Home from the Snowy Midwest

yarn_table_lorezBrrrrrr.  I might have mentioned that I really like cold, snowy, blowy weather. And that’s true.  But I’ll tell you, it was really tested this past weekend. (Not the snow – one can never have too much snow.) We spent a few days with our friends in Iowa, where they had just gotten a 13″ snowfall the night before. It was beautiful!  But what really tested my “I love cold weather” mentality, was the freezing cold.  On Sunday, the wind chills dropped to minus 30 degrees.  (Minus. Thirty. Degrees. As in below zero.  As in really really cold.)  We all took that as a sign that we were meant to stay in and knit and play games and drink coffee and cozy up by the fire. There were five of us knitting (me, Knitting Daughter, Janice, her Knitting Daughter, and her Knitting Daughter-in-law).  The guys joined in on the games and the hanging out, but none of them are knitters. Go figure. We didn’t actually sit around the table and knit, because it was far more comfortable to sit on the couches and enjoy the fire.  But this photo will give you an idea of the projects we were working on.  All scarves. We had a great weekend.

Another thing that we enjoyed – Janice’s Tea Rings. Notice that “Rings” is plural.  That’s because there were 9 of us there and every time she pulled one out of the oven, it was instantly devoured.  She, being the good sport that she is, made another one Saturday night, and a third one on Sunday.  Does she spoil us, or what??  You’re definitely going to want to make one (or two or three) of these this week.  That gooey cinnamon and the sticky frosting are just as wonderful as they look in the photo.

tea_ringJanice’s Tea Ring

* Dissolve 2 pkgs. yeast in 1/2 cup warm water (add 1 Tbsp. sugar to feed the yeast)
Let sit 5-10 minutes.

In the meantime:

Put in Cusinart/Kitchen Aid bowl: (referred to as mixer in recipe)
4 1/2 cups flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt

Mix in another bowl:
1 cup milk
1/4 cup melted shortening (not oil)
1 egg

1. Add yeast mixture to milk mixture and stir.
2. With mixer on, slowly pour the liquid into the flour mixture.
3. Let the mixer knead the dough for 5 minutes or so. (Check the dough periodically and if too sticky add a Tbsp of flour at a time until you have a nice dough.)
4. Knead on counter a few minutes.
5. Place in a lightly greased bowl and let rise until double.

* Note – you can also make this in a bread machine, adding the ingredients in the order listed, and let it go through the first rise cycle.  Then continue on with #6 in the instructions.

6. Roll dough out into a rectangle.
7. Spread with 1/4 cup melted butter and sprinkle generously with a cinnamon sugar mixture. (A little over 1/2 cup)
8. Roll up. Form a horseshoe and cut the dough every inch or so, but not quite all the way through. (I first cut off the ends and put in a separate pan for rolls)
9. Bring the dough together in a circle (on greased cookie sheet, or pie dripping pan) flipping each section on its side until it comes together.
10. Let rise again
11. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. (time varies a bit by oven…you don’t want it doughy)
12. Frost with powder sugar frosting.


1 1/2 cups powder sugar
6 tsp. milk
1/4 tsp vanilla

Mix all together. Add additional milk tsp. at a time.

(Note – an even easier base recipe for this, when using a bread machine, is Janice’s White Roll Recipe, found here.  Then just follow directions 6-10.)

Thank you for all of your comments on Friday’s Random Acts of Kindness report-in! The winner last week (by random number generator) is Lisa from Missouri.  (Lisa, I emailed you!) Our last contest runs this week, with reporting in on Friday.  I hope you all have a fun time finding something to do that will bless others again this week.

Since this week is a holiday week, we will be taking a couple of days off to enjoy time with our families. We’ll be off on Wednesday afternoon, all day Thursday and Friday. (That means there won’t be any in-person shopping hours here this week, or on New Year’s Day, but of course the online shopping goes on 24/7!) We’ll do our last Sneak Up of 2008 on Friday or Saturday, and we’ll be in on Monday of next week to start getting all of those orders out to you. I know that a LOT of you will have Loopy Ewe Gift Certificates burning a hole in your pocket by then!

Sheri it’s21degreeshereanditfeelslikeaminiheatwaveafterthisweekend


  1. I like the earthy tones of all th knitting that was had. I live over in Illinois and I don’t think I’ve ever been in the kind of cold weather we just had.

    Have a wonderful time off. 🙂

  2. Am I first????

    Merry Christmas. Glad you are home and warm, it’s FREEZING here in Minnesota!! Great for knitting inside though.

    Enjoy your days off with the family and have a great holiday. Thanks for a great year and many more to come!!! Let’s hope I have a gift certificate for Christmas, either way, I’m shopping once the holidays pass. 🙂


  3. Glad you made it back and forth in one piece. We have been complaining that it is cold here in So Cal. Saturday morning it was cold enough that there was frost on the roofs in our neighborhood about 12 miles inland from Laguna Beach. It is an unusually cold and wet December for us, but it is a good excuse to wear all my scarves and hats that are not necessary very often. According to our weather forecast, Santa will be getting wet out here.
    Have a wonderful holiday with all your families!

  4. Sheri,
    Aside from the common colors of your knitting, I noticed that it looks like all of you knit continental style! I took a lesson a few weeks ago to learn to knit holding the yarn in my left hand and it’s really not that hard; my challenge is getting the tension right…any suggestions?

    Hope you have a Merry Christmas!!
    P.S. my husband changed the background on our computer to the Loopy Ewe banner…I wonder if that means something?!

  5. Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all who read this.

    I’m finished with my holiday knitting and will photo last mitts this afternoon. I hope to make amends with Lindy, my spinning wheel, who has been neglected the last two weeks.

