Archives from May 2008

A Pickle Problem, Apparently

Photo: Sheri Berger
Friday, May 16th, 2008 in Sheri's Recipes

DSC01777.JPGJust to prove that I’m balanced in my stashing, I wanted to show you the refrigerator stash. You all know that the freezer stash is all about the chicken br*asts and the pantry stash is all about the almond stash. When I was cleaning out the fridge this week, I realized that the fridge stash is all about pickles. Six jars of them in various stages of fullness/emptiness. (WH saw me photoing this and asked me if I wanted him to go get the Sam’s Club-sized jar of dill pickles that I had already thrown out in the garbage can five minutes earlier. I said, “No, thank you.” Or something like that.) Six misc. jars of pickles. FPS. At least I know that I have stashes in each food storage area in my kitchen. Just in case I need them. Kinda like I have my sock yarn stash, “just in case I need it.”

It’s time to welcome new Loopy Groupies again! You get to Loopy Groupie status when you get your 6th package from us, and we love sending you something special when you reach that stage. So a warm welcome and lots of hugs to the following people who have become LG’s since the last Blog Welcome List: Wendy in DA, Karen in Canada, Renne in ME, Patricia in DE, Sandi in NY, Heather in NY, Sarah in NH, Marita in Canada, Alison in WA, Diane in PA, Elaine in WA, Nicole in PA, Heather in D.C., Julie in AZ, Anne in NC, Melissa in IN, Timmie in NC, Kristin in Canada, Teaira in NV, Carol in CA, Lani in FL, Liz in TX, Mary in IN, Lisa in VA, Cathy in VA, Patricia in MO, Ami in Idaho, Candice in NC, Ann in PA, Carrie in WA, Suzi in GA, Sheri in CO, Marnie in Canada, Pamela in VA, Lisa in CT, Susan in LA, Janet in PA, Margie in MD, Loren in VA, Stephanie in Canada, Christy in MI, Natasha in CA, Barbara in TX, Deborah in IL, Kim in PA, Cristi in NC, Jamie in NY, Molly in PA, Jennifer in FL, Michele in SC, Frances in FL, Carol in NC, Shannon in MD, Shainna in WV, Marie in RI, Kristen in MD, Jennifer in ND, Anne in OH, Betsy in IL, Katie in CA, Anna in OR, Jill in GA, Dawn in IL, Katie in TX, Kathy in IL, Melanie in VA, Lizzie in OH, Michele in AK, Lynne in CA, Lauren in PA, Amy in TX, Deborah in VA, Mary Jane in TX, Barbara in NJ, Carrie in NY, Tami in NY, Jessica in TX, Janine in TX, Kerry in NY, Pauline in OH, Keri in MO, Rae-Ann in PA, Sara in KS, Julianne in CA, Sue in CA, Kathy in IA, Karen in VA, Mary in KY, Kathy in SC, Sharon in NY, Christine in MA, Mary Ann in NY, Karen in MA, Laura in Canada, Deirdre in Canada, Beth in MN, Julie in WI, Linda in MA,Jamie in MI, Dorothy in GA, Megann in CA, Denise in NY, Bertha in MA, Kate in OK, Eve in PA, Leslie in MS, Polly in NH, Bethany in AL, Jennifer in CA, heather in NC, Jill in RI, Dawn in MA, Michelle in Canada, Eva in CA, Rita in Australia, Debra in AL, Susan in MA, Stacy in OK, Paula in IA, Dawn in NC, Lisa in NY, Melissa in D.C., Kristina in CO, Jodi in LA, Natalia in MO, Jenifer in CA, Alexis in CT, Helene in NJ, Nicole in MA, Margaret in MI, Kirstin in IL, Megan in IA, Carol in IL, Megan in CT, Gretchen in PA, Cathy in NC, Carol in PA, Michele in MI, Vicki in IL, Jessica in OH, Eleanor in Canada, Amanda in TX, Carole in PA, Terry in VA, Kati in CO, Andrea in CA, Angela in OR, Terri in IL, Diane in Canada, Deawn in NE, Danielle in MO, Doreen in NC, Barbara in LA, Mary Ann in CA, Tracy