Monday, December 25, 2006

One of these mitts is not like the other...

...One of these mitts just doesn't belong. Can you tell which mitt is not like the other, because Shelley was delirious as she tried to complete just one more Christmas gift?

These lovely mitts (Ingrid's pattern in Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk) for my mother-in-law were nearly complete when I noticed a small ribbing issue. All of the non-knitters I showed them to couldn't tell the difference. But then a knitting friend dropped by and zeroed right in on the problem. Thanks, Lisa!

Yes that's right, all you prodigies out there. One is 1x1 rib and the other is 2x2. Which also has the added bonus of making one set of ribbing look longer than the other. So I will be knitting another one for my good-natured MOL. Proving that holiday knitting is never really done. Sigh.

Getting psyched up for the big sale tomorrow. 75% off clearance. 30% off all in-stock yarn, magazines and kits. 10% off books, needles, notions. Gonna be crazy. Better go get some sleep.

- Shelley

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Between a sock and a hard place.

I'm embarrassed to admit it, but my first sock it complete.

No, not just the first sock of a pair, but my FIRST SOCK ever. Uh-huh, it's a bit horrifying but I have never made socks. I've been knitting 22 years (yes, that means I started knitting in the womb - hah) and my first project was a cable sweater. I'm not afraid of a challenge, just didn't see the point. Even after reading the wonderful odes to the joy of socks by the Yarn Harlot , I remained unconvinced. But finally, I found a reason to make them - a certain someone I know who likes to sleep with as many layers as possible - yes, even in the August Oklahoma heat.

I knew this person would appreciate these thick socks, made from Art Yarns Supermerino. I also knew she would love the fairisle ones in fingering weight that I started three months ago...but she can't really appreciate a half-done sock that's still on the DPN's...which is where that first sad sock still lies, buried under much newer, shinier, instant-gratification projects.

So here it is...THE SOCK. I was so excited when I finished it, I almost jumped up in the middle of the kid's karate class and shouted "It's done!" But rather than risk embarrassing myself in front of the cute instructor, I decided to just show you guys:

This went so fast thanks to the help of Gina H. And to prove I do not suffer from "second sock syndrome":

Also, had a great meeting with Paula, our lovely new Schaefer yarn rep, and she convinced us to start carrying the Schaefer line. Actually, it didn't take much convincing. We especially fell hard for Esperanza, a felting yarn of 70% lambswool and 30% alpaca. This is the softest felting yarn we've ever touched, and it comes in these superskeins named after powerful women (think Harriett Tubman and Indira Ghandi). Paula had a great little bag called the Sophie Bag made from just one skein! Ingrid snagged a skein on the spot, and her bag was finished the next day. So move over, Lucy bag...Sophie is in town!

We predict this is the next big thing in bags. The yarn should be here in just a week or two...

Lastly, while Ingrid was posing for her shots, Kate-the-wonder-purse-maker came in with yet another great felted bag, featuring one of our exclusive felted flowers. Kate says, in a good week, she can make 3 felted bags! Kudos, Kate.

Oh, and if you need one more last-minute gift, check out Gina Y.'s Last Minute Hat class this Saturday from 1-3. It's made with Noro Korochon and really turned out wonderfully.

- Shelley

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Oh Christmas Free, Oh Christmas Free.

The pace in the store, as you might expect, is happily frantic. Everyone is coming in with that wild look in their eyes - "I'm almost done with the 14th pair of socks. I think I have time for another scarf. What do you have in super bulky?"

To help everyone out: a couple of Christmas freebies. Call it a thank-you for being among the first to read the blog. First, if you buy some Lobster Pot 100% cashmere to make Ingrid's "Pinch Me" set - either the fingerless gloves or the neckwarmer or both - you will get the pattern free. If you come in the store or call us, just mention this blog. If you order online, I will automatically include the pattern in your shipment - anytime between now and Christmas. Here is a link to purchase on the site:

The next freebie is courtesy of Peggy, who created this awesome set using Rasta yarn - an aptly named super bulky thick-and-thin from Rio de la Plata. The scarf is just a 1x1 rib (or you can do a 2x2) on size #15 or #17 needles. Peggy has graciously agreed to share her pattern for the hat:

Cast on 40 stitches using #15 - 16" or 24" circular.
K 3 rounds. P 1 round. K until piece measures 6 1/2 inches from beginning.
Begin decreasing, changing to #15 DPN's when needed.
Row 1: *K3, K2tog* to end (32 sts.)
Row 2: Knit.
Row 3: *K2, K2tog* to end (24 sts.)
Row 4: Knit
Row 5: *K1, K2tog* to end (16 sts.)
Row 6: Knit
Row 7: *K2tog* to end (8 sts.)
Cut yarn and pull through last 8 sts. Weave in ends and wear or give away!

And I have some more photos for your "free viewing pleasure." Below is the sexy Ellen (work it baby, work it) in her newest shawl creation, made from two new Muench yarns: Bel Air and Stars.

Next is Sally, ecstatic to be finished (well almost, but we're not counting those weave-ins) with her Louisa Harding "Glisten" cardi. Isn't it great in the gold? We know who will be lookin' all shimmery at her holiday parties.

And lastly, we have Elizabeth's beautiful sock made with Claudia & Co. handpainted yarn. We went crazy for this stuff when Sherry found it in California. I wish you could reach through the computer and touch this sock. It is pure butter - so smooth and drapey.

That's all for now - please do click on the "comments" button and tell us what you think! - Shelley

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Ice Capades.

At long last...the Loops blog has arrived. Since opening Loops in May of 05, I have regularly sent out newsy e-mails to our ever-expanding group of "loopies" - people who shop at our flagship yarn store in Tulsa, OK. Ya'll apparently love these e-mails. And there's so much to tell. Every day, at least five hilarious, cool or touching things happen at the store. Still, I feel that anything more than 2 e-mails a month can be an imposition.

With a blog, I can rattle on at length, and if you choose to keep on reading, well, there is no guilt on my part.

I also hope to convey a bit of the wonderful community you feel in the store. Since adding e-commerce to our site a couple of months ago, our online and phone sales have taken off, and our list of customers across the country keeps growing. We want you to feel the same stuff our customers feel in the store - a sense of contentment to be among fellow stitchers, a feeling of inclusion, excitement over new yarns and projects. We want you feelin' the Loops love.

That said, I will jump right into the latest...

Famed knitting heretic/goddess Annie Modesitt recently graced us with a weekend of workshops. The weekend was off to a literal rocky start when, after picking Annie up at the airport, I took us on a death-defying icy drive (Tulsa had just been hit by a record-breaking blizzard - so where were the snowplows?). Then I took the wrong exit off I-75 and ended up on icy backroads around Pine and...somewhere (the signs were all covered in ice). Then we sat at a railroad crossing that was flashing for, um, 15 minutes or so - never saw a train. After jumping the tracks across the ice (hope my mom's not reading this) and pointing the car toward the tall buildings of downtown, we finally made it to Annie's hotel. And from there, on to the Loops holiday party. Things were finally looking up.

Here are some of the Loops Troops at the party wearing their new "loopalicious" t-shirts (Ellen, Marisa, Ingrid and Annie F.). The wine bottles behind them are an indication of the BIG fun had by all.

Annie's classes were very creative and full of interesting detours (much more enjoyable than our impromptu detour through downtown.) Annie developed a Modular Knitting class just for us, and an original pattern to go with it. Below is Gina H.'s version of the bag. Ever the over-achiever, Gina had her bag completed and felted overnight (proof of what we always suspected: Gina is a vampire.) Seriously, like all of Gina's work, it is just gorgeous:

From Loops, Annie moved on to tape an episode of "Knitty Gritty" in L.A., where we can only assume that Vicki Howell did NOT get lost driving Annie through an ice storm.

Happy knitting,


"If yarn were meth, you wouldn't have teeth." - Karen P.'s husband

Wednesday, December 6, 2006


Welcome to the new Blog. We are just getting started so check back often for updates. Also check out our new Free Patterns section on our web site at