Do you have any stitch dictionaries in your knitting library? I am somewhat of a stitch dictionary junky. I think I have most of them. I always have grand illusions of designing, and then I get bogged down with too many wonderful choices to play with. That didn’t stop me from being really excited when designer Debbie O’Neill told me that she was working on a new book – a stitch dictionary. I have always loved Debbie’s designs and knew the book would be great. (One of my very favorite Debbie designs is Celebratory Chevrons – free here on my blog. It’s one of the few sock patterns that I’ve chosen to knit more than once.) Last week, her publisher kindly sent me a copy of the new book – The Stitch Collection – and I dove in. Actually, it’s a slipcase with 5 smaller volumes tucked inside – Knit & Purl, Rib, Lace, Cables, and Specialty. 225 patterns in all. There are several things that make this one of my new favorites, and one that I will use frequently.
- I love the smaller sized books. Most stitch dictionaries are filled with every possible combination and they are big and heavy. Not something I would tuck into my project bag or take along on a trip. And a bit overwhelming to leaf through.
- I love that each page gives you a skill level and a drape level. Sometimes you don’t know how it will work from the photo, and I haven’t seen these ratings in other stitch dictionaries.
- Also different (and a real benefit), I like that each stitch is explained, along with particular characteristics: “It pulls in dramatically, but is very elastic. It will lie flat along the cast-on edge, but will tend to curl along the side edges.”
- And a few warnings on some, like: “This stitch pattern comes off the needles looking slanted, and a good blocking evens it out nicely. However, you may want to avoid using it across large areas because the larger the area, the harder it is to block out the slant.”
My only wish? I wish these were spiral bound. I think I will pop by Office Max and have mine done. (Do you do that with your favorite knitting books? I think it’s so handy to be able to open books all the way and have them lie flat when in use.) Also, there are no charts. But as someone who seldom knits from charts, that wasn’t a big deal for me. When I want to take written directions and turn them into charts, I’ve been using this program. Very easy to use, with great tutorials.
So all of this (stitch dictionaries, designing software) leads to the contest question of the month – have you ever tried to design something of your own to knit or crochet? Does the thought of it sound interesting, intimidating, or invigorating? Leave your answer in the comments and we’ll use the random generator to draw winners for $30 Gift Certificates to The Loopy Ewe next week!
Thanks for the photos you have started submitting for our “Where in the World is Loopy” photo contest. Keep them coming! When you submit a photo, it goes into a holding pattern until we come in and approve it on our end. We usually do that about once a week, so if you don’t see it right away, don’t worry. (On the other hand, if you submit a project photo and don’t see it after a week, it’s probably because we need to know what yarn you used for the project, so shoot us an email and let us know.)
Check out a few of the photos that have started to come in, showing our Loopy knitters (and Loopy) out and about. He has been traveling! But not today. I can tell you where he was today – all over the place at Loopy Central. He has been:
Pretending to be a toddler:
Riding an alpaca in the front cabinet:
Hugging his best friend:
Getting stuck in one of our antique sock blockers:
And whispering secrets to the Elf on the front bench:
Who knows what tomorrow will bring? He likes to stay loose and keep his options open.
But before we get to tomorrow, it’s time to let you know what we put up in the Update for you tonight! Just in:
Madelinetosh Vintage – 35 colors (some re-stocks, some new). This yarn is perfect for sweaters, vests, heavier shawls, scarves, hats, and socks. The crisp twist makes your stitches pop.
Shibui Knits – a re-stock of yarns and colors and patterns, including the popular Transition Gloves pattern.
Fleece Artist 2/6 – this is their regular 100% merino blend and the first Fleece Artist line that we added in to the shop way back in 2006. It continues to be a very popular yarn for socks and shawls.
Sweet Georgia Superwash Sock – Felicia’s 100% superwash merino sock in all of her wonderful, eye-popping colors.
Fiberphile – Squooshy Sock, a great 2 ply 100% superwash in many subtle semi-solids that lend themselves to intricate shawls and socks.
