Thursday, July 27, 2006

Oh my, oh my, oh my!

Another finished sock today and hours and hours and hours in front of this computer making everything perfect on the website. So much so that my hands kept going numb. You see, I am not very computer saavy so I just plow ahead thinking that what I am doing is working and then I find out that there is a better way so then I have to do everything again. I was very busy loading all the pictures on the site - some showed up blurry, some were fine - the blurry ones got better when you click to enlarge so I figured that must be "just the way it is". Well, no - that's not quite true - seems with the right camera you can take the pictures, edit the pictures and load the pictures and not have blurry ones. So guess what - now over 100 pictures have been edited today and tomorrow reloaded. Yeah! At least - this job will never take as long again - I mean after all, this much yarn will never again arrive all at the same time AND next time I will know what I am doing.

Here's the pretty sock in Broadripple (this is what I occupy myself with to keep from pushing this laptop off the desk)

Here's a close up of the stitches. This is what the right camera can do! My mom had the best camera and the other night I was thinking I have to get a new lens for the camera I had so that I could take close ups. Then I remembered my mom took the most amazing close ups of her orchids so I had a look at her camera. Low and behold a macros setting - so I found the book, figured out how to work it and tahhh! dahhhh! A really good close up!

One thing about my mom - she was always taking pictures and there was a real lack of them for a while after she passed away because no one but her ever took the pictures and no one even owned a camera. She took the pictures, got all the copies and passed them out to everyone. How appropriate that it's her camera that is helping me to do the best job that I can
with Pick Up Sticks.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Sock Knitting Fool.....

Sock knitting fool - that's me! I'm a busy little bee churning out single socks made from the yarn I've got coming in. This stuff is just lovely - it's a blend of merino wool, mohair, silk and
nylon. And another Canadian company!
It feels amazing and looks even better.

The pattern is from and it's called Broadripple.

And....seems I've entered all the weights into my website incorrectly. The system recognizes only kilograms and I've entered everything in grams.

Why is this important? Because I've integrated the site with Canada Post so that each customer pays exactly what it costs to ship and so Canada Post is not recognizing what I've put in. Ugh! It's only over 80 products that I have to change - no biggie, right?

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Dragon Sock Finished

Here's a finished Upscale Dragon sock. I purchased the pattern online from The Keyboard Biologist and I just love it! It came together beautifully. Below is a picture of the toe detail and I am proud to say that I learned to graft a perfect toe with this sock.

In shop news - everything is progressing well - I would say that it might be another 2 weeks before the website is live. I still have a ton more products to add - patterns to order, business cards to get, shelving to get ----- yikes!

My son might be coming home from Korea early - he has a bad sore throat at the moment and was having fevers earlier in the week. He emailed today to say he and his friend were having a disagreement and he wanted to come home asap. So we'll see.............but that means now I have to get painting his room. It's still primed drywall and it is definitely time to put some paint on the walls.

See the toe detail - I've never done such an amazing sock!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Time Flies

Time flies when you are adding products to your website. There are still details, details, details to be worked out but I've managed to add over 60 products. I've been spending hours and hours and hours at this computer - so much so that blogging never even crosses my mind. I do have a big surprise in mind for my opening - so stay tuned. Yarn has been arriving by the box and I'm way behind on any kind of book keeping. I have files on everything but that's about it. How overwhelming and exciting this is - tonight friends are visiting for some knitting fun - feels lke I haven't done that for ages.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Dragon Socks

Aren't these pretty? The pattern is so great and I even managed to do a short row heel and make it look like the picture. The yarn is so great to work with - the pic does not do it any justice at all. My sister said these are the best socks I've ever done and I think I agree. I will post again when they are finished -

Today my dad goes for the results of his tests for cancer. I'm a basket case - nothing for me to do but knit. Don't you find that knitting really helps at times like this? It's so rhythmic and soothing. Knitting has gotten me through some really tough points and really I have no idea what I'd do with myself if I didn't knit.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

A Successful Reunion

I would say that my get together with my high school friends was a great successful - it went on from 2 in the afternoon to after 11 pm. It was so great to see everyone after such a long time and meet their kids. From our crazy Grade 13 group we have an Air Canada Pilot, a Vice-President for TD bank, 2 teachers, one firefighter (a Captain, no less), and an Engineer - not a bad turnout for all of us! In total we have 15 children and 1 grandson (that would be mine!) 13 of those 15 children are girls! My dad visited with everyone and got a big kick out of our stories. Me putting their car in the ditch twice - one running down the road in his underwear in winter chasing a car thief, one guy being lost on the middle of the lake in winter after being dragged by a rope from a snowmobile and the others being too drunk to notice he was missing until after they got back to the cottage. Three girls who shall remain nameless vandalizing a building to get the first intials of their boyfriend's names off the sign. Lots of beer was consumed and lots of juice for the kids - I discovered a fabulous drink - a cooler called Pomtini - pomegrante (I know this isn't spelled correctly but I'm too lazy to go and find the proper spelling) juice and vodka - absolutely dangerous!

