A techno success story- knock on wood.

Well, this is fun. It's Saturday afternoon and I get to play hookey from work because I'm in Ottawa giving my folks a post-op. hand. Meanwhile I couldn't pass up the opportunity to try out the new laptop at the local Second Cup just so that I can look very techno-savvy like all the other smart folk that I've seen over the past few years, who get to spend some quality time with their laptops while sipping a Cappuccino (I had to look at the price board to figure out how to spell Cappuccino).

One of the difficult decisions that I have to deal with in writing a blog AND a well read e-newsletter is how much to I put in the blog ahead of time so that it isn't too repetitive for those of you who read both of these projects of mine. Well too bad for you if you do get a double dose of these new yarns as we have had to practically hand out dribble-bibs to the staff as they have been putting them out.

The first of these is the newest arrival from one of our best sellers: Manos del Uruguay...it's a DK blend of wool and silk that just makes you want to swim in it. A bit pricey but excellent yardage makes this a treat that you deserve.

The second dribble fest came about when putting out Estelle's new Cloud Cotton. This Aran weight organic cotton in glorious colours was so exciting that I immediately took a couple of skeins home to make the ever-popular "Baby Yoda Jacket" which should be on display at the store sometime this week. It is so cute, you can't believe it and it shows us who glorious the feel is, even to me, not a major fan of knitting with cotton. There are a few other wonderful arrivals this spring but you'll just have to click on the link at right to sign up for the monthly newsletter which will be coming out (I really shouldn't tempt fate by stating that so positively, but that's just me...the risk taker) next Saturday, March 1st.

Well, I guess it's time to go as I'm finishing my last sip of hot apple cider, and other patrons are eyeing me enviously for my comfy leather seat next to the fireplace, and Rogers is about to cut me off after having paid for my hour's worth of internet service.
It really is fun learning a new skill. By the way, (dare I tempt fate again by annoucing it? Oh what the H...) early next week, thanks to the miracle of modern technology, we should be plugged into wireless internet connection at the store so you will be able to bring your laptops to check into Ravelry or colour charts or product lines while you're at the store. Looking forward to it.



It was terribly confusing, trying to figure out if we were going to be open for Family Day today. There was very little direction from the powers that legislate these things; I've never had to deal with an inaugural Stat holiday before.

Anyway, as I legitimately have to be away on family business on Friday of this week, I decided that I would go into the store and take today to catch up on some of the things that have been put off lately - the exciting and glamorous things that a store owner (and her partner) get to take part in...like changing the lightbulbs in the fluorescent fixtures that are about 2" higher than I can comfortably manage by myself...like moving the wall unit of the DK yarns forward so we can retrieve the 4 or 5 bags of yarn that have fallen in behind and have been out of our reach since before the Holidays... like removing the cardboard boxes that are broken down and need to be taken to the recycling depot tomorrow...and actually, like the fun of setting up my new computer.

I took the plunge last week and bought a laptop for the store.

I had 3 meetings last week with product representatives and I realized just how much easier it would be if we were able to look up the shadecards on-line.

Also, since last year, I would say that the amount of work that I do via the Internet has increased many times over, it sure would be nice to be able to do some of that work while I was at the store and not have to wait until I get home to do it.

And finally with the advent of Ravelry I'm sure that it won't be long before we are able to use the computer to help customers check if they have a certain size of needle at home, or how many skeins of the Manos del Uruguay in colour 135 they still need. I'm pretty sure that we haven't yet begun to realize how important an on-site, on-line terminal will be.
NOW, if I can just get the darn thing connected without too much fuss, we'll be all set.

This past week was a hectic one with the SWEETHEART SALE being such a great success. Many busy hands in the coming months after this past week's purchases. It was nice to take a break and read the new Interweave Knits that just came in. http://www.interweaveknits.com/nextissue/

There's no question that Interweave Knits has many great patterns but I barely see them as I'm going through the magazine. What I love is all of the information they offer like a great section on the best ways to keep your knitted garments from being ravaged by moths, and a super article on the steps to excellent "finishing". I'll be incorporating some of these ideas in the April 5th: "Finish your sweater TODAY" class. (See about this in the Coming Events section above under the spring classes calendar.)

