Sunday, October 31, 2010

Writing the newsletter

Since we don't receive many trick or treaters here, I thought I would take a few minutes to walk you through the process of producing the monthly newsletter each month. This time of year is always so hard because there is SO much to tell you about, we don't want it to be a novel, yet have enough information to be informative.

The process actually starts mid month trying to remember new items from the co-op members and new yarns or special events we want you to know about. Then it is taking and collecting photos to inspire you!

Once things are collected, it is time to write, rewrite and insert photos. This can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours- there is a lot of playing around with where to put the articles as well as what photos work best. Once that is done and if there is time it is emailed to a proof reader and many times finds problems with grammar or spelling. What can I say? My fingers working faster than the brain some times.

Once she has received it, we chat on the phone, hoping we have found all the problems and then it is set to published in the wee hours in the morning so when you wake up and go to your email in the morning, we hope it is a pleasant email waiting for you to read.

November's newsletter will be in your inbox in the morning!

Friday, October 29, 2010

And the wheels go round and round..

We had a great time last night with new faces, familiar friends and an assortment of wheels. It is always a pleasant night when relaxing and playing with fibers. The wheels were working hard as we worked on merino and tussah silk, shetland, and other blends. For me it is nice to be able to just enjoy the people who come into the store, spending more time talking about fiber.

After spinning, the dye pot was cooking yarns from Kate's collection that she decided she wanted dyed with indigo. I had just dyed with indigo and still had some of the dye bath remaining. It is now drying. Can't wait for her to see it at stitch group on Thursday.
More dyed roving arrived from the processors in lovely lavender, baby blue, teal, turquoise, soft yellows and more.
If you are not back over the weekend, enjoy yourself and don't let the goblins get you!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ye who dies with the most toys...

Stitchers are always looking for fun gadgets to keep us happy while stitching. These make great stocking "stuffers" for the holiday season.

We just got a new shipment of Nancy's Knit Knack items. We just love items from them. For all those stitchers here is the notion case. They come in assorted colors of hot pink, green and brilliant blue. They are terrific for stitch markers, needles row counters and more. If you sew they are great for bobbins, thimbles, needles and thread.

Their needle and hook gauge card is the best we have ever used. It has all those sizes that most gauges do not like 2.25 mm and 2.75mm. It is made of a hard white plastic and very easy to read. The knitting abbreviation cards are also back in stock. This is a great quick reference when on the go.
It is our spinning gathering tonight from 6:30 to 8:30 for all to enjoy. The camera is ready and hopefully we can finally get some pictures of all the great wheels and their owners.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Doing something good

Ever gotten up in the morning and think of the day ahead and pleased that you are doing something good that day for someone else? Today has been one of those days. During the course of a week, we share personal stories, tragedies, happy times and frustrations. This morning I met with a group of young women who have not had a great life so far in our store to get them interested in a craft. It was wonderful to see these four teens come to life talking with each other and starting to get to know each other through some yarn, a crochet hook or knitting needles. Three of the four have chosen a crochet project.

Another feel good subject, in more ways than one, is the Baaay State Blanket Project. Our farm belongs to a cooperative of Massachusetts wool growers and in 2009, wool was pooled together from anyone who wanted to participate from Massachusetts to have blanket made with our own wool. The wool has been spun and woven in Massachusetts decreasing our carbon footprint as well and keeping things local. These blankets are incredibly warm. They make wonderful gifts also. We have a sample of the 2009 blanket, some sizes still available, with the 2010 plaid to arrive soon. The proceeds go back directly to the producers for their expenses. The price list is in the store or for more information please call our friend, Nancy Miniter at 508-653-3121 or cell 508-740-3839.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's Fall?

The leaves have turned color and are falling off the trees and yet it is over 70 degrees! Just a little warm spell for southern New England. I was very touched by the power of knitting today and thought it deserved sharing!

A customer and friend, Iris came into the shop today. I had helped her get in touch with Juli at Chiaogoo to ask them if they would donate needles for a wonderful cause. Juli, of course, stepped right up and asked how many pairs and what sizes Iris would need and a package shortly arrived.

Iris volunteers for REACH (Refuge, Education, Advocacy, Change), a battered women's program. Iris wanted to shared with me a story of one of the women she works with at the program about knitting. This was published in their Vol 6, Issue 2 - Fall 2010 issue. May you feel the powerful voice of "Tina'" and the joyous, positive process of building her life through knitting.

"I am taking a knitting class. It is through REACH and is quite simple: two sticks, string and knots. The finger placement can be cumbersome and holding those sticks isn't always easy. I can't seem to hold on to all the items and then recall which I do next, over or under? I call to Iris and Diane repeatedly, and they patiently show me. sometimes sitting down next to me and allowing me to duplicate their movements in tandem. I learn to do something and take it home. I knit or purl until I get confused because it doesn't look right. I put it down and wait until Monday when Iris tells me what it is and offers to do the dirty work of ripping out stitches. Once I dropped a stitch and Diane worked through the previous row to fix it for me.

The unobtrusive, non-abusive way of learning was unimaginable in my life prior to July 2007 when I put my abuser out of my life. My life expectancy was running out every minute being with him. Always full of criticism and harsh appraisals of my handiwork, even in areas where I really shine. His abusive tactics were undermining. They made me doubt myself and I became his staunchest supporter and most vocal ally of his assault on myself.

I really still can't quite grip how he did what he did, but I continue the process of ripping out old negative thoughts and dropping his derisive condemnation. Now as I knit. with every stitch I hear the positive voices of the knitting ladies. With repetition, their feedback will extinguish my self-critic, negate my negative neural pathways and become my own. - Tina "

Monday, October 25, 2010

Long Time!

Okay, so the summer flew by and we were not good about keeping up with our blog. With all the new and exciting things going on, we need to keep you informed often but don't want to clog up your email inbox, so we will attempt to be better this time.

New Merchandise - Joan has just brought in some great knit, felt hats for the cooler months, these great pieces are a piece of art as well as a fashion statement!

Charlotte has some of the cutest Halloween themed wall hangings/ tablerunners as well some great place mats. Why give candy, when they can enjoy Halloween longer with a place mat?

New Yarn just in is more of the very popular Trail Sock yarn from Fleece Artist. There are two new colorways, one is soft lavender and violet they call plum and the other one is "Brew" a new color yet to be released. Hemlock and Stardust arrived also. This yarn is wonderful for socks as well as the very popular "Willow Cowl".

Manos Silk Blend is in stock in a wonderful array of semi solid and hand painted variegated colorways. Stop in to see a couple of the patterns we have stitched up as one skein gifts for the list of friends and family.

On the horizon - We are very excited about a fun filled evening planned for Friday, November 5 from 6 PM to 8 PM. If The Sweater Fits : A casual and on occasion frenetic meeting of knitters to try on favorite Berroco designs. Andra Azars from Berroco will be here with her trunk(s) loads of Berroco sweaters, scarves and more for all to look at and try on. We invite anyone who has made a garment from Berroco yarn or their patterns to come by and show of your handwork! We will have light refreshments that evening. As an added incentive all Berroco yarns and patterns will be 15% off that evening only!