Saturday, December 30, 2006

I'm So Excited.....

Look what's on the way to the shop today..........exclusive colorways just for Pick Up Sticks in a brand new yarn! Whoa baby!

This is 6 of 12 colors on their way!

2007 is going to be very exciting for us!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Where Do I Begin?

Here I go again - wondering where the time is gone - how could it be that I posted on December 18 and not since? Hmm, must have something to do with Christmas!

Canada Post has continued to annoy me - we ordered a Nintendo DS for our daughter on December 21, paid for Priority Courier to have it delivered on December 23 and where did I come home to find it. Blowing in the breeze at the end of our driveway attached to our mailbox for all the world to see! Now I have no idea if a signature was required or not, but I do know that we have lock boxes available across the road and in fact, no longer have rural delivery because it's too dangerous for the mail delivery person. I will tell you what's dangerous, being anywhere near the road when that mail person is driving by - when she was delivering to our boxes at the end of the driveway, she had worn a rut in the road right by the post that holds the box. You know why? Because she screeched up to it every day and spun her tires pulling out! Thankfully, no one took the bag and Emma was thrilled with her DS.

I love online shopping - not just because I have an online shop but because it's so convenient and so stress free. These DS game systems were a hot item and I got it in my head at the last minute that Emma should have one. Probably because she wrote it on her Santa list. I went to Best Buy, Future Shop, Walmart, Zellers - sold out everywhere and especially the pink ones. Everyone said I would never get a pink one. So I come home, search online and find a lovely pink one at - clickity, click, click - it's on the way and I'm relaxed, drinking tea, and contemplating what to make for dinner - not dealing with grumpy sales people who can't stand their jobs! Hurray for online shopping!

Christmas passed without a hitch - my first turkey was a success - can you believe that? 46 and never cooked a turkey! I can cook and I think I can cook pretty well but for some reason a turkey just seemed too overwhelming! Everyone loved their knitted gifts - Grandma especially loved the scarf -phew! I gave socks to one relative and she opened the box and said, cute! Cute? What kind of word is cute to describe Claudian Handpainted home made, 1,000,000,000 stitch socks? Guess what? Off my knitted gift list - NOT an appropriate response for a knitted gift! In fact, I have come to the conclusion that the only people worthy of hand knitting are other knitters - who else can understand what goes into a pair of socks? Next year - I'm only knitting for my knitting friends!

No knitting pictures - but I am going to cast on a big, comfy Debbie Bliss cabled cardigan in cashmerino chunky! resolution for 2007 is to at least blog every other day - every day would be good - but let's be realistic!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Monday's Ramblings

I finished my aunt's socks and am working madly on my grandmother's scarf. And now - my grandmother says my grandfather could use a hat - she can't find his hat. I'm torn between buying it and trying to make it. Anyone out there have a super easy, super fast hat pattern for a chunky yarn? Oh - and the Mission Falls Log Cabin throw is blocking.

My daughter is still home sick - her flu turned into a bad cough and cold. I am just getting more and more and more behind everyday. Thursday is my grandson's first birthday and guess who's hosting - me! Yup! About 30 people = pizza and wings delivered. I'm also having Christmas dinner for family so there is only so much cooking a girl can do. Well, actually only so much cooking a girl is willing to do!

And....I do have a serious bone to pick with Canada Post. Yesterday I did the postage for all the sock club packages and I cannot understand how they figure things out. Here - you try:

British Columbia, Canada - over $9.00
Ontario, about 15 minutes drive from me - over $6.00
US, anywhere $5.95
Australia $7.30

All the packages weighed the same. The service I used in Canada is Expedited which might sound really fancy but it's the same price as regular mail. For the US and Australia, I used Airmail which is the quickest.

Weird, eh? Annoying? Definitely!

Friday, December 15, 2006

More Charity Knitting!

Look what arrived in the mail yesterday! This is Isobel's charity knitting! Isn't it amazing? Matching mitts and socks! Beautiful grown-up mitts! Thank you Isobel - you went way and above the call of duty!

More yarn was added to the site yesterday as well! Butternut Woolens - it's really nice stuff - very rustic! I love the dyeing! It comes from small farms in the US and Canada - supporting rural communities is a good thing!

Claudia Handpainted has been re-stocked as well.

My little one is home sick today - poor thing! She's got a big dose of the flu! I was up most of the night with her - while my husband slept soundly. Funny how that works!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Gift Exchange!

Last night was my little knitting group's gift exchange! It was really fun and everyone was so creative with their gifts!

My sister got me the box in the background - just the perfect size for dpn's, scissors, etc. Meghan got us a pattern for fingerless gloves, a ball of Sublime Cashmere/Silk to knit them with and stitch markers. Sarah and Debbie went together and got us all personalized mugs - mine says, The princess is knitting! Sarah also made us beaded stitch markers and lots of home baking from Debbie! Yum, yum!

What is the weather like in the rest of the world? Here it is the furthest thing from winter! It's mild and looks like the grass is coming back. Weird!

I'm almost ready for Christmas - no tree yet - that's this weekend! Still some knitting to do - 3/4 of a sock, my grandmother's scarf and sewing in the ends of the Mission Falls log cabin for my sister-in-law and brother-in-law. Oh and that wrapping.....wrapping, wrapping, wrapping!

New yarn is on the way - very new yarn and some surprises for the New Year have been ordered! Stay tuned for the update!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Catching Up!

Some of the charity knitting is starting to come in - I'm so excited and so happy! Thanks to Michelle (mitts & socks) and Monika (hats) for these cute cute cute things! Meghan and I will be going to Yellow Brick House to deliver what I have before Christmas and then take the rest after.

I finished a sock on the weekend - it's one of a pair for my Aunt made from My Personal Stash - Socks That Rock Sock Candy - it's a cotton/elite blend! Nice! Twisted rib cuff, two cables down the front, Eye of Partridge heel - right out of my own little head! Ha!

Many asked for the pattern for Grandma's Koigu Shawl - here's the specifics.

