Archives from September 2008

The Official Loopy Ewe Dictionary

Photo: Sheri Berger
Friday, September 12th, 2008 in Uncategorized

Since we’re doing questions this week, we figured that we might as well give you the Loopy Dictionary, too. We tend to use abbreviations and made-up terms for things around here, and sometimes people will email and say, “What does FPS mean?” or “What exactly is a Sneak Up?”  So here’s the official Loopy List. (How many did you already know?)

* FPS - Figs, Plums and Sausages? Fox, Pig and Squirrel? Fun Peppermint Sweets? Finicky Popcorn Snarfers?  No, actually it means For Pete’s Sake.  As in, “I ordered decaf and they gave me caffeine, FPS!” or “I need more time in my day for knitting, FPS.” It started long ago when I left a note for Susan (Loopy Office Manager) about something that we had to do. I can’t remember what it was, but I knew it was something that neither of us wanted to do, so I wrote “FPS” on the bottom.  After about 15 minutes, she said, “OK, I give up.  What in the heck does FPS mean??” Now we use it a lot.  It’s so fitting in so many situations.  And if things are really bad, we might use:

* FCOL – For Crying Out Loud, or:

* OFTLOH – Oh For The Love of Herb (I have no clue who Herb is. Susan started that one.)

* LC – Loopy Central.  No matter where The Loopy Ewe is located, it’s always known as LC. (Not to be confused with OC, which is in CA.) It was LC when we started in one room in the basement, and it has continued to be LC now that we have our own space and continue to watch it grow.  LC is the heart of all things Loopy.

* LG – Loopy Groupie.  And, oh, we love our Loopy Groupies.  In fact, we want to welcome a whole bunch more of them into the group – see below.

* Loopified – When someone places the order that makes them a LG (their sixth package from us), then we say “Loopify them!”  If you’re an official LG, then consider yourself Loopified.

* Heads Up – One of the perks of being Loopified is the LG Heads Up email that goes out when new things go up on the website most weeks.

* Loopy Rolling – This is when y’all crash the website from overuse.  It’s pretty much a thing of the past, now that we have upgraded servers a few times. (We love our current server.)  But it was a sad sad time when Loopy went Feet Up.

* Sneak Up – That’s our term for when new things go up on the website.  We do some re-stocks during the week, but typically once a week we put a whole batch of things up at once.  In the beginning, we used to tell people exactly when it was going to happen, so they could plan for it. (“Monday Night at 9 pm Central”) We soon discovered that so many people were hopping online at the very same time in anticipation of this, that this caused Loopy Rolling more than once. We decided that we wouldn’t be able to announce a time any more, and instead we’d “sneak things up” sometime during the week and let people discover them gradually as they checked in and clicked on “What’s New”. People started referring to this as the “Sneak Up” for short.  It’s not a “clever marketing ploy”, or “hype” – it’s simply the term for putting new things up, in a way that works best with our system and provides the best service for you. (And truthfully, if you’re a regular around here, you’ve been able to figure out that we typically do these earlier in the week, you’ve probably figured out which two days are most likely to give you a Sneak Up, and you know that we vary the time a bit, depending on when we get done with our end of it.  It’s not a big secret.  But keeping it a bit loose like this still helps keep the website standing upright and the term has stuck!) Regarding a Sneak Up for next week? The Cascade photos have us all backlogged. (And you ought to see some of the wonderful things that arrived this week. Shoot!) We’re not sure if we’ll do one next week, or wait and get it all up the week after.  We’ll see how photos go and will keep you posted.

* Elves – The wonderful gals who work here at LC. Our friend James popped in way back when we just had a couple of Elves, and commented on how busy the “Loopy Elves” were, running around and pulling orders while he was there to shop.  The name seemed appropriate.  They work hard and they’re the best, and they’ve been “The Loopy Elves” ever since.

*F5 – That’s the button that you can use on a PC to refresh your system. (Like when you’re waiting for the Sneak Up to go up and you are watching the “What’s New” section.) Back in March, Beth from VA posted a question on the Loopy Groupie board on Ravelry, asking if anyone thought the Sneak Up would be that night. This started a thread that is now one of the longest running threads on Ravelry (135,000+ posts) and has morphed into “Loopy’s F5 Lounge”.  We think of it as our Loopy Groupie Chat Room, as you can pretty much pop in there any time of the day and find LG’s to talk to and hang out with. (And they’re a very welcoming bunch.) Come join our Ravelry Loopy Groupie board if you haven’t already!

And back to the Loopy Groupies – we’d like to welcome this new batch of LG’s, who have now received their 6th package from us (and, ahem, some have gone way past #6 already). We love and appreciate all of you!

