Friday, September 28, 2007

A day for dyeing

We've been selling a lot of rug hooking wools and patterns, so our wool selection was getting low! And it's not easy to dye wool when it's 80-90 degrees out - so earlier this week it just wasn't going to happen. Today I had some time, and it was supposed to be in the low 60's, so I cleared my schedule and hit the kitchen at 8:30am. By 9:30 am, with 2 burners going and the oven on 350 degrees, it was seriously hot in there. Luckily the 5 people in the rug hooking class across the hallway were feeling just fine, with the AC on and the door closed so the humidity I was creating didn't creep in.
I definitely got a lot done and some of them are so gorgeous that I am inspired to start hooking immediately! (I've been on a hooking break until the weather gets cooler!)
Michele brought in her latest finished rug:
and the one she is currently working on:
If there's time tomorrow Barb is going to do some more spot dyes. Those are easier and don't require as much standing over the stove.

Here are Michele and Kalen's Aamu sweaters.
I'm now up to the back neck again... gosh, could I finish it this weekend? Maybe - although the three of us will be running our half marathon on Sunday, so that cuts into the knitting time a bit. Weather is looking great - just PERFECT for a long run. We're all really excited, and getting a little nervous too. I have never run that far in my life, and I will be really happy if (a) I finish it! And (b) if I run it in under 2.5 hours. But hey, as long as I finish, I can always improve my time on the next one. We're pretty sure that of the three of us, Michele will finish first, with Kalen right behind her, and then me, a comfortable (!) distance behind. That's okay, though. I told them they better have some food and water waiting for me when I drag through the finish!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A first time for everything

So that great progress I made on my Aamu sweater this weekend? The one I knit on all evening Saturday after Norah was here, and then every spare moment I could steal on Sunday? I was all the way up the back and ready to divide for the neck and work down the front, when I realized something terrible... I was knitting the wrong size.

In my 25 years of knitting, I have never made that mistake. I was confused... was I making the small or x-small? I am NEVER an x-small, but this garment is nice and stretchy, and I did fit into the x-small when I tried it on at the shop. But when I got home, I forgot. And I just figured I must be the small. And since of course I never take notes on things like that - I just trust myself to "remember" details like that - I goofed.

So Sunday at 10pm, just as I was packing up my knitting for the night, in a moment of exhaustion, I realized that I was making the wrong size.

So I'm knitting it again, and still loving every moment. But now I am only this far: That's okay. I get to re-work the order of the skeins. This way I am more in control of the color changes. And I already like it better. So there!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

recap of Norah's visit

Wow, did we have fun yesterday. It is always so great to see Andra, as she is so full of energy and enthusiasm about life, yarn, fashion, knitting, etc. She arrived first, and soon Norah arrived, with boxes of garments from her Norah Gaughan Collection: Volume One. We had cleared out the back of the shop and had lots of mannequin bodies all naked and waiting to wear her samples. As Norah pulled items out of the boxes, we all "oohed" and "aahed". What can I say people? Yarn and knitted garments excite us! That's why we do what we do.

The coolest thing about the visit yesterday was not SEEING these items in person...though that pretty much rocked. It was getting to try them on. And she had multiples - as in the same garment in both a smaller size and a larger size! We all have different body shapes and sizes, and a lot of times, a certain sweater STYLE may look great on one body type, and awful on another, even if it is sized properly. It's just that the style doesn't work for multiple shapes. The great thing about most of Norah's designs in this book, is that they worked on multiple body types. Believe me! I tried these things on. Kalen did, Michele did, Alex did, Barb did. And many customers did. And we are ALL shaped differently. And a lot of the pieces looked great on each and every one of us. So that was a really enlightening experience for all of us, and for all of the people who tried these things on.

