Ancaster Community Food Drive

Monday, April 30, 2007

More about the house

Beth and I have decided on the townhouse with the large, open kitchen. We went and visited again today and are happy with the decision. Now just waiting for the bank to approve our mortgage. It should have gone through this morning but both of us have had a credit card stolen. Our credit reports are flagged and now head office has to okay it. Maybe tomorrow. If all goes well (fingers crossed) we should take possession by the middle of June.

We spent the afternoon furniture shopping. Nothing was right for what we want-obviously we weren't in the furniture shopping mood. When I came home I went on the internet looking at other area furniture stores we didn't go to. Beth asked me to put the following bedroom sets up for you to help her with her choice.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Frolic

The Frolic yesterday was great. I came home very tired but it was worth it. The day was cool and rainy which helped the crowds. Throughout the day classes were running which gave us some quieter time on the market floor. We had some time to talk with customers and chat/gossip with old friends. Probably half the people coming on our Gone Stitchin' weekend were there so it was nice to catch up with them. When we do the Knitter's Fair in Kitchener the show is much busier so we don't have time to actually talk with customers.

The big question I got from everyone was 'how is the townhouse coming?' Well, we've hit a snag. On Thursday night we went for a quick walk through with our real estate agent. We met her at 5:30 to go over the extras. We wanted her to point out every extra in the unit so we knew what we were missing. Didn't want to take possession and then realize that something we thought was included wasn't there. The breaking point for Beth was about 7. (My class started then but they let themselves in.) The agent told us that they can't guarantee where the electrical outlets would be placed. There would be 4 in a bedroom but if we wanted them in a certain place we had to pay to guarantee this-$110 per outlet. The agent realized that Beth was very unhappy so she made another suggestion. They had some other units that were built that maybe we should look at. These are bigger than what we were looking for but they were done so no surprises on the price. We went over and took a look. The first unit would be perfect but the inside wasn't done. Back to the same problems with upgrades. The next unit had a different layout but I gasped when I saw the kitchen. It was amazing. It is open to the main room-I love it and Beth isn't sure. The model unit was available and it was great except the kitchen was smaller and we are not sure on the layout. We took Mom and Dad back on Friday. They also fell in love with these. I think they are leaning towards the model until. Beth and I debated all the way to Toronto (we set up for the Frolic on Friday night). Beth went and looked at them again yesterday. She moved our reserve from the original townhouse over to these. Now the debate begins. I am on my way to take another look. The first two pictures are of the kitchen that I like. The next picture is from the media room in the model unit. We spent a lot of time watching tv so this room is important to us-our tv will definitely be much bigger. Then the smaller kitchen that has a breakfast nook. My head is spinning right now-decisions, decisions. I am usually a very decisive person-I can buy a vehicle in 10 minutes but this is very confusing. I guess the problem is that a vehicle can be changed in a couple of years and this is permanent.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

JULIE WAKE UP

This is what I heard Beth yelling this morning. I went running into the kitchen and she says, 'take a look at Roko. It looks like he has a tick on his face. Can you see the legs?' What a way to start the day. I didn't look too closely but told her to call the vet. Leanne (has been our vet for 15 years) took them in right away and sure enough it was a tick. It is gone and Roko is doing well.

Luckily the rest of the day went much better. The store was busy and I got most of the packing done for the Frolic. I did some rearranging in the front room as well that will get finished tomorrow. Knitting class went well. Margaret and I worked on decreasing for raglan sleeves so that it looks neat for sewing. Cathy started the crochet around her vest that she just finished. Janice did a tension swatch. Dee sat and knit-she doesn't talk very much.

Sorry but I don't have any pictures again. I haven't knit in a couple of days. I have progressed further with my reading of The Friday Night Knitting Club. It is still holding my attention so no complaints.

Hopefully I will see some of you on Saturday, please stop by the booth and say hi.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Spring is here

The weather has been amazing the past two days. It's hard to believe how cold it was just last week.

