Saturday, August 28, 2010

how the time is spent

life with no tv... actually quite nice.

Friday, August 27, 2010

just enough

we're heading off to get some peace & quiet for a long weekend, at a lovely little house in dumfries & galloway, in the middle of nowhere with no tv, no internet, and a patchy mobile signal at best.... bliss. lots of rest, lots of delicious food & wine, a few board games, a few audiobooks...

too many projects?

& more than a few knitting projects. when you're packing for a weekend away, and your knitting projects take up more room in your suitcase than anything else, is it too much? or just enough?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

knit camp

phew - i'm back from Knit Camp!
if you've been online at all in the past wee while, i'm sure you've already heard all about the various problems with this event. since i was only booked in as a vendor in the marketplace, i managed to avoid most of the glitches (although the overall organisation did leave a bit to be desired, it only affected my experience slightly, and i think i was pretty lucky compared to some of the folk who were booked in for the whole week of classes etc.).
because some of the other vendors had pulled out, i ended up with a giant double-width booth space to fill. as a sole dyer, i've only ever booked single-width booths at market events, because i'm always a little worried about being able to produce enough yarn to fill anything bigger - especially after having my stock decimated by the horde of locusts ahem lovely knitters at Knit Nation (i had to have a few days of furiously dyeing sock yarn, just so i had something to take with me to stirling)!!!
i think it worked out ok in the end, though...

knit camp booth

the room that my booth was in was huge & airy with lots of windows, which made all the yarn colours look great. & i learned a lesson from my Knit Nation setup - this time, i pushed the tables to the back of the booth space, so that i could sit out front instead of being trapped behind my stock all weekend. the marketplace wasn't nearly as mad as the one at Knit Nation - the flow of traffic was pretty steady, but i wasn't rushed off my feet, and even managed to spend some time knitting (as well as take a little break now & then to do some shopping of my own!). i was rather unfortunately placed, though, as i was right across from the Jamieson & Smith booth - i say "unfortunate", because the marketplace hadn't even officially opened yet before i started spending money (a whole pack of gorgeous shetland laceweight, enough for a beautiful lightweight sweater - it was the last batch of a discontinued colourway, so really, i had to buy it). i also got a couple of skeins of laceweight from a couple of other UK-based dyers - i'll have to do another blog post later with all my booty from the summer of yarn shows!
i got to meet lots of lovely customers in person at last - it was so nice to finally meet some of the people who have been supporting me for so long, some of them since the very beginning! alas, i didn't have time to take any pictures myself (but i think you can find me on some other blogs here & there!).
all in all, it turned into a pretty good weekend - although i definitely wouldn't recommend the beds in the student halls! i got to knit, hang out with friends, have some of the best fish & chips i've ever had (the chippie in bridge of allan, yum!) and sold lots of yarn (i may even be able to pay off the balance on my credit card at last!). now i just need to get everything unpacked, and back up in the web shop....

...maybe i'll just have a little nap first.

Monday, August 09, 2010

enough for now

well, things have been a little chaotic here lately. first, there was Knit Nation (which was fabulous, but busy & exhausting). then, there's Knit Camp1.
and then, there's this...

sad puppy

the pup has had to have some fairly major surgery - it turns out he has a luxating patella (on both back legs, but obviously, they can only fix one at a time). his surgical fix involved making a cut in the tibia, tightening the tendon to make sure the kneecap can't pop out of place anymore, and securing it all back together with two metal pins (ouch!!). we've had to crate-train him very quickly (he wasn't crate-trained before, and had about a week before the surgery to get used to being in his crate) - his activity levels will need to be seriously limited over the next few weeks, which is going to be difficult (he's not the sort of dog who likes to take things slowly!). plus, he's a bit of a fussy licker, so if he's left on his own for even a few minutes, he has to wear the "cone of shame" (which he loathes & detests, but it's the only way to stop him from messing with the stitches). he is a lot happier in the crate without the cone on, though...

a little happier!

obviously, he's going to need a lot of care & attention over the next few weeks - because they had to make a cut in the bone as part of his repair, he's essentially got a fractured leg, and needs to be watched most of the time to make sure he doesn't move about too much (dogs aren't great at remembering that they're injured!). and because my working hours are much more flexible than the RSA's, it's going to be down to me to keep an eye on him a lot of the time - which means i won't be able to be at the studio as much as i usually am (so if you're planning a studio visit, please email me ahead of time to make sure i'll be there!). i am still going to be working as much as i can manage, but the web shop will be restocked a little less often than normal, so i hope you can bear with me for a few weeks until i'm able to get back to more normal working schedule.
and to the universe, or fate, or whoever is in charge of what's been going on? i just want to say - can you give me a break for a little while? that's enough for now, thanks.

1 if you're on ravelry, you'll already know about the various ongoing problems with Knit Camp, which as of the time of this post have yet to be sorted out. i AM still planning on having a stall at the weekend marketplace; if anything changes, i will post it on my twitter feed.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

knit nation

i'm finally back home after knit nation!!! i'm still organising things in the web shop as i gradually unpack the tiny amount of yarn left over, and re-dye a lot of yarn in preparation for next week's knit camp - but in the meantime, here's a little recap...
i managed to get my boxes & boxes of stuff packed up & shipped down safely, and followed them down on the train. after a couple of hours of building up & arranging (& rearranging) of what suddenly seemed like a ridiculously huge amount of yarn, the booth was ready!

knit nation booth

everyone at the booth was very hard at work all weekend long.

hard at work

& it's just as well - look what happened when the marketplace opened!! (this was actually taken by the RSA, who went away to get me some food, and couldn't get back into the booth for about half an hour!)

frenzy at the booth

it was a bit of a buying frenzy (but a very polite one!) - this was more or less the view of the booth all weekend long. & it was absolutely brilliant - not only did i manage to sell a ton of yarn (i shipped home about a quarter of what i sent down, & although it seemed at first as though i'd brought too much, it disappeared fairly quickly!), i got to meet so many of my online friends & customers in "real life" at last. & although it was utterly exhausting, the whole experience was just so much fun. everyone was having a great time - even the RSA, despite being a non-knitter, was completely won over by the fantastic atmosphere (turning to me in wonder at one point & exclaiming "everybody's just so HAPPY!!!").
& it just got better & better - after the marketplace closed on its final day, the vendors did what must have been the quickest breakdown in history (so quick, in fact, that i completely forgot to take an "after" picture of the booth & its decimated stock!) so that we could all run over to the ravelry party, where we met even more lovely people (& had a few well-deserved drinks!) - and i even won one of the door prizes, a beautiful project bag from ysolda, with a "damson" kit (printed bag, pattern & a skein of malabrigo sock in "ravelry red") inside.

ysolda prize

all in all, the weekend was fantastic - i really really REALLY hope they do it again next year!!!

(i did also manage to sneak away from my own booth to go visit another vendor's booth - i'll post about that separately though!!)