Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Getting ready for knitting classes and Rowan preview

I have finished the schedule for my spring classes. Many people have been asking for beginner crochet so it is on the schedule. We are going to make a simple scarf so I thought I should make a sample. I started today between customers but didn't get very far. Here is the picture of Trendsetter's scarf that I am modifying. It will be narrower so that it can be done faster and use less yarn.

Tomorrow is supposed to be the launch date for the new Rowan. There are a few sites out there with pictures so I decided to share a few with you.

This is Appledore from RYC. I am in love with this. It is knit using their new yarn called Cotton Jeans. The yarn is 100% cotton so I imagine that the jacket will be heavy-more of a spring/fall garment than summer.

Here is the cover of the new Summer Tweed Magazine. There are new colours in this yarn for spring as well. Everyone has been asking Rowan for new designs in this great yarn and finally they have listened.

And the picture that everyone wants to see. Here is the cover of Rowan 41. I believe the full magazine will be launched on Rowan's site tomorrow.

Bamboo Tape is a new yarn from Rowan for spring. There will be a separate magazine for it. Take a look at the shade cards-amazing colours in true Rowan style.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Why I have a yarn shop

When doing the taping for CH Morning Live, Lori asked my 'why do you have a yarn shop?' There are the obvious reasons-I like to knit, love to fibres, etc, etc. I couldn't put into words the real benefit of having the shop.

Saturday morning Lisa came into the store with her daughter Sam. Lisa started knitting about 5 years ago and is self taught. She started out with basic, easy to knit garments for her daughter. Over the years she has learned with some help from us how to cable, sew together, use the proper needle size, you know, all the basics. Sam quickly undid her jacket to show me a sweater that Lisa had knit for her. It had a lace panel up the front. Lisa was beaming. She said it was her favourite sweater to date. It fit Sam perfectly!!! Until recently, Lisa did a lot of knitting but we never saw the finished project. She never knit for herself either. Now we see Lisa quite a bit with her finished projects. This is why I have a store!!! To see the expression on a customer's face when they have finished a project and it worked out. It fits and looks great.

I slept most of the day but am now getting ready to watch 'The Apprentice'. So far this season has been great. Whoever came up with the losing team living in tents is a genius.

My class schedule is almost done. I am hoping that Korey will have it on the website in the next couple of days. If you are interested in classes, contact me and I will email directly to you.

There have been some problems with the website over the past week that could go into this week. The server keeps crashing and they are working on getting a new one. If you can't get the site, please try again later in the day.

Saturday, January 27, 2007


People have been asking for pictures of the dogs so I took some while they were playing in the snow. Roko is still smaller than Melo but not for much longer.

Roko is starting to learn his name and will come when you call him. Since a cookie is usually involved this helps. He still likes the look of yarn but usually won't touch it. He has discovered shoes and Mom and Dads-right now he just likes to take out the insoles.

The difference in the two dogs is amazing. Melo has to be with us at all times. He sleeps at our feet and if we move, he moves. Roko loves to go downstairs and lie at the back door.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Some knitting was accomplished

Here is a picture of my Lattice Bag. Once you get going, the knitting goes quickly. You will all be proud of me, I am doing the cables without a cable needle-saves a ton of time and easy because the yarn is double stranded on 9mm needles.

All day today I had people in commenting on seeing the tv show. It is amazing how many people have driven by the store for years and didn't know that we sold yarn.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

CH Morning Live

This is the bottom of my felted bag. I have picked up around the bottom and one row is complete.

The store will be featured on tomorrow mornings show, 6-9am. We have Starchoice and it is channel 345.

The Blue Sky Alpacas yarn arrived today-talk about service. It was shipped from the US yesterday morning. Unfortunately there isn't room in the store right now so the yarn is in baskets on the floor. The colours are amazing when you see them in person.

Knitting class starts tonight. These are the ladies who have been with me forever so I don't dare cancel on them.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


We did the taping for CH morning live this morning. Unfortunately, it took a bit longer than expected and they had to run to do a show for the noon news report. I forgot to ask when it will be aired-will try to contact Lori tomorrow and ask her. Lori was amazing. Her day starts at 3:30am so it was surprising how upbeat she could be by 11am. She picked all the segments but we did get a lot of information in to a short time. Phyllis and Lynn from my Thursday class came and knit during the taping. Lori talked with them about their love for knitting and why they started. Thanks for coming out guys. I also need to thank Jane, Cathy and Sarah for the work they did tidying the shelves. The store looked amazing.

