Saturday, January 19, 2008

Back in the Game

Well folks, it's been a while. I am happy to announce that motherhood hasn't yet killed me and that I am slowly finding new ways to do the things I used to do. Can you find the baby in the office?
I am getting much better at breastfeeding and typing at the same time and accepting the fact that I can't type very fast one handed. We have been to work 3 times, and so far there have been no major disasters and even better than that, I've actually gotten work done!

I updated the home page, finally!

I scheduled new classes for February and March, and we are finally going to bring back some Sunday workshops! So get out your calendars cause here's what we got coming up:

Sweater Class
Session 1: Tuesday Jan 22nd from 6-8 pm meets for 6 Tuesdays.
Session 2: Tuesday March 4th from 6-8 pm meets for 6 Tuesdays.
$75, materials not included.
You choose the sweater and materials and we walk you through all the ins and outs of making your own sweater. If you have taken our beginner's class then this is the class for you! We recommend coming in advance to have one of our staff members help you choose a pattern and materials.

Beginner's Class

Thursday Februrary 21st from 6-8 pm meets for 6 Thursdays (Feb 21, 28, Mar 6, 15, skipping March 20th because of a scheduling conflict, 27 and Apr 3)
$125, materials included
In this intensive class you will learn everything you need to become an excellent knitter, and impress your friends and family with neat gifts this winter! No prior knowledge necessary, simply let us fill your head and hands with yarn-y goodness.

Classic Socks
Sunday Feb 10th, 17th, 24th 10am-12pm
$75, pattern included--you purchase the yarn and needles of your choice.
Jim Shelly will be teaching you how to knit a basic sock using the classic best sellling Yankee Knitter pattern. 3 weeks, every Sunday from 10 am to noon.

And don't forget that the Krazy Kolors workshop begins this Thursday night!

Sunday Workshops
Sunday Feb 7th 1-5pm, $30 materials included
Basic Hats with Stacy Morris
Learn all the you need in one afternoon! In this class you will make a bulky hat on double pointed needles, decreasing for a nicely shaped cap. You should know how to knit and purl well.

Sunday Feb. 17 1-5pm, $40 materials included
Fair Isle with Courtney Kelley
Cast on for some cute wrist warmers on double pointed needles and learn all about how to carry two colors of yarn, read color charts and design your own simple patterns! You should be confident on double pointed needles for this class.
And in other news, I am woefully late in giving everyone the TNNA scoop. I've been trying to finish this post since last week though. Like I said, one handed typing is sloooow.
Clyde and Max and I flew out to Long Beach on Thursday. The flight was shockingly successful for travelling with a 6 week old infant. He was remarkably well behaved, I got knitting done on the flight even! We arrive at LAX, which is shockingly like a Greyhound bus station in appearance and get our Thrify car rental shuttle to pick up our crappy "economy" car rental. We end up with a convertible PT Cruiser however. I have brief visions of calling Lisa and telling her we didn't make it and are still in Philly. Then taking the rental car and driving up the Pacific Coast Hwy and spending the weekend in San Francisco. But I don't. I sucessfully navigate LA traffic and arrive, sore and exhausted, in Long Beach where we immediately consume excessive amounts of food and moderate amounts of beer.
Now for the exciting part: I wake up in the middle of the night; cold, sweaty, aching all over. Oh no, I have a fever. Luckily I have an infant and now carry a thermometer with me wherever I go. Yep, fever of 101. Wow, my left breast is amazingly sore. Oh crap. I have an infection. And the funniest part of this story ('cause I know you're laughing at my misery) is that I am reading "All Creatures Great and Small" and just finished up the chapter about the cow with mastitis. Uh, yeah. Ew. So I call the wonderful midwives at The Birth Center and get a script and by 4:30pm I was on my way to the show. So I had missed the first 6 hours of the show and had to play extreme catch up. And, suprisingly, I was able to do it! One of the things I decided I love about my job is that since it is woman dominated no one thinks that now you've had a baby you are no longer as involved in your career. I didn't feel like I had to prove anything. It's just normal. People have babies. I got to talk to people about designs and colors and ideas and no one thought for a second that because I had a baby I wouldn't be as interested in these things as I was before. At the same time, people are really understanding if you are unable to do something you would have done before. Am I making sense? In any case, it was great and I felt like a normal person, not just a carrier of a tiny baby. So here are some of the things we saw for Spring:
In very exciting news Lorna's Laces and Mountain Colors have teamed up to do a design series using one yarn from each of the two companies. There will be four designs each year, one each quarter, and this is the first one!
This wonderful drapey shrug/shawl is called "Palette of Colors" and is designed by Jackie E-S of Heartstrings Fiber Arts. I tried it on at the show and fell in love. This design uses Half Crepe from Mountain Colors and Helen's Lace from Lorna's Laces. It will be available at Rosie's this Spring in four colorways.

and Red Rover/Ruby Ridge.

