Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Shaving Accident!

Just a few minutes ago, Mr Knits came out of the bathroom after having a shower and said, "I've had a shaving accident." Since I wasn't wearing my glasses, I didn't see any problem until he got about 5 feet closer to me. He had been trimming his beard and didn't realize the groomer guide thingy had fallen off the trimmer. His neck and chin are nekkid. Seriously, nekkid for the first time in 18 years.

I  surreptitiously took a photo of him which of course I'm postng here. I'm counting on you all to keep that a secret, but if you do happen to come into the shop, please tell him how good he looks. He says he looks like David Crosby - I don't think so! What do you think?

from www.
Okay, maybe he does look like David Crosby....

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What knitting time?

It's a long held belief that yarn shop owners just sit around and knit waiting for the next customer to come in. I even thought that when I opened my shop (7 years ago!) I could knit to my heart's content. I couldn't have been more wrong! There is always something to do - just one look at how messy my shop is and you know what I mean.

That being said, I haven't knit a single stitch since last Wednesday's meeting of the ProcrastiKnitters. Seriously - one whole week! Not even in the car to and from work. Not a single stitch! I plan to remedy this situation today  though. I'm picking up that Lanesplitter skirt I started over a month ago, and I plan to finish it soon by remaining monogamous in my  knitting relationship with it. Then, I plan to finish one last Summertime scarf - this one will be the fourth one I'll have knit. After that scarf is done, I am going back to the Flower Rug. Oh, yes I am!

This should prove to be quite a big promise though...I'm picking up several orders in Watertown on Thursday (tomorrow) - Cestari, Mango Moon, Hiya Hiya, Kollage just to name a few. The booty from TNNA has started rolling in. The Mango Moon yarn has me so excited -  9 different colourways of silky, shiny, sparkly ribbon yarn. The temptation to cast on just one more Summertime scarf might be just to much for me to resist. Here is just a sampling of the colours coming in:

Oh! I just can't wait!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tinkletorium Times, vol 1, final edition

The Tinkletorium is complete. All the plumbing hooked up, all the fixtures installed. Finished in less than a month.

You all have to come in sometime and check it out.

All the credit goes to Wendy Thompson of The Interior Zone for her great architecture work and to Steve Alcock and his crew for the construction. All I did was pick the paint colours and the flooring.

I would be remiss if I didn't thank Bob Mumby for the Tupperware Toilet too. As much as I hate outdoor plumbing, one can only "hold it" for so long.

I wonder what kind of trouble Mr. Knits and I can get into now that the yarn shop is painted & has a new roof, the parking lot is paved and the washroom is all pretty? New flooring? Hmmm. Stayed tuned for our next adventure.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Yarny Flash Mob!

For some crazy reason, I really want to do this! But, I probably would end up on the floor laughing so hard, I wouldn't be able to! It does look like fun, though. This is part of the fun of Sock Summit 2011 in Portland Oregon - maybe one year, there will be a Sock Summit held closer to home.

This first video is the complete run through, the second video has the complete instructions, just in case you want to practice. Maybe this could be the start of the "20 Minute Workout for Yarnies".

My little Graduate

All ready for Grade 1!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Poor little Miss Purrl

Purrl, our charming little white cat, travels back and forth with us to the shop and home each day in a lovely new french blue travel cage. This cage is well padded with a hand knitted blanket in shades of blue and white and a thick nubby blue towel. She does travel so very well.

However, last evening, Mr Knits inquired about the satin blanket Purrl now had in her cage. I said, "what satin blanket?" and went to investigate. Yes there definitely was a silk and satin "blanket" in the bottom of her cage.

Apparently, I have been spending too much time with Kitty Mama and her babies. Miss Purrl had taken my silk embroidered jacket with the satin lining from the back of the chair where I had put it when I got home last night and dragged it into her cage (about 20 feet away). Please realize that while this jacket is not heavy, it is big...about two sizes too big for me, but I love it and wear it frequently. Our poor neglected kitty had dragged my jacket across the floor, up onto the raised hearth where we keep her cage, and put it neatly inside and curled up on it. Not a bit of fabric of the jacket was outside the cage. I guess Purrl felt this was the only way she could get close to me.

