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Friday, December 25, 2009

Kung Fu Christmas


Merry Christmas Everyone!

It is 4:00 AM on Christmas morning and I am wide awake and excited. I remember being a little kid and waking up at the crack of early on Christmas morning full of excitement for the long awaited Big Day! But, I have no “Big Day” plans or expectations for today, there is no Christmas stocking full of trinkets to discover, there are no presents under my tree to unwrap (in fact, there is no tree), so why am I excited and up so early?

The answer my friends is in a quote from the movie Kung Fu Panda.
You are too concerned about what was and what will be. There is a saying: yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the "present."

I watched Kung Fu Panda last night. A dear friend recommended it and she has always steered me in the right direction. As you loyal blog followers know, I have been conducting my own home study on personal growth-trying to figure out how to make the most of each day with the resources I have, trying to find “Awesomeness” like the Panda.

In an hour and a half, this sweet, entertaining, enlightening movie summed up everything that I have found after spending the last few weeks reading library books, googling the internet, “connecting” with people, meditating, and making some major attitude changes. Spoiler alert- if you haven’t seen the movie and plan to-don’t read the next sentence!
“There is no secret ingredient. It's just you.”


Today truly is a gift- I don’t have to be anywhere at a certain time, I don’t have to do anything! I think I’ll enjoy my morning coffee, knit, nap, knit some more and finally venture over to Janet’s for our Christmas Festivous. Who knows how my day will unfold-it is full of possibilities and "One often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it."

I came home last night after a exhausting 4-day trip to find my mailbox and front door littered with gifts and cards, my phone was full of messages containing invitations that included me in Christmas festivities. I found my “Awesomeness”! Thank You!

“To make something special you just have to believe it's special.”

Enjoy this special day with special people-I know I will.

Skadoosh!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Ordinary vs. Extraordinary


This personal growth stuff is really powerful stuff! And I like it!

I’ve always done physical exercise like yoga, running, weight training, adult competitive kickball, etc. to strengthen the body. Now, I’m exercising my mind and spirit to build my inner strength and attain some personal growth. This is something that I'm going to do from now on and it requires practice, time and energy. I am so very lucky to have wonderful personal trainers like Janet, “Not Steve” and so many of you to guide me and who lead by example.

I know that this is going to be a slow process with tremendous rewards and some aches and pains. But, I have grown more in just a matter of weeks than I have in twenty years.

Many of you may be asking “What do you mean?”
Well, for starters, Janet and I developed a mantra, “Aim Low.” We figured that any step forward would be a success, even if it is only one tiny step in the right direction. Instead of feeling the weight on the world on our shoulders at all times, we would break the world down (in my case the world consists of lots of To-Do piles) into tiny pieces and deal with each piece one at a time.

In the last blog, I blabbed about being stalled in our website and book writing efforts. The next day, I opened my brain extra wide and the website question, “What is Knitwits?” was answered. Janet must have done the same thing, she came to work with several pages for our book. We found our direction and focus again and we can now keep moving forward. Our roadblock has been unblocked!

Then, I put a little extra into my flying duties. I interacted and made connect with my passengers and crew instead of just trying to do my job and get through the trip. I enjoyed getting to know the different people on each flight and it put the fun back into flying again. When you spend most of your time doing something, you better have fun doing it!

My last example is a biggie. I took the first step in mending fences with my family. For many reasons (some known and some unknown), my family and I have grown distant and remote. We’re not great communicators and our pride built walls around our true feelings. There was a perpetual pattern of my mother talks, we listen, we get mad, she gets her feelings hurt. To avoid this cycle, we just stopped talking to each other. I sent an e-mail to my mother, brother and sister-in-law about my Christmas plans to stay in the 41017 and included that the best gift for me would be to forgive and be forgiven for any differences we may have, set pride aside and repair this family unit. I received immediate responses back-all wishing for the same gift!

I read a quote the other day and I want to share it with you all:

"The only difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra." Jimmy Johnson

Isn't this why we knit!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Personal Growth


It fascinates Janet and I that the state of Knitwits parallels our personal lives so closely. We have stalled in our attempts to write a book and design a new website for the shop and we have stalled in our personal growth. Our ideas, desires and dreams keep flowing, but nothing is coming together.

Writing our book and designing our new website forces us to define what Knitwits is. We can't seem to get our arms around "What is Knitwits?" Knitwits is such a big part of us that the "What is Knitwits" question has stifled us and snowballed into personal reflection about ourselves.

(It's going to start getting a little New Age-ish here-but bear with me.)
Janet and I had a heart-to-heart talk the other day and we discussed and shared our somewhat beaten down states of mind. We both want growth for the shop and our souls. We both want happiness from the shop and our spirits. We both want something more from the shop and our lives. Instead of waiting for change to magically happen, we vowed that for change to occur--we had to change. So thus begins our journey.

(Now, it gets pretty deep-again, hang in there.)
I have never given much thought to personal growth until recently. It causes you to become very reflective and analytical. I'm trying to get to know myself again by making myself a friend and having conversations with my clone. Some exchanges are very powerful, others are subtle, many are painful, some pleasurable, sometimes the messages are cloudy and sometimes they are amazingly clear. While this may sound totally insane, it has been very helpful to me. I'm a whole week into this personal growth thing and I think I'm onto something good.

This last trip, I tried to connect with my passengers and fellow crew members instead of maintaining a professional yet disconnected air. The difference was amazing and rewarding-many high points and one low point. But, I know that it's a long, slow process that will occur with little changes and many readjustments that will have to be practiced.

For me, this blog is therapy-I get to sort out all of the disjointed noise in my head and try to put these thoughts together and share them with you, our loyal blog readers. Thank you for reading, this is much cheaper than therapy.

I've digressed. Now, to get back on track. "What is Knitwits?" Many have told us that Knitwits is a yarn shop that is fun and special because of Janet's caring heart, her colorful personality, her good energy, her flair and keen eye for color and concept and her self confessed lack of advanced knitting knowledge. If anyone can help us define Knitwits for our book and website, the phone lines are open and the comment box is ready!

Watch us grow and prosper in 2010!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The True Meaning of Knitwits


The blogs have been kind of blah lately because I haven't been feeling very chipper. The end of Daylight savings time, the return of cold weather and putting together 2010 budgets and plans for the shop have taken a toll on me. I'm like one of our Dancing Flowers, I need to be removed from the box and given sunlight to operate and do my thing.

Yesterday was my day to have a pity party for myself. I don't do it very often (thank goodness) and I try to do it in the privacy of my own Kleenex box. I've been dealing with "Big Girl Stuff" like car trouble (no heat) and the furnace in my condo not working properly (I have to choose between heat or hot water). HVAC and cars are waaaaaay out of my area of knowledge (kind of like IT) and waaaay out of the comfort zone for this "always cold in the summertime" gal. Give me lace weight yarn and a complicated cable pattern in German that calls for chunk weight yarn and I'll some how figure out a solution. Give me something with a motor, coils, power source and switches and watch me revert to a child.

Well, yesterday I went childlike and had a pity party with tears and all. If you find the need to do this, do it at Knitwits. I had offers from Janet, Jill and Belinda (and many others) to move in with them until the warm weather returns. I had offers to borrow vehicles, have vehicles donated, offers for rides, bus passes and more. People offered to pay for repairs, loan space heaters, bring over coats, buy Slankets and everything else (chocolate cake and cheesesteaks) imaginable. You are all too kind and generous and I am not used to such caring and giving. I touched me to tears.

