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Designer Spotlight – Verybusymonkey

Photo: Sheri Berger
Geology Shawl
Friday, April 11th in Designer Spotlight, Finished Projects, Pattern Links

VerybusymonkeyThe more I knit, the more I find that I like patterns with texture. A mixture of fun stitches that “pop” on the socks, shawls, sweaters, or hats that I’m working on. (Ok, not on the sweaters, since I don’t make them. Much. But I favorite textured sweaters with high hopes!) Today’s designer has patterns that always catch my eye, when I’m scrolling around on Ravelry. I love what she does! I’m happy for you to get to know a bit more about Stephanie from Verybusymonkey.

Solar Flare ShawlLoopy: Hi Stephanie! Thanks for being in our Designer Spotlight today. How long have you been a knitter, and who taught you to knit?

Stephanie: Hi Loopy! A big thank you for asking me to do this! I learned how to knit when I was pretty young, probably 7-8 years old, but I didn’t like it much at the time. I thought it required way too much counting, I preferred crochet, which I did for many, many years – I’m pretty sure most of my relatives and good friends have afghans as evidence of this! I re-discovered knitting about eight years ago and haven’t looked back since!

Cadence SocksLoopy: Lucky for us that you re-discovered knitting, and pattern-designing in the process. What is your favorite thing to knit?

Stephanie: I really enjoy knitting shawls. I love the loose gauge (easy on the hands), and the magic of blocking them. They create such elegant garments, and you can use luxurious yarns to create them.

Canyonlands ShawlLoopy: And shawls are so wearable. Around the shoulders, around the neck – great for warming up. What is the most challenging thing that you have knit to date?

Stephanie: Hmmm, that’s a tough one. I like a good challenge in most things so I’m not sure anything I’ve knit stands out in that way. Mostly projects become challenging for me when I don’t like knitting them (that is, they are too fiddly, or hurt my hands) or I’m not happy with the yarn/pattern combo. Generally speaking though, I like to knit/design things that look complicated but are not actually so, it is supposed to be relaxing after all! :)

Geology ShawlLoopy: Your patterns have a lot going on in them, which is one of the things that I really like about them. When did you start designing and what spurred that interest?

Stephanie: I started designing in Summer 2008 when my baby horse was born. Horses are not a practical hobby as most people are aware, so at the time I thought that perhaps if one of my hobbies could pay for itself that would be great. :) I found that I really enjoyed it! As an academic/teacher in my “real life”, I enjoy pulling together different ideas/elements and being able to explain/show things to people in a way that make them easy to understand Coriolis Effect(hopefully). I find pattern designing similar to teaching in that way. I also like to learn new things and, as mentioned earlier, I like a good challenge, so whether it be designing new courses or new knitting patterns, I like the creative aspects and elements of discovery of both.

Loopy: Do you have a favorite pattern that you’ve designed?

Stephanie: Hmmm, another tough one… There are so many that I’m proud off and love to wear all the time. I suppose the one I am most proud of is the Olympic National Park shawl. I was really excited the day I managed to design a shawl to look like a forest! :)

Olympic National ParkLoopy: That one is pretty cool. A forest around your shoulders! What is your favorite part of your designing? And your not-so-favorite part?

Stephanie: I really like the challenge of coming up with something different and yet accessible/appealing to many people. I still haven’t figured out how to anticipate what people will or will not like, but there’s something really exciting about releasing a new pattern and seeing what kind of reception it gets.  As for my not-so-favorite part, I suppose it has to be the unproductive, negative comments I sometimes get. I had one person contact me to tell me she didn’t like the way my pattern is written, will never buy one again, and that she Coriolis Shawlconsidered her purchase of the pattern a “gift” to me. I feel like there’s nothing constructive in doing that. We’ve all tried patterns we don’t like, but there’s nothing to be gained from going out of your way to tell a designer that. It wasn’t as if she was asking for help, she just felt the need to be critical. I know you can never make everyone happy, but it is sometimes frustrating that people feel the need to make hurtful and unproductive comments.

Loopy: I don’t understand that about some people, either. But on the positive side, I know you have a HUGE group of fans out there, and that should more than make up for a few frustrating people! Do you have other jobs outside of pattern designing?

Helen SocksStephanie: Yes, in my non-knitting life I teach college students about monkeys (amongst other things)! :)

Loopy: I’m thinking maybe you should be teaching them about sheep, alpacas and goats. But ok, monkeys! Do you do this business full-time or on the side, and is that hard?

Stephanie: I design part-time, and it is hard. My academic work load varies from semester to semester and I commute to where I teach, so the amount of knitting time I get varies. Lately, I’ve been teaching a lot (which is great) but it has seriously cut down on my knitting/designing time. Luckily, with academia comes summer break so I plan to do LOTS of knitting/designing soon!

