Archives from October 2008

Happy Halloween – and a Sale!

Photo: Sheri Berger
Friday, October 31st, 2008 in Sheri's Recipes, Shop News

Happy Halloween to all of you who celebrate it!  We’re having a sale that started at 11 pm last night and goes through Saturday at 11 pm (Central Standard Time). You can check out this post to see just what is included in the sale.  We’re busily packing orders and getting them shipped, but we won’t be able to get through all of them today. We’ll ship the other half of them on Monday. We promise to keep working quickly, though – no trick or treat breaks today!  I guess on Monday, I’ll also have to change our Halloween decorations to the Thanksgiving ones.  It’s hard to believe that November is just about here. (Wondering what that beautiful yarn is in the Halloween display? A new Wollmeise colorway called “Thriller”!  Our latest Wollmeise order has started to arrive – the first two big boxes so far. We’re waiting for the rest and then will put it up in increments sometime in the next couple of weeks. I still can’t figure out why the mail system can’t deliver the whole order at once. This always happens.)

We’re planning on having a great weekend. Want to know why? Because College Guy/Web Guy surprised us by walking in the door last night – he’s here for the weekend. I love surprises like that!  I think I mentioned in the blog that College Girl was home a couple of weeks ago for Fall Break, but College Guy took off on a Road Trip with four friends, so we didn’t get to see him.  (Here’s a photo of the Road Tripping group, visiting the Canadian side of Niagra Falls at sunrise.  They traveled 3000 miles, through 17 different states plus Quebec and Ontario, between Tuesday night and Sunday night of that week.  Remember college days when things like that seemed entirely do-able?  They packed so much into that trip and had a great time!)  I think the other reason that Web Guy likes to surprise us is so that I won’t have time to come up with a “can you fix/change/invent this on the website for me in the next two days?” list. :-)  So, we’ll just plan on a fun, relaxing weekend, instead.

I made a chocolate cake last night to bring into Loopy Central today, and wanted to share the recipe with you.  The chocolate chips keep the middle gooey and moist, and it’s very easy to make. (It would also make great cupcakes.)  Here’s the recipe:

Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

1 yellow cake mix
1 lg. box instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup oil
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
8 oz. sour cream
1/4 cup water
1 (12 oz) pck. miniature chocolate chips

Sift together the cake mix and the pudding mix.  Mix liquids together, including the sour cream.  Blend this with the dry ingredients, adding chocolate chips last.  Spray bundt pan with cooking spray and bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.  Remove from oven, let cool in pan for 10 minutes, and then turn out onto a plate.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with ice cream.

Have a great weekend and enjoy perusing the sale today and tomorrow!

Sheri whoisfinishinguptheMalabrigoSockthisweekend,toshowyounextweek

Trick or Treat Surprise For You!

Photo: Sheri Berger
Wednesday, October 29th, 2008 in Shop News

We know you’re trying to be good and will not be digging into the kids trick or treat bags after they go to bed. (Right?) And you’re not justifying going out and buying a big candy bar in honor of Halloween because you don’t have kids at home to go door to door for you. (Right?) And you’re positively going to bypass the Halloween candy clearance aisle on Saturday. (Right?) So we think you deserve a yarn-y kind of a treat for all of your discipline, and we have just the thing for you. Beginning at 11 pm on Thursday night (Central Standard Time), and going through 11 pm on Saturday night, we have a Trick or Treat sale going on. (Check out this fun Time Zone map I found, in case you’re wondering how many hours difference there is between Loopy and you.  We’re in the green GMT-6 time zone.)  So late Thursday night, you will find:

20% off all knitting bags (including Atenti, Offhand Designs, Namaste, Lawre’s Laine, Maruca, GoKnits, Ham’s Jam, 3 AM Enchantments, Mrs. Kwitty’s, and Loopy Ewe Totes.) We love bags, and everyone needs a bag for trick or treating. Or knitting. :-)

And 20% off All Things Heather, Araucania, Beyond Basic Knits, Classic Elite, Farmhouse, J.Knits, Noro, Opal, Prism Kid Slique, Rio de la Plata, Regia, Rowan, Spindle City, and Sheepaints.

