Archives from June 2012

TNNA Market

Photo: Sheri Berger
Friday, June 29th, 2012 in Shop News

Last weekend was the TNNA Market that happens twice a year. TNNA stands for The National Needlearts Association, and we’ve been a member of that since the summer of 2006, when we officially opened our doors for The Loopy Ewe. Attending market is important for all kinds of reasons, and I’m always glad to go. There are classes for learning new things, meeting up with old friends and making new ones, seeing upcoming trends and products, ordering new lines for the shop, and eating Jeni’s ice cream. (Oh, wait. Jeni’s is only available at the summer TNNA in Columbus, OH. That makes attendance even more desirable at the summer market.)

I took a class with these two interesting guys. They are former fashion designers, turned knitting designers. They live in Norway and their class was a lot of fun. If you’re local, we’ll be teaching this class in the fall and will have the books soon for in-store purchase. If you’re not local and are interested, you can find their book on Amazon – Knitted Dolls. Isn’t it great how the dolls look just like them? They were entertaining and the book made us all want to knit ourselves into dolls. I haven’t been much of a toy knitter (like never) and am currently working through a cute brontosaurus which I’m not enjoying as much as I thought. But these dolls? Very very fun to work on.

I had Jeni’s ice cream twice, which frankly, was showing remarkable restraint given the fact that I was in town for four days. :-) It’s not unusual for people to wander over to North Market twice a day for ice cream. There are just too many awesome flavor combos, waiting to be tried. (My new favorite, which displaces former-favorite Salty Caramel, is Brown Butter Almond Brittle. Heavenly. Check out the list of flavors on their website.) There is typically a line of 20-40 people, and everyone just waits. It’s always worth it. You can find her cookbook on her website, which does include the recipe for their number one bestseller, the Salty Caramel. I need to try making it.

Standing in line with hundreds of shop owners for Sample It on Friday night, I had a “small world” experience. The person in front of me turned around and said, “I know you! The last time I saw you was in Pffafenhofen, Germany!” While Knitting Daughter and I were there visiting Claudia two years ago, we got to spend a couple of days hanging out in the Wollmeise shop. On one of those days, a gal from the States arrived to shop and we ended up going out for lunch together. It was so fun to see her again! And she had on this beautiful shawl, knit with 2 different colors of Kauni. She said it’s a simple triangle pattern – just increase on each end and do the {YO,K,YO} for increasing in the middle. You knit down and back with one color, then down and back with the other, just like Jared’s Striped Scarf, but with increases added in for a shawl.

Last but not least, I did find some fun things to add in to the shop. New lines, new bases in beloved current lines, new accessories, new kits, and more. We have these scheduled to arrive between now and the fall, and will be sharing them as they come in. It’s going to be fun! And busy!

Sheri hopingyouallhaveagreatweekendaheadofyou

P.S. Still far enough away from all fires that they are not a danger to us. But others are not so fortunate, so thanks for all of your continued thoughts and prayers for Colorado!

Project One: Finished

Photo: Sheri Berger
Wednesday, June 27th, 2012 in Finished Projects

I’ve finished my Project One from Camp Loopy. Have you? (A lot of you have! I’ve already approved more than 350 photos, but I have almost that many more waiting approval – which I will work on today. Since they’re not even due until Friday, I know plenty more will come in. I love seeing what you all have accomplished!) I made my second Color Affection for this project (here’s the first – done in Shalimar’s Breathless yarn.) This second one was done in Madelinetosh. I used a combination of Pashmina and Sport in Mourning Dove, Toast, and Fig. The color is truer in the second and third photos. It’s dark brown – not black like it looks in photo one.

I had picked out the light and dark browns from my stash, and was contemplating adding in an evergreen color, or a burgundy color …. thinking …. pondering …. when it dawned on me that the browns reminded me of this guy. So of course the third color had to be blue for his eyes. :-) Sometimes you just need to look at nature to find some really pretty color combinations. So now I call it my Mocha Shawl. I have knit a lot of things in my knitting life, but this is one of my favorites. I just love the colors and pattern. Someday I’m pretty sure I’ll have to make another Color Affection (Addiction/Affliction/Infection). But I’m trying to hold off as long as I can.

Thanks for weighing in on all of the “biggest” projects that you have knit up for our blog contest this month. That’s a lot of knitting! I used the random number generator to pick a winner for the $25 Loopy credit, and that goes to Sue from Nebraska, who made a Bridgewater Shawl out of 1827 yards of Wollmeise Lace. Congratulations, Sue!

I think I picked out my Project Two. I’m using 2 colors of Kauni, which makes me an official Dragonfly. I need to get working on it ….