Garden Patch SocksLoopy: Good – something to look forward to for the rest of us, too! Does anyone else in your family knit?

Stephanie: Most of my family has been or is creative/artistic in some way, but I’m the only one who is into “fiber crafts”. One of my grandmothers used to knit, but she stopped long before I had any interest in it.

Loopy: Are there any other hobbies you enjoy?

Stephanie: Yes, my first love has always been horses. Ever since I could talk, it’s all I ever wanted. I now have two that I adore greatly.

Saturn's RingsLoopy: What would be your favorite way to spend a day off? (I’m guessing it involves knitting and horses!)

Stephanie: I am naturally a morning person, so waking up early to enjoy my coffee and knit is how I like to start my days. Once the sun is up, I will gladly play with my horses all day until the sun starts to descend and then it’s time for knitting again! I should add that my cat likes to join in (or interrupt rather) the knitting time by sitting on me, he’s rather a large cat… :)

Loopy: I’ve got a couple of cats like that! Now – Coke or Pepsi? Coffee or Tea? English or Continental? Solids or Multicolors?

Malachite ButterflyStephanie: I am not one for sugary drinks, so sparkling water, definitely coffee, although tea sometimes too, English, and semi-solids (of course there are some more subtle multicolors really draw me in).

Loopy: Thanks so much for being with us today!

As a special for our blog readers, Stephanie is giving a $1 discount off of any one of her patterns when you use the code: theloopyewe. The discount will be good from today (4/11) through next Friday (4/18).  Bonus – Stephanie is also running an anniversary sale on her patterns for the month of April, so if you find multiple patterns of hers that you’d like to buy instead of just one, you can take 10% off an entire purchase by using the coupon code: VBManniversary2014. Pop on over to her pattern shop on Ravelry and pick something fun! I’m currently making her Saturn’s Rings pattern and have learned a couple of new stitches in the process. I’ll share that with you soon.

Sheri thenneedingtotrysomeofStephanie’ssocks

Fabric Update: Birch, MakowerUK and Moda

Photo: Sheri Berger
Thursday, April 10th in Quilt & Sew

More pretty fabric to tempt your sewing and quilting fingers! And of course for you knitters, so many of these would make adorable project bags. I have more fun picking out project bag material than anything. (All the while, setting aside Fat Quarters of other favorites for use in a quilt “someday”. I will appreciate my fabric stash when I get ready to tackle that!) As always, remember you can click on the blog photos to make them bigger.

We have Birch’s new Marine Life Too collection, which is full of teals, yellows, reds and oranges, and the cutest whales, turtles, fish, ships and anchors. All of the Birch fabrics are printed on organic cottons.  I don’t think I’ve seen a single Birch collection that I haven’t loved. How do they come up with such cute stuff? Fun for a kids quilt, but even easier would be pillowcases for your favorite little (or big) people. We have 12 different fabrics in this line, plus a Loopy Short Stack. A sample shown here.


Makower UK has sent us two new collections. The first is Modern Folkloric, with pretty blacks, greys, and yellows in a variety of dots, flowers, zig zags and circles. This continues to be a popular color combination and would be cute for a summer quilt or clothes. We have 14 different fabrics, plus a Loopy Short Stack. A sample shown here.


The second Makower UK collection is Flo’s Garden. This one has pink, teal, lime, raspberry, and quite a few colors in between.  You’ll find solids, stripes, flowers, apples, birds, butterflies, toadstools, and adorable garden scenes. We have 22 different fabrics, plus two different Loopy Short Stacks for this line. A sample shown here. I’m thinking a project bag with the bird/tree fabric on the outside and the multi-stripes (3rd up from the bottom) for the lining. What do you think?


Moda- 30′s Playtime is coming up soon, but today we have a sneak preview with the Charm Packs and Layer Cake precuts available for sale!


Have fun thinking up new possibilities with these pretty collections. We’ll get your fabric cut and shipped right out!

Sheri and The Loopy Ewe Crew

P.S. Did you catch Monday’s Yarn Update? We added in Fibernymph Self-Striping, new Loopy Legends colors, plus needle and accessory re-stocks!

Patterns with Multiple Colors

Photo: Sheri Berger
Wednesday, April 9th in Pattern Links

Loopy Customer Karen emailed this week, asking for some suggestions for Martina Behm’s Tubularity pattern. Once I started playing with colors, I had a hard time stopping. In addition to working well for Tubularity, I also think these colors would work well for Sleeves. (Can I be honest? I wasn’t sure about Sleeves when I first saw it. But now, after having played with colors, I think I might need one.) There are a lot of different finished Tubularities and Sleeves shown on Ravelry, from mixed colors to stripes to solids. But I think with patterns like these, part of the fun is mixing different colors in big swatches.

