Archives from September 2011

Random Thoughts with Potato Soup

Photo: Sheri Berger
Friday, September 30th, 2011 in Sheri's Recipes, WH's Photos

noosa-yogurt-colorado1. One of the fun things about moving to a new town is that you get to discover new shops - new grocery stores, new gifty stores, new eye-candy stores. And in those new stores, you might discover a new love. Like Noosa Yoghurt. My latest obsession. (I like it even though they say “yoghurt” instead of yogurt.) Wish it wasn’t so pricey. Do you have Noosa near you?

2. There is an elementary school about 4 blocks away, and we can hear the school bells. I should follow them and break for lunch and recess every day, don’t you think?

3. Our mail doesn’t come until 5 pm on weekdays. I’m not a fan of that. And I think the mail lady hates me because I get packages from Loopy and she has get out of her mail truck to walk them to the door.

aspen-trees-in-breckenridge4.  The Aspens are absolutely beautiful right now. Can you pop in the car and come see them in person this weekend? Because you ought to. WH took this up near Breckenridge this week. If you click on it, it almost makes you dizzy. I was going to use it as my screensaver, but I think I’d feel like I was being sucked in. (As if I didn’t already feel like that with computers from time to time.) I’ll share a couple more of his fall photos next week.

5.  I made this soup and it was a big hit. Perfect for a chilly fall evening. And it does not taste at all low fat, which I like. :-) I should have photo-ed it in a colored bowl so it would show up better. Although I don’t have colored bowls. I might need to go shopping.

creamy-low-fat-potato-soupCreamy, Low Fat Potato Soup (from Monica at The Yummy Life)

4 baking potatoes (2.5 lbs.) OR 4 cups leftover mashed potatoes
2/3 cup flour
6 cups 2% milk
1 cup low-fat extra sharp cheddar cheese (divided)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 cup low-fat sour cream
3/4 cup chopped green onions (divided)
6 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled

If you are using baking potatoes, bake them (400 degrees for 1 hour in the oven, or microwave them). Don’t forget to poke them with a fork before baking. Peel and mash. OR use leftover mashed potatoes.

Add flour to a large pot or Dutch oven. Whisk in the milk and stir until blended. Cook over medium heat until it starts to thicken (about 8-10 minutes).

Add in the mashed potatoes, 3/4 cup of cheese, salt and pepper. Stir until the cheese is completely melted. Stir in sour cream and 1/2 cup green onions.

At this point, I used an immersion blender to thicken it up a bit. (Love that blender. Also good for smoothies.)

Serve in individual bowls and garnish with green onions, shredded cheese, and bacon.

You might want to serve this with Monica’s Cheesy Jalapeño Cornbread – also yummy.

6. I will be working on a Cladonia Shawl and the little Hexapuffs this weekend. Speaking of the little puffs, thanks to ALL of you who entered to win a free Mini Skein kit in last week’s blog contest! The random number generator picked Iris in NY for a free Lorna’s Laces Mini Kit. We’ll let you know as soon as the kits are in stock and ready for everyone.

So back to the mail-which-comes-too-late  - what time does your mail come? And does your mail person hate you, too? I think I need to bake her some cookies and do some brown-nosing. Or stop ordering yarn. (Yeah. Like that’s going to happen.)

Sheri hopingyouallhaveawonderfulweekend.
Andthatyourmailcomesearly.

Fall Fourth Quarter Challenge!

Photo: Sheri Berger
Wednesday, September 28th, 2011 in Loopy Challenges

Ok – so you all made me laugh with your comments on Monday’s blog. Thanks for proving that you know how to comment on a Monday blog. :-) I just wasn’t sure. (And not that I’m complaining. I do appreciate the fact that you read the blog and then click over and SHOP on Mondays!) Susan from Colorado has won a skein of Kauni and I’ve emailed her to see which color she’d like.

