Sunday, December 28, 2008

Hats all around....and a scarf.

My Christmas hats were a big hit! Here are my three nephews, Nicholas (top), Evan (in front of Nicholas), my dad (the adult) and Matthew (next to my dad) all wearing their gifts:
Nicholas and Matthew wore their hats all day, even in the house.
And my Noro striped scarf was a big hit with my mom!:
I didn't get a picture of her wearing it (aside from one where her face isn't showing) -- I'm not really sure why except that I was focused on the fact that I forgot to take a picture of the finished scarf before I wrapped it for her and I wanted to make sure I had a picture of the finished project for my projects page on Ravelry and for the blog. But, I will say that it looks GREAT on her and they are "her" colors. I didn't get many pictures in general on Christmas -- I guess just my general lack of organization around anything not related to the store these days.
My next post will be all about the adventures of doing end-of-year store inventory! RIVETING subject matter. Riveting.

Friday, December 19, 2008


Tomorrow is Holiday Cookie Day at the store, which means I bring cookies and you enjoy them! These are the frosted ones. I have non-frosted, with just the red and green sugar on them, but they just didn't look as pretty so I didn't take a picture. Now I'm wishing I frosted all of them.
Here's the thing about me and baking things for a party or an event. I'm always worried that there won't be enough and as a result, Paul only gets to eat the broken ones. Now, mind you, there are always PLENTY. I never don't have enough. There are ALWAYS some left over. But, I'm never absolutely sure. Tonight I made 54 cookies. I'm pretty sure there have never been 54 people in the store in one day. As the (mostly) eternal optimist, I'm thinking "You never know. Tomorrow is the Saturday before Christmas and it may very well be mobbed with last minute shoppers. I hope 54 is enough."
As they were baking away, Paul came in from the garage where he has been working hard painting a car for a friend. He had this really expectant look on his face and said "It smells SO good in here, can I have one?". In the split second after he asked, he must have seen my face and said "A broken one?" He had a broken one and then I felt bad so I said, "Well, you can have a regular one if you want." And he said, "That's ok. Maybe later." (which means he'll probably have another broken one). He's so great. Very tolerant. ; )
Meanwhile, today was the big snow storm. LOTS of snow. Paul dropped me off and picked me up since his truck has 4 wheel drive. I ended up closing only an hour early when it was really coming down hard. On the way up 146 we were behind a county sherriff who got stuck and had to turn around and go back down the hill!
I actually had several customers which surprised me because I thought people would just be getting home. It was still pretty quiet which gave me the much needed chance to catch up on a few things. I got to the store early since Paul dropped me off on his way to work, so I did all kinds of filing (there was a huge pile on my desk). Then I got the sign made for the wall by the cash register that lists all the new classes. And realized that there are A LOT of classes scheduled - I'm really excited about them and I hope you all like them. Then I started working on my sample for the granny squares crochet class, a scarf:
I think it will be pretty cute. Granny squares are coming back you know. This picture is not the greatest (New Year's resolution is to get a better digital camera for the shop!) but the squares are yellow, pink and fuscia. And they are crochet-ing up (doesn't roll off the tongue as well as "knitting up") pretty quickly too.
Off to have dinner now that the cookies are don!

Just couldn't help myself...

I started knitting a sock with my dyed yarn!:

It's not the greatest picture, but you get the idea. I love how it's coming out.

Big storm on the way today...Paul dropped me off this morning and will pick me up later since he has 4 wheel drive. We'll see if I have to close early... I hope not!

Oh, and I've added a new blog to my list at the right called TECHKnitting(thanks to Nancy V. for showing it to me). It's a really cool blog that discusses the technical aspects of knitting and has a lot of really good information. Check it out!

Ok, I posted this blog but now I'm editing it to tell you that you HAVE to read this blog post by the Yarn Harlot. Simply the funniest story ever (even though it has nothing to do with knitting, other than her knitting was interrupted), and she is so good at telling it:

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Dye-ing of excitement

The finished sock yarn I dyed the other night! Here are the three skeins:

And here are two of them balled up:
And here they are in a different light:

I can't wait to start knitting my socks! Other projects are calling me first, though, but don't be surprised if you see just a peek pretty soon because I won't be able to help myself.
By the way, no sooner did I post about the sock class and it filled up! The second one is scheduled for March 8, 2-4pm and will be slightly different. See the website for details:

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Holiday Sheep

The antlers actually have little blinking lights on them but you have to keep pushing the button. Feel free on your way into the store!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Another thing I did today....

