Three things that I find unbelievable:
1. It was 73 degrees at noon yesterday and hailing and snowing by dinnertime. FPS. What a weird place to live.
2. The number of boxes of yarn that have arrived in the last two days, waiting to be unloaded and inventoried and put up. Poor Elf Kathy is pulling her hair out.
3. The responses from last week’s blog contest. I have loved going through them, and have read every single one. There were way too many times when I sat there reading, thinking, “Oh, me too!” And of course I was all ready to click on “reply” to tell each of you what I loved about your posts …. and then realized I cannot reply to them all and still get through all 549 of them. Just know that there were many I wanted to reply to. I’ll pick a random winner on Friday!
Three things I did with College Guy, who was home for a long weekend and went back to school yesterday:
1. Played Guitar Heroes. (He’s really good. I’m really not.)
2. Watched movies. (I knit during them. He does not.)
3. Stayed up late and got up early. (He stayed up late and got up late. Parents can’t usually do that. Someone has to go to work to pay those college bills.)
Three commonly “stashed” items from last week’s contest:
1. Tea. So many of you have a tea cabinet. I have a coffee/tea cabinet and have a habit of buying tea, even though I rarely drink it. My friend Wendy (also a Loopy Elf) has special tea cabinet knobs on her tea cabinet. I like that!
2. Black beans. This I don’t understand at all. I don’t like black beans.
3. Lotions. I totally understand this one and am guilty as well. Never mind that I usually forget to use it. At least I have a good supply on hand.
Three things I’m currently knitting:
1. A sock out of that skein of Neighborhood Fiber Co. sock yarn that I showed you on the blog awhile back. It’s going to be one of my favorite socks – I can already tell. I will have to knit the partner to it.
2. The shawl-that-I-will-never-get-through but am determined to finish for the Q1-08 Challenge.
3. This yarn from a new indie dyer. Ok, so technically I haven’t started knitting it yet, but it’s sitting here on my desk, teasing me. I refuse to wind it until project #1 is finished. I must not be distracted. But OH am I ever dying to start it. (Notice I did not commit to leaving it alone until project #2 is finished. I’m no idiot.)
Three things I just don’t understand from last week’s blog contest:
1. Mashed potato fudge. Ugh.
2. Jenn, who forgets that she has ice cream in the freezer after she has tried a bowl of it. (Are you kidding me??)
3. All of you who have an excess of chocolate and wonder if this is a problem. (Um …. no. It’s not.)
Today, we’re starting a new regular feature on the blog called “The Loopy Limelight”. This will showcase different people in the Loopy Family (and that includes all of you!) from week to week. I’ve been wanting to start this for a long time, as I have gotten to know many of you and keep thinking that you all need to know each other, too! So I’ll share some of my friends with you, and some of the Loopy Elves, and some other interesting people that I think you ought to know. We’ll make this a “most Mondays” feature. Enjoy!
This week I want to introduce you to a friend of mine who is an amazing cook, gardener, and businesswoman – Leigh Anne from Oregon. I’ll let Loopy do the talking……
Loopy: Thanks for being our first Loopy Limelight guest, Leigh Anne! Tell everyone how you and Sheri met.
Leigh Anne: I am excited and honored to be a guest on The Loopy Ewe Blog. I’ve known Sheri for quite a long time – I met Sheri over 15 years ago when we were both involved in another business. During this time I grew to love and admire Sheri and her business skills and savvy. When she told me she was starting “The Loopy Ewe” I couldn’t wait to check it out and have become a frequent visitor to her site and blog. (Especially on Fridays when she shares a recipe)
Loopy: Well I hear you’re quite the gardener, and quite the cook. But do you knit?
Leigh Anne: I am not a regular knitter. In fact I didn’t even know there was such a thing as sock yarn! I have knit a few scarves in my life but that is it. But I do have a great love and appreciation for knitting as my grandmother was a knitter “extraordinaire”. If she wasn’t cooking or cleaning she had a pair of knitting needles in her hands. She knit ALL the time.
Loopy: Aah. It’s in your genes. We’ll get you eventually, I’m sure. But in the meantime, you like knitters and what they make, right?
