Saturday, September 22, 2007

What's for Dinner?

Dig the bumper sticker!! And while we're at it, let's not forget the grassfed beef or pork! Did you know pigs eat grass? Oh ya. Plow right through it. Literally.

Anyways, this fall it's been tough getting a date with the butcher, what with one facility burning down, and another less than reputable... let's just say the best game in town has gotten much busier. They called yesterday to give me some good news! They had a cancelation and she thought of me :)

I'm in such a good mood about it, that if you and a few close friends (neighbors, carpool buddies, complete strangers, etc) would like to order together, I'll deliver here in NY. I'd like to say at least 3 packages ordered to deliver. Ordering by yourself? Send me an email, we'll talk about where you are and negotiate a 'transportation fee'. Single-handedly convince the entire neighborhood (or at least yourself and 4 others to place an order? I'll gift the ringleader you with an extra 5lbs of ground beef.

Here's the package:

15lbs of grassfed ground beef in one pound packages. We send the whole steer, so this isn't trim - it's prime cuts. And it's naturally lean. When I fry up a pound, there's no grease left in the pan.

15lbs of pastured pork cuts. You'll get a variety of cuts from bacon & breakfast sausage, to chops & ham steaks. Excellent flavor, like nothing you'll get in the grocery store. Please note there is no small print on our packages saying anything about '2-3% liquid added for flavoring' on this pork. This is actually GOOD for you!

15lbs of grassfed lamb cuts. Again, a variety of cuts including ground and sausage (awesome in spaghetti sauce).

Total: $280.00 for the whole thing. At just over $6.00/lb, you'll be getting cuts normally selling for $8.00 - $11.00/lb. Going to Rhinebeck in October? Able to fit a cooler in your transport amongst the fleeces? I can bring a limited number of Package Deals with me, so let me know now.

Are you a vegetarian?
While the carnivores dream of lamb shank braised with tomato and frenched green beans in a Balslamic Vinagrette reduction, (we reccomend Paul Newman's Salad Dressing for both Carnivores and Vegetarians), please don't feel left out:

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Very Quickly.

SO, if you remember way back when, our fearless yarn fairy posted a picture of some yarn (duh). The question was, what was so special about it?

Astrid guessed it with self-striping yarn. Now, if Lord Zorg ever attacks planet earth and has a guessing challenge for the prize that is our planet, we want Astrid to be on our team of official guessers. That girl has got GAME. If you don't believe me, check out her comments over at the TsockTsarina.

Anyways, I'd like to post now for your viewing pleasure, MORE self-striping yarn. This time in a heavy Aran weight (read: 8oz to some 400 yards or something heavy), in a muted version of the Gryffindor-style colors.

This is just over 7 yards per color, self-striping. I'm liking it ok, but what I'm REALLY liking is the fact that I think I've finally come up with a way to do self-striping yarn. To quote yet another Kids Movie (a subject for another time), "I think... I have a plan. Using mainly spoons...."

Wanna see something else new?

Look what you can get at Cafepress! A new purty mousepad or wall clock! Yours will be the envy of every cubicle. Click on the image to go check it out. And more stuff in this 'other' cafepress store:

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Garage/Yard/Tag Sale Etiquitte

I stopped at a garage sale this past week. It's a never-ending garage sale, I've driven by it for 2 years ignoring it out of principle. Then I saw a small table I'd been looking for, and so I stopped and gave in. While I looked around, I overheard a conversation the 2 women running the 'garage' were having.

Woman #1: "So what are you going to do with the stuff that hasn't sold here?"

Woman #2: "I'm going to have a garage sale next weekend. I'll put it in the paper. Do you know what the deadline is for the paper?"

A garage sale. to sell the leftover stuff that didn't sell at.... a garage sale. Now why didn't I think of that? Brilliant! The masses will never see it coming!

...stepping onto soapbox...
I've lived on both coasts and places in the middle, and they all have one thing in common: Yard Sales. No matter what you call them, the goal is the same. Convert your 'stuff' into money, and empty space. (Though that can be dangerous combination.)

So, after several years of stopping every 300 yards or so on a saturday afternoon in hundreds of little neighborhoods, I offer up this small checklist, should you be planning a yard sale in the future. Please review prior to, and AFTER your little enterprise, and we'll all be happier.

