Sneak Ups and COLORS!

DSC00823.JPGThanks for all of your interesting comments about the Sneak Up this week. (And thank you to soooo many of you who sent me the very sweetest emails. I really appreciate you!) I thought today would be a good day to address some of the thoughts on it all. (And then we have some fun new website features to tell you about!) I didn’t have any photos to put in today, so you get my “flowers in Colorado with Sheri’s head shadow” shot. 🙂

– Yes, the Wollmeise went quickly. But remember, we knew that it would. Also, remember that we will have more in a few weeks, and very regularly after that. You will have the opportunity to get it often. (So how many skeins of Wollmeise did I keep for myself? Well, you know that I used one to knit a pair of socks. Then I took one other one. That’s it. But I do plan to take a couple of skeins with each order that comes in, because I like this yarn just that much.)

– I totally understand those of you who would like us to limit purchases in the Sneak Ups. Really, I do. I wouldn’t want to be missing out on anything good, either! (Of course I’m just the kind of person who would also set an alarm to get up and check on whether or not something was happening if I was waiting for a particular yarn, but I probably shouldn’t admit that.) The only thing that we have limited here are the Loopy/Louise/Bart stitchmarkers, simply because they are so few and far between. So we set the limit at 2 sets per person. I want everyone to feel welcome and appreciated here, whether they buy one skein, or 20 skeins. I think that if we put limits on it, the “20 skein” people would not feel so welcome and appreciated. I will say that no one is buying in massive quantities to re-sell to friends, relatives and strangers. You all are just generally buying things to add to your own collection – and that’s great. Some of you collect skeins in every colorway. How fun is that? Others of you buy one or two from each line so that you have a great representation of all the different yarns. Still others pick and choose and appear to be very disciplined, and I’m still trying to figure you out. How DO you do that, when confronted with so much beautiful sock yarn? 🙂 In order to continue to be welcoming and appreciative to all, we won’t limit your purchases, but we WILL continue to schedule regular and frequent and large orders from all of our yarn companies. If you don’t get something this time, we promise to do everything we can to have it here for you again as soon as possible.

– Timing for the Sneak Ups – let’s just say it will be every Wednesday night at 8 pm Central, ok? That would work best for me and then you don’t have to be stressed and wonder when it is. (Oh. Wait. We can’t do that, can we? That’s what made Loopy roll over, and caused the whole Sneak Up thing to start in the first place. Dang.) Ok – we’ll continue to mix up the times and days and will try to make everyone happy, one week or another. I DO think that I’ll have Web Guy build in an automatic “release” for me, so that I can set the time and go to bed and not try to wake up at 3:30 in the morning any more.

– “Losing” things from your cart. Yes, it’s true – it’s not “yours” until you have clicked through with your payment. At that point, it is taken from our online inventory and no one else can have your skein. That’s just the way these things work. But we have a new warning system in place for you, which might help. (See below.)

Now the fun stuff. Web Guy has been working hard this summer, and here are the latest website features to show for it:

1) Colors!! Consider it “beta” at the momen, meaning try it out all you want…but let us know when/if you find a bug or how we can improve it. Paint yourself a skein by adding and subtracting different colors in your combinations to find out how many color combos you like. We’re still experimenting with the system, but we have about 400 of our items on there so far for you to color with. For example, when I click on one of the reds, I get these choices. Then I can click on any of the other dots to see red WITH something else. So if I then click on green, it narrows it down to this. It’s way too fun to play with.

2) “New” product icon. Whenever you encounter a product that’s been added within the last week to our store…we now have a little orange “NEW” icon that shows up after it’s name

3) Easier shopping cart additions. When adding an item while you’re browsing the store…you don’t even have to change pages anymore. When you click the “Add to Cart” a little popup will come up alerting you about the new item in your cart. (Check out the What’s New page. See the “add to cart” on each product box? Now you can shop directly from there on Sneak Up nights if you need to!)

4) Wishlists!! Err…not yet. Still working on it.

5) Popular shopping cart items. In an effort to soothe the frustrated (a.k.a. the “distressed people”), we’ll now highlight when an item that you have in your shopping cart is popular. So, for example…if you have a skein of Yarntini in your cart during the next Sneak Up, it will check to see how many others have the same idea. If more people have it in their carts than we have in stock, we’ll add the little orange message to your item. So if you see a little orange “Popular item right now” line by an item in your cart, you probably want to skedaddle your way through and complete the Checkout process. Yes, skedaddle.

