Merry Christmas!

It’s almost Christmas! We are closed today through Wednesday, so I wanted to take this time to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas. This is a photo of the old post office in downtown Fort Collins and it seemed a pretty, peaceful photo to share for the season. They put up the most beautiful lights in downtown Fort Collins during the holidays, and this photo that Paul took shares a little bit of that with you. (Click on the photo to make it bigger and enjoy it even more!)

Turn up the holiday lights, make yourself a cup of hot cocoa, and enjoy time with your family and friends this week. We’ll be back in the shop on Thursday (come to Knit Night if you’re in town!) and I’ll be back with you on Friday here on the blog. Merry Christmas!

Sheri and The Loopy Ewe Crew

P.S. Congratulations to the RAK contest winners from last Friday’s blog. We’re sending a skein of The Loopy Ewe Seasoning Series to Kay (who gave away a Turn A Square hat to a new knitter in their knitting group) and Rachel (who stopped by to visit her grandmother at her nursing home on a cold, rainy, busy day this week.) Rachel and Kay – please email me so that we can get your color choices! I hope you all had time to read the comments on our RAK blogs the first three Fridays of December. You’ve been up to some wonderful things!

The Geese are Gathering & RAK Reporting

We sure seem to have a lot of geese here in Fort Collins. They fly overhead in the mornings, honkinghonkinghonking trying to figure out who is supposed to be at the head of the V formation. They waddle up and down the sidewalks in different spots. And they swim in the local lakes and ponds. Paul (WH) took some great photos that I wanted to share with you. (Does anyone cook a goose for Christmas dinner? Never mind. I probably don’t want to know.)

geese-in-lake

geese-swimming

Geese-climbing-out-of-water

And just so the ducks don’t feel left out:

ducks-hanging-out

We have had two Loopy Elf parties in the past two weeks. The first one was a dinner that included spouses, and that was a lot of fun. Then we had a fun lunch with everyone bringing something, earlier this week. Cathy brought a warm beverage called Cranberry Bog that we all enjoyed. I’m going to have a pot of this simmering on the stove on Christmas day. Yum.

Cathy’s-Cranberry-BogCathy’s Cranberry Bog

3 cups boiling water
2 tea bags
2 cups cranberry juice cocktail
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup sugar

Steep tea for 3 minutes in the boiling water. Combine all other ingredients and heat. Serve with cinnamon sticks.

It’s time for our final RAK Reporting day. Did you do something fun for someone else this week? Leave a comment and tell us about it below and I’ll draw the winners and will announce them on Monday’s blog. If you need ideas so that you can squeeze in a Random Act of Kindness before I draw winners on Monday, check out our first two blog posts here and here. The randomly drawn winners will receive a skein of The Loopy Ewe Seasonings Series of their choice. Thank you for all of your participation this year in our RAK’s!

Do you have guests arriving this weekend? My mum-in-law arrives today and we always love having her here with us for the holidays. I really lucked out in the mother-in-law department. Have a great weekend!

Sheri hopingyougetallofyourlastminuteknittingdone,too

Madelinetosh, Socktopus, String Theory and More!

We just added our last official Monday Update of 2012 for you on the website. Since next Monday is Christmas Eve and the Monday after that is New Year’s Eve, this is our final one of the year. (However, we might pop one or two things up sometime between now and the end of the year, just to keep our stock room from exploding before the first Monday Update in 2013.) Just up, you’ll find:

Madelinetosh – Prairie. If you love Madelinetosh Merino Light (and so many of you do), then you will love the laceweight version of it. I am not a big lace knitter and even I am nabbing a few skeins of this gorgeous yarn! Single-ply 100% superwash merino, with a generous 840 yards per skein. Have you tried a Nuvem yet? I think everyone needs one, and it would be gorgeous in this Prairie. (You will need 2 skeins.) Lightweight but warm. Nice as a shawl or scrunched up as a scarf. Great for travel (and you can even use it as a pillow on the plane or in the car.) Other options for Prairie: Assante, Radiance Shawl, Juno Regina Shawl and Wrap, Winter Twilight Mitts, Simple Lines, and Bayfield. (Shown above in Envy.)

