Posts Tagged ‘TKGA’

TKGA or Bust

Monday, July 16th, 2007
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Unfortunately, the operative word in the title is “bust”. I am not usually one to complain or be negative, but at the same time I have to be honest. I know the attendees that were there enjoyed their classes immensely and seemed to have a good time shopping the marketplace. The problem seems to be there just weren’t enough people to make the show worthwhile for those of us vendors.


It didn’t help that one of our favorite vendors, Brooks Farm, did not end up attending due to the floods they have been dealing with back in Texas. Both Cirilia and I were crushed before the show really even started. Although I think our budgets are better for it.


Here’s our area before and after set-up:


One of the highlights was catching up with friends. We had a great Western Mass contingent there with Lexie Barnes and Barb Parry from Foxfire Fiber & Design. We made new friends with Jedd from the Nantucket Bagg Company. That boy can really sell! He was “unleashing the magic” throughout the weekend. This was his first knitting show and he’s planning to attend Stitches Midwest – watch out knitters! I have to say, it is a pretty cool bag. It was funny when I spied Norah Gaughan listening to Jedd’s pitch. I popped over and pointed out to him that she is knitting royalty. Turns out he didn’t believe me until another customer came along, noticed Norah and said “Oh my gosh, YOU’RE NORAH GAUGHAN!!”


Then there was Kim Werker, one of my most favorite people ever. She is always so upbeat and full of energy – it’s really contagious. Kim will be at WEBS in October to launch her book Crochet Me – Designs to Fuel the Revolution. Trust me when I say, this will be the party of the season!


Jess and Casey of Ravelry made the trip up. We hung out and talked a bit and then Cirilia and I realized we hadn’t taken a picture so then it was time to stalk them. We got the picture though!

I also got to catch up with Dianne from Creatively Dyed Yarns. She was trying to sell off the rest of her inventory from her shop that she recently closed in order to focus on her hand dying. For anyone planning to attend the Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Fair in Crystal Lake, IL this weekend, be sure to stop by, check out her yummy hand-dyed yarns and say hi!


We also met Becca Smith, owner of Bagsmiths Bags. Lovely, lovely lady, as is her mom and Janette with beautiful products. (That’s a hint to watch for them in our store).


The other highlight of the weekend was one of our dinners. Should you find yourself in Manchester, NH I highly recommend “Z” which is located right downtown at 860 Elm Street or on-line at Tom and his lovely wife (also a knitter) are the owners. The restauarant is only 3 months old and the food, service, EVERYTHING is yummy. Steve and I eat out a lot and we’re pretty fussy. We’d go back to Manchester just to eat at Z again.


Finally (and I must emphasize finally), it was time to breakdown and head for home. The trip started with a severe thunderstorm and then an accident that required Cirilia and I to “detour” in to the back woods of New Hampshire. We drove and drove through woods, past a lovely lake that was a bit too high for our comfort level. We kept driving and we ended up here:

Pretty funny, don’t you think? Only two over-tired, yarn crazed gals would get lost in NH and end up in Harrisville. I am convinced my car smells yarn. The irony is even more glaring when you take into account that (a) I’ve never been to Harrisville and (b) Barbara started WEBS using Harrisville Looms. Cirilia and I giggled our way all the way back to the main route we were suppose to be on.


As for knitting, I have no pictures, but a report. So I finished the leg of Jonathan’s sock and started the heel flap. I was 2/3 of the way done at the show (this tidbit is important) and realized I was knitting it backwards! The smooth side was on the inside, bumpy on the outside. I thought about just turning the sock inside out, but the leg pattern was not nearly as nice. So, rip, rip, rip. That through me off. After a couple of attempts and adding stitches, losing stitches, I just put it away. The TKGA karma was doing nothing for my knitting. Thank you Cirilia for salvaging the sock.


It’s good to be home. I arrived to see this off my back deck:

The pictures truly do not do it justice.

Don’t Rush to Be Nine

Wednesday, July 11th, 2007
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We’re off to the TKGA Show in Manchester, NH at the crack of dawn tomorrow. We’re looking forward to the show and to take a breather from the day to day at the store. It’s been intense and both Steve and I are feeling a bit frayed around the edges. Not like this weekend is going to be a vacation or anything, but the change will do us good. Be sure to come to the show if you can – lots of great vendors, classes and knitting/crocheting fun. We’re in booths 409, 411, 413, 415. The lovely Cirilia will be hanging with us this weekend as well.