The other really interesting thing is that the sweater that I liked the LEAST in the book, turns out to be one I like the MOST. It's the Aamu (shown below, and thanks to Berroco, Inc. for letting me borrow these pictures):
Yeah, not really one that sells you in the picture. But it is so cute in real life, that Kalen, Michele and I are each making it! I picked red, Kalen picked blue and Michele is doing brown. I started mine last night and am CRUISING on it. Love Pure Merino, love the color, love the pattern.
Andra also made (yes, MADE) me try on the Aune skirt (below.) I was really resistant to it. I mean, come on, puh-leese. I am not a knitted skirt kind of person. I put in on over my jeans, and guess what? It was really cute, and I could totally see myself wearing it! Michele and Kalen also tried it on, and we all fit in the same size and looked great. We might have to make one up for the shop...
So when I finish my Aamu sweater, I think I will make the Anais top (below, in blue.) This is just so cute, with a beautiful detail at the neck and the sleeves. It's made out of Ultra Alpaca Light, and is again, a sweater I never would have considered, had I not tried it on.
The sweater that most of our customers fell in love with was the Manon sweater, below. They had it in two sizes, and it is really flattering on a wide range of people. Not to mention, it's fun to knit! No boring stuff here...
Another one that people loved was the Annikki long sweater coat. WOW.
And the Kaari:
And the Kaino vest:
And the Kukka:
And the Chantal (this was really cute!):
And one easy personal favorite was this Luce scarf. I'm definitely doing a shop sample of this one!

So it was super fun, and my needles have been flying in each spare moment since 5pm last night. Thanks Norah. Thanks Andra. Thanks staff. Thanks customers.

Of course for pictures I was terrible. I got too busy to take any! So Marc took a couple - he and the girls were sitting out front with some apple cider and Barb's yummy pumpkin cookies and molasses cookies. They were watching all of the Hot Rods drive by the shop, as the Hot Rod show was just up the street. Here's one shot (dark, and blurry - sorry!) of Norah and some customers trying things on in the back of the shop.

And here's Andra after the event, taking a well deserved break with Helen, Sophie and me out front.

Today was GORGEOUS! We went to Stowe. The kids and Marc rode bikes on the rec path and went through the corn maze.

My sister and I took an 8.5 mile run. As a reward after my run, I chowed down a Stowe Dog and some lovely onion rings. MMMMMMM. Michele and Kalen and I are running the Leaf Peepers 1/2 Marathon one week from today. Fingers crossed that it will be even close to today, weather wise!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Norah Gaughan coming this Saturday... and Berroco SALE!

Remember - Norah Gaughan is coming on Saturday! She'll be here with our Berroco rep, Andra, and they are bringing a trunk show from Norah's "Norah Gaughan Collection: Volume 1." So come in between 1pm and 3pm and get ready to try things on. What a great opportunity to meet Norah and Andra, and to actually get to see these garments in person, AND to try them on!

To celebrate her visit, we will be having a sale on all Berroco yarns. Save 10% on ALL Berroco yarns on Saturday (in the shop only!)

So this weekend I started a cute little Bolero for Sophie in Velvet Touch. It's a new pattern from Knitting Pure & Simple - #275, the Children's Neckdown Bolero. I have some Velvet Touch in a discontinued color - very bright - but Sophie likes it. She and Helen have finally outgrown their last Velvet Touch sweaters (I made them each a size 6 and they wore them all of 1st and 2nd grade!) so a new Velvet Touch sweater for each of them is definitely in the cards for this winter.

What a gorgeous day it was yesterday! We drove to Stowe and rode the gondola to the top with my mom. It was really beautiful - the leaves are starting to change, but only slightly. It was freezing! The temps were only in the mid 50s, but it was much cooler up on top of the mountain. Yes, we're all in winter coats!

We weren't prepared to hike, but we walked around a bit on some trails - it was just gorgeous.
This is the first year my girls have been organized about Halloween. Sophie went through the dress up box and decided she wants to be a bride. Helen, along with about 2-3 million other little girls, will be dressing up like Hannah Montana. Saturday we went out and got the wig. I'm not really sure what else she needs to wear, but I'm sure that some of her own clothes will be just fine.

