Thursday, January 8, 2015

Why Walkabouts at the Grove Are the BEST!!!

For 12 years, The San Diego Mandolin Orchestra has delighted our customers with Christmas music during the December Walkabouts.  We love them.  It doesn't feel like Christmas until they play and once they do, their magic is infectious.  This year, we had a special visitor who increased the joy and folly of the evening (and no, it wasn't Santa). Leigh graciously captured him on video and posted his performance here. YOU MUST WATCH THIS! (Ya gotta love the 'hood!).

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

For Women Only

You may remember our spectacular San Diego Capelet designed for the 2013 San Diego Yarn Crawl.  Modeled by Judipatuti's gorgeous granddaughter, Blakely, it made waves!  Judy and I were a titch envious and so we decided it was time to make a woman's version for larger, more magnificent women (speaking for myself of course).  So we chose a new Kenzie/Luxe Mohair color combo of Boysenberry and Hot Pink which is dazzling.  Judy knit this beautiful sample, which is warmer and longer than the first.  Now I don't want to call this Grandma's version of Blakely's capelet, but it kind of is.  In a good way, though.  If Judy's damn cat*, Babies, hadn't gotten so close to the sample, I would have slept in it last night.  LOVE IT!!!

*Nothing personal against Babies but I'm highly allergic to cats.

Thursday, January 1, 2015


Ah, blessed relief!  The retail holiday season has come to an end.  It is time to rest and welcome the new year.  My desk is heaped with "I'll figure out where that goes later" piles.  And one of them is this bag full of Spring yarns my Cascade and Berroco reps have given me to play with. Of course this is the "fun" pile on my desk and the one to get my immediate attention. Now, I don't want you to feel sorry for me, but it is a titch difficult to narrow things down.  When I was new to the business, I used to say - you can't have too much yarn.  And one of my yarn reps said to me,  "Oh, yes.  You can!"  After 12 years in the biz, I finally understand that.  But again, I'm not complaining.

So how do I do it?  The first cut I make, is to remove any yarn made of cold weather fibers.  I put them in a bag labeled "possible Fall".  And then I separate the rest of the yarn by gauge.  I look at my shelves and figure out where the holes are.  Do I need fine, sport weight, etc.? Is the hole in my inventory one I need to fill?  For example, my customers don't go for typical baby yarns.  So even though that's a gap, it can be filled with Blue Sky's organic cotton, Plymouth's Cleo, or Berroco's Comfort DK.  

If the gauge is the same as my existing stock, then I look at price points.  I look at the color palettes.  And then I knit with the new yarn.  Is the hand better than what I have? Are the colors better?  Are there more colors than my existing line?  Is it a better deal?  And then I make my selection bringing in at least 6 colors in any new yarn.  I don't go too deep initially.  I wait to see if the yarn appeals to my customers and if it does, then I can go hog wild.

Now this selection process is done in the quiet of my home office.  Rationally, thoughtfully, and carefully.  But really?  Who are we kidding?  Most of my selections are made by impulse when my reps visit me in my shop.  When I hold a yarn for the first time and yell, "I MUST HAVE!" I usually go with that. Sometimes it turns out that only I must have and I know I've made a mistake. It's all a gamble.

If you have any desire for a yarn I don't carry, now would be the time to tell me!  I will seriously consider bringing in whatever you want cuz we're all in this together. 

Meanwhile, I am heaping blessings upon you for the New Year!