I also got to do quite a bit of knitting this weekend, including trying to use short rows to keep the buttoned neck of an alpaca sweater that I'm working on from pulling up at the front. Then IT HAPPENED...every knitter's nightmare...the circular needle that I was using came apart. I often have the task of comforting and calming knitters who come in gingerly holding their project, trying not to drop any more stitches, asking for help in retrieving the ones that have already fallen when this has happened to them. But I've never had it happen to me...until yesterday. URGH!!!! And it would have to have happened right in the middle of the front where any tension issues will show like a neon sign.

OOOMMMM...This is me relaxing into the experience.


Schedule of classes and activities Spring 2008

Tuesday, April 8th to Saturday, April 12th.
Spring 2008 SHOW & SHARE.

This popular event features WOOL-TYME Kingston customers who are kind enough to share their crafted projects with the rest of us.

Please feel free to join the fun: Just bring in a finished knitted, crocheted, felted or hooked project before Mon. April 7th and we will display it for the week ending Saturday, April 12th.

A reception on Saturday the 12th will welcome all of you, and participants also receive a 15% coupon to the WOOL-TYME Kingston store as a special THANK YOU.
Don't miss out, plan now for what you would like to bring.

Saturday, March 15th
with Roberta Mckinney

This is it, the greatest "stash-busting" tool in the world. Come and receive introductory instructions on using the beautiful Ashford Knitters' Loom. A beautiful table top loom that's easy to use and introduces you to the world of weaving, while making use of your beautiful knitting yarns.
Demonstration and hands on work will be available throughout the afternoon.
When: Sat. March 15th 1-4pm.
Cost: $15, refundable with purchase of the Ashford Knitter's Loom.

Saturday, March 29th:
The simplest way to discover the wonder of spinning fibres is with a drop spindle. Try your hand at it this age old craft .

When: Sat. March 29th 1-4pm
Cost: workshop $45. Includes a spindle to take home and a selection of fibres to work with.

Saturday, April 5th:
Everyone has a project that is 95% finished, which haunts them from the back of the cupboard or under the bed. Well, this is C-DAY...Completion Day!
Bring your project and and tackle it from the safety of our class table with all the support, expertise and encouragement that you need to make a beautiful job of it.
When: April 5th from 10 am to whenever you're done (or 5:30 pm when we close, whichever comes first.)
Cost: $30. Class is limited to 5 participants so sign up early.

FREE - Learn to Knit class for complete Non-Knitters.

If you even think that you can knit and purl, this class is not for you. If you are over 15 years old and have always longed to knit but had no one to ask, we're here to teach you, for FREE! But you must register. Class is limited to 5 participants.

When: Sat. April 19th, 1-4pm
A small material fee ($5.) will be required at registration.

Saturday, May 10th:

Come and experience the fun of needle felting, the newest craft to catch anyone who can see colour and loves to play. See how you can embellish with wool fleece, yarn and pre-made felt accessories.

When: Sat. May 10th 1-4pm
Cost: FREE - but yarn or cash donation to PROJECT LINUS would be appreciated.

Saturday, May 31st
Anyone who has taken a course with Sue knows what a treat it is to have her with us again.

Go ahead and take a good look at this sample. See how the inside is the negative of the positive colour placement on the outside. This amazing technique is featured in the great new book: "Son of Stitch 'N Bitch". Using simple knit, purl and slip stitches, you can create truly reversible knitted fabric with shadow designs on both sides. This technique is ideal for scarves, hats with turned back brims, kids' wear, vests, sweaters and afghans. Explore interesting stitch patterns and learn how to seam, trim and finish your work to make it truly reversible.

When: Sat. May 31st 1-4pm
Cost: $45 Contact store for minimal supplies that you need to bring.

Free demos don’t require registration. Just drop in.
Registration for classes can be done in person or over the phone using a credit card.
Payment in full must be made upon registration.
Refunds will be given if cancellation is at least 3 days before the workshop and we are able to fill your spot in the class. (A credit for a future class will be considered if refund isn’t possible.)