in VA, Jane in the UK, Kathy in IN, Kim in CA, Jill in KS, Jennifer in MO, Erica in Canada, Alice in PA, Sherry in MA, Krista in AK, Kym in MI, Susan in NY, Julie in MA, Linda in MN, Pattie in OH, Camille in AR, Pam in CO, Susan in NY, Paula in NY, Denise in TX, Bonnie in TX, Jill in CO, Kajsa in Malaysia, Michelle in GA, Suzanne in FL, Alicia in GA, Judi in MN, Stacey in GA, Melissa in MO, Wendy in CT, Katie in VA, Hayly in KY, Beth in CA, Beth in ID, Melanie in OR, Beth in MI, Donna in MO, Kelle in MI, Sandy in NJ, Vicki in CT, Nikki in GA, Diane in ME, Jan in MI, Beth in KS, Lisa in MI, Gabrielle in CA, Karen in Ca, Catherine in New Zealand, Susan in MO, Janet in OH, Rebecca in FL, Faith in NJ, Thea in NY, Melissa in D.C., Leslie in CA, Carol in VA, Jennifer in CA, Sandra in WY, Hallie in CA, Janet in IL, Melodie in NY, Anita in KT, Jessica in CO, Bridget in MI, Joanne in CO, Michelle in MO, Cheryl in MO, Jill in VA, Kelley in IA, Grace in NM, Aimee in CA, Karin in NC, Andrea in Canada, Cindy in TX, Jean in Illinois, Joyce in MO, Mary-Ethel in Canada, Shelley in OH, Jessica iN CT, Kathleen in MI, Kimberly in TN, Brenda in MI, Debra in WA, Julia in NY, Anita in IA, Linda in OH, Jerri Lynn in NY, Cindy in WI, Monica in VA, Alison in FL, Christine in PA, Sarah in PA, Suzanne in MI, Megan in PA, Jessica in MO, Julie in NJ, Angela in OR, Elizabeth in NJ, Penny in NC, Mary in FL, Carrie in MN, Tori in CA, Constance in CO, Kiyomi in NC, Jessica in A, Rebecca in OH, Barbara in MS, Patricia in IL, Kimberly in OH, Lisa in TX, Hester in IL, April in NH, Jessica in MD, Alicia in IL, Betty in CA, Adrienne in NY, Iva in VA, Marissa in TN, Erica in IL, Andrea in WA, Beth in FL, Michele in CO, Melissa in CA, Nancy in IA, Jeanette in NY, Cynthia in PA, Karen in UT, Nancy in NJ, Heather in IL, Stephanie in MI, Becky in WA, Makana in MN, Linda in IN, Dorothy in PA, Gayle in TN, Kimberly in MD, Sandra in OR, Elizabeth in VA, Veronica in TX, Gabriele in UT, Emily in NY, Joanne in MD, Shelley in South Korea, Patti in KS, Susan in IL, Marie in MD, Janet in NC, Myriam in MI, Melissa in CA, Holly in IN, Tina in MS, Marcia in WV, Lacinda in IA, Debbie in TX, Mary in WA, Misty in MS, Tina in OH, Sharon in GA, Jennifer in KS, Susan in OH, Leslie in MI, Lynn in OH, Melanie in WI, Alisha in MS, Jessica in KS, Elaine in NE, Martha in NY, Alyssa in OR, Amy in NC, Michelle in MO, Susan in MD, Elaine in MD, Kristen in MD, Jordana in OR, Sarah in CA, Karen in CA, Maureen in OR, Mary in SD, Brenda in New Zealand, Holly in the military, Lorin in HI, Sidney in TX, Debra in MO,Rita in CA, Gaynor in CA, Linda in CA, Cerina in Cuba, Debbie in CA, Rebecca-Anne in Australia, Pamela in NC, Sonya in KY, Larissa in MD, Heike in Germany, Catherine in MI, Margaret in OR, Connie in TX, Therese in WA, Diane in Australia, Deidra in VA, Anna in NY, Sheila in CA, Sarah in MD, Melissa in IN, Star in OR, Liz in MS, Joan in VA, Patti in CA, Beth in VA and Jean in MI. (Next time I won’t let so much time elapse between blog welcomes – jeesh. As always, if we have screwed up and missed you in this Welcome List, please email me so that we can get you on the next one!)

DSC01646.JPGToday’s recipe is for Banana Pudding and it’s wonderful! It doesn’t last very long around our house. (I know the picture doesn’t look all that appetizing – a food stylist I am not – but it tastes yummy!)