Yarn: Koigu Kersti 4 skeins (cuz she wants it long)
Stitches Cast On: 36 (any multiple of 10 stitches plus 6 will work)
Row 1 & 2: Knit
Row 3: (RS) K6,*YO, K1 (YO x2), K1, (YO x3), K1 (YO x2), K1, YO, K6 : rep from * to end.
Row 4: Knit, dropping all YO's
Row 5 & 6: Knit
Row 7: K1, *YO, K1, (YO x2), K1, (YO x3), K1, (YO x2), K1, YO, K6: rep from * to end, K1 (instead of K6)
Row 8: Knit, dropping all YO's.
Repeat rows 1-8 until desired length.

This could be made wider, narrower, any size needles - for myself I picture VvS 2 ply Merino used in a wider shawl! Yummy!

Oh yes, and just so no one is ever bored with my shop - I've just arranged to two new yarns - exciting! I'm pretty sure they won't be here until the New Year - but I do have one other that should arrive this week. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Christmas Knitting Compounded

Not only is my Christmas knitting been compounded so has posting to this blog. This is my third try for the same post - last night I had the posts finished twice and when I clicked Publish Post I lost them both!

See this? It's a lovely Fable Handknits Baby Alpaca Log Cabin that I "was" making for my grandmother. She watches TV in a room that gets cold in winter so I thought this would be nice and warm. dad and daughter visited her last week and apparently, she's hoping I knit her a Koigu Lace Shawl - which I made the huge mistake of wearing when I was visiting her. So now.....

I'm knitting this - not a shawl - but a Koigu scarf of my own design. I'd really love this scarf..........hopefully, it will be a good substitute for a lace shawl which I don't have the time or the inclination to make right now. Last Christmas I knit my grandma a scarf which she does wear but she would have liked it longer and with fringes. This one will definitely be longer but no fringes!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

I'm Moving.....

to Isobel's house! This is not the cutest yarn shop you've ever been in..............this is Isobel's knitting room. And I'm moving there - this is so much better than my dresser stuffed with my stash - this room celebrates Isobel's collection of yarn and books and anything knitting related. There's a TV, a comfy chair, a beautiful view outside and YARN! All kinds of yarn! Way to go, Isobel - this room is beautiful and you deserve it.

Today is my youngest daughter's 8th birthday - we are taking her to East Side Mario's for dinner - she wants all the servers to sing to her and get a chance to spin the wheel. Funny how when you're young those kinds of things seem like fun instead being horribly embarassing!

My husband is decorating the house for Christmas - it's driving me batty! It's his family coming this weekend and I say it's too early for Christmas decorations and he says it's a Christmas party. So I'm being the scrooge and he's being an elf!

The Yarn Exchange boxes went out yesterday to the US and today to Canada. I'm sure everything will be received in good time for Christmas.

And how is your weather? Ours is strange, very warm you don't even need coats. It's rainy today and the temperature is supposed to go down...........I hope it does because some of my plants are coming back. Everything's all confused.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Seacoast Finished Socks

I finished these socks for my daughter on Sunday night and just managed to pry them off her feet this morning. I did the leg part in a twisted rib stitch which makes it thicker so it will be nice and cushy for her skates. The foot I did in stockinette so it wouldn't be so thick.

I got a horrible cold after all the Harlot excitement last week and could barely lift my needles. My husband said that I must really be sick if I wasn't even knitting. I was holding it but no stitches were moving.

Yarn Pirate has created quite a flurry of activity - last night and today. I just placed another order for her Superwash Sock yarn - her colors are really, really good. Oh and VvS 2ply merino should be back in stock on Friday so keep checking! The Yarn Exchange Boxes are all ready to go and look very festive if I do say so myself. I had to change colors of yarn in a couple of cases because lots of participants were choosing the same colors. Seems like there was a theme going on!

This weekend I am having my inlaws for dinner - 25 of them - I'm so happy :(.......................
What possessed me to agree to such a thing? I'd rather be knitting than cooking!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

So here I am!

Wowsy-wow-wow-wow! You know, we all know the Yarn Harlot is famous and that knitters from around the world read her blog but man! who would have thought that so much activity could be created from a picture and a few words! From the time the shop got mentioned until last night, I have virtually done nothing but print, pack and wrestle with the tape gun! My husband says I have to work with that stupid gun - Connie, let the tape gun do the work! - right!

The good news is that all VvS 2ply Painted Merinos sold out except for one lonely skein of Winter Pales (any takers? better get to the website before too many people read this!) and that there is more on the way of all the colors. Virginia van Santen considers herself a colorist and it shows! She is talented and the yarn is beautiful! Spinning Bunny also sold out in the most popular colors so Susan is working on a new batch for me this weekend. Yarn Pirate is en route! I'm also restocking in Applelaine Apple Pie and more Sweet Georgia is on the way too! Felicia is a bit behind because of all the rain in Vancouver and the boil water advisory!

I have no pictures of knitting - I haven't seen my needles in two days! Today there will be some major knitting done - I am making no progress on my Christmas knitting and I will not give up on it!

Thank you to everyone who visited Pick Up Sticks! Thank you to Stephanie Pearl McPhee for putting my little shop on the map! And thank you to all of the Indie Dyers who make this so much fun by giving me unique, gorgeous yarn to sell! I'm a very grateful girl today!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


I'm here, I'm here - behind this tower of boxes! Don't have time for much blogging - this is what happens when the Oprah Winfrey of yarn talks about you.......more tomorrow! Promise!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Well, well, well!

Stephanie Pearl McPhee has paid a visit and I just have to say thank you! thank you! thank you! My website is busy, busy, busy!

I found this amazing art today - it speaks volumes about the community of knitters! What a great group of people you are!

That's all I have time for today!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Another idea!

Pick Up Sticks Christmas Sock Yarn Exchange!

Don't you love a surprise?
Don't you want to find yarn under your tree this year?
How about a Sock Yarn Exchange?

