Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Unwind's newsletter

I finished the newsletter and sent it out to everyone that I had an email address for. I've tried and tried to copy it into this posting, but I can't get it to work. It's in a pdf file. If anyone knows how to do it let me know.

If you would like to received an email copy of the newsletter, send an email to me at unwind.ayarnshop@att.net and I'll send you a copy.

Tomorrow marks the end of my first month in business. Bills are paid, yarns still on the shelves and I've still got money in the checking account so I think that means I'm doing pretty good!

I've got classes scheduled for beginning knitters. I had no idea how many crocheters were in Claremore. I'm going to have to work on my crocheting skills. But, I've got a lot of the crocheters interested in learning to knit.

I finally got my computer at the shop and I've been working on getting all my inventory loaded into Quickbooks. Man, that's a job and a half. Then I need to do inventory and figure out how much I have of each item and make Quickbooks do what it's supposed to do and tell me how much I've sold.

Once I get all that figured out and sorted through, I'm going to work on setting up a website. I'll have to figure out how to make a shopping cart and accept credit cards etc.

I hope everyone has a very happy and safe New Year's Eve tomorrow night. I'll probably be in bed before the ball drops.

Happy 2010!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Easy Button Scarf


Easy Button Scarf
Final measurements 28” x 5” (the ends will be 5” and the center of the scarf is approximately 3 ¾”

Materials:

#11 needles
1 skein Life DK – Copper
4 buttons 7/8”
4 stitch markers
tapestry needle

The pattern is available at Unwind for free with the purchase of yarn or if you'd like to use your own yarn the cost of the pattern is $3.99.

Monday, December 14, 2009

grrrrr

The UPS man drove right past me today. I checked the tracking and it said the packages were on the truck for delivery. My daughter called and my yarn was delivered to my house.

Now I'm waiting for grandson to wake up from a nap so she can bring me the yarn. grrrrr...

I'm getting some more chairs for the shop. They are blue and on wheels. I think they will be more comfortable around the table instead of the folding chairs that I have right now. Then I can put the folding chairs up and just get them out when I have alot of people here.

Started working a new project this weekend. I was planning on making the Kertzer, Easy Hoodie using Marble yarn in the ocean blue color. But I'm improvising the pattern so much that it won't even be the same hoodie when I'm finished. I decided to make it in the round instead of front and back and I'm adding a raglan sleeve. I've taken pictures but I forgot to bring my memory card thing to download the pictures. I'll do that later.

I've had quite alot of people in today, which is good, because last Monday it was pretty slow.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Ordered more yarn!

I've got an order from Berroco coming in on Monday if the UPS guy will stop this time. I spent all day with Betty from Brown Sheep. Got lots of stuff from Brown Sheep and Knit One Crochet Too.

My sis and Pam showed up this afternoon and they helped me pick out some stuff. Oh, I also got some great needle holders for dpns and circular needles.

My Amy Butler bags sold today and I've got more on the way. I'm going to have to hold one back for myself this time.

I left Chelsea in charge of the shop for about 15 minutes today and when I came back the front room was full of little boys and a dog. One of my new friends Amy, who I taught to knit last week brought in her boys, three of them. I taught the 10 and 7 year old to knit and they are doing a good job. The 10 year old is making a pillow cover in Orange for the Oklahoma Cowboys and the 7 year old is making, well, I'm not sure what he's making. Oh and the dog is theirs also. Apparently the dog was attacked by a big dog today and they were making sure he was okay and didn't want to leave him alone. Sweet puppy. Then another new friend, Kim came in with her son and she shopped while all the boys played. Thank goodness I've got a little coke crate wagon with some of Hayden's toys in it, that kept them all busy while Moms shopped.

The day flew by today, I hope tomorrow is as good as today was.

I just found out that my computer has now been delayed until January. It's hard not having a computer at the shop. There would be so much more I could get done if I just had a computer with me during the day.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Why won't the UPS man come see me?

He was in the parking lot, I was standing at the door like a kid looking in the window of a toy shop. Sending the UPS man the strongest vibes I could send. "Bring me my stuff!" I said in my mind hoping the telepathic waves to reach him. I watched him get in his truck, put on his seatbelt, pull the gear shift down to drive. Here he comes!!! I thought to myself as a huge smile spread across my face. Then I watched him drive right past my door. The smile turned to a frown. Why won't the UPS man come see me????

Oh well, I've got an order coming in on Tuesday according to the tracking. But I want the stuff that was backordered!!!

It's been slow today. Maybe 4 customers sales under a $100 so far, but I've still got 2 hours and 45 minutes left today so maybe someone will come in and suprise me.


I'm trying to get my class schedules set up. Looks like the majority on class suggestions was a beginners class and magic loop. I might try and do a beginners class before Christmas, but then again this month might just be too busy.


Have I said that this is the best job ever? As long as I can pay the rent and the shop bills and replenish my stock, I'm happy. I'll let the rest of the family worry about the household bills right now.

I meant to post this yesterday, but as I was typing, I had several customers come in and then I just didn't get back to writing.

Saturday, November 5th

I'm getting ready to head to town, got to run by Wal-Mart before I go to the shop. I forgot to pick up my blood pressure medicine yesterday, so I've got to take care of that first thing.

I'm expecting to be pretty busy today. I had several people tell me they were coming back on Saturday so I hope they really make it back in to see me. Even if they don't it gives me an excuse to finish knitting the 2nd Susie Hoodie. I've finally reached the hood part and this hoodie is actually going to fit her this time. Since I'm up to the neck she was able to try it on yesterday. It would be nice to get it finished today and then block it tonight and display it for a few days in the shop before I have to wrap it up for Christmas.

Time to head out, I'll talk to you all later.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Unwind is OPEN!!!!

Wow, the past two days have been alot of fun.

On opening day, Tuesday. I woke up at 3am and couldn't go back to sleep. My mind was reeling with things I needed to do before I opened the shop to the public for the very first time. You know how first impressions are and I wanted mine to be perfect.

The first thing on my 3am list was to go to the bank, because I completely forgot about getting change for the cash register. I guess since I rarely carry cash and use my check card everywhere my mind just assumed everyone would do the same. duh... but the bank didn't open until 9am. Also on my list was getting the table set, vaccuuming again, clean the windows and door just to make sure they were really clean. Get the apple cider in the crockpot and started heating. I left the house at 7:15 (I don't open until 10) got to the shop at 7:25 and started my chores which were all finished by 8 o'clock. I straightened the shelves just to make sure every skein looked it's best and then sat down and started knitting until 9, so I could go to the bank. Between 8 and 9 I probably had 6 or 7 phone calls from sales people wanting me to buy their credit card terminal. Left the shop, got the change and came back. Decided to put on a pot of coffee. At 9:45 I saw a car pull up and two people got out. I recognized Rebecca and her daughter from Ravelry. I opened the door and the day began. It was soo much fun!!!

People signed my email list so as soon as I get my computer I can start sending out emails to everyone. I also made a class suggestion list. It looks like most people want a beginners class and magic loop class, so I'll get those going as soon as I can.

Yesterday was a little slower. I had about 7 people come in and only had 1 actual sale. It was a teenager wanting to make a scarf. She spent 11.00. Luckily my buddy morgaine from Ravelry called bought a $50 birthday gift card for Amber, another Ravelry buddy. So my total sales for day 2 was 61.00 (about 7 times less than day 1). So here's hoping that today will be better than yesterday. My goal is $1000 this week, let's see if I can hit it.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend

We sure did. Mom and Dad were here, the family was all together at my sister's house and it was a housefull.

I made broccolli rice casserole, candied yams and my daughter made a green bean casserole (her father-in-laws recipe) We had enough food to feed 20 more people. My sister made 5 or 6 pies, I'm really not sure how many we had but they were good. Actually, I did pretty good, I only had 1 slice of chocolate cream pie and then a bite of cherry pie. After we ate and ate, we decided to go out for our traditional after the food movie. That tradition started many many years ago, when the men would sit around the TV with their pants unbuttoned watching football, Mom would take us to a movie and the tradition continued. This year we didn't have all the kids with us because the babies are too little to sit through a movie. The attendees were Mom, Leigh, Chelsea, Alyssa and me. We decided to go see A Christmas Carol at the IMax in 3D, but unfortunatly it was sold out, tried to see Blindside, also sold out. We settled for New Moon. Chelsea and Alyssa had already seen it and wanted to see it again. It was okay, but I just haven't been able to get into the whole Twilight scene.

We got home, fixed everyone a plate full of leftovers and headed to the house. All in all it as a great day.

