Socks, RAKs, Q1-08, and Sneak Up Info!

DSC01491.JPGAs promised, here are a couple of new sock photos. I have another one done, too, but it’s a new indie dyer that we haven’t announced yet. I’ll save that photo for later! I love these Noro socks. (Color S185)I was so anxious to see how they’d wash up, as they are definitely scratchier feeling to knit. (I survived it, just because the whole color thing was so fun to watch progress.) They softened up in the wash. I hand-washed them in Soak (let them soak in the water for about 15 minutes) and let them air dry, like I always do. (I always hand-wash all of my handknit socks. I’ve never felt like it took very long, and after putting all of that knitting time in, I’m all for making sure they last as long as possible! After I wash them, I roll them up in a towel to get rid of excess moisture, and then dry them on this, which is mounted on a wall in our bathroom. I love it. I know, I know – you’re supposed to “dry flat”. But once I have rolled them in a towel, there is not enough moisture and weight left in them to stretch them out of shape when hanging on this rack.) Back to the Noro socks, I was glad that it softened up some after washing. I knit these on size 0 needles and the stitch definition still looks great, post-washing. This sock is still not as soft as others, but honestly, when it’s on my foot, I can’t tell the difference. I’m working on the matching sock now, and will absolutely make more. There are several other colorways I want to try out. (Also great yarn for scarves, mittens, gloves, etc.) It’s one of those yarns that you’ll either like or not, but I love it!

DSC01490.JPGThe second sock is the Araucania yarn. To be honest, I saw this skein and thought it looked awfully splotchy. A very unique looking yarn, to be sure! However, I only had to knit a couple of inches on my sock to realize how absolutely gorgeous it was all knit up. All of those splotches add up to an amazing mix of colors and I will be knitting more of these socks as well! (Not sure of the colorway on this, but it’s one of the ones that was on backorder in our first order from them, so we’ll have it eventually!) Both of these experiences are a good reminder not to judge a sock yarn until you’re worked with it. Knitting it up tells you a lot about the dye and color. What seems to be “splotches and unevenness” in the skein (or “abrubt color changes” or any other description that comes to mind) will bring about different results in the knitted fabric. You might love it, or you might hate it, but it will be different when you work with it. (Of course you can also check our photo galleries to see how things look when they are knit up. You all have been so generous in sharing your finished sock photos for all of us to see and benefit from.) The same goes for washing the socks, and of course wearing and washing them more over time. What might look great all knit up, might not wear so well. (Or, it might wear very well!) I know that I baby my handknit socks with the handwashing. I also don’t normally scuff around in them without shoes or slippers on, and I most often wear clogs, so I don’t get a lot of wear-out on the heels. (That’s not why I wear clogs – I just like how easy they are to kick on and off.) So, lots to consider when picking out the sock yarns that YOU want to work with and wear. That’s why we try to keep so many different options for you! πŸ™‚ This was done in the Loopy Laces pattern by Wendy. (It’s Wendy’s birthday today – go tell her Happy Birthday!)

Speaking of options, are you wondering about next week’s Sneak Up? Here’s the list so far, although we reserve the right to add to it if we get more photos done:

– Hand Maiden Casbah Sock
– Schaefer Anne, Lola and Heather
– New Dream in Color Classy colors
– All of the Dream in Color Baby lace colors
– Fiesta Boomerang and Baby Boomerang
– Yarn Nerd
– Mountain Colors Bearfoot
– New Sakina Needles Roving
– New Yarn Ball Earrings from Romi
– New Loopy Ewe totes (in the larger size – same as our Loopy Groupie bags, but black handles and zipper. We’re saving the red handles/zipper for Loopy Groupies. You all have been asking to be able to buy this size, and we have them for you!)
– New Loopy Ewe canvas totes – the perfect size for sock projects (and they’re RED!)
– New Loopy Ewe coffee travel mugs (because, you know, we like coffee around here)

Coming up the week of January 14th: Wollmeise Sock Yarn, Plucky Knitter Lace, Sheepaints, and more.

Spring Flingers! Watch for an email next week, telling you how to go about paying for your deposit for the retreat. We won’t have you sign up for your classes until March, when the balance of the fee is due. We’re excited to have all of you attending, including some of our favorite Canadians, as well as Kellie all the way from New Zealand and Claudia (the Wollmeise herself!) from Germany! We can’t wait to have all of you here.

