Archives from February 2008

The Loopy Elves take over!

Photo: Sheri Berger
Friday, February 29th, 2008 in Uncategorized

DSC01380.JPGSheri’s blog today is brought to you by The “Loopy Elves”.

Why are the Elves writing today’s Blog? Well, it all started back in December when we were trying to figure out what to buy Sheri for Christmas. Think, think, think, what does Sheri want? The only thing we came up with was “time”. Now, since you cannot buy time, we had to think of some creative ways to save Sheri time. We decided a few surprises to save her some time through the year might be fun. In January, we all came in to work one night to help get the Sneak Up orders finished for that week. The February time saver is writing one blog. We could write more, but we know Sheri likes writing her blog, so we can’t take away her fun. In March, we are going to …. Oh wait, we can’t say, because that would ruin the surprise. (Vicki, Mary and Susan are in this photo.)

What happens at Loopy Central anyway? Well, we have a lot of fun. Sneak Up days can be a little crazy, but everyone seems to have their jobs. Vicki is usually the order puller, Anna is our #1 wrapper (we believe she wraps so well based on her previous life as a newborn nurse-wrapping all those little bottoms). Kathy, Inventory Manager, is the expert boxer (that is, putting the orders in boxes) and properly labeling them for whoever is printing the labels. Mary fills in wherever needed, and usually does some pulling, wrapping, and boxing before she heads home. Sue is also an expert wrapper, and prefers to spend her time wrapping and pulling instead of printing shipping labels. Sue is also great at remembering all the little notes that you all add to your orders. Susan is the main printer of shipping labels and answering the phone (but if you have a specific knitting question, you better ask for Kathy). Wendy does some of the photography (although WH still does some of the photos and all of the actual color correcting before the photos go up on the website). Rachel just started last week and is still learning the ropes. We had her jump right in.

DSC01373.JPGOther fun facts at Loopy: if it is your day off, you will be blamed for anything that goes wrong. (Well – in the most loving way possible.) We do double check orders, but sometimes we do make mistakes. (We hate that.) We don’t call them mistakes when pulling orders, we call them “tests” for the people wrapping the orders. It has been noted by several Elves, that Susan gives the most “tests” (obviously her past life as a teacher coming into play). Thank goodness our wrapping Elves are good students and catch most of the mistakes “tests” before the order goes out and then arrives at your door. (Sue, Kathy and Anna are in this photo. Rachel and Wendy are photoless – we’ll get them later.)

We do have chocolate breaks, and we all try to eat at least 4 carrots a day (Vicki’s rule). Anna and Sue always seem to know what is going on in the world and with the weather, which in St. Louis, is always changing. Several of the Elves have children at the same school, so if there is something going on at school, sometimes we leave Loopy Central shorthanded. Of course, that is one of the best things about working here—the flexibility! We also love yelling out our favorite customer names, yarn names (Eureka), and certain street names, (Savsangaregatan). We really do have fun at work, and some of us are even learning how to KNIT!

Let’s see, well, it wouldn’t be any fun if we couldn’t tell you a few things coming to The Loopy Ewe, boxes arrive everyday! (Just ask Kathy). We just received some new bags, and believe it or not, new yarn, if only we could remember the name….. :-) (We’re not really going to tell you any secrets. You’ll see soon enough!)

Anyway, thanks for letting us take over the blog for a day, and many thanks for giving us job security with all your orders!!

The Loopy Elves wholoveandappreciateallofyoualmostasmuchasSheridoes

P.S. Note from Sheri: Aren’t the Elves fun? And thank you ALL for the very fun birthday wishes!! It was a wonderful day yesterday and you put a lot of smiles on my face! Now I’m off for a few days of college visits with Knitting Daughter, so no blog on Monday and no emailing for a bit. But I’ll be back with you on Wednesday the 5th. Until then, have a great weekend and get lots of knitting done. I’m working on this pattern with a new lace line that we have coming in soon. Woohoo!

Favorite Way to Celebrate Your Birthday CONTEST!