Here's how it works:Purchase any of the following yarns in the color of your choice on the Pick Up Sticks Website. Each selection provides enough yarn for a beautiful pair of socks:

Claudia Handpainted (2 skeins)
Mama E's Ceyeber Fiber (1 skein)
Seacoast Handpainted Yarns (1 skein)
Spinning Bunny Yarn (1 skein)
Sweet Georgia Handpainted (1 skein)
(these yarns were chosen because they are all of similiar value)

Please choose the least expensive method of shipping - I will upgrade all shipping to air or expedited for no extra charge!

Add YARN EXCHANGE in the comments section of the invoice when checking out.

Here's what will happen:
The yarn you select will be sent to another yarn exchange participant (they will receive yarn selected by another participant and so on and so on) along with a FREE Wildhorse Designs sock pattern that I choose to go with the yarn. It will include a gift card with the sender's first name and email address. This way everyone can thank everyone else properly!

It's a "Secret Pal" exchange without all the work!

Deadline for ordering will be November 29th and all gifts will be mailed on December 1
in hopes that everyone gets the package in time for Christmas!

Each YARN EXCHANGE package will arrive in festive wrapping -- just open the box and your gift is ready to go under the tree!

Doesn't this sound like fun? Everyone loves surprises!
Ensure there's yarn under a knitter's tree this Christmas, and Pick Up Sticks will ensure there's yarn under your tree......just for you!

I'm desperate!

Fall Birches

Black Knight

August Berries

Do you see these 3 colorways ov VvS 2ply merino?
Do you know what I'm doing with them?
Carrying them around in my knitting bag!
Logically, I know I cannot cast on one more project BUT.....this yarn is just screaming to be combined into a "Charlotte's Webby" kind of shawl. I've even decided that if I wanted all five colors I could add in Winter Pales and October Viburnums! Now I ask you, what is a girl to do?????

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Oh!Oh! I'm in trouble.....

Look what came today - 2 boxes!

This was in the top box! Virginia van Santen 2ply fingering weight sock want close ups? Go here! Since knitting my Clapotis out of Painted Yarns Salome I am a true blue fan of Virginia's dyeing. Now this arrives, in a Louet box, which can only mean she's using Louet yarn which is unbelievably fantastic - think Claudia Handpainted base yarn.

This was in the second box - 8 more colors of Seacoast Handpainted Yarn. You can go here for a close up! Holly does an amazing job!

You'd think that all this yarn would start to look the same but nnnnnoooooooo - each skein is just as lovely as every other skein on my shelves and they all beg loudly to be knit.

It is now official, I do not have a hope of knitting with all the yarn I want to - there are not enough months in a year, days in a month, hours in a day - it's official! I'm finished! I have to go lie down....I'm getting a headache.

Monday, November 13, 2006

I'm a busy, busy girl!

The sock clubs are ready to go and will be sent tomorrow! All the yarn for charity knitting has been spoken for! Thanks to everyone who's participating!
Did you know it's cheaper to send the same size package to the United States than it is to send to another province in Canada? Isn't that weird? Seems to me it should be cheaper within the country! Oh well!

Now onto my addiction - sock yarn! Everytime new yarn arrives I cannot help myself! I MUST, MUST, MUST cast on. This is Spinning Bunny in Clematis - lovely, lovely stuff! I'm a new fan of Merino/Tencel. On Saturday, I actually had another color on my swift and talked myself out of it. Apparently, my self control didn't last for long.

I have done nothing to solve my single sock problem - in fact, it's worse than ever!

Here's my progress on the Seacoast Yarn in Afterglow - these are for my daughter to wear with her figure skates. They come up nice and high and are very cushy! It's my second try on the foot - the first one was too big! I decreased from 72 stitches on the leg to 56 stitches for the foot.

Here's the finished Blackberry Chocolate Mind's Eye. Just to show, that I am really, really trying to knit a second sock I've done the ribbing.

I should have flipped both the above pictures but I was so intent on getting them uploaded after 2 previous tries I forgot!

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Thank you to all who've agreed to knit socks/mitts and even hats for children! It gives me a big lump in my throat to think that there is so much kindness in this sometimes crazy world!

There's no deadline for finishing and returning the stuff to me - although if it could possibly be by Christmas (which I know is very, very optimistic given how much Christmas knitting we all have to do) it would be amazing. More realistically, sometime in January would be great!

Isobel from Pennsylvannia had the idea of felting the items so they'd be extra warm and almost waterproof! If you'd like your stuff felted but would rather I do that part - just let me know!

Again, thank you so much! Just goes to show that knitters have big hearts!

Friday, November 10, 2006

I have an idea!

I have some yarn - some worsted weight hand dyed yarn - that is not really selling but would make lovely socks and mitts - especially for kids who are in need. So here's the plan - if you promise to knit either socks or mitts (or both) I will send you the yarn for free - then you send the finished products back to me and I will donate them to the Yellow Brick House, which is a shelter for battered women in Aurora. How does that sound? Any takers?

Monday, November 06, 2006

Write a post, lose a post, write a post, lose a post!

This blogger seems to be an exercise in frustration. I tried posting on the weekend -nope, can't upload photos, just had a post almost completed - Microsoft Explorer needs to shut down????What? No, you can't! But you did, so here you have my third try!

Check out Monika's blog to see an amazing pair of socks finished in Sweet Georgia Angel. Wowee!

Here's the almost completed sock in Mind's Eye Yarns. I'm working straight on the foot now and hopefully will have it completed in a couple of days.

Here's a close up of the stitches. It's a K2, wyif sl2, k2. I love the color and the texture of this yarn. Yarn Harlot actually mentioned this yarn on her blog in April 06 after visiting Mind's Eye and meeting Lucy!

Now this - what could I possibly say about this to do it any justice at all? This is Seacoast Handpainted Yarns in Afterglow. The color swirls around the work like a candy cane and makes it a feast for the eyes. I'm in love!

And I'm going to press publish so I don't lose this post again!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Here is the Blackberry Chocolate Parfait from Mind's Eye Yarns - the shine from the merino/tencel blend is amazing. I'm thrilled with the color distribution too! I'm using a stranded stitch pattern of my own design - I got the idea from Vogue Stitchionary Volume 1 - great book!

