Good Morning Blog!
I don’t have much time for the long catch up post I owe you since I am right now in my booth at the Kentucky Sheep & Fiber Festival getting ready to start the day of business. I had a few spare moments and wanted to say hello.
It has been a crazy spring and it’s not slowing down anytime soon. We have had shows nearly every weekend with three more to go before we get any break. It’s fine though. I truly love what I do but it does make one’s head spin sometimes. :-)
I do have a bit of news to share about my little dress pattern Sorrel. I received my first test knit back for the largest size between travels. I am very glad that it only took one skein of the Classic Merino Bamboo to make! So that means that for any of the three sizes you will only need one skein. Yay!
Here’s a picture I took quickly in my booth this morning with my phone. I’ll get better ones later when I am ready to publish it. I am just waiting on the test knit of the small size first. The green one is the one I made (the middle size) and the orange is the large made by the talented Kristi Renshaw. :-) Thanks again Kristi!
I guess the biggest news for this post is that my newest granddaughter Sorrel Rose was born 3 weeks earlier than we expected her.
The funny thing is that just a couple days before this I had finished writing up the pattern for the baby dress named in her honor and was sending yarn and the pattern for my daughter to test knit the smallest size for me. She was going to have Sorrel model it when she arrived. The next day, when I was to put the yarn in the mail for her, she texted me at 6:00 am to say her water had broken and was in labor. Oh well, so much for that idea, LOL!
Never fear though I had two other test knitters lined up and they are working on theirs I am sure. I did cast on for a small anyway, and can hopefully get it done pretty quickly to send to my daughter for the baby.
This past weekend we made the long trip up to Minneapolis for Yarnover. It was a very nice event and I sure do wish it was closer to me because while we really had a nice time there we decided it was just too far for a one day event and probably won’t do it next year. We plan to continue going to Shepherd’s Harvest which is next weekend, but two trips so far away that are only weeks apart is just too much. :-(
I do have a couple pictures from the event to show you though.
Oh I have more babies for you! The robins hatched while we were in Minneapolis. There are four of them gain this year.
I noted as we got further and further north in our travels that spring had not sprung yet everywhere. The leaves were barely budding on the trees and there were piles of melting snow in the parking lots from the snow the previous weekend.
Spring is in full bloom where we live and I am so glad to live in the south. :-)
These Peonies are my favorite flower in our yard. These smell like roses without all the fussiness of roses. :-)
My husband and oldest son put in a few tomato and pepper plants a couple weeks back and I can’t wait for some garden tomatoes! It’s been several years since we have done any vegetable gardening.
I just love these little wildflowers that are everywhere in our lawn this time of year. I don’t care a bit that it’s not all “grass”. I think they are much more interesting. :-)
The maple trees that are numerous on our property are in full leaf already.
I will close with a picture of the goodies that are all boxed up and going out soon to our new retailer in Pittsford, NY, Yarn Culture. I believe they are a new shop so if you are in the area check it out. They don’t have their website up yet, but have told me it is forth coming.
I think the robins have made a regular nesting spot of our playhouse tower now. Do you remember my chronicles of our nest watch last year?
They built a nest and successfully reared 4 babies. I guess 4 must be their magic number because they have repeated it this year.
I think the color of Robin’s eggs is one of my favorite colors.
I am glad they like it here because it is fascinating to watch the process from eggs to fledglings in about 3-4 weeks time. I am also glad that ours is a much slower process. :-) I don’t think I would want mine flying the coop quite so rapidly. I wonder if they remember the grown ones when they are gone? Do they have extended family like we do?
Not much knitting progress to show today. I have gotten a few inches on the wrap I am working on but that’s it.
I have read quite a few books in the last couple weeks. I listen to audio books when driving and I have been doing a lot of that lately. Let’s see…I finished Rebecca and The Handmaid’s Tale (both excellent) and then started The End of the Affair . this last one I highly recommend. I have one more hour left in it and have enjoyed it immensely. I picked it up in a BOGO sale at Audible based solely on the fact that it was narrated by Colin Firth and because it is an Audie Award nominee with rave reviews. It has lived up to them in my opinion.
