Sorry for not posting sooner. The weekend was crazy with Twist and I took off yesterday for a business trip.
Sorry for not posting sooner. The weekend was crazy with Twist and I took off yesterday for a business trip.
Pretty awesome view. We live in such a beautiful place!
The waves were pretty strong that day and all of the kids ended up pretty scraped up and a bit battered, but with some great summer memories.
Here’s the crew in all their glory:
Summertime, good friends and the beach. It just doesn’t get any better than that!
P.S. I have no idea why Blogger has decided to change my font and not give me the option to change it back to my standard. Another reason I will be breaking up with Blogger in the near future. Grrr. . . . .
Alrighty now! I have my new camera and I have to say – I love it! It’s small and lightweight and sleek and oh so pretty! It’s not as fancy as my last camera, but it did so much more than I needed it to do.
Let’s toss up a test picture and see what we think:
Now that’s a mighty fine looking picture, if I do say so myself. Look at the Blue Sky Alpaca – the cotton is in the foreground and the alpaca/silk is towards the back. Colors look good!
I was running out, so I only had a few moments to snap a couple of shots.
It was my turn for the baseball camp carpool – 4 sweaty, filthy boys, exhausted, boys. All four talked the entire way home – all at the same time. To have that energy after 6 1/2 hours of baseball camp in the 90 degree/high humidity weather. . . . . . .
Let’s test another shot:
Ah, the Artyarns display looks JUST like that! Woohoo!
Okay, one last test shot:
This is the display at the front of the store. It is currently featuring several of our new Valley Yarns designs from our latest catalog. The color on the felted bags is a bit muddy, but dark colors are always tough without really good lighting. The store lighting is great, but it’s certainly not meant for photography.
Have you received yours yet? Our June 2008 catalogs mailed about 10 days ago, so if yours hasn’t arrived yet, keep checking your mail! For those of you who have received the catalog, I think you like it! Customer Service and Shipping have been crazy and I hear many customers are coming into the store, catalog in-hand and already dog-earred and notated for project selection!
Here’s the cover:
What I love about our June catalog, is that it features just our Valley Yarns line. They are always included in our other catalogs, when we also highlight the best from all of our favorite yarn distributors. I just love having this one issue where we can really showcase our yarns and our fabulous designs!
The early favorites seem to be the Firmaments Lace Shawl, knit in 2/14 Alpaca/Silk, the Diagonal Mesh Shawl, knit in Goshen and the Quilted Diamond Vest knit in Berkshire. I’m pretty tickled about the Diamond Vest. It has been a general design concept that I’ve had in my head for sometime. Linda, our Customer Service Manager finally got tired enough of listening blab on about wanting a chunky, outdoorsy vest and finally figured it out!
One of my personal favorites is the Staghorn Cable Tunic which is knit in Northampton. This garment will be featured on the podcast as our next knitalong. I have it with me on this trip and although I’ve hit a bit of a roadblock, I am still loving the pattern and cannot wait to wear it!
There are plenty of adorable designs for summer knitting such as the Striped Pullover designed by Mary Beth Temple and knit in Southwick and also in Southwick, the stunning cover sweater – the Ladder and Vine Cardi.
What’s your favorite?
If you haven’t yet received the Valley Yarns Catalog, be patient. If you are not on our mailing list and would like to receive a catalog, just email email@example.com all of your pertinent mailing info and we’ll be happy to send one out to you!
Take the fact that it’s Memorial Day Weekend. I swear, we were just in Orlando in Florida. That was 2 months ago, but it feels like last week. The boys are done with school in just a couple of weeks – they will officially become 2nd and 4th graders. We won’t even broach how that has happend. Especially given I had the chance over the past few days to hang with a couple of moms with new bambinos (more on that later).
So, I still owe you more info on the SWTC yarns. I’ve got my notes, but honestly, I don’t feel like chatting about yarn right now (sorry Joe & Jonelle). I promise I will give you the low down on their great new products soon. There are lots of other bits and pieces I’d like to get taken care of in this post.
