Saturday, October 31, 2009

Going back to school

Mom and Dad are in Myrtle Beach right now. They are missing the beautiful fall colours so I am adding some pictures for them.

Yesterday I had a mom and her son (Sam) come into the store-Sam is going to knit a scarf for his dad. Sam is in grade 5 at Fessenden in Ancaster and while the teacher is reading to the class the students (male and female) are knitting. This almost makes me want to go back to school. I said almost!!

Kathleen has been a customer of the store for the past 22 years. Matthew was a baby when she started coming in. Matthew has now graduated from university, Kyle is in university and Jamie is in high school-boy do I feel old.

Kathleen started working on the Uptown/Downtown jacket about a month ago. Being a perfectionist she knit the cuffs of the sleeves three times and the colourful front has been knit twice.

She ran in today to show me the finished jacket. AMAZING!! The pin is the perfect colour and looks like it was made for the jacket.

I hope to knit during the baseball game tonight. Go Phillies!!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

A visit to the dentist

I had my wisdom teeth out when I was 20 but they were bothering me so I went to see the dentist. He made an appointment for me to come the next day at 2:15. I showed up at 3:15 (I am never late for a dentist appointment) and he was mad. I had to come back the next day but because I was late he made me stay and work for a while. My job-dying yarn. Did you know that the balls of self-patterning sock yarn aren't dyed with all those colours in the mill? No-they only come dyed in two colours. Off white and green or off white and red. Sometimes off white and blue. The other colours are all added by hand. That was my job at the dentists. I had to add in blue to a ball of off white and green. I just couldn't get the hang of it. I tried and tried. For over an hour I would add the blue and then wipe it off because it was in the wrong spot. While I was working one of the partners from the accounting firm S&B Partners walked in-this is where I did my university co-op placement. Then some of the other staff came over to greet me.

At this point I woke up from this amazingly stupid dream. I never did finish dying that ball of yarn.

I seriously think that it is time for me to go and talk with someone. Dying yarn at the dentist-where did this come from??

Do you receive Berroco's Knitbits newsletter that comes out every Friday. If not, sign up now!! Celsian will be featured in the November 13th newsletter.

Blackstone Tweed is a great new yarn for fall. Two different shades of brown are used in this unique stitch pattern. I am going to send this off to one of my knitters on Monday.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I have started getting kits together for The Artisan's Afghan (the amazing purple afghan we have hanging when you walk into the store). Three yarns in the kit are hand dyed by Fleece Artist. I then add four more yarns-eyelash, ribbon, fancy and chunky.

The Fleece Artist yarn has been sitting downstairs for a month and finally demanded that it come upstairs and be sold.

The pattern has been redone as well. I think that it will be much easier to follow now.

This vest is called Wimberry. The pattern is designed by Louisa Harding and can be found in her new magazine Little Cake.

Lynda just finished knitting this for the store and it is beautiful.

Willow (40% wool, 40% alpaca, 20% silk) is the yarn used to knit the vest. I am showing the original because my store sample does not have the ribbon at the waist.

Here is the shade card of available colours. The yarn is double knitting weight so you aren't limited to Louisa Harding's patterns to use this yarn.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Beth and I took a day off today to go across the border shopping. Our day started at the outlet mall in Niagara Falls, NY. The first stop was the Coach store. I picked out a fabulous bag and Beth bought it for me as a birthday gift. My birthday is over a month away so it is put away and I can't have it until then. Then we went to the Ralph Lauren store. Beth bought 3 sweaters (yes, you did read that correctly). They are fine knits in stocking stitch at a very good price. There are also a few shirts for my dad-Christmas is coming. The bag from Old Navy has some garments for my store mannequins. Beth sat outside as I went into Brighton. I bought a new toiletries bag. The zippers have broken on mine and the new one is very pretty. Tommy Bahama-good prices-who could turn that down?? The last stop was a pair of new Oakley's for Beth. GET US OUT OF THE MALL!!!

