Monday, December 31, 2007


Where did December go? Has anybody seen it? whooooosh! And the same goes for 2007. How can this be the last day of the year?

What will you remember for 2007? I've got entirely too many not good memories for this year, and yet I wouldn't say it was a bad year. Just seems like the things that stand out are all bad. Weird. So let's see, let's come up with some stand out positive things! Black Sheep Gathering and OFFF were really fun! Getting together one night a week after work with the gang here to knit has been a lot of fun, and I sure hope we'll pick that up again soon. Making progress on the future website (but there is so much left to do, worry worry worry).

I have a couple pics of finished bags - somehow I'm missing a couple of them too though. Anyway, here are 3 of them:

The top one is Lamb's Pride, the middle one is a mixture of yarns including Boku, Lite Lopi and others - with the ring around the "planet" being needle-felted, and the bottom one is Galway, with beaded fringe (see page 60 of the fall knitting catalog) . These are such fun to knit, and fast! The possibilities are endless, of course, with so many great yarns that full so well and color combinations. There are a couple of ladies that make a lot of bags and it's fun to see the yarns they pick out, and their finished products. Wonder if they'd let me take pictures to share? hmmm...

Meanwhile, while I'm on this felting/fulling mission, I started some slippers for my sweetie -

One done - but not yet thrown in the washer. Isn't it huge?? His feet, of course, are not so big. The magic of shrinkage... I'm using a lovely dark green heather Galway, think it's going to be great! I already picked out 3 colors for my pair... Goes fast since it's double stranded on fat needles. Not like socks on toothpicks, much as I love them.

Any fibery resolutions for the year? I'm taking some classes at Madrona in February and can't wait!! Didn't manage to catch all the classes I'd hoped, but am thrilled that I got some of them. I suppose a good resolution for me would be to actually spend some time at my loom and get a warp started. I have 2 warps hanging dejectedly partially on the loom - some 8/2 cotton for dish towels, and some chenille for a shadow weave throw. They've been there WAY too long, and they're both nearly warped... but not quite, and there's the catch. So, here's to getting to WEAVE them both in 2008!

Well, back to work. Please have a happy and safe new year!


Thursday, December 6, 2007

Phones are back on!

After 2 days of very eerie silence, the phones are back, what a relief. Thank you for your concern and well wishes and your patience! I think most people that tried to call either got an "all circuits are busy" or a rapid busy signal, but there must have been some that got a ringing phone that was never picked up because a couple people called to say they'd been trying to call us for days and why the heck weren't we answering the phones? SORRY! We answered it every time it rang, but they were all local calls. The mysteries of technology. Glad we get to take it all for granted most of the time. We sure notice it when it's gone!

And spring is in the air because our wonderful yarn reps are starting to come around showing the latest yarns for spring, and the new colors and patterns in our favorite current yarns. I really love meeting with the reps and seeing this stuff. But I also really hate it because, like you, I can't get everything I would love to get, and it can be pretty tough choosing. Have to hope I choose right and I don't end up with lots of yarn that doesn't move. That gets painful too.

Tim is working away on the new spinning & weaving catalog, which should be going to the printer in the next few weeks. There's some new fun stuff in there to see too! This catalog changes a lot less than the 2 knitting catalogs, but we are adding 8 pages to it this year, so there must be some new stuff, right? Heh heh, just you wait! :)

And maybe you saw on the home page that we're doing a whole new website... THIS is going to be really exciting! It will be much easier to navigate, it'll have bigger pictures of all the yarns, it'll HAVE all the yarns and the fibers and everything else we carry. We're really excited about it. Course we're also working like mad people to get it all in there, there is soooo much to do. Sometimes I get all worked up & filled with anxiety about it, then I have to tell myself to
b r e a t h e and take it one day at a time. We're all working as hard as we can, and we'll get done what we get done. The message on not one, but TWO recent Dove chocolates said "Don't think about it so much". Oh, okay. They're probably right. Chocolate wisdom.

Enjoy the day!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Phones are out...

AAUUURRGGG! Due to the storms and excessive rain and flooding (was that an Ark I saw in your back yard??) our phones aren't working. Or rather, they work sporadically - like when I call in to the repair line and they test it, it comes in fine. But if I call from my cell phone? Nope. If someone in town here calls the 800 number it won't work - but the local number does work FOR HER - but it doesn't work from my cell phone either. And we can't call out long distance, but local calls out do work. Does this make sense?? I hope it does for somebody.

It's very bizarre to have the phones not ringing. Not to mention what it does for business. Our email is working though! So please, send us emails! works just fine, or directly to anybody...


