Archives from September 2006

Randomness Today

Photo: Sheri Berger
Wednesday, September 20th, 2006 in Loopy

Too many things going on to form a coherent post today. So, I’m giving you snippets of information as they run through my head. (That’s scarey, isn’t it?)

DSCF2861.JPGI am heading out of town today, and will be gone through Sunday. That means no post on Friday, and I will miss that. That also means that Knitting Daughter and Wonder Husband will be filling all orders that come in on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. (be still my beating heart.) They’re saving Saturday and Sunday orders for me to fill when I get home. Now, they have been well-trained to do this. I have left lists and instructions, and they are intelligent. I have every reason to believe that this will go just fine. Really. It’s just that I’m a bit picky about everything that goes out of here I want to make sure it all arrives to you correctly, safe and sound. So, they’re doing it together and double checking each other. I’m counting on them to do a great job. I know they’ll have fun sending packages out to you (and will no doubt proudly relay their efforts to me on a daily basis.) They were just thrilled to pieces about me wanting to take an action shot for the blog. Thrilled, I tell you.

DSCF2856.JPG Did I mention to you that Knitting Daughter has now secured a job at Starbucks? This is what comes home to our house every single week – a free pound of coffee. (One of the many benefits of working at Starbucks.) She is having a great time working there. After 14+ years of being around Wonder Husband (aka Wonder Dad) and I with our home-based businesses, her customer service is second to none. I always told her that would come in handy some day!

DSCF2859.JPGSpeaking of coffee, I thought I’d share a great gift idea with you. My friend Monica gave me a set of these coffee syrup dispensers one Christmas, and we have used them ever since. You can buy these jars at kitchen stores, and you can buy the coffee syrups at World Market (or coffee places). It’s easy to make up personalized labels on your computer. That way, you can keep all of the wonderful knitted items you’re making all for yourself and give coffee syrups to everyone on your holiday list instead.

While I’m gone – I thought I’d spice things up with another blog contest. You know that we have three GREAT yarn lines on order, and expected in any day. Well, actually I expect them any time between now and mid-October. So here is the contest – guess which yarn shipment will arrive first – All Things Heather? Sweet Georgia? Yarn Pirate? (I just listed those in alphabetical order, so there are no hints in the sequencing.) And secondly, guess which day between now and 10/15 they will arrive. List your yarn and date guess in the comments section, and the winner will receive a free skein of whatever company came in first. (If there are multiple correct answers, I’ll draw a name.) And yes, of course I will let you pick exactly which colorway you’d like!

Have a great rest of the week – and please do give these two characters some orders to fill. They’ll be so proud of themselves and you already know you’ll love the wonderful yarns that you pick out. I will be working on knitting under the table, during my meetings when I can fit it in between important meetings.

Sheri sadthatIcannolongerknitontheplaneguessI’llhavetoread

Cat For Sale

Photo: Sheri Berger
Monday, September 18th, 2006 in Uncategorized

“Cat for sale. Cheap. Promises to leave your balls of wool alone if you keep them wound up nice and tidy. Vows to bite every stray yarn in half when loop portions/strings are pulled out. Not a lick of remorse to be found in said cat. Email all inquiries, or to add your cat to the ‘wool snipping for sale’ list.”

Well, I was a bit alarmed at taking my WOOPs list down so quickly (from 10 to 6 projects in a blink.) I just don’t ever want to feel too “together” with my knitting projects, you know? It doesn’t seem right not to have a long healthy list of Works Out Of Progress. So, I remedied that this weekend by starting another. (No, my Fall Socks are not yet finished. Thanks for asking.) I started the Log Cabin Quilt that I have been dying to knit ever since Kay and Ann tempted me with this book. Since I want it to be warm, I am using wool. Since I want it to be easy to wash, I’m using Superwash. The common sense solution to “what yarn to use”, therefore, was Regia. I am so into the blue/brown color combination right now, so those are the colors that I picked. These things are addictive, I’ll tell you. Each strip seems to knit up fast, so you think, “Well, I’ll just do one more strip before bed.” (Kinda like, “I’ll just have one more Oreo before putting the bag away.” You must know how well that works.)

DSCF2860.JPGHere it is, so far. Not sure if the browns are photographing right – I have a light, medium, and dark brown, a light and dark blue, and a cream color that I’m alternating. I am knitting it double-stranded on size 4′s and it’s knitting up beautifully. This will be a wonderfully warm blanket. I’m noticing that the cat is volunteering to sit on my lap more often, now that I’m knitting this. Which brings me to this delightful photo.DSCF2843.JPG This is what happened when I went to the kitchen for some coffee, got distracted for a minute by my coffee syrup choices, and then wandered back into the family room. Snipped. Right in two.

