June 21, 2010
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.