1. The day before the tent sale was our shoot for the Valley Yarns Catalog. I love doing the shoots and the VY one is always a favorite. What fun to showcase our yarns and designs! It’s always a busy day and organization is key:
Thanks to Mary and Penny for keeping us on track!
2. After the tent sale, I headed to Orlando for a conference. It was a learning opportunity for me, but I was also a speaker on a panel. Talk about a reality check! This was not a yarn conference – so I wasn’t exactly with my people. Needless to say, there was a lot to take in and more than a few nerves prior to the presentation. Fortunately all went well and there was even a knitter in the audience!
5. After reading Brooklyn’s email and getting myself all excited I could barely stand it when I got an email titled “Coming to WEBS” – from none other than January One herself!! I’ve been a HUGE fan of her blog for quite awhile and although I’ve had the opportunity to speak with her I’d never met her. So yesterday after J2’s little league game, I zipped down to the store to spend some time with her and her beautiful Meli:
The pictures she posts of her on her blog are spectacular, but this is one of the most gorgeous babies I have ever seen and as good as the pictures are, there’s nothing like seeing her in person. Seriously. I told Cara that she needs to hook Meli up wth Lexie Barnes’ son “C”, who is too cute for his own good as well.
Enjoy the unofficial start of summer – it’s my favorite time of year
What a week! I’m not sure if the planets were misaligned or if it was the humid, gooey weather and daily rainstorms, but nothing seemed to go right this week. I am so happy it is Saturday, the weather is perfect and the opportunity to start fresh again on Monday lies ahead.
The actual shot we chose is, well, you’ll see. . . . . . .
There are four yarns in the collection and the palette is not your typical kids’ collection. Think “Gap” meets “yarn”.
Today has been a bit of a whirlwind – in an exciting sort of way, not a stressful one.
The first picture is of the press that our catalog runs on and the next two are actual pages – right off of the press that we are using to compare to the computer generated proofs for color accuracy, etc. Being on press is like the culmination of any large project – all the hardwork and sweat finally pays off when the first pages start coming off the conveyer. I can’t wait for this catalog to hit mailboxes. We have some new yarns, new colors and amazing new designs (if I do say so myself). I hope you will all be as excited to get knitting!
I discovered that I had a picture from The Yarn Harlot’s visit that I never shared. One of our lovely customers came and was mentioning a log cabin project she was working on – having read here about my “desire” to log cabin (did I just make it into a verb?). Here is what she has knit:
She’s using SWTC’s Karaoke – isn’t it incredible?! What’s most amazing is she is donating the blanket to a charity auction! If I had worked as hard as she had on such a project, I’m not sure I’d be able to part with it. This really is a work of art, the picture does not do it justice.
Our Office Manager Malea was also sporting a lovely new top this past week:
Knit by Melissa in trade for . . . . more pottery I believe (Malea is an amazing potter and is simply hanging with us until she hits the big time). This was knit in Art Yarns Regal Silk, pattern P90. The shaping is beautiful and looks just gorgeous on.
So after finishing at the printer today, Cirilia and I hightailed it back to WEBS. And boy did I find some great new goodies! Have I mentioned that Cirilia is back at WEBS for the summer? She is working with me on catalogs and general marketing initiatives. So thrilled to have her, if only she wasn’t determined to go back and finish her Masters Degree this fall. . . . really Cirilia, education is WAY overrated
First off, Berroco Fall has arrived! I only had a couple of minutes to snap photos, so I apologize. But here are some of colors in their Ultra Alpaca Light:
Really, these colors are to.die.for. I am not a fan of small needle knitting, but trust me, I will be knitting with this yarn.
Also, new colors of Foliage:
I’ve always liked Foliage, but I LOVE these new tonal variations.
We also received our advance balls of Comfort:
There are 57 total colors and we picked out 30 for the store. This yarn will be available in about a week, with a dedicated pattern book coming in August. We talked about this yarn on the podcast this past week and it has to be touched and swatched to be believed. It’s a nylon/acrylic blend – I know, I know. It does not sound appetizing at all. But do not judge a yarn by it’s label folks! This is sure to be a new core basic – machine wash and dry.
