Making Progress on Loopy’s Spring Fling!

Yesterday I spent time visiting hotels for our Loopy’s Spring Fling Knitting Retreat. I have learned two things.

1. Most hotels are NOT set up with nice comfortable chairs and a well lit place for 50-60 knitters to hang out and knit. For pete’s sake. And those hard, uncomfortable folding chairs will not do.

2. Finding the right facility to provide that is pricey. 🙁 (But then again, good concentrated knitting time, visiting Loopy Central, good food, new friends, and a get-away weekend is pretty priceless.)

I may have found a place, though. (Mmmm – cushy leather chairs, wonderful lighting, an abundance of snacks and beverages available all day, fun shops, restaurants and a Starbucks nearby, etc.) I’m checking out one more place in the next couple of days, and then I can finalize and get back to you with information, prices, details, etc. It will be April 24 – 27, 2008 (with an option to do April 25 – 27 if you can’t come in on a Thursday, but why would you want to miss out on Thursday??) More details when they come available.

I’m really having a lot of fun concentrating on RAK’s for the month. Your ideas have been inspiring and thank you again for sharing them. On Monday, you’ll want to leave your blog comments with the RAK’s that you did this week, so that we can do another drawing for another great gift basket.

I thought I’d share a salad recipe with you today that really can’t decide if it wants to be a salad or a dessert. Really, it looks like a salad. But it tastes like a dessert. So you can decide. (I say call it a salad and then have ANOTHER dessert at the end of your meal. ha!)

DSC01322.JPGStrawberry Pretzel Salad Dessert Salad

3/4 cup margarine, melted
3 Tbl. brown sugar
2 1/4 cups crushed pretzels
1 lg. pkg. strawberry gelatin
2 cups boiling water
3 cups cold strawberries (I use sliced, frozen ones)
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 carton frozen whipped topping, thawed

Mix the margarine, 3 Tbl. brown sugar, and pretzels together, then press into a 9 x 13 baking pan. Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Dissolve the gelatin in 2 cups of boiling water; stir in the strawberries (no need to thaw them). Chill just until it begins to set. Blend together cream cheese and 3/4 cup brown sugar. Fold in whipped topping. Spread on cooled pretzel crust. Pour strawberry gelatin mixture over the cheese blend and chill.

We just re-stocked our Knitspot patterns, Zephyr Stitchmarkers (including cute new holiday ones!), Zecca Accessories, and some ShibuiKnits yarn (more enroute). Coming up in next week’s Sneak Up: Hand Maiden’s new Swiss Mountain Silk Cashmere (65% cashmere, 35% Silk – incredibly wonderful), Hand Maiden Mini Maiden (50% Silk, 50% wool), Hill Country Sweet Feet, J. Knits, Schaefer Anne, Lola and Heather, and more Chewy Spaghetti Fingering colorways.

FYI because people keep asking: Noro Kureyon’s new sock yarn is on its way, the next Wollmeise Sock Yarn may be here in December if the post office cooperates, we’ll have more darning eggs in different woods as soon as we can get them, Dream in Color Classy will be back in again in December, along with all of their new colors and their entire new Lace line, Sheepaints, Duets and Yarn Pirate are all in transit, and we do have a lot of fun new lines and accessories on order, too – we’ll keep you posted. (Whew. I think that covers most of the commonly asked questions lately.)

On tap for me this weekend – finish my spinning homework for my spinning class on Saturday, finish a pair of socks that need to be in the mail to someone on Monday (ok, they were supposed to be in the mail this week), and work on projects with some new yarn line potentials. Kind of a knit-filled weekend, wouldn’t you say? I just subscribed to Netflix (they had a 2 week trial period) and have been watching the BBC comedy “Keeping Up Appearances“. It cracks me up! Great for knitting weekends like this one.

What’s on tap for you this weekend? Knitting?

Sheri justhadtodeletetwowholelinesoftextinherebecauseGracie


  1. Walks like a duck, quacks like a duck…
    My mother used to make several of these dessert/salad concoctions. One that I remember vividly is one she called Pineapple Salad Mold:

    Dissolve in 2 cups hot water: 1 pkg lemon jello and 1 pkg. lime jello.

    Cool and add: 1 can evaporated milk
    1 cup mayonnaise
    1/2 cup chopped walnuts
    2 tsp. horseradish
    1# cottage cheese (the dryer kind)
    1 #2can crushed pineapple
    Combine, put in mold, chill, unmold. She served it on a bed of lettuce to call it salad!!!

    Don’t you just love British humor? Hyacinth provides great laughs. If you want to clear out your tear ducts, however, try (1) Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont and (2)Ice Cake, two we got from Netflix just this week.

    I hadn’t thought of it as random act of kindness until just now, but last night when my high school writing student left, his mother popped in and said she was intrigued by my sock knitting and wondered where she might find the kind of self-patterning yarn that I use and a good introductory sock pattern. I volunteered to give her some tips on how to get started…and then said if she wanted to come over, I’d teach her some things I’ve learned to do that are not included in the patterns…and she can use the boilerplate pattern I’ve devised. Then I e-mailed her some instructions for measuring foot of recipient, etc. Does this count as “random”?


  2. It’s not Ice Cake…It’s Snow Cake – a delightful, poignant story about an autistic woman and a man, who had been driving the car in which her daughter had been killed, befriends her. Maybe doesn’t sound very funny, but it is both funny & sad.

  3. Ooh!!!!!!!

    I wanna come. Can I, Mom? Huh? Huh? Puh-leazzzzzzzz!

    Seriously (and Lord knows I am nothing if not serious) sign me up Sheri! I’ll be there with bells (and hopefully pants) on.