While I was having my pity party about being cold, I listened to others in the shop sharing stories about their lives. They too had come to the shop for comfort, to escape and perhaps find an ear that would listen. My problems suddenly seemed so small and selfish.

What was different about yesterday was that I opened up. The usually closed up and in control me asked others for help, guidance and advice. I got a lot of it from lots of different sources and your caring souls warmed me up. I let go of control and let tears and emotion flow.

I stopped at Janet's after we closed up shop. She gave me an early Christmas present...a warm and cozy Slanket. I then came home after my emotion filled day and the heat was on and working. Instead of putting another layer of clothing or my new slanket on when I walked in, I took my coat off.

Amazing things happen when you open up and let go of control and amazing things happen at Knitwits.

Knitwits is so much more than a yarn shop--it is a place that makes you feel like you belong, it is a place that helps you create what you never thought you could make, it is a place filled with your knitting family, it is where true friends are made.

If balance sheets and P/L statements had columns for caring, sharing, mercy and kindness, we'd really be on to something good! Thank You Janet for opening the doors and allowing us to be a part of your vision.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Back in the 41017



It felt like I've been away for 2 weeks but it was only a 4-day trip. Glad to be back in the 41017!

I'm still knitting up a storm--I knit the little Christmas tree on Thanksgiving Eve, his crazy Dr. Suess-like brother on Thanksgiving Day. The patterns are fun and they should be in the shop anyday now. I knit the Candy Cane Hat with two skeins of Mission Falls 1824 Superwash wool from the Holiday Handknits book. It is pretty easy and quick--a two-hour mechanical delay and a flight from JFK to Houston and back to JFK--boom done.

Also in the works are a Baby Alpaca Hat and a Inca Marl and Bee Sweet Cowl. I didn't bring the right needles so both of these projects got put on hold while I was away.

I'm going to have to put the needles down while I'm home this week, the end of year paperwork and planning for 2010 are quickly knocking down my door. It's hard to believe that we're already in December. For 2010, we have some great ideas to keep you and your knitting needles busy. Stay tuned for more details.

For now, we have lots of last minute gift ideas and some fun shop activities and festivities. Read our e-mails for all the details. I'll be back in blog form after I go through my mail, pay bills, unpack and do laundry.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Gratitude


Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. In fact, it is the only holiday I really like. I can't believe it's here already--I last remember celebrating the Fourth of July. Time is going way too quickly. I'd like to reschedule and postpone Thanksgiving for another week or two.

For many reasons, I'm not very excited about this year's Thanksgiving. Perhaps it just arrived too soon, and perhaps it has been an especially rough year. Time, money and motivation seem to be in short supply. My family in Atlanta will be feasting without me. It is too difficult to fly standby to Atlanta at anytime let alone during a holiday. I didn't even check the flights. Keeping up with my two jobs (Comair and Knitwits) has kept me incredibly busy. All that aside, why am I just not feeling it this year?

To answer that question, I've been reviewing my mental list of things that I am thankful for and my long list keeps growing--family, friends, a home, jobs, yarn, plentiful food, laughter, my MacBook, health....on and on. At the top of list sits our beloved Knitwits. I am overwhelmed by the number of invitations to Thanksgiving dinners I have been offered by my Knitwits family and friends. I am grateful beyond words. Knitwits stands for so many things that I enjoy--knitting, acts of service, creative thought, social interaction, use of my skills, abilities and experience, blah, blah, blah. But most of all, it is the sense of belonging that I feel at the shop. I feel very blessed to have a place like Knitwits--we do what we like, we buy what we want, we laugh and it makes me feel alive.

Blogging is very therapeutic. Through blogging I get a chance to sort out my thoughts and put words to my inner feelings. In writing this morning's blog, I realized that I have been celebrating Thanksgiving each and everyday. I am constantly thinking about the things and people that I am thankful for. I think about the best part of each day (thanks Not Steve), I savour each yummy meal as if it were a Thanksgiving feast and I know that I am cared for and loved by many, even though time, distance and other things may keep us apart.

I have chosen to stay in the 41017 this Thanksgiving. I am thankful that I had the choice to have the day off- many do not. I am looking forward to a yummy turkey dinner at Janet's. And, I look forward to seeing all of you!

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." -John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Needles are Clicking


I have been knitting up a storm and the knitting needles are clicking away.

Right now, my condo looks like a little knitting factory. This week I knit a little kid's sweater out of Plymouth Tweed. I blocked it, wove in the loose ends and everything. It's super cute and super easy!. I knit the One Skein Lima Hat because I love, love, love this yarn. I knit a Christmas stocking---good thing I only have three more to knit before Christmas. (You all know how much I enjoy knitting Christmas stockings.) And, I'm halfway through a Colourscape/Cocoon Slip stitch scarf and half way through a baby Alpaca Grande Hat. Whew! That's a lot of knitting!

Of course, there are still other projects on the needles like a kid silk haze sweater, a Felted Tweed vest, the shop owner's sweater in size medium and a Raggi sock. But at least I'm finishing some things!

It feels good to have my knit back. I had taken a little hiatus to take care of computer stuff and paperwork. The computers are up and running and the paperwork keeps piling up. C'est la vie!

The knitters at the shop have been clicking away too. Janet finished a super cute Ribbed Cowl in Misti Alpaca (this one you gotta see) and a Royal Llama cowl that ties up into a hat. Several Sock clubbers knit and kitchenered their first socks on Saturday. Mary Jo is cruising on her Cocoon sweater. Belinda has knit hats for every head in the 41017. The list goes on and on...but the finished projects are AMAZING!

Can't blab too much tonight-too busy knitting. I'll post pictures soon.
Keep the needles clicking and come buy!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

LIMA-Yarn of the Week



This week’s yarn of the Week is Rowan Lima. I can’t say enough good stuff about this yarn--I Love, love, Love It! I can't say enough good stuff about Lima. The Lima Collection pattern book has sold out but it is on order. The generous ball ( 110 yds) for $12.75 is a little pricey-but I think the finished product is worth it.

Lima is a new introduction from Rowan for Fall 2009. The Kosher Cowbay showed us this yarn in the Summer. The ball was somewhat unimpressive but the knitted swatch sold us and we all ooowed and aahed over it. Rowan Lima is a beautiful, heathered, worsted weight yarn with a unique hollow corded construction for maimum loft. It is incredibly light and airy. It is 84% baby alpaca,8% merino wool and 8% nylon and knits at 20 sts over 26 rows for a 4" square using US #9 needles. Yardage is 110 yards per 50g ball.

I knit a little half sweater in it and I just finished designing a one skein Men’s Hat. The hat is a really quick knit-no frills hat, designed for the man who is more function than fashion. It is fairly loose fitting to prevent "hat head", ear covering for warmth and compact enough to fit in a pocket when not worn.

I knit the hat in the round on a #7 needle. It was fun to design and fast to knit but I had to do a little tinking (aka: ripping out, tink is knit backwards) because I wanted to make the most hat from my treasured ball of Lima. Lima is a little difficult to tink-so try to avoid the process. When I knit it again I may use a #8 needle to make it slightly bigger.

Treat yourself and your special guys to a skein of Lima. This weekend (let's start the weekend on Friday), Rowan Lima will be 20% OFF and we'll throw the One Skein Hat Pattern in for FREE.