Leigh Anne: I do! I have many treasures that my grandmother made for me – a beautiful blanket she knit that was used on my “blessing day” at church, an elegant crocheted tablecloth, hand knit Barbie doll clothes, stuffed animals, sweaters and more. But the one thing that I treasure and remember more than any other item my grandmother knit were her “loopy” mitts. (Pretty appropriate to be sharing on the Loopy Ewe – don’t you think!) I am sure my grandmother made 100’s of pairs of loopy mitts during her life – everyone wanted a pair of loopy mitts – all my friends had them. We even sold them at the church bazaar to raise money to build a new church. My grandmother invented loopy mitts and to my knowledge there was never a pattern left behind. They were actually made with four needles and I remember how fast my grandmother’s hands would move when she made these mitts – amazing! I grew up in Wisconsin so I loved these mitts because they kept my hands so warm with all the little yarn loops on the inside – thus the name “loopy mitts”. As you can see from the picture these mittens were well used and loved. These are the last two remaining pairs I have.
Loopy: So you really haven’t been inspired to get knitting again in your life?
Leigh Anne: Well, no. Not yet! But Sheri has inspired me in many other ways. One of those ways was to start a blog of my own. I loved visiting Sheri’s blog so much I decided I wanted one of mine own so I began www.yourhomebasedmom.com – a blog where I share tips and ideas for women who run a homebased business and I even share recipes too.
Loopy: We love good recipes. What did you pick our for us today?
Leigh Anne: Three things I know about Sheri – she loves to knit, she loves to shop and she loves chocolate. So the recipe I am sharing is for “Nordy Bars” They were originally made and sold (unfortunately they have stopped making them) at the Nordstrom Café – a place I know Sheri likes to shop. They are also rich, gooey and full of chocolate! So I hope you enjoy them!
Loopy: YUM! These look wonderful – thank you for sharing them! One last thing – can you share with us a good book recommendation, a good (already out on dvd) video recommendation, and a good music recommendation? (Because knitters like to knit to music and movies and books on tape.)
Leigh Anne: A good book – this is a hard one because I do read a lot and have a lot of books I love. My favorite genre is historical fiction – some of my favorites are “Women of the Silk”, “Snowflower and the Secret Fan” and my most recent read is “Moloka’i” – the story of the leper colony on the Hawaiian Island of the same name – a tragic story yet one full of strength, fortitude and courage. I have also had fun this year reading the vampire series – Twilight, New Moon and Ecllipse along with my teenager daughter – who wouldn’t fall in love with a vampire!? See I knew I couldn’t recommend just one book! I am also a huge Jane Austen fan – have read Pride and Prejudice many times! Favorite movie is Gone with the Wind and Mrs. Potter. Favorite music – I am a Broadway Musical Soundtrack fan – my favorites tend to be those songs my children are currently singing for whatever production they are in! I love to sing along very loudly in the car to the Mama Mia soundtrack and Wicked is another current favorite My cell phone ring is “Love Shack”!
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
1 pkg. semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups miniature marshmallows
In medium sauce pan melt butter, add butterscotch chips and brown sugar. Stir until melted (this may look a little strange but it will be o.k)
Remove from heat, add eggs, flour, baking powder, and salt. Add vanilla and set aside and cool.
When cool stir in chocolate chips, marshmallows and nuts if desired. Spread in an ungreased 9 x 13 pan. Bake 25 minutes at 350. Remove and cool – they will be soft and gooey when you take them out – they will set up as they cool. Enjoy!
I’ve been on a cleaning kick this week, and I have discovered some alarming things. Remember my problem with frozen chicken br**sts? (Why the stars? I don’t want to be attached to a google-search for that word…..) I have shared with you that I keep buying bags of chicken, because I’m always sure that we’re “out” at home. Well, apparently that’s not all I tend to buy without reason. This week I attacked the pantry and guess what? I found 4 cans of evaporated milk. First of all, I can’t remember the last time I used evaporated milk. And secondly, the only thing I think I use it for is mashed potatoes and fudge, neither of which has been made in this house for a long time. So – weird. The next thing I discovered “en masse” was almonds. Seven bags of them, all unopened. At least I had the good sense to buy different types. There were whole almonds, there were slivered almonds, and there were sliced almonds. I’m good. I think that I had intended to make a few batches of this incredible recipe and couldn’t remember what kind of almonds it called for. But I know that I didn’t buy these packages all at once – they accumulated. I know this because they were all in different spots in the pantry. FPS.
Just so you don’t think my problem is limited to food, I also cleaned out my closet this week. (I took Monday off – remember? I got a LOT done.) I actually sorted my shirts by color (I know. Too much.) and guess what I found out? I have a problem with white shirts. You wouldn’t believe how many white shirts are in my closet. Now in my defense, this is a completely different situation than four cans of evaporated milk. None of these shirts are exactly alike. There are different fabrics, different necklines, different sleeve lengths, and different styles. But still. I don’t think that on the days that I’m going to wear a white shirt, I need to have that many choices to face in the morning. FPS.