So – what do you think about the new features? Fun, eh? 🙂

Sheri hopingtogetsomegoodknittingtimeinthisweekend.ImustfinishmySockapaloozaPal’ssocks!

87 comments

  1. Wow, Sheri. It sounds like you’ve been taking some heat the last few days. But don’t get discouraged. I’m sure I speak for many out there who LOVE shopping with you, the unbelievable service, the personal attention…what’s not to love?? Personally, I think the random sneak-up is the most fair way to make new items available to everyone, but that’s just my opinion. I’m sure there are some who would disagree. Also love the new additions to the website – new yarn pics, the cute little shopping cart, etc. Looks like College Guy has been busy! The “popular item right now” message is a great idea. Now we can’t say we weren’t warned. : )

    Anyway, keep up the good work. Your site is fun, looks great, and is very user friendly…my favorite place to shop for yarn.

    Have a great weekend everyone.

  2. Oh my God….The new features are wonderful!!! I love the “color” feature. I’m going to be playing with that feature like crazy. 🙂 College Guy is doing a fantastic job on this site. You do such a great job of keeping everyone happy AND providing wonderful service. Kristi

  3. Thanks for all the new features–I love the color idea (and as a former “web person” I appreciate all the work your son has done).

    I wish I could participate in a sneak-up–people act like everyone knows when they will be, but I miss the secret signal and have never even seen some of the yarns. Wah. Oh well, I will continue to shop from the dregs of what the “cool people” leave. They are still very lovely dregs.

    You are doing just great for all your very loyal customers!

  4. Sheri, you’re doing a wonderful job. I’ve heard some of the complaints about your sneak-up method, but I agree with you – it’s really the only fair way to go. I guess in the past I’ve just been lucky and have caught most of the sneak-ups-in-progress without getting the Loopy Groupy emails.

    I really like the Popular item feature. Brilliant!

  5. Sorry about the whiners or the furious. I think it’s a little ridiculous that The Whiners think others who got up earlier or shopped faster should be denied so that The Whiners may shop in peace and luxury. (Maybe it’s karma that they don’t get the yarns they want…)
    I myself missed out on a couple of purchases, but I chuckled to myself, thought, “Hooray for a small shop that is soooo successful!” and found some other lovelies that I was able to purchase. Thanks for doing such a great job – it’s your service and selection that make us all jump through hoops to get in and get shoppin’!

  6. I love the new features. College guy is doing a fantastic job feeding the needs of us yarn junkies.

    I think there is a chance that the prediction that we might not get our skein might cause people to place several orders from the same sneak up rather than run the risk of cart jumpers. And not that I would ever do that…. alright so there was that one day with a few orders.

    Do you think an indication of how many skeins are in stock would help or do the new yarns fly off fast enough that it wouldn’t help? No one knows the Ewe quite like you.

    And for the color wheel… my favorite colors are telling me that I need RG Bamboo 1066. Very nifty!

  7. Sheri, I totally agree with you about not limiting what is in people’s carts. There is something kind of socialist about that to me. Also, I think all the thinks your son does for the store are amazing. He is obviously very talented and I think this is a huge resume builder for him. Keep up the great work. 🙂

  8. WEBGUY ROCKS! Love all the new features over at the Ewe. The color thing is amazing. Thanks again to you and your family for working so hard to make all of us yarn hoarders happy!

  9. Sheri, I love everything about the Loopy and as far as the “sneak-ups” at 3:30 in the a.m. , I think it is a very good thing to do. The minor limitations of the “sneak-ups”are the only thing that keep those among us that have no fiscal responsibility from going completely over the edge.

  10. Hey Sheri – I love the new features…Your kiddo has definitely been busy! I’m gonna play tonight after work with the colors feature – How fun! I think the sneak-ups are great and a fair way to give everyone an equal shot at their coveted yarn at one time or another. I am glad to hear College Guy could set it up where you don’t have to get up in the middle of the night to launch sneak-ups if that is when you choose to do it – You are gonna need your rest on sneak-up day to get all those orders out!

    I just have to say a big thanks for being my favorite place for sock yarns – So glad I found Loopy Ewe!!

