The answer to my Christmas knitting list: Get the recipients to knit (or crochet) and give them yarn for Christmas. 2 down, 17 to go.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
The answer to my Christmas knitting list: Get the recipients to knit (or crochet) and give them yarn for Christmas. 2 down, 17 to go.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
So... did you all have a good Holiday (for those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving...)? We actually went to visit family and had a lovely time, and Nora & I had a wonderful head cold which we succeeded in sharing with family. Feel the Love. (Zicam, anyone?)
...and the next thing you know, this happens (or something similar anyways. She makes amazing felted purses, one-of-a-kinders):
Anyways, that's what I did on my vacation ;-) How 'bout you?
Posted by Jennifer at 10:54 PM
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Sale! Let's have a postage sale, wanna? Any order over $60.00 placed by Friday night midnight EST (Nov 21st) I'll refund 100% of stateside postage - and up to $4.00 off (refunded) on all int'l postage. So, now's your chance for gift-shopping for other knitters, or to drop a huge hint to your family about your wish-list.
New Colors (finally) listed:
Burnt Orange - One of the Colors in the Change-Ringing colorwork in The Nine Tailors Tsock.
Key Lime - a 2-tone colorway that will self-stripe. Believe it or not, this color was an exhaust re-mix after dyeing the cuff for the Margarita club sock!
All of the new stuff can be found on the FlockSock Sock Yarn page here.
Posted by Jennifer at 11:17 AM
Monday, November 10, 2008
So... do you get the impression that what I dye has an effect on what Nora decides to wear, or is it just me?
For the record, she was disappointed that morning when she could not find any green socks to wear. The irony was not lost on me. It's not easy being green...
In other news, yes I'm older now, and hopefully wiser by one full year. I have a couple of wonderful things to show you that I received for my big day.... but I did not get any new batteries so the camera batteries are charging and I wanna do one post for it all and I'm short a couple of pictures.
I'd also like to remind everyone that tomorrow is Veteran's Day here in the US. See a serviceman? Thank them for their commitment. Know someone who is a Veteran? Thank them for their service.
Are you a veteran or currently serving in the military?
I'd like to offer you 10% off your yarn or Tsock Kit purchase today. Go shop and I'll refund your 10%, mention your status in the comments of your order to qualify.
Posted by Jennifer at 11:53 PM
Thursday, October 23, 2008
I know I said Wednesday, I know. Let's pretend it's Wednesday now (couldn't we all use the extra day anyays?) and announce happily that more kits than you can shake a dpn at are now available.
The Nine Tailors with it's amazing Change-Ringing meets Color-Work and Cabling:
(btw, did you know we had a change-ringing sock coming out? Just kidding.)
Turandot poses her Riddles:
(our first kit released to the public in our Bamboo-Ewe yarn.)
And The Iceman Cometh:
It's Ice Cream - 3 scoops on a waffle cone and it's got ZERO calories!)
Want more? Okee dokee, I've got more:
Finally, due to popular demand... The Vintage Leaf.
Have you knit a leaf yet?
(*Please note: Club members! Your discounts will be refunded when I process your order to ship to you.)
And I would like to apologize to Caroline M of the comments. She not only did not get linked, but is feeling left out. She nicely sent me tea all the way from the other side of the world, and I somehow neglected to link to her, leaving her out of the link-love-fest. Please now go and visit her blog and say hello, would you? Oh and look! You can visit her flickr pictures as well!
(I like to think it was purely an accident, my forgetting her link. Subconciously though, I think it has something to do with the fact that I'm jealous that her blog has finished objects on it, and projects that actually show progress... I'm working on my issues.)
Posted by Jennifer at 10:55 AM
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Got your cup of tea and comfy seat? I'll wait, go get your tea.
I wanted to post before we went to Rhinebeck, about getting ready for Rhinebeck.... but it took every ounce of energy to Get. Ready. For. Rhinebeck.
