Archives from January 2008

It bugs me.

Photo: Sheri Berger
Friday, January 18th, 2008 in It bugs me

DSC01513.JPGIt’s probably a given that in a week that contained a Wollmeise-fest and Sock Club notices would be a rather tough week for all. An “It bugs me” post seemed appropriate today, given the mood of things around here, and we haven’t done one in awhile. (Gracie’s list of what bugs her? When people interrupt a nap to take her photo.)

So here are the things that are bugging me today:

1. Sock club limitations. I hate telling people no. (I have referred to that before – remember the Spring Fling?) I think we have figured out a way to take double our numbers for next years club, so I hope those of you who didn’t get in this year will come back. We really want to make spots for you.

2. My ipod. Well, not the ipod, specifically, but I am tired of the songs on there and want new ones. I know you all gave me bunches of great music suggestions awhile back, but it’s just a matter of downloading all of that new music. Which I haven’t done yet. So I keep listening to the same ‘ol, same ‘ol. FPS.

3. Website slowness during a particularly busy Sneak Up. But the good news is that we have found a great new (very large) server and will be upgrading to that sometime next week. You shouldn’t notice any slowness during Sneak Ups any more, no matter how many of you are shopping at once. (Ahem – at least that’s the plan.) No Sneak Up next week so that we can switch over and get things running. The next one will be sometime the week of the 28th.

4. Haircuts. And highlights. I haven’t had time to get my haircut or have highlights done lately. Consequently, today is a very bad hair day. I’m glad you can’t see me. I wish I looked just fine with long, straight, one-color hair. But I kinda think I look like a dog that way. (One of those afghan hounds, you know?)

5. Dust. Why is it so relentless about wanting to cover all of the surfaces in my house all the time? What’s up with that?

6. Sugar and vegetables. Why is it that vegetables are “good” for you and sugar is “bad” for you? Why can’t it work so that everyone must have 3 servings of dessert a day, and vegetables are only allowed on occasion? Someone messed that up.

7. Political ads and commercials. It has barely started and I’m already tired of listening to them and seeing them. And it’s only gonna get worse. I wonder if any of the candidates knit? (Somehow I think not. But it’d be good for a few of them…..)

8. 24 hour days. I’d really prefer 36 hour days. Just sayin’.

I have more, but I’ll stop there for today. So to end on a positive note, it’s time for Q4 voting! Please head over to the Q4 Photo Gallery and then email me (sheriATtheloopyeweDOTcom) your vote for favorite project from last quarter. We will award Loopy Gift Certificates to one person randomly selected and one person who wins the “blog readers favorite” award. I’ll announce the winner next Friday!

(And I’d love to hear what bugs you today – but I already know about the not enough Wollmeise and not enough Sock Club spots ……..) :-)

Sheri oneofourindiedyersisvisitingLoopytoday-I’llputherpictureonMonday’sblog!

Loopy Tipping and TNNA

Photo: Sheri Berger
Wednesday, January 16th, 2008 in Shop News

DSC01512.JPGMuch to report on today. You might need to get a cup of coffee. Do you know about Cow Tipping? It’s an urban myth and it’s actually not possible, it turns out. Then there’s Tractor Tipping, as practiced by the funny folks vehicles in the Cars movie. Also, not possible. And lastly, there is Loopy Tipping. It has only happened a handful of times. You could count them on one hand and still have fingers leftover. So if you have experienced it, you’re lucky fortunate unique. It happened again on Monday night during the Wollmeise-fest. Web Guy and I sat at our computers, watching in disbelief. Website usage was 200% over our average and ….. Loopy tipped completely over with his toes tickling the air. (Do sheep have toes? No. I guess not. Hooves, right? Ok, his hooves were tickling the air.) So, apologies to any of you who were online when it happened, to any of you who have been “waiting for months to get a skein of Wollmeise” and didn’t get one, and to any of you for the slowness you experienced. We are researching another move to a bigger server once again, and I will also put future Wollmeise yarns up on their own, outside of an official Sneak Up. (The next order is due in about 6 weeks.) And a big thank you to all of you who were so wonderful and understanding about it all. We think you’re the best! (The nice thing about Loopy Tipping? He always lands in a nice big bed of Loopy kisses. There’s a lot to be said for that.)

DSC01503.JPGOn to my TNNA report! The weather was wonderful. This is a view out my hotel window on Saturday morning. The convention center was just a few blocks away. I had a great time connecting with all of our vendors and finding new things. I also had fun dining with the Dream in Color Wonder Girls (Veronica and Nancy) one night, and having lunch with Cookie A on another day. They all have exciting things planned and we had a great time talking. But you want to know what new things I found for all of us, don’t you? These orders will begin arriving soon, and will continue to trickle in through March, but I thought I’d let you know about all of them so that you can plan for it.