One exciting bit of news - tomorrow (we think!) our new Berroco Comfort will be arriving! 30 shades of a great new yarn from Berroco - a blend of nylon and acrylic in a worsted weight. This yarn has 10 more yards than Plymouth Encore for the same price! We are so eager for it to arrive...

Saturday, September 08, 2007

I'm ga ga for bags...

Each time we get a new style of bag in the shop, I just have to get one. We just received our new Della Q "Daphne" bags in two great colors, and as usual, I'm getting one. I just can't resist. This style is SO cute!
When I ordered this bag, I knew we'd all love it, so I ordered extras, since I knew we'd each be leaving with one. Which colors did we choose?

Alex - blue & brown
Kalen - black & white
Michele - not here today, but I'm betting she'll go with blue & brown
Barb - can't decide
me - black & white

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Cat Bordhi Workshops in our area in November - Benefit for Breast Cancer

Here's an important event!

Cat Bordhi is coming to Vermont to help support breast cancer research. Cat is teaming with Denise Interchangeable Knitting Needles to raise funds for Vermont’s own S.D. Ireland Cancer Research Fund. She will speak at the (free) 10th Annual Vermont Breast Cancer Conference Saturday, November 3 at the Sheraton Burlington Hotel & Conference Center (870 Williston Rd.) Click here
for more information or call 802-656-5665.

Cat will also teach two daylong Moebius knitting workshops: Friday, November 2 at the Commodore’s Inn, Stowe Vermont from 10:00am – 4:45pm and Sunday, November 4 at the Health Science Research Facility (Given Building, 89 Beaumont Ave) on the UVM campus. A tour of the S.D. Ireland Cancer Research lab will also be included. 10:00 – 5:30

The course fee is $75, (non-refundable) which is donated to the S.D. Ireland Cancer Research Fund. Participation is limited to 24 in each class, and registration began September 1st. If you are interested, please contact Laura at 802-888-7917 to register, or go the S.D. Ireland website to fill out a registration form. See class description below:

Transformational Moebius Knitting (6-hour workshop)
Learn the secret of surrendering to the grace of the Moebius as it unfurls on one long circular needle, allowing you to knit extraordinarily beautiful scarves, garments and containers that have only one continuous surface and one continuous edge. Cat will transmit both knitting and life lessons in this workshop, relating the mystery of the Moebius to the mystery and grace of cancer.

It takes only minutes to learn Cat’s unique Moebius Cast-On, and then you have the key to her innovative books, A TREASURY OF MAGICAL KNITTING and A SECOND TREASURY OF MAGICAL KNITTING. Your first project could be a Moebius scarf - to introduce you to this magical, friendly form, which is the heart of every Moebius bag, bowl, boot, cape, wrap, and bed. You can use one or multiple strands, or change yarns and textures along the way, and will discover that everything you do forms a beautiful mirror reflection growing from the spine of the scarf out to the edges. She'll talk about what happens if you introduce a diagonal stitch pattern, how to work with stripes, how to sequence lace repeats, learn several edge treatments, and explore the basics of designing your own Moebius scarf or wrap. And if you can knit a Moebius scarf, you are just steps away from being able to knit a Moebius sling bag, bowl, basket, or Jester Tentacle Bag. A warning: it’s hard to make just one of these mysterious, graceful, and fully functional shapes. A Moebius container, which really and truly has no inside or outside (even though it appears to, and can hold your valuables), casts a spell over both knitters and non-knitters. A one-skein basket makes the perfect small gift for anyone, even a billionaire, who may not own anything quite so amazing as this.

Materials: Yarn and needles for your chosen project – choose a Moebius scarf or a Moebius basket to begin (see the TREASURIES for details, and please bring the book with you so you can use the instructions.)
Skill level: Confident beginners all the way to advanced (something for everyone!)