I thought the store would be slow yesterday and I would have time to knit and read. Not so. I have about 2" completed on the shawl-only 63" more to go. The book sat untouched.

Today Sarah worked. I wrote another newsletter-should go out tonight. Also finished up some changes and additions for the website. Korey has some new kits up on the site and there will be more sometime this week. I finished up my tax return, then did Beth's and my parents. Some of you might not know that I studied Chartered Accountancy at the University of Waterloo. The program was co-op so I worked four terms in a Burlington accounting office where I was the Queen of Tax.

Rhonda was in this morning to pick up my Lattice bag. She is going to do the lining for me. Around her neck was the new digital camera. She took some pictures of the dogs-check out her blog. She is going to knit the same shawl as me-even the same colour. Obviously it must be a great colour!!!

I am getting ready to move to the couch for the NASCAR race and more knitting on the Kimono Jacket. The back is about 1/3 done.

Sorry for the uneventful post-I hope to do better next week.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

New project

I had to start a new project today. We received a shipment this morning of the spring yarns from Naturally and in the box was Dawn, a lace weight silk/wool blend. I started this shawl (on the new Addi lace needles) in between reading a book, The Friday Night Knitting Club. So far I am enjoying the book-the story is keeping me interested. There are a few knitting references that are wrong but it isn't bothering me.

I casually asked Blue Sky Alpacas for some garments for the Knitter's Frolic. I really love that company. The garments arrived today and they made sure that the samples were in colours that I have in stock. Nothing is worse than getting a model and then you don't have that colour to sell.

We received a HUGE shipment of Mountain Colors Bearfoot today. I think we might have every colour in stock right now.

Today was a very long day. Beth and I were in the warehouse by 8am to start shipping orders. After work I met with our real estate agent. The builder had done the pricing on our upgrades. WOW. Now we have to sit down and decide what is important. I can tell you that I won't be getting the glass shower. My class started without me. Nobody baked tonight but Phyllis brought donuts. They really love their treats.

Congrats to Kristin-she had the baby today. A girl!!! Okay, I guess my day wasn't that long-I didn't go through labour.

Monday, April 16, 2007

A very busy day

Jane works in the store on Mondays so that I can have some time to rest. That didn't happen today. Here was my day


  • work on my GST return-which included going through three months of credit card statements to make sure that I have everything entered
  • pay suppliers
  • do mail orders
  • do my tax return-I'm getting a small refund
  • clean up unread mail
  • go to the warehouse to find something on the old computer for Beth and pick up some yarn
  • a quick stop at Walmart-I picked out a coffee maker last week in my travels and it was $170 at two different stores-$149 at Walmart-I didn't buy it but I know where to go when I am ready for it
  • go to visit townhouse we are looking at-we need to get a list of upgrades to the builder for pricing
  • have a pedicure and my nails filled (they are very pretty now)
  • get dinner-can't beat Swiss Chalet



    I took a lot of pictures while I was in the townhouse. This could be my favourite-a big bathtub to soak in!!! You can see the edge of the glass shower to the left of the picture.

  • Sunday, April 15, 2007

    Home Show

    I had the best intentions to be on the road by 10am yesterday, heading to the home show in Toronto. I went into the store to say hi to Sarah and there were customers that I needed to help. I finally made it into the truck, backing out of my parking spot when another customer came in that I needed to talk with. Back into the store and finally on my way by noon. DO NOT GO TO THE HOME SHOW ON SATURDAY. When I arrived at the Direct Energy Centre (on the CNE grounds for those who aren't familiar with the name) there were no parking spots. I ended up driving around for half an hour and then parking at Ontario Place.

    The home show was huge but wasn't what I thought it would be. There were about four booths with kitchen appliances and you couldn't get near them. Many of the booths were hardwood flooring and granite counter tops. We have to get these from our builder so there was no use picking something at the show. If you need a garage door, windows, air conditioner or hot tub there are many booths displaying these. If you are renovating your house, the show will give you lots of great ideas. What I really needed was a home decor show that gave me colour and decorating ideas.

