Archives from March 2008

Three Things Post and a CONTEST!

Photo: Sheri Berger
Friday, March 14th, 2008 in Contest

Here’s a twist on my regular “Three Things” post. Today it’s “Two Truths and a Lie”. I’m just betting you will have no trouble figuring out the lies….

Three things that I must stop doing:

- eating Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies
- going to bed late because I’m “not tired yet”
- knitting single socks

Three things that I am looking forward to next week:

- our appointment with the tax guy
- College Guy coming home for Spring Break
- our week’s vacation in the Colorado mountains starting next Friday

Three things that will be going up in the next Sneak Up:

- roving (from Lone Star Arts and The Dyeing Arts)
- yarn (from Keagan Lane and Farmhouse Fannie’s Fingering)
- swimming suits (summer is coming, you know)

DSC01621.JPGThree things that I did this week:

- laundry
- made cookies with my new Kitchenaid Mixer (of course RED)
- went out to dinner with WH

Three records broken this week:

- 5 minutes (the time it took to sell out the entire batch of Wollmeise)
- 3800+ posts (which now means the Loopy Groupies hold the Ravelry record for one thread!)
- 10 socks (the number of socks I made to match up to some of the singles)

Three things I had to buy at the grocery store this week:

- Eggs
- Almonds
- Milk

Three reasons to leave a comment today:

- this is the March Blog Contest. Winner announced next Wednesday
- you like to make lists of “three”, too
- everyone who comments gets a free latte

Sheri yourememberthatonethingineachlistisalie,right??
(Sonofreelattesforeveryonewhocomments.sorry.)

Who Says Single Socks Aren’t Cool?

Photo: Sheri Berger
Wednesday, March 12th, 2008 in Finished Socks

DSC01617.JPGReally, this would be a rather boring display if I had pairs of socks all lined up, don’t you think? (Well, it’d still be a little cool. But waaay cooler to have all of those different colors, I think.) This is a “Single Sock Display” that WH made for me here at Loopy Central. All of those beautiful socks, so why not display them? I love it. Although I must say, seeing them all hanging there every single day really makes me wish that some of them were done. I really like some of those socks. On the other hand, CLEARLY I need to knit a few more to finish filling it up. It holds 24 and I only have 19. That’s a case for knitting more single socks if ever there was one. (And because someone asked me to identify all of them: Misty Mountain Farm, Woolly Boully, Farmhouse, Araucania, bellamoden, Perchance to Knit, sKNITches, Chewy Spaghetti, Louet Fingering, Louet Sport, Yarn Love, Cherry Tree Hill, Urban Gypz, The Alpaca Yarn Co, Claudia Hand Painted, Yarn Pirate, Dream in Color, Socks that Rock, Sheepaints, Yarn Pirate.  That’s left to right and it helps if you click on the photo to make it larger!)

Wendy has been talking about Daylight Savings Time, and I think I have come up with the best solution possible. She wondered why we had to “lose” an hour on a weekend, but someone pointed out that if we changed days and lost it during the week, we’d also have to gain an hour during the week in the fall. Ugh. No one wants to work an extra hour in their work week in the fall. So my solution is this. In the Spring, we move the clocks forward on a Monday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. Imagine this – you’re at work, you’re watching the clock, it’s dragging all afternoon, it’s 2:00, it’s 2:30, it’s 3:40, it’s 3:59, and then BAM – it’s 5:00. Time to go home. And of course you get paid for that extra hour, because after all, you were there until 5 pm. Now in the Fall, we move the clocks back on a Sunday afternoon at 2:00 pm. Why a Sunday afternoon? Because I never work on Sundays and that’s my favorite knitting time of the week. So you’re sitting there enjoying your afternoon, knitting away, it’s 1:00, it’s 1:30, it’s 1:59, and then BAM – it’s 1:00 again and you get to start your Sunday afternoon all over again. How sweet is that? I think this could work.

Sheri stillgoingtobedlateandwakingupfeelingreallytired.
Ireallydon’tlikemovingtheclocksforward.

Claudia The Wollmeise in The Loopy Limelight!

Photo: Sheri Berger
Monday, March 10th, 2008 in Loopy Limelight

Today it seems appropriate to learn more about Claudia, the master dyer behind the Wollmeise yarn we all love (since we have more Wollmeise going up sometime this week.) Claudia and I became friends through email, and I’m so thrilled that she is coming to The Loopy Ewe Spring Fling so that I can meet her in person. She has such a unique way of making everyone feel like they’ve known her forever, and I know a lot of you have experienced that. She’s also a bit of a practical joker. One time she called and pretended that she wanted to pre-order a bunch of Wollmeise yarn and I was trying to kindly explain that we don’t do pre-orders on that line and she burst out laughing and then told me who it was. (And if we hadn’t had other customers call from Germany before, the accent might’ve given her away – but it didn’t. Now I know to be wary, indeed…..)

