Opinion Poll

I am thinking of selling rosewood circular needles, which is something I currently do not sell. I was wondering what everyone's brand preference is for circular rosewood needles? I know that Lantern Moon makes them, and Pony, and possibly Colonial and maybe Susanne's, if they are still around. But I have not knit with all of them and I would like to get knitters' opinions before I jump in and order any, especially since the initial purchase will likely be a good chunk o' change. Please leave any opinion you have either in the comments below, or email me (email link is on the upper right area of my blog). Thanks!!


Go Fish! or, Do You Have......

Hi everyone :)

I figured I would take advantage of my readership's size and tendency to ummmm "accumulate" yarn in their stashes to see if something I need might be out there.

I need about 2 pounds (2 cones) of Jaggerspun Heather wool yarn, 3/8 weight, color Amethyst. It is for a special order sweater I am making for a customer, and time is kinda critical. Usually I would be able to order this color directly from Jaggerspun, but this particular color is back-ordered for a while and I need it sooner than it will be available. I have also already called around to my likely suspects of fellow yarn sellers/users, but no one has it. Therefore, I'm appealing to the only other group I know that might have hidden somewhere in its collective stash, to see if anyone has this.

If you have it OR if you know of any person, fiber artist, or business who might possibly have it in their stash or inventory, please call me at Unique One toll free, 1-888-691-8358; or email me at info [at] uniqueone [dot]com. I would be happy to purchase the yarn from you.

Thanks so much :)


Signs of Summer & Yarn of the Month

Wooohooo! Yesterday they put the floats into the harbor:

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That is a sure sign of summer around the corner! If the floats are there..... they will come...... and boy, they can't get here soon enough! I need customers!! :: grins rather desperately ::

Also, I got a newish product at Unique One, a tourist product, but if I had kids, I would want one. Years ago we sold wooden lobster pull-toys made by a very nice man in Sangerville, Maine, and they were a very popular item, not to mention a fun toy to play with when things were slow. Then for several years we couldn't get them anymore, but this year he called me and said they were available again, and would I like them? Yes, yes I would. :) So I got this box of 24 Larry the Lobster pull toys the other day, hand made wooden toys made right here in Maine! Only $25.95! No batteries required! Click here to see how fun they are (but you have to imagine you're only 3 years old, ok?).

Larrylobster

Oh, and by the way, La Gran Mohair is May's Yarn of the Month! 20% off La Gran that I have in stock, all month long! Get fuzzy with it :)

Have a good day & happy knitting :)


Is It Summer Yet?

(...wiping cookie crumbs off my face....)

Hi! I am eating one-third of the most luscious peanut butter cookie I have had in a long time. It’s from French & Brawn market, across the intersection from Unique One. The reason I am eating only one-third of it is because it is about the size of a dinner plate; I will get the rest later, I assure you! Mmmmm it is crunchy on the outside and a bit chewy on the inside, full of peanut-buttery goodness, and indeed -- whole peanuts are interspersed throughout. It is sweet without being too sweet; buttery without being greasy. In a word, it is perfect. Despite the time stated in my post, it is actually 10:30 a.m. and I have just finished vaccuuming the store, went to the bank and post office, did the paperwork from yesterday, and tidied up the office a little. There have been no customers in yet today. So before I jump into more rigorous activities of opening mail, assigning opened mail to various folders, ordering things, taking care of stuff on my to-do list, folding sweaters, steaming new wool sweaters to be put out, and knitting special order sweaters, I figured I would take a few minutes to *gasp* write yet another blog post. :)

In fact, I could stop right here and say, there, I posted! But I won’t. : )


I can tell you about the clothing trade show I went to last week. Every January I have to go to the New England Apparel Club clothing show in Marlboro, Massachusetts, so I can order summer clothing to sell here at Unique One when all the summer tourists arrive (summer tourists! I love you!!). It is a little weird to shed winter boots and wool coat and scarf and hat and mittens to wander around looking at bikinis and tank tops and shorts and straw hats... bit of a shock to the system. But oddly, entertaining. It didn’t help that there was a fierce snowstorm in the middle of my stay (I stayed 2 nights; the snow was in the day in the middle, thank goodness!). Let’s see what I ordered:

First of all I did order a bunch of sweaters -- it is a sweater shop, after all -- I ordered some great sweaters from Alps, a wonderful Massachusetts company; actually I ordered a TON of them and they will start arriving the earliest, after April 1. I love to order from Alps because nearly all their products are made in the USA. Some items are not, but I think those items are worth it. I’m really looking forward to the Alps order because there are several cardigans in there that I want myself! New this year (for me) are cotton turtlenecks, made in the USA, I believe.They will retail for about $20 each. I found people asking for basic turtlenecks a lot last year; this year I will have them.

I also ordered more of the Icelandic Designs sweaters. These sweaters are gorgeous and expensive, and popular. They are so beautifully embroidered. Unfortunately, despite their geographicc name, the Icelandic company’s goods are made in China, primarily, and believe me, I hear about it. Yet I am willing to carry these beautiful garments because of their quality and unique appeal. They are well made and there really is nothing like them. They will start arriving in the late summer. Most of them retail for between $150 and $200.

I found a fabulous new line of sweaters called Mermaid, and they are made in Fall River, Massachusetts! I just love selling New England products. I got 3 cotton blend items... a cool ribbed boatneck pullover, knit side to side; a lovely, simple cardigan with 3 buttons at the top; and a shawl collared cardigan. I always have to be careful, when ordering sweaters, not to order items that are too similar to what we make for sale here at Unique One. Last year we got asked a lot for cotton cardigans, and I only really make one style, a simple boxy style. Luckily I found these from Mermaid. I also got 3 wool blends.... I got a cute boxy shaped wool boucle cardigan, a long shawl collared tunic in a lovely, light, drapey wool/mohair/nylon blend, and a dress!!! Yes, a knitted dress.... simple, warm, elegant. It is beautiful.

