I still haven’t decided on a pattern. I think WH is ready to throw me out the door, because I might be whining about it a little bit. I will say that I am making lists of all of the ones you all commented about in Monday’s blog post, and dutifully looking them up. There is just no reason for this to be that big of a decision. In fact, I did decide I’d make a vest. Maybe a hoodie vest. But I can’t find a vest pattern I want to do. (I thought I saw a red hoodie vest photo somewhere, but now I can’t find it again.) I still want to make Marly’s Sweetheart Tunic, but not with the String Theory DK color that I have set aside for this KAL. Decisions, decisions. I’ll keep you posted. And you know what else I decided? We might need to keep the KAL deadline open a little longer than May 1st. I just know myself.
In the meantime, check out this cute Colonnade Shawl that Elf Donna knit up out of Lorna’s Laces Worsted. I liked it ok in Knitty, but I love it in person. Donna was the one who first unpacked the Lorna’s Worsted when it came in, and she immediately nabbed some of it for this. Smart girl. Don’t forget to be voting on your favorite shawl from last quarter’s contest. We’re having fun tallying them up!
We’ve had boxes arrive by the truckload this week. Honestly, there wasn’t much room to walk in the front of the shop today, because it was so full. I like days like that, and it definitely keeps the Elves out of trouble. By the time they get your orders out and unpack a few boxes, it’s time for them to go home. One of the things that came in was our Madelinetosh Sock order. I walked right by the racks of these colors and pulled these three for myself. (And you just have to know, I have more sock yarn in my own stash than I know what to do with. Seriously. Do.Not.Need.More.) But how gorgeous are these? Well, they’ll be way more gorgeous when we take the official photo and put them up on the Loopy site for you. This was my quick, non-color-corrected point and shoot version. But go ahead – click on the photo and make it bigger, just to enjoy the full impact. (Color names, L-R: Plum Tree, Peony, and Shoreline.) We also had Skinny Bugga and Fiber Optic arrive, as well as a bunch of other things. We’re photo-ing as fast as we can and we’ll make sure these all get up in next week’s update.
Did you see all of the designers who are donating all or some of the proceeds from their Ravelry pattern sales to efforts that help Haiti? (And did you know that Ravelry is also donating its pattern processing fee for these patterns, as well?) It’s a great opportunity to get some of the patterns that you’ve been wanting, along with helping a good cause. Just go to the pattern section on Ravelry and click on the Help for Haiti link at the top of that page, if you’re interested. Seems like a good time to get a new sweater or vest pattern. If one could find “the one”….
I can’t make up my mind. I have had this KAL Challenge planned out since last fall, and I still haven’t come to a decision on my pattern. I have scoured Ravelry. I have gone through pattern books. I have asked for favorites on The Loopy Ewe group on Facebook. And still … I’m undecided. Our First Quarter KAL Challenge is to knit a sweater. We haven’t had a sweater challenge since we did the Dream in Color Classy one about two years ago. It’s time, again! I have had my yarn picked out for a month. I’m using String Theory DK in Black Cherry. I do love Lisa’s Central Park Hoodie and Melanie’s Chinese Lace Pullover. Both of those caught my eye way back then, and the photos still make me want to knit them. Of course I have queued quite a few more in the meantime. I think the thing with sweaters is that in my mind, they are a much bigger time commitment than a pair of socks. I never stress over sock patterns, because I’ll finish one and start in on another. For some reason, committing to a sweater pattern makes me feel like I can only pick one a year and it makes me indecisive. FPS. For the DC challenge, I knit up a Mr. Greenjeans and I love that sweater. It was very do-able for an inexperienced sweater knitter. So – pick a sweater pattern and come knit with us! Since this is a bit of a longer knit, we’ll leave this open until May 1st. (We will, however, have a new challenge go up in April to coincide with the beginning of the Second Quarter. They’ll just have to overlap a bit.)
We need you to vote on all of the entries from our Fourth Quarter ’09 Challenge, where I asked you to knit a shawl. There are over 100 photos in that gallery for you to look through – wow. You all did such beautiful work. Please take a look at the photos and email to tell us your vote for the “Reader’s Choice” award. We give a Loopy gift certificate to the winner of that, and we also do a random drawing among all entries for a second gift certificate. We’ll take your votes (support AT theloopyewe DOT com) through next Monday and then will announce the winners.
