Happy Thanksgiving to everyone here in the U.S.! I love having a holiday that focuses on thinking about all the things we are thankful for in our lives. I am thankful for a lot of things and thankful for a lot of people. Every one of you are on my “Thankful For These People” list. I’m so glad to know you through The Loopy Ewe, and the Elves and I are grateful for your business and support. We love what we do, and we’re happy every time we pack an order up for you and ship it off to your home. Thank you for letting us be a part of the creative side of your life!
We’ll be home (being thankful and eating good food) tomorrow, but we’ll be back in the shop on Friday, ready for you to pop by the shop in person or online! In fact, we have a couple of things coming up for you. On Friday, we’ll be putting up a new batch of Wollmeise DK. The boxes are hot off the postal truck, direct from Germany! (See what I did there? I told you about a Wollmeise update ahead of time. We’ll see how that goes.) Then on Monday, we’re celebrating Cyber Monday by putting all of our true solid colored yarns and solid colored fabrics on sale for 20% off that day. We’ll have the sale prices adjusted on the website, so you can be sure which yarn and fabric is a part of sale. We have a LOT of solids! Several Cascade lines, Stonehedge Fiber’s Shepherd’s Wool, Blue Sky, Spud and Chloe, The Loopy Ewe Solid Series, etc. I’ll link to the bases that are on sale in Monday morning’s blog post, so check back with us. We won’t have a regular Monday Update on Monday, since we’ll be working on the sale.
Have a great rest off your week, and we’ll be back to the blog on Monday!
Sheri and The Loopy Elves
P.S. Congratulations to Jenny in MO, Diana in GA, and Nancy in OH for winning our Downton Abbey Fat Quarters contest. The fabric will ship out to you today!
Desert Vista Dyeworks – Voir (gradients) and Viso Self-Striping. We love using gradients for shawls and scarves (where the color progression is evident) and the self-striping is fun for socks, cowls, hats, mitts and gloves. (Shown here in the self-striping Summer Harvest.) These would be cute in Bright Colors Baby Hat, Groovy Socks, Geruit Socks, Euclid Socks (how cool are those?), Bias Lace Scarf, and TGV High Speed Knitting.
Shibui – Pebble. More of the beautiful laceweight yarn that is 48% Silk, 36% Wool, and 16% Cashmere. Ever since making a Nuvem out of laceweight yarn this summer, I’m sold on laceweight scarves and shawls. They are so lightweight and drapey, but the base composition makes them very warm. Also great for light (but warm) hats and mitts! (Shown here in Chestnut #14.) Try this in Lace Wrap, Featherweight Cashmere Fingerless Gloves, Pebble Peak Hat, Cliff Hat, and Cliff Sweater.
Madelinetosh – Pashmina Worsted. This worsted weight yarn is 75% Merino Wool, 15% Silk and 10% Cashmere. It makes great hats and scarves, but is also wonderful for sweaters, vests and shawls. Now is the time to get your sweater quantities! (Shown here in Baroque Violet.) Try this in Vancouver Fog Mitts, Godric’s Hollow Hat, Kendall – Basic Slouch Hat, Darkside Cowl, Brickless Shawl, Millwater Infinity Cowl, On the Grass Sweater, Dark and Stormy Sweater, and Birch Bark Sweater.
Cloud 9 Fabrics - Bark & Branch. (Adorable birds, leaves and trees in blues, golds, reds, pewters and blacks.)
Free Spirit Fabrics - Sunshine & Roses (sweet ginghams, damasks and roses in pinks, blues, and celery greens) and Lottie Da (bigger rose prints, dots, and featherleaf in purples, lime greens, charcoals and pinks, a sampling shown below.)
Birch Fabrics - Solids (great to use with their prints in your quilts and clothes) and Charley Harper. This might be my favorite ever fabric – leaves, birds, dots, etc, done up in artist Charley Harper’s timeless designs. (A few of the fabric options shown below.)
Timeless Treasures Fabrics - Tonga Batiks and Tonga Treats packs (a sampling shown below). More beautiful batiks in a variety of colors and designs, as well as packs of strips and squares in the Tonga Treats pre-packs.
Moda Fabrics - Sun-Drenched Batiks (gorgeous oranges, yellows, greens, pinks and purples, a sampling shown below), Honky Tonk (flowers, dots and plaids in greens, reds, golds and browns), and Floral Gatherings (tiny prints, perfect for mixing in with bolder prints on quilts).
Patterns from Little Red Hen and From My Heart to Your Hands.
Have fun wandering the virtual aisles here at The Loopy Ewe, and we’ll get your orders packed up and shipped out quickly this week!
Note – we will be closed on Thursday of this week for Thanksgiving, but open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10 am – 4:30 pm in-store. Of course always open 24/7 online!
Today we’re starting a new feature on the blog, where we’ll be profiling a different designer a couple of times a month. Not only that, but it comes with a special offer for you from that designer! I am starting today with Jenna from Retro Lemon Studio, because I saw this adorable Fox in Socks pattern on Pinterest and searched her down on Ravelry. Not only is the Fox pattern cute, but you’ll see the other fun things she has designed, sprinkled in photos throughout the post. (photos used with permission). Be sure to take advantage of the special offer for you at the bottom of today’s post, in case you’d like to make one of these cute toys for yourself or a friend.
