Sunday, August 31, 2008

Good Times, Good Memories

Happy Labor Day weekend everyone! After a very wet, "Florida meets Kansas" kind of summer here in the northeast, we are being rewarded with an absolute gem of a weekend (well, at least today and tomorrow).


I've got a few photos from Midwest that I want to share, in addition to the videos I've already posted.


First, I think all of you are aware of my penchant for warm weather. The morning I left for Midwest, this was the temperature here (top = outdoor, bottom=indoor):





Yes, it can get very cold here in New England, but that is pushing things for mid-August. A reminder of things to come from Mother Nature I suppose. Makes it even more important to me to savor days like today.


We dined at the Weber Grill in Schaumburg with one of our suppliers and his lovely family. Unfortunately, the mini-van didn't have quite enough room for everyone. Steve lost the draw:




I was completely taken by this lovely scarf. I wrote down her name and have no idea where that little slip of paper is. It will turn up, but in the meantime, isn't this adorable?






She called it her diamond square scarf, as the crocheted squares are attached at the corner, thus looking like diamonds. She used SWTC Tofutsies in an array of colors. Here's a closeup.





I just love it.


This next shot also tickles me. Far from the only sighting of a WEBS purchase over the weekend, but this was on Thursday evening after the market preview in the lounge at the hotel.





What doesn't come through as clearly as I would have liked is that the bar is lit and the WEBS bag was glowing.


Lastly, here we all are in our exhausted glory. Show over, everything packed up and we were tired and hungry, but happy:





Thanks to Pete, Andra, Kirsten and KT for a SUPER effort. You guys rocked.


Before I put Midwest completely to bed, there's something else I want to share. Over the course of any show, there are what I will categorize as "moments". In the scope of the show, they are the memory makers for us. Working these tradeshows is hard, grueling work. This show, I made a point to try to keep track of some of the funnier "Quotes from Schaumburg" to share with all of you. Now remember, they might not seem as funny and entertaining to all of you, as they did to us at the time. Here goes:


"If I don't see fencing, I'm going to kill someone"


"You haven't seen Glenn Garry, Glenn Ross and I still married you?"


"There's a Grim Reaper in all of us" - Wanda, IA


"It feels like someone is breathing on me"


"He probably just smells cats" - owner of Daniel the Golden Lab


"My Noro people are here, should I smoke the credit card?" - anonymous


"What, are you chicken?"


"Yarn.com was here."


With that, need I say more? See you all in Baltimore for East!


Kathy

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Ready, Set, Knit #94: Interviews with Rick Mondragon & Lexie Barnes!

This week on Ready, Set, Knit Steve & I interview Rick Mondragon, Editor of Knitters Magazine. Get some insight into what it takes to bring each issue to life, Rick's thoughts on the fall issue and more!


We also had the pleasure of having our friend Lexie Barnes join us this week as well! Lexie and her husband Corey are producing a new event here in Northampton called Twist, which will be held Friday & Saturday, September 5th & 6th. Here from one of the participating artists, Sarah of Ansel Blue Designs as well! We hope to see you there next weekend!


You can get Ready, Set, Knit at http://www.yarn.com/ or on iTunes!


Kathy

Friday, August 29, 2008

Mastering Technology

I think I simply wore Blogger out last night in trying to upload these videos. Sorry to have left you with the middle of the Oreo missing, but here we go.

All set and ready for the knitters!

video

Here is a quick tour of the Berroco section of our booth. In particular, check out the Babettes (Andra's and Pixie's) and the beautiful Assemblage Sweater. I "heart" Assemblage. There are three lovely versions for you to see!

video

I have some regular camera shots from the show that still need to be posted, so stay tuned for those.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Labor Day weekend. Remember, our retail store will be CLOSED Sunday (as always) and Monday in observance of the holiday! You can always order anytime at www.yarn.com!

Kathy

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Stitches Midwest - The Recap

Whew - what a show! We had such a great time at Midwest. Always so much fun to see our Midwest customers (and those of you who travelled even further). Thanks to everyone for making the weekend such a blast.

I thought I'd try a bit of a different twist in sharing Stitches with all of you. I did take a lot of pictures, some of which I will share with you, but first, I'd like to share this:

video

Yes, I know, probably not the safest video ever taken, but I was excited. I promised Steve I would not do this again.

We arrived at the convention center and here's where things stood:

video

Finally, time to call it a show:

video

I have to interim sections that just don't seem to be cooperating tonight including one great video of some of the Berroco garments. I am out of patience Blogger, so will leave you with these for tonight and the following questions. More tomorrow.

