Thursday, March 27, 2008

Yet more temptation

There have been goings-on here at our house! We have been visited by the Fed-Ex and UPS fairies :) We got our order from Interweave Press, and SWTC with such beautifully tempting books and yarn! We love books at our house anyway, and to see so many shiny, brand new ones all at once is a rare treasure! We are finding ourselves inspired over and over again no matter where we go in our house! So many projects just waiting to be born out of all this, I can't wait to see what happens! We still have an awe and reverence for the room with all the yarn in's like a cathedral, lol.

We are still working on the shop, albeit not as speedily as when Uncle Paul was here :) We are planning on spraying texture onto the walls this weekend, so keep your fingers crossed and hope with us that this is the last time you will see all this wood! The seams have all been taped and mudded (that is a word, right?) and now it's just waiting for the weekend and lots of elbow grease. We know we have that with so many elbows around here! ;)

I am almost done with my Maylie pattern. It's so fun to work with new yarn and all new patterns! Of course, I am knitting the smallest size since it's a display (and doesn't have to fit anyone in particular) and it's moving along very quickly. I love this little sweater! Those diamonds will have embroidered flowers in them and there will be matching ones on the sleeves. I am knitting it in the round, and you can see more details at my ravelry project page here.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Okay, we touched....

As some of you darling, kindly souls have pointed out, it is our duty to touch this really cool yarn! So, strictly in the name of samples and research (she says with a grin...and a snicker) we gave in. That didn't take long, did it? I think it was about 2 hours that we waited... Ashley is making the most darling sweater from a pattern we just received. You can see all the details here. We had to wait until we had a few of our patterns and at least one of our yarns. Just so happens, they both came almost the same day! There is a God and He believes in yarn!! LOL
We found the most glowing review about the first yarn we chose to purchase, Peace Fleece. Check it out here!
We thought you all might want to see some of the decisions we have made based on your feedback from the contest.

Hours: We have decided to be open Tuesday -Friday 11-7 and Saturday 9-3. So many people mentioned that they wanted to go shop for yarn after work that we decided on those evening hours.

Atmosphere: We are going to have a coffee/tea bar set up as well as a sitting/lounging area, a table with padded chairs for perusing patterns as well as classes. Our lounge area will be open to spinners, knitters, and crocheters as long as the shop is open. We want to start a spinning and knitting guild for Tuesday mornings before we open and Wednesday evenings after we close for about 2 hours. We want this to be the kind of place where everyone is welcome to share their knowledge. We don't feel that we are experts and think that one of the joys of life is continually learning new things! Although we don't claim to know it all, we will always be here to help you either by sharing what we do know, or finding the answer to your questions to the best of our ability. We totally believe in keeping the crafts of knitting/spinning/crocheting alive. We want to foster an environment where creativity is always fun and intriguing. We will have an outside deck area for those who enjoy nature or need to get outside for a smoke. We took to heart what so many of you said about pushy and snooty sales people and we've made each other swear never to let this happen! :)

We were very disappointed to learn that we could not be a distributor for Lendrum wheels just yet. We are on a waiting list, but apparently he is so backed up with work that he isn't accepting any more accounts just now. It has, however, led us to look at other options. The wheels we are going to carry are:
Schacht- We will have a Matchless double treadle right away, but we are on the list for a ladybug and won't have one until June.
We are in the middle of creating a dealership account with Kromski
We have also just ordered a brand new wheel called the Mach 1. It looks like an awesome option, if you look at their website you can see a video of this wheel in action. While you are over there, be sure to see their reseller page...we are official now! ;)
We will eventually have some Louet wheels as well.
As soon as we get the Mach 1 (which should be in the next 2 weeks), we've told Kris Pauly that we would be open by appointment for anyone who wants to come and spin on it until the shop opens. Which means that you would be forced to pull up a kitchen chair and sit and spin, but we could probably come up with a cup of coffee for you while you're doing it :)

We have had to write a very short description of our shop and wanted to open it up for feedback. Does this seem to describe what we are all about (based on what we've written above)?