(This applies to items in stock at the time of the sale.)

We usually focus on giving back to you in appreciation of your business, by giving you Frequent Shopper Benefits on anything and everything that you purchase here. We like doing that, and we know you love that ongoing savings, too. But besides trying to bypass the trick or treat candy, we also figured that everyone has had enough of the economy woes and enough of the weeks and weeks of annoying political ads, and we thought you just downright deserved an extra treat this week. (And of course you’ll be earning Frequent Shopper Benefits on all of these purchases, too.  Always.) So we hope you enjoy a little shopping fun and that this will put a smile on your face!  We’ll work on getting the sale orders out on Friday and Monday. (And really – you can go ahead and raid the trick or treat bags, too.  We think that’s just fine.)

Sheri nokidsathometobebringinguscandy,
butmaybeaSaltedCaramelHotChocolatewouldbeinorder

Romi in The Loopy Limelight

Photo: Sheri Berger
Monday, October 27th, 2008 in Loopy Limelight

You all know Romi – the designer of all of those beautiful pins and yarnball earrings that we keep ordering here at The Loopy Ewe. She’s also the designer of the “Ice Queen” pattern over on Knitty.com, which uses a skein of KidSilk Haze, this gorgeous “Waves of Grain” pattern which would be beautiful in any laceweight yarn, and the “Muir Stole” out of a silk/mohair laceweight. Today, you get to meet her in the Limelight!
_________________
Loopy: Hi Romi!  We’re really glad you could talk to us today.  Tell us, how long have you been a jewelry designer, and how did you learn to do this?
Romi: I have been a jewelry designer since about the age of 7. I began beading at an early age and I had my first commission at 9! When I was in college, I learned metal smithing and I was absolutely hooked. Jewelry is something that has fascinated me throughout my entire life.

Loopy: A very young entrepreneur! That’s really fun.  How do you come up with your ideas?
Romi: I daydream and doodle a *lot*. I also joke that my bicycle is my other office, because so many ideas pop into my head when I am riding! I look at everything, absorb it, it all rattles around in my head, and then something will come to me.

Loopy: So you exercise for inspiration? That might be a good motivator, actually. And you also knit, right?
Romi: Yes! I knit, spin and crochet, too.

Loopy: How long have you been doing those things?
Romi:
I was born into a crocheting family and my mother taught me crochet when I was 6. I begged and begged her to teach me how to knit. She finally relented when I was 9! I have knit on and off since that time. I learned to knit lace about 4 years ago, which is why I began making shawl pins. My shawls weren’t getting worn because they kept falling off my shoulders. I learned to spin about 5 months ago or so after resisting for a long time! My enabler, er, I mean teacher, says I was a spinster in another life. ;)

Loopy: I’m sure she’s using “spinster” in the nicest sense of the word… Now, you also design patterns. Have you done a lot of that? And do you have a favorite pattern that you’ve done up so far?
Romi: Well, I haven’t really done *that* much designing. Yet. I have never been able to keep myself from changing patterns though, so I figured it was about time to start designing my own! I first began experimenting with knitted wire and jewelry and had two patterns published in Knitty: Venezia napkin rings and Bauble. I also have a book coming out from Interweave in late November of 2008 on Knit and Crocheted Jewelry. It’s called “Elements of Style: Knit + Crochet Jewelry with Wire, Fiber, Felt + Beads.” Meanwhile I’ve been pursuing my love of lace knitting and have had three patterns in Knitty (Muir stole, Ice Queen cowl and Waves of Grain scarf) and there’s a pattern just out on the Elann.com site: Liquid Silver. There’s another pattern coming out in the Winter issue of Twist Collective, and I also have more patterns kicking around my head! A few are off the needles and just need to be put in a format that others can use as well. I think my favorite pattern so far is a pair of wire and rose quartz earrings from my new book. I wear them all the time.

