Sneak Ups and COLORS!

DSC00823.JPGThanks for all of your interesting comments about the Sneak Up this week. (And thank you to soooo many of you who sent me the very sweetest emails. I really appreciate you!) I thought today would be a good day to address some of the thoughts on it all. (And then we have some fun new website features to tell you about!) I didn’t have any photos to put in today, so you get my “flowers in Colorado with Sheri’s head shadow” shot. :-)

- Yes, the Wollmeise went quickly. But remember, we knew that it would. Also, remember that we will have more in a few weeks, and very regularly after that. You will have the opportunity to get it often. (So how many skeins of Wollmeise did I keep for myself? Well, you know that I used one to knit a pair of socks. Then I took one other one. That’s it. But I do plan to take a couple of skeins with each order that comes in, because I like this yarn just that much.)

- I totally understand those of you who would like us to limit purchases in the Sneak Ups. Really, I do. I wouldn’t want to be missing out on anything good, either! (Of course I’m just the kind of person who would also set an alarm to get up and check on whether or not something was happening if I was waiting for a particular yarn, but I probably shouldn’t admit that.) The only thing that we have limited here are the Loopy/Louise/Bart stitchmarkers, simply because they are so few and far between. So we set the limit at 2 sets per person. I want everyone to feel welcome and appreciated here, whether they buy one skein, or 20 skeins. I think that if we put limits on it, the “20 skein” people would not feel so welcome and appreciated. I will say that no one is buying in massive quantities to re-sell to friends, relatives and strangers. You all are just generally buying things to add to your own collection – and that’s great. Some of you collect skeins in every colorway. How fun is that? Others of you buy one or two from each line so that you have a great representation of all the different yarns. Still others pick and choose and appear to be very disciplined, and I’m still trying to figure you out. How DO you do that, when confronted with so much beautiful sock yarn? :-) In order to continue to be welcoming and appreciative to all, we won’t limit your purchases, but we WILL continue to schedule regular and frequent and large orders from all of our yarn companies. If you don’t get something this time, we promise to do everything we can to have it here for you again as soon as possible.

- Timing for the Sneak Ups – let’s just say it will be every Wednesday night at 8 pm Central, ok? That would work best for me and then you don’t have to be stressed and wonder when it is. (Oh. Wait. We can’t do that, can we? That’s what made Loopy roll over, and caused the whole Sneak Up thing to start in the first place. Dang.) Ok – we’ll continue to mix up the times and days and will try to make everyone happy, one week or another. I DO think that I’ll have Web Guy build in an automatic “release” for me, so that I can set the time and go to bed and not try to wake up at 3:30 in the morning any more.

- “Losing” things from your cart. Yes, it’s true – it’s not “yours” until you have clicked through with your payment. At that point, it is taken from our online inventory and no one else can have your skein. That’s just the way these things work. But we have a new warning system in place for you, which might help. (See below.)

Now the fun stuff. Web Guy has been working hard this summer, and here are the latest website features to show for it:

1) Colors!! Consider it “beta” at the momen, meaning try it out all you want…but let us know when/if you find a bug or how we can improve it. Paint yourself a skein by adding and subtracting different colors in your combinations to find out how many color combos you like. We’re still experimenting with the system, but we have about 400 of our items on there so far for you to color with. For example, when I click on one of the reds, I get these choices. Then I can click on any of the other dots to see red WITH something else. So if I then click on green, it narrows it down to this. It’s way too fun to play with.

2) “New” product icon. Whenever you encounter a product that’s been added within the last week to our store…we now have a little orange “NEW” icon that shows up after it’s name

3) Easier shopping cart additions. When adding an item while you’re browsing the store…you don’t even have to change pages anymore. When you click the “Add to Cart” a little popup will come up alerting you about the new item in your cart. (Check out the What’s New page. See the “add to cart” on each product box? Now you can shop directly from there on Sneak Up nights if you need to!)

4) Wishlists!! Err…not yet. Still working on it.

