Saturday, January 30, 2010

February Yarn Sales

The Grand Opening for The Irresistible Ewe was a great success. Everyone who came had a fun time and three lucky ladies now have a nice door prize of yarn and chocolates. I couldn't have asked for a nicer, more enthusiastic crowd.
We're offering February Yarn Sales to kick off the month of February. In keeping with the month's colors, celebrating Valentine's Day, the sale will include many yarns in red or pink shades. We may have a few hidden sale items as well not listed on our home page.
Our two knitting looms have also been reduced just from now through February. I love these looms because of their sizes and ease of handling. The hook is solid steel enclosed in soft plastic, so it won't bend for all you heavy-handed loom knitters.
I've also changed my method of shipping for the site. I wasn't happy with the high prices of UPS. It's never good when your shipping is higher than the yarn. I'm now using USPS which is more convenient for shipping from our location and better on my customer's wallets.
So, if you haven't been on our site yet, or if you're a regular customer, log in to see what's new this month. As I've shared before, The Irresistible Ewe is still under development. But since we're snowed/iced in today, this should be a productive weekend.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Irresistible Ewe Grand Opening

I'm hosting a Grand Opening at my home tonight to kick off the new website, The Irresistible Ewe. I've been planning with the help of sister and mom and printing and printing and working on the site nonstop in my spare time. It should be a blast with door prizes and great food from our local restaurant, Five Star. In celebration, I will be posting special discounts with keywords left in the blog. The site is still in progress, but is looking better all the time. Check us out at www.theirresistibleewe.com.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

That Worrisome HTML

I have to apologize to anyone who has tried to go on my new website, The Irresistible Ewe and even consider making a purchase. I'm making slow, but sometimes sure progress. I realized tonight, thanks to my sister who helped me make a trial run, that things were going terribly wrong. The shopping cart was not working, and in fact, it was coming up in bits on the page. I thought at first it was because I had finally figured out how to put more than one item on a row (no thanks to Google sites help forum) and that I had not allowed enough space for the cart. Thanks to my nephew, Paul, who never runs out of patience with his aunt even when she calls him out of the blue with computer questions. And more thanks to my friend, Alan, who not only never runs out of patience with my questions either, but came up with a wonderfully easy way to fix this. I'm learning more about html than I ever wanted to know. I'm now able to save my website. It's not entirely fixed because I do need to sleep tonight before giving nine-week tests at school all day tomorrow. I promise to adjust the prices (that jumped up by mistake) and get the shopping carts corrected and ready for use. I expect it will now be closer to Valentine's Day before the whole site is fully functional, but that may also mean more fun with online grand opening surprises. Again, thanks for continuing to tune in to see the slow progress. Again, Thanks to everyone who spent time with me on th phone tonight. Thanks, Rheta, for giving me one of your ears while Idol was on. Love you all.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Combining Crafting for Animals Blog

I've decided to delete my other blog, Crafting for Animals due to a lack of sufficient time to do it justice. I didn't want to delete the posts, so I've combined them into this one. After all, it's all crafting. I will try to include crafting for animals articles when I can. I'll also keep posting the latest Pets of the Week from our local animal adoption and education center.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Small Circulars, Yarn Guide & Baby Loom


I've posted the 9-inch circular needles for sale now on the website, The Irresistible Ewe. I kept hearing about 9-inch circulars at SAFF this year. Everyone kept saying how wonderful they were for knitting in the round for socks. I have now knitted down to the heel in a sock using the Wisdom Los Angeles sock yarn. I'm planning to take a break from html-ing this afternoon to pull up Cat Bordhi's youtube videos again to make it through turning the heel. I'll probably need either another pair of circulars to hold the instep stitches or a dpn, but once the heel is turned, I can go back to the 9-inch needles again. If you haven't tried this size circular, I would greatly recommend them. The needle part itself if very short, maybe an inch or so long, but that doesn't hinder the knitting flow. They're reinforced by stainless steel posts which give a smooth transition around the needles. I think they would also be wonderful for knitting small items such as doll heads or bodies or very small doll hats which would previously required only dpns to knit.

