Friday, January 11, 2008

It's hard to be patient

At least it is for me. :) I'm the type that can't wait to give someone the perfect gift and give it to them early if my patience wears thin. I have to open boxes when they arrive from UPS/FEDex/USPS. They can't wait. It doesn't matter what it is, it doesn't have to be for me. So it should come as no surprise that I couldn't wait to use some yarn I received at Christmas from my sister. It's a hand-painted yarn from Noelle's Noodles. I really wasn't expecting to receive any yarn for Christmas. Therefore I wasn't prepared with needles and a proper pattern ready to go for the yarn.

One of the wonderful women from the knitting group was placing an order with knitpicks so I placed an ordered for a set of needles to use to make my first pair of socks. So I've been waiting and waiting. I think it's been a whole week or so now. LOL! It's been a little longer than that, I'm not that bad.
Knitpicks isn't really known for their speedy shipping but they do have excellent yarn, needles and other accessories. Anyway, it should come as no surprise that I had to find something to do with the yarn just sitting there waiting for needles. So this is what I decided to do with it last night. It doesn't require a lot of yarn and keeps my hands busy.


Tee Tiny Raglan Sweater Ornament
You can get the free pattern here
Noelle's Noodles Superwash Merino
Size US1 dpns

I have also started making my oldest daughter a pair of Fetching fingerless gloves. She had requested some shortly after I made the ones for our mail lady. I let my daughter pick out the yarn at Joann's I tried to steer her towards some wool yarns but she wanted the darn acrylics. Yes I said acrylic. So that's what I started knitting. Then a couple of days ago, I was reading the Yarn Harlot. She had a big ol' lengthy post about the benefits of wool over acrylic. It seriously made me feel like a bad parent for letting my daughter buy acrylic yarn. Not only that but had me freaking about all the afghans and baby blankets my grandmother had crocheted over the years with acrylic yarn of course. ;)


Fetching by Cheryl Niamath
Pattern can be found
I don't remember the name of the acrylic yarn. It knit up fine not my fav.
US4 dpns

I really wish we had a decent yarn store close by with hours for (not) normal people. I know the vast majority are independently owned but the hours of 10am-5pm don't work for me. Then Saturday comes and we have about 20 million things to do and the very last thing on the list is to visit a yarn store. Unfortunately for me if you read my previous post, I don't have a decent LYS near me that I'm willing to give money to. Most are 15-50 miles away and with gas prices they way they are it's not feasible to drive in an SUV to visit these stores. So if I do get yarn from someplace it's usually online and that's not very often. If someone would only buy the lys so I can have a great place to shop that would be wonderful and would solve my lack of patience and give me some instant gratification. It would also save me from buying acrylic yarn.


Thursday, January 03, 2008

Talk around town

The talk in my local knitting community is about the unexpected announcement of the LYS (local yarn store) being put up for sale. If you listened carefully you could hear the roar of hallelujahs and applause. We are all anxiously waiting to see who will be the lucky buyer and if it will be someone that we want to spend hard-earned money with.

So I thought, HEY! I don't have anything else better to do than post my thoughts about it. Please understand these are my thoughts and they aren't entirely nice or polite but they are truthful. So if you are seriously considering purchasing this store listen up because I have some tips for you. It won't be hard for you to get knitters to come back to shop there unless you are just like the previous owner or you are the previous owner.

1. Have her clear out the inventory of all the old crap prior to buying. More is only more it's not necessarily good or better. Buy a variety of colors of beautiful yarns and not only colors or brands you consider good.

2. Please no animals in the store. The first time I visited there it stank and I attribute that stink to the dog that was running around. I understand that there is a lot of animal based material but please we don't need a petting zoo associated with the materials. I love my dog but she stays at home.

3. Please no rules posted prior to entering the store unless the only rule is to smile. If you are afraid of people stealing yarn or other materials from you, invest in a security camera system or a security guard. Most knitters do not like to be hassled while they are trying to shop and spend money in YOUR store. And no they don't want to hear about the latest tricks your animals do or the names of your new rabbits.

