Friday, June 27, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
And speaking of magic... these are the Magic Balls. They are incredible! Barb was unloading the box and a customer from Canada bought several Magic Balls, Boucle Mohairs and Ribbon Balls before she could even get them all unloaded! She was down for the big Quilt Show this week, and was excited to see the Be Sweet and Tilli Tomas yarns.
I started and finished my Janine Hat this weekend. SO cute. And really fun to knit. If you're tired of the same old same old hat knit in the round, try this one. It's in Jasper (one of my FAVORITE merinos) and was a really quick knit. I chose a new fun color of Jasper and I quite like it! Not like I can wear it for a while though. What I really need is to knit myself some sort of rain hat.I also finished a really pretty lace scarf - knit with the Tilli Tomas Milan. It's a gorgeous blend of merino, silk and cashmere, and can you believe I knit this out of just ONE skein? That's right. It's 6"x42" and I wouldn't want it any longer. At $16.50, that's a deal (or steal?) The pattern is being printed and will be ready within the week. Then it will be online as well.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
The good news, well, really the GREAT news! Some of you may have seen a little survey that now pops up on our site from time to time. Now don't worry, you don't HAVE to take it. Just click the NO button and it will go away. I just turned it on Wednesday morning at 6am. And within 24 hours I had hundreds of responses. (That's just the beginning of the good news!)
Lots of you spent time writing comments about what you loved about our site. We are so thankful for the feedback - it's so satisfying to know that what we do is appreciated! The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, though there were a few great comments that we are already addressing...
A few of you said you don't like the fact that our pattern booklets (ie: ones that have instructions for multiple sweaters, etc on the inside) did not show detail pictures from the inside of the booklets - they only showed the front cover. Hey, I agree!
If it were EASY to get all of those images we'd do it in a heartbeat, but it's not always that simple. Some companies can get us the images on CD. Others tell us to get them from their websites - but then we have to do a "save-as" on hundreds of images. I don't mind that, but there are only so many hours in the day. And then there are some companies that don't do CDs, and don't have detailed websites. That means we have to SCAN all the images ourselves. So we're right back at the "only so many hours in a day" thing.
But, I'm happy to say, that even though it's way more time consuming to get these images posted on the site, I hear you, and we're doing something about it. Look at what magically happened to many of our Berroco pattern booklets this morning!
Next up, Classic Elite, Tahki, Nashua Handknits, Rowan, Colinette and Manos. I have some CDs coming, and pretty soon we'll have way more info for you on our pattern booklet pages.
So a big thank you to those of you who made the comments. We can't be EVERYTHING to EVERYBODY, but we really do try to be the best that we can be.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
BUT the Magic Balls - the ones I am MOST psyched for - are coming tomorrow in all but 2 colors that we ordered. YAY! Can't wait to play with it!
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
It's not everyday you see a backhoe digging up a big section of your front yard. There is quite a bit of roadwork in the village this summer, which has really NOT affected any traffic, much to my surprise. On our street they're just replacing the water main that's located on the other side of the street. They're trying to find where they can attach the temporary water supply to our house. And guess what? They can't find it. :)
They could run the temporary supply in through a basement window, but then the window would be open for over a week, and the building would be unsecure. Not good! Also, I didn't think my customers would appreciate stepping (or tripping) OVER an annoying water hose each time they came or left, so I told them to keep digging. I feel very UN-stressed about this. Hey, it needs to be done. Sure, it's an inconvenience and it makes a mess, but why waste time worrying about it? So I'm not!
My latest project is a set of organic cotton baby washcloths. What a great idea for a baby gift! I chose three balls of the Rowan Purelife Cotton (which is on sale this week, online... by the way!) and made my first one in half double crochet with a single crochet edging. I really like it! I'm going to knit one next, but I need to come up with a pattern first. I like these because the yarn is so soft, and it's organic cotton dyed with all natural plant dyes. The shades are so soft - they're really lovely. I think three balls will make a nice gift of 3 washcloths, a tiny hat and perhaps even a set of booties. Not bad!
This is the first week of summer for us. The girls are spending the week at a camp at UVM. So far so good. Their favorite part is archery - though Sophie says she still hasn't gotten her arrow on the board. But wow, what a great attitude she had about it. She still loves it, and she just keeps trying harder. I love when you see that kind of personal growth in your children!
Today was SO busy in shipping. We got the Norah Gaughan books in yesterday. We have shipped over 60 of them and we have another 70+ coming in tomorrow and almost all of them are spoken for already. LOTS of international orders. We've sold a lot of the other Berroco pattern books as well. They are just GREAT this season.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Read her email to us, below. Can you just FEEL how excited she is to be FINITO with this project?
Hello Kyarns Ladies!
I just wanted to let you know that I FINALLY finished my sister's wedding blanket - only a year late, but who's keeping score? Attached are a couple of photos of the blanket in its new home and with its new owners... apparently I'm psychic because I chose the colors and started knitting the squares before my sister and her husband picked out their new living room furniture - and it matches perfectly, as you can see!
Thank you so much for all your help, especially Kalen and Michele, for helping me choose colors, pep talking me when I thought I was done and discovered I had only knit half of the required number of squares, and for
showing me how to sew all 221 squares together. It was definitely a team effort and if Laura and Chris ever get divorced, I get the blanket back - and I'll bring it in to show you in person!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
(and Laura and Chris F)
Thanks Lindsay, for letting me share your email. I intentionally cropped this detail shot of the blanket - no offense to Laura and Chris! But look how GORGEOUS those seams are!!! Even on the underside, they are a sight to behold. So it's another success story - GREAT job Lindsay!
