Archives from July 2010

Socks, Scarves, Shawls or Sweaters?

Photo: Sheri Berger
Friday, July 30th, 2010 in Contest, Finished Projects

winterback071210In Wednesday’s blog, I talked about how I have come to enjoy knitting shawlettes – those gorgeous little, unintimidating creations that use 350-450 yards of fingering weight yarn. I wonder how many people are now lace knitters, just because someone came up with smaller-sized patterns like this that pulled you in? Fun to do, relatively quick to finish, and great for gifts. Did you see the two shawlettes that Wendy designed, using our Loopy Ewe Solid Series? I just love them. (Wendy has so many pattern ideas in her brain that she makes this designing stuff look easy, and I know it’s so not!) It was fun to see her come up with Winter Morn (using the Silver Sage color) and Woodland Walk Shoulder Shawl (using the Hydrangea color). Now she says she has a WoodlandBack070610colorwork sock pattern doodling around in her head for our color line (because she thinks our Solid Series is “wonderful” and she “loves the huge range of colors”. Yay!) I’m definitely looking forward to seeing the next pattern worked out, when it comes up in her queue.

Speaking of our Solid Series, are you participating in our Third Quarter Challenge? The goal is to knit something out of our new line, and I know a lot of you are working on it. We do have gift certificates to award for last quarter’s Challenge, now that the votes are in. The Reader’s Choice Award goes to Carol in MO for her Julia tank, made from Schaefer Audrey. We also drew two names for the randomly drawn winners, since we put the regular sweater challenge and the summer sweater challenge together. Those awards go to Patricia in OH for her Spidery Tank out of Universal’s Cotton Supreme, and Patricia in MT for her Cassidy out of Dream in Color Classy. All three winners get a $30 gift certificate to The Loopy Ewe. Thanks to everyone who participated with us. Everything turned out beautifully! On Monday, I’ll announce the winners of last week’s blog contest.

It was fun to read about the types of stash you have, on Wednesday’s blog. I liked Linda’s comment that when you stash yarn for a sweater, it counts as one “unit” in the stash, not 5 or 6 skeins. Of course. That makes so much sense. And I also liked Kathy’s comment that any yarn that has a plan attached to it (“this is going to be a February Sweater”) is not counted as stash. Stash is just the yarn without a commitment.  This brings my stash into the completely reasonable amount category. In fact, I might need to add to it a bit….

Now I’m interested to know – what do you most enjoy knitting? Socks? Scarves? Shawls? Sweaters? (Or something that is not an “S” word?) Do tell.

Sheri wonderinghowintheheckitgottobetheendofJulyalready??

Stashing and De-Stashing

Photo: Sheri Berger
Wednesday, July 28th, 2010 in Uncategorized

DSC00347We’ve talked about stashing before. Some of us you do have a yarn stash, some of you don’t. Some of us you wonder how people get along without a stash. Some of you wonder why in the world people want extra yarn sitting around. I went through my stash last weekend and pulled out a bunch of yarn that I no longer want or need in there. (Four big Loopy bags full. Gracie looks horrified by the whole thing, doesn’t she?)

The yarn that came out of the stash typically fell into 3 categories:

1. Yarn that someone gave me from their great aunt’s old stash. (Or their friend’s stash. Or their grandma’s rejects. Etc.)
2. Yarn that I bought on sale because “it was too good a deal to pass up”. (I’ve learned. Last weekend just reinforced that.)
3.  Yarn that I bought to see if we wanted to carry that line here at Loopy (and then decided against it).

DSC00350I have a lot of sock yarn stash. It used to be THE thing that I loved to knit. Socks. Of course I still love to knit socks, but I have branched out. I really like all of the new shawlette patterns that use 350-450 yds. of fingering weight. It’s a perfect use for some of these colors that I still like, but will (realistically) probably not knit up into socks. Now I’m just as likely to look at a skein of fingering weight yarn as a potential shawl, instead of just as potential socks. Here’s one stash picture just so those of you who buy yarn from us every week, know that I’m just like you. I like having lots of choices and I love having a stash. (No, that’s not all my stash. I also have numerous plastic bins of it. I’m just not sure WH needs to see all of that in my blog. I have it strategically separated in different parts of the house so that one never sees the full extent of it. I think it’s better that way.)

DSC00353Look what I found in my stash – one of the first skeins from Madelinetosh, when Amy was truly an indie dyer, doing this on her own. See – she even handwrote the label! This, I am keeping. Along with plenty of other skeins. And I found something else I like to knit – sweaters. So now I’m starting to stockpile yarn for future sweaters. DSC00354Just this week, I took skeins of this and skeins of this for someday sweaters. (Yes, I realize they are both green. What can I say?) And guess what? I’m going to do a legitimate swatch for both sweaters. See? I did learn my lesson.

So I’m curious. For those of you who do have a stash of one kind or another, what do you figure you have the most of – Laceweight? Fingering weight? Sport? DK? Worsted? I’ll have a related question for you on Friday, along with our Sweater Challenge winners.

