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. πŸ™ (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. Keeping Up Appearances gives me the heebie jeebies, that woman is my paternal grandmother to a T! Freaky.

    *sidles off to peruse the ShiBui*

  2. Sheri – thanks for the retreat dates – I’ve got them penciled in. Now I know what to ask for at Christmas πŸ™‚ See you next month!

  3. My mom makes that very same dessert and I was just talking about it today! It’s super yummy.

    And where my mother comes from in Minnesota I believe it counts as a salad.

  4. Sounds great. Gosh you work so hard, I think you love it though. I hope you have a wonderful knitting weekend. I hope I will be doing the same. Hugs

  5. My weekend – tonight out to dinner to celebrate a friend’s birthday. Tomorrow I bake a chocolate cake for another friend as a “thank you” for helping me with a project this summer, knitting a cupcake for my LYS’s one year birthday, then having dinner with some dear friends who just got engaged. Plus knitting, of course! Fingerless gloves, a shawl, socks (always socks), maybe more work on several sweaters in progress.

  6. This weekend? I will knit or explode from the need to do about a thousand different things! I am going to finish decorating the tree tonight. I refuse to go out a buy more lights, so there is one rather sparsely lighted section. It will be fine with a few strategically placed ornaments, right??

    Tomorrow morning I will clean out the fridge and knit. Not both at once. The fridge will have to come first or it will never be done. Then, I need to clean. My in laws are coming a week from today. If I don’t get some hard cleaning in, I will really be out of luck next week.

    I hope to get enough time to go to the movies with my husband. He loves the movies and hates/won’t go alone. Ok. Reading this made me decide – I will go to the movies with my husband this weekend!

  7. Count me in for the retreat in April!! I already have a plane ticket I couldn’t use so half the trip is already paid for!!! I’m glad you are having it in April, Sheri. Once I was in Saint Louis in May and almost died from the heat!!! πŸ™‚ I can’t wait—goodbye winter…hello Spring!!

  8. This weekend, knitting, of course! Working on my sock (2nd sock, RPMs with Yarn Nerd), winding some yarn for socks for friend’s b’day (mid-Jan) & appreciation gift for my sister, & maybe also for my next pair (since, after all, the RPMs w/b done soon). Also need to pay bills (especially the credit card so that I can make essential purchases, like, you know, more yarn, and paying the rent, well, just because). …Getting antsy about Loopy Spring Fling! Squeee!
    Hugs & skritches to Zoe & Gracie!

  9. Noro Sock Yarn…heaven help my credit card!!! LOL

    I can’t wait for the retreat. And, I do like the sound of the place you located. Having attended cross stitch retreats — that were nice — it is important to have places nearby for people to hang out, take a walk and shop.

    It will be PRICELESS!

  10. Gracie wants to leave a message too πŸ™‚ a typing cat. My cat used to lay on my book when I would read, they just want some attention too.
    This weekend I am going to try to finish a pair of socks for the boy child and maybe start another pair for him. He has informed me he is in need of handknit socks. His feet aren’t as small anymore and he has out grown all his other ones FPS

    Soooo looking forward to the Wollmeise Sock yarn

  11. The retreat sounds very tempting….and it’s three days after my birthday. Do you think I could convince my family that I deserve a weekend away as a birthday present/treat”? I’m going to start working on that.
    As for weekend plans, I’m afraid I’m going to have to force myself to sit by the fire and do Christmas knitting as much as possible. Sounds like a tough weekend, just like yours!

  12. My mom’s 75th birthday party is Saturday – big family dinner. We had to get a banquet room at a restaurant for all of us. πŸ™‚

    Sunday I’m knitting. I am committed to one knitted Christmas gift: a sweater that is about 50% complete right now.

  13. Holly Crow I thought I was one of the few fans of Keeping Up Appearances. I love Patricia Routledge. She completely cracks me up. Try the Vicar of Dibley series next. the humor is great. P.S. I am looking forward to the next sneak up Sheri. Thanks for making the Loopy Ewe such a personable place.

