Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Inventory is this week

A reminder to all that our shop in Essex Junction will be CLOSED for inventory this Wednesday and Thursday, April 1st and 2nd. We will not be shipping those two days either, or answering phone calls, emails, etc.

If you got an email that your order was ready for pickup (any locals whose orders from the pre-inventory sale that ended yesterday may have, if their order was complete) you should pick it up today (Tuesday 3/31) between 10am-5pm, or wait until Friday. Please don't come Wednesday or Thursday... you'll be disappointed when we don't open the doors.

Thanks for your patience, and see you Friday!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Pre-Inventory Sale... going on now, online!

Howdy folks! Can you believe it's going to be 50 degrees here today!? We're all eager for the clock to strike 5:00 so we can get out and enjoy the sunshine.

Next Wednesday and Thursday, April 1st & 2nd, the shop will be CLOSED FOR INVENTORY! Sorry about that, but in 7 years we've probably only closed for about 3-4 days for inventory, having managed to stay late and come in early so as not to interrupt our regular hours.

This year, however, we are scheduling two full days to count it all. If we get it done early, we could open for Thursday afternoon, but don't count on it.

And so, to make our job easier, we decided to put a number of things on sale NOW. We have put over 75 yarns and knitting kits on sale, from 25-40% off. The more we sell, the less we have to count, and the earlier we can reopen. Favorites like Lamb's Pride Worsted and Bulky, Manos in semi-solids, multis and new naturals, Cascade 220 in solids and paints, Silky Wool, Ultra Alpaca, Peruvia, Sierra, Donegal Tweed, Freedom Spirit, Colourscape Chunky, Minnow Merino, and SO MANY MORE!

This is an online sale. Online orders get pulled directly from our warehouses, and are much easier to process (no restocking of shelves, which takes a lot of time, no chaos in the shop, etc.)

If you are local, please place your order online, and write "hold for pickup" in the comments section at checkout. We will process your order, remove shipping charges and email you when it's ready for pickup. Thanks for your compliance on this!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

When in doubt, resort to cashmere

Things in my neck of the woods have been hectic recently. I find that the time leading up to the kids' April school vacation is always that way. I guess it's good in a way, because then I'll really enjoy my vacation, right? One hopes!

Anyway, I've been busy in the evenings, and haven't found much time to knit. Some nights I am doing computer work, and after dealing with spreadsheet after spreadsheet, I find I am so mentally drained that it's time for bed.

Other evenings I've been trying to find some time to exercise. Easier said than done! And so as much as that is necessary for my overall health and well-being, it certainly takes time away from my knitting...

The only real knitting I've gotten done, is during our Harry Potter Read-Alouds... I got the girls the first 6 books for Christmas this year. BEST present I've ever gotten them. And they completely agree. They don't normally like anything scary so I really wasn't sure how they were going to react to the books. They LOVE them! During the Christmas break we got through the first two books, and now we are almost finished book 4. We don't do it every night, but we try to do it 3-4 times a week.

Reading aloud is hard, and reading Harry Potter alound is even harder. Plus, at the end of each chapter, when Marc and I are ready to put the book down, the girls scream "PLEASE!!!!! Just one more chapter!!!! PLEASE!!!!" And we usually give in. So reading time goes from 30 minutes to sometimes an hour, or even an hour and a half. I can only knit when Marc or the girls are reading, but since we all trade off that gives me ample time. And my special project for Harry Potter nights has been my Jade Sapphire Cashmere Scarf for Him (really for ME) kit. I am doing a simple stitch pattern that is so easy it's almost impossible to mess up. The yarn is luxurious and I'm almost halfway through! Unfortunately I am thinking it's going to be next fall before I get to wear this. But it's a classic, so I'm not worried.

We have sold SO many of these kits this year. And a little birdy told us they might be coming out with kits... for HER. So that means new stitch combos and more colors. Oooh la laaa!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Spring!

I woke up this morning to see that the ice was gone in Burlington Bay on Lake Champlain. And spring officially arrived as I was on my way in to work at the shop.

So it's time to pick up some of my warm weather projects again. Last summer I taught myself how to crochet and picked out five colors in the Tahki Cotton Classic to make up a new tote bag. I took it with me to coffee shops in Burlington, and the single crochet went quickly. I really enjoyed the project and had some yarn left over.
Since I've been admiring the crocheted Salem projectin Berroco Book #273 Naturlin I thought I would use my leftovers to try out the hexagon shapes to see how they went. I was so pleased by the first one I just kept right on going. I haven't finished yet, because I need some more yarn to finish up. It should make a stunning new warm weather spread.
I've noticed customers coming in recently to purchase Cotton Classic for the Blooming Cotton Scarf in the new Interweave Knits Spring 2009. This scarf is so cool! It's slip stitch, and knit in the round. At the end, you cut your work!!! And unravel back a ways, and tie fringe to secure the knitting. What a neat project. So many color options too, because Cotton Classic comes in so many great colors:
By the way, we just put Cotton Classic on sale yesterday. It's 20% off through Monday, 3/23/09. Happy spring!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Patiently waiting for spring, but busy nonetheless

Well, the last couple of days here in Vermont have definitely been teasing us with spring. While the temperatures are warming it still can be a bit frightful outdoors in Vermont on any given day. (Today, for example, you may just blow away out there!) So I just thought I'd tease everyone else with a few events on the horizon that are keeping those of us here at the shop thinking warm thoughts in anticipation of bright cheerful spring and summer weather.

