Monday, August 30, 2010

Hoard Enhancement!

Of the very best kind because it was all gifts. Yippee!

On the Friday before our move I went to Westport Yarns to say good-bye one last time before we skipped town.

They surprised me with a gift certificate to the store so I could treat myself before starting my yarn diet. How awesome is that?

Special Edition
Also in the gift bag was a special Traveling Ann edition project bag from my friend Laura. The fabric is a cartoon map, complete with predatory animals, which goes nicely with my habit of saying “I know enough to be dangerous.” And the red liner is, of course, one of my favorite colors.

You already know that I love these project bags. So to have one made specially for me is just the icing on the cake. I’ve already put it to good use transporting my new yarn.

Decisions, Decisions
Since I hadn’t been to the store since sometime in July there were lots of new yarns to tempt me.

I debated trying to get yarn to make a sweater. And I debated books. But in the end I decided to splurge and buy the most expensive, luxurious yarns I could that I wouldn’t normally buy for myself.

Lobster pot pinkThis led me to Lobster Pot Cashmere in the East Sandwich Beach color. Now I have a little scarf out of Lobster Pot already. My first year working at Knitting Central at our annual holiday dinner Cynthia gave everyone a cream skein and a set of US 8 Colonia Rosewood needles to make ourselves a one-skein scarf. I traded mine in for ice blue.

Since it’s absolutely delicious yarn I’ve always eyed the colors, but a second scarf seemed extravagant. Well, now I’ve got two skeins so I can make myself a longer version.

I know this raspberry pink color is a little unusual for me, but for some reason it grabbed my attention the day it came in.

Silk & Camel
Camelspin wineI still had money left and tons of sock yarn seemed overkills even for me, so I made another pass of the store. The second yarn I decided to get was this Camelspin from Hand Maiden. This is new to Westport Yarns for the fall. It is 70% Silk and 30% Camel and all kinds of soft. I kept petting it as I roamed the store and decided it should come home with me. The one skein is 300 meters. I’m going to make Danni’s beginner lace scarf which calls for 400 meters. Mine will just be a little shorter.

Sock yarn, of course
online supersockeSurprisingly, despite splashing out in style, I still had money left on my gift certificate. This time I went for the sock yarn selecting the OnLine Supersocke 100 in the Canadian-Color # 1290. It’s a standard 75% superwash, 25% nylon blend. It’s a self-patterning yarn. I went with this black/grey/tan/white color because I haven’t knit myself many pairs of dark socks. We must balance the wardrobe.

I topped my purchase off with a new set of US1 Brittany Birch DPNs and a pack of stitch markers.

Thank You!
As you can see my friends sent me off in high style. Of course we’ll all keep in touch online, but now I’ll be able to knit myself snuggly scarves and think of them as I stitch and when I wear them this winter. (hahaha. Did I really just imply I’d finish these in time to wear this winter? Boy howdy, I crack myself up.)

Speaking of thinking of them…I finally unpacked my stationary the other day; I really should send a card already.

Post In Which I Make You Hate Me

Even though it’s partially a lie.

This post comes to you from the comfort of my front porch with my doggies at my feet.

The front porch is one of the places that pass as my office now. The other places are any room in the apartment.

Now do you see why you hate me? Not yet? Well, it get’s worse.

Samson is loose as I trust him to stay next to me and that I’ll be able to catch him quickly if something interesting goes by. Baru is tethered because I don’t trust him as much. He probably won’t go anywhere since he’s currently cowering under the table, but you never know. I did consider tethering them to each other—i.e., wrap the cord around a post and clip each end to a dog, but that didn’t seem necessary.

The lie comes in because the laptop isn’t connecting to the WiFi network. I’m actually writing this in Word and I’ll copy/paste it into the blog once I’m back inside.

My iTouch found the WiFi network. I don’t know enough technology to understand why the laptop isn’t connecting.

Commute Free, Knitting Rich
Things are starting to settle down here although there are still boxes to unpack (most notably my YARN!) and curtains to be hung.

Hubby was in meetings the end of last week and the beginning of this week. Students will start filtering in the end of this week.

