Thursday, June 28, 2007

I DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh my gosh! Guess what ya'll!!! Remember the American Sewing Guild Creativity Contest I entered in May? Well, I got a call today from New York City, and

I'M THE RUNNER UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm just on top of the world. I win a book and 5 Simplicity patterns, but the real kicker is that my garments will be modeled in a fashion show at the 2007 ASG Conference.

I feel so inspired and validated. I think I'll do a little stitchin' this afternoon...

Whew ... that was easy!

I had to hit my easy button. Yes, I have one. Couldn't resist. I also bought Debby one so she could hit hers from time to time.

I was told it could take up to 24-72 hours for our new website to show up. Well in less than 1 hour, it was up! My husband even hit the *easy button*. Yea, easy for him too... After lots of long hours, I'm very happy with it so far.

And thanks for the comments and emails. Keep 'em coming because here's the prize in July as promised.

Knitting for Peace book and 3 skeins of O~wool Balance organic yarn - your choice of color (as long as 3 of your color choice is in stock) . Keep looking for those *bugs* too. I appreciate it muchly...

Not too much knitting going on - although I started Chevron scarf in Woolly Boully yarn. Delish! Love that yarn...

That's all for now folks. Just wanted to say thanks for all the kind words and encouraging comments and emails on our new site...

Sunday, June 24, 2007

We are lifting off...

The Yarn Grove will launch the new website tonight. Wow, it is an exciting time. Unless something drastic happens between now and then.... like cold feet.... or a serious bug ... it will happen.

First and foremost, huge thanks to the ever wonderful, creative, and fun Cynthia of Hula-La designs for her development of our banner,Logo and colorways for the new website. And some of you may have noticed - Lily Purl will be a blogger here as well. We have employed Lily Purl since last year (our sometimes mannequin, when she feels like it) but she has now taken on new roles, thanks to Cynthia. Stay tuned for more from her... If you ever need cool - go to Cynthia, because honey, she can design it.

So here's the contest. Yep, my first blog contest. When you visit our new site, please email me or leave a comment if you find any bugs, or have any constructive criticism or just general chit chat. I am open to it all. The prize will be announced later this week. The contest ends on July 21, 2007 so check us out before then.

Since we will *cut over* to our new server tonight, it may take 24-72 hours before we are *live* again. My email will remain the same but may be out of commission for the same length of time.

Yippee Yi-aye! And I even started a new sock last night. Brand new organic yarn ... you'll several new *stuffs* on our new website.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

PurlPod Back Packs - Ingenius!

While at TNNA, I was wondering around - contemplating my next purchase for the shop - and I stumbled upon EGD. EGD is Elizabeth Garson Designs, LLC and I must add, an absolutely delightful, professional young lady. And a genius - in my opinion. It's one of those bags where you go ... why didn't I think of that? But then again, this is me and that is her : )

Let me introduce PurlPod Back Packs from EGD. The one pictured here is in Blue Steel. This is an animal friendly bag, *and* Made in the USA! That's all it took for me. We will be getting more in - for sure.

The bottom of this bag unzips half way and you put your cakes/balls of yarn there and feed them up through the grommets. No more tangles or fighting the twisted yarn. It's all in one! There is a removable small purse that snaps to the inside, some more pockets, some loops to feed your yarn through and plenty of room for lots of stuff. This bag stands about 17" tall and will come with a flannel shipping bag. I mean, come on, a bag this special deserves the best treatment!

These bags will be on our new website soon... If you want one in the meantime, please email me and we'll make it happen! You won't be sorry...

Monday, June 18, 2007

An Ode to Spottie Dottie

As some of you already know, I'm the proud Mom of two rescue pets- Mona and Spottie Dottie. Mona is a one eyed wonder, infamous for "helping" with knitting projects...especially when you're not looking. Spottie is a hyperactive, mischief prone mutt who eats anything.

When I found poor Spottie, she was half starved, weighing only 34 lbs. She had a horrible scar around her neck from where her former owners has tied her up. Well, 2 years of love and adoration have put a smile on her face and 21lbs on her torso. 21lbs! SHAMEFUL!!!!

Chris and I had a heart to heart with the vet, who says Spot should weigh 47 lbs, and she said no more table scraps PERIOD. Well, we weren't feeding her that much, were we? When we steped back and looked at it, a cheezit here, a lick of peanutbutter there...well, it does add up doesn't it? And even though we walked her at least a mile everyday without fail, it wasn't enough to burn all the extra calories.

