square

Don't be a square, daddy-o. But do get a Square.
Have you had a chance to check these out? Last week, Square became available at Apple stores everywhere. And I had to snag one. They're only $9.95. Not even kidding you. If you're a craft fair vendor, you must get one of these little guys. (e.t.a. You can still get a free reader here if you sign up with Square.)
It's a tiny device that allows you to accept credit card payments ... anywhere. Square is compatible with with iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Android.
So yeah. Download the Square app, plug in the reader and swipe away. This is just too completely rad. And easy. And affordable. (It's about time!)

new sticks

Lately, I've been stuck on vintage knitting needles. Especially the plastic ones that come in bright colors. It all started a few months ago when I spotted my friend Melissa knitting a scarf with a pair of robin egg blue needles she had found at a thrift store. They were so pretty and I wanted some so badly.
I looked around quite a bit, and while I love using bamboo needles, I also really like knitting with plastic. (I might be in the minority here, but I like how lightweight they are. And they're not too slippery.) So I started scoping out some colorful vintage needles on the internets, and found this awesome rainbow colored set from a seller in the UK. These are all Bonette and Wimberdar, and most of them have the black button tops.
I bought the chunkier sizes since that's what I use the most. And of course the set I picked had a few needle sets in that awesome light blue color, so now I can be like my friend Melissa. I love the yellow and green, too.
I sanitized and shined them all up, and then slid them into their new home. Knitting tools should make you happy. Color has a way of doing that. And it's super cool to think about who might have used these pairs 30 years ago.

chop suey

Another finished object, another hat. This is the Sideways Grande Cloche by Laura Irwin, which has been on my to-knit list for too long.
I love how it's constructed and it fits really well, too. (At the suggestion of several people who have made this hat, I cast on only 36 stitches. That was a smart move.)
I used one skein (plus a quarter of a second skein) of Araucania Nature Wool Chunky in this cool kettle-dyed stormy dark blue/green color.
The shape of this hat reminds me of Edward Hopper's painting Chop Suey. I'm going to have to pretend I'm that girl in the blue hat with her back turned. (Lovely!)

bits of our weekend

Our weekend started off with a little family trip to our favorite skate shop, Subsect. 
Apparently, Walnut Street is where it's at. Because our pals at Subsect, Ichi Bike and the ever so lovely Domestica were hosting a most radical Gnarbecue. Barbecue, skating, plus Subsect had a Vans rep at the shop.
We got to check out all of the new Yo Gabba Gabba Vans coming out later this year, I fell in love with the Gorilla Biscuits slip-ons, and Lo had her eye on a new Hello Kitty deck. (Yup, she's got dad figured out.)
Bo caved and got the Hello Kitty, I snuck out back for a gnarbecued hot dog off the grill, and our pal Kevin covered Lo's new board with clear grip tape.
Meanwhile, we chatted with the Vans rep (we're a pretty loyal Vans family) and got hooked up with some pretty sweet gear. (I'm loving the wallet and sunglasses ... yess!)
 Now this kid is ready to shred.
Later, we headed downtown to the Pappajohn Sculpture Park to check out the newest addition, a piece called 'White Ghost,' by the Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara. She's very cool.
Then Bo and I went to Val Air to see Slipknot DJ Sid Wilson and House of Pain.
And on and off for the rest of the weekend, you could find me watching Coachella live, right here. I think you can click on video archives to see past performances (Someday, I will go.)

How was your weekend?

Reese's wannabe

  It's almost Easter, and our family has worked our way through at least one bag of those oh-so-perfect Reeses Peanut Butter Eggs. You know the ones. Today was rainy and cold, and there were no treats left in the house. Luckily, I had everything I needed to make our own Reese's 'wannabe' chocolate peanut butter eggs. (Okay, they're not egg-shaped. Circles are delicious, too.)
 You'll need some peanut butter.
And some melting chocolate.
And a few other things that you probably already have in your kitchen.
 They're easy. You should make some.
Reese's Wannabe Peanut Butter Cups/Eggs

- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 c melted butter
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 - 2  Tbsp milk
- 1 1/2 cups Wilton chocolate candy melts (or melting chocolate of your choice)
- toothpicks
- waxed paper

1. Mix peanut butter, powdered sugar and butter together until a soft dough forms. If it's a little bit dry or too sticky, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk. Stir until it becomes the consistency of Play-Doh.

2. Dump the dough onto waxed paper and pat it into a large circle, about 1/2 to 2/3 inch thick. Use a small cookie cutter (we used a circle Play-Doh punch) to make small shapes out of the dough. Arrange the cut-outs onto a plate and put them in the freezer for 10 minutes.

3. Melt chocolate in a glass container for 30 seconds in the microwave. Remove, stir and heat another 30 seconds if needed. Repeat until the chocolate is runny enough for dipping. (Do not overheat!)

4. Remove peanut butter cut-outs from the freezer. Use a toothpick to skewer one of the shapes through the side of the shape (not through the top.) Dip it in the chocolate and gently shake off the excess into the bowl. Place the candy on waxed paper to harden. (If there's a spot where the peanut butter didn't get completely covered – usually where the toothpick was – just drop a little bit of chocolate on that spot with a spoon.)

