Thursday Musings

While I was working at my LYS, a customer was admiring some sweaters we have on display for upcoming classes. Each one has a sign stating the name of the pattern, the dates and times of the classes, and at the bottom a simple request, “Please do not try on.” The customer turned to me and asked if people actually try on the samples. This sparked an interesting discussion and I am interested in what other knitters think.

yarn shopetiquette

If you see a sample sweater/hat/shawl/mitts, etc., in a yarn shop, would you just try it on? I personally do not try anything on at a yarn shop unless one of the staff invites me to do so or I ask one of the staff if the item is available to be tried on. In our shop, some of the models come from the yarn companies and those we allow customers try on if they desire. We also have a lot of models that were knit by our staff which are their own personal items.

I have encountered many customers who politely ask if they may try on a model. But there are just as many who walk in, take the model off the display mannequin, and proceed to try it on without asking. I wonder if they are mistaking the yarn store for a department store. Is that possible?

I never allow a customer to try on someone’s personal knitted item without that person’s permission. A shawl or scarf is permissible in my opinion. Allowing people to try on a model risks having that particular model stretched, snagged, or worse. I personally don’t want numerous people trying on my own handknit sweater, hat, etc. I do let customers try on my scarves and shawls as there is less chance of damage to the item.

I also encourage customers to touch the finished projects. Knitting is a very tactile process. I think most knitters are initially drawn to a yarn’s colors, but many knitters skip over a lovely dyed yarn because it feels rough or harsh. Knitting is not a speedy craft and we want to enjoy the yarn as it runs through our fingers while we form the stitches. I do not want to spend weeks knitting something with yarn that feels awful in my hands. In fact, if I don’t like the feel of the yarn I will probably not knit on the project much. Then we have to think about how the final garment is going to feel while we wear it. This is where touching the models comes in. Sometimes a yarn may feel a bit rough in the hank or ball, but once it is knit up it becomes soft and yummy. It’s all about how it feels . . . during the process and as the finished project.

This also brings up another knitting etiquette question . . . if you see someone knitting something, do you just walk up to them and start fondling their knitting as you ask them about the project?

So what do you think? Do you walk into yarn stores and just try things on without asking first? Do you think customers should ask or do you believe the models are there for you to try on? How about touching someone else’s knitting while they are working on it? Speak up knitters!

I’ve been a busy bee . . .

It has been a crazy few weeks since my last post. Winter can’t seem to give way to spring. We have been going back and forth so much that I’m shocked I’m not sick. A couple days of temperatures in the 60’s and 70’s and then it gets really cold again and we have snow. Someone pass Mother Nature some Midol please!

I have issues with my right wrist from time to time. Excessive knitting or computer time will usually irritate it and I have to back off for a couple of days. Well, I had about 4 days where it was extremely painful and swollen. I have no idea what caused it, but am glad that it seems to have sorted itself out. Despite the pain, I have finished a few projects. No knitting, but cross stitching did not aggravate the wrist. I came across a few showcase huck towels in my stash and decided to stitch a couple of JBW Designs on them. I chose French Country Fruit and French Country Strawberry. I am really happy with them and it was nice to still be able to do something crafty.

Sorry for the long absence

Wow! I can’t believe that February is almost over. It is definitely true that the older you get, the faster time seems to go. Weren’t we just celebrating Christmas and the New Year just a couple of days ago??

I would like to apologize for my long absence here. I was doing fairly well with updates and then it was like I dropped off the face of the earth. Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you and throwing a monkey wrench into your carefully made plans. My work schedule at the yarn shop changed and I am still trying to get back into some kind of routine. (And the time change in a couple of weeks will mess me up even more.) Then to make it even more complicated, my mom had surgery. (She did well and is recovering nicely.)

In the midst of all this, I did manage to bribe my dad into helping me hang the antique crates on the walls in my studio. (He’s so easy . . . just say, “Let’s do breakfast and I’m buying.” LOL!) We spent most of that morning hanging four crates. Of course we had to make a trip to the hardware store to pick up the proper anchors for my plaster walls. We had a few laughs and I enjoyed the time I got to spend with my dad.

Now that the crates are hung I feel like the studio has finally come together. I’m sure I will be tweaking it forever, but it is in a very usable state and I LOVE it! Here’s a look inside:

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Finding Treasure

A couple of weeks ago my parents stopped by one morning on their way to troll a few thrift stores. They graciously invited me to come along. My first thought was to politely refuse the offer as I had several household chores that I wanted to accomplish. But in the back of my mind, my inner bargain hunter screamed at me to go. So I accepted and off we went.