Gale’s Art – we’ve had Gale’s fiber here for over two years, and now she has turned her dye talents to a new sock yarn line as well. Lovely! Check out Moldy Pumpkin. Isn’t that a great colorway name?
Accessories – Crochet Rolls by Della Q, HiyaHiya Interchangeable needle set in Large sizes, HiyaHiya Dumpling Cases, and a new Loopy Ewe Square tote.
Pop on over and check it out. We’ll make sure Loopy helps with all of the order packing tomorrow….
I mentioned last month that I had taken a crochet class at TNNA. I figured it was high time I learned how to do it. (Besides, there are some really cute crochet patterns out there. I want to make this and this as soon as I get this under my belt a little bit more.) I enjoyed the class and am surprised at how quickly it feels like you’re making progress, when you crochet. I started some granny squares for a 9-square pillow out of The Loopy Ewe Line, and I also started this baby blanket out of Rowan’s new Amy Butler Belle Organic Aran line. I really love the feel of this yarn, and it’s crocheting up beautifully. I don’t have specific plans for the blanket. It was just a fun project to get my feet wet. So far, so good! So I’m wondering how many of you crochet? Is it something you learned way back when, but now you knit instead? Or do you do both? Or have you not yet learned to crochet? Or are you too backed up on the knitting you want to do, to ever be able to add crochet into your life? Just curious.
We are welcoming lots of new Loopy Groupies today! We love sending out those Welcome Bags and feel honored that so many of you have become such great customers and friends. (You get to Loopy Groupie status when we’ve sent out 6 packages to you, although multiple Wollmeise orders in the same day all count as “one”. It gets complicated!) We’re happy to welcome these new Groupies in this latest batch: Cyrena in RI, Hikari in Japan, Robin in OH, Victoria in NC, Dana in TN, Juliet in AZ, Jeanne in CA, Christina in OH, Caryn in CT, Jane in NY, Monet in VA, Kata in Canada, Dorothy in KS, Annie in IL, Rosemarie in Canada, Kim in MS, Ellen in MO, Michelle in MD, Kelly in IL, Abbe in NJ, Elizabeth in PA, Stella in MA, Grace in NJ, Sharilyn in NY, Kittie in Switzerland, Lisa in IL, Lois in LA, Julie in DE, Mary in TX, Heather in TX, Vickie in MO, Aimee in NV, Jenny in MO, Christy in TN, Louise in Denmark, Kristie in MN, Linda in CA, Shelley in IL, Amy in PA, Ilona in Australia, Denese in MO, Helen in CO, Cynthia in OH, Kelly in AK, Nicole in Canada, Amanda in CO, Robin in OK, Kimberly in FL, Lael in WI, Loretta in MO, Christie in MD, Robin in WI, Megan in WV, Debbie in OH, Lauren in NY, Nancy in TN, Krystal in AZ, Lisa in WA, Karen in CA, Emily in PA, Andrea in CT, Beth in NY, Susan in VA, Joan in NY, Marianne in Norway, Amy in MI, Barbara in New Zealand, Sandy in IL, Linda in MN, Sharon in PA, Lisa in OK, Molinda in OH, Tami in WA, Kate in NC, Linda in IL, Lilie in AZ, Maartje in OH, Anna in Australia, Erin in IN, Rachel in IL, Shannon in CA, Julie in NV, Kyoko in Japan, Cathy in MO, Elizabeth in Norway, Barbara in NY, Andrea in WA, Megan in IL, Suzanne in TX, Elizabeth in OH, Lee in CA, Linda in MO, Carl in NC, Aliya in Canada, Ann in MA, Nathan in CA, Betty in Canada, Dee in TX, Alisa in WY, Jasmine in VA, Christine in MT, Lani in MI, Maria in CA, Elizabeth in