Socktopus – Sokkusu. Fingering weight, 100% superwash with a nice springy twist. This yarn is great for socks and shawls with texture going on in the pattern. (Of course you can knit it plain as well. But the springy twist will really make your cables and twists pop.) Some patterns you might try for socks: Angler’s Loop Socks, Flecha Socks, Tidepool Socks, Gansey Girl, and Atticus. (Shown here in Pout.)

String Theory – DK. This 100% superwash merino has 280 yards in the skein and is wonderful for sweaters and vests, hats and scarves, mittens and gloves. You’ll love the beautiful color choices. Do you need some pattern ideas? Effortless Cardigan, Acer, Poema, Cloud Chaser, Spring Garden Tee, and Lente.

Dragonfly Fibers – Merino Silk Roving. Are you ready for some spinning over the holidays? This base is 65% superwash merino and 35% silk and comes 4 oz. to the braid. It will spin up into gorgeous yarn. (Shown here in Admiral Benbow.)

Della Q – Project Bags and Needle organizers. Della comes up with some of the most practical (and beautiful) organizers out there. If you have a jumble of needles that need organizing, invest in one of these so that you’ll be able to quickly find the right needles when you’re ready to start a new project.

Stonehedge Fiber Mill – Shepherd’s Wool Worsted. This line continues to be very popular with our sweater knitters. The wool is soft and knits up beautifully, and there are many colors to choose from. Here are some ideas: Woodburne Cardigan, Vodka Gimlet,  and Wrapped Pullover. Of course it’s great for things other than sweaters, too. Try these: One Skein Boot Toppers, Turn a Square Hat, Idalia Shawl, and Jo March Mitts.

Knitifacts – Stitchmarkers. I always like these stitchmarkers, because there is nothing dangling to get in the way of my yarn as I’m knitting. They’re lightweight (made from aluminum) and sealed closed with a seed bead so there are no rough edges to catch on the yarn. Plus, they come in all kinds of fun color sets! (Shown here in Big Top.)

Lantern Moon – Owl and Sock Monkey tape measures. These are too cute. Guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Thank you again for your wonderful RAK reporting on last Friday’s blog. I know all of us were glad to have some positives to focus on. (If you haven’t read the RAK reports from the first day, check this blog post for more reports of people helping people.) We randomly drew two names to receive their choice of our Loopy Ewe Seasoning Series yarn and those will be going to Debbie in CO and Jennie in PA. Congratulations, you two! Our last RAK blog contest will be this Friday, 12/21 and we’d love to have you participate.

I have been picking up my knitting more than ever over the last few days. When there are things going on in the world over which I have no control (but I worry about any way), the simple act of making loops with yarn seems to help me. One of my favorite quotes on the wall here at Loopy is, “In the rhythm of the needles there is music for the soul.” The Elves and I wish you peace and calm music for your soul this week and throughout the season.

Sheri (and The Loopy Elves)

RAK Reporting Day!

It’s Week Two (of Three) for reporting the Random Acts of Kindness that you may have participated in this week! I so enjoyed reading all of your comments on last Friday’s blog post. I know you don’t do these things for the chance to win a skein of our Seasonings Series (although that’s a cool prize!). You do these things because it makes your day to help make someone else’s day, right? And all of us get to benefit from your RAK’s because we read them and it inspires us with new ideas for additional ways to help. So thank you again for all that you’re doing and for sharing back here on the blog. Like last week, I’ll draw 1 name for every 50 comments and I’ll be contacting those winners to pick the Seasonings Skein that they’d like.

I wanted to share one story with you that amazed me. Denise in New York works as a nurse, but in her spare time she makes teddy bears to distribute to kids in shelters at Christmas time. Here you see her sitting in the middle of the 850 9″ teddy bears that she sewed up from September until now. (This year’s work brings her total made over the years to 6200!) They are made with muslin on the front and a pretty fabric on the back, with matching bow around the neck. She then pops each bear into a brown paper lunch bag and makes that pretty by tying ribbon on the top. That way, each child gets to open a package. Some of the bears go to Hour Children, where her husband dresses up and gets to play Santa each year. The rest of the bears are distributed to shelters in her area. Denise has also started knitting up hats, scarves, mittens and slippers to share with women just entering the shelter system. I can only imagine how the work of her hands blesses the hearts of so many. Thanks for letting me share your story, Denise!

Have a great weekend, and don’t forget to leave your RAK report below. We’ll draw winners on Monday.

Sheri likingtheideaofknittingforwomen’sshelters