Thanks for all of your well wishes. I am feeling better, and I’m happy to say that I’m back to knitting (so that tells you the TSTK* has passed. At least for now. I’m sure it will show up again sometime, in the middle of a difficult pattern…) A couple of you suggested tea and honey. Even though the cough is in my lungs (not a throat tickle) it still sounded so soothing and restful. What is it about “a cup of tea” that just brings peace to mind? (And peace OF mind!)
On to the blog winners from last week – we have four winners, since we pick one winner for every 250 or so comments. Congratulations to Patty B from MN, Jen A from KS, Maureen G from AL, and Ellen H from CA. All winners have been emailed and have received a $30 Loopy Ewe Gift Certificate! It was fun to see some of the “next two things” that you are going to be working on.
*You can knit or crochet.
*You can choose one color or many.
*You can make anything you’d like to make, big or small. (Although since the word “challenge” is in there, I hope that you will take that to heart and push yourself a little!)
The part that brings it all together into one challenge – you must use 1 or more colors from our new Loopy Ewe Solid Series line. I realize that many of you may have already started into something with our new line, because we’ve shipped a lot of it out! Since we just started shipping it about a week ago, you’re welcome to count any project started since then, for this Third Quarter Challenge. A couple of other things about the challenge:
* You have until October 1st to finish (and until October 7th to put your photo up in the Loopy Gallery)
* The Challenge Discount is on the back end of the project this time. For each person who finishes (meaning the project is done and you have added a photo of it to our Loopy Gallery), we’ll give you a 20% discount on the next project of your choice. That’s just a little extra incentive to get it done. (And if you get it done in a month, you can have your discount in a month!)
* As always, we will have great prizes to give out (including the Knitter’s Choice award that you all will vote on, the randomly drawn prize winner, and the Loopy’s Pick winner that the Elves and I will choose.)
We are so looking forward to seeing all of your finished projects, and I know you’ll have fun with this! Who’s in?
Here are photos with two of my color combo choices. The first one shows the Malachite and Whisper Blue that I’m using for my Norwegian Rose Socks. The brown/turquoise combo is one that I have in mind for another project. I’ll keep you posted on that one. (Note – this is what happens when I photo things for the blog without color correcting. That “Surf” blue color is really this color. Not the slightly sick turquoise green that is showing in the above photo . Aren’t you glad that we spend so much time on color-correcting here?)
What are some color combinations that you like, from our new series? We’ll take some of your 2, 3 or 4 color combo suggestions and we’ll photo them for all to see in the weeks to come!
*Too Stupid To Knit
Ugh. I’ve spent the last several days in bed with bronchitis. Sick as a dog. Coughing elegantly, every 2 minutes. (Does “barking seal” mean anything to you?) And when you’re too sick to knit? Not good. Or maybe my brain was just TSTK while it was fevered. (Too Stupid To Knit) At any rate, I’m halfway back today. Still coughing and wheezing and I’m making it a short day. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. Good news – I’m staying clear of orders. We won’t be packaging up any germs to send your way. I promise!
Of course, being TSTK for the past few days means that I haven’t made any more progress on my Mini Challenge Sweater. I hope I can get back to that tonight. For those of you working on them, all Sweater Challenges need to be completed and photos entered by July 7th. When entering your photo into our Loopy gallery, don’t forget to include yarn information. Without that, we can’t get them approved and up! I love what you all have completed so far. We have another challenge coming up that will start July 1st. I’ll blog about it on Wednesday.
Since it’s Monday, we’ve added new things to the website tonight. Just up:
Madelinetosh Sock – 36 colorways (20 are new for us) – great for socks as well as shawls – perfect summer knitting!
MonkeyPal – 14 colorways, beautiful intense colors
Spirit Trail Sunna – 15 colorways (some of my favorite colors ever in this batch)
Saunguine Gryphon Bugga – 9 colors this week, 6 more next week
Blue Sky Alpacas – restocks in Alpaca Silk and Skinny Dyed
Cascade – new colors in Eco Duo, Heritage Quatro, and Heritage Handpainted
Spud and Chloe Fine – restock plus 2 new colors – Red Hot and Shitake (love these)
Spud and Chloe Sweater – restock plus 2 new colors – Cider and Grape Jelly
Yarn Love Juliet – more colors, including the popular Bayfield Apple and Strawberry Shortcake colorways
Knitstpot Patterns – re-stocks and new ones
Next week: New colors from Lorna’s Laces!