Come Buy!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Words


In an attempt to make a dent in the ever growing “To Do Pile”, I have resorted to diversion.. some may call it procrastination. I figure that if I can make some progress in other areas, I will feel a sense of accomplishment and I will then have the mental energy to tackle my awaiting To Do List.

My current diversions include iPhone Scrabble with Not Steve, crossword puzzles, knitting up a storm, reading and watching countless dvd movies.What do all of these diversions have in common? WORDS. Yep, I said words. I have forgotten how fascinating and lovely words can be and how much I enjoy them. I was taking them for granted.

I like to start my day doing the USA Today Crossword puzzle. I think of this as an indicator of how my day will go. As an ongoing activity, I have "Words with Friends", an iPhone app that allows you to play interactive Scrabble with others. This activity certainly changes how you view words and letters. I am so obsessed that I now look at words and calculate their Scrabble point values.

I like to watch DVDs with the English subtitles on. Why? Because I love to read words and I sometimes don’t catch everything the characters are saying. While watching Pride & Prejudice (thanks Krista), I also picked up several useful words for Scrabble.

Why I’m I sharing this? Because I found that knitting is similar to the fascinating world of words.

Knitting stitch patterns are created by the combination of knit and purl stitches used, just as words are combinations of letters. When I read a knitting pattern or chart it is like figuring out my crossword puzzle. What are they really saying? I figure out the directions one clue at a time. I have been working with Mary Jo on our Cocoon Sweaters and I have to admit, the directions are really quite cryptic (17 points-good scrabble word). Together we decipher (16 points) the instructions and abbreviations and hope we get the right stitch count and the right measurements. Sometimes we solve the puzzle, sometimes we're stumped.

If only we received bonus points for SSKs, M1s and YOs! I think a good cable deserves a bonus like a "Double Word Score".

Monday, November 9, 2009

Putting IT in KnITwITs


I often blab about not getting IT-meaning information technology or whatever IT stands for. Well, I still don't get IT but somehow Knitwits now has and uses IT.

My new MacBook makes it easy to get IT, cuz I don't have to do IT-the MacBook just gets IT. My iPhone keeps me in constant contact with IT. Having Krista on board makes IT easier, she gets IT. She put Knitwits on Facebook with just a few keystrokes. Became a Fan and get instant updates and posts. Our new e-mail system called Mad Mimi uses IT. All we have to do is enter the text and Boom Done, you guys get a snappy looking e-mail and we get feedback on who's reading the e-mail, who isn't, and who's not getting the e-mail with the address we have. I love IT!

We are so into IT that we even have our staffing calendar on-line. I still manage to show up even when I'm not scheduled but I'll soon catch on. We are so into IT that we were featured in an local on-line lifestyle magazine called Cincy Chic. I'll post the link later so you don't wander off just yet. But, make sure to take a look. (I'm a little late-they have a new issue out already. Go to archived issues at the top and press on November 2nd.) Thank goodness they didn't use the picture of my hands!

We still have a long way to go with this IT thing...but we're getting there. Next on the list is updating our website. We cringe every time someone mentions that they were on our website but we're slicking it up and updating the info (it still has our old address and hours).

With this blog, Facebook, Ravelry, Mad Mimi, e-mail and other assorted IT options we have so many ways of sharing information with the world at our fingertips. IT is a very powerful and wonderful tool. IT is also very inexpensive if you have a computer or iPhone/Blackberry or all of the above.

If you're not yet on Facebook or Ravelry, I strongly suggest that you join. You can use it as much or as little as you like and it's FREE! You can control who can contact you and what information is given out. It's a great way to stay in touch with friends and family and reconnect with friends from yesteryear.

That's IT for now....you are now free to go to www.cincychic.com , www.ravelry.com and Facebook.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Blog Blab



What is Black and White and Read all over? Well, it's our little Knitwits Blog!

This little blog has really taken on a life of its own. I am amazed that we have so many loyal readers and followers and I am shocked by how many responses we get to new posts, pictures, and comments or the lack of all of the above. I even have attained pseudo-celebrity status at the shop because of the blog. It's weird and very cool at the same time.

I love that there are no blogging rules and regulations that I have to follow. I get to blog whenever I want, about whatever I want and from wherever I am. There are days that I want to blog all day and there are times that I am a bad blogger and nothing gets posted for a week or so. My favorite time to blog is really late at night. That way I know that Rita Arthur will have a new post waiting for her in the morning. When I fall a little behind in my blogging, I hear about it thanks to all of you loyal but high pressure readers/addicts.

There is no rhymn or reason to when I blog or what I blog about. It just kind of happens. It started out as a way to jot down thoughts for our Knitwits book. (I also wanted to be appear young and cool like Sarah Haney's hip hop happening friend Brittany in Charlotte, N.C.) She is also why I'm on Facebook and I tried Tweeting. Gosh, to be half my age again!

I often get blog related comments like, "Are you The Junko from The Blog?", "I check my computer every morning to see if you blogged (Rita Arthur)." or "Were those really your hands? " (heard 3 times), or "My husband said he would help...but only if you blog about him" (2 anonymous spouses). But, my favorite blog comment is, "Love the blog!" That one never gets old.

Well, I gotta run. I'm in Detroit on my way to Providence RI, back to Detroit, and then to CVG. Boom Done. Four days of flying, all but one sleeve and seaming of a new sweater completed, ate way to much airport and greasy food----feels like I've been gone forever but it's only been four days. I'll be in the shop tomorrow.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Helping Hands


What the Heck? Apparently, I borrowed these hands from a one hundred year old woman. Last week, Janet and I had a photo shoot for Cincy Chic, an local on-line lifestyle magazine. They took some pictures and e-mailed us the proofs. I got proof that I need to do some serious moisturizing!

I've titled this blog "Helping Hands" because we have been very blessed to have so many willing and able hands helping us at Knitwits. There is our Handsome Bill, who has just been recruited for pumpkin removal and disposal after generously gifting us the behemoth pumpkin. There is Comair Steve, who after reading the blog about Handsome Bill sent me a e-mail with just a hint of jealousy as noted by signing off "Formerly Steve". Of course, there is Handy Steve of Belinda and Steve who is going to be "part-time Steve" as he has taken a new (paying) position at Beechwood School. We wish you all the best and know that you'll look after our little Knitwits. Pandora Steve has been a little scarce lately but we know that you're only a knock away. "Not Steve" has been giving us a hand with the new computers and keeping me sane-while at the same time making me insane. There are many others...too numerous to name...but, Chris, Jim, Dick, John, Harold, Andy and all the other husbands/others who loan us your girls-Thank You.

How can such a little shop need so much help? How can so many people be willing to help our little shop? Is it better to offer help or be helped?

I've only mentioned the men tonight because it is easier to start there. All of you (staff, friends, faithful customers, blog readers, Bills, Steves, Not Steves and UPS/FEDex guys) bring so much to the shop and make Knitwits a remarkable, rewarding and magical place. Random acts of kindness occur every time someone walks through our door. Yesterday, someone (Brooke?) left us a bottle of super duper, non-greasy, non-smelly hand lotion-boy, am I loving and needing that! I sure hope that Knitwits is able to offer helping hands to all of you in return.

