Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Knitting with Wire

Here is my first foray into wire knitting. This is a Christmas present for my sister-in-law, who doesn't read this blog.

Pattern: Annie Modesitt's (Confessions of a Knitting Heretic) Knitted Cuff
Materials: 1 oz. sterling silver dead soft 28 gauge wire
36 4mm blue beads
36 4mm clear beads
US #5 bamboo DPNs
Comments: I cranked this baby out in about 1.5 hours. I think the result is beautiful, and I plan to experiment more with knitted jewelry. One word of caution, knitting with wire is very hard on your hands.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

All Work, No Play

I would like to sincerely thank each and every one of you for you sweet words of encouragement regarding Yarntopia. It truly means a lot to me to know that I have such a wonderful set of friends out there cheering us on. I'm so glad that you are taking this journey with me.

Sheryl and I both really appreciate your taking our little survey as well.

As for the title of this post, it alludes to what I've been doing the last couple of weeks. I volunteered myself the duty of coming up with the yarns we are going to sell in the shop. I am a person that likes to confront a situation well informed, so I pulled out all of my most recent knitting magazines and books to survey what yarns designers are knitting with. That helped me decide which yarn companies we should concentrate on. From there, I took all of the color catalogs from those companies and divided their yarn into 19 different categories (wool, cotton, boucle, sock, eyelash, etc.) Then, I separated those piles into the various yarn weights. Finally, I calculated the price per yard on every yarn to see which yarn in each category was the best value.

Sheryl came over this morning to help. As usual, we are on the same page. (Love ya Sheryl!) We will not make the final decisions until we meet with the yarn reps to see what they recommend and to see their spring and summer lines. I have figured out how our inventory budget will be allocated between the different lines so that we will come to the meetings prepared.

We will be making our first yarn purchases on Monday. Wish us luck!

In normal life news, I'm knitting Christmas presents like a demon. The sad thing is, what I want to be doing is knitting something for myself. Sad, but true.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

My first plea for help

Sheryl and I (well, mainly Sheryl) are working on the financial and marketing portion of our business plan. It would help us out tremendously if y'all could tell us what types of projects/materials you buy during an average month. For example, if you bought the materials to make 2 scarves and a sweater and also a Vogue Knitting within the last 30 days, you would mark a 2 by scarf, a 1 by sweater, and a 1 by magazine. Thank you so much for your help!!

Purchasing Survey:

Misc. Projects
Kits & Gift Items

Friday, November 18, 2005


I have a little secret to share, and it's a doozie. My good friend Sheryl and I are opening a yarn store this April. The name of the store is Yarntopia.

This whole saga began back in spring. I was having an internal conflict as to what I was going to do when the girls started school. Having been out of the work force for what will be 6 years, I hated the fact that I was going to have to climb the corporate ladder again. Not to mention the fact that I wouldn't be there for the girls before and after school. How sad would it be that I would have to put them in pre & post school daycare after having spent 6 years of my life taking care of them? I couldn't bear it. I thought "maybe I'll open a yarn shop", but then I came back to reality. Opening a new store would require more time than an 8 to 5 job.

I vented all of this to my knitting group, whom Sheryl happens to be a member of. Soon thereafter, I get an email from Sheryl asking if I was serious about opening a shop. You see, Sheryl is retired and was thinking she might like to do the same thing. A partnership was born. I would work during the day when the girls were at school, Sheryl would work evenings, and we would share duties on the weekend. Perfect!

I couldn't ask for a better business partner. Sheryl is one of the sweetest and hardest working people I know. We also balance each other well. She's ying to my yang.

Right now we are down to the knitty gritty (pun intended) of getting this ball rolling. Sheryl is working like a demon on our business plan to present to the SBA, and I am putting together our first inventory order. Blogging may be sporadic in the coming weeks. I swear I'm working two full-time jobs right now (yarntopia & SAHM). I'll try to post some of the goodies we've gotten in for the shop. And OH....the COLOR CATALOGS!

And yes, I'm am still knitting like a fiend on top of all of this. Gotta finish my Christmas presents!

