Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Inspired?




It was....love at first sight when the Purelife British Sheep Breeds came in last week with the 847 lbs of Rowan. I'll admit, the Purelife line appeals to my dorky side--the British Sheep Breeds book and yarn have a little blurb about all four of the breeds used, and each of the yarn colors is from a specific breed. And, it's a renewable resource--an annual shearing--so it appeals to my greener side, too.
Then I saw the British Sheep Breeds book that goes with it--the cover jacket (Gayle) is absolutely wonderful. I just had to knit it! I chose the Dark Grey Welsh though--the Bluefaced Leicester would terrify me (aside from knitting I have messy hobbies--cars, target shooting, etc. and though I know I won't dare wear this coat to anything like that, there's usually some 'evidence' in my car that I accidentally come in contact with!)
I went home that night and got started--after casting on with the wrong size needles (yep, I can't be left to my own devices when I'm this excited!) and tearing the whole thing out, I'm about halfway through the first chart repeat. The chart isn't exactly for the faint of heart and I'll be honest--I've never knit a cable before in my life and never knit from a chart either. It's beautiful though--and the pattern is pretty darn clearly written. Just proof that if you're patient with yourself and don't mind asking questions you can knit anything. I love it! It's a rough wool, definitely best suited for outerwear, but I can tell it's going to be exceptionally warm, and the cables are amazing!
*Ashley*

The Possum Posse is doing a KAL!

Well, we just can't stand ourselves and when the Cherry Tree Hill Possum yarn came into the shop, it was a mad dash to decide what to do first. Jeanne, was the lucky recipient of the sample knitting and just ooooohhhh'd and ahhhhh'd all over herself about it! Now beleive it or not, this crew is on a bit of a yarn overload of late and today it was decided that we (Sandy, Ashley & Jeanne) would knit up the Ann Norling Spiral Rib hat out of the Possum; hence the name 'Possum Posse' and lighten up with a bit of knitting. Phew, you knitters/crocheters keep us busy here in the shop. Anyway, here we are ready to get this show on the road! Sandy chose the colorway Grape Field, Ashley chose Moss Garden, and Jeanne is going to work up the Napa Valley. Yum Yum! Now if any of you want to join in feel free and as Sandy would say, "It will be a hoot!" Stay tuned to see the possumbilities!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Making room?






Well, yesterday I came in early and worked on some rearranging for the shop. We have so much beautiful new yarn that we are bursting at the seams. When we moved into this space over a year ago, I thought we would never fill it up. Little did I know that Jimmy would just keep on ordering new yarns. Sandy and Amber came in too and helped so much!






Sandy has such a rough job, here she is making a lace corner. I feel so bad making her touch the Helen's Lace, Silky Alpaca and Andrea. Of course there is the Cashwool too! Sandy, I promise I won't abuse you so and will give you a better task next time. I am such an Ogre!






I worked on the Lorna's Worsted and got most of the colors out on the floor. It is one of my favorites and I do enjoy my job! I think that the South Shore is my current favorite color, but I can be very fickle when it comes to yarn. I am sure I will figure something new to add to my favorite list soon! It could probably roll across town right now and of course I am a stasher.

While we were working on all of this (and please rest assured that the job will NEVER be done), Amber was counting up the Lorna's Shepherd Sock and cleaning up the display. It is now a beautiful rainbow! Thanks Amber! All you sock knitters out there keep me jumping with that particular stocking job. It comes in and goes out before I can get it out! My goodness!
Thanks Amber, you did an AMAZING job!
Well, I better get back to work, but I wanted you to see all that we are doing here to make things better and better for you.
Of course Rachel, just brought out the samples that are on loan until October in the Schaefer Nancy! Acckkk! I have already bought 4 to knit up a cape. I do think big, but I hope to have it written up for all of you as a 2 Askew pattern sometime in this decade! Ha Ha! Happy Knitting! Jeanne

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

837 Lbs of New Rowan Arrived!!!








Oh my GOODNESS we received so much new yarn today! I just stood back and swooned as the boxes rolled by! I can't wait to dig in and cast something (anything) on with the Colourscape chunky. The colors are yummy and it will work up so fast. We also got the pattern book (The Colourscape Chunky Collection) to go along with it and I think I will knit up 'Dandy', but I am not sure in which colorway yet.