  14. One of my kitties likes the keyboard, too… “laptop” a whole new meaning…..
    Don’t think I can make the Knitting Weekend πŸ™ πŸ™ πŸ™ Oldest CG has a play that weekend, and I already promised another friend I’d fly out for Maryland Sheep and Wool the first weekend in May………Maybe next year; I’m sure y’all will have a blast!!

  15. OOOOOOOhhhhh Noro sock yarn……

    This weekend is my art co-op’s annual Christmas Open House. This year we are doing the show in a winery! Is a fabulous venue….they love us there as we boost wine sales, and free wine tasting always loosens up the wallet! Lets hope I sell enough artwork to enable me to buy more yarn!!!!! Then afterwards we are going to another winery’s Christmas party…….yes I live very near Napa Valley!

  16. That pretzel salad is a favorite of mine! I don’t make it too often though… Christmas isn’t on my radar until after this weekend – a big bridal shower and the hubby’s 40th birthday!

  17. I make that Pretzel SALAD (I’m from Minnesota) but I make it in a Bundt pan (even more Minnesotan!). The jello is set in the pan, then, I layered it with the cream cheese mixture to chill for hours. The pretzel mixture is baked separately and layered on top of the cream cheese mixture about an hour before serving. It’s a bit tricky to flip the mold over but is it beautiful and tasty (sweet jello with sweet-salty cream cheese and pretzel)!

    Noro Sock Yarn? Yikes… I’d better stay away from your site until I save enough money!

  18. Ah, yes, the greeting from the cat. Always a good time. πŸ˜€

    I love Keeping Up Appearances. It’s great fun, particularly Daisy and Onslow. Gives me the giggles.

    This weekend? Well, let’s see….

    Tonight: caulk the windows to keep out the drafts; scrub the front hall, kitchen, and bathroom floors; and put the lights on the tree, in more or less that order.

    Tomorrow: rake up most of the rest of the leaves in the yard (17 bags out 2 weeks ago, now the rest have fallen, and Monday is the last pickup); haul up the tree decorations from the basement; haul up the cat from the basement; take Mama to get her hair done; do the grocery shopping; decorate the tree; and probably something else that I’m forgetting.

    Sunday: sing in the choir at church; rake more leaves; put away the flower pots from the back patio; meet a friend for dinner and some Christmas shopping.

    Somewhere in all that, I’ve got to do about 12 loads of laundry; cook; clean the kitchen; swap my winter and summer clothes out of the drawers so that I can put the storage boxes back in the attic and thus have space in my room to walk around; hunt through my stash for a ball of navy blue yarn to make my assistant’s Christmas present (the ball I have is too girly, he won’t like that) and if I don’t have one, run into my LYS and get one; and get the car washed. I’m also hoping to finish the crocheting part on the baby blanket that I’m teaching this March at my LYS, and finish a Christmas present hat that I designed and is taking far too long to finish.

    Oh, and BFF Liz? Mark your calendar!

  19. Thanks so much for all the updates in this post – always good to know. : ) I think your recipe is a salad too – since I traditionally label recipes with jello as a “salad.” and my mom makes a lot of jello salads…

    I have been on Netflix for a while and just got a few new things. This weekend, I hope to get some knitting in between all that cleaning and organizing I’ve been putting off. “Count of Monte Cristo” and “Peony Pavillion” are on my list of movies to watch this weekend.

    Have a great weekend! : )

  20. Looking forward to final info on weekend!!Hope I get to be one of the lucky ones!

    Today is our first real snow-we’ve usually had several inches by now. Looks like the holidays outside.

    Tonight is the Parade of Lights with the appearance of Santa being pulled down the street by members of the Elks Club with antlers on their heads! Then the lighting of the 40 ft blue spruce at the end of Street. Lots of ooohs and aaahs and we all love it. Netflix movie tonight is “Next” with Nicolas Cage. Will report on it.

    Tomorrow is a girls’ birthday dinner for one of our friends. Will take knitting-s/b a hoot!!

    Sunday a felting class at the closest (90 mi away) LYS in Buena Vista CO. That may be where I can also take a spinning class next year.

    That Gracie!! My kitties like to sit between my torso and the keyboard, and act like they’re included, ’cause they are.

