Saturday, December 29, 2007

Christmas Gifts

I hope everyone had a good Christmas with their family and friends. We were blessed to have all 3 of our children and their spouses and the grandkids over on Christmas Day. It was fun being together. My kids outdid themselves this year. They got me so many nice presents. I never like them to spend their hard-earned money on me, but this year they surprised me with several things that I had wanted, but wouldn't get for myself. It was nice being pampered for a change.

I didn't get to knit all of the Christmas gifts that I wanted to do...but I did finished the felted slippers for each of my grandchildren. I immediately put them in the washing machine on Christmas morning so I could size them while all of the kids were there. They were so funny as I put these warm, wet slippers on their feet to check the shrinkage. They were like..."'re wet!?!". It was a little hard to explain that, yes, they were wet right now, but that after they had shrunk enough we could let them dry and THEN they would have a pair of new slippers...just like Grandmomma has.

Here's a photo of them all lined up in a row. I guess you've probably noticed that the pair in the middle is 2 different sizes. No, it's not a mistake. One of my grandsons has 2 different sized feet. So, these slippers will truly be a custom fit just for him.

At the shop this week we had a store-wide sale...and boy did the shoppers come. It was fun seeing a lot of folks that I hadn't seen in a while. I was amazed that I remembered so many of their names. And just to think that this time last year I didn't know any of them. I'm thankful to have met such wonderful people...and I consider many of them good friends.

New yarns arrived this week at The Yarn Haven. The shipment from Malabrigo finally arrived. Whew, six weeks is a long time to wait on a yarn. The shelves were looking quite bare. But thanks to my Stocking assistant, Marilyn, all of the Malabrigo is now on the shelves and awaiting the Block of the Month Club to resume next week.

Two new companies have been added to our inventory: Kollage Yarns and Jojoland! From Kollage came the Corntastic yarn. It is made of 100% corn! Who would have ever thought that we would be knitting with corn! But it's soft and comes in some luscious colors for spring. They look just like a basket of Easter eggs on the shelf. I'm seeing an outfit for my granddaughter out of this yarn.

From Jojoland we received 3 new yarns. Harmony is a lace weight yarn made of 100% merino wool. Rhythm is a DK/light worsted yarn that is variegated and I'll be interested to see just how it knits up as each skein in the bag looked a little different depending on how it was rolled up. And last, but certainly, not least, we got Jojoland's 100% Cashmere. I can't wait to start a lace scarf out of this yarn. It is indeed very soft and yummy.

This weekend through next Wednesday, January 2 the shop will be closed for Inventory. We started working on it this afternoon and there sure are a lot of yarn skeins in here. We printed out over 100 pages of different yarns, accessories, books, etc to count. I kept asking my husband to remind me again of why we needed to count everything. Even though it's a lot of work, it's kind of like going down memory lane as I go from one yarn to the next. I keep thinging things like...oh yeah, I remembered I wanted to knit up a swatch of that yarn, or hmmm, I had forgotten how nice this one is...I simply must think of a project using this yarn.

So as you're sitting at home this weekend or lounging at home watching the UT game on New Year's Day...think of me as I count all of the wonderful yarns that I have selected for you to use in your knitting and crocheting addictions...umm hobbies. I'll be thinking of you as well! Blessings to you all and I hope you each have a wonderful New Year that will bring you much joy and excitement as you knit or crochet to your heart's desire.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Spirit of Giving

I'm almost finished knitting Ariel's felted slippers. She is going to absolutely love these slippers. Not only will they keep her feet warm...but they have purple on them!! The color of choice these days.

These slippers were so quick and easy to make. Much faster than the adult version that I usually make. I'm thinking of having folks make this smaller version when they take the Felted Slippers class. Although folks seem to like making slippers for themself the first time. Can't say that I blame them? What do you think? Should the class learn to make felted slippers by making the adult version or the kid version?

The 2nd shipment of the orange and white "Go UT" sock yarn from J-Knits has arrived. The first shipment simply flew out the door. All you UT fans, stop in and get you a skein. I really like this sock yarn...and we got in some of Julie's "normal" colorways as well!

I just want to say how thankful I am for my customers. They have been so supportive of the various charity projects we have done this year. From making chemo caps for the Caris Hospice to making blankets for Project Linus to making a gazillion green scarfs for the sailors on the U.S.S. Greeneville...they have been so generous with their time. A few months back we helped a lady who had lost everything she had to a fire in her apartment complex. We gathered together our "extras"...because what knitter doesn't have extras...and donated them to her...boxes and boxes of things. I got an email from this gal today with the following message:

Dear Sandy and all the wonderful Knoxville Knitters-

I couldn't think of a grand enough way to say thank you for raiding your stashes and helping me get back to my knitting so soon after the awful fire my family went through. Then it came to me. I have been knitting up a storm and now my family is ready for the cold winter. I hope you like the picture.

Much love and gratitude for all your kindness,

And while I'm on the subject of giving, I must personally thank two special ladies who have come to my Thursday Night Stock Night several times to help me put away the new yarns that arrive here almost daily. Phil and Marilyn, you gals are the best! Others who have also helped out include Betsy, Olivia, and Phaye. Thank you for giving of your time to help me catch up as quick as possible. Tonight as I count my blessings, I am counting all of you.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Christmas Traditions

Christmas is only 16 days away! I'm starting to wonder if I'll be able to get everything ready in time for our family celebration. One of our family traditions is to do our Christmas decorating on Thanksgiving weekend. This year, my son and his daughter and my youngest daughter and her husband all were here to help. So now, the tree is up and decorated and there are signs everywhere of the preparation for the big day. Somewhere between now and December 25 I need to find time to make Christmas cookies with my granddaughter. I used to always make cookies with my 3 children, and now that my sweet granddaughter is living with us, I think the tradition should continue. She loves to help me cook, so cookies should really make her happy.

At the shop, yarn is simply flying off the shelves. Anyone who says scarves are out has not visited my shop lately. Lots of people are making scarves for their loved ones...big chunky ones for warmth or smaller, more delicate ones for just looking great. Knitted and crocheted gifts are simply the best! This year, with my busy schedule at the shop, I decided to not knit any Christmas gifts. What??? A yarn shop owner not knitting up Christmas gifts??! Yeah, well, it sounded like a good plan to me initially...but to be honest, I really want to knit up a gift. So I've decided to make my granddaughter some of the felted slippers. The little houseshoes she has now go flying off of her feet at the least little flip of her foot. With hardwood floors in the house, she'll need something warm on her feet. So I'm going to get started on the slippers for her. 16 days should be plenty of time to make them. But I also wanted to make a belt out of the Daria cord/yarn for my oldest daughter. And that shouldn't take any time at all. It's quick and simple, but she'll love it. And my youngest daughter would look great in a keyhole scarf out of the Farmhouse Lumpy Bumpy yarn. Those are quick too, so maybe I should add that to my list as well. And...if I knit something for my granddaughter, then I should probably knit something for my 2 grandsons as well. Perhaps I could make them the fairisle hats that Mimi, one of our teachers, designed out of Tahki Cotton Classic yarn. And........oh dear, I think I'm biting off more than I can handle in 16 days. I do still have a yarn shop to well as a household to maintain with a 4 year old and a hubby to take care of. I think this is how knitting can get out of hand at Christmas. So I think I'd better just do my granddaughter's slippers for now...and then see how much time I have left. Knitting is always so much fun when you're making a gift for someone you love!