Not Steve always asks me "What was the best thing that happened today?" At first, it was a little annoying and hard to answer. Now, I think it's nice to reflect upon the many good moments and pick the best single bright spot of the day. Not Steve's question is much easier to answer when I've been at Knitwits. Your many helping hands provide many Best Things.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Knitting Lesson


After being away from flying for almost 3 weeks, it was a little rough getting back in the jumpseat. It feels good though. I had a 3-day trip, a day off and now I'm on day 3 of a 4-day trip. Somehow, this feels more normal to me. There has been so much going on at Knitwits, that the distance helps put things in perspective.

I took up knitting when I started flying 12 years ago. My knitting has been the one constant factor in my flying career. The cities are always changing, the crew you fly with always change, the rules and procedures change, but my knitting has been my constant and loyal companion. It fills the time when flights are delayed, it makes time in the hotel room enjoyable, and I have something to show for otherwise unproductive time. Knitting quiets my brain and makes order out of chaos.

Knitting has changed me. I am a much more patient and methodical person because of knitting. Knitting is a very simple process, it becomes more complex with the desire to achieve something beyond the basic knit and purl. From the get go, knitting has been very easy for me - I just seemed to get it. I can crack the code of reading and understanding patterns, decipher charts, symbols and abbreviations, master the k2togtbls, sl1 pssos, and so on.
If only life were as easy!


When I run into a roadblock in my life, sometimes it helps me to look at the problem in terms of knitting. I set it aside for a little while, try to figure out what went wrong and assess my options. Do I have to rip out and do it over? Can this be saved? Is this going to be yet another UFO? What would Sue or Janet do?

The answers eventually come to me and I get back on track. It is usually a matter of deciding if this project is important enough to continue or if my time, energy (and yarn) are better used on something else.

I've been working on my Cocoon sweater and it is really a delight to knit. I have the sleeves and back done and I think I'll get a good portion of the front finished today. This sweater has an interesting motif on the bottom of the body. I had never done anything like it before. Who said you can't teach an old dog a new trick?

In life and in knitting, you're always making the same stupid mistakes but sometimes you learn something new. Let's keep the mistakes to a minimum and try to learn as much as we can about ourselves and our knitting!

(I wanted a picture for today's blog and I liked the knitting needles on this movie poster. The picture above is from a great movie called Young at Heart. Janet and Sarah and I saw it last summer at the Merrimont. I watched it again recently on DVD and it was just as enjoyable. )

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Control+Alt+Delete


With all the computer hassles we've dealt with lately, my first course of action has always been the ole' reliable Control+Alt+Delete. This term is also known in the PC world as the "three-finger salute". We often resort to these three keys with the hopes of interrupting a malfunctioning computer program. You hope that this will be the quick fix that will get you back on track. Some times it works, you press the magic three keys, reboot and voila! Sometimes, it's much, much more serious..... like a malfunctioning motherboard.

Don't you wish more things had a Control+Alt+Delete function. It would be nice if my car had this feature. Or if I had a headache, I could give myself the three finger salute and suddenly feel better. There are so many times that I wished there was a chance for a fresh start, a "do-over" or a quick, painless "delete".

I was knitting my Cocoon sleeve the other day and I noticed a series of wonky stitches about 3 inches down below. I couldn't tell you what happened, but it looked bad and I wanted them to disappear. Could I not "edit", "cut" or "paste", with a couple of keystrokes and have the wonky row go away like a typo on a document? Wasn't there a magic tool, needle or "stitchcheck" that would detect wonky stitches and fix them?

Well, Control+Alt+Delete does not apply to my knitting needles, so I tinked (ripped out-it's knit spelled backwards) the offending stitches. My knitting also does not have a "save" function, so I had no clue as to where I was in the pattern. I had to keep ripping until my exact location could be found...and that was on row #4, just after the ribbing. I went from Row 47 to Row 4 in just seconds. It was kind of like the "delete" function that I'm quite fond of.

There is no magic knitting program on the computer, and Steve, Steve, Steve, Not Steve and Bill can not fix this setback. They are not knitters (yet) and I'm glad. There is nothing as soothing to me as a lovely yarn gliding over and around my knitting needles. I look forward to re-knitting the sleeve and the rest of the Sweater.

You want your computer to be fast and obedient. Can you imagine having to send all 555 eNews-emails to our mailing list by hand?

Some things are best accomplished the slow and old fashioned way. Knitting is one of those things. Sometimes you just knit wonky and you have to go back a few rows in order to move forward.








Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bill


We are very blessed to have a bunch of Steves and a "Not Steve" in our arsenal of people to depend on when we get into a pickle. They are always ready and willing to help and advise us and we love and cherish them. They have magically come into our lives to fill the voids of our knowledge, skill and abilities while providing peace of mind, good company and a lot of laughs. They don't knit (yet) but they endure our yarn addictions and like that we have our knitting and the joy it brings us.

A new face has arrived on the scene in the past few months-Bill. Bill is Krista's husband and both Krista and Bill have become important members of the Knitwits team, pitching in to do whatever they can. Bill can often be found in the shop accompanying Krista or alone just dropping by to take care of something we mentioned in passing. What a guy!

Bill has retrieved and installed lighting fixture, fixed locks and doors, picked up lunch, set up our new coffee station, moved fixtures and furniture and everything else you can think of. And he does it all because he can and he wants to help. I don't think we can thank him enough.

The other day, Bill was in the shop and someone asked, "Are You Steve?" He answered "No." Next question, "Are you Not Steve?" To this, he answered "No, I'm Bill." So, if you see a good-looking, tall, young, and helpful man in the shop, ask "Are you Bill?"

On Sunday, a gi-normous magic pumpkin appeared on the Knitwits patio, bearing the message "Happy Halloween". Janet and I are not really fans of Halloween but the pumpkin changed our tune. The Great Pumpkin was a gift from Bill and we love it!

To Steve. Steve, Steve, Not Steve, Bill and everyone else who puts up with us, thank you-the shop wouldn't run without you and our lives wouldn't be as full. XOXOXO.




Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Office Computer Meltsdown


Well, it happened again-the office computer has joined "Lappie" in ole computer Heaven. We came in on Tuesday and found the office computer unresponsive and without a glimmer of life. Pandora Steve tried to resuscitate it with CPU CPR but we were unable to save it.

You would think that after the motherboard meltdown of my laptop last month, we would have taken the precautions of backing up important stuff and saving all of our files and folders onto disks...but no..we didn't! That task was on my ever growing "To Do Someday When I Get Around To It List". For the most part, the only important things on the computer were the Knitwits mailing list and our library of patterns.

Without access to the current mailing list, we were unable to send out a weekly e-mail. I have a new mailing list in the works so we'll make next week's e-mail specials extra extra special. Hopefully, our new computer will have arrived and we'll be able to figure out how to use it.

Being technologically challenged makes dealing with anything computer related very difficult. When trying to decide what computer to buy to replace our old workhorse, Janet and I first selected a Dell Inspiron that came in great designer colors-we liked Tangerine.
Well, we were told that buying a computer because they looked fun wasn't always the best way to go and we would have to wait too long to get it. So, we decided to go cheap and "down and dirty"- our new HP desktop has no bells, whistles and no designer colors.

Next, the task of retrieving our mailing list was painfully agonizing. We knew we had it stored somewhere in cyberspace-but where? Our provider had no record of any on-line back up service. I scoured every piece of paper, statement and bulletin board full of notes for clues as to it's whereabouts. Nothing! Comair Steve had taken care of this and he was unavailable.

