Back From the Mountains

DSC00572.JPGI’m home! And I had a wonderful time! Boy, what weather. When we left on Thursday to head out to Colorado, our plane was delayed at takeoff (due to a missing fire extinguisher on board) and we just missed tornadoes here in St. Louis. Then when we got to Denver, it was blizzarding up in the mountains. The higher we went, the more the snow swirled. We arrived in three different cars, and one of them was wind-gusted into the concrete median and then sent spinning around and around across the highway. Miraculously, no one was hurt and no other cars around them hit them. They were about 20 minutes from the condo and made it there in one piece, just a little sore from the experience. Here is a photo of the ski slopes, taken from our deck. None of us skiied, but it was fun to watch people coming down the mountain. Keystone is one of the places that offers night skiing, so the slopes are beautifully lit up at night. (I night-skiied once. Never again. It’s FREEZING riding up on the lift at night!)

DSC00570.JPGHere’s our annual group photo. We were missing two gals this year, but it was still a wonderful weekend. We decided to switch our gathering time to fall (when we can avoid snow and car accidents.) Still trying to figure out how to break it to the husbands that we’re planning on this fall for the next event, because of course we’re not waiting a whole year and a half to switch to fall of 2008. 🙂 I brought back some great new recipes which I’ll make up and then share with you over the next few weeks. My family will love being the taste-testers!

DSC00574.JPGSpeaking of family, WH and KD did a great job of getting orders packed up and shipped off to you. I also have a wonderful assistant, who has been with me in another business for a long time and has recently been switched over to helping at The Loopy Ewe three mornings a week. Susan is GREAT and I was so thrilled when she agreed to add more work hours to her week in order to help me get all of these orders out to you every day in a timely manner.

Thank you for all of your wonderful birthday wishes!! Although I do have really really great friends, I must say that I have never had SO many birthday greetings at once before. That was so fun and I appreciate every single one of you who left a comment that day. I had a great day. 🙂

Tonight is the big shop update! Truthfully, we have new yarn orders coming in every single week this month (and probably next month, too). More new lines, more fun accessories, more surprises! I did want to share my thoughts on the yarn lines with you. I know we all joke about the fact that you have to be on top of our shop updates in order to get many of the yarns we put up. And that’s true for some of the lines. Our goal is to keep the “regular” yarn lines in stock most all of the time. (Once in awhile we get caught short because the orders from the company have taken longer than expected, or because they are backordered themselves.) So count on us having Cherry Tree Hill, Lorna’s Laces, Schaefer Anne and Lola, Regia, Online, Opal, Claudia Hand Painted, Crystal Palace, J-Knits, Fleece Artist and Jigsaw in all the time. We’re working on keeping Interlacements and Apple Laine in all the time, and have another awesome major yarn line that we will keep in stock in all colors – due to arrive in a couple of weeks. Stay tuned! With all of our wonderful indie-dyers – well, we have orders in with them ALL the time, but of course they can only dye up so much. (And we put in BIG orders, so it does take awhile for them to pull it all together for us.) When their orders come in, they do get sold very quickly. I’d love to get to the point where we can actually keep some of them in stock for longer than a couple of days. 🙂 Just know that I always have orders in with them in an effort to continue bringing their lines to you. These include All Things Heather, Yarn Pirate, Posh, Zen String, sKNITches, Scarlet Fleece, and several more new ones that we already have on order for you. Again – stay tuned! If you’re a regular blog reader (and/or a Loopy Groupie) you are always the first to know when we get new things in for the shop.

SF Horizen 03Tonight’s update is scheduled for sometime between 8-9 pm (central time). It all depends on how long it takes me to enter and upload all of the information for you. It will all appear at once when we actually make it all go “live” for you. I can give you a hint on what to watch for, though, since it will exceed our four pages dedicated to “what’s new”. We have another batch of Loopy/Louise/Black Bart stitchmarkers going up, plus more Zecca (they are all so CUTE in this batch!), and 5 other accessories which are new to us here. We have new Zeldas and Zelda Grands going up. We have re-stocked the new Lorna’s Laces colors and will be putting those up. Half of the Scarlet Fleece Tubular x 2 colors have arrived and those will be up. (I love this photo that Josiane in Switzerland sent in of the Scarlet Fleece knit up. She says, “Scarlet Fleece is a wonderful yarn. Very very pleasant to knit, this tubular x 2 gives an extraordinary elasticity and exceptional regular stitches, I adore this yarn !!!) We also have our last Sweet Georgia order going up, more Apple Laine, more J-Knits, and one of our brand new indie-dyers – Perchance to Knit – going up. (Each Perchance to Knit Skein comes with a coordinating Swarovski crystal stitch marker – they are so gorgeous. Susie specializes in “rainbow” colors – I can’t wait for you to see them.) So be sure to pop by the shop tonight and treat yourself to some new things. Susan and I will be packing up your orders tomorrow just as fast as we can!