I'd love to know what you all think of the video. I promise (a) I will get better at it and (b) not include this many videos in any one post on a regular basis. I am excited. I've had this little Flip video cam ever since I saw Kim Werker with it - nearly a year ago. Not only is it adorable and super functional - it's orange, which I love.

I do have some cool photos from the show as well, which I will discuss tomorrow!

Kathy

Monday, August 25, 2008

Ready, Set, Knit #93: Interview w/Betsy Perry of Classic Elite Yarns

This week on Ready, Set, Knit Steve & I interview Betsy Perry of Classic Elite Yarns. Here all about the new fall yarns and designs!

You can get Ready, Set, Knit at http://www.yarn.com/ or on iTunes!

Kathy

Friday, August 22, 2008

And We're Off

Just a quick little post from here in Chicago. Our flight, set-up and opening night all went flawlessly. We could have opened at noon yesterday. If I do say so myself, we rocked the free world.


The Market Preview, which was last night, is for registered students only. They were quite an enthusiastic bunch and we had a blast seeing many familiar faces but meeting some new ones too. We had lots of nice comments about Ready, Set, Knit. It always freaks me out a bit to realize that people do actually listen. A few people commented how weird it was to be hearing our voices and seeing us in person.

After the market closed, we stayed here at the hotel for some appetizers. Stitches is a marathon and we've learned to pace ourselves.

I have to comment on the hotel. It is only two years old and it is lovely. Seriously lovely. The architecture, the decor, the details, the staff. . . .we're pretty pro-Marriott people and have stayed in many, across all the brands they have. This Renaisssance is among the best. I may never leave (I realize that could cause a multitude of issues, so just let me bask in my fantasy for a bit longer, okay?). Look at this - this is a feature in the bathroom of our standard room:

Love this place.
Kathy

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Chicago Bound

Stitches Midwest is nearly upon us! This year's show is in a brand new location in Schaumburg, IL. Our home for a few days will be the Renaissance Hotel & Convention Center. It's a brand new facility and we'll be the only show happening. Registered students can shop the market on Thursday evening from 5-8pm. The market is open to the general public Friday and Saturday from 10-6pm and Sunday 10-4pm. We will be in booths 513-618. Our crew this year includes Pete our Ops Mgr (in other words, he makes sure your orders get picked, packed & shipped), KT our Asst. Store Manager, Kirsten our Design Coordinator, Andra our most faboo Berroco rep and of course Steve & I. Be sure to stop by, say hi, do a little shopping, check out our Valley Yarns and garments (including all the new ones for fall!), Berroco's fall line and garments (Andra will have both of her Assemblages on display, plus lots more). We'll have some Kauni in the booth (get it while it lasts) and lots of great deals.
In other news, last week we received the new Nectar pattern book from Rowan. It's stunning.


We also have Kim Hargreaves Heartfelt and this great garment is on display in the store.


Knit in Kid Classic - isn't it lovely?

And I love the necklace (courtesy of WEBS Beads):



When we received in Artyarns Silk Pearl and Beaded Pearl & Sequins, I was in love. But we all know I am the slowest knitter around, so when Leslie Ann commented that she was wanting to give it a whirl on the Rigid Heddle Loom, I knew we could accomplish two things at once:
Isn't it gorgeous. I know, the photo doesn't do it justice. I am bringing home a Schacht Flip Loom after Midwest and I am making one of these in every colorway. This beauty took one hank of Silk Pearl for warp and one skein of Bead Pearl and Sequins for weft.
LA - I cannot thank you enough!

In other news, several of us had the chance to celebrate the upcoming wedding of Mary. Here's the lovely bride and groom.

We had a great time and are looking forward to the wedding this fall.
Oh and look at this creation - a wedding cake made from towels!

People are so clever! It was very cool.

J1 & J2's epic summer continued last week with our 3rd Red Sox game of the season.






This one was extra special because (a) I won tickets and I NEVER win anything and (b) the raffle I entered help to contribute to medical expenses for a very sick child in our town.

The seats were incredible:

We even had a waitress and menus!



Fenway franks never tasted so good!

I hope to see lots of you in Chicago!

Kathy

P.S. Don't forget - I am now on Facebook and have created a WEBS Page. It still needs some work, but it's coming along. If you are on Facebook, look me up as a friend and certainly join the WEBS page!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Podcast Show 92: Interview with Karen Morris

This week on Ready, Set, Knit Steve & I interview Karen Morris, author of "The Beading Answer Book" which is a terrific reference book for beaders of any level. Be sure to visit WEBS Beads!

Pixie & I wrap up the Staghorn Cabled Tunic KAL!

You can get Ready, Set, Knit at http://www.yarn.com/ or on iTunes!

Kathy

Friday, August 15, 2008

Tax Free Weekend!