Okay... I really did buy some summer clothes, too. I got some utterly amazing skirts from Sandy Starkman. They are expensive (the Sandy Starkman line is also sold through Nieman Marcus; you might see them in the Nieman Marcus catalog). They are long, nearly ankle length, with a pointy-fluttery handkerchief unfinished hem, multi-layered, and completely romantic. I also got a Sandy Starkman sundress, which I ordered for the incredible cobalt blue it came in as much as anything, and two jaw-droppingly beautiful jackets. One has a great deal of cutwork, creating a lacy, open effect for decoration in the yoke and back; the other is nature-inspired, a beige linen type of jacket with beautiful embroidery and beads (wooden and otherwise) sewn on it. I hope customers love them as much as I do because they are tremendously expensive but OMG are they gorgeous!!!

I got three different sets of clothing from the Produce Company, cute capris and short sleeve tops and skirts, very very summery. Colors range from beige/cream to indigo, white and fuschia, to light green and dusty blue. Produce clothing is so cute, and it is made in the USA!~

Heh heh.... I ordered adorable cashmere baby socks in 3 different styles.... polka dot ones in turquoise, lilac, olive and gray; striped ones in lime, coral, baby pink , and baby blue, and argyle -- yes! cashmere argyle baby socks! -- in pink, blue, olive, cocoa, teal, denim and fuschia. These baby socks are just too cute, you could die from the cuteness.

I also picked up a couple skirts from a new-to-me company called Salaam, and they are in Vermont! Again, love of the New England product.... these are the cutest skirts. I only got two styles, “Flappy”, a short, straight style, and another no-string drawstring style, longer and more flowing. Both are coming in very cool prints, some quite 1960’s mod, and some more 1930’s mod, heh heh. I love them not only because of the New Englandness but also because they will look totally killer with my cotton Unique One sweaters.

I got two lines of clothes from Click; two lines of clothes from CMC (Color Me Cotton), and three lines from Cut Loose. All are clothes made in the USA. There are a variety of wonderful skirts, cropped pants, vests, short sleeve tops, both pullover and buttoned, jackets, and dresses coming.... the designs this year seemed especially good looking! I ordered a variety of colors, including lime, poppy, serene (a light blue), barley, black, bouquet (pink!), white, indigo, flax, red, tropicana (bright blue, I think), and spring green. I can’t wait for bright colors to start filling the store! But it will be a while... most of my summer clothing won’t ship til at least June 1. If I could afford it I would have it come sooner! But I have to have it arrive so that when the bill comes due, the summer tourists will hopefully be spending the money to pay for all the stuff!

I had fun at the clothing trade show.... now you know what I was doing there!

I’ll do a more knitting-related blog post soon, I promise! Unique One is so much more than a knitting store, I get sidetracked sometimes, heh heh. I *am* knitting up a storm, however, and I will tell you all about it soon!

Happy knitting & dreaming of summer clothing :)


Victoria, and Two New Books

Hi!

Let’s see... what’s new here....

For one thing, Victoria, whom many of you know as my dear friend and the yarn shop manager here at Unique One, has moved on to a far better position at Maine Sport, another fabulous Camden/Rockport store which you must visit if you get to the area. Victoria has more of an office job there, which will be a fun change for her! She is still running my knitting group that meets here at Unique One on Thursday nights, so I will still get to see her regularly! (You can read about my weekly evening knitting adventures that are open to the public HERE.) I wish Victoria great luck and much success in her new job! I know she reads my blog, so if any of YOU would like to wish her well, please do so in the comments :)


Today is a pretty quiet day at Unique One.... I did get a couple new books to share with you, though. I am on an auto-ship program from Martingale books, so they send me a couple copies of whatever new fiber book comes out. Let me tell you what came today :)

The first one is “A to Z of Crochet: The Ultimate Guide for the Beginner to Advanced Crocheter”, Sue Gardner, editor. I am always wary of how-to books for anything that says that they are good for anyone, beginner to advanced. Especially when it is only 160 pages. But I took a look anyway. I consider myself a pretty intermediate crocheter; I get the idea of how to do a lot of stuff, but I don’t actually crochet that much. It makes sense to me though.

I actually like this hardcover book. For one thing, it is spiral bound, so it lies flat, a very important feature for a how-to book. It is divided into logical sections, too... the first section (35 pages) is general information about yarn and the basics of how to crochet, how to do basic stitches, how to increase and decrease... the photographs are *very* clear, the written directions are good, there are sidebars/inserts of Hints that are actually very helpful, and sprinkled throughout are darling little images from the 1920’s or so that are very pretty. The pages have a very eye-catching look, without being flashy, trendy, or cluttered. The first section is pretty much for beginners. The second section, 27 pages, is a series of different crochet stitches ... this part is interesting to more advanced crocheters as well as beginners. In this section the stitches are shown step by step via pictures as well as in written directions. The third section (55 pages) is more stitches and techniques, and these are more advanced. It includes stuff like crocheting with beads, entrelac crochet, Irish crochet, and tubular crochet. I have never even heard of most of the stuff in this section, which just makes me want to have the book even more. Again, all is explained via great photos and written directions. The fourth section is called Added Touches (27) pages, and has good-to-know stuff like buttonholes, edgings, corkscrews, and flowers. Some of this was familiar to me, and some not. Again, pictures and words, very good. The last section is called, appropriately, Finishing (16 pages) and has things like more edgings (less decorative, more for finishing), blocking, and various seaming techniques. Pictures & words, good. And finally, there is a very helpful index! I think it is a great book, and even though it is $28.95, it is a wonderful reference for most crocheters or crochet-wannabe-ers. I have two in stock, stop by or call if you’re interested!

The second book that came today is probably gonna be gone out the door by the time you even read this... it is called Kitty Knits: Projects for Cats and Their People, by Donna Druchunas, whose name should be familiar to avid knitters..... she has contributed articles to nearly every knitting magazine known to man and is also a great knitting designer! I am pleased to find her name on this book.

