Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Chunky Thanksgiving.

I love Andi at Classic Elite Yarns. I was on the phone with her, placing an order, and happened to mention how much I adore Twinkle Soft Chunky. It's so soft, and well, so chunky. You just want to squeeze and cuddle it - especially after it has rendered you a one-skein Christmas gift in under an hour of easy peasy knitting.

I'm also crazy about the designer behind the Chunky - "Twinkle" herself, couture designer Wenlan Chia. Anyone could create amazing accessories with this stuff. Where the real genius lies is how she can create garments out of enormous yarn that make you look chic and, somehow, not enormous.

So I was jumping up and down (through the phone) when Andi offered to send us a Twinkle Trunk Show. It was early Christmas as we pulled one chic design after another out of the box. Here is Cassidy modeling a few of them:

All of these patterns are from Wenlan's three books, all of which, at last check, were in stock. We also have several great models of our own made up in the Soft Chunky. The most popular are the one-skein Christmas Creep Scarf (pattern free with purchase):

And the "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Beanie" Loops original pattern by Ellen:

Hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving! Remember, this is one day when it's OK to be Soft and Chunky! :)

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Terrie's been at it again, inventing another up-to-the-minute design. She walked in the other day with a great cowl made from one skein of Malabrigo Worsted. Those of you who know Terrie will not be at all surprised to see that she chose a very vibrant color for her cowl.

Holly was happy to model, as she is another of many Malabrigo ho's on staff at Loops. In fact, she was the one who first convinced me to start carrying Malabrigo. And I do mean convinced. She was a customer at the time, and sweetly requested the Malabrigo each and every time she visited the store :) Anyway, here is the photo:

This pattern is now available as a Loops original - please call us toll-free at 1-877-LOOPSOK to purchase ($3.99). You may elect to receive the pattern as a hard copy by mail, or as a PDF via email. Thanks!

To shop our Malabrigo selection, click here.

- Shelley
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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Happy mannequins.

Our mannequins may not be as loquacious as the Old Navy ones in the commercials (primarily because ours are headless). Nevertheless, they do appreciate having new, knitted models to show off. After all, we all get bored wearing the same old thing day in and day out, right?

So our mannequins were thrilled when, on the same day, we received a box full of knitted models from our biggest supplier, plus a trunk show from Spud & Chloe!

"Croquet" is made from Grace Hand Dyed Silk & Wool. The pattern is from the Queen of Hearts book. I borrowed this back from the mannequin to wear it in the shop on Thursday...mmm...silky...

The "Aztec Scarf" in Spud & Chloe Sweater yarn is crocheted, and creates two completely different patterns on the front and back of the scarf. Cool!

The mini mannequins got new duds, too. Here's the cutest Fair Isle Yoke Cardigan in Debbie Bliss Rialto DK (great merino superwash). The pattern is from the "9 to 5" book. Really great book, by the way - check out the beret on the front cover.

I don't get the name, but "Hen Hanner" in Mirasol Hacho is uber adorable. It's from Jane Ellison's Mirasol Book 7.

We got another Mirasol model, the Flower Heart Love Blanket, in Tupa silk & wool from Mirasol Book 6. Super-special blanket for a super-special baby.

And this Playground Hoodie in Spud & Chloe Outer is so huggable! I love this bulky cotton/wool blend, squooshy and washable, too.

And now for our last mannequin...oh wait! It's the beautiful Bonnie, modeling her Snooty Snood made from Jade Sapphire Cashmere! She used #10 needles and just two skeins to make this super-scrumptious gift.

Come visit our mannequins soon - they love to be ogled. And if you live out of town, but want to make one of these for yourself, just email ( or call us (877-LOOPSOK) for size information and yarn amounts.

- Shelley
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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Off the grid.

Gina and I escaped off the radar last week for some wonderful R&R at her family's place in Naples, Florida. As you would expect, Gina has done a really charming job of decorating her Naples house - I was greeted by a knitted fish and a bumpy alligator scarf draped over the couch, plus countless other little Gina touches. There was a sign on the wall that commanded "Relax" - and I obeyed! We had four hedonistic days of eating, knitting, bargain shopping and wildlife-watching. We expected the gators frequently spotted in the backyard lake to appear. (Well, Gina calls it a lake. I say if there are gators, it's a swamp. A really pretty swamp.)

