Saturday, March 03, 2007

Who Knew?

Well - you could just about knock me over with a feather. I can't believe what has happened since the last time I wrote. It looks as if, keep your fingers crossed, kniterary will survive in Whitby. So, for all of you nay-sayers out there, remember the close-out sale - fuggedaboutit! I have had a number of enquiries about the shop, with three people being quite serious. An offer is in the works, and if all goes well, a transfer will take place soon. I think that kniterary regulars will be quite pleased when the transition takes place. It looks like kniterary will be/become the sort of place I always wanted it to be. I look forward to being able to introduce you to the new owner some time soon. Stay tuned!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

This Just In

Here I go again, with weeks between postings. It is apparent to me that I just don't have enough time in my life to get everything done that I need or want to do! Which is why, over the last number of weeks I've done some real soul-searching. Last year, when I decided to open this shop, I envisioned a place close to home where my children could join me after school. Unfortunately, the village I live in wasn't a suitable location for the store. So, I looked south. No doubt, my decision to open kniterary just north of Whitby's "four corners" on Brock Street was the right move. Business has been great and I'm so thankful for all the customers who return again and again. However, it seems I see very little of my children and husband.
Some of the people that drop in to kniterary know that in addition to running the shop, I have a part-time job two days a week. So when I'm closed here Monday - I'm there and when I'm not here during the day on Thursdays - I'm there. Essentially, I'm working 6 and a half days a week. Naturally, this leaves very little time for Mark, Dave, Nick & Julia.
Last fall, to make things more hectic, my other employer asked if I could work three days a week, starting this summer. The thing is, I'm the only person who does what I do there! (In my former life, I was a Human Resources Analyst.) The "other" job is really too good to pass up. I enjoy the work I do, the people are terrific and it would allow me some free time during the week to do all those things I can't seem to manage getting done now: housework, doctors and dentist appointments, grocery shopping, kids' field trips, etc.
So, the bottom line is, I have decided to sell kniterary. I hope to find a buyer by the end of April. If anyone knows anyone who might be interested in being a wool-shop owner please pass along the news. The shop is in an excellent location, with parking and is almost the only wool shop at this end of Durham Region - nothing in Ajax or Pickering.
I've so enjoyed opening and operating kniterary and I have met many wonderful people. I believe Whitby really needs a wool shop - I hope I can find a buyer. In the worst case scenario, should nobody be interested, I will close at the end of May.
Thanks to everyone for the support and encouragement I have received. I really couldn't have done it without you!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

It Was All A Blur

Yup - it came and it went just like that! Here I am back at work and I can hardly believe Christmas was here. Dave and Nick spent Christmas and the following week with their dad this year. This is always a major bummer for me and the holiday never seems quite the same. Julia really missed her "boys." But they're back now - and I have a half empty fridge and pantry to prove it!
For those of you who might be wondering - yes - I did it (sort of). I finished all ten hats and the newfie mitts in time for Christmas. Only problem with hat # 9 (number 9, number 9) is that I forgot to increase after the ribbing so it looked more like a tube sock then a beanie. Thank goodness it was for my niece's boyfriend Matt - always smiling. He held out until December 27th to get the reworked version. Congratulations to him too, for getting a spot in the latest Toronto Police constable-in-training class. The tradition continues in one way or another in my family!
I did not - as predicted - finish my Mum's sweater and Mark's isn't complete either - unless 3/4 sleeves are fashionable for men this year! They have still been bumped down the line on the project list as I'm now working on a sweater for the build-a-bear cat (does that make sense?). The pressures of knitting on demand. Should finish it tonight and get back on track with my other projects.
It was great to see some knitters in the shop who were home from school over the holidays (you know who you are!).
I treated myself to a pattern-a-day calendar and am looking forward to what lies within. Hopefully I won't stray too far from "the list" because of it.
The New Year's Resolutions are many, but the one I hope I keep is finish knitting something for myself. This will mean ignoring the knitting needs of all friends and family - a very hard task - check in with me at the end of this year to see how I do!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Must Knit Faster