Our new POS system keeps customer names and -mail addresses, so I figured that would be the place to start building our new mailing list. But, how do you get all 1000 names and addresses into your e-mail address book? Well, trust me--importing, exporting, sorting, templating and trying to understand what "as easy as 1-2-3" instructions ain't easy!

We may have lost a few names and current e-mail addresses, but I think we're well on our way to having a new mailing list. If we pester you for your name and e-mail address over and over again, please bear with us. If you don't get our e-mails, please let us know. If you get a bunch of the same e-mails, I'm testing the new e-mail system and again-please bear with us. We're Knitwits!

Being a techno-geek, computer nerd is too hard and not fun, I'm looking forward to getting my life as a knitter/sky waitress/blogger back.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cocoon


Last week, I blabbed about Misti Alpaca Yarn. This week, the feature yarn is Rowan Cocoon. Cocoon is a gorgeous blend of 80% wool and 20% mohair that knits up beautifully on a #10 or #10.5 (3.5-4 st./inch). It is my favorite bulky yarn ever! It is incredibly soft and quick-knitting and it is perfect for sweaters, afghans, scarves, hats and you name it! After working with Hacho and size #3 needles, I feel like I'm knitting at the speed of light.

Ultra-soft merino and a subtle twist of slightly fuzzy kid mohair lends uniqueness to Cocoon and the color palette is to die for! With lovely names like Emerald, Polar, Quarry Tile, Cloud and Shale-it's hard to pick just one. There is a whole book of Cocoon projects and plenty of other Rowan patterns to pick from or gather great ideas and inspiration. Each ball 100g ball has 126 yards of loveliness and costs $16.25.



Mary Jo Rose and I decided to knit a sweater together. This is going to be Mary Jo's second sweater and we wanted an easy, quick knit, fun and fashionable sweater that would become a Fall favorite. We chose to knit Lyra from the Rowan Cocoon Collection Book (picture above). It can be made with a round or V-neck---I haven't decided which one I'm going to do but I'm doing mine in Emerald, a deep, rich, Christmas green with silver gray highlights. My size calls for 6 balls.

This morning, I sat down with a cup of coffee and cast on 29 stitches for the sleeve. Five minutes and a half-a-cup of coffee later, I had the 4 rows of ribbing done. Next thing I knew, I had 3 inches of sleeve done---and it was on gauge--I measured! Sue taught me the trick that if you start with the sleeve, you can knit and swatch at the same time. (I think she was trying to trick me into swatching). In short, I just can't stop knitting with my Rowan Cocoon!

Sorry, Mary Jo--I just couldn't wait to get started--I'm really excited about knitting with you and I had to get my needles test driving this yarn! I'll try to stop so you can catch up.

I give Rowan Cocoon 4 cups of coffee out of a possible five. I docked a cup for the price (although a 126 yd ball is quite generous.).


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Shot of Adrenaline


I've been away from flying for a whole week now and it's been a little weird. I had big plans for getting all caught up with my ever growing to do list, getting my life in order, and getting some quality knitting time in. I finally made some progress on Saturday night after too many days of getting further behind. My apologies to those who witnessed the crabbiness.

The turnaround occurred on Saturday morning while I was talking on the phone to Janet's friend Matt. He is like a shot of adrenaline and his good energy is contagious. Matt is currently working on a big website launch as are we. He and his wife, Kate, had spent some time in the shop the day before (Friday). In our phone conversation, he talked about his shop experience and the little gem that we call Knitwits. His view of Knitwits was greatly different from mine and I realized that sometimes we get too caught up in the muck and mire of things to clearly see the bigger picture.


He soaked in and captured the essence of the shop during his wife's knitting lesson with Janet. He saw the caring and sharing of a craft that we want all to enjoy, he saw everyone (except Janet and me, Janet was teaching Kate and I was too crabby) helping others with yarn selection, solving knitting problems, finding pattern ideas, etc. - and we were the only two on the schedule. He saw a world of good and endless possibility and in one brief conversation he was able to get me back on track.

After the shop closed on Saturday, I went home to my new computer and banged out the layout for our new website. After struggling with the new website design for years, the muck and mire that had paralyzed us from doing anything for years was cleared and the ideas just poured out.
Boom Done! With that task completed, the weight of everything that had been bogging me down seemed to vanish-everything seemed clearer.

When my old computer (piece of #$@*) went down, Laura and Laura's husband, Pandora Steve and "Not Steve", were in the right place at the right time. Belinda and Steve always have good timing. Having Matt and Kate showing up was a true blessing. Now, if only a little cleaning fairy would show up and get the rest of my life in order, I'd be able to get some quality knitting time in!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Misti Alpaca


If you've been following this blog for a little while, you may remember the blabs about our meetings with the yarn reps this summer for the big fall buy. For you newcomers, here's what happened in a nutshell. We met with our reps, we placed orders, we cancelled our orders, we were told by Janet to "Land This Fish!, we went to TNNA, we regrouped, we re-ordered, and we "Landed the Fish!".

Well, the Fish has Landed and the Fall yarns are now on the shelves. Each and every one of them was selected, de-selected and then they made the final cut. They are the best of what we saw. One line in particular really excited us, Misti Alpaca. We selected Hand Painted Chunky and Hand Painted sock.

Our favorite Rep. Linda (sorry Kosher Cowboy) showed us this line. She pulled out rings of the most beautiful colorways we have ever seen-we wanted them all and we wanted the rings for display. The handpainted sock was shown to us on a ring of tiny knit socks in every colorway imaginable. What a presentation! We loved the intense colors, the feel of the yarn and the warmth properties of the alpaca.

Misti Alpaca is a family-run company that was founded in 2003 and imports the finest alpaca yarn directly from Peru for the enjoyment of the North American knitter.

Here's their story. Eighty years ago the peasants who lived in remote Andean villages did not have a market for their wool and alpaca fiber. So grandfather Alberto started to buy the fiber and to look for markets in local cities. The annual sale of alpaca fiber and wool represented a large portion of peasant's income. Many of them didn't want to receive money for their precious fiber. They would rather barter for supplies such as charki (a special kind of dry meat), chuńo (freeze dried potatoes), salt, oil, coca leaves, etc. This barter system was so common that Alberto opened a grocery store in Nunoa to barter supplies for alpaca fiber.

Today the family remains linked to the alpaca industry in all its stages from raising alpacas to processing and marketing the alpaca yarn.

Their website www.mistialpaca.com has a lot more history and information as well as a slew of free patterns.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Big Sigh of Relief


Yesterday was a good day. I finished those darn Christmas stockings and I passed Recurrent Ground School! I can fly for another year and I no longer have to those stockings hanging out in my "TO KNIT" basket. I can now officially enjoy some time off.

With the big stuff (stockings, ground school and computer meltdown) out of the way, I can start knitting some fun stuff. Sure, I still have some ufo's spilling over my "To Knit" basket and an overflowing "To Do" basket of paperwork, but I really need to start knitting something new. First in line is the Jane Austen dress from Mason Dixon Knitting Outside The Lines. I'm going to do it in Mirasol Hacho. Cathy Michael made one for the "non-sock" sock yarn knitting project last year-it is adorable.
Janet has already wound the yarn and it's waiting for me on the desk. I can't wait to get it on my needles. I see this one knitting up quickly-the sewing may be another story!