Photo: Sheri Berger
Wednesday, February 27th, 2008 in Contest

DSC01592.JPGIt has been a very fun week, because every time the mailman comes, he brings something cool. About a month ago, Laura (who, frankly, is now in my “best friend” category. No, we’ve never met. Why?) pointed out to people on the Loopy Groupie board that I had a birthday coming up in a month, and wouldn’t it be fun if people knit me socks? Well, that just about blew my socks off stunned me. I can’t believe people would knit me socks of any kind for my birthday! And then someone suggested that mini socks would be fun, too. (I love mini socks.) So the mailman has been very very good to me this week and you all are just amazing. I’ll show you more photos next week. (And besides socks, I have gotten other fun stuff, too – whee! I’m going to start having two birthdays a year, I think. Although, wait – that would age me twice as fast. Never mind.) Here is a photo of some of the mini socks that have arrived. Aren’t they cute? I think everyone needs a lineup of mini socks. At one time I thought it would be fun to knit a bunch for the mini sock blocker keychains and hang them on my knitting bag. (I have two on there. One knit by me and one knit by my friend Valerie. I still think it would be fun to have more.) Someone once told me that they knit a sock blocker keychain sock to go with each pair of gift socks that they make. Another person said that they knit a sock blocker keychain sock for themselves for every sock yarn they knit up into socks. All cute ideas! (The framed display board? LOVE these. I have a bunch of them. They look especially great when you line three of them up over your couch with family photos on them. This one is in my office . I also think it’d be good to have one in your knitting room with swatches or project ideas or patterns or knitting plans on it. They’re from Creative Memories and if you type in your zipcode, you can find yourself a consultant near you and order online.)

DSC01588.JPGSo tomorrow is my birthday, and I’m taking the day off. (Of course The Elves will be here working on all of your orders.) Besides eating out, my day will include a little shopping, a little chocolate, and a big Venti. Plus time with WH and KD. (Sadly, not College Guy. But I do get to see him later this weekend – yay!) The February Blog Contest Question of the Month is: What is your favorite way to spend your birthday? Leave your answers in the comments below and I’ll draw a name next Wednesday to pick a winner. What is the prize? Something very fun, not yet offered here at The Loopy Ewe because we’ve only received a few of them so far. Aren’t you curious? :-)

Sheri watchingthemailmanrightoutsidemywindow,tryingtofitallofyourordersintohistruck-hee!

Janice in The Loopy Limelight!

Photo: Sheri Berger
Monday, February 25th, 2008 in Uncategorized

IMG_5007_2Sliding right in under the wire, the Monday Loopy Limelight blog post! We were still a little busy here today. And I swear that I’m going to get to all of the emails in my in-box, and all of the Loopy Groupie Ravelry posts that I’m behind on. Susan theawesomeassistant who’sinthedoghousefortakingsuch alongtwoweekvacationtoItalyFPS will be back on Wednesday and then maybe things will normalize a bit. Just in time for me to go on a little jaunt out of town! Final college visits with Knitting Daughter. But more on that later. Right now, I want you to meet my friend Janice. :-) For those of you attending the Spring Fling, she’ll be here helping out all weekend, so you can meet her in person!

Loopy: You’re one of the famous “Loopy Legends”, so we’re glad to talk with you today! I also hear that you’re one of The Loopy Lady’s good friends. How did you meet and how long have you two known each other?
Janice: It is such an honor to be named among the Loopy Legends! The Loopy Lady and I have been friends for MANY years. I can remember when we first met very clearly. It was the Fall of 1981 and I drove down to Iowa State University to visit my boyfriend (now husband) for the first time and Sheri (who had been his friend since 7th grade) offered to let me stay with her in her dorm room. Well, I was quite nervous, but Sheri made me feel quite at home. We realized very quickly that we had many things in common, especially the fact that we were both avid cross-stitchers and could both talk DMC. Over the years we have remained very close.

Loopy: So, you probably have some good stories to tell. We’ll have to talk later. But in the meantime, any interesting tidbits you want to tell us about her?
Janice: Well, she is a ‘collector’. She collects baskets; bags; snowmen; Christmas elves; Brighton; single socks etc.. and she is VERY persuasive at getting her friends to follow suit! Now confess… How many of you are now knitting a sweater out of Dream In Color Classy because Sheri thought it would be fun?? She is good!!!

