Friday, November 30, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
So today Bob stopped in and we were all talking about yesterday, and we asked him how all the pies were. He said he only tasted 3 of the 5 or 6 that there were, but he said they were all delicious. One of the pies at his gathering was a Homestead Pie. He said it didn't appeal to him, so it was not one that he ate. He told us it had Ritz Crackers and whipped cream. It sounded different... well, interesting... actually, kind of scary, to us. But he said that everyone loved it. So off he went and we told him we'd see him on Monday.
About an hour or so later, I saw his green jacket go by the window. He came in the front door, carrying something, and snuck upstairs to the kitchen. He had gone home and asked Marilyn to bake us a Homestead Pie. So this is what I found when I came up for lunch. Clearly, several of us enjoyed it! Thanks Bob and Marilyn! It will most likely be gone by the end of the day.
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday. The weather was so awful, that I didn't set one foot over the door. It was so fun to stay home and not "have" to do anything. I spent a lot of time hooking my rug, and I hope to be finished soon. It may have to live in the shop for a while before I hang it up at home. And I'm already thinking about my next one...
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Some of the other large companies we deal with can take days and even weeks to get back to us when we call with an issue. We recently knit up a sweater from a pattern (from another company) and there was a major error in the number of stitches that it said to pick up for the neck. Our stitch AND row gauges were right on, and the pattern said to pick up 82 stitches around the neck (a V-neck, mind you!) The gauge on the larger needles was 4.5 stitches to the inch. The neckband was done on the smaller needles, which means the gauge was probably more like 5 stitches to the inch. Let's do the math - 82 stitches divided by 5 stitches to the inch = 16.4 inches! That would barely fit over a kid's head! Even if we used the larger needle, 82 stitches divided by 4.5 stitches to the inch = 18.22 inches. That's smaller than almost any adult head I've ever seen!
Of course, we always pick up stitches like this - 1 stitch for each stitch on horizontals and 3 stitches for every 4 rows on verticals and diagonals. By doing it this way, you would get a total of about 112 stitches. So... 112 stitches divided by 5 stitches to the inch = 22.4". Much better. But when we called this company to discuss our findings (and this obvious error) it took 2 weeks for them to get back to us. And when they did, even though the math clearly does not work in their pattern, they refused to admit that they had made a mistake. I guess it's just an example of customer service that could be a little better. So, in the end, we just put our own correction on the pattern, so that our customers will not run into any problems. And we appreciate the easier to deal with companies, even more.
Speaking of new Berroco things, we just received some gorgeous new Touche colors! This yarn is obviously great for kids, but it's a wonderful worsted weight alternative for adults who cannot wear wool. The color palette is so much better now than it was before. Speaking of new colors, we got a big box from Colinette yesterday, and in it we found three new Iona colors that we ordered last week: Toscana, Ginger Cinnabar and Morello Mash. They are lovely! Unfortunately there were no Ab Fabs in the box. We are still waiting for the Ab Fabs to come back into stock. Some of these have been backordered for months and months! This morning we got word that by Tuesday all Ab Fabs will be back in stock and shipping. We can only keep our fingers crossed, as we've heard that before and ended up disappointed. It is completely out of our control, though.
Also - new yarns from Plymouth! Heaven Lite - fun baby yarn - perfect for sweaters and blankets, Magica - great novelty yarn for scarves, and King George and Lafayette - lovely yarns from Plymouth's new "Bristol Yarn Gallery" division.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Friday, November 09, 2007
Parents of small children... please do not let your toddlers roam wild in the shop. Are you aware that our shop is not child proofed as your home should be? Does it worry you that the mannequin your child thinks he is dancing with, starts to teeter and totter and tip over? Where are you when I rescue your child from being crushed under that very heavy figure? Oh, that's right. You are looking for a pattern 2 rooms away, not paying any attention to your child. Do you hear me asking your child not to play with the mannequin because it is not safe for him, and I don't want him to get hurt? You DO hear me? Great! Why then, does your child do it another 2 times, while you are still paying no attention to him?