Before The Event

If it ain't for sale, don't leave it out. This should be self-explanitory, but if you don't want to sell that lovely ol' crocheted toilet roll cover, than please don't leave it on the table in the garage next to the things for sale. Collect all that stuff you must hang on to, and put it away. Out of sight. Cover with a sheet (also not for sale).

If you have things for sale that are inside the house, like large pieces of furniture, please clean up a bit. Let's pretend a couple hundred people might traipse through the house and perhaps put the dirty dishes away, clothes on the children (and spouse), and hide the dirty laundry. Just sayin' is all. And you might want to slap a sign on the piece for sale. If you send me wondering through your house to see 'the dresser in the spare bedroom' and there are 3 of them in there....

Pricing tips:
*You might consider actually putting prices on things you want to sell. Some of us are shy, and don't want to ask how much every coffee mug might cost. You also may not remember.

*You may think you want to haggle, and that's fine but please put THAT on a sign so we have a clue how to buy things. Remember, folks in this country are not used to haggling over price.

*(Pay attention, this one is critical)Pricing. Hey, just because Star Wars made a comback does NOT mean the glass you got with your Happy Meal in 1978 with Luke Skywalker's face on it that's chipped and looks like you used it to mix paint last year does NOT mean you can sell it for $7.00 or something. Reality Check: We're not stupid. Just because you CALL it a collectors item, does not MAKE it a collectors item. Because don't think I won't use my cellphone to check ebay for current prices of crappy condition happy meal paraphenalia. Let's be honest here. If you had the 'Rare Sherriff Woody' doll sitting on a table in the basement, you'd head to ebay with it, not the garage sale.

*Please use common sense. No one will buy the macaroni art your cousin's-best-friend's-daughter made you in 1984. If it holds no $ value, and holds no sentimental value.... throw it away.
Moving on.

If you put up a sign or 2 on a telephone pole or something, here are some thoughts:

  1. it really ought to face oncoming traffic. If it is stapled to the pole facing the road and the neighbor across the street, I cannot read it at 35mph no matter how bright the paper you use, so angle it like a billboard, would ya?.
  2. Please don't write in pencil. No one can read your sign, unless your looking to catch pedestrians. Remember, I'm at least 10 feet from your sign, and still going 35mph. Look through the junk drawer in the kitchen for something called a SHARPIE or raid your kids' coloring box for markers. And stick with black or blue. Your not trying to win the 5th grade art contest, your trying to help me find your junk stuff for sale.
  3. Please write in BIG PEOPLE print. Writing small was great when there was a paper shortage. However, I can't read it (see problems with #2 above).
  4. Date the darn thing! Please for the love of sales, don't just put "Garage Sale Today". I can't tell you how frustrating it is to those of us who actually believe the sign, how frustrating it is to never find the sale that is happening 'today'. We're left with a feeling of having missed out on some wonderful find.
  5. If I have to go left at the next corner to find you, and go more than a block, better put up another sign. I have a short attention span, may think I'm lost, or might find ANOTHER garage sale to stop at and miss going further to yours. This is especially important if there is another turn involved anywhere further down the road. I'm sorry but your not as well known as you think, and we don't know where you live.

During The Event

As my friend Jamie used to say, 'Practice your Monster Smile.' That means smile big folks. If you can't do that, at least make eye contact and say hello. Please do not look at me as if I am an interloper pawing through your things. Your the one who dragged it all out on the front lawn, try not to scare away the buyers.

Turn on the lights if it's dark in the garage. I know, I know. Electricity costs money, but if you can't see what it is than neither can I and I won't buy it. Here's a tip: If folks keep taking something back outside to get a good look at it, you need lights on. Lights not working? Drag out a lamp or stick a bulb in the lamp that's for sale and plug it in. At least you won't have to answer the "Does the lamp work" question a billion times...

Change. I know this sounds like a no-brainer, and I certainly don't want you to think that I think you have... well, no brain, but your selling stuff. I just went to the bank and have a roll of 20's. Your high ticket item on the kiddie toy table is $1.50, you do the math. If you have no change, you have no sale. And no, please don't ask me to check my center console in my car for correct change. I'll get in to check but I won't get back out to buy.

After The Event.

