Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Knit night was a success!!!

We finally had our 1st open knit night and it was SO much FUN!!! We have been working on getting this going for a while and now that it's rolling I am very excited! I am sure it will develop into something big as we go along. It will be held on the 3rd Thursday of every month and the next one will be on March 19th, from 6:00 to 8:00. There is a slight cover charge and we will be having prizes for that cover charge, oooohhhh you too could win! More importantly is the friendship, ideas and just plain good fun that will be going on!

Above, is Cate (a newbie knitter), Vicky to the left, Roz, Sally (who used to work for us), and Judy. Cate picked up double points like you wouldn't believe and is knitting her first armwarmers for her Aunt. Vicky cast on socks in the Lorna's Laces sock yarn, Red Rover and they are going to be amazing! Roz is working on the cabled gloves from the new Vogue Knitting magazine and using the Tahki Donegal Tweed. They are going to be so pretty and she is a very tenacious knitter, so she will have them done real soon!

In the picture to the left, you can see Stacy in light green, Kristen, and Annie, who was the lucky recipient of the Gift Certificate that Laura pulled out of the bucket on her way out for the night.

See you there!

Happy Knitting Jeanne

Friday, February 20, 2009

Excitement by the box full...

So much has been happening that I just don't know where to begin. Ashley and I were just commenting on the lack of good blogging material and then this last week happened! It was a silly kind of week around the shop, what with the new Noro and Debbie Bliss coming in and so much of it on sale too!

It all began on Tuesday when Jerome (our UPS driver) pulled up loaded to the roof of his truck with our shipment of Noro and Debbie Bliss yarns, books and patterns. It was better than Christmas!! Here Ashley and Sandy are just a twitter with anticipation!

Come on Jerome, open the truck already! I think the final box count was a mere 39 (?), but whatever it was; it was amazing!!!

Here are all the boxes crying out to be opened! The yarns called my name all day long! Let us out, please, please; we long to be free!

They sat like this as a sheer torment to my sensibilities and then FINALLY Ashley decided to start the tedious all day check in process.

It did take all day, but we did get to peek and pet every once in a while! Sandy and I had already been given a sample of the Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn and have been overwhelmed with ideas and multiple cast ons too! I walked out at the end of the day with 5 balls of the Silk Garden Sock and cast on the Shoal Waters Shawl that night!

Here is my Brickwork scarf and Sandy's 2 Scarves from the Interweave Crochet, Winter 2008 magazine.

Good heaven's girls how many projects do you have going now?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Surprise?!! For What? ... and JBW in the WSJ (Wall Street Journal)

Have you ever had a surprise party thrown for you, but didn't understand what the party was intended to celebrate?? Me neither... until now.

Let me explain:
Earlier this week, I picked doug up at the airport after a weekend skiing trip with buddies in Canada. I had promised Jeanne that we would both stop by the shop on the way home, as the girls said that they missed Doug and wanted to say hi (he typically works at home and only makes it to Reno once or twice a month).

Well, can you imagine my surprise when we walked into an empty shop? We started calling out names, only to have Jeanne stick her head into the shop and quietly summon us into the newly acquired back room. The girls (jeanne, ashley, amber, sandy, kristen) were all in there (with cider, candles, and a homemade coffee cake - yum) and shouted "SURPRISE!" We were stunned. Surprise? Surprise for what? We had absolutely no idea... Crap! Is it valentine's day already? Or is it my birthday? Maybe it's doug's birthday? I was drawing a blank (as was doug). I simply couldn't come up with an explanation... and then sandy cleared it all up for us:

For the past 3 months, Sandy has been quietly watching the growth of a teeny tiny number that appears in the corner of our internal shipping software. When doug wrote this software for me 7 years ago, he never expected that the business would grow so much & that other people would be using the software. Anyway, he put a little counter in the bottom left hand of the screen… it shows the number of days since we first met.

Well, the counter is just a number on the screen (it doesn’t say “days together” or anything like that) – if you were using our system, you might wonder what the number meant, but you’d never guess unless he or I told you (or if you were an amazing guesser). Anyway, I guess I had told Sandy a few months ago what the number meant (darned inquisitive Sandy - she always wants to know what everything means!) and apparently she started watching the counter like a hawk.

Turns out, the counter hit 4,000 on the day that we stopped at the shop. It was our 4,000 day anniversary!! Can you imagine our surprise - not only that it was our anniversary, but that the girls had gone to so much trouble to celebrate it with us? I almost cried. We are so incredibly lucky to be surrounded by these women, it's ridiculous. Some days I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.
Speaking of... an article came out today in the Wall Street Journal that mentions us very briefly (and the February Lorna's Laces Limited Edition Color - Simply the Blues): It's only 1 sentence (bottom of the 5th paragraph), but it's still incredible press and I can't tell you how excited i was to see it... Lst month we were written about on and also - knitting is SO POPULAR!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Noro and Debbie Bliss are coming to town!

