Archives from March 2008

No Mountains Out My Window

Photo: Sheri Berger
Monday, March 31st, 2008 in Shop News

DSC01635.JPGMissouri is pretty darned flat. Not as flat as Kansas, but still. There are no mountains out my window this morning, and that makes me sad. (Although there was no Loopy in Colorado, and it’s nice to be back here with him. It doesn’t quite make up for it, but it helps.) :-) What did we find as we drove across Kansas? Wind Generators. There is a stretch of the highway with about 30 or 40 of these, turning in the wind. It’s kind of eery, actually. We saw a semi at a rest area that had one of the blades on the back of it and it was HUGE. They look deceptively small in this photo.

DSC01640.JPGVacation was wonderful! College Guy arrived on Thursday night and we whisked him off to Colorado early the next morning. (Then we arrived home late Saturday night, and he whisked himself back off to college on Sunday afternoon. Little time at home this time.) There was a lot of snow when we got there. This is out the back door and you can see how high the snow is to the railing on the deck. It only snowed once while we were there (of course the day we were snowmobiling at the top of the mountain in white-out conditions – more on that later.) I love driving around in Colorado and seeing mountains as you go down the road. They’re beautiful in summer or winter. I’ve been vacationing in Colorado for years and years, so it’s no wonder I like it there so much. (It helps immensely that my folks have a condo out there that we can stay in.)

DSC01660.JPGI got lots of things done and had a great time doing it! Want my list?

Items knitted: 3 socks plus 1/3 of my Dream in Color Classy Sweater for the KAL. (And I can’t wait to get back home tonight and knit on it some more. I love it!) Knitting photos on Wednesday’s blog.

Books read: Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Piccout, The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond, and Knitalong: Celebrating the Tradition of Knitting Together by Larissa Golden Brown and Martin John Brown.

Movies watched: A lot. But the two favorites were Freedom Writers and August Rush. Loved them both. (And of course we had to watch The Holiday for about the fifty-billionth time because it’s a favorite of mine and Knitting Daughter’s.)

Yarn Stores Visited: The Yarn Barn (Lawrence, KS) – a weaver’s and spinners haven, What’s Needling U (Frisco, CO) – very close to where we stay, so I go there every time, A Knitted Peace (Littleton, CO) – bright, airy, open and fun, Lamb Shoppe (Denver, CO) – a coffee bar and a dog with dreds – very interesting place, The The Cottage Yarn (Littleton, CO) – just a year old but a very nice gal working there and she gave us great directions to get back to the highway, Colorful Yarns (Centennial, CO) – little and packed with stuff. This was probably my favorite place because they had red couches (just like Loopy Central) and tons of fun knitting bags (just like Loopy Central!).

julia7273lorezSo back to the snowmobiles. We don’t ski. I tried it a few times and it’s ok, but I don’t LOVE it, so why do it? I do, however, like snowmobiling a lot! Here’s a photo of us going down the path. Actually, it’s nice and clear in this first photo. There were times when we were going down a very steep part of the path and I couldn’t even see because of the immense amount of snow blowing and falling. DSC01654.JPGThank goodness that KD was in front of me in a bright red jacket – I just kept my eyes on her and gunned it! (That’s either really stupid or really gutsy, I’m not sure. It’s probably really stupid.) And next time I’m wearing a hat under the helmet. I don’t think my forehead has ever been so cold and ice-pelted in my entire life. You can kind of see the whiteout behind us in the second photo. By the time we got back down off of the mountain, everything had stopped, the sun was coming out, and things were back to normal. Of course.

Now that I’m back to work, I’m sure there is one more list that you’d like to see. What is in this week’s Sneak Up?? Well, I can tell you what has come in while I was gone. About half of this will be up this week, and the rest next week. (WH needs to do the color correcting on all of this. Oh yeah, and he also needs to catch up on his own business and workload from when we were gone. Darn it.) So within the next couple of weeks, you’ll find: Rio de la Plata, Creatively Dyed (new indie dyer!), Mountain Colors (including some of their amazing solids), bellamoden (fingering weight), Perchance to Knit Lace, Spindle City Yarns (new indie dyer!), Tempted Glam Girl (the yarn with the silver in it), Zen String Lotus Toes, Claudia Silk (new to us) and Fingering Weight, Fiesta Boomerang and Baby Boomerang, Farmhouse Fannie’s Fingering, Hand Maiden Sea Silk, Fleece Artist Casbah and Sea Wool, Schaefer Heather, Anne and Lola (and we got such fun colors for you again!), more Red Canvas Sock Totes, Offhand Designs bags, and Go Knit bags in all colors. Whew! And you all know that there is always more on order and arriving daily, so who knows what else will arrive this week that might go up next week, too. Did I tell you they had to buy a bigger dumpster for our office building because of all the cases of yarn that arrive all the time? We kept filling it up …. Hee!