This all means that while we don’t have a routine yet we’re staring to get a feel for the schedule. We’ve been forced to wake up at a decent hour, get dressed, and leave the house like normal humans, or at least adults.

I’m still getting my feet under me. However one thing I’ve nailed down is that since I no longer have a car commute that time can be dedicated to knitting or crocheting. My commute to work used to take anywhere from 45 minutes up. Seems to me that means I get to play with yarn for an hour in the morning and afternoon. What a relaxing way to start to the day.

As I explained to Hubby when this brilliant idea occurred to me I can work on KFI stuff in the morning so I can blog about it during the day and my personal projects in the evening so I can blog about it at night. This will balance my knitting/crochet time and might actually allow me to finish some projects. It is going to be so awesome.

There you have it. I’m working from home with no commute and lots of new time to play with yarn. It’s ok if you hate me. Jealousy will do that to a person. Heck, if I were you I’d hate me too.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Still Life With Boxes

I had such big plans. I was going to blog every day. There was nothing to stop me.

Except the boxes. Tons and tons of boxes.

If I'd blogged earlier in the week, like I'd planned, my post title was going to be "Moving Mayhem." But that probably would have been too easy.

Goodness knows moving isn't easy.

72 Hours
If you count packing and unpacking, moving takes several months. However, Hubby figured out our actual physical move took about 72 hours.

My mom came up last Thursday night with my niece Bre and my nephew CJ. Friday morning at 11 mom and Hubby went to get the moving truck. We got the 26 foot truck, which is apparently the largest one you can drive with a private liscense.

Everyone we had lined up to help us suddenly flaked, which meant we were totally up a creek, but then our handy-man randomly called. He was able to find a helper for us. phew! Frantic loading of the truck commenced since the helper was only available until 3 pm so all the heavy furniture had to be done before then. The kids very much enjoyed using the handtrucks to ferry boxes out to the truck.

While the helper was at the house we had the dogs locked in the bathroom. They weren't very happy about that at all. After he left we let them out. Samson spent the rest of the day supervising our activities. Baru spent the rest of the day cowering in the bottom of Hubby's closet since we'd dismantled the Puppy Fort (aka our bed).

Loading continued until around 8 pm. We wisely left out the full size mattresses for us and mom to sleep on Friday night. Baru wasn't very happy about his Fort being gone. On the other hand the mattress was on the floor so I was able to just reach out and put my hand on him for snuggles.

Saturday morning we got up and finished loading the truck. That took longer than expected, just as the loading Friday did. Then we saw with horror that all our stuff wouldn't fit in the truck. Resigned to the fact that we'd have to come back for a second load we tossed the dogs in the SUV and began the four hour drive to our new home.

On this end Hubby's brother Doug came over from NY to help. Phew! We unloaded late into the night taking one little break to take everyone out to dinner to thank them for their labor. If you've ever moved you know that unloading goes faster because you don't have to carefully position things. You just yank them off the truck and put them in the assigned room.

Samson again supervised the process and Baru went and hid in the one closet in the bedroom. Oh, did I say the bedroom? I meant the one closet in the entire apartment.

Still, we didn't finish before everyone was falling down from exhaustion. Mom ended up choosing a random dorm room since no students have checked in. The neice and nephew slept on the couches. Doug slept on one of the full size mattresses in the dining room. Hubby and I slept on our own mattress on the floor. I swear to you that at bedtime Samson was scratching around next to the bed trying to figure out how to get into the Puppy Fort. I was like, "Samson, we haven't built it yet," and he flopped down and grunted at me in disgust.

Sunday morning we got up, finished unloading, swept the truck, and Hubby exchanged it for the second, smaller one. Then we took everyone out to breakfast. CJ got to ride on the back of Doug's motorcycle, which he said was very exciting. Then we headed out for the four hour drive back to the house.


Mom and the kids hung out for an hour helping us clean up a little. The kids had totally lost interest by then. I was getting annoyed, but then I realized I couldn't really blame them. After all, I'd totally lost interest and it was my stuff being moved!

Primarily we had to get our patio furniture. There was also a small table and chairs set, some other miscellanius furniture, all of Hubby's tools, and various other boxes and sundries. Seriously, there is nothing like moving to make you realize just how much stuff you own.