First of all, thank you for all of the wonderful comments and emails that you have sent, regarding our new Loopy Ewe Solid Series line. And thank you for all of your orders! We’ve had such a great time seeing the color combinations that you’ve picked out. You are making some really cool projects! We’re looking forward to seeing them, and we’ll be setting up a separate Photo Gallery just for your Solid Series projects on our website.
I’m still working on my Summer Cardi for the Mini Challenge. The body is almost done, so I just need to add a few more rows to the short sleeves and then do the border. In the meantime, I started a Citron out of Wollmeise Lace. (Because I wanted to be knitting Wollmeise on the day that I was sitting in Claudia’s brick and mortar shop, knitting away.) I finished that up over the weekend and have washed and blocked it. Actually, I blocked the heck out of it, because I wanted it a bit longer. I like the way it turned out, and especially love the color. However, there is a lot of knitting in there. It seemed to go on forever and a day! The denser looking sections have had the stitches doubled, so – like I said – a lot of knitting. (Other people seem to whip these out. Apparently I don’t knit that fast.) Since Wollmeise Lace is hard to come by, you might try this pattern out of Malabrigo Lace (which is what the original pattern was done out of) or Malabrigo Sock. I think I’d like the slightly heavier sock weight. It would also be beautiful in Madelinetosh Sock or Dye Dreams Twinkle Toes.
I have two things on my “knit next” list. One, those gorgeous Norwegian Rose Socks from Wendy’s Book. I picked my colors – Malachite and Ice. Second, I want to start crocheting something hexagon-y like this (Rav link). But I want it to be lightweight and baby-sized, so I’m using our new solid line to do it. (Did you catch that? I’m going to CROCHET. Guess who took a Crochet Class at TNNA a couple of weeks ago? And guess who liked it??) Now for the blog contest question of the month – what are the next two things on your “knit next” list? Leave your answer in the comments and we’ll be giving away $30 Loopy Ewe Gift Certificates to the randomly drawn winners, next week!
It’s ready! Many of you know that we’ve been working hard on our new (and exclusive) Solid Series line. This has been in the planning stages for over a year, and in production since December. We’re finally ready to share it with you, and we hope that you love it as much as we do! I took some quick photos today, to put on the blog. Note that they haven’t been color-corrected, so the colors are “close”, but not spot on. The ones on the website are the true shades. (Long post – lots of photos. Just scan through and read the questions that you wonder about, then drop to the bottom to see what else went up in Monday’s Update!)
Why a solid series? Well, we brought you our private label Loopy Legends Series almost 2 years ago, and we knew that we wanted to do more with our own line. Over a year ago, we started thinking about solids, simply because we were unable to get the number of colors and the quantities we needed in a solid line. In the meantime, pattern designers were coming out with more and more intricate sock and shawl designs, that are truly best shown in a solid color. (Not to mention the surge in colorwork popularity.) It seemed a great match – Loopy + solids.
How did you pick the colors? Now that was a process! I’ve shared with you that Loopy Elf Sue is a mosaic artist (and in fact, teaches mosaics at the Chicago Mosaic School a few times a year.) She and I took a big Pantone notebook full of color chips, set up color-lights (the ones that give you a true color reading), and starting picking. I think I dreamed about color chips for nights on end. Then, when I had picked out 70 that I was happy with, I drove up to Chicago and met with the Dream in Color gals to get their opinion on it. (We had this yarn dyed on their wonderful Smooshy base, by a professional dyer.) I almost didn’t want to call home that night to tell my husband that I had added 20 more “have to have them” colors to the total…
What is the best way to use this solid line? In everything! (You knew I’d say that.) Seriously though, the solid colors will make your patterns pop. I know that many of you are trying designs that are more and more difficult, and you want your work to show in the best possible way. Here is a pair of socks that one of our Loopy Sample Knitters (Barbara from NH) knit up for us. She didn’t know what yarn this was – only that we’d be getting it sometime this summer. After working with it for a bit, she emailed and said, “I am just LOVING this yarn – it’s gorgeous. The stitch definition is excellent – it really pops with the yarn. And I’m enjoying the pattern too – very fun.” (Pattern is Phoebus Apollo by Wendy Knits. A past sock club pattern, available here.) Of course this yarn is also going to be great for colorwork (which is why we did it up in 50 g skeins for you), and for shawls, scarves, cowls, mitts, gloves, hats, and baby items.