It started to sink in today - with only one week to go - that I just might not get all of my Christmas knitting done. Now there's a surprise!! I'm a little disappointed though, because I really didn't aim too high this year. Fairly early on I nixed the sweaters for each of my children (partly because I sold the yarn I had in hiding for one of them). I'll do the sweaters - honest I will - but not before the 25th. I did think I could manage the small things I had in mind. One pair of newfie/honeycomb/cathedral mitts (whatever it is that one calls them), ten London Beanies for the nieces, nephews and their significant others and one very simple chunky knit sweater (not really a Christmas present, but I'd hoped it would be ready nonetheless).
So - update....I've completed seven of the hats, one mitt and almost the front of the sweater. There is still hope. This is where the priority sequencing starts. Mitt #2 needs to be ready for Friday morning, so it's first. 3 hats - Christmas Day - they're next. Beautiful Baby Alpaca chunky sweater - Christmas"ish" - Boxing Day will do.
Meanwhile, the sleeves of Mark's sweater are on hold again, as is the throw for our living room and every other project here or at the shop that I've purposely stashed out of sight. At the Estelle Designs spring collection open house I bought some Jo Sharp Kid Lustre Alpaca for myself. I'm thinking it will make a nice lap rug in my old age. At this rate, that's about when I will get to it!
I had a brilliant idea this week. I'm going to go ahead and block the Bloomfield Cardigan and finish the button band, etc. Here's my logic. When I'm wearing it and it's done up, no-one will notice the twelve thousand or so ends that have not been sewn in. That is, unless I take it off for show and tell. I'm thinking if I work my way from the bottom edge up, I can get quite a bit of wear out of that sweater before sewing in all the ends. Not bad, eh!
Up until last Friday, four of my neighbours - women whose houses are withing eyesight - were pregnant, with due dates ranging from February to March. It turns out one little guy has made an early arrival. This has really thrown my knitting schedule out of whack. Although, at just over three pounds, I should be able to whip something up fairly quickly!
What is it about a knitter that compels her/him to pick up the needles at the hint of any life "event." Marriages, births, holidays, return to school....the list goes on. I get the greatest ideas. When will I learn that there are perfectly good items out in the world that can be PURCHASED!!
So, one last thing. Given my fairly slow posting rate lately, I thought now would be a great time to thank all of you who have supported me over the last seven months. Your interest and enthusiasm about my little venture is continually inspiring. I wish all of you a safe and happy holiday and a prosperous and healthy new year.

Friday, November 24, 2006

I'm Over Here

Well - I was totally shocked to see the last time I posted was early October. Kim - what have you been doing? Stuff - just stuff. I believe I was commenting in my last post that I just can't understand how some women manage to "do" and "have" it all - at the same time. I am so definitely not there. Yes, I have been knitting. Constantly, incessantly. But it seems that I don't get too far. A couple of scarves for display at kniterary. A couple of London Beanie hats for Dave and Nick. A Wilson Gator's scarf for football games. One third of the sleeves for Mark's Kathmandu Aran sweater. A London Beanie for Julia. Twenty-four or so rows of a hand-dyed throw kit picked up at the Sewing and Needlework Show in October. One half of one honeycomb mitt for a Christmas present. The front of a Baby Alpaca Sport sweater for my Mum. Etc. Etc. Etc. I know - where are the pictures. I did manage to buy a huge package of batteries for my camera. Must put them in......
Bottom line is I've been insanely busy since October. Business at kniterary is picking up. And, for those of you that know I have a part-time job on the side, I had to put in a couple of extra days there. Then there was the business of David getting sick at the end of October. It took about a week and a half for us (and some medical people) to discover it wasn't mono but pneumonia he had. Thankfully, he's back on his feet - and on the football field, the ice rink and in the swimming pool. No wonder the poor guy was run down. The boys do love their sports. Which leads us to Gator football. Dave is a member of the Junior Team at Wilson Secondary School. The Gators won the L.O.S.S.A. final last Saturday and the quarter-final of the Ontario Regional Junior Football Championship. I swear I was not a sports fan until my sons started playing - now I've learned to enjoy it all - Hockey, Rugby, Soccer, Lacrosse, Football, Golf. Curling even gets the occasional nod thanks to Mark!
What does this all have to do with knitting and not posting. Well, any of you with kids involved in activities know that the end result is hours upon hours spent in the car or sitting on a bleacher. I knit until I can't move my fingers in most cases. Just about lost a ball of yarn the other day when it fell off my lap and rolled precariously close to the side of the pool. I wasn't interested in learning about the effects of chlorine on 100% wool.
Kniterary is slowly getting geared up for the Christmas season. The second sublime is due here this week or next. Another batch of Berroco Ultra Alpaca is expected soon. Mission Falls confirmed their order would go out today. And I'm patiently awaiting for the Hand Maiden and Fleece Artist ordered way back in the first week of October.
We are now carrying twelve colours of Baby Ull. This yarn is lovely, soft and washable. Perfect for any project requiring a 4-ply. There are a number of inexpensive chunky/bulky yarns in the shop - great for scarves. We are now carrying SOAK - a lovely wool wash product from Jacq's Hats. There are three regular scents - Citrus, Flora and Aquae and the holiday-themed "a scent for celebration." All the products are phosphate free, rinse free and biodegradable. Not to mention produced in Ontario!!
Some of you have met Loretta who helps me out on Thursdays, now Michelle is in the shop on Saturdays. The idea is that this will give me some time to get some other kniterary projects up and running, including classes. I apologize to those of you who have been waiting so patiently.