4. Offer classes people want to take. I'm sure her classes were great and all BUT the baby surprise sweater has been around for awhile. She told me about it like WOW have you seen this? Uh, yeah duh! How about finding a new pattern designer or other knitting teacher to come and talk about a book and teach a class? You can actually make some money doing that. NOT a ton but you'll probably have repeat business if you follow all the suggestions given here.

5. I know it's number 5 but it's really important. BE NICE and have great customer service. Don't bad talk other customers in front of customers in your store or on the phone. Don't belittle your employees. Empower your employees to give your customers great service and help them at any opportunity.

6. Get rid of all the skanky furniture that came from a garage sale including the sad looking sectional and the old worn out "toy" section. If you want to have a child friendly area, invest in a great area for kids to sit and spend their time. Also not placing the child section at the front of the store near the door would be great too. Parents tend to like to make sure their children are safe. Keep the toys clean and safe.

7. Invest in some great shelving. I know someone got a kick ass awesome deal at the dollar store on those stacking bins. If your plans include charging full price for skeins of yarn, don't throw them in a bargain bin. It was sad to see beautiful beautiful cashmere skeins tossed in a sad circus colored bin with a full price to go along with them.

8. Look into moving to a better location. I love going to Tuesday Morning as much as the next person. I have gone to that shopping center for MANY MANY years but that doesn't mean that it's convenient or a nice shopping strip. Make it a little more upscale and move to a better area. Customize the area to fit your needs as a new Yarn Store owner with style. (this doesn't necessarily need to be done right away but it does need to be done!)

9. Did I mention be nice? I can't believe how many knitters I've spoken to with just as bad experiences as me in the LYS. Bad word of mouth = bad business.

10. Have fun and be happy because life is way too short not to. That's why hardly anyone shops at the lys because it sucks the life out of you when you walk through the door. Knitting is supposed to be fun and enjoyable.

I think that's all for now. :)

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

I thought I'd freak out my hubby by making another post! WoW! Awesome. What do you think Rob? Are you impressed?

We had a great time last night. We had friends and family over for New Year's Eve. I think everyone had a nice time. We played some Guitar Hero, had dinner, had drinks and great company.

It's so much easier for me to read blogs than it is for me to express anything interesting in mine. LOL! The blogs I have been reading are discussing plans for the new year. A topic that has been at the very front of my mind. I look forward to the new year and all it's newness. I hope that it will be a great year for all and hopefully one of peace in the world. I can dream anyway.

My life plans are to get healthier by exercising and eating right. I think the eating right part will be the more difficult of those two. I need to start meal planning and having things done before everyone is starving to death waiting for a meal to be ready.

I would also like to simplify things in my life and get organized. My dream would be to have an art studio for all my various pursuits. Maybe we'll clear the garage or maybe I'll start renting a warehouse space. I dunno just more dreaming I guess. My mom bought a kiln for us (my mother and I) to start glass fusing and I plan on taking a class in a couple of weeks on the subject. We've got to figure out a location for the kiln and all the other supplies associated with it.

One of my knitting goals this year is to start knitting socks. An order has been placed for some appropriately sized needles. The very lovely ladies in the knitting group I attend will be assisting in this pursuit. I have a couple of skeins of sock yarn to begin on. I just need to figure out a good beginner pattern. Any suggestions?

I would also like to start knitting a Christmas gift each month and store it away till December. It's amazing how fast December sneaks up even when you are anticipating it. I felt very rushed to get things done and as crazy as the holidays are, it was just difficult. I heard someone talking about a group (I believe on Ravelry) that is doing this. I think it's brilliant and probably the only way I'll get everything that I have in my head that I want to do done.

My mom's birthday is coming up in March and I'm determined to finish a shawl for her. I started the Swallowtail Shawl for her but keep running into issues (drop stitches, or forgetting a YO and I have a hard time reading my work) and end up ripping it all out only to start it again. So I should probably get started on it AGAIN!

Well those are only a few of the many life and knitting plans for this year. I would write more but I think I've covered the important stuff. :) I wish you all a very Happy New Year of knitting!

I just finished my New Year's cards (they were supposed to be Christmas). I pick up photos for them tomorrow and hopefully they will be in the mail by Thursday at the latest! WOO-hoo!