Archives from December 2012

Need to Warm Up Your Neck?

Photo: Sheri Berger
Wednesday, December 19th, 2012 in Finished Projects

Swan’s Island sent us this awesome Olivia Cowl pattern to offer with purchase of a skein of their Worsted weight yarn. I liked the look of it so much that I whipped one up. The trouble is, this one needs to stay at the shop, so I am going to have to make another one for myself. :-) You can wear it in a single loop, or double up to get closer to your neck. It’s knit as a long (42″) piece and then you Kitchener the edges together. I made mine in the Raspberry color.

It was quick to knit up and I really like the way the basketweave stitch is on an angle. See?

I also like the substantial looking edges on the top and bottom. It looks like an i-cord edging, but it’s just the way the pattern knits up.

Do you need a new cowl for the wintery weather? If you order a skein of Swan’s Island Worsted and would like the pattern, just leave us an order note and we will email it to you.

Sheri nowworkingonababyblanketforafriend’snewgrandbaby!

Madelinetosh, Socktopus, String Theory and More!

Photo: Sheri Berger
Monday, December 17th, 2012 in Random Acts of Kindness, Shop News

We just added our last official Monday Update of 2012 for you on the website. Since next Monday is Christmas Eve and the Monday after that is New Year’s Eve, this is our final one of the year. (However, we might pop one or two things up sometime between now and the end of the year, just to keep our stock room from exploding before the first Monday Update in 2013.) Just up, you’ll find:

Madelinetosh – Prairie. If you love Madelinetosh Merino Light (and so many of you do), then you will love the laceweight version of it. I am not a big lace knitter and even I am nabbing a few skeins of this gorgeous yarn! Single-ply 100% superwash merino, with a generous 840 yards per skein. Have you tried a Nuvem yet? I think everyone needs one, and it would be gorgeous in this Prairie. (You will need 2 skeins.) Lightweight but warm. Nice as a shawl or scrunched up as a scarf. Great for travel (and you can even use it as a pillow on the plane or in the car.) Other options for Prairie: Assante, Radiance Shawl, Juno Regina Shawl and Wrap, Winter Twilight Mitts, Simple Lines, and Bayfield. (Shown above in Envy.)

Socktopus – Sokkusu. Fingering weight, 100% superwash with a nice springy twist. This yarn is great for socks and shawls with texture going on in the pattern. (Of course you can knit it plain as well. But the springy twist will really make your cables and twists pop.) Some patterns you might try for socks: Angler’s Loop Socks, Flecha Socks, Tidepool Socks, Gansey Girl, and Atticus. (Shown here in Pout.)

String Theory – DK. This 100% superwash merino has 280 yards in the skein and is wonderful for sweaters and vests, hats and scarves, mittens and gloves. You’ll love the beautiful color choices. Do you need some pattern ideas? Effortless Cardigan, Acer, Poema, Cloud Chaser, Spring Garden Tee, and Lente.

Dragonfly Fibers – Merino Silk Roving. Are you ready for some spinning over the holidays? This base is 65% superwash merino and 35% silk and comes 4 oz. to the braid. It will spin up into gorgeous yarn. (Shown here in Admiral Benbow.)

Della Q – Project Bags and Needle organizers. Della comes up with some of the most practical (and beautiful) organizers out there. If you have a jumble of needles that need organizing, invest in one of these so that you’ll be able to quickly find the right needles when you’re ready to start a new project.

Stonehedge Fiber Mill – Shepherd’s Wool Worsted. This line continues to be very popular with our sweater knitters. The wool is soft and knits up beautifully, and there are many colors to choose from. Here are some ideas: Woodburne Cardigan, Vodka Gimlet,  and Wrapped Pullover. Of course it’s great for things other than sweaters, too. Try these: One Skein Boot Toppers, Turn a Square Hat, Idalia Shawl, and Jo March Mitts.

Knitifacts – Stitchmarkers. I always like these stitchmarkers, because there is nothing dangling to get in the way of my yarn as I’m knitting. They’re lightweight (made from aluminum) and sealed closed with a seed bead so there are no rough edges to catch on the yarn. Plus, they come in all kinds of fun color sets! (Shown here in Big Top.)

