Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Look! 2 places at once!

Well, not really. But I do have a new blog I want you to visit. It's all about the YARNZ.

So! Grab a cup of hot, caffinated beverage and enjoy the new blog post on the new blog site. I just love that new blog smell...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday the 13th - it's all about the sales.

Specifically, this sale: You remember recently, the new Yarn of the Month colorway 'November', right?


On sale all month for $18.00...

but today only and until midnight PST, it's $14.00 when you purchase any sock kit on the website - no limits.

This means you can have as many skeins of 'November' at the sale price as you want with the purchase a single sock kit.

Sale prices will not reflect on paypal - I will refund it. (I like paypal but they still don't understand me. I work around our 'issues'.) If your in the Sock Club, your discount will also be applied!!

**This is your chance to do some Holiday Gift Shopping!! Get yourself a kit, and get your knitterly friend a skein of 'November'! Perfect for Holiday Swaps.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Imaginary Friends Come to Life

Let's face it. I don't get out of the house to socialize very often. Don't get me wrong, I love to do it - but I also prefer the path of least resistance and going 'out' sometimes requires 'effort'. And I tend to fixate on the unfinished tasks & projects, so I have on occasion used those tasks as an excuse not to go somewhere or do something. (I know, I have some issues).

This past year though, I've been trying to make efforts to get out and do some much needed socializing. I enjoy it. I've been trying to get to the knitting meet-ups that the CNY Ravelry group has created, and the knit-in at my local LYS The Yarn Cupboard. I really enjoy my time when I go, and most times I seem to pack 20 projects (because you never know), and not knit on any of them. I find myself just enjoying the chatting with everyone so much that I don't want to be distracted with projects (what kind of knitter am I, anyways??). I find myself the last to want to leave, willing to drop the 'to do' list faster than a bag of scratchy, worsted acrylic yarn from 1972.

Recently, at a CNY group meeting, we got on the topic of food (no, really? food? Knitters who meet at a coffee shop?). We talked about our different favorites, international dishes - things our grandmothers' taught us, or great-grandmothers shared with us, or some other special person in our lives. Food that helped us connect with heritage, or with a community or with an individual by the time spent cooking together. We decided that as we were all quite hungry now, we should turn this into an actual dinner meeting.

Marcela graciously opened her home to us last night and the food was incredible. German Potato Salad and Butternut Squash Soup (chicken optional for the vegetarians who came), Mexican Bean Soup, Chili, Pepper Steak (vegetarian), A Serbian Meat Pie, Stuffed Grape Leaves (Lebanese, not Greek)... I know I'm forgetting something. There was also desert-! Strawberry cake, Apple Pie, Ice Cream, Whoopie Pies-! It was wonderful. We brought spouses and ate food and had a wonderful, social time. Nora got to spend the evening at her friend's house, so a good time was had by all ;-)

When's the next meeting? My calendar is wide open.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Yarn o' the Month: November.

When the wind storm blew through recently, the remaining leaves that were worth looking at, danced away. The shades of reds, golds and browns in the leaves blowing about the yard, and the new winter colors of the now leaf-less hillside look like this:

Each skein is as unique as the leaves.

November Skein Sale Price: $18.00 (buy it now on the sidebar to the right)
In the classic FlockSock Sock Yarn; 400yds of luscious & lovely yarn in 75% superwash/ 25% nylon blend.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Learn Something New

I love trivia. Little-known facts, seemingly useless bits of knowledge taking up space and brain cells and keeping me endlessly entertained. Suduko? Crossword Puzzles? No thanks. I'll take 'Jeopardy Questions for 1000' please!

So, we had a contest in the Sock Club this past weekend. I wanted trivia. Things that make you go huh?? Srsly?? Here's a collection of submissions for your enjoyment:

Mice live a couple of years but mole rats can reach the venerable age of 28. The long life is probably a consequence of their protected existence. Mice have a short life span because they have many predators. Better to breed fast and young than prepare for an old age none will never [sic] live to see. Gray squirrels, on the other hand, have fewer enemies and can live for more than 20 years.” (Don't tell the Yarn Harlot the squirrel thing. It's best to keep that one to ourselves.)