Lucille in NY, MaryJo in MD, Masahiko in Japan, Andrea in IL, Sandy in IN, Amy in MO, Sara in AL, Morgan in Canada, Crystal in HI, Cynthia in IN, Sheri in VA, Susan in IA, Peggy in SC, Cathy in OH, Denise in NY, Joanne in CA, Kristen in NH, Lynette in VA, Faith in NY, Aimme in DE, Hayley in WI, Sharon in AL, Sabrina in SD, Celeste in UT, Penny in OK, Julie in NY, Bette in VA, Aggie in NJ, Nancy in WA, Debbie in CA, Rebecca in AR, Julie in GA, Kelsey in CA, Lori in MA, Liz in NY, Molly in IL, Jan in IL, Rebecca in CT, Jennifer in SC, Barb in Canada, Lori in OH, Carla in TX, Gayle in IL, Jennifer in CA, Priscilla in NC, Elizabeth in NY, Emiliy in CA, Vi in CA, Beth in MO, Christina in PA, Robin in OH, Pamela in Canada, Michelle in CA, Laura in PA, Heather in PA, Veronica in TX, Tammy in CT, Marion in OH, Julie in IL, Laura in WA, Ellen in MI, Ariel in IL, Gloria in PA, Roberta in WI, Linda in Australia, Ginger in AL, Lauren in IL, Sarah in PA, Joanna in CA, Amanda in PA, Teresa in CA, Lisa in MO, Alexis in VA, Dee in MO, Clare in Ireland, Patricia in IL, Suellen in PA, Lois in WI, Linda in PA, Jennifer in GA, Heidi in CA, Anna in WI, Brandy in SD, Penny in IN, Heather in MN, Carrie in TN, Amy in TX, Erin in IL, Barbara in CA, Kelly in RI, Jolene in CA, RuthAnn in WI, Traci in PA, Elaine in VA, Alice in AL, Kate in Australia, Heather in NY, Michelle in TX, Katie in VA, Eleanor in CO, Terri in MI, Grahame in WA, Jackie in Canada, Robyn in Fl, Sidney in DC, Janice in MD, Sandra in NJ, Joannah in MA, Tonya in PA, Joanne in MI, Emily in MA, Yoshiko in NM, Samantha in CA, Diedrick in MD, Sara in IN, Joanne in MI, Jane in MT, Rhea in NY, Vonda in NY, Susan in MA, Sandy in MO, Linda in WV, Shelly in KY, Sara in CA, Sherri in WA, Rebecca in MD, Kristy in UT, Elizabeth in IL, Eliza in CA, Jennifer in WA, Marie in WA, Jean in MN, Julia in CT, Vickie in OH, Michele in OR, Julie in VA, Cheryl in TX, Lynette in RI, Rebecca in CT, Denise in TN, Jo in New Zealand, Marj in MT, Cheryl in AR, Liz in NY, Lana in CA, Jade in Australia, Rebecca in PA, Christen in NJ, Olga in AK, Sandra in Canada, Jessica in NE, Carrie in AZ, Mary in VA, Rachel in OH, Beth in AK, Lisa in SC, Kristy in IL, Michele in FL, Susan in CA, Mary in VA, Elizabeth in CA, Eileene in NJ, Amy in GA, Carrie in CA, Claudia in AL, Anne in MD, Allison in KY, Lisa in IN, Melissa in OK, Denise in WA, Michelle in OR, Jordan in NC, Kimberly in Canada, Tracy in Australia, Marion in OK, Nancy in AZ, Mary Ellen in GA, Kelley in KY, Kelly in IL, Druanna in NY, Monica in OH, Lisa in WI, Ceridwen in Australia, Kellie in VA, Sue in Australia, Janice in IL, Tara in OK, Kimberly in CA, Pam in CO, Charissa in MD, Kathy in NJ, Jodi in OH, Margaret in WA, Tiffany in VA, Betty in KS, Ezara in IL, Cathy in PA, Helene in NY, Susan in VA, Rosa in VA, Hope in AZ, Marian in NY, Sheree in CA, Jennifer in WI, Ann in OK, Marie in France, and Diane in PA.

We have contest winners for our September Blog Contest from last week. Since there were so many comments left, we picked two people to win Loopy Ewe Gift Certificates.  Congratulations to Anna C. in WI and Julie B. in OH – the Random Number Generator picked your two “comment” numbers! We have put money in your Loopy accounts. Enjoy!

And last but not least, a big Happy Birthday (tomorrow) to WH.   :-)

Sheri thatmeansbirthdaycakeisinmyfuture.What’sinyourfuturethisweekend?