DSC01508.JPGI was happy to get an order in with Karida at Neighborhood Fiber Co. We’ve been emailing since last fall, but she couldn’t take on any new accounts until this month. (And she hit her max again at TNNA. Everyone loves her yarn!) Her colors are deep and intense and wonderful. We have her Fingering weight, 2 different blends of lace weight, 2 different types of roving, and her Watershed Seacell Sock coming to us. We ordered a lot, so it will come in batches over the next several weeks. I’ll be working on knitting up a sock (ok, ok – maybe I’ll do a pair) from this skein of her fingering weight, so that you can see how it works up.

Next is Paca Peds, coming from The Alpaca Yarn Co. I got a skein of their yarn last summer at TNNA and starting testing it out a month ago. I love how it is knitting up. It’s going to be warm (that wonderful alpaca) but not fuzzy, so the stitch definition is easy to see. I’ll photo the sock (ok, ok – maybe I’ll do a pair) when I’m done and will share it on the blog. They have 10 colorways (more coming this summer) in regular, and then the same 10 colorways in their “Heels and Toes” line, where you get a coordinating mini skein of a solid color. We’ll have both lines for you.

DSC01507.JPGAnother great new company that we will have here soon is Farmhouse Yarns. This is a family owned business and I really enjoyed talking with them. They have a brand new sock yarn (not even up on their website yet) and I fell in love with it. It’s squishy and soft and beautifully dyed and I am anxious to get our order in. Here is the skein of it that I now have in my own stash, and again, I will knit up a sock (ok, ok – maybe I’ll do a pair) so that you can see how these colors blend together.

Due to popular demand and pleading, we have also added Great Adirondack Silky Sock. Patti’s colors are gorgeous. I had a hard time deciding which ones to get for us, because there are so many. (I think they told me over 100 colorways. They were all lined up on hanging dowels.) I picked a bunch, and we’ll add more over time. I have had this yarn in my stash for almost a year, and thought it was great when so many of you started asking for it on the Loopy Groupie board on Ravelry. We definitely needed it and I know you will like it, too.

DSC01509.JPGWe already have Lorna’s Laces (in fact we’ve had that line since we opened), but we have now decided to carry their roving, too. They have two different types – one is their Superwash Merino (great size for spinning yarn for socks) and the other is their 100% wool in a big 10 oz. package, wonderful for spinning yarn for other things. I already know how much you like their colorways, so it will be nice to have their roving here as well. DSC01510.JPGThey also have a few new colorways just out, which we are expecting to arrive any day. One of them is this blue/green combination in the roving photo above. I’m looking forward to spinning that. (It has been hard to have all of the beautiful roving arriving at Loopy Central every week. Each one is prettier than the next. I don’t know how I managed to avoid the allure of spinning for so long. All of you non-spinners, watch out. It will catch you when you least expect it. And you really ought to just go with it.)

Chameleon Colorworks is another new line for us (and another person that I first started talking to last fall. I like to think things through, don’t I?) Nancy has a great array of colors and fibers and we are glad to be adding two of their lines to The Loopy Ewe (and possibly more in the future.)

I have also added some patterns (Chrissy Gardiner - she does great sock and lace patterns), more Offhand Designs totes (the new fabrics are so fun – including a red bulls eye, which of course I had to order for myself. It’s red.), the new Malibu and Laguna Cali bags from Namaste, and more accessories which will be arriving soon. Here’s how I picked which style and colors of the new Cali bags to order. I met Jess and Casey (from Ravelry) in the Namaste booth. Jess was trying to pick out one of the new bags for herself. I said, “I can’t decide. Which style do you like best?” (there were 2). Jess said, “I don’t know! It’s too hard to decide.” (My problem exactly.) So I said, “Ok, then which colors do you think are just so-so and I can do without?” (there were 6). She said, “I don’t know. They’re all great!” (My problem exactly.) So I bought both styles in all the colors. I am definitely nabbing one of those bags, too. Although I have no idea which style, and no idea which color because I still like them all. I have a bag problem. Does anyone else suffer from that? (Well, you can’t really call it “suffering” now, can you?)

DSC01505.JPGAnd because you can “shop for your shop” at TNNA but you can’t really buy things to take home for yourself (and you really want to after seeing all of that yarny wonder), I had to go to a local yarn shop to get my yarn fix. Loopy friend Sharon picked me up for lunch and yarning on Sunday and we went to this very nice shop. I bought some Prism yarn and a pattern to make a purse. (A purse. Who would’ve predicted that I’d buy that? You see? It’s not all about socks, all the time. Just most of the time.) By the time we were done there, it was time to race to the airport to catch my plane home. (Actually, it was past time. But you know how it goes when you’re shopping for yarn.) I’m glad to be back – even with the Loopy Tipping.