Today, however, we have more important things to discuss. Like the Fourth Quarter Challenge! I thought long and hard about what to do for this quarter. I know that so many of you just finished up with Camp Loopy, where we were pretty specific about what you should knit. (That was fun!) So with this challenge, it’s all about the yarn. You can knit anything you’d like, as long as it uses at least one full skein of Madelinetosh, in any of the Tosh yarn bases that we carry at The Loopy Ewe (Sock, Merino Light, Vintage, Sport, DK and Pashmina). You can knit up more than one skein in your project, but not any less than a full skein. Think sweaters, gloves, mittens, vests, shawls, socks, capelets, scarves, cowls and hats. This might be a great time to work on a holiday gift.

The rest of the specifics:

- Your project must be completed and photos uploaded to the Fourth Quarter Challenge Photo Gallery at The Loopy Ewe by Wednesday, January 4th.

- If you need to buy yarn for your project, you can get it at 20% off between today and next Wednesday, October 5th. (You must specify in your order notes, which yarn you are using for your project. We will then run the discount on our end, before shipping it out. Discount is limited to one project’s worth of yarn, ordered in one order. Make sure you count your yardage carefully and order enough. Remember, only Madelinetosh yarn is eligible for this challenge.)

- If you’re in the U.S. and going for free shipping (orders above $75), be careful that the discount won’t take you below the $75 or the system will add the regular $5.95 shipping back in to your order.

- All entries finished on time will be eligible for prizes (both randomly drawn and voted on).

- If you bought your project yarn between 9/28 and 10/5 (and if you complete your project and upload the photo by the deadline), we’ll double the FSB points for the yarn you used. Quite a few of you earned some extra $25 bonuses this summer by getting your FSB points doubled for the yarn you used for Camp Loopy!

- We do not have any more Madelinetosh yarn arriving before 10/5, but we do have a lot of Sock, Merino Light, Pashmina and Sport currently in stock for you. Less of the DK and Vintage.

- If you want to use yarn in your stash, just make sure that it’s one of the Madelinetosh bases listed above. You’ll still be eligible for the prizes at the end, but not the double FSB credits.

Now might be a great time to do a bigger project, due to the discount, the 3 month knitting time frame, and the opportunity to earn double FSB points on it if you finish in time.

Need some ideas?  Check out all three photo galleries from Camp Loopy. (One, Two, Three.) I can’t think of anything more motivating than your own photos from Camp this summer. You all did some awesome projects, and in one month’s time, no less! Three months will be a piece of cake.

So …. who’s in and what’re you going to make?

Sheri thinkingImightdoatwocolorshawlforthischallenge

Kauni, Kollage and Lavishea

Photo: Sheri Berger
Monday, September 26th, 2011 in Shop News

I think there’s just something a little magical about Kauni. The long stripes are fun to knit up and I find myself knitting longer just to get to the next color. I wanted a shawl that was a bit warmer for fall (more solid looking, not so much lace pattern), so I made this Citron out of the EPA color. Now I find myself checking out the other colors to see which I can make next. (Pretty sure I need a blue AND a red. But next, I might make this scarf out of two different colors.) Actually, it would also be fun to make this or this with two different colors as well. Now’s the time to pick out a few balls, since we just re-stocked the Kauni for you!

We’ve also added a few more things for today’s update as well. You’ll find:

Kollage Riveting – the cool yarn made from recycled blue jeans. We’ve re-stocked one of the sport weight colors (the rest are on backorder). But even more fun, in addition to the sport weight (which we’ve carried since it came out), we also now have it in Worsted weight as well. You’ll find it in all 9 colors. I think the Urbanity Vest would be great for layering as the weather gets cooler. (Speaking of layering – check out my friend Missy’s blog for a post on layering for the fall. Vests, cardigans, shawls and capelets are all perfect for layering when you don’t know if the weather will stay cool all day or warm up in the afternoon and turn cold again at night.)

Claudia Hand Painted – this was one of the very first lines that we carried here at The Loopy Ewe five years ago, and it’s still a favorite. Such fun color combinations. Here’s a cute Trellis Lace scarf that shows off the multi colors. Or how about the Seafoam Scarf?

