Archives from December 2006

Just in the Nick of Time

Photo: Sheri Berger
Friday, December 22nd, 2006 in Sheri's Recipes

DSC00297.JPGThe Christmas knitting is done, and not a moment too soon. Here are the mittens I made from Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport in Mother Lode, double-stranded. It’s from my favorite mitten pattern, which we sold out of the last time I showed you mittens from there! (The patterns are on order and will be back again in a week or two. Added later: guess what? They just came in the mail! Here they are.) What I love about this mitten is how well-fitted it is. Snug on the bottom so that no air zips up inside there. The double stranding makes it wonderfully thick and warm. DSC00296.JPGAlso finished, the socks out of Posh Cashmere/merino yarn. I love how these turned out and they are soft and comfortable. (Another big Posh order is winging its way to us from the UK – due to arrive in the next couple of weeks. You’ll want to get some and knit with it. I’ll let you know when it arrives.) I can’t tell you who these gifts are for, but they’ll like them. My goal for next Christmas is WAY more knitting than this!

Today’s recipe is another good salad recipe. (I love good salad recipes. Do any of you have ones you want to share with me? I’m always looking for more.) We make this as a meal, along with the Cornbread Rolls, shared previously.

salad122206BLT in a Bowl

Romaine and Iceberg lettuce
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 lb. sliced bacon
1 pt. cherry tomatoes
1/2 lb. Jarlsberg cheese (or mozzarella)
1/4 lb. Parmesan
medium sized lemon
large clove of garlic
3/4 cup vegetable oil

Toast the almonds at 300 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until golden. Cut bacon into 1″ pieces and saute in pan. Drain.

Squeeze 3 Tbl. lemon juice from the lemon. Combine this with crushed garlic. Beat with a whisk and add the oil slowly, whisking until well-blended.

Combine all ingredients and toss with the dressing. Enjoy! :-)

DSC00273.JPGI need to attempt to pack for our trip. We leave tomorrow. My parents are taking us on a cruise for their 50th anniversary and my head is not into warm-weather-clothing. At all. In fact, I’m always a bit happy to be putting those clothes away for the season and pulling the sweaters out. I do have friends who LOVE the warm weather and would love a mid-winter getaway to somewhere beachy. How about you? Are you a “warm weather” person or a “cold weather” person? I’m looking at pictures of the snow in Denver and thinking that would be fun! At any rate, I thought I’d share a picture of my parents (aka: Mimi and Papa) with their grandkids – Knitting Daughter and College Boy. I’ll keep my eye out for interesting stories or photos next week, and will be anxious to return to all of you and share them. I’m thinking the next blog post will be on Wednesday the 3rd.

Remember, all orders in by 5 pm today will go out tomorrow (the 23rd). You’re welcome to continue to shop at The Loopy Ewe while we’re gone and we’ll pack up all those orders when we get back. We’ll start shipping those out on January 2nd. While we’re gone, any orders over $50 will get the mini sample pack of Soak Wash included, free. It’s a great way to find your favorite scent. I know you’ll love this stuff.

Merry Christmas and happy knitting to you all!!

Hugs, Sheri thismeansnoPeppermintMochasforawhile…darn

It’s Gonna Take a Tall Cup o’ Joe…

Photo: Sheri Berger
Wednesday, December 20th, 2006 in Uncategorized

DSC00122.JPGIt’s morning. Already. It’s gonna take a tall grande cup o’ joe peppermint mocha to get me going this morning. It might be because I was up until after 2 am, watching “24″ with College Boy. When will I remember that college kids can keep those hours, but I can’t? At least not while Knitting Daughter is still home and leaving for school bright and early. (So of course I’m up to pack her lunch and see her off. Bleary-eyed, but UP, nevertheless.) Someone needs to knock some sense into me. Quickly.