We knew Purrl and Stinky watched us cuddle the Kitty Mama and her babies, and we did hear their mournful meows, but we thought we were doing the right thing by socializing these kittens so they would get good homes. What we didn't know was just how jealous our own kitties were.

As a result, we are curtailing our time on the front porch and spending more  time with our own four little girls.

What I really want to know is how the Octomom does it. We only have10 animals in our care; she has 14 kids! Maybe Nadya has some pointers she can share with me.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I had absolutely no idea how busy I would be looking after these 5 little kittens and their mom. Actually, I don't have that much work to do for them - feed, water, and empty the litter box about 6 times a day. Who knew those tiny critters could poop so much? The bulk of the time spent is cuddling them, and simply watching them play. They are just too cute!

One of them is a little black and white spotted guy who we call Bikini Bob - he has a little triangular patch on his lower belly and two appropriately placed spots on the upper chest, making it look like he's wearing a bikini. In the photo below, you can kind of make out, the white patches under his arms and the one on his belly. Trying to photograph a playing kitten is a difficult thing.

Bikini Bob is the cuddliest little guy. He crawls up my foot and pants leg and up my chest, settling on my neck. As soon as he sees me, he comes a-running. It'll be hard to see him go, but he's going to a good home with one of his brothers (we call him Earl).

The kitty mama is doing well, too. We call this the kitten tree - the babies are so big now, Mama can't nurse them all laying down, so she sits up and nurses all five at once with them spread out around her. It's so adorable. Notice WTF kittie is wondering what the camera noise is? Until I took a photo she was blissfully feeding with her brothers. I still think she doesn't approve of me.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Laughing at myself - again!

TNNA was full of the the four Fs - fibre, fun, food and friends. This little story is about the fibres.

I walked the show floor, petting all the pretty goods, and finally decided I should purchase some of the mystical qiviut. I found the booth that was distributing it and chatted with the owner. She had a great minimum order deal, and I felt comfortable laying down my money for this much asked about yarn. I sat down, ready to order, and the owner handed me a price list. Hmmm, I thought, more expensive than I thought, but not that much more. I shrugged my shoulders, and began ordering. When I had finished choosing all the colours, Ms Qiviut tallied up what I owed, told me it would be 8 to 12 weeks before delivery and then handed me my copy of the order.

I freaked! What I had thought was a bit expensive pricing was actually the wholesale pricing. I thought it was the suggested list price! Most price lists at TNNA put both wholesale and retail on the price lists, and if only one price is on the list, it is usually Suggested List. I realize I should have clarified what the figure was, but assumed it was wholesale. Could you imagine knitting a pair of socks that the yarn cost over $100? It's not as if it was spun with unicorn hair and fairy dust, qiviut is  muskox undercoat!

I apologized to the owner for my misunderstanding, and cancelled my order, and got out of that booth as quickly as I could, and avoided that aisle for the rest of the day. I was so embarrassed. Later that evening I shared the story with a group of knitters and designers - they all thought it was quite funny. I bet Ms Qiviut didn't.

It's really (almost) done!

We can announce to the world we now have indoor plumbing!

A sight to behold! Just a few finishing touches, and then it will all be over. I am so very pleased with the final look - I hope you are!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Itty Bitty's Kitties

Feeding time. The little girl is the grey one on the left. She
looks big, but actually weighs the least.
Mama Kitty and little girl. The baby always looks so startled!
One of the little boys attacking mama's tail. He eventually fell asleep
"killing" it.
Little girl. She is my favourite - can you tell? It's only because
she has the startled, worried look all the time. And she watches
my every move when I'm with the kittens. I don't know if she  
approves of me.
I'm going to try and take photos of each of the kittens this evening. If successful, I'll add them here. Mr Knits and I haven't named any of the kittens, except for the little grey boy - we named him Earl (as in Earl Grey). Looking for suggestions - send them along if you'd like.