  21. I was supposed to go look at a spinning wheel but a snow storm coming is postponing that trip until January probably. I plan on helping with homework, knitting my first pair of Monkeys (almost done with the leg on the first one), and putting up our Christmas tree, and listening to lots of Christmas music.

  22. I have started a new project even though I haven’t finished my old ones yet.
    It’s just a little fancy lacy wash cloth for my neighbor across the way. She helps
    me in a lot of ways. I wll probably get some good soap and some nice little
    lavender cremes and make her a little basket. I’m having trouble with the lacy
    wash cloth although I’ve made a lot of them out of Rowan Cotton. I don’t know
    if I will buy anything on the next sneak up. I have so much to finish. I am trying
    to get my grandchildrens’ presents together and knit too. I will try to do a lot
    of knitting over the weekend, especially if the weather is not good. Maybe I will
    catch an old movie on T.V. I saw Bruce Almighty last week and it was very cute
    and I don’t even like Jim Carey. You might check it out with your Netflix.

  23. Love all the plans everybody has for the weekend. My weekend plans are; Sat go to Prairie Grove Ar to the Civil War Park with my folks, son, neices and Hubby (theres a spinning and weaving demo among other things this weekend, then come home and prob drop from exhaustion. Sun; Nothing but visit with my mom online and knit, beyonf that i have nothing planned

  24. I am staying put this weekend, with my knitting, quilting and cookie baking. We are in the bullseye for a major winter storm, with up to 10+inches of snow by tomorrow night.

    I have lots of yarn to keep me warm. πŸ™‚

  25. Put up trees and get them decorated with the puppies help and without college daughter since she is writing her last 2 papers for school, Need to shop for son’s and husbands birthdays they are both next weekend, clean after all the christmas boxes are out, and knit on the scarf for daughter’s boyfriend they are going to NYC for New Years and they are going to freeze, these florida kids, I have hats to do after the scarf is done, Knit on Mother in Laws socks for Christmas, and hopefully watch movies while I knit since I seem to go faster when watching movies and I have 3 that I want to see.

  26. Christmas decorating and hopefully enjoying a big snowstorm!!! As much as I love church, a whole weekend at home sounds wonderful! I could also knit.

  27. Salad? Lost in Translation…. That looks like a dessert to me, too. This Californian thinks salads are made of mostly green things with a few other items, but toppers never form a crust. Of course, when I ordered a salad in France, it came out with a few pieces of smoked ham and nothing green. When in Rome…

    You put knitting camp right in front of my birthday. I was thinking of visiting STL to see the best friend (birthdays are great excuses for seeing friends and family) and with loopy camp. Well. We’ll just do what we can to make that a reality, won’t we.

  28. You really don’t want my list of To Do’s for the weekend..but it does not include knitting.

    Unless I can do that at Home Depot while the kids work on their projects, or while setting up the Christmas tree, signing and Christmas-and school-picture-stuffing cards, mailing gifts, wrapping gifts (hopefully BEFORE mailing!), dr appointments (yea for weekend appts!) and the other sundry items. Maybe while catching up on MY Netflix items!

    I saw pictures of that new Koro sock yarn. Pretty….

  29. My mother did me such a kindness today I just need to tell you, even though it isn’t Monday. I’ve been battling bronchitis for some time–this morning my mom called me and offered to pick d#1 up from school and take her to her battle with the hairdresser (it’s hard to be a competitive swimmer with really long hair, especially when you are 10 and a varsity procrastinator). This saved me 1. going out in the cold, 2. 2 hours in the car, and 3. the fuss about hair. And just to show that she has good sense, d#1 agreed to a shoulder-length bob that is very becoming and which she’d never have gone near had I been there.
    Kindnesses are great. My mom is great. And d#1 is pretty great, too.

  30. DIC new colors and Lace???!?!?! Lord help me, I’m going to go crazy with that πŸ™‚

    We love the strawberry pretzel dessert around here.

  31. Hehe, That show is a riot!! I love the episode where they get a “summer” home LOL! Wait til you see that one. We love netflix! A great way to see a lot of BBC shows, Current tv shows you may not have had time to watch live, etc.

