Frankly, I’m tired of it…….

clstack More new yarns up at The Loopy Ewe today. New, amazing, to-die-for Claudia Hand Painted colors. Tell me, please – at what point will I become immune to the gorgeous colors that keep coming through my door? When is it that I will be able to see new skeins of new colorways and yawn? At what point will I be able to knit through my sock yarn stash (excuse me, my “personal sock yarn buffet”) and not be adding colors to it faster than I’m taking colors out? Because, frankly, I’m tired of desiring it all. Something must change here. Either I learn to knit faster (like Wendy. I want to be like Wendy) or I stop taking all of these skeins for myself. I’m not even going to tell you about these yarns. You don’t want to know. You’re just going to want to buy all of the new colors and: we.must.resist.together. We must.

DSCF2938.JPG So instead, I will share the salad recipe, as promised last week. And look – College Boy is home and the World’s Best Mother-in- Law came to visit, too! I promised them that they could have some salad if they’d pose with it. This is one of my favorite salad recipes. I’ll share another great salad recipe next week. I love good salad recipes almost as much as I love good dessert recipes. Almost. This one came from my friend Susan.

Susan’s Winter Fruit Salad

1 large head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
4 oz. (1 cup) shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup cashews
1/4 c. sweetened dried cranberries
1 apple, cubed
1 pear, cubed
Poppy Seed Dressing

Chop the apple and pear and put them in a bowl of white soda (do you call it pop?) while you’re doing the rest of the salad. This will keep them from turning brown in your salad. Drain and add to all other ingredients. Toss with Poppy Seed Dressing.

I must say that I never measure the stuff. I just add all of the ingredients in the amounts that we like. (I add more apples and pears, and more cranberries. Not more cashews, because I have eaten a handful of them while preparing the recipe and by that point there are no extras to add to the salad.)

So – try it out on your family and let me know how you like it.

For those of you who missed out on Yarn Pirate’s Loopy Ewe colorway, and several of her other ones that sold out in a blink – I already have more on order. Same with the All Things Heather colorways. (Boy – the Merino/Tencel blend raced out of here!) Watch the blog, as I’ll let you know as soon as they arrive. All Things Heather will be around Thanksgiving, and Yarn Pirate the first week or two of December. That’s also when we’re slated to get all of our Sweet Georgia fingering weight in.

Did you want to know the next yarn line that we have coming to us? It’s Yarntini – as several of you guessed! I drew from the correct guessers, and GAIL, you are the winner! Send me your address and when Yarntini comes in, you get to pick your first skein of it for free! You all will love this new line. I’m ordering it in her self-striping colorways. Her yarns do beautiful things, and the color combinations are so fun. Most are named after drinks, except the one called: 4-8-15-16-23-42 Did I mention that I also love her sense of humor? 🙂 She is also working up an exclusive Loopy striping colorway – but it will be totally different from the Yarn Pirate Loopy colorway. I think you’ll love it! Watch for Yarntini in early December as well.

clsheri Back to the present – OK, who am I kidding? Of course I’m taking the new Claudia colors for my personal sock yarn buffet. Not ALL of them at once. Just a few. I’ll start with a few. Like these. (Clockwise from the top: Boot Camp, Spring Break, Leopard, Toast). And if I’m getting some, then you need to get some, too. If I’m not resisting, then you had better not resist, either. And for those of you who have already ordered from us twice this week? – and there are several of you – Get ready for a third order. That’s how wonderful these new Claudia colors are. You will love me for enabling you to buy them. You really will. We’ll figure out how to add more knitting hours to our day some other time. Right now, there are yarns calling to us.

Sheri thinkingthatIneedtosetasideafewdaysfornothingbutknittingwhatdoyouthink?

Red Photos, Red Socks, and Frosted Brownies

DSCF2912.JPG pb2912 This is why I have Wonder Photographer (aka Wonder Husband) taking all of the great photos that appear on The Loopy Ewe website. I figure he has enough photo-taking responsibilities with the website and so don’t go to him to color correct my little blog photos. However, he saw the ones I put in there on Wednesday and said, “You need to let me take all of that red out of those photos.” Red? Where is it red?

I don’t see red. However – you must agree that his corrected ones look SO much better! (And I can tell you, much truer to the actual yarn colors.) So I replaced them. This is one of the benefits to having a husband in the graphic design business. He can look at something and say, “need to take down the blue” or “looks like a tinge too much green” or “you need to let me take all of that red out of those photos.” I’m pretty clueless. All I know is that these yarns all look great. However – now YOU can see them in their true colors, too! Yes, I’m thankful for his skills with our photos. 🙂

Well you need to keep guessing on Wednesday’s blog contest, because so far no one has come up with the right answer – and I love that. That means that maybe I’ll be bringing in a NEW yarn to you. That will be fun! I have loved reading your answers and am working on a couple of them for future possible lines. So ……. stay tuned. (You can go back and post another guess, if you can come up with another one. I really DO want to give away the yarn.) I also talked to the very nice Koigu lady today, because I know we all love Koigu. It will be a year (a year!), but we’ll get it eventually.