Q and A and other sorts of things

Photo: Sheri Berger
Wednesday, September 10th, 2008 in Uncategorized

I have a lot of misc. things to talk about in the blog today. Several questions from you, as well as a few announcements and such.  First of all, the Cascade Wall of Wonder is done and we’re totally in love with it.  What do you think? (Click on the photo to see it larger – it’s worth it!)  It’s 7 ft. high and 24 ft. long and it still doesn’t hold all of the skeins that we got in (but that was as big of a wall as we had available, so the cubbies fit the space.  WH made those – isn’t he handy?) Now we just have to figure out a way to be able to sell the yarn without taking any out of the cubbies and making holes in the display – ha! (Oh, ok.  We’ll allow holes….) We are still working on photos.  It’s about 480 photos total to deal with (full shots + close up shots). We will have it ready to put up in the next week or two. In addition to all of this 220, we have all of their sock yarn in and being photoed.  It’s wonderful yarn, and sells at a great price. They also sent us this afghan, made out of blocks from the Great American Afghan book (which we will have up for you next week.) There are some really fun block options in there, and if you can’t see yourself making a whole afghan, it would be easy to make each square as a pillow in colors that matched your favorite knitting area or family room. My favorite square is the “Socks” square. Barring backorders, we will do our best to keep all of the colors in stock for you. (Because what’s the point in telling people that you carry “all of the Cascade 220 colors” if half are out of stock?) There were 5 colors back-ordered from this first batch, so we are short five.  But honestly, if you’ve ever seen all of the colors together at once, you kind of wonder how there could be SO many shades of any one color anyways.  So I think a few out of stock is not a big deal :-)  They’ll ship them to us as soon as they’re available again.

Now, to your questions!

1.  Did you ever pick a winner from the Second Quarter Challenge?
Um, no.  Actually, we all got so carried away with the Dream in Color Sweater Knit A Long that the Challenge kind of went by the wayside! So we apologize for that slipping past us.  I used the random number generator and Timmie is the winner of the Q2-08 Loopy Ewe Gift Certificate!

2.  Speaking of the Quarterly Challenges, was there one for the Third Quarter?
No.  We realized that we had too much going on at once, and since we started the DC Baby KAL right after the sweater one, we didn’t want to put another challenge out there.  We think we’ll do a mixture of both KAL’s and Challenges in the future.  Just not at the same time! We have another Challenge planned and we’ll announce it here on the blog in a couple of weeks. (The Dream in Color Baby KAL ends 10/1, for all of you who are participating.  Don’t forget to get your photo uploaded to the gallery!)

3.  What is the deadline for Loopy’s 2008 Summer Vacation Photos?
We mentioned mid-September, so let’s make it 9/15.  I’ll do a blog after that, calling for you to vote on several categories.  There are a lot of fun photos in there already!

4.  When will you have Sock Club signups again? And are you doing it lottery-style?
Sign-ups will be mid-January and we’ll announce it on the blog when we’re ready to have you sign up.  We do it as a lottery to ease everyone’s blood pressure!  Seriously – we had more than double the amount of people sign up last year for the available spots (225) and we don’t want to stress people out by having them try to get “in” at 9:00 am on the day it opens. (Or have to sit at their computer and spend time waiting for the announcement.) We’ll give you a week to sign up and then we’ll randomly draw numbers again.  If you get in one year, you can have an auto-renewal for your second year. (We’ll email you about this in December.)  After two years in, it goes to a lottery again. We think we have figured out a way to add more spots for next year, so that’s good news!

5.  Are you doing a Spring Fling again? And how can I make sure that I get a spot?
Yes, we are!  We have reserved space at the hotel for the last weekend in April (2009) again, and we have already signed up some of our teachers. We will give you full details and have signups in December. We are increasing the number of spots this year, and we will again assign the spaces by lottery.  We view this as a Customer Appreciation event, so you do get extra tickets in the lottery if you are a Loopy Groupie! We love having our regular customers attend so that we can put names and faces together and get to know you. (Look at all of those beautiful faces – and Claudia’s feet behind the sign – from the one we had last April!)

6.  Are you ever going to put more recipes up on your blog on Fridays?
Gee – WH asks the same thing.  Or rather, his question goes like this: “Are you ever going to do some cooking and baking again?”  Yeah.  I need to.

7.  How did you arrange the Cascade in the cubbies?
It’s all in numerical order so that we can find the skeins quickly when we’re packing your orders!

8.  Any Sneak Peaks into new lines arriving soon?
Oh, we love to give Sneak Peaks! You can pretty much plan that most of the lines we currently carry are on regular re-order, so watch for those to continue to update. A few new things to watch for this fall include: Sereknity, PolarKnits, a worsted cashmere line from Jade Sapphire, Opal Harry Potter, Opal Rainforest 4, Opal Winter’s Tale, Malabrigo Sock, HiyaHiya Bamboo, another indie-artisan bag line, several new yarn bases from some of your beloved indie dyers and yarn companies, more Loopy logo items (including PJ’s – I promise, by the holidays at least!), and of course several other things still in the works and not yet ready to be announced. But we will definitely keep you posted as we go along. As you can see, we have plenty of room for adding in new things now.