DSC00128.JPGWe’re leaving to go out of town on Saturday morning. Early. 6 am flight. (Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Might as well just not go to bed that night?) I haven’t packed a thing. Truly, I’m much more concerned about what knitting projects I’m taking and making sure I have everything for that, than the actual clothes and other necessities I might need. Or is that just because I’m tired and not thinking clearly? No doubt I will once again severely over-estimate the amount of knitting I will complete, and will take twice as many projects as I need to see me through the week. (Kind of like I delude myself into thinking I can stay up until 2 am over and over, and still function?) I’m also in the process of downloading knitting podcasts, as I haven’t had a second to listen to any of those for over a month. It ought to be a nice vacation. :-)

DSC00134.JPGYesterday was another marathon field trip day for The Loopy Ewe. We had three different sets of knitters in to enhance their personal sock yarn buffets. I should’ve taken pictures. They were all a lot of fun to have here, and they all went away happy (but also wondering how I can possibly live with all of this wonderful yarn, all the time. It’s a chore, let me tell you.) We have fun new stuff arriving while I’m gone, and into the first couple of weeks of January. Poor Wonder Husband will be kept really busy getting the photos taken. Such a good thing that “sock yarn doesn’t count” as I foresee the need to add more of these new yarns to my own sock yarn buffet. I’m thinking I will have severely deplenished my sock stash by the end of my trip and will NEED to add to it when I get back. I’m just wondering how to get all 70 skeins of sock yarn into my luggage so that I can knit them all up next week?

Sheri thepostmanwantsgolfballsforhisChristmaspresentsoImustshopagaintoday

December Blog Contest Winner

Photo: Sheri Berger
Monday, December 18th, 2006 in Uncategorized

Thank you again for sharing all of the wonderful holiday traditions that you and your families have. I know that there are a lot of us who picked up ideas for one or two (or ten) new ones! I picked a number out of the hat and the winner of the fun yarn package is: Jan! (no blog attached to Jan, so I can’t send you to “meet” her, unfortunatelyy. Jan – if you have a blog, leave it in the comments for us!)

DSC00279.JPGFact for the day: Did you know this about Starbucks coffee bags? You can hold it horizontally and push both sides in, then smell the aroma of the flavor of beans inside right where the green logo is. Kind of a scratch and sniff, without the scratch part. DSC00280.JPGI have often gone in there and wondered what the difference was in all the names/varieties. Now I can smell the difference. Is that a commonly known little trick and no one ever told me? Knitting Daughter (aka Starbucks Barista) told me. She also brought me a pound of their Anniversary Blend. She’s a good daughter.

Have you seen Wendy’s post on “Knit From Your Stash in 2007″? Well, when I started reading through there, I was already having minor heart palpitations. After all, I DO sell yarn and I would like to keep this business going in 2007. :-) But luckily, as I read the rules, there was a little exception for sock yarn. Specifically, it said “Sock yarn does not count. You think we are made of stone?” Whew! Of course it doesn’t count, because sock yarn doesn’t count as stash. (Need a refresher on those reasons? See my post here.) In light of that, I thought it might be handy to have a little reminder button to go with your “Knit from your stash 2007″ button. (Yes, you’re free to take it and host it on your own website.) You know, just in case you start feeling a little blue about not being able to buy yarn when you look at that first button. Then, you glance to the button below and realize – “Hey – but I CAN buy sock yarn!” Then I want you to hop right over to The Loopy Ewe and shop to your hearts content. We love you here and we’ll do our best to keep you stocked up on wonderful sock yarns throughout “Knit From Your Stash” and beyond! (And just think, when Knit From Your Stash is over, you will also have fun re-supplying that stash from the ground up.)

DSC00281.JPGOn the knitting front – I finished the gift mittens and will now work on finishing the gift socks. Photos will have to wait. College Boy and I are watching Season Five of 24 (while poor Knitting Daughter studies for high school finals and poor Wonder Husband works.) I’m planning on getting in some good knitting time as Jack Bauer saves the world.