Friday, Chelsea and I decided to brave the stores. We weren't as crazy as my sister. She got up and left her house a 3:30am. There just wasn't anything that I thought I needed that badly. We hit Wal-Mart at 7am and got the few things we were interested in. But we missed the $88.00 battery powered jeeps.

Today, I got the shop ready for opening day on Tuesday, passed out fliers and met the neighbors in the shopping center. Everyone I've talked to is really excited about the shop and the classes.

I got the class schedule worked out, December will only have 2 classes because I'm sure lots of people will be busy getting ready for Christmas. The Friday knit nights will start in January. I made up my business cards and some gift cards. Set an appointment with Berroco for tomorrow at 2:30. I told her I had cheated a little bit and ordered some Berroco yarns from a friend. I thought she would be upset with me, but she told me since I'd already placed an order and Berroco shipped it directly to me, I wouldn't have to meet the $1500 minimum now. I can order whatever I need to order now. It makes me wonder if thats a company rule or a rule for the sales reps? hmmm.

I'm tired, going to bed now. I'll keep everyone posted and let you know how opening day goes. Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

2 more days


We are closing in on opening day. I've got 2 whole days to finish up the little details to get the shop ready to open on Tuesday. I hope I get another shipment on Monday to fill the shelves.


Mom and I went to Hobby Lobby yesterday and bought a bunch of stuff to decorate the shop for the Holiday season. I went with silver and turquoise decorations. Mom made the bows and we hung silver ribbon and turquoise beads above the windows with a little greenery in the middle. It turned out really pretty. I've also got a little Christmas tree in front of the window.

The guys doing the signs haven't finished yet. My sign on the roof isn't hooked up to the electricy yet and doesn't turn on at dusk like all the other business in the center and I don't have my decals for the windows, but Chelsea used window paints and wrote on the windows for me.

I'm going to have some cookies and other goodies for opening day, hopefully people won't get chocolate on the yarn.

Did I tell you my brother-in-law and Mom went in halvsies and bought me a new computer!!! I was shocked. It should be in next week.

Tomorrow, I'm going to get some fliers ready and go out and hang them up everywhere I can so everyone will know I'm opening on Tuesday. I've got to get my class schedule made up and I'm going to make up some gift certificates in case someone wants to buy one for a Christmas present.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The shelves are filling up

One week from today and the doors will be officially open for business. I received 13 boxes of stuff today. 12 were full of yarn and 1 had some notions.

Chelsea and I saw the UPS man in the parking lot today and we stood at the door waiting to see if he was coming to our door. He got in the truck and drove over to our side of the parking lot. Then it looked like he was going to leave, but he stopped and backed in. When he did that we knew we had alot of stuff coming. We must have looked like little kids waiting for a big suprise because he saw us and smiled. He brought one box out and sat it down, then went for another and another and another. Then I noticed the numbers written on the side of the boxes 1/10, 5/10, 8/10. I held the door open for him and he said "I've got 13 boxes for you today!" YIPPEE!!!!



We got right to work, opening boxes, checking off the product from the packing slip and labeling each skein by hand. Yes, I said by hand. Apparently, the pricing gun I bought wasn't the right one to buy. I can only get orange and yellow labels for it and everyone who I've told has said that orange and yellow are for discounted product. I need white labels. Guess what, the manufacturer is out of inventory and there is no eta of when the white labels will be in. So, we went to Wal-Mart and bought 2500 little white labels and wrote the prices on each one and stuck them on ourselves. Chels did most of the labeling while I put the yarn on the shelves. Yes, I've got pictures. Here they are:









I received a partial order from Kertzer, part of the back ordered order from Alpaca with a Twist. Tomorrow I'm hoping I'll get my Aslan Trends and Berroco. I don't think I'll get the Regia and Nashua until Monday.
I made my first unofficial sale today and got my first dollar bill which is signed and on the wall. My sister Leigh and friend Pam couldn't wait until opening day to start buying. Thank God for family. It was probably good to have some sales before opening day just to be able to practice with the cash register and the credit card terminal.
The phone is now turned on and if anyone wants to call me the number is (918) 342-YARN (9276). The fire marshall came by today and did his inspection. I've got to get the EXIT sign fixed, probably just a battery; my number 917 on the door and the fire extinguisher checked or charged and hung up. I've got to remember to call the fire extinguisher people tomorrow.
Now I need to get the computer (my mom brought me one of her computers and my brother-in-law is going to had memory, a bigger hard drive and Microsoft Office and Quickbooks to it for me. Mom is also buying a 20" flat screen monitor for my Christmas present. I need to get all the inventory into the computer so I can keep track of what I've got and what I need to reorder.
I think I've got the Plymouth lady coming next week and Knitting Fever has been calling to make an appointment. I would love to get some Noro for the shop, but I've heard really bad things about Knitting Fever and their pressure sales and customer service. If anyone has any good info to give me about them I'd love to hear it. I'm not real good with pressure sales. Guess I'm going to have to become a hardass when it comes to dealing with sales reps.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Weekly Update - 11 days till we open!
















Here are a couple of pictures of the front room of the shop. Got the furniture moved in, now I'm just waiting on all the inventory to show up. This week I received more needles and notions, books and some patterns, one Amy Butler bag and half my order from Alpaca with a Twist. Let me just say Baby Twist is my new fav, it is soooo scrumptous. I can't wait to start knitting something with it. Hopefully, the rest of the yarn shows up early next week because Thanksgiving is on Thursday and I doubt UPS delivers on Friday because of the holiday. I only have the following Monday left and then opening day is Tuesday, the 1st.

This is a picture of what will be my office, and that's just one of the baskets of my own stash that I'm going to sell for 1/2 off.















This is a picture of my coffee/tea bar.


David got the other peg board hung today and installed several new outlets and a light switch for me, killed a GIANT fiddle back spider that was hiding inside the wall when he was cutting the holes for the outlets. It was 1/2 the size of a 2x4 board. He's now dead and hopefully he wasn't a she with little fiddle backs hiding somewhere.



What else, one of the most important things that happened today was Hayden turned 2 years old. We are having a birthday party for him tomorrow at Pizza Hut. He had his first "real" haircut yesterday. Really it was just a trim because he wasn't too sure about the lady holding the scissors. Mom and Dad are arriving from Colorado tonight and will be here until the 30th, unless I can talk them into staying one more day for the opening. They are bringing me a computer for the shop.

I can't fit my dining room table in the back next to the coffee bar, it's too wide and will block the exit door. Which reminds me, I've got to call the fire marshall and get my inspection taken care of before I open. My channel letter sign for the roof should be installed Monday or Tuesday and the decals for my windows are being created. I'm sure there are many more things that I need to take care of but I can't think of them right now.

Friday, November 13, 2009

It's been a busy week

Let's see. Monday night I went to the auction with my sister and our friend Pam. It was alot of fun, I ended up getting a couple of orange retro looking chairs for the shop for only $20.00, a little tikes desk for Hayden and a Sony digital camera and tripod for $35.00. They failed to mention that the camera was the kind that take the little CD's, I don't even know if they make them anymore.

Tuesday, my buddy Michelle and I went to the Oklahoma Tax Commission's workshop on business taxes. Thank God, I went. I didn't realize that once you had your company name and had formed an LLC that you had to trademark your name and logo. The guy teaching the workshop said that people will go online and search company names and if they haven't been trademarked, they will steal your name and then call you and say that they have the name trademarked and you can buy it from them for $10,000. I freaked and ran home as fast as I could to work on my logo and get it finalized. I've filed the name Unwind, A Yarn Shop LLC and the trademark is now mine. Whoo, that was stressful. I could only image someone calling me and wanting a butt load of money to buy back my company name.

I got the carpets cleaned on Wednesday and you would never believe a motorcycle shop had been in there before. All the stain came out and it looks pretty good for old carpet.

Yesterday, I met with the guy who represents Crystal Palace, Classic Elite, Nashua, Jitterbug and a couple more that I can't even remember right now. It was a very stressful day. Have I mentioned that I don't like salesman very much, so pushy. Telling me that I need to have this or that and if I don't I shouldn't even go into business. I'm trying to do this on a shoestring budget, but still make it really nice. I want a good variety of stuff, but I can't afford to pay a $1500 opening order to all the different companies. So, I doing it the sneaky way. I've got a good friend who owns a yarn shop and she is letting me buy the yarn through her for right now. Hopefully, the shop will be a success and I'll slowly be able to get my own account with these companies.