The good news is that we're all safe, and mostly dry.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

We're a bunch of bag ladies

About a month or so ago most of us decided we'd like to make some felted bags (or more accurately, "fulled" bags, since we're knitting them and then washing them to shrinky-dink them). We even decided we'd knit together after work one evening, which worked out really well. I so love knitting with friends! We get to admire each other's work, solve problems, offer advice, encouragement and a little friendly competition ("you're not finished yet are you?").

Here are some in progress pics:

We're using a variety of yarns (Lamb's Pride, Galway, Boku, Lopi), and a variety of patterns. It's great watching them take shape!

I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving. I have so much to be thankful for, I try to pause each day and give thanks for the many many blessings in my life. It's nice to have a day dedicated to giving thanks.


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween at Woodland Woolworks

Whee! I love seeing people in costume. Not that that got me to wear one, mind you, but I love it when other people do! The bummer of it all is that I have always, all my life, lived out in the tooleys and not gotten Trick or Treaters. A good year was getting 2. I've never had one ever where I live now - for 13 years. Very sad.

So I thought it was fabulous when a couple people here wanted to dress up. We have:

(leggings needed so as not to freeze to death in the warehouse)

(now wearing a big fluffy sweater to as not to freeze to death in the warehouse!)

Have to think up something for next year. Something warm though.

Boo! Happy Halloween to you and yours!

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Our thief has been sentenced. I learned so much about the ways and whyfores of our legal system, it's been quite the education. She decided to simply plead guilty, so we didn't need a trial, which was good cause that would have slogged it all out through next spring, at least. Yuck. Not to mention expense and all that.

So, around here at least, when one is pleading guilty, there is a plea & sentencing hearing, and it was scheduled for 9:30 on a recent Friday. There are a bunch of other cases all doing the same thing at that time, so we got to sit through several other cases while we waited out turn. I had soooo much to think about after sitting through that. There were some kids (well, kids to me - probably early 20s) who were in on drug stuff, and parole violations. There was the man who'd taken pictures of his 16 year old step-daughter getting out of the shower and other things you don't want to hear about. There was the young man who'd done unspeakable acts of cruelty to his 3 year old daughter and said he was a good father. It made me wonder how it is that the judges and lawyers and DAs and everyone can sit through these day after day, hour after hour and still see beauty in the world, can enjoy a night out with friends, and turn off their day jobs and look out at a sea of humanity and not be scarred and jaded. I couldn't do it, but I'm sure glad there are those who can. I have a greater appreciation for them, and I hope they CAN still appreciate the good in people, and the beauty in the world. We need them.

Having sat through those cases, I wondered if my thief would get any jail time or not. She did - she got 60 days in jail, 5 years of probation, must pay restitution, and of course spend the rest of her life as a convicted felon.

What was really weird to me about that morning was that I was the only one there speaking as a victim. The judge gives the opportunity for the victim to speak, or have someone speak on their behalf. There were no other victim impact statements presented, no one else spoke. No one spoke for the teenage girl (whose mother was there - and seemingly she was there FOR her husband, not her daughter, though she never spoke so I don't really know); no one spoke for that 3 year old baby. I hope this is not typical. I hope that more people who are harmed take the opportunity to tell what this meant. I know the law does what it can to punish, but if there isn't a personal side to it, does the one committing the crime really understand that side of it? Empathy isn't something that's easy to teach, but I think it's one of the most important skills someone can have. Are the criminals only sorry because they got caught, or are they sorry for the victim?? Seems like they're less likely to do it again if they understand that side, rather than just learn how to get away with it or blame it on the cop that caught them. Does that "good father" understand that his little baby girl is unlikely to ever be able to trust anyone or form healthy relationships? He had 2 rows of family there supporting him. Who was supporting that child? It felt like no one was. I sure hope I'm wrong.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A Sock in Panda Wool

First off let me say that our hearts go out to all those in or near the California fire line, I can't imagine the horror of all of that fire, and what do you pack, what do you save, how long do you stay hoping you'll be safe, where to go, what to do. Paula's mother-in-law lives down there and Paula is worried sick - 12 miles away, 6 miles away, now how far is it?? I wish courage and strength to all, and safe passage.

I have all these stories piling up that I want to put in here, but seem to be missing some bit of information so they continue piling... so, here's a short one.

Here's a sock I've completed using Panda Wool from Crystal Palace color Red Cinnamon. Fun stuff! It's very soft, nice and springy. I am actually a fan of pooling, so I think it's cool when it does it's meandering trick. The pattern is Undulating Rib from Interweave Press' Favorite Socks book, modified to stop undulating over my foot (I forgot to undulate and went a few rows before I realized and said awww, forget it). Now to knit the partner sock.