    As for this weekend, knitting, sewing as much as I can, and getting ready to take my future college guy on 2 college tours!! Sigh…

    So glad you are getting the Noro sock yarn!! As for that recipe, thanks I’ve been trying to find that! Great for the sugar/salty cravings! πŸ™‚

  32. OOH!! I love Keeping Up Appearances! For my 21st birthday I didn’t ask for alcohol, or anything normal. No, I got the first box set of my favorite British comedy ever!! πŸ™‚ Hmm… In fact, it’s about time I got the second box. Either that or Are You Being Served. Thanks for the Christmas present idea!

  33. Mmmm dream in color lace, wollmeise, and hand maiden??? You’re speaking my language.

    This weekend,…hopefully dyeing for the shop, working, knitting, and playing in the snow with the kids!

  34. Can’t wait to hear all the details about the retreat!! I sure hope I can manage to sneak away from my clients for a few days in April! Looking forward to all the new fun things December will bring at my FAVORITE yarn store!

  35. This weekend we are finishing up the holiday decorating and continuing the holiday knitting. We have the tree all decorated and the army of nutcrackers are in place in front of the nutcracker castle advent calendar.

    Sheri you must come over for tea. We can use my Royal Doullton teacups with the hand painted periwinkles. (Keeping Up Appearances reference). I actually know someone who acts just like Hyacinth Bucket.

  36. Looks like there is some great stuff coming into the shop. Did I read right, DIC lace weight yarn….Yum!
    Netflix rocks! It’s the only way to go for renting movies.

  37. i love hyacinth! i didn’t know they had the show on dvd and at netflix. i just received disc 1 of the 3rd series of hamish macbeth – from bbc, based on mc beaton’s cozy mystery scottish constable. have a nice weekend!

  38. I’m finishing blankets this weekend for a blanket drive I’m working on. But now, I’m going to have to pull out some of my favorite BBC shows while I knit/crochet. Fawlty Towers is just the ticket. πŸ™‚ And, I’m a football girl, too, so I’ll watch a couple games on Sunday.

  39. I can’t wait for the Spring Fling! I’ve never been to a Knitting Retreat, and I would so dearly love to be surround by like minds.

    My favorite BBC shows are “Are You Being Served” and “As Time Goes By”. Dame Dench is one of my favorite actresses, and she has the most amazing blue eyes.

    Yesterday, I finished a hat for a friend and I started DH’s hat this morning. He’s working all weekend so I have lots of sneaky time to knit. After that, just 2 pairs of socks and scarf to get all my Christmas knitting done. The socks will be in worsted weight so I’m hoping that I will speed up the knitting.

  40. Sheri, I know this sounds like a doofus statement but….make sure whatever place you choose has plenty of Ladies Rooms! I am a nurse and have attended many educational conferences at various hotels…three ladies rooms for 300 women just doesn’t make it! lol

  41. Next. Sneak up. Must be stalked. Cashmere silk from handmaiden-what weight???? I’m thinking lace regardless-ann DIC lace?????- I’m drooling on my keyboard….

    I’ve already done my next RAK but won’t tell until Monday;) looking forward to seeing what everyone’s come up with!

  42. Sounds like you have a great weekend planned, both for your self and then again for us in April. I agree, sounds like a great Christmas present. I will be working this weekend. No knitting there. At home, I have a needlework project that needs to be completed by Thursday, so, I guess, no knitting there either. Then I am homefree for a few weeks, as far as knitting is concerned. Oh yes, gotta get some cookie making in there too, or my spouse will be so upset. I agree, good chairs are very important for a retreat, as are good bathrooms. Shopping is a plus as is good food, easily available. Takes away from the knitting if it is too far and too complicated to get and come back. Really looking forward to the opportunity to participate. Have a great weekend.

  43. This weekend in Wisconsin, we are expecting our first major snow storm – 4-8″!!!!
    I will be doing my Christmas baking (12 different kinds of cookies), knitting the last Christmas gift sock, and watching the snow fall with a roast in the crock pot.

    Looking forward to the new lines of sock yarn – you always know how to keep us wondering what’s next.

    Your dessert looks yummy – I’ll add it to my file. Have fun at your spinning class!

  44. If you love British comedy, you must see “The Vicar of Dibley”!! It’s a hysterical series! What a group of characters!

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