Banana Pudding

2 pkgs. instant vanilla pudding mix
4 cups cold milk
1 can Eagle Brand milk
1 box vanilla wafers
5-6 bananas
1 sm. container of Cool Whip

Mix pudding mix with milk as directed on package. Blend in Eagle Brand milk. Stir in Cool Whip. In a deep round glass bowl, layer vanilla wafers, bananas, and pudding. Repeat at least 2 times, or for as many layers as you can. Crush a few vanilla wafers and sprinkle on top. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.

Sheri whohasabusyweekendaheadbutwillstillfindtimetoknitandspin!

All Hands on Deck!

Photo: Sheri Berger
Wednesday, May 14th, 2008 in Sheri's Favorite Indie Artisans

DSC01776.JPGAnother busy week here at Loopy Central and we have all hands on deck! Well – really I used that saying just so that I could show you the fun hand models that I have here. (But the busy part is true. We’re working very hard on all of your Sneak Up orders from this week. It’s going to take us another day to get through them all.) The wooden hand is from Barnes and Noble. I got the man size because the lady size looked so small. And the porcelain hand just arrived this week from this website. It’s a “vintage glove form”. Now I’ll have to knit a single fingerless glove to put on there (because you know I’m all about single socks and gloves. Although honestly, the white one on the wooden form is my only single fingerless glove so far.) If you ever see any other fun hand forms, send me an email. I like having the around. And besides, the Little Loopys also find them entertaining.

DSC01770.JPGI spun up some roving over the weekend. This is Ravenswood from The Sanguine Gryphon. I know the photo is a little bit dark, but when I used the flash, it took out the shine that is in the roving. This is a merino/silk combo and is so easy to spin and feels wonderful! So far I haven’t knit anything with any of my handspun skeins. I bought a couple of one-skein books and have some great pattern ideas, but just haven’t done it yet. Has anyone out there made anything fun with their handspun? It had been too long since I had been on my spinning wheel and I can see that I must stay in practice, or I seem to go backwards a little in my skills. I have that Creatively Dyed Seacell up next, and then we just got a new order of The Dyeing Arts Roving in this week (here’s the sold out page to see some of their past colors) and I absolutely love Tara’s colors. So that will come next. (Psst – we also got in an order from sKNITches and one from Yarn Pirate. So we have fun stuff for you again next week.)

DSC01774.JPGSpeaking of fun, look at this photo. It’s entitled “Shades of Ewe” – get it? (Can you see the Little Loopy in there?) We participated in a St. Louis Yarn Shop Crawl on Saturday, and one of the gals who came by brought this photo that her husband Roy had taken for us. He has this great business called “Shades of St. Louis“, where he photos St. Louis landmarks in the reflection of sunglasses. He’s now branching out into “Shades of America” as well. Take a look at his gallery on his website. I particularly like the ones he has taken of local schools.

Ok. Back to packing orders. Y’all you guys all y’all every one of you Loopy customers are the best. :-)

Sheri whokeepsgettingdistractedbyboxesofnewstuffcominginthedoorFPS

Monica Knits in The Loopy Limelight & Happy Birthday Web Guy!

Photo: Sheri Berger
Monday, May 12th, 2008 in Loopy Limelight

-6Today we’re talking with Monica Jines, pattern designer behind all of our “Monica Knits” patterns. (She was also the designer for our March Sock Club, which you all loved.) Monica lives in Indiana, and I know you’ll enjoy learning more about her. (Here’s a photo of her most recently finished design – a baby dress and socks.)

Loopy: We love your patterns here at The Loopy Ewe! What was the first thing that you designed, and what gave you the courage to try it?
Monica: I really don’t remember the first thing I designed. I have always tweaked patterns and added something extra to them. After awhile I decided if I could change necklines and add or take away from a written pattern, I could make something from start to finish on my own. Once you get the technical stuff figured out, anyone can do it. And I had a great teacher, which helps.

Loopy: Do you think up designs in your head and knit them, or doodle on paper first, or just start knitting? What is your process?
Monica: I see the stitch patterns in my head. I have been accused of being obsessed with knitting by my family, and it may be true. I dream about yarn and designs all the time. Once I get a pretty good idea of what I want, I usually will write out the stitches and see if the pattern will work in a sock. Sometimes I just start knitting, just depends on how bad I have an urge to start something new. And I suffer terribly from start(itis).

Loopy: I think a lot of knitters can relate to being a bit obsessed with knitting! Have you been a knitter for a long time? Who taught you to knit?
Monica: I don’t remember not knowing how to knit. My mother, whom I think was the best knitter around, taught me. Since I don’t remember actually learning I must have been fairly young. I thought she was a magician; she knit so fast and could fix mistakes in no time flat. I was in awe of how fast she could knit up Aran sweaters, and I think that is where I get my love of all things cable.