Charity Knitting!
We've been receiving blanket project blocks for our charity knitting project!
Warm, fuzzy blanket blocks are on needles all over Vermont and beyond. This is really a great way to get involved with other knitters in our community and do something for others. We really hope this is taking off because it will take quite a few blocks to create a finished blanket, but we know we can do it with your help. Thanks to all of you who have already shown your support and dropped off blocks! One of our customers have even taken the challenge to knit blocks to her church in Burlington, and she hopes that other churches will join the challenge, too.

Booksigning Event!
Mark your calendars for May 9th because Kristen Rengren is coming to Vermont! Author of the soon to be released Vintage Baby Knits:Kristen will be spending a day here at Kaleidoscope Yarns to teach a workshop and sign her book. We should have lots of yummy details for everyone soon so stay tuned!

Kids Knitting Camp!
I've been coming up with knitting Jeopardy questions for Knitting Camp and I have to say that it's terribly exciting. (If you count the garter stitch ridges on your knitting project and there are 25, how many rows have you knit?) Yes, you should know the answer to that and hopefully so will all of our beginning knitters by the end of Kaleidoscope's first ever Kids Knitting Camp. We are all getting excited as we plan the details of activities...knitting, fiber, yarn tasting, purling, shop tours, felting, dying, winding, & hopefully special fiber guests...just think of all the fun we're going to have! We've posted details and dates on our website and you can also stop by the shop to pick up a registration form. I'm a little jealous that there was never a knitting camp when I was younger. Maybe we'll have to have an adult knitting camp too...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Last Day for 25% off bamboo needle sets

So tomorrow's the last day to get 25% off the KA Switch bamboo needle sets. Order by tomorrow (Monday 3/16) and we will ship by Wednesday. We've already sold so many that we've had to reorder twice.

We used to just sell one option - black and white, but we've added two more - red dragonfly (by far the most popular!!!) and neutral stripe. What's your flavor??

Sunday, March 08, 2009

It's all about the kids

Been a little quiet here recently... sorry about that! We've been a bit buried in some large projects here, and in addition to the busy shop and website, that sometimes means fewer updates to the blog. But it doesn't mean there's not a lot to say... February is always a busy month. Of course February vacation, while relaxing for the kids, is not always relaxing for the working parents. My kids went to Maine to stay with Marc's parents for the week. Marc and I stayed home and worked, but headed over for 2 days to pick them up. We managed to get in a few rides on the "sleds" or "'chines" (pronounced "sheens") as they say. They had a lot of snow over there. This is up on Center Hill overlooking Webb Lake.And here are the girls (ON the lake) with their cousin in front of our summer camp. It looks so different in the winter! Over the past week and a half I've been working on projects for the next after school knitting program, which started today. We really want these kids to do more than just sit around and knit. I have seen how excited my girls were when they learned to purl, and when they started understanding all the great stitch combinations there are with just those two easy stitches.

I came up with a new project for these kids. Here's the sampler scarf:Today each child picked a ball of Plymouth Encore Colorspun in the self striping colors. I gave them a pattern so they could get practice reading an actual pattern. It says that each time the yarn changed color, they have to change their stitch pattern. They can do garter and stockinette, since they just learned to purl, and once they are comfortable with purling, we'll show them stitch patterns like 1x1 and 2x2 rib, etc. I figured we'd do that in class next week since all that yarn going between the needles often results in extra stitches!

The nice thing about this scarf is that it really teaches them how to do different stitch patterns, and what the differences are between these patterns. They were all intrigued today that the ribbed sections on my scarf were "skinny" and the garter sections were "fat." It's important for them to notice this on their own, and to do it themselves so they actually learn how different stitch patterns will affect the outcome of their work.

So it went really well, and then when they finish the sampler scarf, they can make a doll or teddy bear hat. They'll practice ribbing, work a turning ridge, do more ribbing, then learn stripes, decreasing and seaming. They were all excited today to see the hat and think that they could actually do it themselves! All it takes is practice, right?

Speaking of kids and knitting, we've got our summer kids knitting camp information up on the website. It's going to be fun!!!