Sheri didlotsofcookingonvacation,too,soIhavesomegreatnewrecipestoshareinthecomingweeks!

The Elf-Cam

Photo: Sheri Berger
Wednesday, March 26th, 2008 in Shop News

Do you wonder what The Loopy Elves do when no one is watching? Here’s some photo-evidence:

They ask “Who wants to go to California?” “Who wants to go to New York?” “Who wants to go to the UK?” whenever an order comes in for a Little Loopy. And then they wait and see which one raises their hand. (See photo.)

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They wrap up the special edition yarn for the “Don’t Be Blue” sock kits (which will be offered in April to those who tried and didn’t get into the sock club.)

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They eat bags and bags of M&M’s, plain and peanut. There are lids to these jars but I don’t know why. They’re really not necessary.

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They play with the little toys that come in their Happy Meal and then leave them on the counter for others to find.

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The make lots and lots of little red balls for Loopy’s Red Sock Kit. And then they make some more.

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They toast their bagels in the red toaster that they requested for the Loopy Central kitchenette.

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Oh, ok. They also unpack the cartons of yarn that come in each day, and get your orders out as well. Because despite all of their silliness, they really are good. :-)

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Sheri enjoyingourtimeinthemountainsandknittingalot!

Dristraction Day Again

Photo: Sheri Berger
Wednesday, March 19th, 2008 in Uncategorized

DSC01622.JPGUsually it happens when there are bills to pay. I hate paying bills. There is no reason for this. There’s money there to pay them. I just don’t like sitting here and going through all of the steps. (Online bill paying. I know, I know.) My point is, on bill-paying day, I get SO MUCH DONE (yes, I meant to yell that) because everything “else” I can do is a way to procrastinate the bill paying. Well today was not bill-paying day, but it’s “getting ready to be gone for over a week” day and apparently, that has a similar affect on me. I had to stop and watch the daycare (across the parking lot from Loopy Central, visible out our windows) do bubbles. There were a ton of them, but you will only be able to see them in the photo if you click to make it bigger and then look really hard. In my defense, I’m pretty sure that everyone would stop what they were doing to watch bubbles, right? And then a friend sent me this link and not only did I have to watch him speak in Indian, but I had to click on all of the other dialects, too. DSC01623.JPG(I did manage to not click on any other videos. YouTube is dangerous. There’s always something else funny to see.) And then I had to click on the different Hoops and Yoyo animated cards, because I hadn’t done that in awhile. We love Hoops and Yoyo here. I showed you the Panic Button that we use here, but did you see what we have hanging in the shipping closet? (You press the button and they invite you in with a song: “Come in our room, come in our room, it maynotbeclean but you’re welcome to come in … our …. room. Come ON in!”) It used to be on the door handle to that area, but we went in and out so much that we sort of got a little tired of hearing it. At any rate, that is sort of how my day has gone. The upside to this is that it guarantees that I will get a LOT done tonight, because …. well, because now I have to. FPS.

Also in true “Sheri” form, I have already decided on the knitting that is going with me on my trip, and of course I have no idea what clothes I’m taking. (Who cares? It’s vacation!) For my knitting, I’m taking my lace project, my DC KAL sweater, my Sanguine Gryphon sock, by secret project sock, and four new sock yarns that I need to knit. I wonder what I’ll get done?

So I will miss all of you until I’m back in the office on Monday, the 31st! (I think I’ll blog that day. I know Monday’s are Loopy Limelight day, but I’m sure I will need to tell you about all of the knitting I got done on vacation.) We only have dial-up where we’re headed, and I’m so spoiled by fast internet connections that I’m not sure how much computer time I’ll put in next week. (Well, and then there is all that knitting to be done.) To keep you amused while I’m gone, the Elves will be putting up our March Dream in Color Classy order sometime next week. We will once again offer you a 20% discount on the Classy if 1) you have emailed me that you are participating in our Dream in Color Knit-A-Long and 2) you MUST leave an order note that says “DC KAL” on your order for the Classy yarn. They’ll be processing those while I’m gone next week and the only way they’ll know that you get the discount is if you put that note on your order. The discount is good while this batch of Classy lasts or until Friday evening, March 28th (whichever comes first). We will continue to get Classy in, but this is the last time we’ll be doing the KAL discount for this go-round, so get it while it lasts. Our Knit-A-Long is simple – pick a color of Dream in Color Classy to knit with, pick a sweater pattern that you’d like to do, and get knittin’! If you’re on Ravelry, come to the Loopy Groupie board and join in the KAL discussions. We have given ourselves a deadline of June 1st to get it done.

