Interesting.... here are the increased traffic results from my little yarn ball ad on Pixelotto.com so far:
And in case you need help finding my ad on the increasingly filled-up pixelotto page, here's where I am:
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:
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!
- 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.
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.
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:
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!
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!
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 :)
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):
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. :)
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!!!!!!
(above images from the The Pearlington Project Katrina Foundation, Inc. website)
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
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."
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
(Image above totally ripped off from this site. Sorry!)
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!!
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:
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:
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!
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!
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!!!
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.
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 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
It's a hard decision to make.
Victoria and I are going to the TNNA show in San Diego in January to drool over all the newest products in the yarn industry. I booked a room at the Bristol Hotel yesterday and now the trip seems a little more well-defined.
We recently got the listing of classes being offered at the TNNA show; you may remember that when we went to Indianapolis in June, we took 2 classes on Friday and one each on Sunday. Yet as we pored over the class selections in the booklet today, we recalled that in Indianapolis we had looked at each other and said, why did we sign up for so many dang classes? heh heh. Taking classes was wonderful, but it kinda wore us out. Still, it was a lot of fun to learn new things....
Also... everyone I have EVER talked to about San Diego has said I would be insane to go to San Diego and not see the San Diego Zoo. Now, I am really not much of a zoo person, I kind of hate to see animals caged and confined. But, it is hard to ignore a 100% consensus on something, namely the complete agreement that I must see the zoo if ever in San Diego.
So. We have to decide..... sign up for two extra knitting classes, or go to the San Diego Zoo. I might never get to San Diego again, ever, in my whole life, if they move the show back to Long Beach. However to totally blow off a whole day of TNNA classes seems to fly in the face of the fact that this is, in reality, a business trip. What to do, what to do.
Should Victoria & I spend Friday of the TNNA trip at the San Diego Zoo? Or spend Friday taking knitting classes? I would be very interested to hear what all of you have to say ... so leave a comment if you want to take a stand on this vital issue :)
Remember this from "It's A Wonderful Life"? Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings..... :)
You know how it is when you're knitting quietly away at a meeting or something, and you drop one of those nice clangy metal double-pointed needles, and it makes a lovely, raucous sound, causing everyone to stop and look pointedly at you? Last night at knitting we decided that every time you drop a noisy metal double-point, someone learns to knit. :)
So y'all, please keep dropping those needles!
....it's cashmere, get over it :)
There's a reason why they call it "cashmere", you know. After all, it is pretty up front about the cost. It starts with "cash", after all. Heh heh, ca$hmere, that's how you really should spell it, ha!
Why is it that the things we want the most cost so much? And why is it that cashmere feels soooo good? Everybody wants it, everybody asks for it, but when it comes down to the actual fact of buying it.... man. It is really expensive! All I can say is... it's worth it. And *you're* worth it. One of the things that continues to amaze me (or maybe it's because I am so selfish, I'll give myself anything if I want it) is that nearly every knitter, every woman that I know has a phobic horror of doing anything nice for herself. And nowhere is this more obvious than when a woman is confronted with a luxury fiber.
It is the rare woman who honestly feels that she is worth $100 dollars of cashmere. Isn't that sad? We are all worth so much more than that. Think about what you, as a woman (probably; no men have owned up to reading my blog, LOL) do every day, think about what you give to other people every day. Think about what you get back in return. Granted, I don't expect women to go about scarfing up luxury fibers (heh pun not intended, but quite appreciated) on a daily basis, but geez, a couple times a year, it's the least you deserve. Dang. Buy yourself some cashmere if you want it. Or whatever you love... a new purse, some sexy underwear, a 10 lb. box of chocolates, a trip to the Caribbean. You only go around once in life.
Heh heh. Cashmere. It could change the world.
Aren't you glad I'm blogging again? heh heh heh
....you might get it, heh heh.
Okay I am back. Ha! It's all due to Deb who has made many many many attempts to jog me back into the blog thing. Love ya Deb!!
First let me just thank all of you who have missed my silly blog postings :) You are all very dear to me and I really had no idea how much people liked reading my rambling. A friend of the Laukka family (Brenda Laukka, the original owner & founder of Unique One) who currently lives on the other side of the world was visiting here, and stopped by the store today, and she mentioned how much she enjoyed reading it because it was a way to connect to the area. So all of you, this blog's for you!!!! I promise I'll try never to let it lag for so long again. :)
Business at the store seems to be going well, thanks. We didn't have the great summer I was hoping, but maybe our autumn will continue to be strong.... I hope so!!! Y'all please tell all your friends to buy lots of Unique One sweaters & stuff so Beth & Victoria can afford to go to the big yarn show in San Diego in January, 'kay? heh heh. Yup, we're fixin' to go yarn shopping big time in January so we'll have tons 'o fun for you to dig through in February (at the Spa!) and March & April (at the Unique One knitting weekends!) ;)
What am I knitting on.... hmmmm..... socks. I really really really love the new Regia Silk, a blend of wool, silk and nylon that feels so good to knit with and hopefully, to wear. I finished a pair of black socks, am working on navy blue ones now, and have a multicolored one stashed away somewhere nearby for when the navy ones are completed. And before the Regia Silk hit me, I finished a pair of Durasport wool socks and of course my luscious Step socks that I started at last March's knitting weekend. I still love that Step sock yarn, with the aloe & jojoba in the yarn... love it. I do have a skein of that nearby, too....