Lynne in the comments section asked if I had a favorite sport weight yarn pattern. Actually, I really like Peaks and Valleys out of the Knit Socks book (it’s the one that looks like a kids cardboard cutout book in the shape of a sock). I also like Lisa’s Wildhorse Farm Stillwater pattern, which is written for both fingering and sport weight. As I haven’t knitted too much sport weight (because until recently, I was too addicted to fingering weight), I haven’t experimented with many patterns for that yarn. Does anyone else have some good recommendations for us?

DSCF2924.JPG I was put to death by my Sock Wars assassin. It was expected. I knew that she was hunting me down and would show me no mercy. I knew that her fingers were flying and the socks were rolling off the ends of her needles. I knew that the package of beautiful red socks would show up in my mailbox before I had a chance to finish my socks for my intended victim. sigh. So I’m out. Sending my in-progress socks to the next person. Really, the way this all works is a bit confusing, but I think I’m doing it right. If not, someone is going to get some lovely Schaefer Lola with a 2/3’s done sock attached. What I’d really like to know is how do I continue with this system? The system where I get to turn in my half-finished socks and in return, I get a pair of beautifully knit finished socks? I like it.

DSCF2922.JPG It’s Friday – time for baking. Today I’m sharing the easiest brownie recipe in the world, but I promise you that people will bribe you for the recipe. Truly. It has been around in our family since I was a toddler and I make it often for guests. (Just add Breyer’s Vanilla Bean ice cream and it’s a great company dessert.) I seem to have shared an imbalance of sweet recipes on my Friday Recipe Days, so next week I’ll share one of my favorite salad recipes.

Double Frosting Brownies

1 (9×13) Brownie Mix (your favorite kind. I like Duncan Hines.)
Make as directed, bake and cool (see – I told you this was going to be an easy recipe)

The Frosting Part That Makes This So Special

Bottom Layer:

1/4 cup butter, melted
2 Tbl. cream (or milk, but cream really does make it taste way better)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar

Spread on brownies.

Top Layer:

1 square semi-sweet chocolate
1 Tbl. butter

Melt together for 1 min. in the microwave. Drizzle on top of white frosting. Swirl into marble-y pattern with a knife.

Put in refrigerator until set.

Yummmm. Try them on your family and let me know what you think. (And remember – any time you make a special meal or dessert, it buys you knitting time that evening. It’s a rule. I consider it part of my job as a responsible knitting blogger to help you earn get more knitting time.)

Sheri brrrr29degreesthismorningandIlovethatkindofweather!

It’s Friday – Baking Day

DSCF2882.JPGTime for more cookies to be sent off to College Boy and his friends. This is one of his favorite cookies, so I know that he’ll be happy to receive them. Sometimes I can only find these mint chips during the holidays (and so I stock up and freeze them.) Other times, there they appear in the baking aisle at the grocery store, in the middle of summer. What’s up with that?

I’m always thinking that if I make a good dinner, or have home-made cookies cooling on the counter when everyone gets home, that that ought to buy me a little extra knitting time that evening. Does that work at your house? You know, just in an “I deserve this time to knit, because after all I made a great meal/cookies for you all today.” kind of way. Or maybe that’s just me.

Mint Sugar Cookies

2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
3/4 cup oil
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (10 oz,) oacj if nubt fkavired cgicikate cguos

(hee hee – that’s what happens when you get your fingers on the keyboard the wrong way. Although it still makes no sense, even if I try to re-create how my fingers must’ve been. Thought I’d leave it in just to see if anyone is paying attention. Here’s the real ingredient….)