I'm planning some new blog ideas including a Yarn of the Week. This week 'll blab about Misti Alpaca. We carry the Hand-paint chunky and sock. Also in the works is a Gift Registry. With Christmas just around the corner, this should help me get the Jordana Paige knitting bag instead of the Roomba.

Stay tuned and I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Awwwwwwwww....Some Time OFF


I'm back and looking forward to a long stretch of days off! I have recurrent ground school on Monday, but after that I have two and a half weeks off. I'll probably pick up some flying to pay for my new MacBook, but it's flying by choice (very different from flying the regular schedule).

Wow, Fall has blown in quickly and without transition from summer to fall. I don't quite know how to dress myself-I'm not ready to give up the flip flops and sandals. Be prepared for some interesting get ups while I figure it out.

Once I get Ground School wrapped up, I'll be ready to get my knit back on. Ground School is an annual event for flight attendants. We review policies and procedures, aircraft equipment, CPR and first aid, HazMat, Security issues, blah blah blah, get tested on our knowledge and perform aircraft evacuations. If you pass all tests and you can stay for another year. I don't want to know what happens if you fail. Wish me luck!

I'm still knitting those (darn) Christmas stockings. For a knitter with a bad case of "single sock syndrome", completing 3 Christmas stockings is really a stretch. I have 1 done, 2 done down to the heel and I just need to put my head down, avoid temptation to work on fun stuff, and finish up! All of the new Fall yarns are just waiting for a test drive-must be disciplined and patient.

I can't wait to see you all. Working weekends at the shop, I get to see some of you but I miss out on Sweater Clubber, Lunch Bunchers and Kid's Clubbers and a slew of others. Come by and encourage my to finish up my Christmas stockings and assorted other ufo's. I'm also planning to do a little Malabrigo Loafer Workshop while I'm off. If your interested let me know.

Knitwits, where friends are made and you can kill time like nobody's business.
Happy 16th Birthday Nathan Hatton!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mornin'



Mornin
' y'all! I just pack my bag for another 4-day trip. My time off flew by! When I get back in town, we need to have someone slow down the clock-I'm not nearly ready to flip the calendar page to October. Although, we did manage to get the October staffing schedule done.

Two of my three days off were spent at Knitwits. Yesterday was spent with 2 hours of shop errands and a four hour lunch with Janet discussing the shop. I did managed to get some home repair done thanks to Not Steve. I came home from my last trip to discover a pool of water on my bathroom floor. Not Steve managed to disassemble the toilet (I didn't realize that they came apart), replace the innards and wax ring, remove rust, de-gunk the mystery crud and put it all back together (I watched). He also hung an Addison Mac light fixture in my kitchen and put a dimmer switch on my dining room chandelier. What a Guy-he lights up my life and does plumbing!

As I watch him bring in tools, gidgets and gadgets, I realized that his "stuff" was to him as my knitting stuff is to me. The big screwdriver and the little screwdriver were like #10.5 and #7 needles. Same tool, different use. Does that make Home Depot the LYS of "Not" Steve?

Speaking of the Steve's. They've been a little scarce around the shop. Hope you're all well and just too busy to pop-in. Maybe, they're hangin' in Home Depot!

My last blog entry triggered a few comments from the "Mean" Girls group. To clarify, they are not mean and they don't talk about others, they are our Cookie A. Sock knitters and they pride themselves on their high standards of yarn selection, pattern choice, needles, notions and craftsmanship. The "Mean" girls are actually just the opposite, they are loyal, loving and funnier than all get out!

See you on Saturday!


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Great Weekend at Knitwits

It sure is nice being back in the 41017! After four days of flying, nothing beats your own bed, a washer and dryer, your familiar shower and full-size bottles of shampoo. There is no place like home!

This weekend, there was no place like Knitwits!
The Scarf It Up Brunch was a BIG success. I had to man the shop so I missed the fun, food, lively conversation and prizes. Everyone came into the shop after the event to give me the details-so I didn't miss out on the friendship. After the bustle of the Brunch crowd, the Everyway Wrap Crowd came in for the first KAL (Knit-A-Long) session. The next meeting may be BYOC (Bring Your Own Chair) as every seat in the house was taken. The star of the KAL was Laura's Jordana Paige Knitting Bag. We passed it around, ogled and awed, and picked styles and colors for our "Wish Lists". It holds an amazing amount of knitter's treasures, is well organized...and best of all...it looks like a fashionable purse! Gotta have one!

Today was a good day at the shop. It was Christmas Knitting day and with the cooler temperature outside, it really made me think about Winter. I hate that I don't enjoy the fall because I'm dreading winter so much! Our ball winder got a good workout today-lots of Malabrigo, kool-aid dyed yarn, and Misti Alpaca. The new fall yarns are going out as quickly as they came in-why do most of them need to be wound?

It's time to finish knitting those sweaters and socks. Sweater weather is here! Dust off the boots and don the handknit socks (or...sock in my case).

This week promises to be just as activity-filled as this past weekend with crochet classes, lunch at the Alpaca Farm on Thursday, Kid's Club, Sweater and Sock Club, and "Mean Girls Knitting" (that's what the Cookie A. Sock Knitters call themselves because they talk about you if you don't attend). There's something for everyone and the coffee is free!

Come Buy! The Fish has Landed!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Jordana Paige




The other day, my mother called and asked me what I wanted for Christmas. She asked if I would like a Roomba, the thing that looks like a gigantic, out of control, yoyo that aimlessly vacuums your house while your away. I said I would think about it.

My mother must have something to worry herself sick about in order to be happy. She usually worries about her dog, Ruby, or my brother and his family. Ruby must be fine. Good. And my brother, his wife, and my two nephews must be over the H1N1 virus, that was last week's Hot Topic. For her to be worrying about Christmas, is a good sign that she needs to be making stuff up to worry about!!

A roomba may be a nice thing to have but I picture coming back from a four day trip and finding that my roomba has choked to death trying to digest yarn, dust balls and some of the unfinished knitting that lays around the floor like an obstacle course. Thanks mom, but I'll stick to Ole School and let the cleaning lady (me) use the upright vacuum cleaner.

What I really want for Christmas is a Jordana Paige Knitting Bag! Laura Fant has one and I drool and covet it everytime I see it. Jordana Paige Knitting Bags are stylish, functional, hip, to die for cute PURSES that just happen to have cool knitting features and plenty of room for projects. Check out the web site! (If you click the underlined Jordana Paige, it will take you there. But finish reading the blog first.) They retail for under $90, so they're cheaper and better looking than most of my purses! Perfect! I want the Black Onyx Rio Bag.

Here's the problem. I did some research on getting them for the shop. Their minimum order is pretty big, so we can't justify bringing a bunch in just so I can have a great Christmas present for my mom to get me. Here's the solution. If enough of us want a Jordana Paige Knitting Bag for Christmas, we can place an opening order that meets our minimum and have them in time for Holiday Knitting season. If we have enough special orders, we may be able to offer a Knitwits Super Introductory Special Order Pre-Pay Offer Discount! We all win--I get my bag, you get your bag and our bag gifters get a discount! If you're interested, let us know at the shop.

Please.... don't make me get a Roomba!
http://www.jordanapaige.com

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Whew! Whoa! and Wow!


Whew! Escaped the Motherboard Meltdown with minor bumps and bruises and I'm now cruising right along on my new MacBook! The new MacBook allows you to run Windows so I can do everything I used to do on "Lappie" with the cooler, smoother, easier, faster Apple operating system. I'm really diggin' the new laptop that the staff has named "Mackie". With the important data retrieved from the brains of "Lappie", I just need to reconcile some accounts and we're back on track!

