Fall Sweaters!

I want to get folks around here excited about Fall Sweaters! I love knitting sweaters, and if I crocheted, I think I’d like that too. There is something so satisfying about making something that you can actually wear. I find I use sweaters far more than shawls or scarves. My satisfaction quotient goes way up when knitting them! This autumn, we are going to focus on becoming Sweater Masters at The Loopy Ewe. I know sweaters are not everyone’s cup of tea, so I’ll try to come up with other fun mini knit alongs or challenges along the way. Matching hats and leg warmers anyone?

The Fall Sweaters Challenge

The Fall Sweaters challenge will be to knit up to 3 sweaters (you can certainly knit more, but credit for up to 3 only). Each sweater will earn you points in our customer rewards program. I hope everyone will feel as though they can participate, whether they finish 3 sweaters or 1. If you DO manage to finish 3 sweaters you will join the ranks of Sweater Master and receive a small prize and extra points at the end of the Challenge. To qualify for finishing all 3 sweaters, at least 1 of them must be human adult sized. Extra small adult sized is ok – just not 3 baby sweaters. You can knit 1 adult, 1 baby and 1 holiday ornament sized (hey, I know the end can be a crunch – BUT see below for points allocated based on yardage used for each sweater) to qualify for Sweater Master.

The Points

Points for the Fall Sweaters challenge will be awarded as follows for each sweater knit:

  • 1 – 199 yards: Sorry no points – but this can qualify you for Sweater Master in conjunction with sweaters using more yardage
  • 200 – 399 yards: 20 points
  • 400 – 599 yards: 40 points
  • 600 – 799 yards: 60 points
  • 800 – 999 yards: 80 points
  • Over 1000 yards: 100 points
  • Sweater Master: 100 points (in addition to points based on yardage)

The Details

During the Fall Sweaters Challenge, you can pick any sweater pattern you like – pull over, cardigan, cropped, oversized, pet sweater – you name it. Any yarn weight can be used.

Yarn must be purchased on or after September 1 to qualify for points. You are welcome to use stash yarn and join in the conversation, but I can’t award points or prizes for stash yarn used. You can combine stash yarn with purchased yarn and get credit for the purchased yarn yardages as long as purchased yarn used meets the above yardage qualifications. Only the purchased yarn yardage will count.

Yarn yardages are based on yarn being held singly. If you hold 2 strands together the the yardage will be the yardage knit, not the yardage used (qualifying yardage for yarn held double would be half the yardage used).

Photos for your finished projects can be submitted via email to support@theloopyewe.com as you complete them or as a composite at the end. All photos must be submitted before midnight my time (Mountain Standard) on December 31. Along with an image of each of your finished projects please provide for each the following information:

  • Yarn used
  • Yardage used
  • Pattern used
  • One thing you loved about making the sweater

Be advised – it may take me up to a week to add your points to your account. ALL points for this challenge will only be added at the end.

If you finished all 3 months of The Loopy Ewe Day Camp, you qualify for 20% off your first order in September, so this would be an excellent opportunity to use that!

Fall Sweater Ideas

For those who are local, we do have 2 EXCELLENT sweater classes this fall starting in September. These would be fantastic to help you get started. There is a Steeked Sweater class taught by Debbie O’Neill and an Everybody’s Favorite Granpa Sweater class taught by Kara Rudnick. Both are done over the course of 4 months to give plenty of time to finish, and both will be amazing.

I have a lot of sweaters in my queue and a lot of yarns I’d like to use. Because Blue Sky Fibers just launched (TODAY) a new yarn base – Woolstok Tweed, and it looks so amazing, I know I am going to be working with that for at least one of my projects! Just look how amazing it looks! It’s an Aran weight yarn, so should knit up pretty quickly, and Blue Sky Fibers has some excellent patterns out.

We hope you will join our Fall Sweaters Challenge!

Add an order note to let me know you are participating! I’d love to see what people are working with!