Loopy: We’re so honored to have you in The Loopy Limelight this week! Thanks for taking the time to talk with us.
Claudia: Hi Loopy it´s nice to talk with you and soon I’ll see you in person and hope to be allowed to squeeze your belly. Sorry I have no latest pictures of me, only some when I was small. The biggest fear in my life is the dentist and cameras around me and I prefer the dentist. It’s not my look, I’m looking really normal – I swear without crossed fingers – a camera steals my soul. Here is a little impression about me: I’m 45 years old, 168cm t(sm)all, have short black curly hair, looking pale, brown eyes, bad teeths wondering why, normal weight, no second nose and no warts. I have three children, two boys and one girl and they are almost grown. My husband Andreas is “Rohrspatz” and my 85 year old mum lives with us.

Today I found my first schoolday picture – I’m the second from the left.

carpetLoopy: Nice picture! We’re glad to have one of you, even if it’s from awhile ago. That probably means that people shouldn’t follow you around with cameras at the Spring Fling, right? We don’t want you to feel like we’re stealing your soul here. We want you to have a good weekend. We’ll make note of that. So tell us how you started dyeing?
Claudia: The beginning was serendipity or pure obsession. A long time ago I had a special project in my mind but can’t find the right colors to realize it. I started with spinning my favourite yarn to knit this wall carpet/picture and it’s still hanging in our living room (best alarm for the first moth flight).

You know spinning needs a lot of time and I got some Koolaid bags from a friend as a Christmas present (hi Thea – you’re guilty). Decorating the Christmas tree was no longer important. I dyed my first handspun yarn with Koolaid and a fruity-sheep smell went through our house (a Christmas tree smells better). That was the exact date when I started dyeing, Christmas 2002 and I never stopped.

Loopy: That wall hanging is beautiful. What an inspiration of colors! (Of course I personally like the grass-green colors the best. I’m partial to things that look like grass.) You’re known for your wonderfully intense colors. How do you typically come up with your new color combinations?
Claudia: Mostly I have an idea about a new colorway. Some years ago my husband made me a cute Valentine present. It was one single parrot tulip in amazing brownish orange colors standing in a small teal pottery, and that’s “Türkis and Karneol”. Sometimes a colorway just happens, as Rhabarber.

wolm_angleLoopy: What is the best part about your business, and what is the most challenging part?
Claudia: The best part is definitely dyeing. The second part is the possibility to jump into my stash, to keep the yarn if I want and I need no excuses for a big stash. Isn’t that yarnheaven? There are much more other fantastic parts, my own little world became bigger and I know so many lovely people allover the world.
The most challenging part! My first impulsively thought is “every new day is a challenge”. There are so many things I have to learn and honestly it’s the office work. I’m a crafter and not a business woman.

Loopy: You’re very busy dyeing yarn for all of us – do you ever get time to knit anymore? And if so, what is your favorite thing to knit?
Claudia: My daily rows are necessary to calm down after a long day. These months I love to knit fast and extraordinary little projects. I have no patience for a lifework like a complicated shawl or a faire isle sweater. My favourite designs are from Lynne Barr “Knitting New Scarves”. There are so many spectacular funny ideas. This book forced me to read the instructions. I never read instructions – a picture is enough for me (okay, I read a pattern chart too).

Loopy: Do you have any yarn shops close to where you live?
Claudia: One and a half, the half one has very less yarn and more fabrics. The bigger store hasn’t a good choice, mostly stuff for grandmas without internet. Internet spoiled me!

Loopy: We’re glad for the internet here at The Loopy Ewe, too! Who taught you to knit, and how long have you been a knitter?
Claudia: My mother taught me the first steps in knitting, crocheting and sewing when I was four. I knitted little plaids for a dinky plastic dog. My first children’s sewing machine was more dangerous, I ruined all living room curtains (my first stash) on a creative afternoon.

Loopy: That must’ve been a fun afternoon. Do you have other hobbies besides knitting, dyeing and spinning that you enjoy?
Claudia: The tragedy of my life! I have a lot of hobbies and I started each Hobby very enthusiastic. Gardening was/is a great hobby of mine, now my garden is an untended jungle because I’m obsessed with dyeing.

Loopy: I have to say that we all benefit from your garden being untended. We like that you’re dyeing instead. What is your idea of a “perfect day”?
Claudia: That’s my favourite question, space for dreams how could be a perfect day! I wake up in the morning, please not too early, my bones are smooth and my back doesn’t hurt. After a yummy breakfast I would take my first horse riding lesson and if I survive I would need to take rest with knitting. In my childhood I had bad experiences with horses. My friends and I were Winnetou and we borrowed (NOT allowed) some nervous trotters. Bad story, but now I’m fearless and want to try it again on a legal way!