Sheri whomightneedtoknitthroughafewlunchbreaksthismonth

Madelinetosh, JulieSpins and Malabrigo

Photo: Sheri Berger
Monday, June 25th, 2012 in Camp Loopy, Pattern Links, Shop News

We were buried in boxes again last week, and you’ll see the benefits of that over the next few Monday Updates! Tonight we’ve just added in:

Madelinetosh – Merino Light re-stocked in 90 colors. Woohoo! We had 16 or 18 cases of Madelinetosh delivered last week, so we have more re-stocks to put up as well in the next couple of weeks. But we started with the Merino Light, since we were lowest in-stock on that. It’s nice to have our Madtosh shelves filled back up again! (Shown here in Cobalt).

JulieSpins – Merino 370 (for your one-skein shawls, beautiful scarves, classy socks and stunning hats. Have I mentioned before how much I love all of the colors that Julie comes up with? I made this Pogona Shawl out of one skein of the Merino 370. (Shown here in Hollyhock.)

Malabrigo – Worsted (for your Fall sweater planning or your cute felted bag making) and Silky Merino (for some lightweight shawls, a jump on scarf and cowl knitting for the holidays, and just all around lusciousness).

Shibui – Baby Alpaca DK. My favorite pattern for this is the wonderful Cabled Rib Wrap that uses 3 skeins of Silk Cloud and 4 skeins of the Baby Alpaca DK, held and knit together. I’m making one in the ivory color. It’s so nice to knit with.

Yarn Caddies – You bought those all up so fast a couple of weeks ago, so George brought more in for us! These are handmade in Wyoming by a retired gentleman who just happened to bring us a sample one day, when his wife came to shop. We bought all that he had with him and he went home to make more. Each one has been hand done with 5 coats of stain and wax and the workmanships is exquisite. He’s happy that you like them, because he says it’s a good hobby to keep him out of his wife’s way when she’s knitting. :-) We have them in Oak, Cherry, Walnut and Cedar and they are gorgeous.

Are you ready for Project Two of Camp Loopy to start? The official start date is this Wednesday, June 27th. (Coincidentally, that’s also the date that Project One is to be finished.) For Project One, we divided you up into different Canoe Groups on Ravelry, based on the color of your project. For Project Two, we’re dividing you up into different bug groups (because camping involves a lot of bugs), based on the weight of your yarn. Later tonight, you’ll find the groups set up on Ravelry and ready for chatting with new friends about Project Two! We’ll have the No See-ums (for laceweight projects), the Lightening Bugs (for fingering weight projects), the Dragonflies (for DK and Sport weight projects) and the June Bugs (for Worsted and Bulky weight projects). If you’re on Rav and want to participate, head on over to the Loopy Groupie board and find your Bug Project Two Camping Group.

Sheri itwouldhelpiIcouldmakeupmymindonmyproject

Shawl Storage?

Photo: Sheri Berger
Thursday, June 21st, 2012 in Sheri's Recipes

Loopy Groupie Kim in PA had a great question that she wanted answered by all of you blog readers. She wonders if any of you have good ideas for shawl storage? I keep the ones I wear frequently draped over a mannequin in my office at home. It’s not the greatest system, but it keeps them fairly wrinkle-free. (Most of the shawls I’ve made are on display here at the shop. If I had to store all of my shawls somewhere, the mannequin would not work, as it would topple over!) We talked about where you store your “most wearable knits” in my blog post back in November, but really, shawls are different than scarves and take a little extra care to keep them looking lovely, especially when you have a lot of them. So fill us in. How do you store your shawls?

For all of you Camp Loopy campers, I tried a new s’more recipe last weekend and it passed the family taste test. (Original recipe from Mel’s Sweet Life via Pinterest. Check out her awesome looking Homemade Ricotta Pizza recipe on this week’s post.)

Peanut-Butter-Cup-S’Mores-BarsPeanut Butter Cup S’Mores Bars

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
16 peanut butter cups (regular size)
1 1/2 cups marshmallow fluff (or mini marshmallows)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 x 8 pan with cooking spray. (I did 1 1/2 times the recipe and baked it in an 8 1/2 x 11 pan).

With a mixer, beat together butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla and mix until combined. With mixer on low, slowly add in the baking powder, salt, flour and cracker crumbs.

Spread 2/3 of the dough into the bottom of your prepared pan. Lightly press the peanut butter cups into the dough and then spread the marshmallow fluff (or marshmallows) over the top. (Note: if you accidently buy snack sized peanut butter cups like someone in our house did – not mentioning any names – you can fill in the extra space with chocolate chips. Because heaven forbid that you don’t get enough chocolate in there.)

Press the remaining dough into an 8 x 8 shape on a non-stick surface (I used waxed paper) and then lay it on top and press down lightly.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the edges just start to brown. Let cool for 2 hours before cutting into squares, so that the bars have a chance to set.

I’m off to our TNNA Market to find fun new things for the shop this weekend. I get back on Monday, so the Monday blog and update might be a little later in the evening, but it will be a good one!

Don’t forget to tell us how you store your shawls!

Sheri hopingit’snottoohotinColumbus,OHthisweekend

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