Sheri
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The Gift Knitting Is Not Done!

Photo: Sheri Berger
Friday, December 15th, 2006 in Sheri's Recipes

College Boy is home and I am a happy mom! (Happy to have his presence in the house, happy to have his technical expertise on all the computer issues I have been saivng up for him, happy to have him helping me pack orders, happy, happy, happy!) I know he’s glad to be done with Finals and home for a couple of weeks of spoiling. :-)

Today’s recipe is from one of my good friends and I highly recommend it. Monica used to make this for the teacher gifts every year, and this recipe had a reputation all of its own. She makes lots and lots of batches every year. This year, I’m making it for our neighbors. I alternate between cinnamon-pecan rolls, and candy/cookie trays. They put up with all of my UPS deliveries and people stopping by all year long, so I want to stay on their good side! Do you have anyone you need to butter up? This toffee just might do the trick.

DSC00166.JPGMONICA’S TOFFEE

1 cup unblanched (skin on) whole almonds

1 cup butter

1 cup sugar

½ tsp. vanilla

¼ tsp. salt

1 12-oz. pkg. milk chocolate chips (2 cups)

¼ c. pecans, finely chopped (optional)

uToast almonds by spreading them in a single layer on a plate and microwaving on high for 3 minutes (stir after each minute).

uOn a foil-lined baking sheet arrange almonds in a single layer over an area measuring approx. 12×7 inches.

uIn a heavy 2-quart saucepan combine butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Cook over high heat, stirring constantly with a clean, dry, wooden spoon till butter is melted. Continue cooking and stirring for 5-7 min. till candy is the color of the unblanched almonds. (It will start smoking slightly.) Immediately pour candy, without scraping pan, over almonds, covering all nuts.

uSprinkle chocolate chips evenly over the hot candy. Wait 1 minute and spread the melted chocolate until it is smooth. Sprinkle with pecans.

uLet cool and break into pieces. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator.

uMakes 2 pounds or 25 pieces.

Let me know how you like it!

DSC00119.JPGI’m in rather a bit of a spot. The Gift Knitting? It’s not done. And honestly, there wasn’t much on my Gift Knitting List to begin with. I probably shouldn’t admit that my list was short and it’s not even done. I’m thinking that I will have to really let the needles fly this weekend and next week, to accomplish what I need to accomplish. I was thinking today how nice it’d be to wrap up several pairs of handknit socks for several good friends and send them off. In 2007, I am SO going to stockpile knitted gifts early. Someone please remind me of that often, next year. Do any of you knit up ahead of time – like certain things every month, starting in the summer? Or is that a total pipe dream? Every year I say I’m going to knit more. Every year, I blow it. sigh. If you have a surefire plan for gift knitting, please share it. (If you blow it every year like I do, please share that, too. You’ll make me feel better.)

In case you need to do your own gift-purchasing for your own sweet self – I just headed over to The Loopy Ewe and put up a few new Yarn Pirate colors that arrived yesterday afternoon. Hawthorne – a wonderful limited edition holiday colorway, Malamute, Isobel (hello – Isobel? You just have to get a skein of Isobel!), Black Water, and Loopy Blues. (Loopy Blues is our own exclusive Yarn Pirate colorway in honor of my love of Vera Bradley’s Java Blue pattern. I’m thinking I need socks AND a scarf knit out of this. How cool would it be to have a scarf to match my bag?) Also back in stock – String Theory and Paris from Yarn Pirate. How is a person ever supposed to finish twinless socks when the new stuff coming in is so ding-dang beautiful?? Also, just added today – Soak Wash. I love this stuff! It is biodegradable, phosphate-free, and has a wonderfully subtle scent. It’s so gentle on your fibers (and hands) that you don’t even have to rinse it out. Go check it out!

Sheri thinkingStarbucksGiftCardswouldmakenicegifts&thenIgettokeepwhatIknittedup

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