Our final Random Acts of Kindness winner is: Heather from IL. Congratulations, Heather! Thank you ALL for participating in this fun month-long contest. We’ll be sure to do it again next December! (Although I’m hoping that we’ll all keep RAKs on our minds throughout 2008. We’ll have to have a quarterly check-in and contest, just to keep things moving.)

Fourth Quarter Challenge photos are due in by January 10th! The Challenge for last quarter was to knit something with 2 or more colors/yarns. I’ll remind you after the 10th, to go vote for your favorites and then we’ll announce the winners. You can see the entries so far, here.

It’s a new Quarter, which means a new Loopy Q1-08 Challenge! This quarter, the challenge is to knit something that you have not knit before. I don’t mean “try a new pattern for your socks”. I mean, if you have never knit socks, knit socks. If you have never knit a shawl, try a shawl. Or mittens, or gloves, or fingerless mitts, or a neck warmer, or a Chevron Scarf, or a sweater, or a vest, or ….. well, the list is endless, isn’t it? (And hey – if you haven’t spun before, get some of the beautiful roving we have going up next week and make “spinning” your “Q1-08 Try Something New to You” challenge!) You have until April 10th to submit the photo to the Q1-08 Gallery and there will be two winners. 1, a winner by random drawing from all of the entries, and 2, a “Knitter’s Choice”, awarded to the project that gets the most votes from all of you. So figure out something that would be fun to learn and do, and jump right in. I’m going to attempt a shawl. Again. (I loved working on it – see blog post here – but that’s all I ever did on it. There were just too many socks needing to be done. I’m going to frog this and start over and am bound and determined to do the whole thing this time.) What do you think you’ll work on for the Challenge?

Sheri savingthenewgiftphotosIwantedtoshowyouforFriday’sblog,


  1. That sock looks fantastic. I love the colors, but I have to admit. other than the colors, I have never been a huge Noro fan due to the feel of the yarn : (

    I love all the photos in the gallery. That has helped me in my yarn purchases seeing a sock or two knit up in the yarn. It always amazes me how different it can look once it is knit.

    Congrats to all the RAK winners!!!

  2. Great sock photos- thanks for sharing! I’m glad we have until Jan. 10 to post our 4Q challenge – hopefully, I can get mine in before then… And, I think I might try fingerless gloves for my 1Q 2008 challenge – or perhaps a shawl – just have to see what I feel like trying. Can’t wait to see the photos on Friday! : )

  3. HEY! That’s me! πŸ˜€ How incredibly exciting!! Thanks, Sheri! And, thanks for the month of RAKs. It’s been terribly inspiring, and really made the season sparkle.

    I’ve already got my new-to-me project for 2008…I’ve been wanting to make a *real* lace shawl for AGES, and now that the holiday knitting is done, I finally can! I’ve even got the yarn all wound up & ready to go, pattern printed & all that jazz. If I can just find some quiet time to get started…

  4. Oh, and I was wondering, did the Noro bloom much post-washing? I don’t think I’ll mind the softness factor, but I’d really like to try the Annetrelac pattern with it, and I’d like to know if I’ll have to adjust it. (Um, and I’m clearly too lazy to wash a swatch myself. Ahem.)

    Ooooh, come to think of it, that’s a new-to-me in 2008 pattern too! I’ve never done entrelac before, though I’ve often wanted to try….

  5. The socks look great! I have a question about the Q4 challenge. In the original post you said two colors of sock yarn. Does the Louet Gems Sport weight count — for a blanket?

  6. No, I refuse to knit an afghan.

    I LOVE the way Ranco Multi looks in the skein. I’m excited to see how well it knits up, but I have about five colorways because I just love it’s random, crazy look.

  7. I’m knitting up my Noro sock yarn too and I like it quite a bit! Hmmm…..I’m thinking at least fingerless mitts for the quarterly challenge. I need them badly!

    Can’t wait for next week’s sneak-up!!!!!

  8. Oh…..I can’t wait to see the new travel mugs and the canvas tote! I was wondering if you were going to either send out to us or post the information about the Spring Fling again. I am so excited about coming in April to The Loopy Ewe, that I neglected to print out the information :/ Thanks Sheri πŸ™‚ Kristi

  9. Something I’ve never knit? Hmmm….. I’ve knit sweaters (both pullovers and cardigans), scarves, mittens, gloves, fingerless mitts, hats, vests, socks, shawls, afghans, a lace tablecloth, felted clogs, bags, pillows, Christmas ornaments, leggings (for a toddler), dishcloths, a doll, a teddy bear in a bunny suit….

