Tuesday, March 11, 2014


You know the emails. The ones that are meant to make your life easier, meant to remind you of important things like 25 percent off TODAY ONLY, or the ones that give you a bit of instruction on how to more efficiently utilize a certain service you subscribed to. I get emails from the company that prints my business cards (love that company. moo.com. They did not pay me to say that.), to remind me that I may be running out of my cards. Little do they know that I go through hundreds of cards only in the fall, when I go to several fiber festivals with my yarn.

It's funny how the language in those missives is always so....supportive and helpful, while all it's meant to do is generate more sales for THEM. I used to send out an email newsletter to anyone who volunteered to sign up for it, but then I stopped. Maybe my small business is staying mighty small because I'm not in people's inbox several times a week. I'll never know. Maybe I'm bad at self-promotion. I'm rather an introverted person, I like my quiet times, I like to create and dye in the privacy of my studio, and I tell you when the festivals are over I am done, stick a fork in me.
I LOVE talking to customers, I LOVE talking yarn and knitting and helping people find just the right skein. But it takes energy, and I need to make sure I have recovery time when the festival is over. That's all.

I am currently in a phase where I am barely posting on Facebook, and Facebook is reminding me in friendly messages that I could be using my page a bit better, to boost my "likes", and to help with sales. I'm just about ready to come out of my quiet phase, right after this morning's X-ray of my foot, on which I've been hobbling around for 10 days. It might be broken. We'll find out.

But I'm getting sidetracked. Those emails I was talking about? This morning I got a good one. It has to do with cloud back-up. There was a tiny generic picture of a woman checking her cell phone, as we are all prone to do now every 5 seconds. The message to head the picture was something about easy access to your files, from anywhere. Which is great! I like access to my files, anywhere! What puzzled me was what the woman was wearing. She had on a suit jacket, a mountain climber's safety helmet, a chain around her neck that may or may not have been jewelry or a lanyard for an ID card, and she was standing behind some kind of bar like the ones they have on treadmills. I THINK that they were trying to convey that she was at a job site, had forgotten certain files at the office, and was now looking them up on her phone. I was so confused about that image, first thinking that she was a mountain climber checking her phone. Then I saw the suit jacket. And that chain around her neck - completely detrimental when rock climbing.

I'm getting sidetracked again. The question I actually have this morning, is this: Why can't we be in just one place at a time any more? I miss that so much. I love being connected, I love being reachable by my daughter when she needs me, I love getting her snapchats, I like being able to follow up on etsy convos late at night when I check my phone one last time. But. I miss being able to do just one thing, and I don't know if I'll ever be able to get back to that. It's as if it's too late, once you're in the system of the almighty messages from all the social media, you can't get out. I can't imagine being able to run my business without them, so I do it, I stay connected as much as I am able to manage. Because if I don't do it, someone else will.

Tomorrow or the next day, I'll tell you how alllll this translates into my knitting.

And by the way, there's a tiny bit more yarn in the shop. ;)

incidentally, this colorway is called "climb every mountain".

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Oh shit.

I know, it's been ages since I said anything here. There are many many reasons, and I won't bore you with them now. They may or may not come out later. But do let me say that I owe much of this sudden urge to write again to my neighbor, who blogs HERE. Go back and read a few of her posts.

This morning I went to my chiropractor, as I do every two weeks. You may have witnessed me having back pain, truth is that I have had back issues since I was a very healthy and lithe, athletic teenager. It's just something I've had to deal with for over 35 years, give or take. Mostly it doesn't take much to "throw out" my back, like bending ever so slightly to straighten a table cloth. I never know when it's going to happen, I try to have good posture when sitting and standing, and do most of my lifting by the book.

So to maintain my back, I visit the chiropractor. He keeps me in line, as it were. The pain wanders sometimes, it sits in my neck and causes migraines. Next thing you know, it's in my lower back again and there's nothing left to do but to go flat on the sofa, ice pack in the small of my back.

And so I carry on.

This morning, just as I arrived, I got there at the same time as an old lady with a cane. I can call her an "old lady" because that's what she called herself in my presence. She was the kind of person who starts talking to you on sight, when you hold the door for her. We commented on the bright sunshine we were blessed with today, and how we each heard birds singing this morning, despite the well-below freezing temperatures. (The weather has been such that everyone is talking about it, we are feeling that cabin fever collectively, we are ready to get out and spend time outdoors without having to don so many layers, but at the same time we are aware that we have to be patient still. So we comment on small signs of hope, birds, sunshine.)

