Isn’t this a beautiful skein of handspun? My friend Georgia (Yarn Pirate) sent this to me for my birthday last month and I just love it! Beautiful shades of purple and violet and pink, wonderful to the touch, and I can’t wait to knit it up. But what should I make with it? Any fun “one skein” ideas that come to mind? I have no idea what the yardage is. (Georgia – what is the yardage?) I just know it’s beautiful. So – I’m taking suggestions. A scarf would be pretty, but that seems too obvious, doesn’t it? I’d like to be a bit more creative than that. Who has one of those one skein books and can find something fun for me to make? (Hmm – maybe fingerless mitts? I love fingerless mitts……) It really is wonderful to have a hand-dyer/spinner for a friend!
I also received this in the mail this week. Remember Em – the bunny that I bought from Julie a month or two ago? Now I have Lola the bear with the heart on her sweater. These little knitted cuties are just so fun. I’m afraid that I am a bit addicted to them, so it’s a good thing Julie doesn’t put them up all that often. (She’s too busy knitting more.) I do know that some of you scored some of her other ones in this same update, because I saw your names in the comments, claiming them. Good job! Now I have one more that I want to add to the bunch, and I’m hoping to get that one the next time. I’m not sure how she parts with them after she finishes them.
Do you handwash your handknit socks, or do you throw them in the machine? (If you throw them in the machine – have you seen our Sock Sacks?) I handwash all of mine. It has never been that big of a deal to quickly wash them out and then plop them on the mesh drying rack in the bathroom. However, I do get tired of having that rack up all the time. So, I found this and ordered it. I am going to be so happy to retire the other contraption! I’m thinking I may line it with mesh, so that I can lay the socks flat rather than draping them. But I roll them up in a towel and get most of the water out of them anyway, so it’s probably not a big deal to flip them over the rung. At any rate, I think this was someone’s really good idea for a drying rack.
I updated the shop today – and sooo many of you were right there on top of it immediately. I’m impressed! I put Zen String up, as well as re-stocked Cherry Tree Hill, added Interlacements Tiny Toes back in (although we did receive 6 new colors that have to be photo-ed and will go up next week), re-stocked all of our StitchKeepers, re-stocked the Loopy Knit Notes which were sold out, added all of the rest of the Louet Gems fingering weight solids that had been on backorder, and re-stocked the Romney Ridge sheep notecards that I love. Next week – Yarn Pirate and new Schaefer Anne and Lola colors! This colorway is Zen String’s “Bart & Louise in the Garden”, which is one of our exclusive colorways from them. (Who are Bart & Louise? Black Bart is Loopy’s trouble-making brother, and Louise is Loopy’s sweet sister.) This sold out in about 2 seconds this time, but we will be getting more. I didn’t even get a skein for myself. (Angelina? We need LOTS more.) Just thought you’d like to see it. I love the colors. I had someone suggest that we leave up some of the colors that sell out fast, just so others can see them. I like that idea. We’ll work it into a future site update. I know things come and go quickly around here, but remember there is always more more more on order!
Tonight is Lost and I haven’t watched last week’s episode yet. It sounds like it’s getting good. (What do you mean Claire and Jack have the same father??) If I watch it tonight, it would mean mid-week knitting time. I think I ought to.
I’m smitten. I absolutely love this new (to us) Louet Gems line. Here is my Grape sock, finished up yesterday. It’s the Waving Lace Socks pattern from Favorite Socks. It was very easy to knit and I love how it turned out. It has a long cuff and I have long feet (size 11) and you can see in the photo the amount of yarn I had left over from 1 skein. (I followed the pattern exactly, and knit with #1′s.) Good to know that I can get by with 2 skeins for these socks. They are so comfortable to wear, too. You’d think that since I like them so much, and the color is one that I have not knit before, and they were easy to do, that I’d jump right in and make the twin, right? (Those of you who know me, know what’s coming…..) Of course I started another design last night. Well, I wanted to try the Louet Sportweight (which really is a delightful sportweight – not very heavy. I’m still using a size 1 needle to knit it.) Now I’m trying out the Meida’s Socks with Sage. This pattern is really fun to knit, too. And then after this one, I think I will have to try…
A Cookie A design! Because her designs are absolutely over-the-top amazing, and we just added all of them to our pattern section at The Loopy Ewe. This is a new venture for Cookie (selling her patterns – not designing them) and we are her first wholesaler. My only problem will be deciding which one to start with. They’re all incredible. They all call for Louet Gems, too – so it’s a good thing we have the entire color line. (Ahem. It’s a good thing we have the entire color line ordered. Still waiting on the other half of the colors, but they have shipped so we expect them any day and will get them up immediately. This is one of our “big lines”, so barring any unforeseen problems, expect us to have it in most all of the time.)