    I sent out an email newsletter yesterday about some yarn that we will have on sale starting on Tuesday. These include in stock yarn of
    • Rowan Big Wool
    • Rowan All Seasons Cotton
    • Rowan Biggy Print
    • Rowan Cotton Braid
    • Rowan Cotton Rope
    • Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk
    • Rowan Yorkshire Chunky Tweed
    • Rowan Yorkshire Aran Tweed
    • Needful yarns Kelly and Kim

    If you didn't get the email, send an email to me (julie@needleemporium.com) and I will forward to you. Most of these are priced at 50% off.

    I'm off to watch The Amazing Race and then The Apprentice. I really miss Rob and Amber!!!

    Kristin-we're anxiously waiting for news.

    Friday, April 13, 2007

    Migraines



    My blog is worth $8,468.10.
    How much is your blog worth?




    If my blog keeps going up in value I might be able to afford the flooring that I want in the townhouse. The home show is on in Toronto so I am thinking of going tomorrow. That could be expensive!!

    Yesterday I had lots of visitors in the store. Sarah came in the morning with her two daughters. Maggie and I talked about the merits of Montessori school (Maggie is three years old!!) Later in the day a very pregnant Kristin came in with her mom and daughter Clarabel. Clarabel knows the routine. She runs in the front room and I get the toys out for her. Then she goes and shops for buttons. Kristin-I hope the baby comes soon!!

    My Thursday night class met last night. I had a migraine and relaxed upstairs while they knit.

    I have suffered from migraines since I was eight and until Imitrex there was no drug that helped me. One thing that makes me feel better is Salt and Vinegar Chips (Miss Vickie's is the best) and a can of ginger ale (only Canada Dry). Sounds weird but got me through university. The weather is a real trigger for me and we are having great weather right now.

    I am busy getting things ready for the Knitter's Frolic. Blue Sky Alpacas is sending a trunk show so we will have lots of great garments to display. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the Offhand Design bags will be here by then. There is a shipment from Mountain Colors on the way so we might have a great selection of Bearfoot there as well.

    I got a bit of knitting done in the store today between straightening shelves. I left the Kimono Jacket upstairs so I worked on the Asymmetrical Jacket. I have finished 40 rows and need to get to 65 before I start the neck shaping.

    Thursday, April 12, 2007

    Newsletter and Rowan Bamboo Tape

    How come the hockey games that start late are always better than the early games? I have at least another hour before I can go to bed-hopefully no more overtime tonight.

    If you don't receive our newsletter, now might be the time to sign up. The next one (coming out later this week) is a list of yarns that we are selling off.

    Here are some pictures that I took at class tonight. Cathy (you might remember her as 'The Neat Freak') just finished this shrug-Akina-out of Rowan Bamboo Tape. Sarah (who works on Saturday and is Cathy's daughter) is modelling for us. Sarah likes it so much that she took yarn to knit it for herself. She said that the yarn is really soft and feels great when you wear it.

    Wednesday, April 11, 2007

    Another finished project-part 4

    Kilcar is done-well the sewing is done. I still have a few ends to put in but that can wait until tomorrow. The pattern calls for buttonholes but I left these out and decided to use a shawl pin instead.

    I now know why I start so many projects and never finish them-I hate finishing. The knitting is fun but after that...

    Here is the back of the Kimono Jacket. Both fronts are done and are on stitch holders. The pattern calls for shoulder shaping but I might eliminate the shaping and do a 3 needle bind off. I know that I can do short rows and then the 3 needle bind off but my short rows are never neat enough-I am very picky.

    My Wednesday night class starts again tonight. I hope to kick them out a bit early because the NHL playoffs start tonight.

    Tuesday, April 10, 2007

    New kits and finishing

    We received a shipment from Handmaiden yesterday. This is the yarn for the Maid Marian vest. The name Handmaiden might not be familiar to you but Fleece Artist probably is. Kathryn owns Fleece Artist and her daughter owns Handmaiden.

