More cute cupcakes

DSC01546.JPGRemember the cupcakes I bought awhile back that were so cute? I have been on a cupcake kick lately. (No, not the kind that you eat. That would be a caloric kick to be on! Just nice representations of them in other forms!) I found another fun indie artisan on etsy who made this batch of cupcakes for me. I told her the number that I wanted her to make, and just let her design whatever she wanted. I think they turned out great and it will be fun to have them out in my kitchen window for Valentine’s Day! (Check out her birds in yarn nests, and the Valentine’s cookies. Such fun. I’ll show you what else I bought from her this week, when it comes in the mail later.)

DSC01568.JPGI promised to share a couple of pretty shawls with you today – neither made by me. The first one is a model on loan from Prism, that uses their Kid Slique yarn. I can’t imagine a softer, airier shawl than this one! It is called Prism Kid Slique Scarf or Wrap and is available as a pattern here. (Why no photos? Prism’s website is down momentarily and I couldn’t get the photos! I’ll add those in when they come back up. FPS.) The Kid Slique yarn is a combination of 66% Rayon, 26% Kid Mohair, and 8% & Nylon and comes in some gorgeous colors. I have Woodlands and Antique set aside for myself for scarves. (Not together – 2 different scarves.) You have to click on the closeups to see what this yarn is all about. They’ve just sent the rest of our Kid Slique order, along with Prism Lace (which is exquisite) so watch for that to go up soon. Probably the week after next.

DSC01572.JPGThe other shawl is one that Claudia (from Wollmeise) sent me for Christmas and I’m still as taken with it as I was when I opened up the package! This is the first (and only) shawl that I own and I absolutely love it. The colors (you know, blue and brown is such a favorite combo of mine), the pattern, the width and length – it’s all perfect. I have used it several times and it’s amazing how much warmth you can get from a shawl. If I wasn’t sold on making shawls before now (and I really was), then this would’ve done it. Now I just need to get my head around the shawl knitting. Why does it seem to take me a long long time to knit lace? I knit for hours and feel like I have so little to show for it. There are such amazing lace patterns and projects out there, and I wonder if I just have a mental block on this? Or does lace just take longer and I ought to be patient? Someone please advise.

I have had a couple of people email me about some worthy causes that they are working on and wanted to pass the information on to you. The first is Loopy customer Kate. Her 19 yr. old brother just found out that he is battling acute myelogenous leukemia. Kate is doing a raffle in exchange for donations to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in honor of her brother, Robbie Greenberger. If you’d like more information on contributing to that, please check out her blog: http://cairokate.blogspot.com

Another interesting project going on comes from an industrial design student who could use any input you have for a project: http://onearmedknitting.blogspot.com/

For those of you in the our Seasonal Sock Club – your last (Spring!) installment is shipping out today, if you have been to your Loopy account and paid your bill!  If you have not yet made payment, log in and do that so that we can get this fun package out to you.  Our 2008 Sock Club begins in March, for those of you who signed up.  (We are completely full for 2008.) Watch for your March invoices to arrive via email the first week in March.

Hope you all have a great weekend and get lots of knitting done! I … um …. might’ve started another sock. Yes, it’s true. But there was a good reason for it! Another one of our new companies called this week to say they were shipping our order out, and you know I like to have a sock done to show you how the yarn knits up. (This yarn is a brand new sock yarn for them – so new that it’s not even listed on their website yet – and it’s as soft and wonderful as can be. I’ll show it to you as soon as the sock is done. You’re going to love it.)

Sheri headinghomeearlytodaybecauseKnittingDaughterishomesick.bugger. 🙁

Fun gifts, new recipe, and Pattern Ideas?

DSC01480.JPGI wanted to show you a few of my favorite gifts from the holidays! (Why? Because these are all artisans that I can see buying future gifts from. I’m always looking for something unique when figuring out gifts, and I thought you might like to have these resources, too.) The first two are from a gal here in St. Louis that works with my brother. DSC01482.JPG(Mike gets lots of credit for these gifts – he did good, didn’t he?) I wish you could see them in person. The framed Loopy Ewe is hand done on glass and we hung it as you walk in to the kitchen at Loopy Central. I’m amazed at how well she did on the Loopy font! I wish you could see this lighted bottle in person. It has Loopy and Loopy faces and red socks all over it, and it just shines when you plug it in. It looks like stained glass. Very fun! I kept this one at home in my kitchen. Judi has a website where she can be contacted, if you’re ever interested in these fun bottle lights. 🙂 She has some fun options already figured out (my mom has a cute snowman one in her kitchen) but she is also happy to do personalizations and logos like she did for us. Wouldn’t they be cute in kids’ rooms, too, with their name and favorite things on the bottle? (Or a knitting one for your knitting nook? The possibilities are endless!)

DSC01484.JPGThe next gift was an anniversary gift from my mother-in-law. This is all handcut (you can read about the art of Scherensnitte here) and is full of things that make up our life. Hobbies, jobs, schools, people, pets, dates, etc. The more you look, the more you find. (It does help that there is a list of “do you see what I see?” on the back that gives clues.) The artist who did this – Keith Bonnstetter – doesn’t have a website, but here is a link to one of the places he has exhibited. Instead of putting his phone number on the website, just email me if you’d like me to pass it on to you. WH’s mom told him all about our family, and he came up with his representation of it for us. It is a very special gift!

earringsThen, I had to go investigate another jewelry designer, because we all know that I’m a sucker for great jewelry. On Wednesday in the comments section, Juliblue mentioned that she was helping her friend in a trade show. April has had her designs bought by Anthropologie, as well as having worked with several tv shows and other venues. Best of all, her work is downright fun and beautiful. I bought these pretty silver ones as a gift for myself. But don’t tell. I don’t think you’re supposed to buy gifts for yourself right after Christmas. (April said that I could borrow this photo of them to put on the blog for you. I know better than to lift website photos without permission!) Next time, I will have to go for a pair with colored stones/crystals. I like the ones on her homepage with the three dangles.

I do have a recipe to share with you today. These are soooo easy (so really, “recipe” is a stretch) and very timely with all of the “eating healthy” resolutions out there. We made these Yogurt Parfaits for Christmas morning brunch, and I also like to make them each week for breakfast. I think they are best about 2 days after you make them. That gives the granola time to soften up.

DSC01454.JPGYogurt Parfaits

Layer the following into cups:

1 large spoonful of your favorite granola cereal
a few fresh berries (I used blueberries and raspberries)
a few spoonfuls of yogurt
and repeat the layers again, ending with granola and berries.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to eat. (It’s fun to mix yogurt flavors in the cup, although I will admit to liking the vanilla yogurt myself. You can get vanilla and strawberry in large containers at our grocery store, which makes this all a bit easier and more economical.) Next week’s recipe won’t be quite so healthy. 🙂

Attention Spring Flingers – if you’re on Ravelry, make sure you join The Loopy Groupies AND Loopy’s Spring Fling group! There is a lot of fun chatter going on over there, as well as a “Spring Fling Swap” that you might want to be a part of. (Special thanks to Leslie for running the swap and Sarah for setting up the Spring Fling Ravelry Group!)

Great idea – Commenter Tracy suggested that I ask you what your favorite non-sock pattern (using sock yarn) would be. What do you think? Two of my favorite “knit with sock yarn but not socks” patterns are the Chevron Scarf and Monica’s Fingerless Lace Mitts. What would yours be?

Sheri thisweekitwas8degreesonWednesdayandwillbe60byMondayFPS