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...

NOW she sits for a picture....

....when I find her sitting on my cowl that I'm trying to block!!!!

Meet Phoebe. Cats.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

More snow and New Yarn!

Now THAT's snow. You could barely see it in the picture I posted yesterday. We ended up with about 5 inches of really wet, heavy snow. It looked really pretty. Mandy loved it too. She loves bounding around in it and trying to eat it.
I got some new yarns today! Art Yarns are luxury hand-painted yarns. They are BEAUTIFUL...
Some Beaded Mohair and Sequins:
I dropped everything to cast on for this pretty one-skein drop-stitch scarf:

Some Silk Rhapsody:
Some 5-ply cashmere:
Mmmmmm.... cashmere.
Oh, and this, which I will be knitting up next....
Cashmere sock yarn! I only got these two to make a pair and then see if people would be interested. As you might guess, it's a little pricey. But quite possibly worth it!!! I'll let you know.
So much to knit, so little time!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Let It Snow...

Ok, I know that is an incredibly un-original title for a post but look...

Can you see it? It's snowing. And we're apparently supposed to get quite a few inches. Oct 28th!

Here is my completed Quickie Cowl (free pattern from Ravelry)...

While you can't really see the lace pattern that's in it, I really like it. It's sofy and squishy and feels really good. Oh wait, I'll take a picture of me wearing it so you can see it better...

That didn't help to see the lace pattern, but the colors look so pretty don't they? Stay tuned for some of this in the store. Not immediately, but sometime.

And here is the promised picture of the mutant dahlia bulbs....

Ok, so they don't look as impressive in the picture as they do in person or as when we dug them up. But see the one on the right? That's the one that had a million flowers on it all the time. This was all from four plants, which will now become a whole lotta plants next year. So cool how that works.

Today is a great day to sit inside, drink tea and knit! I'm going to go do that now that the laundry and cleaning are done.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Saturday was Hot Cider and Donut Day at the store. Paul picked up the donuts for me since I had to open early for the Poncho Class. When he brought them, they were still warm. Mmmm. It was hard not to eat five right then and there. The cider was very yummy too. It was a cold rainy yucky day so, perfect for these treats! There were a bunch of donuts leftover so I put them out on Sunday. And there were STILL some left over, so Paul and I will "have" to eat them. What a chore.

Sunday's weather was the complete opposite... bright, sunny and warm. I even had the door open at the store. It was a busy day with the Drop Spindle Spinning class and the Constant Companion Felted Bag classes going on. After closing, I went home and Paul and I gave Mandy a bath. I really wish I had a picture of her -- she looked so miserable when she was soaking wet; but she looked so cute after she was nice and fluffy and clean! On the other hand, I was soaked and covered in fur.

Then we did yard work - ooh, another picture for my to-do list... we dug up those dahlia bulbs to save over the winter and they were HUGE. And there were a million of them. Wait till you see. It was a great day to be outside so I was happy that I got home at 2:30.

I don't have any pictures to post today. Since my camera battery will only last for two pictures these days, I bit the bullet and bought a new battery today. So, hopefully more pictures soon.
I've been working on my Logan River Wrap and it is coming along nicely. I'm also working on another cowl, with Sheep Shop yarn. This is not a yarn that I have now, but after working with it, I will be looking to get it. I'm working with the chunky version and it's very soft wool and has beautiful variegated colors. I'm hoping to finish it tonight and post a picture tomorrow. I'm also looking to start a crochet project.... a cute hoodie (with a zipper - yikes) made with sock yarn.

Great suggestions on how to spruce up the sheep on the front porch!... A scarf for the sheep and/or attach it to a sleigh for the winter/holiday season.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Wow! What a knit-in on Wednesday...

We seem to be getting new people every week,which is just great. For those of you who have folding chairs (even the outdoorsy kind), you may want to put one in your car as despite my recent purchase of chairs, we may need more. I don't have much room to buy/store more! Thank you to everyone for helping to celebrate my birthday!

Also, here is a picture of the sheep I bought in Vermont, now mounted on the porch:

Cute, but needs some friends I think. Or some other kind of porch embellishments. I'm working on it. Winter is coming so I'll work on a winter-theme.