The funniest thing that happened was Lori kept calling the knitting needles 'sticks'. She couldn't wrap her head around needles.

I have come down with bronchitis. All I want to do is sleep but when I lay in bed I can't sleep. I will admit that I am a very whiny, awful sick person. This means no knitting. I read most of the afternoon-nothing to do because the store is so neat.

I did finish the bottom of my felted bag over the weekend. If I am up to it tomorrow, I will pick up the stitches to start up the bag.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Blue Sky Alpacas

It was just confirmed that we will be carrying Blue Sky Alpacas yarn in the store. I have been looking at their yarns for years at the trade show but these two patterns did it for me. They are knit out of Alpaca Silk which is 50% alpaca/50% silk. I have ordered in 12 colours to start and can order in any of the other colours. There is also some Bulky Hand Dyes which is a blend of 50% alpaca/50% wool and knits on 10mm needles. The other yarn is Worsted Hand Dyes-a blend of 50% alpaca/50% merino. The yarn is being shipped this week and we hope to have it by the weekend.

CH Morning Live

Tomorrow morning CH Morning Live is coming to tape a segment in the store. We need to do 6-8 segments so I have been racking my brain to decide. I have come up with a couple so far

  • socks and the self striping yarns
  • felting
  • new closures for jackets and cardigans-shawl pins, knit sticks
  • my ruffle scarf
  • new knitting bags

Any suggestions will be helpful-they are arriving tomorrow morning at 9:30 am.

Phyllis (my new best friend) who owns the Keeping Room in Dundas has segments taped in her store at least once a month. She has been pushing for them to come to my store and finally it is going to happen.

Friday, January 19, 2007

I have started knitting again

The Noni bag patterns arrived while I was away. I am working on the rectangular Lattice bag in Naturespun Worsted from Brown Sheep using N144 Limestone and N601 Pepper.

It is going to be a busy weekend catching up on work that should have been completed while I was away having fun. The classes have been finalized for the Gone Stitchin' weekend so I have a large mailing to do next week. CH Morning Live will be taping some segments for their show in the store on Tuesday or Wednesday. We were going to be live on Tuesday morning but they can't get a strong enough signal. If it was done live, there would be 8-2 minute segments done over 3 hours. Now we will tape these segments in less than 45 minutes. YIKES. I will let you know when these will be aired.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Very eventful trip

We arrived home from Las Vegas at 7 this morning. After sleeping for most of the day I am up and catching up on work.

We left for San Diego on Friday morning. The trade show was from Saturday - Monday so we were getting there early to have time to shop in the afternoon. Okay, Bev and I were going to Nordstroms and Beth was going to the zoo.

We arrived at Pearson airport around 6:30 for our 9am flight-I would think that was early enough. After checking in, going through US customs and security we went and sat at the gate. Bev's boss was also on our flight but called to say that they bumped him off because of weight restrictions. Her boss lives in Italy and English is his second language so we thought he misunderstood the people checking him in. The flight was probably oversold and they were flying him to LA and then he was going by bus to San Diego. At 8:30 they start boarding our plane. Just before Beth and I were about to board they called our name. We were bumped off too. They had us on a small jet that could make the flight in ideal conditions but there was a strong head wind so the jet needed more fuel. This meant it needed less passengers!!! Now they had to scramble to find us something else. Bev was already on the plane - flying business class. They gave her a note saying we weren't on the flight and we would see her sometime that day. We had a 6pm meeting but Air Canada didn't care. If they had bumped us at 7am when we checked in we could have gone to LA as well and been in San Diego by 3 in the afternoon. Unfortunately Air Canada isn't run like a real business!!! They flew us to Las Vegas at noon and then into San Diego. We arrived at 8pm-should have been there at 11:30 am. Air Canada had this problem 5 out of the 6 days last week but wouldn't put a bigger jet on for the flight. They had to bump 30 peole off our flight-what did that cost them?

The weather in San Diego was very cold. You needed a heavy coat at night when going out.

I spent Saturday at the show. I looked around and bought some new yarns for the shop-it is a secret for now. The company has to okay me to carry their yarn but once I know, you will know. I had a long talk with the people from Rowan to try and get their deliveries to Canada working better. Hopefully we will get our yarns in a more timely manner now. I also saw the new books for spring-looks good. If you stop by the store I can show you a preview.