Today, I cleaned up the dining room furniture that I'm taking to the shop. My Lantern Moon needles came in today. I've got them hung on the peg board and they look so pretty. The credit card machine also arrived today. I've been playing with the cash register so I don't look like a fool when I'm trying to ring up someone's purchase. My sister came by and brought some baskets and a vase with some of her old needles in it, I also have a big vase with needles, so I should have plenty for people to use or practice with. My daughter brought Hayden up for a little while and he liked his new desk. Then my niece showed up with her son Asher. The kids played for awhile, pushing around the baskets and the little coke crate wagon. Then Pam came in with her daughter and two of her grandkids. I realized quickly that 600 sq feet can get full really fast.

Tomorrow's plan, well, I don't really have a plan right now for tomorrow. I need to set down and figure out what my hours of operation will be, work up a class schedule, and do some paperwork. Sunday, we are borrowing my son-in-law's father's truck to move the furniture in. I can't wait to see what it looks like with stuff in there. I hope the yarn starts arriving soon.

Only 18 more days till I open.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Monday morning

It's 7:00am, and I'm sitting here thinking about everything that I have to do today.

1. Grocery Store
2. Come home unload groceries
3. Go to Unwind
4. Touch up paint in bathroom
5. Help David build the checkout counter
6. Call the carpet cleaner and reschedule
7. Call the OK Tax Commission and make sure I'm registered for the class tomorrow.
8. Get all the building supplies out of the shop

I'm sure there are a ton more things to do today, but those are the ones I've got to get taken care of.

I've been playing with logos for my shop window, but I don't really have any software for graphics except paint. Here's one, let me know what you think. Can you tell it is the word Unwind written with the yarn? I hope so, because that's what I was going for.


I met with Stephanie, the yarn rep yesterday. She was great, I ordered Alpaca with a Twist and way too much from the Kertzer line. We never even made it to the AslanTrends because it took over 4 hours to just go through those two lines. She is planning on coming back through on 11/18 so I'll probably go ahead and get AslanTrends taken care of on that day.
Oh, I just remember something else to add to my to do list... #9. Take the Notions application and fax it this morning.
I've got to head out to the grocery store now and get my day started.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

23 days before opening

Did I say I was tired? I don't think I've worked this hard in a long time.

Let's see, the plumber came and fixed the Tidy Cat Liter mess. He couldn't believe that they had it hooked up like that. So that's taken care of and we don't have to worry about the little hot water tank anymore. The only thing is that the tank was still too big to fit under the vanity. That was really a bummer because I didn't want it just out there. Dave build a little shelf to go around it, but it doesn't have a front cover because you have to have access to the valve or screw thing, but it looks better and it gives me a little counter top to put the Kleenex box and maybe a candle or something.

He is so handy to have around, the last tenants had the phone line running down one wall about midway and then looped around the corner and up another wall to their phone jacks. Dave cut the wire and ran them through the walls. No more ugly phone lines stapled to the wall.

He built a couple more shelves for me and hung the over the john cabinet in front of the breaker box to hide it's ugliness. Today we are going to hang the peg boards for the needles and notions. I hope I have enough materials. We had gone over to Lowes to pick up the peg board stuff the other day. The board comes in a 4' x 8' sheet, so we had them cut it down into 4' x 4' so it would fit in the back of Dave's BMW. Well, we should have had them cut in 4' x 2' pieces because they wouldn't fit in the back seat so we put them in the truck, but they were hanging out a little bit. I said "Will they break if you don't have the trunk lid tied down?" (because we didn't have any straps, rope, yarn or anything in the car to tied down the lid.) His response, "No, it will be okay." So we head down the road, it's probably only 2 miles if that. Get to the shop and guess what? The boards are broken. So now I'll have a peg board wall covering about a 4' x 6' area. I'm figuring thats probably okay for now.

I also bought a couple of 1" x 4" boards to have him cut into 2' sections. I want him to drill holes and glue wooden shaker pegs into the holes and I'm going to hang hanks from them. I though it would be cute.

I received my color card book from Plymouth last night. It's huge. Worked on my order with Lantern Moon, now I know why the minimum order is only $200. They don't want to intimidate newbies with a huge opening order, because they know you'll place a big order anyways. Has anyone every used any yarn from AslanTrends? I'm going with them also, I haven't felt their stuff, but it is really pretty online. I need to get a fax machine so I can get all these orders turned in.

Well, it's about time to head back to the shop, talk to you later.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

27 days left before opening day

I've been a busy bee! First let me thank my wonderful ex-husband David, he's been a real trooper, building, installing, and doing everything I ask to get this shop ready in time. Everything is painted, the toilet and vanity/sink is installed. The 3 wall units are built and secured to the walls.

I've got several appointments scheduled. Sunday, I'm meeting with the rep from Rowan, Regia, Alpaca with a Twist, there are several more that she represents, but I can't remember them right now. Monday, the carpets are being cleaned. I hope and pray that the oil and grease comes up. Did I mention that someone who would repair motorcycles on carpet must have a screw loose? Tuesday, I have a class at the Oklahoma Tax Commission for Businesses, then I'm meeting with Plymouth Yarns at 2:30, Wednesday is a free day (so far), Thursday, I meet with Crystal Palace. I've got the order forms for Lantern Moon, Malabrigo and Berroco. I really want to get in with Blue Sky Alpacas and get some Spud and Chloe' but theres a waiting list and a $3000 opening order. YUCK!!!
I went shopping last night at my friend Pam's barn. She's got tons of shabby chic stuff. I got an old red desk that I'm going to use as my checkout counter, a coffee table, and drop leaf table, and little hutch and a cool lamp. I'm using my grandmother's dining room table and hutch that have been in my garage for a couple of years, my kids have a couch and chair that looks like it's from the 70's with rust, beige and brown vertical stripes. I'm hoping to give the place the look and feel that you can come in relax, kick off your shoes, shop, knit and Unwind...
I got my big sign for the roof...I got so lucky! The first bid I got was for the word YARN in big red letters. It was a bid for $2200 which didn't include installation, tax or permit. The total cost was $3395. I felt sick, until yesterday when the other company called and said they had just taken down a sign that was left by the previous owners and being a channel letter sign (that means the letters are all seperate and screwed onto a raceway) he could take it apart and it just happened to have the letters Y A R N in turquoise with a deep red trim. I went by today and looked at the letters. It's in great condition and he said he could build it, install it and everything permit, tax and all for $1472. I paid 1/2 down today and it should be installed the week of Thanksgiving.
I spoke with Edla (from Edla's Yarn in Walsenberg, CO) today and she has some yarn that she is willing to sell me at cost, so Mom is bringing it with her next week when she comes down for Hayden's 2nd birthday party. Edla gave me alot of tips on where to get this and that.
I've still got to get my credit card processing stuff and shopping bags (I may have to use all the Wal-Mart bags that are stuffed under my cabinet). I think I've got a cash register. I really want to get all the credit card and cash register stuff on the computer along with Quickbooks so I'll be able to keep track of inventory, but right now I don't have enough in the budget to get a new computer, so I'll do it the old fashioned way and handwrite tickets. Unless, I'm just super busy, which I hope is the case.
Well, I've got to get up early and get to the shop in the morning to meet the plumber to fix the little hot water tank/tidy cat litter box issue.
I'll update more soon!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

I'm tired

It's been a busy weekened. My feet are killing me, I'm covered in turquoise and gold paint and it will start all over again tomorrow.

I had picked out a paint color that I thought would blend well with the brick. NOT!!! it looked like a school cafeteria or a mens bathroom. I couldn't stand it so I headed off to the paint store and instead of buying a gallon of something again, I bought a couple of samples. One was very light with a turquoise tint and the other was a very light sage. Got them back to the shop and tried them on the mason wall. They both looked like shiny white. I could barely even tell the difference. Thank goodness my buddy Pam came by. She just happened to have a couple of gallons of paint that she used and had leftovers. One was a blueish turquoisey color and the other she decribed as "gold". I love turquoise, but not a fan of gold. She ran and got the paint and we slapped it on the wall and the decision was made. I painted the back room the turquoisey blue color, the office gold (it's really a light mustardy color) the trim above the paneling in the front room is gold and I decided to go ahead and livin' up the bathroom and painted it gold also.

The pictures I have don't really do the colors justice, but here are a couple that I took yesterday with my cell phone.
Dave is working on the back room painting the walls with the blue color (even though the picture looks gray) and Chelsea is painting the office gold.

That was what we got finished yesterday. Today we went back, I got the bathroom painted and Dave build one of the wall shelving units. We've got 2 more 7 foot x 7 foot shelving units to build tomorrow. I've gone back and forth on trying to decide what to do in the bathroom. I'm trying to save as much money as possibly and was going to make a curtain to hang around the sink, but found a really cute vanity and marble sink at Lowes that would be perfect in there for $98.00. I think Dave can build be a pantry for the corner to cover up the old pipes from that hot water tank that used to stand there. I'll try and get the vanity tomorrow and see how my plumbing skills are. I think I can get it hooked up without too much excitement.

