Craftsy: More than just Knitting

Posted December 29, 2014 by joanmm
Categories: Uncategorized

 As a teacher for Craftsy.com, I enjoy the little perk of being able watch any of the classes offered, so in the coming weeks I’ll be doing reviews of classes that interest me.

Some of the classes that have caught my eye are of the cooking variety (did you know Craftsy offers cooking classes?!), and this is my first of several cooking reviews.

A Better Cook in Ten Dishes

I wish I’d had access to a class like this when I was just starting out cooking. Back in the days when one could dial 411 for information, I called in asking how to bake a potato.

I’m only a slightly better cook now and still need help from time to time which is why I loved reviewing this class.

 Martha Holmberg takes the student through ten dishes that not only render a lovely and tempting finished product, but she also points out techniques that normally would only be learned at the elbow of a seasoned cook. This is the kind of teaching in which following along and backtracking to watch over and over is so wonderful with the Craftsy platform.

Martha starts us off with a beautiful salad; how to choose the greens, what flavors to combine, and gives us a basic recipe for dressing that she riffs on to create all kinds of yummy flavors.

 For me, this segment is worth the price of admission to this class, as I have a refrigerator door full of commercial dressing bottles. What I would prefer instead is to have several bottles of basic ingredients and create any of the wonderful dressing suggestions Martha gives us.

  She then takes us through eight gorgeous entrees, including but not limited to, Salmon in a Packet, Garlic Crusted Pork Roast, Lasagna, Braised Chicken with Apples, and hi-lo versions of two cheese dishes made with her Basic Bechamel sauce.

 She brings it all home with a lovely Fruit Crisp and Ice Cream for dessert.

 There is nothing difficult about her recipes and Martha gives wonderful tips on choosing produce, fish, cuts of meat and other ingredients, which to me is as important as how to prepare them.

  All in all, this is a class I highly recommend for the advanced beginning to intermediate cook. Great information, excellent presentation!

 10dishes

Double Duty Gabrielle

Posted December 9, 2014 by joanmm
Categories: Fashion, knit, sexy, Styling guide

Gabrielle is one of those styles that knits up so quickly and fits so well, that I enjoyed knitting it in both the sleeveless vest version and the jacket version.

The Gabrielle Jacket  was SO flattering when I tried it on, I just had to work out a new Styling Guide for it. So not only is it a flattering garment, it is a wildly versatile one as well.

See for yourself:

gabyjcktdblduty

This gorgeous jacket knits up so quickly in Cascade Pacific Chunky on size 10US needles, you’ll want to make both versions for yourself as well.

Double Duty Knits: Zelda

Posted November 25, 2014 by joanmm
Categories: Fashion, retro, sexy, Styling guide, vintage

Tags: , , , , ,

For our next installment of Double Duty Knits here on the blog, I am happy to present the Zelda pullover!

The 40’s silhouette is shapely and girly; great to wear for casual or dressy occasions.

Zeldadoubleduty

Double Duty Knits

Posted November 19, 2014 by joanmm
Categories: Fashion, knit, Styling guide

Even though my business is fashion, I can tend to get a little stuck when it comes to my own wardrobe.

I’ll buy or make something new, make an outfit with it that I love, then forget about all the other ways that piece could be worn.

So I’ve created a new feature for the White Lies Designs newsletter called “Double Duty Knits” in which I style the same sweater at least two ways for two entirely different occasions. It has not only proved popular with our readers, but it helps me personally to open my mind to the multiple possibilities a well-designed garment offers.

Below, one of our first Double Duty styling guides, Shelley’s Lace Cardigan. Click on the photo for a larger view.

shelleyslaceday2eve

Gabrielle Two Ways

Posted October 17, 2014 by joanmm
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: ,

The thing I’ve always appreciated about sewing patterns is that they more often than not give several versions of the same garment; with long and short sleeves or none at all.

I like to follow this idea in my own knitting patterns so that I give my own customers the most value that I can. If I love the way a style looks on me, you can bet I’ll want to make it again in another color and/or configuration, which defrays the cost of the pattern.

Gabrielle is one such pattern that I think works very well.

Below, Gabrielle as a jacket and as a vest.

gaby1n2

Both ways Gabrielle is well fitting, flattering and office appropriate. Not only that, she knits up so fast on size 10US needles and Cascade Pacific Chunky.

Enjoy your knitting!

 

Vogue Knitting Fall 2014 #24 Duster Coat-Part Deaux

Posted September 23, 2014 by joanmm
Categories: Uncategorized

Thanks all for the nice responses to the post about my #24 Duster Coat in the current issue of VK.

I have photos of the coat when in progress that I’ve posted below.

Boho1Here is the original sketch submitted to VK along with the chart I made for the tribal patterning and the first sleeve.

The theme was 70’s bohemian and that brought to mind the movie Dr Zhivago and the fantastic coats and costumes worn therein. Perfect inspiration for this project!

boho2

Here are the completed fronts.  Getting the neckline the way I wanted it so that the collar would fit in correctly was a challenge. Ripped a couple of times before I figured it out.

boho3

Here is the completed back. My decrease lines can be seen easily. It looks like a lot of knitting, and it was, but the bulky yarn and size 10US needles helped it fly along.

boho4boho5The finished coat.

The large button is actually decorative. I bought a set of three large hooks and eyes to close the front securely.

I love this coat with it’s fit-and-flare shape ; so flattering to so many body types.  I’ll be making up a slightly different White Lies Designs version for Stitches West in February. Of course I’ll post photos here when it’s ready.

Vogue Knitting Fall 2014 #24 Duster Coat

Posted September 18, 2014 by joanmm
Categories: Uncategorized

Check out the coat I designed for the Fall issue of Vogue Knitting!

Boho Coat-Joan McGowan-Michael

Boho Coat-Joan McGowan-Michael

This issue is on newsstands now or can be ordered through vogueknitting.com .

http://checkoutthelatest.com/VogueKnitting&watch=Vy8UTWaL9_k

 


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