I'm wearing my Clapotis today and even tried to take a picture of myself wearing it in the mirror - it did not work out - how do people do that anyway? Suffice to say, it's lovely and I'm feeling kinda French!

This post has taken me all morning - I've tried to upload the picture about 20X and finally it worked! Errrr!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Clap for Clapotis!

Here it is! I couldn't fit the whole scarf in the picture. It measure a little more than 60 inches long and about 15 inches wide! It took 2 skeins of VvS Painted Yarns in Salome and I knit it on 3.5 mm circular needles. I was so anxious to block it, I forgot to drop 4 stitches so I had to do it while it was wet. Not so fun!

Tonight after trick or treating I'm going to cast on new socks! Yes, I know - I have thrum mittens to do, numerous other projects to finish, blah! blah! blah! But I just cannot help but try out the Mind's Eye Yarns. The merino/tencel feels fantastic and the Blackberry Chocolate colorway is calling my name.


Finally something finished! The Log Cabin is finished - well - the knitting is done, it just needs the ends sewn in and blocking! I'm thrilled with the way it turned out. It took 21 balls of Mission Falls which retail for just under $80 (because it's on sale at Pick Up Sticks for $3.75/ball )- not a bad deal at all! I could have made it a bit bigger but I do have to say that even the excitement of changing colors gets old!

My Clapotis is moments from being completed as well - I, hopefully, will be blocking it this afternoon and can post pictures. Yup - two posts in one day - when it rains, it pours! I have to say the VvS Painted Yarns is a dream to work with and the color, Salome, is amazing. The scarf took 2 skeins of yarn. Virginia is one talented dyer! Yesterday, I received a color card of her new sock yarn and I must go off my yarn buying diet today to order some for the shop! I wound all of the VvS yarn into center pull balls and scanned the balls for the shop. The colors show up much better that way!

It's raining AGAIN today! And on Halloween and everything! Hopefully, it will clear up for the little trick or treaters later tonight! It's rained so much that I am actually wishing it would snow instead (am I crazy?) - the horses are covered in mud, the dogs come in a mess, everyone's shoes are muddy - I'm constantly sweeping dried mud at the front door. Ugh!

Oh by the way - tomorrow is opening day for Little Ones Tack Shop! It's my daughter's new venture - she has a small shop here in the barn selling horsey stuff for kids and ponies. I'm so proud of her - it seems she inherited my entrepreneurial spirit! She wants to stay home with the baby and hopes to make a go of this business! Her stuff is very cute and very original - so if you are local and need horse stuff check it out!

Friday, October 27, 2006

More Bell Canada trouble!

Some of you may remember my rant about Emily, Bell Canada's automated assistant. Well, I've had another go round with Bell - not an automated assitant this time but 1-800 number was not being picked up by Call Answer (Bell's voicemail system) so I phoned to get it rectified. First I tried the home phone division - not much conversation with anyone there because I spent most of the time on hold - I was told that I have something called Just One which means, if my home phone is not answered, then it goes to my cell phone and if that's not answered,then it goes back to my home voice mail. I don't have that - I told them I don't have that - I told them that never happens. They wouldn't listen - they said yes you do! I needed to be transferred to the business department - before I got transferred, the agent thanked me for calling because it was a good learning experience for her -WHAT!!!??? It just got better and better at the business department - they couldn't figure it out - and the agent in that department told me I needed to contact the people I bought the line from. What was he talking about? I'm a Bell Canada customer - no outside purchases for lines - I have Bell long distance, Bell phone service, Bell cell phone. I told him I didn't know what he was talking about and he said the problem is not for the business department, I needed to go back to the home phone department. Ok so I lost it - what exactly do these people get paid for? How hard can it be to get a line picked up by voice mail? They filled out a repair request and it took over 5 days to get the problem sorted out. I still don't know what the problem is but I do have 1-800 being answered now for messages. Why oh why is calling Bell an complete exercise in frustration?

There's good news at Pick Up Sticks - FREE SHIPPING TO CANADA AND THE U.S. - it took awhile to make this change but everything is working perfectly so feel free to take advantage of it. I'm hoping Mind Eye Yarns is at the post office today - might be optimistic to think that a package could make it here in 7 days. Although, I've had orders going out make it in 7 days!

I'm plugging away on the Log Cabin - should be finished this weekend. There will be pictures next week. I'm donating 3 of the Log Cabin kits to Stuart Scott Public School Silent Auction - my sister works tirelessly for that school so hopefully they will bring in some much needed money for the school.

It's a P.D. day today and the 7 year old princess is wanting oatmeal - the teenage boy turns 17 this Sunday. He has managed to find work but nothing full time yet - no one wants to hire him - they'd rather he be back in school. If only, he could see into his future -

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Where Does The Time Go?

I mean to post daily - I really do - I figure the only way to get regular readers is to post daily and then, somehow, 3 or 4 or 5 days past with no posts. Hmmm!

Sock Club packages are being received and so far, so good! Everyone seems pleased as punch with what they've received. If you want to see the pattern, you can check out Alyssa's blog from yesterday.

Here's the progress on my Log Cabin! It's made from Mission Falls cotton - and is knitting up very quickly. Tell me though, what was I thinking ordering cotton yarn in the winter? I love Mission Falls cotton but I need space as you will see as you read on! I really like knitting it but it is monotonous (for a second there I forgot how to spell that word - still not sure if it's right and too lazy to check!).

Ok so no one is guessing about the yarn and the one's that have, have not gotten it right so because I cannot keep a secret - here goes!

Yarn Pirate should be here around the middle of November. 15 colors in 100% superwash merino. Approx. 420 yds per skein!

Spinning Bunny 9 colors in a superwash merino/tencel blend. Pick Up Sticks is the first Canadian shop to carry Spinning Bunny. It should be here in about 2 weeks!

Mind's Eye Yarns 7 colors in merino/tencel. Again a first for Mind's Eye in Canada!