I still have to decide what kind of desk or counter I want for the cash register to sit on. I think I want an "L" shaped counter top so I can use part to check out customers and the other side to do my paperwork etc. I've got to call the carpet cleaners and hopefully they can get the greasy oil stains out of the carpet, if not I'll invest in some area rugs to cover it for the time being.

Trying to decide which vendor to use for credit card payments, need to order shopping bags, find a pricing gun, move the furniture in, get the yarn and I'll be ready to open.

Next Tuesday, November 10th, I have a business tax workshop to attend and then I've got a meeting with the distributor from Plymouth Yarns. Crystal Palace Yarns distributor is also coming into town the same week, but I don't have a confirmed date with him yet.

This month needs to go by slower than normal, so I have enough time to get everything finished before December 1st. I've also got a very important birthday party to attend this month. My grandson will be turning 2 on the 20th. I can't hardly believe it's already been two years. It seems like yesterday that I was holding that little newborn baby in my arms. I think that must been that November is going to fly by in a flash. I hope I can get everything ready in time!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Signed the lease ~ no turning back now!

I signed the lease today. Registered my company with the Secretary of State, bought the lumber and stuff to start building shelves. I've got appointments with two different yarn distributors for next week. It's really going to happen. I just pray that it's a success.

I got a quote for the lighted channel letter sign that is required for the rooftop. $2200 plus installation, tax and permit. YUCK!!! But, instead of putting my name on the roof, I decided to just have the work YARN lit up in big letters. I'm going to have my name and phone number etc. on the front door and side window. But, the landlord told me that if I get my sign up within a month of opening, he will give me a months free on the rent.

So this weekend is going to be busy, building shelves, painting, fixing the bathroom and getting rid of the Tidy Cat Litter box that the last tenant had attached to the mini hot water tank. I've got to get the electricity in my name, the gas switched over, the phone and internet set up and a countertop for the cash register. Whoo, I'm tired.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Photos




I hoping to sign the lease this week and get busy fixing the place up. It is rented "as is" which isn't very good. There is exposed red brick which I like, paneling (not really fond of) and filthy filthy carpet. The last tenant owned an motorcycle repair shop. Why in the world would you repair motorcyles on carpet? I'm hoping I can save some money and get Stanley Steemers to clean the carpet and if the oil stains won't come out, to cover them with an area rug. I'm going to leave the paneling as is and paint the back walls and the space above the paneling.


The tiny little room to the right is just that. I think I'm going to put the cash register counter right there and then put a file cabinet and small desk at the back and make that my "office area".

I though about making that a kids area, but then I realized I won't have any place for my paperwork. Here's a couple of pictures of the bathroom. It's gross, you can definitley tell it was used by guys.

I think I'll take down the medicine cabinet and put up a framed mirrow, put a skirt around the sink to cover up the tiny hot water tank. Hopefully some bleach will clean the floor and then put up a cute vintage knitting print on the brink wall.

Like I said, I'm trying to do this a cheaply as possible.

I wanted to thank all you guys for the names of the shop, I really like Knit Together but I think I've come up with a name. To me knitting is a time to sit and relax, chat with my friends and just unwind. I'm going to call it unwind. One of my ravelry friends told me there is already an unwind in Southern California, but there isn't one any place else and they don't have a copyright on the name. If for some reason I can't get the name registered with the Secretary of State, then I'll probably go with Yarn Over. But, keep posting your ideas and if I see something that really grabs me, you'll get a prize. I still really like the Ktog, but I don't think people will understand what it means. I'll keep everyone posted on the progress and I'll keep taking pictures.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Still trying to figure all this out

I found out yesterday that the complex that I want to lease for my shop requires a Lighted Channel Letter sign. Did you know these signs cost between $2000 and $4000???? I didn't either. Well, that's throwing a huge kink in the plans. If the price varies depending on how many letters, I'm definitely going to have to rethink the name of the shop. Knots & Needles is way to many letters and spaces. I'm going to have to come up with something catchy in 4 letters or less. Just kidding, but I am willing to take suggestions at this point.

Ewe Knit?
Yarn Over
Woolies
K2T

Maybe I could make this a contest. The winning name will get a prize.

The space is very small, only 600 sq feet. It leases as is, so it will require some paint and carpet cleaned. David said he would build the shelves and a counter top for the cash register. Rita has a cash register that I can use for the time being. I'm going to have to go with yarns that are affordable and practical until I can get into the really expensive stuff. I love berroco yarns and plymouth has some great stuff. I'd also like to get some local dyers and spinner to showcase their stuff. It's very overwhelming. I need a partner.

Now back to my own knitting...I finally got Hayden to put the fish sweater on that I made him.

The smallest size was a 4T, but I knit a little tighter and used smaller needles. It probably is between a 2T and 3T. The sleeves are a little long, but he'll grow into it.

He's the hardest kid to get a good picture of, I've got pictures of him running, twisting, dancing, but I can't ever get a picture of him straight on standing still. This was about the closest I could get.



Thursday, October 15, 2009

Knots & Needles - Revised


That's going to be the name of my shop. I found out that I don't have to have any licenses. I just need to have the fire marshall inspect the space. Taxes are going to be a nightmare, so I think I'll have to beg my ex-employee Rita (she lost her job also) to be my accountant. I'm just waiting for my money to come in so I can rent the space and get started. Trying to make decisions on should I have a big table for everyone to sit around or should I have a comfy couch here and a few chairs there. It's very scarey!!

On a less scarey note, I finished a bomber jacket for my son. I had knit this pattern or someting like it a few years ago. I couldn't find the pattern, so I improvised. I started to knit it all in one piece and then decided not to do that. (The next one I do will be in one piece). The last time I made this sweater, I didn't like the collar, it kinda hung out there like bat wings, so I modified the collar and then stitched it down. I really like the way it turned out. I get a picture of it and post it later.

Well, here's a picture of the bomber jacket finished. The bad thing about this jacket is that it doesn't fit my son. I thought him and his dad were closer in size than they really are I guess. So, guess who gets the jacket. I need to get some more yarn and make another before Christmas and adjust the sleeves and girth of the sweater for the kid.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Business Decisions

Let's see, it's been a few weeks since my job ended and I've had a couple of interviews that were jokes. After the second interview I got to thinking about what I really want to do. Do I want to work for someone doing something that I probably wouldn't like or do I want to do something that I love? The answer was easy, I want to do something that I love and second to my family is knitting.

I started researching what it would take to open my own shop and if I can figure it all out and come up with the financing that's what I'm going to do. I've found a small place in a shopping center here in town and I've written my business plan. Tuesday, I'm going to a seminar at the Oklahoma Tax Commission to find out all about the taxes and licenses and permits.

If I can get this going it would be a dream come true. I've always wanted to have my own yarn shop. So I'll let you know if it happens and if you're ever in the area stop in and see me.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Alot has happened

Let's see, the 1st weekend in September, my sister (Leigh), a friend (Pam) and I drove to Walsenberg, CO to visit mom and dad (and Edla) over the Labor Day weekend. We had a great time. Mom had a garage sale that weekend, which she REALLY needed to have. We hauled boxes out to the caul-de-sac, where she and neighbors had tables set up ready for the early morning garage sale buyers to come buy all there wares. In Colorado, the hard-core garage sale buyers don't wander out until 9am or so. Even with the slow start, she made $114.00 the first day. (She could have made alot more, if we could have pried the good stuff out of her hands). We really just wanted to get rid of the junk, so we were selling boxes for $1.00 each, but they had to take the entire box and couldn't pick and chose what they wanted.


The second day, the girls and I headed over to see our good friend Elda, she owns the LYS in Walsenberg. She was so glad to see us (we made her sales go way up for the week). We bought way to much yarn, started a couple of new projects. I made the Fake Isle cap out of Boku and Encore. I haven't got a picture of it yet. But I'll add it later. I also started the Gone Fishing Sweater for my grandson. Leigh also started the sweater for her grandson. I'm sure they will only wear the sweater once, but we are going to get a picture of both boys in the new sweaters.


We left Edla's at closing time and drove over to LaVeta and had a couple of tacos at the Mexican Cantenna. Pam and Leigh indulged in a margarita or two and got a little loopy. But we had a good time laughing and taking pictures.


