Well, I have done a Four Things post before, so this is a three things post.
Three questions I have been hearing from you:
1. Are you going to have the new Opal Rainforest Collection? YES! I happened to be on the computer when the email came through that Rainforest was ready for ordering, and I responded in about 2 seconds. We will have it up as soon as we get it in.
2. Are you going to carry Apple Laine yarns? YES! A couple of you have been after me for awhile on this line, and then after Wonderful Wendy blogged about it last week, even more of you emailed about it. Our order is on its way from Canada and we will get it up as soon as it comes in.
3. Who is your next new indie-dyer going to be? YES! (oh, wait. I am getting carried away.) Our newest indie dyer is …. still a secret. But I am completely nuts over her yarn. I have my first sock almost done and I am even going to finish the second sock pretty quickly because I love it so much! Does anyone want to guess who it is? Her colors are vibrant and amazing, and I love the yarn base. Plus – her skeins all come with a Swarovski crystal stitch marker to match the yarn. We anticipate this in the end of February!
Three new yarn lines arriving in the next week or two:1. J-Knits 2. Scarlet Fleece 3. Apple Laine
1. This adorable bunny named “Em” who arrived from Julie in the UK. Julie knits these and sells them here, but you have to be lucky enough to be there when she puts them up. (You can ask to be on her email list. I’m just warning you, I want a monkey next, so don’t beat me out of that one!!)
2. The new Bees Knees patterns that arrived yesterday. Adorable childrens’ sweaters that are knit out of self-patterning sock yarns and solids. (Try Jigsaw, Regia, Online Euro, and Opal self-striping yarns for these!)
3. The new shipping label system that Wonder Husband found online and College Boy/Web Guy set up on the website. It cuts my “printing mailing labels” time by about 75% and that means I can fill more orders for you more quickly! (Well maybe it just means I can start getting to bed earlier and not be up printing labels so late.)
Three MORE yarn orders arriving in the next week or two:
1. Crystal Palace Panda Cotton (contains no wool – you have been asking for this!)
2. Yarn Pirate solid colors in a wonderful BFL yarn base
3. All Things Heather in her regular sock base (solids and mixed)
Three things I’m currently knitting:
1. My Frank socks. Sock #1 is done, sock #2 is 1/2 done. (But remember – the Loopy Q1 Challenge runs through the end of March. I have time.) Then I was waylaid this weekend by ….
2. That new yarn pictured above. I HAD to knit it up. Sock #1 is almost done. Pictures later. (And as Loopy friend Josiane points out, “Who says your Frank socks have to match?” Good point. Maybe I’ll wear one of each.)
3. My log cabin blanket. I’m finding the long strips are not nearly as much fun to knit as the short ones were.
Three big re-stock orders arriving in February:
1. Lornas Laces (regular colorways, brand new colorways, and lots of great new solids)
2. Fleece Artist (her regular yarn base, plus some fun kits)
3. Sweet Georgia (the “chefs surprise orders begin – watch for unique colorways!)
Three of your favorite things back in stock as of today:
Three animal facts for the day:
1. Zoe’s favorite daytime napping place is in a suitcase in the basement.
2. My UPS man brings Casey a dog treat every time he delivers a package. Casey can hear the truck coming a mile away.
3. Last fall I was so ticked off at the squirrels who kept eating off of the birdfeeders that I banged the window to scare them off and …. um …. broke it. How did I break the news to WH? “Honey? The good news is that I scared the squirrels away.”
Now – what three things would you like to tell me today?
College Boy has been busy on our website. We added in all of the photos received so far, and put the galleries up at The Loopy Ewe last night! There are several photo galleries. One is our Socks on Trees (and such). We wanted to make our sock photo galleries fun and a bit out of the ordinary, so we asked you to send us photos of your socks on trees for the gallery. What is the “and such” part? Well, some of you wrote and said that you have no trees, so could you send your socks on plants? And then some of you wrote and said that you don’t have trees or plants, so could you send your socks on rocks? Thus, Socks on Trees (and such). I loved how Janelle was creative with her socks on trees! As I was photographing some of mine, I thought maybe I ought to traipse around the neighborhood and find some other interesting trees. Then I envisioned knocking on the neighbors’ doors to ask if I could photograph my socks on their trees, and, well…. it stopped there. Maybe not such a good idea. (I scratched the idea of taking all of my socks and sock blockers down to the Botanical Gardens, too, although it would have been very fun to use their trees.) I hope you all come up with a lot more ideas for your socks on trees, and keep adding them to the gallery! (Note – be sure that the sock yarns in the photos you send, are socks yarns we sell at The Loopy Ewe. I don’t want to frustrate people by giving them ideas and then not providing them with the supplies!) Click on any photo in the gallery to see it up close and get more information on it.