Is it ok to knit socks with 100% merino? Absolutely. But you do want to be sure to knit your socks at a gauge that makes the resulting fabric durable. For me, that means I knit 8-9 stitches per inch for socks (really, no matter what fingering weight yarn I’m using.) I like the feel of 100% merino on my feet … and around my neck … and on my hands … and around my shoulders … and on my head.
Are you going to have color cards? We plan to. Right now, we’re still skeining and labeling this massive amount of yarn that has arrived. But we’re almost on top of that situation, and then we will get to the color cards for you. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, here’s a hint for the best viewing possible on The Loopy Ewe website. When you click on the page(s) for the Solid Series, make sure that you’re viewing them as a “Tiled List” or an“Icon List”. You can find the buttons to change the way you view them, to the right of the word “Products” on that product’s page. See the four squares? The two on the right give you the most colors per page to view. Great for comparing the different shades. You can then click on the color and add it to your cart or wishlist.
What about the color names? We think it’s fun to get yarn lines that are very creative with the colorway names. We love Gryphon’s bug colors, and Fiesta’s travel colors and Stacy’s Tempted vamp-y colors. I’ve even been known to buy a yarn just because I loved the name of it. (I mean, don’t we all need a skein of “The Forest Has Eyes“? How cool is that?) But with our solid series, we wanted to come up with simple names that you could read and identify, right off the bat. With the help of Google and the Loopy Elves, we covered every single color name. They’re listed in numerical order on the website, just to keep the shades going from light to dark, in similar colorways. We do have three colors that are being re-worked and will be up later in the summer – Olive, Charcoal, and Vintage Rose. But we think there are enough other colors to get you started. Right?
What has been the best and worst part about creating this line? The best part – having a painter’s palette of colors to choose from, when I want to knit up a show-stopper. And I’ve been waiting and waiting to knit Norwegian Rose Socks from Wendy’s great sock book. Now I can! The worst part? Waiting and waiting and waiting for all of the colors to arrive, so that we could finally get them up and share them with you.
Will you be adding more colors? Ummm … not in the near future. We don’t have room! But if there are certain shades that you feel are “must haves” that we have missed, please email us about them. I figure if Cascade 220 can come in 240+ colors, then there is no doubt that we’re missing a few important shades, somewhere along the line. But for right now, we’re happy with the colors that we have. I already can’t quite make up my mind on the two colors I want to use for those two-colored socks. I think I’ll go wander that aisle and shop.
Of course that’s not all that went up in tonight’s Update. We also added in:
JulieSpins – an awesome new (to us) indie dyer that we have been watching for quite some time. I finally emailed to see if she’d want to be a part of The Loopy Ewe and was thrilled when she said yes. You’ll love her colors, and we’ll continue to add different bases in her line.
Malabrigo – 15 more colors of Worsted, 5 more colors of Sock, and 6 more colors of Silky Merino. That’s on top of all the colors that we added in these lines last week.
Dye Dreams – a new yarn base called Twinkle Toes (merino and tencel), as well as a re-stock of Dream Sox.
Yarn Love – Juliet in a new composition – 80% superwash merino, 20% nylon. We have a few more colors going up next week, as well.
Hiya Hiya – the large interchangeable needle set, more Puppy Snips and Dumpling Cases (because we all love them), and more project bags.
Namaste - a re-stock on Monroe bags, Laguna bags, and wallets.
That’s it. Did you really make it all the way to the bottom of this unendingly long post? Nice job.