Seacoast Yarns 100% superwash merino in amazing 520 yd skeins! 30 colors of 6 skeins each.

What is tencel, you might ask?

"TENCEL®, made from wood pulp cellulose, offers a unique combination of the most desirable properties of man made and natural fibers: soft as silk, strong as polyester, cool as linen, warm as wool and as absorbent as cotton. Quite simply a “break-through” fiber."
from Amazing stuff, eh? <---that's Canadian!

So after all this arrives I'm finished with the yarn buying! At least until I need to re-stock or something amazing happens - like Socks That Rock will sell to online shops???!!! Or the Yarn Harlot has a request for me to carry a specific yarn???

Friday, October 20, 2006

No Rhinebeck for Me!

Next year, me and my knitting friends are going to Rhinebeck - it all sounds like too much fun. Knitting Rhinebeck sweaters, arranging meet ups - I feel left out! Next year I'm in - I can't wait to read all about it next week. It sounds like an amazing place to be!

Now back to the contest - I will tell you one thing. Socks That Rock are not one of the new yarns. They don't wholesale to online shops - why?, you might ask. I have no idea but I wish they would.

There are now 4, possibly 5 new yarns coming in soon! The first one could possibly be here next week as it's being shipped today. I should know about the 5th early next week. So the contest is still guess the three companies that are coming in - no one has guessed yet so keep trying!

It is a rainy, rainy, cold day here today - nothing for me to do but pick up my sticks and knit the afternoon away. I suppose I could tackle that pile of laundry waiting for me - but really, what fun would that be?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

48 Things You Could Care Less About

I read this on Sandra's blog and thought I would use it here:

1. FIRST NAME? Connie

2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Yes, my great grandmother - Concetta Immaculata - thank goodness my mom chose Marie for my second name not that immaculate one! Marie comes from my maternal grandmother who's proper name is Maria Roccina.

3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? A couple of weeks ago, when I had to tell my dad and sister I had found a lump in my breast. Which thankfully, has turned out to be nothing but a cyst.

4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Yes, I do - it's a printing/writing kind of combination which my husband says is illegible. I think he's crazy because I have absolutlely no problems reading it.

5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCHMEAT? I like lots of different ones - but I guess Genoa Salami would be a favorite. Must be that Italian thing in me! Oh and ALL my lunchmeat must be freshly sliced at the deli counter - I would starve rather than eat pre-packaged meat. My husband takes great joy, when we are shopping, in trying to throw packages on macaroni and cheese loaf in the cart to watch me gag. Who eats that stuff?

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Yes, I think I'm a good friend, or at least I try to be.

7. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? Nope just my blog!

8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? No. The doctor who removed my tonsils cut small holes in my soft palate and it has created much interest from doctors ever since. No one can figure out why he did that.

9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Not in a million years! That would just be nuts!

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Raisin Bran - two scoops!

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? No, and I am irritated every single time that I put them back on and have to take the time to undo the laces.

12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Physically - not as strong as I'd like to be. Emotionally - before my mother died, I would have said yes but now I'm not sure.


14. SHOE SIZE? 7 but I used to be a 6 - 3 kids, ya know!

15. RED OR PINK? Is there any other color besides pink? Pink, pink, pink!

16. LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOU? My moodiness. I sometimes wonder if others feel as up and down as I do sometimes.

17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My mother - she is the first person that I have ever lost, my grandparents (her parents) are still alive. When she first died I was sure I could not stand the pain. I thought no one could survive it - but I did. I think about her every single day, and wish that I could just talk to her one more time.

18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? That would be great, you learn interesting things about people from stuff like this.

19. WHAT COLOR PANTS, SHIRT, AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Pink pyjamas and bare feet - it's still early!

20. LAST THING YOU ATE? A chocolate dipped donut at Tim Horton's last night on the way to the Stitch n Bitch.

21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Background noise from the tv - cartoons I think, because Emma is home sick.


23. FAVORITE SMELL? Fresh flowers. or Banana bread baking.

24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? Sarah C. - to see if she was going to the SnB.


26. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON YOU STOLE THIS FROM? Yes, I've met Sandra and she's very nice.

27. FAVORITE DRINK? Alcoholic- A Caesar with no tabasco. I especially love it if the clamato juice is cold. Non-alcoholic -diet caffeine free coke.

28. FAVORITE SPORT? Anything equestrian - anything with horses. like watching the final round of the PGA on a Sunday afternoon. I just love Tiger Woods!

29. EYE COLOR? Brown

30. HAT SIZE? I have no idea - I don't wear hats - I look ridiculous in hats.

31. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? I did when I was single but now it's glasses. With a happy marriage comes comfort. I just got new glasses and I like them alot.

32. FAVORITE FOOD? That would have to be Italian.

33. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Happy endings for sure - there's too much of the other stuff already, no need to entertain myself with it.

34. I followed links back through 6 blogs and could not find question 34 anywhere!

35. SUMMER OR WINTER? Actually, neither - I prefer fall, I love the crisp weather, the leaves changing. I could live somewhere it was fall all the time.


37. FAVORITE DESSERT? Anything my brother-in-law has made from scratch....he's an awesome cook.


39. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Meghan because her boss blocked all blogs on all the computers in her office.

40. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? Lipstick Jungle by Candace Bushnell

41. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? A cloudy sky.

42. WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT ON TV? Entertainment Tonight just before I went to bed - tonight is the big TV night - Grey's Anatomy and ER

43. FAVORITE SOUNDS? The birds in the morning while I'm having coffee on our deck.

44. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? It would have to be the Beatles but truly, I love country music so wish the question involved Keith Urban.

45. THE FURTHEST YOU'VE BEEN FROM HOME? Europe - Spain, France, Switzerland, Holland when I was in high school.

46. WHAT'S YOUR SPECIAL TALENT? Who knows - I've never really thought about that.

47. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Toronto, Ontario Mount Sinai Hospital

48. WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Stolen from Sandra, who stole it from Cara, who stole it from........

