Monday, January 29, 2007

Bits and Pieces

It's Monday, the shop is closed, and I'm sitting at home trying to piece together what became of January. 

Beginning with the dreaded shop inventory Jan. 1-4, Jan. 7 found Connie and I boarding a flight to San Diego for a week of family visits and attendance at the TNNA show.  For those of you not familiar with TNNA (The National Needework Association), this is the wholesale show for yarns, needlepoint canvases, buttons, needlework tools, and more.  (Think: kids in the candy shop.  Remember:  we have 1,200 sq ft of yarns now.)  Casting most cares to the wind, we spent two days finding new vendors and visiting those we already know and love. This season we purchased yarns from small and cottage industry businesses only.  Qivuit, hand painted yarns, yarns dyed with natural's all coming soon.  Not to mention more Malabrigo, in a thick and thin spin this season, dyed as only they can do (masterfully).  Oh...and before I forget...Ozark Handspun has really upped the ante this year.  Last year they offered choices of warm colors or cool colors only.  This year they have what appeared to be close to a 100 colorways.  There's still variation within a colorway, as is the nature of a handspun yarn, but this year they've added mohair to hold it together and give it a softer hand.  It's in the store now and this weekend I knitted a (small) jacket with it, soon to be decorated with their latest product, "Ozark Fur"...dyed fragments of fleeces which are way more fun than I can explain.  Stop in if you can.  I'll post a photo of the jacket when it's finished.         Cimg0620

This photo has nothing to do with this post except that I love it.  I took it while snowshoeing to Williams Lake yesterday.  I reminds me of waves in the ocean, and makes me think of the tsunami theme that I've seen often in Japanese art.  If you look carefully, the "wave" to the far right has ice under its crest...we could see light through it as we stood there. 


While I was in San Diego I visited a friend who collects (mostly antique) sewing machines.  She was beside herself with joy to show me her latest conquest:  a (brand new) Janome Xpression Needle Punch Felting Machine.  This little sweetheart looks and operates just like a sewing machine, except instead of having one needle you thread, it holds a cluster of barbed needles you use to felt things together with.  Within five minutes of trying Bobbie's machine, we were headed up the coast so I could purchase my own.   We have lots of customers who needle felt, and while the prospect intriques me, I've never taken the time to buy the tool and go home and see what I can do.  I am quite unsure of the range of things I can do with the Janome (obviously not sculptural pieces) and feel like a cat with a mouse coming to visit. It's arriving in Taos late this week, and I'll report back on it when I have some time to play.

And before I forget...I truly am trying to get our photos of handspun yarns posted here or on our website...really I am...and just to prove it, here's a taste of what Bennie and I photographed on Friday.  I hope you enjoy them!  ---MartieImg_0200_3

This is one of Monte's skeins...don't you love the little flowers.  It's in the shop if you're interested, call or e-mail us at  I can't recall the name, yardage and price...sorry.