I know, I know. We should have sorted it and thrown stuff out before we moved. I swear to you we tried, but until we were loading the truck it all seemed very valuable and necessary to have. Actually, I really think that most of our stuff is stuff we use on a fairly regular basis, expect in a few cases like the bread machine and the second juice machine, so I don't feel too bad about having drug it all up here with us.


Hubby and I were at the house until 11 pm! We had to finish loading the truck, take a ton of garbage up to the curb, vaccum, sweep, and mop. It was exhausting. Samson had been supervising us, but got bored. Baru very happily hid in the bottom of Hubby's closet. I suggested we stay at the house and sleep on the floor, but we couldn't because the truck had to be returned by 11:15 on Monday.

It was insane, but we hit the road. Without the SUV, we put Samson in the moving truck cab with Hubby and Baru in the front seat of the sedan with me. The back seat of the sedan was filled with one of our big mirrors and a big painting. (The trunk of the sedan was also full, not that we would have put one of the dogs in it.) While we were corraling Baru, Samson decided he didn't like it in the truck by himself--and jumped out the driver side window! OMG! Do you realize how high that was?! Hubby didn't even remember the window was open. He said Samson did a faceplant. Samson seemed ok with his only injury being a skinned nose. Still, although he's rather fearless, he balked a little when we tried to put him back in the truck.

The drive up when without incident, thankfully. We called each other every half hour to make sure we stayed awake. Still, we realize it wasn't the safest course of action and I wouldn't recommend it. We ended up arriving home at 3 am.

Of course we woke up the next morning at 8 when the maintence men came by doing lawn work. Buzzzz, bruuummm. bleh, It was just as well as we had to unload and return the truck.

There you have it, 72 hours of hard labor.

It's Not Over
We've spent every day since working on unpacking. That's not true. We flopped on Monday and lounged around a bit. We needed it. It's not like we were very functional after all the hard work and late nights over the weekend. But most of every day this week has been devoted to unpacking and arranging.

We started with the kitchen. You have to have the kitchen sorted out if you are going to cook your own meals. Then I put my foot down and demanded we do the bedroom because I was tired of tripping over boxes and suit cases (Hubby wanted to do the dining room). Then we did the living room. Today we did the dining room, which included sorting out the entry foyer and organizing the stuff in the barn so we could finally get the mattress off the dining room floor.

Yeah, it's just crazy. Aside from the kitchen we haven't really unpacked much yet. Really, you need the furniture in position so you have places to unpack into. No point in putting your clothes in the dresser if you are then going to have to drag it across the room.

Yarn? Yarn?
All this hard work unpacking during the day and working on my freelance projects in the evenings means I haven't gotten a lick of knitting down. Last night was the first night in a week that I was able to touch my needles and I managed a whole four rows. Whoop-di-do. We've just been that busy, working that late into the night, and that tired that I haven't had a chance.

Actually, I should wrap this damn post up so I can knit some tonight!

I also haven't unpacked any yarn. The dining room credenza isn't ready. I told Hubby my idea of storing yarn in the pantry and he scoffed. He thinks we'll be storing enough supplies and such that there won't be room. He's suggested reassessing what we keep in the book shelf in the living room and maybe keeping some yarn there. This shows that he doesn't fully understand the extent of my hoard. He's got an inkling now because he's seen the two huge boxes marked "yarn" and at least one of the plastic storage tubs. Still, I think it will be another week or two before I can actually unpack and properly store my yarn.

Yeah, moving sucks.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Speaking of Yarn Diets

The other thing I haven't told you that has been causing me anxiety since, oh, May, is that we're moving to New Hampshire....this Saturday...for Hubby's new job.


We're loading the truck Friday and rolling out Saturday morning.

Much time has been spent in cleaning the house and stuffing things in boxes.

It's all very exciting.

People keep either telling Hubby what a great wife he has for supporting this OR asking him if I'm really ok with it. He says it's like people don't think we talk to each other.

When people ask me about it I say, "Well, the alternative wouldn't be good for my marriage, and I'm rather fond of Hubby." Which usually gets a good laugh.

I've also noticed that all questions are erased when we point out this is a career advancement for Hubby. No, we aren't uprooting our lives on a whim.