Kristine and the Loopy Crew

December Mystery Gnome Yarn & Goodies Pre-Orders Open!

I am excited to be able to carry on the annual Gnome Adventure tradition in collaboration with Sarah Schira of Imagined Landscapes! Did you participate last December? I LOVED gnome-ing along with the group and getting to be carried along with the storyline Sarah wove for us all. It helps that I have never seen a gnome she’s designed that I didn’t like! Well, this year is going to be just as fun, just as cute, and just as imagination-filled! It’s time to pre-order kits for the 2022 Mystery Gnome!

Imagined landscapes and The Loopy Ewe December Mystery Gnome announcement.
December Gnome Event with Imagined Landscapes and The Loopy Ewe!

Yarn Details:

As last year, we are offering 2 color options for yarn sets to knit your Mystery Gnome – Rudolph’s Favorites and Solstice Sunrise. This year, a 5th skein has been added, because Sarah has been working out some extra magic! These will be 100% superwash merino in 100 yards per mini skein, dyed for us by Dream In Color Yarns. Click here to order yarn!

Goodie Bag Set Details:

Also, as last year, we are offering a fun Goodie Bag Set. This will contain 12 wrapped and numbered gifts for you! The gifts will be notions or other fun things to treat you through the month of gnome-ing. Many will be gnome-themed. Some can become part of your gnome (or not – and none of them are required for the Mystery Gnome knit along). The 12 items will come in a cute project bag. Please note that the Goodie Bag Set does not contain any yarn – just 12 fun gifts. (In case you’re using stash and still wanted the fun 12 surprises!). Click here to order your Goodie Set.

Candle Holder Details:

This year we have a fun extra that you can treat yourself with! Colm and Veronica at Lemonwood have created an adorable candle holder that features this year’s Mystery Gnome image for the knit along, and a cute gnome-home. This item is so adorable! It’s made of wood, so I’m sticking to flameless tea lights for mine – I’m sourcing some now so I can add one to each order for this item! The candle holder will come flat and require some assembly (to facilitate shipping and protect it from breakage)! Click here to order your Candle Holder.

Ordering Details:

We are happy to have you order as many sets of things as you like, but please check out with ONLY these yarn sets/goodie bags/candles in your order. We can’t mix pre-orders with other items.

Mystery Gnome items (yarn sets/goodie bags/candle holders) will ship out by the end of the second week in November, with international shipping happening (hopefully) a bit earlier.

Pre-orders will be open through September 10 at midnight mountain time. I will be ordering a few extra of each yarn color set and a few extra candle holders, but the Goodie sets will only be available through this pre-order so I can be sure I have enough of everything!

Imagined Landscapes Details:

Sarah Schira from Imagined Landscapes will be providing the Mystery Gnome pattern for purchase separately. Each year this comes with 24 days of emails filled with stories, recipes and brilliant imagination and creativity that Sarah brings. The pattern will be available for purchase through the Imagined Landscapes site, with the first email/clue arriving on December 1st. To read more about it, click here.

I am beyond excited for another Gnome Advent-ure this holiday season! It’s so fun to see the personality of each gnome come out differently for it’s creator. I hope to see yours come alive as well!

Kristine and the Loopy Crew!

The Loopy Ewe Day Camp – August AND Mini Retreat Success!

I think I say something to this effect every time I write something, but I cannot believe we are already mid way through the month. Time sure flies. Today’s post announces The Loopy Ewe Day Camp August twist and talks about our first Loopy Mini Retreat.

It is already time to start thinking about August Day Camp, folks! August will be a 3-skein project. Starting now your purchases are eligible for August camp! The twist this month is summer travel – send a note as to how your summer travel inspires your project and I’ll pop in a cute luggage bag tag! Details on The Loopy Ewe Day Camp can be found from our May 10th Blog post.

The Loopy Ewe Day Camp - tent in the woods with tall evergreens and a fire pit.

