Someone stop me!

Wow – it really is so fun to read all of your RAKs. Our family has had fun talking about some of the different things you all have done. (It makes great dinner conversation, and isn’t it nice to plant those kinds of ideas into our kids heads?) Keep looking for ways to show kindnesses this week, and save up your comments and ideas on this week’s RAKs for next Monday’s blog again. I did the random number generator to pick a Loopy Loot Gift Package winner again, and Susan’s name came up! (Susan has been emailed and has emailed me back, so if you are also a Susan and hoping it’s you …. well, you’d already know!) A special thanks to the dyers and designers and authors who have contributed to the Gift Packages so far. I know you all are doing the RAKs because they’re fun and they make a difference, but the gift packages ought to encourage you to leave a comment and think about doing them every week. šŸ™‚

Busy day today, packing up all of your Sneak Up orders. We had the Christmas Carols blaring and Wendy (Loopy Photographer Elf) brought in a yummy beef stew in the crockpot for lunch. I had her send me the recipe so that I can share it with you on Friday. Between that, Starbucks, and chocolate, it was a good day.

DSC01423.JPGSomeone stop me. I keep buying yarn for us. Today, I had a meeting with one of my yarn reps. We opened an account with one of the yarn companies that I have been trying to “get” since The Loopy Ewe was first beginning and gathering vendors. It will be 6 weeks before the line comes in, but I can’t wait to have it here. Anyone want to guess what it is? I knit my second ever pair of socks out of this yarn, and they’re still my favorite socks to wear when I want to be really warm and cozy. In more yarn news, I met with another one of my favorite yarn reps last week (Hi Stephanie!) and we opened accounts with two other new companies as well. (Seriously. Someone stop me.) One is Alpaca With a Twist and we have already received the Baby Twist that is my first choice for fingerless mitts and scarves (and shawls – must knit shawls) because it’s such soft, wonderful yarn. We also got their 100% Baby Alpaca “Ready to Spin Combed Top” (5 beautiful, natural colors have arrived so far, 2 more on the way) and yes, I am taking some home to spin. It’s the softest stuff ever and I can’t wait to play with it. All of that will be up in the next Sneak Up. What great turn-around with their orders! The other new company …. still a secret until we get are closer to getting our order in. But just know, we have fun new things on the horizon for you! (And definitely more roving coming soon. We have some great indie dyers on board and working on orders for us.)

It has been awhile since I did an etsy shout-out to some great indie artisans. Remember a couple of weeks ago when I suggested you might want to shop etsy for holiday gifts? I practiced what I preached! Here are some of the shops that I *might* have done some holiday shopping with. (And, um …. some shops where I might have found something that I needed. Maybe.) A few are shops where I have not yet purchased anything, but I bookmarked them for later.

Art Exchange (cool, crazy sculptures)
GudonyaToo (mmm – bath stuff. Surely you need a Bath Kiss?)
Lilikoidesign (beautiful jewelry)
FatDaddyBakeShop (really, with a name like that, how can you resist?)
Jpatpurses (pretty fabric bags)
Ivylanedesigns (ok – very creative and they crack me up!)
Maggieloujewels (my new favorite earrings because 1. the earwires are way too cool and 2. you can change out the ear charms. Get the Champagne – you’ll wear them with everything. And Maggie is a friend of mine, but I’d be a huge fan of her jewelry even if she wasn’t!)

Sheri listeningtoJoshGroban’snewChristmasCD-doyouhaveit?Iloveit.


  1. Yes! I have Noel! It was so wonderful this year to have a new CD come out with traditional Christmas songs and Groban has such a fabulous voice. I was a little disappointed with one song that opted to add in a contemporary news story because that is going to date the CD (quickly I hope). I’ll just have to rip a copy without that particular cut I guess.

    Can’t wait to see all the new yarns!

  2. Yes, I am still listening to Josh Groban’s Christmas album, but I have others of
    his too that I like to play. I can’t wait to see what you have for fingerless mitts.
    I am starting to get attached to “fetching fingerless mitts”. Don’t know if I can
    do them, but I’m going to try. Please put the size needle the yarn calls for to
    make them. I know what your friend Janice uses for most of her fingerless mitts
    and I would like to try that yarn also. Do you think you will ever carry it? I also
    want to know who your new yarn manufacturer will be. Also thanks for the
    tip on etsy again. I’m not even through with this Christmas and already planning
    for next Christmas. (And they say I’m negative)

  3. I have made cabled mittens with some Terracotta-coloured Baby Twist and they are fabulous—so soft and warm and the yarn is lovely to work with, too. I’m giving them away for Christmas but I haven’t decided who the lucky recipient is yet (but three of my daughters are really hoping). I can’t wait to try the Alpace fibre. I love the natural colours in your photo. I wasn’t planning to order again before Christmas, but maybe I will have to now….or add to the wish list!