Mosquitos have teeth.

In Old English, "wife" was grammatically neuter, so it was normal to say, "I spake with thy wife and it said."

A certain well-known fairy tale features slippers of glass, which a moment of thought will reveal as absurd. However, the tale dates to medieval France, and the French for glass - verre - is pronounced the same as ermine - vair - a fashionable slipper material of the day.

Dimetradon (see image from http://www.vfxtalk.com/newsimages/fcfc_dimetrodon.jpg), were not dinosaurs. Despite being a dino look-a-like, these sail-backed creatures lived in the Permian, (299-251 Million years ago) and are actually more similar to mammals than dinosaurs. The difference lies in the skull. Mammals, Dimetrodon, and other "Mammal like reptiles" of the Permian are Synapsids (meaning there is a single hole in the skull behind the eye), dinosaurs, snakes, lizards and corocodiles are Diapsids (two holes in the skull behind the eye). Mososaurs, Pleisiosaurs, and Pterosaurs (which lived in the Mesozoic (think: Jurassic and Cretaceous), 251 to 65 Million years ago) were also diapsids although they are not dinosaurs. Also Birds evolved from dinosaurs!

Celery contains eugenol (the active ingrediant in clove oil and used intemporary dental fillings to numb the cavity) which will cause some people to get a numb feeling in their mouth when they eat it.

When Mozart was a little boy, he had a canary. Mozart was so smart that he could tell that his canary sang in the key of G major.

Did you know the placement of a donkey's eyes in its' head enables it to see all four feet at all times??

The length from your wrist to your elbow is same length of your foot. Your mouth produces 1 liter of spit/saliva a day.

There are some species of armadillos that only give birth to identical quadruplets.

In order to avoid predators when they're at sea, elephant seals sleep at a depth of 1,000 feet. They can do this because they don't breathe while they're asleep. While a typical dive lasts half an hour or so, they can stay underwater for up to two hours.

Gummibärchen were invented in 1922 by Hans Riegel, owner of Haribo. They are not only tasty little things, they are also subjects of art:

Check out the art: here
Or subjects of design: here
and literature: here

The dot over an "i" is called a tittle.

The can opener was invented about 50 years after the can.

If you get some of your own blood on something, your own saliva will remove it.

The most widely used form of mass transportation in the United States is the elevator.

So, who won the contest? Well around here, we're pretty concerned about predators. Specifically, Mosquitos. The fact that they have teeth... well, I can't slap fast enough now and I think I'll go munch on some garlic and stock up on bug spray for the coming summer - it's on sale right now you know! Here's what I found in detail when looking this one up:
Mosquitoes have four knife-like tools of serrated teeth that surround a pair of fine tubes — one for dripping a pain suppressor and one for sucking blood.
A common house mosquito (Culex sp.) stabs the skin with her sharp
snout and saws in with her four knife tools to draw blood. She shoots in saliva laced with anesthetic (to escape notice) and an anticoagulant (to keep blood flowing). Then she sucks blood.
In 90 seconds, she sucks enough blood to nourish 100 eggs or more — and is too heavy to fly. She makes a controlled descent to a close safe spot where she squeezes in on her abdomen. Water oozes out of the blood, filtered through the abdominal wall, and forms a large drop.
Light again, she takes off.
During her short adult life (two weeks to a month) she bites one to three times, says Larry Weber, naturalist and author of Spiders of the North Woods.
(quoted from usatoday.com 9/8/2005 'WonderQuest' by April


(**But as a knitter... I want to know how many of you tested the length from your wrist to your elbow with your foot?)

So, Debby won the Club Contest and she's won some wonderful yarn I'll get in the mail here this week. Feel free to post your own trivia to the comments section, I love a good trivia-read ;-)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Get them while they're Hot!

Golden West

Frozen Margarita

York & Lancaster (socks AND mitts)

Available now on the website! http://www.holidayyarns.com/

Next up on the to-do list... 2010 Tsock club. While you wait, go knit yourself a pair of Cowboy Boots ;-)

Monday, October 26, 2009

We have a Winner!