This lovely 80-page paperback is organized into three sections of projects: Projects for Cats (cats, of course, comes first!) -- 7 projects, including catnip mice and other toys, and beds.... ; Projects for People -- 8 lovely garments: sweaters, slippers, hats, scarves, socks, all with cat motifs of different sorts knit into them. Some have multi-color motifs, some are lace or textured stitches that are cat-related... all are beautiful (my favorite to look at are the Felted Furry Kitty-Cat Slippers, just adorable and funny; and the last section is Projects for the Home, five fun projects, including a bag and a pillow and a lovely baby blanket. The book ends with Techniques, Abbreviations, Resources, and About the Author. This book will appeal to cat lovers not only for the great projects they can knit, but because it is jam-packed with fabulous cat photos! I love to look at cats. However, there are many shots of one kitty model who looks disturbingly like my Evil Kitty Nora, a.k.a. Jungle Girl, a.k.a. The Bad Cat. But I was able to move beyond that and love this book anyway, and I do actually love Nora. Most of the time :)

I have two of the Kitty Knits books in stock right at the moment but who knows how long they will last... at only $19.95, this book is bound to be gone quickly.


Okay, back to work. I have to clean the office a little and I am supposed to be knitting a sweater, too. No rest for the wicked!


I'm in :)

Ravelrybetalogodec072

Wooohooo! I got into Ravelry! Yay! My username there is "unique1". I wanted to have "yarndemon" but somebody already had it. I wonder if she ever gets mistaken for me? heh heh. Poor thing.

Unfortunately I might not have time to actually *put* anything there until this weekend :( But it will be another fabulous time-waster of the internet kind, for a while, anyway!! I filled out my profile, or at least I thought I did, but for some reason it didn't take. I guess that is why it is still beta, eh? Oh well. I will re-do it later. I also put in my first project listing, but somehow managed to make it an "Ugh!" project, when in fact it is actually a fabulous, beautiful (to me) project, so I deleted it and I will start over. See? Already wasting time. [face-slapping mode ON]

Have a great day .... ;)


"This Is Spinal Tap"

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Remember that movie? "This Is Spinal Tap", from 1984? Heh heh. That's what I had on my mind today, because, well, I had a spinal tap today! It was extra fun. They had to take out some of my spinal fluid to see if the alien implant in my brain was working properly. Seriously, not to worry... I had some severe headaches (which have been gone for over a month now) and because the doctors can't seem to find anything wrong with me, they are exulting in every possible test that can be humanly done on a live person in order to provide an answer... and also, it is March and March is boring, and because most of the doctors do not knit (except of course, MY wonderful, fabulous doctor!), they perform tests on people. This year it is my turn, heh heh.

So to celebrate my little visit to the hospital today to have a lumbar puncture (they don't call it spinal tap anymore), I have a couple movie links for ya:


The Wikipedia link to "This Is Spinal Tap" (how did we EVER get by, before Wikipedia???):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/This_Is_Spinal_Tap
Oh, and by the way, I noticed the Wikipedia entry called the lumbar puncture "a particularly unpleasant medical procedure", but I must tell you, it was a piece of cake. Hardly hurt at all. I have hurt myself far more seriously knitting, really. :D

The Official Unofficial "This Is Spinal Tap" website:
http://www.spinaltapfan.com/
Turn your audio up to 11, and go browse!! Crazy, dude!

Hope everyone is having a good day. I get to go lie down now for several hours, and I can't really see the down side of that... I will think of you all happily knitting away, somewhere! :D


Woke up one morning.....

"Good morning," I yawned as I stumbled into the kitchen for my bowl of Grape Nuts.

"Morning," my husband replied. "How come you slept so late this morning!"

"Oh, I dunno," I said, "but man, I was having the weirdest dream.... I dreamt I was a yarn shop owner, and it was really wild. There was all this yarn, and sweaters, too. And I had to design things and knit, and there was this thing called the Spa Knit & Spin, and people from all over the world came into the shop... and wow, could I ever knit! I was a knitting and yarn demon!"

He laughed.

"It was really fun," I went on. "And then the stupid dream ended, just when I was getting to the best part! I hate when that happens! I was just getting to the two Knitting Weekends my store was having, and it was going to be really, really fun, and I couldn't wait to get together with people and knit and laugh and eat good food, and it was going to be in the most beautiful Inn in town, and there were little fireplaces in the rooms, and waffles...."


Heh heh. Hi! Hi there! Remember me???? Yup, well, I finally woke up and said, hey, where's my blog, dammit? And here it is (it was hiding under my bed the whole time, geez.) and now I should probably write something! Especially since I am All Excited about the upcoming knitting weekends I am having in Camden (Maine).

I am really looking forward to it! Right now we still have room for about 4 more people in the first knitting weekend, and since only about 10 people are currently signed up for the second knitting weekend, there's plenty of room there (Tell your friends! Support your yarndemon! heh heh). Both knitting weekends are going to be so fun! Partly because all the people coming are either my good friends who inspire me or who are going to become good friends whom I hope to meet again and again, and partly because of the waffles, and partly because you'll get to watch me stumble through a lace knitting class I have never taught before (but it could be really entertaining; I will cover with humor when I totally screw up and we end up making golf club covers instead!). We also have amazing guest speakers (March 23, 24, & 25: Daphne Marinoupoulous of the Fibre Company); March 30, 31 & April 1: Helene Rush of Knit One, Crochet Too) -- I asked each of them to speak for three reasons. First, each of them owns a yarn company whose products are nationally distributed, and I wanted to give my Knitting Weekend participants an opportunity to see the yarn industry from the other side of the counter, to see what it is like for the yarn company to make the yarn and get the yarn to me -- the yarn at Unique One doesn't just magically appear on the shelves, although we often wish it would! Yarn companies work very hard to make the product and get it into yarn shops. Daphne and Helene both will be able to explain the ins and outs of yarn production and distribution to yarn shops. The second reason I wanted these two fine ladies to speak is that they are *women* business owners, and therefore an inspiration to me, personally, and hopefully to women everywhere. We gotta stick together, girls! And the third reason I wanted to ask Daphne and Helene to speak is because I really like spending time with each of them, they are friends and I enjoy their personalities and warmth and creativity, and so when I knew I was having a party....(or two parties).... I wanted them to come!