Shibui – we got boxes and boxes from Shibui last week! We’re re-stocked on Sock and Silk Cloud, and we’ve also added their new Heichi base to the shop as well. Heichi is a worsted weight silk that has a tweedy look to it. Great for hats, scarves and vests. The Vortex hat has been a popular pattern for Heichi, and takes two skeins. I think the tweed look makes it a really nice yarn for guy projects (which you all ask about frequently!).

The Loopy Ewe Solid Series – white is back in stock! There are 34 pages of projects with our Solid Series on Ravelry. Have you popped over there to check them out?

Trendsetter Cash Woole – formerly known as Lane Borgosesia Cashwool, this lace weight yarn now comes in a ball and is ready to knit. They’ve also increased the yardage, but still kept the price under $20. We have 16 colors now in stock, with 17 more coming in the next couple of weeks.

Lavishea – the perfect little tin of hand moisturizer. These bars are quick and easy to use and don’t leave a greasy film on your skin. We have them in Lemongrass, Ginger Blossom, White Lily Amber, Cucumber Melon, Citrus Basil, Lavendar, Pear, Man Bar (kind of spicy), Yarn (vanilla) and Unscented. I keep one in my knitting bags.

Kollage Needles – square DPN’s and circulars have all been re-stocked. I find myself pulling out my square DPN’s frequently. I just like the feel of them.

Malabrigo Sock – this fingering weight yarn makes beautiful socks and the colors are gorgeous. You might also try it for fingerless mitts. Did you see the new Spatterdash Wristwarmers in Knitty? Those look fun.

Malabrigo Rasta – super bulky also translates to super fast to knit up. Try the Bulky Mobius Cowl (which uses 1 skein) or the Speedy Cabled Beret.

Berocco Sox – This sock yarn comes in a 440 yd. ball and knits up in fun patterns and stripes. We have new colors tonight, in addition to restocking some of the others. (If you notice an “x” in the colorway name, that means that color is no longer available to re-order, so we only have it while it lasts here.) It’s also fun to knit baby sweaters, hats, and scarves with patterning yarn liked this.

Berocco Ultra Alpaca Fine - Also a fingering weight yarn, the 50/30/20 (Peruvian Highland Wool, Nylon, Alpaca) makes warm and toasty socks or shawls for just $10.50 per 433 yd. skein. I’ve been wanting to make this Batik shawl forever. I think it would be beautiful in this Alpaca Fine.

Have fun poring over the new things tonight! And if you made it to the end of the post and leave a blog comment (because you all very seldom leave comments on Mondays – you’re too often popping right over to shop, which is also good!), you might just win a skein of Kauni ….

Sheri alwaysreadytogoknitonceIhaveperusedallofthesefunpatternsintheMondayposts

 

Big Project: Done

Photo: Sheri Berger
Friday, September 23rd, 2011 in Finished Projects

Well, actually, it was done last week. But I’m just now getting around to showing you the photos! I decided to do this throw for our bed in crochet, because I just knew it would work up faster than knitting something 800 yds. in size (Camp Loopy’s Project Three stipulation). Since we moved cross-country in July, I figured a quicker project was better this particular summer.

Of course I didn’t realize that I was going to end up using 2600 yards instead of 800 yards, in order to make it big enough. That kind of defeats the purpose of using a crocheted project for “speed”. But I do love the end result. It’s big, thick, warm and heavy – perfect for a Sunday afternoon nap in the wintertime. This was made using Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted Hand Dyes in Chocolate, Ecru, Lagoon and Tan.

I’m not sure I’ll ever be brave enough to crochet beyond these simple stitches and blankets, but this was fun to make. It ended up being wider than I needed it to be, in order to get the length I wanted. I had thought that if I made the very center of it long and narrow and I just kept going round and round the edges, then the throw itself would end up long and a bit more narrow. It ended up being 60″ x 64″. Shouldn’t it have worked out to be quite a bit longer than wider, considering how I started it in the middle?

Did you learn anything working on Project Three, or your last big project?

Sheri whonowhastwohexapuffsflatsdone.
Cutelittlethings.

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