Wednesday, December 30, 2009

"Me" time.

You've been madly knitting and crocheting gifts for weeks. Dreaming of finally, finally casting on a little something for yourself. So I have just the thing for you:

Mont Blanc from A.L. de Sauveterre is hand-painted cashmere that is quite rare. I personally have never seen anything like it. The softness, the richness of the colors...pure heaven.

Even the tags are gorgeous:

I've cast on a simple scarf in 3x1 rib and I'm going to see how far a skein will go. The stated gauge is 6 to 7.5. I'm working it up on a #7 needle to make it feel even softer and the halo is filling in nicely. This will also make the yarn "go farther"! I'll keep you posted. Also check out the scarf that Gina Marie wears so often, made from a bunch of Sauveterre Colors. Thanks to Gina for discovering this yarn for us!

Now for a sneak preview of some other new arrivals that just went out on the shelves yesterday.

This new Multi Cotton from Blue Sky Alpacas is sure to be a hit this spring. Blue Sky's organic-based Cottons are already one of our best sellers. The versatile worsted weight, incomparable softness and now, vivid multicolors - who can resist? Two of our employees have already offered to make a model in this! Watch for new patterns from Blue Sky coming out this spring.

We also received some beautiful new colors in La Boheme, Fiesta Yarn's best-selling yarn. This combination of a rayon bouclé and soft mohair in lovely colors makes beautiful drop-stitch scarves and easy wraps.

None of these new arrivals are online yet but soon will be. If you're outside of Tulsa, and want to get them before they are featured in the next e-blast, call us (1-877-LOOPSOK)and we'll help you choose over the phone.

- Shelley
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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Whadja get?

As a little girl, I remember this ritual of sorts. On Christmas morning, after Santa had come and gone and all of the presents had been ripped open, I would call up my best friends (Sarah and Kristy) and ask, "So...whadja get?"

We would run down the list of gifts, all the way to the bottom of the stocking. Big Wheel? Check. Simon? Check. Merlin? Check. (Remember those hot toys? I was more into electronics than Barbie or Cabbage Patch Kids.) And later...Guess Jeans? Check. Polo button down? Check. Marge McNearney handbag with removeable covers? Check.

Now, I don't know when the magical line was crossed. Perhaps when I got married. Perhaps when I had children. Or perhaps when I started knitting gifts in earnest. But somewhere along the way, the joy of Christmas began to come not from "Whadja get" to "What did you give?"

Here are some of my best Christmas memories of '09. Dad and Sam in their Turn a Square hats:

The girls in their fingerless mitts (Fetching in Alchemy Temple, and Cabled Mitts in Misti Chunky):

"Wrap Me Up Puppy" from the Itty Bitty Toys book (also made a chocolate lab):

This incredible portrait that Brent created of his wonderful dad, Stan, who passed away earlier this year. Wish I had a better photo, but if you look closely you will see that the photo is made up of words, memories and people who were important in Stan's life. Brent framed one for his mom and each of his 3 siblings.

Some of the other great memories that are sure to endure for me...Sam playing Joseph in the church pageant (notice that "Mary" was played by the cutest girl ever - they were quite the handsome holy couple):

Here's a pic from rehearsals:

There was comic relief when an ear fell off the donkey as they wheeled it down the aisle:

Cecily played the Emperor (um, I mean Empress) with a very convincing ferocity. (Mal was also convincing in her role/s of Townsperson #6 and #8).

And who will soon forget the epic Tulsa Blizzard of '09? We emerged from the pageant to a whiteout and the bone-chilling drive back to south Tulsa. After the shaking wore off, I got some pics of our Christmas lights in the snow:

The dogs were eager to frolic in the snow, even though it was above Lucy's head! Here, she's catching a snowflake on her tongue.

And the frolicking continued into Christmas Day:

So...what did I get for Christmas? As corny as it may sound, I got the joy of giving. Of keeping my family warm and loved. Of sharing my passion with thousands of stitchers around the world.