Whoa! With the cooler nights, I can really feel summer coming to a close. I will not let Fall pass me by! We're going to kick off Fall with the Scarf It Up Brunch on Saturday. The prizes are AMAZING-diamond necklaces, designer handbags, $100, good food, good friends, good cause! Please try to attend. For me, knitting is a year round sport. For many, Fall officially starts the knitting season. Most of the Fall yarns and projects are now in the shop and they are going quickly!

Please take a few minutes (or hours) to backup your important stuff on your computers (call Pandora Steve for advise) and have projects lined up and be ready should H1N1, Beechwood Stomach Flu, computer virus or some other funk hit. You'll be really glad you did.

Wow! Jill finished knitting her Malabrigo Everyday Wrap (all but putting on the buttons) and it is a work of Art. She was struck by the Beechwood Stomach flu yesterday and had to miss Sock Club last night. Elizabeth's Beaded Bracelet Class at Janet's house was a really nice event. With enough interest in doing it or something like it again, we'll set it up! Kool Aid Yarn dye-ing was really fun or all ages- in fact Aiden's (age 5) yarn might just be my favorite.

All of these shop activities and events are a great way to meet fellow yarnies and expand your yarnie worlds. The conversation is always enjoyable, the laughs are free and the end results are priceless.

I'm off on yet another 4-day trip and will return to the shop on Saturday. I'm taking Mackie, a suitcase full of paperwork, and those darn Christmas stockings. Let's hope I can get something done!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Aaaah haaah! The Conclusion


It's been a long ride but I'm going to try to wrap it all up in a tidy little summary for you.

We take our computers for granted. We assume that they'll do what we want, when we want them to. But when they don't, they become our own worst enemies. Our computers know everything about us - our social security numbers, our finances, our account numbers, our passwords, our music tastes, addresses and phone numbers of family and friends, our photo history and so much more. They are capable of so much more than I am even able to comprehend. Yet, when our trusted computer goes kaput, life still goes on- the shop still opens, the banks still bank, my friends are still my friends and pen and paper still exist!

Laura explained to me that for her husband, Chris, computers are his knitting. I guess that it is the same for Pandora Steve and "Not Steve", they get IT. I'll stick to knitting but I'll be much more diligent with computer maintenance and management.

Back up the important stuff, do it often and leave a paper trail just in case! Computers can be repaired or in my case, replaced.

What can't be replaced or repaid are the people who rallied around me during the Motherboard Meltdown. No purse-no problem, Janet to the rescue. No truck-Steve of Belinda and Steve to the rescue. No idea about what's wrong with Lappie-Laura, Aiden and Chris to the rescue. Not enough muscles-Steve and "Not Steve" to the rescue. No tools and no electrical know-how-Bill and Krista Lahner to the rescue. No food, no IT, no clue.....on and on...at every turn there were people offering an assisting hand. How am I so blessed?

A wise friend described Knitwits as a "Vortex", a place where people, places and things merge together. It is within the walls of Knitwits - the Vortex-that something magical happens. He says, "Magic is not to be explained or understood--it is just to be enjoyed."

This post is written from my new Mac book and it is a heartfelt thanks to all for getting me through a week of technical difficulty.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Technical Difficulty-Part III My Peeps to the Rescue

Sunday Night. With my computer off for advanced diagnostics, I waited anxiously be my iphone for some news from Chris, Laura's husband. No news is good news, right?

Without a computer, I had no access to my patterns, my on-line banking , Facebook, Knitwits record keeping, and my life as I knew it. Time seemed to crawl at a snails pace. No news from Chris so off to bed for some quality tossing and turning, teeth grinding and night sweats.

Monday Morning. "Not Steve" called and told me that he was putting his day on hold to take me for a picnic lunch and computer shopping (if needed). Janet called to let me know that she and Steve (of Belinda & Steve) were taking Steve's truck to Addison Mac to retrieve our stuff. She would call if they needed my muscles. Well, "the call" came a few minutes later--so off I went to meet them at the shop. Just as I was about to roll up my sleeves for some heavy lifting, "Not Steve" called and to say he was in the 41017 and driving down Buttermilk Pike. His timing couldn't have been more perfect! Two thugs and a truck-just what Janet and I had wished for!

In typical women's fashion, we had no idea where to put the new large furniture acquisitions-we just knew that we hoped that the new pieces would give Knitwits the grace, elegance and style that we had admired about Addison Mac. Somehow, redecorated happened fairly quickly and everything fell into place. Thanks for your patience and brawn Steve and Not Steve.

Janet went off to a mammogram (the fun never ends for her), Steve went off to do Steve stuff and "Not Steve" and I went our own way. Our first stop, coffee! Ordered coffee, decided to have lunch instead, returned coffee, went to Sweet Basil for lunch. I had never returned a cup of coffee before, but the barista was cool with it.

During lunch, news from Laura sprang up on my iphone. DOA- no chance of revival, no how, no way. Instead of mourning the loss of Lappie, I tried to get excited about a new computer. "Not Steve" is an Apple kind of guy. Comair Steve has been crabbing at me for years about getting an Apple. Janet and Sarah, Apple people! Did they all know something I needed to know? After lunch, it would be off to Ohio and the Apple Store.

The Apple Store for "Not Steve" is like a yarn shop for me, full of endless possibility, want and desire. Since I just don't get IT, he promised to do all of the talking and translate computer speak into non-IT talk. I promised to stay focused and not have my eyes glaze over when they spoke Megs, Ram, Intel, blah blah blah. Just tell me how much and where to sign!

Boom Done. My head hurt a little bit, but we left with a cute little computer box and a bag of discs and dats-"Not Steve" knew what all of it was and what it did. Yay!

The Wingate in Jacksonville doesn't have a 15 minute time limit like the Courtyard by Marriot in Kansas City, but the light switch is on a timer that goes off every 5 minutes. Can you say annoying!

I'll wrap up this little tale of woe and conquest when I get home tommorrow night! Stay tuned for the stunning conclusion.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Not Kool!!!-Part II of Technical Difficulty

The non-responsive laptop computer situation had left me incredibly sad- inconsolable in fact. Even knitting did not bring me peace. (The pattern I needed for my most current knitting project (Heirloom Christmas Stockings) was saved on my computer and no where else!)

I arose early on Sunday morning and ran straight to the unresponsive laptop. I was hoping that it was "just a baaaaad dream", that Lappie would have magically repaired itself after a good night's rest. No such luck.

Sunday was Yarn Dyeing with Kool-Aid Day at Knitwits, and I knew it was going to be busy and hectic. I wouldn't have anytime to deal with my unresponsive laptop. This was Not Kool!

I talked to "Not Steve" and he recommended going to the Geek Squad to get a quick diagnosis. I also called Little/Pandora Steve on his day off. No answer. I pleaded for him to call me back as soon as possible. I thought about calling Comair /Mac Steve but I knew he would be at Church . Will call him later. I wanted to Google Best Buy to find out what time they open-can't Google-no computer! Not Kool!

I sat in the Best Buy parking lot for 20 minutes, waiting for the store to open. FYI, they open at 11:00 on Sundays. I was third in line for the Geek Squad. At 11:00 am on Sunday's, the only people in line for the Geek Squad are the truly desperate. The people further back in line would have paid good money for my place in line, but I too was very desperate! Come on Geeks-a little less chit chat with #1 and #2 in line and get to me!

