Wednesday, February 24, 2010


making like D.B. Cooper

...just dropping in, that is!

This week is turning out to be busy, but deeply satisfying. I delivered two orders, one for 40 skeins of worsted superwash merino for a LYS and the other for 5 lbs. of alpaca fiber dyed in flesh tone (which is more challenging than one might think)!

Day before yesterday, Sara gave me a hand with reskeining the worsted, and brought her adorable little boy Connor. As you can see, even tiny tots know good stuff when they see it. ;) He was practicing saying "YARN" while helping us pack the finished skeins for delivery.

We had a local spin-in last Saturday, and it was well attended with beautiful weather and lots of vendors offering the best stuff. I couldn't resist this skein of laceweight (and I almost never buy laceweight, because of the time factor). I ask you, have you ever seen anything more gorgeous? I literally spent a good long time just admiring the skein.

It's 100% merino lace from The Cupcake Factory. I'm making it into a Citron shawl, and so far I absolutely love knitting it and watching the colors unfold. Doesn't it look like a sunset?

Drum roll please
I'll give Neil Peart of Rush (the greatest rock drummer in the history of the world) a break, and just tell you that inspiration has struck and I can't wait to see if it will pan out as I envision it. Basically, I want to try my hand at making and selling hand dyed, beaded yarn. Oh yeah.
Snooty boutique yarn makers, watch yer arses, here comes Stitchjones! ;)
I got the proverbial wild hair in my turban and jerry rigged a way to thread seed beads onto the yarn without having to buy a special needle, because the local bead emporium was sold out. All in a single afternoon, I was able to go from not having any idea how to proceed, to this.
It was just a test run with yarn I had on hand to see how many beads would be involved, and how much of a time and cash investment would be required. It'll be some work, but it's doable, and I'm on fire to get some skeins made up and see what folks think. A cone of lovely merino/silk worsted weight is winging its way here from lovely Kennebunk, Maine, and I've picked out the beads, so next week I can get under way.

Brothers from other mothers
And finally, here are my naughty boys, Jimmy and Toki.

I'll be back sometime next week with an update. Haven't been watching the Olympics, although from my friends' Facebook posts it looks pretty exciting, and some of the news headlines make me sick. Mr. Stitchjones is in Colorado this week visiting customers, most of whom are school administrators, and then I heard there was another school shooting in Littleton. He's fine, he wasn't anywhere near it, but jeez louise. How do these kids get the damn guns!? That's bad enough but it's really just the tip of the iceberg. President Obama on the right track tells people that kids need their parents to turn off the TV and video games, listen, care, and make them do their homework. And of course, that got him called a Communist by some. Before I get mired here, I'll just say that school violence is a tragic societal ill that Washington can't fix, but families are in the best position to prevent. I'd love to know what you think, not necessarily about this issue but about anything that's on your mind. If you read my blog, please leave me a comment! You know who you are. ;)

Friday, February 19, 2010


Oh no she didn't

Forgive me for that post title, I have been watching way too much RuPaul's Drag Race.

I wanted to create some dyed yarn that expressed my inner drag queen--just because I'm a girl doesn't mean I don't aspire to turn it out like a runway diva!--so here is a colorway which is probably a giant FAIL except for those who adore screaming pink (like me). I kettle dyed some 100% merino sock yarn in a light to medium peach. Then, in what felt like a bold move, I poured hot magenta over it and didn't mix. Here's the result.

Tentative colorway name: "Hot Mess".

Playing with color over the last week has yielded some more new colorways for the year. Here are a few.

"Jungle Love"

"Storm Large" (I didn't put this one on Facebook because my daughter would get furious; she hates the Stumptown chanteuse but I think she's the berries!)

OK, this was really an experiment that despite the bad picture, looks kinda cool. I wanted to see if I could create yarn in all my favorite colors of eyeliner. The result is decidedly masculine, so I wanted to call it "Guyliner" (if you don't know how smokin hot eyeliner looks on guys, go here)
but thought it might be confusing to some. So I'm going with "Preppy Goth". It feels safer.

Settling down and being a good little dyer, I also tried to express my fondness for green, in a non-St. Patty's-green way, even though it's named "Four Green Fields" after the classic Tommy Makem ballad. (I'm not Irish but I did grow up in Boston; that ought to count for something.)