Back to the new challenge – in order to participate, pick any sweater pattern (or vest, or tunic) that you’d like to make. The yarn needs to be a line that we carry here at The Loopy Ewe (although if you actually bought that yarn elsewhere, that’s ok. I know many of you have stashes to work from.) If you do need to purchase yarn for this KAL, we are offering you a 20% discount on the yarn for one sweater project. Just leave us an order note that you’re participating in the KAL Challenge and tell us which yarn in that order you’ll be using for it, and we’ll adjust the price on your invoice. (Note – if you are going for the $75 free shipping level, make sure that this discount won’t put you below $75.) This offer is good on an order placed between 1/18 – 1/31, for those of you who want to participate in the KAL. Don’t forget to leave an order note for us.
Just in time for sweater knitting, we put up a full re-stock on Dream in Color Classy. We also have Malabrigo Worsted, Noro Silk Garden Worsted, Cascade 220, Fiesta Boomerang, Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted, and Madelinetosh Worsted in stock. (We do have more Madelinetosh Worsted shipping out to us next week, but I’m not sure it will be here in time for the discount. No promises, but we’ll do our best. In the meantime, we also have a new Tosh Sock order enroute to us already, and the new Pashmina base coming after that. Fun things to look forward to.) And of course there are lots and lots of DK and fingering weight options for your sweaters as well. There are some really fun sweater patterns in those weights.
In addition to the DC Classy re-stock today, we also added in a re-stock of Dream in Color Smooshy, Lane Borgosesia Cashwool, new Trekking colors (#417-421), a luscious new merino/alpaca/nylon sock yarn from Berroco, new Berroco Sox colors, Lorna’s Laces Pearl, Alpaca With a Twist Fino, and more Atenti bags. (And might I point out, those Atenti bags are perfect for carting around sweater projects. Ask me how I know. Isn’t it helpful that I sprinkled a few photos of them in this blog post?) Also coming soon – our 2010 Valentine Kits – watch for them in a couple of weeks!
Knitting Daughter went back to college today, so the holiday season is officially over. (I like that it lasted a long time.) Zoe came to Loopy with me this afternoon, but she’s not very helpful. She likes to be in front of the computer screen while I’m trying to work. Or maybe she just misses these two kids like I do.
Our January Blog Contest question: Do you have a favorite sweater/vest/tunic pattern? Or are you not a sweater knitter? I’ll use the random number generator to draw a winner from your comments, and I have Wollmeise to give away for the prizes! We’ll announce the winners next Monday.
It’s ready! We’ve had a lot of fun working out all of the details of our 2010 Sock Club. It takes a lot of planning to get everything in place, but we’re ready to share it with you. Here’s how it works:
The Loopy Ewe Sock Club runs for the entire year, with shipments coming every other month, beginning in March. If you sign up and get a spot, you can expect to receive your kits in March, May, July, September and November, for a total of 5 kits. The kits will ship by the 15th of the month.
This year, our theme is “Celebrations” and our first kit will celebrate Spring. (Spring in the U.S. I know not all of you experience it the same time that we do!) This year we’ve added something new. In addition to getting a sock pattern written especially for each kit, you’ll also receive a non-sock pattern written for that kit as well. That way, you can decide if you feel like socks in that colorway, or something else. Each kit will also include an exclusively dyed colorway just for our club (some months will be multi-colors, some will be semi-solids) and some fun extra that we have come up with to include for you as well. The retail value of our kits will vary between $44 and $50+ from month to month, but your cost is $39 plus shipping. (Remember, you also earn Frequent Shopper Benefits from all of your purchases here, including Sock Club Kits. That means that you get 10% back every time your orders accumulate to $250. Another benefit and value!)
We have five great yarn companies/dyers lined up and excited about providing you with a special colorway, as well as some amazing designers who are already going to town on their ideas. We’ve also added more spots for the 2010 club. We know that you prefer to be invoiced for each kit when it’s ready to ship, instead of paying for the whole year up front. We’ll continue to do that, and will trust that you realize that this is a year-long commitment, even though you pay as you go. If you prefer to make one payment up front, just send us an email after you get your Sock Club confirmation email, and we’ll work that out for you. (There’s not an additional discount for paying up front, since the kit is already such a great value. We just know that some of you would rather pay once and not have to worry about it.)