We’ll send out the Sock Club Spot emails to those who are in, later today or tomorrow. There were several hundred emails to go through and it took us a bit longer than expected. Frankly, we’d just as soon have every one of you join us. But we’re a bit limited in what we can ask our dyers to do. We have room for 225 total and had more than double that wanting spots. If you don’t hear from us by tomorrow night, we’d love to have you come back next year. :-)

Sheri nowneedingtoknitupaLOTofnewsocks.Ibettergetworking.

Sock Club News

Photo: Sheri Berger
Monday, January 14th, 2008 in Shop News

DSC01427.JPGHi there! I had a whirlwind weekend in California at the TNNA Market. (Wait until you hear about all the fun things I have on order for us! But more on that in Wednesday’s post.) Right now, I know you are anxious to hear about the 2008 Sock Club so that you can start signing up.

We have gone to an every other month system (so now you’ll get 5 packages from us this year, instead of 4). Thanks to all of you who asked us to do our mailings more often. :-) This year’s club will focus on some wonderful semi-solid variations because we have some dynamite pattern designers who are looking forward to coming up with interesting patterns for you! We will have patterns by: Wendy Johnson, Cookie A, Debbie O’Neil, Monica Jines, and Terry Ross. I won’t give you all of the yarn dyers, but they do include Wollmeise and sKNITches – so that’s a little tease for you! The cost is the same as last year – $33 per package, plus shipping. Your package will include the limited-edition yarn, the pattern done especially for us, and any other fun little thing we can find to include in there for you. (You know we have fun with those little extras!) We send you an invoice a couple of weeks before each shipment, so this is a “pay as you go”, but you are committing to the whole year of 5 shipments when you sign up. If you’re interested in signing up, we’re taking names today and tomorrow, and if we go over out limit, we’ll do a quick lottery drawing to fill in the spots. If you’re interested, please email: sockclub@theloopyewe.com. We’ll email you back on Wednesday or Thursday to let you know!

DSC01428.JPGThe other thing going on this week – a new Sneak Up! In this one you’ll find Wollmeise Sock yarn, Sheepaints, more Fiesta Boomerang, Alpaca With a Twist Fino (lace), Rio de la Plata (those are the socks in the photo I included – aren’t they awesome? Three ply sock yarn, different colors in each ply. Can you see it in the closeup?), Schaefer Heather, Tempted Roving, Prism Kid Slique (oh my it’s cool), Colinette Jitterbug, Dream in Color and Sakina Needles BFL Roving. More fun stuff for you – yay!

Ok – I’m off to try and address my email in-box (always the drawback of leaving town). I will check back in with you all on Wednesday with reports from TNNA! What did you all do while I was gone?

Sheri didn’tmanagetogetmuchknittingdonewhileIwasgone-toomuchelsegoingon :-(

I’ve flown the coop!

Photo: Sheri Berger
Friday, January 11th, 2008 in Sheri's Recipes

Yes, it’s true. I’m outta here! But I’ll be back on Monday. Right now I’m winging my way to California for the TNNA Market in Long Beach. I can’t let an opportunity go by for finding us some lovely new things to carry at The Loopy Ewe, right? I’ll keep you posted on what I find there. :-) In the meantime, the Elves are holding down the fort and shipping orders out to you, so you don’t have to worry that there will be a delay. (Have I mentioned how awesome those Elves are?) I’ll be back to answering emails next week, so I’ll talk to you all then.

Another new recipe for you that we tried over the holidays. It was a hit with my family! I hope you like it, too. (I know the photo is kind of orange-y. It was an orange-y dish because of the French dressing, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t quite that orange. Food styling/photo-ing is just not my gift. Obviously.)

DSC01488.JPGDad’s Favorite Chicken Casserole (I have no idea who this particular “Dad” is, but that was the name of the recipe)

4 cups cooked, chopped chicken
2 cups celery slices
2 cups toasted bread crumbs
1 cup French dressing (or more, if you want it creamier)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tsp. salt
dash of pepper
1 (8 oz) package Swiss cheese, cut in strips
1/2 cup slivered almonds

Combine all ingredients except nuts. Spoon into greased 2 quart casserole. Sprinkle with nuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Can be made ahead. (Refrigerate covered, bake with cover at 350 for 50 minutes, then remove cover and bake 10 more minutes.)

Serve over hot cooked rice.

Have a great weekend and get lots of knitting done while I’m gone.

Sheri hopingtohaveknittingtimeonthisweekendtoo,inbetweenproductscoping…

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