Somehow we didn't end up on the highway home but in the parking lot at the Seneca Casino. The loss was minimal and we had many laughs. We like to play penny slots and if we are daring will move to nickel slots. The machine must have a bonus game-we are all about the entertainment.

Tomorrow night is the final class of Re-introduction to Knitting. I need to make notes for the students so it is time to sign off.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunny Sunday afternoon

The scarf trend continues. This is called The Dolores Park Cowl. 60 stitches on 9mm needles and knit every row. I used one skein of Malabrigo chunky. Very soft yarn and nice to work with.

We have 4 colours in the store and more colours are on the way this week.

It is a beautiful Sunday afternoon. The door is open and the dogs are playing outside.

I should be sitting and knitting-maybe once I am done my post. The store was crazy yesterday. Sarah offered to work so that I could get out of the store for a bit. I left for a total of 10 minutes to get lunch. Thanks to all who came in-we like it busy!!! The day sure flies by.

We were running short on needles so I just placed an order for more Addis and Lantern Moon needles. The Lantern Moon order will also have some sheep tape measures (a great Christmas gift) and more buttons.

Beth and I are taking a road trip tomorrow-we're going across the border shopping. Don't know what we are shopping for but when we see it we will know. :) Maybe shoes??

Friday, October 23, 2009

Tips and Tricks

I meant to do a post last night but 'things' got in the way. We went out for dinner and came home to catch up on some TV. Survivor, baseball, poker and CSI. I haven't started in on my 30 episodes of Y&R. I better start soon!!

Back in July I sent out a Tips and Tricks newsletter on the mattress stitch. If you didn't receive it you can download it now.
Tips and Tricks Newsletter-Mattress Stitch

There is a trend going on in the store right now-scarves. These are easy to knit and make a great fashion accessory. Okay, they are quick and easy for me to knit which makes me happy. I can try a new yarn and in a couple of nights a scarf is done.

This is called Rambling and the pattern can be found on the Spud & Chloe blog. I would like to credit for knitting this scarf but I can't-Ann did the knitting. The pattern calls for Spud & Chloe Sweater-our sample is knit a new yarn from Naturally called Karamea.

My Mochi Plus scarf is growing slowly. I keep setting it aside to try something else. Maybe this weekend.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Busy writing newsletters

The past few days have been busy writing newsletters. Monday night I wrote a Sock Yarn newsletter as well as a follow up newsletter after Camp. Tuesday was spent starting a newsletter for Shawl knitters that went out today. Thursday writing a general newsletter??

A new sock yarn arrived from Dream in Color on Monday. Okay, not a new yarn but new colours in Smooshy. Great colours!! I am thinking of having Rhonda knit a scarf in it for me-I know, I could knit my own but I have a different yarn set aside. The pattern calling my name is Ishbel on Ravelry-take a look. Rachel was in the store yesterday wearing it and it is beautiful.

'Latest Sock Newsletter' with pictures of the individual skeins.

I have talked about the knitting book Knit One Below in previous newsletters and blog posts. Wannietta taught a class at camp and the students started working on a scarf. The pattern is in the book or available free online (scroll down to Inside Outside Scarf). I would like to take credit for the scarf but Wannietta knit it. She suggested two contrasting yarns for the students first project-we used 2 balls of Vero and one skein of Cascade 220.

This is a simple scarf I knit at Camp in Bocciolo from Filatura di Crosa. Cast on 12 stitches with 12mm needles and knit every row.

This scarf was started at camp on 12mm needles with Naturally Aspire Super Chunky. Bev and I collaborated on the pattern. Okay, we went through some of Cookie's Japanese pattern books and picked out an easy lace stitch.

It is now finished (with the ends sewn in).

