to give this super bulky cabled scarf a try, you can download the free pattern and have a cozy scarf in a few hours.

 

 

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I love Pumpkin Spice but enough is enough

I love Pumpkin Spice but enough is enough

As soon as temperatures start to drop and they days begin to shorten, the lakers begin to pull in their docks and there is the crinkle of leaves blowing across the driveway, I'm ready for some pumpkin custard and a hot mug of fresh brewed chai tea. When I wander through the grocery store, however, and see end cap after end cap of pumpkin spice everything imaginable I can't help but roll my eyes.

Sometimes simple really is better and more often than not, less is more.

If you're someone who can't get enough pumpkin spice, you're in heaven. For the rest of us who are either fighting the urge to throw up in our mouths or just think this madness needs to be dialed back a bit, this Free Downloadable Coloring Page is for you.

Pour a glass of wine and lift it high with me. Screw Pumpkin Spice! I want wine!

CLICK HERE to download the free coloring page

 

 

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Happy Holidays with a little subversive coloring fun

Happy Holidays with a little subversive coloring fun

When you're stuffed to the gills with your holiday dinner and jonesing to use the new "adult" markers that you found in your stockings, here's a little political incorrectness to keep you amused and coloring for hours.

"Let go of my ears, I know what I'm doing" is a favorite saying of a long time friend and it makes me giggle every single time I hear it. 

I mean, really. Are you as tired as I am of people trying to tell you what to do? And I don't mean in the bedroom. Get your mind out of the gutter. That's for next month's free coloring page.

Do what you want. You know what you're doing. You've figured it out. 

;)

Here's a free coloring page for you to enjoy. Feel free to print this as small or as large as you like. The file is huge so you can actually print it as an engineering drawing at 24"x36" if you like. I love coloring big!

The bigger the better!

It's a big file, nearly 7mb, so be forewarned it may take a couple minutes to download. This baby is 24x36" at 300 dpi.  If you don't know what all that jargon means, that's ok.  You don't have to. It's just big. If you want to print this at regular paper size just choose "fit to page" in your printer settings, or put it on a jump drive and take it somewhere like Staples print desk to print it larger.

I've found that Staples will print this as an Engineering Print if you ask nicely, for under $4 at 24x36".  That's one hell of a deal for such a custom sort of poster! Just download the file and pop it onto your jump drive, take it in and hand it over. It's as easy as that.  Here's an unauthorized link to their engineering drawing printing page on the website

I like to use these oversize prints for giftwrap. What do you do with it after you've colored a ginormous poster? Wrap a present with it! DUH!

Now get out your crayons, pencils, gel pens, markers or whatever else you're using in this crazy adult coloring book full contact sport and get going! I'd love to see what you do. To share yours, post a photo of your finished coloring page on Instagram and tag @gravesco in the photo.

Enjoy! (or don't. I'm not going to tell you what to do.)

 

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Pumpkin Custard Recipe

Pumpkin Custard Recipe

Working into the wee hours of the morning, several days in a row, I need a little something tasty to satisfy my grumbly tummy and this week, Pumpkin Custard is hitting the spot just right. It's so incredibly simple to make I wonder why this hasn't been a staple in my kitchen.

In the studio, I only have a convection/toaster oven, not a full size stove. I've found with pumpkin, the only finicky bit is that different ovens will cook it at a slightly different rate.  No worries.  The last ten to fifteen minutes, just check it every few minutes to make sure it doesn't overcook.

The pumpkin custard is baked in my ten inch handmade ceramic baking dish, but you can also use a loaf pan, 9x9 baking pan, round pie pan, heck, you can put it into a pie shell for a really delicious pumpkin pie. The size of the pan may affect that last few minutes of cooking, but it won't be significant.

Tools I use in the kitchen are simple.  One big handmade mixing bowl, a whisk, measuring cups, measuring spoons, and a rubber spatula. You're welcome to use a hand mixer if you want, just keep it on low.

Ready? Here we go.

RECIPE:

1 12 oz can pumpkin

1 12 oz can Evaporated Milk

2 large eggs

3/4 cups sugar 

1 teaspoon real vanilla

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon Saigon Cinnamon if you can find it. Any cinnamon will work but, oh man, the Saigon Cinnamon is freaking delicious

Pinch of Cardamom (Not necessary but I think it adds a little extra something yum)

For whipped topping:

1 pint heavy cream

2 Tablespoons powdered sugar

 

So here's the hard part, mixing it all together.

In your large mixing bowl, beat 2 eggs until a little frothy.  Add sugar, vanilla and spices. Mix 'em a little more. Add pumpkin and stir, finally add the evaporated milk and stir just until it's all incorporated.

Pour the mixture into your baking dish.

Really.  That's it.

Place the baking dish into a cold oven and turn on to 350 degrees. Set your timer for 40 minutes. At 40 minutes, check it. The desired custard will be just starting to crack on the top and darkening around the edges. It will be firm, but still wiggle like pudding, not as much as gelatin. If it's still too liquid, just give it 10 more minutes and check again. Still not done? Give it 5 more minutes at a time until it is. 

I've found that in my convection/toaster oven it takes 55 minutes. In a regular electric or gas oven it's usually closer to 40-45 minutes. Don't be alarmed if it takes longer, it may just be that the oven didn't heat up as fast. No worries.

When it's finally done, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool. 

I like my pumpkin custard chilled in the refrigerator with fresh whipped cream.

To make the whipped cream, place the heavy cream and powdered sugar in your clean mixing bowl and whisk (or use your mixer) until stiff peaks begin to form.