Enchanted Yarn & Fiber focuses on supporting independent artisans by offering unique knitting and crocheting yarn, and handcrafted supplies and accessories. We also supply spinning wheels, supplies and fibers. Classes are available, as well as weekly knitting and spinning groups. Come see us at Enchanted Yarn & Fiber, where we make magic one skein at a time!

Here are a few of the items that we are going to be carrying. Just a taste to whet your appetite!

Knitting patterns by Marie Grace Designs

Clay scissor tip protectors.

Mismatched socks in cotton and wool

Crochet patterns from Gourmet Crochet

Jewelry from recycled knitting needles

The countdown to our opening has begun! We think it will be the 13th of May, but if we get everything together before then (ha) it will be moved up. For everyone who is planning on coming for a visit once we're open, our address is 399 C Dodson Ln in Russellville, Ky.
See a map of where we are here.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Look but don't touch...for now!

Guess what we got today!! Here is our first "official" yarn order...we are so excited!
We had an empty shelf ready and waiting just for storing all these beautiful skeins (until our shop is ready). Here's what we have to look at, but not's too tempting!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

What we've been up to...and winners

Yesterday was an "enchanted" day all the way around. Our contest ended and we got our winners. AND>>>>>>the movie "Enchanted" came out! We all love that movie here and I am sure we will all know all the words of the songs in no
So, without further ado, the winners are....

Grand Prize-Studio Knits
Second Prize-Knittingpanda
Third Prize-K8
Congratulations to all. And many, many thanks and a big cyberhug to all that participated in our little survey. It was so awesome to have such a great response.

Now, on to normal....well, on to our life.
This is basically how we spend our days. In a cyberhole somewhere in ordering land.....

This is a small glimpse into dyeing days...I am attempting to work on the table there Jennifer and Diane...this is not the finished, and you may never see the finished product. As a matter of fact. the product may finish me off before this is over!
We shall see. Anyway, Ashley was doing her first custom dye order there for Peggy. She enticed me into my very first knitalong....I know, I know, I am a few sandwiches short of a picnic here. What am I thinking?????Do I have time to do this, I ask myself. Time is relative really, right?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Shop construction update

Uncle Paul has made his way back to Arkansas after helping us get this far. We have the walls up, the bay window in and now we are going to focus on finishing things up.
Here's where we will have our knitting lounge. Don't Marmee and Bisou look so comfy? :)

This is a better view of the knitting lounge area on the right
and where will have a table for classes, pattern perusal, etc. on the left.

We will have a deck with an awning out here for smokers
or if you just want a breath of fresh air

This will be our main entrance, don't Bisou and I look like a prospective yarn shoppers?

This will be the side entrance, but we will only be using it for receiving
all those HUGE boxes of yarn and fiber, lol.

The bathroom...need I say more?

We will have a counter here and a dog bed back behind
for the little Bisou and Bailey mascots.

I will be posting 3 more skeins of alpaca lace weight on my Etsy shop tomorrow,
I was going to do it today but I wasn't satisfied with the photos I took :)

Monday, March 10, 2008

We need your help...again! :)

Due to the overwhelmingly awesome response that we have gotten from our contest, we have observed that all of you are just as excited about unique knitting/spinning items as we are! Because of this, we thought we would come back and ask for your help again (this may not be the last time, lol). If you know of an independent pattern designer, someone who makes handmade buttons, drop spindles, baskets, anything fiber related...we would like to give every small business, no matter how small, an opportunity to sell their product in a storefront. The time to order is almost upon us now that our store is coming together physically. We have contacted the big fiber vendors already, but in doing that we have realized how much the small business person gets lost in the shuffle. So, before we order from the big companies, we would love to give all you indie suppliers out there the first chance. Bear in mind, however, that we are on a budget for our first orders and probably for awhile until we get ourselves established, so we really need competetive wholesale pricing. Here are the things that we are looking for, so if you know of someone or if you can fill this need yourself, please leave us a comment!

