Friday, November 30, 2007

Happy Anniversary to Me.

So I'm having some internet connection issues at my home. That's why there's been this long stretch between entries. I usually do posts late at night in my bed with the television on. I don't like sitting at the desk to do it. Well, here I am at the shop doing this update from my desk since we probably won't have the wireless back up for days and days. Bummer.

Well, tomorrow is my Grand Reopening / One Year Anniversary and I've been working hard to get ready and I still feel like there's hours of work and tonight is a Michigan Hockey Game for crying out loud!
But here's the door Prize list:

Enter to win

Two Sets of Swallow Needles in Sizes 3.25 mm to 5.5 mm with knitting Gauges

Each is a $35.00 Value

Shannon Okey’s Spin to Knit along with a Notebook for your own designs

$30.00 Value

Christmas Classics DVD Set with 7 Holiday Features

$22.00 Value

Ashford Tote Bag with an Assortment of Spinning Fibers

$75.00 Value

Triangle Loom and Stand

$180.00 Value

Pretty good right? So here is the list of specials for the day:

Purchase a Spinning Wheel and Receive 16 Ounces of Select Wool Roving as well as 15% off any spinning accessories such as additional whorls, lazy kate, niddy noddy, flyers, etc.

Triangle Looms and Stands – 50% off the Retail Price

Great way to put those stray handspun bits to use.

Ashford Tekapo Worsted WeightYarn – 50% off

Navajo Singles Yarn – Regularly 21.00 per 4oz skein

Now $10.00 per skein

Great for Weaving and Felted Knits

Louet Gems Merino – All in stock cones Regularly $4.00 per ounce

Now $2.00 per ounce when you buy the remainder of a color.

Buy 5 or more colors and pay only $1.50 per ounce.

Great for Sock Knitters and Weavers

Mercerized Cotton Cones – Reg $2.95 per ounce

Buy the remainder of a color and pay only $1.50 per ounce

All In Stock Gaywool Dyes Any Size $5.00 each.

Regularly $10.95 to $14.95 each

Check out the center of the main room for great prices on the remaining Ready Spin as well as select Merino and Merino/Silk Top.

Braided Shetland Rovings Regularly $2.00 per ounce.

Buy the Whole Braid and pay only $1.00 per ounce.

Still good right? Well, there's more. There are mini cheesecakes and little tiny desserts and cheese balls and sparkling grape juice and hot chocolate and as always - Peanut M&M's

On top of all that I got some new Spinning Loft Totes. They are clear vinyl with the sheep on them. There's a large 19" Tote and a small accessories case. Cute as heck. They will be for sale for $18.50 and $8.50 each. I love them.

If you are near by please come and say hi.

Pictures in a couple of days I promise.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Things I Think About.

Plenty to talk about but first -

The Spinning Loft is going to be open on Friday from 10 to 4 and Saturday from 10 to 4. So, if you want to come and spin with me, come on over.

Saturday from 10Am to 12 noon is the 4th Saturday spinning clinic where you can bring your problems and questions and leave a better spinner.

Ok. now you all know and I expect there to be a crowd. Please don't make me regret missing out on door buster sales at Kohl's. (hee, hee)

O.K. on to the fun stuff. When Jenny was here she told us that Ingeo has a low melting point of 170 degrees. I googled it and came up with several websites corroborating her information. I was curious and decided to do some experimentation.
Here is the original sample which I spun in the New Wave Fibers class last Thursday.

So I first got some boiling water (at least 212 degrees) and poured it over the sample in a bowl. Then I poked at it a little with a spoon. Nothing happened except it puffed up a little.
Here it is right out of the boiling water.
So I dumped out most of the water and microwaved the sample - first for 1 minute and then for two minutes. Some dye came out.
But the sample is still intact. Now I need to do some dry melting experiments. Maybe with an iron or a curling iron. The best I can find for curling iron operating temperatures is between 100 and 200 degrees. (I'm hesitant to use my Rowenta Iron on it.) More to come.

We went out to Red Robing for dinner on Monday night to celebrate Ryan's 4th birthday. Shannah came along and we had a great time. Here are the two of them looking for our dinner delivery. Shannah is food aggressive and so I try to stay clear when she is eating.
Then came the sundae and the singing wait staff. He got a little shy. After the ice cream and the singing we went to the Hockey store and he got a new helmet complete with a cage and a hockey stick too big for him. He and dad cut it down last night and now all is well. He's destined to be a hockey player.

Spinning Wheels
Look what came today.
We had twins.
Each has it's own little ladybug birthmark. This one on the back support.
This one on the flyer holdy part. (That's the real technical name. Call Schacht and ask them.)
Look how cute they are.
The one on the left is set up for Scotch Tension. The one on the right is set up in double drive. Both work equally well. I love these wheels. Simple. Easy to use. Smooth to treadle. Good price point. Schacht engineering and quality. Come in a try them out. I will definitely be stocking these on a regular basis.

