Many of you are familiar with Kelly at Romney Ridge and her wonderful sheep. Kelly does the Romney Ridge Calendar for us each year. (If you follow her on Facebook, you’ll get to see cute pictures like this all of the time!) When I saw this one, I emailed her right away to ask if I could share it with you, and also to see if I could get a big print of it for display here at Loopy. That’s Maggie O’Toolie standing up at the front and poking her nose through the fence. You can see Mabel behind her with the big ears and underbite. Kelly said the grain truck was coming down the drive, and they were all crowding forward because they know what the grain truck means! We have a big print of this on canvas, behind our checkout counter. It’s fun to have these sheep watching us pack up and ship off your orders every day. Here’s a link to the photo, if you want to have your own copy of Maggie and Mabel and the rest of the gang.
It’s time to pick a Reader’s Choice for the favorite First Quarter Challenge Project! We had 173 entries in the contest and each person had to knit with a yarn that contained some percentage of silk in it. The finished projects are beautiful. Congratulations to all who knit with us and completed it on time! Take a look in the Photo Gallery and tell us which one is your favorite (firstname.lastname@example.org). We’ll compile the votes and will announce the winner (plus the randomly drawn winner as well) soon.
You can still join us for the Second Quarter Challenge, which is to knit something up in a yarn that contains some percentage of cotton in it. Perfect time to make yourself a spring/summer sweater if you have warm weather coming soon!
We had two blankets in the shop last week that were just amazing. Elf Roberta brought in her Sock Yarn Blanket, made up of leftover sock yarn bits and bobs. It looks way more planned and organized than bits and bobs, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t it be fun using a combination of multi’s and solids from our Lorna’s Laces Mini Skein kits, with some leftover yarns thrown in there as well?
Cast on 8 stitches on size 3 needles. (Here’s an easy way to do it: Emily Ocker’s Circular Cast On). Re-arrange so you have 2 stitches on each of 4 needles.
1. Knit one round even, joining into a circle and being careful not to twist stitches.
2. [K1, YO, PM, K 1, PM, YO] x 4
4. Knit to marker then [YO, SM, K1, SM, YO], knit to the next marker then [YO, SM, K1, SM, YO], and so on for the whole round.
Repeat rows 3 and 4 until blanket is the desired size, changing yarn colors as often as you’d like. Bind off loosely. Enjoy!
(K = Knit, PM = Put Marker, SM = Slip Marker, YO = Yarn Over)
Here’s another beautiful afghan. We’ve all been watching Sheryl make progress on this at Thursday Night Knit Night, and it’s finally done! This is the Girasole pattern done in Dream in Color’s Cashmere Blend Worsted (9 skeins of Emerald Darkness). We did a Girasole KAL a few summers ago. You can see some of the finished Girasoles here in our Loopy Gallery. I made one that summer out of Cascade Eco Alpaca and this was really the first true lace project that I had done. (Which will tell you how easy this pattern really is. It looks impressive – no doubt about it. But row by row, it’s amazingly easy to knit up.)
It also looks beautiful folded in half and wrapped around you like a shawl, doesn’t it? If you did it in a fingering or lace weight, it would probably be a perfect wrap size. That makes this pattern do-able in any weight.
Check out my new pair of socks. (Shown here in Grincheux.) Nope – I didn’t photoshop it to get the second one. Both are knit, fair and square! I just had such a good time watching the stripes come along that I wanted to do another one when the first sock was done. And now I’m planning two more pairs, because there are other colors I want to work on, too. My socks are a plain vanilla toe-up sock with 2 x 2 ribbing for the cuff. This is a gorgeous self-striping line from Biscottie and Cie in Canada. (Here’s a free pattern on Knitty.com, if you’d like to tackle some spiral socks.) If socks aren’t your thing, self-striping yarn also looks really cute in hats, gloves, and mitts or mittens. We’re really happy to be able to add Biscotte and Cie to our lineup of indie-dyed yarns at The Loopy Ewe!
In addition to the Biscotte & Cie line, we’ve also just added:
Madelinetosh – Sock. Now in stock in over 100 colors. This has been a popular line for socks, but we also see people using it a lot for one skein shawls. Kirsten Kapur’s Nefertem Shawl was done with a skein of this. It would also be beautiful for this drapey Ecuador cardigan by Joji Locatelli, which would be a fun spring/summer wear. Or how about picking three colors for a Color Affection shawl? (I am working on a Color Affection this week, because someone wore one in last week and I decided I had to have one. Story of my life here at Loopy.)
Done Roving – Frolicking Feet. The color combinations are always so fun in this line. Shown here in Cozy Cove and available in 30 different color combinations. Multi colors are great for sock patterns that let the colors show well, like Yarnissima’s Brainless, Gail Marracci’s Intrepid Traveler, and Dena Stelly’s Dalekanium.
Dream in Color – Smooshy. This is another yarn that is good for socks, but also for shawls. How about Rose Beck’s Sunflower Shawlette, or her Sugared Violets? I also love Marjorie Dussaud’s Calumet, which I think would show off the Smooshy perfectly.
Dream in Color – Everlasting DK. I think this is some of the prettiest yarn colors we’ve gotten from Dream in Color. 32 color choices, perfect for socks and sweaters, but also an easy way to make that little fingering shawlette pattern that you love (whichever one that might be) in a little larger size. (Shown here in Morning Glory.) If you’re in the mood to start your holiday gift knitting, Nadia Elgawarsha’s Winglet is a gorgeous hat that would look pretty in this Everlasting DK. Or how about the Lanata sweater or the Regent Sweater that just came out in the new issue of Twist Collective?
Three Bags Full – Project Bags. When these arrived this week, the Loopy Elves were all over them. We have them in Owls, Sushi, Daisies, Sugar Skulls, Polka Dots, Monkeys, Sheep, and more. Surely you need a new project bag?
Have fun shopping. You can bet we’ll be oohing and aahing over your choices as we pack up your orders in the morning!
Remember Herman? He’s the big mail carrier-cage that transports all of your orders out the Loopy door, down the elevator, and over to the mail truck each day. I don’t think our doors or the elevator in this building were meant to transport Herman on a daily basis. Things are getting a little dinged up, as the mail carrier schleps that heavy cart around.
This week has been especially dingy, as we have a substitute mail carrier who has added more scrapes than usual to the doorways. (I haven’t checked the elevator. I almost don’t want to.) To be fair, Herman was built for post office back rooms – wide open spaces, concrete floors – not yarn shops. He weighs a bunch when he’s filled up, and he’s hard to maneuver. (Click on the photo below to see his space.)
I think it’s time for an intervention. While we can’t get rid of Herman (we need him for all of those daily boxes going out), we can make things a little softer on his edges. Are you up for a Herman-Yarn-Bombing? (Yarn bombing – see examples here and here and here.) If you have any leftover swatches of yarn that you’d like to send us (or if you’d like to knit up a little something for Herman), we’d love to have it. It doesn’t have to be fancy or elaborate. Does he look like a fancy sort of guy? A potholder sized square or a strip of I-cord out of some of your yarn scraps would do. You pop them in the mail to us and we’ll get them attached to Herman. Of course we’ll take a photo when he has been fully bombed.
Herman thanks you, the mail carrier thanks you, and we thank you! (Also: I promise to carefully remove all yarn before we turn Herman back over to the Post Office if we ever move from this location. Just in case any postal workers are tempted to email and tell me we are not allowed to “deface” USPS property. Seriously, you’re going to wish all of your postal cages were yarn bombed when you see Herman done up right.)