A little bit of writing, a little bit of knitting...

Friday, April 29, 2005

New project sleeplessness

I was so excited last night that I couldn't sleep. I love new projects. Last night, I finished the open-work scarf that I made for myself out of left-over Brilliant. It's gorgeous. I also started working on my experimental shrug. But that's not why I was so excited that I couldn't sleep. Yesterday, I decided to experiment.

Okay...don't tell my boss, since one of the words I'm about to use could be considered sacrilege. But yesterday I went to JoAnn. I had a 40% off coupon that expires tomorrow, so I was going to use it. There, I found a nice pillow form for another fuzzy pillow for the living room (though I still don't know which colors to use). And I picked up a learn-to-crochet CD (I already make it through triple crochet, though I can't guarantee I'll be able to repeat them later). And while I didn't buy anything that could possibly compete with the beautiful things found in the place I work (not that I can afford most of them...), I did buy something for a new knitted project. I bought a remnant of bright orange felt. The intention was to cut it into strips and knit it into a bag (for which my mother will sew a really cool lining). I haven't worked out all the details yet, but Paul cut it all up last night, and it's now sitting on the sofa, rolled up into a nice big ball, ready for working... I'm so excited, I can hardly think. :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Day 2

Day 2 at Knitters Mercantile was pretty much like Day 1 -- only, just like in school, where it just gets more challenging every day, things got a little hairier. I'm still working on pricing stuff -- but now I'm working on pricing stuff that's both newly ordered *and* old stock from Wolfe, the store that recently closed its doors. So I have to go through, price stuff, write down the stuff I don't have prices for, put everything back on the shelf, wait for new stickers, then take everything off the shelves again and find the stuff I still needed to price. I have, however, learned all about Berroco yarns. I've done Suede, Plush, Candy FX, Sizzle, Monet, Glace, and parts of Cotton Twist (which I now adore) and Zap.

I also got to open boxes from a new shipment. This is dangerous. I used to open up the boxes when I worked at a bridal shop, but I was never in danger of buying everything in the box.

I am getting the hang of things a little more, though. It's nice that the store's new, so it's not just me who doesn't always know what's what. It's all of us. Yesterday, we discovered that not a single Monkey Suits pattern had a price on it. So it's not just me. We're all in the learning curve. It makes me feel better. I did, however, get to use my purse to show a customer how well Lamb's Pride felts. And when a customer asked where she could find Cascade 220, I said, without hesitating, "Next aisle over, far side, about halfway down." Not bad for my second day.

The highlight of the day, though, was when a woman came in totally baffled by casting on. She had learned to knit when she was younger, and she wanted to knit a baby blanket. But her cast-on was totally twisted. So I sat down with her on the couch in the front of the store and taught her. I even explained the benefits of using a circular needle for baby blankets. And she was so happy and so grateful. It made my day.

My next day...I have no idea when it'll be, though I know I'm working Saturday again. Phyllis and Jan can't work, so it'll just be me, Barbara, and Sallie. I'm going to have to build up my strength -- three people on a Saturday... Should be exhausting.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

So there you have it...

After some headaches, tough decisions, and phone conversations, I reported to work yesterday afternoon. Talk about a crazy day! There's nothing quite like a yarn store on a rainy Saturday afternoon -- and the place was busy all day. As the newbie, I didn't help a ton of customers (though I did help one lady choose a beautiful purple yarn and some needles for her very own Martha Stewart poncho). Instead, I spent a lot of time stocking and re-stocking shelves, which helped me learn my way around the store -- and around the overwhelming stock room. I also started the pricing process -- when it's all over, there will be bar code prices on everything in the store, which will make inventory and check-out a lot easier. But imagine putting prices on every color of every kind of yarn in a store. It makes my head hurt -- but it's my job for a while. Yesterday, I did all but one shade of Suede.

After all that bending and pricing and stocking, I was exhausted yesterday -- and I woke up in some serious pain this morning. It had better go away soon, though, because I'll be doing more again tomorrow...

Friday, April 22, 2005

Wow...that was scary

I hate job interviews. It's not something I do often, so it's scary. And this, of course, was especially scary, since I had to show off my knitting. In fact, I didn't sleep last night.

So I showed up at 9, and the place was locked. It didn't look like anyone was there. I knocked...nothing. I was just about to drive away -- at about 9:15 -- when Jan came to the door and waved me in. She got caught up in something else in the back room, and she forgot that she hadn't unlocked the door. And Sallie, her partner, had totally forgotten altogether.

Anyway, we chatted for a while, and then we went through some of my projects. Despite the fact that I didn't have a ton to show, Jan loved my little baby socks. She was impressed with the Brilliant that I used for Lisa's shawl (which I quickly finished last night to bring along). She was excited that I knew how to needle felt (she instantly started planning the class I can teach). And she was thoroughly impressed by the cape I designed. In fact, when Sallie came in, she was so impressed that she told me to write up the pattern, and they'll sell it in the store.