Tinkletorium Times, vol. 1, issue 8

Steve, the contractor, has left the building - his work is done. The plumber is coming this afternoon to hook up the toilet and sink, and this reno will be complete! 

Let me refresh your memory about how it used to look just a few weeks ago:

Notice the pink flat iron on the back of the toilet? Cool, huh?

The window is gone now, and I don't miss it at all.
And nothing says north of seven more than a kitchen sink in a bathroom.

This is my storage area...I do miss it.

Now the after shots, sans toilet and sink - all shots from the same angle in approximately the same spot in the room:

This is where the toilet was located - now it will be the sink area

This is where the old kitchen sink and window were - now it's the new  toilet area

The shower will make rinsing yarn so much easier for everyone!
Looking out to the shop - this is where my storage used to be behind curtains
Not only is the job almost done, it was done under budget and in less time than estimated. How's that for impressive?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Kitten Update

Last night, right after the shops closed, I toddled across the road to see the new little kitties and their mama. I had brought our travelling cage to work yesterday morning with the thought that I could put the babies and their bed in the cage, and Mama would get used to the cage in a few days, then we could scoop them all up in the cage and take them home where they would be safe. (boy, that was one long sentence!)

Well, the kittens were in the cage sleeping, and Mama came to see me. I picked her up and sort of pushed her into the cage and we took them home. Thankfully there was no howling from either the mom or the babies during the car ride. When we got home, we placed the cage on the screened in front porch and let them all out. Mama was a bit concerned about being confined - that lasted about an hour. Then she settled in, almost demanding us to pick her up and love her.

This morning, I went out to say good morning to her, and she was all curled up in one of our cushy chairs, happy as a clam. Her kittens were all sleeping in the cage. What a nice change from the tense little mama trying to keep her babies safe. She is so relaxed now! We can pick her up whenever we want (and even when we don't want to because she demands it).

I was speaking to one of my brothers last night and he is going to take the little grey girl kitten, so we are down to just two kittens who need a home - a little grey boy and a little black boy. This story that started out so badly last spring has ended up so wonderfully for one little cat. I'm pleased to have been a part of it.

Tinkletorium Times, vol. 1, issue 7

It's getting very near the end of construction...our contractor told us the "construction" phase will most like be finished today, and the plumbing will be done tomorrow. It's all painted now, so the floor will be the next thing done, then the trim. All in all, this experience was a pretty good one.

Photos will be posted as soon as I find my camera charger. Seriously, I lost it again!   I found the charger for my camera this morning so I was able to take these two photos before Steve kicked me out of the bathroom so he could finish laying the floor. On the second shot, there is a strip of white and then a strip of blue - that blue is the actual colour of the walls, not the grey blue that they look.

The taupe wall is where the sink and toilet will be installed - tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My First Tear Sheet!

Now I can say "I'm published!"

Monday, June 13, 2011

Goodbye Columbus

Waiting at airports leaves a lot to be desired. There is free wifi, so I can have a bit of fun surfing, and blogginng, but it's hot in here. I just want to open a window and get some fresh air.

I arrived here at CMH, otherwise known as Port Columbus around 3:40 am which is less than the two hours before my flight recommended by the airline, only to discover the airport doesn't open until 4:00am and security doesn't open until 4:20 am I could have had another hour's sleep! After my morning sexy time with the TSA agent (known as a pat down), I proceeded to the gate where I am blogging now. I just want to remind everyone that there is only one 5:35 in a day and that is AM. If you want to fly in the afternoon, it's 17:35. When making my reservations, I didn't notice the "am" after the 5:35 until a few weeks later when it was too late to change my flights.

TNNA was a great experience. I ordered lots of yarn, books, hiya hiya needles and picked up about twenty signed books. And, just to make my head swell biggest, two yarn company representatives sought me out to ask me to design for them! How cool is that?

Oh oh! The US Airways boarding personnel just announced that the flight is overbooked...I hope I don't get bumped. That would make getting up at 3:00 am even worse than it was! I really want to get home and see the new babies. And of course, all my friends and family too.

