Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Samples, samples

As promised, here are a few of the yarns that I’m going to be knitting samples with for the fall.

I love working with all the new yarns. I knit hats so that if I ever stop carrying the yarn, I can just throw the hat into the donation pile. I also use up a whole skein so that people can see how far they can get with one.
Other than that, I haven’t been doing a whole lot of knitting. Between the shop and the Knit Out a.k.a. The Thing that Ate My Life, I haven’t had much time. I did squeeze in a little sock knitting on the way somewhere yesterday but managed to loose a #00 needle. Fortunately, I was working with five so I could punt with four.
I have been dyeing yarn. I’ve been playing with my new dyes. Check out the colors!

And, of course, no blog post would be complete without an update about Wanda.

We have discovered that the plays well with Little Nephew.
This is wonderful for both of them since they both have tons of energy and need to work it off.

I’m not ready to leave them unsupervised in the yard together

but that’s mostly because of Little Nephew and not Wanda.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Camp Lucy

Sorry for not posting sooner. Little Nephew has vacation from daycare this week so I'm taking care of him during the day today and tomorrow. We spent the day at the Children's Museum today. I have a Knit Out meeting tonight (go to the Knit Out site and volunteer! We need you!). Then more Camp Lucy tomorrow. I may need medication soon.

P.S. Wanda is here pushing herself around on her butt trying to bite her own tail (it just keeps getting away!). It is beyond funny. I'll try to get pictures the next time she's doing it. Camera needs batteries.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Carol To The Rescue

Good friend and longtime spinner, Carol came the rescue with new toys for Wanda yesterday.

Carol works at Pet Edge. I called her at work yesterday so she got a whole bunch of stuff and brought it down to spinning group.
Here is Wanda with a selection of her new goodies.

In addition, there is a Kong ball under the bed (I’ll be fishing it out later today), a tug toy on top of the fridge (she’d destroy it if I let her have it all the time) and a big bag of dog treats. This dog has it made.
On the behavior front, I think she’s figured out that there are times that she can come with me everywhere I go and others that I’m going to close a door and leave her alone. All in all, she seems to be taking it very well.
BTW, I’ve made some really funny discoveries about Wanda.
1. She doesn’t like the rain! She spent our entire walk this morning trying to duck into every doorway we passed.
2. She actually smiles. We’re not talking about the usual pit bull open mouth smile. She actually lifts her upper lip and does a dog smile! I tell you, it sets you back some until you figure out what it is. If you don’t know any better, it looks like she’s snarling.
3. She likes me to watch her play. She enjoys it if I play with her but mostly it is enough that I’m there. Also, I come in handy when the toy falls down between the wall and the bed. It’s a lot like when a baby throws stuff on the floor just to watch you pick it up. Yes, I understand that I’m completely whipped for this dog.
I dyed some more yarn this morning. It is currently out on the back fence getting wetter than it already was. I’m just going to leave it there for now. There’s nowhere to hang it in the house and it should stop raining shortly.
Yesterday, all these showed up for the Knit Out.

It’s great that we’re getting all this stuff in but where am I going to put it? I’m hoping Susan will let me take some of it down to Windsor Button. For now, I’m going to see if I can con my brother and Big Nephew into taking it down cellar for me.
So, to knitting (that’s right I knit, don’t I?). What do yarn shop owners all knit this time of year? Samples! I’m seriously in love with my new yarns. I’ll get a picture tomorrow when I’ve got a few more done.
So, that’s it from here. Stay dry if you are in the Northeast. I’ll be here knitting hats and working on the Knit Out program.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Continuing Adventures of Wanda plus New Yarn!

Wanda did very well yesterday. There was a little bit of chewing but nothing really destructive. More like she was saying, “I got to be with you all last night and all this morning and now I’m stuck in here by myself! WTF?” We also did have a puddle on the floor but that’s just because she hasn’t gotten used to the routine and I haven’t figured out her signal for “I have to go out RIGHT NOW!” Brutus (my bullmastiff) used to have a certain whine that meant if he didn’t get outside in the next two minutes, it was going to be bad for all of us.
Wanda got to meet her Auntie Michelle yesterday (as well as a bunch of other people). Auntie Chelle owns Pupperific dog walking service and is going to take Miss Wanda out with a selection of her clientele today to learn how to play with other dogs. And Auntie Chelle came bearing gifts.

I am working on getting Wanda a bunch more toys, though this will do for a start. She only has this toy, a bone, a ball and, of course, the stick in the backyard has been doing yeoman service. Never fear. There will be many new toys coming soon!
I really could keep blogging about the dog all day but there is more going on a Chez Full Service. It is late August in the yarn business and what does that mean?

New yarn!! These two boxes came yesterday with a whole bunch of new yarns as well as new colors in the old yarn. I’m in the process if finding homes for it all. It is amazing how much yarn I can crowbar in here if I put my mind to it!
Also, here is the newly dyed yarn drying on the fence.

I’m going to try to do a bit more tomorrow. I mostly wanted to get going on colors that people were looking forward to (Emily, I did your black and red. How many do you want?) I got a bunch of new dyes so I’ll be trying them out over the next few dye sessions.

New dog, new yarn, new dye! I really am in heaven!!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Wanda is Here! (once more with pictures)

I actually broke down and picked her up yesterday. Wanda really seems to be settling in. She loves (LOVES) having a back yard to tear around in. She was out several times yesterday just racing around like the big puppy that she is. Not to jump the gun or anything, but this dog may be my dream dog. I've had a lot of dogs over the years and some of them were more like roommates than real companions. Wanda has the potential to be a true companion. She seems to be very interested in whatever I'm doing and has that wonderful desire to please that makes a dog really trainable. I’ve had her less than 24 hours and I’ve gotten her to stop jumping on me, heel on a leash and not be a bed hog! The harshest correction I've given her so far is a tug on the leash and a firm "No". Next on the list are not jumping up on other people (she gets so excited), getting along with my mother’s dogs and behaving by herself in the kitchen and bedroom while the shop is open. I’m not that worried.