Before I close, the winner of our March Blog Contest (and I loved reading your truths and lies!) is: Jamie from NJ. Congratulations, Jamie – we’ll be sending you your fun prize in the mail tomorrow!

Ok – I’ll be back on the 31st. Get lots of knitting done between now and then so you can tell me what you did!

Sheri anyoneelseeverprocrastinatefindotherworthythingstodoattimes?

Capi in The Loopy Limelight!

Photo: Sheri Berger
Monday, March 17th, 2008 in Loopy Limelight

KaneoheYachtsToday we have another one of our Loopy Legends in the Limelight! Capi has been a long-time customer and I know you’ll enjoy reading about her. (She also has one of the largest sock yarn stashes that we know about. You’ll see pictures!) So many of you emailed to ask if we’d be telling you more about the Loopy Legends, and we’ll do as many of them in the Limelight as we can. (Some of them may want to stay anonymous – but we’ll ask them. We think it’s more fun not to be anonymous when you’re a Legend.)

Loopy: Hi Capi! You have a very unique and memorable name. Was that your given name?
Capi: No. The day after I was born, Dad came to the hospital and casually asked what name my Mother had picked out. She told him, “Aldorpha Evangelina.” His comment: “Try again.” She then came up with Carol, which later turned out to be what everyone who had a blond-blue-eyed-female-type-kid was using. This was after the then popular Carole Lombard, who herself was actually born Jane Alice Peters. So all thru grammar school (we didn’t call it elementary back then) I was one of 5 or 6 or 9 Carols in my class. As I was getting ready to enter my township high school (5 towns), my girl friend across the street said, you definitely need a nickname. Putting our heads together, we came up with CAPI which is really just CArol PIke – the first two letters of my first and last name. It stuck and I have been Capi ever since.

This worked to my advantage at one point in my life, back when I was a shrimp fisherman-woman-person down in Mexico in the Sea of Cortez. The port captain, who controlled who could or couldn’t work on the boats (or even buy wholesale shrimp) was also called Capi, therefore making he and I namesakes. In Spanish when another person shares your name, you call one another “tocayo” – a habit we don’t have in English, but which forms a bond with that individual. Being tocayos allowed me to work on the shrimp boats … the only American AND the only woman to do so in the entire area.

Loopy: I’ve never met another Capi, so you’re we think you’re pretty unique! Although we like Aldorpha, too. You’re one of our Loopy Legends and have been a long time Loopy customer. Do you remember how you found out about The Loopy Ewe?
PICT0309Capi: Oh, I was undoubtedly Googling for sock yarn, as I did almost every night trying to build up my stash of sock yarn so I could knit socks to go with my Cayman Crocs. I had other shoes, but when some friends in Phoenix turned me on to Crocs, “Katy bar the door!” I had to have every color that they made. I now own 42 pair of them, they have their own shoe racks in the corner of the bedroom. Well, now if you have all of these lovely colors of Crocs, then you’ve got to make socks to go with them, right?

Loopy: You definitely need socks for Crocs! (And we like your display of them – kinda like having a rainbow in your bedroom.) Did you like your Loopy Legends colorway?
Capi: Do I like my Legends colorway, Capi’s Arizona Rainbow? NO, I LOVE my colorway. I truly could not have picked better colors. It’s sorta like the commercial for the brand name spaghetti sauce using people with Herb, parsley and such names….well, a little bit of….nope nope, just couldn’t add or subtract a single color…the colorway is just perfect as it is! Kudos to Sheri and the Zen String zone.

PICT0234Loopy: Well it wasn’t necessarily easy to pick colors for you because we know you already have a great yarn stash. How long have you been knitting and who taught you to knit?
Capi: I first began knitting when I was a kid, probably around 9, by my Grandma. I just knit scarves and rather non-descript doll blankets though as I could never seem to follow a pattern. Years later, while at my Aunt Mary’s house, she watched me struggling with my knitting and said in a very disgusted tone, “My Mother taught you to knit, didn’t she? I said, “Yes.” and then she explained that Grandma knit backwards, which was why I could never follow a pattern. She and later a college friend, helped me get back on track and I have been knitting ever since, with some breaks for other hobbies.