Like I needed something else to do... but I couldn't wait to try dyeing sock yarn! Class coming up in January for this kind - the Louet kit. Another class in March to dye the Happy Choices scarf blanks.
Undyed yarn, soaked and waiting for color:
Color #1, a dark blue-ish:
Color #2, a reddish:
Forgot to take a picture of color #3, an orange-ish. Der.
Everything in a bag, in the microwave for 8 minutes:

Hang to dry:
Closer look at the colors, including the orange:
Pretty, pretty. SO. DARN. COOL. What fun to dye your own yarn?
Can't wait to rinse, then dry again, so I can knit a sock. I'm a teeny tiny bit concerned that I got some of the yarn tangled since I had to turn the skeins over each time I put on a new color (to get it on all sides), but we'll see.
Sign up for the class soon. After today, I'm realizing I need to limit the class to 4 and one spot is already filled! (also need to sign up soon so I can order the kits!)


Well, it's about time I had some knitting projects to share....

I finally finshed the hats for my nephews and my dad for Christmas. My nephews' hats are made from Encore. Nice and practical (and colorful):

My sister says they are constantly losing their hats. Fingers crossed they won't lose their new favorite hats their Auntie Liz made.
My dad's hat is made from Lamb's Pride Worsted. Manly colors. Nice and warm. I love this yarn.
AND, I finally finished the ArtYarns Cashmere Sock Yarn socks. I really, Really, REALLY love this yarn. It is so soft and yummy and they are sooooooooooo comfortable:
If you've seen me in the shop looking a little frazzled and a little weary - this part of the reason. But, it's all good. Full life=happy life. That's all for now. Lots to do. Little time. Those days off went fast!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Lots of ice

Lots and lots of ICE! Everywhere. Trees are down on our street and in our yard. So far, our power is still on, but it's getting really windy on the hill and I have a feeling it will go out. The ice on my car was about a 1/2 inch thick.

A couple of trees on the green across from the store also have big branches down. Paul drove me down to the store this morning (he's working from home today because the news reported lots of roads closed and power outages in Schenectady where he works). He's going to bring me lunch and keep me company because I have a feeling it will be pretty quiet, at least until later this afternoon. We got here early to salt and shovel the porch and the sidewalk but it was already done! I guess my landlord has someone do it.

Once I get the store tidied up, maybe I'll get a chance to practice my spinning and work on my knitting projects!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Winter is here...

For those of you who have not been to the home page of the website yet, here is the new home page picture:

Pretty, huh? Nice winter-y picture. Doesn't it make the store look homey and cozy and inviting? I took this last night. That was before today --- What a yucky day! The snow was pretty, but then it rained and now it's sleeting and things are just a mess outside. The Baby Surprise Jacket class is likely to be cancelled because it's only supposed to get worse. I think I'm supposed to get some yarn today - I hope the UPS truck gets through!

Speaking of yarn, look at what I got yesterday:

Pretty, pretty Lace Merino by Ella Rae. Beautifully soft superwash merino. Great for socks, but it has a great pattern book with some cute boleros, cardigans and vests. Look for this to be used in the upcoming Clapotis class, too!

Had to share this Yarn Harlot post...
For those of you knitting for holiday gifts, she's got some good tips!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


What a day! We started out very early and went Christmas shopping. We got most of it done - one gift left. Not too bad - we had a plan and stuck to it, so it wasn't too painful. I worked on a hat on the way to the mall and on the way home. That's an hour's worth of knitting and on a hat you can get a lot done.

I've spent the last three hours working on the website, getting classes posted! Yay! Lots of new classes -- and some returning popular classes. There are more to come --- some to add to January and February and lots to add to March. I just couldn't get all of March posted yet (ran out of steam). Check them out here :

Off to practice spinning and finish that hat...

Monday, December 8, 2008

A little bit on overload...