    Some of you have been asking about the Addi Lace knitting needles. They arrived today. These have sharper points making it easier for knitting lace.

    I worked on Kilcar in the store today. In this picture one half of the collar is sewn down and one sleeve is sewn in. I got the other half of the collar done after the picture. If I had three wishes, one would be for a finishing fairy!!! The sewing together isn't hard but after all that knitting you just want it to be done.

    Growing up isn't fun

    Yesterday we took mom and dad to see the townhouse we are looking at. No one ever said that Beth and I are dumb. We took them to another (cheaper) townhouse first. Of course they liked the more expensive one better!!! The problem was that my dad kept adding things to the list of what we want. He would say, 'you really should have this because it will be too expensive to add it later.' Thanks dad. Unfortunately the price is continually rising with our extras so now we have to sit down and do a really good budget to see if it is possible. Shoe shopping will be out of the picture for a while.

    This is one of the saddest parts about growing up. Beth and I own a 2005 Mustang GT. It is only driven in the summer (5000km) and is stored in our warehouse for the winter. We are going to have to sell it to pay for furniture. Very sad but part of getting old.

    I went furniture shopping last night. I wanted to have some idea of how much we will need for the essentials-a couch and a bed would be nice. So far I have been to four furniture stores and nothing is grabbing me. I want my bedroom set to be very plain. I don't want to offend anyone but this furniture isn't for me-and there is a lot out there that looks like this. When you have slept on a futon for 10 years, picking out a bedroom set can be overwhelming.

    I didn't work on Kilcar over the weekend. The thought of more finishing was just too much. I did work on the Kimono jacket. I have a new pair of plaid (not ugly plaid) dress pants and the colour of the Kimono jacket is perfect. I want to get it done quickly before the warm weather arrives. Is it ever arriving?

    Saturday, April 07, 2007

    Another finished project-part 3

    Here is Tempest-completed with all the ends sewn in. I am getting very good at the ends. If Sarah was going to knit it for herself she would have to do the smaller size.

    Rhonda used to do all my finishing but she lives too far away to keep coming and picking up my projects. She is going to do the lining of the Lattice Bag for me though. I don't have time to pull out my sewing machine and she likes to sew. The bag handles should arrive this week and then she can get the bag finished for the Knitter's Frolic.

    For some reason the Masters didn't come on TV until 4pm yesterday. Since I had time to kill I blocked Kilcar. It is amazing what a difference the blocking makes. I have a large piece of Styrofoam (you can get one at The Home Depot) and pin the sweater down. It is much easier to block before you sew (should have thought about this before I stitched up Tempest). I have a clothing steamer and just run it over the sweater. Doesn't get much easier but I usually don't do it out of laziness.

    I have started to sew the collar on Kilcar-maybe it will be done tonight.

    Mom and dad came home from Myrtle yesterday. They weren't happy about leaving sunny and warm for cold and snow.

    Thursday, April 05, 2007

    Another finished project

    I wore Patrick today-my body is so happy. I think I will wear it to church tomorrow morning as well!!

    This scarf was almost complete and then set aside (it took me less than 30 minutes to finish it last night). I decided that it would be great for showing off shawl pins at the Knitter's Frolic so I pulled it out last night. There are many patterns for multi-directional scarves but you can find the one I used here. The pattern was easy to follow-even a new knitter can do this scarf. It is knit out of Noro Silk Garden-I used 3 balls of colour 211. The shawl pins are made in British Columbia.

    I now have 5" done on the ribbing of Tempest. Maybe I will have it done for Sarah to model on Saturday. Tonight is Survivor and CSI and tomorrow afternoon the Masters so I am keeping my fingers crossed.

    How the heck do you choose appliances for a house? I know what I want but we aren't getting the $8000 commercial range or the $6000 fridge. I stopped by a Hamilton appliance store and it was very confusing.