No knitting was done yesterday but I did manage to do the short row heel on my Dragon socks - my sister and I were sweating buckets out by our pool to get it done. I will post pictures tomorrow - more yarn is at the post office and a big box of patterns arrived on Friday - we're off to Ikea this week for shelving for stock. Oh - and a bit of good news, I think, Canada Post is going to be integrated into my website so the shipping charges will be exactly what the actual cost is - no guessing on my part or paying too much on yours!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Second today!

Since I finally got the previous post published - I thought I might as well go ahead and post my finished sock and my next project. I'm knitting like a crazy fool these days - trying to get samples done for the shop. This is from the company that for now will be known as the $4000 purchase. The pattern is Laburnum from Sensational Knitted Socks which is the best sock pattern book in my humble opinion.

The green sock is yet more yarn from the $4000 purchase - the pattern is called Dragon. A very worthwhile purchase from the Keyboard Biologist blog. It's fun and easy but looks like I really know what I'm doing.

Third Try!

Boy oh boy oh boy! I've tried 3 times to do this post today and every time something goes wrong. And I have so much exciting news to share.....

Here's Lisa - isn't she lovely? She joins Emma and Sarah!

This is the lovely Meghan! All lovingly hand dyed by the one woman in the U.S. That's five of the seven colors on their way.

More handpainted luxury - a beautiful 100% Merino hand paint. Perfect for shawls, socks, sweaters - whatever strikes your fancy. This is all Canadian! Yahoo!

So now I have most of the pictures posted that I wanted to show - there is one more but I think I'll stop while I'm ahead. Got a postage scale today and the website should be ready for me to start loading stuff on by tomorrow or Monday at the latest. This is just too exciting.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Shop Yarn

Ok I had to delete the previous post with my custom yarns in it because it seems that the logo was causing my bio, links etc to be way at the bottom of the page.


Pick Up Sticks Signature

Today I made a big decision about this shop - I am bringing in some brand new yarn from the UK. It's very, very new and it's CASHMERE!

This is one of the variegated - I chose 10 colors for the shop. It's 70% merino/30% cashmere. Just a bit of luxury!

This is 100% cashmere in solid lace weight. I chose 6 solids! Even more luxury! There are over 600 yards per skein!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Some worsted choices....

here's some more yarn...... more from a one woman operation - this time Canadian. It's worsted weight....just to wet your whistle!! Can you tell I love, love, love hand dyed yarn? Don't worry I am trying to balance with solids.
Company for dinner tonight - I have about 12 lbs of ribs cooking slowly in the oven. Then it's off to the coffee shop for our farewell with Anne.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Finished Sock

Here's the finished sock in the amazing yarn that will be in my shop - along with 32 other colors. One of the things I love most in a yarn shop is lots of choice of color. I'm trying to hard to have large selections of color. I will have between 7 and 9 manufacturers but will have almost all of the colors of the yarns I have chosen. This yarn was great to work with and the pattern really does the yarn justice. Now it's on to another project - I have another yarn from this same company and am going to get busy on a sample of that. Also, Miss Emma (my youngest) has decided she'd like a shawl too - no Koigu for her! But I do have some amazing Misti Alpaca Cotton that I picked up at Lettuce Knit.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

We're practically famous....

Check this out! This is Sarah C, Emma J and me leaving Lettuce Knit last night. This picture was on the Knitty blog today. Yup that's bags of yarn in my hand - Sarah was equally loaded down but she's carrying it in her left hand so you can't see. Emma exercised extreme self control! The new shop is soooo cute and boy, was it jam packed with people and yarn!

I've been consumed the last few days ordering yarn, got my Visa/MC machine today - waiting for the web guy to show me the first pages of the website - waiting for the first pictures of my signature Pick Up Sticks sock yarn! So much to do, and it's all so much fun!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

A Worthy Pattern.....

Sometimes it just takes a long time to find a pattern worthy of the yarn you are knitting with....after about 6 starts with this yarn......and more comments than I care to mention from those watching me's what I've chosen.

This yarn is a sample of the $4,000 purchase I made recently for Pick Up Sticks and the pattern is Crusoe from It shows the colors beautifully and works up like a dream.....don't you just love it?

After lots of needle trials I've decided the following - I'm not crazy about my Addi DPNs - they are too long and too slippery. I am in love with my Pony Pearls and want to own all the sizes - I love the short length and how they have some slight give to them. I've also corrected my tension problem with my Charlotte's Web. It seems because the Addi Turbos are so slippery that they cause me to keep a death grip on the yarn. Here's the shawl on 6.5 mm bamboo circulars - much better, I think!