Mom and dad are off again tomorrow so we are squeezing in dinner between closing the store and knitting class. Dad calls tonight's class 'the regulars'. They will amuse themselves until I get here. After class I might get in a few episodes of Y&R. There are at least 3 weeks worth to watch and I better get caught up!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Oops-I forgot someone

I made a big omission in yesterday's blog post. I thanked many companies for their donations to the retreat. I somehow forgot Classic Elite Yarns (note to self-check your blog posts before you hit publish). Betsy and her staff generously donated a skein of Montera and a great hat pattern for every goody bag. A big thank you to Classic Elite and I am very sorry for leaving out your name.

The new colours of Noro Iro arrived yesterday afternoon. We were busy unpacking the boxes from Camp and didn't get the Iro opened. The new colours are great.

Cherry Garcia is the name of this neck warmer. One skein of Iro and 8mm, 40cm circular needles. Are you afraid of cables? This is a great pattern to get you over the hurdle.

The pattern is a free download. Check out the Hello Yarn blog.

The yarn is already on the shelves. I took a picture of each colour because it shows the colours better than on the website.

This is colour 99-Orange, Pinks, Brown.
When I look at this I see orange/rust, brown, purple, hot pink, lime green and yellow.

Colour 96-Greens, Pink, Purple.
The picture doesn't do this colour justice. It is mostly green (bright, dark and a touch of lime) with rust. There is a small touch of purple and pink.

Colour 95-Blues, Greens, Bronze.
My iPhone doesn't like taking pictures of blue yarn. This is definitely blue with a touch of rust and green.

Colour 94-Browns, Greens, Grey.
The predominant colour of this is lime/yellow and olive green. There are touches of black, burgundy, brown, fuchsia and rust.

Colour 90-Rose, Yellow, Green, Purple.
The picture of this yarn is the truest of all the colours. This is actually a colour from the fall of 2008 that never arrived so I am going to call it a new colour for this fall.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Home from Camp

I thought that I would have more time to post from Camp but it didn't happen. We had an amazing time. There were lots of tears shed at the retreat-not bad tears but from laughter. Cookie, Fiona and Wannietta taught some great workshops.

I forgot one thing from Knitting Beat the Clock on Thursday night. The teams were given slices of processed cheese and had to 'make' socks. There was quite an assortment of 'socks' for us to judge. Some people tried to form their cheese into three dimensional socks. What a mess!!

Here are the winning socks. On the right is the sock that Cookie made. It says 'Needle Emporium' with a heart.

Saturday night we do a student fashion show. Door prizes are given out during the fashion show. We had great prizes from my wonderful suppliers.
-Old Mill Knitting
-Spud & Chloe
-Offhand Designs
-Filatura di Crosa
-Gemini Fibers
-Skacel Canada
-Diamond Yarns
-Dream in Color

Through out the weekend we give out 'knitting dollars'. Students earn these by being on time to class, wearing their name tags, singing at meals and anything else that we deem as fun.

Of course, the one song that everyone knows is Happy Birthday. Beth convinced the group that her birthday was during Camp. Funny, her birthday was during Camp last year and that was the first weekend in October.

Betty Lou and Sue remembered that Beth's birthday was last year and made a cake before Camp and brought it with them.

The drive home from Camp last night was uneventful. I was so tired when we got home that I laid on the couch watching football until it was time to watch The Amazing Race. It was great to see Lance and Keri go home.

This morning I was at the store bright and early (okay 10am but it felt very early in the morning) so that Jane and I could unload the truck. The store is almost back in order. I thought that I would be in the store until noon but suddenly it was 5:30 and time to go home.

If you take a look at The Needle Emporium page on Facebook you can see lots more pictures from the weekend.

The first baseball game just ended and thankfully the outcome was the one I wanted. Now there is another baseball game on along with a football game. I think that I will start working on a newsletter while I am watching.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Camp Update

It is Saturday morning and the ladies are all in class. They are working hard.

Thursday afternoon the students started to arrive. After dinner Beth was in charge of our fun night. The ladies participated in 'knitting beat the clock'. They were divided into three teams and competed against each other for prizes.

