Friday, May 30, 2014

Diversifying my Portfolio

When the shop opened in 2008 we approached this as a business.  Business is math and money and percentages and accounting.  I had been working in retail for almost 30 years.  I understood about mark-ups and trends and paying bills.  There are lots of bills.  Last year we added 2 more monthly invoices to the mix, more rent, more hydro!  Keeping them paid through the summer is a challenge.   I could fill the shop with more yarn, but sometimes even the Yarn shop has too much yarn. So I added Baskets, Bags, notions, cards you know that stuff.

This year I travelled to the Gift Show and spotted a few interesting lines of product that if stretched could be knitting related, or they are just fun to be around.

New to the shop today are Arterro kits. These cleverly designed kits contain all the ingredients to help creative juices flow!  They are design for kids 8 and up!  Most contain renewable fibres and recycled materials.  A needle felting kit, a wool felt jewelry kit and my favourite a wool felt bug kit!
These Puppets by  Cate and Levi are were just too cute to pass up.  They are made from recycled sweaters and knit fabrics.  Each is totally unique and charming! 

Last week with our Briggs and Little order we received some of their knitted socks,  made with Durasport yarn from a manufacturer in Ontario.  Canadian fleece, made into Canadian yarn, knit into Canadian Socks!  Wooly and warm, but only in men's size right now?



Then there are the Freakers.  they were just too much fun to miss.  Designed by a quirky guy, with a great story.  'It all began at a Stitch and Bitch' he says!  How could I resist!
There are a couple of orders in the future one of them may be a yarn company the we have been watching for a few years now! 
Come and visit! 

Monday, May 26, 2014


Helen and I had a discussion about being faithful.  We are both happily married women, but we struggle with monogamy.  Not with our 'life partners' but with our yarn projects.

This week I announced that I was choosing a monogamous relationship with one project.  That meant even having to look away from the new yarn that arrived this week.  I had come to the point in this project where the relationship was 'do or die', finish or it will get trapped into in the UFO basket.

I began this lace weight project with good intentions, This was going to be another of my favourite summer scarf patterns using the new Noro Taiyo Lace.

It began last summer, I took it with me on holidays.

It grew a little after Christmas. then finally this week I stayed true to only this knitting.  Fortunately being Noro the colours were keeping me engaged.

Finally after 4 hours of knitting on Sunday the last few stitches were cast off and I was free!   I removed the cardboard center of the ball and there are still 30 grams, that's almost 200 meters remaining!

I blocked it last night, today it's drying.  It measures just over 100 inches long!
Done on 3.5 mm needles and used 700 meters of yarn.  That's a lot of knitting for $25 worth of yarn!

Today its on to another project, but again I am going to stick with that one until its finished.  There are too many UFO's in my knitting basket.

See you Soon!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


We all have wish list, yarn we have admired and hoped to use one day!  Sweetgeorgia is one of those for me.  This Canadian dyed yarn started small and has gained quite a reputation for their quality and bold colour choices.  It was March when I decided to take the plunge and place an order.  It was difficult to choose. There were so many colours and you can only see them online.  The staff at Sweetgeorgia  were very helpful giving me suggestions of popular colour ways.  

Last week an email to the shop sent  a tracking number to follow, all week we waited for the box to arrive, it finally arrived today.

You might be wondering about the samples already knit?  After placing the order I asked if they could send me a skein of something to create a sample for the shop, they sent 2.  The shawl is made with the tough love sock and the hat is made with the DK.  The hat was finished on Sunday! 

I can't wait to show you the next new line to come to the shop in July!

See You Soon!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Helping others, help themselves!

Helping others is a good thing!  We all need to help people.  It makes us feel needed, grateful and inspired.

Knitters (and those that crochet) are very generous people, some have been know to give someone the pair of socks that they just finished because they thought that person was in need of a cheer up! 