So, your broo-ha-ha is over, you've made your pennies millions. Just a couple of little things that will make life nicer for the rest of us...

Put it away. If it didn't sell and your not repeating the shin-dig next weekend, do something with it. That's why God made the Salvation Army, it's there for a reason. But before you go there, please check the $ value of what's left. Was it priced high or should it be thrown away?

And last but not least, and I can't stress this enough. This one is critical. TAKE DOWN THE SIGN. If you paid attention to #5 regarding signage, take down ALL of the signs. If you do not, and we find your house where there is no garage sale after driving all over looking for it (weeks late for the Event), don't be surprised if you find yourself toilet papered or something.

And one littel post script. If you find that after having the neighborhood's longest running garage sale, going on for it's 17th straight week and no one is showing up.... get the point. It's a garage sale, not a dollar store. Close up shop and wait until next year to try again. This is illegal in most towns, something about running a business in a residental district. And, if I get to your 'garage sale' and find things for sale that are new, still in packages, and more than 20 of that same item on the table, I'll be sorely tempted to use that cellphone again because I will not be your next mark (Slang A person who is the intended victim of a swindler; a dupe.)

...stepping off of soapbox...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Well it's about durn time!

As many of you may know, we have been in dire need of the nice delivery truck to deliver the yarn here. The first attempt brought us yarn, but the WRONG yarn. Well, wrong in the sense that it wasn't the correct base yarn for the FlockSock Sock Yarn, but hey, it was GOOD yarn anyways. Fun things are in the works for what is affectionately known as 'car-cozy' yarn. (By the way, we've been calling it that because unlike FlockSock, this stuff is not superwash, and so it will felt. Upon the discovery of this, I told Lisa she'd have to come up with a pattern for a felted car-cozy, because I had a couple hundred pounds of this stuff sitting here now. It seems to be sticking, pun intended, though I may shorten it to 'cozy' yarn.) More on the coming projects for Cozy Yarn later.

ANYWAYS! Yesterday, Astrid helped immensely by sending out 'find the right house' vibes to the driver, and it worked. I am now the proud owner of a whole whack of boxes of yarn. In the triple digits now folks. I DARE you to order more than I have in stock, I DARE you. Triple digits FlockSock, Triple digits Cozy Yarn, and Triple digits of Bamboo-Ewe, a blend of bamboo/wool/nylon. Dudes. Don't anyone plan on coming for a visit, cause there ain't no room for ya!

Now that my hand has recovered enough to handle the dye pots & yarn again, I've been dyeing the Bamboo-Ewe yarn for the current club kit, Turandot. It's a lengthy process, dyeing 2 different fibers in shades of blue to get a unique 'look' to the yarn. Needless to say, it leaves me with some 'hurry up & wait' time while yarn just sits in the pots absorbing color. I've been experimenting for future projects Lisa has on the drawing board, along with some other colors I've been wanting to create.

I think I may be in love with this one. 'Copper Pennies' is what it says to me, and that's what we're calling it. It's the newest color available in the finally-arrived FlockSock Sock Yarn. Monitors being what they are, this is a mildly varigated 'shade-dyed' color in a brick/copper with gold undertones. It ain't on the website yet, give me a few minutes. In the meantime, I've already had a couple of customers I've shown it to just up & email me a payment using paypal, and you can do that if you like. Toss in a couple dollars for shipping, and I'll get it out to you. Let's say, an introductory price of $18.00 per skein.

But, whatever you do... Don't show it to Lisa!!

Next on the list? Limes. In (Car)-Cozy Yarn. This is actually a base-color to be over-dyed for something else, but I really like it as it is! Makes me want to sit on the beach and eat a papaya or something. This will be added to the website with the Rosetta in this yarn.

And I almost forgot Pistachio! Dyed for in the shell Pistachio nuts, a custom request, on FlockSock.

Now, I need to go eat my Pizza and dye more yarn. WAYYYYY more yarn.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Worth more than a minute.

Today is a day for remembering.

If you are a veteran of the armed forces, thank you for all that you've done.
Everyone else, go find a veteran to thank. Freedom isn't free.

If you are a fireman (woman), policeman (woman), emt, or a good samaritan, thank you for your past bravery, and your willingness to be brave in the future.