Monday, May 28, 2007

Vermont City Marathon Recap

So what an amazing weekend! It all started out at 8:30am on Saturday morning down at the waterfront, where Helen and Sophie participated in the YAM Scram. They each ran a mile without stopping (I'm not sure this has happened before!) and boy were they excited! It was just amazing to see hundreds of kids participating in this event. Here is Helen running (she's the smaller one behind the two older girls in front):And here's a slightly better picture of Sophie, since she wasn't right in the middle of the pack. She's in mid air:
They were a bit red faced and hungry after the race, but thrilled with their new medals!

Saturday afternoon my sister Lisa arrived. This was to be her first marathon. We headed over to the Sheraton to register and pick up our bibs. We had a nice dinner and woke up early on Sunday, so we could relax and have our coffee and eat a bit before we had to head into town. I was nervous about the logistics of the whole thing. I'd never even been a spectator at the marathon before, so with 7,600 or so runners and over 25,000 spectators expected, we were a little worried about parking and meeting up with the rest of the group at 7:30 am. We drove into town with my good friend Alice (who was also running on a relay team) and found a spot about 1-1.5 miles away.

Burlington was just crawling with people. It is impossible to even describe it. It was so electrifying! We walked toward Battery Park with hundreds of other runners and spectators. Here we are at 7:40am, just 25 minutes before I had to start running (l to r: Michele, Barb, Kalen, me):At 8am, my sister and I quickly squeezed through spectators and runners and got into place at the start for our pace group. A minute later, I turned around and who is standing right next to me in this sea of runners, but Suzie (who teaches classes for us and used to work in the shop.) She was doing the relay with her husband, son and daughter. The gun went off and after 3 minutes of shuffling, we crossed the start.

All along the route, people were screaming and cheering and playing music. It really was such a wonderful experience. At about mile 1.5 we passed my family - Marc, Helen and Sophie, Lisa's daughter Meredith, and my mom and dad. It was so emotional to see them waiting for us. They were holding up signs (that my daughters had made) and screaming and they ran out to give us hugs. Here is Lisa getting a hug from my mom:
On the Beltline, which was an out and back stretch, we were able to see the race leaders, as they were already coming back as we were just heading out. At one point I heard someone yell my name and it was Carlie K., a running customer and friend of ours. It was so great to see her! She was already heading back into town.

The rest of the day was perfect (except for some pouring rain!) We finished our relay and all ran well with no problems or injuries. My sister was successful in running her first marathon, and even broke her estimated finish time by one minute. We are SO psyched to do this again next year. In fact, we are going to have several Kaleidoscope Yarns relay teams, and we are going to get some of you customers to run WITH us! So get your running shoes on and get out there and get moving! Remember - it's not about the TIME, it's about the EXPERIENCE!

Yesterday Carlie came in with 4 beautiful geraniums - to congratulate us on a job well done. Thanks Carlie! It was so fun to talk running with you (and knitting!) We are inspired by you to keep on going!
Here are some other shots from the day... My neice and daughters waiting at the 3rd relay exchange zone.Kalen with a strong finish, after running up the hill on Battery Street!

My sister at mile 15 - still smiling!
Kalen and Brett (Michele's husband) after running their legs (#3). Brett was a last minute fill-in for my friend Alice's team. Next year Brett, you are running for US!
Barb finishing the last leg:
And Lisa finishing the whole marathon.

Next post will be all about yarn, I promise. Boy have we gotten some GOOD things in this week! Check it out!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Glass beads and sequins and spun silk, OH MY!

