Archives from February 2011

Ravelry, Heath Bars and Contests!

Photo: Sheri Berger
Friday, February 18th, 2011 in Contest, Sheri's Recipes

ravelry-bobIt was fun to log on to Ravelry this morning and see that my favorite group (the Loopy Groupies) had hit 5000 members in the past day. Wow! That’s very exciting to us. I love that our board has a lot of active conversations going on, I appreciate how warm and welcoming all of you Loopy Groupies are over there, and I like knowing that if anyone has a question about a pattern or technique or just needs advice and posts on our board, people jump in immediately to help. (Actually, that happens all over Ravelry. What a great group of knitters and crocheters.) In celebration of hitting that 5000 mark, I have a contest going on over there. Just leave a link in the contest thread and we’ll be drawing a winner next week. See the first post on the “5000 Contest” thread for details. I am adding so many projects to my Favorites list over there, as a result of that thread. (Note – this photo is from our post on Ravelry’s Bob, when he was featured in our Loopy Limelight. You can’t have a big reference to Ravelry without Bob’s cute face, right?)

I’m watching our Facebook and Twitter groups, too. We’ll celebrate with a contest when each of those hit 5000 as well. Facebook is close, but we have a ways to go on Twitter. It’s always fun to celebrate with a contest.  And speaking of that, we have RED yarn to award to several of you, as a result of our Valentine’s Day blog contest. Most of you found something to appreciate about that day, although a few of you still don’t like it, and that’s ok. I liked reading about all of the Valentine birthdays. And I like that so many of you feel loved the whole year through. We used the Random Number Generator to pull the winners. We’ll be sending beautiful red yarn to: Carol L in NY, Pat F in WV, Marla G in CA, Karen S in MO, MIchelle M in Ontario, Canada, and Kathy R (comment #1102, who was glad she’s SINGLE – but Kathy, I can’t find you in our system – please email me so that we can get your prize out to you!)

Here’s a quick coffee cake recipe to whip up on a cold day. The brown sugar in the mix gives it a caramel-cake kind of taste, and of course the crunchy topping is delicious. We had this here at Loopy on Valentine’s Day to go along with our morning coffee.

heath-bar-coffee-cakeHeath Bar Coffee Cake

Mix together:

1/4 lb. butter or margarine
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar

(Reserve 1/2 cup of this for topping.)

Next, add in:

1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg

Mix and pour batter into greased 9 x 13 pan.

Take the 1/2 cup reserved topping mixture and add in:

1/2 cup crushed Heath bars (or Skor toffee bits)
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Mix well and sprinkle over the top of the batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

It’s another long weekend here in the U.S., since Monday is President’s Day (and a no-mail Monday). We’ll be back in on Tuesday to get your orders packaged up from Monday night’s update. We have a big batch of Dream in Color’s Smooooshy with Cashmere that arrived this week, so watch for that to go up on Monday, along with a few other fun things as well.

Sheri nowgoingtowalkaroundLoopyandfindyarntomakethis

Lorna’s Laces Linen Stitch Scarf

Photo: Sheri Berger
Wednesday, February 16th, 2011 in Finished Projects

Today’s finished project is a Linen Stitch scarf, knit lengthwise. What an easy knit, and I really like the resulting fabric. It’s thick and warm and almost looks woven. Slip stitch patterns are great for mixing up colors. I checked out several linen stitch projects on Ravelry (including downloading a few) and have come to the conclusion that …. you don’t really need an official “pattern” when making this as a scarf. Just jump in and go!

I Googled to find Linen Stitch directions and here they are (except I end with the slip-stitch on each side – not a K1 or P1). I used 2 skeins of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted (in the Sublime colorway), but you can use any weight yarn. You can also use leftover yarn in many different colors, since the linen stitch is a good one for mixing things up and making them all look good. Just add a new color at different points as you go along. For my scarf, I knit it all in the same colorway.