Looks like I didn't get bumped. Yay! Bye!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

This morning, as I was browsing through some of the books and magazines I picked up yesterday at the show, I saw an ad that at first made me a little sad. Someone had designed a pair of boot liners just like mine. And then it dawned on me - THEY WERE MINE! My designs! Right there in the new issue of Knit N Style!

I wish I could bring back eleventy hundred of these magazines! I'd give one to all of you. I am just about explode iM so excited. But,I have a class to go to this morning...strangely enough the class is called "Designing for print publication".

Gotta get going or I'll be late!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Meet the babies!

Here they are! Itty Bitty had 5 little ones!

This one looks just like it's mama.

I'm really not sure how Miss Purrl will like the new kitties sleeping in her bed! Mr Knits took the bed over to the feeding area, and they hopped in and mama started nursing them right away.

All of the kittens are quite happy to be picked up and handled by Mr Knits, so they are not fearful of humans, which is really good as the mother just recently let us handle her.

There you go. Five new little lives...if you might want to adopt one, let me know. I can point you in the direction for a reasonably priced spaying or neutering clinic.

However, I did tell Mr Knits I wanted to keep them all!

Tinkletorium Times, vol. 1, issue 6

Good news! The Tinkletorium passed the electrical inspection, so it's full steam ahead. Work is probably underway as I type this (from my comfy bed on the 8th floor of the Hyatt Regency Columbus). We may even have indoor plumbing by Tuesday! The blue Tupperware Toilet, while it is a necessity, has not been my idea of a good thing.

It looks like there is less than a week's work left on the Tinkletorium. Stay tuned for more updates.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Airport musings

Yesterday brought such scary weather to our area and I think the power is still out at the shops. Hydro one estimates it won't be back on until the 11th. Mr knits is pacing up the generator as our much anticipated hydro inspection is today. If it cannot be done today,this will put the Tinkletorium redo on hold for another week!

On the way to Syracuse last night, I stopped in Watertown to stretch and maybe do some shopping. I discovered a new to me store that has great stuff, actually fabulous clothing! Of course, I had to buy a few things. Like 3 wrinkle resistant 100 per cent cotton shirts, two cotton summer cardigans, one pair of Evan Picone linen slacks ($2.99!)and a pair of dress jeans (that's an oxymoron if I ever heard one!) All of this totaled less than $100! Which meant that I didn't need to pack a suitcase as I took everything out of my case and put in all my new clothes, and left the clothing I had packed back in the car.

This morning, I made my way to the airport,and had the most delightful taxi driver. He was a charmer-he actually called me a young lady! It seems he needs to get his eyes checked.

Syracuse airport is quite small compared to Toronto. At security, I set off the metal alarms due to my knee replacement and had to have the dreaded pat down. Well, if I can only say one thing...she was thorough. I swear there were parts of my body she touched that Mr Knits has never touched! Like the bottom of my bare feet! Then after she finished this five minute pat down, she had to wipe her gloves with some special wipe and test it for explosives! They went through my luggage piece by piece. I can happily report knitting needles are allowed on airplanes now.

So now that I am through security,I am thankful there is free wifi at the airport, and I am also thankful that Mr. Knits did not listen to me when I told him all I wanted was the plain iPad. I would be lost without this 3G wifi unit. He knows me better than I do! How else could I be talking to you? I shall have limited access to wifi once I am in Columbus, but will actively seek out a Starbucks where I can get a cup of tea and update you all on the show.

Once again, please forgive any formatting and spelling errors, I still haven't got the hang of this virtual keyboard. But it does make for some funny errors.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The mess just keeps on growing!

Who knew renovating could cause such a mess? We did move all that we could into the kitchen/lesson room, but with all the plumbing fixtures in there, it's full. Clearing a pathway through daily is all we seem to do.  But, in actual fact, we are just moving junk from one place to another. That's never a good solution!