I also love love love giving out door prizes at the Knitting Weekends, and yowza! You should see the door prizes the yarn companies have donated to me! OMG!!!! It really overwhelms me to see the generosity.... Namaste donated an unbelievable knitting bag AND a set of GLASS KNITTING NEEDLES!!!!! (I must stop drooling, it is so hard on the keyboard...) Berroco and Classic Elite and Brown Sheep donated sweater kits... more than one from each company. And geez, Frog Tree Yarn gave us many, many very cute little scarf kits. Oh, there are soooo many more. Rio de la Plata donated so much yarn, we are going to include yarn in every goodie bag! (Everyone gets a Unique One goodie bag, as a participant in the best knitting party ever!) I will get pictures up of some of the door prizes soon. I have them on a flash drive but I gotta crop them and crimp them and make them all pretty, and I don't have time right now. The problem with the door prizes is, when they come in, all of us at Unique One want to buy them for our own! It's my fault, really... I asked the yarn companies to send stuff I don't already carry in stock... slyly using the donations as a way to view new products, but now of course, I want to buy all of them. Sigh. Please, if you come to the knitting weekends, let me know which door prizes you'd really like me to carry in the store? I can't buy them all .... but maybe *some* of them......


Okay, that is definitely enough blog posting for the day. I don't want to sprain my blogging arm by blogging too much at first. Oh, and as soon as I get a new camera, I can start showing you pictures of what I am knitting! I am knitting, really I am....

And if you want to come to the knitting weekends, click HERE or call the store at 1-888-691-8358 :) Sorry for the crass commercialism! But sadly, I could really use the business!!


Fun with Comics

Tesswonderdog


Heh, heh... now I just need to get a picture of Xena, Terrier Princess... of course I might need to use a macro lense, she's so little.... :)

Next time you stop by Unique One, you just might have the extreme pleasure of meeting one of our furry girls, Tess (above) or Xena (yet to be photographed). Make sure you bring treats! (Grace and Victoria do not feed them enough.)


See the Wall

I got an interesting email today from a young man who is trying to start an unusual art project inspired by the Million Dollar Homepage. Here's a quote:


I'm a 23 year old grad student at NYU. Recently, my friends and I came
up with a novel idea -- part art project, part internet madness. It's
called THE WALL. You can check it out at www.seethewall.com .

At first I thought it was just another spam email -- my post on the MDH attracts a lot of spam in the comments -- which, by the way, I kindly weed out for you :) -- but this email was too sincere-sounding. Like maybe, someone had really written it as a note to *me*. Hmm.

So I went to the site, and clicked on "What in the World is the Wall?" with strains of Pink Floyd floating through my mind as the page loaded. Needless to say, the concept is intriguing. In this project, a large work of art will be built and put on display in NYC; the intriguing part is that YOU get to make the art that the big work of art is created from. In a way it reminded me of The Sheep Market, that sheep thing from a while back, where people drew little pictures of sheep and then they all were put together on one web page.... remember that? I liked that idea, too. ;)

The Wall is both a web page and a physical work of art. Basically, people get blocks and put artwork on them. These show up on the web site page only, at first....later, a large wall of displays will be built and the wall with its artwork will start to grow. People who view the artwork and the webpage will be able to click to the art-creator's webpage. You could use it for advertising... or you could just share your favorite poetry... or, the masterpieces you've been knittng! Or sketches of what you have been designing! Or charts for fair isle knitting! For the moment, as the project is only in stage one, the blocks are, apparently, free. (But not for long, I suspect; get your butt over there and grab a block right now, if you want to be part of this thing and don't want to have to pay for the chance!) In the second stage, blocks will cost $10. Once enough money has been raised, stage three will have been achieved and at that point blocks will cost $20. Let me just say, that's a pretty good deal, if you use it for any kind of advertising; my pixels on the MDH cost $100. The Pixelotto pixels cost twice that! Even at $20, it's a good deal for advertising your business or your artwork... IF and I must repeat IF the site really takes off and gets any amount of media attention. :)

But hey, I'm talking about it here, right now. And if 10 other bloggers also talk about it, and each of them has 10 readers who mention it on their blogs, and so on and so on... you know the drill.

Here's a bit from the See the Wall website about "Why Should I Buy a Block on the Wall?":

Here's what you are getting as far as I can see:
  • Being a part of something totally new and exciting.
  • The more people see the wall, the more people will catch a glimpse of YOUR stuff.
  • If they're online , they can click a link and go see your website. Then they're your audience.
What can you really put on the wall? Anything you like. Hopefully something eye-catching and interesting. As long as it's not profane -- this is a work of art which I will be showing in New York City, so I have to keep things clean!

Also... $1 from every block sold will be donated to charity, and you even get to participate in deciding what charity to support.. there is a poll to see what charity should get the money.

This is an interesting project... I will be watching it to see how Greg does with it. I like the idea of many people contributing to make a larger whole.


YouTube Adventures in Knitting

Deborah sent me a link to a great video on YouTube, called "Real Men Knit"; it's great!

Then I started looking around on YouTube. For knitting videos, of course!!! Geez. So one thing I found is that there are TONS of knitting how-to videos available free for the asking. If you want to see how some knitting thing is done, try searching for it on YouTube... chances are you can watch someone demonstrate the technique you need.

In addition, however, there are some pretty funny and/or entertaining videos there as well:


I Is A Pop'lar Girl

Man... I just looked at my statistics for my blog. When I first started blogging, I looked at my stats a lot. Hourly, even, heh heh. But I havent looked at them for months lately.

But geez... I looked just now. Guess how many page views my blog has had in the last 7 days? I made my husband guess... he guessed 100. But no....

