Wow – what a whirlwind few days we have had, covering many miles on the road. On Thursday, WH and I left bright and early in the morning to drive up to Upland, Indiana to pick up College Guy. (about 5 1/2 hours from here.) We arrived just after lunch, loaded up the car, and drove back home in time for a late dinner. It always amazes me that the dorm rooms can be returned to an empty state, after seeing how full they are when everyone moves in with lofts, couches, chairs, etc. Here is College Guy with Indiana Guy (one of his room-mates). The other room-mate – Ohio Guy – had left that morning already. They will be back in the same room in the fall, with all new furniture and carpeting. It will be a busy summer at that dorm!
Friday, we headed up to Iowa for Iowa Girl’s graduation. She is the daughter of our dear friends Steve and Janice, and we have known her since she was 2 weeks old. It’s so hard to believe that she will be off to college in the fall. We just love her. Here she is with Knitting Daughter and College Guy. They (and Iowa Girl’s two brothers) have all grown up together and it’s always fun to get together with them and catch up, which we manage to do several times a year. The graduation party was out in their backyard, and the llamas were so curious as to what was going on. They lined up at the fence several times to check it out. Really, they are just too cute and my favorite part is that they hum to each other. (Especially the moms to the babies.) My most unfavorite part is that they spit if you tick them off. So we try not to do that.
There was plenty of knitting time in the car (considering I had about 22 drive hours within 3 days) but I will admit to taking a couple of naps, too. I was happy to finish my Peppermint Mocha sock and I love how it turned out. (The pattern is Wildhorse Farms Checky Waves.) You’ll be happy to know that we have the yarn in stock again – for the third time. I know I said both of the last times that we had plenty of yarn and wouldn’t run out – and both times you proved me wrong. But I really think we have plenty this time. (I notice you already cleaned us out of the Peppermint Mocha Sport Shorts!) I do love this color combination, and when a liquid Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks just isn’t practical, well, at least I can wear the socks! I’m also almost done with my first Woolly Boully sock and will share a photo of that soon, too. Jenny said that our Woolly Boully order is on the way, and includes two brand new colors for us as well as all the other ones I ordered. You are going to love her line.
We have a Mega Sneak Up scheduled for this week. This is what is planned: Celtic Swan Sterling Silver DPN’s, Gypsy Knits BFL (a new indie line for us), All Things Heather, sKNITches, Scarlet Fleece (including new colors), Cider Moon (in the long-awaited Icicle fingering weight), JKnits, Apple Laine, Fleece Artist Sea Wool and Fleece Artist Merino. (Did you see that I already updated the website today to add in the Louet colors that we were out of, as well as more of Perchance to Knit’s Midnight Rainbow lace yarn and a re-stock of Cookie A’s patterns?) Our next Sneak Up (probably the week after next) is slated to add: even more Fleece Artist Sea Wool, Zen String (both fingering and sport weight), Woolly Boully, Chewy Spaghetti Laceweight, All Things Heather Laceweight, Yarn Pirate, Perchance to Knit, and Maruca bags. Also expected in any day and might be in that next Sneak Up or soon thereafter: Posh Yarn, Seacoast, Yarntini, The Knittery, Schaefer Anne and Lola, and a few new lines as well. Check back often, as you know we are always adding new yarns in, just for you!
To my wonderful international Loopy Friends:
Good news: I did so much research (online and at my post office) before all of this postal rate update to figure out the new international postal prices. I just knew that all of you international Loopys would be ordering right away on Monday as usual, and I wanted to have everything in place for you in terms of the new postage.
Bad news: Wrong information from my postal ladies which led to wrong research on the usps.com website. Although I’m not sure the right information would’ve helped much. Have you tried to wade through the mumbo-jumbo on the usps.com website lately?
Good news: It means international rates won’t be QUITE as bad as I had feared.
Bad news: But they still went up.
Good news: I was right – you all ordered on Monday and Tuesday, so Tuesday morning I took several country/size/weight variations into the post office.
Bad news: I packed them in the regular Global Priority boxes. (Last week – The Week of Misinformation – they had assured me that I could still use them.) This week, The Week of Enlightenment, they assured me that I could not.
Good news: I can ship in reinforced envelopes which cuts down on the weight.
Bad news: I had to repackage the boxes right there in the post office with 5 other postal customers impatiently waiting their turn.
Good news: I didn’t mind.
Bad news: They did.
Good news: I had the clerks weigh everything, then gave them different scenarios. “Now if it was going to that country and weighed under a pound, how much? And then over two pounds to that country, how much? And now this country – how about this one? And the next?” etc. So I got a complete picture – the correct one, I believe – of the pricing. I’m just glad to know there are options.
Bad news: This made the five postal customers even more impatient with me. Bad news #2: some of you will be receiving your orders in envelopes that were very hastily written at the post office counter.
Good news: It didn’t cost you as much shipping as you and I thought it would. With the help of the postal ladies (who are now in the Week of Enlightment – aka, The Week of “Now that the updated postal program has been downloaded into our system, we can stop telling you information that we assume is right, and start giving you the cold hard facts directly from our computers”), I have been able to take our average sized international orders, and figure out the postage, and knock that down a bit, to come up with new international postal rates which will not drive either of us too batty. Although you know I would much rather be delivering all of these in person anyway. We have switched the website to the international prices that are the best low-average that we can come up with. When it costs more than that on some of your orders, we will cover it. So glad to have this settled.
To everyone else:
Bad news: I will be away from the computer Thursday through Sunday.
Good news: College Guy comes home on Thursday and we head up to see our friends in Iowa for the weekend on Friday! (They have llamas. I’ll take pictures.)
