Out of Synch

This is a flower on one of my clematis bushes. It lives next to an overexuberant clematis of another breed that is way too showy and cannot be tamed. This darker coloured clematis is the weaker of the pair and despite being the same age, is about 10% of the size of its neighbour, and produces about 5% of the flowers. It did however decide to put out one single flower during our warm spell earlier in the fall. Then it snowed . Isn't it pretty despite its lonely vigil over my abandoned front garden?

It's interesting to think of what we find beautiful. One of the sales reps for a major supplier was in the store yesterday so that I could check out the spring lineup and do some ordering. He was saying that it took awhile but that the design department had finallly figure out that knitters will drool over handpainted colours in any fine yarn, but that when it comes to the thicker yarns, they prefer the solid or heathered colours. I had to agree. And I always like to analyse responses, but darned if I can figure out our drool reflex in front a glorious skein of multi hued lace weight yarn and our gut response to a gorgeous skein of the purest colour of solid rich grey in Cascade 220; and conversely, how the opposite just doesn't say very much to us. (The obvious exceptions to this rule are all the Noro yarns and the Manos del Uruguay handpaints, which of course are just simply exquisite, no matter how thick they are.)

I'm working on the newsletter and had to take a break (I do believe that it's called "procrastination"). The other day I finished a great felted tea cozy on which I needle felted the cutest details. This is for my oldest daughter for Christmas. When I get the battery charged in my camera, I'll have to show you a picture if you promise not to tell her.

Last night I finished these thrum mitts. The colour in the picture is a bit bright but they are in fact burgandy and gold, which I beleived to be her school colours. I did have a nagging suspicion however that this was not completely accurate as I had just heard of the school colours through her, followed by the disclaimer: "I think". So this morning, as I was getting ready to put them with the other gifts that I've finished, I looked it up on the internet, and sure enough, the colours for her University are in fact burgundy, gold AND BLACK.
Now I certainly could have looked this bit of information up the same way, and in the same 10 seconds worth of time investment, a couple of weeks ago when I began them and I could have included black with the yellow thrums instead of burgandy and yellow ones. But that is my nature; for some reason I feel that it's more important to get on with the job at hand and tidy the details, if necessary, later on.

In this case, I'll probably do a bit of duplicate stitch to add some black around the cuff. It's not the end of the world, but it certainly is a good thing that I'm not a perfectionist or a slave to the sequential order of things.
P.S. As if to further illustrate my need to get on with the job and worry about details later, when I published this post originally, I looked at the page as it showed up on my screen and couldn't figure out why it looked so different from my other blog posts, until I realized that I had written it in our Free Pattern website: www.wtkpatterns.blogspot.com This goes to show that I've become really good at fixing problems as it's only taken me another 5 minutes to move it over here. I've also learned a lot about serenity in my life, and how to keep from hitting my head against a wall when I make a mistake.


A busy week at the shop

This is what running a yarn store should be all about. It's been a week of beginnings, firsts, great sales, great people and interesting knitting puzzles that I get to play with in my head.

We began last weekend with our first class on intarsia techniques, which is the technique involved in producing a picture or any blocks of colour into your knitted fabric. We used Dora here as an example of how easy it is to find pictures on the internet then trace them on to the graph paper that we can supply at the store that is designed to reproduce just about any knitting gauge that you can come up with. This custom sized graph paper is just one of the freebies that we are glad to offer our customers who have taken on the task of pleasing a young fan who needs to have their favourite character or logo on their sweater. (Don't forget that any licensed designs can generally be reproduced for your grandchild's sweater but not to sell at a craft show for your customer's grandchild.)

Then on Tuesday we welcomed Alana as our newest staff member. Alana is new to Kingston, extremely knowledgeable, and a calm and patient helper to all knitters with questions. Please feel free to pop in and welcome her to our knitting community.

On Wednesday we received our first shipment of patterns for traditional rug hooking. These are beautiful pieces in all sizes, from small samplers for the novice who just wants to try this new craft out, to this beautiful "Wee Patch of Sunflowers" which measures 15"x25" and would make a gorgeous rug or wall hanging. It's nice to be able to offer a wider variety of crafts, using our great selection of yarns to customers who are looking for new fibre areas in which to branch out.

And speaking of new fibre areas, on Thursday I picked up a new batch of hand dyed fleece in so many vibrant colours. These bags have become so popular for needle felting, embellishing and to add vibrant colours to thrum projects that where as I used to replenish our stock about once a season, now I'm visiting the supplier about once a month. It's a joy. By the way, we hope to be offering an intro class to all types of felting in the winter. Stay tuned for our new list of winter classes which should be out early in December.

A couple of weeks ago I got to go on a yarn buying trip to 2 of our major suppliers' in Toronto and came back with a mountain of deals for every taste. We have soft and fluffy, lacy, shiny. I was amazed at all the great deals to be had and am so happy to see it being gobbled up by savvy knitters. Come and check it out; there's still a great selection for all of your Christmas gift knitting.

Finally yesterday, Saturday, was a great day: busy, fun, with many interesting aspects to it. First I had a lady and 3 lovely girls who arrived to tell me that they had suffered a major crisis in their house. One of the girls who was 8 years old, had just finished her first hat and the dog, Pippen, had liked it so much that he decided to show his appreciation by chewing on the hat, causing a looney sized hole at the back. Now this was no ordinary hat: the ribbing was perfectly executed, the body part of it was in a lovely lime green merino wool with a beautiful band of fairisle zigzag knitting around the middle, with perfectly placed decreases that led to a great shape at the top. Did I mention that the knitter was 8 years old! and she really knew what she was doing as she explained each procedure to me.
Thank heavens, I was able to repair it and Pippen was let out of the dog house, and each of the little girls went off with a project in one of our biodegradeable bags. All is well with the world. Wouldn't it be nice if all major crises could be taken care of with $1.55 worth of tapestry yarn and a few well placed stitches.

Later in the day I met with Tanya White and her mother/knitter. Tanya is a 4th year fashion design student at Ryerson who is producing her final project: a men's spring collection which is to include several hand knitted pieces that she has designed. They were needing some ideas and advice on yarn selection and execution techniques. What fun! Like a family doctor who spends his/her day looking at infected ears and inflamed throats, it must be fun to get an interesting rash now and then. In the same way, daily we answer questions about the meaning of SSK, or how to get stocking stitch to stop curling (you can't,) that it was a pure delight to figure out how to make Tanya's concepts become reality. We're hoping to show pictures after her presentation in the New Year.
Hoping that the rest of your November (the dreariest month of the year in my opinion) is full of fun knitting ideas in preparation for the Holidays. (I just finished a tea cozy which I'm going to felt today for one of my daughters, and a University colour appropriate sweater and leggings for a naked teddy bear who was brought to school by my youngest daughter when she left home in September. But don't tell them about these things. It's a surprise.)