We also have a photo gallery of things made up from Sock Yarns, But Not Socks. You know, sock yarns are so much fun to knit with, and you can make all kinds of things. Send us photos of the items you have knit up with sock yarns so that we can share them with others for inspiration. (Good books with ideas for just such a thing: Not Just Socks and Not Just More Socks.) Check our Ann’s wonderful shawl from Claudia Hand Painted. You will notice that I have Casey and Zoe in my photos. You can pose anyone (or anypet) with your knitted items in this section. They might become famous.
Have you ever wondered how other people store their yarn? Or what their knitting rooms or corners look like? Our third gallery, Knitting Nooks & Storage Ideas, gives you a peak into some of these knitting areas, and it also gives you some fun storage ideas for your stash. We need more photos, so snap a few pictures of your ideas or space and put them on the gallery.
The last gallery has photos and copies of all the recipes I have shared on the blog so far. Now, remember that I’m not a food sytlist and some of the photos could use some good photoshop work. But – I’d rather be knitting. So for the most part, you get them as I took them. (Unless WH gets a hold of them and just has to tweak colors a bit.) The idea behind sharing good recipes on a knitting blog/website? Well, some are quick and easy – thus allowing you to cut your dinner preparation time and do more knitting. Others are just really wonderful desserts – thus buying you “extra credit” with the family, and allowing you more knitting time because “you deserve it, after that wonderful dish you made for us tonight.” Just sayin’.
Jen in Ohio wondered if I really indeed meant Socks on Trees, or could I possibly have meant Socks on Wii’s?? (And since we’re still trying to find a Wii here as part of an “owed” Christmas gift, I would just as soon she had sent the Wii itself. But it did crack me up when the photo came through!) Back to the galleries – the best part of it is that you can add photos to the galleries yourself. Simply go to your Loopy Ewe Account and click on the button that says “Add a photo” under My Photos. You’ll then be able to add the title (Use the line of sock yarn for the name – Claudia Hand Painted, Yarn Pirate, Lorna’s Laces, etc) and can add a description if desired. You’ll attach your photo and then send it on its way. It stops by my mailbox before being posted, so that I can double check everything, and then it will go up. Easy as pie.
Huge thanks and hugs to all of you who have sent in photos so far! The cute mini sock blockers will begin shipping to you this week. Remember – I’m sending you a mini sock blocker for your submission to one of our gallery categories. I’ll send up to two sock blockers to each person who submits to two or more categories – that way you can earn a pair. Just our big THANK YOU for helping to make our galleries at The Loopy Ewe a fun place to visit! (I have re-posted the photo of Loopy with our S-M-L regular plastic sock blockers, so that you can see how small the mini one is.)
We will also be adding galleries to showcase your Loopy Ewe Quarterly Challenge submissions – this quarter we’re all knitting Franks and Marthas, right? That will be up shortly. And finally – you might notice we have a new “favorite icon” – – that will show up in your bookmarks and blog subscriptions. We wanted you to have a quick way to find us here, and Loopy agreed to let two of his red socks mark the spot.
So go check out the new galleries and let us know what you think!
Hi. Ahem. So about that Loopy Ewe Seasonal Sock Club. I’m so thrilled with the great response. (and seriously – I wasn’t worried about crawling in here today. You all have been very understanding, and even cheering us on, which is downright upright of you. You all are the best!) We had waaaaaaay more than I anticipated. Obviously I have had my head in the sand. (Actually, I have had my head in a pile of yarn.) I thought 50 would be a nice number to shoot for, with sock club participants. And then I quickly upped it to 75. Then 100. Then 125. Then, I upped it one more time to 150 and had to stop and put blinders on and go sit in a corner. You see, I really hate telling people no. Especially when we were full in about 12 hours, keeping in mind these were hours when most people are sleeping (7 pm – 7 am). If it were up to me, I’d be happily sending out welcome emails to any and all who wanted to participate, regardless of the rising numbers. Or at least until Wonder Husband got home and knocked some sense into me, or Zoe pushed the screensaver button to watch the fish some more. But there are limits to what I can ask my awesome dyers to do. And isn’t that one of the things that makes a sock club special? The exclusivity of it and the unique, one-time-only colorways you get? Next year, I’m going to try to find a way to make it 200-ish. Someone will have to come over here the day of sign-ups and keep me from upping it and upping it again. Or else I’ll have to develop more discipline in this area. We’ll see which sounds like more fun when I get there. Thanks to all of you for wanting to be a part of this and for such great encouragement. YOU make this such a fun business for our family!
