Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Small New Projects

We just got in some Bully Woolies Felting Kits. We have two bags - a larger handled tote available in 2 colorways
and a smaller bag that is available in four designs.
These are kits, sold in a little box with the pattern, the yarn (all the colors in the right amounts) and the button and/or handles. All you need is the needle and off you go. They are really reasonable, considering that once you make the bag with the yarn supplied, you can use the chart and dig into your stash to make more bags.

I really didn't want to start another project, since I have so many unfinished ones, but I broke down the other night and started the Flower Power bag, which is one of the smaller ones. I used to do intarsia ALL the time (way back when I was 20...) but I really haven't done it at all since then. This is a great project for beginning intarsia knitters, and also for those, like me, who haven't done it in a while and need to brush up on their skills. Because, since it will be felted, any little "problems" will be hidden when it is finished. That's my kind of intarsia!

I made some more progress on the American Girl Doll coat... why is it that a tiny project seems to take longer than a larger one? I told my girls I would make each of their dolls this coat, and that I would make it for one of their friend's dolls. Hmm. I might have to find a way out of that one. I'm not opposed to making 3 "items" for the dolls, but 3 of the same? That could put me over the edge. I'll have to be creative.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Surgery is over

So yesterday came and went with a blur. Thanks to all of you who sent me emails wishing the girls luck with their surgeries! We got to the hospital at 7am, with the girls still in their PJs. It's not the first time that twins or siblings had surgeries on the same day, but let me say, it does confuse people from the registration desk all the way to the doctors, nurses, and anesthesiolgists. Making sure they each had the correct ID bracelets on, and that the nurse was writing info about Sophie on Sophie's chart, not Helen's, etc. We really had to be on our toes. At one point during Sophie's surgery, we were waiting with Helen in the pre-op room and a doctor came in, introduced himself and mentioned that he was an ENT (Ear Nose Throat) doctor. We paused for a moment, and then asked him why we needed an ENT for a hernia surgery? He had walked into the wrong room, so we all got a nice laugh from that one.

Everyone there was so nice - they even had a child life specialist who came in and talked to the girls at length about the surgery, in children's terms. She was really helpful. Sophie had quite a few moments of being really scared and upset, and so she did take the "calming" medicine before her surgery. Boy did that help! She was Chatty Kathy being wheeled down into the operating room. This picture was taken as soon as the medicine started working. Sophie is in the middle, with a bit of a glazed look in her eyes. I was all suited up to accompany her into the operating room. I was there until she fell asleep for the surgery. That was hard. They should have given ME some calming medicine for that one.

Helen is a tough kid, she didn't need anything to calm her down. She was too busy watching the Nick Jr on the TV in the room. I guess when you don't watch much TV at home, it is a real treat to have your very own TV in the hospital. When it was her turn for surgery, Marc walked her down, and it looks like a party in the operating room! Here they are with her surgeon and the anesthesiologist.
At just about the same time, Sophie woke up pretty happy in the recovery room! She was so brave!

When Helen came to the recovery room about an hour later, she was in such a deep sleep we thought she'd never wake up. She slept hard for almost an hour and a half, then woke up asking for a popsicle and some chocolate ice cream, both of which she inhaled.
And the long awaited wheelchair rides! The girls had been dreaming about riding in a wheelchair for ages. Too bad they were still pretty drugged out. I'm not sure they even remember much about the wheelchairs.
We got home just after 2pm, and then it was naptime again for the girls. The cats were thrilled to have sleeping buddies on the couches.They slept another 12 hours last night, and today they are laying low. They are doing well, but the incisions do hurt. Helen's hurt more, as she had two and Sophie only had one. Anyway, I'm glad it's over. I am feeling the exhaustion myself, as I think my stress was all bottled up inside, and now that it's over I can release it. Phew...

I did start one of the coats for the American Girl Dolls (which by the way the girls LOVED). It's a cute Easter coat that will look like this:

and I didn't get very far yesterday. But it shouldn't take too long. I am using Roma - what an awesome yarn to knit with! It is in the Holiday Wear pattern booklet.

