Thursday, December 30, 2010

Time's running out! Be sure to enter our Spotlight Contest so you can win a prize worth over $125.

You've got only two days remaining to enter the be sure to read our latest issue of Spotlight in which we tell you about Knit One, Crochet Too. This little yarn company has grown to become very respected amongst knitters, and it's an interesting story of passion, commitment and talent.

Enter the contest and you could win a Knit One, Crochet Too Gift Package worth over $125. The prize package includes the pattern for the Douceur Magic Mobius, 2 balls of Douceur et Soie Yarn, one Culinary Colors Dye Kit and three skeins of white yarn to use with it.

All you have to do is answer the skill-testing question you'll find in Spotlight.

If you don't already receive our newsletters be sure to sign up for them because they're filled with interesting and informative items about yarn, patterns and everything you love about knitting!

Credit where credit isn't due.

Natalie Redding of Namaste Farms was interviewed by High Plains Knitter and I have to say that she's far, far too generous with her praise. She's making me blush...and if you know me you know it takes A LOT to make me turn red!

It turns out that Natalie has an American ancestry that she only recently learned about. It's absolutely fascinating...and it explains her passion for her critters and her intense love of nature.

Take a look at the blog. It's a nice piece about a very nice and talented lady.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Tires

You know how it is: you get all hyped up for Christmas and then it's over before you've even had time to say, "Pass me another piece of pie," or "It was very thoughtful of you to give me an economy-sized jar of depilatory cream."

Exhausted, you've got to pack up your gifts, and maybe some leftover turkey, and head right back to the home you left only a few hours ago...or so it seems.

We drove across the border back to the United States at peak time yesterday and were delighted that it took only 45 minutes of waiting in a line up before the Customs Agent grilled us about why we'd been out of the country, where we'd stayed and what we were bringing back with us. We were careful not to bring any fruits or meats forbidden by the US Government, and I noticed that some poor traveler who was unaware of the rules had jettisoned three contraband citrus fruits right in front of the Customs Booth. You know, if we're not being felt up by TSA guys at the airport, we're being arrested for smuggling tangerines across the border in our car.

Alex and I had our usual Christmas adventure of driving from place to place to place to see every kid and parent we have on this continent. Timing and logistics are always a challenge and we agonize over whether we'll get to see everyone at the appointed time and location. One little mishap and our entire schedule could be thrown out of whack. Then we'd have relatives circling like airplanes in a holding pattern. Believe me, you don't want circling relatives because by the time you fit them into your adjusted schedule they're a little tired and crabby.

We got to Alex's Mom's house on schedule but as we opened the doors of our car to get out we knew immediately that something was wrong. Our car was making a terrible hiss. More accurately, both our back tires were hissing. I got down on all fours to see what the problem was (because I'm closer to the ground than Alex) and even I, an automotive idiot, could tell that our tires were hosed. They were worn right down to the metal and I think the hiss was the sound of the hot metal on the snowy driveway.

We unpacked our load of gifts, then Alex headed over to Canadian Tire (the only tire store in the world that has a Bridal Registry, I think).

$453 later Alex returned with a couple of new tires and a warning from the service guy that we could have had a terrible accident on the highway, and that we should thank our lucky stars we made it 350 miles in snowy conditions.

Christmas wasn't off to a very good start. But at least we hadn't had an accident. Now we could relax and enjoy our visits with family. The kids would be arriving the next day.

Our youngest kid (the newly married one) was three hours late because the rental agency had run out of she and her husband couldn't stay with us very long. They had to get back onto the road to visit his parents.

Our eldest kid and grand-daughter arrived on time, but interrupted their three-hour visit with us for a quick shopping trip (I guess we're boring) so we didn't have much time with them, either. Who wants to be with parents when there's an outlet mall just down the street?

Our middle kid (often referred to as "The Good One") drove from NJ to Canada with her husband just as we were on our way back to the US. We met Laura and Mike at a coffee shop outside of Toronto and didn't have much time with them, either. They gave us a Gift Certificate for a nice dinner near the house they recently bought, thus ensuring we'll travel to New Jersey to visit them as soon as we can.