Here's Wanda keeping me company while I work on the computer.

Here she is being a Frog Dog. I've always wanted a Frog Dog!

Here she is enjoying her new back yard.

I give that stick a week before she reduces it to sawdust.

Meanwhile, if you're in the area, come by the shop and I’ll be glad to introduce you to the newest member of the family!
Tomorrow, dyeing pictures. There aren’t many. I wasn’t feeling that great Monday and Tuesday so I only got some done. I’ll try to get the rest dyed over the next week or so.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Wanda Will Be Here Soon!

All right, the time has come. I’m getting a new dog. Meet Wanda!

Isn’t she cute? She is a one-year-old Staffordshire terrier mix that was found wandering the streets of Boston and named Smiley Wanderful by Boston Animal Control. She’s currently at the Alliance for Animals in South Boston. When I went in there on Tuesday (yes, I didn’t even go home first), she rocketed up over the counter and starting licking my whole face. She gets very excited but also settles down nicely when nothing much is going on. She’s very smart and very trainable though her manners could use some work (obviously). They think that she was taken away from her mother too soon so has some trouble communicating and playing appropriately with other dogs. This means that I will have to be careful introducing her to my mother’s two dogs Frankie a.k.a. Frank-a-delic and Milo, The Neurotic Rat Terrier (is there any other kind?). I think a lot of nice walks, a good amount of time throwing the ball in the back yard and some careful socializing with other dogs will sort Wanda out in no time.
I’m going to pick her up on Wednesday. I almost took her home Tuesday, but then I had a reality check.
1. I’ve been away for almost two weeks and need to catch up on a lot of things. The email was got through yesterday though, hooray!
2. In the two months since Miss Maggie passed, my house has become no longer dog proof. I need some time to beat my house back into shape especially for a young dog that can do a 4’ standing jump.
3. I’m going to be dyeing yarn all day Monday and Tuesday, which would leave Wanda closed up in my bedroom all day. NG (no good).
4. I hurt my knee on retreat and it would be good if that got better before I had to take a dog for a walk everyday.
When I bring her home, I really want to get her started off right. So, I’m waiting until next week, sigh.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Back Again

Well folks, I’m back from my retreat. It was an amazing experience and I want to thank the team that covered the shop for me and allowed me to have it! You guys are the best ever!!
Things were busy while I was away. New yarn arrived. Knit Out stuff arrived. And to keep life really interesting, the Harlot struck again (Um, Doria, where’s all the sock yarn?). Seriously, I thought they'd moved it somewhere but its all gone. There are three skeins left! Three! Don’t worry, I’m planning to dye more on Monday.
So that’s the quick and dirty update from here. I’m now going to start wading through the pile of email waiting for me (oh, so much email). I shall try to remember to breath and say to myself “There is only one email, just the one you are reading right now.”
Breath in, breath out. Okay, I’m going in.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

My Last Post for a Bit.

Where have I been? So very, very busy. It is a lot of work to be away and not just close the shop!
Since I wrote last, I have made up a fairly hefty binder of all the stuff one needs to know to run the shop (at least everything I can remember). We had a dry run with it Saturday. Unfortunately, I forgot to introduce Susan, a non-spinner (for now anyway), to the spinning accessories. So, what does the first person in the door want? A niddy noddy. Now how is someone supposed to know what a niddy noddy is if they’ve never heard of one?? It’s not like a bobbin or carding combs that you can figure out by the name. And, of course, Murphy’s Law being in full swing, what does the next person want to know about? Spinning wheel prices. What is the only price list I forgot to print out and put in the book? You guessed it. Susan and Kimberly both persevered in the face of my failings and all was well.
Needless to say, I’ve got the spinning wheel prices in the folder now and I’ve showed Susan all the spinning stuff. I hope whatever else I’ve forgotten to write down isn’t going to leave my lovely shop people too much in the lurch. If it does, I’m apologizing now. I did the best I could, kids.
BTW, the bike ride to RI was great. I’m going to do it again next year though not this year. I managed to irritate my back yesterday and, discretion being the better part of valor, I’m taking the train down tomorrow.
Now, I thought you would like to see a few pictures of the place I’m going to be spending the next 10 days.
Welcome to Diamond Hill Monastery.

My school saved up for years to purchase this building from Korea. It came to the US in boxes. Unfortunately, when it got here, there were no directions how to put it together! They had to hire at least one person from Korea to come over and help them assemble it. The roof alone is one big jigsaw puzzle of blue tiles. Check out the detail.

The monastery has a beautiful dharma room (where I’ll be spending most of my time).

Check this link for a 360-degree look at the place.

Here is one of the bedrooms.

This will definitely be a no-frills experience! Also, the only place in the monastery that has A/C is the dharma room. Because of this and because it was just time, I’ve cut off all my hair!

The ponytail is no more!

It is remarkably difficult to take a picture of the back of your own head. This picture is something like my sixth try. I couldn’t take any pictures of the sides of my head because the glare off my gray streaks was just too much. I’m not making this up!
Anyway, have a good few weeks. I’ll be attempting to get enlightenment and probably having a few leg cramps. Hey, there is no attainment without suffering!

If you can, come say hi to my lovely and talented team of Susan, Patience, Annie, Carol and Doria. I'll be back in the shop on August 16. See you then!