Enjoy your Pumpkin Custard in a handmade ceramic bowl with a dollop of fresh whipped cream and maybe even a dusting of Saigon Cinnamon.  Yum.

 Pumpkin Custard in Noodle Bowl

 

 

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Hot Cocoa, First Snow & Cozy in the Studio

Hot Cocoa, First Snow & Cozy in the Studio

Looking out the studio window at the beautiful snowfall, it's definitely time to start the daily hot cocoa tradition.  Ok.  Really, it's more of an obsession for me this time of year. I like to make it the "old fashioned" way when I can.

The ingredients are simple and wholesome. The possibilities for variations are numerous.

Here's the basic recipe to start with:

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I use dark cocoa)

2 Tablespoons Sugar (or honey, agave, whatever you prefer)

1/4 teaspoon vanilla (use the real stuff.  Trust me.)

Pinch of salt (I like pink Himalayan)

1 Cup of Milk (any kind of milk you want. I like whole organic milk. You can use soy, almond, rice, oat, whatever floats your boat.)

In a small saucepan over low heat, whisk together 2 Tablespoons of milk with the cocoa, sugar, and salt until it's all blended and a yummy dark chocolate syrup.  Add the remainder of the milk.  I usually use a little more than a cup of milk, but basically, the rule here is to add enough so it looks as chocolatey as you want it. Continue stirring until it's heated.  Just before pouring it into your favorite handmade mug, add the vanilla.

Now here's the fun part.

Sometimes I like to add:

A pinch of Saigon Cinnamon

A pinch of cayenne pepper

A tea bag of my favorite chai tea blend while heating and mixing for a little spiciness

A shot of espresso

A 1/4 teaspoon of green tea matcha powder

Marshmallows.  DUH.

Whipped Cream (I make it with a couple tablespoons of heavy cream, a teaspoon powdered sugar and a drop or two of vanilla then whip it up with a whisk or mixer or little milk frother I bought at IKEA).

Caramel.  Oh yeah.  Caramel.

While I sit here in the studio working on pots, sipping my oh so delicious cocoa, I encourage you to take a few moment to indulge in the kitchen ritual and pamper yourself. There's just nothing better than homemade hot cocoa in a handmade mug on a blustery cold day.

 

 

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Free Download - Color Your Own GiftWrap

Free Download - Color Your Own GiftWrap

Wrapping gifts has always been a flurry of cutting, layering and embellishing with pretty yarns and ribbons. For years I've stamped and drawn my own wrapping paper when I have the time.  One year I even made screens and screen printed my wrapping paper, well ahead of Christmas, only to roll it up and stash it somewhere "safe" in the studio so it wouldn't be damaged. Yeah.  I never saw it again.

This year, in the midst of the adult coloring phenomenon, I decided to share one of my favorite gift wrap illustrations with you FOR FREE. It's a big file, nearly 8mb, so be forewarned it may take a couple minutes to download. This baby is 24x36" at 300 dpi.  If you don't know what all that jargon means, that's ok.  You don't have to. It's just big. If you just have some little gifts to wrap, you can choose "fit to page" in your printer menu, or take it somewhere like Staples print desk to print it larger.

I've found that Staples will print this as an Engineering Print if you ask nicely, for under $4 at 24x36".  That's one hell of a deal for such a custom sort of giftwrap! Just download the file and pop it onto your jump drive, take it in and hand it over. It's as easy as that.  Here's an unauthorized link to their engineering drawing printing page on the website.

I hope you enjoy coloring and wrapping with this new illustration as much as I enjoyed making it for you. Happy coloring!

-Rebecca


  

 

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Free Coloring Download - Sass & Circumstance: Color Your Own Holiday Gift Tags

It's that time of year.  Many people have been ordering the coloring book Sass & Circumstance: An Adult Coloring Book That Tells It Like It Is as Christmas presents so I figured it isn't too soon to give you the free downloadable coloring page of 4 different color-your-own gift tag designs.

Whether you choose to simply color and cut along the dotted lines for rectangle gift tags or do something fancier like cutting out around the design then layering it onto a slightly larger cut out of colored paper, you're bound to get some oohs and ahhhhs this year at Christmas.  

I've always loved putting a little extra love into gift wrapping and if you love to color, this is a surefire way to add a bit of pizazz to your gift wrapped presents for loved ones.

Simply "purchase" the free download.  Once you've completed the purchase (at no cost to you) you'll receive a free download button, as well as an email with the download code.  All I ask is that you respect the copyright and only use the download for personal gift tags, not for sale or redistribution.  If you'd like to share the free download with your friends, simply copy and paste the link to this post.

I'd love to see what you come up with! To share your finished gift tags, simply tag @gravesco on Instagram or #gravesco on Pinterest.

Happy Coloring!

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Color this - Sass & Circumstance: An Adult Coloring Book That Tells It Like It Is

As a hardcore fan of the DIY process, when I couldn't find an adult coloring book as a gift for a friend that I would want to color, I decided to make my own.  The illustrations are all free hand drawn on 9x12" white drawing paper with the awesome Pentel Energel pens in black.  I wore out two in the making of this collection of drawings and am well on my way to emptying a third.

None of the illustrations in the book were first sketched with pencil.  I just take the pen to paper and go. There's no room for revision or error. Once the drawings were complete, my very helpful husband scanned them. I then cleaned up the scans, converted the images to vector and did the book layout. Easy Peasy.  HA! The drawing was the easy part.  The digital bits took quite a bit of time but the finished product is rewarding enough to make me want to do it again and again.

If you'd like to take a sneak peek, or perhaps even order on, you can find the coloring book for sale in my online shop. 

 

 

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