Loopy: Romi. Seriously.  You call that “haven’t really done that much designing”??  We’d call that “pretty darned talented in the designing field”.  Your book looks like it will be fun!  What would be your favorite part of your job, and your not-so-favorite part?
Romi: My favorite part is definitely that I get to do all the things I love and I can call it work! It is too cool to go hang out with fellow fiber addicts, pet fibery and sparkly things and still not feel guilty. And I’ve met some really amazing people! My not so favorite? I think that would be that there are not enough hours in the day to do everything that I want to do!

Loopy: Wouldn’t it be nice if we could petition to have a 36 hour day on Saturdays and Sundays?  What a nice weekend that would make.  Do you have other hobbies, in addition to all of the fiber-things you like to do?
Romi: I like reading, cycling and hiking/walking.

Loopy: And how about your family – would you like to tell us about those near and dear to you?
Romi:
I am married and have two young sons. It’s a seriously male-dominated household, but Diva, the house rabbit backs me up on the odd occasion when I need it.

Loopy: I’m sure there are days when you just need to get away from the guys, right? What would be your favorite way to spend a day off?
Romi: Day off? What’s that? Heh. My dream is to hike out into Muir Woods with my knitting and sit under a Bay Tree enjoying the smells and sights, relaxing, eating crackers and cheese with grapes, and doing a spot of knitting. No rushing.

Loopy: That sounds like a wonderful day. We think you ought to take a day just like that, very soon.  Thanks for being in the Limelight!
____________________

Sheri whoisusingRomi’sbeautifulpinstogivewithhandknitscarvesasgiftsthisChristmas

It’s a Perfect Day For ….

Photo: Sheri Berger
Friday, October 24th, 2008 in Sheri's Recipes

… Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate from Starbucks. Have you tried that yet? (Or their Hazelnut Hot Chocolate?) YUM.  Of course they didn’t put these square marshmallows in there – those are from Trader Joes.  What is hot chocolate without marshmallows? I’m also looking forward to the Peppermint Marshmallows that appear at Trader Joes in time for the holidays. So good in Peppermint Hot Chocolate.

… Going through your stash and finding a skein of yarn that is perfect for a project you want to knit up and get done in time for the holidays. It’s always fun to pay a visit to my stash, because there are things in there that I forgot that I had. (Sad.)  There was a time when I only bought “one project ahead”, but I got over that soon enough. Now I love having many different options when I feel like starting something new. (And many different options when the economy is tanking and I might not feel like spending the money to buy something new. We must insure that our knitting habit never suffers, right? Having a stash insures that we won’t run out of yarn to use.)

… Getting rid of things in your stash that you will never use. (And in fact, you’re not sure why you bought it in the first place, and you wonder what you were thinking?)

... Making your list of gifts that need to be knitted, and making sure you have everything that you need to finish each project. (Should I mention that we only have 62 days until Christmas? Or is that information that you just don’t need to know?)

… Finding a few new things to buy at The Loopy Ewe, to replace the space vacated by the stash you got rid of. (See, I’m not suggesting getting rid of stash so that you have less. Stash is a good thing. I’m just  suggesting getting rid of the stuff you’ll never use. Of course you have to fill in those empty holes. And of course you knew I’d say that!) :-)

… Whipping up some comfort food for dinner this weekend. This is our favorite meatloaf recipe and I hope you like it, too!

Victorian Sampler Meatloaf

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 cup cracker crumbs
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup chopped onions (optional)
2 Tbl. chopped green pepper (optional)
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbl. Worcestershire sauce
4 oz. tomato sauce

Sauce

1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbl. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. mustard

Mix meatloaf ingredients in order given and shape into a loaf.  Bake in 1 1/2 qt. loaf pan for 1 1/4 hours at 350 degrees.  Remove from oven, drain, and pour sauce over the top.  Return to oven for another 15 minutes.

I just talked to my friend Janice, who is spending a weekend in Sedona, AZ. She said, “It’s beautiful here – 80 degrees and sunny!  What’s it like there today?”  I said, “Oh, it’s a beautiful day here, too.  Cloudy and cool and I just love it!”  She said, “You’re so weird.”  It’s a wonder that we’re friends…

So what is it a “perfect day for” in your neck of the woods?

Sheri wishingIwasgoingtoSAFFthisweekend-haveagreattimeifyou’llbethere!

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