Thanks to those of you who have checked in via email and comments, to let us know that you are ok, despite this massive storm that has moved through your area. We continue to watch the news and are thinking about all of you. What a storm.
Since today is Halloween, I decided to share some fun blog posts from other people! These are some of the blogs that I read regularly, and don’t share them often enough with all of you. (And then scroll to the bottom of the post for a chance to win a treat from us!)
Want to see how some zoo animals react to pumpkins and masks and other Halloween celebrations? (I like the baby Cheetah trying to hide behind the pumpkin. Although the monkey and mask is cute, too.)
Here are some cute dinner ideas. (I like the Rice Krispie Candy Corn Cupcakes and the Mummies in a Blanket.)
My favorite food blog is the one my dear friend Monica writes. You might want to check out her:
Whole Grain Maple Pumpkin Spice Donuts (good any time this fall)
Overnight Slow Cooker Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal (and her other flavors of overnight oatmeal)
Hot Spiced Drinks (yum – hot apple cider!)
Maple Pumpkin Spiced Lattes (made in your slow cooker)
Baked Potato Soup (can also use leftover mashed potatoes. I made this last winter and it’s delicious.)
Of course she has tons of non-fall recipes, too. Check her recipe index.
Check out the Halloween Hay Bales, all dressed up for the holiday. (Mummy – ha!)
Free printable pumpkin carving patterns.
Last minute quick-and-easy costume ideas. (I can’t pick a favorite – several of them cracked me up! But Ceiling Fan? Love that.)
Creepy music to download for free.
Since we don’t get to go trick or treating with our own candy bag any more, we thought we’d put together a bag of treats for one lucky winner! (Shown here, $60 value.) If you’d like a chance to win, just leave a comment below and tell us your favorite food or drink that you make (or buy) when it’s cold and rainy and blustery and you just need something warm and wonderful. I tend towards soup when it’s cold outside. Even better if I can make it in the slow cooker so that it’s ready and smells wonderful when I get home from work. I have a few favorites. Wild Rice and Chicken Soup, Lasagne Soup, Cheddar Chowder, and Cold Weather Chili. Even better with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches on the side. So what is your go-to food when it’s cold and you need something that warms you up? We’ll randomly draw a winner next week!
We’ve been thinking about you East Coasters all day, and hoping that you stay safe and warm and dry. (The stash is in a safe place, right?) What a storm to ride out. We’ll stay on top of the news and do let us know that you’re doing ok!
It’s Monday, but we don’t have an Update tonight. (I know!) Although we have lots and lots on order, we just didn’t get much in last week to put up. Maybe the UPS and FedEx people got together and decided to stockpile our new shipments, to get a week off? Of course you realize we still have thousands and thousands of skeins of yarn nestled on the shelves here at Loopy, ready to hop in a package and fly on over to your home, right? So it’s not like you have nothing to choose from without a Monday Update. Since some of you are home-bound with Hurricane Sandy, I thought I’d take the time to start our holiday gift knitting discussion, and give you some fun possibilities. You might get some good knitting time in over the next week. (Maybe by candlelight.)
Teacher Gift Ideas: A cute stuffed apple, 3D Apple Bookmark, Apple Coasters, or an apple cozy in Cascade 220 Superwash 808 and 887. Of course you don’t have to make them something apple-themed. You could also opt for a fingerless mitts like Susie Roger’s Reading Mitts (in Cascade Eco Alpaca for soft mitts in neutral colors that go with all coat colors, or Dream in Color’s Everlasting DK for some color pop), or Cafe au Lait mitts (tucked into a new coffee mug with a Starbucks coupon, in Road to China Light, shown here in Carnelian), or the Cabled Pattern Wrist Warmers from Drops, which remind me of a favorite cabled turtleneck for your hands (perfect in Madelinetosh Sport).
Cowls like Biscuit (done in luscious cashmere from Jade Sapphire’s line), or Abstract Leaves Cowl (in Lorna’s Laces Solemate, shown here in South Shore, which will help to regulate the hot/cold, and with the option of beads), or a Brighton (in your favorite multi-color from Three Irish Girls Adorn or Glenhaven), or a Byzantine (in The Loopy Ewe Solid Series colors).
Shawls like Cinnamon Toast (in Stonehedge Shepherd’s Wool DK), or Trillion (in Mountain Colors Bearfoot, shown here in Sapphire Trail), or Lightwaves (in Kauni Multi and Kauni Solid), or Topiary (in Madelinetosh Pashmina Worsted).
I know it would be helpful to start all of the gift knitting in January, but despite my best intentions, it never happens. Why? Because I scurry around and make gifts in November and December and then figure I want to knit something for myself, come January. One of these years I’ll learn (plan, execute) better. But not yet. Next week I’ll give you some pattern ideas for the guys in your life. Are you making a lot of gifts this year? And did you plan better than I did?
Last night was an extra fun Knit Night! My friends Claudia (the Wollmeise on the left) and Maria (on the right) have been here visiting from Germany this past week. It has been so fun to have them here and I am glad we could share a Loopy Knit Night with them, too. We’ve done a lot of knitting, shopping, touring, and eating over the past 8 days. They’re heading back home to Germany today, but Claudia will be back for the Spring Fling in April. (Spring Fling information will be out next month.)
Here’s a super quick and easy dinner idea that my family likes. I hope your family will like it, too.
French Bread Pizzas (found on Pinterest, originally from the What’s Cooking with Ruthie blog)
French Bread (unsliced)
Your favorite pizza sauce (I like using my spaghetti sauce for this.)
Your favorite pizza toppings (We used sausage and pepperoni.)
Your favorite pizza cheese (We used Mozarella.)
Cut the bread lengthwise, so you have a top and a bottom. Then cut each piece in half so that you have 4 large pieces from the loaf.
Spread the pizza sauce on each slice, then top with your pizza toppings. Finish it off with the cheese and bake it at 500 degrees for 5-7 minutes.
I’ve finished two more woven scarves, and I have to say, it’s really fun and I love the results. I’m still working on getting my edges even, but washing and blocking helps a lot. (Not really blocking. You actually wash it and hang it on a rod to dry. I like that better than pinning out the edges of a shawl. Shawls aren’t really “wash and hang” types of things.) All in all, weaving/washing/blocking sure goes much faster than knitting. No wonder I’m hooked on it.
I haven’t tried a two color woven scarf yet, because I’m having too much fun weaving with multi-colors. Do you ever find a gorgeous multi-color yarn that you want to buy, but you’re not sure what you can make with it that will work well with the coloring? Weaving always works well! But if you want to knit with multicolors and you need a good pattern for it – try Lintilla, Hitchhiker, Wurm, or Boomerette. (Need suggestions for multi-color yarn? Lorna’s Laces, Hand Maiden, Fleece Artist, Mountain Colors, Studio June, Sweet Georgia, and Three Irish Girls are all great choices.)
This one was done with Wollmeise Sock in True Love.
And this one was done with Wollmeise Sock in Versuchskaninchen.
I have a few more colors set aside for future scarves. But right now, I need to get back to some knitting. My sweater is not progressing. I’ve decided I’m not a good sweater knitter, although I keep finding sweater patterns that I like. I’m not giving up on it because I love the yarn and want it to be a sweater, but I do find sweaters challenging to stick with, for some reason.
Have you discovered there is one thing that you’re not as good at knitting (or finishing)?