We walked into the office, each of us signing in and being greeted by the friendly receptionist. Each of us was going to be seen by different doctors in different rooms, and there was that moment of hesitation whether it's going to be worth it to sit down while we wait, or not. My old lady friend had a cane and a bad knee. Would it be worth the effort? She sat down. I sat next to her.

Not 30 seconds later, she got called up; an exam room had suddenly been vacated; she turned her head, and exclaimed: "Oh, shit."

And at that moment, I loved her even more. Some situations just call for an expletive, and if you're old and creaky and have a bum knee and a pain in your back, and sitting down and getting up is a pain in the you-know-what, then you are entitled to say "oh, shit". She didn't apologize, but went on her merry way, commenting slightly tongue in cheek that she is the life of the place and isn't everyone so happy to see her?

I was. And I sure hope to see her again some day....whether in person, or in myself.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

a trip to Germany

This past spring, I went to visit my family in Germany on the occasion of my mother's 75th birthday.

I want to spend a few days showing you some pictures.

On my first day there, we went to the Kreuzberg  and yes there was still snow on March 27th. This is the mountain where I learned how to ski from my dad when I was 4 years old.

 Kreuzberg is also a Franciscan monastery where every year thousands make pilgrimages.

Franciscan monks have been brewing beer here for 275 years.
This is the inn where I remember having lunch as a kid between ski runs. The skis would lean against this window in the court yard.

Of course we stopped to have lunch as well!

Then we went for a walk through the woods, to the summit.

Back to the car and off to a lovely cafe where we indulged again...or at least my dad did (my mom and I always bring a gluten-free snack).

 And I couldn't have asked for a better first day back home!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

happy to announce

Today I get to tell you some news --

Hook A Frog is going to take over online sales of Periwinkle Sheep yarns on June 15th!

This is a small, woman owned company who specializes in US made yarns and needles.

I've ordered from Teresa before, and I know for a fact that she sends packages with great care. Why don't you take a minute and visit her website, designed by her husband, and see what she has to offer?

I do believe we will be starting with a selection of watercolors yarns, such as these --

ignore the feet please

and if there's anything you'd like to see more of, please don't hesitate to contact either of us. I suspect we will be on the phone with each other a lot in the next couple of weeks.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

timing is everything

For two days now, a pattern has been in the top five favorites on ravelry, a pattern that uses my watercolors sock yarn. It is called Ripples by Annelie Wallbom, and was written for Serial Knitters, a LYS in Kirkland, WA, for their recent participation in a huge yarn crawl. They carry huge quantities of my yarn.

For two days I have been watching in amazement - I did not see this coming, and neither did the designer.

A minute ago, it just kind of dawned on me (testament to how slowly I process information, or how busy I've been, or how utterly amazed I am, - take your pick!) to check on my website.

Yup, over 1,000 hits today alone, presumably knitters looking for the yarn to make Annelie's shawl. You could have knocked me over with a feather, but in lieu of that, I gave myself a nice slap on the forehead. Why?

I do not have the required yarn in stock.

This realization is the ultimate irony, as just a few days ago I decided to change my business plan and go mostly wholesale. I will continue to be a physical presence, yes, at fiber festivals. But I will no longer have the online retail portion of my dyeing. It will be given to another business, tba very soon, and I will sell wholesale to her, and you can place orders from her, wherever you are and whenever you want.

The stock on my website was never quite what I wanted and needed it to be, I never really had the time to photograph all the colorways properly and upload everything and make it look like a great online shop. Instead, my wholesale business has increased steadily, and I am quite happy with that.
I will pursue this side of the business more and more, as much as I am able without making the shops wait forever for a shipment.

Except for one colorway, I do not have the required yarn for the Ripples shawl in stock, because I have let my stock dwindle. And then I get a thousand seekers, and they find nothing.

I just put a pre-sale option up on the site, so if there's still a knitter out there that hasn't tried to find the yarn, it IS available to you. Also, if you don't care for the original colorway, please let me know. In addition, feel free to call any of the yarn shops listed here. You may be just in time.

Monday, May 20, 2013


I have not blogged in so long. Now I've started to have the itch again. This photo was taken a couple of days ago in the parking lot of one of our local colleges.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

We have a winner!!!

I put the number of comments in the random number generator and came up a winner!!!!

The two skeins of merino dk in "fields of summer"

go to - wait for it -


Congratulations Cailin!!!

My email is periwinklekarinATgmailDOTcom -- please send me your address, I appreciate it!