New colors, new kits, new displays, new pixie... well, there were lots of new things going on. So, here are a few pics of the pre-party after the fact.
That's 'Teenage Romance' and 'Rose Garden' drying in the sun.
This is how we packed up kits this time around. It saved a ton of space over using the Rubbermaid containers. See that reddish-brown color under the gold for Oktoberfest? Those are for Oktoberfest... in an Irish Red, followed under that by Chocolate Stout, both new colors for that kit this year (and both expected up on the website this week). We seem to favor the alcoholic socks around here... go figure.
Yes Waldmaus, Christmas-Yarn does exist. This is 'Candy-Cane' and yes, it sold out and yes I'm making more.
At Rhinebeck, we found that all of our imaginary friends really DO exist! Here's a few pics for proof:This would be BrewerGnome folks. In full Kilt-mode. And what's that in his hands, you ask?
Well that would be his brand new spindle. TsockTsarina a-spinnerated him in about 4 seconds flat. She handed him her spindle with a length of spun yarn to wind on and asked him to hold it for just a minute (subtle she ain't). A minute later & he'd wound it on and was spinning away. Her work finished, I'm sure she moved on to her next victim.
Kathe & Mardi debate the benefits of french fries verses fried dough or some such critical question.
Juno explains once again that she is not taking interviews and cannot be bothered with paparazzi or pepperoni or whatever famous people talk about on their cell phone... Kelley does some shopping... or not.
Stephanie & Cassie enjoy the sunshine... do either of these women look sleep or caffeine-deprived? I think not. The very picture of calm and poise. (We shall not be showing the picture of ME with them. I am the very picture of dazed and under-caffeinated. And it's my blog so I get to post only good pictures of me.)
This person here? This gal who calmly surveys her domain, sizing up any & all? This would be Jesh. Jesh is most formidable in her mad super-awesome spindle-making skillz. (btw, if the blue gloves on the hands next to Jesh look familiar, they should. Glenna borrowed them from Lisa as it was a bit chilly over the weekend. Even with the cold, I think Glenna had an awesome time meeting everyone - I know we're glad she came.)
Anyways, See what I mean about the spindles? (Jesh, I borrowed this pic from your blog.)
We had them in the booth for sale - if you missed them, cry for they are worthy.
This handsome young man is modeling a sweater made from handspun wool from our own Buddy... a beautiful natural colored Border Leicester ram we had on the farm a couple of years ago. Buddy has passed away, but his sweater lives on. And apparently, hangs out with famous folks because 'small-bob' gave in to be part of the photo-shoot.
Let's see... zuzusunshine brought us cupcakes - we adore her. Another raveler (who's name escaped my short-term memory short-circuit) stopped by with even more cupcakes that had creamcheese frosting and I dunno what else but they were cupcakes and we adore her as well.
Someone from Canada brought chocolates - very good but I wish I could remember WHO so I could ACTUALLY thank her... oh the lack of short term memory skills when sleep deprived! Anyone remember who that was?
The delightful dmcubed stopped by the booth for what could be the best 4 minutes of the entire festival and made me SIT DOWN for a backrub with something called 'nukkles'. If you ever get the chance to be nukkled.... drop whatever your doing and give yourself over to the dark side - or at least, to whoever is doing the nukkling.
The lovely knitterotica brought me tea... all the way from Hong Kong. How cool is that? Dragon Pearl. Awesome.
BrewerGnome brought me Pickles & Jam - very good I might ad.. as well as a delicate Jasmine Tea I am enjoying as I type this monster of a post...