Was it the power cord or was Lappie suffering from something far more serious. Please, please, please--just tell me that I needed a new power cord!

What???? The power cord works fine? How can that be? If it's not the power cord, is my ON button stuck? Oh???? Motherboard????It that important? Yes???
After that.....It was all a blurrr!!!

I went to the shop. I bought Kool Aid-lots of it. I held back the tears and told my tale of woe to anyone and everyone. Luckily, Laura and Aiden came in to dye yarn. Laura looked at me with compassion and a glint in her eye and asked, "Do you know what my husband does?"
"He is the Computer Whisperer, he makes dead and sick computers well."

We wrapped Lappie in his power cord and sent him home with Laura and Aiden.

Stay tuned for Part III.
My fifteen minutes is up again.

Technical Difficulty-Part I of III

Where do I even start? Since the last blog entry on Saturday morning soooooo much has happened!

I hit the ground running as planned but I opened the shop and RAN over to Addison Mac for the Big 70% off plus sale. Everything was for sale!--the display pieces, the cash desks, the lighting fixtures, my favorite underpants and Spanx, clothing, jewelry and teacups. What a day to forget my purse!

The Knitwits was unusually busy, but Janet promised to come to my rescue with money and a vehicle as soon as the crowd thinned out. When she did finally arrive, we decided to pick up a few more things for Knitwits and personal use. We would now need a truck and a few thug-type guys with electrical knowledge, tools and a ladder.

Back to work and the energy level kicked up a notch or two because we had lost 2-3 hours of valuable time shopping for things we didn't know we needed. Steve of "Belinda and Steve", stopped in just in the nick of time with Pee Wee Burgers, Onion Rings and Potato Skins. He was overdressed for "Thuggery", so he went home to change.

In the meantime, Krista and her husband, Bill, stopped in as if a gift from above. We told them of the shopping trip and our need for "Two Thugs and a Truck". Bill offered to go to Addison Mac and look at what tools would do needed to disassemble our new lighting fixtures.

An hour later, they return with our lighting fixtures in hand. Krista and Bill are the young, hip members of the "Knitwits Family". Love Them.

Around 4:00, Steve of "Belinda and Steve" returned dressed as a thug and holding hot fudge sundaes. It is truly amazing how that man can sense our hunger levels and cravings. It amazing that in the 41017 you can shop, buy, and dine well without a purse.

Somehow between shopping and eating, we had managed to ring up quite a few sales at Knitwits during the day. When Janet and I pressed the "End of Day" button on the cash register, our jaws dropped when the day's take tallied up and then we pretended that we knew exactly what had transpired during the day.

Since nothing on my action plan was accomplished during the day, I went home with the portable office and plans to bang out a crazy amount of work that evening. Got home, went to turn on Laptop computer and ........NOTHING. No blinky light, no whrrrrrrr, no nothing.

May Day! Control+Alt+Del! Something! Nothing! How can this be? I need to bang out a crazy amount of work and I need to put in my October Bid, check e-mail, blog, pay bills, Facebook! Control+Alt+Del! Nothing! No lights-anywhere, anyhow. My life as I knew it was over!

End Par I
Fifteen minute time limit on Marriott Courtyard Public Computer.
Stay Tuned!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Hit the Ground Running


I'm back from my last trip and ready to hit the ground running. Well, sort of. I did take most of yesterday as a day off. I finished flying fairly early yesterday and planned to head to the shop but I selfishly spent the rest of the day just enjoying the day with non-shop related activities. (Thanks "Not Steve".)


Lots happened while I was away, and there is plenty of activity planned for the shop this week.

My telephone updates and text messages keep me posted of most of the stuff I miss, but the inbox and the POS system are the true measures of the shop's activities while I'm away. I'm anxious to see the new Madelinetosh sock yarn and other goodies that arrived in my absence and I'm bracing myself to tackle the inbox, emails, phone messages, invoices, to-do pile and miscellaneous notes that will need to be deciphered and dealt with.


My plan is the go to the shop a little early, make coffee and clear off some desk space. From there, the day is unclear and the course of activity unknown. I see coffee (lots), a trip to the scary basement, and coddling of Tosh Sock somewhere in my day. I also see a whirlwind of activity in preparing for tomorrow's sock dyeing event. How can we misplace the squirt bottles every time we use them?


After a much needed day off, I'm ready for a few days of Knitwitting! I'm mentally prepared for what ever comes our way and I'm looking forward to catching up with Janet, the Gang, the Steves and Belinda and everyone else that ventures into the shop.


Come buy!


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Mini Panick Attack!

This summer is one big blur. Where did it go? How did we get to September-my Daytimer (my personal organization system of choice) is still bookmarked on May.

My last lucid memories date back to the Spring. I remember this Spring pretty clearly with the setting up of the POS System, the double ringing at the cash register, adding Peaches & Cream to the yarn line up, Sheryl having a normal looking finger and adopting my Godcat, Grace and the birth of this Blog!

Mini Panick Attack! How did it get to be SEPTEMBER? What happened? I never even made it to the pool- it opened and closed before I even got bikini ready.

My Friends, the answer to the question of "Where did my summer go?" is this.... "Enhanced Passenger Service Guidelines." My summer has been ruined by "Enhanced Passenger Service Guidelines." It is almost like the powers that be at Comair got "The Look!" Everytime I reported to work, I would find out that someone had moved everything in our galley, changed all of the snack and drink options, turned us into vending machines and wanted us to do so much more with so much less.

Even with the "Enhanced Passenger Service Guidelines", I think the passengers still know that they are flying on Comair Regional Jets. The First Class meals and stemware aren't fooling them into thinking that Delta, Northwest and all of the Delta/Northwest Connection carriers are now operating as one seamless company.

The snack options now stocked on board include: peanuts, mini pretzels, Biscoff cookies, pretzel chips or Sunchips, apples, bananas, twix bars, Pringles Potato Chips, Peanut M&Ms, Planters Trail Mix, Snack Box with Healthy Snack and deck of cards, Snack Box with Un-Healthy Snack and on random flights on the CRJ900 Full Meals complete with china, silverware and stemware. With all of this extra stuff in our galley, I have no place to store my knitting bag! I have no time to knit and more importantly, my head is spinning and I don't have the mental energy to knit!

This week is bidding week, when you enter your next month's schedule requests. I think I'm going to go "Ole School" and bid for the 50-seat trips, with no JFK, ORD, EWR and PHL and NO "Enhanced Passenger Service Guidelines."

I need to spend as much time as possible in the 41017, and in the calm, relaxing, stress-free Eden called Knitwits!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day


I'm not sure I get the true meaning of Labor Day except that it gives us a good reason to close the shop for an extra day. The "extra day" for me really meant more work because I got "The Look" and felt the need to totally revamp Knitwits.


Today (Labor Day), I am going to work at home on Knitwits paperwork, bookkeeping, ordering and other tedious, time consuming activities. But, I don't view this as "labor"-I do this because I want to do this. This is the stuff that makes Knitwits maintain our well-oiled machine efficiency (don't laugh). Knitwits and knitting are Labours of Love. We don't HAVE to do it, we WANT to do it!


According to the Department of Labor, Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.


So today, raise your knitting needles, enjoy the company of family and friends, eat way too much, and rejoice in a Monday away from the office!