September 2012


My youngest loves Domo-kun, or at least she did last year. Anyway, I made this one out of a super fuzzy yarn–maybe Angel Soft? Ah, yes, Jo-Ann Sensations Angel Hair yarn in Dark Brown. I wasn’t thrilled with the way the black cotton eyes disappeared in all that fuzziness, but Aja was 🙂

  • Size 8 needles and double point needles
  • Yarn needle (big, dull point)
  • 4 colors of yarn (small ball of main color; bits of red, black, and white)

Abbreviations:

MC = main color (brown)
EC = eye color (black)
TC = teeth color (white)
RED = red (mouth color)
S1 = slip one stitch as if to purl
P = purl (with main color)
K = knit (with main color)
ECP (or TCP or REDP) = purl with specified color
ECK (or TCK or REDK) = knit with specified color
CO = cast on (long tail cast on makes a nice edge)
DPN = double point needles
BO = bind off (for a stretchy one, *K2tog, slip back to left needle* repeat to end)

Notes: With intarsia, you make separate bobbins of yarn for each color block (even the same color in different places in a row) so that you don’t have to carry long strands of yarn across in back. In this pattern, we’ll make the following bobbins, but will carry the HC across between the lobes of the top of the heart:

  • about the mass of a baby carrot with TC x 2
  • about the mass of a golf ball with RED
  • about the mass of a baby carrot with EC x 2

We’re slipping the first stitch of every row to make a nice edge for our side seams.

Video tips:

How to make a center-pull bobbin
How to do a long-tail cast on
How to add a color and change colors
How to K2tog (only we’re passing it back to the left needle for our bind off)
How to do side seams
How to make an i-cord

CO: 17 stitches (for a wide phone) using long tail cast on
Row 1: S1, K16
Row 2: S1, P16
Row 3: row 1
Row 4: row 2
Row 5: S1, K3, ECK2, K5, ECK2, K4
Row 6: S1, P3, ECP2, P5, ECP2, P4
Row 7: row 5
Row 8: row 2
Row 9: row 1
Row 10: S1, P3, TCP9, P4
Row 11: S1, K3, TCK9, K4
Row 12: S1, P3, REDP1, TCP1, REDP1, TCP1, REDP1, TCP1, REDP1, TCP1, REDP1, P4
Row 13: S1, K3, REDK9, K4
Row 14: S1, P3, REDP9, P4
Row 15: row 13
Row 16: row 14
Row 17: S1, K3, REDK1, TCK1, REDK1, TCK1, REDK1, TCK1, REDK1, TCK1, REDK1, K4
Row 18: row 10
Row 19: row 11
All even rows 20 to 40: S1, P16
All odd rows 21 to 39: S1, K16

(Try wrapping a cell phone in it to see how long you need it to be.)

BO, leaving a long tail.

To make the arms (make 2):

  1. On DPN, CO 5 stitches.
  2. Make an i-cord for one and a half inches.
  3. Knit 3, yarn-over, and knit to the end (6 stitches)
  4. Knit a couple more rows of i-cord, and yarn over in the middle of another row for 7 stitches.
  5. Make another inch of i-cord.
  6. Bind off.

To make the legs (make 2):

  1. On DPN, CO 10 stitches.
  2. Make an i-cord for two inches.
  3. Bind off.

To make the necklace braid (not shown in image):

  1. Cut 6 strands of yarn 40” long.
  2. Bundle the strands together and tie a knot in one end.
  3. Secure the knotted end (or make your kid hold it).
  4. Separate strands into 3 pairs and braid to the other end.
  5. Knot the end.

To assemble:

  1. Fold the long rectangle in half, uncurling the edges and pressing them together.
  2. Thread the long tail onto your yarn needle and, starting at the top corner, sew the edges together on one side.
  3. When you reach the bottom, put the needle through to the inside, and weave the yarn through stitches to the other side.
  4. Sew the edges together up the other side.
  5. Sew one end of the braid to each top corner of the pouch.
  6. Sew arms on sides of pouch.
  7. Sew legs on bottom edge of pouch.
  8. Weave in all ends and trim braid ends if necessary.

Okay, some caveats here. I don’t like to work from charts, so I sat down and wrote out the pattern for my whole chart. To make the chart, I used this handy dandy grid generator from knitPro 2.0: http://www.microrevolt.org/knitPro/. You can upload a picture and have it spit out a grid!

Also, this is my first attempt at writing a pattern. I hope it’s clear!

  • Size 8 needles
  • Yarn needle (big, dull point)
  • 2 colors of yarn (small ball)

I used Lily Sugar ‘n Cream cotton, but I think any worsted weight yarn would work.

Abbreviations:

MC = main color
SC = skull color
S1 = slip one stitch as if to purl
P = purl (with main color)
K = knit (with main color)
SCP = purl with skull color
SCK = knit with skull color
CO = cast on (long tail cast on makes a nice edge)
BO = bind off (for a stretchy one, *K2tog, slip back to left needle* repeat to end)

Notes: With intarsia, you make separate bobbins of yarn for each color block (even the same color in different places in a row) so that you don’t have to carry long strands of yarn across in back. In this pattern, we’ll make the following bobbins:

  • about the mass of a tangerine with SC x 2
  • about the mass of a baby carrot with MC x 4
  • about the mass of a baseball with MC

We’re slipping the first stitch of every row to make a nice edge for the side seams.

