Thanks for all of your sweet comments about the Loopy Tumblers that we sent out in the Anniversary Kits this year. So many of you have fond memories of growing up with Mary Hadley Pottery (or you have collected it yourself for years). It was fun to work with them on the tumblers this past spring. Of course, we couldn’t just leave it at tumblers, now, could we? (Because Loopy looks too darned cute, “Hadley-fied”). So we have a few more options coming in late September for you. We’ll fill you in as soon as they start arriving.
I did want to show you one new piece now – our new Loopy Ewe Yarn Bowl! We’re taking pre-orders on it, starting today. I have a good number of them currently being made (due in stock in mid-September) but I know that many of you like to pre-order things like this, so that you’re sure to get one from the first batch that comes in. We will continue to have these made – it’s not a one time deal. But if you want to get in on the first shipment of them, you’re welcome to email us (email@example.com) to get your name on the pre-order list.
What IS a yarn bowl, anyway? Well, it’s great for yarn management – for containing yarn balls/cakes while you’re knitting. You set your yarn in the bowl and thread it through the hole, and it keeps your yarn in one spot, unwinding smoothly as you go. No more cakes and balls rolling around on the floor or jumping out of your lap as you knit. (Of course this does take some of the fun away from your pets, if they’re prone to want to chase the moving yarn balls. So you might need to think about this.) Each bowl has been hand-painted by one of the Hadley artists, then glazed and kiln-fired at 2100 degrees fahrenheit. You could also eat a very large bowl of ice cream out of it, but you’d have to eat fast, before it starts to melt and drip out of the yarnhole….
Our Loopy Ewe Yarn Bowl is approx. 3″ high and 7″ across. I’ve shown it with one skein of worsted Dream in Color Classy caked up. It’s a great size for all weights, from laceweight to Aran. The cost of the bowl is $40, and it does need to ship on its own, so that we can pack it up safely for travel. We will let you know just as soon as they arrive. I hope you like them as much as we do. I love knitting with mine!
I thought I had everything covered in my own personal Yarn Rules on Monday. (And I liked the yarn rules you all shared in the comments, too.) I have thought of another one. This one still must follow the first three rules, too, but here is the 4th rule:
4. If a yarn line or indie dyer is retiring and you really like their stuff, get it while you can.
It’s sad to me when I learn of dyers giving up their business. There are always good reasons for it, and I know that none of them make the decision lightly. But when I love their yarn (and I wouldn’t have them here at Loopy unless I loved their yarn), it’s sad. I wanted to let you know about two indie dyer companies who are closing up shop. Mona and Stephanie of Dye Dreams, have made the decision to stop dyeing their line. This has been one of my favorite semi-solids lines for a long time, and I’m sad to see them go. We still have some in stock in Comfy Sox (100% Superwash wool), Dream Sox (75% Superwash wool, 25% Nylon), Luster Sox (100% BFL wool), and Twinkle Toes (50% Superwash wool, 50% Tencel). I think that any of these bases and colors would make a beautiful pi shawl like the one Wendy is doing as a knit-a-long. Are you doing that with her? You will need 1300-1400 yards of fingering weight yarn for this circular shawl. I am working on it, too, and am using a fingering weight yarn as well. It’s going to be an easy knit – even for those of you who might not have done lace before. Part Two comes out in the blog today, so if you haven’t started yet, you’re not even really behind. It’s a fun knit!
The second company – I had an email this morning from Michelle in New Zealand, sharing the sad news that Needle Food is also closing shop. The first thing that attracted me to Michelle’s line were the intense colors and fun combinations. I’m glad that we still have some left here at The Loopy Ewe (and I might’ve plucked out a few skeins for myself this morning). But I wanted you to know, in case you’ve had your eye on some of these. I love these colorways knit up in socks, scarves, mitts and hats.
We wish all of these gals the best, as they move on to other things in their lives. I’m happy that we got to share in their talents as long as we did. (And I know they’ll keep up with their knitting!)
Of course that means we’ll be adding in a few more indie dyers in the coming months, and that’s always exciting, too. We’ll keep you posted as we have news to share.
And finally – something to make you smile. Check out this little lamb named Bea, who can hear her owner calling her, but can’t quite figure out where the sound is coming from ….
Look – an Ishbel that I finished over the weekend. I am in love. Between working with this yarn (more on that in a minute) and looking over today’s list of yarns going up, and knowing what we have coming up in the near future, I realized something. It is important to me to work with beautiful yarn. So I came up with my own personal yarn rules.
1. I want it to feel good on my hands, since I’ll be spending hours and hours working with it.
2. I want it to look good when the project is finished and blocked and ready to wear … and long after that.
3. I want to be happy that I spent the time and money on the whole thing.
Pretty simple rules. It helps me to make better yarn-buying decisions for my own personal stash. For the first rule, that means I know that I like the feel of soft merino, alpaca, cashmere, soft cotton, and silk. (Not all together – just in differing combinations and in different bases.) I don’t like things that feel rough or squeaky in my hands. For the second rule, I know that it means that I want to buy quality yarn, from quality dyers. I have added other yarn into my personal stash over the past years that was not necessarily a good quality, and not necessarily well-dyed, and those went into my give-away pile. (Some were samples to see if we wanted to carry them here at the shop, some were “too good to pass up” sale items, and others were just …. a lapse of judgement, I guess!) For the third rule – well, that automatically works out if I followed rules one and two.