I would love to hear from y'all any suggestions you might have. You opinions really matter!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Knitting Nurse goodies Posted by Picasa

Coolest Ladies in the Blogsphere

A surprise, belated birthday gift arrived in the mail fro my from my sweet blog friend Knitting Nurse on Friday. She is the sweetest! She sent candy for the girls (already eaten), a cute note pad, wonderful smelling mango body butter, Lion Brand Magic Stripes (destined to be socks for the girls), and Mission Falls 1824 cotton. I've been coveting the Mission Falls for some time now. None of my LYS's carry it, and now it is discontinued. I will have to think of something extra special to make with it. Thanks Jannett!!

Another one of my blog friends, Jeanie, has started a new on-line knitting group. Say hello to the Sexy Knitters Club. I love the idea that knitting is no longer always thought of as being grandmotherly and old-fashioned. Count me in!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Kid n' Ewe

This past Saturday, Mom, the girls, and I headed out to Boerne, TX for the annual Kid n' Ewe & Llamas Too fiber festival. We started the morning by picking up kolaches in the small town I grew up in. Man, nothing in Katy even touches the yumminess of real Czech kolaches. We got to Boerne around 10:30 without incedent, which is an accomplishment carrying two 5-yr-olds. I have to say, I was a bit underwhelmed. It wasn't nearly as big as I thought it was going to be. We had fun nonetheless. The girls got to pet an alpaca, while Mom and I pet the beautiful yarn. There was only one yarn vendor there, the rest was geared more toward spinning. I was supposed to meet up with my new blog friend Jeanie, but circumstances out of her control lead to her not being able to attend. Maybe next time Jeanie?

There were two tiny yarn stores in town that we visited. When I say tiny, I mean TINY. They only carried a few balls of yarn. Humph! I had money burning a hole in my pocket.

All in all, we had a great time. The weather was beautiful and the company fantastic.

**side note** Those of you who loved the girls' gold clogs....Old Navy...super cheap....

Friday, November 04, 2005

Knitting Meme

Jessalu, Rachel and Heather tagged me with this meme. I feel so popular!

What is your all-time favorite yarn to knit with?
That is such a difficult question to answer. The first ones that pop off the top of my head are Pleasure from Berroco (discontinued...rats!), Lush from Classic Elite, Calmer from Rowan, & Debbie Bliss Cashmerino.

Your favorite needles?
Addi Turbo circs & Lantern Moon straights

The worst thing you ever knit?
The halter tops that I knit the girls this spring. I couldn't figure out the chart, so the lace was extremely wonky. A close second would be the socks I knit Mr. Lovie.

Your most favorite knit pattern (maybe you don't like wearing it, but it was the most fun to knit)?
Right now I'm on a Violette kick. I've knit four so far.

Most valuable knitting technique?
Tinking. Hands down.

Best knitting book or magazine?
I'm a big fan of free patterns a la Knitty, Spun, MagKnits, and the new Anti-Craft. I buy all of the knitting magazines (Interweave, Vogue, Cast On, Rebecca) , but I have yet to knit a pattern out of them. I'm not sure why that is. I consider my Vogue Knitting-The Ultimate Knitting Book invaluable. You have a knitting question? The answer is in there.

Your favorite knit-a-long?
I've done the Honeymoon Cami KAL, the Ribbon X-Back KAL, and I'm a slacker in the Reverse Rib Shawl KAL. I've highly enjoyed all of them, especially since I have met so many cyber friends through the experience. Oh, I almost forgot the mini Hourglass Sweater KAL I had with my mom. I guess that would have to be my favorite, because hey....it was my mom!

Your favorite knitwear designer?
Kristeen Griffin-Grimes, Stefanie Japel, Veronik Avery, Julia Trice, and Brynne Sutton (my very talented Katy Knitters friend).

The knitwear item you wear the most (how about a picture of it)?
Stefanie Japel's Cold Shoulder

Who to tag?
Mom, Skrilla, & Sheryl...you're it!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Warning! Non-knitting content!

Just a cute kids photo. My mom made the girls their Halloween costumes.