-7Loopy: I hope you inherited her fast knitting skills! Does anyone else in your family knit?
Monica: We are a family of knitters. I think as children we all learned. With some of us it “took” and others it was a while before the knitting fever hit. I have 2 other sisters who are avid knitters, Karen and Marjorie. I have taught all three of my children to knit. My eldest is my knitting daughter. Together we knit fingerless mitts for all of her friends for this past Christmas. They were all different and all original designs. She enjoys knitting with BIG needles and BIG yarn though, she likes the instant gratification. The boy child knows how to knit, but would much rather play the X Box, although he did help one of his teachers with a knitting project this year. And the youngest has been working on the same Madeline bag for the last 2 years. She is a high energy child and just can’t sit longer than a round or two. And the Husband just doesn’t “get it.

Loopy: That’s so fun that you share this with your whole family! (Well, except for the Husband.) What is your favorite thing to knit, and do you have a favorite yarn that you like to knit or design with?
Monica: My favorite thing is by far, socks. I love the portability of them; I love small needles and skinny yarn. And I want to have a different pair for each day of the year, even though I can only wear them for 4 or 5 months out the year. I am so spoiled; I hate to wear commercially made socks. I also like to make children’s clothing. My kids are all getting older now, so it is not as fast to knit for them … and they expect everything yesterday. The older two are adult sized now, so when I get the urge to make something baby or toddler size I will make it for charity or keep it for a baby shower gift. Favorite yarn, Oh my goodness there are too many too choose from. The list of the ones that “aren’t” my favorite is much shorter, but I don’t want to mention names. As far as favorite to design with, I like yarns that don’t have drastic color changes, like the nearly solid yarns. But I do love to knit with the brightly colored ones too. It really just depends on the design.

Loopy: We don’t tell favorites around here, either. :-) How do you find time to knit each week? Any hints for the rest of us?
Monica: I have been accused of knitting in my sleep. Once I knit a set of sleeves together while I was “dozing.”(I knit my sleeves at the same time). As far as finding time, I take knitting with me everywhere I go. I have a pair of socks that live in the van for knitting emergencies, waiting in traffic, waiting for the kids at after school functions, the endless wait in the Allergist office while all three of them are getting there allergy shots. But most of my knitting is done in the evening after the kids have gone to bed. Only working part –time helps too.

Loopy: A knitter should always be prepared with knitting to do. It sounds like you have that down pat. (And we loved the story of you knitting your sleeves together in your dozing…) So – Stash – do you believe in it? :-) If so, do you find you have more sock yarns, lace yarns, sweater yarns? And do you have a good place to store it all?
Monica: Stash ??? Some people worry about retirement funds, I worry about not being able to afford yarn on my pension when the time comes, so I need to be a “Collector” of yarn now, that way I won’t run out in my lifetime. I start to get a bit twitchy if I use up too much yarn from the collection, and don’t have more yarn coming into it. I can never join those “Knit from Your Stash KALS”, they are just not for me. As for the largest amount by type of yarn, by far, sock yarn. I have yarn for several sweaters and a few shawls, but I need 365 pair of socks you know, so the majority is sock yarn. And storage, ahem, that is a sore subject in this house. According to Hubby my storage area is the “entire” house. I don’t see too much wrong with that, but he has other ideas. It is something I plan to work on in the near future.

Loopy: You’re right – not being able to afford yarn in retirement would not be good. Another great reason to collect now. Would you like to tell us about your family? And what do they think of your knitting?
Monica: My husband Tony and I have been married for 19 years this coming June. He tolerates the knitting obsession because he knows it makes me happy. He unfortunately learned years ago, that knitting does not save us any money; I remind him it keeps me sane and that is more important. I think he agrees esp. since the tools of the trade are very sharp, pointy sticks. My children don’t know any different and they think the other moms are different, you know, the ones that don’t knit. We call them “muggles”. Anyway, we have 3 children; 2 girls ages 16 (driving … yikes) and 10 and the boy child is 14 and they are the most wonderful kids around.