As for me...well, I'm not unemployed, I'm self-employed! wheeee!

You already know about my one project. As for my magazine...well, they couldn't get the tax regulations sorted out for me to be able to telecommute. Instead I'm freelancing for them, too. It seems the idea is I'm supposed to still do my job and just bill them for everything. Hmmm, well, it's income coming in so I'm running with it.

People also ask, "What about your dogs?" Which just shows how alien boarding school life is to most people. I respond, "Oh, it's no problem, pets are allowed." But what I want to say is, "They're puppies, not accessories! We wouldn't be going if our dogs weren't allowed."

Quality of Life
Is expected to sky rocket.

We won't have a commute to speak of. We're moving to a boarding school, so Hubby's commute will be walking across campus. Mine will be walking across the bedroom to the computer. How awesome is that? The puppies are thrilled.

I don't mean to rub it in, but we are soooo looking forward to that. For the last five years we've had horrible commutes because of the bad traffic. On the weekends it took me maybe 20 minutes to get to Westport Yarns but on a weekday it could take me an hour or more to get the the magazine office the next town over. Crazy, I tell you, just crazy. Hubby used to call on his way home from school around 3 o'clock just livid about traffic and calculating how many days he'd spent sitting in traffic during the year. "Yes, dear," as though I didn't sit in it, too.

But those days are over! wheeee!

The school is providing housing. A cute one bedroom apartment with a dining room. As you can see in that picture we're even going to have a fire place in the living room. And it works. And we're allowed to use it! (At our last boarding school we had a fireplace but weren't allowed to use it because the chimney needed repairs.)

If it all looks a little grungy in that picture it's because they were in the process of cleaning and painting before we could move in.

There are bay windows in the bedroom and dining room. Why is it that every time you move you have to buy new curtains?

What's that? Oh, currently we live in a three bedroom house. For five years. Yeah, we have a lot of stuff. Happily, there is a two store barn attached to our new place that we are going to share with another couple. Ahhh, free storage space. My pack-rat heart rejoices.

Oh, right, boarding school. You realize that means we're in a dorm, right? We're the first floor, there are six students on the second floor, and another faculty apartment on the third floor. He's the dorm parent. This does not phase me. For the first three years of our marriage we were in a 20 student dorm. Now, when I want to bake cookies, I won't have to cut the recipe in half anymore because teenage boys are like vacuum cleaners when it comes to baked goods.

I hope Samson and Baru adjust quickly to having other people in "their house." It's going to be a real pain if Samson starts barking every time he hears one of the students walking around, or sees one outside. He's a smart dog, he'll adjust. Right?

About That Yarn Diet
Of course, the blow in all this excitement is that I had to give up my job at Westport Yarns.


That would have been a hell of a commute for a weekend job.


I'll miss all my yarn friends, seeing their projects, and having instant access to advice on my projects.

I'm sure I'll find new yarn friends in New Hampshire, but it won't be the same.

Last month Hubby kindly asked where I'll be buying yarn going forward. I think he drugged my pancakes because I found myself saying that I could probably work from my yarn hoard for a year without a problem. And then there is the sample box from KFI.

"I see," Hubby said, and I could practically see the budget funds marked "yarn" moving to the column marked "wine."

Of course, I immediately tried to back track and explain how every season new yarns and patterns come out and the yarn I have might not work for the new patterns, etc. He nodded pleasantly, but I'm not sure he was buying it.

And don't worry about my hoard being exiled to the old, stinky barn. Noooo, what do you take me for?

Between the kitchen and the bathroom is this odd little pantry area. On the left are the hook-ups for the fridge, washer and dryer. On the right are cabinets above and below a shelf.

We've already agreed we probably won't keep food out there, mainly because we have tons of cabinets in the kitchen. I'm thinking the pantry will be combination linen closet and yarn storage.

Oh, it will be so nice to just walk across the apartment and rummage through some cupboards to get what I need.

However, I'm not forfeiting my right to store yarn in the dining room credenza.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

KFI: Louisa Harding Millais

Millais dc The swatch blanket continues to grow. This time with Millais, another new yarn in the Louisa Harding line.