  4. I’m so glad you started spinning! šŸ˜€ Bring on the roving, baby! Hehehe….

    (If you haven’t already considered her, can I suggest Funky Carolina? I heart her stuff. Even if you don’t get it in the shop, you gotta try spinning it – her colours are fun!)

  5. LoveloveLOVE Josh Groban. I’ve adored him since his first CD came out. My mother ever so kindly assured me that she dated someone five years older than her and thus my future with Josh still had potential.

    I was disappointed with his last CD, but Noel is just perfect. Ave Maria + Josh Groban = bliss.

  6. OH! I love Alpaca With a Twist! I’m knitting #1 son a scarf with it for Christmas in dark grey, and I can’t get over how soft it is. I’ve always had to drive to Portland to get it, now I can order it from you! I’m so happy about this! Also about the roving. Can’t wait for that either! I have no idea about the new sock yarn – I thought you had everything already! : )

  7. Josh Groban is a favorite artist of mine. Whenever I hear “To Where You Are”, it reminds me of my mom and sister.

    Stupid useless trivia about Josh Groban: He went to college here in Pittsburgh for a bit at Carnegie Mellon University. I heard him sing before he was famous!

  8. Ok – you got me good. I went and looked at the MaggieLou earrings and I might have bought more than one. ahem So much for no buys. But, I needed 2 sizes of ear wires and a fancy set of charms (raspberry fizz), a jeans set (green jeans) and another set (champagne – you *told* me to buy that one!). Earrings are my downfall. I am still waiting for the yarn balls to arrive. I will be stalking that sneak up with all my sharky skillz.

  9. Yummmmm… Fat Daddy Bake Shop. That’s a new one for me! Thanks for those great Etsy places, Sheri. My woodstove and chimney get cleaned on Saturday and then I can start decorating around here.

  10. My guess is Mountain Colors. Yum, Alpaca with a Twist! One of my kitties has an alpaca fetish – she’s going to love it too! Off to check out the etsy stores – isn’t LilikoiDesign great!? Love her stuff!

  11. Please…somebody take my computer away. Those cupcakes, OMG! I want to try one of each. I’m a huge cupcake whore. Yup, I said it šŸ™‚

  12. Okay, Kinelle beat me to the first set of Green Jeans earring charms, but all is well as she had the beads to make a second pair. And I HAD to have the earrings you see, ’cause I’d been looking for the longest time for a great summer bracelet…and the Green Jeans bracelet was it! Also bought the “mod” green Christmas tree charms, and rounded it out with the champagne. Just lovely.

    Merry Christmas to me!

    My RAK…donating $$ today (for meal cards) to a family that must eat out frequently, as the terminally ill dad cannot tolerate the smell of food in the house. Who would have thought? You never know the true needs sometimes.

  13. Yay Alpaca!

    I’ve been run off my feet so no comments for a while, but I’ve kept the RAK in mind and managed something cool yesterday. You may have noticed in the Loopy Ravelry group that a lady in Alaska was looking for donations of needles so she could teach girls to knit – well, I popped 5 sets in the mail to her yesterday and couldn’t be happier that they’re going to people who can use them. She wanted to pay me for postage but I said no way!

  14. *Love* Lilikoidesign – wearing some of her earrings right now! PLus I bought some for my MIL for Christmas.
    Here’s a RAK I want to do but haven’t yet. OK not so random. I like to bake. I like to bring baked things in for my co-workers. One of my newer co-workers is allergic to wheat, but I have never baked anything that was wheat-free. Does anyone know of tried and true coffee-cake meeting type goodies that i can bring in for my group?

  15. Some stores where I have credit cards send discount coupons in the mail. I am happy to pass them along when I am in the checkout line. Or I use that money to buy warm clothes for local kids.

  16. Oh Sheri – You are SUCH an enabler! Thanks so much for the new Etsy links…I promptly went to Maggie’s site and ordered a set for my Mom for Christmas, and I am having to sit on my hands to keep from going back to order a set for me!

  17. Alpaca roving coming in? Okay, I’m a happy girl. Should we send thank-yous to those spinning enablers Wendy & LB? šŸ™‚ I think we should.

    I will not click the etsy links. I will not… I…I…will. Resistance to the etsy is futile. And earrings are my weakness. My jewelry weakness, that is. We shall not discuss the cupcake issue.

    Oh, and a good crockpot beef stew recipe? Yes, please!