Between visits with the kids we stayed with Alex's Mom who celebrated her 88th birthday. Then we stayed at my Mom and Step-father's house for a couple of days where we watched the wild turkeys in her yard. On Christmas Day we dined on capons because my mother will no longer eat the same birds that look in her kitchen window demanding food. We also got to see my Dad who, I'm sorry to say, is going to have another MRI this week.


The doctor said he's 99.9% sure that there's absolutely nothing wrong with my father. But because the technician did not do the first MRI the right way -- both with and without dye -- my Dad has to go back to have a second one. He's now convinced that this is because the doctor is 0.1% certain that he has some terrible illness that has never been seen before and will require a team of dozens of surgeons to repair...if repair is even possible.

I'm hoping that the doctor gets the results immediately and informs my father that he's absolutely 100% certain that there's nothing wrong with him because my father gets so worried that he can't even go to work from the time he has the test until he gets the results. Last time, it was 11 days.

Can you imagine phoning into work and saying you couldn't be there because you had a test?

"Sorry, but I had an MRI today and I won't be coming in."
"Oh...okay. See you tomorrow."
"Well, I won't be in tomorrow, either."
"Why not?"
"Because I had an MRI today."
"Well, I don't have the results yet."
"So why can't you come into work?"
"Because I'm waiting for the results."
"I have to sit here at home and wait for the results."
"Don't you have a cell phone?"
"Yes. But I have to wait at home for the results."
"Are you feeling sick?"
"No. I feel fine. Great, in fact. But I might be sick. So I have to wait here for the call."
"When are they going to call?"
"In a week or so."

Believe me...I cannot make this stuff up. My imagination isn't that good.

Anyway, we had a great Christmas. We got to spend a little bit of time with the kids, a couple of days with our parents, and lots of time together in the car. Just Alex and me. Alone. Together. For sixteen hours. And we didn't even have a fist fight.

While we were traveling, I got to knit a scarf in that beautiful new Anny Blatt Absolu yarn which is soft and fluffy beyond all description.

And I got two new tires on my car.

I hope that your Christmas was as happy and uneventful as ours.

Monday, December 20, 2010

My X-rated blog. Don't read it if you blush.

Okay...I just finished reading a report that said the UK wants Internet porn to be opt-in only. That sounds terrific to me. But can you just imagine the Customer Service calls as people opt-in?

CUSTOMER SERVICE: British Internet Company. May I help you?
CUSTOMER: Yes. I'd like to order some porn.
CUSTOMER SERVICE: Your account number?
CUSTOMER: 1234567.
CUSTOMER SERVICE: Is this Mr. Billingsworth I'm speaking to?
CUSTOMER SERVICE:Could you verify your birthdate please?
CUSTOMER: July 1, 1966.
CUSTOMER SERVICE:Now, what kind of porn would you like?
CUSTOMER: The really dirty stuff.
CUSTOMER: How much does it cost?
CUSTOMER SERVICE: XX is 49.95 British pounds per month. XXX is 149 British pounds per month. And XXXX is 1049 British pounds per month.
CUSTOMER: Gee...I don't know. What's the difference?
CUSTOMER SERVICE: XX provides access to dirty chat rooms. XXX provides access to dirty chat rooms, instant dirty messaging, and dirty pictures with black bars across the naughty bits.
CUSTOMER: And what about XXXX?
CUSTOMER SERVICE: That's dirty chat rooms, instant dirty messaging, dirty pictures without the black bars, dirty videos, and an invitation to the monthly orgy.
CUSTOMER: Wow! That sounds great. Are you offering trial discounts?
CUSTOMER SERVICE: No, sir. Shall I sign you up for the XXXX at 1049 pounds per month?
CUSTOMER: I'm on a tight budget. Maybe I'd better start with XXX first.
CUSTOMER SERVICE: Brilliant. Now, we offer a full selection of fetishes for just a few more pence a day. Are you interested in the foot fetish?
CUSTOMER: No...not feet. What else have you got?
CUSTOMER SERVICE: Breasts. We've got lots of breasts.
CUSTOMER: Ohh...I like them.
CUSTOMER SERVICE: With or without tattoos?
CUSTOMER: Without.
CUSTOMER: Oh, no...thanks...
CUSTOMER SERVICE: Okay...that's one triple X for 149 pounds per month plus the boob fetish with no tattoos or piercings for just 9 pounds per month extra. Might I interest you in some terrific specials on our Pick-Your-Porn Packages? If you're an animal lover, we have the Caligula Collection, an exciting array of...