5) Popular shopping cart items. In an effort to soothe the frustrated (a.k.a. the “distressed people”), we’ll now highlight when an item that you have in your shopping cart is popular. So, for example…if you have a skein of Yarntini in your cart during the next Sneak Up, it will check to see how many others have the same idea. If more people have it in their carts than we have in stock, we’ll add the little orange message to your item. So if you see a little orange “Popular item right now” line by an item in your cart, you probably want to skedaddle your way through and complete the Checkout process. Yes, skedaddle.

So – what do you think about the new features? Fun, eh? :-)

Sheri hopingtogetsomegoodknittingtimeinthisweekend.ImustfinishmySockapaloozaPal’ssocks!


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87 comments on “Sneak Ups and COLORS!

  1. I’m sure you’re doing the best you can with everything you’ve got to juggle. I don’t do Sneak-Ups, and actually don’t really want to buy any yarn right now (did I just say that?!? for real?!??) until the current project-list (read: Christmas gifts) is completed, but I appreciate you, your faithful helpers, and all of y’alls work so much. Back to knitting…..the sooner the list is done…the sooner…….

  2. Sheri,
    Your store is amazing as always…..you cleverly think of ways to make things better all the time! I love the color feature! Oh my gosh, it’s like a box of crayons! :) Your business is great, your standards and service are of the highest quality. I will return, as will many people, because you are so thoughtful, and take such care in selecting the highest quality merchandise! You treat people wonderfully if they buy just one or twenty skeins of yarn (I’m not going to elaborate where I fall in that continium). Webguy does need a raise, or how about a great grade for the internship? We could all write something of a recommendation for him! :) Celebrate your success! Have a great weekend!

  3. I also think the sneak ups are great. I think some people need to curb the instant gratification thing and I agree I would rather wait to get great yarn than use a slow site all the time. I love your store by the way and I don’t even knit; I crochet but I love sock yarn and I love colour.

  4. “How DO you do that, when confronted with so much beautiful sock yarn?” – gosh, all I have to do is think about the bill and the wall of yarn slowly growing…but it is getting harder with all those beautiful yarn lines you’ve been adding. And give a huge thanks to the College Guy for spending the summer making the LE customers happy!

  5. As i have said before, I know for sure Sheri sneaks a look at my calendar to make sure I will be unavailable when there is a sneak up. But I always figure it is a way to keep a good grip on my spending. Otherwise I would have to sell the farm.

    I would hate to see restrictions on how much/what we could buy. That would take some of the fun out of the Sneak Up.

    I love all the new tweaks on the web site. Web Guy is very talented and I love the idea of all of us sending his instructor letters proclaiming his talents. Tell him how much we all appreciate him. It is getting to be more fun to shop.

    I think I’ll contact a Palm Reader to see if she can figure out the time of the next Sneak Up. LOL

  6. Oooohh, Sheri. That color feature is too cool! I am going to have so much fun playing with that! Many, many kudos to Web Guy.

    I’ve done well on some sneak ups and completely missed others and sometimes have had to wait until the yarn I was drooling after had been restocked—it’s all part of the game. So I have to wait a little. It’s not as if I’ve got nothing else to knit!

    As I’ve said before, I think all of you are doing an amazing job. You make it so much fun!

  7. So I missed the Wollmeise this time around, but I’m hoping there will be pictures of completed socks to browse soon so I can REALLY tie down my colour choice for the next sneak up. I love the galleries!

    And heck with it, there’s ALWAYS more yarn coming in!

  8. you are just making it too much fun, easy and exciting to shop! i’ve lost items from my cart a couple times – it’s like a game – so while i try to be a discriminating shopper, i try to be fast too….i try to limit what i spend each time so that i can shop with you more often and have a chance to pick up a new item or two each time if i’m lucky….

  9. I am really excited about having sneak ups before my bedtime:) I will sleep better knowing I am not going to miss wollmeise again:) I woke up Wednesday to three skeins left and somehow minutes later just one…omg, that gave me nightmares:)

  10. I’ve put myself on a yarn diet until after the Michigan Fiberfest. And so, not having been drooling on much, didn’t realize there was a sneak-up in progress. I saw the Wollmeise, and thought, “That’s pretty” at about 7 AM. I didn’t realize it was such an ephemeral thing!! As well I didn’t know, as I would have been tempted either.

