Archives from December 2011

First Quarter 2012 Challenge

Photo: Sheri Berger
Friday, December 30th, 2011 in Loopy Challenges

Many of you have been asking about the First Quarter 2012 Challenge, and we’re ready to get going on it!

In 2011, we did these challenges:

1st Quarter:  Cables
2nd Quarter:  Knitting for charity
3rd Quarter: Camp Loopy (2 color shawls, adult socks/mitts/gloves, and an 800 yd.+ project)
4th Quarter: Knit with Madelinetosh, any base

For our First Quarter 2012 Challenge, the challenge is to knit something with yarn that contains silk in it. It doesn’t have to be 100% silk – it just needs to have some percentage of silk. Not only is silk warm, but it adds a bit of “extra” to any project. Perfect for scarves, shawls, socks, and sweaters, so your options are wide open. Here are the particulars of the challenge:

You can have a discount for this yarn: If you need to purchase yarn for this project, you can get a 20% discount on it for this next week. (Limited to one Challenge Project’s worth of yarn, ordered in one order – so calculate carefully and get enough yardage when you place the order.) The discount runs from today, 12/29, through next Friday at midnight, 1/6. To get the discount, you must leave us an order note indicating that you are participating in the challenge and letting us know which yarn to apply the discount to. When your order comes through to us, we’ll apply the discount. If you’re going for free shipping in the U.S., make sure that your discount would not take you below the $75 level, or the website will add the regular $5.95 shipping charge back in to your order.

You can get a bonus for finishing in time: If you purchase the yarn for your project from us between 12/29 and 1/6, and if you upload your finished project into the First Quarter ’12 Photo Gallery at The Loopy Ewe by 4/4, we will give you double Frequent Shopper points on your project’s yarn. (So if your yarn was $20, you will get $20 towards your FSB amounts when you purchase it, and we’ll add $20 more to your FSB totals if you get your project done and photo uploaded in time.) If you change your mind once you get the yarn and end up using something else for the project, it’s no longer eligible for the double FSB points, unless it’s yarn that was also purchased from us between 12/29 and 1/6.

You may also use yarn from your stash: You are welcome to use yarn from your stash, as long as it’s a line that we carry at The Loopy Ewe. If you finish in time and upload your photo to the First Quarter Challenge Gallery, you will be eligible for the Reader’s Choice Award and the randomly drawn Challenge Winner award. ($25 gift certificates to The Loopy Ewe.) Be sure to indicate what yarn it is in the photo notes, when you upload your photo. Projects with yarn from stash are not eligible for the double FSB points bonus.

Here are some of the options for yarn with silk in it at The Loopy Ewe:

Lorna’s Laces Pearl (shown above in Purple Club), Lorna’s Laces Honor, Lorna’s Laces Helen’s Lace, Shibui Heichi, Shibui Staccato, Shibui Silk Cloud (shown above in Artichoke), Cascade Heritage Silk, Cascade Heritage Silk Paints, Cascade Epiphany, Malabrigo Silky Merino, Spud and Chloe Fine, Sweet Georgia CashSilk Lace, Madelinetosh Pashmina, Schaefer Audrey, Schaefer Heather, Fiesta Gracie’s Lace, Hand Maiden Camelspin, Hand Maiden Sea Silk (shown above in Nova Scotia),  Hand Maiden Swiss Sea Sock, Hand Maiden Swiss Silk, Tempted Prissy Grrl Lace, Juliespins Silky 435, Enchanted Knoll Farm Enchantments, Blue Sky Alpaca Silk (shown above in Ruby), Studio June Starstruck, Artyarns Regal Silk, Artyarns Beaded Silk (shown here in #197) and Spirit Trail Fiber Sunna (shown below in Tuscany).

I hope you have fun finding the right pattern and the right yarn to jump in and participate with us. For those who wonder - we don’t have any silk-related yarn going up in this Monday’s Update, 1/2, so what we have on the website now is what is available for the discount week. Also, if you find other yarn on our site with silk in it, the discount and challenge applies to those as well. I just linked to some of the lines that had the most choices, above.

Monday is a holiday here in the U.S. so we’ll be out of the shop that day. But we’ll start getting your Challenge orders out today as they come in, and we’ll be back in the shop on Tuesday to work on the rest. Have a safe and happy New Year!

Sheri makingashawlwithLorna’sLacesPearlformyproject


Herman (the name made all the difference)

Photo: Sheri Berger
Wednesday, December 28th, 2011 in Shop News

This new Colorado post office decided that we needed one of their official postal cages for all of the boxes that we ship out. The cage is 6 feet tall, 4 feet wide and almost 3 feet deep – it’s huge. It holds a lot of packages, and sometimes we have to fill it two or three times in a day. It’s useful for taking a lot of packages down the elevator at once. But did I mention that it’s huge? And ugly? When they said we were to store it here so that we could fill it up each day, I tried to envision that big, ugly, goofy looking thing taking up space in the shop. It looks out of place. Definitely doesn’t go with the pretty yarn.