I'm doing another pair using a different yarn called Panda that you can dye yourself, also made from bamboo plus merino I think. I hope to get pics shortly. It's nearly one complete sock - toe up this time, my first time, using Wendy's toe-up fan & feather pattern. Fun!

Told you it was short...


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Where does the time go??

Bad blogger, no cookie! Sorry for the lapse...

OFFF was a blast!! The energy and creativity and visual/tactile feast that is a fiber festival is just more fun than I can describe. Everybody is in a happy mood, color and texture is everywhere. I LOVE seeing how perfect strangers become fast friends through fiber. It's that extra language we all speak, the language of creativity and possibility, and we're able to express it fully at a place like OFFF and Black Sheep. We gather as a tribe and we know each other before we've even met, and we LIKE each other. We help strangers by telling them our experiences, by showing each other how to use unfamiliar tools, we teach, we share, we laugh, we dream.

There was a wonderful woman who spent a lot of time spinning on the different wheels, and some children came along who seemed unfamiliar with the craft, and she soon had one on her lap, teaching the ways of the wheel. It was beautiful! I thanked her for showing the child how to spin and she just laughed and said "how could I not?" That's what I love about fiber people, the spontaneous sharing. Generosity of spirit.

I only wish I could clone myself so I could spend the whole time in the booth (okay, I did that), I could go around to the entire show and see everything, every booth, every display, every demonstration, every sheep, every baby camel (baby camels!!), I could sit under the trees and spin or knit the day away while chatting with my tribe, I could take every class.... ahhhh.

I did get to see the baby camels. Who knew they were so friendly and charming?? Alpacas are simply adorable, but most of them act like they're perfectly disgusted if you venture to touch them (UGH, a HUMAN! cooties!!). I wonder, are camels typically like this, or were these guys unusual? Maybe they've been used more by man throughout the ages, so we've selected for dispositions that are more personable, and we just let alpacas get away with it cuz they're cute?? I don't know. I just know that if alpacas acted like they liked you, there'd be a couple in every home in the country. Mine, anyway.

The catalog is ALMOST done! It should go to the printer tomorrow, touch wood. Tim is a wizard, you're going to LOVE this catalog. I can't wait to get it out there and get your response!

Can you call it a knit-along if you don't all work on the same thing? We were talking about making some felted bags (okay okay, knitted and fulled!!), but we don't all want the same design. Can we still call it a knit-along if we each pick a different pattern? Deb and Karen are leaning towards the same one, but I want something with a little fold over flap so I can add this cool beaded fringe that we have - it's on satin bias tape, and I don't want that part to show, thus the flap. I'm not sure what Jennifer wants to do. Cathy and Paula and Wanda weren't here today to say if they wanted in on this or not...

Pictures?? sorry - bad blogger, no cookie.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

We're off to OFFF

Well, very soon we're off to OFFF - Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival! We're packing up and trying to think what to bring, and wondering how our space will work out and all that stuff. This will be my first time at OFFF as a vendor. Charlie & Melda hadn't gone for some years before I bought the business either. I decided Black Sheep was so much fun that I'd give this one a whirl too. Fall is a tough time around here cause we're busy with the knitting catalog and Wool Rag and spin catalog, but I thought I'd see if I could squeeze it in without killing myself and everybody around me.... here's hoping! :)

Look for us on the porch of the main pavillion! We'll have lots of wheels, and gadgets and sock yarn and books.

AND, if you show up in your t-shirt from this years Komen Race for the Cure, you'll get a small token of our appreciation (while supplies last). It's a really important fund raiser for a really important issue, and I'd just like to say thanks for supporting it.

And that mystery photo from the last entry is indeed silk worm cocoons. Cathy and Wanda are both raising them. Don't know how much silk they're going to get since they aren't snuffing the moths, but letting them emerge from the cocoons and complete their lifecycles. It's a very cool process, watching these guys do their thing.

Okay! Let's all go have a great time at OFFF, it's gonna be a great show!


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Playing Catch-Up

(did somebody say ketchup?)

First - thanks so much for all the kind words on and off the blog about our run-in with the thief. They were all very much appreciated!

Time to share some projects from around here!

A sock in progress from Cathy, using Maizy...

Part of a finished sock from Cathy out of Trekking color 100

and part of another finished sock from Cathy out of Mielenweit cotton Festa. Cathy is our sock superstar around here. I've managed a couple of pair in my life (thanks to Cathy!), but she cranks them out regularly. In fact, she wears only handknit socks. I have aspirations to be able to do that, but it's gonna take a while. Anybody else wear only handknits? You have my utmost admiration!

