Friday, March 30, 2012

The Loops Troops SKIP out.

At Loops, we know there exist many "fair weather knitters." In the winter, they love to curl up with their wool and needles by the fire. But come spring, they head outside into the beautiful green world and leave their needles to gather dust, sad and forgotten on a shelf or worse yet, lost in the cushion of the couch.

Quel dommage! (bear with me - sometimes these old phrases from high school French come bubbling up in my brain before the English)... What a shame! These poor fair weather folks are missing out on the many joys of spring and summer knitting. The linen. The silk. The cotton. The poolside knitting. And my favorite: The absence of sleeves.

So yesterday, I issued a challenge to the Troops called SKIP: Springtime Knitting in Public.

The mission: Sometime during the day, take a photo of yourself knitting in public. The reward: Prize for the best photo. Not all were able to rise to the challenge (it was a very short deadline, after all, and many were working at the shops). But many others came through with flying colors.

Cassidy was first, with this great shot of her knitting The Age of Brass and Steam in Berroco Linsey. She is at Café Olé, my fave Tulsa Mexican place. Yes, that's a margarita. And no, I won't tell you what time this picture was taken. But she sure looks to be enjoying her SKIP.

Gina Y was SKIPPING out at Starbuck's, in her favorite corner. She's making a pair of socks using her basic sock pattern she developed for Loops.

Here is Emily at a dress rehearsal break for the University of Tulsa's opera workshop performance, where she is one of the pianists they hired for the semester! She's working on a Flyleaf Shawl in Ella Rae Lace Merino for the class she's teaching soon at Loops.

It seems that the Loops Troops like to pamper themselves a bit on their day off. Here is Jane, multitasking while getting a pedicure. She's making a Foghorn Sweater from the Lighthouse Book in Classic Elite Seedling.

And here are Pat and Gina H, attempting a SKIP with a high degree of difficulty: Horizontal knitting while getting a massage from our friends at Ihloff Salon. My, look at all the attention they're getting! It looks like that iconic scene with Dorothy and the lion from Wizard of Oz.

But then, whenever you knit (or crochet) in public, you're sure to get lots of attention.

And that is the true point of this post: Get out... Enjoy the gorgeous weather... And don't forget your knitting! Because when you stitch in public, people notice. When they notice, they often decide to take it up themselves. And when that happens, you can send them right in to your favorite LYS (or online to your favorite web LYS).

And when that happens, all the Loops Troops say, "Thanks!!!"

So why not SKIP out today?

- Shelley
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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Where (some of) the magic happens.

Lately, I've been making some nice progress on my projects. I finished up this "Big Effin Stripes Scarf," my version of Loretta's Effin Scarf using the very cool Ripple yarn that just arrived. (FYI you do 12 rows of each colors, following the pattern, and it takes 2 balls of blue, 1 ball of silver).

And then I finished this sweet wedding garter for my friend Leslie (and I really hope you're not reading this, Leslie, at least until the package makes it to your house). I used Berroco Seduce for this. Isn't it so sweetly sexy?

And I'm making great progress on my Hot Loops wall project (sorry no pix, it's a secret until the big reveal party on March 31st!). But even with all this progress, I've been suffering fairly severe knitter's guilt. You see, my home office (where some of the "Loops magic" - buying, marketing, planning - takes place), had become an unintentional repository for my stash. This is only a small portion of my stash, mind you. But nonetheless, having to look at piles of disorganized, unused yarn on my shelves was definitely messing with my knitting mojo.

So, I decided to do what I often prescribe for my customers: While you're not using your yarn, decorate with it.

I just grabbed a few bowls that I wasn't using...organized my wayward skeins by color group, and voila! No more (or at least far less) stash guilt!

Got needle guilt? All you need is a pretty vase, and poof! It's gone.

And while I'm giving you a peek behind my curtain, here is the photo that sits just behind my computer. I just love this shot of Sam and Sandy, taken during a Hot Loops shoot a season or two ago.

Next to my needle vase sits this odd little memento.

It doesn't look like much, but really it's one of my most prized possessions - for what it contains inside. After I played a big tennis match, my youngest daughter (then about age 7) presented me with this tennis ball filled with little love notes.

In case you can't read her Sharpie scrawl, here is what some of the notes say (I am leaving the spelling as-is):
"your favorite color is red and you tuck me into bed"
"you're always looking for you're brush and you get me to school in a rush"
"you are 1# in front of a tun"
"I love you mom you are prety, sam wants you to take him to new york city"
"win or lose we love you"

Now, I'm not saying my office is perfect. Far from it.

But, now that my stash is more organized and I've got my special tennis ball, it's perfect for me! :)

- Shelley
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