    Guess it’s time for that drill press cozy?

  10. Ya know, I need a new travel mug…. πŸ™‚ Timing is everything!

    I think I’ll be trying either mittens or fingerless mitts. I have patterns, I’ve just never made them. The only other things on my list are entrelac and intarsia. I think I’ve basically kamikazed myself into everything else at some point.

    Yep. Some sort of hand warmer it is! Whoo-hoo!

    Oh, and love the Noro socks!

  11. Both of your new socks look very inspiring. I haven’t knit myself a pair of socks since early in the fall, I think. I’ve made lots of pairs of socks (at least 8 pairs), but all for Christmas gifts. So now I think it’s time to make myself some gorgeous socks like those! And I’ll have to get thinking of a new challenging project. Do new techniques count? I received a Bohus Wild Apple pullover kit for Christmas and I’ve never done this kind of thing before, so I’m hoping to tackle that this month.
    Speaking of inspiring, thanks for motivating us to look for ways to help others over the last month. It’s definitely a fun way to go through the day, and judging by your blog there are lots of people out there who will be very thankful and feel appreciated and cared for this month.
    The sneak up sounds pretty exciting, especially those red bags! And will the Ham’s Jam bags be up next week? I am still hoping for one of the big totes!

  12. Hair conditioner softens Kureyon….like people hair conditioner. Really works well. After all, what is wool?

    I am going to design in reversible cables. This assumes swatches don’t count. Otherwise, I can’t think of anything…GLOVES! I will FINALLY knit GLOVES!

  13. I love your Araucania sock!!! I bought some myself when you first introduced it and I love the feel of it. I haven’t knit anything with it. Just waiting for the Holidays to settle down a bit.

    Funny coincidence about the Loopy Q1-08 Challenge – I just started my first pair of mittens last week with some Mountain Colors Bearfoot & Mohair (a strand of each) that I got at my LYS. Does the yarn for this Challenge need to be bought from Loopy Ewe? Just wondering. I have one mitten done and my hand melts when inside. The Mountain Colors Bearfoot is very nice yarn to work and so soft!

    As always, I’m excited to see what the first Sneak-Up of 2008 brings! The gift certificate I received for Christmas is burning a hole in my pocket.

  14. When I first read the new challenge, I thought I was out of luck, because I think I’ve knit at least one of every sort of garment out there, but then the light bulb came on. I will finally SPIN something! Thank you for adding further motivation, as I know just what you mean about having socks to get done.

    Yay for canvas bags and coffee mugs! I love love love the little Loopy Totes and my friend Peg sews the most lovely and useful sock pouches but I can always use another sock bag, especially a red Loopy one!

  15. Okay, you made me do it. I will finally start my shawl. Saints preserve us… there may be much profanity involved, but I will start it.

    But I won’t spin. You can’t make me.

  16. Definitely some fingerless mitts for me. I wore a crappy store bought pair today ( hey it was 26 degrees in atlanta) and I must have some good ones. I also just added a shawl to my Ravelry queue. Slowly but surely I’m branching out. Maybe if you didn’t tempt me with so many great sock yarns….

  17. Those Noro socks sure look fantastic! I love the way the colors interplay.

    I’m not sure what I willl knit for the challenge. I have the yarn to make a tank top (PJ-style) and the pattern. I’ve made socks, two shawls, hats, scarves, Kitty Pi bed, felted bag, and fingerless mitts. I am planning on making myself a pair of felted mittens. Is that considered part of the mitts family or a new item?

  18. Gosh! I hate to miss Claudia! That will be so cool, not only meeting her but spending time with her. You guys are going to have a great time πŸ™‚

  19. For the new challenge I’m going with spinning. One of my 2008 Fiberly Resolutions is to learn how to spin.
    Oh man, coffee mugs….I’m going to need one of those. It’s an addiction. πŸ™‚

  20. Someone just gifted me with the Noro. Sorry to hear that the scratch factor still looms large but their is hope at least watching the lovely color progressions unfold.

    BTW, am I to assume the Spring Loopy Retreat is booked up? If it isn’t, make my day by letting me know! Medical issues could mean me backing out but it would be nice to know if there’s a cutoff date for the full payment or partial refund decision?

    Love your latest challenge. I’ll have to think about this one…

  21. There are two things in knitting that I’ve never done – intarsia/Fair Isle and design. For my Q1-08 Challenge submission, I think I might cheat and submit whatever I’m designing for a KAL design challenge over on Ravelry.