Don't miss the MIDWINTER SWEETHEART SALE! and a story.

Just in case some of you haven't gotten the newsletter or seen the ad in the paper, I wanted to remind you that from Monday, Feb 11th to Saturday, Feb 16th we have our 6th annual Midwinter Sweetheart Sale where all of the regularly priced yarn in the store is on special: if you buy 4 balls, you get the 5th one for FREE! They don't have to be the same colour, type or style of yarn, it just has to be the 5th ball that you buy to be FREE.
ALSO, for those among you who have knitting friends...if you bring your friend with you, you both receive an extra 5% off your entire order!

And one last word about the sale: We have been having such success with using the reusable shopping bags that we are offering a free stamp on your Customer Savings Card to all who bring their own bags for the week of the sale.
There, enough of the advertisement. Hope to see you there.

Now, I wanted to tell you a sweet story that I was reminded of yesterday.

On a nice Saturday in February as yesterday was, a knitting store can be a busy place, so it's particularly appreciated when you get a moment to chat with some of the customers. Yesterday, I had a lady who bought a good batch of yarn that was in skeins and consequently needed to be rolled into balls. She was musing about how she would achieve this as she lived alone. She thought the back of a chair would fill in as a skein holder, then I remembered and told her about the time when I was in the hospital after delivering my first daughter and was so desperate to knit, having run out of yarn; I only had skeins left. I HAD to roll some more so that I could continue. For reasons that I choose to forget, I wasn't able to get out of bed and so I propped myself up with pillows, wrapped the skein around both of my feet and spread them apart to make the skein taught, and wound my way back into the realm of being able to knit. The customer and I both had a good laugh about that memory, and she said that she thought it would be a good idea and that she might give it a try.

Today, when I sat down to write in the blog, I went through my file of interesting knitting tidbits that I like to collect and to my shock, there was the Mon Tricot Magazine from Aug/Sept 1977 (the issue that would have been on the newsstands the day that Elvis died, by the way) that contained the pattern that I was knitting at the time of my confinement a few years later.

Now I would like to tell you that the sweater looked as nice on me as it did on her, considering my dedication to the task. The reality was that I had gained 60 lbs during that first pregnancy, so I was really knitting blind not having any idea how I would look post-baby. Well I guess I didn't have much faith in my body's ability to bounce back because my gorgeous burgundy wool sweater turned out so big that it would have fit the model who was wearing it and her companion who was standing next to her in the picture. Oh well, I eventually ripped it out and made a nice fairisle yoked cardigan from a pattern that I found a few years later in Canadian Living, another great source for knitting patterns in the '80's.

Now and then I come across a knitting book from Pingouin, Phildar or Mon Tricot from that era and am always amazed at how timeless the designs are. Those French designers in the '70's and '80's had their finger on what the knitting world was going to like for a long time. Both of these pictures could be in books that would be published today.
Lest it sound as if I'm pining for the "good ol' days", I am also pretty "with it" in the cyber contact and knitting worlds. A couple of weeks ago I was on a Women's yoga and business retreat at the Gananoque Inn (yes, it was heavenly). What a great time. But the whole phenomenon of Facebook took up a certain amount of our chatting, and as many of us had not had any experience with it, the organizers offered to run a mini intro workshop for the uninitiated among us. Then couple of days later I got my invitation to join Ravelry (the on-line knitting community similar to Facebook but dedicated exclusively to knitters and crafters.)...and life has gone off the rails since then.
One of my daughters refers to Facebook as "Crackbook" as it is so addictive, but truly it is fun, (and in the zen way of looking at things, it gives me an opportunity to cultivate and practice self discipline). I'll be trying to keep both pages up to date and have the Ravelry page link to this blog, but if you're on Facebook and would like to link up, I'm under my name: Anne Woodall and also WOOL-TYME Kingston has a business page. So much to learn, so little time. And then when am I going to get any knitting done...?


February 29th, 2008 is World Knitting/Crafting Day...