Sheri keepsendingyouryarn/accessoryideastous-

Buried in Boxes and Blogless

DSC00563.JPGWell here it is Monday evening, and still no blog for the day. Where has the day gone? Well, here is a bit of what kept me busy and blogless today: Boxes coming in and boxes going out. This is pretty much the way it is around here. The yarns come in, and the yarns go out. It’s a good thing. (You know, they look a lot nicer going out, don’t they?) Just an FYI for you – I’m heading out of town on Thursday (I’ll tell you about it in Wednesday’s post) so we’re not putting any more new yarns up on the website until next Monday evening. That way, WH and Knitting Daughter will have just manageable amounts of orders to get out while I’m gone. But OH MY do I ever have great stuff to put up next week and in the weeks to DSC00549.JPGcome. Things are really exciting around here! I have more Apple Laine that arrived today, and our newest indie dyer (Perchance to Knit) shipped our order today. Zen String shipped to us last week but it hasn’t arrived yet, and more Panda Cotton shipped today. We also have more Yarn Pirate, more All Things Heather, Sweet Georgia, 4 brand new lines, and 2 new accessories expected in any day. Plus more Loopy, Louise and Bart stitchmarkers arrived today. And just wait till I tell you about the new stitchmarkers Katie’s going to do for us, and the other cute ones she’s doing. Picture on Wednesday. But remember – I’m saving all of this to put up next Monday night …. or Tuesday. We’ll see how much I can get done on my first day back from my long weekend off. You will definitely want to check in. Consider yourself warned…..

Today IS the day that I announce the winner of the February Blog Contest and the person who gets the monthly Loopy Loot! Your knitting tips were amazing – what a treasure trove of ideas. Thank you so much for sharing them. I loved reading through every one of them and I know others did as well. We had 146 entries and I used the random number generator to pick a winner. The winner is: Tracey! Tracey, email me your address (sheriATtheloopyeweDOTcom) and I’ll get your fun prize out to you.

That’s all for now – back to unpacking boxes of new stuff, waiting for their debut. Hugs to you all.

Sheri Ididknitthecutesthatyesterdaybutit’soutofoneofournewlinessoit’sstillasecretshhhhh….

Search Engine Idiosyncrasies

I had to look up how to spell idiosyncrasies – and it still doesn’t look right, but my Webster’s says it is. More on that in a moment…..

I’ve had a great time reading all of your knitting tips! I’m pulling out some of my pretty crystal vases and using them for needles. (And I loved the tip about using your first spinning bits for the bottom of it. Except that I’m avoiding spinning for as long as possible. I’m afraid that I will love it and there is no time in the day for it now.) I like that the tips ranged from actual technique tips, to organizing tips, to …. well, pretty much all over the board. Keep adding to them. And I would love for some of you to take photos of your storage/organizing systems for our “Knitting Nooks & Storage Ideas” gallery. That would be fun. Several of you commented on the fact that you write everything down in a notebook. That’s exactly where the idea for Loopy’s Knit Notes for Socks came from. I was writing things down and just wanted a nicer little book with fill-in-the-blanks on part of the page so that I wasn’t re-writing the same things over and over. Of course there is plenty of space that is blank as well, for adding any other details. Thank you for all of your great tips – I knew you’d rise to the challenge!

Today’s topic – Search Engines. I was perusing the list of things that people had typed into Search Engines (like G**gle) that brought them to The Loopy Ewe. It shows what the word or phrase was, and how many people, using that phrase, have then clicked on The Loopy Ewe and come for a visit to the website. So – there is something on the website or in the blog that makes the search engine think that THIS is a viable option for what they are looking for. Here are just a few that I jotted down. Some are understandable, and some just left me scratching my head:

– “how to put perm rods in your husband’s hair”

– “loopy people photos”

– “How much is too much front loading washing machines”

– “How many shots in a venti Starbucks”

– “Ugly foot contest”

– “Grey wool birkenstock clog”

– “Chocolate covered strawberies longevity”

– “Purchase 12 silver bed and bathroom door knobs”

– “What pan size do you use for St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake”

– “Vera Bradley recipes corn salad”

– “martha frank”

– “life with loopy”

– “college fun movie”

– “for what did they eat colonial peanut butter fudge”

Search Engines are handy, but they’re also a bit weird, aren’t they? Just makes you wonder. (And if any of the above have meanings that I don’t know, then I don’t want to know. Ok?)