We knew when we left that there was going to be a football game in San Diego on Sunday. My dad ordered us to go so it was set that Sunday morning we would head to the stadium and buy scalper tickets. Sunday morning the news was reporting that you couldn't drive near the stadium without a ticket and couldn't use public transportation to the stadium without a ticket. We checked out the newspaper and found a ticket agency that still had some. Off we went and ended up with great seats. The game was amazing but the wrong team won!!

Monday morning was running through the show to see the last bits of yarns and accessories. I bought some fantastic knitting bags from Off Hand Designs. I ordered in new colours that won't be available until March. Take a look at the website, if there is a bag you are interested in, let me know. We can special order for you. I also ordered in some more shawl pins. One set came home with me (Gita Maria) and the others will be mailed this week. There was a special bag that came home in one suitcase-15 more skeins of Mountain Colors Bearfoot. They just finished dying them so they brought to the show. We will also be receiving a new 100% silk, handpaint shawl yarn from Claudia Hand Painted Yarns. It isn't on their website yet so you can't see pictures.

Monday afternoon we set out for Vegas. Not much to tell. Just went to bed early and did nothing. NOT!!!

Tuesday afternoon Bev and I went to Nordstroms. I ended up with 3 pairs of shoes, Bev bought one pair of boots. Of course I needed a new bag for the shoes so I bought a cool brown leather knapsack at the Brighton store. Mine is a dark chocolate brown. Tuesday evening we went to see "O". The show was amazing. Beth and I were seeing it for the second time. If you are going to Vegas spend the money and see it. The tickets are expensive ($150 US) but totally worth it. You won't see a show like this anywhere else. It was actually much better the second time. If you have seen a live performance of Cirque du Soleil you will know that many things are happening at once so you miss things. You can catch them the second time seeing the show.

Dad is flying back to Myrtle Beach on Saturday so Beth and I are off to have dinner with him. When I get home I think I will lie on the couch and watch the Barrett-Jackson auction. If you haven't heard of this, flip to the Speed channel. It is an amazing auto auction from Arizona. What I could do with lots and lots of money!!!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Leaving comments on blogger

Customers come in the store and tell me that they read the blog and wanted to comment but couldn't because they don't have a blog. I require this because I was getting spam comments before I added that feature. Who would have thought of spam on blogger but it is there.

If you want to comment on something, look to the left column and under my profile it says 'contact me'. Just click on this and send me an email. If you would like it posted, I will copy it to the blog-just let me know.

I didn't get the shawl done today. Jane worked so that I could get some paperwork done before going away. I also needed to have my nails done (fingers and toes). Not sure why I had my toes done-it is going to be way too cold to wear sandals. The temperatures in San Diego are ranging from 13-17 during the day and 1-7 at night (for those of you who don't know metric 55-63 and 35-45) Vegas is even colder 7-9 during the day and -1 to -3 at night (44-48 and 26-29). That is really, really cold for Vegas.

I am having more fun with my computer. When I first got the computer I put Windows onto it. With the new parallels program (so I don't have to turn it off when I want to switch between Mac and Windows) I installed the Windows again. I keep getting the message to register Windows and have been putting it off until yesterday. I can't register it because it has already been used-on the same computer but that doesn't count. Microsoft doesn't want to listen and says I have to buy another copy of Windows. Okay, I will do that. Unfortunately there is a new Windows coming out at the end of January so why buy a program when a better one is coming out? So for now I am restarting to jump between.

My other fun today was with the hotel we are staying at in San Diego. I booked the rooms (4 in all) at least 6 months ago and requested 2 non-smoking rooms and 2 smoking rooms. I have talked with them at least 3 times since them to change dates, add names, etc and ask each time to make sure that the rooms are correct. I called the actual hotel today (not the toll free reservations line) and they have 3 non-smoking rooms and 1 smoking room. For those who know Bev-she must have a smoking room. That leaves Beth and I in a non-smoking room. We had the same problem last year and ended up in a non-smoking room (with a king size bed) that had a small balcony so we could go outside to smoke. I told them this was not acceptable and the answer was that I could make a new reservation for a smoking room but the extra cost would be $60 a night. For those of you who know me, I was hopping mad. After a 30 minute conversation (not to a toll free number) they finally agreed to switch the room at no cost. Some of you are going to say 'just quit smoking' but that isn't the point. When you are already paying $190 a night for a room you would think they could get the reservation right.

It's done

I finished the shawl this evening but don't have a picture of it done. Here is a picture I took this afternoon in the store.
I am deciding what pin to use and I am thinking one of these-new from Trendsetter for spring.

