August 30, 2007

AUGUST 30, 2007

The week of August 6th I took four days off from work for a family reunion. In the whole four years I've had Two Swans Yarns, these were the worst four days I could have chosen to miss, because that was the week many, many knitters chose to start the Autumn Rose sweater. And, because it never rains but it pours, that was also the timing of the arrival of my fall Rowan order.

When I resumed working on August 13, it was like a bomb had gone off and I was buried in orders for Autumn Rose -- as well as the usual steady stream of people wanting Kidsilk Haze, hedgehog kits, and sock yarn. No blogging for me, as I was filling orders as fast as I could. Fortunately, Allegra is still home on summer vacation and has been a tremendous help -- she is even more into the packing tape and the bubble wrap than I am. Finally, when the smoke cleared at the end of a crazy week in which I had re-ordered and had quick-shipped to me Autumn Rose yarns not once, not twice, but three times -- I was out of the Old Gold color of Spindrift, and the distributor was out of this color, too. We are waiting for more to come in from Shetland. I am keeping my fingers crossed that it will be only a matter of a couple of weeks. I hate having to put items on backorder for my customers, so I do very much appreciate everyone's patience.

I am gratified that so many people chose to shop at Two Swans.

What I Did on My Four Days Off:

I left my Nihon Vogue class homework at home and instead worked on

Sandness! After I had ripped back to the break at the underarm, I had a fiddly time of it, getting all the stitches back on the needle and trying to re-establish momentum on this project. (My first time around, I used the wrong color of yarn, of course, and didn't realize it until the next background color change. So that was a whole 'nother inch of tinking....) Now that I'm feeling full steam ahead, here, I've added a half an inch to the length to underarm, and done the underarm shaping that Janine recommended.

For fun and mindless travel knitting, I also worked on the Short-row Slippers and the Basic Black Vest. That's Slipper #2 you see in the photo (since its mate is already finished), and I'm nearly up to the break at the underarms on the vest.

Where Last I Left Off on Nihon Vogue Homework:

I was thinking of incorporating beads into the pink sweater I'll be knitting for Allegra. Although I was tremendously busy, I justified taking the time for sisterly bonding by way of a shopping trip to the world's largest bead store.


My sisters looked at, I swear, every single bead in the place. I'm not naming any names, but one of them practically bought out the store. That gray thing in front of them is a shopping cart, and she loaded it up. I, on the other hand, was much more focused; my sister offered to re-string a necklace for me and make a pair of matching earrings from beads we'll "borrow" out of the re-strung necklace, so I zeroed in on some onyx beads and some garnets that will go into the old-necklace-made-new.

Shipwreck Beads may be the world's largest bead store, but for what I would need for Allegra's sweater (namely, a small bead with a big hole), their selection was extremely limited. I was envisioning a nice metallic silver-colored bead, or perhaps a pretty purple crystal bead. What Shipwreck had in terms of small beads with big holes were made from ceramic, wood, or bone -- not at all the feminine quality I was looking for. So I will probably just go forth on this project sans beads.

A Little Guy with a Big Opinion:

August 22nd marked two months and one day past the date of when our cat Nippy went to that happy hunting ground in the sky. And that's really enough time spent grieving for the ol' Nipster.

Welcome to your new home, Malcolm:


He's four months old -- and his tail is longer than he is! I adopted him from the pet store on the evening of August 22nd, and then, before he had a chance to meet our other resident cats, took him to the vet for a check-up the next day. Cappuccino was due for his shots, so Allegra and I loaded up the big cat and the little kitten into carriers and went off to the appointment. While we sat in the waiting room, a man came in with one of those little dogs that's more hair than dog . . . a Pekingese or something. His dog walked around the waiting area a bit. I could hear a growling, and I assumed it was the dog. Seconds later, one of the exam room doors opened, and a Labrador came out followed by its owner, and the veterinarian. The growling noise increased by 50 decibels and I realized it was coming from Malcolm. The vet laughed when she saw that it was only a kitten making all that racket, and said, "Now there's a little guy with a big opinion."

Maclolm had no ear mites, no fleas, and tested negative for feline leukemia, so I guess we'll keep him. ;-)

I wasn't sure about the name Malcolm, at first. (He was already named this by previous owners who had to give him up.) Jennie was with me at the pet store to sign the paperwork. The saleslady at the pet store was filling in the forms with the name Malcolm, and I kept saying, "I'm not sure he'll go by that name." Jennie is even more of a Shakespeare buff than I am, and, standing there at my elbow, she reminded me that Malcolm is a character in Macbeth -- he speaks the last line, in fact. So maybe we'll stick with the name Malcolm.

Allegra, who has been my right hand this month, taking pictures of yarn and uploading them to the website, has had the pleasure and the duty of unpacking that Rowan order; she's fallen under the spell of the promotional materials we were sent for the upcoming book, Kaffe Knits Again. She feels strongly that we should re-name the new kitten Kaffe.

When he's not sleeping, or being a wriggling bundle of purring fur, he does endearing things like attack my shoe:


Meanwhile, Back at the Two Swans Site:

Loads of new products being uploaded daily.


New shades of Kidsilk Haze: Fern, Cocoa, Blood, Blackcurrant.

New shades of Kidsilk Spray: Tea Rose, Clay. (I think either of these would look smashing in the Syrian shawl from Victorian Lace Today.)

New shades of Kidsilk Night: Port, Bronze, Thunder.

And if looking at these gorgeous new colors of yarns from the Kidsilk Family has you thinking about lace, here's a book I highly recommend:


Posted by Karen at August 30, 2007 09:44 AM

Welcome Malcolm! You couldn't be adopted into a better family!

Posted by: marti at August 30, 2007 01:49 PM

Well if the kitty has a big opinion then it's only fitting that he have the last word! Malcolm fits perfectly. Meems says, "meow!" Congrats on the new addition to your family. He's a cutie!

Posted by: Jewel at August 30, 2007 02:31 PM

Malcolm is adorable! Have you introduced him to yarn balls yet? That new KidSilk Haze green is yummy, yummy. I know that you are very busy, but I am glad that you got a break, first. Great blog report. Pet Malcolm for me!

Posted by: Anne at August 30, 2007 07:14 PM

It's nice to see that I'm not the only one who gets into big trouble at adoption day at the pet store. Malcolm is totally and completely adorable! The new baby yarns look interesting too. I'm going to go check them out now. :-)

Posted by: Laurel at September 5, 2007 04:11 AM

Yes, Lolly, I couldn't let you have all the fun! Seeing all those new kitties at your place made me want to go check out the pet store, just to see if they had any kittens....

Posted by: Karen at September 5, 2007 07:47 AM