Archives from September 2007

Fall Shopping … and a CONTEST!

Photo: Sheri Berger
Monday, September 17th, 2007 in Contest

DSC01170.JPGWe had a great weekend with College Guy and his friend Illinois Guy. As you might imagine, he was “oh so happy” to pose for this picture “for the blog”. But I said, “I have to take a photo – otherwise they won’t believe you actually came home!” Ok, that’s not true. I just like getting at least one photo of him when he’s home. (Well it IS true that I told him I needed photo-evidence for the blog. But mostly, I just wanted a picture for me.) He grew up with a scrapbooking mom – he’s pretty tired of photos, I think. (But boy does he have great albums of his life. Someday he’ll appreciate that, right? Or maybe someday his future wife will appreciate it.)

DSC01174.JPGI did a little shopping today. Never mind that I have waaaay too many emails in my in-box to answer. I paid bills AND scheduled a dentist appointment today, and if you know anything about me, you know that those are two of my least favorite things to do. Susan (The Awesome Assistant) told me I deserved to go shopping. And who am I to argue? So slowly, I’m starting to turn the house over to fall. DSC01171.JPGFall is my absolute favorite season of all and I love doing up the house with all things autumn. It would be smart for me to decorate with what I have first, and then see if there are any holes that need filling. But what fun is that? So today I bought this great gourd, and candle. Tonight I’ll get the rest of the stuff out that I already have (after dealing with all of my emails – I promise). Maybe later in the week I’ll go shopping again to fill in the holes. Don’t tell WH. (Who, by the way, really really appreciated all of your birthday wishes last week! And who, by the way, really really hated that I put a picture of him on the blog in an apron. I got in trouble over that one.) :-)

DSC01172.JPGJust so you don’t think it was all about fall today, I also got this beautiful pottery mug in the mail today from my new favorite pottery place. The pie plate was a gift from a friend, and I immediately hopped right over to the website to see if he had any mugs. (Actually, my friend was going to buy me mugs, but knew of my “mug problem“. Obviously that didn’t stop me. Obviously that is why I have a mug problem.) John does amazing work and is featured in several museums. I’m happy to have these two pieces from him.

DSC01173.JPGI also found this fun bag today. (Did I mention that I have a bag problem, too? I’m addicted to great bags. sigh. Surely there are some of you out there who share this affliction??) I love the way this gal tied on a bunch of fun ribbons. I tried to get her to make them for us at Loopy, but she is having a hard time keeping enough in stock at the shop where she works. She kept my card, so maybe in the future.

I’m thinking we won’t have an official Sneak Up this week. Only because Susan felt the need to take off to San Diego for the rest of the week. (She needs a vacation from the yarn. Go figure.) And while the other Loopy Elves and I could probably handle a Sneak Up without her, it just wouldn’t be as much fun! So we’ll take a little breather and be back next week with more fun stuff. (“What stuff?”, you ask? Well, we have Yarn Pirate, Yarntini, more Fiesta, more from Schafer, and the new Classic Elite Alpaca Sox yarn, for a start. Plus more of Wendy’s Patterns. And oh BOY, wait until you see our two newest indie dyers! They won’t be here next week – but they’ll be here in October.) Also, we are heading out of town on Friday morning to visit College Guy for Parent’s Weekend at his college. (I know – I’m spoiled, aren’t I?) So orders placed Thursday night and into the weekend, will start shipping on Monday morning.

And now, the September Loopy Loot contest. Since Fall is my favorite season, I’d love to know something that you like about the Fall. Do you have certain family traditions for the season? Special recipes that you make? Decorations that you love? A favorite Fall memory from your childhood? What makes the Fall special for you and your familiy? Leave your answer in the blog comments and we’ll randomly pick one winner. This month, the winner will receive two skeins of highly coveted yarn – a skein of Wollmeise in Raku-Regenbogen (I kept one of these for myself!) PLUS a skein of the beautiful Pumpkin Spice from Yarntini. Woohoo!

Sheri whatbetterwaytocelebrateFallthanwithnewyarnfortheseason?

You are just the best.