DSCF2855.JPGWhen I found her (lounging nonchallantly on the back porch), I had a word with her about her fondness for imitating a scissor. She loudly proclaimed her innocence. In fact, you can see her here, mid-sentence. She denied the whole thing. Can you believe it? Blamed it on the dog. (The dog has a fondness for all things edible, and not one ounce of fondness for wool. I don’t believe the cat.) She simply needs to go. I can’t have a cat with an attitude about wool-snipping and a propensity for lying to pass the blame.

Sigh. Ok. I’m lying. She’s not for sale. In fact, I’m actually very fond of her. So I found a solution to my problem. DSCF2842.JPGHave you ever spent $$$$$$$$$$ (oops – got carried away) a little bit of money on these lovely baskets made in Ohio? Have you ever purchased one with no idea what you’re going to use it for? (You haven’t? Oh. Me either.) Well this one seems to be perfect for knitting my Log Cabin Quilt. Not only can I keep the different colors of yarn in different compartments, but it has a lid. (Which will be perfect, if I remember to put in on when I’m done knitting.) A heavy lid. It weighs a ton. Solid wood, about 3/4 ” thick. A no-cat’s-gonna-get-in-here-to-bite-yarn lid. DSCF2846.JPG It’s such a good thing that I bought this all those years ago. I knew I’d need it someday.

One last note before I go back to knitting working, for those of you who guessed “All Things Heather” for the next yarn line we’re getting in – you’re right! Heather has amazing colorways and yarn, and I can’t wait for us to get it in. (I’m still so thrilled that she said YES to us, as she is in high demand and has to turn down most requests. One talented person can only do so much, you know.) Actually, it’s going to be an exciting couple of weeks pretty soon, because I have a feeling that All Things Heather, Sweet Georgia, and Yarn Pirate will all be arriving around the same time – all from incredible one-woman yarn businesses. (Poor Wonder Husband. Lots of photographing for the website. I’ve already warned him about it.) I don’t know why I started this Log Cabin Quilt. I have so many sock yarns that I want to knit up in the coming weeks………….

Sheri dogissnoringundermychairasItypeforpete’ssake

Sheri’s Top Ten List: Things That Don’t Work

Photo: Sheri Berger
Friday, September 15th, 2006 in Sheri's Top Tens

I really really really really dislike things that don’t work the way they are supposed to. We had a “glitch” with The Loopy Ewe website yesterday, that made ordering impossible. (And later, made getting on the website at all, impossible.) Granted, things have gone extremely smoothly since we got it up and running, so maybe we were due, but I’m of the mindset that we should just stay smooth and glitch-free forever. Why do we have to be “due” for a glitch? So here are some things that don’t work, that bug me. (Why would you be interested in this? I don’t know.)

1. COMPUTERS. (Yes, that deserved to be in shouting capital letters.) I don’t like it when I am attempting to do something perfectly reasonable, and the computer fails to understand it. I certainly didn’t mean to add the little comma in the middle of the command that I typed out. Obviously a comma doesn’t go there, so why should that trip the whole thing up? Why can’t the computer think, “Hmm. That is not the place for a comma. She must’ve meant to type this other thing instead.” We can get a man on the moon, but we can’t make a computer that understands that we didn’t mean the typo? (Case in point – why do numbers 6-10 of this list look like a different font? Why isn’t the BOLD feature working on those? Why has everything that I tried to do to fix the situation failed? COMPUTERS.)
DSCF2838.JPG2. Dogs. Well, one dog in particular. When it’s time to go to bed, we let her outside (and back in) one last time. Most nights, I can call her in my sweetest and most inviting voice, and she still just lays there in the family room, looking at me like I’m nuts. (Especially if it is raining or cold out.) I frequently have to go in there, make eye contact with her, and then take her to the back door. Apparently she has me trained needs a personal escort.

3. COMPUTERS. Why does my whole website have to be “wonky” because something somewhere inside my computer (or out there in cyber-world, or on the web-hosts computer) decided that things were not going to work right today? Who delegated that power to them?

4. Shopping. I spent yesterday shopping/lunching with a friend. (She is the recipient of the brown/blue knitted bag from the previous blog and she liked it!) I like shopping. We went to Soft Surroundings and there are too many great things in that store. I found a denim jacket that I liked. Totally impractical. I have enough denim jackets. It didn’t work to tell myself that. I bought it.

5. COMPUTERS. If things aren’t going right, one of the things you can do is close the program down and start over. Or, shut your computer off and re-boot. Why? Why is it that I have to do that? Why can’t the computer/program just FIX itself and start working again? Why do I have to start over, and who decided that that would be the way it works?