I gave my mom the Rooster hooked rug yesterday and she loves it! She was really excited to get it and couldn't wait to get home and find the perfect place to hang it. What a good feeling that was - I loved making that rug, and seeing how much she loved getting it... well it was more than an amazing feeling. And hey, isn't that what it's all about?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Summer has arrived

Summer is finally here, with temperatures yesterday in the 90s, high humidity and strong, strong storms. We've been having some severe storms this month - seems like once a week. The girls are out of school, and this Friday will both be having hernia surgeries. What's with my family and hernias? I'm not sure, but for two years now the medical deductible has been more than met. They are a little nervous about the surgeries, as am I... hard to have any child needing a surgery, but two of them, at the same time, well... it's causing a lump in my throat. I hope Friday comes and goes quickly and with ease. Then summer for them can truly begin.

They have known about this surgery for 6 months, and a few months ago we started talking about a little "prize" that they might receive after the surgery was over. Hey, I'm not above bribing them on certain things. Sophie (at age 7 1/2) still FREAKS out when we pull into the pediatician's office parking lot. She has a huge fear of doctors and their offices, so I've been dreading her reaction to this surgery for months now. You know how you check in for a surgery, and then it's hurry up and wait... you sit around in pre-op for what seems like an eternity. More time for her to freak out, I know. And when she freaks out, she works herself into SUCH a state. Not to mention how Marc and I feel. The good thing is that I found out we can get a little "kiddie" valium for her when we arrive. They said a lot of kids freak out like that, and so that makes me feel a little better, anyway.

Back to the prizes... Helen and Sophie both like American Girl Dolls. They each have one. They decided that they would each like another one as their prize. They have been pouring over the AGD catalogs for months now, telling me which doll they want, and which outfits and accessories they would like for future birthdays, Christmases, etc. So look what arrived here at the shop a week and a half ago? Meet Nicki and "blondie with earrings" (she doesn't have a name.) I also couldn't resist getting each one of them a wheelchair - perfect for the occasion, right? Sophie already has the crutches for her current doll, and she LOVES them. In fact, both Helen and Sophie want me to get them crutches at the medical supply store for their birthday this August! They are fascinated with crutches and wheelchairs, and the only happy face I have gotten out of Sophie regarding her upcoming surgery was when I told her she'd get to ride in a wheelchair after her surgery, on the way out to the car. She is not looking forward to the actual surgery, but the wheelchair ride? Well that's a different story.
And this whole AGD thing is leading to some new, small knitting projects for me. I have already made some sweaters and skirts for their existing dolls, but we recently got some new patterns, so I am going to start on coats for each of their new dolls. When I opened the shop 5 years ago, I had customers who came in looking for 18" doll patterns. I did not have any, and couldn't believe that anyone would be knitting clothes for dolls! Well, look at me now. The girls just love anything I make for the dolls, and since I cannot sew to save my life, I have had to invest in some patterns for dolls. So if any of you are looking for 18" doll patterns, we now have some!

I did finish two baby sweaters recently - a textured one in Rowan Handknit Cotton out of the Nashua Handknits Bloom booklet, which should be back in stock any day now...
and the Minnowknits Orangini Vest in Nashua Handknits Cilantro.
I will be home for the next few days with the girls, and am going to finally "finish" my rugs - the Whimsie and the Fish in a Line. I just need to sew some pockets onto the back, so I can hang them properly. Barb helped me with the surger today (again, sewing is not my forte) and I should be ready to go once I get home.

This Sunday is my parents' anniversary and I will give them the Iddy Biddy Rooster. I'm sad to see it go - I love it! But that just means I will have to start another one....

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

New needle cases here... and NEW bags coming

We just received some great new circular needle cases from Della Q. The circular cases are slightly padded to protect your needles and they come in three great colors.
We also received two new colors of the Combo case, which holds both straight and circular needles.

Over the next couple of weeks we will be getting our first shipment from Offhand Designs. Many of our customers have been asking us if we stock these bags and needle cases... well, now we do! I ordered 3 different bag styles and two of the clutches - the deluxe and the circular. The first shipment will be their current fabrics, and then in August we will get another shipment with the new fall fabrics. Let me just say, they are fantastic! And don't worry - if you don't see a fabric or style that you like, we are happy to special order any of them for you.

