Monday, September 29, 2008

You know you are a new yarn store owner when...

There I was, cashing out the register on Sunday afternoon, writing up my deposit slip with the date (9/28/08) when I realized.... the next day (today, 9/29/08) was my mom's birthday. That's when I realized it. A mere 10 hours before. What could be worse than remembering your mom's birthday only 10 hours before? I'll tell you... having spent the entire weekend leading up to it with her and not doing anything to celebrate because you DIDN'T REMEMBER!

My mom was lucky enough to be there when I sharply inhaled (the minute I realized) and then burst into tears because I felt selfishly self-absorbed with my new business. She was very gracious and said she hadn't even realized her birthday was coming up and that she had had a great time with me this weekend and we didn't need to do anything special. We even went dutch for dinner. AND she bought some yarn and a book at the store. All of which I could have treated her to because of her birthday. I had even thought of a great gift for her a long time ago and was so excited about it. AND I would have made her a cake.

Having your own business takes over your life. I knew this going in, thought I was fairly prepared for it, tried to roll with the punches when I forgot minor things, tried to readjust and get more organized so I wouldn't forget things in the future. But this really takes the (birthday) cake. No matter how organized I thought I was getting, and getting the hang of it, this made me realize I've got some more work to do. Thanks, Mom, for being so great about it.

Meanwhile, we really did have a nice weekend. My mom came and knitted at the store and chatted with everyone who came in. We went to the great Indian restaurant, Tandoor Palace, which we love. (We left Paul at home since he was cramming to finish putting his car together for a race in Maryland this weekend.) And we knit and watched tv at home.

The cabled hat class finished up on Sunday and here are the results:

The hats came out great!

Look at this GREAT new flag I bought for the store!:

Thanks to Diane Stoddard for showing me this gem - I had to have it!

In knitting news, I started a top down cardigan with Kathmandu Aran. Love, love, love this yarn. I also started working on the third Great American Aran Afghan block, which I hope to have done and in the store by Wednesday. And I realized I have to start thinking about what I can realistically make for Christmas presents! Am I crazy to think I can actually do that?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I finished the Eco Wook DK Beret and it came out great. This picture doesn't do it justice - you can't really see the color differences -- it's made with natural, brown and gray (this picture makes it look like three shades of gray). When it's flat, it just doesn't look as nice. I tried taking a picture of myself with it on, but that was a disaster. If I'm ambitious, I'll put it on a styrofoam head in the store. Or wait until I've done my hair and put a little makeup on. It's really cute, though.
Also, thought I'd post a picture of my dahlia bush. Many of you have commented on the flowers in the store and I've told you about the monstrous bush that grew even though we planted the bulb late. There are a ton of flowers on it now, and many, many more buds. I hope the frost doesn't come too soon so we can continue to enjoy them..

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Last night, after the store closed, I went to Connecticut to go to dinner with a group of girlfriends. One of my challenges, having moved to New York, but also having purchased a yarn shop where I have to work on Saturday and Sunday, is trying to stay in touch with my friends. So, I left here at 4:20, got to the restaurant at 6:30 (right on time), had dinner, caught up, left there at 9:20 and got back home to NY at 11:30 so that I could be here to open this morning. I was a little tired but not too bad. I realized while it is something that may be a little challenging, it was definitely worth it to see them! I passed out my business cards and told them to check out the blog -- Hi girls!!!

They all asked how things were going with the shop and I told them it was going well, despite my every-now-and-then fear that people will just stop coming in (if you were a yarn shop owner, you'd do the same!). But, I told them that September seemed to be picking up so I haven't been as worried. And what happens today???? NO ONE CAME IN!!!! I must have drawn bad karma toward myself.

On the positive side, and trying to bring back good karma, look what I was able to finish while no one was coming in...

It's the second afghan block for the November Great American Aran Afghan block class (Julie Levy p 4-5).

And I cast on to do a beret with the new Eco Wook DK!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

More goings on...

So, here's what's been going on since my last post (this morning)

Here is a picture of the first slate being put on the roof of the train-station-soon-to-be-library...
They had a nice ceremony, which I tried to hear from the porch, but the traffic was loud and I couldn't hear much. But they had a class from the elementary school there, and they sang a song about reading. Very cute. The mayor and the town supervisor also spoke. There were others there but I couldn't hear who they were!
Other exciting stuff... the fire alarm went off today. Skeerd the bejeesuz out of me. I heard someone in the building was trying to cook a steak...
Also, started the Great American Aran afghan block (Judith Levy; p 4-5). I'm using Cascade 220 this time, which I really like. And I'm trying it in a color other than off white, which I also really like:
See those cute stitch markers? They spell out my name!(in case you can't see) Joan True (that's T-r-u-e) made them for me! I love them!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

More goings on...

The knit-in last night was, again, fabulous! We had 22 people here and had to go next door to the Home Front for chairs. More folding chairs are now on my To Get list since it seems higher attendance at the knit-ins might not just be a fad (whew!). By the way, also on my To Get list are lightbulbs (did anyone notice it was a little dimmer in here last night? There are two bulbs out!), and name badges (the poor hat class had to wrestle with jumbo post-its that kept falling off -- sorry!). Oh, and more knitting friendly treats -- the Tootsie Pops, while yummy, are not exactly conducive to eating while knitting.

Just got in some Eco Wool DK by Sirdar. 100% undyed virgin wool. Five natural, eathy colors Very nice and GREAT pattern books. Now on my To Knit list is a sample of this yarn. I'm hoping tomorrow will bring me the Step Duett sock yarn - very cool colors and patterns!