Ashley, called the invoice that is laid out here; the Yellow Brick Road, and phew it really has been one heck of a crazy day. I wonder what the knitting Wizard will have us sing as we skip on down this yarn lane. Ha Ha!






It has taken most of the day for the crew in the back to clear it up and now I will have to find some space out here in the front of the shop to show it off. You can see Amanda here surrounded by boxes of new stuff to play with! Gosh you two what are you doing, get back to work! ;-}




I have been pricing all the new books and of course peeking as I go. We also have the Rowan Magazine #44 in and I can't wait to get it home. It is their 30th Anniversary Edition and boy did they out do themselves here.


You know even Jimmy (Laura) came down today and is shipping as I type this. All you knitters out there are just keeping us jumping around here and touching all this yummy yarn, as we wonder what are you going be knitting next?


Happy Knitting! Jeanne















Tuesday, July 22, 2008

NPR Story!

YAY! We made it to the big time... NPR!

I stumbled into work yesterday (monday) around 2:30pm - after the 5th doctor's appt in 8 days in which my leg was unpacked and then packed again (with ribbon gauze - thanks jen!). The good news is that the hole in my leg is now only an inch deep.... the bad news is that it must have started to get infected again, cause they changed my antibiotics - now i'm on horse pills that have the following 1st line warning (paraphrased, of course): this HUGE pill will likely cause you to vomit and be miserable for the first few days... but don't worry, it's normal! Take 2x per day.

Great. Can't wait to start taking these. Haha - well, i did feel like crap for a bit, but the redness has gone away and the hole has gone from 2" to just an inch... so the vomiting was worth it (and we decided yesterday that doug and i should just start doing the packing here at home, so i won't have to hit the doctors office til next week!).

Ok - i'll quit whining now... on to the good stuff... NPR! After arriving at the shop yesterday, Amanda tuned the radio to the local NPR station - Marketplace was on at 3pm. So exciting!! The program is 30 minutes long, though, so we just sat there, staring at the radio (how funny, eh?) ... waiting/hoping for our segment to come on. When it did, we all stood there paralyzed ... and then i started to cry (but just a little)! What the &(*9 is wrong with me these days? I think it's the horse pills :(

Regardless, we thought the story was done really well - and loved the references to our new Youtube videos. Those have been so much fun to make, so it's great to see them get a bit of press. In fact, we're getting 837 lbs of new Rowan yarns tomorrow (including the new Kaffe Fassett Colourscape) - and will be reviewing them all next week - i think we can get to 200 videos - yay!!

One quick note: I've heard from a number of people since this aired yesterday - and am consistently hearing the same message - KNITTING HAS NOT DIED!! Alas, it has not, but with all of the competition of new shops (and sites), it has gotten harder to make a living. I'm guessing Carolyn was trying to show how we all have had to get a bit creative to keep our jobs? ... jobs that i (and doug and buddy and wiley) are thankful for every single day... um, ok, most days. :)

p.s. just turned the heel on the 2nd Taos sock! I feel guilty, tho, as i should finish putting together my friend's blanket...
p.p.s. just got the draft of our newly designed homepage back from the designer - it looks amazing!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Injury Update - and Socks!!


Stop the presses!! I might actually finish a PAIR of socks! And in record time!

I have never, ever knit a pair of socks this fast... and i think this is only the 3rd time that i've gotten this far on 2 socks - i've already turned the heel (just did it this morning). As i've been having to sit on my butt almost every day for the last 10 days, I only have my injury (and that darned bush) to thank.

