threadybear triumphant

threadybear triumphant

Hallelujah!

Friends and neighbors, go tell it on the mountain. The last session of my Intro to Fair Isle class was tonight, and my students and my pattern came through with flying colors. Of the original seven, six of my intrepid students remained for the second class, and all of the six finished the class. Over the five sessions of the class, a few missed one class or another, but tonight, I had five of the six, and I know the sixth is sure to do well. She’s a regular customer, and she always does a great job at her projects.

Want to see their work?

This is the beginning of the Nova Scotia colorway that our friend Pat is working on. She did get a late start because of a trip that she had to take in the middle of the class, but she’s done a spectacular job in her short time of working on the project. She was able to take into account the late instruction in corrugated ribbing, so I absolutely had to show it off for her.

This is the Thistle colorway that our friend Monica is making. We all had quite a delight watching her steek her first armhole. She’s done a great job.

And this is the Marigold colorway that our friend Melissa is knitting. I would love to go into great detail about how spectacular each of these are, but frankly, they’ve all already heard it from me. I’ll leave to you further congratulations for them.

As for the rest of life, I actually got a decent lead on a property for the new shop this afternoon. It’s the first one I’ve seen, really, but I’m hoping it won’t be the last. I’ve got to say, though, it’s a huge relief to have at least one property under my belt. Now, we just have the zoning hearing on the current property to deal with next week. Wish me luck!

Much love, folks.
-Matt.

separate but equal

separate but equal

Ok, Ok. If Rob can post Precious Moments™ sweet pictures of my dog on his blog, I feel it fitting that I should be able to post at least one pic of his dog on my blog.

I’ll just go ahead and apologize to Mags. Rob was showing someone the Bags by Mags trunk show off to someone earlier this afternoon, and when we walked back by the chair a little later, this is what we found. No, she’s not spoiled or anything. Not to worry, though, Mags. This is prior to the reconditioning that we promised. They’ll be spic and span in no time.

Also, thanks very much to Alanna and the folks that e-mailed me about orders. It’s been a hellishly busy day here at the shop, but I got your e-mail and plan to get back to you pronto.

AH! I haven’t forgotten, either, that I’m still working out a new colorway for Teresa of One More Row and Another Latte for the ThreadyBear sweater that she’s going to be test-knitting for me. Again, It’s still on my radar, but I’ve just not been able to make it a priority over orders and yarn reps.

Speaking of yarn reps, I’m sure you’ve heard if you pay any attention to Rob’s blog that we’re looking at Rowan. My two cents? I love the yarn, and I really do hope that Rowan will realize that we really aren’t deep discounters and won’t try to tell us that we can’t carry their yarns if we’re going to do our standard 10% pricing on their yarns. I certainly understand their policy, but I also know of a lot of places that cut more off their prices more often than we do that DO carry their yarns. Hell, if price alone were the issue, you’d wonder why they don’t have an issue with UK sites selling the yarn for what is their normal retail but is somewhere around US wholesale prices. The Internet is worldwide, after all, so who do they think we’re competing with? We just have nice moderate US pricing all of the time instead of deep discounts occasionally. Grr… It really irks me, but that’s life. I just wish there were a few less policies and a few more people interested in finding out what their customers actually need.

In the real world, though, business is still booming, and I’m trying to get quotes on places to move the business. I’m not sure that I haven’t lost my mind, but I looked at a place yesterday that was sixteen thousand square feet. Sadly, I’ve already figured out exactly how to use every square inch of it. Go figure.

Much love, folks.
-Matt.

mutual of omaha

mutual of omaha

Mutual of Omaha is people you can count on when the going’s rough.

At least, that’s what they used to tell me during the commercials that popped up intermittently between Jim Fowler wrestling alligators while Marlin Perkins watched water buffalo… um… carouse. I think I’m about due for a little MOO. It’s been a blast, but the going’s most assuredly rough.

I’ll go on and say it. If you have a color consultation waiting on me, please send it again. Much of what I’m working on right now is so old that I feel ridiculous even asking people if they’re still interested. I hate that, but it’s true. That, by the way, is why I’ve not been posting much. I feel horribly guilty posting here when there are things at work that need doing.

Hey! I just thought of something, though. Rob’s a horrible yarn flirt on his blog. Why can’t I be?!? If you want to see something or if you want me to put colors together for you on the blog, let me know. I’m missing my battery charger for the camera at the moment, but it should turn up soon.

BWA-HA-HA-HA! Like anything in this house just turns up anymore. For those of you who’ve not seen, we’re in six of the eight major rooms of the house. The two rooms that we’re not in are the kitchen and the bedroom. I’m not even counting the bathrooms (blessedly devoid of yarn… wool does hold odors, you know), the foyer (which does, incidentally house quite a bit of yarn), or the laundry room (which has become home to felting for Rob and the folks he’s got felting backlogged for).

Oh, and thanks to everyone who’s offered condolences on the Hutchins shop. Business is, of course, booming, but we’ve just decided to stop fighting to stay. With the help of some very kind friends and clients, we’re looking for new retail space that we know is zoned appropriately for retail use at whatever size we grow to. I’ve had my eye on a few properties upward of 10,000 square feet (significantly upward, actually), but we definitely need at least 6,000 just to have appropriate shelving for what we have now, classroom space, storage, and office space. That doesn’t take into account the extra space that we’d like to have for wheels and looms, a kids and/or disinterested spouse corral, a refreshment/kitchenette area, but it does give us room to continue our tradition of having space for sitting and perusing books, knitting test or gauge swatches, and just hanging out in the yarn shop.

Anyway, back to work with me. Much love, folks, and happy knitting.