Sunday, April 26, 2009

Love the one you're with.

For the past couple of weeks I have been steadily working on the minidress by Caddy Melville Ledbetter. It's coming along ok - though I'm still not sure about that red stripe. But meanwhile, my heart is - gasp! - filled with lust for another:

The Baby-doll Cardigan by Iris Schreier just came out in knit.1 magazine this week. It looks so tempting...such a fun knit...and it's made with silk...the one fiber I truly cannot resist. I've picked out my yarn - it's sitting here beside me, taunting me as I slog along on the minidress.

The Alchemy Silk Purse in "Copper" looks like spun gold. Mmmmm....
And that's not the only project that's turning my head. There's also the Pioneer Top that I still want to cast on in Calmer. And the Blooming Cotton Scarf that Annie and Gina have been chatting about in the Loopalicious group on Ravelry.

All of this temptation is almost too much to take. But I'm thinking ahead to our 16-hour car trip to Destin in early June...trying to put the sexy new projects out of my mind until then...and channeling all of my lust into the minidress.

I knit 12 inches on it yesterday.

- Shelley

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Can this hat be saved?

You all know I have a rather spurious history with making hats. In fact, my hat-making efforts seem to be quite snake-bitten. There was the Rowan Summer Tweed hat that ended up three sizes too big, like something Mushmouth would've worn in "Fat Albert." More recently, there was the very expensive Jade Sapphire Handspun Cashmere hat for the policeman who helped me on Christmas Eve...the hat which I attempted to fix by, ahem, felting.

And now, here we are again. Once again, my hat project began with a noble purpose. A friend on one of my tennis teams is a chiropractor, and he recently treated my knee (which I had slightly sprained right before a big match), at no charge. He and his wife are expecting their first child, and I thought I would make a little hat as a "thank you."

Please, somebody stop me...

To add to the challenge, I had the "cute" idea to make a hat that looks like a tennis ball. I went on ravelry looking for a pattern, and didn't see a single one.

This was omen number two.

I jumped right in, found the perfect shade of All Seasons Cotton, and had the basic hat whipped up in an hour or two.

This would have been another good place to stop.

Then, I started adding the tennis ball "stitching" in duplicate stitch. The stitching on a tennis ball is ever so much more complicated than I ever realized. It came out a bit wonky, but passable, I think:

Next, the real fun began: Trying to make it look more like a tennis ball by adding the word "penn." I tried duplicate stitch - it was a hot mess - too ugly to even take pictures of. Then I tried a backstitch. No go. I considered other words - love, prince, wilson. No luck. Finally, a brainstorm! Applied i-cord! This seemed like a brilliant solution. But now, as I sit here looking at it, I wonder if this is truly worthy to give as a gift:

I tried asking the DH for his opinion, but he was otherwise occupied:

I tried asking my kids:

So, dear readers, I need your honest opinion. Is it worthy to give? Or should it go to the frog pond?

- Shelley
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P.S. For those of you who read our recent Loops Scoop e-newsletter, here's a pic of my family talking on Skype with Ruth, my step-sis who is stationed in Iraq (if you click on the picture to make it bigger, you can see us up in the corner here in Tulsa):

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Why we should be grateful to the shepherds of the world.

This video made me appreciate the intrinsic excitement and passion of my job(s). Clearly, shepherding can be deadly boring, and requires some creativity to keep the spark alive. Check out this link.

Thanks to Brent for finding this awe-inspiring video. I believe it is indeed "blog-worthy." What do ya'll think?

Friday, April 10, 2009


I am suffering from Knitter's ADD again. Otherwise known as "waffling."

Usually, I lean to the OCD Knitter side, otherwise known as "linear knitting." I do one project at a time. Only. I finish completely before moving to my next one. But, since I am a store owner who is daily tempted by new arrivals and adorable new projects, it was inevitable that the OCD would one day give way to the ADD.

I have three projects underway. I am flummoxed.

First is the beautiful Nette by CocoKnits. I am in love with the yarn, a super slubby silk from Habu that does amazing things in plain stockinette.

I was really into it until Terri saw it and said, "Oh yeah, I loomed one of those up for Paula in a couple of nights." So I decided to have Terri loom the sleeves and here sits the one-piece body, on a holder.

Knitter's ADD project #2: the "minidress" a.k.a. tunic by Caddy Melville, from the new book Mother-Daughter Knits. This was soooo cute on Caddy when she was here in Tulsa. But I couldn't leave well enough alone: I had to incorporate some red.

Now I'm afraid I may end up looking like a wayward Nascar fan with too many racing stripes. But I do love working with the recycled 2nd Time Cotton, so I continue to press on...

And then there is the Pioneer Top from that I featured in an e-blast before Spring Break.

I had my Rowan Calmer all picked out for this project, and then the day before Spring Break, the Habu arrived and I cast on that instead. Then yesterday, I was re-arranging the Calmer at Loops and started itching to cast on for Pioneer. (Or rather, not itching - one thing I love about cotton/acrylic Calmer is it has the stretch of wool without the itch).

So now, each day I am overwhelmed into inaction. Which one to work on? Which one? Which ooooone.... Oh crud, maybe I'll just go knit a baby hat for the nice doctor that fixed my knee without charging me so I could play tennis before I get ready for tomorrow night's dinner party.

Anyone got any Ritalin? Ellen?

- Shelley
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Friday, April 3, 2009

Sock it to me.

Last week, mother nature dealt us a beautiful blow with a snowstorm which, had it occurred anywhere else, would have been considered a freak of nature. But this is Oklahoma. So, we had to re-schedule the Hot Loops party. As I stood looking out the bedroom of our new house, I had to consider the irony of the snow piled around our swimming pool under construction:

On the upside, the kids had a blast in the snow, enjoying the last taste of winter:

And another upside: The Hot Loops party list has increased, so now even more of you are coming than before! Ellen is mixing up a new "special" punch for the event. And I can't wait for you to see the awesome party favors.

Yet another positive note: We've gotten in bunches of new sock yarn in the past week or so. The all-new Juniper from Alchemy arrived yesterday, and I was selling it out of the back room before I could even get it displayed out front! This washable merino is unbelievably vivid in Alchemy's signature hand-paint colors:

We also got a long-awaited shipment of Malabrigo sock yarn. Need I say more? You Malabrigo folks know who you are:

Have you checked out the new arrivals from Naked Sheep Farms? Jessica raises her own Corriedale sheep right here in Oklahoma, and dyes the sock yarn herself. Luscious, luscious colorways:

Want to save some dough on these yarns (and hey, use the savings to - oh, I don't know - buy more yarn)? Call to sign up for the Hot Loops party and save 20-25 percent storewide. It's this Saturday, April 4, at 7pm, and just $25 gets you in the door.

- Shelley
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