    Laurie

  11. Awesome features!! And I hate it if you’re getting beat up on – I’m always happy to take my chances, and I appreciate a gazillion times over how hard you work and all the odd hours you keep in order to keep us on our toes, keep us happy, and most importantly, keep us well-socked! *hug*

  12. How do I remain disciplined when you have so many beautiful new yarns? Simple. I don’t have a job yet (a summer job would take away from my knitting time!), so I rely on an allowance to buy sock yarn. HOWEVER, if I had a credit card, I would get into a LOT of trouble here. 🙂

    And I absolutely LOVE the new color feature! It’s so awesome!

  13. The new features are great! You really are customer focused! Regarding the Sneak Ups, I agree that no limits be set, especially since you know no one is hoarding. Can there be a message that tells me when a skein flies out of my cart, so I know I’ve lost it? Will Sneak Ups always be in the middle of the night? How about in the evening?

    My compliments to your photographer and web site designer/engineer. Your site is truly a great place to shop!

  14. My way of staying disciplined is to first decide how many skeins I can afford to acquire in a sneak-up. Then I peruse the lot and decide which colors absolutely sing to me. Then I purchase the ones that keep calling me back. However, this process can be nerve-wracking when you’re afraid of someone else swiping it out of your cart! Oh, well, the competition is what makes it fun. I have yet to get my hands on any Yarntini. That’s going to be my target for the next sneak-up. I’m glad you decided to keep the sneak-ups random. If you schedule a specific time, there will always be some who can’t shop at that time. I think the random events are actually the most fair to everyone. Can you even believe how crazily obsessed we sock-knitters are?

  15. You go Sheri and Web Guy! Those features sound really cool. And I’m one of those who is very disciplined. I’ll tell you the secret, a very t-i-g-h-t budget. Works like magic! 😛

    And you go lady with your massive sneak ups and for having a great site. For every one person who is miffed, there are probably ten who are laid back and think you still rock the hardest no matter how many times we miss out on something. Thanks for doing what you do and for doing it so well. 😀

  16. Any chance of adding a “color minus” feature?

    I’d love to be able to exclude a color from the search. Personally, I can’t stand pink, but it gets mixed into a lot of otherwise nice combos. I’d like to be able to choose Orange/Yellow, or Blue/Violet, but no Pink.

  17. Your customer service is definitely what makes you stand out online as a great place to shop! I love all of your new additions to the site, and had one question… during a sneak-up, if you are tempted to place several orders to secure the yarn, can the shipping costs and packages be consolidated on the back end?

    Thanks again, can’t wait until next week!

  18. Wow, oh wow…I am soooo impressed. Sheri, you and Web Guy just get better and better! Every little tweak is a great improvement, and enables rabid shoppers (like myself) to fall in love with even more beautiful yarn! You guys rock!

    I’m so sorry that the Furious Whiners went over-the-top with this past sneak up. Isn’t there an old saying about “you can please some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all the people all the time”….I think that’s true no matter what kind of service anyone provides. Believe me, it’s certainly true in the old ER! You are providing a truly WONDERFUL shopping experience to the sock-yarn-addicts-of-the-world, and I can’t imagine how you could make it better, but you and Web Guy and WH and KD and Susan seem to find even more little ways. Keep up the fantastic work! We soooo appreciate it!

    And now I shall sit back and wait, cause I know my Wollmeise will be here in today’s mail!

  19. Also…I have just spent the past couple of days entering my yarn stash into a lovely program called “Needle-Trax”. Great way to inventory my shopping/knitting obsession. Anyone else out there tried it?

  20. Great ideas!

    Maybe I missed this, but do there have to be sneak up’s at all? Could things just be put on the site as they come in? That way, everyday is a surprise? There wouldn’t be a build up of site stalkers(self included!) and you could spread out your heavy mail days?

    Just a thought. I think the Loopy is the best. It is my favorite place to shop! keep up the great work!!!!!

  21. Hi Sheri,

    The additions all sound fantastic (thank you Web Guy – you’re wonderful)! I like the idea of a “popular item” notification, and less page clicks to add items sounds good too. I think you’ve done a fabulous job with the current method of Sneak Up – the variations mean all of us get a chance at some point. I have missed out on one round and scored – Big Time 🙂 – the next. As someone above mentioned, another buyers’ luck saves my bank account. (I think I’ll soon need an “Extreme Loopie” category all to myself). To all of the Whiners and the Furious – get a life – and may all your stash turn into Phentex!!

