Friday, September 30, 2011

Is it Friday again?

Wow! What a fast week. How strange to be back in the working world.
This week's pattern is the Crevasse socks. I would knit it in Sea Sock...oh wait...I already AM knitting in Sea Sock!!

I am already finished the leg, turned the heel and have started working the foot.

Seriously...this is my most favouritest sock yarn that I have ever knit with. It's not cheap but I am pretty sure that it's going to feel like my feet are wrapped in hand knit love.

This weekend we are looking forward to redoing our window! Hallowe'en is coming and we have some great ideas for the display! I am hoping that by doing some awesome displays it might give some downtown businesses a "keeping up with the Joneses" attitude and step it up for some downtown displays.

Sometime next week (hopefully) we are getting a whole bunch of new products in! Our first Ashford order will be here! Piles of roving, spinning wheels and knitter's looms! Bolga Baskets will be here soon, they are beautiful Fair Trade baskets from Ghana, I managed to find a supplier that is a better price than some others and is certified Fair Trade.

Nest week will be busy with new stuff! Hooray!

Friday, September 23, 2011

I love Fridays!

I am really starting to love Fridays. It's blogoriffic!
The week has been fantastic so far-we had a business mixer on Wednesday night and it went really well, many of our neighbour businesses came out to welcome us. It was great fun and full of great conversations!

I taught Wenda from the Downtown and North Shore Echo magazines how to spin and she took to it like a fish to water! She still claims she doesn't want to knit, but I'm pretty sure I can wear her down. After all, spinning is what prompted me to learn how to knit-I had a pile of handspun yarn and realized that I had to find something to do with it.

Thursday we had the Thompson Treadlers come in for the evening. It was a small but fun group and we had some great conversations. I really enjoyed having the chance to sit down and spin for a couple hours!

Today's pattern is the Bonnie Birds Knee highs by Barb Brown. Barb Brown is the wonderful knitter who is teaching at our retreat in a few weeks (there are a few spaces left!)

Dear Barb: Can you forgive me for copyright infringement?

My Mom is actually going to knit these and she has chosen Pace and Ancient Arts Fibre Crafts as her yarns. Mom is wicked at stranded knitting, so I know they will turn out incredible!

On a final note, I have a funny little story to tell about the word getting around about our little yarn store. The story is a little...personal, so I won't tell you who it was, and if you are at all easily offended I suggest you skip this part (and just by writing that you probably want to read right to the bottom now!)

She was in her doctor's office getting her regular physical, which of course included a pap smear. While she was there in dishabille getting every woman's least favourite, but unfortunately necessary chore over with-the Dr. suddenly asked her "So have you heard of the new yarn store?"

Ladies, word is getting out.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Musical things!

The past two days have been exceptionally musical! Yesterday I was messing around with a miniature harmonica I picked up at the antique store in Barriere. I looked up some videos on youtube and learned a few blues riffs. This morning on my way to work, I stopped in at Lee's Music and picked up a Hohner Marine Band Harmonica, it's a lovely harp with a wood reed. I've been messing around with it all day. Mackenzie and I walked from Riverside Park to the store and I played it the whole way with Mackenzie jamming some made-up blues lyrics. At one point a couple of elderly ladies clapped and insisted I play some more, I laughed and explained I had only been playing for one day and that was all I knew. I know about 5 riffs now and can throw together a credible blues song.
When I got home there was another musical surprise! My husband had bought a piano for me for our anniversary! It's beautiful! I did some research on it, it is a Lenox by Lauter and was made in Newark, NJ. The piano is about 100 years old. Unfortunately, the company no longer exists so it's going to take a little work to get an exact age even with the serial number. It has been refinished on the outside-but they did a nice job. The harp inside is beautiful with hand painted enamel flowers and hand pressed foil. On the inside paneling for the bottom, harp cover (or whatever you call it) and the top, you can still see the maker initials and chalked serial # (the serial is metal stamped on the harp). From the research I have done I would make a guess of slightly Pre-WWI (that's the great thing about sequential serial numbers). It has a beautiful sound and only two of the hammers need to be slightly adjusted. It's been recently refelted. It's fantastic!
I am not much of a piano player, I can read music for it somewhat, but it's a labourious process. I am hoping withe constant access to a piano I can improve my playing.
Include my recent return to guitar playing and I may have a slight decrease in my knitting...however I take lots of time for knitting in the store so I feel no guilt!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Again!

I can't believe it's already Friday! The weather is starting to cool down, which bodes well for yarns sales. I am so excited that it's finally cool enough that I can wear all my hand knits!