And those of you who know the story of Sandy dog, who still barks and scares the pants off every delivery man who dares to approach our house, you will appreciate my very favorite gift to receive this year. It was given to us by Billie Anne, who Sandy still terrorizes on a weekly basis:

- Shelley
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Friday, December 25, 2009

LMKG #24 and #25: Mitts and SALE!

My biggest and best Christmas gift was arriving home safely last night, after leaving our church Christmas pageant and heading out into the Tulsa whiteout blizzard of '09. Faithful blog readers will remember that last year I had another exciting Christmas Eve adventure involving the pageant, a gas can and a nice policeman.

It took us an hour and a half to make the harrowing drive home from downtown to 91st street. Cars were stalling out and sliding all around us, and on the radio were people calling in, stranded on the interstates which were shut down. Our windshield wipers weren't working so we had to stop at the red lights, hop out and scrape off the windshild. Harriet was with us and kept offering up her gloves to help wipe off the window!

You know things are bad when all of the children get very, very quiet in the backseat...

Today, we are snuggled in tight at home and the kids (and dogs) are loving the snow. I will share pics of the record-breaking snowfall, as well as photos of my knitted gifts being enjoyed by their receivers, in the next day or two. Meanwhile, I still owe you all two more Last Minute Knitted Gifts.

After all the gift knitting, baking, wrapping and shopping for everyone else, it's time to make a little something for myself. Sadly, I don't have any fingerless mitts of my own! So I'm going to make these Cafe Au Lait mitts by Paula McKeever out of the mink yarn that Ellen kindly gifted to me:

These would be equally extravagant out of Loops' Jade Sapphire Cashmere.

And that brings me to Gift #25: Loops Annual After-Christmas Sale! In case you missed our e-mail, the sale starts Saturday at 10am. All yarn in the store is 25-75% off (yes, even the Jade Sapphire Cashmere). Needles, books, notions and bags are at least 10% off. And from 10am-12noon on Saturday, there will be two doorbusters. One: All Louisa Harding yarns are on sale 40% off from 10-12. And two: Well, two is a surprise.

The sale runs through Monday at 8pm. The sale won't be advertised to the public until Sunday, so it will be worth venturing out on Saturday to see us! Also, all online orders will be discounted 25% when you use code 09SALE - this code will be good from midnight tonight (Friday) through midnight Monday.

So, we'll see you Saturday and meantime, have a wonderful, safe Christmas!

- Shelley

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

LMG #23: A Christmas spark.

I left the "K" out of the title. This one is simply a Last Minute Gift: A gift you can give to Tulsa in general, and to one local family, specifically. And it won't cost you a penny.

Cassidy is our newest Loops employee, and her husband, Matt, has been a Tulsa firefighter for the past year and a half. They have two very young, beautiful children.

In case you haven't heard, due to our city's budget shortfalls, layoff of 60-120 Tulsa firefighters may be imminent. Merry Christmas? Not so much.

These layoffs would be drastic. At least 5 stations would close, and response time would be severely affected. I, for one, have been personally assisted by (and impressed by) our fire department. They are always the first to the scene, so professional and calm and kind. Most, including Matt, work a second job on their days off to make ends meet.

What a wonderful gift it would be if we could use the power of this blog to create a spark and make a difference for our firefighters' families. Please, take a moment to write your city councilperson. Ask them to reconsider the layoff. Tell them what our city's finest mean to you.

Here is a list of email addresses for your City Council leaders. If you're not sure which district you are in, just write one email and copy all of them!


This is such a simple way to make a difference. Thank you for your efforts and for your continued support of our city and the people who make it great. When knitters unite, we can do amazing things!

- Shelley
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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

LMKG #22: Snappy hat.

Three days left! Knock out another Last Minute Knitted Gift...and make it Snappy! This Snappy Hat by Corrina Ferguson is a free ravelry download, uses just one skein of Misti Alpaca Chunky or Brown Sheep Bulky, and works up extra-snappy on #10.5 needles.