  18. I’m hoping Mountain Colors too! I love their Bearfoot!!! I haven’t tried any Alpaca with a Twist but would love to.

    One of my favorite Christmas CD is “Merry Christmas” by Johnny Mathis. And I can’t forget Ella Fitzgerald’s “Wishing You a Merry Christmas”. Now, if I want a laugh, I pull out the Chipmunk’s CD…you have to have a little fun:-)

  19. Oh, You just got me really excited! I LOVE Alpaca with a Twist! It is one of the softest yarns to knit with! It feels like a luxury yarn, but with out the extra cost! Thank you so much for brining it to the shop! (Now, I might get to groupie status a little quicker than I thought!) šŸ™‚

  20. I don’t have that CD; I’ll have to get it! Can’t wait to see the new lines… Although I am pretending I mean to knit from my stash…

  21. I am a huge fan of the Fino from AWAT. Huge. Love. Big Love. Trying to figure out how to sneak into the warehouse and sleep in the yarn, big love. (Ok, so I haven’t actually found the warehouse, yet, but you understand my reference) šŸ™‚ I have two skeins, but plan to find a way to obtain many more. šŸ˜€

  22. Thanks for the links to the Etsy Shop Gudonya…I just ordered some of the Whipped Soap for gifts…..So nice of you to help us with our shopping..What a great Santa’s Helper you are….

    Make sure that your “elves” are well taken care of also for all they do for US!

    Blogless Diane

  23. Sheri you will be the death of me!

    This morning I put a pot roast in the crock pot as tonight’s my 9 year old’s holiday concert so we needed a quick dinner. This weekend I am doing two concerts with my local chorale – wonderful choral pieces with brass and tympani – it will get us all in the holiday spirit!

  24. Is one of the new vendors going to be Mountain Colors. I live in Montana and I love their Bearfoot sock yarn. One of my RAKs is whenever I see someone with a
    “homeless and need food” sign in Billings, I give them whatever I have, whether it is $1 or $20. We live in a very poor state and while I am not rich by any means, the Lord puts it on my heart to help out one of God’s children whenever I can.

  25. Christmas hugs to you and the elves and all the Loopy Family for working so hard! I really love the wishlist and sent it to my husband yesterday.

    Suggestion for Christmas this year-the Heifer project has a knitting basket gift-2 llamas and 2 sheep for a family to have for wool to make yarn and clothes and to sell to sustain themselves. $500 for the basket or $50 for a share of a basket. My yarn budget is going there for Dec. This is a fun and wonderful way for fiber folk to stay with a theme and do good.

  26. More new yarn!!!! I’m trying to save up for a spring fling at TLE – if I keep buying yarn I won’t have enough for the plane fare!!!

    I just have to say that you guys are wonderful, and I’m so very very glad that I found you all. My husband, on the other hand, is not so thrilled. But hey, he gets handmade socks. He’ll live (and his toes will be toasty warm!) šŸ™‚

  27. Oh btw Sheri, I don’t want to stop you from finding great yarns!! I need to get my wish list going!! I’m getting to where I’m browsing the “Ewe” every day!!

  28. No. I won’t stop you. And you can’t make me. (Okay, maybe you can. I can be bribed.)

    Etsy enabling is a good thing. I’d rather spend my dough on lovingly made crafts than mass-made crap anyday.

  29. No. Don’t stop. I love being able to find more and more yarns at your shop. If only I could as easily find the yarns that I *know* I have here in the house. That’s the problem with the “pack everything away while you remodel a room” thing.

    I wanted to thank you again for that recipe for shredded beef a while back. It’s become a new family favorite. Not least because cooking that for dinner means I don’t have to worry about losing track of time ’cause I’m knitting. Or spinning. I can’t wait to get my hands on some fiber from you too. I’m so glad you took up spinning. To whom should I send the thank yous for that little tip into the new hobby?

  30. Hey, as long as we buy the yarn from you as fast as you buy the yarn from the vendors, there’s no problem, right? šŸ™‚

    Mo — I haven’t done a great deal of gluten-free baking, but I’ve had good luck with just substituting a mix of gluten-free flours for the wheat flour in cookies, sometimes with an extra egg added to help hold things together. My favorite mix is about 1/3 rice flour, 1/3 some other gluten-free flour, and 1/3 tapioca starch. If I were trying to make something more like a bread or cake, I’d add a teaspoon or two of xanthan gum; I used that to make a batch of zucchini bread once, and while it was much more crumbly and dense than the wheat version, it was still good.

    Also, Sheri’s Chocolate Truffle Cake that she posted on August 10 is wheat-free and extremely tasty!

  31. Let’s see now….I looked at your “places to shop” for Christmas gifts, especially the jewelry….do you want my Wish List now? The earrings that go with everything would be nice, but a longer list is available upon request.