Nora picked Rachel - tomorrow we'll mail out your Stitch Saver! Nora also said she wanted to pick more winners. She wanted to pick 20 winners. We made a deal; when 200 people enter the blog contest, she could pick 20 winners. Tell your friends, and we'll have more contests.

In the meantime, if you didn't win... you can have a stitch marker as well, but you need to go here to get them. I've used mine more than I care to admit ;-)

ETA - thanks Colleen for the heads-up. Fixed it!

Friday, October 23, 2009

What I do in my spare time.

Recently, I had an appointment with an Occupational Therapist. I described in detail what I do with all this yarn. Then she asked me what I do in my 'Leisure Time'. I looked at her blankly for several long seconds. Leisure Time? I pulled my knitting out of my bag. She looked blankly at me for several long seconds. I took off my shoe and showed her my hand-dyed, hand-knit sock. She looked at me for another handful of seconds. I thought hard. Finally, I told her... in my 'Leisure Time' I dye yarn. And Fiber. And I knit. And weave. And sometimes felt. And spin... And I hang out with people who do these things and we do them together... She finally summed up for me "So, you do the same thing for Leisure time that you do for 'work time'?"

Finally. Someone who understands me.

So, here's some of my 'leisure time' items (please note that both woven items are Sock Yarn - delightful weaving yarn):

1.) Inkle Loom warped with 2 strands together of undyed Bamboo-Ewe and Car-Cozy in light blue.

2) Student project - doubleweave plaid blanket on the unknown/no-name loom. She's doing a wonderful job, and while it's slow-going changing colors, I am insanely jealous and want to weave it when she goes home. (Note: must resist urge to weave student's project.) Warp in white, light blue, and Midnight Blue used in Cleopatra - weft is the same.

Gifties: A gift from 5elementknitr - it's a stitch saver (not marker, SAVER). When you drop a stitch, it's the handiest little tool. In a previous life it was a crochet hook - now, it's my best friend. Perfect size to pick up drops on socks, and stays where I hook it on my project bag. (If this gives the impression that I pick up dropped stitches for my 'Leisure Time', let's just say, it's been known to happen.)

I think we should have a contest and give one away. Yours won't say 'Yarn Fairy' but will instead be adorned with a sweet little bead, making for an elegant looking tool for those 'delicate' moments when you swear like a sailor. It will look something like this, the bead may be different. So... how do you win? Comment, of course! I'll have Nora use her excellent 'choosing' skills (eeni meeni minee mo) to pick the winner. We'll give it a couple of days, plan to be the winner by Monday.So... what's coming next, you ask? So glad you did because I have new things to offer to you ;-) I'm updating the website with these Totally Tsuper Tsock Kits:
Stay tuned for web updates so you can haz them.

Also coming in the next day or so?
It's time folks; Time to sign up for the 2010 Tsock Club.

You ain't seen nuthin' yet.

Monday, October 19, 2009

where the H-E-double-hockey-sticks does the time go??

This is the usual 'holy-crap I can't believe how long it's been since I blogged' statement. (It should prob. be the standard disclaimer or small print or something by now.)

I had a wonderful and amazing time at Rhinebeck, and I think I've brought home a delightful head cold that feels like pneumonia, but I digress.

Rhinebeck was as usual, amazing. I cannot do it justice here in this post, and will be shamelessly stealing pictures from others as I seem to have completely and totally neglected to TAKE A SINGLE PHOTOGRAPH all weekend. I didn't even take a picture of BrewerGnome changing out of his kilt into pants right in the middle of the booth. I know. Sad. I will instead post 2 pictures for you to enjoy:

Yarn that is NOT a Polar Bear in a Snow Storm:

And in other news, Nora turned 7. And a day later, another life-milestone:
And with that, I leave you now to go drink garlic & lemon juice, and put more Oil of Oregano under my tongue & go to bed.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

What I did on my Vacation. Part 1

When Sock Summit ended, and the boxes were packed up, the family did something rarely heard of: Vacation. We visited family on the west coast, spent time at the beach, and generally enjoyed ourselves - except for the couple of visits to Ready-Care/ER, it was great. (Ear Infection & headcolds just before take-off, anyone?)
Anyways, while packing for the vacation, I had to keep reminding myself that I only needed to pack light knitting for the flight to GET to Sock Summit. From there and for the rest of the trip, I would be able to choose from whatever was left from the almost 400lbs of product I had shipped out there. It was hard not to worry I'd run out of yarn, but since there was nothing but a few scraps left here... there wasn't much left to do but leave.