Look what will be arriving next week!
I spent some time on the phone this morning with Tracy from Tilli Tomas and by Tuesday of next week we will have four of her yarns: Flurries, Pure & Simple, Rock Star and Disco Lights. You will LOVE this stuff!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

One finished rug, now on to the next

I finished my Fish rug the other night. I am thrilled with it, and can't WAIT to hang it above my couch in the family room. It looks incredible in there, all of the colors blend perfectly with everything in the room, and it looks like it was made to be in that very spot. Well, hey, it WAS!
Last night I started another rug, this time a smaller one that is going to be a gift. It is SO cool. I can't show it until I am finished, just in case someone is looking. Kalen and I picked out colors yesterday before the shop closed, and I've already put in about 2.5 hours on it. I hope to be finished within a week or week and a half. It's tough making one for someone else. I hope the colors will work for this person, but I have to admit, they are just gorgeous. It's going to be hard giving it away, but it's so fun to work on, knowing that it will be enjoyed by someone else.
Today is our sale - and boy do we have some great deals on yarns here in the shop! Everthing knitting related is 10-50% off! It's a great time to stock up for your next few projects.
The girls and Marc are selling our old samples out in the front yard under a little tent. We have some amazing samples out there. It's tough, we spend a lot of time making these - but then if a yarn gets discontinued, or even the color of a yarn we've used, the sample is not really usable anymore. So we are constantly making new ones, and we've got a bunch to sell today.
It was supposed to rain today, but so far it's actually quite nice. The girls are in charge of the cookie plate (get here early, they keep sneaking cookies when we are not looking) and also in charge of helping us with bags at the counter. I've found that it's much easier for them (and US!) when they are separated by at least 5-10 yards.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

5th Anniversary Sale this Saturday!

Don't forget - our 5th Anniversary sale is this Saturday from 9am-5pm. It's NOT the tent sale, folks! It is in the shop and we'll have knit samples for sale as well (those are cash only). Come and help us celebrate 5 years of serving all of you wonderful customers!
Today is dying day in the kitchen here. We have already sold out of a number of wools that we dyed for rug hooking so we are needing to replenish them.
Michele is teaching a class right now to 6 eager beginning hookers. She brought in her latest rug - she just finished but still has to do the edging. Isn't it great?
I finished my Fish rug, and started the edging last night. Last week we got a new yarn from Berroco - called Peruvia. It's 100% Peruvian Highland wool and it's SO amazingly soft and gorgeous. The colors are incredible, and as I was photographing them to put on the website, I saw one that I thought would be perfect to bind my rug.
And it is! See how great the color looks?
I am really taking my time with the edging on this rug. I want it to be as perfect as possible. It is amazing how great it can look when you are slow and careful with it. I am eager to finish, but I am not going to sacrifice quality just so I can get it done quickly.
Today I am putting up (online) a new yarn from Plymouth for fall. It's called Royal Llama Silk, and it's a blend of 60% fine llama and 40% silk. It's incredibly soft - Joy is already knitting a sample for us (a great shawl) and can't put it down. Come in and check it out!
We also got OPAL! We used to carry Opal years ago, and then we switched to other sock brands. Now they have some really pretty colors, so we just brought in Hundertwassers and Hundertwassers Cotton. They are just gorgeous, and Opal is - in my opinion - the SOFTEST sock yarn we've ever had. It will be in the shop next week, but it's online for now!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Cats, and Yarn. Not always a good combo...

Every day I come home from work to find that any yarn I have left out is littered about the house. Even if I have tucked it away carefully, and almost hidden it inside of things, those cats find it and drag it around the house like a dead mouse.

Last Friday morning, I woke up and opened the basement door to let the cats out. They sleep in the basement because they are still rambunctious kitties - and will meow at all hours of the night right outside our bedroom doors. I had enough sleep deprivation when my girls were infants, and I'm not wanting to relive that, so the basement is a perfect place for them. Anyway, they normally race out of the basement and head straight for the kitchen for their breakfast. Maisy came right out, but Lucy was nowhere to be seen. This is unusual, as Lucy LIVES for food. So I knew something was wrong. I found her in the basement, looking a little freaked out, and chasing her tail. Upon closer inspection, I realized she was not chasing her tail, but rather chasing the 6" piece of yarn that was hanging underneath her tail. Need I say more? She had obviously eaten some yarn, and it was not quite through her system. (She has good taste - it was Koigu!) I called the vet and they wanted to see her to be sure what yarn was left inside her, wasn't wrapped around her intestines. So I put her in the kennel, and drove all the way down to Charlotte. I left her, and a few hours, a kitty enema and $122 later, Lucy passed the rest of the Koigu. It was another 2.5 feet! So that yard of Koigu is perhaps the most expensive yard I've ever purchased. Moral of the story, when you have cats, you REALLY need to be careful with your stash! Once they start chewing on a piece of yarn, they can get it stuck and then they HAVE to swallow the whole thing. Anyway, she is fine now. But it was more than a bit dramatic!