    KarinWhoIsPracticingFingerClicksForNextSneakUp:)

  22. Sheri: I can see you have put a lot of thought into the new features – you are a clever girl (and web guy needs a big hug from all of us). We are all yarn freaks, and that’s the way of the world, sometimes you win the yarn and sometimes you don’t, but hopefully there will always be a next time. You are still the best online LYS (at least in this country, don’t want Connie to cut me off), and I am so glad that while browsing one day last autumn I found you.

    Hugs

  23. Great new features. I love the Colors! Now I am feeling the lure of autumn colours coming back and I can find just what I want. All of those reds, browns and oranges are looking very tempting.
    As for all the Sneak Up concerns, now that I have been hanging around at TLE for several months, I know that if you say it will be back it will, and you’ll do what you can to make sure we always get what we want. You’re the greatest, Sheri!
    Well, after all that stress, Loopy needs a little rest so he’s coming up to the cottage with us for a week, where there are no computers, email, internet etc. He’s just going to hang out by the lake and maybe catch up on a little knitting…maybe he’ll send back some pictures.

  24. Sheri,
    You have the best website I have ever been on. It is constantly improving. The color pallette is so cool! What a great idea! Hope you are enjoying some cooler weather out there. We had some lovely rain yesterday to cool things off–very nice.
    Working on my sock club socks now after finishing the CTH Serengetti socks for my daughter. Always fun! Enjoy!

  25. I rember the days of being sad about Sneak Ups… I just kept ordering until I became a Groupie and now I get the magical notification emails. It is awfully nice of you to have the Loopy Groupie counter set at number of orders and not amount spent; I think it makes it more fair for people who can only buy a little at a time, but who are loyal. Yay for me – I paid off my car yesterday. Guess what the first thing I did today was? Yep, buy congratulatory sock yarn.

  26. hi sheri. web guy has done a wonderful job adding these new features. i certainly had to go right there and try that color browsing. loved seeing all the purple choices pop right up! ( : i think all of the added features to your website, will much appreciated by all your shoppers. hope you get to knit alot this weekend.
    hugs, dynna

  27. I love all the new features – but I *adore* the color finder. I can’t wait until gray and silver get added to the mix…that is my current weakness – I go through color phases. Yesterday was green, today is silver, who knows what tomorrow will bring?

    I have to agree with all the above comments. Loopy Ewe has severely damaged my budget and limited my storage space (oh, woe is me :D) because I can’t stay away. The breadth of offerings, the quick turn-around for shipping, the great personal attention one gets from you Sheri, it makes it one of my favorite places to shop. Plus, now that I’m a Groupie, it gives me my chocolate fix! I have had times when I missed out on the Sneak Ups, but that just made me that much more determined and focused the next time that yarn was pending. I think you are doing the best you can with limited resources and a high demand. Keep up the good work and I will look into alternate yarn storage options.

  28. I’ve been on a yarn diet since before I found your site and blog, but I still *love* The Loopy Ewe. I check it out every day, and have fun stalking for Sneak Ups. The new features are great. I can’t wait until I’m off my diet and can actually *order* something!

  29. Sheri I love the Sneak ups they keep me from spending more money than I should. I figure if it is still there it is meant to be if not, I don’t need it. The one day that Loopy broke I thought this reminds me of Black Friday. Your site is great and I look forward to new yarn. Keep up the good work. Does Web Guy gets socks in payment?????

  30. Very cool new features! The color thing is a lot of fun. I’m sorry it’s been a bit rough with people whining about not getting yarn. I’ve hit some sneak-ups and missed some too. I know that a few of my first choices were snatched from my cart. I figured that there’s always more. I can get that color/type next time. 😉 My credit card might actually be thankful for the yarn snatchers.

    And yes, those In Vino Veritas socks are ALL MINE!!!! hahahaha! 😀

  31. Sheri- Don’t change a thing! The Sneak-up is just waht it says!! Part of what I love is “the hunt” of getting in and getting what I want. I missed out last time! Next week, it is mine!!!

  32. Sorry I’ve been absent lately Sheri but vacation is too good to spend in front a computer, even IF it is for yarn shopping. Just wanted to weigh in and say I LOVE the new features Web Guy has developed. They are really creative and user friendly. That color choice tool is awesome.