SO, you saw the socks I knit from the 'Sky's the Limit' colorway (which is now available on the website with the other Dye for Glory colorway entries), those were my 'fly to sock summit' knitting. When it came time to pack up for the vacation part, I packed a little more. I packed a 1/2 finished baby surprise in sock weight 2 strands held together. I packed a just-started baby surprise in worsted 'Fat Sheep' wool. I grabbed 2 skeins of Garnet for socks (2 because I planned to knit from the skein, and want to knit one at a time). I picked up a Yarn Fairy Grab Bag (500yds of different colored skeinletts). I took a 1/2 knit summer tank-top in sock yarn on size 6 needles, and I packed up some roving... and this: Borneo Rosewood, 30gms, crafted by Ed Jenkins:

Now you all should know by now that I'm happiest with fast projects. My dream project is one that finishes looking like a traditional Orenburg Lace Shawl at it's fanciest interpretation, but only takes 20 minutes to make. (I'll let you know when I find it.) Spinning is something I (usually) prefer on a wheel, as it's faster and more productive than it's Mother the spindle. But this has my attention. It spins. It spins FAST. It spins F O R E V E R and I lurves it. and it weighs just a dust-mote more than fairy spit. And also, it's 'Turkish' and this alone is fun to say. Try it: Turkish Spindle. (Actually, it's a 'Turkish Delight' Spindle.) Sounds exotic and romantic and conjurs images of women in 7 veils lounging by the pool in the harem, lazily spinning out silk or some such nonsense. (Usually, it's just me with an extra 15 pounds - you'd think I ATE the turkish delight - & wearing comfy sweats, wondering what the heck is for dinner.)
But I digress. We were talking of knitting. So, ironically, I finished the just-started Baby Surprise and only almost-finished the one that was further along. Here's the proof.
It was knit in worsted weight wool 'Fat Sheep' which is an 8oz skein of 3 ply wool in about 460 yds. (Look for it on the website soon, along with at Rhinebeck.) Knit on size 7 needles with wild disregard for guage. The small skeinlet in the middle is what's left, and I did icord on the shoulders after seaming. This yarn is lighter shades at one end of the skein than the other, and I cast on with the lighter edge. The next go-round I'll be casting on with the darker edge as I want the graduated shade to show up in the front (duh). I'd tell you what size it is, but I haven't got any 'small' children to test it on. I have a 6 year old the size of your average 3rd grader, but she modeled anyways. The pained look on her face is real - she tried to smile but the sleeves vexed her greatly being as how they 'smooshed' her shirt sleeve underneath.
She survived.
The color is a Yarn Fairy colorway (of which I think I have 3 more skeins), in a dusty blue and grape/purple. I can't decide what color to do another one in - I have 'Jen's Dragonfly' which also is a gradually darkening skein, or a 'Goth Valentine' skein ready to go. I'm leaning towards the Goth just to watch the colors change.

That's the Yarn Fairy in the middle & Goth on the left, Jenn's Dragonfly on the right. I actually have it in several other colors, but these are still speaking to me. Anyways, more about vacations in the next post. If you'll excuse me, I have to go to bed early as tomorrow is the First Day of School and she will be there birght and early and ready to go.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Oktoberfest is coming!

Get your beer (socks) on!

Oktoberfest festivals are soon upon us. Quick! Get your Oktoberfest Tsock Kits and get your socks made in time! Irish Red, Amber Ale, or Chocolate Stout (it's a microbrew, afterall). Each hand-dyed for you, complete with a head of foam.

Free Shipping, don't wait! The kits are in stock and waiting for you.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Pressing on.

Still sorting through the photos from Sock Summit...

Turns out, I dyed yarn to match Lucy Neatby - and when I saw her hair and remembered the yarn and put the 2 together... It seemed serendipitous. I was just so durn excited I didn't even realize who she was. There's a chance it was because I might have consumed about 6 oz more caffeine than the 3 nearest Starbucks had on hand combined... and there were 3 within a block of me. I might have been a little... hyper.