So this last Friday, Serge, who represents Noro and Debbie Bliss came to the shop and we played with all his fun stuff! Oh my goodness, it was like yarn overload and guess what? We will be getting Noro Silk Garden Sock, Noro Silk Garden, Noro Kureyon and an amazing new cotton/silk blend that is so soft, Sandy, cast on right away! Of course we both got a taste of the Noro Silk Garden Sock and decided to work on a scarf from Victorian Lace on page 90. I decided I would get going right away on Friday and had 1 and 1/2 repeats done and then made a fatal error! UGH! Hippity, hoppity, froggy came a long and as you can see Sandy (hers is the green one and mine has the teal edge) is farther along than I am. This is such amazing yarn that I can't wait to get going on some socks, baby sweaters, hats, gloves, mittens, did I mention socks, well anyway you get the idea! Laura told me she would let me know as soon as it is on the way to us! Waiting is so difficult...come on already, let's go!

Of course it was a rainy and snowy weekend here and Sandy has been a busy little knitter. This is the Entrelac baby blanket she is working up out of 2 different colors of this new Noro cotton.

Then there is the Debbie Bliss to talk about and I was so overcome with yarn fumes that I left after the Noro display. Sandy stayed and was a real trooper; poor Sandy, had to touch and feel all that beautiful yarn. I heard that Laura had to run and get a drool cup for her :) (just kidding Sandy:)

Anyway, we will be getting a whole bunch of the Debbie Bliss and the one I am looking forward too is a luxury yarn, that is a tweed blended with angora! Oooohhh it is sooooooo soft and the halo is fantastic. That one I did touch before I left and wow is all I can say!

Stay tuned to this yarn station for more updates and happy knitting! Jeanne :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My 1st finished project of the year (well, almost)!

Only 1 tie left to go...and then it's ready to wrap and ship (the tie will go where the little white marker is - right above the other ties). Thanks to everyone that helped me pick out this project for Allison's impending arrival - and thanks for voting and convincing me to knit this sweater instead of the poncho!!

I included both photos so you could get an idea of colors. The pic on the left was taken without a flash, but shows off the green i-cords and embroidered flowers a bit better. The photo on the right/below shows off the true colors of the yarn a bit better (the colors aren't quite as dull as they look on the left). Anyway, the embroidery part was fun.... i made 4 flowers on the front and 3 on the back - all spaced evenly (i even used a tape measure!). I took the lazy daisy flower idea from Louisa Harding's book Natural Knits (which i love, by the way - i just started a hat from the book using my leftovers last night), but did have a bit of trouble figuring out the technique. I'm assuming it's me, though... not her.

Anyway, the little hat i'm making has a picot edge and is just too cute! Thank goodness for Jeanne's Picot Cast On Video, though. I don't know if i could have figured it out otherwise. And then, if i'm not worn out, i'm going to put those same green flowers at the bottom of the hat - just like she shows in the book. I hope allison likes it!

Now i just have to finish her wedding gift... :

I want to knit!!

Naturally I want to knit, EVERYTHING!! Oh my goodness, what am I going to do? Well, knit of course and think about knitting, lust after knitting, dream about knitting; well you get the idea. I read Laura's blog about starting a new project before the current one is finished; you mean there is another way to go? I can't believe that some of you actually finish your projects, who would have ever guessed? Certainly not me (miss at least 15 projects in various stages), as I can't just knit one thing and if it doesn't capture me right away, well, I cast on something new. I do eventually finish some of my projects and so does Sandy. Here is her amazing Icarus Shawl that she knit for her mother. I can't get over how lovely it turned out and of course I already told you I have it cast on in some yarn from my stash; hmmm, it is one of the 15 projects I mentioned above. She also gave Doris, one of our new Lantern Moon kitty shawl pins to go with it!

Of course my crazy passion is socks and I did it again (the Mini Mochi is going to make me go broke!) and am now working on some Entrelac socks.

I have included the link to our 'Month 2' scarf that is a great way to start to learn the technique. The Mini Mochi would be amazing in this scarf and I would recommend a US 5-6 needle with this yarn. You will get a more narrow scarf, or you can just cast on a couple of more repeats (this pattern is an 8 st repeat) and this will add some width.

Phew, that's it for now! I better calm down or I will do something drastic, like cast something else on; heaven forbid!!

Happy Knitting! Jeanne :D

PS Sandy and I do dance around here as much as possible! We sing too just to spice things up; I'm a little tea pot! Have fun! Life is just too short! Hee, hee!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Slowest. Knitter. Ever.

Yep, I'm pretty sure I'm the slowest knitter in the world. Remember that Team Beanie I started just over two weeks ago? Well I finished it....last night. Fifteen days for one beanie is pretty darn sad for someone who works in a yarn shop, I'd say. But you know, I have such a hard time finding spare time to knit lately, it's no wonder nothing is getting done. I've even considered staying up when my cat wakes me up in the middle of the night just to sneak in a few rows...but then I wouldn't be very pleasant by the time I got to work six or seven hours later (haha). So anyway, here it is:
I think for any 'normal' knitter it would be a really quick knit--all total I think I spent about 2.5 hours on it (and that includes getting up and down taking things out of the oven, etc).

The shop has been buzzing energy, I guess you could say. Jeanne and Sandy have been particularly entertaining with their renditions of showtunes in the morning (we affectionately refer to them as Cooky Corner):

Karla found herself in a sea of Simply the Blues after a set of tired old storage cubes decided to make Friday their last day on the job. Needless to say we all had a good laugh, and then replaced the cube joints.