Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Armchair Olympics

Our first year in business was one of the busiest and most interesting years of my life. I knitted like a fiend, knitting samples to demo yarns and making quick and easy items that newer knitters could see themselves doing. Knitting provided the relaxation and calm that I needed and gave me time to think. And it gave me time to sit with my feet up :)

It always seemed that the criteria for each project was simplicity. If I had a project that required focus, it inevitably ended up hibernating in a basket, bag or cupboard. And I was starting to doubt my knitting self.

And then along came the Knitting Olympics. Challenging myself to finish a lace shawl (that had been hibernating ...go figure!) was just what I needed. I set a goal, relied on my years of training and made a commitment to compete ...I mean, "complete". I admit that, officially, I may have had a false start: I had already knitted a few inches before the torch was lit ...way before the torch was lit. :)

Even though I didn't join any online knitting Olympics groups, the Olympic Spirit certainly did inspire me. I am happy to report that I won gold early in Week 2. The Cherry Leaf Shoulder Shawl from Victorian Lace Today reached the finish line well ahead of previous training runs.

And then I cast on for another wee bit o' lace.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


The cake says, "Happy 1st Anniversary" ...and it was.

Little Red Mitten made it through its first year in business and I am happy. Happy to be spending my days with imaginative, creative, friendly employees and customers who really want our shop to succeed.
I was embarrassingly happy when a new customer remarked that we are the nicest yarn shop she had seen in 50 years! Happily, we have employees with great colour and design sense ...and a charming old building to give this impression!

I was happy when customers (aka - new friends) thanked me for providing a cozy place for them to meet and be inspired.
And, happily, they inspire me.
Thanks so much.
Happy Knitting!!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Case for Multiple Projects

It's always interesting talking with customers, hearing them attempt to restrain themselves from starting new projects or trying to rationalize their yarn purchases. They sometimes feel guilty about their passion for colour, for texture, for design and for yarn therapy.

There are knitters, believe it or not, who insist that they can only have one project on the needles at a time. Others don't start to worry until they have more than ten works in progress. I recently talked with a quilter who had 27 quilts-to-be stashed in her closet. She was at a knitting class :)

I believe that multiple projects are the rational way to knit:
Can you imagine spending a month where you limited yourself to watching only "Leave it to Beaver" reruns? The next month, you watched the Nature Channel and the next month, only the "news".
Or how about reading? Could you really read "War and Peace" every day without spending a few minutes with the newspaper ...or a knitting magazine or book?

We all know that some knitting projects require the focus of "War and Peace" while others are more like watching the Beav. Life, and our minds, are like that. Sometimes we need a challenge and sometimes we don't. When you have variety in your knitting bag(s), you are ready for any knitting occasion ...and no potential knitting time is wasted!

Happy knitting,
Little Red Mitten