All posts by alaskaknitnat

Welcome to Alaska Knit Nat! I was born and raised in Anchorage and have always had a passion for making useful things, whether they are eaten, knit, crocheted, sewn or randomly glued and assembled. I received my bachelor’s degree in French and journalism from the University of Alaska Anchorage and work almost full time at a nonprofit and way over time as a mom.

DIY Hoop Wreath | a simple tutorial

This time of year isn’t the prettiest in Alaska. Snow is waiting to melt, everything is brown and dusty, and there’s a certain stale odor in the air. But there is LIGHT – so much daylight.

Erin of Blomma Designs, photographer Anne Marie Moran and I decided to take advantage of our ever-increasing sunlight last weekend.I brought my sister, Farra, along too. We all met at Erin’s studio to create modern floral wreaths. It was the perfect respite from Alaska breakup season.

Make your own asymmetrical wreath with this simple tutorial by Blomma Designs and Natasha Price of Alaskaknitnat.com | Photos by Anne Marie Moran Photography

I thought we should share this crafting experience with a step-by-step tutorial. The luscious photos are by the talented and delightful Anne Marie of Anne Marie Moran Photography.

Continue reading DIY Hoop Wreath | a simple tutorial

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Weeknight alphabet vegetable soup

When was the last time you had alphabet soup? Now that I think of it, I can’t remember ever having it, yet I always see the cute bag of dried alphabet pasta at the grocery store and think about making it.

My 5-year-old son has been showing an interest in cooking lately so we went to the library last week to check out kids cookbooks. One of the recipes was a tomato-based alphabet soup. He really wanted me to make it.

Fast forward to 4:30 p.m. today when I was driving home with zero plans for dinner. Thankfully I had already done the shopping for this meal. It came together in a jiffy!

Alphabet vegetable soup is a crowdpleaser - and it's good for you too! Recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

This soup is packed with flavor and nutrition. The reason for the flavor? Pancetta and parmesan rind. Both add wonderful depth to the soup.

I also made chicken meatballs and dropped those in while cooking. I didn’t include the recipe for those, but you could use Italian sausage or any meatball recipe you prefer.

The verdict? My son and husband gobbled up this soup! Plus, we all had fun trying to spell words in our bowls. So much fun.

Alphabet vegetable soup is a crowdpleaser - and it's good for you too! Recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Alphabet soup with vegetables

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 oz. pancetta, diced small
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced small
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4-5 leaves of swiss chard, chopped
  • 1, 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1.5 cups frozen green beans
  • 1 chunk of parmesan cheese rind
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoons dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 can of canellini beans, liquid reserved
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 6 oz. dried alphabet pasta, or small pasta of your choice
  • 1 pound of meatballs or Italian sausage

Directions:

Add a little olive oil to a large dutch oven and turn the heat to medium-high. Add the pancetta and sauté until cooked but not browned. Add the onion, carrots, chard and celery and cook till onions are translucent, about 7 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, beef stock, chicken stock, bay leaf, garlic powder, oregano, basil pepper flakes, parmesan rind and a generous amount of freshly ground pepper. Cover, bring to a simmer and turn heat to medium-low. Add raw sausage or meatballs and simmer, partially uncovered, for about 15 minutes. Add the frozen green beans and return to a simmer for another 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, drain the beans and reserve 1/4 cup of the liquid. Whisk the flour into the bean liquid and add this to the soup to thicken it slightly.

Add the beans and pasta to the soup and simmer for 7 minutes or until pasta is done.

Alphabet vegetable soup is a crowdpleaser - and it's good for you too! Recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Serve with generous amounts of freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Alphabet vegetable soup is a crowdpleaser - and it's good for you too! Recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

 

Sherbet Triangle Scarf

I’m not a big fan of knitting scarves. They take too long and I usually lose interest. But there’s one style I don’t mind knitting. It’s a giant triangle and the pattern is crazy easy.

Sherbet Triangle Scarf | a simple knitting pattern from Alaskaknitnat.com

Two days ago my little sister texted and said she lost her favorite scarf and asked if I’d make her a new one. Here’s her cute little self:

Sherbet Triangle Scarf | A super simple pattern from Alaskaknitnat.com

Two binge-watching nights later and the scarf was finished. This is a perfect mindless project since it’s knit in garter stitch and you only have to remember to increase one stitch at the beginning of each row. The mohair adds a beautiful fluff to the scarf so it feels like a cloud when you’ve finished. By combining fuschia and peach yarns the outcome sort of reminds me of sherbet ice cream.