Sheri wholikesbeingsurroundedbycolorathomeandwork

Squirrely

Photo: Sheri Berger
Monday, July 26th, 2010 in Shop News

DSC03824I’m tired of the squirrels in my yard. We have two “squirrel-proof” bird feeders outside our family room window. The squirrels have not given up, even though the feeders have been out there for a good 18 months now. Instead, they are systematically chewing through the thick (very solid) metal cap on top of the second feeder. It’s so loud (teeth scraping on metal) that we can hear it quite DSC03825clearly in the house. Seriously – what does this do to their teeth? They are making headway. I noticed an actual hole in one small area, the last time I filled the feeders. Not big enough for them to get anything from it, but I’m sure they considered it a point for their team.  I think I need to get this feeder next. Same metal top (which means eventually Team Squirrel will still chew it down), but it will sure entertain us the cats in the meantime.

Since it’s Monday, you know that I have Update news to share, right? It was a busy week last week, getting all of this ready! We just added:

Madelinetosh Merino Light in 50 colors – This single ply fingering weight yarn is being used in lightweight sweaters, shawls, scarves, cowls and mitts. At 440 yards per skein, it’s also a great price for the yardage.

Fiber Optic – Kimber’s great no-pooling or striping line of fingering weight yarn. I think these  semi-solids look really pretty in socks and shawls with more intricate patterns. You don’t have to worry about an emerging pattern destroying the look of the stitch pattern.

The Sanguine Gryphon Skinny Bugga – I love the yarn, and I love working with Gryphon and Sarah. Another great semi-solid-ish look, with no pooling or striping to interfere with your stitch pattern.

flyingsaucerSchoppel Wolle Flying Saucer - This is a new one for me – yarn on a spool. There are two ends, making it ideal for knitting two socks at at time. The other thing about this yarn is that it’s dyed in a way that gives you two identical socks. Even if you choose to wind it up into two balls and knit one at a time, your socks will still match. (Note – in the photos you’ll see 3 spools stacked up. This is just to give you the full view of the colors in that colorway. When you order it, you’ll get one spool that contains 459 yards.)

Dragonfly Fibers – We haven’t had Kate’s regular sock yarn here in awhile, and she did a great job of stocking us up!

Sweet Georgia Superwash Sock – Felicia sent us a re-stocking of colors we were out of, as well as new colors to add to the line.

Regia World Cup Colors – if you do like yarns that stripe, then this definitely fits the bill! You’ll find many of the countries represented in this line, but you’ll also love that they fit a variety of team colors and sports.

linenbrownShawl Pins by Shaune Bazner – I had a fun time picking out the colors for these hand-finished, beaded shawl pins. (Well – a fun time, but also a hard time. So many great choices!) Shaune has sold these as hair sticks for years, but she was at TNNA to share them as shawl pins. I think I might need to start a new shawl. (Oh, wait – I did start a new shawl this past weekend. Out of a new yarn base from one of our indie dyers. Want to guess what color? Really, not one of my usual colors at all, but I am loving it. In fact that’s why I had to start the shawl – I had to get this color on the needles. Any guesses? Now I just need to pick a beautiful pin to go with it!)

Re-stocks on: Dream in Color Classy and Smooshy, Fleece Artist 2/6, and Schoppel Wolle Zauberball.

Have fun shopping!

Sheri whohearsaLoopyElfintheLoopyKitchen,diggingintothePeanutM&M’s….

Spud and Chloe

Photo: Sheri Berger
Friday, July 23rd, 2010 in Finished Socks

DSC00336I finished another sock this week and wanted to share it with you. What a fun pattern to knit up! In addition, it makes a cuff that stretches comfortably, but also stays in place once it is on your foot. I’ll definitely do this one again. (Froot Loop – free on Knitty.com) The yarn is Spud and Chloe Fine, which I also liked a lot. It’s a blend of 80% Superwash Merino and 20% Silk, which adds some warmth and a slight sheen to the finished knit. This would also makeDSC00340 it a great yarn for shawls. The other plus – I had plenty left over from one skein, even after making a size 11 women’s sock. Two skeins will give you almost 500 yds. to work with, which is more than enough for most sizes, as well as knee highs for many sizes.

catknits1Since I have finished one in-progress project, I get to start another one, right? Never mind all of the ones currently in-progress. Let’s focus on the fact that one is FINISHED. And another needs to be STARTED.  (Yes, I guess I am yelling. To make my point. I’m sure it helps as you read along and is not at all annoying.) Finished (FINISHED!), equals the opportunity to get another started (STARTED!). Fortunately it’s still too hot to do much outside, so that means air-conditioning and knitting is on my list for this weekend. Speaking of hot, how hot do you think it is, when you have two furry beings on your lap, needing attention?  I was knitting my Wollmeise Citron, which I’d like to point out is also FINISHED. (Yelling again. Stop it.) Back to Gracie and Zoe, the cats – this can be nice in the wintertime when the house gets a little chilly, but not so much in the middle of the summer when the air conditioner is already working as hard as it can. Not that they seem to understand the difference. Or care.

Have a great weekend and I hope it’s nice and cool where you are.

Sheri allergictoheat.I’mconvincedofit.

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