    Wednesday, April 04, 2007

    Wannietta is a life saver

    My absolute favourite sweater in the world is called Patrick. Of all the sweaters I own, this is the one that gets the most comments. It travels everywhere with me-Vegas, California, Myrtle Beach and New Zealand twice. Wannietta knit the sweater for me at least 8 years ago. It is knit out of Rowan Denim (in cream) which could be one of the greatest yarns on earth. I have spilt everything on that sweater and even had a pen explode on it but everything washes out easily. The neck and bottom started to fray. I fixed the neck myself-ripped out a couple of rows and recast off. I kept looking at the bottom but couldn't bring myself to do it. Enter Wannietta-she saved my best friend. Take a look at Wannietta's blog.

    Thank you Wannietta-I will be wearing Patrick tomorrow.

    Tuesday, April 03, 2007

    Another finished project

    Martingale just brought out a new book called Silk Knits by Elaine Eskesen. The book talks about the ins and outs of knitting with silk and silk-blend yarns. This circular vest is knit out of Noro Silk Garden. Many of you are asking for vest patterns and this is a great one. It's knit all in one piece so new sewing which is a huge plus.

    Speaking of silk, here is a picture of the Claudia Handpaint silk that I have in the store. Wannietta was very excited yesterday when I mentioned her knitting a shawl out of it.

    I finished my crochet scarf. It took 4 balls of Trendsetter Tonalita. If it was for myself, I would add another ball.

    I am off to knitting guild. Tonight we have a guest in teaching different methods for casting on. I am going to listen and continue on with my ribbing-4" done and 2" more to go.

    Monday, April 02, 2007

    You might be wondering why I am doing two posts in one day. I just talked with my dad and he passed on along a message from mom-"your blog is boring right now!" (She made this comment because I hadn't done a post in a while-she didn't know that I had just posted.)

    Tonight was the last night of my sock class. The ladies were knitting the baby sock from Cabin Fever. They all got the first sock done and the second sock was started. They found out that knitting socks aren't really that hard-you just have to follow the pattern.

    Speaking of socks, we received in a shipment from KnitWhits called Socks for Tots. There are 6 different kits available (3 designs-two colourways each).

    I got a few more rows done on Tempest over the weekend. It isn't going as quick as I would like.

    Time to grow up

    We received a shipment today that will excite lace knitters. It is 100% silk, lace weight yarn that has 1100 yards on a skein. It almost makes me want to knit a lace shawl. Unfortunately I have too many projects ahead of this so maybe I will send to Wannietta. This is from Claudia's Handpaint yarn. Claudia doesn't have the silk on her site yet but you can see the colours. Here is a list of what we received.
    • oops
    • midnight
    • caribbean blue
    • toast
    • blue fields
    • desert dusk
    • boot camp
    • stormy days
    • chocolate cherry
    • walk in the woods
    • blue terracotta
    • butter pecan

    We will have this with us at the Knitter's Frolic.

    Beth and I have decided that it is time to grow up. We are going to buy a house and move out of the apartment above the store. The apartment has served us well but after 15 years it is time for a change. You've seen the beautiful yellow floor in the kitchen. Because our house is over 200 years old, it is missing some things that many take for granted. NO CLOSETS. All the ceilings in our apartment are sloped so we can't even put them in. NO SHOWER. Again because of sloped ceilings we only have a bathtub-and not a nice new soaker tub. It is old and short-you can't lay down in it. I have a couple of requirements for the house-master bedroom with ensuite that has a tub and separate shower, walk in closet and a great kitchen. It isn't easy to find all these in the same house. We found a great house within walking distance of the store. The yard was great for the dogs, the main floor was beautiful and then you went upstairs and it was just like our apartment-sloped ceilings. I started to look at some of the new townhouses in Ancaster. I wish I could just wave my magic wand, have the perfect one and have it really cheap!! There is one other problem-none of our furniture is going with us so it isn't just buying a house but furnishing it from scratch. When our apartment was built the front window was left out to bring all the furniture up by scaffolding. The only way to get it out is to chop it up. I guess the only way to look at this is as an adventure-hopefully it ends soon!! I am not a patient person and once my mind is made up to do something I want to do it now.