Rainy Mondays

DSCF2827.JPGI think rainy Mondays were just meant for knitting. So here I sit, looking out my window at a lovely rainy day, and …. my To-Do List is too long. This is reason #78 for planning ahead and not procrastinating. Here it is from the official text:

“78. You never know when it’s going to rain on a Monday and you’re going to want to sit and knit rather than tackling all of those things on your To-Do List.”

Yes, I had read the manual on this and everything, and completely ignored #78. Now it’s taunting haunting me. I hope that I have learned a lesson. Probably not.

I did get some knitting done over the weekend. Yesterday, Knitting Daughter and I watched way too many a few episodes of The Gilmore Girls during Knitting Afternoon. We just discovered this show and the mother/daughter dynamics reminds us of us – so we love it. We are currently on Season Three, so you can see that we have put in some good knitting time over the past month or two. Does anyone else watch this show?

DSCF2828.JPGI finished Sock 1 in the purple mystery yarn. I love how this knit up and I also love how it softened when I washed it. These are going to be a delight to wear. I used the Rococo Sock Pattern that we have at The Loopy Ewe (modified a bit, because I like just plain stockinette stitches on the instep. I modify almost all patterns and just do the decoration on the cuff.) DSCF2829.JPGIt was a fun pattern to knit (a 16 row repeat). I know it would look more impressive on a solid or heathered colorway (check out the picture on that link to pattern), but I’m just having fun going through all of her designs and experimenting. Have I mentioned how much I love Lisa’s sock designs? That’s why we have almost every single one of her designs in stock. It’s really for me, personally!

I did tell you that I’d announce one of the FOUR new yarn lines that we have coming in between now and the end of October. You already know about Sweet Georgia, which I announced a couple of weeks ago. I talked with Felicia this week, and our order is scheduled to be in by the end of September. (And I already put Wonder-Husband on notice that his photography skills would be needed quickly, in order to get them up for your viewing pleasure asap.) I have also already placed another Sweet Georgia order that will come in in November. But I digress. The mystery purple yarn comes from another new line that we will be getting in the beginning of October – Yarn Pirate! We’re starting with 15 of her wonderful colorways (including a Loopy Ewe colorway, designed just for us). This fingering weight superwash merino knits up on size 1’s (2.25 mm) and one skein makes one pair of socks. I will also get those up on the website as soon as we can turn that around. I know you will love Georgia’s amazing colors. (Confusing. It’s FELICIA at Sweet Georgia, and GEORGIA at Yarn Pirate. And HEATHER at ….. oops – I haven’t told you about that one yet. Sorry.)

I’ll also started my Fall Socks this weekend. What I really wanted to knit was Fleece Artist Mermaid, but I decided on Fleece Artist Jester because it really does look more Fall-ish. (I will definitely get back to Mermaid eventually.) I love how this Jester is turning out. Pictures later in the week.

Sheri offtoworkonmyToDo’ssothatIcansqueezesomeRainyMondayKnittingtimeintoday,too

Socks for all Seasons

I love this time of year. The air gets cooler (and I’m a cool-weather gal), the leaves start turning, and the air just smells good. What IS that fall smell that I like so much? (Please don’t tell me it’s rotting leaves. I prefer to have much nicer notions about what goes into that smell.) I haven’t caught sight of a colored leaf yet, but I’m watching. I remember when Paul and I bought our first house. We moved in in August and the notion of raking leaves sounded so fun. I was out there with a rake as soon as they started to fall. The neighbor across the street was outside, and yelled to me, “Give them a chance to fall first!” Ok, so maybe I didn’t need to be raking them up one by one. After the first season there (and about 80 yard bags of leaves later) the novelty of raking leaves wore off. By the next season, we were like everyone else – doing a raking marathon on Thanksgiving weekend.

I’m thinking that we all ought to have socks for each of the different seasons – don’t you think? Maybe some of you already do. Tell us about it in the comments section! Slipping on a pair of fall socks as the air turns crisp, just seems like a good way to celebrate the season. To that end, I have compiled a list of yarns that I think would make excellent Fall socks. Although there are many yarns in line, waiting for me to knit up, I’m thinking I might need to take a Fall Break and knit up one of these. What do you think? (I think there are too many to choose from, but I will endeavor to do my best…..)

Here are my top fall color picks along with color names (going from left to right). It will be immediately obvious to you why my photographer Wonder Husband takes our website yarn photos and spends so much time doing color correcting for you. HIS photos are exact and true to life. Mine are …. well, mine. No color correcting, no special bounce flashes, just pluck them off the shelf, lay them on the floor, snap the photo, and be done. Feel free to check any of these on the website for Wonder Husband’s work. (Note – we still have a few lines to shoot. Some still have the company photos displayed. We’re working on it.)