  32. I’m thinking your new vendor mite just, hopefully, be Socks That Roc, Blue Moon Fiber Arts.

    Ohhh, sure hope you don’t stop buying yarn šŸ˜‰
    You definately have the best selection ever. Keep up the good work.

  33. I love that CD! I bought it but then gave it to my friend who has a wonderful voice and loves singing Christmas music in the car! He needed a pick-me-up to help him get into the holiday spirit (1st holiday without his Mom)…I didn’t even think twice about it.
    And, if you have it, I’ll try it. I’ll just add it to the 4000 other skeins that I’ve bought from you. **Just kidding-it might only be 40 or so. I lost count. šŸ˜‰

  34. Ah, come on, you don’t really want to stop, do you?

    I haven’t tried Alpaca With a Twist, but after reading all the other comments I will be first in line when you put it up!

    I’d love it if the Mystery Vendor turned out to be Mountain Colors or Koigu, but the name that really sticks in my mind as the one you’ve been trying to get for ages is Blue Moon Fiber Arts—could it be?

  35. So jealous of Josh ownership. I’m being good and saving my money for Christmas shopping.

    Let’s see…. RAKs… Hmmmm, spending about 10 hours tomorrow at a spay/neuter clinic. Which will probably add up to 40 surgeries. My back hurts just thinking about it but it needs doing. It’s a low cost program that the owners pay $5/cat or $10/dog for.

    And my sucker moment. A gentleman brought in an adorable kitten with a nasty leg fracture. He couldn’t afford the repair, and anyway, kitty lived outside.

    Ahem. I sort of kept the kitty, did an amputation (too much damage to fix the bone), and he now lives with my technician. The original owner and his daughters were delighted that he could find somewhere safe and get fixed all at once.

    Shhhh. Don’t tell the boss.

  36. Noro sock yarn is coming!!! yea! Our local yarn store won’t carry it for another 4 months, so can’t wait to see it on your home page.

  37. In finally got a chance to buy the CD yesterday. I have been hearing about it. Wow! Picked up one for my sister for Christmas as she doesn’t have money to buy CDs. I haven’t stopped playing it since I bought a copy.

  38. RAK: Yesterday at our local coffee shop I paid with a $20 and told them to use the change to buy the next several orders (and when the amount left was too small, to throw it into their tip jar). It was fun to sit with my drink and watch several people be surprised by free coffee (anonymous), but the coolest part is that the last one was a friend of mine, who had been up half the night at the ER with her father and who really needed a pickmeup.

  39. The last RAK I tried wound up with me be verbally assaulted in our local Pizza Hut…lol. I have vowed only to do RAK when in drive-thrus for the next month. I am so glad you are starting to carry rovings….I have spun twice as long as I have knitted. I am sooooo excited to see the new lines!!!! Oh and for giggles I thought I might mention that on your side bar where you so wonderfully keep the “See What’s New” caption……perhaps you should have a link for those of us with dialup. Please consider naming it “See What’s Left”…!

  40. I was on the receiving end of a RAK this morning….well, maybe not so R, but certainly an AK, and definitely good customer service.

    I stopped at Starbucks for a peppermint mocha for the first time in several weeks, because I had a serious case of the “It’s Friday, it’s snowing, I have a 44-mile drive to work, and I’m sleepy” coffee need. While waiting for my coffee, I chatted with the very nice shift manager/barista who was making it. After she gave me my drink, I went to the front condiment bar to stick an illicit straw in the cup (yes, flouting the warning on the straw package so I could sip it easier in the car).

    Instead of going through the sippie hole, my straw hung up and capsized the cup, dumping 3/4 of the contents on the condiment bar. I wanted to cry, but I mopped up the coffee (no damage–all of the packets were in plastic bins well off the surface). I went back to the ladies’ room and washed off my hands, and as I was about to walk out with my 1/4 of a grande PM, I offhandedly commented to the manager/barista that you really know you need coffee when you spill it before you can drink it. Without hesitating, she said, “Let me make you another one.”

    That may be corporate policy, or it may just be the kind act of a nice person, but it certainly made my day. That particular Starbucks, like several others I have frequented in the past, has an unusually nice collection of people on staff, and this particular shift manager is the very nicest of all. The next time I see her there, I’m going to be sure to thank her again (I did thank her profusely today).

    And, to give them equal time, the staff members at the two Caribou Coffee stores I frequent are also very nice. And CC has free WiFi, so I will be spending more time there once I get the laptop I ordered last week (arriving 12/21, allegedly). Maybe I’ll manage to update my blog more frequently when I can do it remotely!

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