Sunday, March 25, 2007

Spring Lambies

Today after we went skiing (probably MY last day of the season, with the warm weather predicted this week!) and then drove to Fairfax for a quick visit to Michele's. She had told me on Friday that her neighbor's sheep had all had their lambs - three sets of twins and one set of triplets - within the past week. So we took Helen and Sophie up to see them. These are the triplets with their mom - I think these were about 3 days old.

Here is a set of twins:

One little lambie getting ready for a nap:
Helen going in for a hug:
Sophie didn't want to get too close:Proud papa, certainly a hunk to most ewes in the sheep world, was hanging outside enjoying the sunshine:
Then we went inside Michele's house for a quick tour and look at all the hooked rugs we found... her purse:
A gorgeous chair cover:
An incredible foot stool:

Her family portrait (as drawn by one of her sons when he was younger):

And her view... now THAT'S incredible. Don't you agree? And look, it's the sheep!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Spring is here

It's so gorgeous out today - the snow is melting fast and it's perfect weather for... a RUN! I have to get back in shape - since we are running in the Vermont City Marathon Relay on May 27th in Burlington. That's right - Barb, Michele, Kalen and I are running in the relay! We're excited to do it - it should be a lot of fun.

Today's rug hooking class went really well, and we only have one more spot available for the class on Monday, 4/2 from 2-4pm.

We just got in a gorgeous assortment of wools - these are sold either by the yard, by the half yard or by fat quarters, and they are un-washed. Great to use as-is, but fun to overdye. Will be online by tomorrow.
My Twinkle Handknits sweater is going well. Unfortunately the pattern is full of mistakes. I will be making a call to Classic Elite (the distributor) soon with all the ones I found and then hopefully they will add those to the errata. It's a great sweater, but if you can't tolerate figuring things out on your own then it's not for you.
Have a great weekend!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Rug Hooking classes are scheduled

We've called everyone on the waiting list - because we were finally able to schedule the rug hooking classes. Michele had been sick, and Barb was sick, and I had a sick kid last week, and now Kalen's out in CO for a few days... but we finally got together, looked at the schedule and picked two days that will work. So give us a call for times and details if you are interested. These "how to" classes are going to be easy and fun. You'll learn how to rug hook on a pattern for 4 whimsical coasters. Come in and pick 5 or 6 colors of wool, and we'll have it cut for you and ready for the class. Our coasters are almost finished:

Michele finished her "Bunny Spring" - she modified the pattern a bit. Hey, that's allowed! Just like in knitting, don't be afraid to modify things to suit your taste. It is so cute.


I made some progress on my "fishies" this weekend. And I ordered a Townsend cutter today. Can't WAIT for that to come.

I did cast on and knit a few rows (and I really do mean, only 3!) for my Twinkle Handknits Soft Chunky sweater. Unfortunately, I did not have size 19 needles at home, and that's what I needed for the body. But now I do so I can continue on that tonight. What SOFT yarn. It was so much fun to wind. I have a winder and swift, but I've always wound yarn by hand, and so even though it would take me no time at all to set up the winder, I did it by hand. And loved every moment of it. Is it really so awful to touch every bit of the yarn? I don't think so.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Sickness, sopping wet, and snow, though not necessarily in that order

I got a call from school on Wednesday afternoon that Helen wasn't feeling well. I left work early to pick her up, and she had a 103 degree fever. Poor thing. She's always the one who catches things. And the "things" always hit her harder. So I stayed home with her yesterday - I went in to work from 7-9 am to grab some things I could do at home, while Marc let her sleep in. When I got home, he left for work and she pretty much hung out on the couch with the two cats all morning. There was a lot of PBS TV watching - which is a treat considering my kids watch about ZERO minutes of TV a day. They would love to watch more, and I'm okay with certain shows, but really, there's no time! So they watch none. She watched a few hours while I finished the edges on the rug hooking sign I made for the shop. It's cute!