NY, Brandy in PA, Sheri in AK, Ines in CA, Laural in MA, Sarah in MN, Cheryl in the U.K., Christine in MI, Andrea in OK, Paulette in WI, Debra in CA, Elisabeth in NM, Janna in CA, Cindy in WA, Bonnie in OR, Sherry in TX, Lana in IN, Kathleen in NY, Andrea in NJ, Katherine in Canada, Kathy in GA, Jennifer in NV, Monique in OR, Janis in IL, Lynnea in VA, Alicia in MD, Kim in SD, Lara in IN, Kirsten in MN, Sonya in IN, Maggie in MN, Kim in WA, Luann in MA, Cathy in VA, Ange in MN, Diana in IL, Jani in CA, Anyssa in MI, Debra in MA, Whitney in NY, Peggy in OH, Lynnette in CA, Jerrica in Canada, Melissa in OK, Lynda in NJ, Kristine in TX, Nancy in TX, Monica in IL, Lucy in NV, Melissa in CA, Kathy in ND, Andrea in Germany, Mona in NY, Erin in PA, Janet in WI, Melissa in CA, Krista in VA, Christine in TX, Suzie in MD, Elizabeth in OH, Janna in IA, Judy in AZ, Katherine in TX, Julie in NM, Marjorie in MA, Brenda in CA, Sandy in MO, Tanya in VA, Robyn in MO, Jessica in NC, Traci in Australia, Jennifer in ND, Rebecca in OR, Ghislaine in Switzerland, Mindy in TX, Sharon in IN, Meghan in Canada, Cheri in WA, Paulina in the U.K., Geri in NY, Lana in IL, Terri in ID, Erica in IL, Liberty in MN, Beverly in IL, Jennifer in MA, Jodi in MI, Laura in NY, Sheryl in CA, Melissa in KY, Tina in MD, Elaine in NH, Sheryl in CO, Linda in MO, Lucia in MA, Irma in CT, Julie in CA, Donna in HI, Gavi in TX, Sharyl in IL, Meghan in NH, Joline in Canada, Stephanie in MI, Amy in NY, Kim in WI, Arlene in Canada, Bianca in VA, Beth in MT, Cheryl in MI, Kyrie in MD, Shawntaia in NY, LeeAnn in CT, Allison in NC, Jill in GA, Josephine in MD, Linda in IL, Shannon in OH, Jill in MI, Christine in MN, Patricia in NY, Dorothy in MN, Kathryn in AZ, Michelle in FL, Bwen in CA, Hilona in The Netherlands, Suzanne in CA, Ashley in the Military, Kristy in WA, Joni in TX, Joyce in MN, Vicki in KS, Crystal in WA, Jan in MN, Joan in NY, Amy in IL, Beth in MO, Jen in MD, Deborah in VA, Jennifer in KS, Marnie in Canada, Crystal in Canada, Sarah in TX, Elizabeth in NC, Cheryl in Canada, Elaine in MA, Paula in NY, Bonnie in NJ, Beatriz in FL, Rachael in WI, Kristen in TN, Marie in IL, Wendy in WA, Sarah in NH, Debra in CA, Mary Jane in MN, Stephanie in AK, Patricia in WA, Seanna Lea in MA, Daniele in France, Michelle in OH, Melissa in MI, Gail in MD, Elizabeth in TX, Heidi in OR, Doreen in NC, Kelly in HI, Janet in MA, Karen in OH, Christelle in NV, Emily in WI, Abby in IL, Teresa in CT, June in KY, Lisa in MA, Connie in IA, Stephanie in MD, Margaret in Australia, Judi in TX, Jennifer in Canada, Syd in AZ, Catherine in WI, Ralph in MO, Kathryn in TX, Cheryl in CA, Mary Ann in Canada, Kathy in VA, Susan in NY, Elaine in VA, Leslie in CA, Darinka in IL, Wendy in CA, Cristi in CA, Julie in VT, Cindy in MD, Nikki in KY, Holly in CO, Nancy in TX, Margaret in VA, Vicki in MO, Wanda in FL, Kathy in TN, Shelley in UT, Maureen in MI, Deborah in CA, Kathy in IA, Natalie in NC, Abi in NC, Karen in PA, Traci in NV, Marie in OH, Melissa in OK, Danielle in VA, Felicity in Canada, Carla in IL, Jayne in CA, Christina in WA, Michelle in Canada, Emily in KS, Ruby in NY, Genny in NV, Jennings in CA, Selma in NY, Heidi in NJ, Cheryl in IL, Susan in MA, Emma in Canada, Anne Sofie in Norway, Cate in Australia, Jana in MA, Heidi in NJ, Melissa in OK, Erica in