In more exciting Lorna's Laces news they have a new yarn. This is the Green Line collection, which is all naturally dyed and 100% organic. The colors are softly tonal and the yarn, we got the dk weight, is a super soft but sturdy 100% wool. A great sweater yarn to feel good about.

The colors are (left to right) Hope, Silence, Solitude, Courage, Mirth, Dusk, Growth, Echo and Chagrin. We skipped the three neutrals (I found Silence and Solitutde to be virtually indistinguishable) and went for the last six colors. I think this is a great yarn for us, we have had a lot of folks asking for Eco-friendly yarns and I am always happy to find something new, particularly from a company we already like so much. (ps, Amanda: Took your advice and went to Roscoes Chicken and Waffles. It was delicious.)
There are new colors of Lacey Lamb, which Wendy is happily knitting up. Our half circle shawl from Victorian Lace today was knit in this yarn. It's great stuff, at a great price and the new colors will knock your socks (or shawls) off.
From Louet we got 8 colors of Euroflax Sportweight Linen and 12 more colors of Gems Fingering. I can't get enough of the Gems. Cookie A really set me onto a good thing. I had never really paid it much mind until her sock patterns started popping up and folks kept asking for the Gems. I'm so glad, this yarn has been a good basic fingering for us. And as for the linen, I have always wanted to knit a sweater out of it, but have always feared the pain. People talk all the time about how it is so stiff it kills the hands, worse than cotton etc. But if you've ever been lucky enough to feel someone's well loved linen sweater you know how great it feels. This may be the year I buy some Handeze Craft Gloves and get down to some good flax-y buisness. I must say I ordered some stellar colors. Hopefully they'll be in soon! And new from Louet, so new it's not on their website yet, is Seacell and Corn Fiber Top! Whoa. This stuff just arrived today and it is really something spectacular. Both will be available in 2 oz increments instead of the usual 1/2 lb, $5 for the Seacell and $3 for 2 oz of Corn Top. If you are a spinner you've gotta try it. I wanted to make it available for a reasonable price and quantity so that people could experiment to see if they liked it before making an investment in a project quantity. Take it for a spin and tell us what you think! Both are undyed, so perfect for hand-dyers to play with too!
There's also a new yarn from Hand Jive, the makers of Nature's Palette Fingering Weight Merino. Nature's Palette Laceweight Silk & Wool, a 50/50 merino silk blend with a super springy twist is a great yarn. We are getting it in 5 colors and each skein is 655yds/100 gms making it lighter in weight than something like Koigu yet not as fine as, say, Alpaca Lace from Misti. It's a nice gauge that we don't see very often and makes a great warm and sturdy shawl without being clunky looking.
And, I saved the best for last! The lovely people at Koigu unveiled a new yarn! It's a 50/50 merino silk blend. The put up, gauge and spin are exactly like the KPPPM but it's 50% silk! Think your favorite Koigu but with incredible shine. This stuff glows. The dyes take to it beautifully, vibrantly (is that a word?), amazingly. This is the kind of yarn that changes lives. You think I'm overreacting because I sell yarn for a living? Ha. Just you wait. I should get some smelling salts to keep on hand at the shop just in case.
So I guess that's all for now, I know this was a long post. Thanks for hanging in until the end!


Lauren said...

Fine, fine, thanks for the update but where are more baby pictures?

Stitching Pink said...

Hey Courtney, Congrats on the new baby! More pics please!! - marisa

Anonymous said...

Courtney, great post. If you think it's fun with one baby, try dealing with how you are treated when you have twins. Or teaching at Stitches with infant twins and taking a nursing break every time everyone else took a coffee break. Not fun, but you get through it and re-define the word "tired". And sometime vendors re-define "nice". So glad you are back and so glad to see baby pics. Keep knitting and nursing. That baby will be on a skate board before you know it.