This weekend is Tax Free Weekend here in Massachusetts. All purchases of taxable goods under $2500 will save the standard 5% sales tax! We are fortunate that yarn is not taxed here, but there are lots of items that are! Things like looms, spinning wheels, knitting needles, books, bags and other accessories. That means if you've been thinking about purchasing a spinning wheel, this weekend you'll save the 5% sales tax. On some of these larger ticket items, we could be talking about enough savings to cover the gas to get here, or even lunch!

But wait! You know Steve and I like to make things extra exciting so in addition to saving 5% on the sales tax, we'll also take 10% off the original price! Now we're talking some serious savings!

Remember, this applies to in-store, in-stock purchases only. For those of you considering a loom, this applies only to a single purchase with a price under $2,500.

This is a great opportunity to get a jump start on some holiday shopping. Think about getting that special knitter a set of 24" Addi Turbo circs in the complete size range - now that would be a GREAT gift and you'd save quite a bit of money (approximately $50.00 savings!). Okay, so maybe that's a bit extravagant, but you get the idea!

We look forward to seeing everyone tomorrow - it's going to be a great day!

Kathy

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Thoughts from Cape Cod

We are wrapping up our week here at the Cape and it has been a great vacation. The trip has not been the reason I haven't blogged. The blog was locked down by Blogger late last week. Their software identified a bunch of blogs as potential "spammers". It was fixed within a day or so, but I didn't realize this. It was posted here on "Blogger Buzz", but I was waiting for an email response to my request for a "review" of my blog. Oh well, we are on vacation after all so it's not as if I would have been posting everyday.

Unfortunately, I am now late to the party with a few important happenings and such.

1. Last Friday, the much anticipated Twist Collective went live. Twist Collective is a new on-line magazine that was developed by Kate Gilbert and a trio of very talented friends. The premise was to bring together talented designers and writers and provide them with not only a platform for their work, but also provide them with more flexibility with usage of their work. I interviewed Kate on Ready, Set, Knit, last week and we had a great conversation about her new venture. Overall, I love Twist Collective. I think the format is fresh, the designs are terrific and the content is well done. Twist Collective will be published quarterly and will have smaller updates in between. If you haven't already checked it out, you should take a few minutes to do so.

2. On Monday, another new on-line knitting magazine went live - Knotions.com, published by Jody Pirello. Jody's take is all about knitting smarter. She has made the patterns printer friendly, charts that are clickable and easy to enlarge. She offers technique tutorials along with interesting articles. I especially liked the Fall '08 color trends story. Jody will be our guest on this week's podcast, so be sure to check that out on Saturday, 8/9!

3. WEBS' August Sale is in full swing! Amazing savings on yarns for knitters and weavers!

4. Stitches Midwest is only two weeks away! The show will be held at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center in Schaumburg, IL. This is a new location for the show and we are pretty excited about it! Not that we didn't like Rosemont, but in Schaumburg, the convention center only hosts one event at a time plus the facility is pretty new, so it should be a lovely knitting extravaganza! We will be there in booths 513-618 with all of our Valley Yarns, Berroco, including all of the new fall yarns, pattern books and many, many, many of the actual model garments for you to see! Plus, we'll have some other fabulous yarns along with some great closeout deals. If you are planning to come to the show be sure to stop by!

5. I forgot to mention that WEBS Beads is participating in our August Sale as well! They will be having weekly specials throughout August. If you live in the area or plan to be during August, be sure to stop by and see what they've got on special! This week we're offering 15% off all findings and stringing materials. Savings in-store only!

6. Our Fall Class Schedule is posted on-line! We have an incredible selection of classes for knitters, crocheters, weavers, spinners, dyers and more! We've got some great guest teachers coming as well. Clara Parkes, Kristen Nicholas, Susanna Hansson and Galina Khmeleva will all be at WEBS this fall! What is sure to be "the" event of the season happens on September 17th, when Norah Gaughan returns to WEBS! This is a rare chance to spend time with Norah, discuss the new fall yarns and designs with her, learn how they came to be and try on all of the amazing garments! Be sure to check out all of the classes and events and get yourself signed up!

7. I am working hard on the Staghorn Cable Tunic, which is our current KAL on Ready, Set, Knit!. I am a slow knitter, but I am loving this pattern and the entire design in general. It really is not difficult at all, which is why it's a perfect summer project. Yes, it's working with wool, but it's really not that bad to work with, even in the heat. It's going to be a great layering piece all fall and winter long. Speaking of Valley Yarns patterns, all of our new fall patterns that will be featured in the next catalog, are already up on-line!

Well, I think that covers everything! Back to vacation!

Kathy








 
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