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?)