I have so many knitting projects to do, I don't know what to do first! I'm still working on my double knitted scarf, for the class I'm offering in Jan. I'm working on hats for my nephews for Christmas, plus some other Christmas projects. I'm starting a Baby Surprise Jacket for the class this Thursday. I've still got the Woodstock Ribble Scarf to finish. I've got a lace scarf to do for an upcoming class. Plus, Paul keeps telling me how much he loves his felted slippers and how warm they are and that I should really just make some time to make some for myself. Plus I have my top down sweater and Logan River Wrap still in the works. I'm dying to finish those so I can wear them! The top down sweater is made with the Kathmadu Aran and I'd love to show it to customers to show them how great the yarn is.

On top of all the knitting, I've got all the ordering of yarn to do. Thank goodness it's been busy at the store - and that means ordering more yarn! AND I've got to get the upcoming class schedule out. So, as the title of this blog notes, I'm a little bit on overload. My days off this week are not really going to be days off. It's nice to do all my computer and ordering stuff at home, though. The stool at the shop is not conducive to 2-3 hours of computer work. Nice, comfy chair at home.

The shop was busy on Saturday with two rather large classes. We had 8 participants in the mini stocking ornament class in the morning - big success! VERY cute little stockings. A reminder that there are still openings in our third installment of this class this Saturday, December 13 1:00-3:30!!! In the afternoon, we had 10 participants in the felted gift pouch class. Thanks again to Robin and Joan who donated their time to teach this class so 100% of the class fee could go to the family we adopted this holiday season. And thanks to those who took the class so we could donate their fee! The family is going to have a great holiday thanks to you and the many others who have made donations.

Off to knit, then work on the class schedule! Ooh, and tomorrow is Christmas shopping with Paul. That will be a nice break.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Trunk Show!

The trunk show of ArtYarns and Woodstock Knits was a big hit! It was a very busy evening with lots of customers stopping by to see all the beautiful yarns, as well as to knit and enjoy some snacks. If anyone was there and would like to share their experience, please do! A big thank you to Susan Nadel, the rep for these companies. She is wonderful!

As usual, because it was so busy, I forgot to take pictures. Sorry. The consolation picture is that of my front window decorated for winter/holiday:

It looks very pretty at night, especially with the lighted garland on the porch railings.

And, I put this on the website, but just had to share it here, because I'm excited about it:

These make great gifts!
In the upcoming session of classes, I'm going to try to schedule a sock dyeing class, either with these kits, or with other supplies. Stay tuned -- I think it will be a lot of fun!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Holiday Cheer!


Very nice!

And Altamont has put up these flags on their lightposts:

Also very nice!

Hopefully I'll be working on my holiday window decorations tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

And so start the holiday rituals...

1) Watching A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving: favorite part? Franklin trying to sit in the chair and then only being able to peer over the edge of the table. To this day, I reference "the Franklin chair" when trying to struggle with a folding chair. I tell ya, these things stay with you (as many of you know from all of my Brady Bunch references). And popcorn, toast and jelly beans for Thanksgiving. Shouldn't it be that simple?

2) Thanksgiving at my aunt's (every other year). Get there late morning. Eat appetizers until 2. Eat dinner. Go for a walk to visit the tree she planted in memory of my grandfather. Picks names from a hat to buy presents for Christmas. Eat dessert. Go home. (All the while catching up with family I haven't seen all year, of course!)

3) Put up holiday decorations at home the weekend of Thanksgiving. Little lighted village, garland, lighted deer on the lawn. Tree comes a little later.