Speaking of all of you, I did want to give a big shout out to the latest new members of the Loopy Groupie Club, over the past couple of weeks! A very warm welcome to these gals who have received (or it’s in the mail) their Loopy Groupie Gift Bag: Sarah in FL, Phoebe in MO, Vickie in CO, Rachel in NY, Pam in CA, Rosemary in TX, Barbara in MO, Dynna in MI, Stacey in CA, Michelle in MI, Capi in AZ and Theresa in Italy! (Theresa gets the distinction for being our very first international Loopy Groupie, but there are a few others who are not far behind!) You know we love you here!
Guess who comes home this afternoon for a long weekend? College Boy!! And we’re working on getting our fun photo galleries up on the website while he’s here. So I’m closing this out for the day, but will leave you with a super easy crock pot recipe. Why do I like crock pot recipes? Because you can throw dinner in there and knit all day long. Why do I not like crock pot recipes? Because it makes the house smell wonderful all day long and it makes me feel hungry all day long. Note re: the food photos on this blog – there is a reason that I’m a knitter and not a food stylist. I know it needs sprigs of parsley and all kinds of other wonderful things to give it color……
6-8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 oz. cream cheese
1 stick of margarine or butter
1 pck. dry onion soup mix
1 can cream of mushroom soup
Add all ingredients to the crock pot. (You can even put the chicken in frozen – how’s that for not having to plan ahead?) Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Serve with rice or noodles. YUM!
Thank you again for all of the wonderful memories you all shared about your grandparents. That will probably always be my favorite post ever, because I loved reading about how special they were to you. I have used the “random number generator” to pick a winner of The Loopy Loot for this month, and Minnie is the winner! Minnie – email me your address and I’ll get this fun gift off to you!
This weekend – I’m still working on my Franks. However …. I just got the most wonderful skein of yarn from one of our new indie-dyers that I haven’t told you about yet, and I do not think I’m going to be able to pass up the chance to start knitting with it a little bit. I’m trying to resist, but I think it will be futile. It’s too enticing. (Speaking of knitting – is there anyone out there who might ever want to be a test-knitter for me from time to time?)
Top Ten Reasons to Sign Up for The Loopy Ewe Seasonal Sock Club
1. You will be getting exclusive colors of yarn that are tied into the season. Everyone ought to have specific socks that “go” with the season. Sure, you could pick your own colors out, but what is the fun of that? Why pick what anyone else in the world could pick? Let us surprise you with the perfect colorway for the season!
2. You will get your kit in time to make the socks for the next season. We’re starting with the first shipment in May, so you will get your summer sock ingredients in May, just in time to knit them right up. (Which of course you will do.) You’ll get another shipment in August (fall socks) and then in November (winter socks) and then it will wrap up next February (spring socks).
3. You will be getting a sock pattern designed just for that seasonal colorway, by the talented Lisa at Wildhorse Farm Designs. Enough said about that. Because we all know how wonderful her sock patterns are.
4. You will be treated to exclusive colorways by All Things Heather, Yarn Pirate, Claudia Hand Painted, and one other dyer. Watch for some fun yarns in the mix.
5. Of course you will be getting some great, extra surprises in your box. Mostly because it’s me putting the packages together, and you know how I love to throw extra things in there. I have had fun rounding up some cool surprises for you.
6. Yes, these will all count towards your Frequent Shopper Benefits! (Don’t you love that?)
7. No, it doesn’t count as stash. It doesn’t even really need to come out of the yarn budget. I’d say take it out of the “entertainment” budget. Or “seasonal decorations”. Or “gift buying”.
8. You just need to sign up once and it guarantees you shipments for the whole year. (Well – you DO have to pay for them. Have I mentioned that? Just $33 – plus shipping – each quarter, billed a week before the shipment goes out.)
9. You’ll be a charter member of our Sock Club, since this is the first ever Loopy Ewe Seasonal Sock Club. Spots are limited, and it’s already about 3/4 full from our monthly newsletter email which went out tonight …. but there are still some spots left.
10. Because it’s The Loopy Ewe, and you know we’ll do it up right!
Want to be a part of it? Quick – send me an email (sheri [at] theloopyewe.com) and put “Loopy Sock Club” in the subject line. I’ll email you back and let you know either way. I’m hoping that YOU will join us!
(Morning Addition: OH MY. I “upped” the Sock Club numbers once, and then I “upped” them again, and I’m afraid that I am at the very top limit that we can possibly take. The Sock Club is now closed. Thank you SO much for the terrific response! I can’t wait to start sending you seasonal packages! And next year – because of course there will be another sock club for next year – I will announce the sign-up date a week ahead, just so you can plan on it. I promise.)