Mr Knits told me the other day I needed to move one of the yarn shelves from the front door area as it was blocking the breaker panel. I had no idea where he thought I could move it to, but it had to be done by Thursday of this week. Since I had a couple of days to think about it, I came up with a plan - a short term one, at best. So, the shelving unit is moved, but my store looks like a tornado just blew through.

There are about 25 hours before I leave for my trip to Columbus. I have about a week's worth of work to do before I go! I did get my bags packed yesterday, printed off my tickets and hotel confirmation, put my passport and US phone in my purse, so at least that's all taken care of.

Except my flat iron is missing - I think it's in that lesson room buried under some junk! I hope I find it soon.

Monday, June 6, 2011

World Wide Knit in Public week

Join us at Log Cabin Yarns to Celebrate

World Wide Knit in Public Day
Saturday * 18 * June * 2011

Join us as we knit with hundreds of other knitters around the world on the same day!

Where:    Log Cabin Yarns, 12 Peterson Road, Northbrook

When:     Saturday, June 18 from 12 noon until 4:00 pm

Bring:      Your Knitting, Crocheting, Spinning, beverage 
              and lunch. 

Special:    25% off everything in yarn shop for Participants.

We will hold hourly draws for some of the yummy yarny treats brought back from TNNA. Winner must be in attendance to be eligible. 

The Tinkletorium is supposed to be finished before then; but washroom facilities are available. 

We will set up in the parking lot and on the front porch if the weather cooperates. If not, we'll meet inside. Bring whatever food you would like (to share, or not). A barbeque is available too. I will provide a couple of salads and some beverages. And maybe, just maybe, a cheesecake.

I hope you can come!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Getting Ready to go

My flights have been confirmed, hotels booked, suitcase packed - well, not quite, but at least I know what I'm putting in it. This week is the week of  my annual pilgrimage to Columbus for the summer TNNA show. You know, the place that's bigger than 4 football fields, just full of yarn, needles, and everything else one needs to knit or crochet with.

This will be my 7th time attending this show, and I never get tired of it. However, this year I'm doing it differently. I'm not driving to Ohio, I'm flying. I'm not staying in a budget hotel, I'm staying in the fancy pants hotel attached to the convention centre. For four whole nights! It sounds more like a vacation than a work thing, doesn't it.

Driving wasn't really an option for me this year. Some of you know I've been troubled with what I thought was simply a case of vertigo. It turns out that the bang on my head last December was a little more serious than I thought, and I have something called "post concussion syndrome". My doctor asked me, very nicely, to curtail my driving activities, so 11 hour driving marathons were out of the question. When I was waffling between going and not going to TNNA, I checked flight and hotel packages, and discovered there wasn't much difference in cost to fly. So, that's when I booked my trip.

This all means I will be out of the shop from Thursday morning, June 9th and will be back in the shop the following Tuesday June 14th. There is just one small detail I have yet to figure to bring back all the samples, brochures, etc one picks up at a show. I was thinking of packing in a small suitcase, and then putting it inside a larger one to travel to the convention, and then I can pack all my show stuff into the larger suitcase for the trip home. You just have no idea how much stuff I collect at this convention!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

I thought I owned a Yarn Shop!

Last night, I was settling down for an evening of television and so I picked up the neglected bag of yarn and flowers for the rug I want to make.

I rifled through the bag, and there was no crochet hook in it. I dumped the bag out - made a huge mess, but  still couldn't find the hook I was sure I had put in there. I looked in every drawer, knitting bag, shelf, the car, the truck...I even pulled out all the cushions on the couch. Now, our house isn't big - it's a one bedroom log cabin and I could not find a hook anywhere! The underpants gnomes must have come back! 

There used to be at time when I had a case filled with all my hooks, and another with all my knitting needles. One has to be organized living out in the middle of nowhere. Now that I have such easy access to all this stuff at work, I haven't a clue where all my old stuff has been put.  I do have an antique vase on the coffee table with a good selection of bamboo straight needles that I use in a pinch, but no similar display of crochet hooks.

I continued on with the search for a while, then gave up. I put back everything I had taken out, did a bit of cleaning, organizing and throwing out and quite a bit of griping. After all this searching, I was exhausted, so I plopped down on the couch, and had a Bailey's. It was the only thing to do!