And guess what else Cathy and Wanda are up to!!

Any guesses?? :)

Saturday, September 1, 2007


A while back I wrote a post about stress, and how we were all a little wacked out around here and to please be patient with us. A very sweet person called to make sure we were all okay. Physically we're all fine. Emotionally, maybe not so much.

You see, we were robbed. Not the dramatic horrific kind of robbery, but the stealthy, sneaking.... words fail me. Someone we all knew and even liked robbed us. This person worked here (and is NOT pictured in the catalog! don't think it was any of those good people!!), and was stealing spinning wheels and other big ticket items and selling them for dirt on eBay. If you know somebody who got the deal of the century on eBay for a "new in the box" wheel or drum carder - it was stolen here.

The financial fallout of this has been really bad, but that only affects me. The emotional fallout affects everybody who knew this person, all of us who worked day in and day out, sharing bits of our lives, and jokes and the shared happenings of our day. We were betrayed. Not just once, but continually. At first we thought somebody had broken in - a one time thing. Turns out it was going on for much longer than we thought, and who knows how long it would have continued. So all those conversations about how could it have happened when we thought we were robbed - that this person participated in, and gave no inkling.... were you laughing all the while?

The good people that work here have pitched in with extra effort - showing up to see if we needed more help when they weren't scheduled, working extra hours, coming in last Sunday to get inventory done as fast as we could without being closed any longer than we had to. I guess it's part of the balance in the universe - the good trying to balance out the bad.

The bad still eats away at me, as it does everyone else here. But it's getting better, and it will continue to get better. The law will do what it needs to do with this person, and we will get on with our lives. Sadder but wiser?

Choices, it's all about choices.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Out of Jail!

Today was the Jail & Bail thing for raising money for March of Dimes. I had a great time! Met and saw some interesting people, and most important of all, raised $520 - woohoo! Thank you so much to all who donated, it is very much appreciated.

The horizontal stripes are such a nice fashion statement... I was trying to look pitiful, but kept laughing, which sort of spoils the effect. I still don't know who turned me in. You can still donate money to this good cause at

I had more offline donations than online donation, in case you're counting.

Okay, I think it's time to go home. I even got the ordering done today in spite of being in jail!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

We dream in numbers...

Inventory is OVER, hallelujah! Everybody's head is spinning and chock full of numbers. Gah. We're such a great team - every year we come up with terrific process improvements that will make it go smoother next time.

Some of the good things about inventory is the chance it gives us to move things around where they belong, and find things in odd and strange places (no wonder we couldn't find that, huh...). It's a monumental task and I have so much appreciation for the extra effort that everybody puts in, and patience that everyone has with each other, with us for being out of communication, and just for the entire process. THANK YOU!

I pulled a fast one on our team. Here I am appreciating and thanking my fabulous employees and then I turn on them! I made them get their picture taken as a group for the catalogs. You never heard so much whining. Okay, okay, it IS inventory and we'd all been working since 7 am and were not exactly dressed to the nines.... So - let it be known by one and all that when you look at that picture in the back of the catalog that we're all FAR more glamourous in real life. :)


Tuesday, August 21, 2007


We've decided we'd try to do inventory a little differently this year, and get it all done in 3 days - making us only be closed for two days (Monday and Tuesday next week). We're going to be working our tails off, so wish us luck!

The catalog is still in process! It's going to be amazing, can't wait for you to see all the new yarns we've got coming in. I'm practically salivating as we open each box, diving in to see the colors and feel the yarns. Ahhhh, I love my job, I love my job, I love my job! :)

Pictures coming.... keeping way too busy with all too many things. We're a little short handed around here, and trying to do something about that too.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Keep Me Out of Jail!

I've agreed to help raise money for the March of Dimes through their "Jail & Bail" program. The March of Dimes does good work helping premature babies, etc., and it sounded like fun to me. If you'd like to help out, please check out

It's tax deductible! I'm supposed to go to jail on August 30th, and wouldn't it be cool if the local yarn store blew the record for donations?? HA, wouldn't that just blow their minds? And in a good way. We like it when everybody wins.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The best laid plans of socks and sales

If you got the email about the sock yarn sale, and wonder why the heck we didn't get the prices updated on the website, it's because the power went out! Much of, if not all of Carlton was without power yesterday afternoon, just as Tim, our Wonder Web Guy, was putting the finishing touches on the sock yarn page and getting ready to upload it. POW, surge surge surge, lights go out.... (Expletives deleted). The email was already in the hands of the folks that send it out for us (Benchmark Email), and we couldn't update the website! And the power company said it would be about 7 pm before it was back up, so we all went home and hoped you would all be understanding and forgive us for not showing sale prices. Sigh... It's updated now! and the Maizy and Soxx Appeal is up too, yum! Cathy is knitting up some Maizy and says it feels like chenille, though it's not at all fuzzy, it just somehow feels plush like chenille. Interesting!