    Now the Spritely Goods is testing my resolve. There’s a cute new Cloche in the Summer Knitty out of Louet Gems – and I note that some of hte Spritely Goods colors use that as their base. Oooohhh… Be good, be good…..

  11. Sheri,. those additions are so cool!!
    and boy, do I wish you didn’t have to deal with whining whiners.
    You have the patience of a saint… and the heart of one, too.
    Thank you for providing such a wonderful online store…
    and if I miss a sneak up… I guess it’s just not in the cards for me to have that yarn!

  12. I think you have a fabulous website and your updates are great. You do a good
    job and you have a good head for business while keeping your customers (mostly)
    happy. Although I am not really interested in the “sneak ups”, I can see how
    addictive they can become. I have more stash in my house than I could ever
    knit up, even if I lived to be 100. However, I have been tempted many times to
    buy more sock yarn. That’s what’s so good about our country. We get to make
    choices for the most part. I’m sure I will get to grab some wollmeise eventually and
    covet some of the other yarns you have in your shop. You all work very hard to
    make nice things happen for us and I think most of us appreciate that. When you
    go into a retail store of any kind, first come, first served. When they run out they are
    out.

  13. Thanks for all the info. You’ve got some really great stuff going on. Web guy is awesome for putting together all these new ideas to help us shop better. :)

  14. Sheri has always had the best site as far as I’m concerned. She has always given the best and most for personal customer service. She is more then fair. It’s plain to see that the whole family works together and very hard. I just can’t think that the site could get any better then it is..Web guy is smart and fantastic. Love all of the features, and just remember when every one offered sugestions she listened to you and made so many awesome changes. Not many, if any people to that. Hugs

  15. What great new features. WG, you are doing a fantastic job!! I think the rotating sneak up times is great. I am one who is finally able to get yarn from you because of this method. And If I choose to be sleepless one night a week, (or whenever the sneak up is to be) so I can check the site every hour, that is my choice. No matter what you do, someone is going to feel at a disadvantage, so I say continue with what works best for you. I think you are doing a great job and I love the great selection of beautiful sock / lace yarns you are carrying..

  16. I agree with all the POSITIVE comments… You do a FANTASTIC job and are so friendly that it makes me want to keep coming back. The way I see it, Iife’s too short – if I miss a sneak up one time, I’ll catch it another. That’s the great thing about shopping at the Loopy Ewe – I can always count on you to offer a great selection! I always manage to get exactly what I’m looking for…and then some, lol…

    And, the new features Web Guy added to the website? SO COOL! He does such a wonderful job – you must be so proud!! And, while I’m at it, thanks to WH, KD and Susan for the excellent job they do as well – I appreciate all their efforts.

    Keep up the good work and have a great weekend!! : )

  17. Super new features, Sheri. Thank you for working so hard to keep everyone happy. :-) Web Guy is doing amazing things! Give him a pat on the back from me, OK?

    You know, if you didn’t keep finding these amazing yarns to tell us about, people wouldn’t be disapointed when they don’t get any. ;-) Oh, don’t stop doing that! EEEK! :-D

    xoxoxoxo

  18. Wow, all those updates to the website sound incredible, and better yet, useful! I especially love the color feature, kinda like Etsy. Web guy must be really amazing. (Shall we send cookies? Virtual hugs? Socks?)

    Also, got my order today and I love the Boomerang. As in, not family love… LOVE LOVE. *grin*

  19. The new web features are great. Web Guy is awesome. :)
    I don’t mind stuff coming up missing out of my cart when I’m shopping. No biggie…..it’ll be back and if not then it wasn’t meant to be. There’s a lot of wonderful yarns to pick from. I’ll wait for the Wollmeise. Everyone will get their fill just like the Apple Laine and the stuff will start staying in stock. :)

  20. I love the new color feature. I often feel overwhelmed by the amount of yarn you carry (a good thing, but it’s like I’m like a kid in a candy store here) and this feature helps me see yarns I might overlook.

