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

Happy Birthday, Dear Knitting Daughter!

DSC00035.JPGWant to know the best Valentine’s Day gift I ever received? It was in 1990 when Knitting Daughter was born! 🙂 Can you imagine a more wonderful gift? She continues to be such a blessing to us in so many ways and I love that she has her birthday on Valentine’s Day. It’s so appropriate for this sweetheart! She hasn’t opened her gifts yet – we’ll do that at dinner. But I can tell you what her favorite gift will be. Can you keep a secret? Shhhh. She’s getting a beautiful “created in honor of Julia” colorway, called “Sweet Jules”. I think I have already shared in here that Yarn Pirate is her favorite yarn, and Georgia created this in Knitting Daughter’s favorite colors. I can’t wait for her to see it! I’ll show you a photo of the new colorway on Friday, after she has seen it. (And now I have to make sure she doesn’t read the blog until after dinner.)

DSC00538.JPGLook at the fun gift that arrived in the mail this week from my Sockret Pal. Isn’t she the best? Wonder Husband just doesn’t get the “swap” thing. “You mean you spend hours and hours knitting socks for someone you don’t even know? And you spend money buying things for them and send them packages …. and you don’t even know them?” Of course last night he got home from work and saw this fun package on the table and said, “Oh, that’s cool!” so maybe he gets it now. Maybe I’ll have to sign him up for the next exchange. 🙂 Want to know something weird? I have had the Knit Picks catalog by my computer for over a week, with a sticky note on the front to order the Chart Keeper – and just haven’t done it yet. What arrived in this wonderful package? The Chart Keeper from Knit Picks. Amazing. Thank you, thank you, Sockret Pal!

A little bit of shop newsCherry Tree Hill is coming out with a DK weight in their Supersock. For those of you who like knitting with a heavier yarn – and love Cherry Tree Hill’s tight twist – I think you’ll really like this. We anticipate getting this in the first or second week of March. You’ll notice that we have also added a huge stash of Fleece Artist back in this morning. There are “old favorites” as well as new colors. I found several in that order that are going into my stash. Coming in the next couple of days, a big order of Lorna’s Laces, including the new colors and solids. (It’s here, and in the process of being photo-ed.) Brand new this week – Yarn Pirate’s amazing BFL yarn (Bluefaced Leicester) in her best-selling semi-solid colors. I ordered as much as she could spare (she’s only letting a couple of us have this line) and we will continue to get more. I know you’ll love it. There are new colorways of her merino/tencel on their way to us right now, including Sweet Jules! Watch for that up next week. I also added new Zelda bags in their new spring line of fabrics. So new, that several of them don’t even have photos to go with them – just the fabric swatch. But I have the completed, gorgeous bags here, ready to ship out to your house. Don’t you need to buy yourself a nice Valentine’s gift today? 🙂 DSC00539.JPGAnd finally, more of the Crystal Palace Panda Cotton came in. (Still some on backorder, so we will continue to add to this line.) I am working on a sock with this yarn and just love how it is knitting up. I’m using the Faded Jeans colorway and this is being knit on size 1’s with 60 stitches. Since I wear a size 11 shoe, you can see that there is plenty of yarn in two skeins for a pair of socks. (I’m using Wildhorse Farm Savannah Socks pattern. It’s going to be one of my new favorites.)

On order – well, pretty much everything! More Interlacements, more Scarlet Fleece, even more Lorna’s Laces and some new fun lines as well. We aim to keep you happy and motivated in your sock knitting, so check back often. We’re always up to something around here!

Sheri andaveryHappyValentine’sDayandhugstoallofyoufromallofusatTheLoopyEwe!

Opal Rainforest Collection ll and Cookies

currentnewrainforest1I’ve been waiting for this yarn forever! It has finally arrived from Germany (via the US distributor’s warehouse) and we have it up and available at The Loopy Ewe. There are some fun colors and patterns in here! If you’re not used to knitting with patterned yarn – give it a try. I find that I seem to knit faster on this type of yarn. Either that, or the emerging patterns just keep me more entertained. Maybe I’m just simple. 🙂 I think you’ll have fun with it, too.

DSC00529.JPGGuess what else arrived? Zoe’s Cozy Cushion. I set it down and she immediately claimed it as her own. I was so glad. (Because haven’t you spent money on something for a pet before, just sure they’d like it, and they turn their nose up at it?) Well Zoe’s sold on this cushion and now has warm toes and tummy. I haven’t seen her on the registers once since it arrived.

I wanted to give another big welcome and shout out to the newest members of The Loopy Groupies! Remember, you get to be a Loopy Groupie when you have placed your 6th order with us. We’ll send you a fun Gift Bag and include you in all of the Loopy Heads Up emails (advance notice when new yarns go up, advance notice for the Sock Club), specials once in a while, and other things. (Psst – the Yarn Pirate and I are talking about an exclusive Loopy Groupie colorway. Anyone want to give color suggestions?) I’m happy to welcome these gals, who have become Loopy Groupies in the last couple of weeks: Shelly in MI, Janice in IA, Willi in OH, Kristi in OH, Laura in MI, Josiane in Switzerland, Mary Ellen in VA, Carol in OR, Christy in NC, Robin in MN, Allison in FL, Lisa in TX, Kimberly in AL, Karen in NY, Erika in AZ, Kathleen in CA, Joan in MN and Rachel in NY. We love having you as Loopies!

As promised, here are the frosted sugar cookie cutouts that I make for most holidays. I first found this recipe in the newspaper when I was (I thought) about 2 weeks away from having Knitting Daughter. College Boy (then “Cute Little Two Year Old Boy”) and I made these together and were going to give them to the neighbors for Valentine’s Day. We were able to deliver all but one plate. One of the neighbors wasn’t home. (This is an important detail.) Knitting Daughter decided to come 2 weeks early (that night) and, well …. you know how cravings go. The next day, I was in that hospital bed and just kept thinking about how I really wanted another one of those wonderful sugar cookies. So, I sent Wonder Husband back home to raid the plate designated for the not-at-home neighbors, just so I could have another one. I guess I still owe a plate to those neighbors? I’m taking plates of these to my neighbors today to make up for it. I have called these “Julia’s Sugar Cookies” ever since, because we first made them the day before she was born. Now, they’re a family tradition!

DSC00530.JPGJulia’s Sugar Cookies

2 sticks margarine (1 cup)
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
4 Tbl. milk
2 tsp. vanilla
4 cups flour
4 tsp. baking powder
Frosting Glaze

Beat together margarine and sugar. Add eggs, milk and vanilla until light and fluffy. Stir in flour and baking powder and mix well. Chill in plastic wrap for 4 hours (or overnight is even better).

Roll out on well-floured surface. Cut and bake on lightly greased cookie sheet (or baking stone.) 375 degrees for 9 minutes. Cool and frost.

Frosting Glaze:

2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
food coloring
milk to desired consistency

Let glaze set until dry.

I liked Kim’s suggestion in the comments about you all sending me your best recipes – and my family would very enthusiastically support this idea. They would love to be taste testers. 🙂 If you have a family favorite, send it along and we’ll test it out. In fact, next week I’m sharing a recipe for pork that came from one of you and was absolutely delicious!

Have a great weekend and make time for your knitting!

Sheri ItookaballoftheOpalRainforestToucanoutformyselfandIwanttostartonit….

Sock Yarns Galore

Oh, I wish you could be here with me and all of this yarn! It is just fun, fun, fun. Today, we have added some great new lines, and re-stocked some of the regulars. If you miss out on any of the colors, don’t fret. I will continue to keep them in stock, so we will have them back in asap. 🙂

New lines added today:

J-Knits – Julie at J-Knits in Massachusetts has done a great job of coming up with some beautiful and unique color combinations. She says that they get a lot of inspiration from their diverse seasons in their region and you will see some wonderful combinations.

Scarlet Fleece – Kathy at Holly Spring Homespun in Virginia has created her own line of hand-dyed sock yarns, under the name Scarlet Fleece. The colors in the skeins are rich and muted and beautiful and each comes in a large skein with 480 yds, perfect for socks, scarves, or shawls.

Crystal Palace Cotton Panda – For those of you with wool allergies, you will love this yarn! (Also perfect for summer socks for everyone.) Made with 55% bamboo, 24% cotton, and 21% elastic nylon, it comes 170 yds. to the ball. Lots of colors to choose from (and as always, more on the way).

Apple Laine – Cindy at Apple Laine has been busy busy busy! After a well-loved knitter raved about this yarn, sales went sky high. We will eventually be carrying the entire color line of Apple Laine, as Cindy is able to get more dyed up and out to us. This is wonderful yarn – 50% Superwash Merino, 20% Silk, 20% Kid Mohair, and 10% Nylon with 190 yds. per skein.

Back in stock as of today:

All sizes of Crystal Palace DPN’s, all scents of SOAK, another great size tote with Loopy on the front, and new colorways (solids and variegated) of All Things Heather.

Now, hop on over to The Loopy Ewe and pick your favorites!

Sheri whopromisestopackordersasquicklyaspossibleandgetthemtoyoujustasfast