Oh there are so many, many unfinished projects lying about. Maybe this will be the winter I just play catch-up. Or ketchup. :D
What am I drooling over, wanting to knit? Well, that Vermont Fiber Company's O-Wool organic merino yarn, for one thing. It is all I can do not to throw everything aside and just jump into it. And, Classic Elite's Wool Bamboo yarn.... 50% wool, 50% bamboo, 100% heaven. And the colors, oh my lovelies.... the colors..... *sigh*. I would also love to knit something, anything, out of the K1C2 cashmere we got in over the summer, 100% cashmere in a DK weight, and oh my goodness I wants it my precious... well, yes, it is sort of all mine anyway until *you* buy it, but I want it .... heh heh. We also got a gorgeous bulky weight cashmere from Classic Elite, called "Sinful" and let me tell you, it is appropriately named, in so many ways. I have already knit something wonderful from it, but that will have to wait for another post :))
Okay, so there's a post for ya, Deb! (and everyone else, too -- big kisses to all of you!) I'll try to get back tomorrow night with another post. After all this time with no blog posts, you'd hope I'd have tons of stuff to say, wouldn't you??? and who knows, maybe I have :)
Here are some pictures of new stuff at the store, most of which I talked about day before yesterday:
First of all, here's a picture of the little summer cardigan I knit and finished off on Wednesday night, at our knitting circle. Sandy very kindly modeled it for me! I think it looks really cute on her.
We got some new buttons from the Dill Button company; we ordered them in Indy. These large buttons are made of resin -- they did have one of them made in wood, but the sales rep pointed out that the wooden ones were more fragile. These buttons are a good size and shape for bags, or for that cardigan that needs just one magnificent button. I put the quarter in to show scale.
This isn't a new product, but we got 5 more of the Hanne Falkenberg "Ballerina" kits -- here is the Ballerina sample we have on display at the store; Alison knit it for us. Two of the kits we got are already sold, but there are three more still available as of this moment.
If you come into Unique One you might be greeted by this charming little girl! Her name is Tess and she belongs to Grace, who works at the store. Grace's minor was physics, so Tess is named for Nikola Tesla. :)
In other news, Victoria called me yesterday afternoon to say the new Clover light-up needles have arrived! I'll see them when I go in today.
Also, I was saddened to discover yesterday that Barbara Albright, author of the books Knitter's Stash and Oddball Knitting, as well as many cookbooks, died on Wednesday of a brain tumor; she was only 51. One of her friends said of her, "Her life was brownies and margaritas." Read the whole news story here.
There is a very cool Canadian lady named Tracy Martin who makes wonderful knitting-themed metal sculpture. Her sculptures are being shown right now at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibit (July 7, 8 & 9). If you live near there, you should go see them!
Or, click here to see her sculptures on her website, where it says
"Tracey's knitting inspired metal sculptures work on two levels. Fisrt, abstractly as a geometric arrangment of spheres and rods. Secondly, symbolic as in relation to the act of knitting, the continuity of yarn stand from project beginning to end and the contemplative nature of knitting and the thoughts and memories it triggers."
Here's a good July photo:
I meant to post it on the Fourth of July....ooops.
This yarn is dyed to knit up in sections of red and white stripes alternating with sections of blue with white specks for "stars". It's been a big hit at the store!
The yarn is Fortissima Socka Colori Color and the color number is 1776!
We got more new stuff at the shop! The most exciting (for me, anyway) is the needles and crochet hooks that light up -- the ones from Wisconsin. Misty and I had a great time playing with them when they came in. Here are some pictures:
The needles and hooks are only available in limited size ranges; I got needles in sizes 8, 10 1/2, and 17, 2 pairs each (and Misty already bought one of the size 17's). The crochet hooks I only got a few of, in large sizes; I know I got 2 size K and one size N, and I think I got one more size, but now I can't remember. We're selling both the crochet hooks and the needles for $39.95. If they sell well, I'll order more soon. I know they're expensive, but the cool factor is just HUGE on these babies. They'd make a great gift for a knitter, so I'll have them in stock during the holiday shopping season later this year.
