Today I spent the better part of the day picking orders. The on-line portion of our sale has had a tremendous response and we are way behind. So I donned casual clothes, comfy shoes and my iPod and a-picking I went. In doing so, I was somewhat "incongnito", which proved very interesting. Here are some memorable quotes from today:
1. (Older woman walking from the store into the warehouse and seeming to speak to nobody in particular) "This is my first time here and I don't know what's going on. . . . "
2. (Gentleman in the warehouse, carting about a good selection of yarn, speaking to two woman) "The absolute best deals are out here in the warehouse - the farther out you go, the deeper you dig, the better the deal - really. . . . . "
3. (Woman in aisle 300 of the warehouse dialing her cell phone and speaking to a "friend" who is not with her an her other friends on this trip) "Hi!. . .Guess where I am?. . . WEBS!. . . .I know, I can't believe it either!. . . .There are cars in the lot with plates from NY, CT. . . it's unbelievable. . . Yes, I know, I'm sorry. . . . Tell me what you're looking for, I'm not shopping, really, but the others are. . . . . (she now looks about, as if searching for something and we make eye contact) Do you have a piece of paper? (I tear the bottom of a pick list and hand it to her along with my pen - she smiles and goes back to talking) The nicest young girl just gave me some paper and a pen - I've got to tell the owners what a nice staff they have here - okay, what are you looking for?"
There were others - the woman from Connecticut via the Berkshires who I helped carry three garbage bags of yarn to her mini-van and had to review all of her yarn purchases and reassure her she got really good deals.
All of the first-time visitors and they were out in droves today! I love it when people are in for the first time - it's always so fun to see their reaction.
Today was fun not-being-me.
Okay - Brooks Farm, I've promised to talk about Brooks Farm for a few days now. You can visit them on-line at www.brooksfarmyarn.com. They raise their own herds and dye their own yarn. Only available on their website and when you visit them at the many shows they travel to (their schedule is posted on their site). They are based in Lancaster, TX (approx 1/2 way between Dallas and Houston). It's family owned and run by Randall and his lovely wife. Their yarns are un-be-liev-able - really. I see ALOT of yarn and theirs is special beyond belief. The colors are breathtaking and if you visit them at a show - their booth display will hurt your head it's so gorgeous - hundreds and hundreds of 1/2 lb skeins, beautifully dyed, hanging all around.
I purchased three skeins at Stitches East - 2 skeins of Riata and 1 skein of Harmony, which has basically my entire staff mesmerized. I am currently crocheting a scarf out of one of the skeins of Riata, which means "rope or lariat" in Spanish and that's sort of what the yarn looks like. It's three strands, plied together. One each of fine wool and kid mohair and another of fine wool/silk. The 1/2 lb skein has 365 yards and is considered worsted weight. I'm using a size "I" crochet hook. They have 10 colors available on-line, which I am assuming are their best sellers - they have LOTS more colors when you see them in person. Riata runs $34/skein. When I decide what I am going to do with Harmony, I'll talk more about it, but both yarns are well worth you time and money! Here's the color I'm working with:
I decided for my scarf on a "Peep Hole Chevron" pattern from The Harmony Guide 300 Crochet Stitches. I only just got going yesterday and it is moving very nicely along!
I have so many projects on my "to-do" list. Next up is getting projects lined up for our trip to TNNA (2 weeks from right now I will be in San Diego). I think it will be a combination of one WIP and one new project. The new one is likely to be our Wave Handwarmers which were designed by a former employee and knit in both our Berkshire and Berkshire Hand Dyed. I have a bunch of Lusso (Fiesta Yarns cashmere - delicious colors - closeout last fall) in my stash and I think I can either get it to the gauge I need or modify the pattern slightly to fit the gauge of the yarn. Need to do a swatch and decide. Need to decide on a color.
Another piece of business news - for those of you who don't know - in addition to launching this blog, Steve and I are also doing a local radio knitting show and it is available as a podcast! The show is called Ready!, Set!, Knit! and can be heard locally on WHMP, 1400 or 1240 AM or go to our website at www.yarn.com and you'll see the link on the right side of the homepage. We've done 6 shows so far and spend part of the show interviewing someone who you'll hopefully think is interesting, part letting you know what's happening at WEBS, Pixie, who is our Education Manager, joins us for either a knitalong or Q&A (next knitalong starting in January). The first one was a hat from measurements - very fun! Coming up we have Clara Parkes (Knitters Review - www.knittersreview.com) this Saturday, we have Lily Chin the first Saturday in February and we are about to finalize (I can't even believe I am saying it/typing it) STEPHANIE PEARL-MCPHEE!!!!! I am so excited I can barely stand it!!!!! You do not need to have an MP-3 player or iPod to listen from afar - just speakers on your computer. If you don't have them built in - go buy a pair - they are cheap.
Okay - that's it for today.