I haven't been knitting much since Monday. I'm waiting for some new yarn to come in so I can work on some samples. But for now, I guess I'll work on my Logan River Wrap and my top down sweater.

Hot Cider and Donuts Day tomorrow! Lucky Paul gets to do the running around to pick everything up -- so sweet of him.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The day after Rhinebeck...

.... was my birthday and also the day, two years ago, that Paul and I got engaged. So we decided to go to Vermont to see our old house and the place we got engaged. Unfortunately, the restaurant where we got engaged is closed on Mondays, but it was in the town we lived in so we parked across the street and looked at it for a few minutes. It's called The Perfect Pear, and is very yummy. It is in an old mill and the tables have a nice view of the river. It was the best place to get engaged because Paul and I are the "perfect pair". Ha ha!
The first thing we realized as we made the 3 1/2 hour trip there, was that they have re-paved all the roads that get us there. Sure, when we leave and we aren't driving on those horrible, bumpy roads anymore.
It was very strange to be back - the first time since we moved 1 1/2 years ago. We drove by the old house, which looks the same except for a lot of new bushes and plants in the yard that make it look messy. We drove around the neighborhood to see what has changed - not much, including the views:
Bradford is WAY up there in VT and is quite small. The town just before it, Fairlee, has a motel and drive-in movie theater. If you rent a room at the motel, you open your curtains and can watch the movie! Or you can just drive there and watch from your car. They usually have pretty current movies too. Then you can go to the Whippi Dip down the street, a yummy soft serve place.
After driving around the neighborhood, we went to the Bradford Yarn shop, which is now located in the back of North of the Falls (the gift shop I used to sell my felted purses and hand made cards in). They have a small selection but it was very quaint. I, of course, found something to buy - some Opal sock yarn. (I forgot to download the picture of the yarn...)

Then we went to lunch at a place called Molly's in Hanvoer, NH (home of Dartmouth College and a VERY quaint New Hampshire-y town) as we made our way to Woodstock. BBQ Chicken pizza was our favorite thing to order there, so we got that. Yum.
On a whim, we decided to see if one of our favorite soft serve places, Ice Cream Fore You, was open. It's at the driving range (get it?) in the Home Depot parking lot.
It just so happened that it was the LAST DAY they were open for the season, and EVERYTHING WAS FREE! Here is Paul's free ice cream:
(He thought I was so silly for taking a picture of this)
In Woodstock we stopped at a place I always wanted to stop when we lived there, but never did, called Fool on the Hill. This is what you see from the road:

Plus sheep and bears. I bought a sheep:
They are weather-proof and now I have to figure out how to attach it to my porch railing.
Here are the bears:
Here is what we saw once we were on the hill:
I've said it before.... this is what I miss about Vermont. So pretty.
Our last stop was at The Whippletree yarn shop in Woodstock. Woodstock is a VERY quaint Vermont-y town. The Whippletree was very nice, lots of yarn. I got some Malabrigo silk/wool. Very soft and nice. Of course, forgot to download the picture of this yarn too. Tomorrow's post.
That ended our Vermont trip. It was a very nice way to spend the day!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Whew! Rhinebeck was great!!!! Paul and I got there right at 10:00 on Sunday morning. Here we are starting the day...