So - an update on the old leg... after getting it cleaned out last saturday (the 5th), i spent the next few days limping from room to room (and needing a bit of help getting in and out of chairs). We thought the muscle had been punctured also, so weren't surprised by the intense swelling and redness (and my lameness). Sleeping was miserable - i could only sleep in one position. That, combined with the heat and intense smoke out here made for restless nights. (I finally gave up and started taking a few ibuprofen around midnight each night - it helped.) On Friday (the 11th), i headed to work in reno, determined to be useful. Well.... a few hours into my 'shift', a huge spot suddenly appeared on the side of my shorts. My leg had exploded. I am not kidding you - ask Amanda of the A-Team. It was disgusting - and i won't recall the details (unless you ask me, of course!) - but i was so thankful that Jeanne has stocked the store bathroom with a ton of bandages. I spent the next 15 minutes in the bathroom, cleaning up the mess. Gross.

Needless to say, we then realized that my leg was infected (we really thought it was just a punctured muscle) and headed back to the doctor the next morning. She numbed it (again) and then went to town cleaning it out... (she thought doug was going to pass out, as the hole had abscessed and was now an inch or so deep - and almost twice as wide as before). After cleaning it, she packed it with some sort of tape stuff (looked like a non-calorie eating tapeworm to me) and told me to come back on monday. I thought i was going to be sick to my stomach. I swear that she touched my thigh bone when she was cleaning it out - i could feel it in the pit of my stomach. AHHHH!! Anyway, i went back on monday and she removed that tapeworm, but then put in another. No numbing this time - and i think everyone in the office could hear me screaming (poor Doug)! i have to go back tomorrow - and then friday - and then hopefully the hole will have healed enough that it can exist without pieces of inanimate tape stuffed into it. I can't wait. :)


p.s. In case you're wondering what this beautiful yarn i'm knitting on ... it's the new Hand Paint Sock Yarn by Misti Alpaca (color - Taos). Yum.
p.p.s. once i'm able to start walking normally again, doug and i will be taking our handsaw up to the site of the accident. we're going to find that darned bush and cut the offending branch off. It will make me feel better.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Provisional Cast On Instructions for Therapi Braided Wrap!

Ok! The video is up - if you're like me and don't know how to do a provisional cast-on, Sandy and i teamed up to teach you (we needed that cast-on for the Therapi Braided Wrap). It's kinda long (9 minutes), but might be helpful... !!!
We also just put up reviews for 20 more products - so there are more to look at :)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Good News.... and Bad

Happy 4th of July! As you can see, I finished the back of my soft linen hoodie - and am on my way to finishing the front.

Well, i have a bit of bad news (only for myself, tho). For the 4th of july, doug and i walked up behind our house to watch the Donner Lake firework display. On the way up, i tripped and fell on my side into a bush. No biggie, right? I didn't think so. We kept hiking (was starting to get dark) and found a spot to plant ourselves. My thigh was throbbing, but i just figured i had gotten a really deep bruise! After the fireworks were over, i stood up and realized that my leg was a little more damaged than i had thought.

After walking 1/4 mile or so on the trails, i put my hand on my pants, trying to to figure out what was going on. Well.... i almost passed out when i realized that my pant leg was soaked in blood. Needless to say, we limped home only to realize that the bush had PUNCTURED my thigh! There was a huge hole (ok, maybe not HUGE, but it felt emormous!) in the side of my leg... Doug played nurse and cleaned it all out with alcohol and soap, then drove to the gas station for bandages. Don't worry - we did go to the doctor yesterday morning and she scrubbed it all clean (and got some bark out of it), but told us that i should have gotten stitches the night before (we thought 12 hours would still be plenty of time for stitches, but apparently it's 6).

And the good news is??? Well, since i can't really walk, i've gotten a lot of knitting done! A few days ago, Sandy challenged me to a race - who could complete the Therapi Braided Wrap first. (i know - doug said i was insane for agreeing to race Sandy - she's so fast!!). But now I think i have an advantange :) Heck, i think i might be done by the end of the day today....here's where i am so far.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Sockknitters ARE CRAZY!


Ok, i don't mean to be rude, but you sock knitters are insane! We just sold out of the Popsicle sock yesterday - it's only been 3 days!! And, you guys just keep grabbing that Franklin color - enough that i had to triple my order and that will barely be enough... i finally saw the color in person yesterday and must say it's one of my all time favorites (with the exception of the upcoming August color).