Since it is knit long-ways, you’ll cast on a lot of stitches and will be knitting long rows. If you want to be all official in figuring our your cast on number, you can knit a gauge swatch, figure out how many stitches per inch you’re doing, and then multiply that by how many inches long you want your scarf to be. (5 stitches per inch x 72 inches long = 360 stitches to cast on.) Did I take the time to do a gauge swatch? Nope. I figured a general ballpark figure was good enough. I generally knit 4-5 st. per inch on worsted, so I cast on 310 stitches and it worked out fine. If you typically knit 8 stitches per inch in fingering weight and want to use that for this scarf, you’ll be looking at something like 8 st. x 72″ long = 576 stitches to cast on. My scarf ended up being  5 ft. long and about 5″ wide. Next time I’d probably cast on 376 stitches or so (and I had plenty of yarn left over to make it that long). Just make sure that your cast-on number is an even number, since the pattern is a 2-stitch pattern. You’ll also want to go up a needle size or two from what you’d typically use for that weight. I knit this on size 9′s (5.5 mm).

Suggested yarns for colorful versions of this:

Worsted: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted, Malabrigo Seleccion Privada Worsted, Araucania Panguipulli, Fiesta Boomerang, Huckleberry Trillium

Sport/DK: Hand Maiden Bess or Camelspin, and Lorna’s Laces Honor or Pearl or Sport,

Fingering: Dragonfly Djinni, Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock, Sereknity, Studio June’s Sock Luck, Sweet Georgia’s Superwash Sock or Tough Love Sock, and  Three Irish Girls Adorn Sock.

(Or use bits and bobs from your leftover yarn. Just make sure you’re using all the same weight within the same scarf.)

I’ve also been working on a slip-stitch sock for a few weeks, which I’ll share with you soon. You know, because I have to have fifty seven projects going on at once so that I can bop around and knit on different things on any given day. Or start something new. I’m good at that, too.

Sheri alsoworkingonexcitingstealthprojects.Can’twaittosharethemwithyoueventually!

My Favorite Valentine and a CONTEST

Photo: Sheri Berger
Monday, February 14th, 2011 in Contest

Happy Valentine’s Day to you all! I hope you’re feeling loved by all of the special people in your life today. My favorite thing about Valentine’s Day is that it’s Knitting Daughter’s Birthday. :-) And here’s one of my favorite photos of her when she was about three. Now she’s all grown up and enjoying life at college. I don’t know where the time went between then and now. I’m pretty sure that it was just a few weeks ago that she was sitting on the kitchen counter and I snapped this photo. WH and I zipped over to Indiana to surprise her over the weekend. Not for the whole weekend. You can’t surprise a college student for the entire weekend and expect that they don’t already have plans!  So we went late Saturday night and claimed Sunday morning (church) and Sunday lunch with her. It was a lot of fun and makes it a smidgeon easier to be this far away from her on her actual birthday, today. (HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JULIA!!)

So that’s my favorite thing about today. What’s your favorite thing about today? Leave your message in the comments below and we’ll run the random number generator on Friday, to see who wins some beautiful red yarn. See all of those skeins in the photo? We’re pulling prizes from there. We made that to put up on the webcam for you today, hoping you feel the Loopy love!

Sheri madeourfavoritesugarcookieslastweekwishIhadonerightnow

P.S. We do have an Update going up later today. Watch for new multi-colors of Universal’s Cotton Supreme, Namaste bags, Soak, Sajou Scissors, and misc. knitting gadgets!

Laughing Alpacas and Loopy Groupies

Photo: Sheri Berger
Friday, February 11th, 2011 in Shop News

A friend visited an Alpaca Farm here in Missouri (obviously when the grass was still green and snow and ice were yet to come) and sent me this photo. She thought it looked like this guy was laughing, and I agree!  Or at least he’s having a happy day.

We’ve had a busy week and I’m glad it’s Friday. Definitely time for the weekend! But first, I wanted to finish the second half of our Loopy Groupie list from last week. A big warm welcome to the following people, who have recently reached their Loopy Groupie status. We’re glad to have you here!