I have also been reading (Nook) the first two Jackson Brodie books by Kate Atkinson. These are okay for light reading. Ithink when I finish One Good Turn I will pick a more heavy book. I am thinking it might be An American Tragedy or maybe Sherlock Holmes . Not sure yet.
Well I promised a post from Stitches South in Atlanta and I am here to make good on that. :-)
A rare candid shot of me done by the Stitches press staff. I downloaded it from their Facebook feed. I rather like it. ;-)
We drove down on Wednesday and got the booth set up and then headed over to the hotel to get unpacked and do some grocery shopping. We like to stay in places with a kitchenette and fix our own meals when it’s an affordable option. It’s not a whole lot less expensive as far as food cost, but we eat better. :-) The only con to our accommodations was that our room is on the second floor and there is no elevator. To say we don’t travel light, is a bit of an understatement. Three women and a toddler need a fair amount of “equipment” to be prepared for all emergencies after all. So yeah, it was a production to get unloaded but we managed to get it all in there.
We had a bit of downtime on Thursday since we didn’t need to be in the market until 4pm so we went to the Barnes & Noble in the Cumberland Mall area and hung out for a few hours. It is such a nice place. There were plenty of people hanging out in the many great spaces they provide for that purpose. I has two levels and the children’s area is very cool. Elijah spent most of his time playing with the train play table. I regret forgetting to take a picture. He had the best time. I wish I had the room in my home to build him something like it.
We did a bit of shopping too. Who can resist picking up a few books when you are surrounded by so many choices to tempt you? I got a couple classics for Elijah, The Little Red Caboose, and the Complete Curious George collection. I also picked up a couple book lights for the children to use for their bed time reading. I didn’t gat anything for myself since I do all my reading on my Nook or Nexus 7.
OH! I almost forgot to tell you about the near fiasco on Thursday night. Okay, I got all my gear set up in my booth and went to turn on my credit card terminal and it is giving me this funky message which it is not supposed to be giving me. It is SUPPOSED to boot up and be ready for service. It most certainly did not behave as expected. I freak for a second, then call tech support. This is 5 minutes before the market opens. Did I mention that? Yeah. UGH!
So tech support, to make a long story short, says hardware failure is the problem. They can’t fix it remotely. I need a replacement. What?! I just used it 4 days ago and it was fine. How does that happen? So they say they can expedite me a new one but they can’t guarantee it’s arrival before the weekend. What else could I do? I had to take a shot. BTW, I did ask about a smartphone swiper and use an app. It’s complicated, but we decided the terminal was my best option since I can’t do both and I need the capability at times to store and upload transactions when I am in locations where the cellular service is un-reliable or non-existent. Yes, I know about Square. I don’t want another merchant account. Two accounts is enough. Don’t want another. So anyway, I used my phone as a hotspot for my laptop and used my Authorize.net virtual terminal for Thursday and Friday. It was a bit tedious but it worked.
Hallelujah! My new machine arrived on Friday and worked fine for the rest of the show. I love my technology but it sure can throw you for a loop when it’s not there or not working. My motto is “There’s always a way”. And there almost always is. :-)
The rest of the show has been great! Everyone was very sweet and understanding at our slightly slower checkout and for that I am so grateful. Knitters are awesome!
Here is a shot of the newest Yarn Bowls that Jerry finished right before we left for Atlanta. If any are left when we get home I will add them to the website. I already sold a few of these big ones. My favorite one went first thing yesterday morning before I even got a picture of it.
We have one day at home, so we didn’t really unpack. I did some shopping this morning and washed acouple loads of laundry before sticking the bags back in the truck for the trip to Atlanta in the morning.
I found myself with a few hours this afternoon to sit outside and read while letting Elijah play. Spring is finally making a more encouraging appearance and I thought it wad goood to take advantage of it while we can. We will be inside most of the weekend again.
I imagine I will try to get in another post once we get settled in for Stitches South.