In the end, we chatted for a while, and they told me to come in tomorrow for a few hours to see how it goes. I'm still not totally sold on the whole thing -- I don't want to end up working more than I can handle -- since I have plenty of stuff to work on here, too. My goal in life is still to write -- not to work in a yarn store -- so if I take the job, I'll have to learn to balance my life. Who knows if I'll ever actually have time to knit... But it looks like a fun place. We'll see what happens tomorrow...

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Oh, crap.

Yesterday, I spoke before thinking. Don't you hate when you do that?

I was having a frustrating day, so I took off for a while to check out the new yarn store in town. I was just about to leave (willpower kept me from purchasing anything) when I started chatting with one of the owners and before I knew it, I asked, "You wouldn't happen to be hiring, would you?"

It turns out, they're not. But they're open to the idea. And the next thing I know, I have an interview lined up for tomorrow morning. "Just bring in a few pieces for us to see," she told me.


Okay, so first of all, it would be nice to have a part-time job outside the house, but do I really have time? I'm stressed out enough as it is. And I travel so much that I'll be constantly rearranging my schedule. That's not really good.

But now I have to bring in samples? I only want to be a clerk. I know how to work a computer -- what more do I need? Do I need to be able to knit cables? I'm sure I could -- I just haven't had the time to try. Do I need to be a sweater pro? 'Cuz again, I've never actually tried. I've designed a few of my own pieces, and I have a ton of scarves and felted bags that look very nice -- but a lot of the stuff I've made is now hanging in someone else's closet (most likely 340 miles away from here).

But I guess -- since I don't know if I actually want the job -- it's no big deal, right? If they don't like the stuff I bring in, I don't get a job. Who cares? But I just don't feel like having pros criticize my work right now. I'm fragile... :)

So wish me luck (or maybe not, since I don't really want the job). At least I'll go in with a few things, chat with them for a while, and maybe (if I'm not too humiliated by then) stick around for their 11:00 knit-along. And I'll report back tomorrow.

Monday, April 18, 2005

The ups and downs of homeownership

Yes, it's nice to own a place of your own. But this weekend, I had my doubts. On Saturday, we spent the whole day cleaning toilets and scrubbing floors (me) and mowing lawns and digging out dandelions (Paul). Yesterday, though, we rewarded ourselves with a nice new patio set and a grill of our very own. We spent much of the day putting stuff together and preparing a meal (steak and a grilled veggie mix of potatoes, onion, green pepper, and zucchini, along with some jalepeno cheese bread in the bread maker that Mom dug out of her basement for me). Just as we were about to sit down to eat, the rain started. It didn't last long -- and it didn't rain much -- but it was enough to bring our little party inside.

On the knitting front, I finished most of Lisa's wedding shawl on Friday -- I just have to sew in the ends. And the doll blanket for Kaari is almost halfway. I went out and bought more Bernat Super Value, which was on sale last week at Meijer. I originally bought some just for that little blanket for Kaari's dolls, but I was so impressed that I went out and bought more. When they say "Improved Softness," they're not kidding! Working with it has been a dream -- it's the most amazing cheapie acrylic ever. When I showed Paul, even he was impressed. As he noted, "It feels like cotton." I have big ideas for my new Super Value -- including a scarf and a sweater for Kaari and a shrug (and maybe a wrap) for myself. I know it's totally low-class, but I don't care. No one has to know I didn't pay $10 a skein.

Would you like potatoes with your steak? Posted by Hello

A nice place to sit... Posted by Hello

Friday, April 15, 2005


I got home on Wednesday to a big surprise -- our yard had bloomed with all kinds of tulips! I felt like I was home -- back in Holland (if you watch The Simpsons, you may remember it as the home of the Tulip Festival). We have to do some weeding this weekend (something I've never done before -- nor do I actually know how), and the lawn needs a good mowin'. But I'm so excited about the tulips, I can hardly contain myself.

Just like home... Posted by Hello

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Just a day late...

I tried so hard to finish my living room pillow before I came back home -- but that didn't happen. Instead, I finished it last night. And it looks so cool! If you were able to look at it closely, you'd see that it's knit with two shades of blue -- with the orange fur.

My new furry pillow Posted by Hello

Home again...

Yesterday, I made the drive back home to Ohio after a wonderful week with my family. On Sunday, I got to hang out with my niece, Kaari (3), and my nephew, Nathan (now officially 7). We had a blast! It was so much fun to see them -- and now I'm totally exhausted.

Seven candles... Posted by Hello

I also got to spend some time hanging out with my best pal, my mom. We did some yarn shopping. On Monday, we went downtown to Singer, where I bought sock yarn. On Tuesday, we ended up at the Grand Opening of the new Meijer, where a few things happened to be on sale (so I got more cotton for dishcloths and some purple yarn for a baby blanket and/or scarf for Kaari). And yesterday, before I left, we rushed to Friends of Wool, where I got an extra-long cable to add to my Denise set and some grey Chinchilla for a scarf for me.

But we shopped for more than just yarn while I was home. We went to Toys 'R Us on Saturday for Nathan's presents. We also hit the Gap outlet, where I got...a lot of stuff. And we went to the mall on Monday (where we got some flip-flops, and I got some new capris).