Friday, June 13, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
The patterns for these yarns are SO great this year. Norah Gaughan's Volume 3 just blew me away when I saw it. She did an amazing job on this collection - we've been taking orders for the books and hers (as usual) is the front runner. We have a number of them that were ordered in the past few days and they were ordered from people in England, Australia and New Zealand... and of course the US as well. Norah - your fans are all over the place!
I can't wait to knit with these yarns! I just love the new colors of Jasper (that was a favorite yarn of mine this past winter!) and Geode has to be my favorite new yarn. But it is hard to choose - they are all amazing.
Check them out - they're already online. Pattern booklets too. My swatches will be re-photographed - I had to borrow them from Berroco's website the other day and their swatches aren't as detailed as the ones I post. So by the end of this week I should be able to get that done.
I will edit links here later. Our site is down at the moment... that whole Level 3 Communications thing has been most problematic for us. Hmmmm.
Monday, June 09, 2008
Going into the show at 8am on Saturday, I was really hoping I'd be WOWed by something. And I wasn't disappointed! We had a private early (pre-show) meeting with Nadine from Be Sweet. I had seen Be Sweet yarns before, but I was thrilled to get the opportunity to sit down with Nadine for an hour, one on one. In addition to having some really wonderful and unique products, her company has a BIG warm fuzzy behind it - and we love the warm fuzzies. Be Sweet brings stylish, environmentally friendly yarns and accessories to socially aware consumers. They support job-creation programs in South Africa that help empower female artisans and villagers by giving them the means to support themselves. Some of the yarns we already stock, like Manos del Uruguay and Frog Tree, have these social missions as well. And when you combine a great product with a great story, you have a great addition to your product offering.
In the past few years, our customers have been asking more questions about yarns. Not only regarding content and gauge, but where is it made? Who makes it? Does the company do anything to give back? Or are they just in it to make money? We have found that people are interested in the story behind the yarn, and that's a good thing. I ordered several of Be Sweet's yarns - and I'm so excited to get them! We will have the Magic Ball (my favorite!), the Ribbon Ball, the Boucle Mohair and the Knobby Ball. Plus some really great patterns and some super fun Ostrich Feather tips - to attach to fringes. I'm sure you can't even BEGIN to imagine it just from reading this, but Nadine's yarns were the most fun and gorgeous (for me!) at the show, and I'm so psyched for when they arrive.
I also bought some other really great things, that will be a wonderful addition to what we already carry. So here's a preview of just a FEW of the things I ordered. They'll be arriving this summer, for fall:
- Lorna's Wool Needle Felting kits (this will be a class) - so fun for kids and adults. GREAT gift ideas.
- Awesome new Stitch Diva patterns (these are always top sellers!)
- Eastport Alpaca - this one is really fun, and comes from nearby Maine, and some beautiful Maine alpacas. And it's US made all the way, and we like that, too!
- Jil Eaton MinnowMerino - 100% merino, super wash in great colors for kids! Really nice book and patterns too.
- NAMASTE - Yep, I'm SO excited for this. Two bags - the Newport bag and the Laguna bag, and the SO hip Cali Clutch. I think my personal bag collection (already huge) is about to get bigger.
- Loop-d-Loop Moss - a really fun blend of extrafine merino and nylon. Technically a sport weight (on the label anyway!) but Teva Durham uses it on larger needles and the result is fantastic.
- Tahki Donegal Tweed - an old classic, and one that you folks have been asking for, so we're bringing it in!
- Tahki Montana - a 100% pure new wool in all natural colors. Some great patterns for this yarn!
- Filatura di Crosa Superior - a heavenly blend of cashmere and silk - amazing sweaters and scarves and more are made with this yarn.
There are more, but I'm going on and on and really have to get some work done!
We came away with some neat pattern ideas too, and we'll start working on those in the next few weeks. I think I'll be doing a lot of knitting in the near future!
Thursday, June 05, 2008
This spring we decided to change our stock colors of Blue Sky Alpaca Silk. The new colors are SO great, so I was tempted to knit a little sample out of one of them.
I started with the Blue Sky patterns and immediately found the perfect one: The Baby Bonnet & Socks. I picked a fun color and took it along with me on a trip to visit my mom in CT. It was so quick - in fact I just finished up the I-cord ties and now it's done.
The pattern is written in two sizes. It's a great idea for all of those baby showers that seem to come up each summer!
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Saturday afternoon, as I was leaving work I grabbed some odds and ends from the felting basket, and started the Noni Oven Mitt. I made a size small, and took her advice... in the pattern she suggests tying square knots where the stripes start and end. I usually weave in all the ends, even though it's a long process. We'll see how her method works after it's felted. So this is what the inside of the mitt looked like after I finished knitting it: Then I tied my knots, which neatened it up a little:
Certainly looks cute from the outside, doesn't it?
That oven mitt was so quick that I decided to make another one (size medium) for one of the girls' teachers. I did modify the thumb, as I didn't care for the Noni directions. Remember, knitters... a pattern is only a guideline. Do what you need to do to make it work for YOU.
I also finished the Noni Yummy Lunch bag last week, so this will go into the machine at the same time as the oven mitts. I have a feeling that the lunch bag is going to be huge. The finished size listed on the pattern is more like a felted COOLER than a lunch bag. I mean, who eats THAT MUCH for lunch? So we'll see when it comes out of the wash... it's running right now.
Another thing I have to wash is my awesome Sin City scarf. I chose a simple reversible rib stitch which was easy and quick. I was told that this yarn MUST be knit on size 8 needles, and that you need to wash/dry it so that it felts a bit. Okay, sure. So I'll try that. This is pre-wash:
The girls are just getting off the bus, and now the basement smells like wet wool. Not a great smell when you walk into the house. Maybe it will prompt them to clean the litterbox? It does sort of smell like that... to the untrained nose, that it.
And YAY! I guess I'm allowed to start something new!