Other New Stuff
Last time I was at Ikea was over 10 years ago. I still haven't been back. Not really by choice. Mostly has to do with proximity. My darlin' went there today to pick up this table which I found on the website. Gate legs. This photo is showing only one leaf set up. It also has 6 drawers. I was pleasantly surprised at the Ikea quality for the price. I will definitely be shopping there again. I hope I actually get to visit the store next time.

This warp was wound and I began warping back in May. Hmm. I decided I'd better get to work. So I got to work. I was unsure of what condition the warp chains would be in. Couldn't;t remember. Sometimes when I make them I do a pretty bad job of it so I was a little nervous. Also, unmercerized 8/2 cotton likes to stick with it's neighbor so it's not the easiest thing to straighten out.

I got all of the heddles threaded after about 2 hours. 1,2,3,2,1,4,3,4. Over and over and over....and over. Lou stopped by to pick up the car seats so he could go get the kids. He asked my favorite question. What's for dinner? My answer? 12321434, 12321434, 12321434.

Then while I was winding it on this song came into my head. Strummin' my pain with his fingers, Singin' my life with his words, Killin' me softly with his song...

What!!!!??? Where did that come from? I haven't heard that song in ages. I don't even like it. Maybe I'm going crazy.

Here I am with the freshly warped loom. I still need to tie it onto the front beam. 3 cotton towels coming right up.
Look how red my cheeks are. I have a cold. I'm fighting it as hard as I can. I can't get sick until mid January. Crazy. Now I'm scheduling the germs.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Spider Made Me Do It!

I know I haven't been blogging very often lately but there's stuff and things and stuff and I'm so busy but I'm going to rectify the non blogging I promise - for all 4 of you who read this bloggy thing on a regular basis.

So, Spinning Spider Jenny just left. She arrived on Wednesday afternoon and her plane left this afternoon. It was fantastic. The classes were top notch. Full of information. And also fun. Jenny was a great sport for many reasons. First of which she was willing to stay in my unorganized mess of a house. Sleep in my 3 year old's bed sight unseen. Can anyone say potty training? And second because she was up for any adventure short of camping outside.

Camping inside was another story though.

I have a Ravelry group called "wool shop sleepover". Currently there are only 3 members because when Galina was in town Erica, Kate and I slept in the shop and made this little group. Not a lot of action in the group but it is pretty tiny and we email each other usually. I think this is going to slowly change though. The group is open to those who have slept overnight in a wool shop. Now Jenny and Shannah are part of the group. We all slept on the floor. Lee (Baabins on Ravelry) stayed pretty late but she was afraid she would wake us all up with her horrific night noises.
This is a picture of Jenny's friend Noreen in the green sleeping bag, Jenny in the middle and Shannah on the right. Jenny's friend Jofran is over in the lace room sleeping away at this point. She was in the class and there's a photo of her coming up. Noreen is not a spinner. I have a feeling she may be one soon though. I was able to get her to do some woolhuffing.

Woolhuffing is my version of recreational drugs. You take a nice amount of grease fleece in your hands, put your face right into it and breath in deeply. There's nothing like that smell. Many breeds smell different from one another too. I expect to be able to - in the future - identify a sheep's breed by it's smell as well as I can identify it by it's look and feel.

So, Noreen was game and so I gave her a free sniff of several of my favorite fleeces. You know, like a drug dealer would to get you hooked:-) Here are Shannah and Jenny at the beginning of Thursday - New Wave Fibers. I think Shannah is giving Jenny her blog address. They hit it off immediately.
Here is just one picture of the samples Jenny brought. Amazingly spun skeins and beautifully knitted pieces. Under the table were notebooks and notebooks of samples and swatches and notes for us to look at. I didn't take full advantage of this opportunity and regret it already.
This is Shannah showing and telling about her first knitted item from her own handspun. I let her tell you the story but I love the scarf.
Here are some samples from the plying class - Saturday. In the front is Cindy, Shannah behind her, and behind Shannah is Kathy who you may not be able to see very well. Kathy is great fun. If you have a class get her to come. She'll certainly liven it up!
I just like this picture of the wall of fleece.
This is Jenny telling us to not listen to anybody and be as disobedient as possible and question everyone. Hee, hee.
Actually, she told us to question things and if anyone ever says you MUST do something in one particular way then just smile and say thank you and continue with what works for you. I will definitely be questioning conventional wisdom from now on, and have pages and pages of notes on spinning experiments I want to do.
More plying. That's Lisa in the front, then Michelle, Roberta, Mary, Lee, Jofran, and Jenny (holding up nothing). And here we are this morning before Jenny headed off to the airport. I had a great time with her. She's like a spinning genius, funnyfunnyfunny, and a wonderful teacher where all of the students feel wonderful and welcome and talented. I'm hoping she'll be willing to come back to teach again.