By the time we got back to Mom and Dad's it was around 7pm. We settled in for our evening of knitting and watching tv, and Mom decided to count her garage sale money. Remember the 1st day she made $114.00. She counted and had $106.00. I thought that's pretty good $120 bucks for a bunch of old junk. But she said that she hadn't taken the 1st $114.00 out of the box. I started thinking about that morning. I had gone down to the caul-de-sac with her to get things set up. There was a younger lady who came by and was looking at stuff. Then a friend of theirs came by and bought the old church pews for $10.00 he handed me a $20.00 I put the money in the box and gave him a ten. I noticed there wasn't much money in the box, but assumed Mom had taken out the bulk of the cash and just had a few dollars for making change. I walked back up to the house to get her drink and something to eat and when I came back, I noticed the cash box was on one of the sale tables. I handed her the box and said "someone will end up getting this if you're not careful" and she put it by her chair under the tent. The problem was that someone had already helped themselves to all the money. So, it ended up she made $106.00 for 2 days worth of work. We can only hope that the person who took the money needed it more than Mom needed it. And if the truth be told, most of that stuff was just old junk, that we should have donated to goodwill.


Monday morning we drove back home. I went ahead and took a couple more days off just because I needed to use up some vacation. I came back to work on Wednesday 9/9/09. Everything was good until Friday, when I was informed that my position as Operations Manager was being eliminated. The company decided to merge the Claremore and Tulsa office into what they are calling a Hub and Spoke model. Tulsa will be the hub, which does everything. Taking orders, placing employees on assignment, all administrative work will be done in Tulsa. The Claremore office will be the spoke which won't do much at all. The office will only be open by appointment. If an employee needs to come to the office for some reason and they can't get to Tulsa, they can come here and sign papers or do whatever needs to be done.


So, tomorrow is my last day officially. I'll get 9 weeks severance pay and the rest of my vacation, which is almost 2 weeks. This week has been torture and I've cried more yesterday and today than I have in a really long time. In fact, even when she told me my job was eliminated, I didn't cry. I think I had a tear or two, but I think I was more in shock. Thank God, my sister and niece had decided to eat lunch across the street. Because she was there for me. I've decided that I will finish out the day today and tonight before I leave, I'll send her an email and let her know that I won't be back. Tonight I'm knitting with Rita and Michelle and I'll give Rita my key to take back to the office tomorrow.


It's sad, I really enjoyed my job and my employees and co-workers. I spent 9 years with these people and they were like family. I'll miss all of them but one person. But, I'm the type of person that hates change. I would have stayed here forever, making low-mid salary and crappy bonuses. Maybe this is the push I needed. There must be something bigger and better out there for me. I wish I had the funds to open my yarn store. I think it would be a big hit in Claremore, there are tons of knitters who have to drive 50+miles to Tulsa to buy yarn. But in reality, I still have to pay the bills.


The Rogers County Fair is this weekend. I entered my Barn Raising Quilt, so maybe I'll win the blue ribbon. I'm going to go to the fair tomorrow afternoon and see if I won the prize. I'm spending Saturday with my BFF Sabina and we are going to work on my resume.




Thursday, August 27, 2009

The summer blazed by!

I can't believe that summer is almost over. It seems like yesterday that school was getting out for the summer and now the kids have all gone back to school. Chelsea's got 2 more classes to finish before she can apply for respiratory therapy program. My nephew went back to Independence KS for his second sememster and my niece is going back to TCC and wants to get in the nursing program. I have to leave the house a few minutes earlier everyday to miss all the school buses. Unfortunately, this morning, the buses beat me. Why can't all the kids gather at one location to get on the bus? I was behind a bus this morning that stopped at one driveway of an apartment complex and picked up about 5-8 kids and then drove to the next driveway (approximately 20 feet) and picked up about 5 more kids. I guess it wouldn't be so bad, but why does it take the kids so long to get their seat and for the driver to take off. Then, he drove about 1/10 of a mile and picked up 2 more kids (well there were 2 kids waiting on the bus), but we had to wait approximately 5 minutes for Miss Priss to walk slowly up the street. If I had been the driver I would have told her to run or I'm leaving. I bet by the time we hit every stop, and before I was able to turn off the road, there were probably 20 cars behind me. I'm leaving early tomorrow for sure. I don't want to deal with the bus route again.

Mom and Dad came down from Colorado last week. We had a good visit. It was my great nephew's first birthday and Dad's 70th birthday (1 day apart). They headed back home Tuesday morning and Mom got a traffic ticket in New Mexico.

My sister, her friend and I are going to take a road trip to Colorado over Labor Day weekend. It should be alot of fun. I'm ready to get some new yarn from Edla.

Speaking of yarn and knitting...Rita loves the Susie Hoodie, I've started a 2nd hoodie for Leigh. Her birthday is Saturday, she won't get it on her birthday, but hopefully by mid to late September it will be ready to wear. Davy wants a black hoodie for Christmas too.

The Rogers County Fair is September 18th - 21st. I have to have the Barn Raising Quilt turned in as an entry on September 16th. That will be exciting to see if I can win something. The bad thing with this fair is that you can only enter one knitted item per person. If I were a crocheter I could enter upteen different things. There are categories for household items like dishclothes, there are seperate categories for afghans, clothing, baby, miscellaneous. But only one category for knitting. I was hoping to be able to enter the BRQ and the Susie Hoodie, but I guess I can't this year. I think I'll have to put a bug in the decider the the categories ear and see what happens.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Susie Hoodie is FINISHED

Actually I finished it about a week ago. I made the XL size and the plan was that this would my sister's birthday present. Her birthday is August 29th and it would be perfect for her to wear to the football games. So, I worked my fingers to the bone to get it ready for her. By the way it turned out gorgeous.

Once I had attached the sleeves, I had my daughter slip it on just so I could see it hang. I got a little worried because my daughter is no where near an XL size, she's a medium at best. But it looked like it would be a comfy size on her. You know, when you can overlap the sides in front of you and cuddle up. This concerned me, so I tried it on. My sister and I are about the same size except my boobs are bigger and the front panels didn't meet together. I could pull it together, but then it looked a little stretched. Okay, now I've knit this entire sweater and half of the hood and it's not even going to fit her. But I continued hoping that once the hood was complete a miracle would occur and the sweater would be the perfect size. Well, it didn't happen.


I brought the sweater to work with me, because we were having our girls night knitting that evening. I let Rita try it on. Now, Rita is about 5'10 and probably weighs 150ish. It was like the sweater was made for her. It fit perfect, the length was right, the sleeves were right, everything was right. We were standing in the bathroom looking at the full length mirror and I just said "Happy Birthday" (here birthday was August 10th). Her eyes got wide and her mouth fell open. "Are you serious? You can't give this to me, it's for your sister!" I told her I'd make my sister another one. This sweater wouldn't have fit her anyways and I want it to be worn and loved. "She said, I'll love it and wear it all the time."

Sorry Sister...I'll try and get yours finished by Christmas.


Here are some pictures of Rita modeling, she hates getting her picture taken and didn't want me to get her face in the pictures, but I had to get at least one with her smiling and happy about the new sweater.







Friday, July 31, 2009

Happy Friday

I'm the only one in the office this morning so I've been doing the Friday Happy Dance around the office. It's a lazy Friday, so not much real work is getting done. But hey, I worked really hard the other four days of the week.

Let's see, what's been going on in my world? Well, the most important thing is that Hayden is getting cuter and smarter everyday. He love riding on the lawn mower with anyone who will give him a ride. It's so cute to see him great you at the door, with his arms raised high, and shaking his hands as he continues to say "maw mo ah" until you pick him up and start the new John Deere.

The other day he found a really old picture of my sister and her family probably from 1993 or so, he picked it up and pointed to Brent, he looked at me and said "Bumpy? Bumpy?" I said yes, actually shocked that he could tell that the skinny young man in the old picture was Brent. Then he pointed to Alyssa's (my niece) and said "Sissa?" The only resemblence from the picture of a 5 or 6 year old to now is the red hair. But he's a smart little boy and he loves his Maamaw.

Yesterday, we had a guy show up in the office, he's been coming around for several years but I don't know his name. He peddels knock offs, Coach bags, wallets, sunglasses, etc. Well, I hope they're knock offs and not stolen. I bought three pairs of sunglasses for $20 bucks. He was supposed to come back today during our lunch hour with new purses in different colors. He also sells "blackmarket" DVD's not sure how he's getting his hands on these movies, since some of them haven't even come out on DVD yet. I didn't buy any, but the last time he came back with his wares, a couple of the girls bought some of the movies. I guess you get what you pay for...the movies are $5.00 each, but the lip syncing is off, so it's like watching a old Japanese movie. And, occasionally something will flash on the screen, Rita said it flashes so fast she can't make out what it says. It reminds me of a Seinfeld episode, but at least you can't see people standing up and you don't here whispering or laughing while you're watching these $5.00 gems.