Your turn!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Six Degrees of Separation

Ok, so, the theory, Six Degrees of Separation, means that one person is only separated by 6 friends of friends of friends of friends to another person in the world. I'd like to test this theory - who is it that I want to be connected with? The Yarn Harlot! Actually, what I would like is a mention of my shop on her blog. I've emailed her twice - but it was during the time that she was finishing her book, her computer pooped out and then she got married. All reasonable explanations for no response, plus I'm sure my email is just one of hundreds and hundreds that she receives. I have actually had a mention in the comments section of her blog but we all know that that is not the same as having the Yarn Harlot herself mention you on her blog. So there you go....somewhere between me and you, separated by a mere 6 people is the Yarn Harlot. Any ideas? Any suggestions? Any connections?

I was lying in bed last night, thinking another contest would be fun. I have three new lines of yarn coming in. All relatively new to the Canadian market, all handpainted sock yarn and all from the U.S. Guess all three companies and win yarn from the company of your choice. It might take a bit of research on your part but all three companies are mentioned on blogs etc.
This contest will run until the end of October. You can guess more than once - in fact, you can guess as many times as you'd like.

Have fun....and don't forget, six degrees people! Six degrees!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

It's Here!

Sweet Georgia arrived! The Handpainted Sock is really nice! Even though I've seen the colors before, they are truly beautiful!

This happened on Sunday - these are all the boxes for the Sock Club making their way around the world! We have a member in Australia and one in Korea! I toiled and toiled over the yarn selection for each person. It's very nerve wracking to choose yarn for others (even with some basic color info). Hopefully, everyone will be pleased.

On Sunday we went to a Hospice fundraising Wine and Dine - local restaurants and wineries bring samples and you get to eat and eat and eat and well, yesssss - drink! They had a contest for a patio set - including a serving cart, arbor, cedar beer cooler, even dishes - and my sister and brother-in-law won it! You bought keys and if your key opened the treasure chest you won everything on the stage - Dave had one key out of the 500 that were sold and he won!

It is a miserable, rainy, cold, windy day here - a perfectly good knitting day - but my grandma has a specialist's appointment so off to the city I go.

Two new yarns have been ordered! It's a surprise - but they are handpainted sock yarn in amazing colors! They both should be here at the beginning of November. 30 skeins of Butterflynet Knits are being dyed this weekend. Oh and I think my Claudia yarn might have been arrested at customs - just like Posh - it was shipped on October 5th and it's still not here.

On the knitting front, I've been working away on the log cabin blanket for my sister-in-law and I must finish 5 pairs of Thrum mittens for Greg's family Christmas on December 2 - so you can gather, that my lonely socks without partners are not getting partners any time soon. AND......I really, really, really want to knit the Sock Club sock. Meghan did an amazing job on the pattern - it's fantastic!

Friday, October 13, 2006


Today I am waiting for the mail because I know two big packages of yarn need to be picked up. One is the long awaited Handpainted Sock by Sweet Georgia - 108 luscious skeins - which, by the way, I am the only shop to stock! I have orders lined up with Sweet Georgia every month from now until February. So you can look forward to a Sweet Georgia update every month! There is also a big box of Claudia Handpainted arriving today - it's restocking lots of colors! The Sock Club is ready to go - my yarn room is jammed with unsealed boxes - just waiting for the patterns. Meghan totally outdid herself with this pattern - she's struggling with November's because October's pattern is so amazing! case you think I haven't been knitting.....
Look what I'm doing with Mission Falls Cotton - a Log Cabin blanket from Mason-Dixon Knitting! Although it's lots of mindless garter stitch, it is very exciting when you get at add new colors, An I'm using about 12 different ones. This is a gift for my sister-in-law and brother-in-law for Christmas. I have already informed my husband that if I don't see it PROMINENTLY displayed in their home - it will be the last knitting they get!

I'm going to do a little lap blanket for my grandmother out of Fable Handknit Alpaca using the log cabin design. She tells me her living room is freezing in the winter to watch TV so what could be better than an alpaca blanket. Besides, what do you buy an 87 year old? And....of course, I'm doing one for my living room out of Sublime Cashmere (yummy!) but I'm doing the Moderne Baby Blanket Pattern for that.

Did you think I abandoned Clapotis? Not a chance! Knit in this colorway (Salome) of VvS Painted Yarns - it is amazing! I just love dropping the stitches!

Both of these projects have been worked on the new Knit Picks Circulars. For the price, they are really, really good needles! I have had no catches at the joins and I love the cables even more than Addis. They were an excellent investment!!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

A Very Relaxing Weekend!

My husband and I had a wonderful weekend at Cranberry Cove Resort in Muskoka. We did absolutely nothing - had wonderful dinners out - it is so nice not to have a single responsibility for just a short time. People travel from all over to see the leaves change color - here's the view from our deck. And did you know? That cranberries grow in the water??? I had no idea - my husband (who's culinary expertise is limited to grilled cheese) told me - at first I didn't believe him but then I saw it for myself. Hmmm - learn something new everyday!

Sweet Georgia Handpainted Yarn is on the way - be sure and watch the website for the update - I will also be sending out an update email to everyone. Also, I am offering a 10% discount on everything in the store if you are participating in Soctoberfest. Go to and check it out! Over 1600 knitters have joined! Yahoo!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

And the winner is.......

CHRIS! Chris guessed second sock from the right - the bright blue one and she was right! Congratulations! Send me an email with your address info etc. and your Pick Up Sticks Signature Yarn will be on the way!
pickupsticks at zing(hyphen)net(dot)ca

I've been busy, busy, busy working on my Clapotis scarf in Salome Painted Yarns. What an absolute thrill to drop a stitch on purpose! Pictures will be posted soon.

My husband and I are off the Cranberry Cove Resort in Muskoka for the weekend. He found the resort and made the arrangements and everything. He's a good guy - I'm gonna keep this one!

Just got home from my grandma's and guess what I found on the carpet. Poop! Not itty bitty Shih Tzu poop but giant Golden Retriever poop. Yuck! She must have been desperate because this never happens.

