Sunday, February 28, 2010

Apple Orchard Scarf

I'm working on a new scarf based on a design by my mother. I was fascinated by the one she was working on. She was alternating several rows of pearl with several rows of knitting stitches. The result was an undulating ribbon of wool. I thought it might be fun to try with one of the Long Print yarns. I'm using Universal's Deluxe Chunky, 100% Wool in the Apple Orchard Colorway. The colors work out very nicely with this pattern. I'm still knitting the scarf and will post the finished piece later. I also plan to steam block the scarf lightly so it will stretch out just a little, but will leave some of the undulating pattern. Here's the pattern. I'll also post it on The Irresistible Ewe site where you can order the yarn. I'm using Size 9, 16-inch Takumi Velvet Bamboo Needles, also available on the website.

Apple Orchard Scarf
16-inch, Size 9 Circular Takumi Velvet Bamboo Knitting Needles
1 skein (or two if you want your scarf longer) Universal Deluxe Chunky (Apple Orchard)

Cast on 20 stitches.
Rows 1-4: Knit all stitches (Garter Stitch)
Rows 5, 7, 9, 11: Knit all
Rows 6, 8, 10, 12: K 4 , P 12, K 4.
Rows 13, 15, 17, 19: K 4, P 12, K 4
Rows 14, 16, 18, 20: Knit all.
Repeat from Row 5 - 20 until scarf is as long as you wish it to be.
Knit all stitches for 4 additional rows (Garter Stitch).
Bind off loosely with knit stitches.
I like to start with garter stitch and to end with it because it eliminates curling.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Helmet Liner

I just finished knitting a helmet liner using the pattern from Paton's with Universal Yarn's Classic Worsted Tapestry yarn in Forrest. It was a lot easier to knit than I thought. The only problem I ran into was in picking up the 52 stitches after knitting the top of the liner. I ended up with five stitches too many. I spaced these out and did K2tog around and the rest flowed easily. The liner would not be good to use for military purposes according to the pattern unless made of 100% wool due to flammability of acrylic. Just something to keep in mind. I'm not planning to donate this one, but to use it as a sample for my displays. This would make a nice charity project for a group to donate to the soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan as I understand the nights can be rather chilly there. A better yarn to suggest might be Universal's Deluxe Worsted (100% wool) in City Turf or Bronze Brown. But, for just personal use in the snow and cold winter weather, the 20% wool in this blend will be very warm. I love the tapestry yarns. They look like you've spent hours knitting with several different skeins of yarn, when you've only used one. The yarn is stamped with a pattern of colors so that, when you knit, the pattern forms itself. It's so much fun to see it develop while your knitting flows. I love the way the top part of the hat turns itself into a pointed star shape. I used a combination ribbed bind-off to finish. It leaves more flexibility than a straight knitted bind-off. If you haven't tried this one, it's done the same way you would do if doing a straight knitted bind-off, except that you purl where you purled in the rib stitching before. You still pass the first stitch over the second one each time.
My next project? Hmm....

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Woohoo! It's Working!

It is finally working! The Irresistible Ewe is finally functional and fully open for business. I've been on the phone and on the email with my services and thanks to their patience, I can now offer my customers the February sales I promised. We're offering many yarns in reds and pink shades. Just look for the knitting ewe at the top of the page, then scan down to find the sales. Check out our Velvet Bamboo Circular needles. They have the lightness and warmth of bamboo with an extra polish and smooth join to rival the popular metal speed needles, but with less of the cost. We aare also offering 9-inch circulars in the traditional bamboo. I'm almost finished knitting my first sock using Wisdom Marathon sock yarn and the 9-inch circular needles. I only needed to switch to the DPN's when I was rounding the heel, but now I'm approaching the toe, back on the circ's. They have a metal join which is very smooth and makes knitting a sock much faster than bothering with the DPN's. And thanks again to the Cat Bordhi videos and Jimmy Beans Wool videos for helping with the sock.
So, here's an offer for my readers: For the first 25 customers who include the word, "Valentines" in the special instruction box, we will send a beaded stitch marker along with your order.
Please visit the site. We'll be adding items each day, so feel free to give feedback if you wish.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Website Woes

I'm still working on the new website, The Irresistible Ewe. HOWEVER, I've realized that there is a glitch in the ordering process. I apologize profusely if any of you have been the site and have attempted to make a purchase. I'm having difficulty with the gateway at the moment and hope to have this cleared up this afternoon. This is very frustrating to me as the owner, since my main goal with this site is to provide good quality materials at a reasonable price and including great service. I am working on this with my gateway server.
In case anyone is thinking of opening an online store of any kind, good luck to you. Make sure you understand the ins and outs of the process first. It can be a little overwhelming at first. You can opt to go with a pre-packaged deal like Google Checkout or work through a site such as Go Daddy and use all of their services. In any case, you will need a gateway service which will process the credit cards coming in, filtering and checking them before the payments make it to the bank. You will also need a shopping cart service to handle the actual orders coming through. They tie in with the gateway servers. I have found an easy shopping cart service (a-SecureCart). With a little tweaking, thanks to my computer genius friend, Alan, I have the shopping cart working great. It can be tedious at times to create the html for each item going on the site, but it has become routine and not a problem.
The most important part of opening an online store is to have a great bank to work with. My banker is wonderful and has time to see me each time I come in about the new business, even staying after hours one day to help. She has been in contact with my gateway company to get this problem ironed out.
Again, thank you for your patience with my website. I have great sales going on now for February (once this bug is fixed). Stay tuned...