These yarns should be up on the website tomorrow. I will add links then.
We also received in a bunch of new books. This great new felting book from Amy Swenson looks faboo:
And we’ve finally received copies of Charmed Knits by Alison Hansel:
We will be hosting an event with Alison on Sunday, July 15th from 1:00pm – 4:00pm. Potter mania will be nearing a crescendo at this point and we are thrilled that Alison has made time for us in her busy schedule. Not only does she have this new book, she has a new baby too! Watch the blog and the website for more details about the event.
We also received in two other new yarns that I did not have time to photograph. Dena, our Inventory Analyst had it totally under wraps and only allowed me a quick peek until she’s got it all in the sytem. So check back tomorrow for pictures of my favorite find from TNNA – Shibui Knits. Two of the four yarns we purchased are in, as are patterns. Just wait until you see them.
My “More Thank An Apron” is coming along. I”m about to start on the center panel, but need to be sure I’ve got the right sizing before I go any further.
So here we are with our first full weekend off, together, as a family since our trip to Florida in March. We even opted to not send the boys to school today (private school schedule – don’t ask). The weather is perfect, everyone is healthy and there’s lots to do around here this time of year. So what’s the pick of the weekend? The Massachusetts Sheep & Wool Festival of course! An entire weekend without yarn-related activities? Not for this family.
So here it is, Sunday afternoon. Both kids are off at playdates, Steve has been grocery shopping and tending to a few other chores. I’ve been working on catching up on the show notes for the podcast (sorry everyone – not sure how they got so far behind). Can I tell, I am really sick of listening to the two of us talk! I just listened to the last four shows, which now means I’ve prepped for the show, recorded the show, listened to it air on the radio and listened again to put together the notes. AAAHHH!! I know, this is not terribly efficient, but it’s impossible to do the notes as we record and our “prep” is very loose. We don’t have a script, just notes/outline and sometimes things come up/out when we record that we didn’t plan to reference. I often listen to the show on Saturday mornings in the car, so I can’t make notes then, so that only leaves listening again via iTunes. So, I’ve jotted the notes, just need to type them up for our IT person and send them off. I think I’d rather have a tooth pulled at this point. So, I decided to blog instead.
All in all it has been a productive weekend. Lots of laundry/house chores, some knitting and other “work”.
On the knitting front, I have three projects that I am under deadline to finish. Two are for the next catalog and the other is the knitalong sweater for the podcast. I have to try to stay a week or so ahead of all of you!
For one of the catalog projects, I did this swatch:
Which turned into this:
I compared my before and after measurements and based on the ultimate size I want, calculated the number of stitches to cast on and number of rows to knit. I did a second swatch to test a possible edging, which is in the washer as I type.
I started the other catalog project while on vacation, but I am not happy with it and need to rethink it. This is not good news as my deadline is approaching.
As for the top-down sweater, I think I have overcome my issues with Silk Garden. I love the color – I am hooked. I will therefore overlook the “untwisted” sections and the sections with “stuff/fluff” attached to the yarn as best I can and just move forward. I guess I am now officially a Noro groupie.
Once the little blue swatch is out of the washer and blocked to dry, I will get moving on the sweater. (Notice, no mention of getting those show notes typed up. . . . . way too busy knitting.)
I have to say, for the small blue swatch, I put a single crochet edging on it and you know what? I REALLY miss crocheting! I have been focused primarily on knitted projects these past few months, other than the Brooks Farm Scarf I made and I am starved for crochet. I need to get through these projects and then I’m going to crochet something – anything!
Well, I guess I’ve procastinated enough. I do want to add one last photo – one of my favorites from our vacation:
It was a day Steve was off to golf on his own and the boys and I went to Clearwater Beach. I love how Jonathan is quite content to have his picture taken, but Jackson’s face reads “Am I done yet? I am waaay to cool for this. . . . . “
P.S. Don’t forget, our 33rd Anniversary Sale starts tomorrow! This link will bring you there in the morning