Tomorrow will be sewing in the ends. There are too many to count. I used 10 balls of yarn. One ball had 4 knots (did not make me happy) and another ball had 2. This yarn is so slippery that the ends are going to be tough to keep secure.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Blogger help needed

I just finished a post and have some questions for blogger experts.

Why does the spacing change within a post? Sometimes it looks like there is double spacing and the next paragraph looks like single spacing.

Can you change blogger so it doesn't cut a word between 2 lines?

Roko and Melo

Here are a couple of pictures of the dogs. Unfortunately light coloured dogs on the yellow floor and poor lighting doesn't make for the best of pictures.
I am finished 7 balls on the shawl. I forgot to take the camera with me to work today so no pictures-I should have some tomorrow.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Shawl to match red bag

I have started knitting my shawl for the trade show in San Diego next weekend. I am using Magique from Trendsetter. This yarn is 60% Polyamid, 16% Cotton, 15% Acrylic, 9% Polyester. It isn't red but there is enough red in it to go with the red bag.

I actually made a swatch before I started. Don't try to figure this out at 2am. I got 36 stitches to 9" which in my mind translated to needing 688 stitches. Oops. I did the division based on 36 stitches to 4". I really only needed 200 stitches. Good thing I didn't start casting on.

I started to cast on with Lantern Moon needles. Got the stitches almost cast on and my needle broke. Not a happy camper. Luckily I could transfer most of them to an Addi.

I have 10 balls and I think that I will use all of them. So far I am finished 3 balls. Yes, I will be sitting on the couch today, watching football and knitting. Roko really likes this yarn. He has it in his mouth whenever possible. He is going to start thinking his name is Noroko. We are continually saying this to him and he just looks up at you saying 'what are you going to do about it? I am way too cute!!'

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

I knit today

Even with customers in the store today I did find some time to knit. I finished the back and one sleeve of Kilcar. (After publishing and re-reading my post it looks like I knit the whole back and sleeve today. Both had been started and I just had to add some rows to finish. I knit fast but not that fast!!) This is the sleeve that was taken inside the store. The picture taken outside is a close up of the back. It really shows the stitch definition but the colour is way off.

I like knitting with the yarn (Debbie Bliss Donegal Chunky Tweed). I have a small problem with the pattern though. Debbie says to knit 80 rows on the back before the armhole shaping. Luckily I looked at the schematic because I was at least 3" short to what the measurement should be. I am afraid that people knitting this jacket will follow her pattern and be disappointed when done because it is too short. I would rather the pattern said to knit to ___".

New Blogger Hint

When I switched to the new Blogger, my links (Websites to Visit and Who I Read) automatically showed up with their links. Unfortunately they wouldn't open in their own windows. After playing the other night I couldn't make it work but I got it today. On the 'Page Elements' page-add a new page element. (For some reason I can add a new page element in Windows but not in Mac). Choose 'List'. Type in the name that you want (Needle Emporium) and hit the create link. Type in the website address and you are done. Save this and continue. A bit of a pain to transfer everything over but now all your links will open in a new window. I will thank you very much for doing this-I hate having to hit the back button to go back someones blog after jumping away from it to see something they are talking about.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New purse patterns

While searching the internet tonight I came across some amazing purse patterns. This is just a sample. I hope to have these in the store within the next couple of weeks. You can see the rest of the patterns on the Noni pattern website.

The 'Around the Bay' knitting guild met tonight. We are getting new knitters joining us every meeting. I am going to teach the Moebius cast on at the next meeting. Check out the guild blog for more information. Samantha should have this posted in the next couple of days.

I actually did some knitting today. Got the back done on Kilcar and the sleeve almost finished at guild.

The shipment of Mountain Colors Bearfoot finally arrived today. I already have another order in since the wait time is so long.

Beth and I are getting ready for our trip to San Diego. We leave next Friday morning for a trade show to see the spring yarns. Unfortunately the San Diego Chargers (football for those who don't know) will be playing either Saturday or Sunday in a playoff game so we will have to go. My dad has told us that he will be disappointed in us if we don't. Can't disappoint dad!!! The show runs from Saturday until Monday afternoon. On Monday afternoon Beth, Bev and I will be flying to Las Vegas. Can't go that far and not visit. We will be meeting up with some of the folks from Trendsetter Yarns. Tuesday night we are taking everyone to see 'O'-the amazing Cirque du Soleil show. We take the red eye home Wednesday night and back to work on Thursday.

LP-if you are reading this-thanks for your help today!!