Lantern Moon – Owl and Sock Monkey tape measures. These are too cute. Guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Thank you again for your wonderful RAK reporting on last Friday’s blog. I know all of us were glad to have some positives to focus on. (If you haven’t read the RAK reports from the first day, check this blog post for more reports of people helping people.) We randomly drew two names to receive their choice of our Loopy Ewe Seasoning Series yarn and those will be going to Debbie in CO and Jennie in PA. Congratulations, you two! Our last RAK blog contest will be this Friday, 12/21 and we’d love to have you participate.

I have been picking up my knitting more than ever over the last few days. When there are things going on in the world over which I have no control (but I worry about any way), the simple act of making loops with yarn seems to help me. One of my favorite quotes on the wall here at Loopy is, “In the rhythm of the needles there is music for the soul.” The Elves and I wish you peace and calm music for your soul this week and throughout the season.

Sheri (and The Loopy Elves)

RAK Reporting Day!

Photo: Sheri Berger
Friday, December 14th, 2012 in Random Acts of Kindness

It’s Week Two (of Three) for reporting the Random Acts of Kindness that you may have participated in this week! I so enjoyed reading all of your comments on last Friday’s blog post. I know you don’t do these things for the chance to win a skein of our Seasonings Series (although that’s a cool prize!). You do these things because it makes your day to help make someone else’s day, right? And all of us get to benefit from your RAK’s because we read them and it inspires us with new ideas for additional ways to help. So thank you again for all that you’re doing and for sharing back here on the blog. Like last week, I’ll draw 1 name for every 50 comments and I’ll be contacting those winners to pick the Seasonings Skein that they’d like.

I wanted to share one story with you that amazed me. Denise in New York works as a nurse, but in her spare time she makes teddy bears to distribute to kids in shelters at Christmas time. Here you see her sitting in the middle of the 850 9″ teddy bears that she sewed up from September until now. (This year’s work brings her total made over the years to 6200!) They are made with muslin on the front and a pretty fabric on the back, with matching bow around the neck. She then pops each bear into a brown paper lunch bag and makes that pretty by tying ribbon on the top. That way, each child gets to open a package. Some of the bears go to Hour Children, where her husband dresses up and gets to play Santa each year. The rest of the bears are distributed to shelters in her area. Denise has also started knitting up hats, scarves, mittens and slippers to share with women just entering the shelter system. I can only imagine how the work of her hands blesses the hearts of so many. Thanks for letting me share your story, Denise!

Have a great weekend, and don’t forget to leave your RAK report below. We’ll draw winners on Monday.

Sheri likingtheideaofknittingforwomen’sshelters

Toasty Mittens

Photo: Sheri Berger
Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 in Finished Projects, Pattern Links

One of the classes we’re teaching this quarter is “Your First Mittens”. I wandered by the class while it was in session and decided I needed to make those mittens, too. They are incredibly thick and toasty feeling. Made from a bulky weight yarn, they really keep the chill out. You can find the pattern free (Super Bulky Mittens for Women) and I made it with 1 skein of Malabrigo Rasta. I did add a total of 4 extra stitches to the mitten to make it a little larger, and I also did 10 rows on the cuff to make them a bit longer. This pattern would be equally stunning in The Fibre Company’s Tundra or Spud and Chloe Outer. I made this pair for a gift, but since it only took me one evening of knitting, I’m planning to make a pair for myself as well.

While I was looking for that pattern on Ravelry, I came across a few other fun, bulky (quick to knit) mittens and mitts you also might want to check out: Raglan Mitts, Axel Mitts (I like the turn-down cuff), Highly Regarded Mitts, Chunky Cables Wrist Warmers, Shelburne Mittens, Basket Weave Mittens, and Herringbone Mittens.

Of course as long as you’re making mittens, you might as well make a hat to match, right? So check out these cute bulky hat patterns (and remember – bulky usually means quick-to-knit): Garden Gate Mittens and Hat, Super Chunky Super Quick Toque, Thorpe, and Bella’s Hat. With just under two weeks until Christmas, it’s probably time to do a few bulky projects. Do you like to knit with bulky yarn? Those needles (size 11) seemed so big when I started, but by the second mitten I was whizzing right along with them. Plus, I really like that the mittens are so warm and thick. I imagine it’s the same with anything you knit out of bulky yarn. There are definitely a lot of pluses in using it.

Sheri whomightbeanewbulkyfan

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