My sock is coming along quite nicely. I need to check the length with Jonathan, but I think I’m close to starting the heel flap. I need to make sure I have my instructions with me.

I started with a k2, p2 rib for the first few rows and then started alternating that with a round of knit. It changes the look oh so subtly, but you can see it in this closeup.

The top definitely has a more pronounced rib to it.

Also, don’t forget that this Sunday is our big Harry Potter event with Alison Hansel, author of Charmed Knits, The Blue Blog and founder of Sockapalooza. She’ll be at the store from 1-3 (we’re open 1-4). She’ll be signing her book, doing some knitting, we’ll have giveaways, great snacks as always and some Potter fun.

Lastly, but most importantly, this post is for Jackson. Today is his birthday. Somehow, someway, eight years have flown by. The thirty six hours of labor seemed to take an eternity, but eight years – gone in the blink of an eye. I know, experienced mothers always warn the new ones that it goes fast. You don’t believe it will happen that way, you just don’t until it does. I know I didn’t. It didn’t seem to go fast through the first nine months of projectile vomiting after every feeding. I did get smart and learned to put him in his bouncy seat, in the bathtub after every feeding and just wait. Then I’d change him, throw the seat cover in the wash, put on a fresh one, rinse out the tub and move on. It didn’t feel like time was moving fast as I logged miles of walking and rocking in the middle of the night, trying desperately to get him to sleep. Time stood still as I tried each day to get him to eat some solid food. That first banana, at eight months old, sitting under the kitchen table with him, was such a victory, but boy it felt like it took forever. And now he’s eight. I’ll spare you from more stories, but trust me when I say they’ve all been in my thoughts today. I’m horrified to think that the next eight will go by as quickly (and what it means to have a 16 year old), but I am realistic enough to know they probably will.

Happy Birthday Jackson. Take your time getting to nine, okay?

I’ve Been Ravelry-ed

Sunday, July 8th, 2007
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This is so good and so bad all at the same time. I received my Ravelry invite awhile back but have not had much of a chance to really get going on it. Please – I know there are THOUSANDS of you out there waiting patiently all the while I’ve been doing other things. I know it seems wasteful, but since mid-May things have been non-stop action.


Well, I took sometime the past few days to really get to know the site and all I can say is I.AM.ADDICTED. Seriously, this is not good at all – but awesome at the same time. The site is truly amazing and Jess and Casey have really thought through the functionality and the ease of use.


I think one of the reasons I didn’t jump in full throttle is truly because it requires me to face some “issues”. Such as organizing my stash and the pure volume of needles that I have. I think as knitters we all tend to keep our stash and the idiosyncrasies of it pretty close. Although Steve thinks I have an outrageous stash both in volume and content, I have to disagree and I have another knitter supporting me on this (yes, I realize this sounds like we’re both ripe for Knitters Anonymous). Here’s some of my stash:

Now needles, that’s another story. My needle inventory is, how shall I say this – out of control? Even Melissa, GASPED when she saw a PORTION of my needle inventory. Please, be kind in your comments, I know I have a problem:

Ravelry is making me face all of these issues, which is ultimately a good thing. I have inventoried all of my needles and hooks, except those attached to projects, which I will add when I get to my WIPs. Today, I started to sort out my stash, truly inventory it and photograph it. This required that I set-up a Flickr account, which I can’t say I was thrilled at doing, but I did it.


The inventory/photograhy process is time-consuming and will be something I work on throughout the summer. I also want to start working in some WIPs and designs.


For those of you already on Ravelry – I hope you are embracing it as much as I am. For those of you on the waiting list, please be patient. They have some crazy number of people in the cue – something like 9,000 or 7,000. Both Jess and Casey are now full-time, 120% on nothing but the site, but this all takes time. If you have not signed up for an invite – I urge you to do so now!


Steve and I are off to the TKGA Show in Manchester, NH on Thursday. Show runs Friday, Saturday & Sunday July 13-15. The marketplace is open to the public. Click through the link to get all of the info. Lots of great yarn stores, designers, hand dyers, etc., will be there. There are classes and all sorts of fun things going on, so please be sure to come on by. We’ll have four booths (409, 411, 413, 415), primarily filled with our Valley Yarns. This is a great opportunity to not only check out the yarns in person, but to also see all of the great garments.


Lastly, I leave you with “The Boys of Summer”: