Thursday, March 26, 2009

Casting call - or is it "casting on" call?

It had to happen eventually - my advertising career and my knitting career colliding in spectacular fashion. I am looking for several Oklahoma City-area knitters to "star" as extras in a TV commercial. You need to be able to knit (convincingly) and available next Monday, March 30th, from 10:00am-12:30noon. It's unpaid but promises to be lots of fun! We are trying to cast a diverse group - a variety of ages and ethnicities. If you're interested, send a note and recent photo to

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Three generations of Melvilles.

Wow, what an amazing week this has been. First, a whirlwind trip to Santa Fe (more on that, next post). Then, back to Tulsa for a bunch of media events surrounding the visit of Sally Melville, her daughter Caddy, and a future Melville traveling with Caddy (she is expecting!). Both KTUL and KOTV covered the event - here's a link to the Channel 6 story that aired following Thursday March Madness. We had the line for the book signing:
Sally and Caddy did a fabulous job of signing each book very personally. Both women are just fantastic - friendly, intellectually curious, incredibly gracious and spectacularly creative:

The workshop on Friday was a packed house. We all enjoyed a light Polo Grill lunch and then got down to the business of knitting to flatter and fit. We broke out measuring tapes, played "paper dolls" and learned tricks for knitting to our body types. Ellen, ever the shy one, hopped onto a chair to model and learn to flatter that bootie:

There are three designs from the book that I want to make right now. I've already got the yarn for the "Minidress," which is really a short tunic. It only takes 5 skeins of 2nd Time Cotton (3 skeins of the main color and 1 each of two other colors - that's a retail price of around $35!). Blue Sky Cotton would also work great. Caddy wore this at the event and looking sooo darling. The "belt" of color above the waist and slimming side panels were so flattering. I didn't even notice her baby bump until she turned sideways!

Next, the Camelot Coat stole the show. This is the "next generation" Einstein Coat. Sally said had this idea for something Jackie Kennedy would have worn. Sally scoured the store and declared that Lorna's Laces Green Line Worsted (8 skeins for size medium) or GGH Bel Air (11 skeins for medium) would be excellent yarn choices for this coat.

And finally, I hope none of my female family is reading this, because everyone is getting Tabbed Cuffs for Christmas '09. This is an Easy Easy Easy project - as easy as your very first beginner scarf!
My favorite was this version in Koigu Kersti that Sally wore throughout the trip:

If you had to miss the event, we have a limited number of signed copies of the book available - order here and request a signed copy.

And, if you'd like to purchase yarn for one of these projects, or you've been lusting for new yarn, a new Amy Butler bag, or just a night on the town, email me or call 742-YARN to sign up for the Hot Loops party. It's coming up this Saturday, March 28th, at 7pm. Cost is just $25, and for this you get a 20% discount storewide for the night, 25% of Hot Loops wall items, food, drinks, fun and a fabulous party favor.

See you Saturday!

- Shelley

P.S. Did you know Sally has a great blog? Check it out!

P.P.S. Congrats to Dana for her comment on the last post. Sally chose your comment as the winner - you receive a signed book and $25 Loops gift card! Sally said, "Shelley, I loved Dana's post--about the whole family of women knitting and sharing. It's so much of what knitting is about for me and now my girl too!"

Friday, March 13, 2009

Comments for Sally & Caddy Melville.

I have been a little "comment-starved" lately. I know ya'll are reading the blog, and I know Blogger makes commenting a bit of a pain...but I know you aren't shy!

So then I had a fun idea to get those comments flowin'. Loops has been getting some nice press on the upcoming visit of Sally Melville and her daughter, Caddy (March 19-20, call or email the store for details if you're not signed up). We had this article in the Tulsa World, and then this story just came out in Urban Tulsa Weekly. And rumor has it that one of the local TV stations will be covering the event, as well.

That's a lot of warm fuzzies for Sally & Caddy...but wouldn't it be cool if we could load up this blog entry with personal comments for Sally about her books, her classes, or just our general adoration for her designs?!!! Chances are, you've made an Einstein Coat or one of the many designs from her much-loved books like "The Knit Stitch." Comment on it! Or just welcome Sally & Caddy to town, maybe give them a tip on what to do here. Anything goes!

Next Thursday, we'll pick a lucky commenter who will receive a copy of the Melville's new book, "Mother-Daughter Knits," along with a $25 gift card.

Ladies and gentlemen, start your commenting engines!

- Shelley
shop online at

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Painting the town fuchsia.

Spring has sprung, and the Loops storefront was overdue for a new coat of paint. Yes, you would think the Utica Square powers that be would take care of this. But no, since our lease is not due for a year or so, it was either D.I.Y., or live with the chipping paint look which our landlord lovingly refers to as "old world."

So, driven by our fearless foreman, Gina Marie, and assisted by Terrie, Harriet, my two eldest kiddos, and myself, we took on the task on a sunny Sunday:
Don't worry, the lime green is just tape. To see the real new colors, you're just gonna have to come to the store! Gina's daughter, Marisa, also dropped by for a visit (she was home from college on spring break):

Who is that handsome man? He looks familiar. And where did he get that deep, deep voice?

Now for my favorite photos. While the rest of us dressed in our painting grubbies, Terrie arrived in her Fantastic Fuchsia Painting Ensemble:

My favorite part was the Painting Up-Do. My hair hasn't looked this fancy since prom night, 1986!

Thanks to everyone for helping Loops look as tempting on the outside as it is on the inside!

- Shelley
shop online at

Friday, March 6, 2009

Wasabi Scarf, Part 2: The college student version.

Ali came in to Loops yesterday looking for a fun spring scarf project. "I know how to cast on and knit, but I'm tired of making the same old knit scarf," she said. "I want to do something with some kind of easy pattern."

I showed her the Wasabi Scarf, but when I mentioned the price of the (hand-dyed) Colinette yarns, I saw her subtly wince. "I'm on the college student budget," she said. So we looked around a found a version that cost about $20 (vs. the $50 Wasabi - which, in its defense, makes two full scarves). She chose a gorgeous color of Louisa Harding Sari Ribbon, and a neutral color of Rowan All Seasons Cotton for contrast.

In half an hour, I had taught her to do the drop-stitch and she was flying along, having done a good 6 inches. I'm tellin' ya, this scarf works up faster than Paris Hilton:

I wish I had not been lazy, and had grabbed my better camera instead of just the iPhone, because this scarf is going to be so gorgeous...the contrast of the Sari ribbon with the natural cotton is sure to generate lots of comments...especially when worn by the equally gorgeous Ali (I asked her if she would model for our next Hot Loops wall!) Pics just do not do it (or her) justice:

Thanks, Ali - it was fun chatting and knitting with you!

- Shelley
shop online at

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mom and Mal review Alchemy "Lost and Found" book.

I'm feeling inspired by the upcoming visit of Sally & Caddy Melville, mother-and-daughter knitting team behind the soon-to-be-published "Mother-Daughter Knits" book (you can still reserve your place at the book signing - just email me). So I thought I (a.k.a. Mom) would ask my 8-year-old daughter (a.k.a. Mal) to help me review our hottest new book, "Lost and Found," by our friends at Alchemy Yarns of Transformation.
About the Cover design:
Mom: Right away, I knew Alchemy had a hit book on their hands. Their other books have been full of great designs, but the photography just didn't quite do justice to their vivid, luxurious, non-toxic handpainted hues. The Bluebird Bolero on the cover uses 4 skeins of Sanctuary and 2 of the self-striping Migration, on size 7 & 9 needles. This is a gorgeous use Migration. And the model is Gina and Austin's daughter, Clio - just lovely!
Mal: I would definitely wear that if it were shranken in the washing machine for my size. But I don't get why she's holding a flamingo feather thingie.
The "Rythym Society" wrap :
Mom: Simple design in a soft silk/wool blend is an instant classic. Uses 8 skeins of Sanctuary in Red Rover.
Mal: Why do they call it Red Rover? Is it a game?
The Little Red Rider scarf/hood:
Mom: Ellen loves this, she is a sucker for the Red Riding Hood look. I would wear this all winter and even on the beach, to keep from getting a chill when my hair is wet. I love Gina's caption on this page: "Story Book Sexy: reclaiming fantasy, whimsy and childlike innocence." And it just takes 3 skeins of well-priced Migration.
Mal: The colors blend great, but what's with the mole on her cheek?
The Weekender:
Mom: This has been on my to-do list for awhile. Terrificly innovative use of the self-striping yarn.
Mal: The zigzags are cool. That girl has beautiful blonde hair. If there were a wig like that, I would totally be buying.
The Rivers & Rocks Scarf:
Mom: Gina is a leading expert on Shibori felting, and this is my fave Shibori project yet. I love the combination of colors, yarns and textures! You use glass marbles and rubber bands to get the "rocks" effect. Calls for one skein each of Sanctuary, Haiku and Pagoda.
Mal: Pretty colors.
Rock Star Cardigan:

Mom: This is perhaps Alchemy's best selling pattern of all time. Hot, hot, hot. Uses 11/13/14 skeins of Synchronicity to fit busts 36/41/46. Just one of many great sweater designs in this book.
Mal: The texture is beautiful. I love her pose.
On Promenade:
Mom: Just three skeins of Sanctuary and you have the ultimate baby gift. Worked from the neck down. I've gotta find a baby to knit this for...
Mal: I love the color, but the baby looks like she's saying "My pull up is bugging me."

We could go on and on - there are 21 designs in all...

But Mal needs to go night-night and Mom is tired. If there's a particular design you must have, order soon while we have our full spring order in stock. We have 13 signed books on-hand and will probably order more soon! Keep in mind that Alchemy has around 150 colors and counting...we can't stock them all, but we do have one of the best selections in the world here in our online store. If you get "lost," you can always call us to help you "find" just what you need!

- Shelley