Rebecca in AK, Audrey in Australia, Elka in MO, Christine in RI, Deborah in NY, Liesbeth in New Zealand, Patricia in VA, Gayle in Australia, Cynthia in Canada, Kathleen in MI, Deborah in CA, Judy in CA, Rikako in Japan, Laura in MI, Nathalie in the U.K., Robbie in AK, Sandra in OR, Lourdes in CA, Michele in OH, Susan in NC, Sarah in IL, Eleen in TX, Suzanne in TX, Jackie in NY, Marie in LA, Avery in NC, Jennifer in IA, Karen in FL, Laurel in NY, Jenn in PA, Jeanie in MI, Tina in KS, Cary in AK, Lynn in FL, Kristi in Canada, Carrie in TX, Lois in GA, Kathy in MI, Karen in PA, Dianne in ME, Abigail in IN, Kandice in CA, Tamara in LA, Yamamoto in Japan, Tracey in OH, Char in WI, Ginny in GA, Margaret in MN, Joel in WI, Gillian in MA, Emily in SC, Cheryl in MO, Heather in AL, Em in South Africa, Mary in OH, Renee in TX, Sumiko in IL, Reecca in NY, Katherine in Canada, Karen in WA, Katherine in MN, Beverly in CA, Judy in NY, Jennifer in NC, Patricia in Canada, Cecilia in NY, Carolyn in OR, Karin in GA, Lugene in CA, Maureen in AL, Kimberly in PA, Pernille in IL, Marie in LA, Diane in FL, Barbara in MA, Catherine in CT, Carol in OR, Michelle in NH, Susan in OH< Beth in MN, Judi in MD, Jill in WI, Rachel in NV, Marie in MN, Lieuvena in MO, Vicki in IA, Deborah in WV, Beverlee in KS, Darlene in ME, Elizabeth in VA, Joan in IL, Val in Canada, Janine, MI, Debbie in IL, Jenn in Canada, Sue in WI, Roxanne in NE, Joyce in CT, Barbara in MI, Lyndy in GA, Maryjo in CA, Nini in MO, Bailie in VA, Lauren in FL, Barb in VA, Michelle in NJ, Sarah in CA, Marcia in VA, Mary in NE, Catherine in MO, Lynna in CA, Heather in MD, Melissa in MI, Loraine in NY, Amy in OR, Davida iN NY, Donna in ME, Stacia in ID, Amy in CA, Danielle in NV, Margie in OH, Jennifer in DE, Patricia in MI, Tiffany in VT, Dawn in NC, Colleen in IL, Kerstin in Sweden, Karyn in NY, Kathleen in PA, Sherry in TX, Colleen in WA, Rachel in OH, Jessica in NE, Kristi in MO, Kathy in MO, Lisa in Australia, Cathy in PA, Christina in MI, Kelly in WI, Elinor in KS, Marina in NY, Karen in KY, Susan in MA, Sarah in CO, Sarah in MD, Joanne in Canada, Jean in MD, Mary in AK, Elaine in the U.K., Rhonda in KS, Nicole in the military, Sandra in CA, Catherine in Australia, Miwa in NY, Mandy in MO, Pat in VA, Linda in Canada, Megan in IN, Veta in WA, Sheila in MD, Amber in VA, Robbin in MO, Jeannie-Maree in Australia, Janet in MN, Luanne in FL, Jennifer in KY, Dawn in MI, Diane in CA, Nancy in TX, Sherilyn in MA, Kara in CA, Sheryl in MT, Heather in IL, Liz in CA, Bunny in NY, Jennifer in IN, Sandy in ID, Sarah in NY, Melissa in NY, Nancy in AL, Kim in OR, Teresa in MO, Susan in IL, Milly in WA, Chris in IA, Marybeth in KS, Caroline in FL, Michelle in OH, Christine in New Zealand, Allison in PA, Wendy in CA, Ann in NJ, Kristine in UT, Annette in PA, Denise in MI, Laura in MO, Jamie in MI, Hollis in NY, Kate in CT, Rachel in WA, Hyun-Jumg in CA, Shana in IN, Kate in IL, Diane in IL, Debi in Canada, Elizabeth in UT, Vanessa in MN, Cheryl in WI, Elizabeth in NH, Jean in MA, Kelly in NV, Erin in TX, Heather in TX, Agata in MN, Heather in OH, Beverly in SC, Karen in OH, Amanda in WA, Carla in MT, Bobby in TX, and Michelle in TX.

This is what I see when I look out my window at home – birds, birds, and more birds – at the birdfeeders and on the windowsills. They know a good thing when they find it. What are you seeing outside your window today?


Sheri ormaybethebirdsarewatchingmeknit?

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