So, do you watch Big Brother? I'm totally obsessed this season. Well, maybe not totally, I haven't bought the live feeds yet. But I do stay up until 2am in the morning watching Big Brother After Dark. I know who won the HOH, I know who's on slop and I love sharing everything I know, but I won't do it here, because some of you might not want to have the show spoiled for you.

On the knitting front...I'm determined to finish the Susie Hoodie this weekend. I've finished the body and I've started on the hood. My next project will be to design a cardigan style hoodie for my son. He's really the only person in my family who appreciates my knitting talents. I've never designed a sweater, but I'm going to give it my best shot. It's name to expand my designer wings and maybe even get published some day. Wouldn't that be cool!

Well, it's about time for lunch so I'll talk to you guys later.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Susie Hoodie

Progress Report:

I've been working on the Susie Hoodie for a little over a month and I think I'm about 60% finished. Notes: A few things that helped me stay on track.

A. I ended up having to write down the rows, like
r1 - cable row 6
r2 - p
r3 - cable row 8
etc. I would check mark each row as I finished it. This way if I sat my work down and came back I'd know which row I left off on.

B. I wish I would have researched the pattern a little bit more before I jumped in. When I got to the cuffs on the sleeves, I did it just like the pattern said, which in hide sight seemed screwed up, but I just kept on going. Check for errata before starting. It turned out okay, you can't tell because of the way I stitched the cuffs. Also, when knitting the sleeve, I had to make sure and use my row counter because there are so many repeats that I didn't want to screw up.

C. When working on the waist increases...do a little research on how you want to do the M1. I've always, well almost always considered when a pattern says to increase that it meant to knit in front and back unless otherwise noted and a Make 1 (even though it's an increase) was considered to be knitting the bar between the stitches. Well, if you do it this way, it will make a hole in your work. Someone told me I should have picked the bar up from the back with my left needle and knitted it twisted. Unfortunuately, I didn't stop and try to find out a better solution, I just kept on going, assuming that's what the designer wanted. I wish I would have watched the Cat Bordhi video on increasing before today. She talks alot about family, like the stitch on the needle is the daughter, and the one below is the mother and the one below the mother is the grandmother, and it got a little distracting for a second until she started knitting. She didn't knit the bar between the stitches, she picked up the mothers right leg and knit that. It made a very tiny hole, but much better.

Here is a picture of the cable up close. I can't wait to get this finished. It will be really nice for someone to wear to the OU football games.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

It's because of Farkle

I have to come clean and admit that I'm addicted to that stupid dice game on facebook called FARKLE!!!! It has consumed my life, I have it minimized on my work computer just so I can pull it up and play a game between phone calls, I don't spend enough time with my Ravelry groups because I'm playing Farkle, I'm not getting my knitting finished because I'm playing Farkle and now my grandson sees me sitting at the computer and he runs over because he wants to play "caukle".

Why do I have such a competitive attitude with this game, it's ridiculous!!! My sister and some of my friends play it and I can't stand it if they are ahead of me. That's why I keep playing.

I think the makers of Farkle want you to become addicted, I finally had to turn the sound off on my computer because even when I wasn't playing the game, I could hear the noise in my head that the dice make as they are rolling.

The only positive thing about this game is that it's free, because if I were spending a quarter a roll, I'd be broke and in the poor house. And, that brings up another thing, it's a free game, so why do they have it programed that if you get a really great score on round one like 2650 points that on your second round it FARKLES when rolling all 6 dice.

There needs to be a detox program and a 12 step program for Farklers...I don't think we're bad people, I just think we're sick, it's a Farkle disease. We know we want to quit and that we need to quit, but we just can't help ourselves.

Hang on, I've got to click on the cup so the dice will roll again.

SEE, see what I mean! I can't even type in my blog without having Farking Farkle pulled up on the next tab!!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Love it!


What do you think about it? I love it, the colors all blended perfectly. This is actually 2 columns wider than the pattern called for. It still needs to be blocked again, but before I do that, I think I'm going to knit 6 more squares. My original plan had been to knit 63 squares all along and make it a 56"x63", but I wanted to start another project so I decided 56" x 49" was fine. Because I couldn't block all of my squares to 7 1/2" it's not exactly the measurements it should have been. I've got so much sock yarn left over, it shouldn't be that big of a pain to knit up 6 more squares. I've already got 1 extra.
So I've decided I'm going to enter this in the Rogers County Fair. I just need to figure out who to talk to and how to get it entered.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Nothing left but the sewin'

This is a picture of the 1st half of the square that have been blocked. Look closely, do you see your donated yarn in one of those squares? I wish I knew how to make the names appear when you hover your mouse over a square. Not that I can remember exactly which person gave me which yarn, but I do remember some of them, like the dark turquoise, 3rd row from the bottom, 4th from the left came from a great competitor in the Amazing Race...Kara, or better known as Knit4ever. The bright orange with the reddish stripes on the 3rd row from the bottom. That is a joined effort. The golden orange came from Zoe, aka Tekgirl and the red stripped came from Michelle, aka Vaguegirl. See the one pink square, 2nd row from the top all the way to the right. That yarn came from Kimber, aka KnitKimberKnit. The picture makes them kind of hard to see, but I'm going to have to tag them somehow. Here's another picture of some that are still on my blocking board. See the light blue square at the top of the picture in the 3rd column? That came from my good friend in the Traveling Scarves Groups, Nancy aka MsPalmTree. She also sent the yarn for the turquoise square in the next row 2nd column. 3rd row down last column, the turquoise square with a hint of greenish yellow in the corner also came from KnitKimberKnit. In the 4th row down the 1st column, the varigated green square came from Jody26, and the denim colored stripes, came from Tekgirl. The pink in the 1st column at the bottom of the picture came from Vaguegirl.

I need to take some more pictures, I've got some other squares, I mean donors that I need to acknowledge. I'm planning on spending the weekend sewing this baby together.

Thank you all so much for your donations, and I'd like to pay it forward. If anyone wants to make the barn raising quilt, I've got lots of scraps that I can send out into the world.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Barn Raising Quilt


I don't have any pictures yet, but all the squares are knit and half have been blocked. I'm very excited to get this blanket finished.
This is a picture of the newest project on my needles... The Susie Hoodie. I'm making it with knit picks "Wool of the Andes" in cranberry color. I've completed about 20 rows, the celtic cable took a few rows to wrap my brain around, but now I'm catching on and it's moving along great. This will be the perfect sweater hoodie for this winter. I'll continue to post updates as I progress.
I should have completed pictures of the BRQ by the end of the weekend.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

It's cool to be cool

I don't know if I mentioned in my last post that our AC/Heat unit was on the fritz. It is a Geo Thermal unit, the kind that has wells buried in the back yard with antifreeze and it keeps the water circulating through it at a constant 70°. This keeps the electric bill down and helps with the hot water costs. Anyways, the guy came out on Friday, May 29th to do whatever he could to make it run. After about 3 hours, he told me he could fix this and that and it would cost approximately $3,500 and maybe last a few more years. The unit was put in the 39th week of 1985. So it's old. Or, I could spend $7,600 and get a brand new unit that will last 25 to 40 years. I told him to order the new unit.

It was a hot, muggy week and a half, but on Tuesday, June 8th, two guys showed up at the house at 8am. They worked on it until 7pm, but it's done. They did have to make a couple of adjustments. The old unit had an air return in the ceiling of our hallway with the thermostate in the hall also. This unit being brand new stainless steel (did I say, it's really pretty) has a return on the side instead of the back so they had to cut a 24"x24" hole in my dining room wall and that's where the return and thermostate are located now. I was hoping that the hole could be cut closer to the floor, but nope. It's pretty much right in the middle of the wall, which really sucks. I asked them if there was anything else they could do and they mubbled off a few things that didn't really make any sense to me. Oh, I was at work during the installation, so the mubbling took place on the phone. And they didn't tell me the hole would be 24"x24". I thought it was going to be like 9"x9" (like an air vent). It's probably alot more noticable since my walls in the kitchen and dining area are a tuscan terra cotta reddish color. I wonder if I could paint the grate?

By the time they were finished it was 91° in the house. It took several hours to get it to a comfortable 75° and it was so nice to be able to sleep without sweating.