I am trying to finish up a number of baby sweaters I've been working on recently, and so I am not allowing myself any new projects (knitting OR hooking!) until I finish some of these loose ends. I am itching to work with the Cascade Baby Alpaca Chunky, though. We just got in 3 new yummy shades yesterday...

Another yarn I am DYING to knit with? Malabrigo Chunky. That's right, we're getting it! My rep comes on Tuesday of next week, so I will finalize my color selections at that point and then we should get the yarn by the end of June or beginning of July.

Things in Vermont are heating up - it's going to be in the 80's all week. Come on in to pick out a summer project - we have AC and it's nice and cool and colorful in here, as usual!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

This one's for you, Alice!

Alice, a customer and friend, was in yesterday. So great to see her - it had been a while! I told her I have been running by her house recently, as my longer runs have forced me to go further out beyond my normal routes. She told me to stop by sometime - as she knows how to make a mean Key Lime Marguerita... just what I need after a nice run! I might also need a ride home afterwards...

Anyway, she was joking with us, and said that she wished I could post a blog entry each day. Ha ha ha. Not going to happen! I really do try to post as often as I can, but I don't always have time, and I can't just post about nothing!

Well this will be a quick one, but at least it's a post. We got in 2 new colors of sock yarn today - one Regia Bamboo and one Regia Silk. They are so great! So bright and fun and summery! They make me think of yummy popsicles and sherbet...

I am almost finished my latest rug hooking project. I LOVE it. I get faster with each rug I do, and my technique has really improved. So far I've done Whimsy, Fish in Line, a Pansy brick cover, a sheep tile, a rug hooking sign for our shop and this rooster. It's for my parents' anniversary later this month. So if any of my mom's friends are reading this, SHHHHH! Don't tell, please!

I really love these colors. Kalen helped me pick them out. She's got an eye for color!

This weekend I am headed to Portsmouth, NH again. We are hoping for a little beach weather! My sister and her friend and I are running in the Market Day 10k on Saturday, which goes all through Portsmouth. Should be fun! We are also hoping to get in some outlet shopping in Kittery on Saturday night. I hope to finish two little kid's sweaters I am working on.

By the way Alice, have you set up your bloglines yet? www.bloglines.com - it's a timesaver!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Tilli Tomas yarns plus new SOCK yarns

We just received our first shipment of Tilli Tomas yarns - we got Flurries (a gorgeous Australian merino wool with glass beads), Pure & Simple (100% spun silk), Rock Star (100% spun silk with glass beads) and Disco Lights (100% spun silk with petite sequins.) It is just lovely! This is the Pure & Simple:

And this is the Flurries (top) and Rock Star/Disco Lights (bottom):

Barb took a skein of the Jade in the Pure & Simple and started a pleated scarf. Normally, I am not a fan of the color jade. But this Jade makes me want to change my mind. It is SO pretty.

I took 2 skeins of Flurries and am knitting the simple little beaded baby hat. This would make a really special baby gift. What an heirloom!

Tonight I am headed down to Portsmouth, NH to visit my sister, and I am dropping off 4 skeins of Pure & Simple and some of the Rock Star at Joy's. She lives right along the way, and I figured this will get her knitting our sweater sample right away! She will be making us the "Drama Queen" sweater, a fitted sweater with ribs at the bottom and beaded cuffs and collar. Gorgeous. I think she is eager to start it. Barb says the yarn is heaven to knit!

I am almost finished my little textured sweater out of Handknit Cotton. All I have to do is pick up stitches for the button bands and then do some seaming and a lot of weaving in of ends. I always leave that to the end, I know. I like to work them into seams, so that's my excuse! I need to grab some buttons for it before I leave for the day.
Barb is almost finished her sock out of the Regia Bamboo. It's a toe up sock, and she's running a class on it in early July. It's already over half full, so call to sign up if you are interested.

We just got a partial shipment of our Tofutsies sock yarn - you know, the yarn with "chitin" - shrimp and crab shells! This yarn is all the rage, and we have 7 colors in stock now, with a few more on backorder, but soon to follow.

Monday we will be getting in three more sock yarns: Fortissima Socka w/Bamboo, Step (with Jojoba and Aloe Vera), and Trekking. Socks, socks, socks. They are all the rage!