Tell your friends about Midwestern Knits and win prizes!

Our Midwestern Knits kickstarter is down to the LAST 4 DAYS of the campaign and we need your help in the final push to get this project funded! Here’s how you can help:

BACK US ON KICKSTARTER – For just $25 you can preorder you copy of the print book to be published Fall 2015! When you preorder you’ll also get the digital copy of the book to read on your favorite device, and early access to two exclusive patterns from the book months before it comes out! The book preorder is our most popular incentive, but of course all levels of support are welcome! If $25 is too much for you, donate $10 and get a free pattern of your choice from any Midwestern Knits designer and there are some extra special incentives for those who wish to give more!

SPREAD THE WORD & WIN!- Enter the sweepstakes below for a chance to win one of 22 prizes and share/tweet/pin to tell all your friends about Midwestern Knits for extra chances to win! The sweepstakes only runs as long as the kickstarter does, so enter now! You could win one of two Brush Creek Cowlette Kits with Brooklyn Tweed LOFT yarn just like the pictured sample!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Odd ends…

Colorways are Bookworm (grey/gold) and Dazzle.

In winter of 2010 I received these beautiful samples of Twisted Fiber Art Evolution colorways in orders of club yarns.  I always wanted to wear them somehow, but I could never figure out what to make with them — they are only a few yards long.  Finally, one moody evening, they decided they wanted to become cuffs, and so was born Odd Ends.


The cuffs are knit in one piece featuring an i-cord cast on and i-cord selvedge edges.  If you have never done an i-cord cast on, this is a great way to learn the technique without a large commitment.  There are detailed instructions included, but if you are a visual learner, I found this great youtube video to help.


Pattern includes written and charted instructions and takes about an hour to make.  It has been test knitted, but not tech edited.  My girls and I are always here to help if you run into trouble.

You can download the pattern here, or it is available on Ravelry as well.  I would love to hear from you and see your projects  if you use the pattern!  Enjoy!

PS – If you’re on a Mac and have trouble with the download, try right clicking on the link and select “Download Linked File”.

Posted in News, Patterns, Ravelry | 3 Comments

spots of lots of things.

Wow, entering 2012 has been like being dropped onto a running treadmill… so far I am still upright and running, but I’m hoping for a second wind soon!  I’ve got lots of knitting news to share with you and then a little bit about my home life as well.

Nixie Shawlette

Photo © Knitscene

On the fiber front, January brought my first magazine published design, the launch of my self-published pattern line with Deep South Fibers, and the re-release of my self-published patterns with updated branding and layouts!  Nixie (pronounced nik-see) is a shawlette I designed for the Spring 2012 issue of Knitscene magazine.  It is a top-down, triangular shawlette worked in a stripe pattern with a decorative ribbed ruffle.  Nixie can be worn several ways as shown in the pages of the magazine, however, my favorite way to wear this design is backwards around the neck — bandana style with the ribbed ruffle sitting in front of the right shoulder. I shared some photos styled this way on Ravelry.

I have recently partnered with Deep South Fibers to make my patterns available to knitting shops worldwide.  All of my self-published designs are now available on their website so if you’d like to see them at your local yarn shop please send them to my website or to DSF!

Also, this month, I finished updating all patterns with the new look.  All known errata was corrected and some new options were added to some designs.  Charts were upgraded for readability and lots of new photography was added.  Pattern updates were sent automatically via Ravelry’s system.  If you have any trouble downloading your updated pattern, or if the link in the update notice takes you to the wrong pattern, please follow these directions:  Go to your Ravelry library, find the pattern you want to update under the PDF Files tab, click on the “UPDATE AVAILABLE” link below the pattern.  That will update the pattern in your library and automatically save it.  You can then download the file to your computer and print it if you like.

Zuzu's Petals

Before January comes to a close I will have a new pattern for you!  More details later, but for now here it is knit in The Plucky Knitter‘s MCN Aran in Bohemian Blue or in other words, my new favorite thing…

On the home front, I have a recipe to share.  In my home half of us deal with pretty significant food allergies.  The main three are gluten, eggs, and dairy, but there are at least a dozen more including cane sugar and almost all nuts.  All family meals are made so that everyone can eat them — as if mealtimes weren’t enough of a chore, right?

One especially challenging task has been coming up with a decent gluten, egg and dairy-free dinner roll — and by decent I just mean one that resembles food more than masonry. Lately, I have been doing baking trials to develop a good roll, and I’m really pleased with the ones we had this week!

Gluten, Egg, Dairy-Free Herbed Dinner Rolls

Gluten-Free Herbed Dinner Rolls - makes 12
3 1/2 cups GF Bread Flour ( I used Pamela’s Bread Mix & Flour Blend this time)
1 1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup flax seed egg replacer*
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon onion granules
1/2 teaspoon dry basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 packet or 2 1/4 teaspoons dry yeast

use an ice cream scoop to put the dough in the tin

Combine all ingredients in a heavy duty stand mixer and blend with whisk attachment on medium/high for 3 minutes.  Scoop by 1/4 cup (I use my ice cream scoop) into an oiled muffin tin.

after resting

Cover with plastic wrap or wax paper and let rest for 1 hour in a warm, still place.  I set my oven to 120 degrees and let them rest in there.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the rolls are golden and crusty on top and sound hollow when tapped.  I leave the rolls in the oven and just turn the temp up — this makes the bottom nice and crusty.

*Flax seed egg replacer is made by cooking a 3:1 ratio of water:flax seed over med heat until it thickens to the consistency of raw egg.  Cool before using in baking.  I keep some in my fridge all the time — it last about 2 weeks.

Posted in Food, News, Patterns | 3 Comments

A fresh start and a new pattern…

Welcome to my new home on the net! You may be may be familiar with me under my former business name of Sweet Mama – Small Sugar, but for those who are not, please let me introduce myself. I began SMSS in 2006 as a handmade baby boutique specializing in knit heirloom layettes, original applique designs, and boutique baby garments (you can still see some of my favorite work here on Flickr). For years it was my honor and privilege to create custom sets for some of the kindest and most generous customers one could wish for. To this day I continue to call many of them friends. As my life and business evolved, and I continued to follow its path, I realized my true passion was for design rather than construction and for more for knitting than sewing. In 2010 I moved solely to knitwear pattern design and it soon became clear that I had outgrown Sweet Mama – Small Sugar as a name for my business. So, it is with a bittersweet sentiment that I close the door on that chapter of my life and open this new one with a new name, a fresh look, and (maybe too many) exciting plans for the future!

Over the next few weeks all of my patterns that were self-published under the SMSS name will be updated with the new look.  This has given me a chance to add some fun options to some of them and fix errata if necessary.  Updates will be distributed automatically through Ravelry’s system.

I will use this blog to share insight about my design process, works in progress, and tutorials and occasionally more personally with posts about family life, recipes, and projects to do with the kids.  And with that in mind, allow me to introduce you to my newest yarnbaby, Dovetail.  This reversible textured cowl was  inspired completely by my overwhelming desire to wrap myself up in this kitten-soft, curry colored alpaca yarn.  I found these skeins while visiting  Klose Knit in Urbana, Illinois.  Unlike other alpaca yarns, the long fibers in Royal Alpaca have been removed making it far less “sheddy” while maintaining the softness and warmth alpaca is loved for.  It is next-to-skin soft and a complete joy to knit and wear.  Also, did you see the color palatte??  This will definitely not be the last time you’ll see me using this yarn in a design.  I am a forever fan.


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