So for the last 4 months, we've cut out table scraps entirely, switched to a more quality kibble, and changed up her walks to include swimming in the creek, and she's lost a pound a month. Today she weighed in at 50 lbs! She gets to pick out a new toy from Petsmart this weekend!

Good job Spottie, and good job Chris for pioneering the Spottie Dottie Weight Loss Plan!

Everything has a Purpose...

I give you the Luna Moth. Yes, I am procrastinating. Yep, I have some tweaking left on our new website but am taking a break. Not much knitting to report except that my Fingerless Gloves are coming along nicely.

Before we moved into our home in Peachtree Corners over 2 years ago, I had never seen, in *real life* a Luna Moth. We came home from supper one night and lo and behold there was one on the front door. It was the coolest looking moth I had ever seen. It seemed as though it was looking at me... This one, pictured here, with a wingspan of approx. 4.5", was on my kitchen window about 2 weeks ago - early one morning before dawn.

Some facts about the Luna Moth:
. Adult lunas have no mouths. They eat nothing.
. Their only purpose is to mate (and look beautiful I might add)
. They live a short life - about one week.
. Their hindwings have *eyespots* and long tails
. The Female luna lays around 200 eggs on the underside of leaves, 4-7 at a time.
. They are a rare find - only around in some parts in late spring.

. I feel privileged to have seen this fella x 2.

That's the end of the lesson for today, folks. I have several boxes of new goods that arrived today and I am so anxious to show them to you. But alas, I cannot. You see, that would be double work. All new goods now arriving will only show up on one place - The Yarn Grove's new website ... Tune in soon... And until then, happy knitting!

Friday, June 15, 2007

I give you ... green things and a finalist!

Green - as in organic yarn green. Green - as in organic pickles green - green as in .... well, you get the idea.

On the knitting side, I have begun a pair of Fingerless Gloves from O~wool organic yarn in Willow. All the new colors that are out in the Classic O~Wool are on order and we should see those arriving sometime in August.

Also at TNNA, I placed an order for O~Wool's brand new 2-ply organic wool in all the colors and it would make a great sock. I played with a small sample that I had in my room in Columbus and liked the result a lot. Imagine - organic socks... Love the idea... That yarn is supposed to ship in June.

Now for the pickles. What you see is the fruit of my labor from yesterday, along with the start of my gloves. The pickles are bread and butter type - made from tiny cukes and vidalia onions, but they do have a *bite* to them - of the vinegar kind. The recipe is gobs of years old - from my mom's family - and we love these. I put up 15 pints out of 52 cukes so not bad. My mom and I did them together - she was the wiper (very important job to make sure there are no seeds or anything on the rim of the jar so they will seal) and I might add, all jars sealed!

Will be starting a pair of socks so I can show off my new sock blockers that just arrived from Scout's Swag shop. Love them! I needed another pair so bought a wood pair this time. They are super fun...

I'm gonna brag a bit . Remember my DIL's post May 18, 2007 about entering a design/sewing contest from the American Sewing Guild and Simplicity patterns, (which hosts the ASG Creativity Contest), well Cheryl is a finalist! I'm so proud of her ... but I am not surprised. Cheryl is amazingly creative. Sometimes I just shake my head at her and her ideas. Way to go Cheryl and you know I'll be cheering for you...
And I leave you with a Happy Father's Day to all the dads (and mom-dads) out there - both to the people kind and critter kind...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Craft Swap

My very very very favorite clothing company, Free People, hosted a craft swap for all of its blog readers. The theme was "world travel," and I made this rugby inspired scarf for my partner, Monika. I dyed the wool with natural dyestuffs, and lined the scarf in green velvet. Monika sent me a goody bag of french candies, soaps and candles, AND a CD of French music. So fun!

Another hat - woo hoo

You may think this is all I can knit; however, I have many samples to make before Marketplace in November. So my goal is, as posted earlier, to make a sample hat for each kit we sell. These hats are fun, fast and great gifts. In the kits, you get the pattern, 100% cotton yarn - enough for the larger size - and an adorable mini polka-dot canvas bag that can also be used as a gift bag. Here is the Calypso Hat.
Currently, I am 100% focused on finishing our new website. So I may be bowing out for a few days. We'll see how much progress I can make on it today. My goal is to launch it *very* soon. Will keep you posted.
New yarns expected here soon - PageWood Farms. Yep, I ordered gobs of the sock yarn at the TNNA show. Should have it within 4-5 weeks! I know you will love it. Just like you loved Woolly Boully yarns. Another order has been placed and I will keep you informed about that one.
Your response to the Hiya Hiya needles has been overwhelming. Again, I absolutely love the 6" bamboo and we have lots more of these needles on order - both stainless circs and bamboo. When you take the stainless circs out of their packaging, I would have expected the cable to coil like I have seen it happen on other brands. With these circs, when I removed them from the packaging, they did not coil. I was impressed!
We have many other fun accessories, yarns and such on order. Also some new lace patterns but they will be on new website only. So stay tuned and I'll let you know!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Calling All Sock Knitters!