Loopy: I do see evidence of some of those collections from time to time. And she is quick to point out that you are responsible for talking her into some of those obsessions interests. You’re very persuasive, too. How long have you been knitting?
Janice: Well, Sheri is the one that taught my daughter and I how to knit back in June of 2005. My daughter was a natural and took off right away, but I decided it really wasn’t for me. (GASP!) I finished my scarf (only because my daughter refused to finish it for me!) and called it good. But Sheri does not give up easily!! She knew I LOVED felted bags, and convinced me that I could do it. So on our next vacation together she helped me knit and felt my first bag! THEN I was hooked!!!! She told me, however, that I really needed to learn how to knit socks because she had a dream of starting up an online sock yarn store………..

What is your favorite thing to knit and what do you do with most of the things you knit?
Janice: Well, I would have to say my very favorite thing to knit is felted bags. I am a bag lady at heart, and it was after I made my first felted bag that I knew I would be a knitter for life! Of course, one can only use so many bags, so I have teamed up with a friend who also makes felted bags and created ‘Purses with a Purpose’. We sell our bags and use the profits to support a woman in Russia who works with orphaned teen girls who have been placed in a woman’s prison (the orphanages only go to age 14) to teach them the living skills they will need once they are released from the prison. I also enjoy knitting socks; fingerless mitts and hope to tackle a sweater this year! (Because Sheri thinks that would be a good thing to do…..)

Loopy: The DC Sweater KAL – good idea! You need to join in on the fun, for sure. We hear that you’re also a wonderful cook. Do you have a favorite recipe you’d like to share with us?
Janice: Well, I don’t know about wonderful, but I do LOVE to cook! It’s hard to choose just one recipe, but this is one of my favorites to have in the fridge for snacking on. I did start a recipe blog where I have been sharing our family’s favorites.

IMG_5472Calico Bean Dip
1 can Black Beans
1 can Blackeye Peas
1 can whole kernel White corn
2 cans petite diced tomatoes

1. Drain and rinse all. Mix together.
2. Cut up 1-2 bunches of green onions. Add to bean mixture.
3. Chop up about 1/2 bunch of cilantro. Add to bean mixture.
4. Pour in about 8 oz. of fat free Italian dressing. (I like Wishbone Fat Free Italian)
5. Mix all together and marinate overnight (or at least 4 hours.)
7. Serve with Tostito Scoop chips.

I’m not sure sheep eat beans. But I know that everyone else will love that recipe. On to another subject – What is the best and worst job you ever had?
Janice: My worst job was a telemarketer for a water-proofing company in Minnesota when I was 14 years old. I still can recite most of the speech I had to make when the unsuspecting person on the other end of the phone line picked up!! And I only worked there for 2 weeks!! My best job was teaching conversational English to a group of Japanese ladies while we lived in Japan. A VERY interesting and wonderful experience! Of course my DREAM job would be a full-time elf at Loopy Central!!!

I have it on good authority that you’d be hired in an instant! What is your idea of a perfect day?
Janice: Well, to start out it would be sunny and 80-85 degrees. I would be spending the day with family and friends playing games, going on hikes, ordering take out and ending the day knitting and watching a movie. I would laugh until my sides hurt. There would be chocolate and a quick trip through Starbucks drive through. Oh, and I would win all of the games I played!!

Loopy: It’s a wonder that you and The Loopy Lady are friends. You know that she likes cold weather, and doesn’t like to play games, right? But I think she’d be right there with you on the chocolate, Starbucks, knitting, movies and laughing part of the day! Any weird habits that you have that you’d like to share with us?
Janice: Let’s see. I love to microwave my M&M’s. Some people think that’s weird. I also put my Diet Pepsi cans in the freezer to make them really cold, often with disastrous and messy results!! I raise tomatoes just for my favorite tomato-potato chip sandwich. And my favorite pizza is onion. Other than that, I think I’m quite normal.

Loopy: Onions on pizza? That one I don’t get. But I do M&M’s. Any book or movie recommendations?
Janice: Well, since one of my favorite things to do is to watch a movie and knit, there are several that are my all time favorites. ‘Miss Potter’, ‘The Italian Job’, ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’, BBC’ Pride and Prejudice’ to name a few. I also LOVE the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and the Bourne series. It’s been awhile since I’ve read a good book, as it is hard to read while one knits or spins!! I think I’ll have to look into books on tape!!