The gators were incognito, but we did see birds galore, including this hilarious scene on the beach, where a bunch of pretty white birds were being led by this Ugly Duckling kind of guy:

We also spotted this frog, who I first mistook for fake, and then for dead, on the mailbox at the condo of Gina's daughter, Marisa, who attends college in Naples. Marisa says he's just really lazy.

We got walk-in makeovers at MAC - Gina was trying out a look for the upcoming wedding of her son, Daniel. We went shopping after, and the salesladies fawned all over Gina's makeup - it really did look stunning! Then they sort of peered at me and said, "Yours is very subtle." (And I felt like it was caked on like a pole dancer.)

We also spotted two pods of dolphins at the Naples pier - they were too hard to capture with photos but we got a couple shots of ourselves!

Of course, there was much knitting to be done. Gina worked on a vest in Malabrigo, while I made great progress on my Featherweight Cardi in Alchemy Juniper (I think I'm going to finish in just 4 skeins!). After knitting the first sleeve on the flight down, I needed to take a break from the endless stockinette and make something quick. So I cast on for the Featherbed Beret from the Little Cake book #22, in Louisa Harding's new Thistle yarn (merino and baby suri alpaca). What a fun knit - and I love this yarn. Great stitch definition, loft and softness. Marisa was the lovely model - it's not every day you see someone wearing a merino/alpaca beret by the pool in Florida!

I re-entered the grid to discover a surprise in today's Tulsa World - a great article on the popularity of cowls featuring Gina's Snooty Snood original design.

Debbie, the model for our Snood pattern and the one who gave us the original idea, told me about this article in last week's Wall Street Journal. "Can the snood save Christmas?" was the title. Check out the photo of Lady Gaga, all snood-ified.

My motto for the week: Grid and bear it.

- Shelley
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Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Things are about to get a little spicier here on our little Loops blog.

I have a feeling there's about to be a whole lotta strippin' goin' on.

Introducing the Soft Chunky Braided Cowl.

This cowl idea came to us via one of our customers, Debbie, who is always on the lookout for sleek 'n' chic ready-to-wear accessories. I was so excited by the idea, I immediately grabbed two skeins of Twinkle Soft Chunky in color #59 (a dusky plum) and a big ol' pair of needles, and got to work.

The cowl is made in three simple strips that are then braided together and sewn up - it's as easy as that. If you can knit and purl, and you've got an hour or so, you've got it made. If you get 3 skeins, you can make 2 cowls - one for you, one for a gift.

Pattern is free with yarn purchase. If you're shopping online, just ask for the pattern in the checkout process.

Now, get to strippin'.

- Shelley
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Monday, November 2, 2009

Is the tree saving the mailbox, or the other way 'round?

Brent was driving us back from a family trip to the Pumpkin Patch, when we noticed something odd in our neighbor's yard. Obviously, I was the one in the passenger seat with the camera (I was, of course, knitting at the had to quickly grab the camera and there was no time to crop myself out!):

Click on the shot to see this brilliant marvel of inventive engineering up-close.

Really, I'm sure this seemed like a good idea at the time. But now, the tree is clearly rebelling against its oppressors.

(here comes a sudden change of subject - insert your own segue here)...OU and OSU fans, Yarn Bedlam is really heating up. OSU was really whuppin' up on OU for awhile, but then OU rallied with several more chemo caps to be donated. Looks like we're gonna need bigger bowls soon.

I found another really cute, slouchy beret pattern that would make a great chemo cap. Actually, I may have to make one for myself! It's the Star-Crossed Slouchy Beret (a free Ravelry download). It calls for one skein of Malabrigo Worsted, but I might make it in Blue Sky Dyed Cotton.

I'll keep ya' posted...both on the progress of the beret, and on the fate of the tree and mailbox.

- Shelley
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