This week we've gotten a lot done at the shop. Remember our 5th Anniversary Sale is next Saturday, May 19th from 9am-5pm! We have been pricing samples and BOY are there a lot of them. Every time we get rid of a yarn, we have to pull all the samples - so we have quite an inventory of sweaters, bags, scarves, etc. DON'T miss it! Cash only for samples - they'll most likely be set up outside the shop.

This week we received a LOT of new colors of Ultra Alpaca - many heathers and wow - are they gorgeous. They will be online soon, maybe today... though I have just put up 6 new sweater kits, and I think I need a break from Photoshop and the computer in general.

The big relay is on May 27th and it's RIGHT around the corner! I am running 8.6 miles (legs 1&2) and I've been working up to it. I actually ran 6.2 on Sunday and felt great! Well, I felt great while running it... afterwards was a different story! Kalen is running leg 3 (6.5m) and Michele and Barb are doing legs 4 & 5 (each 5.5m). So as a part of my training, last night I went running with a group of folks from Fleet Feet, which is just down the street from us here in Essex Junction. We only did 3.1 miles last night, but it was a little faster than I normally go, and so it was a great workout. Fleet Feet has a free running group - one on Wednesdays at 6pm - for people who can run a 5k but are working up to a 10k, and then one on Thursdays at 6pm - for people who are just starting and will run/walk and work up to running a 5k. Do any of you want to join? Two or three of us will be doing the Wednesday group. It's fun! A number of the people who were there last night had just run their first 5k. It was neat to see how excited they were - they never thought they could do it, but with practice and a supportive group, they all did do it!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Back to reality

Well, I'm back from vacation. It was wonderful to get away and enjoy temperatures in the 70s and 80s (though I'm aware it was that warm in VT for several days!) The best parts? Relaxing on the beach in Sanibel, hearing Helen and Sophie laugh and play together for many many days in a row, seeing my parents, running in warm weather, petting a dolphin at SeaWorld, and conquering my (and Sophie's) fears and doing water "coasters" and flumes at Typhoon Lagoon.
The not-so-best parts? That it had to end, and of course the weather when we stepped off the plane in Burlington on Sunday night (let me see - your typical 50 degrees, windy and raining...) At least the sun is shining brilliantly today, and did anyone catch the sunset last night? WOW!

Barb and Kalen did a great job holding down the fort while I was gone (Michele was also on vacation). Rug hooking is really picking up in the shop - yesterday we had to reorder a lot of patterns and kits. This week we have some new patterns coming in (Primitive Grace). I'm not sure what my next project will be. I am definitely going to hook our checkerboard pattern for Helen and Sophie, but I'm not sure if that is next on the agenda. The girls love to play checkers, and I have always wanted a large cloth checkerboard. So I will hook the checkerboard and most likely give it to them as a birthday present (August) or Christmas present. It will depend on how many other projects I start in the meantime.

We did get in some lovely new wools - textures and plaids. Can't wait to get started on some of these!
Fishies is nearing completion. I worked on it last night between post-vacation laundry loads.I made the Krayon Krazy sweater on vacation. It is adorable! And the yarn (Cilantro) rocks. It was excellent to knit with. I am on the sleeves on the Coco Loco sweater. It's cute and I hope to finish it up by the end of the weekend. Joy sent us two new kid's samples and they are great. One is Cheri Cherry in Manos Cotton Stria:and the other is an Oat Couture baby polo in Rowan Wool Cotton:

They are both adorable - and people are knitting for kids and babies like crazy at this time of year, so now we have four new models to inspire people.