Like Rossetti it is a bulky yarn with a suggested knitting gauge of 3 sts/inch. Unlike Rossetti, which is a boucle, Millais is a smooth yarn. It's lightly spun, giving it a cloud-like structure.

Vital Stats
Fiber: 50% Wool, 50% Acrylic Yardage: 65 Stitches: 3 Needle size: 11 Ball weight: 50g
It is available in 10 colors, which you can see on the KFI site here.

Crochet Swatch
Let's start with the crochet swatch today, shall we?

My sample ball is color #6, Blackcurrant. As you can see in the picture the colors are really heathers, as opposed to solids. This gives it a lot of depth, without interfering with any pattern. The overall effect is purple, but there is some hot pink and black if you look closely.

Millais dc closeI went with a I/9-5.5 mm hook this time. I worked 36 dc (US) by 15 rows and ended up with a block about 10 inches across and 8 inches tall. Of course, I wasn't able to finish that last row, so I'll be ripping it out and using the length for sewing when I have enough blocks to piece together.

This hook size resulted in a nice firm fabric that I think will be good for sweaters. It does reduce the softness of the yarn a bit. If you were going for snuggly I think a J hook would be better. Probably in a single crochet (US)[ok, let's just agree that as an American I'm always going to use US crochet terms] to reduce the space between stitches but still keep things soft. On the other hand I haven't washed my swatch, so I don't know what impact that would have. Working in a more imaginative stitch pattern will also influence the feel of the finished fabric.

Have you noticed that just a slight change in gauge can make all the difference in how soft a yarn feels and how much drape it has? This is one of the reasons it is so important to swatch with a yarn before you substitute in a pattern. Just because you can get the gauge doesn't mean you want to.

Knit Swatch
Millais swatchFor the knit swatch I went with the Feather & Fan stitch found in the Perpetual Calendar Stitch Dictionary. I used the US 11 needle recommended on the ball band. My 46 st swatch is about 13 inches wide. This is including the 4 sts in garter stitch on either end framing the two pattern repeats.

My ball is in color #9, Adventure. (Isn't that a great color name?) The overall effect is black, but there is dark blue and grey in there as well.

There was a method to my madness in selecting this stitch pattern. The sweater "Smile" from the Dream Catcher book uses a variation on the Feather & Fan stitch, so I thought you'd like to see it in action.

Worked at this loose gauge, because of the big needles, the fabric is nice and soft, which is why I suggested a larger crochet hook might be a better choice.

Millais closeWell, that's a lousy picture. Trust me that the yarn works up very nicely in this textured stitch. Even in the darker color it has nice detail.

It will be a nice addition to my blanket.

This morning I logged into Ravelry and discovered that Louisa Harding had added me as a friend!

I think I managed not to go all fan-girl on her. You know how difficult that is for me.

I asked if she knew when her "Designer's Corner" for the new collection will be updated on the KFI site and will let you know as soon as it's posted. It is always interesting to hear about the inspiration behind the lovely patterns people design.

Yarn. On TV. Getting the Glory it Deserves.
In other news, the ABC entertainment show "On the Red Carpet" is going to feather La Knitterie Parisienne a LYS in California during this Sunday's episode (Aug 15). So check your local time and set your DVR. I hear this store used to be on one of knitting shows on HGTV, so they should know what they're doing.

Monday, August 9, 2010


Millais swatchHubby came downstairs this morning and found me sprawled on the couch knitting, drinking tea, and watching an episode of "Bones" off the DVR.

(I don't usually get into these crime shows and didn't watch Bones the first time around, but recently it's grabbed my attention.)

"Shouldn't you be doing something productive?" Hubby asked.

"I'm working!" I declared and waved my swatch at him.

He narrowed his eyes as he tried to determine whether or not I was bluffing.

I started to laugh because I realized that he would be confused since my lounging around activity did look the same as my freelance work. Either way I'm playing with yarn. I'm a lucky girl.

Of course me laughing convinced him I was goofing off.

"No," I protested. "Really, this is a swatch of some KFI yarn."

"That's awfully big for a swatch," he said, suspiciously. It's about 14 inches wide by 6inches deep.