    By the way, the design challenge on Ravelry is a contest, so if I win that, I’ll be honest and find something else to do for the Q1-08 challenge, which will probably wind up being intarsia/Fair Isle.

  22. My new-to-me project will be my first real laceweight shawl. I’ve done one shawl and one stole in fingering weight, but the only real laceweight knitting I’ve done has been the beginning of last summer’s Mystery Stole – which I ended up frogging because I decided the design wasn’t really “me”. In the next couple of days, I will be casting on for the Hanami stole with some All Things Heather lace yarn that I bought from you awhile back. I’ll be adding beads to it as well – another first for me.

    Happy New Year!

  23. Hmmm new to me project, have to think on that one, I’ve made so many new things already!

    Yay for Wollmeise!

    And I bet I know who the new Indie Dyer is… πŸ˜‰

  24. *sigh* I guess I should do a shawl. Not that I don’t want to, oh, I want. Just so worried I’ll get bored in the middle and never finish!! It’s my greatest fear. Most monotonous projects end up at the bottom of my UFO pile.

  25. woot – I got my name in Sheri’s blog, lol!! Hmmm, now cause I have kind of a big trip coming up *wink* I’m suppose to be on a yarn diet for awhile, but no one said nuthin’ ’bout no canvas sock bags or travel mugs, hehehe. And my new quarter challenge is to knit a shawl – I’m actually going to break into my Zen String stash!

    Love the new socks!

  26. I was going to try a Chevron Scarf for the Q-4 challenge, but Christmas kind of took over and I never got to it. Maybe that will be the new-to-me project. Or maybe I’ll take the plunge and try some serious lace knitting. (I can’t even think about it now, they don’t go back to school here until Monday!)

    Oooooh, canvas totes AND coffee mugs? On top of all that luscious yarn? So much for my resolutions…!

  27. I’m knitting my first pair of socks (feel like I’m learning to knit all over again – ugh)and using Araucania. Was glad to read your write up on it although I was most anxious to hear how you were doing with the Noro. My sister and I both bought Noro as well and she has started on that. We also though it was scratchy but bought it anyway thinking it would soften in the wash. Glad to hear that’s true. It sure is pretty yarn. So is the Araucania. It’s knitting up well in spite of myself.

  28. Wow! What a great list of new things…I’m hoping to wait until after the sock club drawing before I buy anything, but I’m sure that I’ll be tempted.

  29. Excited about the canvas tote! I think that I have a shawl I have been wanting to start for ever, never done a shawl before…

    Castiron : I did not see bookmark on there… or spinning… or crochet… I have not done a shawl, but that is much bigger, so I wish I had something smaller to try πŸ™

  30. I am thinking of trying lace, I really haven’t done any and Wendy’s link to the shetland lace scarf may be just the thing. My daughter and her boyfriend fly in tonight from New York, if they don’t freeze first, she just told me the wind chill is -4 right now. The hats and scarfs that I made them have come in handy, can’t wait to hear all about their trip and see all the pictures.
    And RED totes??? That is my favorite color, I was trying to be good since I am coming to the fling.

  31. Thanks for the info on the Noro yarn. It is awfully pretty but I too was worried about the scratchiness so good know it becomes more mellow with washing and it feels good on the foot.

    I have a little project on needles now that is something I’ve never done…kinda sorta. It’s a scarf but a slightly more complicated one: using the Chevron pattern from Barbara G. Walker and blending together a strand of cream colored Lane Borgosesia Cashwool and a strand of Yarn Pirate’s ‘Loopy’ colorway from a couple of years ago (fingering weight). The result is a soft yet sturdy DK sort of weight with good stitch definition. The laceweight is virtually undetectable in this mix. Lovely. I really like mix and match sorts of things (thus the HUGE fabric stash I have as well as yarn) so this project was fun to start. I may explore more yarn blending this year.

    I want to try knitting with beads this year for the first time. Perhaps wristlets of some sort.

  32. sheripaydayisthe15thpleasesavemesomeyarnevenifIknowyouwon’tbecauseyoureethical

    submitted my first colorwork- a SPIDERMAN hat for my littleguy for the Q4 challenge;)

    I really need those yarnball earrings. Seriously. I have short hair- how cool would they be? Dream in Color lace… and a coffee mug… gonna need that too… might hsave to spread my next order out over a couple of paychecks……

  33. Yeah Wollmeise!!!!!

    I think I am going to knit up some fingerless mitts for the Q1 challenge. I have never done them before, and have wanted to try. Now I need to find the right pattern. Got any suggestions?