Anyway, enjoy the 20% off all sock yarns through the end of day on Thursday! wheeeee!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Paradise Found

I found the perfect project, and the perfect yarn, and have started, hurray!
The yarn is Balance from the good folks at O-Wool. It's 50/50 organic wool and organic cotton and it's YUMMY. I adore this yarn. Knitters Review did a great review of it too, and had very nice things to say about it. And the pattern is very straight forward, very easy - just what I wanted. And I know I'll wear this sweater a LOT, short sleeved sweaters are perfect for Oregon weather. I used to have a short sleeved sweatshirt which was also perfect, but I can't find those anywhere. If someone knows a source, I'd sure love to know about it.

Friday, August 3, 2007


Everybody has stress in their lives, right? Some events are of course far more stressfull than others. Right now we're all dealing with a pretty big stress that I probably can't actually talk directly about just now. If you call in and we're distracted, we have an excuse, and probably I'll be able to say more about it later.

But I was thinking about how good knitting and spinning and weaving are for stress relief. Course, not all projects work for stress relief - some of them add to it in their own wicked and conniving ways. Last night I was wishing for miles of stockinette stitch to comfort me. All I have are some socks that are each at a stage that is not mindless, but need attention... I also have a couple of sweaters that need attention... one that's been on the needles so long it's an Epic Sweater - like they say in that big movie voice - "Four Years In The Making!" (and you can even hear the capitalization in the voice). My sweater, alas, is not a mere 4 years in the making. I started it when I moved to Oregon. In 1994. Ahem. It's got some cables and doodads going on, and it gets set aside more often than it gets worked on (yeah, no kidding), so I have to concentrate to figure out where the heck I am, let alone what I'm supposed to be doing. The body is done, and I'm working on both sleeves at once - well, at least occassionally anyway. Sigh. But it's not a comfort sweater for right now.

I filled out a questionnaire once for somebody that was writing a paper about knitting and stress relief. Like most questionnaires, the multiple choice options weren't quite right. I can't remember exactly what the wording was on them, but I remember writing in that I like to use knitting to focus my mind so that I CAN think about whatever is stressing me out, rather than using it to distract away from my problems.

Last night I stupidly used TV to distract, stayed up entirely too late thinking that then I'd be good and tired and would just fall asleep. TV distracted wonderfully! But then my brain needed to process that problem I'd tried to tuck away in a corner, so ZAP! There go the thoughts, skittering about, kicking each other into a fast rotation around my mind. Oh well, so much for sleep. I think I'll locate something requiring miles of stockinette, so I can sort it all out instead of trying to ignore it.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Stitch n Pitch, and farewell

Karen had a fabulous time at the Mariners Stitch n Pitch last week. She even got interviewed by the FSN guy! I didn't manage to catch the game, so I didn't get to see her, durn it. He asked what she was knitting, which was a dish cloth (Karen loves dish cloths!), but he said he didn't DO dishes, and turned to another knitter! Phooey on him. Anyway, a big big thanks to the folks at Lantern Moon for putting this together for all the Portland area knitters!

Yesterday we big a sad goodbye to Janice, who is leaving us to spend quality time with her grandson Kaleb. Luckily she's nearby and promises to check in with us and bring Kaleb along with her. I appreciated Janice for her calm under fire when customers occassionally get cranky on the phone, her taking the long view when bad days happen, her fabulous purple fingernails, her monster mask stories, and the myriad things that make Janice Janice. We'll miss you!

Cathy has a finished sock to show, but the colors are not even remotely true, so I'm gonna hold off on that one....

Friday, July 27, 2007

Birth of a blog

I've been wanting to do this for a while now, and so here we are! We're going to use this to show what's going on at Woodland Woolworks, what we're working on, what our customers bring us for show and tell, sneak peaks of new yarns and whatnot.

Yesterday Karen got to go to the Mariners Stitch n Pitch game with the crew from Lantern Moon, and we're all looking forward to hearing her impressions. I hope she took some pictures!

Simply Shetland 4 arrived, and let me tell you! this book is going to knock your socks off. There are a lot of simply gorgous designs in here, lots of cable work, the introduction of two brand new yarns, and that fabulous fairisle that Eunny Jang designed and hinted about in her blog... Today one of those new yarns from Simply Shetland arrived, and it's definitely drool-worthy.