PICT0212Loopy: You learned to knit backwards? That’s funny! Do you know how many skeins are in your stash? And how long would it take you to knit that up?
Capi: Yes, I know exactly how many skeins are in my SOCK stash…well, not the skeins, but the colorways…..to date there are 2153, with 6 more enroute. That is to say, there are that many colorways for 2153 pair of socks…but I could probably squeeze out another 1000 pair of socks with the leftover yarns, many of which would match one another. Or I could make tons of mini-socks. I actually give away some of my sock yarn to a friend so that she can make these darling octopus toys for cats…sprayed or stuffed w/a bit of catnip…hooo boy! How long to knit that yarn up…hmm, see I am trying to insure my longevity and figure I’m gonna have to live to be at least 115 or so.

PICT0307Loopy: We’d like to think you’ll live that long, too. What a fun stash you have! You’ve traveled a lot. What has been your favorite trip so far?
Capi: My favorite trip? I would have to say probably my favorite trip would be any one that is still in the planning stages in the future. I think the anticipation is often just as exciting as the actual trip. However that is a rather intangible answer, so I will have to narrow it down to 3 that I have actually gone on already…Hudson’s Bay at Churchill Canada to kayak with the beluga whales (those white smiley ones) who come up and visit with you and even bump your boat, but not maliciously. To Peru in the Andes and the Amazon Valley, where a full sized tapir would come into the chow hall and beg food at dinner time. And of course, China. Many aspects of China were great…I have been there 4 times. A highlight was going over at Christmas 2 years ago and going up to what was Manchuria to see the Ice Festival. It begins in Jan and lasts until April….never gets above zero.They have 4 story buildings made of ice w/neon lighting…a clock tower that actually works. Fantastic ice and snow carvings. It is like another world.

Loopy: Wow. I’ll bet it’s COLD in those ice buildings! Have you met any famous knitters along the way? :-)
Capi: No, but I hope to at the 2 yarn retreats that I will be going to in April! Oh, well I met Vanna White at ACCI trade show one year…does that count?

Loopy: We’ll count Vanna, since she does knit. Now, we also happen to know that you collect more than yarn. Care to share any of your other fun collections with us?
Capi: I used to be a rubber stamper and have probably 10,000 or so stamps…that are just crying, “what about us, aren’t we your friends anymore?” And since I began going to China a few years back, I now also collect Yixing (ee-shing) teapots, which are made from a special purple clay called Zisha. The teapots are never glazed & the clay absorbs the flavor and odor of the tea brewed in it so over time the seasoned pot becomes quite special. The pots are only made in one town in China, Yixing, NW of Shanghai. Some of the artisans are famous and command big bucks (or yuan) for their creations. (Speaking of China, this is Capi’s beautiful Bengal cat XiXin (she-sheen).

PICT0254Loopy: The teapots sound interesting. I’ll bet that is a pretty collection! We’re looking forward to having you here at the Spring Fling. Have you been to other knitting retreats – what is your favorite thing about knitting retreats?
Capi: Ah, I have never been to a knitting gathering before so this will be a brand new experience. However, by the time I get to see and meet you in person, Loopy, I’ll be coming directly from another knitting retreat being held in the San Juan Islands above Seattle. Can I bring you a salmon?….uh, no I don’t suppose youse ewe’s eats salmons. But to answer the question…I would think the comraderie and exchange of ideas would be paramount to me.

Loopy: Um, no, to the salmon. That’s correct. But thanks for the offer! Well, since we’re always on the lookout for good books – do you have a favorite?
Capi: You know, a few weeks ago, I might have named any number of mystery authors since that is my normal genre, but I recently finished Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen which was fantastic. Written by a woman, but told in the first person about a man in a nursing home and done in flashbacks about his time with a circus….truly wonderful insight into people. I have another book in the wings, so to speak, now loaded on my Kindle, but I haven’t begun it yet. As a fan of all of the Janet Evanovich books, one of my knitting buddies told me that Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie was of that ilk….I’ll let you know if you should add it to your “counting sheep don’t sleep, latenightreadinglist.”

Loopy:
I count socks when I can’t fall asleep. Counting sheep just makes me want to get up and play and doesn’t make me any sleepier. Socks – now socks make me sleepy. Anything else you’d like to add?
Capi: Are you kidding? I think I have taken up far too much of your valuable knitting time as it is….back to my sock knitting. I’ll never get those 3 pair a week socks done at this rate. Loopy, thank you so much for your time and indulgence. It has been a real pleasure and I sure look forward to meeting you, the Loopsters, and the Loopy Groupies at the upcoming Spring Fling.
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Sheri whowantstohaveasmanyknittedpairsofsocksasCapidoessomeday

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