Photo: Sheri Berger
Friday, September 14th, 2007 in Sheri's Recipes

What big hearts you all have. Thank you so much for your support and encouragement, through the “upset and mad people”. From now on when I get one of those emails, I’m coming back to this post and re-reading your sweet comments. I know that will take care of any cranky feelings that the email might start to foster in me. (And just to clarify – I totally understand “disappointed” and “sad” – and do feel free to vent that to me any time. It’s the mad and nasty that I’d prefer to avoid.) :-)

DSCF0861Yesterday was WH’s birthday! Yay! We celebrated with take-out on the back porch – and it was a beautiful night, so that was fun. I can’t say that he took the day off to do something fun, but dinner was nice. He has been so supportive of the endeavors that I have gotten us into over the years (and, as he likes to point out, most of them have been my “fault” – although I think he means that in the nicest of ways. I think.) I couldn’t do any of this without him and am so lucky to have him here. (Thanks, Honey!) He will love seeing himself in an apron. This is probably the only time I’ve ever seen him in an apron, and we’ve been married for 23 years! But it’s a cute picture of him and his mom, and she gets credit on his birthday, too. (Thanks, Mumbee!)

College Guy comes home tonight – woohoo! I think he’s mostly coming home to see Zoe, but I’m pretending that he wants to see us, too. I did promise him I would keep him out of the Loopy room and he could just relax and enjoy the weekend without any work. (I want him to come back, you know?) So we’ll have a great weekend.

Here’s a quick and easy “throw it in the crockpot and knit your afternoon away” recipe for you. The only drawback is that it smells way too good cooking away during the day, and your stomach will rumble with hunger. But that’s a small price to pay, I’m thinkin’.

DSC00692.JPGItalian Shredded Beef

3 lb. rump roast
2 pcks. Good Seasons Italian dressing mix
1 pck. brown gravy mix
1 cup water
BBQ sauce (optional)

Put 1 package Good Seasons mix, gravy mix, and water in crockpot. Add roast.

Cook on low for 8 hours or longer.

Remove meat from cooker and shred (I use 2 forks to pull the meat apart.) Return meat to cooker and add second package of Good Seasons, plus barbeque sauce, if desired. Cook another 1/2 hour. Serves 8-10. Great with Frito-Pea Salad!

Have a wonderful weekend – and thank you again for all of the Loopy love. We love you right back.

Sheri Iamtotallygrossedout-Zoejustcaughtandateaflyrightinfrontofme.FPS.

Wednesday

Photo: Sheri Berger
Wednesday, September 12th, 2007 in Shop News, Uncategorized

Hi there! First of all, a big big thank you to all of you who are so wonderful and kind and encouraging, even when you miss Wollmeise again! So many of you wrote order notes that just brightened our day! (Ok – brightened our night. We were working on orders late into the night!) We really appreciate your business and your kindness. Please know that we’re getting these out as fast as possible, but it does take an extra day or two during Sneak Ups. :-)

I did feel the need to address something in the blog. While 98% of you have been wonderful, 2% of you are not happy. I know it’s disappointing to be watching the website for something, and then miss it. If I had my way, we’d just announce the time and day we were adding new products, and you wouldn’t have to pay such close attention to things here! But remember, we don’t do that because so many hop on and shop at once, that it has killed the website. We have tested the web capacity by having daytime Sneak Ups these last couple of times, and for the most part it works ok. (A couple of glitches yesterday when people checked out simultaneously with the last skeins of something, but we’re figuring out ways around it for the future.) But it doesn’t work ok enough to pre-announce again. This is just the way we have to work it. It’s not a “marketing ploy” or something meant to create stress – it’s the most efficient and effective way for us to update the website on a regular basis, for you.

We also order a lot. I have tried to generically reassure you of that in past blog posts, but I still had someone wonder this morning why I don’t order more yarn: “Why don’t you just order enough so you can stock it? Or is making an artificially high demand more profitable for you?” Now that just makes me a bit cranky. (Or maybe it makes me a lot cranky.) We have not, nor will we ever, artificially do anything here for profitability. I don’t believe in it, and it doesn’t work, anyway, even if your values allowed you to do something like that. We order the maximum amount that our indie dyers can produce, and we get orders from them as often as they can dye them up for us. Period. Remember, these are wonderfully talented individuals doing all of this on their own. There is only so much that they can produce. We had 330 skeins of Wollmeise yesterday, gone in 2 hours. (I can see when the last skein was sold.) We had 340 patterns from Wendy. She is sending me 450 more on Friday, just because she has printed her heart out all week long and was able to get a bit more done! (She doesn’t want to do it by pdf. You can check her blog last week for her reasoning, which I happen to agree with.) We also get 350-500 skeins of Dream In Color per order, every single month, and I know those sell out usually in a day. We have regular standing orders with all of our dyers and most all of our “main” yarn companies, just to insure that we keep getting great yarn in here for you, all the time. By having a good number of indie dyers, it insures that new batches from at least a few of them will be in every week or two, even if the one you were waiting on, sold out quickly. We will continue to do our very very best to serve you well and keep you supplied. This business is extremely important to us, and we take it very seriously. Now that I have attached numbers to some of these things, maybe it will help more of you to understand that it’s not a matter of not ordering enough. We order the maximums. The demand is high for many of these yarns/patterns, and we will continue to get stock in to fill it – as often as possible, and as much as possible.