  21. I love your beautiful picture of the Colorado flowers!

    I was really surprised to read the comments of the whiners & gripers Wednesday & Thursday! Maybe it’s because they got used to getting first choice for awhile? I’ve missed sneak-ups, and I’ve had stuff jump out of my cart. I think you are doing everything possible to make them as fair as possible for all! As for those who think that some “know” when the sneak-ups are coming–even the Groupies don’t find out when a sneak-up will be until you have posted it Several times, I have stumbled into sneak-ups, just by checking to see what’s new while I was doing other stuff on the Internet, before I read my email. If people really want a particular yarn, then they can look more often.

    I love what Web Guy has done for your web site, in tweaking it to make it better & better! Hugs to Web Guy! He should get an A for his efforts!

    Thanks to you, Web Guy, WH, KD, Susan, and your parents & inlaw & all for making shopping with you such a great experience! I hope you all have a great weekend!

    I’m still trying to find a comfortable position that I can get in to knit and type in with this dumb fractured back! I go for another x-ray early this week, and I go back to the neurosurgeon on Thursday. This turtle brace is hot & uncomfortable, but at least it provides some support so I can do some things that I could not do without it..

  22. Hi Sheri,
    Wow! All the new features sound great! Web Guy has been working hard!
    My only method of self-restraint is lack of dinero in my piggy bank! Looking forward to a Wishlist – and in the meantime i’m keeping my own! I love your yarns and I LOVE your great service. Your site is very user friendly.
    Thanks for all you do!

  23. Sheri – Sounds like some people were complaining, but you have the greatest cyber yarn shop with the best customer service around! Thanks for all the fun features you’re adding… and those sneak-ups keep me on my toes – er, well – on my fingertips!

  24. See, this is why I shop here. You bend over backwards trying to make people happy. You don’t have to do all the things you do, but you are doing them to try to make us happy. Thank you!

  25. On the bright side, your issues are all related to how popular the store is. Glad you can keep a positive attitude about it! There will always been whiners esp. in an anonymous online forum.

  26. Well, since I’m literally up all night and have no fiscal responsibility (DH thinks I should have “Poor Impulse Control” tattooed across my forehead, the Sneak-Ups actually work to my benefit. I’m one of those who buy just a few skeins of a new dyer just to make sure that I really like it. I do have my favorites, and I always stock up on those. I’ve also stopped looking at my account because I see how many times I’ve received a $25 credit. That being said, I think you’re doing exactly the right thing. There should be no limit to how much someone wants to buy – I don’t think I’ve ever seen a limit put on yarn in my LYS. Why should you be any different? I think sometimes people whine when they miss out and want things changed so they can participate. Human nature, I suppose, but I’m also the kind of person who sets my alarm clock to make sure I don’t miss something (ask Martha at Green Mountain Knitting Bags how many of those I have). I love the new improvements, and I think you’re doing a killer job. I feel like I really matter when I shop with you and am not just another customer number. Your service is so personal that it makes it all too easy to shop with you. That’s not a complaint – it’s my excuse for when I receive large, bulging boxes. I’ve taken to announcing (after the fact, of course) that you’re having a Sneak-Up. Mark just groans now. I think after 17 years, he’s finally trained. :)

    Keep up the good work, sweetie. I love ya and your shop.

  27. I love the new features you’re adding to your site. It’s especially helpful to not leave the page you’re on when you add something; quicker to get on with the shopping. And having a warning when things are getting hot at the feeding frenzy level so you can be the skedadler instead of being skedadled is great. Re how much to buy, I am maxxed out on storage space and cannot knit as fast as I can shop, so I’m getting more philosophical about missing sneakups. It’s better that way. You notice I can still order a honkload of yarn even when I miss the sneakup.

  28. The features are wonderful. My favorite is the color feature, this will be a most definite help especially with the sock swaps I have been joining. It will help just to find the right colorway without having to page through every single yarn. What a time savings. I was lucky enough to get some of the Wollmeise. The colors are simply gorgeous (now to find the right pattern). I agree with Pam there should not be a limit as to how much yarn one should be limited to. I also try to buy a few skeins from each indie vendor that you have. Keep up the good work Sheri, I’m definitely a repeat customer and will continue to be one. By the way DH has no idea how much I spend in yarn, although the stash is growing by leaps and bounds do you think he’ll figure it out?