Attention all sock knitters! I need your help!

I've never really been interested in knitting socks...I mean all that work, and they go inside your shoes! Well, I spent the weekend at cabin in North Carolina celebrating my most darling friend's wedding. The visit left me longing to knit something earthy and cozy, and hand knit socks seem like just the thing!

So- Where do I start? I need a cute pattern. And what side needles should I get? What kind of socks have you all done? I'm going to use this sock yarn I dyed.

Come on yarn grovers, I need you!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Some wool, some bull and some Woolly Boully

First, thank you to all for your happy birthday wishes both in post and email. I appreciate your kind words and yes my children are that wonderful! And my DIL, Cheryl, is too! I only wished they all lived closer...

Some show and never tell... I have always been artsy - tartsy all my life. I used to put on Let's Make a Deal shows for my parents - and handmake all these goofy prizes. It was one of my favorite shows. With that said, Stephanie has always been crafty. She also has the decorating gift, which I do not, and can knit, sew and the like. Now my son Chris, has dabbled a little. When he phoned me yesterday for my birthday, (they always have liked to see who can call first - and I never tell who the winner is) he asked if I received his package. He also said when it arrived, I might be amazed at a hidden talent he had.

Well, the package arrived, and with great anxiety, I opened it. Oh my gosh, it was a clock with our new logo on it. Burned into it. Which meant, he was playing with fire? I called him immediately and he said, remember the wood-burning set you gave Stephanie and I when we were little? I liked it then and I really like dabbling with it now and am getting quite good. I vaguely remember the wood burning kit - but surely I never allowed them to plug it in... I mean, come on. Wood - burn ... I will treasure it and it works beautifully.
The socks are from Woolly Boully which has been *walking* right on out of here. This is the neapolitan and the socks are done. From the toe up, and Feather and Fan motif on the top. I really love how they turned out. Don't worry, if you missed one of the colorways I had, another large order has been placed with Jenny of Woolly Boully. Her colorways are scrumptous... And I am adding 4 more colorways.
Also in, Skinny Duets - a new sock yarn from Angela of A Swell Yarn shop. Great yarn and also arrived today and already up are our new line of Hiya-Hiya needles. I was impressed with these at TNNA. When you remove the circulars from the package, you would expect the cable to be all kinked/coiled up and have to run under hot water. Not the case! I'll have some of those please, I told Mary from Hiya-Hiya. And some I got! Also am test driving their 6" bamboo dpns which are impregnated with resin (sounds bad but it's not)... This line of needles are affordable and functional...
Hope ya'll all have a great weekend. I shall be doing a rain dance. It is so dry here. My poor little birds and backyard critters are not liking this. But no fear, they have a couple of shallow dishes to splash in. And drink from. It's a hoot to watch...

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Happy Birthday to Jane!!!

That's right everyone... it's that time of year again. It's time to celebrate the birth of our favorite Yarn Pusher - Jane. This is Jane's son, Chris, coming at you live from Huntsville, Alabama. I've taken over my wife Cheryl's account to wish my mom a happy birthday. I may be jumping the gun a little (it's only 10:45pm Central Time), but I wanted this post up before Midnight on Mom's Birthday. I won't tell you exactly how old Jane is today (that remains a deep, dark family secret). Let's just say Jane is old enough to barely remember what she did in the 70's.

My mom is one of the greatest people to ever grace this Earth with her presence. Since my sis Stephanie and I were kids, my mom raised us to do the best we can with what is given to us. Mom taught us to be humble, fun-loving, friendly, and respectful to all those we meet. If it weren't for my Mom and her boundless love, I shudder to think where I might be today. One of the greatest gifts my Mom ever gave to my sister and I was a respect for all of the creatures that reside on "our" planet. Between Mom, Steph, Cheryl and I we have probably saved too many animal lives to count. I'm sure all of you have read about the lives of Charlie, Lucy and young Junior. Those are only 3 of the countless animal lives my Mom has helped save. She has truly been a steward for all animals big and small.

I'm rambling now. Simply stated - today is Mom's birthday and her family loves her. I must go to bed so I can call Mom first thing in the morning. Make sure to leave Jane some birthday love on the blog here... and buy some yarn while you're at it. It's her birthday for crying out loud.