Ok so - this post is all over the place - I'm short on time but had to post the winner today - I'm off to join the Cast Offs for knitting tonight and then home to watch Dr. McDreamy!

Monday, October 02, 2006

It's Monday....

Hope everyone's weekend was great! I have to report that I finished the sock for the contest - aren't I amazing??? - either than or I didn't accomplish much else besides knitting this weekend. The contest for which sock ends on Thursday with a post of the completed sock so keep on guessing. In case you are wondering what the socks are made of here's a list:
from left to right
Sock 1 is Socks that Rock
Sock 2 is Posh Yarns
Sock 3 is Claudia Handpainted
Sock 4 is Sweet Georgia
Sock 5 is Apple Laine
Sock 6 is Sweet Georgia
Sock 7 is Sweet Georgia.

The Sock of the Month Club is just about ready to go - Meghan is just putting the finishing touches on the sock pattern and off it will go! The sock pattern is called Adare Manor which is named for a very ritzy castle in Ireland. I will be emailing all the members to get major color likes and dislikes - although the yarn is a surprise I don't want anyone to be disappointed with the color that they get so a bit of a guideline is a good thing.

I've had a change of heart about the sock I started last Thursday. It's VvS Painted Yarns in colorway Salome and it is just tooooooo!!!!! beautiful for socks - it needs to be seen so guess what I'm doing - Clapotis from Knitty! I'll keep you posted!

Lots of yarn is expected this month - 20 colors of Claudia, 100+skeins of Sweet Georgia, 60 skeins from a new fiber artist (it's a SURPRISE!).......

Mission Falls Cotton is on sale because I need room - I know it's out of season but for $3.75 per ball - how can you lose?

Friday, September 29, 2006

Look What Happened!

See this? This is definitely not my fault. It seems to be yet another new sock cast on the needles. Now - there is a perfectly logical explanation and it is absolutely, under no circumstances, not my fault.

Last night, I joined the Castoffs (an incredible group of women who've been meeting for a long time and were kind enough to invite me to join them). Yesterday I announced a contest on my blog for someone to guess which was the next sock I was knitting in my quest to finish the partners for my poor lonely single socks. Ok - so - several of the Castoffs read my blog and have made a guess for the contest. So I could not, in all good conscience, show up there last night with the sock I was working on and give them an unfair advantage over other's who were playing along as well. The only viable solution to this dilemma was to cast on a new sock. So there you have it, not my fault! Who's fault it actually is will remain a question - far be it from me to cast blame!

This little portable knitting bag is available at Unwind Yarn House. It's just $15 and all the money goes to the Southlake Regional Health Centre to support cancer research.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Another sock???

Ok so - yesterday there were 7 socks that needed mates - there was an 8th on the needles and I have discovered a NINTH SOCK WITHOUT A PARTNER! This is totally out of hand - I promise never to knit single socks again.............who believes me? Well, I have started the partner to one of the socks so let's have a little contest! Which sock did I start? The winner will receive a skein of Mama E's Ceyeber Fiber in the Pick Up Sticks Signature Color. If there are more than one correct guess then I will draw for the prize. Let's say this contest ends next Thursday (that would be October 5th) with the posting of the finished sock. Just what I need another deadline!

I'm off to meet the Castoffs tonight - I can't wait!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I Need Support

It became apparent to me that I should start a Support Group for.....socks without partners. I got the bright idea that I would finish all my started socks and then not knit another new sock until I've knit their partners. However...there's 7 single socks - that means 7 partners need to be knit. Needless to say - this has gotten completely out of hand. 4 of those pairs are for me - the weather is turning colder and I could use them. One is for my husband - and two are for my daughter. BUT.....I've had a thought I could turn all those pairs into Christmas gifts and that could possibly save me alot of Christmas knitting time. Don't you agree?

This is the promised Posh Yarn sock in Chintz Lucia. It's 70% merino 30% cashmere - pure heaven for the feet.

I've started a Sock of the Month Club on the website and boy oh boy - do we love Sock Clubs????!!! What could be better than a surprise package of yarn arriving on a monthly basis! Meghan is hard at work on the patterns and I know they will be inspired.

I can't believe so many days have passed since I last blogged! I had a little health crisis last week which has passed (Thankfully!)so I was a little more distracted than normal. Tonight I'm off to the SnB at Unwind and tomorrow I'm joining the Castoffs for the first time. I hear they are a fun, crazy bunch of knitters so I should fit right in! I can't wait!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Pretty In Pink Contest

Check out for all the contest details. I'm providing the prize for a very worthwhile cause.

Got my haircut today - badly needed - I hate the time it takes to get color and a cut - I'm way to impatient to sit still. But today I brought along my knitting - (I'm knitting a cashmere/merino sock - they will be for me!), read the trashy magazines, drank my Tim Horton's decaf and ate my bagel so it was actually quite enjoyable. And....the big news is that it was $40 less than last time. My own hairdresser wasn't in today but TODAY was the day I HAD to get my haircut so when I called the owner said he could take me so off I went. Not only was it cheaper but it is the best cut I've had in a long time. Now I'll just go on Tuesdays when my regular hairdresser is off - I'm a big chicken and couldn't possibly go to another hairdresser while she was working.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Stormy Day.....

Here's my Claudia Handpainted sock in Stormy Day colorway. You can see in the close up how just a bit of blue peeks through all of the grey - just like a Stormy Day - especially like the stormy days we been seeing in Southern Ontario for most of the summer. This is a basic sock recipe that worked very well - my first one out of my head and not off paper. Not that it was any great feat - I mean when you've knit 100 single socks you should really have some idea how it works, right? Right!

I ordered some new yarn today - yup I did and I'm very, very excited about it. More from the talented Felicia of Sweet Georgia. Lace yarn seems very popular so I have added Sweet Georgia Silk/Merino blend in lace weight (it's called Silk Lamb) and worsted weight - yipee! happy! happy! happy! I'm not sure when it will be in - I do know that about half of my order in Handpainted Sock will be in just after the beginning of October. I will keep you posted - and promise that you'll know when I know.