ETA I can't forget that Maple was there on Friday and also Sylvia ( who I think has a blog but can't remember it and hopefully she'll come by and remind me what it is.)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Shop Move Update

So Thursday was quite exhausting. Carrying all of that stuff down the stairs. Up and down the stairs over and over. You would think I lost another 10 pounds - nope. My charming husband was there all day, as well and the two blogless Lisas. One blogless Lisa was there to almost the bitter end. I finally went home at 7PM. The next day (Friday) I was back at 8:30 AM and surprisingly the little elves did not come and do the jobs I assigned. You can't rely on those stinkin' elves.
So Erika and her son got there at about 11AM and stayed and stayed until we were presentable to open on Saturday. I think it was about 9:00 when we finally went home.
This is what the shop looked like about 2PM.
Amy and Jillian stopped by at about 3:30 and dug around a bit. Not necessarily the condition you want your shop to be in when Amy Singer drops in but...what could I do? I'm always happy to see her and Jillian just makes me laugh. (She's one of those girls who you just have to smile at when she walks in.)
Things are coming along here.
And here it is mostly together. There are still some little things I want to change and bits to see if they will work where we put them.
Isn't this cute. It's the lace room. The needles and little bits and books are all here. It's quite a cozy little space.
This is also in the lace room. The tea cart is in here so when you come please stop and have a cup of tea and some chocolate and whatever other little snack I happen to pick up.
This is the class room. All of the coned yarns are in here as well as the looms and some wheels. It's very nice in here too.
This is my favorite part. The Wall O Fleeces. All of these are in the grease fleeces of all different breeds. Here you will see 36 fleeces - I believe - and they are from 32 different breeds. The duplicate breeds are different colors. I love these. If you are looking for a little bit of a breed let me know because you can by just a couple of ounces and if you want I'll wash it up for you too. I love washing fleece.
Saturday after I closed the shop me and my sweetie and my Forester spindle went to the UofM Hockey game. We worked on some Michigan Blue silk while the kicked the pants of the team from Alaska.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Where have I been, you ask? Well, it's a loooong story with a lot of pictures. And I didn't even include them all. This first picture is of my mom and Ryan playing hockey together. Ryan looks so handsome in his Michigan colors. Ok. I'm getting off track already.
I taught beginning spinning at the Fiber Expo which took place two weeks ago in Ann Arbor. I had 8 students in the morning and 9 in the afternoon. It was very busy. The majority of them didn't even have a wheel. I was able to fit 8 wheels into my Honda Accord. Of course 5 of them were folding wheels. The picture above includes Cathy from Ravelry and.... I didn't write anything down and I am lame at names. Now, ask me what kind of wheel a person had and I probably can tell you in an instant.
And this is Anna from Ravelry me out here. The fabulous lady in the front is the proud owner of a new spinning wheel. Wish I could tell you her name. The classes were wonderful and fun and everyone was very patient as I went from one student to the next. It was hard work but I do love teaching. Anna's husband was in the class too. He's a hoot. Of course I was pretty focused so these are the only two pictures I took all day.
After the Expo I got back to work at the shop and on Halloween night we left for a very short visit to the families back east. Lou went to his mother's and I went to my parents. We got to stay for two days before we started the stupid long drive back to Michigan. My mom was decorating for Christmas. I think she was going to put the Jack-O-Lantern away though.
Here's the Christmas Village all set up. I took all of those houses out of the boxes. She has to have like 40 of them. (and I'm not exaggerating).
Here she is yelling at me. Happens a lot. Don't feel sorry for me though because I'm used to it. I have a thick skin. I still love her.
Maggie got her hair cut while we were in Pennsylvania.
Isn't her new hair style cute?
She is donating her hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths where they will use the hair to make wigs for cancer patients. Two years ago she donated her hair to Locks of Love. She started wanting to do this because her friend, Tabitha, had Leukemia and lost all of her hair. Tabitha is recovered now but Maggie is still wanting to do the donations. She says she'll grow it again for donation.
We went to Red Robin and the wait staff sang Happy Birthday to my mom and Ryan. Ryan's birthday is on the 17th of this month and my mom's was this past Tuesday. Ryan was a little shy about the whole thing.
And...what's been going on with me you ask? Well, I'm moving. I've moved all of my stuff from the 2nd floor to the 1st floor of the shop. Phil, the architect, and owner of the building, went upstairs. I've taken a few pictures of what it looks like tonight. This is my desk /check out area.
This is another room which is the book / pattern / lace knitting room. It will also have the tea cart with herb teas and hot chocolate and snacks.
This is the color wall.
This is the natural colored wool wall. It will have raw fleeces as well as undyed rovings.
This will be the classroom and will have all of the weaving yarns as well as any in stock looms.
This area will be for luxury fibers. That big cardboard box is filled with mostly silk in all of it's glorious forms!
The box of wool wash selections waiting for its assigned area.
And piles of fiber everywhere.
I have to say, I had no idea how much fiber I had until I started moving it. You know, I've rearranged things but never all at the same time. It's crazy. Man I have a big stash! Will you help me make it smaller please? I promise I'll buy more. I can't help it.

Spinning Spider Jenny is coming in less than a week for 3 days of classes. I am so excited to meet her. Her blog is full of fantastic information and I get to be near her for a while and ask all the questions I can think of until she gets back on the plane on Sunday the 18th. You could come too if you wanted. Call me and tell me you want to. I still have room for a couple more.