This year I was inspired by a Ted Talk presentation made by the co-founder of Kiva.  Even the smallest amount of a loan  will help someone gain independence.  This year we are asking those that attend our Knitt'n Nights to bring a toonie to help raise a some funds to support an entrepreneur.  The nice thing about this organization is that you can choose those that you would like to help.  Reading their stories is inspiring as they are trying to create jobs for themselves and others in their communities.  If you like to donate to the cause there is a place to donate your change and when we get $100 collected we can choose a person or group who can borrow the money.  The nice thing about these loans is that when they get paid back, you can re-loan the money to someone else.   This money will always stay in the system.

I am fortunate to be surrounded by kind and generous people who have come to recognise the importance of giving. 

Whether you knit for friends and neighbours, make hats for premies, make squares for blankets for teenagers in the Ukraine, slippers for the women's shelter, mittens for children in cold climates or hats for cancer patients, your work is important and those that receive your gift are grateful.


Kiva Logo

Friday, May 9, 2014

All right everyone back to your knitting!

It's been a hectic Spring? (If you could call it that!)  A lot of changes in our lives. I have felt pulled in every direction.  It's like everything got thrown into the air and the landed facing a new direction. 

The month of May looks like we are heading to a more normal life.  The printer at home is still not speaking to any of the computers, the email in the shop only goes to one computer so everything requires the use of both.  I really dislike being the IT person here, one of the joys of being self employed.

I am afraid that my knitting and blogging have suffered.

Remember a while back when I told you about the 2 shawls Regan made for us.  When we were discussing on which shawl to make we discovered this one:  Pendulum on Ravelry.  You should have seen the discussion as all three of us wanted to make the design.  I won!  Being the shop owner has its perks.  It took  just a week to make.  I will make it again as the design is easy, but I might tweek the pattern just a little.

 The colours are lovely together, but perhaps we should have used something with more of a contrast.

Did you notice that it is just garter stitch? Not a purl stitch in the whole project. 

The right design and a great yarn makes it look so impressive!

The yarn is Classic Elites Alpaca Sox, there is just enough left on each ball to make something else!

Squishy and soft,

See You Soon!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

All I want is a phone line!

(Warning this is a non-yarn post)

'The Farmer' is working on a big project?  Part of the equipment requires that there was a phone line installed.  Ideally the line should be a new line directly installed from the road to the barn.  Last Monday I went to our local Bell store only to be told that they could not handle that kind of situation and that we should use the online option.  Home I went and started to chat online.  After 1 hour and 5 minutes online I was assured that we could have a line installed directly to the barn from the road, even though it's over 100 feet from the road.  We would not have to find the electrical lines or gas lines as the technicians are professionals and they would handle the installation with no problems.

Before the installation they needed to run a credit check. The 30 years of Bell history that we have personally  and the over 60 years of Bell service to the property wasn't enough. I was told that I would receive a call informing of the results of the credit check within a few minutes.  I waited 3 hours. (it's Monday, my day off there are things to do) Finally I call them.

"We are sorry there seemed to be a slight technical problem but we can schedule your installation for Thursday sometime between and 8 am to 5 pm.

The next day I get a call, they want to know how they can install a new line when there is a line already to the property? How will they know where to go?

 "It is the same address: right for the house and left to the barn? It's a big building you can't miss it?"

4:30 on Thursday, still no Bell technicians. I  can see that there are going to be issues.  Technicians arrive, look puzzled, we are informed that the couldn't possibly do the job.  They don't have enough wire, the gas and hydro lines aren't marked and it's not their responsibility to run the conduit from the road.  Even though the transcript I have clearly states this is not a problem for them.

They arrange for a spool of wire to be delivered and show 'The Farmer' how to hook up the wire. The wire now runs under the busy driveway, something we were trying to avoid.

The conduit was purchased  and the excavator was put to good use!

Again 'The Farmer' has saved the day, the phone line works!  I bet we still have to pay the installation fee?

See you soon, thanks for the opportunity to vent!