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.
I 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?
It’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 stashing 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……..
Well, as you might imagine, Knitting Daughter absolutely loved her custom-dyed colorway. It was so fun to see her read the tag and realize it was all hers! She is in the middle of a pair of socks in Yarn Pirate’s Hydrangea, but says as soon as she’s done with those, she’s casting on her Sweet Jules. I can’t wait to see them knit up. Here is the photo of the colorway. Do you like it? I ordered it in the Merino/Tencel, which is coming in an order from Yarn Pirate and will be up next week. Knitting Daughter gets to keep it for herself in the BFL, which was special for her. (That BFL? You all loved that right out of here in about a day. We’ll get more of that when Miss Yarn Pirate gets more of that yarn in. She was so wonderful to share those skeins with me.) Knitting Daughter also thought it was so fun that you all left wonderful birthday wishes for her on Wednesday!
I’m heading out for the day and won’t be back until tonight …. but I will be packing your orders up from today, when I get home. I promise! Remember, there is no mail on Monday, so although the orders will go out tomorrow, you won’t get them until Tuesday. Hard to wait an extra day, I know. Next week I expect to be putting more yarn up from: Yarn Pirate, Zen String, Lorna’s Laces, Cherry Tree Hill, and Claudia Hand Painted, as well as some new accessories. Keep checking in with us. And hey – have you checked the photo galleries lately? We have LOTS of Socks on Trees up there! (Have you also seen how the photos pop up under that product when you’re shopping on the website? Web Guy is so great.) Please keep adding your photos to the galleries. You can do that easily from your Loopy Ewe account. It won’t appear right away – it comes to me first for verification and approval – but it will be up as soon as I click the ok. I am working on getting the Loopy Ewe Quarterly Challenge gallery up, because I already have Frank and Martha photos from some of you to go in there. You all are so great about sharing and encouraging and inspiring each other! No wonder I think you’re wonderful. And speaking of wonderful, do you ever read our Testimonials section? You’ve have been so good about sending those in regularly, too, and I love having them up there. I know that sometimes people stumble upon our website and wonder if we’re ok to do business with. Those really help. Like I said – you’re just plain wonderful.
Today’s recipe is the best pork roast I have had in a long time! Diane in Massachusetts sent me this, and it was SO easy that we tried it right away. It turns out incredibly tender and delicious. The whole family liked it. (Do remember that I’m not a food stylist and while it may not look absolutely wonderful in the photo – trust me. It is.)
1 Boneless Pork roast
1 envelope dried onion soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup DR. PEPPER…….
Throw it all in and do the crock pot thing…….8-10 hrs on low. SO GOOD. And of course crockpotting buys you more knitting time. That’s the end goal in all of this. Diane – thank you again for sharing this wonderful recipe with all of us! Next week’s recipe will be Cherry Pecan Cookies because someone (and I told her she’s my new best friend) sent me a whole batch of them in the mail yesterday. YUM! You will definitely want to make them. I need to get a photo before they are all gone.
Want 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.)
Look 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 news – Cherry 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? And 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!
There are so many fun needlearts out there, and I was thinking back on all of the things that I have done, this past weekend. It might’ve had something to do with cleaning out basement shelves and coming across
a ridiculous amount of cross-stitch materials that I’m fairly sure I’ll never use again. I thought I’d share with you what I used to do, and you can share with me what other needlearts you have done or still do.
I started with knitting. I took a stab at it in junior high and I remember the
ugly maroon scarf that grew in width as I worked on it. I also remember the ugly yellow and green sweater that my mom cast on for me. I knitted the body, and she did the arms and finished it up. I don’t ever remember wearing it. Then in high school I was in a production of “To Kill A Mockingbird.” It was a BIG part. I was a member of the jury in the courtroom. I also had a side-part as a wandering towns-person. My line (that’s singular) was, “Yonder are some townfolk.” Like I said, it was a big part. But what does this have to do with knitting? I had to sit and knit in the courtroom. I guess that made me look like a typical town lady doing jury duty. I think I was knitting with that same ugly maroon yarn and I’m pretty sure whatever I made was thrown away after the play. The knitting bug never stuck back then.
In college I moved on to counted cross-stitch and was a huge fan of that for years and years. Here’s a picture of the quickest thing I could find for a photo today. I cross-stitched for enjoyment, and I cross-stitched for pay. For several years, I stitched many cover models for the Cross-Eyed Cricket Collection. Here is a picture of my very first leaflet – I did the stitching on the denim jumper. I think I stitched for 25 or more of these leaflets and I always thought the best part of that was getting the leaflet for free. I would’ve bought it anyway. Very nice gals to work for. I don’t know how they keep coming up with designs, several times a year. It was fun to be at the TNNA Market this summer, and find their booth! We had a good time catching up.
My next hobby in the needlearts was needlepointing. I liked this a lot, as there were no charts to follow and everything came out so great looking. What I didn’t like was how costly it was to have it finished off. Yikes! I kept thinking how much less I’d be spending if it were cross-stitching, but I was enjoying the needlepointing too much. I think I have two or three belts that are done but not “finished off”. Oh well. I enjoyed doing them. I will probably do more needlepointing someday.
And then of course, came the knitting again. I started back up because a friend was doing it and I thought, “Hey – I used to do that!” I went out and bought the “Teach Yourself How to Knit” book and just couldn’t get the hang of it. Finally I realized the problem. It was teaching me how to knit by throwing the yarn, and I had learned (ooooh so many years ago) by picking the yarn. I made the switch and it was as easy as pie. Isn’t that funny that after all those years, my brain remembered the other way and refused to learn a new method?
I have also tried my hand at quilting (which I enjoyed briefly) and sewing (which I enjoyed a little longer than briefly), but not rughooking. There is a nice rug hooking/knitting store in town, and the rug patterns look very enticing. But I am not adding another thing to my plate. At least not until I have knit up my sock stash.
So – I’m interested in hearing which different areas you have tried and enjoyed. Is knitting your favorite? Or something else? And have you evolved from one to another, or do you just keep adding more in and keeping the old hobbies, too?