Know what that means to me? No, not April Fool. It means my shop newsletter is due again. Argh! Whenever I think the days and weeks are dragging, I think about my newsletter, and somehow time magically speeds up and the new month is upon me! I struggle every four weeks to put together a newsletter that’s ‘newsy,’ fun, informational, and inspirational for my 500+ loyal readers (well, maybe they don’t all read ’em). I look for fun clip art, information on classes, events and workshops, along with little quotes and helpful hints that will make reading it at least a little bit worthwhile. But it’s tough. Sometimes there’s nothing new going on so that there’s nothing to put in! Sometimes there’s so much going on that I forget to put stuff in! But I have to say, I do get some lovely feedback from some of my readers; enough to make me keep doing them. At least for now.
Did you know that yarn has seasonal lines twice a year every year? And that every year yarn companies come up with ‘new and improved’ fibers to tempt the yarnaholics who own yarn shops into trying and buying their new yarns? Somewhere in the wee area in the back of my mind I must have known this when I began my search for yarns to carry in my shop all those years ago. But I have to say I really wasn’t aware of the scope of fibers out there and the creativity of people who come up with some of the most beautifully soft, yummy, breathtaking yarns ever to be found in the world!
Balance that with a budget, and welcome to my world.
Which leads me to Cathy, who made a visit to the shop yesterday. Now, Cathy’s one of the best yarn reps around, because she knows. Having owned her own yarn shop, she knows what it’s like to be me. She’s been on the receiving end of a table full of yarn coming from suitcases packed with yarn and stacked up around the table. She understands the pressure of wanting it all and having to try (and I use that term with anxiety) to stay within some kind of budget. After all, shops carry more than one brand of yarn, and they all have yarn reps! So the best thing about Cathy is there is absolutely, no pressure from her end. None. In fact, she’s more the opposite, sometimes suggesting that a particular yarn I’m leaning towards might not even be appropriate for my little shop in this particular area.
And so, of course, I try and stay focused on the upcoming season of spring and summer and zero in on what might interest my customers without breaking the bank. I go through binder after binder filled with yarn samples and color cards, and if she notices a pause, or perhaps a quick intake of breath, out comes the yarn and a knitted up swatch for me to feel. I open up the fold-out card of colors and lean back in my chair and look at her shaking my head. How do I possibly decide? With close to a hundred colors of this particular yarn, how do I narrow it down to 10? This is where the angst comes in. And this is where Cathy comes in. With her prior shop knowledge and her knowledge of my shop, she will direct me to what she thinks would be the best colors to carry, help me match yarn with patterns, and then quickly and painlessly close the book and remove it — and the yarn — from my sight.
Now that’s a good rep.
I guess if it still has to be freezing cold outside, at least we can be warm and cozy inside. There’s just something about a fire. This is one thing I definitely miss during the summer months. Guess we’ll enjoy it a bit longer.
I hate lace. Correction. I hate knitting lace. So every year I try to do at least ONE lace project. This year I’m attempting the Lacy Sampler Scarf using Tahki’s Superior yarn, which is a lovely blend of cashmere and silk, and very fine. The pattern is free on their website. I had some issues with it as at first I couldn’t make heads or tails of the process, and there are no charts. After visiting Ravelry and reading others’ notes, I think I have it figured out.
So far I’ve tinked a few rows, but then in the wee hours of the morning I had to frog about 8 rows. I thanked myself over and over for pulling a life-line through every once in awhile. At least I only had to go back to that and not start completely over, which I would have done had I not had it in. But the very best part is that I get to use my beautiful Signature needle with the ‘stiletto’ points! They’re definitely pricey, but so worth it working with this type of yarn. So I’m on the second part of the sampler now, and while I’m not loving this particular lacework, I’ll keep working on it.
I bought this sweater pattern and yarn at Stitches last August in Chicago. The pattern is Sundrop Cropped Cardigan by Kirsten Hipsky. I didn’t figure I’d get to it too quickly as I usually have shop knitting to do. So when we found ourselves on a four-day road trip to Arizona and a month away from the store this past winter, I decided that was the perfect time to take a stab at the sweater. I got most of it done on the road, then finally finished it after we got home. It originally had three-quarter length sleeves, but I decided I wanted them longer, so I picked up the stitches and did a 2×2 rib with a little flared cuff. I also made it a good 8 inches longer than the pattern called for. Plus I changed the button placket to garter stitch instead of ribbing. All in all, I really like it. I made it with Webs Valley Yarns, “Sheffield,” which is 70% merino, 15% silk, and 15% angora. Totally yummy, even though I do find fibers floating everywhere!
Yeah. See that? 4 degrees this morning. Actually, when I GOT in the car it said “1,” but after I drove about three miles we warmed up to a balmy 4.
SERIOUSLY????? It’s March 25th. I know the whole ‘In like a lion, out like a lamb.” thing, but this was probably one of the largest snowfalls we received all winter! And it ain’t winter any longer!
Frankly, I can live with more snow because our little lake is getting littler all the time. But the cold has GOT to go. Enough already.
I’m thinking those sandhill cranes are wondering what the sam hill happened. Me, too.