And when I got up Monday morning after falling asleep around 1am (wicked drive home)... I found this on the counter waiting for me and I wept tears of joy and gratitude. Caroline in the UK has rescued me (again). She wondered in the comments of my recent tea-less post about how I'd come to miss the general order of things... in that you generally ORDER more tea before it's all gone. I say to her now so there is no question that I am the queen of de nile. Queen, I tell you. I refused to actually LOOK in the bag because that would have been proof that I'd consumed more than my fair share in the recent weeks and couldn't face the reality of the dwindling supply. (I'm the sort of gal who puts off procrastination. Honestly. I'll tell you all about it later when we have more time.)Anyhoo, at Rhinebeck I also found these (the socks, not the feet) tucked inside a 6pack of home-brew:
Knit for me by Georg who is the beloved Tserf. The colorway is one of Nora's, and I have already been asked to ask Nora to dye more of it. They fit perfectly, and I love them. Thank you, Georg (and thank you for loaning me your jacket Saturday. I would have been hypothermic if not for you.)
Also at Rhinebeck, I bought this and think it is absolutely surreal.
Let's see... what else went on at Rhinebeck.... Anyone care to guess what these are?
Or this. Anyone want to guess what this is?
Well, if you guessed Turandot, and then Nine Tailors (you guys knew we had a change-ringing sock coming out, right?) and lastly The Iceman Cometh for the first picture, you'd be correct. If you are hoping that the small leaf-colored packet is the Vintage Leaf as a stand-alone kit.... your prayers have been answered. I expect to have all 4 up on the website tomorrow available, yea, they are ALL even in stock waiting to ship out to you as we speak. How about we all meet back here tomorrow to go over the details on those little rays of sunshine, hmm? Great. Now I'm off to bed because tomorrow is going to be a busy day.
Posted by Jennifer at 2:07 PM
Saturday, October 11, 2008
I have about 7.2 minutes to make a blog post (about how long for the next round of dye pots to heat up), so let's cut to it, eh?
DING! We have a winner! A TsockFlock Club contest winner!
The question (asked via email): In the 1967 movie/musical of Camelot, what is Guinevere doing at the beginning of the song 'Take me to the Fair', and who was she doing it with (character name)?
The Answer, provided correctly first was Enjay: "She's winding a ball of yarn with sir Lionel." Wanna see? Here, let me show you:
Guess what this is:
Give up? It's the empty bag of this:
Ty-phoo tea sent to me from club member Caroline in the UK and it's downright awesome. I know, because we did taste tests. There were 160 teabags in this set, bundled in smaller groups... I thought surely it would take me longer to go through that much tea but I guess I underestimated myself (over-achiever that I am, apparently). It is, alas, completely empty and sniffing the tea dust does little to help. I must give in and order more as I am now drinking a runner-up in the taste tests and miss my OO greatly.
This does bring up a point of thanks I think I missed out on while a bit busy early on in the year. I wanted to thank several folks for sending me wonderful things during a sleepless period of dye pots earlier... I'd show you pictures of wonderful tea blossoms and German chocolate and Gummibärchen... but those wrappers are dust and the contents enjoyed and remembered happily. So, not only was I so busy I never quite got around to the public thank-you's but now that we've moved and had to pack up (and since lost track of) my squirreled-away notes... I've forgotten who sent which and don't want to get it all wrong. (except the Gummibärchen. That could only have been Waldmaus.)
I do have pictures of a non-edible that requires thanking and is worth talking about though! This came in the mail recently, and I was delighted.
This is a Scentsy Wickless Candle. The 'candle' is a ceramic pot and warming dish with a small lightbulb to melt the scented wax in the dish that sits on top. The pot is called 'Merino' and I wish I had a merino sheep this color! It came with 3 different scented wax bits for the candle, and the Nutmeg & Orange Zest is delightful. You can get yours from Jan here. Thank you very much for mine, Jan!
Now, I have not been sitting around sniffing wax & drinking tea as tempting an idea as that is. I've done a little dyeing, here & there as well. Who am I kidding, I've dyed A TON of yarn in the past couple of weeks, though once it's all neatly wound, labeled and hanging on a rack it doesn't look to me like much of a dent has been made in the 'to-dye' list. I guess we shall find out soon enough as it's 4 days to be done & ready for Rhinebeck... (Excuse me. I need to sit down for a moment, the room just spun.)