Still buzzing, I chased this gal down to beg for a photo op: Stunning.

Rare photo of the elusive Masked Lone-Cowgirl-Spinning-Ranger-ette who enjoys a little drop spindling when she's not out catching bad guys or drinking.

Syne Mitchell from weavezine & I took very Grown-Up and Serious pictures of each other, and I see Astrid of DamselflyYarns is giving me the Eeeevil Eye behind her ;-) Ann Budd carried on normal conversations with Denny & Abby despite the giggling, and I had a wonderful time with them all.

Denny, Abby, Sandi, Ann, Syne, Astrid, Lisa, Jasmine & Gigi and the friends they brought along (who's names my brain refuses to provide at this time)... I had the bestest time EVAR meeting you all, and hanging out during the weekend.

Oh yes, one more thing. Does this face look Innocent to you? I thought not. I'll just say that you should always beware of the hands if you see this particular smile.

And before I forget - it was excellent to finally get to meet more club members from the west coast, along with other long-time imaginary internetz friends! If I could just download my brain into the blog, there'd be pics of all of you.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Before, and After.

Before SS09 (setting up the booth)

(the booth all pretty)

After SS09 (aftermath of the marketplace)

What happened in between?

What happens in Sock Summit, STAYS in Sock Summit. Just kidding, more in the next post because I met amazing people (real-live imaginary friends), saw amazing things, and was a part of an amazing group of people.
In the meantime, Look! Something pretty! I made a pair of socks from my Dye for Glory entry 'Sky's the Limit'.

Hand-painted preknit flat in my own FlockSock Sock Yarn, and knit 2 at once in toe-up turkish cast-on bliss.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The night (or day) the lights went out in Georgia (or my house).

On Monday morning I had full power in the house, and apparently, was taking that for granted. After returning from a quick dash to the grocery store, I found 1/2 the house just.... off. This plug worked, but not that one over there. No fridge, no stove, no washing machine... but the lights in the laundry room worked. Short story, one of the 'live' wires coming into the house was, for lack of a better term, dead. They would need to re-run the wiring from the pole to the house (everything was fine at 'the pole' according to the power company).
In May, the same thing had happened. The power company said 'there is a pole down' and that it would be fixed by 10:30pm. Magically, at 10:30pm, everything came back on just fine.
This time, after making a call and getting the same exact answer except the fix time was now 2:30pm.... there was no magic. This has brought me to the conclusion that no mysterious poles are down. Ever. I mean think about it: How many times a day do you see poles randomly strewn about the city with black-outs in random sections of suburbia? Do you discuss this at work over the morning coffee? "Hey Bob, any poles down affecting you folks this weekend? We had 3!" "Lucky us not this time, but last weekend was a whopper!" "Poles falling all over the city and power on & off like a strobe light!"
What I would really like to know, is if one of the power lines running into the house is 'dead', then why is it that every once in a while I get power back on those circuits? Not enough to turn on the burner, but enough to turn on the lights. Sometimes, they are very dim, and other times the lights are normal but it only lasts for a couple of minutes. And the OTHER power, the one that's working just fine... keeps tripping. And no, it's not because they're 'sharing'. According to the electric dude, each power line literally powers every other circuit on the board. So why is it that my microwave only runs on about 1/2 power?

Anyways, It is now Thursday night. Here's what we've done to deal with the problem until the Powers That Be can fix it.
We have rearranged the required electrical appliances that can be moved to working outlets (phone, internet, tv).
We have placed flashlights in the bathroom (and remind the 6yo that we don't play with the flashlight - we save the batteries). We have a couple of hurricane lamps - showers by hurricane lamp as there are no windows in the bathroom.
We have an extension cord (the big pretty 50ft orange one) sitting in the middle of the living room, that powers the tv OR the microwave. It snakes back & forth depending on what's going on at the moment.
Another one goes to the fridge.
There are 2 more orange extension cords, one for each of the freezers in the garage. One works via an outlet in the garage (ironic, no?), and the other goes into the basement to find a working outlet.
One more extension cord, this one green, goes from that same outlet to the laundry room so I can spin out yarn in the washer... but you have to unplug the extension cord if you want to plug in the light for the basement.