The first task was to wind a hank of lace weight yarn into a ball. Each team took a different approach. One team took each end and started rolling both. When they were out of yarn they wound the balls into one large ball. Another team had one person holding, one taking the yarn off the skein and the last rolling. The third team had one person hold the skein and another rolling. It took almost an hour to get the skein wound-it was Centolavaggi from Filatura di Crosa that has 1200m in a skein.

The next task got Beth into trouble with the ladies. We took 3 skeins of yarn and made a mess of them. The first team to get the yarn winded into a ball (without cutting the yarn) won.

Fiona, Cookie and Bev were the team captains and it was very important to each of them that they won. The trash talking was loud!! Before the retreat I had only met Cookie once and thought she was very quiet and reserved. WRONG!! She got into the game from the start.

Four team members were needed for the next game-'a tight knit group'. The first person cast on 10 stitches and pass the knitting up their top. The next person knit a row and passed it up their top. They went down the line and then had to repeat again going up their top.

Carole was concentrating very hard.

The final score was Team Cookie 23, Team Bev 13, Team Fiona 8. As I am writing this, Bev is making comments (or whining) that Cookie's team was cheating and that they were getting help from outsiders.

In honour of Cookie we asked everyone to bring a dozen cookies. The selection is amazing!!

Cathy made a special cookie for Cookie.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cookie is in Canada

It is now 8pm and we have arrived at Bayview-Wildwood. There were no traffic incidents so the trip was good.

We are sitting in the bar having a drink-it has been a long day. Cookie and I are blogging while Beth plays Sudoku.

The truck was mostly packed yesterday but today I had to throw in the last few things. Every year we say that we are going to take less but it doesn't happen.

There was no way to park the truck at the airport so I continued circling while Beth went in to meet Cookie. They met only briefly at TNNA so I was glad when Beth sent me a text that said 'I have her'.

Cookie's only complaint so far is that it is cold out.

Did I mention that we are sitting in a bar? I forgot to say that there is Karaoke going on. Not good Karaoke!! If he had his teeth in it might sound better.

There were some friends waiting in our cabin for us.

We get to sleep in tomorrow morning-breakfast is between 8 and 10. Then we will set up the registration area. We can start setting up the main room after 1 so it should be a relaxing morning before the craziness starts.

Monday, October 12, 2009

War Room

Thanksgiving dinner was held yesterday afternoon which worked out good for us. Thanks Aunt Rene-dinner was great. Beth is golfing today. Yes, in the freezing cold!!

I am working on Camp. This is my war room. Yes, two different lap tops are working simultaneously. We have finished the door prizes and goody bags. They are packed in the trailer and ready to go. For the past two years Beth and I have driven up in separate vehicles. This year we borrowed my parent's friend's trailer. (Thanks to The Water Depot-Upper James Street Hamilton). I have spent the afternoon getting the registration packages done. There is a long list of printing that needs to be done-I will be at Staples when they open tomorrow morning.

I just updated my iPhone as well which means I can do some fun things from up north. Now available is 'tethering' which means I can use my phone as a modem. We will try and post some pictures from Camp.

Seriously, how do you lose your passport? A team was eliminated on The Amazing Race last night when they somehow misplaced a passport. That would never happen to me. I would be checking every 5 minutes to make sure it was where it was supposed to be.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I have no will power

Okay, I get my blog post done and say that I am not going to start anything new. The post man shows up with a huge box from Crystal Palace. Inside is the new Mochi Plus. (We did not order all colours-so far we have 6 in the store. Another order will be made after Camp.) Mini Mochi is the sock weight and now there is a thicker Aran weight in the great self-striping colours.