Random Yarn Sighting: Look! Bubble-Gum!
There's tons of other new colors, (below the Bubble-Gum is a hint of Chai...)but the dye pots have reached 'optimum dye the yarn temperature' so it looks like my 7.2 minutes are officially up and there's about 16 days' worth of yarn to finish today.
Posted by Jennifer at 4:49 PM
Thursday, September 25, 2008
In the beginning of the month, Glenna moved up from Texas to work here for us. We got her technically moved into an apartment, but I didn't give her time to actually unpack anything. The recent club kit York & Lancaster needed to get dyed, packed up & out the door. As soon as it flew, we took a look at the 'Rhinebeck Plan 2008'. We immediately realized that the most critical issue was not the 'how much yarn' question, the dyeing, the inventory, or (my favorite) what's for dinner. It was our name. What's in a name? Well, we're not exactly Vancalcar 'ACRES' at the moment. This pointed out the problem with naming a business after a specific location... we'd moved and hadn't taken the location with us.
So! Now that it's official, Please note that Rhinebeck still knows us as Vancalcar Acres, but we'll have new 'signage' in the booth with the new name etc. and you can find us in our regular digs there in space 26D - Building 26 is closest to the 4-H entrance/gate.
Speaking of Rhinebeck, the Pixie has created this amazing techno-yarn 'thing' using some magic called 'MSProject' and more magic called 'Excel'. The magic tells her (and she cracks the whip) how much yarn I have to dye per day to get ready for Rhinebeck, and I find it suspiciously similar to the numbers I faced without Pixie Magic... no chickens this time at least. (You folks remember 'The Plan', don't you?) At least I've got
6 weeks 4 weeks 22 days 20 days left (they make me stop dyeing to pack the truck and drive).
Plenty of time. I'll just dye a few extra skeins a day...
Posted by Jennifer at 11:44 AM
Monday, August 18, 2008
You know when you think things are going along AS THEY SHOULD, and someone throws a wrench into your machine, your plan, your whole stinkin' organization... ok, maybe it wasn't quite that bad. Maybe, I even finally stood back and allowed the door to be opened a crack - allowed a chink in the armor to become a gaping opening for the enemy to come blazing in.
Spinning. I speak of spinning. Specifically, the Tsarina and her Spindle (plural, actually cuz the girl went SHOPPING when she fell down the rabbit hole). Here we were, minding our own business, with a lovely little tsock business. My own little Tsock Tslave, as it were (she thinks I'm some Yarn Slave, but I've got her number... I think...) and then some upstart comes along and grabs that door and rips it RIGHT. OFF. THE. HINGES. Goes and sends the Tsarina a spindle and a WHACK of fiber. and not crap fiber, either.
This means war. I mean really. Club member and all. Did she think she'd get away with this? Without Repurcussions? I swore she'd get coal for her next club kit. Coal. And then, I did a little searching on 'coal' as it were, and found it... boring. Very. Boring.
It needed some fire. And so, Mistress 'I-can-make-the-tsarina-a-spinner', here's your Lump of Coal (though I think we're going to call it 'Embers' here).
Posted by Jennifer at 11:08 PM
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Blog? I'd like to introduce you to the new Yarn Pixie (Ain't she purty?):
Yarn Pixie? I'd like you to meet the blog.
Yes, this means we've come across someone in Pixie-land who wants to come work here with the Yarn Fairy, and we're absolutely thrilled to have her. She knits, she weaves, she spins, she does voo-doo on a chakra wheel, and she knows how to 'make yarn go' around here. She brings with her some awesome ideas that I think you all will love in the coming months.
She is moving all the way from the grand country of Texas, and is looking forward to actually using all of the hand-knit woolen goods she's amassed while waiting for winter down there. She is expected here in early September, and we can't wait!
Take a minute and tell miss Glenna Chumbley congratulations in the comments, will ya?