Loopy: I think the Loopy Lady will have to make sure that you don’t try to sneak me home in your suitcase, won’t she? Because I’m sure you’ll want to borrow me, too. What three words would your best friend use to describe you?
Claudia: Hahaha, my best friend is my husband and it’s not a good idea to ask him, he must live with me.
Three things I appreciate by my friends are loyalty, to be warm at heart and they are pure themselves because that’s the reason I love my friends so much.

Loopy: Do you have any book or movie recommendations for us?
Claudia: Don’t laugh – my favourite book is the atlas! So less time for books, only when I’m ill with a cold. Time to get a cold is autum and winter and that’s Harry Potter time. Not the most intellectual reading but it feels well. Movies are much better, but I don’t know the American titles from my favourites. Mostly I prefer German or British movies they are convinced in dialogues and sometimes in wicked humor.

Now I talked a lot about me and know nothing about Loopy. I hope the next interview is about you and your life with Sheri, we want secrets!

Loopy: :-)
————–

Sheri hopingyouenjoyedlearningmoreaboutClaudia

Not Just Socks!

Photo: Sheri Berger
Friday, March 7th, 2008 in Finished Socks

Well you all made it such a fun birthday for me. I wanted to show you pictures of some of the things that came in the mail over this past week! I showed you some of the mini socks in last week’s post, so now I’ll show you some of the other knitted things which arrived. (And some of you send non-knitted things which were equally fun – woohoo!) I am a lucky lucky gal to have such wonderful Loopy friends.

First the “not socks but still knitted” items. My friend Janice sent me this gorgeous charcoal felted bag (and check out the cute Loopy pin on the front that she had made for me!) I have also included the other wonderful felted bag she made for me last fall, because I don’t think that I ever showed that on the blog. I love them both and she is a very talented knitter/felter, isn’t she?

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Next is this fun “Sparkle the Peacock” sporting six mini-socks from Dawn! Sparkle comes from Debbie (who also makes the Sock Blocker Keychains that we sell) and I’ve been talking to Debbie about having Sparkle here for awhile. I think it’s finally going to happen soon, so start making your mini socks! (Same pattern as the keychains.) Dawn did overtime by making up all 6 “feathers” on Sparkle and he looks darned cute sitting on my desk here at Loopy Central.

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Look at the pretty roving that Katie from Yarn Love sent to me! This is a new colorway that she made up for my birthday called “Sweet Sheri” and I have left it at work to keep from tempting me to spin it up. I think it might be on my schedule for the weekend because I can’t leave it alone any more.

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In addition to the roving, she also dyed up the colorway on sock yarn and knit me up a pair of socks! I know that you will love this colorway, so she is dyeing some up for us to have here at The Loopy Ewe. She read my Ravelry profile and saw that some of my favorite colors are cranberry, chocolate, sage and navy. She’s a good sleuth!

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The next pair of socks came from Sabrina and were knit up in the Cherry Tree Hill Cherry Blossom colorway. I told her that this was so perfect because sometimes I wear pink and wish I had socks that had pink in them! (Not that I think your socks have to match your outfit. Because they so don’t.) But still, I was lacking “pink” in my sock wardrobe.

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Then there was this collaborative effort from Susan and Katie, which means that I get to “wear” two friends at once – ha! (Do you sometimes feel like you’re taking your friends along with you for the day when you wear socks that someone has made you? You don’t? Oh. Me neither, then…..) This is from Fiesta Baby Boom in the Taos colorway, and honest-to-goodness this is one colorway that has been on my “must knit” list since Fiesta started coming in. I love this combo, and I love the socks even more.

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The last pair of socks are my first ever socks knit from handspun. My friend Allen (from Numma Numma) handspun the yarn and then knit these socks out of it. Aren’t they beautiful? And I wish you could feel how soft they are. They may be responsible for making me feel like I need to handspin my sock yarn from now on. (Well, ok. You all know that I am not that caliber of a spinner yet, but I have high hopes. Someday.)

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I also received a pair of amazing socks from Claudia in Germany (the Wollmeise herself!). I wish I could show them to you because they took my breath away when I opened them. However, it’s done up in the pattern and yarn that she did for our Sock Club shipment, so it’s all a secret at this point! I’ll show them when that club kit has gone out, later in the year. :-)

So there you have it – the new knitted lovelies that arrived to help me celebrate my birthday. I love them to pieces and I know that I am completely and hopelessly spoiled. I admit it.

What are you knitting this weekend? I’m going to finish up a sock, work on my lace project, and spin. I haven’t started my DC KAL sweater yet, but I have plenty of time to finish before June 1st. I do have the swatch done and the first two skeins wound, so it will get started soon!

Sheri didn’tIJUSTgetmyhaircut?BecauseIneedanotheronealreadyand
I’dreallyratherspendthattimeknitting.Andno,Idon’tknitwhileIgetmyhaircut.
Thatisjustweird.Unlessyoudoit.ThenIwon’tcallitweird.Butitiskinda.

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