Loopy: Any thing else you’d like to add??
Janice: Yes. You still owe me a pair of socks. Two non-matching singles will do!
Sheri: They’ll be ready for you any time you want to come down here and get them!!

Sheri shereallydoeshavellamas-isn’tthatonecute?

Around Here? Loopy. And Icy.

Photo: Sheri Berger
Friday, February 22nd, 2008 in Finished Socks, Shop News

Aaaahhh. Y’all make me feel so much better. If I’m loopy, then I’m certainly in good company. (And for those of you who read the last post and wondered about all of us? You really need to get your “loopy” on. Just sayin’.)

It’s another icy day here in St. Louis. Schools are closed for the second day in a row (which means Knitting Daughter will be in again to help pack orders – after she sleeps in and enjoys her morning.) My friend Janice in Iowa has cried “Uncle!” this winter season. She has had enough snow to last her for a long long time. So I’m wondering, if “uncle” means “enough”, does “aunt” meant “keep it coming!”? I love this weather. Not necessarily driving in it, but I love sitting inside and watching it come down. Is there anything cozier than sitting by the fire with your family, latte and knitting in hand? Maybe a good movie on the tv, or maybe with the tv off completely? I think not. (Well – maybe a fire, a latte and a good book if the family isn’t around.)

IMG_1785.JPGHere’s a photo of my Farmhouse Fannie’s Fingering sock that I finished up over the weekend. This is soft and squishy sock yarn. Fun to see how the colors knit up. (I used the Stansfield 16 pattern on it, which is one that I like for yarns with a lot of colors, where a more detailed pattern would get lost. It’s from one of Charlene Schurch’s Sensational Socks books.) We have sold out of most of the Farmhouse yarn already, but will have more again soon. One of my favorite colors is still in stock – Autumn. It’s beautiful! And now that I’m done with this sock, I started that gorgeous green sock yarn that I’ve been dying to cast on for a bit now. That is from The Sanguine Gryphon, and we will have that up in the next Sneak Up. It’s knitting up beautifully. I’m so glad to have this line coming to The Loopy Ewe!

A few quick answers to the questions I have been getting:

- We will have a full re-stock of Dream in Color Classy around mid-March. I will let you know via the blog when it’s back in, and we will offer the DC-KAL discount on it for those participating in the KAL, one more time for a week or so. I’ve lost count of how many of you are KALing with us, but it’s a ton of people and it will be a lot of fun! (We can’t take pre-orders on the colors, so just keep an eye on the blog if you’re waiting on it.)

- Smooshy gets fully re-stocked every month – it’s a standing order (just like Classy and Baby). We will have more of that in March, too.

- Rio de la Plata will be here again in about 2 weeks. Aruacania and Noro have both been on re-order since before our first orders even arrived, and I have no idea when those orders will be in. No one seems to know. FPS. (I’m wearing my Noro socks again today. Love them.)

- All Things Heather is coming back! The order just shipped. We’re so glad that Heather is set up again for dyeing, now that they’re settled in in CA.

- Thanks for your wonderful response to our new Loopy Legends line. (To see all of the colorways we had, click on the “0″. My very favorite colorway out of all 12 of them was the one that is still in stock – Janice’s Sunshine in Winter. I took a skein of that out as soon as I opened the boxes up! Although I must say, I really did love all of them and have plans to continue adding to my stash with each order that we get in. I just didn’t want to hog take any more than one the first time.) Yes, all of the colorways have been re-ordered. We have a couple of other orders in with Zen String first, but then we’ll get more of those Legends colorways. Plus, we’ll probably introduce another 12 Legends sometime this summer.

- More Wollmeise will be up sometime in the first couple of weeks in March. I’ll announce it the week before on the blog. (We can’t take pre-orders on Wollmeise – sorry!)

- Yes, I will order more of the Loopy’s Red Canvas Tote bags again. Today. Also, more travel mugs will arrive in a couple of weeks.

We’re going to be packing this week’s Sneak Up orders until the cows come home, so thank you very much for your patience with our “little longer than normal” turn-around time. We’re working as fast as we can! We so appreciate your orders this week. :-)

Sheri contrarytowhatyoumightbelieve,IhavenotgivenupStarbucksforPeets.

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