We also got some fabulous alpaca yarn from Camden's own Blueberry Farm, in brown and in black, the alpacas' natural colors. I can't get over how deep and black the black is. No dyed-black could ever be that perfect a black. The brown is also a beautiful brown. The alpacas who contributed this fiber are named Cecilia and Lady Pepperell:
A big hit at our Wednesday night knitting group was a new lace weight yarn we got that is in variegated colors with looooooong color repeats. The yarn is called "Graceful" and it is lighter than regular lace weight yarn. Closer to cobweb weight, I'd say. It's from Japan and distributed from California. Picture Noro yarn crossed with Lacy Lamb lace yarn, and that's what Graceful is like. Each ball is 2400 yards and it costs $22.99. Here's what we got (actually, some of it sold right out of the shipping box before we even got it out on the floor):
I got pictures of the shrug I knit on the Isaac Evans during the knitting cruise earlier this month:
It looks better in person. As a matter of fact, it's been a great model for the store and has sold all but a couple of the magazine needed to knit it (Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2006). So I am pretty happy with it. Also, as soon as the magazines are all sold and I can't use it as a model anymore, I get to take it and wear it, and I love wearing it! It was so much fun to knit, too; you can use any yarn and any needle you like. You just need to measure across your back from underarm to underarm. You start at the center bottom back, and cast on just 3 stitches. You increase to make a triangle until the width across the bottom of the triangle equals the measurement across your back. Then you put half the stitches on a piece of yarn to hold it. Working on half the stitches, you work straight garter stitch to make a "sleeve". At that point you cast on more stitches at the end of the needle. Then you do a decrease triangle the way you did an increase triangle on the back. Go back and put the stitches from the yarn holder on your needles and knit the other side the same way. Tack the "underarm" together with a couple of stitches, and there you have it: a cute "shawl" that won't keep falling off your shoulders as you move! It would have been better if I had used a variegated yarn like Artyarns' Super Merino 8 or another hand-dyed yarn, because it would really have shown off the intriguing construction of the garment. That Iris Schreier, she's a marvel! I encourage everyone to pick up a copy of that Vogue Knitting issue & read her "Geometry Lessons" article, which is what got me started on this whole thing. Also, she has a great book out called "Modular Knits" that has 24 designs using her multi-directional magic knitting techniques. After my shrug experience, now I want to make all of them!
I also finished the scarf I crocheted from Alchemy Yarns "Silken Straw" yarn:
I used a medium sized crochet hook and just did a simple trellis stitch (the pattern for the scarf will be in our next newsletter, due to be published in mid-July). (Don't worry, there will be a knitting pattern in the newsletter too for non-crocheters). Because the yarn is kind of a mini tape yarn, the resulting fabric felt slightly crunchy -- but it's silk; I wanted it to be silky feeling, like the yarn is in the skein. So I steam ironed it! It came out beautiful, lustrous and silky and nice and flat. It's really pretty. Again, much prettier in person than in the picture. I took a picture of Victoria wearing it, but the photo was all fuzzy. She looked charmin' in it, too!
My blog posts are always too long, but I just wanted to say one thing: we've had so many people in the store this summer who mention they read & enjoy my blog. People from all over the world! It just thrills me to think you all are joining me in my not-quite-daily ramblings and rants about, well, whatever I write about. Thank you for reading!! (And Marianne, I'm glad you liked the "Herding Cats" video!! Love ya.)
Oh, yeah, and one more thing: pick up the current copy of a little newspaper called No Umbrella (I think it is only distributed in Maine, but you can subscribe) and you can read my short story called "The Road Home". It's based on a near-deer experience I had while driving home after our knitting circle late one night. I'll also have another, shorter piece in next month's issue, I think. And possibly more after that, if people email them and say "Great newspaper! I 'specially like the fiction from that great writer, Beth Collins!" heh heh.
...we were really busy at the store today! The bad news is, we were really busy at the store today. Being busy was really good (for me!). Unfortunately for my dedicated blog readers, it meant I didn't have time to get any photos of stuff that came in recently. But I can at least tell you: we have gotten some really cool buttons from a couple of companies we ordered from at TNNA. Here are pictures of some buttons we got from Renaissance:
Fish bowls. I love them. They are much cuter in person than in this picture. We also got these:
Who doesn't need sushi buttons???
We got Knit Stix, needles with inches marked on them so you can also use them to measure with. Haven't you wished you had inches marked on your needles so you could check, using your free needle (the one with no stitches on it) if you have finally gotten that @!%#& two inches of K 1, P 1 ribbing done YET? I have. The best thing about them is that Helen Jost, who invented these needles, grew up right here in Camden and graduated from Camden High School! She is a very cool lady and it was a pleasure to meet her at TNNA in Indianapolis. We also got Tuffy and Durasport yarn from Canada, nylon-enriched wool loveliness for making warm and long-wearing wonderful socks for winter. There are new colors of Velvet Touch and Suede and Foliage, all long-time fave yarns at Unique One. We also recently got the newest Heartstrings patterns.
I also was too busy to finish my "Dream" summer cardigan or to photograph my shrug that I just finished knitting. It's already been a good model for the store, garnering attention and causing people to purchase yarn and the Spring Vogue Knitting issue it is made from. Which I find a little surprising, because I didn't think it would be a particularly interesting model; however, it has really unusual, interesting shaping and we've had some pretty hard-core tourist knitters in lately, and it's like there's some invisible thing in the air: they hone right in on this little shrug, and start trying to figure out how it is knit, because its shaping is really kind of magical and difficult to figure out. It's a curious thing. And it makes people want to knit it, because it is a curious thing. Iris Schreier (the designer) is quite a clever girl and I admire the way she thinks. I'll get pictures soon, promise!
Since I didn't do the above stuff, I also didn't yet start my Vivian Hoxbro kit, but I will, soon. Really.