In Loopy News – more yarn is expected this week and next (and we’ll put them up when we get them photo-ed). Yes, I have one more Sweet Georgia order coming in, but it’s small. About 1/3 the size of our regular Sweet Georgia orders. (The size and colors were up to Felicia this time, so I have no idea what colors we’re getting.) I don’t anticipate putting that up until the first or second week in March – it hasn’t arrived yet. I do have some fun accessories coming in that you’ll like, and I have two more indie-dyers that I made plans with this week, who will show up later in the spring. More Scarlet Fleece shipped yesterday, and more Apple Laine is on the way as well. We’re always watching out for you and your knitting needs!

Sheri Zoehasdecidedthatthecomputergivesoffwarmth&sheneedstositrightinfrontofit

No Mail Monday … and a CONTEST!

I don’t like No Mail Mondays and I don’t quite get it. We have President’s Day to celebrate … past presidents? Lincoln and Washington? What? And do people honestly go out and have celebrations that cause them not to be able to work today, thus giving many a day off? I can see being off for the Fourth of July – there are parades and picnics and fireworks. On Martin Luther King day there are remembrances and ceremonies and special events. But what happens on President’s Day that necessitates a no work day? (Or – more to the point – a no mail day?) I’m glad to have Knitting Daughter home, and I’m glad for all of you who get a day off today because of it, but I sure wish the mail was still going through. I have a bucketload of boxes here (ok, way more than a bucketload) that I know you’re all waiting for at your house. Alas – it’s a No Mail Monday.

So as long as you’re off work, and not getting mail today, you might want to pop on over and check out all the new yarns we put up! Wonder Husband worked on photos all weekend long, just for us. We have new Yarn Pirate colorways, new J-Knits colorways, more Cherry Tree Hill colorways in both solids and variegates, and lots and lots and lots of Lorna’s Laces in solids and variegateds. Please know, that I have more Yarn Pirate, more J-Knits, and more Lorna’s Laces on order, so if you miss a color you really wanted, it’s already in the works again. Our goal is to always have the regular “big yarn companies” in stock, and to get orders from our wonderful indie dyers as often as they can dye up big orders for us. Some of the big companies are great about getting new orders out within 2 weeks, others don’t keep as much stock and we wait anywhere from 6-10 weeks for an order. (That’s always fun – thinking, “Hmmm – what colors will we be out of 10 weeks from now, that I ought to order today?”) I do have more of all the new colors of Lorna’s Laces coming back in in a couple of weeks – so if you miss them today, watch for those to be back in stock even quicker. I also added Needle Gauges (am I the only one that needs one of these in every knitting bag?) and Circular Needle Point Protectors in the Fun Accessories section.
DSC00546.JPGI finished the first Crystal Palace Panda Cotton sock and I love it. (Note – I didn’t even knit out the skein, so this is out of just under one skein with my size 11 feet, knit on size 1 needles with 60 stitches.) It’s such a comfortable sock on my foot and this pattern knit up SO quickly. I will do this one again, for sure. You really ought to try this yarn. It’s worth it just to see the cute little skeins (someone called them skeinlets!) in person. I’ll put it up in the photo gallery as well. Did you notice that I added The Loopy Ewe Quarterly Challenge photo gallery over the weekend? I have already had people sending in their Frank and Martha photos, so it was time. Remember, it’s easy for you to add these photos yourself via your Loopy Ewe account. Who else has finished their Franks and Marthas?

DSC00545.JPGIt’s time for our February blog contest! I will draw a name next Monday, from all of the comments on this post. The winner will receive our monthly “Loopy Loot” prize. (And it’s a good prize – lot’s of fun stuff in there!) I thought it’d be fun to share knitting tips for this one. It can be an organizing idea, a stitching idea, a storage idea, or any idea that you have come up with to make knitting and/or DSC00547.JPGstashing better in your life. Here are two of my latest thoughts. I bought this over-the-door shoe holder to put on the back of our closet door, and I keep my favorite handknit socks in there where they’re easy to see. Of course you can only fit so many pairs in there, but it’s fun to keep favorites on display like that. My other tip is that I make an enlarged copy of the stitch pattern that I’m using on the cuff of my socks in progress, attach it to a piece of cardstock to make it sturdier, and then can keep that in my Zelda bag (where my current sock project always resides) without having to put the whole pattern in there. When I’m done with those socks, I tuck the card into the top-loader with that pattern, and keep them all in my pattern notebook. That way, the next time I want to use that pattern, the pattern card is already done and ready for me.

So – tell me your favorite tip, either original or a good idea heard elsewhere – and we’ll all have fun reading them! Then, pop over to The Loopy Ewe to check out the new yarns……..

Sheri thinkI’llgobackandfinishmysecondFRANKsocknow