    What am I doing this weekend? Working on my next shawl design, Morocco, for Kim Kaslow (Woolen Rabbit.) You really ought to carry her yarns. Lovely color sense and SOOOO SOFT.

    If you want to check it out, it’s on the blog (isn’t everything?)

    Say goodnight, Gracie…


  4. I’m heading for a Knitting Day with my Wednesday knitting group ant one person’s house. That kills most of today, when a smart person would be putting up the exterior holiday decorations in advance of the winter weather that comes in tonight.

    Tomorrow, I may try to bake so I have cookies to take to work tomorrow night. then it’s a very late night at work, probably not getting home until about 2 am. I have no clue how I get so busy when I don’t have a “real job.” It’s just amazing!

  5. Oh, I can hardly wait for the retreat! Sign me up now!

    This weekend….well, last night I played a St. Louis Philharmonic Holiday Pops Concert – whee what fun!! The Touhill Center was packed to the rafters, with the audience joining in for several seasonal “sing-alongs”. Then I hopped in my car and drove to Columbia, MO (arriving at almost 1 am), where my daughter was asleep in a hotel room and I had to pound on the door for her to let me in! The reason we were there was for the Missouri All-State High School Orchestra auditions. She played her audition this morning – can you believe it…James was one of the judges – (and I had loads of knitting time while she was warming up!), and then we drove home. The auditions were “blind” (the players sit on the opposite side of a screen from the judges), so he won’t know which one she was. But if she doesn’t get in, he won’t be my BFF anymore (got that, James???).

    Today after I pay the bills (UGH) I am going to work on finishing up the cuffs of my husband’s socks, and then finish up the felted Noro bag that I started yesterday. The bag is basically finished now, but now I have to make about 6 feet of i-cord for the handle. Since the weather is crummy, sounds like a good project for sitting in front of the fire and watching the Mizzou game tonight!

    Tomorrow….well, that’s a long way away!

    BTW – I found out that one of the other cello players in the Philharmonic is a knitter, and has just finished her first pair of socks. Time to make sure she knows about TLE!

  6. I can’t wait to see all the new yarns coming in! BTW, for those of us who live in ignorance, what does one do with a darning egg? (perhaps a better way to ask it would be, how does one darn with a darning egg?) I want to want one, but I look at them and haven’t the faintest clue what I’d do with one!

    Lots of knitting this weekend. Just finished a stole (and am chanting drydrydry at it at regular intervals), and I’ve downloaded Ken Follett’s new book from Audible, so it’s time to start something new!

  7. I make that recipe every year, too! YUMMY! My SIL, in St. Louis, gave it to me so maybe it is a St. Louis thing. Your knitting retreat sounds like fun!

  8. We really could have used you here in Illinois today… You and your salad/dessert. Our church had a salad luncheon and several of us noted the decided absence of what we call “pretzel bottom”. Alas, we made it through, but I know that next year probably there will be many pretzel bottoms, because no one would want that oversite to happen again!!! Tee*Hee*

  9. Holy buckets! Southwest flies direct to St. Louis and it’s not the same weekend as my daughter’s birthday.

    I now want in on this weekend more than anything! (OK, maybe not *anything*, but it certainly tops my Christmas list.)

  10. Oh yes! I love that strawberry prezel dessert!! I had it somewhere a long time ago and never got the recipe… I have it! Thanks for sharing! I love the salty and sweet combo.

  11. The weekend retreat sounds fabulous! I will definitely add it to my Christmas wish list!

    The jello SALAD looks wonderful! Can’t wait to make it.

    I just finished baking 12 dozen cookies (cranberry w/white chocolate) for a cookie exchange/party this afternoon. Each year a group of us (10-15) get together to catch up on what’s happening in our lives, eat, exchange cookies, eat….. Everyone goes home with 12 dozen different cookies & a special Christmas ornament. Today is our 4th annual cookie exchange!

  12. This weekend, working the window cleaning business, practicing tango, packing and getting ready to come to St Louis on Tuesday! I hope to meet Sheri in person. I’m coming for the St Louis tango festival and to visit my daughter.

  13. The sock fairy is NOT going to come and bonk you on the head if the sock isn’t in the mail by a certain date, you know. : )

    Say goodnight, Gracie!

  14. Strawberry Pretzel Salad is a holiday favorite in our home. It’s always asked for and usually made! Glad your enjoying your spinning soooooo much!!! See how hard it is to choose whether to knit or spin!!!

  15. OOOHHH! Retreat, Hot diggy!!! I added the dates to the calendar. Keeping up appearances is funny but I love the dry British wit. .

  16. My RAK was shoveling my neighbor’s snow. Oh, and I let two people go ahead of me in line at the grocery store. It’s kind of sad that I had to be reminded to be kind but thank-you.

  17. I love that salad! I just love salty-sweet combos. I’ve had it many times at family gatherings but never got my hands on the recipe — so thank you!

    The retreat weekend sounds wonderful.

    I’m looking forwad to seeing what comes in this month.

  18. I love this recipe. My grandmother used to make it all the time during the summer when we’d go to the beach. Sweet/salty combos are my favorite. However, you have to make sure to let the jello set to just the right consistency or it will pour down over the entire dessert, rather than staying on top like it’s supposed to. Not that I know this from personal experience or anything 😉

  19. I love Keeping Up Appearances, too! I wanted to let you know I finally make your Truffle Cake from a while back. I used pomegranate seeds for the decoration instead of the raspberries. It was a great hit at work! I just put up a picture on my blog if you want to see it. Thank you for sharing so many wonderful things with us!

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