Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Quick new hat with earflaps

Everybody has been asking for earflap hats this year... and we have several in pattern books, but of course, everybody wants a free pattern. Well, I came up with one two nights ago. After seeing all the kids snowboarding at Stowe for the past weekends, with chunky earflap hats with tassels, and pom poms, here's my take. A quick, easy and very cool hat made with two strands of Lamb's Pride Bulky in different colors. Leave the poms off if you don't want them. Pattern is free, with yarn purchase. Kit will be online as soon as I take pictures of color combinations.
I finished my sheep tile last week and yesterday Michele taught me how to finish it by wrapping Lamb's Pride Bulky (leftover from the above hat!) around a cord all the way along the edge.

It looks great. I am almost finished a doorstop - this piece will be cut out and sewn around a brick.

This is one that my mom did years ago - we sell this kit in the shop as well.

Friday, February 16, 2007

A few more storm shots

Today things should be back to normal, almost. School is still closed in Essex, but in my town there's just a two hour delay. Most schools south of here are still closed. So while I am waiting here with the kids, Marc is at the shop finishing the snowblowing of the driveway. The plow guy let us down and never came back. Time to get a new guy. I mean he plows when we have 1 inch of snow (and he's not supposed to do it unless it's 3" or more!) and then he blows us off with 30" plus. Something's wrong with this picture.

Here are a few more shots from the storm. Marc's drive home from Stowe on I-89 on 2/14 on the "Bolton Flats". Windy, white, and are those white knuckles? They should be!
I guess we won't be using this sliding door anytime soon.The house across the street.
Shoveling the deck on 2/14 at 5pm. We got about another foot after this point.
Our driveway is a great sledding run!
Added later: They cancelled school, again!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Digging Out

I'm not sure what the official snow totals were from the storm... but I think we got at least 2 1/2 feet of snow at the shop. I called everyone this morning who was working - I told Betsy to not worry about coming in - she drives a LONG way and was coming in to Essex Junction anyway to check on her mom, but I told her work could wait until tomorrow. Barb's husband plows and he had a long night with some transmission issues - so she was up quite a bit last night and I told her not to come either. Kalen is only 10 minutes from the shop, like me, so I arranged to meet her there around 10:30am to assess the situation (like, did we get plowed?) for a couple of hours. Not to open the shop.

I went outside to check our driveway. My husband left at 6am to get some fresh tracks at Stowe, and he must have taken his Suburban and plowed right through the huge bank at the bottom of the driveway. Apparently, he lost a mudflap, which I found when I was trying to dig out the mailbox, which is now at a 45 degree angle, and it would be dangling were it not for the 6 foot snow bankings holding it up. We still had a good foot of snow in the driveway so I thought I couldn't get through it. But just then our plow guy came with his bucket loader. I have never seen so much snow. It is just amazing. Neighbors right and left were asking this guy to do their driveways.

Finally I was ready to drive in to the shop. I got the girls all dressed and packed some Magic Treehouse Books, IPods, lunch and Hershey's Kissables and got in the car. Yep, it was dead. Totally dead. I guess that's what happens when the girls forget to turn off the dome light and it's in the single digits for days. Lesson learned (for them), I hope. Marc got home later and jumped my car and it was off to the shop, again.

On the way, Kalen called and said she'd be in soon, but she had just gotten stuck in her car and was digging her way out. I pulled into the Municipal Lot and left the girls in the warm car. I was in full ski attire, complete with goggles, and I took my snow shovel and trekked through the thigh deep snow. I got up to the driveway, and saw that we had been plowed once yesterday and that was it. As I got closer, I realized that the plow guy had come back early this morning with a bucket loader, and driven straight in the driveway, pushing all of that snow back toward the shed, just at the bend in the driveway. And then of course, since that bend is a TOUGH one, even for some cars, he couldn't fit through the bend, and so he left. Now I'm not sure if he was (or is?) planning on coming back to do something about it. I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt - since I know they've been out plowing and trying to keep order with this insane storm. I tried calling, but no answer. Not even an answering machine. Then I drove by, and there's no one there.

What to do... I called Marc and had him swing by. He had our snowblower from home in the back of his car. We needed it to make a path to the shed, so we could get out the shop's snowblower. Anyway after 3 hours of shoveling and snowblowing, Marc and Kalen and I have cleared the walks, and part of the driveway. We made good progress on that mountain of hard, heavy snow that the bucket loader created, so now if the plow guy decides to come back (PLEASE DO!) he can actually fit his plow truck through the bend and finish plowing the huge amount of the parking lot that is still covered. If he does not come back, we will be doing it in the morning. And boy are we sore, so it will be slow going.

Through all of this, we had customers. With our parking lot and walks almost completely uncleared, and a Municipal Lot with snow bankings about 15-20 feet high, and only about 10 spots to park in, people are still out shopping. So many places are closed today. Things like this don't happen that often. I'm sorry, you'll just have to come back tomorrow!

And if you do, try the Municipal Lot. Ours may still be full of snow!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

CLOSED for Valentine's Day

So we are doing something we've never done before - we're closing for Valentine's Day. We're expecting a MAJOR winter storm - and since our employees drive quite a distance to get here, we're playing it safe and closing the store so we can keep them off the roads. We would LOVE to get a huge dumping of snow. So hopefully the storm doesn't fizzle out as it has so many times before.

Hopefully you all have enough knitting projects to last you through the day tomorrow.

What will we be doing? Well, probably any number of the following things:

rug hooking
sleeping in

Friday, February 09, 2007

Three great new yarns and lots of WOOL

We've finally managed to get the Shearer's Yarn out in the shop, and it's now online too. This yarn is perfect for fisherman knits.

Jo Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed came in a couple of days ago, and it should be out in the shop by early next week. It is online now. It's gorgeous and SO soft. We got a couple of Jo Sharp pattern books too, and they are fantastic.

Also new is Ecologie Cotton by Nashua Handknits. This is a worsted weight pima cotton dyed with 5 natural dyes. The colors are soft and perfect for summer for both adults and babies. I definitely see baby gifts with this yarn... We've got the front of the store changed up a bit - and we are building up a pretty good selection of wools for rug hooking. We've been spending some time dying recently to build up our color selection.
We have solids, some tweeds/prints, and overdyeds of both. Patterns will be arriving in the next couple of weeks, and pretty soon we'll have a class so all you who have expressed interest can learn. And within a month we hope to have it all online.
I've made good progress on my first piece.
And have started a second one for the shop, a cute sheep that is available as a kit, with the wool already cut into strips.
I am still working on a ribbed scarf with Mountain Colors and Lana Grossa Baby Kid. I'm close to the end, and then it just needs to be fringed.
I also have a "car project" which is a one skein (I think?) easy scarf. I've been skiing on the weekends and I need an easy knit for the 45 minute drive each way, that won't take up much room in the front seat. This fits the bill.
Speaking of skiing, last weekend at Stowe it was UVM Winter Carnival. What I noticed most about the college kids was their great handknit hats! They weren't skiing in them - thanks to helmets - but they certainly were wearing them around the bottom and in the base lodge. It was nice to see so many cool knits!