I also like yarns that are semi-solid – meaning that the color intensity/shade varies throughout. You’ll see this in many of the wonderful J-Knits yarns, as well as All Things Heather, Apple Laine, and Claudia Handpainted. We’re also getting a great new line of semi-solids from sKNITches next month. I have a sample skein and it’s beautiful. You’re going to love it. So for those of you who are finding fun lace patterns to knit up and you want the stitches to pop, try some of these different solids.
Of course that got me thinking. Why do I love knitting socks? Well – there are lots of reasons. They’re portable, they don’t take a whole lot of yarn, they can be as challenging or as simple as I want them to be, they’re relatively quick to finish, etc. But one of the biggest reasons for me is that it allows me to try all different kinds of techniques and patterns without having to commit to a whole sweater of it. It is a great way to experiment and learn. That brings me to this month’s contest. Leave a comment and answer this question: What do YOU like about knitting socks? I will do a drawing next Monday to see who wins this month’s fun “Loopy Loot” package – so get your comments in!
We have so many fun things in the works that …. well, I can hardly stand it! There. Just wanted to tell you. But that’s all I can tell you. Just know that we’re going to be having some fun new lines coming in in the next few months. Did I mention that I can hardly stand it! Hee! Ok. I will tell you that we have another HUGE order in with Seacoast (in both the Bamboo/Merino, which we had this week, and the Superwash Sock, which will be new to us.) Plus, other fun lines on the way – both re-stocking and new ones. If you ever miss out on a certain line, don’t worry. We will get it back in!
Speaking of the next few months, as planned, our Loopy Ewe Seasonal Sock Club will debut the first two weeks in May. The yarn is being dyed up right now (although I have four skeins of it here and boy, do I love it!) and the pattern is done and Lisa did such a great job on it. I can’t wait to send these boxes out to you! If you’re one of the 150 who got in, you can expect an email from us mid-April, with a few more details about it. (And if you’re one of the people who didn’t get in – we’ll expand it next year. I promise!)
Here’s the sock I’m making with the Louet Gems in Grape that I told you about. (Using my Celtic Swan sterling silver DPN’s which I love. Those will be back in stock late spring. Molly is working on them for us!) I’m finding that I mostly only knit on Sundays. Too busy during the week to sit and knit. I wish I could find a solution for that. My 5 basket tower of personal sock yarn
stash buffet is overflowing. I really ought to count how many “socks to be” are in there. Or …. probably I just don’t want to know. I just keep adding to it and I like the look of it. A tower of inspiration.
Today’s recipe comes from my friend Michelle in California. Or, actually, it comes from her mom Ardith in Utah, via Michelle. You have to make these. They really are incredible. (And remember – when you make a special treat for your family, it buys you knitting time. As in, “Here! I made these for you! You enjoy them, and I’m going to go sit down and knit for awhile.”) The bonus with this recipe is that they’re caramels. They’re chewy and gooey. It’ll take them a while to eat them.
2 cups sugar
2 cups white Karo syrup
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, quartered
2 cups canned evaporated milk
1-2 tsp. vanilla
chopped nuts (optional)
Butter a large jelly roll pan, or multiple smaller pans. If using nuts, spread them out in the bottom of the pan. Combine sugar and Karo syrup in heavy non-stick saucepan. Stir with wooden spoon and cook to 240-244 degrees. Next, add butter pieces and evaporated milk alternately, while stirring. Cook until temperature is back up to 240 degrees. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour caramel mixture into pan and spread evenly. Let cool completely until firm. Cut into small rectangular pieces. Wrap each piece in wax paper (making sure the caramel is on the waxed side of the paper.) Twist the paper ends of each piece.