Thanks to Kendall for bringing this great pattern to my attention. She has made it as a chemo cap for friends, to rave reviews! Brighten up the holidays for someone who is going through a tough time :)

- Shelley
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Monday, December 21, 2009

LMKG #21: Saartje's Booties.

If you haven't made these little booties before, you're in for a Last Minute Knitted Gift treat. The pattern is on Saartje's blog, over on the right. I love how these look in Berroco Metallic Sox - just a little bit of sparkle for your little Christmas star:

Photo/project credit goes to mcbeesknees on ravelry. So cute!

And here's what my baby has been busy doing this holiday...hold onto your socks for...MAL-CAM (i.e. when Mallory sneaks the camera out of my purse while we are driving with Gina to breakfast at Mimi's Cafe):

- Shelley
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Sunday, December 20, 2009

LMKG #20: Solomon's Knot Scarf.

This one is actually a LMCG - Last Minute Crocheted Gift. It only takes 2 skeins of Louisa Harding Sari Ribbon, a size H hook, and the time it takes to watch It's a Wonderful Life (well, maybe twice).

Here's the link to the free pattern, here's the link to the Sari Ribbon and here are two great photos from phoebecat on ravelry:

Voila! Gorgeous gift for under twenty bucks.

- Shelley
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Saturday, December 19, 2009

LMKG #19: Love me some garter stitch.

It's 7 days 'til Christmas, you've shopped til you've dropped, the cards still need to be signed and mailed, and all the kids are out of school (oh joy! oh rapturous togetherness!). This is your reminder that, with the right yarn (in this case, 2 skeins of Noro Iro silk/wool blend), our first love - the garter stitch - can be a very beautiful, very zen, and most of all very expedient experience.

This is "You're My Iro" by Jared Flood, aka Brooklyn Tweed.

See, even a knitting genius guru like Jared, who has mastered the highly complex, can appreciate the simplicity of garter stitch on #11 needles every once in a while.

Besides, the non-knitter you give it to will never know the difference between this and steeked fair isle on #1 DPN's. Trust me.

- Shelley
P.S. The pattern calls for 2 skeins, but you can make probably use 1 and get a shorter version that your man can fold over, under his overcoat. Lots of guys like to avoid the bulk of longer scarves, anyway.
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LMKG #19: Shroom!

Love the hat, love the designer, love the yarn, love the instant gratification!

Click here for the free Shroom pattern by Lee Juvan on

Click here to purchase Spud & Chloe Outer yarn. For an alternative yarn or different colors, try Big Wool.

- Shelley
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Friday, December 18, 2009

LMKG #17 & 18: Two cuties in Goa.

Muench Goa has been with Loops since the very beginning. I originally brought it in to make the Sweet Baby Cardigan and Hat from Suss Cousin's book, Hollywood Knits. The Goa is a chunky cotton blend with a bouncy squishiness that almost feels like fleece when it's knitted up.

Alas, all good things must come to an end, and it is time for Goa to make way for other new fabulous yarns at Loops. Right now, it's on sale 30% off in-store. So I found two adorable, quick-knit projects that you can whip up for the little cutie in your life.

The first is this Bunny Baby Blanket, a little wubbie for tiny hands to clutch. It should take two skeins of Goa:

The second is the mega-cute Ribbons Hat, from the book Itty Bitty Hats by Susan B. Anderson. Most of you, I'm sure, have this in your library. If not, you can find the book here on All you will need is one ball of Goa and of course, ribbons! The photo of this sweet baby is by "cguggs" on ravelry:

- Shelley
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P.S. Goa is not in our online store, but feel free to call toll-free 1-877-LOOPSOK and we can help you find a great color. Alternatively, try either of these patterns in Puffin - which is available online here. The yardage is comparable to Goa and it is equally squishy - and washable!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

LMKG #16: Silk spiral cowl.