2765!!! Wow!! I don't know if that's a lot in the bloggy world, but I'm pretty impressed. Thank you!!! to everyone who looked at my blog this week! Especially considering I have only made 2 posts in the last 7 days, and no posts at all in the last couple of weeks! That's 16.45833333333 page views per hour!

Wooooot!!


Thanks everyone. :D The pressure's on now.... knowing that so many people are looking at my blog... I guess I had better write more!


The Next Big Thing

A little more than a year ago, I heard about an ambitious young man named Alex Tew who, in an effort to try to earn some money so he could go to university, had come up with the delightfully simple yet highly effective idea for The Million Dollar Homepage. Basically, he sold pixels for a dollar apiece to advertisers. I heard about it when he only had a dozen or so ads signed up... what got me was not only that he wanted to make enough money to go to college... or that he wanted, if successful at all, to send his hard-working parents on a nice vacation... no. What got me, what made me say "Awwwwww..... " was that if he really, really was successfull, the thing he wanted to buy for himself was nice socks. Socks, I tell you!!! The boy was obviously a genius, so I went ahead and bought the minimum 100-pixel space. Kudos to you if you can find it on the page. :) (Hint... there's a yellow banner that says "Cheap CDs"... under it is a picture of a monkey...my little yarn-ball picture is next to the monkey. If you hover your mouse over it, you'll read "Unique One Sweaters & Yarn, Camden, Maine). So then it really took off... the Million Dollar Homepage did indeed make Alex a million dollars, he went to university, I am sure his parents had a nice vacation, and he got lots of nice socks. And I got a ton of traffic to my website. :)

So yesterday Alex sends me an email outlining his next big venture ... this one is similar to the Million Dollar Homepage, but a little different. Advertisers will still buy pixels for ads, but this time people who visit the site and click on ads have a chance to win a million dollars! Yes! And not only that -- $100,000 will go to a charity chosen by the jackpot winner! It's Pixelotto, and it goes live on December 5. Because I was an early adopter last time, I got the chance to have my ad prominently placed on the page on the actual launch date. :D I doubled the size of my yarn ball and placed it at the center-ish top of the page. Now I will sit back and hopefully watch the web page hits roll in... and pray that some of them result in sweater orders, heh heh. Man, that would be soooo great.... Anyway, if Alex's Pixelotto gets anywhere near the attention the Million Dollar Homepage got, the Pixelotto page will be displayed in TV news broadcasts and business shows all over the world. Hopefully some of that video will capture my yarn ball. Last time, with the MDH, I saw my yarn ball ad on the Cavuto Business Report! It was very cool. If nothing else, I will have helped a bright, intriguing young man to make his fortune, and I will have gotten some pretty cheap internet advertising. Life is good. Now if only MY ad gets chosen as the one that awards the million dollars to the lucky ad-clicker... think of the national media attention Unique One would get.... :::fanning face:::: heh heh. It's fun to dream. :D

Watch for news of Pixelotto on December 5!! And click my ad -- you might win a million dollars!


[EDIT] Well... it's now the morning of December 6 and Pixelotto went live yesterday.... page views on www.uniqueone.com quadrupled. That's good :)


Road Trip

If you fly in or out of Bangor International Airport, make sure you look for my Unique One display in the kiosk right between the car rental counters and the baggage claim! :D In anticipation of the masses of people walking through BIA during the Thanksgiving Travel Horror, I went up today and put in a more Christmas/holiday display.... also put up a big Unique One sign over the top. So, here are some pictures of the display that is there now (one is fuzzy due to my photographic ineptitude):

Kiosk1Kiosk2
Kiosk3Kiosk4

Tomato Basil Soup and Grilled Cheese

Conventional wisdom has it that a blog is dying when the author resorts to writing what she had for lunch... heh heh. Mine was tomato basil soup and grilled cheese... although the grilled cheese was a little dry, as we were out of butter, and the tomato soup was a little sweeter than I like it, but it was at least a little better than Campbell's ..... What? too much information? hmmm? oh, okay.

I can't believe your world doesn't revolve around my lunch and how I liked it.


Actually this is just a filler post.... I am really too busy to write anything (knitting a beltie special order! Wooot!) and I won't have time tonight because I have our knitting group that meets at Unique One on Wednesdays... yesterday I got a lot done and actually have a lot to post here, but unfortunately time is pressing on. I'll just tease you by saying we got most of the details nailed down for the two Knitting Weekends and I also have a line on five knitting classes I'll be teaching at Cappy's Crow's Nest (next door to Unique One) in January through April.... there's a lot to say... but it will have to wait! :) Final & official information will be posted on the Unique One website shortly after Thanksgiving Day -- actually I will be using Thanksgiving Day to write it up and post the .html -- and I will be sending a flyer out about the second knitting weekend also after Thanksgiving. If you want to receive said flyer, just email me your name & address and I'll send it to you. But it will all be posted on the Unique One site. AND if you read my blog you'll read it here FIRST...sort of in rough draft form, but still.... you'll know it first, right here. :)
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Purls of Hope

Hey. Get your butt over to Purls of Hope, and help some people have something to give thanks for this Thanksgiving.....the forgotten victims of Hurricane Katrina need our help! Post about the Pearlington Project on your blog, tell your friends, send money, pray.... whatever you can do. It's all good. Knitters can make a difference!!!!!!

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Mr


Donation

(above images from the The Pearlington Project Katrina Foundation, Inc. website)


Susan is My Hero

Because she couldn't really believe that it took me an hour and a half to knit one little beltie swatch, and also because my little beltie cow had pretty big holes on each side of its white belt, Susan cast on another little swatch while she was dropping sweaters off at the store today. She wanted to see how I was wrapping the yarn, which is supposed to be what keeps the nasty holes from forming.

So we knit a swatch together. Not only did we figure out the holes problem, but hey! we also figured out why it took me so long to knit my swatch yesterday. It turns out I was doing a whole lot more work than I needed to every row, moving yarn over and off needles that I didn't need to. Had I actually read the instructions a bit more carefully, I would have seen that it was very clearly stated .... but that would require careful reading, a skill I never really acquired. Fast reading, yes, I got that. Careful reading.... not so much. Heh heh.