Sheri tomorrowalloftheshelvesarrivetofillupthisnewspace

An EXTREME-ly ART-sy Weekend

Photo: Sheri Berger
Monday, September 8th, 2008 in Shop News

Well, it wasn’t “extremely artsy”, but it involved “Extreme” and “Art” – how’s that? First up was the Clayton Art Fair, which (if you believe the radio programs here in town) is one of the top five Art Fairs in the country. WH and I had a good time walking around several streets full of top quality artists (displaying things that we mostly couldn’t afford.  And a few that we couldn’t understand…) I did love the band boxes in this booth and bought one with a handle. WH has some photo ideas for that.  The whole stack was very impressive and could be yours for a cool $1800. (There is no doubt that it is easily worth that. The workmanship was amazing.  I wish this guy had a website that I could send you to.)  The other fun booth we came across was the one with the Didjeridoos. This guy always had a crowd around him as he was playing the instrument. This is a type of wind instrument from Australia.  The gal in the booth was teaching someone how to play it and she said that you prop it at an angle against something (like the street, or a wall) and what you’re doing is basically blowing into it but “playing with the sound waves” as they go down the inside of the tube, hit the pavement/wall, and then move back up into the instrument again. You can read more about it here on Wikipedia and you can hear some sample sounds of this unique instrument here. After the Didjeridoo concert, we moved on to a glass blowing demonstration (where they were making paperweights) and a Lampwork Bead demo (seen in the photo here).  I always thought Lampwork beads might be fun to make, but I have changed my mind after watching the demo. (Too much work.) What I think now is that those beads are fun to see and buy. :-)

Then we decided to check out the house that Extreme Homemakeover is working on here in the St. Louis area. Do you watch that show? I think it’s such a great concept.  There was an article in our newspaper about this and they said the family knew they were one of five finalists, but didn’t know they had “won” a home makeover until the bus pulled up outside their house one morning and called them out on the bullhorn.  The house is worked on 24 hours a day for 5 days and will be finished on Wednesday for the “reveal”.  The show will air sometime later this fall.  It was a beehive of activity!  All of the streets were closed off for several blocks (they picked us up in buses and took us in), but they were very welcoming to spectators. I’ve always wondered how the neighbors were affected, when the house is sandwiched in on a residential block. (This particular house had only 7 feet on each side, to the property line. Not a lot of room to grow!) You can see the houses on either side have basically become part of the workshop area, with all kinds of supplies stacked up there. And of course the houses across the street get to host about 300 people standing behind the gates, watching all of the activity.  No wonder all of the homeowners in the area have to sign off on the proejct! (And I’m sure they get new grass when it’s over.)

Not much knitting went on for me this weekend. On Saturday I was mildly obssessed with filling in the cubbies of the Cascade wall (not yet done, but it’s looking so beautiful!).  The little bit of knitting that I did do involved working on a new colorway that I just had to start.  It’s our exclusive striping yarn from Lorna’s Laces in … red and white, of course!  The stripes change about every row, so it’s making a fun looking sock so far.  I’ll photo it later in the week.  This new colorway will go up this week in the Sneak Up and we will continue to order it in. Right now we have it in the Shepherd Sock, and we’ll probably have them dye some up in the Shepherd Sport as well.

So – what were you up to this weekend?

Sheri TheLoopyLimelightwillbebacksoon-Ijustgotbehindontheinterviews!

It’s a Perfect Day for …

Photo: Sheri Berger
Friday, September 5th, 2008 in Uncategorized

Cool weather things! Here in St. Louis we’ve finally let go of the heat and humidity (at least for a few days) and settled into cloudy and cool.  WH and I ate dinner on the screen porch last night and it was downright chilly, which made me happy. I love sweater and sweatshirt weather!  In fact, I came inside and got my Loopy Ewe Sweatshirt and warmed right up. I think that means that fall is in the air. Today is more of the same – cool, cloudy, and wonderful. (Except if you’re trying to play in the PGA, which is also here this weekend.  We’ve been inundated with rain over the past few days, which makes for soggy courses.) So here are the things that today is perfect for:

Loopy Ewe Sweatshirts (which will warm you right up)

Pumpkin Spice Lattes (which are now back in season)

And stocking 1400 lbs. of Cascade (which will take us a good part of forever to do. But OH is this wall going to look gorgeous when we’re done!)

What is today “perfect” for in your neck of the woods?

Sheri alsoperfectforknittingandspinningbutwe’retoobusyatLoopyCentraltodayforthat

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