Friday, February 26, 2010

The Wrap Group -- Jan/Feb #5

Hi Wrappers!

How's your 5th Avenue Infinity Scarf coming? Did you finish? If so, we would love to see a picture! Since we can't all be together, we thought it would be nice to see what all the other wrappers have been working on at the end of each project.

SO... email us a picture of your 5th Avenue Infinity Scarf (in jpeg format) along with your name and the yarn information to Next week we will post a photo gallery on the blog of everyone's projects.

Also, remember that next Friday we are starting a new project! It's the One Skein-A Stole by Katja Jordan. Take a look at The Wrap Group page for more information!

Wrap On!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Protect your wools & silks from moths!

Knitting Tip #4
It's one of the things that I periodically preach about, but clothes moths will eat your yarn and sweaters. They will lay eggs in your unprotected wool, silk, and wool- and silk-blend yarns and clothing. The hatched larvae will eat your yarn and make holes in your clothing! You can get an infestation in your closets and they will get into your sweaters if you don't protect them! Think of all that lovely work gone awry... You can buy clothes moth pheromone traps that hang in your closets and interrupt the mating cycle, thus ending their horrible lives. (I wonder what IS the clothes moths purpose on earth other than to eat clothes!?) If you encounter eggs and larvae, be sure to try the traps. You'll want to treat every closet that has woolens in them, and replace the traps every 3 months for awhile. Vacuum the closet and infested areas thoroughly (can you say Yuck?) at least once every week to get the eggs and larvae out of there.

Clothes moths are attracted to human oil scents and to the smell of the wool. So an important part of caring for your finished sweaters is to wash them often in a wool wash such as Eucalan (which we love and carry in the shop). There are other good wool washes out there such as Soak and Kookaburra, but please DON'T use Woolite. It's not good for your fabrics. Remember to wash every woolen article that you've worn over the winter before storing them. I store scarves, hats, and mittens in plastic bins over the summer. You could also store your sweaters in plastic bags or bins, as well! An extra ounce of protection will save you more than you can imagine. If you have a garment that has holes in it from moths you can launder the garment and mend it, but the mending can be difficult!

Now on to your yarn closet: Keep your yarn in plastic freezer bags and/or plastic bins and store sachets made with strong scents such as lavender, cinnamon, eucalyptus, menthol, etc. in the boxes. The scents confuse clothes moths, and hide the delicious wool scent from them. Avoid moth balls as they are a pesticide that probably isn't good for you.

In Iowa we are hopefully awaiting warmer weather. In the event that it arrives I thought I would pass on advice for protecting your yarn and handknits.

Keep on knitting!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

My Olympic knitting efforts!

No, my efforts haven't been that Herculean! But I have enjoyed knitting Elizabeth Zimmermann's Baby Surprise Jacket for my Ravelympics K2-Tog Team project. It's a small project, but with working in the shop I thought that was the best I could commit to. I cast on last Friday evening during Opening Ceremonies and I'm afraid I'll be looking for another project to do by tomorrow!

I think I might work on the Stork's Nest Scarf that I started a year or so ago and found this weekend in one of my many bags of WIPs (remember how we are cleaning and organizing at our house?). I've often thought that scarf would make a wonderful "first" lace project. The pattern originally appeared in a Piecework knitting issue a couple years ago, and just reappeared in a new magazine called Knitting Traditions from Interweave Press (a compilation of previously published material). We have a stock of those magazines in the shop if you're interested. Anyway when I peeked into that bag of WIPs, the scarf just spoke to me. Really it nearly reached out and grabbed me, since it's so beautiful! I'm making mine out of cashmere, so what's not to like?

FYI, we are offering a class at the shop in March for the Baby Surprise Jacket. I think it's the perfect project for a new knitter, since there's very little finishing. If anyone is interested in taking the class you can find out more about it here.

Well, it's time to share a recipe. I have been trying to think of a good one and remembered this Spanish rice recipe that I got from a friend I worked with in Los Angeles. It tastes fairly authentic like "real" Spanish rice thus the name!