I know I have been neglecting you dear blog. I will be honest with you. I am an introvert. As a business owner I can do many things well and efficiently, but being “out there” is a big challenge for me. I was not raised to put myself forward, invite myself, or anything like that. I am of an independent spirit, a self-starter and have a good measure of self-discipline, which are good qualities I think but they aren’t enough in and of themselves as the “face” of a business that must sell to survive.
Also while I am a voracious reader and lover of language I am not equally skilled in writing. In starting this blog I wanted to stretch myself and hopefully develop these qualities and skills. I needed a reason to hone my writing skills and try to come out of my shell some. I am not one to blather on about my thoughts, except to myself that is. I have this tendency to feel I must have something more “important” or news-worthy in order to communicate with those outside my family or my own ears. I am working on it, but it remains a challenge. So if I am sporadic in posting this is part of it. Other times I may just not have the time to get to it. You know how that goes, right? What with the online shop, shows, production, bookkeeping, family duties, home education, etc.. Something has to give some days and unfortunately the blog is one of those less essential tasks. I would love to be able to set a higher priority on it but eating tends to take a precedent, LOL!
Anyway, we made it home safely from our last adventure with only a one day delay. We set out yesterday for our current locale of Sanford, NC for the Carolina Fiber Festival. You can find out all the pertinent info by clicking the link so I will reserve my comments to the fact that it is our first year at this show. The organizers are lovely and do their jobs very well so we are sure it is going to be a great show.
We set up the booth this morning and will be returning this evening for the market preview from 4-6pm.
We were home for two days and then hit the road again for Kalamazoo, MI to vend at the first annual Fiber Arts Symposium. It is in the lovely Radisson Plaza. The vendor hall is very nice and we have a whole corner to ourselves. :-)
Last week when we pulled out of Pittsburgh in the wee hour of the morning on Monday, the wintery mix was starting to fall, so we had a couple of tedious hours of slower going and keeping on eye on the road conditions. Fortunately it didn’t get too bad and by the time we reached the Wheeling area and crossing over into eastern Ohio we didn’t see much more to be concerned about.
We had a couple days at home to wash clothes and repack. There were snow showers predicted for Kalamazoo on Thursday while we were driving up. It was in the 20’s and low 30’s all day and while we saw flurries and snow showers a few times the roads remained clear thankfully.
Friday we set up the booth at the venue and the market was open on Friday and Saturday from 11-6 and today 11-3. Pretty civilized hours in my opinion. :-)
We had planned on driving home first thing Monday morning but low and behold there is a huge winter storm between us and Nashville. The stupid thing even has a name! Virgil. When did we start naming winter storms, btw? Is that new? We have to drive right through north and central Indiana which is expected an insane amount of snow tonight and into tomorrow. The forecast accumulation by Monday is something like 7-10” GAH!
We were able to extend out hotel stay and we are hoping that that the roads will be clear enough by Tuesday. Worst case scenario we stay until Wednesday when surely it will be fine by then. I figure that since they are prepared for this thing, know it’s coming, the chances are decent that Tuesday will be okay, right?
Anyway fortunately I am prepared for the extra down time. I may as well take it in stride and get some stuff done right? I have my wrap I can knit. I have plenty of reading thanks to my Nook and my Nexus tablet. Maybe I will even finish up the Sorrel pattern. Always a silver lining. :-)
Sorry again for the phone pictures. I left my camera in the hotel room.
Hi all! We are coming to you live from Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival this weekend. We are having a great time even though we left spring behind and ascended into zones where it is still most assuredly winter, LOL!
It was a lovely and balmy 77 degrees back home in Nashville, and very much colder and grayer here. It has been in the 20’s and 30’s and some light snow and flurries have been falling periodically. The cold does not scare off the local fiber enthusiasts though. I guess they must be used to it. ;-) We look forward to this show every year! It is good to get back into the swing after a nice winter break and maybe it’s the same way for the students and shoppers, huh?
I forgot to bring my good camera so these are passable pictures from my Galaxy S3, which is actually pretty darn good for a phone camera. :-)
We will be heading home tomorrow morning, early if the weather is not too bad to make an early start, that is. There is a possibility of icy roads early but if so they will likely be cleared by late morning. If that happens we will leave a bit later and see how far we can get before dark. I don’t like to drive late into the night so we will play it by ear.