The joy of all this? Besides tripping over extension cords? Neither stove works in either kitchen (yes, there are 2 kitchens in this house). This means I can't cook, and I can't use a pot to dye yarn. I can paint yarn, but can't have my 'good' lights plugged in if the steamer is on, and I've had to snake more smaller and cheaper extension cords across the room to get my Ott light plugged in. I can't dye yarn if I can't turn on the lights. Needless to say, this has slowed me down a little in my last minute prep for Sock Summit 09.
We leave for Portland on Monday. I'm afraid to do laundry here (see question above regarding microwave & low power). The digging commences on the new conduit & electric lines on Tuesday. I have 2 freezers, 24cubic feet each in my garage with tenuous connections to power. So, we get to move everything into one freezer, move the empty one 2 doors down to a neighbor's garage, move all the frozen stuff from the full freezer to the empty one... clean a 1/2 lit house and pack to go on a 3 week 'vacation' while someone fixes my electric problems.
Oh, and the spouse would like to pack everything in carry-on luggage so we don't have to worry about checked baggage.

I don't know who's going to tell the 6yo she has to 'pack light'.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I dyed some yarn.

UPDATE July 23rd : Go Vote! http://www.ravelry.com/socksummit Vote early, vote often ;-)

Big surprise there, eh? Well actually, if I haven't mentioned it yet, I'm a vendor at the upcoming Sock Summit 09 and have been dyeing quite a bit of yarn to get ready.
Part of that 'to do' list, were some new colorways to enter in the 'Dye for Glory' contest going on - started about 10 minutes ago I think. Anyways, here are my entries:
Dreams - self-striping and based on the colors of the Sock Summit website & general imagery.

Sky's the Limit - Similar colorway to Dreams but different striping length and pattern, dyed 2 strands of 200yds together for matching socks '2 at a time', in a center-pull ball.

Juana-Lei? Reminded me of Hibiscus flowers, and vivid Hawaiian flowers which ended up on a discussion about traditional Hawaiian Lei...

Last but not least,
Gecko - small repeats of shades of olive and gold that knits up in a mosaic patchwork.

These won't be available for a few days, they will be at the booth at Sock Summit! Booth Number 125, see you there!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Dream: 0 Reality: 1

But in a good way... and then, Dream: 1

Once upon a time (about 7 years ago), we had a dream to open a fiber studio/store. It was a good dream, but we didn't find the right location, and began looking instead at farms to continue raising sheep but on a larger scale. Bought farm, bought sheep, life changed. you know how it goes.
After several years, we realized the farm did not quite meet our needs and we began looking for a new one. Something important happened on the farm though, and I began dyeing yarn in a more serious manner. It worked well with the farm dream, and so those dreams - farm & dyeing, became our reality. Then, I met Lisa, life changed, you know how it goes.
So, we hadn't found the farm we wanted, but sold ours and so we moved to Syracuse where hubby worked and the dyeing continued. You know how it goes.
Then, a supposed miracle. Remember 7 years ago when we'd been looking at storefront space? Well, early in the spring, it popped up in front of us. And so, life changed. You know how it goes.
So... we opened the Fiber Studio, our supposed dream. After several weeks, something amazing began to clarify for us. This didn't seem to be the dream we had any longer. Not only that, but the location and advertising plans both had 'issues' and the prospects were looking... dull.
I love teaching and I love dyeing. I was getting to teach a few classes here & there, but not much dyeing was happening at the store and I was finding myself still up until 1 am at home to dye yarn & fiber. This was not good. Basically, the time taken to keep the store open, was not paying off. Not to mention the toll on family & sanity.
Having reached this conclusion, decisions needed to be made. I want to be able to do everything, but as I get older I guess I've actually accumulated some wisdom (finally) and know that I cannot. The store is closing this month. I am vending at Sock Summit in Portland Oregon Aug. 6-9th, and then.... I'm taking something called a 'vacation'.
Supposedly, people stop working and do leisure things for several days in a different location, and spend money on things like restaurants and movies in real-life theaters. I'll let you know how it goes, but I'm already planning on the yarn & dye to take with me because my dream? My dream is to dye yarn & fibers, folks. This is what I do for fun AND for a living.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

...and then it blew up.