My landlord just stopped by to say he hired someone to decorate the outside of my building! YAY!!!! They already did the apartments next door and it looks great. I'm going to be working on decorating my shop windows this weekend if I can.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Day off goings on

I've been working on the new class schedule for Jan/Feb/Mar and therefore have been knitting up a storm of samples for the classes...
A square from the Lizard Ridge afghan to learn short rows and wrapping stitches :
This is a pattern on and can be found by clicking here: )
Each square is made from one skein of Noro Kureyon. It's nice because you can use many different colors and therefore don't have to buy all the yarn at once. Just knit one up every now and then, and eventually you have a beautiful afghan.
A double knit checkerboard scarf:
Using Cascade 220 (solid charcoal) and Andes (hand painted blues/grays/lavenders). This is a double sided scarf and reversed (the black checks on this side are blue on the other side etc). Fun technique to learn. Makes a nice thick scarf!
Other potential projects in the works for classes are the Clapotis - another pattern (; some sort of mobius knitting; felted clogs (of course); finishing techniques; socks; baby surprise jacket again; constant companion bag again and more! Suggestions???? Please comment!
And here's a better picture of the Woodstock Knits alpaca lace leaf shawl which shows the pattern better:
In addition to all this knitting, I decided to knit hats for my three nephews and my dad for Christmas. Started one hat today. I think they should go pretty quickly. (famous last words).
Today was also the day to start preparing for Thanksgiving. We are going to Boston for the day, to my aunt's house. I'm making my "famous" bread dip and broccoli salad, so I did some of the prep work today so I won't have to do so much tomorrow night when I get home late.
Knit-in WILL be happening tomorrow so I hope to see you there.... I'm bringing goodies!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Busy, busy, busy

I've been very busy here at the shop...

I've been practicing my spinning! Here is what I did this morning...
It leaves A LOT to be desired,but I'm getting the hang of it.

Here is the felted sheep -- SO CUTE!:
I just have to figure out how to add some eyes and a mouth.
And the Woodstock Knits Alpaca Leaf Lace Shawl:
I need to do a little bit better job of blocking, but I wore it yesterday and really like it. It's very warm!

I put together the Kromski Symphony wheel (with Paul's help!) and it is now displayed in the shop. What a pretty wheel!:
Finished one sock with Cashmere Sock Yarn from ArtYarns (cashmere, wool, nylon):
Love this - it is so soft and very comfortable!
Started wristers (like fingerless gloves) with Cashmere 5 by ArtYarns:
This is 100% cashmere and so very nice! I know I should be knitting the second sock, but couldn't wait to try this...
That's all I've been doing. Not much.

Monday, November 17, 2008

We have a winner!

Sharon Rose was the first to guess correctly!
Followed closely by Nancy who didn't post in the original "Contest!" blog like she was supposed to : P ... Diane and Dierdre were close behind, with Dierdre apparently getting my "baad" joke. You three get runner-up honorable mentions (sorry, no prize. just a mention). Sharon Rose will win a Lantern Moon sheep tape measure! (Had to give a prize that included a sheep...) Please email me at with your mailing information.

While waiting for all your responses, I finished knitting the sheep:

....and it is now in the washer felting. Stay tuned for the final picture.

One of my customers made this sheep and it was so adorable I had to try it myself! I'll be having a class on this in the next session of classes (Jan/Feb/Mar).

Well. That was fun, wasn't it?!?!?! We'll have to do this more often.

Mystery Project Contest Clue

Here is another picture, with the project further along:

Clue: Your guesses are getting closer, especially those that think it will be felted. This has been a really fun project. The pattern looks a little difficult but it really wasn't baad. In response to one post, the project measures about 15" across the widest point. Please post your guesses on the original "Contest!" post. Good Luck!

I finished the Woodstock Knits alpaca Leaf Lace Shawl! Pic of this to be posted once I steam it flat. It looks a little weird right now.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Mystery project....

Ok, no correct guesses yet, although someone is close. Stay tuned.... tomorrow I'll post a picture of it knitted further along and give you a clue. (Sorry I can't do this sooner - it's been BUSY at the store!)

Friday, November 14, 2008


My alpaca leaf lace shawl is zipping along! I've got 21 of 62 inches knitted already....

love it love it love it! The pattern will be more visible once it is blocked.

And, guess what this is going to be:

No, I mean it. Guess. The first one with the correct answer will get a prize! Those of you who have been listening to me around the shop lately may be able to guess right away. Leave your guess in the comments.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Another great blog

I found another great blog and have put it on the list to the right... or you can click here:

Check it out. In addition to her blog entries, on the left side of her blog there are free patterns, and patterns for sale. She also has a section called "My helpful tips" with, among other things, a great description of picking up gusset stitches for a sock here:

In other news, I got completely overwhelmed by the Euro Yarns yarn rep today... he was here to show me yarns for SPRING. Can you believe it? There were so many nice things. Again, SO hard to decide. Lots of cotten blends. Some froofy silk yarn - VERY pretty. Two new Mirasol yarns which I loved. Stay tuned. They won't be here until February or later....