Jenna: I’ve been knitting for almost 5 years, and I’m self taught. I borrowed some learn to knit DVD’s from the library, and watched them over, and over, until I caught on. Luckily, YouTube videos helped every time I got stuck with anything beyond the basics.
Jenna: Toys are my all time favorite things to knit! I love that they don’t have to fit, and if they end up a little wonky it’s ok. But, a close second would be lace shawls.
Loopy: That’s true. No sizing issues, and everyone loves a cute toy, no matter how it turns out. What is the most challenging thing that you have knit to date?
Jenna: The Advent Calendar Scarf 2012 by Kristin Benecken. I actually was able to keep up and finish on time last year! There will be a new pattern for 2013, and I’m going to attempt to keep up again this year.
Loopy: I like the idea of an advent scarf, but I have too many gifts to finish in December to be able to do that, I think! That’s great that you were able to keep up last year, and plan to do the same this year. When did you start designing, and what spurred that interest?
Jenna: I started designing in 2010, but didn’t put out my first pattern until Fall 2011. I never thought I’d have the skill to be a sweater or sock knitter, and when I discovered knitted toys it was love at first cast on! I started making toys for my kids, and before I knew it I was trying to make the different things my kids would request. I eventually built up the confidence to put out my own pattern with the encouragement from a friend. This year I have branched out into accessories, which has been really exciting!
Jenna: That’s almost like asking if I have a favorite child, lol! But, I have to admit George the Giant Squid has a special place in my heart. Giant Squids are my favorite animal, and it took me a long time to get the pattern just right.
Loopy: George is definitely cute. I think I’m partial to Frances the Sock Wearing Fox. Although Sam the Super Frog is pretty fun, too. They’re ALL fun! What is your favorite part of designing? And your not so favorite part?
Jenna: My favorite part of designing is seeing my ideas come to life! My least favorite part of designing is not being able to get something to turn out right, and having to rip it out and then having to knit it over and over.
Loopy: Do you do this business full-time, or on the side? And is that hard?
Jenna: My designing has become a full time job for me. It has ended up being harder than I expected, because you just never know what people are going to like. Also, sales fluctuate a lot, and you can’t always count on a set amount of money coming in.
Jenna: I have a super supportive husband, and am a mom to my 3 awesome kiddos. I have taught my daughter to knit, but she didn’t really take to it. My twin boys have expressed interest in learning, but I haven’t gotten the chance for them to sit still long enough to give it a real try. So at the moment I’m the lone knitter in my family, but I’m hoping to be able to pass it on to at least one of my kids sometime down the road.
Jenna: I spin (on a spinning wheel), sew, scrapbook, read, and ocassionally bake. I love anything crafty, and love trying new things.
Loopy: What would be your favorite way to spend a day off?
Jenna: I love to shop my favorite thrift stores looking for treasures, and then relax with some knitting in the big comfy chair at my favorite coffee shop.
Jenna: Tea. Water (I don’t drink soda). Continental. Multicolors!
Loopy: Thanks for being part of our Designer Spotlight today!
To celebrate being in the spotlight, Jenna would like to offer our blog readers 20% off of one toy pattern, valid between 11/22 and 11/29. Code: loopyewe You can find Jenna’s toy patterns on Ravelry, but good luck in picking just one. I have several on my favorites list already! Most all of Jenna’s toys are done in worsted weight. Cascade 220 and 220 Superwash are perfect for the solids, and Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted would be great for the multi-colored ones. Most of them don’t take too much yarn and they look fairly quick to knit up. The other nice thing about toys? They’re perfect for all ages. Don’t you need a little Bot Byte at your desk? (Shown in this last photo.) That one’s free! Pop over and check them all out.
I heard a report today that people use enough wrapping paper during the holidays to wrap around the world eight times. Eight times! And what happens to most of that paper? Tossed into the garbage on December 26th. Would you like some better ideas for holiday gift wrapping?
Blue Q Bags. Not only are they re-usable, but they’re cute and colorful and come in all sizes. The small zip pouch is great for little notions (or gift cards, or money) and also makes a great little stocking stuffer.
The Handy Tote is my favorite size, because it makes a great project bag when the gift has been opened. Tuck Soak bottles, yarn, books, coffee, tea, mugs, or handknit scarves in there. Since this one doesn’t zip shut, you can tie it shut with ribbon (or fabric or yarn strips).
The Shoulder Tote is huge and can hold a lot! Use it for Soak Kits, Fabric Short Stacks, Needle and accessory organizers, shoes, clothes, knitted sweaters and afghans, and more.
You might also use The Calico Bush Project Bags as very cute gift wrap. The drawstring cinches it up tight (no peeking!) and it would be perfect filled with yarn for your favorite knitter or crocheter. We’re very good at picking matching yarn, if you want to call and get some ideas from us.
Finally, another alternative is to wrap all of your gifts in fabric. For the one below, I used a fat quarter and simply tied ends together that are diagonally opposite. There are all kinds of cute fabric options and if you want the presents under your tree to go well together, get some Short Stacks that match. Our Short Stacks come with 8 fat quarters, so you can wrap up 8 different gifts with one stack. Or get bigger pieces of fabric for bigger items. Wrap them up, tuck in the ends, and tie with ribbon or fabric strips to hold it all together and keep the contents secret until it’s time to unwrap gifts.
Of course if your gift recipient isn’t into fabric, you can offer to “re-cycle” that for them after they’ve opened the gift. Right into your beloved fabric stash. Because you’re thoughtful like that.