And in other news, I recently had the chance to be in the right place at the right time. You see, there was a lady who wanted to learn to knit but missed our appointment. I had yarn on needles ready for her to start her first hat, in pink for her daughter. When she didn't arrive for our class, Nora & I headed off to Karate and that's when fate stepped in. There was a young girl there sitting next to me during Nora's class with a broken leg. I was working on a sock (big surprise, eh?) and she asked about it. She explained that she'd recently gotten a knitting kit, but neither her nor her mother knew how to knit and it was all greek to them.
- yarn on needles ready to go with instructions in bag.
- young lady wanting to learn to knit
- person with teaching skills on just such a subject
By the time Karate class was finished, she was happily knitting away on row 2 when Nora came over. She took one look at the young lady knitting the yarn that was previously in mom's bag, with mom leaning over to help this 'other' girl, and announced loudly: "I'm learning to knit!" hmm. a little jealous maybe?
We have tried in the past but with little success. She refused to let me show her more than one time, she refused to sit still for more than 2 minutes, and was then wildly frustrated when she didn't produce any 'knitting'. This time? This was diferent. Over the next week, she told everyone we met she was learning to knit. She produced 2 needles and about 3 feet of sock yarn and told me she was going to knit. One needle was a 10dpn, the other a 5dpn. I feared the conversation regarding the needle choice and string length but started anyways... and she listened. She put the string in the trash. Gave me the needles and asked which ones she should go get from my bag. I explained we needed heavier yarn, like the hat yarn the girl at Karate had, and so she announced she wanted to dye the yarn for her hat. hmm. I gave it a couple of days, she persisted.
2 days ago, we dyed the yarn in purple and gold. She pestered me until it was dry and wound into a ball. She stood by patiently while I cast on for a hat. I faced with trepidation our first knitting lesson.
She sat next to me on the couch.
I showed her a knit stitch several times, and she watched quietly.
I put the needles in her hands and knit a couple of stitches with her.
She knit the next couple of stitches, and automatically her fingers held back the stitches on the left needle so they wouldn't slide off.
We worked on where to keep the stitches on each needle in relation to the tips so they don't fall off, I fixed a couple of drops as they happened. She knit almost the whole first row before we took a break. We've sat on the couch a couple of times today for short knitting sessions, a few stitches knit and then taking a break to play. She asked me once how far the girl at Karate had gotten on her first lesson. Interesting. She talks now about teaching dad to knit when she teaches a knitting class. Hear that? My daughter will be teaching knitting in her yarn store, and her store is going to be next door to mine so we can visit because we're both dyers (her words, not mine).
Posted by Jennifer at 12:27 PM
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Emailed to me by a blog reader & friend in response to yesterday's blog post 'Friday Night'. She captioned it 'Jennifer's Backyard on Saturday Night':
Talk about yer 'Deer in the Headlight' looks. Geesh.
I would like to say that the animals in my backyard do tend to live a 'pre-hunter' bambi-esque lifestyle though. Today, the doe was joined by (and I kid you not), a pair of squirrels at the top of the tree, 2 rabbits and a groundhog, all hangin' out at the ol' pear tree. I wonder, what kind of quasi-wild/suburb gossip goes on out there? I dunno, but if a skunk starts showing up for the party, I'm calling Animal Planet. Or Disney.
On the yarn side of 'As the Forest Turns' here, Colleen has an excellent idea in the comments for that Bamboo-Ewe yarn... and call me Burger King, but you can have it your way. (and please, do NOT call me Burger King. Or Burgermeister-Meisterburger, or any Burger - I jest.) So, without further sleep-deprived commentary from teh dye potz, you can haz all 7 colors at once in tiny skeins if you want. Clickity: http://www.nysfarm.com/bamboo_ewe.htm
Posted by Jennifer at 10:14 PM
Friday, July 25, 2008
Posted by Jennifer at 8:42 PM