Monday, April 25, 2011

Jane's Shawl

A few weeks ago, a discussion began on Ravelry about a small shawl seen briefly in the new "Jane Eyre" movie, and the photo above. Loving the book, and loving shawls, I listened in on what became a very active discussion. It was learned that the shawl had been knit by a costume designer, with no pattern and no hints. What followed was a very descriptive discussion of the structure of the shawl. I realized that I could follow the discussion and create a pattern because the structure of the shawl was so clearly discussed and debated. Some elements were clear to me from the start - the short row shaping and short row ruffles were all things I had used in my patterns before. Other parts were a lot of experimentation and trial and error.
The shawl is small in the front and just covers the shoulder, but then extends in the back, with shaping at the shoulders that help it "stay put". The edges are soft ruffles, that widen across the back. A rustic hand spun or tweed is the perfect yarn for "Jane's Shawl".
The pattern is available in large print pdf format at Ravelry, free through Mother's Day, May 8, 2011. There is a wonderful Knit-a-long at the Jane Eyre Fans group, where you can see many beautiful needle knit interpretations of the shawl. Please contact me if you need a plain text version for your screen reader.
Jane's Shawl for the Loom $4.50 US  

Update: This pattern has been revised and now includes three different sizes. 
Copyright 2011 by Invisible Loom and Craft, Renee Van Hoy. All Rights Reserved. Personal Use Only.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tea on Tuesday

Our tea table this week will be filled with Passover baking. We started last night with the first Sedar, and all the favorite homemade cookies : Vanilla Coconut Macaroons, Chocolate Chip Macaroons, Orange Almond Macarons, and Chocolate Walnut Mandelbrot. All are in the photo above.

The second photo is the Sedar table. The main meal had our familiar favorites: Matzo Ball soup, Apple and Pecan Charosis with matzo and Matzo Muffins, a Spicy Brisket, and Carrot Tsimmes.

The last photo is the china. This is not the family china, but a wonderful second-hand find. I love the flowers on the plates. They always seem just right for a Spring celebration.

The recipe for the Coconut Macaroons is under the recipes tab, March 30, 2010.

Copyright 2011 by Invisible Loom and Craft, Renee Van Hoy. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Tea on Tuesday, and some looming on the net

Just a few fun loomings to share with you before we have tea. The Loom Class Group at yahoo groups is making a darling bunny washcloth designed by KellyKnits this week. Brenda the Loom Lady has posted her amazing "LoomChet" patterns for granny squares. Tanya at Made by Telaine has shared two more beautiful stitch patterns from her Friendly Scarf Project, (the drop seed stitch is especially nice,) and Helen at My Heart Exposed is having a one year anniversary contest, with wonderful prizes, to celebrate the first year of her fiber dying business. Happy Birthday and congratulations Helen!

Chocolate Amaretto Biscotti

Although biscotti are traditionally made crisp to dip in coffee, this softer version will be perfect on the tea table. This cookie is rich in chocolate and walnuts, and flavored with just a hint of Amaretto, with a delicious result. The biscotti can be prepared up to 4 days ahead if kept in a well sealed container between sheets of waxed paper or parchment paper.

2 cups flour

1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch processed cocoa powder

1/4 tsp. (kosher) salt

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1 cup sugar

3 large eggs

1 TBSP. vegetable oil

1 TBSP. Amaretto

1/4 tsp. vanilla

2/3 cup walnuts, chopped and lightly toasted

powdered sugar

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, walnuts and sugar. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, vanilla, oil and Amaretto. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry with a fork. Stir until a soft ball of dough is formed. With your hands, gently knead the dough a few times. Divide the dough into two portions. Shape each portion into a log about 3 inches wide and 8 inches long, and 3/4 inch thick. Place on the parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove biscotti from the oven and let stand a few minutes on the baking sheet. With a serrated knife, slice off the ends. Cut the logs into 10 slices each. Lay the slices on the parchment cut side up, and bake an additional 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool on the baking sheet. While the biscotti are still warm, roll the tops in a dish of powdered sugar.

Copyright 2011 by Invisible Loom and Craft, Renee Van Hoy. All Rights Reserved. Personal Use Only.