Let's see, my son moved out into his own apartment. That left a vacant bedroom and I had some big ideas of turning it into my knitting room. I wanted cubbie shelves on one wall and I was going to have all of my yarn sorted and displayed beautifully. I wanted to put a big chair in there and a tv so I could sit back and knit. Also, I wanted to move my desk and computer into that room. My big ideas quickly dwindled when Chelsea said, so is that going to be Hayden's new room......If you've been reading my blog for very long, you might remember that a few years ago when Chelsea was pregnant. I remodeled my house for the new baby. I turned the formal living and dining room into a mini suite. Chelsea and Brennan's room was the living area and Hayden was in the dining room side. I thought about putting a wall between the rooms, but ended up running out of time and money. They have a king size quilt hanging as a room divider. So back to my original story. Chelsea wanted to know if Hayden could move into the other room. Of course I wouldn't deny my sweet boy anything and off I went to purchase new paint, curtains, a book shelf, etc. We got everything painted and set up and last night was his first night in his new room. I was a little worried that I would be up all night. But he didn't wake me up at all. I never heard him even once.

So, I think my next plan is to go ahead and put up the wall between Chelsea/Brennan's room and Hayden's old room. I'll turn his old room into my new yarn room/office.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

WOW - how time flies!

It seems like yesterday that I was typing about all the rain we've been getting. It's still raining occasionally, but but we don't need to call Noah to get the big boat out yet.

It's hard to believe that May flew by in the blink of an eye. So let's see, what's been going on this month?

The full moon run came and went. Yes, I had big plans and a goal to be able to run in the Tulsa Full Moon run this year. It didn't happen, my couch to 5k fell apart in March when I busted a rib on the baby bed. There's always next year!

Mother's Day was on the 10th, I won a Mother's Day basket from 94.1 FM, it contained a pair of Michael Kors sunglasses, a braclet, necklace, and a t-shirt. The kids cleaned the house and bought dinner.

Mom and Dad drove in from Colorado and arrived on Friday the 15th. We had a good week together, I took Hayden over to my sister's house just about everyday that Mom and Dad were here. He is still a little skiddish of everyone, but he's getting better around people he doesn't see alot. Except for Gramps, (that's my dad) I think Hayden is afraid of old men.

Yesterday was Memorial Day, didn't have a big weekend. The most excitement around our house was the air conditioner going on the fritz and the toilet backing up. To save a little money during this low economic period, we decided to do our own maintenance work. Starting with the AC, David tried to fix it, but he thinks it's a valve and he decided it was more than he wanted to try and tackle. So the AC guy is coming tomorrow morning. Then we moved on to the plumbing problem. Since all the rain we've had, our septic tank hasn't been very happy. If we flush a toilet or drain the tub, something in another room gurgles. Someone was in the shower on Sunday night and my bathroon toilet and the shower started backing up. The toilet was so close to spilling over on the floor it was scary. Monday morning, David and I decided that watching the plumber once or twice was enough experience to handle the problem ourselves. So, with our gloves and shovel, we started digging down to the septic tanks lid. Did you know, that snakes are underground? I was shocked when he dug up a baby snake. I couldn't tell if it was a baby cotton mouth or just a black snake. Do baby snakes that are poisonous have the triangle shaped head yet? Oh well, back to my plumbing story...by this time, the shovel has snapped in half and he's trying to just dig with the spade, but finally gets down to the concrete lid. Armed with the snake catcher, a big stick, two rubber gloves and 1/2 of a shovel, he pries off the lid to the septic tank.

OMG....is all I can say!

The snake catcher came in very handy with it's gripping mechanism. Apparently, Hayden has figured out that the toilet is a great place to drop things and watch them disappear. We found Hayden's baby comb. You know the cute little blue comb and brush set that you get at your baby shower? Yeah! That's it and then an entire roll of toilet paper was pulled out of the pipe. It looked like someone might have flushed a sock and some sheet rock. Yes, I said sheet rock! After a few flushes of the toilets, we made sure it was all running smoothly again before putting the lid back in it's place. Then we decided to just bury all our findings...It's now our time capsule. I'm sure we will be digging that hole up again in the next couple of years.

So that was my exciting weekend. Came back to work today, Mom and Dad left to go back to Colorado, Chelsea has been calling me all afternoon to talk about changing her major and it's now 4pm and I'm ready to go home and relax.

Monday, May 04, 2009

More rain in the forecast!

This has been one wet weekend. Friday, my town flooded, but not as bad as one of the neighboring towns. There was a drowning. A woman tried to drive through the water even though the road closed signs were up. It's very sad. As I drove home on Friday after work, I wondered what I would find as I got closer to home. The local dairy that I drive past was flooded, I don't mean a little water, I mean a freakin lake. You could just barely see the tip top of the hay barn sticking out of the water. Luckily, my road had cleared and I was able to get to the house, but the neighbors chain link fence showed the yuck and muck caught in the chain link and the water was either to the top or over the top of their fence. There is a pond in my backyard, thank goodness the house is higher than the pond, but I'm glad it was there because it took all the run off from the neighbors house.

They say we will have more rain over the next few days. I don't know if my septic tank can take anymore rain. Right now when you flush the toilet or drain the bathtub, the other toilet gurgles. Last night one of my son's friends used my bathroom at the same time my daughter was draining the tub. Bad combination, the toilet overflowed. But the worst part of this is that she didn't tell me the toilet was overflowing and just walked outside with the rest of the kids. So needless to say when I went into the bathroom about 5 minutes later, the floor was sopping wet. I could understand if she were a 12 or 13 year old, but she's like 23 years old. She just walked out and said "Thank you" and left. I don't know why she would say, "hey your toilet is messed up." At least I would have caught the mess sooner.

I didn't work on my BRQ squares at all this weekend. I was bombarded with TSG scarves. I received one from Group 39. I am the last stop for this scarf and it will be heading back to the original owner tomorrow. I meant to bring it with me today and get it in the mail and totally spazed this morning and forgot everything. I also got a scarf from Group 52, I think these are my favorite scarves. We are doing this group lengthwise, so we are each knitting on circular needles about 300-400 stitches per row. They are turning out really pretty. I then received a scarf from our Red Scarf Project. This is the charity for kids who have aged out of foster care. At valentines day the OFA puts together gift bags and gives each kid a red scarf. Last year we did this and each person sent the red yarn with the scarf and each knitter did a different pattern. This year, we are adding our own shades of red. They are turning out really pretty too. Then finally, I received my latest project the Friendship Chain Project. One of my buddies from TSG has started this group. It is her plan to make the longest continuing chain for the prevention of suicide. I was lucky enough to get to start the chain, so I'll be sending my link off to the next person so she can add her link to mine. Now that I have all my special little projects finished and ready to go to the post office, I can focus on the BRQ again. My goal is to be completely finished by the end of June. Let's see if I can do it!

Friday, May 01, 2009

Spring Showers

Spring showers around NE Oklahoma really means torrential rain storms. It has been raining so hard this morning that I could hardly hear the phone ringing. The ceiling in the back office is leaking, I just hope the ceiling tiles don't fall and cause a huge mess. I've called the landlord, but who knows if he'll call me back. It's supposed to rain for four days. I wish you could hear what I'm hearing. Rita (my co-worker) called and she's stil trying to get to work, she said that hwy 69 is like a river, the water is up to the doors of her jeep right now. She just made it to work and her husband called and said they've shut down hwy 69 and that the traffic is backed up 8 miles and that people are getting their boats out to get back and forth.

Now lets talk about work...things have been looking better this week. We actually had some jobs to fill. We were able to actually place 14 people in full time jobs. That will definitely help our numbers. And, it looks like we are going to need another 20 people to start on Monday! YEAH!!!

Has anyone read the book The Shack? My sister bought it for me last summer and told me I had to read it, I told her not to buy a new book, I'd just borrow hers. She told me she didn't want to give up her copy because she's going to highlight in it and read it again. I started it, maybe read about 10 pages (actually, I don't think I made it past the Forward section) and put it in a drawer and really just forgot about it. A few days ago, my friends Sabina said, "I'm reading the best book, my sister, Pam bought a copy for me, Jackie and Monica because she didn't want to give her copy up because she's highlighting in it and wants to read it again." I said, " is it The Shack?" and she said, "OMG, how did you know?" Anyways, I found it in my drawer and decided to try and read it again. I'm about 1/2 way finished and it really is a good book. It makes you think about yourself, God and the relationship that you have with God or lack thereof. It's not a shove it down your throat book about Christianity or religion. It's just a good book. If you haven't read it, it's definitely worth the $10.00 to get a copy for yourself. I'd loan you mine, but I'm probably going to highlight in it and read it again. LOL

Now on to the really important stuff...my barn raising quilt. I've just finished square #47, only 16 more squares to go. I'm making it almost 50% bigger than the pattern calls for. I wanted it to be long enough to really be able to cover up with and not have your toes sticking out from the bottom. Rita (yeah, my co-worker and Thursday night knitting partner) has finished her 6th square and excited to get more finished.