-5Loopy: You have some fun new patterns in a book that just came out on Cables. How did you get patterns in that book?
Monica: Yes, that was very exciting for me. I kept toying with the idea of submitting some designs to magazines and online magazines, but for some reason was just dragging my heels. My #1 cheerleader is my sister Karen, and she encouraged me to send in the designs. I had asked for submission guidelines and editorial calendars from several places, and the one from Vogue just really caught my attention. They were asking for cable patterns for a new “Knitting on the Go” book. I think it was at the end of December 2006 that I submitted them, and then waited and waited and waited and then finally in April I heard back from them. I had submitted 2 designs and they accepted both of them. I was so excited; I think I was smiling for days. It was a wonderful experience that I hope to repeat. The book was released earlier this Spring and is “Cables, Mittens, Hats & Scarves on the go”.

Loopy: We had to buy that book because you were in there! (Well, and we like cables.) Do you have any good movie or book recommendations for us to knit to?
Monica: The last movie I went to see was The Bucket List and I loved it. It is one I will definitely purchase and watch again. As far as books, I really haven’t had much time to read, what with all this knitting I have been doing. I will have to fix that as reading has always been a relaxing thing for me. Can you recommend any good books for me to look into?

Loopy: Oh, I’m sure people will leave some comments with some good book suggestions for you. Anything else you’d like to add?
Monica: I have a story to tell you Loopy. I think I have shared this with the Loopy Lady, but I want to share it with you too. I was taking a box of patterns to the Post Office to mail The Loopy Ewe. Waiting in line, knitting my socks, minding my own business, and a gentlemen behind me asked, “Aren’t ewe’s female sheep?” And I replied “yes they are”, thinking he must have been referring to the mailing label on the box. He didn’t say anything for a few minutes, and then he asked, “Well what exactly is a Loopy Ewe, is that some kind of farm for sheep that have gone crazy or something?” My youngest was with me and she started giggling, she looks at me with tears running down her face from trying not to laugh as I explain about the yarn shop. She whispers to me, “Can you believe he hasn’t heard about The Loopy Ewe, where has he been?” Kids are the greatest. Many thanks to the Loopy Lady for a great yarn shop and for giving me the opportunity to share my patterns with knitters around the world.

Loopy: I think I have to be offended that he called me a female. FPS.


Today is Web Guy’s Birthday! May 12th has been one of my favorite days of the year for the past 21 years, just because of him. :-) Happy Birthday, Favorite Son!

Sheri didsomespinningovertheweekendandboywasitfun!

Where do you like to linger?

Photo: Sheri Berger
Friday, May 9th, 2008 in Around the House

DSC01753.JPGLinger. Webster’s says (and yes, I had to put my reading glasses on to read that teeny tiny paperback dictionary print) that “linger” means “to remain long or be reluctant to go”. We like it when you linger at The Loopy Ewe! (You’ll linger even longer pretty soon, when our cool new search feature goes up. It’s fun to play with. But first, College Guy needs to finish up with Finals at school.) This is the time of year that we linger on our back porch, and I just love it. We eat dinner out here every night. Dinner in the wintertime consists of sitting at the kitchen table and eating, and then getting up and going on about our night. It’s a nice kitchen, but we don’t usually linger. Dinner on the back porch consists of eating and then sitting there and talking for quite awhile. The birds are singing, the cats are exploring, and we …. linger. It’s peaceful and relaxing, as any good lingering place must be. Of course it’s also good for knitting! I hope to be getting some good knitting done this weekend again.

Today’s recipe really is called “Yummy Salad”. That’s not a very creative title, but it is a good salad. You can also add in some cooked chicken to make it into a meal.

DSC01642.JPGYummy Salad

1 head lettuce (bite-sized pieces)
1 head cauliflower (bite-sized pieces)
2 cups Miracle Whip
1/2 to 1 lb. bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
1/2 med. purple onion, chopped
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup Parmesan Cheese
1 cup dried cranberries
(next time I think I’ll also add some sliced almonds. It would give this a good crunch. I’ll have to pick up a bag the next time I’m at the store use one of the seven bags in the pantry, FPS.)

Mix the Parmesan Cheese with the Miracle Whip. Layer the lettuce, cauliflower, Miracle Whip mix, bacon, onion and sugar. Cover and refrigerate. Toss just before serving.

DSC01755.JPGTonight we have “Senior Celebration” for Knitting Daughter. I can’t believe that she is graduating from high school in just over a week. That means that, come Fall, WH and I will be Empty Nesters. Boy, did those 18 years fly by. (I have to keep telling myself that it’s a good thing when they grow up and you’re proud of them and they move on to the next stage in their lives. Right?) I think I’ll head out to the porch and “linger” a bit with Zoe. She likes to linger out there, too.


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