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!