Yesterday I did a bit of traveling... Burlington to Chicago to Denver to... Breckenridge, Colorado. Marc was doing a presentation on Google Analytics up here and so I joined him for the weekend. The drive from Denver to Breck was amazing. I have been to Colorado many times before, but only to ski or snowboard. So each trip on I-70 was full of white outs, trucks pulled over putting on their chains, cars off the road, etc. Yesterday was quite different. It was so beautiful - the green pine trees with the cottonwoods and aspens at their peak of yellow and orange such a stark contrast against the rocky, brown mountains. I have pictures, but my camera doesn't connect to Marc's MacBook, so we are limited to photos taken with his I-Phone.
And as we got further from Denver we could see the snow covered mountain tops. Just beautiful. And a not-so-gentle reminder that the winter season is right around the bend. I arrived at Beaver Run - the hotel - and Marc said a quick hello before he went out to dinner with his group. I would have joined them but I was exhausted after a long day of traveling.
Today the weather is nice but tomorrow the high is only going to be 40, and it's going to be raining and snowing. GREAT! I'm being sarcastic of course, but I'd prefer not to deal with winter weather so early in October. This was what I saw this morning:Today we took advantage of the gorgeous weather and drove to Vail. Here are a couple of obligatory Vail shots. The skier, who looks a bit naked with the lack of snow:
And the clock tower that I think reminds everyone of Vail Village:
Of course it's always fun to visit other yarn shops, and today I went to three of them! I have to say I still like Kaleidoscope Yarns the best, but perhaps I am a bit biased!? I just think it's a little off-putting when you walk into a yarn shop and the person working is knitting and can't even be bothered to get up, or look up from her knitting... I mean, I know we all love to knit, but customer service is number one in my book. I don't think it's right when customers are ignored.
I found it interesting in this particular shop that nothing was priced. I had to keep asking "how much is this? how much is that?... and she would say, "I don't know, $9 or $10 dollars?" All the while she kept knitting away. She just couldn't be bothered to get up and check her price list. I was immediately thankful that in our yarn shop we have all our our yarns clearly tagged, with prices, yardage, washing instructions, stitches per inch, etc. Just makes it easier all around.
I also noticed at one store that the return policy was "90% in store credit only, and ONLY if the dye lots still match what we have." What!?! If I buy something and it costs me $50, and I return it, why should I only get $45 back? And the part about the matching dye lots, well, that just about put me over the edge. Personally, I think our return policy ROCKS compared to some others I've seen.
But it is always great to visit other shops to see how other people do things. I get ideas for trying new things, and I also see what we're already doing really well. We also went to some ski shops today and I bought a VERY cool hat for research purposes, of course. It's a neat hat, but I realized that I could make a better one. It's crocheted, so I will have to whip out a big ole crochet hook, but I already have some great ideas on how to make one that's about 20% like this, but 80% cooler. So stay tuned.
I called the shop earlier today - Barb says it was going to be 70 degrees in Burlington! She checked the incoming log and Jojoland is arriving today! So for all you locals, come on in this weekend and check out the awesome Swirl Shawl pattern that's been all the buzz for the past few weeks, plus the three new Jojoland yarns we'll have. Barb also told me that we got 5 or 6 new colors of the Piece of Vermont yarn... this time we got fewer colors, but more of each so we can put them online. So if you all can be patient for a few more days, they're at the top of my "to do" list for Monday.
I did bring some small knitting projects too. The one I started first is the Odessa Hat (free pattern on Ravelry) and I am using Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend Multis. I chose one of the newer variegated colors - number 3120, called Olivewood. It's gorgeous. I have only ever knit a swatch with this yarn, and let me tell you... it's divine. Barb was raving about it after she finished the Basket Wave Scarf. I thought she was overdoing it a bit, you know, gushing like that... but she's right on target. This is now one of my all time favorite yarns to knit with.
By the way, if you can't reach the Ravelry link above, or if you've never heard of Ravelry, head on over to their website and sign up. We'll be referencing it more, and if you not ON Ravelry, you are truly missing out. There are almost 195,000 folks on Ravelry. It only takes about 3-4 days to be added, so go put your name on the list!