  33. OK not to add fuel to the fire, but my yarn came!!!! OMIgOODNESS the Woolmeise is outrageous! I got the Granatapfel which is so the color of good cranberry sauce….WOW, wish I had grabbed more 🙂 CTH Sockittome, first skein lovely(I am thinking to be used for my Pal in SITM or as her gift), FA Rainforest beyond expectations and CS Lyrical so Elfish…thanks for the speedy shipping and the wonderful yarn offerings Sheri…oh BTW thanks an awful lot for switching to peppermints in the warmer weather 🙂

  34. Sheri –

    You have a great site and I think you have been very fair!!! And this is from someone who desperately wanted some Wollmeise but due to work constraints am not able to check the site and order as much as I would like. You are doing a great job! And I love the yarn!

  35. Sheri, the new website features are fabulous (and I haven’t even tried them all out yet!)! Kudos to you and to Web Guy. It’s clear that you try very hard to make sock yarn shopping a pleasure for all of us, and you do a great job of it.

    Consider me also one of those who would set an alarm for 3:30 a.m.!

  36. kudos to you and the webpage man. those new features are awesome, sheri. i especially love the color-choosing one.

  37. Don’t worry so much. You do a fabulous job and you can never, ever make everyone happy!! It is yarn we are talking about- yes, the very stuff we love and cherish AND they will always make more (YEAH). Keep on doing your fabulousness and realize we simply love your selections way too much!!!

  38. I personally like the sneaks up. I hate visiting a site and having everything move at a snails pace cause the site is overloaded. I usually have a plan when buying those high priority items and get in/get out ASAP. It works everytime and no cart stealing. This is not the time for leisurely shopping and mulling stuff over. There are sharks in the water and you have to SWIM or get eaten! 🙂

    Love all the new features. Great job web guy! You are certainly earning those college credits.

  39. Congrats to you guys! What a cool feature that color thing is. I’m not really a big computer savvy person…so I suppose I can’t really appreciate the work that went into that. Thanks and keep up the great work.

  40. And I thought webguy was napping upstairs during the sneak up 🙂
    Just kidding WG…now about that Loopy list…..
    😉

  41. I love the way you’ve been doing sneakups lately…middle of the night (good thing I’m a night-worker). And I don’t think it would be fair to limit how much someone can buy especially if you’re not having the problem of someone putting 10 skeins of the same colorway in their cart which would be a symptom of someone looking to resell. That’s the fun of the hunt…It took a few sneakups for me to successfully get a Zen String Bart & Louise…no biggie…the world doesn’t end because I have to wait LOL

    I do think the idea of number of skeins in stock might be helpful or the “hot item right now” thing so if folks are in doubt, they can checkout with those items then continue shopping for the less hot items.

    Whining about yarn is silly 🙂 It’s not like sheep are extinct LOL

  42. I’m one of your “buy a few skeins of every vendor” type – I will always quest for the perfect yarn in the perfect color!! Love the updates to the site; I use to teach IT at our local university, so I would give College Guy and “A” for creativity and effort! Waiting for yarn is like waiting for a new Harry Potter book every sneak-up, so keep making it fun and exciting for all of us!!!!!!

  43. Those new features sound amazing! I do believe I’ll have fun playing with the color do-hickey.

    I like the sneak ups, although I tend to lack discipline before I’ve had my morning coffee. Or whenever I spy pretty yarn. I imagine I’ll get all the sock yarn knitted sometime before I die, so it’s all good. 😉

  44. Your web site is the best and just keeps on improving! The new features sound great. I’m going to have to play with the color feature, but not this week, I have already ordered my limit 🙂

    I confess, the only reason I don’t stress the Sneak Ups and getting the yarn I want is knowing that next week you will have another awesome selection of yarns to add to the site. You do a great job of keeping a steady supply of sock yarns available. I just take a deep breathe and say “there will be more yarn…”

    I will not confess to stalking the site at all hours, or recruiting DH to take turns stalking the site. Nope, never done that. Why, I didn’t even know about this week’s sneak up until 7:30 am!

  45. I love the new “colors” feature!!! I’ve wished for just that sort of thing a few times now! I also really like being able to see the colorways that have sold out in each line so I can look for that color when it comes out again. Please say a special thanks to College/Web guy for all his hard work and to all your other crew members for all they do to keep us addicts happy. I am glad you are back, Sheri! I look forward to reading each new post to your blog! Happy sock knitting!!!

    P.S. I loved Wendy Johnson’s comment on her blog “What happens at the Loopy Ewe, stays at the Loopy Ewe”! I don’t want anyone to find out what I do here either, LOL!!!

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