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Swatch-A-Palooza!

Tea and Swatches

In preparation for a very exciting night this Thursday at Sister Arts Studio, in Chicago, I have been a’swatchin’!

You may remember, last fall I knit the Stitch Diva Endless Cardi Shawl. It was a delightfully simple yet satisfying project. I wore the resulting, um, cardi? shawl? wrap?…garment to knit night. It was a smash hit and I got knitters’ handshakes from every direction. Well, We decided that it needed to be a Knit-A-Long.

I knit my original garment using stash yarn, not yarn I sell. However, several of the yarns that I carry would be stellar subs for this project. The garment demands a drape and sheen to be successful. I have been swatching and sampling from my rep kits to help customers pick their favorite yarns for their projects.

If you are interested in joining this KAL, we will be kicking it off at Sister Arts Studio on Thursday at 6:30.

….And we’re back….

Sorry for dropping off the Blog-O-Sphere for a while, I do still exist!

Part of the reason for my absence is the gone-missing-ness of my camera upload cable. Posts without photos are like decaf-espresso shots….no fun. Well, I have unearthed the errant cable and so here I am! Lets catch up a little.

The gifts, all tarted up for the big day

Due to a slow December, I did get all my X-mas knitting and quite a few other people’s shopping done well in advance. I was quite pleased with how all the gifts looked, wrapped and ready for Christmas morning! Everything seemed to be pretty well received and appreciated. It was a (relatively) peaceful holiday with precious little drama, besides my mother’s brand new, top of the line oven going Ka-Putt on us, X-mas eve with loads of family members due to arrive the next day… and nothing prepared. We managed to keep our wits about us and everything worked out just fine, though.

Mom in our classy room!

Once the holidays were over I got ready for a big trip out to Anoka, MN for a fashion show at Shepherd’s Choice. I will confess, I was more than a little concerned about this trip. The event was booked in the middle of the day on a Saturday, meaning that I would be hard pressed to either drive in that morning and immediately put on the show, or drive out right after the show, being on the road alone in the dark well into the night. I could not find any other appointments out that way so I could not justify staying overnight for 2 nights for just one appointment. Also, right before I left there was a big ole’ dump of snow right over my route, making the roads impassable, at least in my immediate area. I was more than a little on edge about going all that way in those conditions all alone.

Well, long story short, my mom came to the rescue! We drove out there on Friday afternoon, in the brand new SUV she got for X-mas! We decided to stay in Stillwater, MN, because I’ve been there before and thought it was adorable! Well, Stillwater was indeed adorable, but DARN COLD! Mom and I checked into the deal-of-the-century Water Street Inn, and were beyond grateful to be inside from the -10 temps outside.

All set up for Bubble-then-Snuggle, I guess

Besides being affordable, adorable, and warm, the Water Street Inn also had Spectacular food (the best meal I’ve had on the road to date!). There was live music in the bar and the holiday decorations were still up, making my mom feel festive and smile-y. The room had one surprising feature, worthy of photos: a whirlpool tub right smack-dab in the bedroom! We did not use it, but we were amused by it. We instead decided to cozy up to the in room fireplace to relax. I will certainly be staying at the Water Street Inn again. Mom says she would love to come back to Stillwater to shop and explore, only next time when the weather supports human life.

The next day we went over to Shepherd’s Choice in Anoka, MN for the fashion event. We were greeted with warm smiles and great enthusiasm, despite the continued deep freeze outside. The fashion event was a great success! Customers knit with sample balls from Bijou Basin, fondled sample garments, learned a great deal about luxury yak fiber, and then settled in for a SWTC fashion show… complete with volunteer models. It seemed a little silly, talking about breathable, lightweight summer fibers like soysilk and bamboo, but I think everybody found it hopeful and comforting. Spring will get here eventually, we should start preparing for it now!

I will be posting photos from this event, but alas….more camera cable capers! My mom took photos on her camera and so she gave me the camera to upload them, but I do not have her cable.

No photos yet. My entire living room is buried in fiber goodness. My much-talked about Karabella Sales Kit is in! And at nearly 50 pounds, this is one mother of a kit! I have spent the last day and a half just barely getting this thing into order for appointments. Patterns alone merited 10 solid hours of re-filing. So Much Cashmere! So Much Glory!
If you are in Wisconsin or Illinois and are even remotely interested in fashion forward luxury knitting, book your appointment right away!

Let’s Look Forward

Red Suitcase Brigade!

I hope everybody had a wonderful holiday full of friends, family, good food and good times!

Now that the Christmas holiday rush is behind us, let’s all look forward and re-group in preparation for a prosperous (fingers crossed) 2010!

I am planning to be in the Twin Cities area from January 6-9 (that’s Wed-Sat). I will have all sorts of wonderful show specials (like discounts, free shipping, etc) to offer for the month of January so book your appointments soon! I will be posting details on show specials on the “New and Noteworthy” tab at the top of the blog as I learn about them. Check back!

Wrap-up

Base Wrapping Layer

Grandma and I are so on top of our holiday shopping! We are not only done with the shopping itself, but I even have a base layer of wrapping paper on on the gifts. I am so good I’ve even wrapped presents that aren’t finished or in their boxes yet. I’m that good.

Small, modern bits and bobs

Yes, I realize that I am OCD and that nobody else appreciates the level of care that I put into wrapping my gifts. But I enjoy it, so there! I have wrapped all the men’s presents in a base layer of green and the ladies’ gifts in a base layer of silver. Now I get to spend the next week just futzing around with accent papers and ribbon and bows and tags. It’s bliss! Plus I get to arrange them artfully on the dining room table when I’m finished. Sigh…

I wish you all luck, strength, and joy in finishing up your gift preparations! Tell me all about it in the comments.

Bun-Hug

Bunnies getting snuggly for the holidays

Home for the Holidays

Juniper, my first rabbit in her holiday outfit.

It’s been a retail-tastic week here at the Knest. Unfortunately, my financial situation prevents me from buying many gifts this year. I have a budget of $50 for my 6 immediate family members, my boyfriend’s 4 family members, my boyfriend, and then a few very special friends who have really been there for me during these rough times. I totaled it all out and at $3.57, there isn’t much out there that meets my exacting standards for a good gift. It’s a real bummer, because I love x-mas shopping.

Fortuitously, my grandmother has a great deal of gift-shopping anxiety. This year I get to do her x-mas shopping! It’s not quite the same as doing my own, but I am getting my fix. I also have been helping my mother out with her shopping, so I’m feeling pretty good about all this. I know it sounds materialistic, but a x-mas season without lists and trips to the shopping centers just falls a little flat for me. I’m still hand-crafting all my gifts with love and care, so don’t get your knickers in a knot. There is something about going out and just happening upon a great idea and being done with it that does feel a little magical.

At the moment, Grandma and I are iced into our house. We were going to go out to run errands (winterize her car, groceries, finish up her x-mas shopping) ┬ábut the garage door seems to have frozen shut. It is 1 measly degree out there, so being home isn’t so terrible. We’re hoping that the sun will hit the door and coax it into working. If not, it’s tea, x-mas knitting, and bunnies for the day.

These photos are from last holiday season. The rabbit, Juniper, my very first pet and forever angel, passed away shortly after I took these photos. Isn’t she beautiful?