Todays Pattern is Olympia by Kristin Spurkland. It's wonderfully asymmetrical and unusual. This one has been in my queue on Ravelry for quite some time. I have a few things on the needles that I HAVE to finish or horrible guilt will overcome me, then I can cast on my next knit which will be this or the Opposite Pole Cardigan *subject to change

Isn't it purdy? It's feminine without being lacey or flowery (not that there's anything wrong with that...)

My in-store choice for this project is Debbie Bliss Angel

This yarn is quite a bit finer than what is recommended. However, somebody knit this project in Rown Kidsilk Haze which is the same weight (honestly the yarn is almost exactly the same, as is Kid-Seta) I love how her project turned out, so I am going to follow her lead and do this in a mohair/silk laceweight.

By the way, most of my links to yarns, patterns, etc, are Ravelry links. If you aren't on Ravelry already, and you are a knitter, your life is horribly empty black hole. Ravelry is the greatest resource on the internet for knitter's and crocheters. You have access to tens of thousands of patterns, virtually every yarn on the planet, and every combination thereof. There are groups and forums for learning, socializing, etc. So go there and join! While you're there, join the electrictree yarns group!

As the Co-owner of a yarn store, Ravelry helps me daily to find yarns and projects for people. If someone comes in and knows the name of a pattern, but can't remember what yarn it uses, and how much-I can look it up immediately and help them pick out something that works. We have a Ravelry computer in-store for customer use.

Friday, September 9, 2011

New Things

Here's an idea I had to help me publish more regularly. Every Friday I am going to post my favourite pattern of the week, talk about why I like it, and what in-store yarn I would use to knit it.
Today's pattern is the Opposite Pole Cardigan (rav link). I LOVE THIS SWEATER! Obviously I can't knit every pattern I blog about, but this one jumps out and screams "KNIT ME!!!"Link
Just look at it!

Maybe it doesn't call to you the way it does to me, but I love this sweater!

I love how it has so many interesting elements without being too busy. I love that it's a circle. I love that it has cables. I love the how the short rows look in garter stitch.

I would knit this sweater in Cascade Ecological Wool.

Cascade Ecological Wool is surprisingly soft and springy. It's good for the environment and good for your pocket book. It comes in big 200 gram/478 yard skeins for $19.99 a skein.

This pattern calls for 1400-2000 yards, and one of the great things about it is that it comes in a huge variety of sizes! 30"-60" bust! I absolutely love it when designers try to please as many people as possible.
Another nice thing about the pattern is on the Ravelry page-they have the yarn requirements for the individual sizes available. Often designers just put in a size range and a yardage range so that unless you are the smallest or the largest size, you have no idea what your yardage requirements are going to be unless you buy the pattern. For someone like me, who constantly "shops" for patterns and likes to weigh out a million pros and cons, I love it when I can look at the Rav page, see the yardage for my size, and figure out if the cost of the project is going to be prohibitive before I purchase the pattern.

I love this pattern, I love this yarn!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What a day, what a day, what a mighty good day!

Our first day as a street level business was a wonderful success! We had 80 delightful people show up and fondle yarn.
After 2 months of intense work and sleepless nights, today has been relaxing and not at all anti-climactic. Business has been steady, but at a rate where we can actually talk to our new customers. My two favourite things that people have been saying to us are "Downtown Kamloops really needed something like this!" and "I was just walking by and saw your store!" Nearly a third of the people that came into the store didn't even know it was our Grand Opening, they just saw a cool yarn store and stopped in!
I was even able to find the time to do a little spinning and knitting on some personal projects during store hours today.
I feel like it's onward and upwards from here!

Monday, September 5, 2011


After months of hard work the store is opening tomorrow. It is full of beautiful skeins and balls of yarn that are beautiful and soft fibres for spinning. There is a comfortable place to sit and knit or spin and enjoy the atmosphere. There are gouramis swimming around in a lovely little fish bowl. We have Sea Monkeys. The room is filled with interesting antiques and vintage items, some for sale and some for show. We have a tea station. We have an interesting variety of local goods. We have chairs with knitted covers and a rug that looks like yarn. We have spinning wheels and vintage sock blockers. There are buttons, shawl pins and stitch markers. There are cable needles, circular needles, and double pointed needles. There is qiviut, mohair, bison and linen. There is Habu, Fleece Artist, Handmaiden, Ancients Arts Fibre Crafts, and Zauberball. You can find silk, merino, cashmere, linen, cotton, soy, bamboo, and alpaca yarns.
In short, it's my favourite yarn store in the whole wide world.