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.)