This event has been declared by members of Stitchlinks, a global friendship network researching the therapeutic benefits of knitting and stitching.Read their list of 25 ways that knitting and stitching can help depression. It's a great site with wonderful support and information that goes to show that knitting is more than just fun or a fad. It helps!I'll be spending the day with my family on Feb. 29th as we will be celebrating my Dad's 80th birthday. And I plan to knit through as much of it as I can in solidarity with the many others who will be doing the same thing, and to honour my Dad who still wears the vest that I knit for him 25 years ago from yarn that I bought at the Safeway Grocery store in Duncan B.C.WHAT WILL YOU BE DOING OF FEBRUARY 29th to recognize the importance of knitting and stitching in your life? Email your thoughts and plans to betsan@stitchlinks.com to let them know that we're with them in this.

The above announcement came from the WOOL-TYME Kingston newsletter which just went out (as it does every month) on the 1st or 2nd. It's a lot of work, putting it together but as most of you know, I'm a huge fan of writing so it really isn't work work, more like fun work that eats into the sleeping, eating, living, knitting, bill paying, etc. aspects of my life. It's always so nice to send it out and get it off my computer and into the hands of people who so kindly tell me that they really look forward to it. If you don't get it, YOU SHOULD... so click on the link at right and it will automatically sign up your email address. You've nothing to lose as it is an easy process to unsubscribe if you feel that it takes too long to download or if it doesn't suit your needs. (It's not too late to get February's copy as I usually send out a second run about the 10th of the month to cover those who have signed up since the first.)

As most of you who connect with knitting blogs are the same savvy people who are into many fun things in the techno world, I'm sure that you all know "Ravelry". Well, today is a red letter day for me as I got my invitation to join this great on-line community of knitters/crocheters. I signed up right away, got myself set up with a Flickr (sp??) account and spent about 10 minutes looking through a cyber territory that I'm sure would be equivalent to the size of Northern Quebec. So I make the announcement of my Ravelry-hood with great embarassment at my lack of knowledge, but with great excitement too at the prospect of learning much. ( I always seem to get into new ventures in pairs...on Wednesday I will be taking a workshop introducing me to Facebook.)

For those of you who don't know Ravelry, to the right is an example of a page that a member would post of pictures of projects that they are working on. (Notice that this is a place where no one seems to be embarrassed by the fact that they have several projects on the go at the same time.) Go to https://www.ravelry.com/account/login to find out more about it and to get yourself on the list for future membership.

And in advance of my Ravelry-posting of the projects that I've been having fun with here are a couple of them:
At the top of this post there is a rather strange looking hat which is a "re-worked" project that I can't believe I'm actually doing. About 10 years ago, when Sirdar SNOWFLAKE had a screaming yellow, I made a "bumble bee" hat for my little girl. It was very cute and she liked it a lot. She liked it so much that she wore it for many years, long past the time when I'm sure her friends would have considered it cute. A couple of years ago it seemed to blessedly have disappeared but was resurrected this very cold winter and my "little girl" who is now a senior in High School asked if I could do something about making the band softer, as the acrylic that seemed appropriate at age 7 had gotten stiff and scratchy over the years.
I agreed and cut off the bottom part of the hat and re-knit it with Mission Falls 1824 Wool in time for her to take it with her on a school ski trip this past week. (Although she told me that she wanted it exactly as it was, complete with knitted googly eyes re-attached at the front of the hat, I did manage to make it a bit bigger without her noticing.)

The second project that I'm working on, and adoring every moment of, is the EZ Pi shawl from the latest Vogue Knitting Magazine. I've actually done a lot more since I took this picture and although it doesn't look like much here, you gotta feel this baby to appreciate the glory of SUBLIME's cashmere, silk and merino blend. I'll keep you posted as it grows.
P.S. There is no such thing as the phrase: "I'll just do this..." within the context of a time frame when it comes to working on the computer. Case in point: I just spent the better part of 45 mintes of the 30 minutes that I had alotted to getting this post up and when I pressed "view", I realized that I had actually posted it in www.wtkpatterns.blogspot.com which is the sister site to this one where we keep all our free patterns for people to access... Time is irrelevant anyway, isn't it?