What did I do last night? Got out a copy of scarf STYLE and started knitting Midwest Moonlight (p. 95) in colour 559 Treasure Chest. I cast on 33 stitches on 5.5mm needles. Super easy pattern that looks great!! Now the question is if I can get it done by the time we leave for Knitting Camp.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Knit me, knit me

Last night I received an email from Phyllis who lives in the Yukon. It was snowing there yesterday and she said the kind of snow that doesn't go away quickly. YUCK!! In Southern Ontario it is definitely a day that we should all be at home in front of a fire knitting. The rain is not stopping.

I am sitting in the Rowan room working on Knitting Camp and watching the golf. The Rowan Lima keeps talking to me. Knit me, knit me. Be quiet-no more new projects. I am making up kits for Camp and needed some pictures from the Rowan website. I came across this darn poster for Lima. It isn't making my life any easier. Knit me, knit me.

The golf is getting interesting so I am going to put the computer away. I wish I could knit but I really need to finish sewing in the ends on my Log Cabin Afghan. Yes, it has been "finished" for quite a long time but I didn't disclose that not all the ends were sewn in. Now that I have it on my lap I really want to make another one with the new colours for fall. Knit me, knit me.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

A long post about nothing

Knitting classes have started again which means I am in the store from 10am-9pm. Some days I just don't have time to blog. Yesterday was one of those days. It is 9am and I am early for work. Maybe I can get a blog post done before I go.

After class we got caught up on a few TV shows-Lie To Me, Hell's Kitchen and World Series of Poker. Lots of knitting was accomplished. I am knitting another Noro Striped Scarf-this time in Silk Garden. It is mindless knitting which I need right now.

Well, it is now 8:25 on Thursday night. Obviously I didn't get my post done this morning. There is absolutely no new knitting to report-my scarf didn't make it out of the bag today. I am still trying to get everything done for the retreat. Just when I think I have everything done I come up with something else.

The knitting will come out for Survivor.

My post is so boring that I just went through my pictures to see if there is anything neat to add. No. Wow, what has my life come to?? I am going to hit the publish button now because I am just depressing myself. :)

Okay, now it's 9:20 and I am doing much better. I tidied my room and bathroom. The cleaning ladies are coming tomorrow so the house has to be in order. Then I packaged up some yarn to mail tomorrow.

Suddenly it hit me-go downstairs to the war room. Goody bags are lining the walls and the pool table is covered with door prizes. I knew that if I put my mind to it I could find something to take pictures of.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

More patterns for Men

I'm sitting in the store waiting for knitting class to start. Tonight is the first night of Re-Introduction to knitting. We are going to work on cast on and cast off, increases and decreases tonight. [Class is done and now I am home] I had to go back and rewrite that sentence. Originally I had the word 'proper' in it but that isn't correct. I taught them better (and hopefully easier) ways to do these techniques.

Knitting Camp is a week away. Boy do I have a lot to do. The goody bags and door prizes are almost done but the registration packets haven't been started. My fashion show brochure was done but has gone missing so I started from scratch today.

It is 9:30 and I have mail orders to do. Unfortunately they are in my truck and it is pouring rain. I tried wiggling my nose but they are still in the truck. Maybe I will knit and watch the end of the baseball game-the mail might wait until the morning.

The new Jane Ellison book Noro Men arrived today. Fabulous patterns. Great for women too!!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Compelling TV

While watching TV last night I finished my Striped Scarf-knit in Vintage from Noro. Now that this one is done I have picked out colours to make another one, this time using Silk Garden.

What was I watching on TV? The Amazing Race was first. Could Lance and Keri be any more annoying?? He yells at her, she yells back. Seriously, do you think that is going to make it easier to find things? Lance keeps telling everyone that they are the team to beat. WOW. Is it arrogance or ignorance?

Then we watched Battle of the Blades. From the CBC website, "Beginning Sunday, October 4, CBC Television's BATTLE OF THE BLADES will open the doors to historic Maple Leaf Gardens for the first time to former world class female figure skaters and NHL players in a fierce pairs competition of athleticism, drama and intrigue." The show was very entertaining and I would recommend it if you are a hockey or figure skating fan. It's like Dancing with the Stars on ice.