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Brooklyn Knit Chick

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Getting out of a funk

Last week sucked. Did I mention last week sucked?

First we got some bad news, then David got sick, then it was a long work week (spring ordering began - my first big ordering season . . . lots of work!), then I got sick. As is usually my luck I started to really get sick just at the end of my week, which for me is Saturday. For those of you who haven't been to the Point on a Saturday . . . it is a sight to behold. It is hopping! Classes, shoppers, full tables of folks knitting and eating. Usually I tell my regulars that Saturday is my reward for the week. It's the day I don't pay bills, or write POs or do receiving, I just work with customers and enjoy the regulars and the general (chaotic) fun of the day. I did not get to enjoy Saturday because I felt AWFUL. Of course Sunday and Monday (my day's off) was when I got to feel really sick.

Since I felt that I had spent most of the week feeling sorry for myself (and the first paragraph of this blog reinforces that!) I decided to change my !@#%$^ attitude and make this week better. Monday I finished David's vest (my own design)

(the boring pictures I usually take)

(Me trying to take more interesting "Brooklyn Tweedesque" pics)

Here's David wearing it on Tuesday. He said I had to take headless photos because he was tired at the end of a long work week

My Mr Green Jeans has taken a pause while I do some sample knitting for the shop. Here's how it's coming along

Here's the sassy little one skein Misti Alpaca scarf I knit up for the store. It's a great pattern for everyone who has (or sees one at the Point) skein of Misti and doesn't know what to do with it.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Too cold to do anything but . . .

. . . drink tea, sit by my fire and knit. My favorite type of day! It's was a crisp 10 degrees when I lit the fire at 9:00 am. It's 6:30 pm now, and it's still going. What's the only thing that can make this day better? David having the day off and staying home with me - YEAH. I got a few tedious life things done (file papers, open mail, renew car insurance, change homeowner's insurance), got a few work things done (worked on March's class/workshop schedule for The Point, worked on cleaning up our house pattern file), so I felt perfectly good about eating fudge and knitting.

I finished the back of David's vest and started on the front:

Mr GreenJeans is far enough along to try on. I need to do a few more inches on the length before going to the sleeves and band

Last week I got over my hatred of finishing to sew up my Pin up Queen from Stitch 'n Bitch. I wore it to work and asked Cale, who works with me, to take a picture in front of the store.

He then put the camera on that continuous setting and took a zillion pictures including those where I was threatening to kill him

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Yarn, jet lag and chocolate

I got back this morning from a whirlwind 48 hour trip to Long Beach to attend the TNNA Winter Show. I took the red eye and got home at 6:30 am. I'm jet lagged and exhausted and left to sort through STACKS of information.

I left straight from the Point at 4:00 pm on Thursday and got into my GLAMOROUS Travelodge at 10:00 pm (1:00 am NY time). I waited way too long to book a hotel, so all the good ones were gone. The important thing is it was 5 blocks from the convention center and it had wireless and a clean bathroom.

I did get a lot of knitting done on the plane. I spent the first hour or so getting all my notes together about what vendors I wanted to visit, what books I wanted to see, and what bags I wanted to check out. After that I worked on David's vest and my Mr. Greenjeans.

Here's David's vest

It looks much too blue in the first picture. It's really more of the brown/gray in the close up.

I also got a big chunk of my Mr Green jeans in my yummy Rhinebeck yarn:

After sending a bunch of e-mails and checking my notes for the next day, I was sound asleep by 11:30 pm . . . and then wide awake at 2:00 am when the neighbor's TV started to blare . . . sound asleep by 2:30 am . . . and then wide awake at 4:00 am when the hotel alarm clock went off (set by the last unfortunate tenant) . . . sound asleep by 4:15 am . . . and finally wide awake at 6:30 am when my wake up call came. An evening of waterboarding would have been more restful. Ah well, on to the convention floor to register by 7:45 am, and then on to my retailer's meeting at 8:00 am. It was really interesting listening to retailers all over the country struggling with the same issues.