There. Cranky rant is over. Back to packing up your orders and sending them on their way with hugs and many thanks to each one of you. 98% of you are just the best! :-)

Sheri it’sabeautifullycoolandsunshineydaytoday
wishyouwerehereandwecouldsitandknitonmybackscreenporch!
(actually,wishyouwereheretohelppackorders-ha!)

Bugs and Brights

Photo: Sheri Berger
Monday, September 10th, 2007 in It bugs me

DSC00687.JPGTime for another “It bugs me” post. Why? Because things bug me today.

1. The post office. Still (STILL) waiting on our order of boxes. No boxes, no Sneak Up. Keeping my fingers crossed for today. Zoe is keeping a watch out the window for Terry, the postman.

2. Chicken Lo Mein from P.F. Changs. Actually, the dish doesn’t bug me – it’s very good, but the lunch-sized version has 1650 calories and I didn’t find that out until after I had had lunch there with a friend last week. FPS. (For Pete’s Sake.) I did not need to know that.

3. The post office. Still (STILL) waiting on one more case of Wollmeise. No case, no Wollmeise going up this week. Keeping my fingers crossed for today.

4. Knitting time yesterday. I got so little done. (It might’ve had something to do with the fact that I fell asleep on the couch for a “20 minute nap” and woke up 2 hours later.)

5. The post office. Still (STILL) going to the branch offices all over St. Louis (thank goodness we have so many) begging boxes to tide us over. I may end up visiting them all.

6. Frogging. After spending the time I did have on knitting yesterday, I decided that I didn’t like the pattern and frogged it back down to the toe. Bummer.

On a brighter note:

1. If we get boxes, we do have fun yarns going up this week: Fiesta Baby Boomerang, Yarn Nerd, Zen String Bambewe, Perchance to Knit, and Cider Moon Glacier. Plus more patterns from Wendy and Cookie A. (And did you see that we completely re-stocked the ShibuiKnits over the weekend? Also, patterns from Knitting Pure & Simple, Heartstrings, Heartland Knits, Wildhorse Farm Designs and MimKnits were re-stocked.)

2. If we do get the last case of Wollmeise, that will go up as well. If not, we’ll add it in next week. Remember – we will keep getting Wollmeise, so we’ll keep having it available. Don’t stress over it. :-) Did I mention that we’d have Wollmeise lace coming in this fall, too? (Added: Postman Terry just came. Wollmeise arrived. Shipping boxes did not. No Sneak Up tonight. FPS.)

3. I did get a good nap yesterday!

4. I really like the pattern that I chose to start over with on the sock-in-progress. I pulled the basic idea out of a stitch dictionary & tweaked it. When I get the socks done, I’ll put the pattern up on the Free Patterns section.

5. We have some more free patterns going up on the website within the next few days - Baby Monkey socks (Cookie said “Of course!”), a beautiful pattern with Wollmeise from Loopy friend and pattern designer Monica Jines, and a very cool pattern called Firestarter from Yarnissima.

6. We have been working on our indie-dyer interviews all summer long and have started putting those up on the website. If you do the Search by Vendor, you will find interviews and photos for: Chewy Spaghetti, Cider Moon, Holly Spring Homespun, Seacoast, Sknitches, Yarn Love, Yarn Pirate, Yarntini. (Just click the link that says “Find out more about…” when their page comes up.) We have the others in the works and will keep adding them.

7. I finally got some of my knitted projects photo-ed for my Ravelry page. (Unfortunately, it also points out how many single socks I have.)

8. We have some exciting plans for The Loopy Ewe this fall – I’ll keep you posted as things progress!

9. There are a whole lotta “10 Yarn Collectors” out there who share my hobby interest obsession outlook on yarn. I like that.

10. College Guy and a friend or two are coming home this coming weekend for a visit - the brightest news of all, for this mom!

Sheri any”bugs”or”brights”youwanttoshare?

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