Put my Woodstock Knits Ribble scarf on hold so I could start the Woodstock Knits alpaca leaf lace shawl. It goes MUCH faster than the scarf since it is knit double. This would be a terrific holiday gift for this reason alone - ok and that the alapaca is just so wonderfully, yummily soft. These should be coming to the shop soon, and can also be seen at the trunk show Dec 3 (4-8:30pm)!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

More yarn, more projects...

Got more yarn in today! Trekking XXL sock yarn and Andes. Also, I posted the pictures of the other new yarns I got last week. Check out the "news" section of the website here:

New yarn, means more projects. I'm still working on my Woodstock Knits Alpaca scarf. I'm about half way done. Then I have to finish the Art Yarns Cashmere sock. I can't wait to get to the Woodstock Knits shawl and market bag. I want to also make something with the Andes - beautiful variegated yarn!

I've scheduled a trunk show for Art Yarns and Woodstock Knits to take place before and at the knit-in on Wednesday Dec 3 (4-8:30pm)! This will be so great - you will get to see all the beautiful color combinations of the Art Yarns as well as the various kits that Woodstock Knits has. While I can't carry everything, you can order ANYTHING that night...maybe the cashmere sock yarn??? I'll have some goodies to nibble on, too.

In day off news, I went for a massage which was very nice! We also had some friends and their kids over for lunch yesterday. We don't get to see them often so it was a good time. They hadn't seen the store yet, so we brought them down and they loved it. The kids loved it too (2 year old twins!).

I'm off to try and get some knitting in before the knit-in since I haven't been able to knit during the knit-in lately. Not that I'm complaining.

P.S. I just read the Yarn Harlot's blog where she talks about the Noro Striped Scarf being last year's "it" project. Me not being in on last year's "it" project, I didn't know this and thought it was something "new". I'm sure there are those of you out there that knew this and I thank you for not pointing it out in the comments! The Yarn Harlot talks about not following the fad, but then realizing that every scarf comes out different, so it's not like you'd be knitting the same scarf as everyone else. Plus, someone she knows wants a scarf and likes stripes, so she's knitting one. At any rate, that scarf is on my long list of things to knit.

Monday, November 10, 2008

More yarn!

I got in a LARGE shipment of yarn from Cascade on Friday. I took pictures but, of course, forgot to download the pics. So, I will post those soon. In the meantime....
I've added about 20 colors to my Cascade 220 collection. They look very pretty on the shelf since I tried to put them in rainbow order.
I also added about 8 colors to the Ecological Wool (wonderful chunky yarn) - in enough quantities for sweaters!!!
Also, two new yarns... Eco Alpaca (100% undyed alpaca) in, of course, 6 natural colors (browns, greys and black). Very soft. 220 yards, worsted weight.
AND Heritage Sock Yarn! In solid colors, since you've been asking for them. Very nice, soft, wool. 400-something yards, merino superwash and nylon.

The weekend was busy. My mom came to visit and hung out in the shop. She left with some new knitting projects, including starting her first pair of socks! Pumpkin Muffin Day was Saturday and several people got to enjoy that. The Spinning Class got started and was a big success. They will be back next Saturday to learn to ply. The Mountain Treadlers had their monthly meeting at the store and it was a lot of fun.

That's all for now. I'm off to have a massage! I got a gift certificate for my birthday so I'm induling in a massage and hopefully come home to take a nap!
Then work on my Woodstock Knits alpaca Ribble Scarf.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

New Projects

I finished the Silk Rhapsody scarf:

I love it! It is so soft and warm.

Here is what I'm working on now...
Socks with Art Yarns Cashmere Sock Yarn:
Wow. This is really nice yarn. And it feels so nice knitted up. I'm deciding if this is something that would sell, so I will have them on display for you to see/feel and give me your opinion.