Acid trip gone bad.
This is my 2nd favorite dye pot, just after it's last acid trip. It was it's last, because as you'll note... it now has a hole in the bottom (...earworm - there's a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza...) where it sort of 'blew up'. Scared the crap out of me. Poured the contents into a different pot (don't want to lose the angora that wasn't quite done dyeing there) and assessed the damage. The hole is about equal to a size 1 needle, and quite jagged. I couldn't figure out quite why it was so loud and rattling when it exploded until I looked at the burner. The force of the exploding small hole in the pan, went downward into the burner, giving it a matching crater. sniff. My favorite burner as well.

I have replaced the burner, but the dye pot! That dye pot survived the Kitri rush of '06, and was a solid support for me during the Great Vintage Crush of '08. If you would all give a moment of silence for my comrade in arms, I would appreciate it.
Please note I am also very pissed off because this happens less than a MONTH from shipping inventory to the Great Sock Summit '09 where I will be vending.

Friday, June 19, 2009

in which I learn I need a small vacation. and maybe strong drink. not in that order.

There seems to be a trend happening. Open one Saturday, Closed the next. Apparently, the trend will be continuing this week as well... I cannot be in 2 places at once and the store will be closed on Saturday. I will be somewhere in roughly the 16th century where they frown on time/space manipulation or the creation of timeline paradoxical issues. I choose the 16th century this time around, and I've had my vaccines so I should be all set for a little time travel, because I have had a small nervous breakdown and need a little vacation.

I've suffered this week with a deadline for the website. A complete overhaul involving something called 'frames' and the purchase of new software... and the occasional sacrificial chicken & the lighting of a few candles (who is the patron saint of web design, anyways? I seem to have pissed him/her off somehow.)

I finished the site in the new software... and made the command decision that 'I knew what I was doing' and 'I've done this a dozen times' and so boldly (stupidly) uploaded the new & improved website... and overwrote the original without a backup. Or putting it in a test location. And then? Then I went to bed after patting myself on the back for a job well done. Then I made the mistake this morning of checking my email. After several frustrating hours learning that most images were missing from the domain, making the new pages pretty boring (as in, missing any images), I gave in and called the hosting company.

They saved me by restoring from a backup, and I, who (long ago) in a dazzling career path, went from pc helpdesk support tech all the way up the chain to IT Manager... listened to a speech from tech support about 'test environments' and 'backups'. (I think I wrote the speech he gave me when he was still in grade school.)

Moral of the story children, is to backup your original data, put your new data in a test directory, and have your friends test things on 4 different browsers before you overwrite ANYTHING. And go with a Linux server for your hosting service. The restore was free - a windows server would have cost me $150.00 for a restore. So after a stiff drink and a visit to the 16th century, I'll try again on the web stuff.

In the meantime, here are some of those updates. New yarn colors, anyone? Bunches. How about some Roving?

Yarn - Jen's Dragonfly

Roving - Empire Apple & Woodland Forest to start things off.

Go for it.

P.S. Please remember that the store is not open on Mondays!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Mass Festival & then some. (aka the post that just keeps going.)

I said I'd get to it, didn't I? Well. Apparently, I had an imaginary booth at the Mass Sheep & Wool Festival, because I cannot find a single photograph of it on my camera. (warning - apparently, I make up for it elsewhere- this post is image-heavy.) Others did a better job of bringing my imagination to life, and so at this point I steal blatantly from Jesh: behold, The Booth.

I did have to stop this gal so I could take a picture of the socks - dig the toes on this kid:

This guy was hanging out at the hotel with us:

I love the teeny tiny bit of blue at the bottom inside of the wings.