I immediately got overwhelmed (as I was told by many that I would be) by where to look, what to look at and what to buy. So I just started taking pictures...
Then we decided to go see the Dog Frisbee demonstration:
So, I bought a frisbee for Mandy. Who, by the way, has no idea how to fetch, so don't ask me how I'm going to get her to chase/catch a frisbee. But they made it look so easy and I had hope. First purchase of the day was for the dog and had nothing to do with yarn. Except that the same dogs, border collies, can also herd sheep. Who we get wool from.
For those of you who haven't been, Rhinebeck is like this, times a thousand:
Then we decided to have lunch. (Still haven't purchased yarn.) We both completely forgot about the pot pies. We only remembered a little while later when we saw this REALLY long line and wondered what the heck people would wait that long for. Pot pies. We got pulled pork and a reuben and french fries which were all yummy. But Paul would have REALLY liked a pot pie. Next year. This was an underwhelming day for us, food-wise in that we didn't eat much. We shared an apple crisp for dessert and got kettle corn to take home. Pretty light day for us (reference a prior post when we went to the Altamont Fair and ate everything in sight)
Then we went through the book signing building where Stephanie and I had a chat:
She was very nice. I told her I was a yarn shop owner and she said that she could never be a yarn shop owner. She wouldn't want to let anyone buy the yarn because she'd want to keep it all. I also wanted to show her my socks that I knitted, which I was wearing. Paul laughed hysterically while I tried to lift my leg and my pant leg at the same time, while not quite getting it high enough for her to see. She stood up and was trying to lean over the table while I tried a second and third time. I finally got my foot high enough and just stuck it on the table. She said they were very nice. Great one, Liz. Way to impress.
Then we went to the building with the food/wine tasting to see the competition items.(Still haven't purchased yarn.) I heard Diane S. did VERY well! Unfortunately, it was so crowded in there and somehow we missed the whole section with the items. Luckily, I've been fortunate to see many of Diane's items at the shop and if there are any new ones I hope she will bring them to the knit in this Wednesday (please?). I was able to fight through the crowds to purchase this:
A sachet of lavender. I will do almost anything to get something with lavender in it. I love it. And it's supposed to help you relax.

It was about now that Paul said something to the effect of "You HAVE to buy some YARN. Lets go back through. Take a deep breath and buy something you like. " Mind you, he said this because I kept saying that I WANTED to buy some yarn, but I just couldn't seem to figure out how to do that. So I found this:
622 yards of alpaca. Mmmmmm.... alpaca.
And this:
200 yards of angora and merino. Mmmmmm...angora.
And this:
Socks that Rock from Blue Moon Fiber Arts, which I've been wanting to try. Silk and merino.
Our last event of the day was to visit Mary at her booth. She was marketing and selling her spinning wheel and it was a big hit! I was very happy for her. Here is her booth and her wheel:(If you are interested in checking this out, call me at the store and I will put you in touch with her.)
A big thank you to Mary for displaying a sign for the store and handing out class schedules!
We were very tired, left around 4:00. We didn't stop for dinner like I thought we might. We just wanted to get home.
We'll definitely be back. Yes, Paul had a good time. I'm going to get on the waiting list for a booth for next year. Fingers crossed that I'll get a chance to try this out as a vendor. YIKES!

More soon on "the day after Rhinebeck"....

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Festival excitement

Two nice women came into the shop late yesterday afternoon. They were making their way to the Sheep & Wool Festival. One was from Mystic, Ct and the other was from Buffalo. They decided to find yarn shops on the way and they found their way here! Very nice.

I unexpectedly got several more colors of the Noro Silk Garden in yesterday! The yarn rep had told me that when you order Noro, you should order about 10 colors, but expect 6 because it is so popular and is often out of stock. I didn't realize the backordered colors would come so soon - but that's good because some of the new colors are beautiful! And I got some more Mini Knits books, and another Noro pattern book with some really nice patterns.

On the home front, it got down to 25 degrees last night. Brr. The house only got down to 58. We are seeing how long we can go without turning on the heat. I suspect it won't be much longer. Last night, Paul and I were eating Halloween m&m's (black, orange, purple and green) and Paul made the comparison of how we each eat m&m's to other aspects of our life. For example, he eats each color in succession and I eat whatever color I pick up. Translation (his, not mine): he's neat, I'm messy. ???????