CO, Rafidah in Singapore, Lillian in Canada, Michelle in IL, Dorothy in PA, Angela in CA, Maryann in CT, Jeri in TX, Dian in Canada, Amy in CO, Nobuko in Japan, Eleanor in NY, Brooke in CA, Shelane in FL, Elaine in WA, Katherine in WA, Ann in IL, Chanina in Israel, Darrell in MO, Kristin in IL, Cindy in SC, Constance in MD, Sidney in NC, Elizabeth in Canada, Anne in MA, Susan in IL, Patricia in VA, Sarah in NC, Lisa in VA, Valerie in UT, Victoria in MO, Jennifer in WA, Paulette in IN, Barbara in IL, Wendy in WI, Susan in NH, Eileen in CA, Megan in TX, Sonicka in OR, Dawn in ND, Chiho in NH, Sylvia in MO, Julia in TN, Jadqueline in NY, Kate in MA, Laura in Canada, Terry in NY, Carrie in CO, Mary in PA, Kim in TN, Denise in GA, Ellen in CO, Michael in CT, Cynthia in MN, Lani in AK, Charlene in CA, Kimberly in TX, Hildegunn in Norway, Barbara in CA, Marilyn in PA, Ingalill in Sweden, Tanya in Canada, Stacey in NY, Corie in MO, April in Canada, Michelle in WI, Renee in WA, Theresa in MD, Miriam in Canada, Deb in OH, Susan in AK, Amber in NM, Allison in CA, Benne in TN, Carol in PA, Stephanie in TX, Jessica in VA, Leslie in NY, Deranda in AK, Anne in CA, Darcie in WV, Ruth in MO, Anna Marie in MO, Donna in MI, Sarah in TX, Tommye in GA, Leah in Australia, Megan in OH, Monica in OH, Lisa in CT, Amy in TX, Allison in NY, Danielle in NY, Natsu in Japan, Janet on OR, Aporanee in VA, Alicia in CT, Karen in CA, Evelyn in CA, Suzanne in MI, Emily in RI, Sheila in PA, Leanne in PA, Alisha in TX, Christina in NJ, Claudia in CA, Kay in IN, Barbara in PA, Lise in FL, Elaine in NY, Sam in CA, Christi in TX, Ashley in SC, Sue in MD, Dawn’l in MN, Erica in OK and Jamie in PA.
Have a great weekend and I hope you find time to knit and/or crochet at some point in the next few days!
Kathy from MO had the best reason for not finishing her challenge sweater in time. Chickens. She wrote, “The summer challenge sweater was almost done-a short cardigan crocheted from DIC Classy Butter Peeps. Then I discovered the chickens LOVED to watch me crochet. So this past week, every day I did a few rows on the back as I sat outside with the flock. The night before last I joined it all…and the back was twice as long as it should have been. I still cannot believe I over-crocheted the back because I was entertaining the chickens by crocheting.” She even sent me pictures as evidence. I think that’s probably the best excuse I’ve heard yet, for not finishing by the deadline! Note how one is particularly determined to get right into the middle of the situation. Or rather, on top of the situation.
I have the same problem. No, not with chickens. With Zoe, my cat. She loves curling up on my lap when I am knitting. If, heaven forbid, I should have my laptop on my lap for a bit, she sits on the arm of the chair and gives me the evil eye until I move it off to the table next to me and she can reclaim her spot. (Really – she can be quite intimidating with her eyes.) This photo was taken last summer while I was knitting my 100% Alpaca Girasole. There’s nothing quite like having a large throw on your lap, made out of 100% really really warm Alpaca, along with a furry, warm, purring cat, in the middle of 100 degree weather and 90% humidity. Special times.
So do you knit or crochet with pets that feel the need to be RIGHTTHEREWITHYOU while you work?