Then someone suggested that we should name it. Maybe that would help. And someone else said, “How about Herman, after big, goofy looking Herman Munster?”  We decided that the name fit perfectly. Now, all of a sudden, we like our big, ugly, goofy looking mail cage. It has a personality. Kind of out of place, definitely bumbling and a bit difficult to maneuver. But we like it. And all of your packages get a ride down the elevator in Herman, so I know you’ll like it, too.

Sheri doesanyonelesenameinanimateobjectsfromtimetotime?

Merry Christmas, Make Some Cookies!

Photo: Sheri Berger
Friday, December 23rd, 2011 in Sheri's Recipes

elves-themselvesWe’re looking forward to a weekend of relaxing, celebrating, and being with family. Knitting Daughter and Web Guy have been here all week, and WH’s mom arrives today. I still can’t quite believe that Christmas is here and the month of December is almost gone! (Know what else is gone? These cute “Elves Themselves” figures because they don’t make them any more. This is my favorite – the one holding the manger.)

Before the New Year diets kick in, you ought to give these cookies a try. They are seriously delicious. S.E.R.I.O.U.S.L.Y. They melt in your mouth and your family will gobble them up and ask you to make more. (Found on Pinterest, from this blog, originally published in the Salt Lake Tribune.)

Paradise-Bakery-Sugar-CookiesParadise Bakery Sugar Cookies

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cups shortening
3/4 tsp. vanilla
1 large egg, beaten
4 1/3 cups cake flour*
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
plain or colored sugar for decorating

Heat over to 375 degrees.

In medium bowl, cream together both sugars and shortening, using an electric mixer. Mix on slow speed for 30 seconds until blended, and then mix on medium speed for 3 minutes.

Slowly add vanilla and beaten egg, while mixing.

In a separate bowl, combine cake flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Gradually add the dry mixture to the creamed mixture, mixing slowly until just blended. (Do not over mix.)

Roll a tablespoon sized ball in your hand, flatten slightly, and then toss in sugar.

Bake 9-10 minutes.  Cookies are done when small cracks appear on the top and they are pale golden. Do not let the edges get brown.

Let cool and enjoy!

*If you don’t have cake flour on hand – and I didn’t – it’s easy enough to make. Measure out 1 cup of flour. Remove 2 Tbl. of flour from the measuring cup and add in 2 Tbl. of cornstarch instead. Sift this 4-5 times and then it’s ready to use in your recipe. (Since this recipe takes 4 1/3 cups, I measured out 4 1/3 cups of flour, removed 8 Tbl. of the flour, added in 8 Tbl. of cornstarch, and sifted it 5 times. Worked great.)

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, a Loopy Ewe Gift Certificate in your stocking, and a relaxing weekend with the ones you love.

Sheri (with holiday wishes from my whole family to all of you, too!)

(P.S. We’re in the shop and shipping today, but Monday the 26th is a holiday. We’ll be back in there on Tuesday again.)

Backyard Visitor

Photo: Sheri Berger
Wednesday, December 21st, 2011 in Around the House

Soon after we moved into this house, we noticed a cat sitting in the back of our yard, some afternoons. Of course I tried to make friends with him, but he doesn’t let anyone get too close. We (ok, I) named him Mocha.

He has gotten braver. This fall he started coming up on our deck in the mornings and peering in our back door. This causes our (indoor) cat Gracie all kinds of stress. She does not want anyone else on the deck. (Our other cat Zoe doesn’t mind at all. She’s a bit more mellow about such things.)

One morning I saw him drinking from a puddle on the deck, so I put water out for him. After that, he’d come 2 or 3 times some days, just to get a drink. So when the weather got cold, of course I had to get a heated bird bath so that he (and the birds) could have water all winter long.

He seems to like it here. Sometimes he even comes and sits on our window ledges and looks in.

Did I mention that Gracie doesn’t like him hanging around?

He comes as early as 6:30 am to drink, and the other night I saw him getting water on the porch at 9:30 pm. I’m getting worried that he has no home and sleeps under our deck. What will happen when it gets really cold? Paul assures me that he probably has a cat door in his home, where he is free to come and go. But I think I had better worry about him all winter long. You know, because worrying is so effective.

So far I have refrained from buying an outdoor heated cat house, and putting food out for him. So far. But I’m still worried about him.

Sheri istherea”bleedingheart”signonmyhouse

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