Recipe: Grandma Dorner's Banana Cake

Recipe: Grandma Dorner's Banana Cake

by Elizabeth Sullivan May 10, 2017 1 Comment

Today would have been our Grandma Dorner's 90th birthday. To celebrate the occasion and to remember her, I spent the afternoon baking this cake with my son. Although Grandma made Diós (walnut) Torte for most Dorner birthdays when I was a kid, this banana cake is one of her recipes that sticks out most in my memories of spending time at my grandparents' house, because it was more of an everyday cake that she would often have on hand when we went over for a visit. I hope that you enjoy it too. Happy birthday Grandma!

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10 Years of Sweet Paprika

10 Years of Sweet Paprika

by Debbie Sullivan April 20, 2017 7 Comments

It's a little bit hard to believe, but Sweet Paprika has been in business for exactly 10 years this month! We have a few things planned to celebrate our anniversary, but I thought it would be nice to start off with a little look at where we started, and where we've been, over the past decade. 

It all began way back in 2007, when Elizabeth and I, and our other sister Margaret, were all living in Ottawa. We knew we wanted to put our skills to work in some sort of business, but we weren't exactly sure what direction that would take us in yet.

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Learning to Spin

Learning to Spin

by Debbie Sullivan March 28, 2017

I've been wanting to learn to spin yarn for the longest time, and over the past few years I've picked up a couple of spindles and tried my hand at it a few times. I kept trying to learn in different ways, from books, from online videos, and even did a short introductory workshop. And although I was progressing and getting better it seemed like an awfully slow process.

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Finish it February

Finish it February

by Debbie Sullivan February 22, 2017 1 Comment

A few years ago Elizabeth proposed that we make the month of February each year "Finish it February": a time to pull all of our unfinished objects (UFOs in knitter slang) out of the closet or from under the bed and dust them off.

This is the third year we've done this, and I still have quite a number of projects to pull out and deal with each year, but I've noticed that although I still have many very old ones (which I keep swearing I'll finish one day), I've been much better about not accumulating new ones since we started this.

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Dye Experiments: New Arietta Colours

Dye Experiments: New Arietta Colours

by Debbie Sullivan January 25, 2017 3 Comments

I've had the idea in the back of my mind for a while now that we really need a few more colours in our Arietta lace-weight yarn. It's a gorgeous wool and silk blend that knits up beautifully, but with only seven colour options sometimes customers just don't find the right one for their project. I finally got a few spare moments in the dye studio to work on this project recently, and I thought it would be fun to share a bit about my process for colour development.

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Recipes: Handmade Chocolates

Recipes: Handmade Chocolates

by Elizabeth Sullivan December 20, 2016 1 Comment

In preparation for the upcoming holidays, Debbie and I had a chocolate making party on Saturday. It was a fun day and a bit of a trip down memory lane for us. Here we share three favourite handmade chocolate recipes along with some tips and tricks for making molded chocolates at home.

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How to sew a zipper into handknits

How to sew a zipper into handknits

by Elizabeth Sullivan November 30, 2016

I've recently designed two vest patterns that involve sewing a zipper into your hand-knit garment: Cabane à Sucre and Autumn Hike Hoodie. If you've never installed a zipper before, don't worry, this tutorial will walk you through each step of the process! It's not hard, but there are a few things you can do to make it easier and more professional looking.

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Recipe: Cranberry Scones

Recipe: Cranberry Scones

by Elizabeth Sullivan November 27, 2016 2 Comments

One of the best things about fall is fresh cranberries. I use them in bread, muffins, smoothies, and applesauce, but this cranberry scone recipe is a particular favourite.

Breakfast at my house is usually granola and yogurt or toast and peanut butter, but a couple of weeks and I had family visiting so I got up early to make these scones for everyone. They are also delicious with a cup of tea in the afternoon if you're not a morning person!

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How to make a multi-coloured pom pom

How to make a multi-coloured pom pom

by Debbie Sullivan November 12, 2016

My latest knitting pattern is a warm winter hat in our incredibly soft Largo Organic bulky-weight merino yarn, and I wanted to top it off with a pom pom. I had the idea that I'd make the pom pom multi-coloured to look like fireworks against the dusky blue yarn, and called the hat Hanabi, which means fireworks in Japanese (and also happens to be the name of one of my favourite card games).

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Review: Vogue Knitting Magazine

Review: Vogue Knitting Magazine

by Debbie Sullivan October 21, 2016

I still have a copy of the very first knitting magazine I ever bought: Interweave Knits Spring 2004. It was an eye-opener for me, since I had spent most of my teenage years knitting from pattern booklets inherited from my grandmother, leftovers from the 1970s and 80s. Here was a whole magazine full of fresh, contemporary patterns, for garments that I would actually wear!

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Pattern Round-up: Finger Puppets!

Pattern Round-up: Finger Puppets!

by Debbie Sullivan September 20, 2016 1 Comment

A couple of weeks ago, Elizabeth sent me a link to this CBC article about a children's hospital in Nova Scotia looking for donations of hand-knit finger puppets. It was just before our September knitting tea, and I was inspired to quickly print off the patterns provided by the IWK Health Centre and gather some scrap yarn to make a puppet or two.

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Unity: An interactive fibre art installation

Unity: An interactive fibre art installation

by Debbie Sullivan September 07, 2016 1 Comment

This past weekend I had the pleasure of witnessing (and participating in) a public art installation involving - you guessed it - a ton of yarn!

UNITY is an interactive art installation which creates a physical representation of that community, documenting our similarities, differences, and ultimate interconnectedness.

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