Next step, before hitting the sales floor, a stop at the wall of yarn & thread

(the only photo I can show you, as cameras are NOT allowed on the sales floor)

On the table were books listing all the yarn companies and the names of their yarn, rolls of tape, and samples of all the yarn. You could then make notes of what you like and tape in the samples. Can't tell you what I loved until we secure the vendors. Stay tuned . . . LOTS of cool new stuff out there for the spring. The name of the game for the new season is blends. . . bamboo blends, silk blends, alpaca blends . . . mmmm. Companies are blending fibers in really interesting ways. There's a lot of new combinations coming out that have not been seen before. The other word I saw every two steps - organic.

I settled in with my $3.50 tiny muffin, and the worlds LARGEST map, to create game plan.
Check out this intimidating sales floor:

My plan was to cover the whole floor in one day, not talk to anyone, just take notes and keep moving. That translated to a little over 2000 booths in a little over 7 hours (when you take away the 160 booths that are just needlepoint, and 45 min for lunch). I was DEAD on my feet by the time I met up with my pal Zeena for dinner.

The brought a backpack and tote bag to collect samples, but that became fairly backbreaking. I noticed everyone around me brought empty rolling bags. Genius! Live and learn.

The next day I slept in until 8:00 am, and spend the morning marking my map for the places I was going to return. The floor opened at 10:00 am, and by 5:30 pm I had gone to the 25 vendors I was the most interested in and made a few more passes to make sure I hadn't forgotten anything.

The show was over at 6:00 pm and my flight wasn't until 9:45 pm. Do you know how if you have time to kill before a flight you can always get something to eat, look around some shops, get a magazine, maybe check your e-mail with the wireless you can find. Yeah, not at Long Beach Airport. There is one magazine stand, and one stack bar with ham & cheese, hot dogs and muffins. . . and that's it. In addition, the gates are in one of those freezing cold temporary buildings. The airport may have sucked, but at least my flight was late!

One other thing I didn't really think through was how I was going to cram all the stuff I collected into my little carry on. There was all the color cards and yarn samples:

Then all the catalogs, price sheets, company info etc

And all the book, bag, needle etc. samples

I forgot to mention the chocolates. Every few feet people hand you chocolate.

Today I came home to my unfinished Pin up Queen. I HATE finishing. One more sleeve and I'm done

Sunday, January 06, 2008

It's a whole new year . . .

Sooooo much to tell you all since last I blogged. Where to begin. First of all, it's another lazy Sunday in Park Slope. First brunch with a friend, a walk, and now David reading in our cozy chair and a half. I am sitting by the fire listening by my MANY podcasts that have piled up (including over a year's worth of Quirky Nomads). I fully plan on finishing my Pin Up Queen, and my vest for David is coming along nicely. Since I've only roughly sketched out the pattern, I am avoiding doing the math for the armhole & shoulder until I knit the 13" I need to. Love the cable pattern I'm doing though. I'm finally treating myself to a few new books. We got a HUGE book shipment to The Point, and Vogue Stitchionary Vol. 2 (cables), and The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns is calling my name!

New Year's brought me a deLICious three days off. David and I went to Boston to see his folks and to go to First Night. We had the swellest of all possible times. We treated ourselves to staying at a nice downtown hotel right in the middle of the action. We crammed a LOT into that day (making sure we got our $15 dollars worth!)

First we all went out to breakfast and then David and I went to his folks house and spent the day over there. That night we stayed at our nice downtown hotel (robes & HBO - yeah) and the next day we met up with friends and did first night events all day. We saw the ice sculptures, went to see some foreign short films, went to the museum, went out to a nice lunch, saw a few concerts, saw a parade and fireworks. It was really fun. The next day we had brunch with friends, went back and saw David's folks again, and then drove home.

Here are some highlight photos:

The beautiful rotunda of the MFA

First cool ice sculpture . . . time for the parade now

These super cool dinosaur balloons kept stretching into the crowd and bopping people on the head

More super cool (pun intended) ice sculptures

After that it was time for fireworks and concerts. All and all it was a great start to what will, hopefully, be a great year.

David's sweater vest is coming along nicely. The alpaca from Rhinebeck is so soft and a pleasure in my hands

My new work schedule starts next week, with our new asst. manager. I'm SOOO excited that I can go to my Park Slope Knitting group again. My late nights will be Wed & Saturday, but Thursday I will be able to go straight from work to the knitting group.

I've been so missing Chicks with Sticks. That was by far the best part of being in San Francisco. Those women cracked me up. I went to the web page and looked at all the pictures from the last couple of months. Miss you all!

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