    Wonder if Janice would bake me a ring and send it to NC. I stopped at dissolving the yeast…

  6. I wondered if I would be the only one to notice you all knit continental!LOL It sounds like you guys had a wonderful trip, even though it was soooo cold, but what a better excuse to have a knit-in! Hope you and yours have a very merry Christmas!

  7. Merry Christmas! Happy Hannaka! And Eid, and Kwanza, and any other festive occassion that is coming up, or occurring, or has recently occurred. Throw another log on the fire! Celebrate everything you can think of! That’s my strategy for getting through this cold, dark and snowy time of year. Time to go shovel the lastest delivery of snow, more is due tomorrow! Ho! Ho! Ho!

  8. Ok, what Sheri didn’t tell you is that I cheated on these Tea Rings and used my White Roll Bread Machine recipe (found here: http://jarladysrecipes.blogspot.com/2007/08/white-rolls.html) and then started at #6 of the directions. Unfortunately, this does NOT make an extra little pan of rolls, which my family is not very happy about. But it is an easier version…..

    Yes, we all knit continental style 🙂 All basically taught by Sheri. And who doesn’t want to be like Sheri???

  9. Thanks for sharing the recipe, I will definitely give it a try. My DH has a severe weakness for treats of that ilk.
    It has been bitterly cold here in Chicago, I didn’t leave the house on Sunday. I spent the day trying to finish my holiday knitting! Now it’s snowing again, but at least the temperature is above 0 now.
    Happy Holidays Loopy Central!

  10. I like that scarf and yarn that’s setting about 7:00 in your photo.

    We’re expecting temps in the upper 60’s to low 70’s here in San Angelo, Texas for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. That’s better than having bad weather, but it would be nice it if it was cold enough for a fire in the fireplace.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!

  11. I’m incredibly disappointed that we haven’t gotten any snow in my area (Pittsburgh). We’ve gotten the bitter cold, but no snow. And there’s none in the forecast. Rats.

    Glad you enjoyed your trip, and Happy Holidays to you and all of the Loopy Elves!

  12. That sounds like such a lovely weekend, with Janice and all of your families (and I enjoyed seeing your picture on Janice’s blog!) It reminded me of the time we spent knitting together at the Fling.
    The tea ring looks so yummy that I am going to make it tomorrow for my daughters’ annual dolls’ Christmas party. I always make something special for the party and they will LOVE this.
    Hope you have a wonderful Christmas holiday!

  13. Merry Christmas to you and your family! And, to the Loopy Elves and their families.! So glad you enjoyed your trip. Sounds wonderful! : ) It is cold out there – maybe not quite that cold here, but it’s been much colder than I’m used to now that I’m in Kansas to visit my family.

    I’ve been walking my mom’s dog for her. She doesn’t like the cold weather at all and I like to give her a break when I’m home from having to go out for the daily dog walks. : )

    Take care and enjoy the time off! : )

  14. The tea ring looks gorgeous! It also looks like cutting it into rolls and letting rise in the fridge overnight would also work (I have a brunch to go to Christmas day, and this looks like the perfect thing to bring)!

    I’m not sure that it got quite that cold where I am (Boston area), but I am a knitter without mittens or gloves so it feels super cold! I have a ton of pictures of the snow we got for when it turns grey and slushy. I always like it best when it is pristine and brilliant white.

  15. Yes, it is beyond cold up here in Wisconsin too. A way of life, I guess.
    It’s funny, I noticed you’all hold your yarn the same way in the knitting photo. I’m a thrower, myself. What a cool photo. You should have it framed for TLE shop.
    Janice’s tea ring looks yummy, but when I see the word “yeast” in a recipe, that’s where I stop. I’m afraid something won’t go right with getting it the right temperature, and it’ll be a flop.

    You and Your Family enjoy the quiet Holiday. Merry Christmas to the Elves also.

  16. Here in Montana we just went through a week of sub-zero temps. I think the lowest overnight low was -19. It’s supposed to warm up a bit over the weekend. Yeah, I’m getting sick of it, but I do love an excuse to stay inside and knit, knit, knit. You’ve inspired me to start a new scarf. Have a wonderful Christmas!

  17. love seeing all the knitting hands that is a great picture.
    We were at 3 degrees this weekend not sure what it was with the windchill factored in . It is supposed to be much warmer the next few days though.

    Glad you had a nice visit with Janice. I am going to have to make that Tea Ring.

  18. A very Merry Christmas to you and your family and your elves! Happy New Year and thank you for making 2008 happy in so many ways for all of us! 🙂 Enjoy having all the kids home—-love having mine here !!

  19. Merry Christmas Sheri and all your Loopy elves!

    I love the “all hands knitting” photo 🙂 And Janice must love you a LOT to make that recipe multiple times.

  20. The Loopy Ewe gave me a wonderful early Christmas gift. I became a Loopy Groupie and beside my beautiful skein of Bugga I received a box of wonderful goodies. Thank you, Sheri, and have a wonderful holiday!

  21. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and all of the Elves…and your families, too! I love the blog photo of the hands of the knitters and their scarves.

  22. I see that there are 4 out of the 5 knitters that use the left hand to hold their yarn.
    Who is the lonely one that threws their yarn? I live south of Cedar Falls, in Iowa City.
    So I never went out in the cold last weekend either.
    Merry Christmas

  23. February contest — Why do I knit and will I always knit.

    I knit because I love it, because it’s relaxing, because it’s makes more creative than I really am, because it allows me to create something myself and it has become part of who I am in a relatively short time.

    I will always knit. Sometimes at the ripe old age of 50 I think — how many more years of knitting can I look forward — not years of life– just years knitting. In Yoga I learned that life is measured by breaths not years — so is a knitter’s life measure in stitches?


    Cheryl Ahola

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