It was the anniversary of our meeting Dan aka BrewerGnome, aka GnomeSpun, and he has come a long way in a a short year:

He's become a part of the family (so much that we make him stay and help break down the booth at the end of the show). Patrick was with us as well from West Elm Farm, and alas again, no camer-ic proof. So, all in all, not much in the way of picture-ness from Mass. Festival. I might have picked up some Sari Silk for the carder, as well as some dyed Banana fiber for same... and probably some Angora Mohair locks (I blame the carder for everything now). Moving on.

After Mass Festival, came another festival of sorts - you know, the one where you convince your husband to drive 5 hours each way to go visit the local yarn store? You know, the one where you call and have lunch delivered from the best Bar-B-Que joint in the country (Dinosaur Bar-B-Que) ? And get to dye some yarn, and hang out for the day? Wait, you haven't done that? Well give me a call because apparently, it's the thing to do this year. Club-Member-Extraordinaire & her Excellent Husband drove all the way from Connecticut to visit the shop and hang out for the day. It was AWESOME. I even have proof she was there (cuz I wouldn't have done this): 'Herding Cats' via last year's Tsock 6 of the 2008 Tsock Club - the 7 Chakrahs. all KINDS of crazy. This is the one that went out little bit at a time throughout last year as the Tsuspense Project. Can't wait to dye this one when it goes public (funny, we thought it was a great plan at the time...). Ok, really it's an awesome Tsock - Tsee for yourTself:

She also brought with her, the official 'Manly Beer' Oktoberfest Tsock. Lisa gave her an alternate Barley Corn stitch for the Oktoberfest Tsock - a more 'manly' version for her husband.
So, they came - they impressed - they dyed yarn (I have no proof, I know) - they went home.

Last Friday night we had our li'l ol' knit-in here at the store. From 4pm to 8pm, come hang out with us. Enter the drawing to win fiber or yarn... (and yes, this is a blatant pitch for you to join us this coming Friday night) a good time is had by all.

Laurie is modeling a lovely jean-jacket with custom crocheted and sewn-in cuffs she made herself. I think they're awesome.

On Sunday, I had 2 girls in the knitting class, who did some excellent & fine knitting. One of the gal's mother showed me this crochet hook that we're going to call 'vintage' in age for lack of an actual date. My apologies for the lack of a better photo. She was wondering if I could help give a purpose to this thing. It's a crochet hook at one end, and at the other, there's a red 'knob' and a silver wire folded into a tab for lack of a better description. If anyone has a clue, I'd like to pass it on to her - what the heck is this thing for??

So, the only thing left is under the category 'New Stuff'.

I was dyeing the other night (big surprise) when the urge to dye some of the Fat Sheep Worsted weight yarn came over me. (I dye other yarn, did you know that?) I had it in a ball, and so I dyed it as it was in a 2-tone colorway 'Jen's Dragonfly' (not on the website yet, I know - full of fail). The worsted is 4 ply, not nearly as tightly spun as the Sock Yarn, and is not superwash. The dyes take to it completely different. Because it was also wound up when I dyed it, the center of the ball did not dye as dark a shade as the outside of the skein, and so the variegation starts lighter and graduates darker through 2 colors (remember - this is a 2-shade colorway that would be self-striping in sock yarn). I absolutely love it and want to make a Baby Surprise with it starting with the lighter color to cast on. It's a little more than 460 yds and 8oz hanks of wonderful hand-dyed-ness, for $20.00. I have 2 left on the wall now. (If you want one or both, first to email me wins - club discounts apply, I'll invoice you appropriately.)
Also got these back in stock - very popular Circular Needle Keepers. Made from recycled blue jeans, and backed with flannel. They come with the hanger they're on for you to hang up just about anywhere. Help get that needle collection under control (stop laughing. it IS possible.) $20.00 - email me about one you see here, I'll let you know if it's still available and invoice you.

Into the Future (To Infinity - and Beyond! there's a line from a kids movie for every situation in life...)

This Saturday it's most likely that the store will be closed. I will be on my way to Squam Lake for the Ravelry meet-up, vending the wonderful items above and more. As mentioned before regarding Saturdays when I'm away.... "The sun is shining. We can't spend all that time indoors." So, come play with us at the store on Friday night, and in fact, come in at 11am and do a little dyeing with me! Then, on Saturday, go outside and play. (But watch out for my daughter on her bike, would you?)