So, here is where the contest comes in. I want to know that I am not alone in this lunacy. Surely there are some of you out there who have an overabundance of something in your freezer/fridge/pantry/closet, that you never intended to have in abundance. Please tell me I’m not alone in this. And yarn doesn’t count because there is no recognized word in a knitter’s language that translates to “excess” or “overabundance”. Fortunately. Leave your answer in the comments section, and I will draw a name next Friday, February 1st, for the winner. What does the winner get? A skein of Wollmeise Sock Yarn. I thought that would be a good way to start out our monthly blog contests for 2008. And for those of you who don’t have this little problem? You can still enter the contest. Just leave a comment and say, “I don’t seem to have that problem.” and consider yourself entered. I will try to contain my jealousy.
Speaking of contest winners, thank you to everyone who cast votes for the Q4 Challenge this week! There were actually several entries that ran neck and neck with a lot of votes, but the one that got the most votes was the Anemoi-Inspired Mittens, done by Nicole. So Nicole gets the Knitters Choice Award – a $25 Loopy Gift Certificate. And the randomly drawn winner from all of the entries was the Monkey Socks by Karen! Karen also gets a $25 Loopy Gift Certificate. It’s always so fun to see the different interpretations you all come up with for the Quarterly Knitting Challenges. You still have over 2 months left to participate in the Q1-08 – I hope you’ll join us!
Monday we will start a new, regular blog feature called The Loopy Limelight! We have so many fun and interesting people who have become part of the Loopy Family (and that includes all of you) and I thought it would be nice to introduce you to some of them. Monday, I will introduce you to a longtime friend of mine, who has a wonderful recipe (it contains chocolate – yum!) that she is going to share. We’re looking forward to sharing many more people with you in the weeks and months to come, usually on Mondays. We hope this brings some fun recipes and tips and inspiration for all of you.
Well I know that I told you I’d put a photo of our Indie Dyer visitor on Monday’s blog, but I forgot it was a holiday here. I decided that I needed a haircut more than I needed to blog – ha! So Monday was a nice day off and I got lots done. (Following a weekend of knitting and movie watching with Knitting Daughter, which was also wonderful.) But now we’re back, full speed ahead! We were happy to have Stephanie from Spritely Goods pop by for a visit on Friday Stephanie lives in Arizona and was in town on business, so she rented a car and drove down to Loopy for a couple of hours during a morning off. It was so fun to have her here! She gathered up all of the Spritely Goods yarn that we had left in stock (and it’s not much – it’s pretty well sold out) and we took her photo. Fortunately, she just shipped us another large order, which we’ll put up as soon as it arrives.
One of the things I did this weekend was to frog the Fleece Artist Sea Silk lace shawl that I started awhile (ok, QUITE awhile) back. I screwed up the rows and decided I needed to just start over. The bummer part is that I worked on it for a long time on Saturday and haven’t even knitted back as many rows as I frogged. Ugh. But it’s my Q1-08 Challenge and I will keep going on it. I’ll take a photo when there is something interesting to see. Right now, it’s still looking a bit pathetic. I did, however, finish my Noro Socks. I just did a basic knit with a bit of ribbing on the top. I knit them top down (short row heel, because I wanted the color bands to stay consistent) and I really love them. As I mentioned before, I handwash all of my socks, and these did soften up after washing. (They’re still not as soft as many socks I have, but they feel just fine on my feet and that’s the part that counts!) I have a few other colors that I want to do in the Noro. We have more of every color on backorder and they were hoping to have them in by the end of this month – then more in March. We’ll get that up asap. Keep an eye on the photo galleries, as people submit photos of the different Noro colorways and how they work up. (Have you checked out our photo galleries lately? The Socks on Trees gallery has almost 500 photos in it. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a photo of a sock done up in every colorway that we carry? I love seeing the finished sock photos pop up on the products pages.)
We’ve been re-stocking a bit here and there this week. More Knitting Pure and Simple patterns arrived, as well as the Sock Guides, and a lot more of our Loopy Totes. We put Knitspot patterns up over the weekend (some fun new ones, too) and Mountain Colors patterns as well. We also have a lot of new things for you for next week. Our Namaste bags have come in (and I still can’t decide which color and which style will be mine), the new Lorna’s Laces colors are here, more Sakina Needles roving, Numma Numma is back (yay!), a new order of Swiss Mountain Cashmere from Hand Maiden, Duets, and new bags (in blue and brown – one of my favorite color combos) from Mrs. Kwitty. And by next week’s Sneak Up, we’ll be on our new server. We might also have an updated “look” for the website, but we’re all weighing in with opinions and there are some …. differing opinions. So we’ll see what we end up with.