It was so great and so empowering to spend a few minutes with a master like Susan, that I not only finished the second beltie swatch, but I also knit 4 reversible wool hats and a cotton sweater!!! Well okay, it was a short, size small sweater. And none of the items are actually sewn together yet. But I'm pretty impressed with myself, nonetheless. :D

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(Bet you were worried I wouldn't get my post done today, weren't you....)


More Glow in the Dark Obsession

Because I can't get enough of things that glow in the dark, you can imagine how pleased I am to find that my very walls can now glow in the dark! Yes! I love it when technology catches up with my imagination! Thank you, CeeLite™!

"The company's Light Emitting Capacitor (LEC) panels are flexible, paper-thin light bulbs that you can hang on a wall, coming in sizes as large as 3 x 6 feet. Just a millimeter thick, the panels sandwich light-emitting phosphors between layers of electrodes. When an AC voltage is applied, the phosphors light up with a warm white glow, consuming less power than a neon or fluorescent bulb. The panel naturally glows evenly, though you can set them up to dim, glow brighter, or blink like crazy when touched."

Ceelite_lec_panel


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Hecticity

hec·tic·i·ty
Pronunciation: hek-'ti-s&-tE
Function: noun
1 : hectic quality or affiliation <"Man, there's a lot of hecticity around here!">


The English language is so versatile and fun to play with, like built-in Legos for your brain. There really is no such word as "hecticity" (well, now there is), but the 11-year-old son of one of my dear customers (Hi Kelley!!) didn't let that stop him when he wanted to express a thought. I love English.

There's a great website devoted to recording and documenting new words as they appear -- hopefully now that "hecticity" has been published in a public place (here), maybe it will be used on other blogs and eventually become a real word! I feel like a word-midwife. :D

Hecticity
(Image above totally ripped off from this site. Sorry!)

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48 Things

48 Things You Could Care Less About

1. FIRST NAME? Beth

2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Catharine the Great (....that's a joke)

3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? Hmmm, cry really hard? or just have water leaking out?

4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Yes, it's beautiful.

5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCHMEAT? Salami

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Yes; I would take myself out and have a salami and provolone sub and try not to cry :)

7. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? Oh yes, lots, each with about a page and a half written in them. That's how long it usually takes me to lose them. And then I have this blog thing.

8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? God, I hope so.

9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Yes!!

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Bacon and eggs. Or one of those Belgian waffles from the Lord Camden Inn. (Note the picture if you click the link.)

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? People buy shoes that tie? Huh.

12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Yup.

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? Ummm, today it's pistachio.

14. SHOE SIZE? 8

15. RED OR PINK? Red.

16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? I procrastinate too much!

17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? Santa Claus.

18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? Oh God, no, please don't! But steal it from my blog if you want. :)

19. WHAT COLOR PANTS, SHIRT AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Black jeans, a Unique One sweater (black wool, zip-up cardigan), and black leather slip-on shoes that do not tie. Apparently I like black today. :) But that wool zip cardigan is my favorite sweater, I wear it almost every day.

20. LAST THING YOU ATE? Heh heh.... black licorice! Really!

21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? "Cool Johnny Twist" by Little Charlie and the Nightcats. :D

22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Midnight Blue.

23. FAVORITE SMELL? The ocean.

24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? A lady who called my cell phone.... but it was the wrong number.

25. THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE YOU ARE ATTRACTED TO? How much money they're spending at Unique One.

26. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON you stole THIS from? I do! Thanks Denise!

27. FAVORITE DRINK? Coffee.

28. FAVORITE SPORT? Hockey. And possibly football.

29. EYE COLOR? Brown.

30. HAT SIZE? 7 3/4 I think.

31. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Not anymore.... used to.

32. FAVORITE FOOD? Whoopie Pies!

33. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Happy endings.

34. IF YOU COULD LIVE ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD WHERE WOULD THAT BE? Maine (duh).

35. SUMMER OR WINTER? Summer.

36. HUGS OR KISSES? Kisses.

37. FAVORITE DESSERT? Anything without blueberries. I really really hate blueberries.

38. WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Grace

39. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Nora

40. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? The Age of Homespun by some boring writer

41. WHAT’S ON YOUR MOUSE Pad? Spilled coffee.

43. FAVORITE SOUNDS? Waves. Blues music. Coffee perking. The hull of a boat pushing through the water.

44. ROLLING STONE OR BEATLES? Rolling Stones.

45. THE FURTHEST YOU’VE BEEN FROM HOME? Narnia.

46. WHAT’S YOUR SPECIAL TALENT? Knitting, I guess. Or public speaking.

47. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Presque Isle, Maine

48. WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Nobody, I stole it from Denise!!


Fascinating Times

We live in fascinating times. I should have seen it coming, way back when they invented Silly Putty. There are products on the market now that make me squirm with delight. Here are a couple of them:


  • Tracy the Tragically Blogless sent me this link to a hair gel product that makes your hair glow in the dark!! Yes!! I need this.
    Us_iglow_front_label_blue_circle_0728062

  • And... don't you need pants that have a remote control?! Yes!! Clothing that has integrated heating elements. It's like they turned an electric blanket into a vest, jacket and pants. Unfortunately it's only available for men's clothing... apparently women are smart enough to stay in out of the cold!

    Heatedclothing




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Crazy Sci-Fi Girl

I've always been a science fiction nut. I blame it on my sister. Well, I blame a lot on my sister because she isn't here to defend herself, heh heh.