Video tips:

How to make a center-pull bobbin
How to do a long-tail cast on
How to add a color and change colors
How to K2tog (only we’re passing it back to the left needle for our bind off)
How to do side seams

Rows 1 and 3: S1, K14
Rows 2: S1, P14
Row 4: S1, P4, SCP5, P5
Row 5: S1, K3, SCK7, K4
Row 6: S1, P2, SCP9, P3
Row 7: S1, K1, SCK11, K2
Row 8: S1, P1, SCP11, P2
Row 9: S1, SCK13, K1
Row 10: S1, SCP13, P1
Row 11: S1, SCK13, K1
Row 12: S1, SCP13, P1
Row 13: S1, SCK2, K2, SCK5, K2, SCK2, K1
Row 14: S1, SCP1, P4, SCP3, P4, SCP1, P1
Row 15: S1, SCK1, K4, SCK3, K4, SCK1, K1
Row 16: S1, SCP1, P4, SCP3, P4, SCP1, P1
Row 17: S1, SCK1, K4, SCK3, K4, SCK1, K1
Row 18: S1, SCP2, P2, SCP2, P1, SCP2, P2, SCP2, P1
Row 19: S1, SCK6, K1, SCK6, K1
Row 20: S1, P1, SCP4, P3, SCP4, P2
Row 21: S1, K2, SCK3, K3, SCK3, K3
Row 22: S1, P1, SCP11, P2
Row 23: S1, K1, SCK1, K1, SCK7, K1, KCK1, K2
Row 24: S1, P1, SCP1, P9, SCP1, P2
Row 25: S1, K1, SCK1, K9, SCK1, K2
Row 26: S1, P1, SCP2, P7, SCP2, P2
Row 27: S1, K2, SCK2, K5, SCK2, K3
Row 28: S1, P3, SCP7, P4
Row 29: S1, K3, SCK7, K4
Row 30: S1, P4, SCP5, P5
All odd rows 31 to 65: S1, K14
All even rows 32 to 66: S1, P14

(Try wrapping a cell phone in it to see how long you need it to be.)

BO, leaving a long tail.

To make the necklace braid:

  1. Cut 6 strands of yarn 40” long.
  2. Bundle the strands together and tie a knot in one end.
  3. Secure the knotted end (or make your kid hold it).
  4. Separate strands into 3 pairs and braid to the other end.
  5. Knot the end.

To assemble:

  1. Fold the long rectangle in half, uncurling the edges and pressing them together.
  2. Thread the long tail onto your yarn needle and, starting at the top corner, sew the edges together on one side.
  3. When you reach the bottom, put the needle through to the inside, and weave the yarn through stitches to the other side.
  4. Sew the edges together up the other side.
  5. Sew one end of the braid to each top corner of the pouch.
  6. Weave in all ends and trim braid ends if necessary.

So I’ve finally managed to cook something that both of my kids will eat, and that grownups will also eat. The first time I made it with this much crushed red pepper, I thought for sure that the kids wouldn’t eat it, but that’s apparently what makes it good!

*edited down the amount of spices–i eyeballed the measurements this time and found that even 1+ tablespoon made it pretty darned spicy!

Ingredients

  • 1 box of lasagna noodles
  • 1 15 oz. tub of ricotta cheese
  • about 2 teaspoons+ of crushed red pepper
  • about 1 teaspoon+ of dried oregano
  • about 1 teaspoon of dried basil
  • 2 jars of spaghetti sauce
  • 2 8 oz. bags of shredded Italian blend cheese
  • 1 8 oz. ball of fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1 5 oz. tub of shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 5 oz. tub of shredded romano cheese

Some Assembly Required

  1. In a roughly cauldron-sized pot, boil the lasagna noodles according to the package directions minus one minute.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, dump the tub of ricotta, and then shake on about ten times as much crushed red pepper as you think would be good. Seriously! Shake it on until you can no longer see any white! It seems like too much, but add a little more.
  3. Shake out a tablespoon plus a bit more of dried oregano into your palm, and then use your fingers to crush it over the ricotta. This releases more of the flavor.
  4. Do the same with the basil, but maybe a little less so the oregano can make it all Italiany.
  5. Stir the pepper flakes and herbs until they’re blended into the ricotta so that it looks like this. (See? Told you it could take a lot of crushed red pepper!)

  1. Drain the noodles and leave them in a strainer to cool until you can handle them.
  2. In a rectangular baking pan (9″ x 13″?), pour about a half a cup of spaghetti sauce, then tilt the pan around until it coats the bottom. This keeps the noodles from sticking to it.
  3. Lay out three lasagna noodles–they should just fit side-by-side. (This pan’s a little big–Mom gave me the “official” lasagna pan to use instead of the cake pan I’d been using.)
  4. Plop a heaping tablespoon of the ricotta mixture on one of the noodles, and, anchoring the near end of the noodle with a finger, spread it down the length of the noodle. It doesn’t need to be very thick, as we’ll have a bunch of layers. Repeat for the other two noodles.

    

  1. Sprinkle on a layer of the Italian shredded cheese mix (five or six cheese blend–usually includes several of the other cheeses we’re adding–hence the name of the recipe) until you have the ricotta pretty well covered, like this.

  1. Sprinkle on a thin layer of the shredded parmesan and another of the shredded romano cheese. This layer’s a lot thinner than the previous cheese layer.

  1. Spoon on some sauce. I do a couple of tablespoons down each noodle, and another tablespoon between each of those lines, then spread it out with the back of the spoon. If the cheese sticks to the spoon a lot, you need a little more sauce.

    

  1. Repeat each of these layers until you run out of noodles.
  2. On the top layer, after you add the sauce, slice up the ball of fresh mozzarella, and lay the slices on top of the whole lasagna.

  

  1. Cover with foil and bake at 350F for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes.

Let it cool for at least ten minutes before cutting and serving.