His knowledge of swatch sizes surprised me and made me wonder if I'd educated him too well. How is a girl supposed to get away with mysterious yarn stuff if it isn't mysterious to the person she's trying to bluff?

I explained about making the blanket using all the single balls of yarn, which got me off the hook.

Still, he wandered away muttering something about not being able to help me stay on task if all I ever do is knit.

He's so cute.

Friday, August 6, 2010

KFI: Louisa Harding Rossetti

Rossetti swatch The first entry in my great swatch blanket is Rossetti in the Louisa Harding line. It comes in 10 colors, which you can see here. This is color #6, Heather.

Vital Stats
Fiber: 67% Merino Wool, 28% Silk, 5% Polyamide Yardage: 76 Stitches: 3.75 Needle size: 10 Ball weight: 50g Care: Handwash

Knit Swatch
Since the suggested needle size is a US10 I decided to use it as a starting point and have achieved a nice fabric that allows the softness of the yarn to be appreciated.

I cast on 50 sts and my swatch is 9.5 inches across (total). On the little 6 sts columns (which are totally inadequate for measuring an actual gauge) I'm getting about 3.5 sts/inch

I believe Rossetti is considered a boucle yarn. The base is loosely spun and there is a nubbly binder in a coordinating color, which you might be able to see a little better in the photo below. I did not have a problem knitting with the yarn despite the two different texture.

Also, it does not have as much of a halo texture as some other boucles I've worked with. This means your knitting needle point goes into the stitch rather than getting caught up in a few strands of the base yarn. You know what I'm talking about.

As you can see I decided to go with a cable stitch. They are 12 st cables with 6 sts between and on either side.
Purple rossetti
My life might have been easier if I decided to work all the swatches in plain stockinette stitch. They probably would have worked up faster as well. However that would not have given you an idea of what the yarn can do. It also would have gotten boring fairly quickly!

I also decide to go with a cable because many of the patterns in the Dream Catcher book feature cables. That book also supports another new yarn called Millias, which I haven't started swatching yet.

The patterns look very nice. They cover cardigans, pullovers, and accessories. Some of them show variations. For instance there is a long and cropped version of one cardigan, and a scarf and shrug that feature the same cable.

Crochet Swatch
Rossetti DC Since I have two balls of this yarn I decided to put it through it's crochet paces as well.

This is color #5 Ember. It's a cloudy day today, so I cannot attest to the accuracy of the color in this photo. In real life it's a bit more wine.

Sadly, the ball band does not give a suggested hook size. Since a US 10 knitting needle is 6mm, I went with a J/10 crochet hook, which is also 6 mm.

Maybe I was feeling unimaginative last night, but I decided that if I was using this yarn for a crochet project I'd probably be making a scarf, so I went with a plain old double crochet (US term. I think it would be treble in UK?).

I tried to get the block to be the same size as my knit block so I ended up with a base chain of 37 (with 2 turning chains). My block is about 10.5 inches across, with about 3.5 dc per inch.

Now I'd like to qualify everything that comes next with a reminder that I haven't seriously crocheted in ages because it hurts my wrists.

The fabric with a J hook is a little loose. For my afghan it will be fine and it would probably work for a scarf. But for a sweater it's a little peek-a-boo, so I'd go down a hook. I'm not going to go down a hook for my block because that would change the dimensions and I don't want to loose the work I've already done by starting over. (Please reference my above comment about extended crochet sessions tweaking my wrists.)

I had a little trouble ripping back in the crochet. After 6 rows I realized I lost 2 stitches along the way and had to tear out two and a half rows to fix it. Sigh. The fuzz got a little caught up in itself. By comparison, I had to tink back a row of the knitting and didn't have any problem at all. Other than that, I didn't have trouble crocheting with it.

There you have it. The foundation blocks for my sampler blanket. Um, no pun intended. Now I just have to finish them before I go running off to sample another yarn.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Exciting Confession, Yarn Related

Yarn stackSince May on the rare occasions that I've written a blog post I have referred vaguely to a freelance project without giving you any details.

This is because I was struggling with how to integrate this yarn related business opportunity into my personal blog. All along my policy has been to try to keep my personal life separate from my business life (i.e., off my blog) as much as possible. In the past this was easy since my business wasn't yarn related.