Can you guys stand one more cowl? This Last Minute Knitted Gift idea is a sure winner because a) it's silk; b) it's a cowl and c) it's all spiral-y, and done in the lustrous scrumptiousness of Alchemy Synchronicity.

The pattern, by Keri McKiernan, is a free ravelry download here and these photos are by knittingadrienne on ravelry. She used two skeins of Synchronicity. Alternatively, try Louisa Harding Grace (slightly smaller gauge so you might want to go down to #6-7 needles and cast on more stitches).

You can see knittingadrienne's notes on her project page, here. Don't you love that pretty shawl pin? And her cute photos?

- Shelley
P.S. Just realized that, in the Loops Scoop e-newsletter I sent out yesterday, I forgot to credit Zoe Gladstone for the photo of the "14" neckwarmer in Malabrigo Aquarella. She was kind enough to give me permission, then I spaced it! So sorry, Zoe - and I love your work!
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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

LMKG #15: Leather & Loops.

If you liked the Snoody Snood, you'll love this.

Leather & Loops is a quick cowl made from just one skein of Baby Alpaca Grande. It is tied together with a small length of leather cord. And, like our Snood, it is from our own brilliant pattern designer Gina Hills.

For a limited time, when you purchase the Leather & Loops pattern online, together with Baby Alpaca Grande or any other chunky yarn from the Loops online store, we will include the leather cord for free. Just request it when you place your online order, and specify brown or black leather.

- Shelley
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Monday, December 14, 2009

LMKG #14: Outsider Mittens.

Fingerless gloves are all the rage, but sometimes (even in Oklahoma) you really want to cover those fingers up. Plus, you want to be prepared for the inevitable snowball fight or snowman-building extravaganza.

This Last Minute Knitted Gift project is perfect for keeping small (and big) hands warm. It's made from Spud & Chloe Outer, a superwash bulky, which comes in really handy if the kids accidentally incorporate some yellow snow into Frosty. You moms know what I'm talkin' about.

The Outsider Mittens take one to two skeins of Outer, depending on the size and whether or not you choose to do the extended-cuff-with-bobbles version.

P.S. Holly sez...if you've made a Christmas Creep scarf for someone out of Twinkle Soft Chunky, these would be great made in Twinkle to match.

- Shelley
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Sunday, December 13, 2009

LMKG #13: Wham Bam.

Big props go to Susan Chang for this brilliant idea, and to Kathy D. for bringing it to our attention.

We're all busy making Christmas Cowls 'til the cowls come home. But if you grow weary of manufacturing the same cowl over and over like a living knitting machine, try this simple little twist on the theme.

This is really just a rectangle that's folded and seamed off-kilter. It takes only 100 yards of super-bulky yarn like Twinkle Soft Chunky or Blue Sky Bulky. And the very best part is the uproarious name:

Wham Bam Thank-You Lamb.

Susan says on her blog, insaknitty, "Who knew this little design of mine would generate over 1000 ravelry projects in just one year? So exciting! And kind of amazing too, considering it's probably the most brainless thing I've ever made."

I say, brainless + great name = genius!

The free ravelry download is available here.

- Shelley
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Saturday, December 12, 2009

LMKG #12: French Press slippers.

Thanks to OregonOkie on ravelry for this LMKG idea (and thanks, also, for that No Fail Roast recipe you posted in the "Less Cooking, More Knitting" thread - yumm-o!).

Check out these cuties. Really, who could buy store-bought slippers made in Taiwan when you've laid your eyes on these sweet little French Press Felted Slippers?

The pattern (and the photo of the taupe slippers up top) is by Melynda Bernardi, and is available as a $7 download, here. (The pink slipper photo is by Elven). The pattern calls for 300-330 yards of worsted weight felting yarn. Some suggestions:

Cascade 220 Wool (NOT superwash - two skeins)
Malabrigo Worsted (two skeins)
Lamb's Pride Worsted (two skeins).

- Shelley
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