Unique buttons
Knitting patterns of all kinds
Crochet patterns of all kinds
Unique purse handles
Sock blockers
Spinning/felting fiber
Knitting/crochet jewelry
Knitting bags
Buttons (badges)
Coffees & Teas
Anything else that you can think of that I haven't listed here :)

Thank you in advance for your help on this. If you know of anyone who specializes in these areas, please send them our way!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Dancing through life

Time wasn't wasted for the little kids while we were working out in the shop yesterday. Everyone had waltzing lessons and Kelsey and Mallory haven't stopped dancing since.
They love the fact that waltzing is the dance of princesses!
Here they are in the midst of their dance this morning.

This is just them acting silly for the camera, but it was too cute to leave out :)

I am moving right along on my Fletcher sweater from the book Simply Noro. I am on to the sleeves now and am working them both at the same time on 2 circular needles.
I have found that just as you can get second sock syndrome, you can get second sleeve syndrome! Problem solved! Bisou is posing for the picture, as usual :)

We have been working on the ceiling and walls in the shop today, here's what we had done last night. I will go out and take more pics for another update tomorrow or Monday.

We finally got our first "real" snow since we've moved to Kentucky! The morning before the snow was expected, I had to go grocery shopping. As I pulled up to the checkout with my cart full (and this time it was only 1 cart! I have left Wal-Mart with 2 or even 3 before), and I usually buy institutional sizes of everything that I can get away with. As the cashier is scanning the third large can of green beans, she jokingly says to me "This reminds me of one of those reality shows. You know the kind where 'those people' have to buy food for all those kids?"
I turned and said "Well, I have eight kids, and this is my reality!"
LOL I thought this was so funny, I had to share it with you :)

We have been getting so many great comments for our contest. Thank you all!!

Box of scrumptious goodies!

My order of yarn to dye has arrived and I have set to work!
Here are the tempting treasures that were within.
I have begun putting all of it into skeins and have gotten the new lace weight all dyed so far. It's so awesome! I think I will definitely have to get more lace weight yarn very soon. It dyes up so beautifully and the alpaca is so soft! I have updated my etsy shop with these-

I have 2 more skeins that are drying right now and will be up there soon. I've not done much lace knitting and none at all with lace weight, but these are tempting me into it! LOL

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Building and Bisou

We are taking a break from our construction adventures to post this update! We have been busy for the past few days, and I mean physical labor! This is not my cup of tea! LOL It will all be worth it when we are cozying up in the knitters lounge, knitting and surfing ravelry or our favorite blogs in the yarn shop. Doesn't that sound like a blast?! Come on over and join us! :) So, back to the are some great shots of us working our little fingers to the bone. Oh, and see if you can find Bisou was so fun in our last update post that we just had to do it again! I tried to make it challenging in a couple of these!

First we have Marmee and Uncle Paul working on insulating the ceiling
(I was helping...I swear! ;)

Here is (what will be) the bathroom.

The new bay window.

A view from the outside.

Wow, that doesn't really make it look like we have gotten a lot done, but we have! As I am writing this Uncle and Dad are out there putting up the's so exciting to see it all come together! I got all my new yarn and fibers to dye and it's so thrilling! I am going to post about that tomorrow, but suffice it to say that I will be putting some tantalizingly succulent treasures up on etsy. Hooray! :

We want to send a HUGE thank you out to all of you who have entered our contest so far. We are so honored to have your input and opinions. It means so much to us! And we especially want to thank Kitten With A Whiplash who started his blog just to enter the drawing! Head on over there and say hi to him if you can. You know how it is when you first start your''re desperate for comments, lol! Share the love!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The "You're Enchanting" Award!!!

Now that we have merged blogs and have been browsing around blogland, we have found so many that we enjoy. We would like to give you this award! Feel free to save a copy of the button, but please upload to your own server. Here are the rules for this award:

Give this award to 5 people that bring that spark of magic into your life. Let them know by posting a comment on their blog so they can pass it on.

Here are our nominations (we couldn't narrow it down to 5!):

Fat Pigeons
Awesome Mother
Chan Knits

Thanks to everyone who has made our online world a magical one. We enjoy you all so much, even if we don't comment regularly *blush*... Here's a sized-down version of the button if you want it to put on your blog:

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Yarn Contest and Giveaway!