  34. You are SUCH an enabler! The drying racks are perfect for my cream with white wood house. DH found a spot over the head of the whirlpool tub that would accommodate the medium rack, and it has been ordered. Happy Dance!

  35. How silly, but what I have not knit are HATS (I know, you’re all laughing now, right?). So…that’s a good one for me since I picked up a bunch of sale Noro (worsted) after Christmas to make hat/scarf sets for NEXT Christmas.

    I love the Auricana yarn too – also wondering about the color there. I always think of that as a “marbled” or “textured” look and really prefer that to many other hand-dyed looks (probably because with my big feet and CO for socks, I often end up with pooling since many of the hand-dyes are set up to stripe/pattern better at a lower CO number).

    Hey Sheri, have you had a blog where you asked for favorite fingering weight patterns that are NOT socks? I’d love to hear about some of the patterns that people are using for other items (as in….considering other ways to use some of my beautiful sock yarn stash since I can’t justify adding much more until I’ve used up some of what I have).

  36. Omygoodness…glad to have you back Sheri! It looks like you had one heckuva holiday trip!

    I looked at the Noro yarn, and all I could think was….ohhh, so uneven, and so scratchy! Glad to hear it improves with washing, though I still don’t think I’ll try it yet. Have you knit the partner yet? Did the stripes come out similar? Now the Auricana is a different story! So pretty knit up. What colorway is your sock?

    I have lots of plans for doing different stuff over the next few months. I have done a couple of felted bags, and I have plans to try a cashmere Mobieus cowl, and I have the makings of a beaded lace scarf! I can’t decide which one to try first!

  37. I’m working on my first pair of Noro socks too and am totally in love (using Color 184). It is totally mesmerizing to watch the beautiful color progressions. Yes, it does feel stiff and stringy on the skein, but it softens up even as it becomes knitted fabric; and I’m very glad to hear that it softens even more once washed!

  38. Amy — bookmark’s a good idea! (I may have knit one once when I was first learning, but if so, it’s long vanished, and it was probably made out of worsted weight yarn anyway and was ultimately used as a Barbie scarf.) And while I crochet a bit, there’s plenty of items I’ve never crocheted, so I’m thinking about that — maybe a shawl.

    I draw the line at spinning, though, at least until my autistic “let’s poke holes in pillows and stuffed animals so I can pull out the lofty fluffy stuffing and shred it and blow it into the air” son is out of the house :-). Roving would be way too tempting for him!

  39. I think it’s going to be mittens. I saw the squirrel and oak leaf ones on ravelry that I love. I’m not great with dpns – mainly a magic loof or 2 circulars girl – so maybe I’ll use this for that too.

  40. Oh, soo many cool things in the next sneak up. I won’t be able to get all of the things that I really want. I have been waiting, seemingly forever for the Fiesta Boomerang, but you are getting in the groupie size clear bags in black; that’s terrific, and something that I’ve wanted for a long time. My chevron scarf of 2 Fiesta yarns is quickly outgrowing its regular project bag with handles. And a travel mug! I hope that has a top that closes so that it will be safe around computers, since I live with mine in my lap. I’m curious on the red canvas bags: do they run if they get wet, like if they got rained on, or something? And the new DIC Classy colors, and Mountain Colors Bearfoot! So much, in the first sneak up of the year. Wow!

    I hope I get my email message this time! I never did get mine last time, yet I got all of the previous ones, since, like April? Many thanks for all that you do for me and us!

  41. I want to try the challenge and I’ve done a bit of thinking. I’ve started a shrug, which I’ve never knit before, but then I saw quant on knitty. I’ve never done enterlac before and I could go stash diving this weekend and come up with something that I could wear next week. It’s so tempting, even though I need to finish the sweater that’s on the needles.

  42. I received that same Noro as a Christmas gift! It’s a little like knitting with candle wick, but the colors as beautiful. I made a pair of Bearfoot socks right before so you know it felt even more different t! Glad to hear the Noro sofens up when washing. I used a 2X1 rib because it gave the yarn nice body. I hope you will let us all see how sock #2 comes out with the color repreats. My skein had only 3 repeats but I see from your sock you used only a little more than one, so I may still be able to match the colors. Also glad to hear you’ll be stocking Bearfoot!

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