My other newly found item is also from Clover. When I was deciding which accessories to include in the store, I found an item called a Yarn Guide. It's a plastic device which slips around a finger and has a flat area on top with small bumps for the yarn being used to slide through. A cover comes down and snaps into place to hold up to three strands of yarn separate while you knit. These are designed for projects such as intarsia knitting. I think they would be helpful for anyone doing Continental-style knitting. I also have that on the horizon as something to learn. I've tried this and just can't seem to get the hang of keeping the yarn going with my left pointer finger. The yarn continually slides off and I feel like a complete spaz. The thread guide should eliminate this problem since the yarn can't really slip off. I have my mother testing the product now, so I'll post her feedback after she's had time to work with this.
I did find another use for the Yarn Guide, however. I mentioned in my podcast recently that I've found a vendor for some flexible knitting looms. I've been trying to get a sample of a baby's hat knitted before my grand opening (I'll write about that in a minute) using Classic Worsted Tapestry in Baby Shades. I've found that if I knit on the loom from right to left and place the yarn through the Yarn Guide on my left pointer finger, I can control the flow and speed much better. I alternate holding my middle finger against the Yarn Guide to pull the yarn taut after a stitch and then releasing the middle finger to let the yarn slide through when I need extra yarn. I'll post a video later to demonstrate. I was automatically addicted to this device when loom knitting. Now, I can't imagine loom knitting without it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Yarn of the Day


The yarn I entered tonight is Fibra Natura's Cottonwood, an organic cotton yarn. Check it out. I'm still trying to get the View Cart button going.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Slowly, But Surely


I'm starting to get the hang of the html code going into The Irresistible Ewe website. I've also been toying with a couple of ways to list the yarns. At first I tried the drop-down menus for the first two Universal yarns. This was a little bit of a pain, but then I found out how to copy and modify the code to add more colors in the drop-down. Then I decided to create an Add to Cart button for each individual yarn. This has proven a little more time consuming, but I like the effect better. This means, also, that I'm only happy with two of the yarn pages: Fibra Natura's Aspen and Cobblestone. I'm going to go back and revise the Bella yarns. If I could only figure out how to make more than one entry per line, I'd be able to scrunch things up a bit to make it less cumbersome for my customers. Oh, well, I feel like I'm learning something every time I sit down at the computer to work, so that part is great. I was really hoping to open it fully by January 1, but now it looks more like the end of the month. As each table is completed, however, the yarns, then the accessories will be available. You'll just have to keep checking back to see how much progress I'm making. As always, I'm open to comments.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Dinosaurs in theNeighborhood


I have just completed the process of spinning a skein of yarn from some fabulous superwash merino purchased (and dyed by) the Sanguine Gryphon at SAFF this year. The colorway is called Dinosaurs in the Neighborhood. It has shades of lime green to yellow ochre and is more beautiful in person than I can capture on film. Here it is with the help of the sun in my kitchen window for light. I love the play of shadows and sun.

Basket Weave Scarf Pattern


I posted a pattern of mine this morning on ravelry.com. I'm still working on the scarf, but I've made it before and can write out the pattern now. I'm using Universal Yarn Deluxe Chunky 100% Wool in an off-white and size 10, 16-inch circular needles. It's coming along very pretty. One thing to note is that while you're working on a section, it may look like you're getting gaps between sections. These will fix themselves when you change patterns. The pattern is repeated every six rows. Here is a do-as-I-say and not-as-I-do part: Pay attention. I tend to knit while watching tv with Henry. A few times, I've had to frog back because I got carried away and knitted too many rows the same. Have fun with this. It's an easy pattern that you'll be able to do without directions after a two sections. Keep in mind, also, that the photo shows my work in progress. It has not been blocked.

CO 24 stitches using the long-tail cast-on. Garter stitch for 4 rows.
Basket Weave pattern:
Rows 1-6: K4, K4, P4, K4, P4, K4
Rows 7-12: K4, P4, K4, P4, K4, K4
Repeat these 12 rows until the scarf is as long as you like. With the basketweave, when you turn the scarf, you’ll continue to knit the same sequence and it will work out until you have the correct number of rows and you need to switch. Just pay attention to the number of rows you’re knitting so that you don’t get carried away and have to frog back.
When your scarf is as long as you like, do another 4 rows of garter stitch and bind off loosely.