I also got to see a couple of other friends -- I had coffee with Kathy and her two youngest. And I had coffee with Joel, too. I drank a lot of coffee (I've since gone back to water, thank you).

And when I got home, the yard was covered in flowers -- and flowering trees. It's beautiful! I almost cried when I saw the tulips. It's all a surprise, since they were all planted before we moved in, but the tulips make me feel at home. I'll take pictures of them later...

Today, Paul joins me at home. He had a good week, but now he's sick, and I'm sure he'll be exhausted after leaving Delft at 8 this morning (which is 2 am Ohio time). I foresee lots of lounging in the near future.

Monday, April 11, 2005

In my old room...

I've set up shop in my old bedroom (which is still covered in the teal carpet that I thought was so cool back in 1988). It's now Mom and Dad's office. I drove up this weekend to hang out for a while -- and to celebrate my nephew's upcoming seventh birthday. After I get some work done, I'm hoping to go out for coffee and hit Friends of Wool. I'm thinking some sock yarn would be nice...

My latest project -- the bright and fuzzy pillow. I started it Friday night, and (after a panicked trip to Joann on Saturday night for more Fun Fur) I'm over halfway done. I only have a couple of days left here, and I really want to finish before I leave, so I'll have to get down to business soon...

Thursday, April 07, 2005


The spring Knitty is here! The spring Knitty is here!

(There goes the rest of my afternoon...)

It's that time again...

Once again, I'm getting ready to travel. Tomorrow I'll be heading north for a long weekend with my family (and my almost-seven-year-old nephew's birthday party). So what do I bring with me? Do I bring Lisa's shawl? It's almost finished, and it'll take up a lot of space. So is it worth brining along just to show it off? Probably.

I also need to take along the yarn I bought for a cool throw pillow for the living room. Mom bought a pillow form for it, and she can help me sew it together.

I've also packed some extra yarn for adding an edging to that darn tank that I still haven't finished. And now that it's spring, I need to finish it so I can wear it.

I've also packed a few extra dish scrubbies, since Mom's recently learned that they make great potato strubbers, too -- so she wants more.

And I picked up two new books from the library to flip through while watching the news with Dad.

Is that enough? Probably not. I'm sure I'll think of more to pack. Unfortunately, I'll be traveling solo, so I'll be doing all the driving -- which, actually, I'm excited about, but it means that there won't be any knitting in the car for me.

I can't wait for the trip, though. It means that I'll be shopping and going out for coffee with Mom -- and we'll most definitely be hitting Friends of Wool while I'm there. I can't wait!

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Knitting Bachelorette

I hate to admit it, but I actually watched an episode of The Bachelor the other night. It's not that I wanted to watch it, but there was nothing else on, and I needed background noise while I knitted...

Anyway, I was impressed to find one of the hopefuls (Sarah, who doesn't appear to be making any friends) knitting. Talk about knitting in public! Good for her!

I was struck by the fact that her housemates once hid her knitting in the middle of the episode, commenting on how she always picks it up as soon as she walks into the room -- and, as a result (they claimed), she never talked to them. Sarah told them that she could talk to them if she felt like it -- but she just didn't want to talk to them. I've often heard similar assumptions -- that if I knit, I can't hold a conversation at the same time. I often have to explain that I'm perfectly capable of doing both.

On another related topic, I've noticed a lot more knitters on TV recently. I think it was Carrie on King of Queens who I recently caught knitting in bed. Even Marge Simpson. Yea, knitters!

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


I made an amazing discovery last night. I was just knitting away on Lisa's shawl while watching TV. I finished the third skein (I bought six), and I thought I'd wrap it around me -- just for fun. I discovered that it already covered my entire back. Since Lisa's quite a bit smaller than I am, it'll be even bigger on her. So I think I may be almost done. I'm going to finish at least the fourth skein and see how it goes. But then I think that might be it (with two skeins left for me to play with).

I'm amazed by how beautifully this yarn knits up. The drape is amazing. Really...it's impressive for such an affordable yarn. I've really gotta go out and get me some.

Monday, April 04, 2005

April Fools' Shocker...

We got a late April Fools' Day joke out here on Saturday -- snow! I woke up on Saturday to a yard covered in white stuff and heavy, wet snow coming down. It's hard to believe that it was 75 just three days earlier. But the snow's gone again. The birds are singing, and the flowers seem to have survived the storm.

On the knitting front, I've been working away on the shawl for Lisa. I'm using the two longest Denise cords together, and I can no longer stretch the shawl out to check the length, so I must be getting somewhere.

I checked back at WEBS last week to see if I could order a little bit of the sparkly shawl yarn for myself, only to discover that there are only two colors remaining -- red and brown. Since then, I've been in a debate with anyone who will listen. Which one should I get? The brown or the red? The red will go well with a lot of stuff, but I really want something I can wear with a brown linen spaghetti strap dress that I have -- but the red might not look right, and the brown could very well be just the wrong shade. So what am I going to do?

I'm going to visit my parents this weekend, so I'll have to go through patterns and colors with my mom this weekend. She may not be a knitter, but she's great at helping me pick out yarn.

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