However this is no longer possible. I've finally faced the fact that keeping quiet about my exciting, beneficial opportunity is the cause of my recent blogger's block. So I'm laying it out there for all the world to see.

I'm running the social media presence for Knitting Fever Inc.!

Goodness, I feel better already.

Does that company name mean anything to you? It should. They are a U.S. based wholesale distributor of many fine yarn brands, including Debbie Bliss, Noro, Louisa Harding, Elsebeth Lavold's Designer Choice. The list goes on. You can see them all on the company website.

Since they don't sell directly to the public I suspect that unless you've worked at a yarn store you haven't heard of KFI, although you know their yarns. The goal of the social media push is to keep their yarns top of mind so you feel compelled to go to your LYS and buy some. But isn't that the goal of any social media campaign?

How It Happened
I have Cynthia to thank for this opportunity. Back in January when she was closing Knitting Central's physical store she asked us all what we wanted to do.

I laughed and said, "I want someone to pay me for writing about yarn."

She said, "Hmm, ok."

A few months later she heard through the grapevine that KFI was looking for someone to write a blog for them. She pulled some strings to get my resume in front of them.

Are you paying attention, young people? Everything you hear about having a strong network to go along with your strong skills is true.

So I bought a spiffy new suit (because when I squeezed my fat little butt into any of my existing interview suits I looked like and obscene little sausage), wrapped myself in a self-esteem cloak of "I am awesome!", and drove down to Long Island to meet them.

What I'm Doing
By the end of the meeting, which lasted almost two hours(!), they had decided to wait on the blog idea and focus instead on Facebook, Twitter, and Ravelry.

I have set up a main Facebook page for the company, KFI on Facebook, and pages for some of the bigger yarns they represent. I won't list them all here. If you are interested you can navigate to them from the main KFI fan page by clicking on the "favorite pages" box down on the left hand side.

I also set up a Twitter account, KFI on Twitter.

What I am NOT doing is running the KFI account on Ravelry. Since I haven't been thoroughly vetted in company policy and customer service regulations I wouldn't want something I post under that ID to be taken as gospel. What I AM doing on Ravelry is running around adopting all their yarn brands and making sure the entries are accurate and up-to-date.

The writing block was formed because I didn't have a good outlet for any of my activities since they didn't want a blog. I hadn't announced this arrangement on my own blog, but I had to be upfront about the yarn I was working with. And that is all aside from the fact that my knitting time was being curtailed because of everything going on in my life. This is no longer an issue since I'm finally being honest with you. :-)

Yarn Jackpot!
samples boxAt the end of the meeting the owner asked if I came down by train because he wanted to send me home with some samples.

I said I drove.

He said to give me some yarn, but not to over fill my car.

"Oh, I drove an SUV," I said.

And they gave me yarn.

A paralyzing amount of yarn.

Enough yarn to fill my SUV trunk.

How can I give you a sense of proportion of that box? I'm 5 feet tall and it comes up to my waist.

It is a spare samples set, which is what their sales reps take around to yarn stores to show them the new yarns and colors when the seasons change.

I called Hubby on the way home and screeched "I have a trunk full of yarn!"

What I should have done when I got home was start swatching right then and there.

But, as I said, it's a paralyzing amount of yarn. It is also all single balls, since it's just samples. Some of them are large enough to do a one-skein project because they are fingering weight or lighter. I can use them to make socks, fingerless gloves, or shawls.

Most of the others are only big enough for a neck warmer style scarf or, say, an eye pillow? Rather than have a bunch of wee scarves flooding the house I think I'm going to make a bunch of stitch sample swatches, match them by weight, and sew them together for an afghan.

Although I'm also toying with the idea of attempting to make an adult version of Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Jacket. I even bought the pattern already.

Let The Blogging Commence
So there you are. Now you know one of the reasons I've abandoned you in recent months.

But now I'm back and I'm gonna write about any thing my little heart desires.

I'll try to figure out a way to alert you up front when I'm blogging about one of my sample yarns. My current idea is to slug the post title with "KFI" and tag it in the labels as well.

Just know that until they decide to go with an official, branded blog, anything I'm working on for them can pop up here.

Hopefully it will be fun for all of us.