As a reminder, Day Camp is a sort of Camp Loopy Lite – you will need to use 3 skeins but there is no yardage requirement.. Busy month? Three skeins of Rasta are fine! Uber ambitious? Three skeins of fingering! Find something travel-inspired and go with it. I can’t wait to hear and see what you all come up with!

One big bummer I realized this past month is that that when folks post to Instagram (even with the all the right tags), if their account is set to private, I will never see it. So. If you posted and I did not ‘like’ your post yet, please send an email to support@theloopyewe.com to let me know you’ve completed your project. I am going to ask that people email me their finished projects going forward. I’ll still be checking Instagram just in case, but the sure way to be recognized is an email to support@theloopyewe.com.

I also just have to share what a treat it was to have Debbie O’Neill teach at our Mini Retreat this past weekend. We are DEFINITELY going to do that again. It was so fun. She taught us all how to design and knit our own color work hats. She shared so many nifty tips and tricks to make each step easier! By the end, everyone had a great start on their hats, and Dawn even finished hers!!!

It was such an amazing opportunity to take time to learn, knit and relax! Food arrived when we were hungry, and Debbie provided plenty of fun stories to keep everyone engaged. I had the joy of getting to know several people I had never met, and learning more about some folks I’ve known for awhile. Thank you to all the participants for being so amazing – and a HUGE thanks to Debbie for her willingness to share her time and knowledge! Finally, thanks to Bob and Luca for food delivery. It was so nice to not have to go out!

I am already looking forward to the next Loopy Ewe Mini-Retreat! Do you have ideas for mini-retreat classes you’d like to attend? Let me know! I’d love to hear your ideas, and maybe use them in an upcoming event.

Kristine and The Loopy Team

Ahhh, Sunday – Father’s Day Pie

Father’s Day Strawberry Rhubarb Pie – not a knitting post!

I managed to take a break from my screen and other work to enjoy Sunday celebrating my husband and father of my children on Father’s Day! He really is an extraordinary human being and father. We made breakfast, we swam at the pool, and I made a strawberry rhubarb pie. Yummm.

Strawberry rhubarb pie

You may not know this about me yet, but I.Love.Pie. Especially sour cherry and rhubarb. And pumpkin and apple. And peach and key lime. Well, ok, all the pie :). I also love to make pie, so it’s always a win-win in my books when I make time to whip some up!

This Sunday, I made strawberry rhubarb pie, so those are the main ingredients here. I used about equal measures of each and mixed them with flour, sugar and butter. So simple!

The real key to a good pie in my opinion is a good crust. I follow a pretty standard recipe that originated from the Joy of Cooking cookbook that my grandmother gave me a very long time ago. I have tweaked it a bit to suit my tastes. The list of ingredients is below in case you’d like to try it yourself!

I start by mixing salt and flour before adding any other ingredients. I use both butter and vegetable shortening in my pie crust. Some will say pure butter is the way to go, but I think the shortening gives the crust some light fluffiness that the butter doesn’t. On the flip side, the butter provides some delicious flavor! I use cold butter that I cut up into small cubes and ideally cold shortening – though, if I’m honest, it usually is room temperature. I cut it in with a pastry cutter, and then follow by adding my cold water. I always try to mix as little as possible to keep the finished product flakey and tender.

Once my crust can form a ball, I divide it into parts for top and bottom crusts. I usually make 2 pies at a time. One for our household and another to share with the neighbors.

At my house, perfection is not crucial – so my crusts never actually LOOK perfect. They taste divine, though! Once the top crust is added, some time in the oven (10 min at 400 and then reduced to 350 for 35-45 min), and voila! As I mentioned, I made 2 – one had a . . . well, an incident, but still tasted great!

To make your own pies, you will need:

Crust (Per Pie – I made 2)

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp cold butter cubed (1 cm cubes)
  • 2/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 4-5 Tbsp cold water

Filling (Per Pie – I made 2)

  • 2 1/2 cups chopped strawberries
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp butter chopped