Did you just hear the big wooden smacking noise, followed by tears, and a nice young lady saying she's sorry? Do you know that your child was standing right inside our front door (out of sight from the outside) and a customer just came into the shop and opened the door right into your child? (Don't worry, I told the nice lady not to feel badly - it's not her fault, it's yours.) Now your child is screaming, most likely because you are paying no attention to him, and you are still looking for a pattern.
You know that bag of Sesame Pretzels that your daughter has been snacking on? Do you see that she is spilling hundreds of sesame seeds all over our floor? That may be okay at your house, but it's not okay here. Now those sticky little hands are touching so many different balls of yarn. Hmmm. Do YOU want to buy a ball of yarn that has been touched by sticky sesame hands? I sure don't. Do you realize that every ball of yarn we find, when straightening and restocking yarn, that has been manhandled by your children, or snot-dripped upon, must be taken out of stock?
Great, now your daughter is dancing with the mannequin. Wasn't she standing right there when I was reprimanding your son? Oh sorry! I forgot. You wouldn't know. You weren't paying attention.
You know those beautiful shawl pins that we have at the counter? Did you realize those aren't chew toys for your kids? The nice display with the marbles that houses those shawl pins? Not a game of Pick Up Sticks. Our customers do not enjoy jarring, crashing sounds as your daughter knocks over the entire bowl of glass marbles, because she didn't like it when we asked her not to play with them. Nor do they enjoy tripping over the marbles, as they shop.
Those Brittany double pointed needles we sell? Those size 0's, 1's and 2's are pretty small, aren't they? Does your child have to test them to see if they will break? Let me save him some time. YES. They break. And since you don't want to pay for a broken needle, I guess we'll just have to put it with all the sticky and snotty yarn we've already pulled from the shelves.
You know, we're not just trying to look after your children because you aren't doing it yourself. We actually have a job to do here, and it's not daycare provider. We're actually really concerned for their safety and for our inventory. You know that if that mannequin fell on top of your child, even though you were in the other room not paying attention, you would blame us. You know that if your child opened our basement door and fell down the steps, again it would be our fault somehow.
And for those of you who are starting to feel the stress of the holidays, hear this. Please understand that we are only here to help you. When you come in with a really bad attitude, we are still going to smile and treat you like all of the nice people who have preceeded you. But if you don't let up on the attitude, we fully reserve the right to politely remind you that there's no reason to be rude to us.
When the UPS truck is backed into the driveway at 4pm, and there's rush hour traffic on Pearl Street, do NOT pull in and block him. Do you really think you have enough time to come in and make an exchange? Do you not realize that he is on a schedule? Do you not see that you have parked your car next to a sign that says "Please Do Not Block Driveway?" Do you see that now there is another customer behind the UPS truck, waiting to get out, all because you will not move your car? I am aware of your dirty looks and snotty attitude when I tell you I cannot help you until you move your car. The other customers in the shop are also aware, and when you finally go to move your car, they have nothing but raised eyebrows about your behavior.
Okay, rant over. Have a good weekend.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
I won't tell you how much money I spent on M&Ms, nor will I disclose how many peanut M&Ms I've eaten since my trip. I can't even say how many (few) days it took me to eat them.
In summary - it was fun! It was quick and busy, and exhausting and stimulating. But fun. And furing the long car trip, I was able to whip up a couple of neat hats. Kalen gave me some great ideas of what we needed to write up for free patterns, and this is what we came up with. This one is a great unisex earflap hat using Frog Tree Alpaca and Berroco Foliage.
This one is the ever popular super bulky ribbed pom pom hat. Love it! It uses Berroco Peruvia and Cascade Baby Alpaca Chunky. It came out a little big, but it would fit an adult l-xl. To make it smaller, I'd use the same pattern with a smaller needle. It's oh so soft and warm, and the huge pom pom really makes it.