The Ribbled Scarf kit from Woodstock Knits:
The kit comes with alpaca yarn and a pattern, packaged in a cute box. It's hard to see the pattern in this picture, but it is a 2X2 rib with garter stitch borders and reversible cables. It's very nice! More of these will be in the shop soon along with other kits (market bag, shawl and socks).
Nothing else too exciting going on, other than we have a new president. What a nice change. (Ha - get it? CHANGE.) That's about as political as I'll get on this blog.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Turning the clocks

As you know, we turned the clocks back this weekend. I reminded the Sunday class participants so they wouldn't show up "early". I turned the clocks back at home. I turned them back at the store right when I got there on Sunday. Did I turn it back in my car? No. As a result, I got in the car to do errands this morning, looked at the time (9:00am), and thought: "Huh. I didn't think it took me THAT long to get ready." Then as I was driving up the street, I saw a kid waiting for the bus and I thought: "Huh. I didn't think school started THAT late." Then, I got to the bank at 9:15 and saw the teller getting out of her car and thought: "Huh. She's late today." Then I saw the bank manager standing outside the door and she said "Can I help you?" and I warily said "Well, I want to make a deposit..." and she said "Ok, we open at 8:30." It was the most disorienting moment. I said, "Ok, I'll come back." And then realized about the clock. Der. I went to Wal-Mart first.

So, while I'm out running my errands, I see something I don't recall ever seeing before:

A negative political lawn sign. I've seen negative commercials etc, but usually I just see signs promoting one candidate or another. I've never seen one like this. Huh.
Also while on my errands, I finally stopped to take this picture, which I've been meaning to do for some time. They paved Rt. 156 going up the hill toward Knox recently. It was a relief to finally have a nice smooth road. Brand new. No bumps or potholes. But then there's this:
Ha! Cracked me up. Can you imagine the person painting, getting to this point and then realizing there's no going back?

The store was very busy Sunday with two classes: Spinning on a drop spindle and Continental knitting. Both classes were full and were a big hit. Here are pics of the drop spindlers...
and their pretty, plied, skeins:

I'm off to knit my Silk Rhapsody scarf. I think I'm almost done. Then I'm going to try my cashmere sock yarn. And then the Ribble Scarf kit from Woodstock Knits (with yummy, soft alpaca). And then....

Saturday, November 1, 2008

New Blog

A customer (thanks Nancy D.!) told me about this blog:

She and another customer (Laura!) have raved about his Noro Striped scarf. They are absolutely beautiful... on Ravelry search "Noro Striped Scarf" to see a bunch of examples. There are also some links on the brooklyntweed website (right side of the page under "recently completed". Ooh, I just realized I can put one of the pictures from his website here...

Pretty huh?
To make it, you need 4 skeins of Noro Silk Garden (in 2 different colors). The results are so striking. And it just so happens I have Noro Silk Garden here at the store! Just so you know.

In other news, Altamont was absolutely mobbed with trick-or-treaters last evening. I didn't realize it would be so crowded or I would have made more of an effort ---- It would have been fun to sit on the porch and hand out candy. I didn't have enough because I ate a lot of it not realizing there would be such crowds. I had gummy body parts which were extremely yucky and yummy at the same time. Once you get over the idea that you are eating a bloody foot (or a nose, or an ear or an eyeball), they are pretty tasty. I'll be more prepared next year.

Friday, October 31, 2008

A scarf and another scarf

Once I got Miss Phoebe off the cowl, I got to the store early today and proceeded to get so engrossed in email that I forgot to unlock the door and put out the open flag until 10:30! Off to a good start.
But, I finished the beaded mohair and sequins scarf...
It's a little hard to see the drop stitch effect in the scarf but it's pretty. Trust me. The yarn is so light but the beads and sequins add enough weight to it so it drapes nicely around your neck. I've been wearing it all day. It's pretty toasty to boot.
While wearing this scarf, I started another scarf...
This is the Silk Rhapsody from Art Yarns and I'm using their one-skein pattern. It is VERY VERY soft and silky and is really nice to knit with.
I'm hoping this goes quickly because I got some other yarn in, to make samples for future yarn to come to the store. It's from Woodstock Knits. More about that later...