Signups will be open from today (January 15th) through next Friday (January 22nd). After signups close, we’ll run a lottery to assign the spots. If last year was your first year in the Sock Club, you get an automatic spot in the 2010 club, although you do need to officially sign up again so that we know you want to repeat. If you have been in for two or more years, we’d love to have you back again – please sign up and we’ll cross our fingers that the lottery assigns you a spot! You can expect an email from us the last week in January, letting you know the results, either way.
Thank you again for your support of our Sock Club. We answer emails all year long from people asking about it, and we look forward to a new year as much as you do! Here’s the link to sign up if you’re interested.
Note about this coming Monday: No shipping (due to a holiday here in the U.S.). But we will have new things going up Monday night, and I’ll be blogging about voting on 4th Qtr Challenge photos, plus filling you in on the new 1st Qtr ’10 Challenge! I have my yarn picked out – just need to settle on a pattern. I’ll share on Monday….
Another TNNA Market come and gone. Here’s the morning view from my hotel window (with the Convention Center right there.) The winter one is always in January in CA, and the summer one is in June in OH. I have missed a couple, due to scheduling conflicts, but most of the time, I’m there. I think it’s important to stay up on what’s new in the industry and I know you want me there, scouting things out – right? I knew that I was on the right flight when I saw this person in the waiting area. Dreads with novelty yarn. How …. novel. (I kinneared it. Can you tell?) This must be an ongoing hairstyle for her, as I caught sight of this gal each day on the market floor. Interesting.
I took two great classes with Cat Bordhi, who has now inspired me to doodle up some patterns. I had the best burger ever with cute Marly from the Yarn Thing podcast. (This is Marly’s third burger from this place in two days. Lunch and dinner on Saturday, lunch on Sunday. That’s how good these burgers are.) Marly is also an amazing designer, and we met because I stopped her in the aisle to tell her how much I loved the vest she was wearing (which just happened to be one of her own designs. Available here on Ravelry, and we’ll also have them soon at The Loopy Ewe.) Actually, she is also a long time Loopy customer, so it was doubly fun to meet her in person.
Of course I ordered lots of fun things for all of us. Two new yarn lines from yarn companies that you already know and love. Two new yarn lines with non-wool bases – those will be fun. We’re also adding in Kollage’s square DPN’s and circs, which many of you have been asking for. I found a really fun new accessory line, but when I tried to describe it to a friend in an email, it didn’t work. How about if I just show you when they arrive? I also found three more lines that I will be ordering in the coming weeks. (Some of these things must be spread out a little, you know.) They’ll be perfect for spring and summer. I promise to keep you posted on these things, just as soon as they start arriving. We also have a lot of things arriving that I ordered before I went to TNNA, so the next weeks are going to be full!
The new Namaste bag and wallet were a big hit. I came home with it in …. red. You could’ve guessed that, right? (But I am sorely tempted by the Peacock and Eggplant, too.) Many of you have been asking for photos of the insides, as well as wondering how it compares to other Namaste bag sizes. Here is a photo with (L-R) the Hermosa, the Zuma, and the new Monroe. Also, the new wallet. (The red on the Monroe and the wallet is the same red as the Red Hermosa’s and Buddy Cases we’ve had all along. For some reason, it looks a little different on my computer screen in this photo, but it is the same red.) The Monroe has 3 roomy sections (2 sections snap closed, one zips closed). I had plenty of room for my wallet, my sock project bag, my Kindle, and other misc. things in there. There are also pockets for phone/camera/glasses in two of the sections, as well as zippered pockets in two of the sections. And a clip tab to keep both straps together, if you don’t like purses that let one strap flop off of your shoulder when you’re out and about. We already have the Monroe’s and the wallets enroute to us, and you can pre-order them by sending us an email (email@example.com). They come in Peacock, Lime, Eggplant, Black, Red and Hollywood Pink. The Monroe is $75 and the wallet is $35. They have also just come out with Circular Needle Cases, which will start shipping to us in early February. I will get a photo of one to share with you later.
So that’s the quick synopsis of my time in Long Beach. I wish I could say that I sat outside and enjoyed the nice weather. The days were long and I found that I was over at the Convention Center for 10-12 hours a day, so that made for very little time to enjoy the weather. It was, however, a nice little walk there and back each day. And there was a Starbucks attached to the hotel, which carried me through those long days just fine. (Lest you start thinking that I was working too hard and didn’t enjoy my time there. I did.)