It's Hemlock, Forest, Sligo and Chartreuse laid out side by side in short repeats.
Sound The Hallelujah Chorus
I finished something!

I love it. It's an ancient Fiber Trends pattern by Lily Chin, called "Charlotte's Easy Lace Shawl". Blocked, it came out to about 26" depth--not a huge shawl, but those take way too long and I get too bored to finish them--and 72" wide at the top. I used 4 balls of Queensland Bebe Cotsoy in Plum. The cotton/soy blend is so soft and light. I'll be putting it up on Ravelry soon. I'm not doing the Ravelympics thing, but if you are, good on ya!
Tomorrow's another spin-in, this time at the Aloha Grange--it's 1:30 and I'm still in my nightie, so I'm outta here for now. Pictures of a much more grown-up Toki to come.

Monday, February 08, 2010



For the past few weeks, I've been wondering if the blog as we know it has run its course. I mean, widely read blogs--even the ones that aren't about knitting!--still have their audience and that's great. And not that I plan to stop blogging. Looking back over my archives, I see that 2010 marks the fourth year of this little blog, and that gives me pause to say "wow". Four years. That's enough time for certain former Presidents of the United States to start two wars, destroy the environment and screw millions out of their money and jobs! But I digress. Now that so many of us are on Facebook, I just think that for me, blogging might seem a little repetitive. The flip side, though, is that a blog gives me more space to expound on whatever may happen to be on my mind, however random and/or silly it may be.

What's on my mind today is fiber festival season. This in itself is not a silly thing at all. On Saturday, I had a lovely time at the Newport Spin-in. There were loads of people there, and I had the best sales I've ever had at a single day fiber event. I couldn't be happier. I also got to chat with people who coordinate other fiber events, and it was an ego shot to know that Stitchjones is welcomed and sought after at these events. So, it's all good. The only problem I have is my own particular personality and temperament, when it comes to selling in public.

I think I do have some sales skills and abilities. After all, 14 years ago I was a representative for the largest cosmetics company in the United States, and their training program gave me people skills and confidence I have carried to other areas of my life. I genuinely enjoy interacting with people. The only thing is that I have always been a sensitive person, something my mother always chastised me for (as if I could change it), and my little feelings are easily hurt. I admit it, it's very hard for me to accept criticism, even when it's not really intended to hurt me.

For example, last year at a large fiber festival, a woman was browsing in my booth and she had a rather bratty opinionated daughter of about 10. The woman was just shopping like people do, she'd pick something up and look at it, then look at something else. To everything the mom picked up, the kid would say "Yuck. Ecch. Ick." OK, sure, she's a kid, and at the age where kids are establishing their personalities as separate from their parents. But I was getting kind of pissed off! Especially since the mother didn't seem to think there was anything rude about her child's behavior. As the fiber artist, however, I didn't particularly enjoy having to sit there with a smile on my face while someone was dissing my work! I certainly am not unrealistic and I would never expect everyone to like what I do. However, it took considerable restraint not to ask the girl how she would feel if I looked at something she painted and went "Yuck. Ecch. Ick." Most of that, though, is my attitude toward children in general--not my friends' kids, because they're all awesome!--I'm just trying to say that now that I've raised my own, I have little patience with strangers' kids. Please don't hate me.

I should add that this kind of outspoken-ness extends to certain adults. 99.99999% of my customers, both retail and wholesale, are absolutely wonderful. Occasionally, though, I get one who goes through my yarn like she's at a rummage sale (and I'm talking about a wholesale customer who, darn it anyhow, I just can't seem to get around to visiting very often). Throws offending skeins aside with, "Too dark." "I don't like that." It really is kind of funny, in a less-is-more kind of way.

I've gone over all that I've written and asked myself the obvious question: "Gee whiz, Sharon, you're really digging deep to find something to bitch about!" Well, yes and no. It is a minor, but nonetheless real, part of the business I'm in that I had no prior knowledge of. I just ask in my prayers for the ability to take that sort of thing in stride and with grace. And the bottom line is that the benefits of doing shows and festivals far outweigh the hassles.

Well, dear blog audience, thank you for reading my little rant. I certainly can't write stuff like that on Facebook, not that I would want to, and now you know a tiny tidbit of what's in my heart of hearts. I don't want to always be all knitting, yarn, pretty colors and everything's hunky dory--but so far, 2010 on its worst day feels better than 2009 on its best day!

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