I haven’t had time to finish up the pattern for Sorrel this weekend, but I have done a bit more knitting on the “wrap”. Okay I seriously need a name for it, LOL! I am tired of calling it the wrap. Any suggestions? Scroll down to my last post if you forgot what it looks like. It’s a tiny bit bigger but not worth a new picture. :-)
I finished the dress a couple of days ago. I am very pleased with it. It came out exactly 20” at the chest as planned and I was envisioning it as a garment that would be roomy on a newborn but would fit for maybe the first six months or so rather than being immediately outgrown. I think I hit the mark on that but after seeing it I wondered if I shouldn’t add two additional sizes; one smaller and one larger. So then there would be a 19”, a 20”, and a 21” chest circumference. The smallest would probably be around a 0-3 months, the medium would be 6-12 months, and the largest about a 12-18 months. These are of course just estimates and I still think the medium would work for 0-12 months really, but it depends on the baby. I figure with size options the knitter can decide which will work best for their recipient. :-)
I spent a good part of the last two afternoons going through my pattern writing notes and doing all the math to add the additional sizes. Then I started the actual pattern writing and making the pattern stitch chart.I am including both a chart and the written directions for the stitch pattern. I am almost done but I have one last tricky math part to write where I divide for the back neck opening. I have decided that it needs to be a bit lower than I made in the prototype to allow a more generous opening.
So I should be done with the pattern in a day or two. I plan to finish up this afternoon, but I may need to hold off on the release until I have the additional sizes test knit for accuracy and yardage requirements. This medium size used exactly 75g of a full 100g skein of Classic Merino Bamboo. I hope the largest will take just about a full skein. Fingers crossed on that one. Oh I decided to call it Sorrel after my new granddaughter. There are lots of designs with that name on Ravelry but eh, so be it. :-)
In addition to pattern writing we have also spent the last day or two getting the trailer restocked for our upcoming trip to Pittsburgh on Wednesday. The Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival has thankfully moved from Valentine’s Day weekend to St. Patrick’s Day weekend. It will be a return to cold weather for us since the forecast is right now calling for 30’s and 40’s for highs with some chances of snow showers. Surely it won’t get worse than that, right?
These are some of the new goodies we will have at the show.
These earrings made from leather and surgical steel posts, are another new creation which we don’t even have on the website yet and will be debuting at the Festival along with the Shawl Pin Rings and mini skeins of Classic Merino Sport.
Here’s another progress shot of the un-named wrap made in the Merino Sport that will start to see some action again now that the dress is done.
Okay that’s it for now. I need to get out the door for church.
So how is March coming in where you live? We have had a milder than usual winter here in middle Tennessee, which is fine by me. We typically have a small snow or two and maybe an ice storm here and there, but we have had virtually none of either this year. We do however tend even in mild year’s to have one last push of winter around the first week of March and this year was in keeping with that tradition. Over the weekend we have a drop in the temperature to some of the coldest we have had this winter, daytime high’s near freezing and overnight low’s in the upper twenties. Along with this we had a dusting of snow and flurries. Fortunately the ground was too warm for it to last even the day. Hopefully that is all there will be of winter weather and March will have “come in like a lion and gone out like a lamb”.
On to the knitting progress. I have been working exclusively on the Merino Bamboo baby dress since my last post and have completed the body portion already. I am planning to get the sleeves done and start the yoke today. I am not sure if I will get enough knitting time to get that much done, but I am hopeful since the sleeves will be short and shouldn’t take long at all.
For a change, my gauge has stayed spot on to what I was getting in the swatch so it is measuring exactly what it should for the stitch counts I calculated. Cool! Love that. :-)
Sorry for the picture quality today. The color is actually a bit more green than gray but it is rainy this morning and I was too lazy to drag out the light box.
Okay I am going to cut this post short today so I can get some more knitting done. I am really hoping to get this finished and the pattern written up before we leave for the Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival on the 13th. If I am really lucky I can get the wrap done too. I might need another set of arms to accomplish that though. :-)