Sherbet Triangle Scarf | a simple knitting pattern from Alaskaknitnat.com

Here’s how to make it:

Super Simple Triangle Scarf Pattern

Materials:

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  • 224 yards aran weight yarn in peach (I used 2 skeins of Sirdar Snuggly SK shade 0451)
  • 224 yards (2 skeins) Rowan Mohair Haze in Caress (00525)
  • Size US 15 circular needles (straight would work too)
  • Darning needle

Sherbet Triangle Scarf | a simple knitting pattern from Alaskaknitnat.com

Abbreviations:

KFB = Knit in the front and then in the back of one stitch, thus increasing work by 1

M1 = make 1 stitch from front to back in the horizontal strand between stitches

Gauge: doesn’t matter

Directions:

You’ll be knitting both aran and mohair yarns at the same time as though they are one strand.

  1. Cast on 4 stitches.
  2. Row 1: K1, KFB, knit to end of row
  3. Repeat row 1 until you have 108 stitches or until triangle is about 20 inches from tip to needles. Bring in new skeins of yarn when necessary.
  4. Next row: K1, KFB, *K3, M1. Repeat * till there are two stitches remaining. K2.
  5. Next row: Cast off using the stretchy method.
  6. Cut yarn, leaving an 8-inch tail. With a darning needle, weave in all ends.

Sherbet Triangle Scarf | a simple knitting pattern from Alaskaknitnat.com

Here are a couple of examples of my past triangle scarves in different colors:

Snow Angel Scarf

Orange Sherbet Scarf

scarf2

bluesky2

Guest Post: Cabled Pussy Hat

During inauguration time in January you had to have been living under a rock to not notice all the glorious  pink pussy hats women (and men) were wearing all over the country.

I particularly took notice when a fellow knitter posted to her Facebook page a cabled version of the now-iconic cap. I’ll now turn over this post to Amanda who has knitted a nice stack of these adorable hats.

Cabled Pussy Hat | A simple hat pattern for beginners who want to learn to cable

I love knitting hats. They’re quick, gauge isn’t really a huge issue, they don’t require a lot of yarn, and they can be knit on circular needles. And since winter has returned to Alaska again, we have lots of opportunity to wear them. 

In December and January, pink hats starting popping up in my Instagram feed a lot. I saw so many posts of the original pussy hat being made and worn (if you don’t know the story behind these hats, well, first, where have you been? And second, find out more information at www.pussyhatproject.com). The project gained so much momentum there were actually pink yarn shortages in shops across the country. Pink yarn shortages! When has that ever happened? I was set to make a few, and then I ran across a photo of a cabled pussy hat that I just loved the style of. I haven’t been knitting for that long, and cables are something I’ve always wanted to try. I assumed they would be very difficult so I’d wait until I could take a class…but the pattern was free until the Women’s March, so I went ahead and downloaded it. 

Cabled Pussy Hat | A simple hat pattern for beginners who want to learn to cable

The pattern is so simple! Easy to follow instructions (there is also a chart for those of you that prefer to follow charts) and even photos illustrating exactly where to pick up and make those darn knits for the crown. Between the size 11 needles and the super bulky yarn, it knits up pretty quickly. Oh, and those cables? Way easier than I ever thought, and there are lots of helpful YouTube videos out there for the extra assist. I did buy a cable needle, which I highly suggest just to make life a little easier. I’ve made several now, and I must say this hat gets people talking! The Women’s March is over, but there are more events planned starting as soon as March 8th – so don’t let those cables hold you back! Solidarity, sister! 

Cabled Pussy Hat | A simple hat pattern for beginners who want to learn to cable

Continue reading Guest Post: Cabled Pussy Hat

Alaska Weddings – Olivia + Neil

In December I had the opportunity to create wedding flowers at Our Lady of The Snows Chapel in Girdwood. I’ve seen many photos of this quaint cabin in the woods but there was something special about being there in person for the first time.

Olivia and Neil were looking for a wintery floral decor without too much of a Christmas look so I used flowers in deep magenta and scarlet.

A huge thanks to Grace Adams Photography for her breathtaking photos. She’s one of my favorite wedding photographers and I was thrilled to finally be able to work with her.

A perfect winter wedding to be sure.

Red and white wintertime bouquet designed by Natasha Price of Alaskaknitnat.com | Photo by Grace Adams Photography
Photo by Grace Adams Photography

The bride’s bouquet was brimming with the most exquisite white waxflower. She had wanted anemones in her bouquet but they unfortunately weren’t available. I was so happy Olivia was open to my using burgundy gerber daisies instead. Their dark centers gave the look of anemones and are much more durable a flower.

Red and white wintertime bouquet designed by Natasha Price of Alaskaknitnat.com | Photo by Grace Adams Photography
Photo by Grace Adams Photography

The dark bridesmaids’ dresses made all the bouquets pop!

Flower girl adorned with a crown of baby's breath and spray roses | designed by Natasha Price and Photo by Grace Adams Photography
Photo by Grace Adams Photography

It was hard for me not to wear around the flower girl’s crown, which was chock full of baby’s breath, waxflower and spray roses.

wintertime boutonniere's with blush, white and red | designed by Natasha Price and photo by Grace Adams Photography
Photo by Grace Adams Photography

Red hypericum berries gave the boutonnieres a little bit of punch.