1 (10 oz.) mint-flavored chocolate chips

Combine 1 cup sugar and oil. Beat in eggs and vanilla till creamy. Gradually add flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in mint chips. Use 1 rounded tsp. of dough. Roll into balls and roll in 1/4 cup sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet, 1 inch apart. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

DSCF2903.JPGAnd speaking of delicious things …. look what my Chocolate Swap partner, Lynne, sent to me! Brilliant idea, a chocolate swap. Just in time for weekend enjoyment. Lynne – you were a wonderful swap partner – thank you SO much! Cute plate, wonderful chocolate colored mug (the inside is RED – I love that!), the softest llama/wool/tencel yarn blends, etc. I am all set for the weekend.

silver2904 Remember these amazingly beautiful Sterling Silver DPN’s that I gave you a peak at on Monday? They’re all gone. I didn’t even save a set out for myself. However – the good news is that I’ve placed another order with wonderful Molly and we’ll get them back in. The other good news – she will make them in 1’s for us! Since this is the size that I use the most, I am buying myself a set of those the minute the postman brings them to my door. If you would like a notice by email when I put the next batch up on the website, please email me and ask to be put on that list. If you already know you want me to set aside a set for you, let me know what size (0,1,2) and I’ll pull your order before listing them on the website. Molly told me that the cost of silver has gone up since I ordered these in August, so I’m not sure what the final price will work up to be. I’ll keep you posted.

No Sweet Georgia, Yarn Pirate, or All Things Heather yet. Maybe next week. Watch the blog for updates!
Sheri workingonmysocksforSockWarsthisweekendareyouparticipatinginthat?

The Weather is Cool and The Soup is On!

DSCF2879.JPGI love the fall. The weather gets cooler and you find yourself under a pile of blankets when you wake up in the morning. Today is about perfect around here. It’s about 60 degrees and cloudy (ok, I like it a little bit cooler, but I’ll take this.) Time for soup! Do you make soups in the fall and winter? I have some favorite soup recipes, but am always looking for other good ones. Do share, if you have a family favorite.

DSCF2878.JPGHere is one for Steak Soup from my friend Diana that is wonderful. This is crockpotting at my house today. I will admit, it doesn’t look that great in the photo – but it will look and taste great by the end of the day. (You don’t add in the broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, corn until the last hour – so you’re seeing it in its beginning stages.) What I like about this recipe is that it’s so thick and hearty. (4 lbs. of hamburger and tons of vegetables.) DSCF2874.JPGSpeaking of vegetables, I learned a good trick for slicing onions without the tears. Oh, I know the regular tips – burn a candle nearby to get rid of the fumes (that does help), leave the root end intact while you cut (not sure that really helps), etc. But at a cooking class that I took last year in CA, they told us that we should cut the onion in half and then put the cut-side down on the cutting board. Next, cut into wedges and then dice. This one really does work the best out of all the onion tips that I have tried. Since you need 3 cups of onions diced up for this recipe, you will need to know how to do it without tears. (Unless you can take your tear-stained face into the room where your family is parked, announce that you just need some time to “find yourself and pull it together because it has been a stressful week”, and then can sneak away for a few hours of uninterrupted knitting. In that case, tear up good and enjoy.)

Diana’s Steak Soup

1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
3 cups chopped onion
2 cups sliced carrots
2 cups sliced celery
2 lbs. (or 4 cups) mixed veggies
2 (1 lb.) cans diced tomatoes (I use Zesty)
1 Tablespoon Accent
8 cubes beef boullion
2 teaspons black pepper
2 envelopes Lipton Onion Soup Mix
8 cups hot water
4 lbs. ground beef, cooked

Melt butter in a large pot. Stir in flour. Add water slowly and stir. Add cooked meat, veggies, and seasonings. Bring to boil. Simmer until veggies are cooked, about 1 hour.

(Or use your crockpot. In that case, add in everything except your carrots and mixed veggies. Simmer all day long. Add carrots/mixed veggies for the last hour.)

For a really great meal, add Janice’s Corn Bread Rolls with this soup. (her 9/18 entry)

On the knitting front: I am working away on my Log Cabin Quilt. I liked the strips better when they were short and each color went by quickly. I’m on the longer strips now and am forcing myself not to get bored. I have also started the twin to my Regia sock that I finished at my meeting last weekend. I am determined to get all of my twin-less socks under control. I have also figured out a knitted-gift solution for the people on my list, which I’ll share with you next week.

DSCF2881.JPGOn The Loopy Ewe front: Have I mentioned how much I love my Namaste Vintage Knitting Bag? It holds several projects, and I love that I can put my favorite pairs of needles around the sides. We have these in Camel, Black and Red. Did you know that red leather is “IN” right now? And did you know that the red leather Namaste bags are hard to find? I have just one left. I’m tempted to snap it up for myself because I just love the red, but then what would I do with two of these bags? Be sensible (she tells herself.) Actually, we have just 2 camel and 3 black ones left, too. When I took mine to my knitting guild meeting two weekends ago, several people asked about it – it really is that great. So did you want to treat yourself to one of these? 🙂

Sheri Ihopeyourweekendplansincludelotsofknitting-that’swhatI’llbedoing