Ha ha - i'm not complaining - yesterday was one of the most fun days at work i've had in a long time... I stayed til about 8pm and tried to get out every single order that we could - one of my favorite things about this job is being at the store at 7:30pm ... and seeing another order come in, then pulling it and shipping it out before the customer has even turned off their computer. Makes me smile everytime to know that someone ordered at 7:30pm and might get their order delivered just 15 hours later.

So now that i know how crazy you guys are for these monthly colors (to honest, i'm kinda crazy for them too - one of my desk drawers is actually full of Lorna's Laces hanks - i pet them about once a day and try not to drool over them), i thought i'd share just a teensy weensy peek of the upcoming August color with you... just a few pixels to make you wonder. :) It's weird to think that only Lorna's and Doug and I know what this looks like. It hasn't been published in any ads - the girls in the store haven't seen it... it's a mystery. Ha ha.


One more quick note - Doug says THANK YOU to Jeanne, Ashley, Amber, Amanda and all of the girls at JBW... During our recent pottery night, the girls decorated and signed a coffee mug for Doug - a gift for his birthday. He loves the mug was was drinking coffee out of it this very morning (as i was out struggling on an early morning run. don't worry - i had coffee as soon as i returned - i'm acting like a human again). And here's a pic of the mug (which i'll be using for beer on monday ... we're expecting 150 lbs of new Misti Alpaca yarns... including the softest sock and chunky yarns i've ever felt in my life. After unloading and photographing it, i'll be wanting a beer or two... or 3?).

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Fireworks is Here (And Preordering Solely Socks)!

The fireworks is here and ready to ship!

Can you see now why we should have named this popsicle? What were we thinking? Oh well - a name is just a name, right? Besides, with all of the smoke in the air around our house, this is what the fireworks are going to look like anyway :)



So, i mentioned earlier that we recently attended a trade show (TNNA) in Columbus. While we were there, we met and chatted with the owners of a bunch of small companies (like Laura from Schaefer Yarn - i cannot BELIEVE how many of these undulating scarves we've sold - both Jeanne and Sandy just started theirs last night - and had to meet over coffee to discuss beading tricks. Thanks for the suggestion, Laura!).

One of the other girls i met was Della Q. For the last year or so, i'd heard her name from customers - so i was determined to meet the girl at Columbus - and to see what all of the hubbub (sp?) was about. (Sidelight - coming home from reno on monday, i read jokes from jokes2go.com while doug drove - it keeps me from falling asleep. one of my favorites was from stephen wright: "what's another word for thesaurus?" LOL!!)

Ok, focus. (why is that so hard for me??!). Not 5 minutes after Ashley and i entered Della's booth, we fell in love. The genius that she is, Della showed us this new little needle holder that she has coming out this fall: the Solely Socks roll. It fits up to 6 sets of 6" dpns - and is just adorable!! And Della really sealed the deal when she offered both ashley and i one of the Solely Socks to take home for ourselves (surprise - i got a brown one). I LOVE FREE STUFF!

Here's the problem: I am so convinced that everyone else is going to go as batty for these things as i am that i think i kinda freaked Della out (i often have that effect on people). I'm not sure what her original production numbers were (she has them made in vietnam and contributes a portion of profits to the community there, etc.), but i think she got a little worried that it wouldn't be enough. Especially since we're going to feature these in one of our Fall Print Ads.

Anyway, I'd feel horribly guilty if she increased production and then people didn't respond the way i imagined (my thought is, for $26, how can you NOT buy this as a gift for a sock knitter?)... so i asked her if she'd mind if we put them up on the site and allowed people to preorder. She said yes! So - long story short - if you're wondering why we're doing a preorder for all the way in September, it's to help make sure that we (and other shops) will have enough for all of you crazy sock knitters. I simply can't tell you how excited i am about this. I'm almost counting down the days til Sept.

So, Doug and i are working on the contents for the ad today - trying to come up with something clever to write. Too bad i'm not feeling particularly clever today. And the smoke has finally cleared for a few hours, so i should really take the dogs for a run - i'd rather sit here and eat bon bons, though... know what i mean???