So back to the personal sock yarn
stash buffet. Are you of the mindset that it’s fun to have lots of beautiful yarns in there to inspire you, or are you of the mindset that you’d rather just buy one or two skeins ahead of what you’ll be knitting? (I think I know the answer. After all, I see your orders!)
Woot! The new yarns went up last night and I’m so excited about them! Go check them out. Lots of colors of Cider Moon. I LOVE this line. The yarn is unbelievable soft and I am so ready to knit some sportweight socks for a bit. (Gee – wouldn’t it be nice if I started in on some Christmas gifts this early?) There are so many colors in this batch that are “keepers” for me. June Carter, Bison, Silver Pine, Avocado, Casual Friday, and Victoria, to name just a few. (Have you ever known me to give a whole list of favorites like that? I really did try to narrow it down.) The colors are very deep. I’m hoping to have their fingering weight (Icicle) in in a few weeks, and I’ve already ordered more Glacier. You know, it reminds me a lot of Sweet Georgia’s Speed Demon.
Seacoast Handpainted Yarns came in as well, in the bamboo/merino/nylon blend. You need to check out the photos of this line. The color combinations are very unique and just gorgeous. My favorites in that line are Butte, Chocolate & Caramel, Cherry Fizz and Spring Storm. And it’s an interesting yarn base – I’m looking forward to working with it. I think the combination of bamboo, merino and nylon will be very comfortable. Nice mix for a summer sock. Who is going to be the first one to finish socks with it and get them up in our photo galleries?
New colors in All Things Heather went up last night, too. Four new merino/tencel blends (I like JellyBean) and twelve of the regular sock blend. I like Biker Chick, Frankie, and Oceania in the new ones. Sunrise and Sunset remind me of my Frank socks a little bit! I think Heather is the queen of fun sock yarn names. Biker Chick was pink and black – perfect. (I say “was”, because it’s gone already.) She’s one of the dyers for our sock club, and wait till you see what she’s calling the yarn she is doing for us! Heather is busy dyeing up some solids in her sock line and her Merino/Tencel line, and we’ll get that in a couple of weeks. I have always really liked the way her solids dye up.
Speaking of solids, the Louet yarns went up last night as well. We have 19 in the fingering weight and 20 in the sport weight. (There are 17 fingering weight colors on backorder. We will eventually have every color – hopefully soon.) These are perfect for all of the patterns in the Favorite Socks book that we all seem to have purchased! My current sock-in-progress is from that book. I’m using the Grape colorway and making the cover socks. I can see that knitting with solids in really fun patterns is going to be a bit addictive. Has anyone else found that? Especially when I see all of the gorgeous solids that Louet has. These are true solids – the color is the same throughout. (Compared to a semi-solid, where the intensity shifts throughout. I like those, too.) Who else is working on socks from this book?
How are your Frank/Martha socks coming along? Remember, our Loopy Q1 Challenge is to knit a colorway that is different from what you usually choose. Not sure what I mean? Check out this blog entry that tells all about it. We have the Quarterly Challenge gallery up, and many of you have already posted. But even more of you have emailed to say, “I’m working on them!” (ahem. Myself included.) You have until the last day in March to post your entry on the gallery. I’m giving away two $25 Loopy Gift Certificates – one will be drawn randomly from all pictures posted, and the second will be awarded as the Reader’s Choice Award. We’ll have voting the first week in April, and the socks with the most votes will earn that person a $25 Loopy Gift Certificate. (Can the same person win the random drawing AND the Reader’s Choice? Sure – why not? I’ll announce both at the same time, so as not to sway anyone!)
A new Zen String order arrived this afternoon. The new colors are gorgeous!! We’ll put those up sometime next week, because we’ve had enough for this week, don’t you think? There are other yarns scheduled to arrive soon, too. The fun never ends around here.