Thursday, December 30, 2010

Hearts & Clubs Cowl

I'm offering a new loom-knitted cowl design for my readers. The pattern uses two skeins - one is Universal's Classic Chunky in Red, and the other is Rozetti's Cocoon in Black, both available on my website, The Irresistible Ewe. The cocoon yarn is a little slower to loom knit, but is not hard. I let two cocoons dangle starting and ending the final row each time. Wrap one cocoon behind the peg, then you can wrap two pegs with the cord in between each one. You'll have to work with this. The pattern is as follows:

1. Cast on around the loom (I used the Purple Knifty Knitter round hat loom) two times, using the e-wrap method. Pull the bottom loop over the top loop and continue this until you have four rows.

2. Cut the Cocoon yarn leaving two cocoons to dangle.

3. Cast on with the Classic Chunky Red yarn using the e-wrap method. Knit the bottom loop (Cocoon) over the top loop (Red). Continue for six rows with the Red.

4. Cable Row: Knit the first two pegs. Remove the loop from the 3rd peg and save behind using either a cable stitch holder or other holder (I used a crochet hook). Take the fourth loop and place it on the 3rd peg. Place the 3rd loop from the holder to the 4th peg. Wrap these two pegs as usual and knit them off. Continue this pattern around the loom. You'll end up cabling #47 & 48 pegs.

5. The pattern continues as follows: 4 rows regular e-wrap stitches, 1 row of cables (follow step 4). You can determine how many sets of Steps 4 & 5 are comfortable for you. I cabled four rows.

6. End the red yarn back at the beginning hook. Add on the Cocoon yarn again and follow Steps 1 & 2.

7. Ending: This was the trickiest, but still not hard. I bound off using this method. Take loop #1 and place it over loop #2. Knit off. Take loop #2 and place it on loop #3. Knit off. At this point, the knitting became very tight. I e-wrapped again with the Cocoon onto #3 peg, knitted off and then placed #3 loop on #4 peg, knitted this off, etc. You'll have to see how this works for you. When it feels too tight, just add an extra e-wrap, knit it off and continue moving the left loop to the right peg, knit off, etc., etc. Have fun and let me know how this works for you.
Kathryn Jacoby

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Stash-Busting Cat Blankets

I'm trying to make more room in my studio/yarn shop upstairs. I decided to start with getting rid of some of the yarn that I've had for a while by crocheting some cat blankets for our local shelter. I bought a size 35 crochet hook last week at A.C. Moore in Greenville, NC and started with a bag of coordinated blue/gray toned yarn. Using four strands at once and strictly single crochet, the blanket came together in just a few hours. The second bag up was several solid colors of Lion Brand Thick and Quick. The colors ranged from taupe to rust, but all seemed very compatible in different lights. I tried four strands, but quickly undid all due to over-bulkiness. Three strands worked well for a more rug-like blanket. I think this will be okay for a shelter kitty waiting in a cage for its forever home. I played with the colors throughout the blanket, adding and/or dropping just one color at a time rather than crocheting in stripes. This allowed two of the colors to continue, making more of a subtle shading much like self-shading yarn. I had more of the taupe than anything, so after the first few rows, I let this one continue until the end, alternating dropping and adding one of the others. Willow gave it her "divability" test just as I was snapping the first photo. Even though it's blurred slightly, it's so "her" that I had to leave it in. I hear snow's on its way here tonight, so maybe I have time for one more blanket to crochet before next week:)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Coupon Savings at the Ewe

We're offering 20% coupons for orders now through December 31 at our main website, The Irresistible Ewe (enter HappyHolidays in the coupon code box during checkout) and on our sister site, Art Fire/Crafterdays (enter WoolyWinterWishes in the coupon code box during checkout). There's still time to ship before the 25th and we will be open for shipping the week after.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

New Yarns!

We have new yarns at The Irresistible Ewe. Just in time for the holidays are red and Christmas Green Classic Worsted Chunky: 75% acrylic and 25% wool, they have the same lovely drape and soft feel as the Classic Worsted.

Next, we have five more colorways in the Wisdom Marathon North Pole Sock Yarn: Superwash Wool 72%/Nylon 24%/Glitter 4%

Gingerbread Man,

Jack Frost,

Balsam Fir,

and Fruitcake.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Trying New Things

I'm trying out a new pattern from the book, Last Minute Gifts. I'm finishing up a cup holder with Universal Yarn's Classic Worsted Tapestry, Sunrise. I love the Southwest colors.
I also purchased a new purple loom from Knifty Knitter. It's got more pegs than the green adult hat loom for a closer weave. I'm using a skein of Universal Yarn's Deluxe Chunky Concord Tweed in Midnight and a skein of Deluxe Chunky in Strip Light Yellow. The Yellow is such a bright accent with the tweedy colors of the Midnight. Both yarns are very soft and will make a warm hat. Pictures to be posted later. I'm posting the pattern here as I work it up:

Tweedy Bee Hat
Cast on all 48 pegs with Deluxe Chunky Concord Tweed in Midnight. The pattern for the first two inches is K, P, K, P, etc.
It always helps me to number the pegs with a magic marker so that if I need to set the loom down, I can remember where I was (with this hat, odd numbers are K stitches and even numbers are P stitches).

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Happy Hanukkah to All

This is a reprint of a post I did two years ago. Tonight is actually the fifth night.

This is the second night of Hanukkah. The menorah shown here was given to me by my mother-in-law. There is always an extra candle for the menorah, which is the shamash. The shamash is lit first and is used to light the other candles. It does not figure in the number of candles lit each night. The candles are placed in the menorah from right to left according to which night of Hanukkah it is (first night, one candle; second night, two candles, etc.) and lit from left to right. Hanukkah candles come in various colors. An extra blessing is said over the candles on the first night only.
The prayers are said as the candles are lit:

Baruch ata Adonai Eloheinu melech ha’olam, asher kidshanu bemitzvotav, vitzivanu lehadlik ner shel Chanukah.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments, and has commanded us to kindle the Chanukah light.

Baruch ata Adonai Eloheinu melech ha’olam, she’asa nisim la’avoteinu bayamim haheim baz’man hazeh.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, Who has wrought miracles for our forefathers, in those days at this season.

This prayer is said on the first night only:

Baruch ata Adonai Eloheinu, melech haolam, shehechiyanu vekiyamanu vehigianu laz’man hazeh.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, Who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this season.

Traditional foods for Hanukkah involve cooking in oil. A favorite of ours is potato latkes. They're very fattening, but quick and easy to make. The traditional way involves grating with a food grater. I myself prefer the quicker, more modern food processor. I would never make them if I had to stand and grate by hand. They taste the same to me. Here's the way I make them:
Peel and wash several baking potatoes and a large onion.
Cut into manageable pieces and place through the grater on the food processor.
Dump all into a colander to let drain a few minutes.
While this is draining, place about a quarter to a half inch of vegetable oil in a large skillet and begin heating on medium to medium high. Transfer the onion/potato mixture into a large bowl. Add pepper generously.
Add enough plain flour to be able to form patties. I do this by feel, so it's hard to give you an exact amount, but I think it's probably about 1/4 to 1/2 cup.
Mix well, then dip out a large serving spoon size into the hot oil.
Keep a watch because this cooks pretty quickly.
Watch the edges. When they begin to brown in the middle of the pan, turn around so the other edge is browned.
Flip (carefully, remember this is hot oil) when the bottom is sufficiently browned.
Keep turning so the latkes are browned evenly.
Remove with a slotted spoon or spatula and place on a plate with paper towels to drain.
Serve with either sour cream or applesauce, or both.