The company that makes the Addi Turbo needles, has recently released a crochet hook set that uses  the Click cords, and end stoppers making it a great set for anyone who crochets, tunisian or double end crochets.

The set retails for $59, and you can bet a few of them will be winging their way to Northbrook Monday morning. I vow I will never be without a crochet hook again!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Confession time

Have you ever done something that you are very ashamed of? Do you hate it when someone (aka Mr Knits) reminds you of it every once in a while? I'm thinking if I confess my bad to all of you it will lighten my load. Probably not, but here goes....

In our town, we have some "challenged" people, who have a reputation for upsetting local customers with their odd and aggressive behavior. One particular couple- a brother and sister - have been banned from the bank, the grocery store and a few other shops unless their social worker is with them as they tend to scare people out of the stores. They come in here to use our phone and washroom, and I really don't like it. Mr Knits on the other hand is very compassionate and allows them to even warm up by the fire in the winter. We have to keep a can of air freshener by Mr Knits' cash register so we can fumigate the store after they leave though

One day this past winter, Mr Knits was out of the store on an errand, and I thought I saw the sister of this couple enter the shop. I asked my amazing co-op student to go out and "tell" Sis unless she had money to buy something she had to leave.

Ooops! It was a first time customer who had driven about 80 kilometers to visit our store! When I realized my mistake, I went out and apologized profusely, but the customer was still quite insulted and rightly so. Luckily, Mr Knits returned and smoothed out the situation, the customer purchased what she came for, and all was well.

Since this incident, I have not had the nerve to turn this disadvantaged couple from the store. I truly have learned my lesson.

Except  for one thing. If you know who I'm talking about, wouldn't you be horrified to be mistaken for Sis?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Garage Sale Bonanza

On the way home from work yesterday, Mr Knits and I stopped at a yard sale just down the road from our cabin. We found so many treasures, but my favourite find is this lovely tapestry and leather back pack made by Corinne Farber of Kingston. I looked at it a few times, and thought that I didn't need another bag, and as I fondled the soft supple leather and the thick tapestry fabric, I figured it was out of my price range. The bag's construction was incredible.  I kept going back to look at it, and finally, on the third or fourth inspection, I unhooked it from the rack and asked for its price.

Front view

Slimming side view

back view, showing beautiful tapestry pattern

It was only $2! Of course, I had to have it. I had expected that it would be $50 or $60, and I was prepared to try and get it for $25, which is $5 more that I will spend on anything at a yard sale.

I did a little googling last night and didn't find much information on Corinne and her company, but I did find a bed and breakfast with her as contact person. I phoned her this morning and to hopefully get a little history of this bag. Corrine happily shared with me that it was part of a collection commissioned in 1991 by the city of Kingston as a gift to Princess Diana on the occasion of her visit with Princes Charles, William and Harry. It was never retailed, and Corinne doesn't even have one herself.

How this wonderful backpack ended up in the middle of nowhere at a yard sale is a mystery. It's safe with me now....imagine all the knitting I can store inside.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Blog Day Afternoon

Every once in a while I check my blog stats to see how many wonderful readers are still reading my ramblings. Usually there are 100 or so of you intrepid souls, but yesterday when I checked the weeks totals I had to blink twice just to make sure the number was correct. It was a little over 500 readers at 8 in the morning!
The day's totals ended up over 1,000 hits - the biggest single day ever!
At first, I thought it was because I had used the work Naked in the title of the post from Sunday. Back in the fall, I had a whole bunch of blog traffic arrived at the blog because I used the words Free Sex (what was I thinking!) in the title. Or it could have been that someone must have posted a link to my blog, so I did a little digging and found that there is a knitting forum named and there was a link to my blog on it in the "Made In Canada" thread, more specifically to the Phentex Checkerboard Slipper (peashoe) pattern.

So, a hearty welcome to all the Knitting Paradisers out there; I joined this morning and I look forward to participating in your discussions.