  29. Oh I love the new features!!!! I think my favorite will be the color feature, with a close second the shopping cart addition. Web Guy is a genius!

    I also agree that there should be no limit. I am one of the “disciplined” who pick and chose what to buy – not because of any inherent ability, but because of a very limited yarn budget!

    Oh, and I can’t wait for the wish list – then I can simply tell DH and he can actually buy my Christmas presents for me! (instead of me buying them and having him wrap them up)!

  30. Great new features! I especially like the color browser. Some suggestions on that:
    1) Um, where is black? Or white?
    2) Too many choices? (heresy, I know). I find myself clicking on a color, and then when I get there, clicking on another color that’s the closest to the first one, removing the first one, and then looking at what the second one brought up. I seem to get a greater number of yarns that way.
    Always delightful, your site and service have once again blown me away!

  31. I just got home from vacation last night and I am loving the new features! Well done Web Guy, well done!

    I think whatever way is easiest and most enjoyable for YOU is the best way to do a sneak up. :D I will admit at times to cursing when something pops out of my cart lol but that’s the nature of the beast, more people than I want yarn. ;) I do limit myself to 3 skeins from one yarn line though, to be fair…. and of course because I’m not rich. :P

  32. Wishlists would rock so hard!! And all of the other features sound fun and exciting too. :) I probably shouldn’t tell everyone they can order Wollmeise direct from Claudia. lol Even though you now have it in shop (which I will be emailing some friends about very soon), my Wollmeise will still come to me straight from Germany. She is so fabulous, isn’t she?

  33. I keep my own wish list. A simple text document with a list of colors in a yarn line that I want to try. Every time I miss out on a color or an entire range of yarns for that matter I add it to my list of things to look for first at the next next sneak-up. So I love that earlier addition WebGuy did that still shows sold out skeins. Makes it easier to add a color to my wishlist since I can still see it even when it’s gone. But I really really really love the “add to cart without taking you to it” feature. I found that on my own the other day and thought that WebGuy is a genius. That really lowers the stress level when you’re trying to get something you know is going to be hot.

    I have haunted other sites that have announced when they are updating more than once and ended up with no yarn. Actually, I’ve been much more successful here at the Loopy Ewe than anywhere else. So I really prefer the sneak-up method. Even if I totally lose out on it. I’ve gotten better at that lately though. I check the site often as well as keeping my e-mail open pretty much whenever I’m online. (Firefox is the secret folks. One tab open to the Loopy Ewe’s what’s new page and a quick click over to it frequently with a refresh click will tell you when something changes even while you’re browsing elsewhere.)

    I like the sneak-ups. In addition to thinking they’re a great cardio workout (my heart rate is definitely in the cardio range while I’m trying to order fast enough to get my first choice – surely I’m not alone in that?) I think that moving it about is the only really fair way. I did figure the Woolmeise would last longer than it did though when I saw that the update happened in the seriously middle of the night. I was pretty stunned that you had gotten up (or stayed up?) so early (late?) to do a sneak-up though. That seemed to me to be trying to be fair above and beyond the call of duty.

    Of course, i have been fairly successful at getting what I want from the Loopy Ewe (see above Firefox tip). Except for Yarntini, YarnLove and UrbanGypz of course. So now I must start haunting the site even more often. Fun!

    Sheri, thank you so much for such an amazingly wonderful shop. I’ve done several orders and never once has there been a mistake. Everything is always here quickly and so beautifully packed. Actually the only thing I can find to complain about is that I miss my chocolate fix. But I totally get why the change (I even figured it all out on my lonesome – I felt so smart!) and can wait for fall. (Because I went out and bought myself a mongo bag of kisses – no delayed gratification for this chocoholic.) >

  34. Bah. The complainers need to set an alarm. Of course, if you ever started doing sneakups at, say, seven a.m. or something, I’d be totally screwed, unless I happened to be up from the night before. (I should really learn to sleep, huh?)

    So can I borrow web guy? I’ll bring him back mostly unscathed, i promise. Maybe with a few more cookies in him and maybe a girlfriend or two (I think I have some single friends somewhere…), but you don’t need to know about that part. (psssst….webguy…..they’re very, very cute.)

    :)

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