Just Pretty Jewellery has left the store and headed back to Toronto for a couple of Christmas sales. Happy sales Fiona!

Kniterary will be accepting donations of hats, blankets & shawls. These items are being collected in support of Brooklin's Winchester Public School's efforts to build a school in Kenya. The school would like to add a personal touch to it's financial contribution and thought the hats, blankets and shawls would be a perfect idea. Feel free to drop your items in the basket at the shop.

I'll do my best to stay on top of this blog thing. It's just a matter of time.....

Thursday, October 05, 2006

How Do They Do It?

What I really want to know is how these women do it. You know the ones, the Yarn Harlot, yarnstorm....Do they have ghost writers, ghost knitters, partners who cook and do laundry...? I could use all three. My life is a whirlwind and now that October is here, fall activities are in full swing. I know the rules about two activities per child - but when you multiply by three that's, well, you do the math. Meanwhile, I'm working six days a week.
Contrary to what all you non-wool shop owners think, no, I do not sit around and knit all day (OK I admit, there have been one or two, but it's not the general rule). There's inventory, paperwork, ordering, customer service, etc. This sounds so familiar to me. I'm sure I've gone on (and on) about this before.
I had hoped to have pictures by now, but the batteries ran out on my camera - again. Apparently rechargeables are the way to go. I'm not very good in the "no power" department. My cell phone - which I use approximately 2.5 minutes per month is perpetually telling me "low battery." Did you know you are not supposed to turn it on, throw it in the bottom of your purse and leave it there for weeks? Mark asked yesterday why I even bothered with one. I don't have an answer yet. Very good question!
And what was I hoping to have pictures of? 1 half finsihed NORO cardigan; 1 fully knit Mission Falls Cardigan - 2/5ths of the ends tucked in; 1 Freedom Wool child's sweater - fully knit, not sewn together; front and back of 1 man's sweater in Kathmandu Aran; the beginning of 1 multi-directional scarf in Hand Maiden Silken; 1 doll's outfit, 4/5ths knit in Baby Ull, Buttons and a horrible yellow Lily Chin freebie (makes a great doll skirt though); 1 Mission Falls child's hat (completely knit, most of the ends tucked in, seam to be sewn) and a partridge in a pear tree - just checking to see if you're still with me.
Tonight's kniterary knitting night, so maybe I'll get something finished. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Happy Birthday Julia!

Five years ago, at precisely 12:32 a.m., our beautiful daughter Julia was born. Her entry into the world was quite scary - even the doctors and nurses were in a panic. Fortunately, we have not looked back and she's a healthy, (mostly) happy, child. I highly recommend parenthood to anyone who is considering it. If you've never felt your full range of emotions, believe me, you will once there is a child in the house.
Some of you may know I was adopted. Nothing was more important to me growing up than having someone who looked like me and was part of me. Perhaps that is why I rushed into marriage the first time. The relationship didn't work out, but I came away from the experience with my two lovely boys.
I'm so thankful to have them all.
I have been reading the most fabulous blog, yarnstorm. I think I discovered it through Mason-Dixon knitting. I hope to absorb even the smallest bit of Jane's creativity and have it influence my work in some way. There's a lot to live up to.

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