It doesn't appear that the Teenage Boy is going to stay in school. I've been very good about not getting up to wake him up - my only concession was another alarm clock - but he missed every day last week. He was at school today but I got an attendance notice that said he missed all but the last period - we are going to look at alternatives - apparently there are ways to earn credit so we'll see. If only he could fast forward 20 years and see how important an education is.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Happy Birthday to......

Unwind Yarn House! This cute little store turns one this weekend and we are celebrating by Knitting in Nature! From noon until 6 pm bring your sticks and knit in Fairy Lake park - if the weather doesn't cooperate then there will be lots of knitting at the store - 234 Main Street in Newmarket.

I was just at the SnB there this past Wednesday and Wendy has done a fabulous job of re-organizing the store - there's tons and tons of new stock! Cascade, Fleece Artist, Lily Chin, and Lorna's Laces!!!!!

I've finally got all the yarn on the website - check out all the new Butterflynet Knits Lace and Sock Yarn. I've had this yarn since the weekend but didn't really get much of a chance to see it up close and let me tell you - it is beautiful! All of the colorways are inspired by butterflies - it's great stuff. Posh was released from jail and has a new home on my shelves. The cashmere is wonderful - right this second I am fighting the urge to cast on a new pair of socks - but I have two problems - one is that I'm sold out of 2.5 mm Pony Pearls and all my other pairs are in use and....I can't decide which of the Wildhorse Farm Design patterns to use.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Guys Just Don't Get It

Yesterday I went to see my web design company and arrange some changes etc. and they were just full of congratulations on how successful my website had been so far. They were actually incredulous over the whole thing! The owner said he thought I was a nice person and everything but he figured that there was no possible way for me to sell yarn online. He absolutely could not believe it. Then he went on to say that he had no idea that older women even knew how to use the internet. Suddenly, the picture was clear - when he thought of knitting he thought of grandmothers rocking away in their rocking chairs. Not hip chicks with sticks! Chicks of all ages mind you - but all of us hip little knitters!

Posh has been released from jail and hopefully, fingers crossed, it will arrive today! I cannot wait to get my hands on that. What could possibly be better than cashmere and merino socks?

Ok so it's back to adding all the Wild Horse Design sock patterns on my website - this was a brief and pleasant break!

Oh - guess what? I am in the process of designing a new sock pattern using Sweet Georgia - this idea has been bumping around in my head and today I'm going to see if I can do it. And.....I'm going to have Comfy, Cosy Mittens designed by me with yarn supplied by a very, very special company. More to come on that soon!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

More fair pics...

Thanks to Sarah who got this shot of the crowd from Saturday! It was a wild day!

You can't see me but I would be the one with my mouth hanging open in amazement!

Here's a picture of the Sweet Georgia side of the table - in the basket at the back are Painted Yarns - they did really well at the show - one skein does a pair of socks and they are super cozy!

The back shelving held Fable Handknits which sold like crazy! It is the softest alpaca ever and the colors are to die for!

The table held Apple Pie Yarn - kits and individual skeins. The shawl on display is the Glorious Garter Shawl. The kits also did very well. The pattern for the kits uses every bit of each of the 5 skeins which I think is great - no waste!
Yesterday was spent adjusting inventory on the website and finishing up adding the Claudia Handpainted - already I have to re-order about 13 colors! I was reading on a blog today about sock colors for men and she does some great ones - check out Ink or Navy Olive just to name a couple.

My Posh Yarn has been kidnapped and held for ransom! Dee worked very, very hard to get that yarn to me in time for the show and on Friday (the day I was leaving) I received a notice from Canada Customs that the yarn was being held for clearing. Clearing means you need to pay for your yarn to get it. I called and they said I needed to go to an actual customs office to fill out the appropriate paperwork - and guess what? - the closest office was about 45 minutes away. So on Monday morning, my sister and I took off to go rescue my yarn. After struggling through the paperwork, driving 45 minutes, almost being side swiped by another driver not paying attention - the Customs Officer suggests that I probably should just get a Customs Broker - it would be much easier and they just charge a bit to handle all of this for you. So where is a Customs Broker I ask? Oh there's one in the town where you live. Really! So now my Posh Yarn is in the hand of a Customs Broker and hopefully, it will find it's way to me by Friday! Hmmmm!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

KW Knitter's Fair

Wow! Wow! Wow! That's about all I can say - the Knitter's Fair was a resounding success and I'm sure they broke attendance records this year. The hall was packed. Our booth was packed - it was so exciting!

I met Amy Singer of Knitty fame and got stickers for my truck - Laura of Cosmicpluto and Lettuce Knit stopped in and then did me the honour of a mention on her blog!

Here's my Pick Up Sticks team - Lisa on the left, Meghan in the middle and Sarah on the right. They were invaluable and I wouldn't have wanted to be there without them.

Here's a shot of the back's of our jackets. You can't see very well but each jacket was embroidered with the website address.

Here's little old me! I stood there like that all day welcoming thousands to our booth???!!!! Actually this was just before the doors opened and it would be the only time all day that the booth was empty.

In the lower left corner is Meghan's Butterflynet Knits Lace and Sock Yarn - her yarn made it's debut at the show and the lace almost sold out. And.....she got a new wholesale order from another shop! It's beautiful stuff!

And of course, Sweet Georgia! So many people were so happy to see it in person! No picture could possibly do it any justice.

Tomorrow I will post pictures of the crowds - Sarah has them on her camera and when she reads this I'm sure she'll send them to me.

After the show was over, we treated ourselves to dinner at the Outback where we ate way, way too much! Then it was back to the hotel for an evening of tea (two pots), knitting, spinning (Sarah bought the most beautiful spinning wheel) and movies - we watched the Devil Wears Prada. Doesn't that sound like pure bliss? I kept thinking that we need to do this more often. It was so much fun! And.....only the kind of fun that other knitters would appreciate. We also planned lots of new stuff for the shop so stay tuned for that. Oh and KnickKname2B - thanks for sending your friends by to say hello - it was nice to meet them!