Love you Mom.


p.s. Cheryl says you're the best mother-in-law a girl could ask for (what a suck up).

I'm Back ... Whew

Wow, what a great trip to TNNA (The National Needlearts Assoc). I got there Friday evening and it was no easy trek. I flew from Atlanta to Detroit and my 45 minutes layover turned into 5hours. But that was by choice. My connecting flight was late and grossly overbooked. So they asked for volunteer *bumps*. I looked at Debby and our eyes said it all. Hell yeah! A $300 voucher to anywhere they fly. Buh bye.

While waiting on our next flight to Columbus, I became fast friends with a group of 5 ladies from the National Women's Bowling league who had been traveling to tournaments. Let me give Imo, Judy and the rest a big shout out! We had supper with 2 of them. They took the bump also - so their 5 quickly became 7 when you added Debby and I. Lovely ladies and much continued success on your team(s).

On to Columbus and the show. I don't know where to begin. I met so many nice yarn shop owners so a big hello to Carla, Jenny, Suzanne, Ethel, Carmen, Jill. If you don't see the pattern by now, I talk to everyone.

Saturday was spent browsing and seeing all my vendor friends and filling my brain with ideas. Of course, Darlene Hayes of Hand Jive Knits was one of the first to get big squeezes from me. She is so fantastic and we go way back. She was The Yarn Grove's first vendor and I count her as a dear friend. We chatted for a long while. As I rounded the corner from there, I heard ... The Yarn Grove? where? and I turn around and there is Crissy Gardiner of Gardiner Yarn Works. What a doll! I so enjoyed the short time I spent with her and The Yarn Grove will be getting her 3 *new* sock patterns in very soon. She is a delight. Cookie A was a surprise because I did not know she was going to be there and she is so fun. Just like her patterns!

And a huge greeting from Micheline of Louet who I missed meeting last year. I was talking to Leslie, my Louet rep, and I heard The Yarn Grove? where? again and it was Micheline. She is a delight! I gave her big hugs too...

Book signings galore - this year you had to get a ticket from the publisher to get a chance to get a book signed. Last year in Indianapolis, it was chaos and the lines of people to get free books signed by the designer/authors was tremendous and blocked lots of other vendors who quickly got annoyed (rightfully so). Much smoother this year ... As I stood in one line I saw a young lady walking to me and I instantly knew it was the ever fabulous knit designer, Amy Polcyn . I quickly shouted to her and got a chance to say hello a couple of times . She designs a lot of gorgeous items for SWTC and others ...

Sat. night spent in my room, feet up, making up the shopping list for the next day. Hmmm, this is interesting... hmmm, this is gorgeous.... Yum, just what we were looking for! All I can say is stay tuned because we have new needles, yarns, and accessories on their way from now through September. September? yes... some very special, one of a kind yarns will be here in September.

One line I picked up was Regia. You all know what a fan I am of Kaffe Fassett fabrics and now.... a line of sock yarn in his glorious colors! Look for those in mid July. I could not resist and you will be glad I didn't.

And there is more... We got a lace yarn that I am *so* excited about. It is exactly what I was looking for. I did not find this until Sunday and bought it on the spot. It should be here within 2 weeks. It will also include handpaints. And new patterns.

I also met Lucy Neatby who is too cool, Amy Singer, Annie Modesitt and Drew Emborsky (one of the books I got because I was walking by and there was no one there so I chatted it up with them), Jane Sowerby and more. My brain just left me...

Can you tell I am excited? It was a very productive trip. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I knew a lot more than I did last year. Not only that but when I got home ... more yarn and more emails about yarn and accessories that are on their way that I ordered before TNNA. We should have the new Duet Skinny yarn in here by Friday and more decadent colorways of her Duet yarn you all love so much.

I leave you with Kidknits Sunflower hat that I finished on the way to Detroit. Bye for now, my friends!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Running (and knitting) in Circles!

I've had one of those weeks where I run around like a headless chicken all day and don't have anything to show for it when the whistle blows! I've got WAY too many knitting projects going on...4 to be exact, I'm making a quilt as a wedding gift- for this Saturday, I'm dyeing yarn, and trying to keep my FashionDig and Etsy stores full.
I'm just going to relax and work on one thing at a time. Today- I'm quilting til the cows (well, actually the husband) come home. I also have a sewing lesson with my favorite 10 year old. We're making a beach cover up. She's VERY fashionable.
Pictured above-Teeny Bikini Aran Weight BFL Wool and Can't-Elope DK Weight BFL Wool. Both available in my Etsy store- CherylBDesignStudio.