Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Spring in Lakeside, Or

Last week I did manage to get my Avalon slipper socks completed, and finished my KPS boot socks too. I will get a photo done of both soon! I promise!! In the meantime, we enjoyed a bit of a very warm summer. I felt like moving my desk out onto the lawn. Today greeted me with rain and thick dark clouds. But, I have hopes they will move on, and move on quickly!

I think I live in heaven. This was taken last week when we hit 93 degrees in Lakeside. I don't care what the news and the weather reports say. I saw what my car temperature was and my thermometer, which in a breezy-shady spot.

I really enjoyed the heat. I like to say I am solar powered. The dark wet winters really get to me.

Couldn't help myself. Photographing the flowers and their bright colors is just really enjoyable.
I love yellow! I have lots of favorite colors, but when it comes to flowers, my favorite colors are yellow and orange.

My nieces live here with their Dad. They have water front property, and across the water you see a sandy beach. See how the sunrise streams across their place? Because they are down low, it gets nice and warm down there. But not too warm, I mean it is the Oregon Coast, right?

I'm standing at the end of my yard. We get a bit more of a breeze up here, but the sunrises and sunsets are amazing!

More Soon!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Grrrr....shipping costs going up

I finally took a look at new postal rates going into effect on Monday. Gosh darn it! This is just nuts. Most of my packages are under 1lb. This level jumps up 20cents. The next level jumps up 75cents. I feel like I'm being forced to walk the plank! shipping is so darn expensive already!

There really aren't any options. Shipping UPS for packages under 3lb costs more than the post office, and takes a lot longer. Shipping first classs is a problem too. Anything under 13oz can go first class. But when I have to buy shipping boxes, then I have to increase the shipping to cover the boxes. So I might as well use the free priority mail boxes. Other issues with First Class is that delivery confirmation costs extra. With my priority mail program it is free. And shipping patterns first class, well, that is a problem. The post office will fold, bend, man-handle and even drop into the water patterns in envelopes. I've even had customers tell me the pattern looks very old and very used. I would be disgruntled too! So I use the priority mail flat rate envelope. I don't get any more of those complaints. Only that it costs so much to mail 1 little pattern. Damned if you do, damned if you don't!

Well enough of whining. Spent some time researching online accounting programs last night. I found only 2 (quickbooks and epeachtree) that are fairly inexpensive. All the remaining programs start at $99 and up. Interesting.

(This is a photo of the single point needle rack and the Cascade Sierra Yarn. Looks very neat and clean, yes? )

In the store the April and May slow down is well on its way. Knitters are usually also gardeners and the spring fever hits. Toward the end of May and into June I expect business to pick up again. but we've got a lot of work caught up around the store.

On the right is Lorna's Laces Swirl Chunky, then Cascade 220 Superwash, and you can't see them but on the far end is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, and Cascade Fixation. On the left is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Bulky. Lots of it !! They all have links on my yarn page.

Sarah my employee of a number of years has moved on. She's getting married and moving into Coos Bay. My new employee kind of fell into my hands. A friend is staying with me and after about a month fell in love with this quiet pokey little lake side town of Lakeside. Janene refused to just sit on her laurels. After a few weeks of staring me down over the counter insisting I put her to work, she is flying through pulling orders and the store has never looked so neat and organized. Well, except for my desk!

Don't look too close!! There have been times when it has been worse!

Thank you and welcome to Lakeside, Janene!!

Today I hope to work on the details of the Toddler Vest. The pattern is done and proofed. I'm arranging pictures and layout in my InDesign software. Looks like I need one more photograph, the measurements on the schematic and to detail out the abbreviations. Cross your fingers! It was a fun vest to knit. I've knit a total of 5 of these now, and my Mom test knitted another. She keeps asking me what I'm going to do with all these vests!! Heck, I don't know! But who cares, they were just so much fun to knit!

Gotta go! Finished my first cup of coffee, and it is time to slip out to excercise before beginning another day in the store!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Swirl Chunky Vest Progress

It has been 1 month! My hope to post weekly has not worked out. When I get a free moment, I spend it with my nieces who now live with their Dad on our property. They are a lot of fun, and as you can imagine from a 7 and a 12 yr old, things are hoppin' !!

This vest is for the 7 year old. She tried on the large size from the pattern I'm working on and it fit her exactly as a size "one size too small" should have. She liked the vest and thought maybe it was for her. So I had her pick a color, and I knit a larger size. This size took 3 balls. I have notes on it, but it won't be included the pattern.

I had hoped to photograph this vest with Aurora wearing it. But as each day goes by, the chances keep going by. Maybe this weekend, as I'd like to have a picture of her wearing it.

A local knitter said she'd like one in her size, so maybe the next pattern will be an adult version of this vest. I also put a tie closure on this vest. I will include notes on tie, snap and button closures in the pattern. Mom has finished test knitting and boy did she find errors. It was really embarrassing. Just goes to show I have tooooo much on my plate!! Oh, but I really LOVE designing and writing patterns!

So cold still here on the coast. A beautiful sunrise that last about 5 minutes and the clouds too over! I am so ready for some sort of summer!
This is the eastern view from the edge of our yard.
Tomorrow is my youngest's birthday! 22 years old. Oh mi gosh!! She's in Portland attending the Portland Art Institute. Now doesn't that sound like a dream school! It is really hard for her, but she says she wouldn't have it any other way. She lives in downtown Portland. Wow. What an experience for a young person!
'til next time!!