Sunday, July 22, 2007

yarn, yarn & more yarn...

Okay, I'm going to stop acting so surprised that it has been days since my last post. Apparently I'm in a blogging slump. I think I've been too busy knitting...

Actually, what I have been doing is putting together a business plan. After being in business for a couple of years, I can't really put it off any longer. I got a great book - The Business Plans Kit for Dummies - and set to work. This book comes with a CD-ROM that has a bunch of forms that you fill out to help take you through the process of forming a mission statement, figuring out who your customers (and competition) are, getting a handle on your finances - all that good stuff. It has been a very eye-opening process and makes me realize how much work I have left to do as far as budgeting, marketing, putting together consistent materials, etc. I think I've done a decent job on what I've thrown together so far, but I'm going to need to do some serious thinking and planning ahead if I'm to become the next Fiber Trends (hey, aim high, right?).

On Friday, I took a little time out from business planning (and trying to figure out how to install the SSL on my website - aaargh!) to attend a funeral of sorts. One of our Portland yarn shops, Lint, is going out of business. The owner wanted to get out of the business, tried to sell, but didn't find a buyer. I really liked this shop and am sad to see it go (although I didn't get there often, seeing as it was across the river and therefore like it was on a different planet), but that didn't stop me from taking full advantage of the storewide 30% off sale. I spent a bundle...



I got a couple things I'd been looking for, like the Helen's Lace and the Blue Sky Alpaca Sport, but I didn't find any of the size 1 Addis I was hoping to score (silly me - when I came home and looked through my circular needle case, I discovered I do have a 2nd pair, I'd just stashed them in the wrong pocket). The sock knitters must've gotten up early. I also picked up two mannequin torsos which will be great for photography and also if I ever get to the point where I'm doing TNNA. They were only $25, so I decided to snap them up. Now I need to figure out what to do with all this yarn (along with the gigantic bags of yarn already stuffed in my office closet, and the huge plastic bin full of yarn in the basement...)!

I also tried out my new blocking wires on Friday. Actually, they aren't that new (I bought them at Black Sheep last summer but hadn't had any use for them until now), but they are fantastic. They were created by lace expert Myrna Stahman and worked beautifully on the silk shawl I blocked. It's a design for Hip Knits, so I can't show you the whole thing but here's a little sneak peek:



This is their lace silk and boy is it yummy! I have to admit, though, that it was a real bugger to wind - it is so slippery. My first attempt was a huge disaster and I ended up spending about three days working knots out of silk yarn barf. I got smarter the 2nd time around and wound it into small round balls by hand, then kept it in a Ziploc bag while I was working with it. That seemed to keep it under control.

It is always so fun to witness the magic of blocking lace. This shawl really looked horrible when I got done knitting it. The yarn was gorgeous, but the knitting was all curled up and skinny. I spray-blocked it, which is what Amy Singer recommends in No Sheep For You for raw silk - I threaded the blocking wires through the edges, pinned it out (while still dry - I ended up spraying it just a little bit so that it would stretch in a couple spots, but it was mostly dry) and then doused it with a good spray from a misting spray bottle. Voila - magic! I unpinned it the next morning, and it was gorgeous. Love it!

Sydney just woke up, so my computer time is about to end...but first a few announcements. The Fall Interweave Knits preview is up - and my socks made the cut this time! I was half expecting not to see them, but they're there. Yay! Now I can finally say I've been published in Interweave Knits, not just on the Interweave Knits website...

Next, sign-ups for Sock-A-Month 4 are starting out, hot and heavy. I've turned the reins over to Karen and her team of hostesses for this round. After a year and a half, it was time to let someone else deal with the craziness! I will be participating, though, although we'll see how many non-secret socks I manage to knit through the end of the year...

Finally, for anyone in the Portland area who wants to learn to knit socks on two circulars (toe-up or top-down), I'm going to be teaching three-session classes on each as well as some advanced sock workshops at Twisted, our great new local shop. The classes are limited to six people, so if you're interested, sign up soon! Shannon and Emily are the best, and I can't wait to teach in their great space.

Uh, oh - Owen's up now, too - time to dash! See you in a few!

6 Comments:

Blogger Cindy said...

Those are pretty socks! Congrats on the Interweave Knits inclusion! :)

10:39 AM  
Blogger Connie said...

Hey Chrissy, Congrats on the IK publication -- although I still think the website publications counts :)!

12:57 PM  
Blogger Jenni said...

Thanks for the the link to the preview! I always enjoy seeing that. It's almost exciting as getting my issue in the mail!

7:39 PM  
Blogger msubulldog said...

I've purposely had to stay away from Lint to keep from going waaaaayyy overboard. :) It's cool that you were able to buy the mannequins, though. I wouldn't have thought of that. (I liked seeing your "foot" on the blog the other day *grin*)
Congrats on the Interweave pattern! That issue looks like it has some really awesome stuff in it. I can't wait to get it!

11:12 PM  
Blogger lexa said...

Congrats on Interweave! I love the socks!

11:47 AM  
Blogger Jane said...

Chrissy, way to go on your pub in IK! That's fabulous. Although I'm not surprised... your patterns are great.

5:01 PM  

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