DSCF2817.JPG Best Cherry Tree Hill Fall colors: Cabin Fever, Champlain Sunset, Fall Foliage, Indian Summer, and Sugar Maple
DSCF2818.JPG Best Claudia Fall Colors: Earth Dot, Roasted Chilies, Red Wagon, Sante Fe, and Passion Fruit
DSCF2821.JPG Best Lorna’s Laces Fall Colors: Watercolor, Purple Iris, Mother Lode, and Safari
DSCF2819.JPG Best Schaefer Fall Colors: Autumn with Zip, Apple Orchard, Cabin in the Woods, Caramel Twist, and Walk in the Woods
DSCF2820.JPG Best Fleece Artist Fall Colors: Jester, Mermaid, Mahogany, and Tiger
DSCF2823.JPG Best Interlacements Fall Colors: Woodland, Las Vegas Brights, Mountain Jewel, and Tapestry
DSCF2824.JPG Best Opal Fall Colors: Krokodil 17, Petticoat 1298, and Petticoat 1295
DSCF2826.JPG Best Regia Fall Colors: Bamboo 1072, Bamboo 1064, Regia 5441, and Stretch 117
DSCF2825.JPG Best Online Euro Fall Colors: 71-839, 71-843, 71-842, 63-780, and 66-804

Which one am I going to make for MY fall socks? Fleece Artist Jester or Mermaid. Haven’t decided. But in keeping with my desire to knit every cotton-pickin’ colorway that Fleece Artist has, I had best make it one of my fall socks. (I LOVE their colors. I just ordered the rest of the colorways they have, and they will be in in about 6 weeks. There are only a few more. I pretty much ordered most of them the first time.) By the way, you can click on any of the photos above to enlarge it and see these fall colors more clearly. So which one will be knit up into YOUR new fall socks?

In other yarn news – ooooh, I just put in an order with another new yarn artist yesterday for a line that you will absolutely snap up. I can’t wait to tell you about it!! But I am trying to wait to announce new yarns on the homepage until we are about 2 weeks from receiving them. No sense in you having to wait it out for 4-8 weeks like I have to wait it out. I can’t wait to tell you about this one. But I can’t tell you yet. Just thought I’d tell you.

Sheri onMondayI’lltellyouwherethemysterypurpleyarniscomingfrom

WOOPs to WIPs to Done!

Great guesses on the WOOPs projects. Since no one got all three answers right, I drew a name from the five people who got at least two of the three correct and Sandy, you’re the winner! Email me a couple of your favorite colors and your address, and I’ll send out a fun skein of yarn for your next pair of socks. May it quickly become a DONE project, and forever stay out of the WOOPs pile……

DSCF2805.JPGMany guessed the tiny red sock for Loopy. You are correct – but it’s even better than that. I finished both his #3 and #4 socks, so he is now completely shod. Here he is, standing on the “mailing center” in the Loopy Room, happy as can be to have warm feet. These little socks are fun to make. While I was at it, I made them up into kits for free gifts. DSCF2810.JPGIf you have ordered from us, you know that I always include something free when I send you your order. There is a “first order gift”, and a “second order gift” and gifts for orders 3, 4, and 5. Now you know that one of them will be Loopy’s Red Sock Kit. (What would you use it for? I listed several ideas on the pattern card for you.) After your first five orders with us, you’ll continue to get the yarn samples that we include with all orders, as well as our undying love! (And don’t forget that you are always getting Frequent Buyer credits. We’ve already had people earn those, even in our first month of business!) Here is the little red sock on its own. I actually knit this one up just for photographing for the kit, because I had already stretched out the other two new ones by putting them on Loopy’s fat feet. So – I actually completed three red socks this week. But I digress….

DSCF2814.JPGMost of you also guessed that I finished the Baby hat. You are correct – but it’s even better than that. I also finished the cute pair of booties that went with it. (I stuffed them with tissue paper for the photo – they look a little misshapen, don’t they? They’re cuter in person.) Love the way this self-patterning yarn knits up, and the fun circle of color on the top of the hat. This yarn is great for babies as it is a combination of superwash wool, cotton, and nylon for stretch. The pattern for these came from Not Just Socks. Lots of ideas in that book, and it’s twin, Not Just More Socks. These knit up much quicker than the baby blanket that is still on my WOOPs list. I have a feeling that I’ll be doing more of these cute hats/booties for baby gifts and no more baby blankets will have to re-think the baby blanket thing.

DSCF2793.JPGThe last of the three WOOPs that I completed was the green Booga Bag (which only Bev guessed. Several of you thought that I finished one of the two drawstring bags, so maybe those will have to be next on my list). I photographed it before felting and put a dollar bill in the photo so that you could get an idea of how much felting shrinks it. Isn’t felting fun? Although I admit, I may have overly felted it just a bit because I walked off and got involved reading email I was just testing an important felting theory. Or something. Or other. DSCF2804.JPGIf you want to see some great looking felted bags where the knitter did not wander off in the middle of the felting cycle and some cute llama pictures, check out Janice (of the comments section here!) and her blog. Such cute stuff!

Tonight – I’m baking Monster Cookies for College Boy and his friends. It might be a little early for a care package already, but he gave me the go-ahead, so I’m guessing that he’s looking forward to it. Also tonight – more knitting. I’m starting the sock in the mystery purple yarn. Doesn’t anyone have a guess as to which new yarn company this came from? (Minh – you can’t guess!) You’ll love this stuff when we get it in. Keep checking the website, as there is always something fun being added week to week. If you stick with reading the blog, you’ll get the heads-up first.

So did you knit this weekend? And what did you work on?

Sheri tryingnottotasteonecookiefromeachbatchoutoftheoven……

There Are Tears Around Here

DSCF2783.JPGOh, there are tears going on today. Not the loud weeping and gnashing of teeth kind of tears, but the big ol’ crocodile tears that flow slowly down your cheeks and just keep flowing and flowing. (Where does all of that “tear liquid” come from, and why don’t you ever run out? I want to know.) College Boy went back to college this weekend, and we had to leave him and drive back home today. I just hate that. I thought it would be better this year (his sophomore year) but it’s just not.

Last year, I could truly claim that it was all about HIM … and hardly at all about me. I was hoping that God had led him to the right college (because, you know, God might’ve made a mistake, you never know.) I was hoping that he and his room-mates would click. (There were three in their room. THREE!) I was hoping that he’d adjust to sharing a room with two other guys after having his own bedroom for 18 years. I was hoping that he’d make good friends. I was hoping that he’d feel like he fit in. I was hoping that he’d have good teachers. I was hoping that he’d find a part-time job that he enjoyed. I was hoping that he’d keep in touch with us. I was hoping that he’d be happy. And I was hoping that I’d find a way to survive for 55 days until I could see him again. (Well of course I counted the days. Absolutely.) All of that was going through my head, all summer long, leading up to taking him to college. It made me kind of sentimental and weepy, all summer long. (But I kept it to myself. A little teary sniffle here and there, in the bathroom or when I went to bed. Nothing in front of anyone. Nothing to make anyone think that I was going around the bend or anything. I had the lid on it.)

The week that we were going to leave last year, I pulled out of the driveway to go to the grocery store, and saw the cute little neighbor boy riding his Little Tikes car down the sidewalk. Well, that about did me in. Surely it was just a couple of years ago that Danny was doing that very same thing? (Ok, well maybe not. He has been 6’4″ for several years and that doesn’t go inside a Little Tikes car. So maybe it has been just a bit longer than that.) By the time I got to the grocery store, I was thinking that I had better not see anyone that I knew. If I could whip through the aisles and bite the inside of my cheek, I might make it home before the tears came again. As I was checking out, I heard a “Well Sheri! Hi!” It was sweet Ruth Ann from church. She said, “How are your kids doing? They are getting so old!” I said (overly-brightly), “Well, Danny is actually leaving for college the day after tomorrow!” In her kindest and most sympathetic voice (because she has been through that), she said, “And how are YOU doing with that?” I burst into tears. Right there in the checkout aisle at the grocery store. Jeez. She said, “Oh my!” The checker said, “Oh my!” and I tried to get out of there as soon as possible. A melt-down in the grocery store, of all places. I still try to avoid Ruth Ann at church, as she now thinks that I must be emotionally unbalanced. Jeez.

Back to this year – I did great all summer long. No worries about Danny and college. I already knew that he loved it up there and that he felt like he belonged there. I knew that he had made great friends and that he had chosen to room with two great guys – Phillip and Nathan – this year. (Yes, three in a room again. By choice. Go figure.) I knew that he had a terrific job, that he had chosen good classes, that he would have great teachers, that he would be good about keeping in touch with us (hey Danny – call me!), and that he was exactly where he was supposed to be. There were no worries about him this year. (No teary outbursts in the grocery store either, although I’m still avoiding sweet Ruth Ann.) No, this time when I had to give him that last big hug and tell him good-bye, it was ALL about me. Sure, he’ll be happy. But I’m wondering what I’m going to do without him around here. I already know how empty his bedroom feels while he is gone. I know that it’s sad at the kitchen table with his seat empty. I know that when I hear a car in the driveway, it’s not going to be him. I know that when something glitches on the website, I can’t go racing into the other room to have him solve it immediately. (He’s College Boy, but he’s also Web Guy.) Yes, he will be so missed here at home. Thus, these crocodile tears at the end of a long, weary day. sigh.

But – good news! Danny’s room-mate Phillip’s mom is a knitter! (Hi Jari!) And she cries, too, and she knits socks, and she misses her boy! A new friend in the middle of “It’s all about me and how sorry I feel for myself” day. That is a bonus gift. So, I’ll survive this day, and I’ll survive this school year, and all will be well. After all, there are only 59 days until Fall Break.

Sheri Ithinkalongrelaxingeveningofknittingisinorder,don’tyou?