She had a burst on energy during the day and asked if I would teach her how to rug hook. We just got the Oxford Punch needles for the shop and I had brought some burlap and a sharpie home, as well as a lap frame for her to use. I drew up a little sign for her room with her name and a flower, and taught her how to use the punch needle.

Good thing I remembered that for punch needle, the pattern actually needs to be drawn in reverse. With punch needle, you are facing the wrong side of the work while you are doing it, so for text, it must be done in reverse in order to look correct. With rug hooking, you are facing the right side of your work. Big difference!

It was a little frustrating for her at first (she likes to do everything FAST) but I forced her to slow down and take her time. She needed help on some sections, but she really can do most of it herself. The best thing about the punch needle, is that - unlike sewing - I do not have to re-thread the needle every minute. The skein of yarn just feeds through the punch needle until you want to switch colors. Easy. We picked some of her favorite colors of Lamb's Pride Bulky, and she'll be finished this weekend.

Today she was fever free but coughing up a storm, so we were home again. I worked on my latest project (Fish in a Line) which is really fun, and she worked on her name picture again.

We picked Sophie up right after school and then I drew up a pattern for her and taught her how to do it. It's a great activity for kids!

I stopped into the shop quickly today because we got a new yarn - it is called Soft Chunky by Twinkle Handknits. This stuff is amazing. Soft, soft colors. Soft, soft yarn. Super, super quick knitting. And really fun and different patterns in the book Twinkle's Big City Knits, by Wenlan Chia. Modern shapes, creative designs, and beautiful colors.

So I grabbed 6 skeins of Lavendar and I will be making the Rockefeller Sweater which is a cute, kind of shawl collared, cabled cardigan.

We had to cancel our classes tomorrow because we are expecting 10-15 inches of snow by morning. Another big dump, although after the Valentine's blizzard, what's a foot of snow? But we did call everyone and cancel and we are in the process of trying to reschedule. In five years, we've only had to do this a few times, and two of the times have been in 2007. So, not too bad, considering where we live, and how it COULD be. And this new snow is coming after we just lost about 12+ inches in a matter of 2-3 days. It was close to 60 degrees here for two days straight, which caused major meltage of all of our snow, which - in turn - caused 2 days of sopping wet floorage in our small basement room. Yeah, well... it happens with every major meltdown each year, sometimes several times. That's what a shop vac is for, and this week, we know it well.
And by bedtime, back up to 101 degrees. Will it end?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


At 8:46 pm last night I finished hooking my rug! Of course now I have to do the edging, but that should only take me a few nights and then it will be completely done. I love it! I am using 4/8s Wool by Mountain Colors to do the edges.And our patterns arrived today from Vermont Folk Rugs - hand delivered by Davey, thank you very much! She dropped off one of hers (called Cats Spot) for us to display and it is gorgeous. I actually got the patterns and cutters and hooks online today, and will work on the rest of the rug hooking stuff over the next few days. Customers from all over have been asking... when will it be online? So it's coming. Slowly, but be patient! It's worth it - such fun stuff.
And Fiona brought in her Townsend cutting machine for us to try - wow. She described it to me the other day, and said it was like cutting butter. It's true. What an incredible machine. I'll be getting one of those for the shop shortly. She also brought in her latest rug - I can't believe I forgot to get a picture of it. Thanks so much to all of our customers who have been so supportive of us in this new venture. We appreciate your sharing all of your knowledge and advice! It's so fun to talk hooking!

On the knitting front - we got the Rowan Damask, which should be online tomorrow. It's really pretty. Late last week we got new colors of Calmer, Summer Tweed and Handknit Cotton. They are all beautiful. Four new Rowan pattern books arrived - each one is spectacular. Their patterns are just so amazing. I immediately sent off a care package to joy, who does great sample knitting for us. I told her they were all such cute sweaters, and she emailed me when she got the box - she loves all of them. She can't decide which to start.
Our Nashua Handknits patterns FLEW out the door. Apparently we were the only shop to have them for sale online last week. We sold a ton, and have reordered, and reordered again! They are mostly back in stock - and will all be back in stock next week.