You can tell if you were a sci-fi-crazed nut at a young age if any of the following are true for you:


  • You spent hours sewing tribbles out of fake fur while watching Saturday morning cartoons and re-runs of Star Trek.
  • You remember watching actual Star Trek episodes when they were new, not re-runs.
  • You had waaaaaaay more tribbles than friends.
  • You sent postcards to all the TV networks after Star Trek was cancelled, imploring them to reconsider. And only got a response at all from NBC.
  • You belonged to the Sci-Fi book club in high school -- every six weeks another couple books came in the mail! Yay! Which you had to find some way to pay for! Oh dear!
  • A high school English teacher asks you to teach a class on Science Fiction for him because you know more about it than he does -- and you're still in high school.
  • The kids in the class actually take notes on your science fiction lecture.
  • You saw Star Wars 14 times... in a row.

Heh heh. Yup.

Back when I was in junior high and high school it was pretty darned geeky (that was back when "geek" was a pejorative term, not a sexy term) to even know what science fiction was, let alone wallow in it. I didn't really care, as I was thankfully pretty oblivious to social interactions. I just wanted to curl up with a little Isaac Asimov or Robert Heinlein and read. I did feel a little lonely, though, because other than my sister (the blamed one), no one else cared about sci-fi and all. It was a lonely, lonely hobby....

But, I have continued to be a science fiction nut all my life, only now there are tons of us and liking sci-fi is considered a plus, not an oddity. (I'm pretty sure.) Ever since technology finally caught up to sci-fi writers' imaginations, around 1977 with the advent of Star Wars and the creation of Industrial Light and Magic special effects company, there has been an explosion of really good sci-fi in movies and television. No more rubber monster suits! No more fake laser beams painted on the film! No more aluminum pie plate UFOs!

Here are some of my favorite sci-fi TV shows I have enjoyed over the years:

And then there are sci-fi movies I have enjoyed. Oddly, I had a harder time thinking of sci-fi movies, and had to go to imdb.com to jog my memory... I probably still missed a few. Feel free to email me with a "Duh" if I forgot any! Great sci-fi movies:

Maybe one of these days I'll do similar lists for fantasy TV & movies I like, so that's where I will put Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter and Buffy the Vampire Killer... in case you were wondering why they weren't listed. Science fiction and Fantasy are so often paired together, sometimes people forget that they are two completely separate things. But I like fantasy, too!


"It was great!" said Grace, happily, about the Unique One dinner.

So, my hectic day ended up fine and at 6 p.m. my bills were paid and all was well. The Unique One Ladies gathered at Chez Michel for a lovely dinner..... I had a nice crisp Marquis de Chasse Sauvignon Blanc and we shared a few toasts: toasts to the girls, with whom I would be NOWHERE -- they really are the heart and soul of Unique One; we also had a toast to Brenda, the patron saint of Unique One. We will always miss her very, very much.... Chez Michel was the last place she took us all out to dinner the fall before she died. I must say, I get a little weepy every time we have these dinners and I remember how good she was to all of us. I hope I can be as good a boss as she was. I am working on it!!!

I ordered appetizers for the whole table (they let me do that because I'm the Boss Lady). We shared lobster cocktail, crabmeat-stuffed mushrooms, a delightful Ducktrap smoked salmon plate, and teriyaki chicken wings. Very nice. Because all who work at Unique One pretty much share one brain, nearly all of us ordered basically the same thing: scallops. Half of us, including me, had Coquilles St. Jacques, which is sea scallops in a buttery wine sauce topped with obscene amounts of Swiss cheese.... oh my goodness, it was very yummy. The other half had Scallops Provencal, which is scallops and vegetables over a choice of rice or some kind of pasta, I think. I don't really remember, as I was neck deep in Swiss cheese at the time. :)

Then there was Grace, she's artistic you know. She had to be different. Grace ordered Duck au Poivre. She says it was very good!

Several people chose to have winter squash with their meal and it apparently was notably good, as well

And yes, we had dessert: Becky, Susan and I had Jim Beam bread pudding with a whiskey sauce (very very good!!); Grace had Tuxedo Mousse, a white chocolate & dark chocolate mousse combo; Victoria had Tuxedo Creme Brulee, a creme brulee with a chocolate layer on the bottom; Tracy had a hot fudge brownie sundae; and the two Wendy's didn't have dessert. Silly girls.

The service was excellent, our server was right on top of things every minute and filled our orders accurately! We had a great time!


A Day in the Life....

Okay.... so I'm at the shop. It's pretty quiet, so I figured I would write something on the ol' blog. I have a TON of stuff to do in the office, but at the moment Victoria is meeting with a yarn sales rep and someone has to man the front of the store. The last time I poked my head in, they were talking about some new wool/bamboo Trekking sock yarn.....

Now they're looking at laceweight merino yarn from Skacel.... I think she ordered 2 color packs, brights and neutrals. We ordered this once before, in the spring I think, but apparently the order got lost because we never received it. :( This Skacel laceweight has 1375 yards and will retail for $13.95. Victoria is ordering it right now, even as I type..... :D

Meanwhile, customers are coming in and getting help in the yarn dept. and buying lovely Unique One sweaters. (Thank God.) I love that people love our sweaters... I love wearing them and I love knitting them.

I'm typing in between customers... two people needed help finding the right color yarn; one person needed advice on what needles to use & what pattern stitch to try for an afghan she wants to make; somebody got a cash refund for a return; a lady brought a pink cotton sweater...

Things are really hoppin' now. Just sold yarn to several customers, who are making a felted hat, socks, a kids' sweater, a baby hat, a crocheted hat & mittens....tons of people shopping... a couple ladies up front buying sweaters like mad :D......blues music cranking out of the stereo, in the background. Yay!

Okay, Victoria's sales rep has gone... Victoria ordered the laceweight merino yarn; some color paks of the Trekking wool/bamboo sock yarn (that means we'll get a bigger variety of colors, but only a couple balls in each color); some new colors of Step sock yarn; and some new colors of regular Trekking sock yarn. And now she thinks she deserves to have a few minutes to eat lunch, heh heh. I'll let her :)

Somewhere in there I ran downstairs for something and noticed a light out.... changed the light bulb; came upstairs and realized there are like 4 bulbs burned out back in the yarn area... those require more time to change... maybe this afternoon.. but geez I have to pay BILLS today or they'll be coming to take me away, ha-ha..... GAHHHH!