After closing today, I'm going to check out the Sheep & Wool Festival website to get an idea of what we want to do tomorrow. Very exciting!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Ok, so I just got a call from a telemarketer. Most of the time I just hang up. Or say "no, thank you. I'm not interested" and then hang up before they can say anything else. But today they said something about promotional items like pens and totebags that I could put my logo on, so I decided to listen. The woman talked about three items and then I asked her about the prices. She asked for which item and I said "all three". She said "Oh, I'm new so I'll have to get my boss." The boss came on the line and I said I wanted to know prices for all three items. She said "Oh, well the tote bags are my favorite and I'll tell you why..." and went on and on. I ruled out the tote bags (flat, no bottom gusset) before getting the price. I asked about the pens. She went on and on and described them. I decided I didn't like those because they were too expensive so I said, "That's not really what I'm looking for." She says, "Oh, well what ARE you looking for?" and I said, "I don't know what I'm looking for -- you called me." And she hung up. And she was the BOSS! Last time I give a telemarketer a chance. It just NEVER works out.

Yay! I finished a PAIR of socks. I've only done this one other time with adult socks. Other times, I've just made one for a sample. But this time I decided to make a complete pair. They are the sample for the Step Duet sock yarn. I love them -- no, they don't match and that's fine with me....

And, I HAD to post this picture of the Baby Surprise Jacket that Joan True made with the Noro Kureyon. It's beautiful! She washed it and the Kureyon gets so much softer after it's washed....

I got a great local wool in the store from Cece Tkaczyk at Barton Hill Jacobs in Delanson. It is Jacob wool and it is beautiful. She even brought a digital picture frame with pictures of her sheep! It's great!:

I'm also now learning to crochet! I'm actually re-learning the basics and trying to learn some more advanced. I've got a nifty scarf going but may take that out to try a granny square. I've been told they are "so easy". One of my goals for the shop is to eventually have more crochet books, patterns and hooks. It may take me a while to get there but I'm working on it. Stay tuned for basic crochet classes...

Ooh! I just got a call that "It Itches!" by Franklin Habit (a knitting essay/cartoon book) is in at my supplier!!!! Yay - he's so funny. For those of you who don't know him, he is The Panopticon blogger (a link you will find on the right of this screen). Hopefully, it will get here by next week.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Procrastination, more fall pics and socks

I'm procrastinating... I told myself I'd do some "work" today (computer stuff with "the books") but just can't seem to get going on it. So, I've been spending some time online (Ravelry and cooking websites) and now posting to the blog.

This weekend was a busy one for me --- working at the store, teaching a class on Sunday, and spending time with family visiting from Virginia. I gave my sister-in-law a lesson on how to knit with double points so she could make a hat. My neice sat with us at the store and finger knitted - she's great at it and was making a very long chain. We decided that maybe she'd just keep going then make it into a spiral rug. I made dinner for everyone on Saturday and then we all had dinner at Paul's mom's house last night. We played a great game of Monopoly afterward. It was fun and great to spend time with them since we don't see them that often.

Here are some pics of the beautiful fall view from our house....
(ignore the ugly pool cover in the foreground...)
I just love this time of year!
And here are the still-blooming dahlias. I had to post these again because they are STILL blooming like crazy!:

Oh yeah, and I've been knitting (you probably want to read a little about knitting, instead of just my family and the foliage). I started a sock with the Step Duet sock yarn. I love knitting with it! And the patterns are great...
I've had great reviews from customers on the Happy Choices sock yarn (the one that is knit from a hand painted scarf). I've knit with it myself and really like it.
I'm getting really excited for Rhinebeck. The Ravelry Spinning Room group has been chatting about it and they are excited too!
Ok, off to do some more procrastinating... Days of Our Lives is almost on anyway...

Saturday, October 11, 2008


It seems that suddenly the colors have come out and they are beautiful!!! Here's the view from and of the porch.

Although, the colors are much more vibrant in person...
I ripped out My So Called Scarf because somewhere along the line I dropped two stitches and couldn't figure out where. I decided to wait for the pattern book that is coming for the Nature Wool to make a sample from that. However, I must say that I really like the herringbone pattern the My So Called Scarf makes and hopefully will go back to that at some point. So, now I'm going to start working on a sample of the Step Duet sock yarn!
I posted some new items on the website, including hand made stitch markers (ADORABLE!) made by Joan. I also finally got the backordered cashmere in. YUMMY!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

New Yarn!