Altar centerpieces in burgundy and ivory | Designed by Natasha Price and photo by Grace Adams Photography
Photo by Grace Adams Photography

The altar centerpiece was one of my pride and joys. Trailing amaranthus was spilling over the sides and with the eucalyptus, stock and waxflower filled in between the roses it smelled so good!

Altar centerpieces in burgundy and ivory | Designed by Natasha Price and photo by Grace Adams Photography
Photo by Grace Adams Photography
red and white altar arrangement designed by Natasha Price of Alaskaknitnat.com | photo by Grace Adams Photography
Photo by Grace Adams Photography

The altar was framed with two large arrangements bursting with color and happiness.

red and white altar arrangement designed by Natasha Price of Alaskaknitnat.com | photo by Grace Adams Photography
Photo by Grace Adams Photography
Red and white wintertime centerpiece designed by Natasha Price of Alaskaknitnat.com | Photo by Grace Adams Photography
Photo by Grace Adams Photography

I had so much fun designing the centerpieces and got some wonderful assistance from my friend Rachel of Alaska Blooms Peony Farm.

Red and white wintertime centerpiece designed by Natasha Price of Alaskaknitnat.com | Photo by Grace Adams Photography

But what I really enjoyed working on was the garland for the sweetheart table.

Sweetheart table garland made with roses, waxflower, hypericum berry, baby's breath and eucalyptus | designed by Natasha Price

Sweetheart table garland made with roses, waxflower, baby's breath and eucalyptus | designed by Natasha Price and photo by Grace Adams Photography
Photo by Grace Adams Photography

Congratulations, Olivia and Neil!

Sparkling sake cupcakes

Lately my four-year-old son has been interested in science experiments, which consist of his mixing random kitchen ingredients together into a nasty gloop and watching what happens.

Not that I disapprove of his experimenting but I would rather he make a kitchen mess if we were actually preparing something edible.

I suggested cupcakes but we were running low on milk, so I harkened back to my one-and-only successful baking recipe: pink champagne cake. I didn’t have any champagne but I had a delightful little bottle of sparkling sake my husband had bought for me.

Instead of a whole cake I halved the recipe and we made lovely pink cupcakes. You can too! By using effervescent booze the cupcakes turn out airy and not overly sweet.

Sparkling sake cupcakes | delightfully airy and semisweet | recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Pink sparkling sake cupcakes

Makes about 12 cupcakes

Sparkling sake cupcakes | delightfully airy and semisweet | recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 egg whites
  • 3 drops red food coloring
  • 1 cup sparkling sake or champagne

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside. With a Kitchen Aid mixer, beat the butter and sugar for several minutes till fluffy. Mix in the vanilla. Add the egg whites one at a time then mix in the food coloring. Beat for a couple of minutes. Incorporate the flour and sake in alternating batches of three, starting and ending with the flour. This way the champagne won’t curdle (but it’s ok if it does).

Add cupcake liners to a cupcake pan. Pour batter into pan and bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool completely before adding icing. If you’re at a loss for icing, here’s my recipe:

  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream

Whip together the sugar and cream cheese. When fully combined, add the whipping cream and beat till you get stiff peaks. Slice up fresh strawberries for garnish.

Sparkling sake cupcakes | delightfully airy and semisweet | recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Alaska Weddings – Caitlin + Jason

I don’t have the opportunity to do winter wedding flowers too often. Alaskans make the most of their summer and usually get married from June-August. When bride Caitlin hired me for her January wedding I was thrilled. She wanted all white and greenery.

Caitlin and Jason lucked out – the morning of their wedding it was like a magical snowy fairy land. Anchorage has been severely lacking in snow for the past four winters and this year hasn’t disappointed. We got about 18 inches on their wedding day.

Thanks to Erica Rose Photography for capturing my florals so perfectly!

Caitlin wanted simplicity so I went with white stock, roses, carnations and waxflower mixed with eucalyptus.

The perfect winter wedding bouquet | roses, stock, waxflower and carnation mixed with eucalytpus. Flowers by Natasha Price and photo by Erica Rose Photography
Photo by Erica Rose Photography

Caitlin had me wrap her bouquet in blush silk ribbon. I was overjoyed to finally have the opportunity to use this. It was a dream to wrap and tie! She had me add a little “something blue” at the last minute.

The perfect winter wedding bouquet | roses, stock, waxflower and carnation mixed with eucalytpus. Flowers by Natasha Price and photo by Erica Rose Photography
Photo by Erica Rose Photography
The perfect winter wedding bouquet | roses, stock, waxflower and carnation mixed with eucalytpus. Flowers by Natasha Price and photo by Erica Rose Photography
Photo by Erica Rose Photography

It was the perfect combination when it came to outside shots. Look at that snow globe of a world Caitlin got!

Continue reading Alaska Weddings – Caitlin + Jason