After I get the BRQ finished I'm going to try and find a pattern for a light weight sweater, maybe with a lace pattern. Just something that I can put on in the office when the AC is turned down to 60° and I'm freezing to death.

Okay, gotta get busy and find those 20 people to start work on Monday.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sunday Squares



I hope everyone had a happy Easter day. We got up and watched Hayden open his Easter basket. He actually had more fun throwing the grass around than anything else. But he was introduced to Hershey's Kisses which he calls cacalot (chocolate). He ate a half of a kiss and then another and we put the rest of the bag up for later. I bought him a cute little blue monkey that was wearing rabbit ears, and some Easter stickers. He loves stickers now, he likes to stick them on everything and can play for an hour or longer with 1 sticker, he calls them ditters. I forgot to get the peeps, but it's probably better, he doesn't need all that sugar.

The kids went to Brennan's grandpa's house in Jennings for the afternoon. It rained most of the morning and into the afternoon.

I started to make a ham and all the fixin's for an Easter dinner, but since it was just me, David and Davy I decided we really didn't need all that food. So instead I made chicken breast with rice and then some brocolli and cauliflower on the side. I really didn't have a recipe, but it was pretty darn tasty. I put some rice in the bottom of a casserole dish, covered it with cream of mushroom soup, place the cut up chicken breast on top, poured some chicken broth over the whole thing and then dobbed some green chilis over the top of the chicken. Added some poultry seasoning, and pepper and baked it covered for 1 1/2 hours at 300°.

After we ate, I started working on my squares again for my barn raising quilt. I finished #35 last night. I wish I had kept better track of the square that came from yarn donated by my Ravelry friends. I'll have to go through them and see if I can remember which square came from what yarn. But I was smart enough to start keeping track with the ones I just finished. This is the square that came from the beautiful Koigu yarn that Mspalmtree (Nancy) sent to me.

Isn't it pretty? I love the colors and it is going to blend so well with the squares I've already worked up. This was also the first time I'd knitted with Koigu. It's quickly become one of my favorites to work with. She also sent me another skein that I'm going to start of very soon.

I've got another picture of a square that was from donated yarn. Well actually this yarn was won in a bet. I'm involved with the Ravelry pool (The Amazing Race). It's a pool where each person who signs up is assigned one of the teams racing on the show. The object of the game is to be assigned to the team who wins the race. All the other members of the group will then send the winner a prize valued between $15 and $20. It's a lot of fun. So I was assigned the cheerleaders, Cara and Jaime. One of my buddies Knit4ever (Kara) was assigned the blond flight attendants or STEWS for short. We had a little side bet going that the first team out between the two of us would send the other an extra gift. My cheerleaders outlasted the Stews and this is the yarn that Kara sent to me. It's Panda Wool, another that I've never used before. It's so soft, I'd like a sweater out of it. But I don't think I could ever
afford to buy that much of it to actually make myself a sweater, I'll have to stick with socks.

I had also gotten some sock blanks and started dying them. I've got pictures of the blanks on my stash page in Ravelry. But I decided it would be a while before I got around to actually making myself socks and really wanted to use some of the yarn for BRQ squares. I seperated the 2 strands and wound them up. I used the "Northern Lights" for this square and I think it's one of my favorites in the whole bunch. The funny thing is that this dye job was a total mistake and a flop, but the finished square is gorgeous. I'm going to have to block some of these pretty soon and start trying to figure out the best color scheme and sew them together in strips.

I hope everyone has a really good week and I'll try and post again really soon!

Teresa

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Medication and Insurance Companies

Okay, I just posted a nice fun post, but now I'm irritated. As you all know, my daughter got married a couple of weeks ago and you also know that she has been diagnosed with a seizure disorder (epilepsy, is what they are calling it but they don't really know). Anyways, when she was on my insurance her medication was a $50 co-pay. On her husbands insurance, they are telling her it's going to be $86.44. When she told me that it made no sense at all because, I had contacted the pharmacy before she got married to find out the cost of the medicine without insurance and was told $150 something dollars. Her new insurance card states that prescriptions are as follows: Tier 1 - $10, Tier 2 - $20, Tier 3 - $30, all other 20% copay. Okay $86.44 is more than 1/2 the cash price. So I called the pharmacy, I know, she's married now and an adult with a child of her own, but I'm still her momma. Anyways, I called the pharmacy and they are now telling me the cash price is $331.72 for a 1 month prescription. What the hell happened in the last 3 weeks???? Okay, so if her medicine is that much and she has to pay 20% that's only $66.34, where is the other $20.10 coming from. The pharmacist technician, Mandi, told me that I would have to contact the insurance company because everything is done online and that was the price she was given. Chelsea called the insurance company and found out that her medication is actually a Tier 3 drug and should be a $30 co-pay. Wait, Chelsea just called me back and was told that because she has to take 100mg per day and the pills are 25mg each it is basically a double prescription each month and the price will be $86.44. I don't understand that at all, if it's a Tier 3 and should be a $30 co-pay, even doubled would only be $60. What a rip off.

Now my question, what if she didn't have insurance? How in the world is someone supposed to live with a siezure disorder and carry on a 1/2 way normal life if they can't afford $331.72 a month for medication. I guarantee you that the insurance company isn't paying near that for the prescription. They are probably only paying 1/4 if that. It's so sad, but shouldn't it be the other way around. I know Wal-Mart has the new $4 prescriptions, unfortunatly her medication isn't on that list.

Okay, my rant is over.

Did you get fooled?

I went all day long yesterday and nobody tried to get a joke on me until I had already left work. I stopped at the tag office to pick up the car tag and left my phone in the car. I came back out about 30 minutes later and had 5 missed calls. Just seeing that the calls were all from Chelsea and David made me panic just a little bit and when I noticed that they were all within minutes of each other I really started getting nervous. My mind started spinning out of control and all I could think was something has happened to the baby.

I immediately called David and he asked if I'd talked to Chelsea. I told him not yet and asked what the heck is going on. He said, "You know the wooden spoon that 'little dude' (Hayden) likes to carry around?" and I said "Yes". He said, "Well it's found a new home." I was confused and asked him what he was talking about. He replied with "Well let me just say, I can't move the big screen TV by myself." I gasped and said, "Is he okay?" "Yes, he cried, and it scared him when it popped and sparked, but we got him calmed down." All I could picture was him sticking the wooden spoon through the screen and hurting himself. It's not a glass screen, but I thought maybe he could have been shocked. David told me that the screen was ruined and the spoon had fallen inside and messed something up and the TV was dead. I guess once I realized that the baby wasn't hurt, I really didn't care about the TV. I just said I'd have Davy and Brennan move it out and put the TV from the bedroom in it's place. (The big screen is old, probably from 1995) I've been wanting a new TV anyways. After I hung up with him, I called Chelsea to check on Hayden. She informed me that it was April Fool's Day and it was Dad trying to get me. Okay, ha ha ha, you got me.

On to the important stuff, like knitting.

I've been working on my barn raising quilt and I've got 30 squares finished. The pattern calls for 42 squares but I think I want to make it a little bigger so I'm aiming for 56 squares. If I knit when I get home, I can usually get a square finished in about 3 hours and depending on what's going on during the weekend maybe 2 or 3 finished. This is Chelsea and Brennan's wedding present from me, I knew I wouldn't get it finished by the wedding, but it was a good start. When Chelsea saw the picture she asked if I could make it big enough to fit their bed. They have a king size bed and I have no idea how many squares it would take. I'm enjoying knitting the little squares because they are a fast knit and I don't get bored. I like being about to bind it off and put it in my stack of squares and start with another colorway. My plan was to have the 56 squares finished by the end of the month, but you never know, I may keep adding on squares until it will fit their bed. Maybe this will actually end up being their Christmas present. Here are some of my squares. In no particular order. What do you think?


I'm also working on a new Red Scarf for 2009. The Traveling Scarves Groups, better known as TSG has a group that is working on the charity for the Orphanage Foundation, they give scarves to all the children who were in foster care that have aged out and are now in college. Last year, the TSG - Red Scarf Project made scarves that started out as a 4x5 inch square with live stitches that traveled from person to person, each adding their own unique pattern to the scarf. All the scarves were made with the same yarn (which traveled also). This year we are going to have a free for all. Some of us are making lengthwise scarves, casting on 300-400 stitches and then each person that it travels to, will add up to 3/4" of their own red shade of yarn to the scarf. It should be very interesting, some are going with the traditional scarf like we did last year and sending their own yarn and others are going with a uniform pattern throughout but with different shades of red. The scarves officially start their travels on Saturday, April 11 and all the scarves should return back to their original starting place within 4 to 5 months as long as we don't have any snags along the way. I'll make sure and post a picture of my red scarf as it travels along.