DSCF2837.JPG6. Cats. What doesn’t work about cats? Their brains, when they see yarn. Fortunately, Zoe ignores yarn in balls/hanks/skeins, on shelves, on tables, on the floor …. unless there is the slightest little piece pulled out. If there is a loose loop, she is on it with all fours. “Zoe! No yarn!” does not compute, when she is in a wool-induced frenzy.

7. COMPUTERS. More to the point, when they’re supposed to be “talking” to the printer, and printing something out. Why do I sometimes get “printing has stopped”. Who told it to stop? And for what reason? These are things I want to know.

8. Cell phones. I cannot always be thinking ahead. There are some days that I rush out of the house, only to find my cell phone battery dead. Truly, is it my fault that the battery wasn’t charged the night before? I think not. What matters to me the next morning is that the cell phone is not working and I need it to be working.

9. COMPUTERS. More to the point – the internet connection on the computer. I wake up in the mornings and wander into the office to check email. One of the things I count on is being able to get on line. Once in awhile, it doesn’t work. That means that I spend an inordinate amount of time on hold with the high speed internet company, only to then have them tell me that “things look good on this end. It must be on your end.” Inexplicably, the problem usually self-corrects later in the day. All I know is that it didn’t work when I needed it to.

10. Having other things going on in your life when you’d really rather be knitting. Honestly, that just does not work. Who wants to be spending time on other things in life, when there are yarns just waiting to be knit up? Patterns calling your name? Something must be done about that. I’m open to suggestions. I don’t like things that don’t work.

Sheri IdiscoveredcakebattericecreamatColdStoneCreameryyesterday.Thatworks!!

Knitting Podcasts

Photo: Sheri Berger
Wednesday, September 13th, 2006 in Uncategorized

I discovered something new last week. Knitting podcasts. Where have I been? Good grief. I find that I knit WAY faster when listening to podcasts (or audio books, which is the next thing on my list) than when I am trying to watch tv and knit. Now that Knitting Daughter is spending a significant amount of time working at Starbucks, I am knitting by myself more often. Knitting podcasts are wonderful for that. Does anyone have any good knitting podcast suggestions for me? And what other things do you do while you knit?

It was sure exciting to be mentioned on the Lime & Violet podcast yesterday! Miss Lime discovered The Loopy Ewe and loves our yarn selection and Frequent Buyer Program. (Where we give you a $25 Loopy Gift Certificate, every time you accumulate $250 in orders from us.) How fun to be passed on to all of their listeners. (Thank you again, Miss Lime!)

DSCF2832.JPGI love having a knitting blog. Why? Because I feel responsible for getting some knitting done in order to keep you entertained. Therefore, “I have to knit tonight” sounds like serious “work”, instead of the relaxing and wonderful activity that we all know it to be. (Don’t tell Wonder Husband.) I finished up another WOOPs project. I made this rainbow bag last spring and loved it as my beach bag on a trip to St. John. A friend of mine saw me knitting this same bag in a blue/brown/moss colorwayDSCF2833.JPG and admired it, so I thought it would be a good birthday gift for her. She takes a beach vacation every year, so I’m putting a Barnes & Noble gift certificate in there for a good beach-read book. I hope she likes it. (I think that takes my WOOPs list down to 6. Yeehaa!) I have another bag like this on the WOOPs list – in blues and purples. I think I will finish it for a Christmas gift.
DSCF2834.JPG

I’m also knitting away on my Fall Socks. (This is Fleece Artist in Jester, using the Fleece Artist pattern that comes on the inside label of all of their sock yarns.) Several of you have ordered your fall yarns for your seasonal socks. I’m so proud of you! I’d love to see the finished products when you are done. Send me photos via email. One of our “to be added” features on the website will include photos from YOU. We’d love to showcase the things that you have made with yarns from The Loopy Ewe. We’re also getting our “What Our Customers Are Saying” section up (hopefully later today, right Web Guy?) You all have written me the NICEST emails, after receiving your orders. Seriously, it’s just impossible to have a bad day, when you keep sending me emails like that. I just love it.

No one has taken the Heather yarn hint and figured it out yet, although I have had some of you email to say you Googled it and couldn’t find it. You know we’re always on the lookout for wonderful new sock yarns that you can’t find all over the place. (But we also love the tried and true beloved favorites as well – so you’ll find both at The Loopy Ewe.) We are excited about being able to offer you this great sock yarn that is hard to come by and earning quite a reputation. (Watch for it mid-October). So here’s a hint …. if you read Yarn Harlot’s blog, you will be able to figure it out. (But no, I’m not going to give you the exact entry date – what would be the fun in that?) Anyone want to figure it out?

Sheri IhavealreadyhadtoexpandtheLoopyRoombecausewehaveoutgrownourspace:-)

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