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!

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)

RAKS are Back – Get Ready!

It’s December! In previous years, we’ve done a contest all month long involving RAK’s. (Random Acts of Kindness). Last year we didn’t officially sponsor any RAK contests, because we moved the shop from St. Louis to Fort Collins the first week in December, and it was a little over-consuming. But I missed it, and we’re putting it back into the regular December schedule again. This will be our fifth year of December Friday RAK contests, and I’m so looking forward to reading the comments to see who is participating and what you have chosen to do. Thank you in advance for the love that you’re going to share!

There are three Fridays before Christmas, so each of those Fridays will be a RAK reporting day here on the blog. If you’d like to participate, you’re encouraged to do something special and unexpected for someone around you each week. They can be cost-free or expensive, big or little, anonymous or not. Pick something extra nice and out of the ordinary. Not things like “I held the door open for the mom with 3 toddlers at the grocery store.”, because I think we all do those kinds of nice things all the time. Or at least we should be! Need some ideas? If you click on the Random Acts of Kindness blog category over there —> on the right side of my blog, you can read comments from past RAK posts.

Why do we ask you to report back in on Friday? Because your RAK’s inspire other people to go out and do the same. I love the emails that I get in December, where people are telling me how inspired they were when reading someone else’s comment about something nice that they did. You have no idea how your one idea might spur or encourage lots and lots of other people who read about it. That way, your RAK goes even further than you originally intended. To further encourage you to report back in via a blog comment here, we’ll be drawing one name for every 50 RAK comments we get on the Friday blog posts (12/7, 12/14, 12/21). You will win your choice of yarn from our new Loopy Seasonings Series, and we’ll also be adding something extra to your prize as well, because that’s all part of the fun.

Our first reporting day is this Friday and we’ll announce the winner next Monday. You have a few days to do something nice and leave a comment on Friday’s post. (Then – you will have another opportunity to do something else next week, for that Friday’s post.) I hope you’re up for it!

Sheri alreadyplottingmyfirstRAKoftheseason