Back to the Ishbel shawl. This skein of yarn fit all of my rules. Julie (of Juliespins) sent me a sample of this yarn to test out. You just have to know, I’m not a yellow person. It’s not that I don’t like yellow, really. There are a lot of great yellows out there. In fact, I still have a pair of in-progress yellow socks, started during a time of too many cloudy days in a row. But I very seldom see a yellow in yarn that I “have” to knit. Other colors always catch my eye first. This skein of silk/merino from Julie was one that really grabbed me. It was a combination of the color and the silky sheen and the luxurious feel. I just knew I needed to sit down and make something out of it. (And when the big batch of it arrived last week for the shop, I grabbed a different color. Love the base.) I think I needed a bright yellow shawl/scarf to wear in the middle of winter, right?
This is what I mean about wanting to work with beautiful yarn. Every time I sat down to work on this project, the yarn made it that much more fun. And in addition to using these kinds of beautiful yarns myself, I love sharing them with you! So here are some of the beautiful things that we have for you tonight:
Juliespins Silky 435 – 16 colors of this same fingering weight yarn base that captured my attention during my Ishbel knitting. And you already know what an amazing job Julie does on her dyework.
Fiesta’s Gracie’s Lace – another one that falls into the “beautiful to work with” category, because this laceweight yarn is a mixture of merino, cashmere and silk. And at 950 yds. per skin, there is plenty to work with.
The Sanguine Gryphon Bugga and Skinny Bugga – the merino/cashmere/nylon yarn bases that we have all become addicted to. Just as wonderful for socks as it is for shawls and cowls and scarves and sweaters.
So you’ve read my three yarn-buying rules. Do you have any others that you go by?
I actually have a recipe for you today – surprise! I think it has been awhile since I’ve shared one. (Not because I haven’t been baking, but because I mostly make old family favorites while Knitting Daughter is home for the summer, and I have shared most of those with you already.) I’m kind of surprised I haven’t shared this one already, but I looked in my past recipes here and couldn’t find it.
But first – I wanted to tell you about a special Sock Kit that we will have up in a week or two. Many of you may remember Skacel’s Booby Sock kit that they sold in 2008/09. They combined a cute pattern and an exclusive pink Trekking color, to sell 2500 kits to participating shops. Skacel donated their entire proceeds to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and shops could choose to donate whatever amount (or not) that they wanted to from their sales of the kits. We didn’t order those kits, but they have a new kit benefitting a new cause, and we’ve ordered a bunch.
This year, Skacel has again worked with Rosemary “Chappy” Chapman to come up with a special pattern, and Trekking has jumped in and come up with an exclusive colorway in teal, which is the official color of Ovarian Cancer research. This is being done in honor of Susanne Skacel, a 3 year survivor of Ovarian Cancer. The kit contains the pattern, the Trekking yarn, and beads to complete the sock design. Skacel is once again donating their entire proceeds from the sale of this kit, and we at The Loopy Ewe will be donating our entire proceeds from the sale of the kit as well. We’re hoping to send a great big check to the Marsha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research. The kits are scheduled to ship to us in the middle of next week, so hopefully we’ll have them up sometime during the week of August 30th. I just wanted to let you know that we plan to have them, and we will get a good photo of the yarn/pattern/beads as soon as they arrive. Each kit will be $25. (Edit – for those who have asked, yes, you are welcome to get more than one kit!) We’re happy to be a part of this, and to be raising funds for a great cause.
Today’s recipe is so easy – almost too easy to share. But then again, whenever I take it somewhere, people want the recipe. That tells you how delicious it is! I hope you make it and your family enjoys it. (The photo? I know. A food blogger I am not. sigh.)
1 package of brownie mix (for 9 x 13 pan)
2 lg. boxes of chocolate instant pudding mix
1 lg. container of Cool Whip, thawed
1 bag of toffee brickle bits (or chopped up Heath bars)
Make the brownie mix as directed and let it cool.
Cut brownies into 1″ pieces and layer half of the pieces in the bottom of a glass bowl. Mix up 1 box of pudding mix and pour over the brownies in the bowl. Spread half of the Cool Whip on top of the pudding and then sprinkle half of the brickle bits on top of that. Repeat these layers a second time. Let sit in the refrigerator overnight (or several hours). The longer it sits, the better it gets. (See? Isn’t that embarrassingly easy? You almost don’t want anyone to ask for the recipe…)
The weather is supposed to start cooling off (to a whopping 85 degress) this weekend. I think it will feel marvelous, after our days of 110 degree heat indexes. It’s all relative.