So good ... so good.

kool-eggs

In the 90s, I dyed my hair with Kool-Aid. Last year, I dyed yarn with Kool-Aid. And this year, we're dyeing Easter eggs with Kool-Aid. I mean, why not? It smells fruity and awesome. It makes me nostalgic for hot summer days at the pool. Time to make some Kool-Eggs.
Not only will the Kool-Aid make your kitchen smell super sweet, you'll get some fantastically vivid results. You can usually pick up five Kool-Aid packets for $1.00, so this is a fun and inexpensive way to change up your annual egg dyeing adventures. Kids will find this soooo exciting.
So let's start with the eggs. Every year, I seem to forget exactly how long to boil them, so here are the directions I use. To make things extra simple for you.  


After your eggs are ready to go, it's time to find some small containers and get your Kool-Aid packets ready to go.
This is really all you need, because Kool-Aid has citric acid in it. No need for vinegar! Add one packet of Kool-Aid to 2/3 cup of water and stir. That's it. I used both lukewarm and cold water and it didn't really make a difference with how our eggs turned out. Keep in mind that Kool-Aid powder is pretty messy, so you should do all of the mixing over your sink to prevent your counter tops from turning different colors the next time you wipe them off. (Not that this happened to me or anything.)
Finally, you'll need to round up a willing helper or two to do the dipping.
You don't have to leave the eggs in the dye cups very long before you'll see them become quite brightly colored. The eggs will smell fruity at first but after they dry, they smell and taste like normal hard-boiled eggs.
I will warn you about a couple of colors/flavors that had less than desirable results. Lemonade on its own comes out too light (as does the Pink Lemonade) and Grape will quickly turn dark gray-ish. I remedied this by mixing things up a bit. To get a nice yellow, use one packet of Lemonade mixed with a quarter to half packet of Orange. To get light pink, use one packet of Pink Lemonade and add a little bit of Cherry or Strawberry. To turn the gray/brown Grape egg into an indigo color, add some Berry Blue to the mix.
Here's what your Kool-Eggs will look like.
Hope you have a super cool time making your own rainbow of Kool-Eggs.   :)

pepperoni

Yup, it's a slice of pizza. A pizza scarf. I know, I know ... it's really cool.

I spent the past couple of days crocheting this slice of happiness. It has been so fun to watch it come together. What can be more fun than sewing pepperonis onto a cheese triangle!? Truth be told, I am not very good at crochet but I had to make this scarf. I was going to do whatever it took to bust this thing out.
The first time I saw a pizza scarf was on Twinkie Chan's website, back in 2008. I think. She's an extremely talented crocheter and has designed a ton of original food-related accessories. She's also quite funny, has some pretty rad tattoos and I love her blog, so I started following her there and on Twitter. Last winter, I found out she was going to release a book filled with her most popular designs and patterns. I was super stoked ... but a little bit frightened. I'm a knitter with hardly any crochet experience, but I had to make this pizza scarf. I had to figure it out. If anything was going to make me jump into crochet, this was it.
 
I bought Twinkie's book and some Malabrigo in Cadmium yellow. And by the way, if cheese could be a yarn, it would be this exact yarn. The crust, pepperonis and sauce were made with Lion Brand Vanna's Choice in honey, cranberry and scarlet. 
I was so pleased to discover that I could totally do this. Twinkie's instructions and diagrams and explanations were really clear and easy to follow. Even for a knitter like me. This was the first time I had ever done a half double crochet. Or a triple crochet. Or a shell. Or a bubble stitch. You can tell she really knows her stuff and knows how to explain the construction of these creations. I'm excited to make more projects from her book soon. (Lo has been asking for the cupcake scarf.)
So yes, I'm extremely happy with how this turned out. I can't wait to wear it everywhere. More specifically, I can't wait to wear it to a pizza place. Like Fong's. I don't care if it's almost summer. If you see a girl about town wearing a pizza scarf, yes, that will be me.

missoni

I'm a sucker for color, so I'm completely infatuated with the knitwear in the Missoni 2011 resort collection. (Isn't it so good?!) 
And call me crazy, but I love these wacky neon clunky-heeled shoes, too. (photo from vogue.com)
So, while I won't likely be wearing any of these splendidly colorful garments, I have become motivated to finally knit this Missoni chevron blanket (pattern and photo by Kelly Kingston.)
I've got a rainbow of yarn all ready to go. I wanted to keep this blanket economical and also wanted to use natural fibers, so I knew I had to find yarn that came in 100% wool in lots of different colors. And that's why it was a no-brainer to go with Knit Picks Wool of the Andes.
I ordered 18 skeins in wonderland heather, grass, avocado, mist, orange, williamsburg, fairy tale, rouge, cranberry, caution, white and coal. Quite a few of the colors I wanted were on sale, and my total (with shipping) was only $35! (Proving that the DIY version of Missoni is a little bit more affordable than buying it at Neiman Marcus.)