Today will be the ribbon cutting ceremony for the train-station-soon-to-be-Altamont-library. If I can see anything from the porch, I'll take some pictures and post them.

Ok, off to knit the next Great American Aran Afghan square for the November class...

Baby Surprise Sweater - done!

So. CUTE. !

I'll definitely be making more of these.

Also, meant to post this picture of the Basic Hat class and their finished hats... they looked great!

And, I don't think I ever posted the finished modular scarf I made with the new Mirasol yarn Chirapa... (for a class in October)

Kinda competes with the rug pattern, but you get the idea. I love the look of these mitered squares.

In other news, I've been ordering yarn like crazy and should be getting some shipments in this week and next. I've talked before about how nervewracking it is to order yarn ---- it's so difficult to determine what everyone else will like. In addition, I have to juggle the various orders, from several companies with several future ship dates. It's a whole other job in and of itself! Hopefully, you'll like what I get.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Baby Surprise Sweater...almost

I've been knitting like crazy, trying to get the samples for upcoming classes done. Here is the bound off, almost done, Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Surprise Sweater. The pattern was a little challenging, but I liked making it! So cool how it just folds up into what it's supposed to be. Here is the unfolded version...
Hopefully, by tomorrow, I'll be able to post the folded and seamed version.
Meanwhile, in day-off land, I did all kinds of errands and the time has just flown by. I did do some store stuff which contributed to that. But, it needed to be done, and thus it was. I'll rest another day.... HA HA!
I did actually make a real dinner for a change. A crock pot Morrocan chicken thing with this sauce I got from Williams-Sonoma. YUMMY! And, as a treat for Paul and myself, I got some Italian cookies from Bella Napoli in Latham. Our favorties!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Finished Baby Sweater


Happenings around town ...

Ok, so it's really the happenings right outside my door...

I've been enjoying the beautiful weather, with the windows and doors open to let the nice cool air in. It's been great. So today, I'm standing on the porch eating my peanut butter and bagel, and I see this on the green....

It's a little blurry, but I couldn't get too close or it would run away. What the heck is it? It looks kind of like a chicken, but sort of like a pheasant (I think). It's just walking back and forth and around the gazebo and looks lost.

Also, work has begun on the train station-soon-to-be-library...

They are working on the slate roof. I have no idea how long it will be before the library is there, but it's exciting they will be getting a new space.

I'm off to put the finishing touches on my baby sweater and will post it soon...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Knitting in the dark...

...I've been doing a lot of that this week. We traveled to see friends in Massachusetts on Sunday and on the way home, I was knitting my log cabin blanket in the dark. And I actually didn't drop any stitches or do anything else weird to it. Unless I take a Dramamine (which I don't do unless it is a really long trip because it makes me fall asleep for the first hour and a half), I can't look at my knitting in the car anyway, so I've been practicing knitting while not looking. It came in handy when it was dark!

Funny thing: When we went to our friends' houses (we saw two sets of friends), Paul told them how I'm always knitting, "even in the car". Their eyes got really big and they said "Even in the CAR??". It's so funny how weird they thought it was that I'd knit in the car.

I'm also continuing work on the basic baby sweater for the class later this fall. It's coming out nicely so far. I had a little trouble navigating the pattern at the neckline decreases but figured it out and am now back on track. I can't say enough how much I love this Mirasol Tupa yarn. It's just SO nice to knit with !

Also, I just read The Panopticon blog (link on the right hand side of this page) and Franklin Habit is putting together a Guys who Knit calendar. He posted some of the pics on his blog. Let me know what you think of it... I could buy some to sell in the store, but I don't know....

I've finally got all the classes posted through December on the website. I have the newsletter complete, which won't really be news to those who read my blog or get my emails, but it will be at the store and you can feel free to pick one up and pass it around to all your friends, neighbors and co-workers! My problem now is figuring out how to link the newsletter to the website. I did it last time, but I can't remember how! And, I think last time, it ended up with the formatting a little wonky. I'll keep trying.....

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Saturday at the store...

Today was very busy in the morning and very quiet in the afternoon (once all the rain started!). But it was a good day -- Nancy, Karen and Robin came in to knit. I actually had some time to sit down with them and knit a little.

Here are the socks Nancy knit for Karen:

Aren't they great??? Made with Opal yarn, which I hope to get someday.

I'm close to finishing the block for the Great American Aran Afghan Block class:

And because my hands were getting tired working on the Inc2's and P3tog's in the block, I started the baby sweater for the baby sweater class:

It is a Plymouth pattern that I am making with the new Mirasol Tupa yarn. I love it. It is so soft and has a really nice sheen to it.

I've got the October classes up on the website, and the others will come soon. I've been working on the newsletter a lot and needed to take a little break from it today. Hopefully it will be done by Monday (like the afghan?).

Friday, September 5, 2008

One of those knit-ins

Wow - the knit-in this past Wednesday was amazing. I've posted some pictures on the website under "News" but will post this one here....
That's a lotta people! 23 total. It was fun! I got to meet some new people which was really nice. We had a great show & tell time and saw some beautiful pieces.
My big task now is getting out the schedule for the next set of classes (Oct,Nov, Dec). Lots of exciting classes on the schedule. I'm off to work on that....

Monday, September 1, 2008

A wonderful day off...

Here are some picture of friends in our yard that we took on our day off today:

We had such a nice day, running a few errands in the morning (including stopping at the shop to water the flowers), then doing some yard work and then just wandering around the yard with Mandy. We had little cookout (hot dogs) and we will top the day off by playing some darts and ping pong. Can't get any better than that. Happy Labor Day!

And here is what else we saw...

FALL is coming!