Real Spanish Rice
  • 1 cup raw white rice
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 2 T. finely chopped onion
  • Ground cumin to taste

Pour oil into pot (with a lid) and add onion. Cook onion for about a minute, then add rice and brown lightly. Stir in liquids and ground cumin to taste (I usually add a heaping teaspoon). Bring to a boil, stir once. Turn down to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand for 5 minutes. Stir and serve with your favorite Mexican dish.

Keep on knitting!

Monday, February 15, 2010


Hi, Wrappers! I just can't stop knitting wraps! The knitters who are joining me in the shop on Friday afternoons are speeding right along on their 5th Avenue scarves. Terry is doing hers in Noro Kureyon Sock yarn on size 6 needles. Kris has already finished her Noro Silk Garden 5th Avenue and is on to the next wrap!

If you are getting ready to finish your 5th Avenue Infinity Scarf, you should know that it is a good idea to bind off with a larger size needle. At least one to two sizes bigger than the needle you used on the project. Doing this helps the edge not to pull in and end up smaller than the cast on edge.

If you have any questions about it or anything else that you have run across, let me know by commenting on this blog posting and I will try my best to answer your question.

Wrap On!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My Super Bowl knitting plans

As usual on Super Bowl Sunday, we're going to be open at the shop from noon to 4:00 PM. Being open could possibly cut into my knitting time that day, but I'm planning a knitting project anyway (I just might get a free moment or two). Since I'll probably be busy, I think I'll work on a new sock, that day. I've been wanting to start a toe-up sock since they have become really popular. I've got Wendy Johnson's current book, Socks from the Toe Up, so I'll probably choose one from there. Whichever pattern I choose, I'll be sure to get started before Sunday, so I'll be done with the toe and ready to just knit the foot! That will hopefully insure that I don't make any errors!

(FYI: We still have two spaces left in our Toe-Up Sock class that Jean is teaching. She's made many toe-up socks, so I'm sure everyone will learn lots and have fun at the same time. The class begins next Tuesday, February 9 (at 6-8 PM) and concludes the following Tuesday. We do require that you've made a cuff-down sock first.)

OK, back to the party ... I'm planning to make goodies for our customers to snack on. I'm not leaking any of that information though. It's Top Secret! You'll have to come in to taste the assortment of treats that Megan, Tim, and I come up with. If you decide to come in that day, we are collecting food for the Des Moines Area food Pantry and will be collecting canned goods that day. Think of it as we'll feed you and you can help feed the homeless right in our community.
Suggested Donation List:
  • Baby Formula and Cereal
  • Canned Fruits or Vegetables
  • Canned Meals (stews, hash, chili, ravioli)
  • Canned Meats or Fish
  • Canned Spaghetti Sauce (no glass jars!)
  • Cold/Hot Cereal
  • Dry Pasta
  • Hamburger or Tuna Helpers
  • Juice (no glass jars!)
  • Peanut Butter
  • Plain White Rice
  • Saltines
I wanted to give you one of my favorite recipes, and thought I might divulge an appetizer for Super Bowl Sunday, but then you might know what I'm making. Sorry! The recipe I chose is for a delicious, HEALTHY breakfast shake. I love this and have made it in my smoothie maker, but you can also make it in a blender.

  • 1 ripe banana, frozen ahead
  • 2 T. wheat germ
  • 1 T. orange juice concentrate
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
Place all ingredients in blender or smoothie maker and blend until smooth and serve. Try adding other fresh fruits in season (berries, peaches, pineapples, etc.).

Happy knitting!

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Wrap Group -- Jan/Feb #3

Wrappers! How's it going? I couldn't resist finishing my 4th 5th Avenue. Now, I may have to make a 5th just to be able to say "5th 5th Avenue!" Welcome to several of you who've recently joined us. There's no make up or anything. Just knit along at will. Here is a photo of my finished 4th 5th Avenue, knit in Malabrigo Twist Worsted Velvet Grapes.

If you've excitedly finished the 5th Avenue, here's a bonus pattern to try. It's Student Bank Account, by Artemis Adornments, available on Ravelry and here. I gathered up a bunch of yarns and was inspired to do something spring-like (surprise, given our awful weather!) So I've put a bunch of Cascade 220 Superwash together with some odds and ends to have a wonderful, colorful wrap. But you can use any yarns and colors that you like!!

Just post a comment if you have any questions. I'll try my best to help...

Wrap On!