Monday, June 30, 2008

Second Quarter Donation

Our second quarter breast cancer donation was a little different this time around. I got more personal with it than I have in the past.

A colleague has a daughter that was diagnosed just over a year ago. She's been through treatment and is doing very well, thank goodness! When I asked my friend which charity her daughter would most like to see the donation go to she told me about the Green Mountain Ride.

This organization supports the Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth. They were more than delighted with her treatment there on both a medical and emotional level.

While NCCC deals with all kinds of cancer, I thought it was a worthwhile place for our money to go. And just so people didn't feel like I'd misrepresented anything, I went ahead and bumped up the donation from our regular 20% of sales of Flamingo Stripe to closer to 25%.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Franklin's Panopticon

Awhile back I told you we were thinking about expanding on the concept of the Grumperina colorway with a series of colors in conjuntion with celebrity bloggers. Well, we're not thinking about it anymore, we're doing it! We're calling the series Color Commentary.

First up is Franklin's Panopticon. Along with a very popular blog, Franklin has a book coming out in October with Interweave Press.

He came by the studio a few weeks back to play with me in the dyepots. He had a William Morris wallpaper in mind when he arrived. After a bit of fun we came up with this:

Isn't it pretty?

So, today we spent the day doing this:

Bunches of pretty!

I had originally planned to ship so it would be available in shops on July 15th. Then I starting to wonder whether I should go ahead and send it out right away. Or would you rather wait? I didn't think so. We'll get cracking.

Look for a new color every other month. We have Annie Modesitt, Amy Singer, Clara Parkes and CookieA lined up with a few more in the works. This is going to be so much fun!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Clear Chucks

Am I the last person on the planet to hear about these???? I MUST get out more often.

You can buy them here.

Many years ago, I dated a guy whose father was the chairman of Converse. He sent me all kinds of wacky Chuck Taylors. I had glow-in-the-dark, gold lame', tiger stripe....I bet I had twenty pairs at one point. These days, they make all kinds of different patterns, but back then, the ones I had were rare. A few were even one-of-kind.

I hadn't thought about Bill in a long time. Our break-up wasn't very pretty and we didn't keep in touch. I hope he's happy and doing well.

Friday, June 13, 2008

New Purple Line Colors

So, where were we? Oh yeah, we'd just finished dinner on Friday night. On Saturday morning I met with Leslie and Diana from Mountain Colors. We discussed next steps on the Duet Series. Things are coming together nicely there. We have a vest that Ginger Luters designed up next. I'll have good photos soon.

The show floor opened on Saturday morning and we were steadily busy all day. I'm always a little anxious before a show. I worry about how the new colors will be received. Which ones will be hits? Will there be a dog in the bunch? It's always a topic for discussion around here when we're deciding on which will make the cut. We're usually right on the money, but we've been surprised a time or two.

This season we brought out four new multi colors for the Purple Line. In addition, we had a little contest to find new sock designs. Here are the new colors along with the winning socks.

First Place went to h.e. wintermute's Florentine Lace Sock shown here in Woodlawn.

Second Place went to Jeanne Giles's Herringbone Lace sock shown in Maple Grove and Harvest. It turns out that Jeanne works at Jimmy Beans Wool. We didn't find out about that until we were in Columbus.

We ended up with a tie for Third Place. This is Janine La Cras's Fisherman's Fancy Sock. It's knitted in our South Shore colorway.

Last but not least, Sara Morris's Architect Sock in Ashburn.

Aren't the designs fantastic?

I was delighted that folks seemed happy with all of the new Purple Line colors. Ashburn, Maple Grove and South Shore were all universally liked. Woodlawn was a little funny. One person would be unsure of it and the next would tell me she sells those colors like crazy. I'm not sure whether it was a regional thing or what. I know I'm biased, but I think they're all pretty great.

Saturday night was the Interweave Press party. I got to rub elbows with Franklin Habit, Annie Modesitt, Eunny Jang, Marilyn Murphy, Kim Werker, Carol Sulcoski, CookieA. I better stop now. I know I've forgotten many people and I'm going to get in trouble.

Off to dinner with Laurie from Sticks and Strings in Scarsdale. It's always so nice to catch up with shop owners one to one. Especially after being starstruck at the cocktail party.

Sunday was a quick breakfast with Angelika. This was another opportunity for a one on one chat. It was so nice of her to meet me that early. She lives on the West coast, so it was extra-special early for her.

Unicorn books was right across from us at the show. They had lots of famous people signing books. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, Amy Singer and Jillian Moreno to name just two.

On Sunday evening Amanda went off to play at the Potter Craft party while I attended to business at the Yarn Group meeting. (She'll have to tell you all about that.) After YG meeting, there was a tribute to Pat Chew. She founded Classic Elite Yarn and passed away earlier this year. I didn't know her well, but she a ground breaker in our industry and will be missed.

Afterwards, we had dinner with a few friends from Classic Elite and Vogue Knitting. We had such a nice time and I am grateful to them for always being good to me ever since I was brand-spanking new in this business.

Monday was a whirlwind. Up early for a meeting with a vendor, then we worked the show all day, broke down the booth in record time and back in Chicago by 10:00. Whew!

I still have a surprise or two to tell you about next week. Enjoy WWKIP!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Columbus TNNA

Goodness, it's been a long time. Prepping for TNNA got the better of me this time around. Now I have so much to share with you that it will probably come over the course of the next several days.

We left for Columbus mid morning on June 5. There was the usual scramble at the last minute to pack barely-dry yarn and the sweater that arrived via FedEx. This year we had one sweater that didn't make it. Yikes!

We spent the drive making swatches for the new Green Line colors. I posted awhile back about procrastinating. This was what I was procrastinating about. For some reason, I just couldn't make myself sit down and design new colors for it. Silly, huh? Anyway, I finally got them finished and I think they were worth the angst wait.

So, without further ado, here are the five new Green Line colorways. All of them are available in both the DK and Worsted.

This is Fresh.

And this is Passion.



Last but not least, Sublime.

Speaking of Green Line colors, while we were setting up, Bobbie from Ewe Knit Kits came by with an adult version of Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Jacket. It uses all the solid colors in the line. Pretty spectacular, isn't it? And our Miss Amanda looks very fetching.

This trip was a whirlwind of socializing business meetings. Usually dinners are booked pretty solid, but I had breakfast engagements every morning as well. Thursday evening we had dinner with Craig, Laura and Mark from Loop and Patricia and Margo from Patricia's Yarns I've known Craig and Mark for years and I'm so glad they brought along new friends.

Friday night was Laura and Doug of Jimmy Bean's Wool. Laura was the first LYS owner I met when I bought Lorna's Laces. And, she was the web designer that created our website. She doesn't come to TNNA nearly often enough. I'd like to see her more.

More tomorrow. Among other things, there are new Purple Line colors to share