Our first stop was our local Salvation Army Store. I have found some real treasures in this store, from $3 skirts to a Schacht Cricket rigid heddle loom for $50 (it had all the accessories, plus it was warped with Koigu PPPM and the extra yarn was included!). I went directly to the furniture section as I still needed a chair for my studio. Hubby and I had looked at some furniture stores the night before, but the only chair I found that I liked was $200 and that was on clearance! So I thought maybe I could find something at a thrift store.

The first chair that caught my eye was a glider-rocker. But as I approached it, I could see some pretty bad stains on the upholstery. So I moved on. The next chair to catch my eye was a green wing back chair. I liked the looks of it from a distance so I walked over to get a closer look. Upon further inspection, I was encouraged to find that the upholstery had no stains or rips. The only damage were a few nicks in the wooden legs. I sat down in and it was quite comfortable. So I had my dad take a look at it and he gave it 2 thumbs up.

The best part . . . it was only $24.99!! Oh, and did I mention that it is a recliner?!?!! Total bonus! I absolutely love it!

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Whew! I’m Exhausted

Wow! It has been a productive few days on the studio project. Sunday afternoon, my Dad came over and helped my hubby and I move the very large (and heavy) cabinet to the rec room in the basement. That was quite the feat! I”m sure glad that we borrowed Dad’s hand-truck. Then he stuck around to help us move the sewing table upstairs.

This morning I spent a few hours arranging furniture and organizing things. There is still lots to do and furniture may be moved . . . again . . . but I can actually start working on “fibery” things in the studio.

Here are the progress pictures, as promised.

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Stash storage has taken over where the large cabinet once lived. I still have lots of stash to bring into the room and organize in the drawers. I’m hoping that I can hang some of it up later.

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Here is the sewing table in its new home. The spinning wheel will live here unless I am sewing. Then it has to move so I can put up the drop leaf on the sewing table. Perils of a small house. But this is much better than my tools being kept all over the house.

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Winding station, bookshelves and fiber storage are on this side of the room. There has been much organization in this area since the photo was taken. The rug you see on the floor is gone (I’m thinking of using it on top of the cedar chest for the cats to lie on) and I have put down a nice area rug that my folks gave me.

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Finally, we have Agnes in her new home. She is right as you come in the door and she fits perfectly in that small space. Still lots to do, but I am very pleased with what I have accomplished thus far. I think I need a nap now!

Here We Go!

As the snow continues to accumulate outside, I am inside working on my studio. There is a lot to do and some of it involves moving large furniture. Time to call in some reinforcements!

Here is the space that I am working with. (Please forgive the awful pictures I took with my phone.)

To the left in this photo is a large cabinet which needs to be mCameraZOOM-20160112085706185oved out of the room and downstairs to the rec room. That is going to be a huge job. This is a piece that my mother in-law refinished. It is a beautiful piece, but it takes up too much precious space in the studio. It is going to swap places with my sewing table (I hope!).

The plastic drawers will hold yarn/projects. I have several more that I can add if my yarn stash requires it. The low brown cabinet will be moved into our office to store office supplies. That will be an easy move.

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The cedar chest is going to stay and be used for storage. It was my grandmothers and I am very happy to have it. It will also make a nice place for my cats to hang out and watch the neighbors out the window. I am also thinking that it will be a good place to set up my lightbox for photos.

Lastly, here is the built-in closet. I already have some of my craft supplies CameraZOOM-20160112085726255stored here. I will have to share it as we use it for some household storage as well. You can also see Agnes in this photo. The dress form mannequin arrived yesterday and I can’t wait to use her for photos. My plying wheel is shown here as well.

I have spent a good portion of this morning clearing out things that no longer belong in this room. I am at a stand still now as the larger furniture pieces need to move out before I can bring much more in and start arranging. It’s going to be a slow process, but I am very excited about it! Stay tuned for progress photos!

 

Small Update

As I push forward with my plans on building up this business, this blog/website will be a large part of it. So even though I don’t have a formal post ready, I want to get myself in the habit of updating the site.

Things are moving forward at a good pace. Yesterday I registered the business name with the County Clerk and set up a bank account as well. The next step will be to get my new studio in order. I am turning what used to be our spare bedroom into my studio so I can have all my supplies and tools in one place. Plus I will have a place to work where I can shut the door if I leave it a mess. First thing that needs to be done is some furniture moving. I am hoping that will happen this weekend. Photos of progress will be forthcoming.

Happy Creating!