Friday, September 29, 2006

Never Enough Wool

Tuesday is D-Day for me. I have announced to all and sundry that Tuesday would be the first day my new store is open. Whether I was really ready or not. Whether I had inventory or not. Tuesday was IT. I *WOULD* be open on Tuesday.

So my lovely husband and I have been working steadily and with great devotion to my store over the past two weeks. Last week's schedule was that days were spent installing siding at the job site. Evenings we were down at my store.

This week, push has come to shove. We've been down at the store working every day. Without fail. Getting lots accomplished, too, I might add.

Wednesday morning I arrived at my store and found this:

Cool, eh? A sign and everything. That must make it official that I am really, truly going to be opening a store!

The inside of the store has been a real challenge. There was a 30-year old carpet installed, along with a truly ugly counter. The walls were painting a purple-ish shade of white, with purple woodwork. Yes, I did say purple. It was hideous. And smelled worse. The former tenants were big fans of scented carpet cleaner, scented air-fresheners and perfume. I'm not terribly sensitive to smells, and even I was disturbed.

The carpet came up. The woodwork was removed. The walls were painted. The blinds were removed. The floor was washed. Then the floor was replaced with a laminate floating floor. Dead easy to install, very easy to maintain, and looks wonderful. See?
And finally -- the smell is gone! We had to clean the filter on the shop vacuum to get the last of the smell to disappear. But finally, it has.

Bell has come by and installed the telephone. We will be installing new woodwork this evening, painting it white, and then tomorrow -- store fixtures and inventory!

I will be open Tuesday!

I promise that this blog will not become devoted to my store. Granted, most of my knitting endeavours will revolve around models for the store. But I promise that I won't blather on about my next big sale, promotion idea, or push for visitors. I will talk about knitting, yarns and patterns.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Catching up on life.

It's been a long time since my last post. Partly my fault. Life has been busy. What with trying to finish up the siding job and get things moving on my store AND get the daughter started in school and getting her to and from her various jobs ... actual time spent sitting down at the computer to update the blog has been scarce.
Add to this the frustration that is Blogger. I read about many folks complaining about Blogger. Up til now, I haven't had the same frustrations. However, for the past three days I've had something to talk about, WITH pictures, and I couldn't get Blogger to accept the photos. Tried Hello. Tried through Blogger. Nothing. Finally I decided to try the upload by way of Microsoft (gasp! I am an avid Firefox user, not that I know much about it!!) and viola! Today we have pictures. Would this have worked with Firefox? I don't know. I went straight to Explorer.
So I have been working on a tee-shirt from the Yarn Girls Guide to Beyond the Basics. It is a variation on a basic tee, made by adding a role of eyelets at the hem, midway up and the collar.
Here you see it lying on the blocking board.

I wish I could remember what day I cast on. I don't. But I do remember the day I finished it. September 20. I had to modify the pattern a bit because the yarn I chose did not get the same guage that the pattern specified. I used a yarn called Reflections, which was a 55/45 cotton/viscose blend. I really like the shine that the viscose brings to the fabric. Using an American size 4 needle, I worked at 6 stitches to the inch, while the pattern specified 5 stitches. A little math later, and I was good to go.
I hate seams. So much so that I oped to knit the design in the round rather than back and forth.
"I knit socks on (American) size 2 needles, so this should be a breeze," I thought. Well, with socks you see progress immediately and impressively. With this many stitches, you don't. I am heartily sick of stockinette stitch at the moment.

These pictures really don't do the tee justice. It is a beautiful royal blue, and the cotton and viscose make a gorgeous fabric. Beautiful drape, classic design. I rarely wear sleeveless tops since I don't like the look of my upper arms. This one was the exception.
I would show you a picture of me wearing the tee. Unfortunately, Blogger and I are still having words over photos and how they upload. So you'll have to make do with these crummy shots. Sorry.
There were also going to be some photos of Henry exploring the time-out box (cat carrier) but Blogger inexplicably decided to delete it. There was also a photo of my daughter displaying her wild side. It's not here. Same reason.
And if I ever figure out how to control the order in which photos appear ... I had five photos, selected in a specific order to match my anticipated prose. They appeared in the post out of order. And in trying to get the photos back to my planned order, I lost three of them.
Ah well.
In other news -- Things I learned this summer:
1. I CAN climb up to the third level of construction scaffolding and be comfortable, as long as the platform is not at the highest level of said scaffolding. (Imagine a photo here of myself sitting nonchalantly on the platform, my knitting and cup of coffee at my side.) The siding work progresses, despite setbacks. It turns out that pine siding covered with stain (not paint) requires double nails to keep it from bowing, etc. Doug is off installing the second set of nails and rebuilding scaffolding this morning. I will join him shortly.
2. I really miss bike riding. Since the advent of the siding work, I have been physically exhausted and not contemplating a bike ride at the end of the day. My feet hurt. My ankles hurt. My ankles hurt so much that I now have a ganglion on the inside of my left ankle. (Imagine a photo of my ankle with the lovely addition of the ganglion. Man, are my ankles bony!) Since I've had one on my wrist, I should've suspected that I could get them on my ankles as well. Oh well. Better arch support and shoes will help that problem -- as in keep it from getting worse and developing one on the right ankle. And the siding work will be done soon.
3. A 35-year-old trailer with 600-lb. springs can only be overloaded so many times. Yesterday was the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak. (Imagine here a photo of said trailer with a broken spring and a ruptured tire.) We had been to Toronto to visit my doctor and I suggested a quick trip to Ikea. I imagined picking up the long-sought foot-stools to my Ikea Poang chairs and more window shopping for stuff for my store. Instead, we bought a shelving unit, a cart of wood cast-offs, AND the foot-stools. (Imagine here a photo of the trailer and car loaded to the gills.) Of course, we had not planned for a shopping spree and had not brought the trailer with us. Doug left me at Ikea with my knitting to guard the purchases while he raced home to retrieve the trailer. Two hours later, he showed up in front of me only to hear "I can't move -- I'm knitting backwards! Like a good sport, he went and purchased a cinnamon role and daintily (NOT!) fed me bites while I finished tinking. On the way home, the trailer had its mishap with the spring. And with no spring, the trailer rested its fender on the wheel, resulting in the tire rupture. It was an interesting day.
4. You can use a second trailer to haul home the first broken-down trailer. I know. (Imagine a photo here.) We did it. The second trailer had no lighting system. So we raced back to the abandoned trailer before dark, loaded it up, plugged in the lighting system, and drove carefully home. I'm glad we weren't stopped by the local constabulary. It would have been interesting. The trailer with wheels on the ground did not have brake lights, but the passenger trailer did. And they worked. The trailer on the ground did not have a license plate. But the passenger trailer did. And, even better, it was the plate that officially belonged to the trailer on the ground. I think the policeman would've been too busy laughing at the day's adventure to write a ticket. But we'll never know since it didn't happen. (Thank goodness!)
Work on the store continues. We have painted the walls a beautiful blue. The ceiling will be primed tonight, as will the area around the front window. We have ordered the flooring and it will be here Monday. One set of display shelves is already there, courtesy of the broken-down trailer. I will retrieve the others, along with inventory, once the floor is installed. Then I can start stocking and setting up. I am SO excited! I will officially be open on Tuesday, October 3. I anticipate a grand opening celebration sometime in November.
Whew. I shouldn't go so long between posts -- or I should lead a calmer life!