Bad news: no blog post on Friday, no order shipping on Saturday. (We will, however, be shipping Thursday and Friday. Although not too many on Thursday because the postman has already warned me that he intends to play golf on Thursday afternoon and does not want too many boxes on my porch to have to deal with. Well alrighty then.)
Good news: Susan-the-awesome-assistant and College Guy will both be helping me pack weekend orders for you on Monday so you shouldn’t have to wait any longer than usual.
Bad news: WH tells me I must stop buying yarn, as there are too many yarns waiting to be photographed so that we can put them up on the website for you.
Good news: I’m not listening to him. (but don’t tell him)
As promised, here is a photo of what went into our Summer Edition of the Sock Club. I had to laugh about the Kool-Aid. Obviously I am not a hand-dyer, because a few of you emailed to say you were momentarily alarmed to see Kool-Aid in there, thinking you’d have to dye your own yarn! Kool-Aid means “dyeing” to many, but to me it means “summer” – especially in the lemonade variety. So that was just a fun “summer” type addition to a summer package – not meant to make you work on yarn dyeing! Heather, from All Things Heather, did all of the dyeing for us. A perfect summer colorway for the Sock Club – Skinny Dipping. (A few of you have mentioned not wanting to use the cute little sheep soap so that you can save it, but the gals over at The Soap Plantation promise that if you use it, you can always hop over to their website to get more. We will also have that same “Lemon Loopy Soap” available here at The Loopy Ewe, soon. It makes a fun tuck-in gift for secret pals and knitting friends.) Thanks for all of your wonderful comments about our first venture into the sock club. I’m so glad you liked it. I already have the fall yarn here and Lisa is already working on the pattern and …. well, the fun little extra gift is also being worked on. So we’re already busy with the next installment for you.
I keep getting emails asking for a spot in the club. Unfortunately, we’re completely full for this year. Of course we’ll do it again next year and I’ll keep you posted on sign-ups via the blog and monthly customer email. However, in the meantime, I’m working on something fun to celebrate our one year anniversary in August. It’s not a Sock Club, but it will be a special limited edition offering for you that I think is going to be a lot of fun. So, there are still special things that you can be a part of.
We put up the Claudia Hand-Painted Sport Shorts over the weekend, as well as re-stocking the Wildhorse Farm patterns, adding in more lace patterns from Heartstrings, and adding in Miriam Felton’s amazing lace patterns. Next week we have a lot of yarn to go up. A LOT. We’ll see how much of it can be photo-ed in time. (We’ll also see if my shipping boxes arrive from the Post Office. Suddenly we are short shipping boxes – aack!! I’m not quite sure how that happened. And it takes forever to get them in once I order them. That’s about all I want to say about the Post Office today. I’m still not happy with them over price increases this go-round. Jeez.)
College Guy/Web Guy loved reading all of your birthday greetings – thank you so much! (I told him he ought to put all of your wonderful comments as references on his resume – ha!) Someone suggested that he can’t be College Boy anymore, now that he’s 20 – and you’re right. But College Man sounds too formal. So he’ll have to be College Guy in addition to being Web Guy. It was funny to read that several of you have daughters that turned 20 on Saturday, too.
Off to unpack more boxes of yarn that arrived today. I will have to hide it from WH. His photo-list is already too long. (Psst – I just put up more Crystal Palace Cotton Panda – woohoo! I have 2 more new colors to add in later tonight or tomorrow – Circus and Fruit Salad. We also have the other 6 new colors and re-stocking of everything else due to arrive any minute as well. I’ll put it up as it comes in. I’m hoping another case or two or three will arrive tomorrow. I love this yarn.)
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Tomorrow, May 12th, is Web Guy’s birthday. (Many of you know that Web Guy is also College Boy.) He will be leaving the teens forever, and turning 20. That’s a bit hard to imagine. Where did all of that time go?? Thankfully, we’ll get to see him next week as we pick him up from college and bring him home for the summer. I’m looking forward to having an on-site tech expert for a few months again. It ought to be a calmer summer than last summer. Last summer we were knee deep in getting inventory in and setting up The Loopy Ewe. Our goal was to have it up and running by August 1st. Web Guy had been working on it since he arrived home from college (mid-May) and around July 1st he told me that he was scrapping the whole site and starting over. I had to sit down. In my mind, it went like this, “Starting over?? What do you mean starting over? You’ve been working on it for 6 weeks! We open in 4 weeks. How can you start over? We have yarn here! We need to get this going!” What came out of my mouth was, “Oh? Why?” Well, apparently the “template website” would never allow “us” to do the great things “we” wanted it to be able to do, so he was going to build it from scratch, instead. Starting 4 weeks before we wanted to open. In my mind, it went like this, “Aaaaaaacccccckkkkkkkk!!!!!” What came out of my mouth was, “Are you sure?” He said he was and that I needed to trust him, and so I did. Of course he was right. We opened August 1st. Of course he was right. I do love the extra things that we can do with the site that he built right in there. I might be biased a little, but I think he’s a pretty smart guy. And I hope you all will leave him birthday greetings in the comments to make up for the fact that he’s celebrating his birthday away from home!
Today’s recipe is one that I will make again when we can celebrate his birthday in person. It’s fun and delicious!
1 large package chocolate sandwich cookies (like Oreos)
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup powdered sugar
1 large carton whipped topping (12 oz – Cool Whip)
2 boxes instant vanilla pudding (3 1/2 oz)
2 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp. vanilla
Crush cookies and put 1/4 of the crumbs in a brand new large flower pot. (You can line it with foil if it makes you feel better.) Mix cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar. Fold in whipped topping. In separate bowl, mix milk, pudding and vanilla. Fold both mixtures together. Alternate layers of the pudding mixture with cookie crumbs, saving enough to completely cover the top so that it looks like dirt. Pop some gummy worms or new silk flowers into the top of the pot. Refrigerate until serving time.