YAY! New yarn came in --- Nature Wool Multy by Araucania and Kureyon and Silk Garden by Noro. They are GREAT! We had about 25 people here at the knit in last night and the new yarns were a big hit! I almost sold out of one color and definitely sold out of one of the pattern books (more are on the way). It's nice when my choice of yarns/colors is validated. Makes me feel like I'm doing something right.

I'm knitting a sample of the Nature Wool Multy:

Aren't the colors pretty? Check out the website for a picture of the other colors, but you are probably going to have to come in and see for yourself how great the colors are. Especially the Noro colors. I took a picture of them on the shelf but the ends of the skeins look nothing like the sides of the skeins. There are such unique and beautiful color combinations.
Oh yeah, and today I FINALLY got the Step Duett sock yarn I've been waiting for. I can't wait to knit a sample of that too.
ANOTHER yarn rep came today - from Cascade. I was again overwhelmed with my choices and mostly just ended up adding to my colors of Cascade 220 and Ecological Wool. I did find two new yarns, though. A very nice alpaca with a lot of yardage for a pretty good price. AND a new sock yarn!
In front porch news, I've been doing a great job preserving the life of my impatiens by coming down to the store on the recent frosty evenings to cover them! I've also put up fall leaf garlands on the railings to add to the fall atmosphere. I've got some other fake fall leaves that I was going to embellish the windows with, but haven't gotten to it yet. As Robin said at the knit-in last night, if I just wait a little while, it will be time for snowflakes anyway! We'll see if I get my act together this week...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Sleepless in Altamont

Paul was in Maryland at a car race this past Thursday through Sunday and I barely slept all weekend! I kept hearing all kinds of noises. I even let Mandy sleep in the bedroom with me, which normally doesn't happen. My imagination runs away with me in these situations, especially since I love to read murder mysteries. All the scenarios I read about go through my head. One of the nights, I heard scritch-scratching above me and realized we needed to get the mouse traps out. Mandy made not one peep when all that noise was going on, making me realize she probably hears it all the time. Great.

The good news is that Paul won the race! Yay! He got a trophy. He has accumulated several (that's an understatement) over the years, so who knows where we will put it. But it was great because he has worked really hard for the past month to get his car ready. Here is his car:

Isn't it great? It's a station wagon! (1970 Buick SportWagon) With the luggage rack still on it!
For those who haven't heard me talk about it, Paul drag races. It scares the heck out of me, but it's also exciting and he loves it and he's good at it and there are worse hobbies to have.

Needless to say, I'm glad he got home safe and that I could finally get some sleep!

Here is what I did this weekend:

I made two! I got this great new pattern in, from the same woman that did the Constant Companion pattern. It's very cute! I made both from one skein each of purple and blue Cascade 220 and one skein of Taos. The Taos is variegated and what is used for the dots. It looks better in person and I will have it in the store for you to see.

The other big news this weekend - Joan is back! Yay! It was great to see her and her EIGHT Baby Surprise Jackets, one of which she has graciously allowed me to display (made with Lamb's Pride Bulky). She will be here for a few months before heading back south to Florida. I'm going to learn to crochet while she's here!

I met with a yarn rep today whom I hadn't met with before. I ordered some GREAT yarns from Art Yarns and Woodstock Knits. The Art Yarns, as the name implies, are hand dyed and somewhat luxurious (cashmere, mohair). I got a great cashmere sock yarn to try! The Woodstock Knits are great and come in kits - scarves, wraps and a market bag. Really nice patterns. More samples to knit! I'm also hoping to have some sort of a trunk show event with these yarns so you can see all the possibilites.

Finally, I have to share this YouTube link that a customer shared with me:
It is the Mason-Dixon ladies singing a song about knitting. Really funny! (thanks to Barbara for sending it to me!)

I'm going to try to post more often -- I've gotten into this once a week thing, which probably isn't much fun for you. I'm glad we figured out the commenting thing. It's much more fun that way!

Edited 10 minutes later... I forgot to show a picture of the cowl I made last week!:

It's sort of lost in this picture because I didn't get a chance to crop it, but you get the idea I think. I made it from Noro Silk Garden, which I hope will be coming into the shop very soon! It is very nice yarn, and gets much softer when it's washed.