Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
Things have really picked up, as all of our online customers are frantically placing orders. We've been working like crazy to be sure we can ship everything as quickly as possible. And the shop has been VERY busy over the past few days. The door is opening and closing constantly. People are in shopping for small projects, big projects, gifts and more. Lots of folks are coming in for last minute finishing help. They're frantic and almost at the end of their projects, and we've been able to help them through their trouble spots.
I have a big birthday tomorrow. The big 4-0. I am conveniently NOT working on my birthday. Marc has some special plans for me, which involve some time at Topnotch in Stowe... and the spa... so that should be FUN! I'm certainly getting grief from people for being so OLD on this birthday - ha ha! Funny thing is, I actually feel much better at 40 than I did at 30. That's what I'm hearing from a lot of people these days. I guess that's why they call it 40 and fabulous!
For those of you who are rug hookers and haven't forked yet for a Puritan Frame, here's another reason why you should get one. NOT ONLY are they wonderful in that they hold your pattern tight when you are hooking, but they double as a cat grooming machine! I always wondered why I had fine white "hairs" on one corner of my frame. Then last night I caught Lucy in the act.
I guess we're not brushing her enough - she's forced to do it herself!
And I'm making some progress! It's going to be great...
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Then I figured out how big I wanted my pattern to be, and I drew the border with a Sharpie. It's easy to draw straight lines - just keep the pen in the same groove as you drag it across the linen.
Then I started tracing the drawings onto the linen. Sure, a light table would have worked better. But you have to make do with what you have, and I had a sliding door and a gray Vermont morning. It worked just fine.
Since Helen had drawn the figures, I wanted Sophie to give me input on the background. She practiced her cursive and wrote the "Welcome" for the bottom. First in pencil, then traced over it with the Sharpie.
Note the pajamas. There's nothing better than a lazy weekend morning when you can stay in your pajamas as long as you want. So I added her landscape ideas and Welcome word...
And there you have it. Done!I've already started hooking it. I'm using #3, #5 and #6 cuts. The detail just might kill me... it's not going to be as fast as I'd like to go. But I think the end result will be just perfect.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
So today Bob stopped in and we were all talking about yesterday, and we asked him how all the pies were. He said he only tasted 3 of the 5 or 6 that there were, but he said they were all delicious. One of the pies at his gathering was a Homestead Pie. He said it didn't appeal to him, so it was not one that he ate. He told us it had Ritz Crackers and whipped cream. It sounded different... well, interesting... actually, kind of scary, to us. But he said that everyone loved it. So off he went and we told him we'd see him on Monday.
About an hour or so later, I saw his green jacket go by the window. He came in the front door, carrying something, and snuck upstairs to the kitchen. He had gone home and asked Marilyn to bake us a Homestead Pie. So this is what I found when I came up for lunch. Clearly, several of us enjoyed it! Thanks Bob and Marilyn! It will most likely be gone by the end of the day.
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday. The weather was so awful, that I didn't set one foot over the door. It was so fun to stay home and not "have" to do anything. I spent a lot of time hooking my rug, and I hope to be finished soon. It may have to live in the shop for a while before I hang it up at home. And I'm already thinking about my next one...
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Some of the other large companies we deal with can take days and even weeks to get back to us when we call with an issue. We recently knit up a sweater from a pattern (from another company) and there was a major error in the number of stitches that it said to pick up for the neck. Our stitch AND row gauges were right on, and the pattern said to pick up 82 stitches around the neck (a V-neck, mind you!) The gauge on the larger needles was 4.5 stitches to the inch. The neckband was done on the smaller needles, which means the gauge was probably more like 5 stitches to the inch. Let's do the math - 82 stitches divided by 5 stitches to the inch = 16.4 inches! That would barely fit over a kid's head! Even if we used the larger needle, 82 stitches divided by 4.5 stitches to the inch = 18.22 inches. That's smaller than almost any adult head I've ever seen!
Of course, we always pick up stitches like this - 1 stitch for each stitch on horizontals and 3 stitches for every 4 rows on verticals and diagonals. By doing it this way, you would get a total of about 112 stitches. So... 112 stitches divided by 5 stitches to the inch = 22.4". Much better. But when we called this company to discuss our findings (and this obvious error) it took 2 weeks for them to get back to us. And when they did, even though the math clearly does not work in their pattern, they refused to admit that they had made a mistake. I guess it's just an example of customer service that could be a little better. So, in the end, we just put our own correction on the pattern, so that our customers will not run into any problems. And we appreciate the easier to deal with companies, even more.
Speaking of new Berroco things, we just received some gorgeous new Touche colors! This yarn is obviously great for kids, but it's a wonderful worsted weight alternative for adults who cannot wear wool. The color palette is so much better now than it was before. Speaking of new colors, we got a big box from Colinette yesterday, and in it we found three new Iona colors that we ordered last week: Toscana, Ginger Cinnabar and Morello Mash. They are lovely! Unfortunately there were no Ab Fabs in the box. We are still waiting for the Ab Fabs to come back into stock. Some of these have been backordered for months and months! This morning we got word that by Tuesday all Ab Fabs will be back in stock and shipping. We can only keep our fingers crossed, as we've heard that before and ended up disappointed. It is completely out of our control, though.
Also - new yarns from Plymouth! Heaven Lite - fun baby yarn - perfect for sweaters and blankets, Magica - great novelty yarn for scarves, and King George and Lafayette - lovely yarns from Plymouth's new "Bristol Yarn Gallery" division.