*Sigh*. By 6:00 p.m. the day will be done, one way or another. Tonight I am taking my whole staff out to dinner at Chez Michel in Lincolnville Beach. They SO deserve it... I would be nowhere without them. Love you gals!!!

So, that's my day, so far. I really hope I get my bills paid!!!


Migratory Utensils

Let's talk about scissors. Everyone knows, you shouldn't run with them. Not everyone knows, however, of their strange migratory habits (although, many of you may suspect them).

In my store there are five places where there should always be a pair of scissors handy: 1) by the phone near the front counter; 2) over the pressing table; 3) on my desk; 4) by the knitting machine and 5) in the yarn department. Five places. Five pairs of scissors, one in each place. Easy, right?


But they are never there. Millenia ago, scissors were herd utensils, moving in packs over the great plains of fabric in the wild wooly west. Then they were domesticated, tamed, some even becoming blunt-pointed, safe in the hands of children (who run) and on airplanes. Some scissor owners even began to brand their scissors, marking them with Sharpies or masking tape, claiming ownership. We thought the herd instinct was bred out of them, that scissors could live a happy, solitary existence in a drawer or a mug or on a hook.

How wrong we were. Given the chance, scissors will group together and huddle in abject, utilitarian sharpness in a dark corner, far from their appointed spot, surrounded by every other pair of scissors within a 100-meter radius. They may even attract a few tape measures or staple-pullers, looking for companionship. They'll hang out in a secluded corner or on a shelf, all of them, waiting contentedly, watching with pointed humor as we foolishly run about, exclaiming, "God, five damn pair of scissors in this place... where the @&*(^$ are they?!?!" Eventually we discover them and put them all back in their respective places, but we all know that the herd mentality will overtake them again in a few weeks, and soon we'll be on a store-wide scissor round-up.

Silly scissors.

:)


Unique One Fall 2006 Newsletter

Finally! I got the newsletter done. It's in the mail, for those of you who get a hard copy; for the rest, you can read it online here. It has a couple of .jpegs that are still huge and maybe I will fix that, but don't hold your breath. :) The last thing to do is to get a photo of the crocheted Trellis Stitch Scarf to add the the pattern, which I *was* going to do today, but it is raining, of course, and my house is all dark and everything. Maybe I can take a picture of it at the store later; the light is better there.

Alert Unique One Newsletter readers will note that the Summer newsletter never materialized at all. Man, we were busy and I also had pretty much no motivation to write it. Then I worked on the Fall newsletter and thought about cutting the paper newsletters back to two a year instead of four, and here's why: when we first started the newsletters in the fall of 2003, it only cost about $80. That pretty much covered the printing, and we really had no mailing list built up. Now, between printing costs and the fact that the mailing list has gotten large, it costs me about $400 to print and mail it. That's fine, and is still pretty cheap advertising, but multiply that by four and you get $1600 per year, for the newsletter. Sorry folks, but I am afraid I don't make that much money from the little bugger. I'll try to keep pushing out a couple hard copy newsletters per year, because I really do like doing it! And I'll do two newsletters per year that are only posted on the internet. Two of the newsletters (fall and winter) promote yarn sales that we're having, so those two will likely remain as hard copies, mailed out..... the spring and summer newsletters are pretty much just me yakking, so I'll probably make those internet-only items. Hopefully my savvy and dedicated newsletter readers will be able to handle this change. :)

Oh and one last thing: recently someone was asking me about spinning cat hair (that's spinning hair from your cat, not the hair of a cat that is spinning in circles, although Grace sometimes does that here....). I have always wanted to find more information on it, and this morning I did find some. Click here for a link to a page about one person's insights about spinning the hair of the cat. :)


I Need Help!

I need to find an angel out there who can help me..... there's something I desperately want, but I can't find it anywhere for love or money :)

I was stricken recently for a great desire to obtain an .mp3 file of the theme song from Hockey Night in Canada, perhaps the longest-running TV show anywhere in the world. I was devastated to find my satellite TV provider doesn't offer access to the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), so I can't just watch HNIC on TV. We can get the BBC, and even Al-Jazeera, if we want to pay extra for it. We can get a whole bunch of Japanese or Brazilian or Saudi Arabian stations. But no CBC. Apparently Mr. Dressup and re-runs of The Beachcombers are not enough in demand by satellite TV viewers.... or perhaps they are just a tad too subversive. :D

So anyway, if anyone out there knows where I can download or buy the theme song from Hockey Night in Canada, my life will be complete. I'm happy to pay for it.... actually my dream is to find, someday, a CD of CBC TV show theme songs. But I know I will never see that. *sigh*

Another dream I have (now, after a rather carried-away conversation at knitting group last night) is to find or *make* earrings that are working miniature tape measures. We were talking last night about how, if you were Really Dedicated to Knitting, you could pierce your flesh, possibly in several places, and attach rings to yourself. Then you could hang your knitting tools right off the rings. Need scissors? Tape measure? Just grab them off the carabiner attached to the ring on your... whatever part you pierced. Who wouldn't need that???? I'm thinking piercing is the way to never losing my stuff again. Plus you would always be popular at knitting group... everyone would want to sit next to you because you would always have those all-important tools at hand, or ear, or forearm.. or whatever.

Yes. You would think we had wine at knitting group, wouldn't you? But no. It must be the yarn fumes.


Thanks so much, by the way, to all of you who commented on the decision I had to make about whether to visit the San Diego Zoo!!! I really appreciate it. It helps a lot to hear what everyone thinks!! I believe we'll take 2 classes each, on Saturday and Sunday, and spend Friday at the San Diego Zoo! Yay!! and not to worry, we will still make time to go through Seaport Village and the Gaslamp District, too. Thanks for all the input! You guys rock!!!! And MJ, yes, I do hope to find a bottle of Maredsous somewhere along the way... :D