I pulled color sets from our Loopy Ewe Solid Series to match the seasons. For Sleeves, you’d use 1 skein each of 5 – 6 colors. (Slightly less yardage for smaller sizes.) For Tubularity, you could get by with a skein each of 4 – 5 colors.

Color combo for Spring: Hydrangea, Cornflower, Vintage Rose, Perfect Pink, Grape and Lime.


Color combo for Summer: Butter, Robin’s Egg Blue, Blush, Lilac, Ivory and Celery.


Color combo for Fall: Barn Red, Orange, Mocha, Pine, Eggplant and Sunshine Yellow.


Color combo for Winter: Iron, Caramel, Malachite, Rosewood, Teal and Coffee. (This is the combo I’m leaning towards for my own Sleeves.)


All of our Loopy Cake color combos would also be beautiful in either of these patterns. The colors in each set are listed on each label on the website photos (and you know you can make all of our website photos more full-sized by clicking on them, right?). Instead of buying the Loopy Cake sets, you’d want to get a full skein of each of those colors. But the sets will give you more color ideas!

For Spring: 60′s Mod Squad


For Summer: Sizzle


For Fall: 70′s Kitchen Sampler


For Winter: Chocolate & Roses Sampler


See what I mean? Once you start looking at colors, you’re halfway to making it…..

Sheri beinginayarnshopalldaycanbehazardoustoyourprojectlist


Fibernymph, Loopy Legends, Hiya, ChiaGoo and More

Photo: Sheri Berger
Monday, April 7th in Pattern Links, Shop News

The Monday Yarn Update is ready for you! Today we added in:

Fibernymph Dye Works - Lisa has done up some more of her beautiful self-striping colors for us. Did you catch last Friday’s blog post, where we talked about self-striping colors? There are a lot of cute things you can make with this yarn. It’s labor-intensive to dye, but we’ll continue to get it in as often as our dyers are able to do up batches for us. Lisa’s self-striping yarn is 80% Superwash Merino and 20% nylon, with 400 yards in the skein. Pattern ideas: Pin Striped Socks, Rayures, Caffe Macchiato, Podster Gloves, Syncopation Socks, Staccato Socks, Jeck, and you might try the Fish Lips Kiss Heel for your socks. Looks interesting. Shown below in Highlighters and Rockabilly Bride.



The Loopy Ewe Loopy Legends - a new batch of the exclusive colors that we have been dying up for our 2013 Loopy Legends! This is the last big batch of 2013. (We have one more single color coming soon – we had to get it re-dyed.) In this batch, we’re celebrating new Legends Lisa, Mary, Melissa, Teresa, Denise, Laura, Allison, Eevi, Linda, Barb, Jenny, Lisa, Cathy, Leslie and Marsha. Our Loopy Legends sent us beautiful inspiration pictures, and of course Lorna’s Laces did an amazing job of interpreting them. Pattern Ideas: Antarktis, Harvest Dew, Lacy Karius, Slip Stitch Quilted Hat for Adults, and Atwood Infinity Scarf. Shown below in Linda’s Warm Ocean Currents and Melissa’s Knitting in the Garden.

Loopy-Legend-Linda-The-Loopy-Ewe Loopy-Legend-Melissa-The-Loopy-Ewe


ChiaoGoo Needles - re-stocked in circulars, 47″, 40″, 32″, 24″ and 16″, interchangeable tips and cables, and 6″ DPN’s, which is a new addition for us. (Note: some of the sizes we ordered in the circulars were back-ordered. We’ll get them in as soon as possible.


HiyaHiya Needles and Accessories - re-stocked. This includes regular bamboo and steel needles in circulars and DPN’s, interchangeable cables and points, point protectors, yarn ball stitch markers, cable needles, stitch holders, and Puppy and Kitty Snips.

HiyaHiya-cable-needles-The-Loopy-Ewe HiyaHiya-Yarnball-Stitchmarkers-The-Loopy-Ewe

Knitting Accessories - re-stocked in tape measures, conductive thread, point protectors, counters, Chibi’s, and Needle Keepers to tame your socks-in-progress on DPN’s.

Chibis-The-Loopy-Ewe Circular-Needle-Protectors-The-Loopy-Ewe

Wooden Sock Blockers - re-stocked in Small, Medium and X-Large sizes.


Have fun checking out the new things, and we’ll get your orders packed up with Loopy Love and shipped right out. We’re always glad to have you here!

Sheri and The Loopy Ewe Crew 

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