Ok, as promised, here is our contest. We need input on what you like to see in a yarn shop. To be entered in the contest you must post about this contest on your blog (Please comment even if you don't have a blog, just be sure to put your email address in your comment so I can contact you if you win), then leave a comment here with answers to the following questions. If you refer anyone to this contest and they mention your name, you will be entered twice! We will be drawing a name randomly in 2 weeks (March 18th) and will be giving 3 prizes. I'll go into detail about that in a are the questions we need answered:

1. What yarn do you like to buy? What weights/fiber content/colors?
2. What type of atmosphere do you look for in a yarn shop?
3. What makes you come back to a yarn shop?
4. What classes would you be interested in taking?
5. What don't you like in a yarn shop?
6. Would you only buy brands that you are familiar with?
7. Is there anything besides yarn and spinning supplies that you are interested in purchasing when you go into a store of this nature?
8. How do you go about looking for a LYS, online/yellow pages/yarn store listings/etc?
9. What days/hours are you likely to visit a yarn store?

On to the fun stuff...prizes!! Click on any of these pictures to see more detail.
The grand prize- A mini niddy noddy (will wind a 28 1/2" skein) and your choice of either:
a) 4 skeins of hand dyed yarn from our shop (100% Merino 420 yards)
b) 3 skeins of hand dyed yarn from our shop and spinning fiber blends. The brown/blue/green (3.7 oz) is 10% baby camel and 90 % merino, the peach (2.2 oz.) is 100% merino

Second place prize- $25 credit toward any purchase at our etsy shop

Third place prize-
Knit Fix-Problem Solving For Knitters by Lisa Kartus

We are so excited to hear what everyone has to say! Thanks for participating!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Exciting new yarny goodness...

It's raining here at our busy household today. I love rainy days! They just make me want to stay inside, cozy up and do something fun! Today I was working in the kitchen in among the dyepots :) Now that is fun. I was dyeing up the last of the "blank" yarn that I had in preparation for a new batch that should be arriving on Wednesday. Here is what I got done today!

Now, on to the exciting new order. I am so jazzed about the new yarn that will be here in a couple of days. Here's what I ordered:

50/50 Baby Alpaca & Merino Roving
Tencel/Merino Roving
Bamboo/Merino sock yarn ( a new yarn that I haven't tried before)
Merino Superwash DKyarn
Fingering Weight Merino yarn
Alpaca Lace Weight yarn
Merino Worsted Weight yarn

Exciting, huh? I am especially looking forward to the alpaca lace weight and the tencel/merino roving. It will be like Christmas, opening that package!! Ok, I have to stop now...I am getting myself too worked up :)

Things are still moving right along with our shop. The bay window actually has windows in it now and is looking oh-so-official. We have a Home Depot truck on his way as I am typing with a load of supplies. We won't be bored around here for the next few days, lol.

I am still working on my Debbie Bliss cardigan for Kelsey, and those socks. I am at the heel-turning point on my socks, but I have just gotten too distracted with my spinning lately! I am almost done with my first bobbin, but it goes so slow when your spinning 1/3 the weight of fingering yarn. I haven't tried anything this elaborate with my spinning in a long time so I am really looking forward to the end result!!

We need all of your input so we are resorting to bribery...we are going to be having a giveaway in the next post...probably tomorrow, so please be on the lookout for that. You really won't want to miss it!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Moving forward

This is the beginning of our shop building transformation and we wanted you to all be a part of it. This is where the garage door used to be and it will be a bay window very shortly. It's so exciting! We're looking at layout, display, and other options that you have to consider in a situation like this one. It's a lot of details, but we're looking forward to it! If you look closely, you can see little Bisou getting in on all the fun! lol

Saturday, March 1, 2008

New spinner in the family!

We have a new spinner making her debut! Kelsey is learning how to spin on our new Fidelis wheel. We wanted to test and see how easy it would be for someone to learn on, and we've been meaning to teach the girls how to spin anyway, so it was the perfect time! Kelsey is a natural at this and knew how to draft almost immediately. She's 9 years old and so eager to spin!

Off topic...we wanted to share something that is a common occurance here at the Thornton's. Buying food in bulk! This is our breakfast cereal, and the kids are so jazzed because they can dip it out by the bowl-full. This is ziploc's XL bag, 2'x 1.7'. That's a lot of cereal! :)