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

One of our wonderful customers, Jackie Awerman, just sent us a link to a video she wanted to share with us. I was delighted to see it for a couple of reasons.

First, it was so nice of her to want to share it with us.

Second, it was created at the shopping Mall that Alex takes his Mom to when he visits her in Niagara Falls, Ontario. It's in the next town over.

What a coincidence! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Fabulous Felines Calendars are now for sale! All profits go to a cat charity.

If you love pussycats, you'll want a copy of the 2011 Fabulous Felines of Yarnmarket Calendar. It features 13 pretty pusses who inspired the Fabulous Felines Chunky yarns created by Iris Schreier.

This calendar presents a new kitty each month:

Cover -- Ira
January -- Reggae
February -- Katrinka
March -- Sage
April -- Rajah
May -- Fidgesaurus Rex
June -- Fred
July -- Sandi Pandi Smooch Pooch
August -- Hamlet
September -- Truffle
October -- Spooky
November -- Evie
December -- Valentino

It also has a little reminder to shop at Yarnmarket each month...because Alex reminded me that we need to sell yarn on occasion so we can stay in business so I can create fun little pussycat calendars.

All profits from the calendar will go to the cat rescue organization from which Rajah (April's Playcat) was adopted.

Do you have parents?

If you're like most people you have -- or have had -- parents. They're those people who keep you awake at night wondering, "Do I really have proof they're mine?"

My Mom is the kind of person who knows everything that's going on in the world, why it's happening and where it's ultimately going to lead us...which, by the way, isn't a good place. When she's not feeding turkeys or other critters in her yard, she's glued to the news channels, the Internet news providers and several investment forums where rich guys go to plan what they'll do after the Apocalypse. Her hobby is macro-economics. For fun she reads about the IMF. She can tell you which country has how much debt, who owns the IOUs and what's going to happen when the country defaults on the loan. You'd think that with a direct line to information like that from my Mom I'd be in far better financial shape.

I assure her that if I ever get beyond the micro-economic question of whether to buy my clothes at TJ Maxx or Filene's Basement, I'll pay more attention to the global economy.

My Step-Father is a saint. He buys turkey food, gives my Mom the sudoko from the newspaper every morning, and has never once looked her straight in the eye and said, "All of your children are insane." He's a nice, quiet guy...the kind of guy neighbors will tell reporters was "friendly and unassuming" when he climbs to the top of the water tower and demands an end to the Fed. Or just a really good corned beef sandwich.

My Dad, on the other hand, is one of those people who keeps your brain limber by being cagey and clever and completely insane. I have to be intellectually revved up when he calls me every Sunday evening precisely at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time to say, "Hi. Did you read my last email?"

" How 'bout you tell me what you wrote?"

And then the fun begins. He lobs a soft one at me. I lob it back. He corrects my French. I tell him he was wrong and that Dame Catherine Jenkins is not really a Dame. He tries to dazzle me with an intricate point of law. I counter immediately with, "Oh, look! A chicken!"

To be honest, my poor ol' Dad has been a little mopey lately because his doctors took an MRI of his heart and they won't tell him what the results are. On the day he had it they said, "You'll have the results on Tuesday."

On Tuesday they said, "You'll have the results tomorrow."

And then on Wednesday they said, "You'll have the results on Thursday."

You get the picture. He's in Canada so I'm thinking they probably ran out of money two weeks ago and need to wait until January to look at the scans and write their report. (The funny thing is that you think I'm kidding!)

So my poor old Dad, who seems to have no symptoms whatsoever, is worried that he's so sick a team of doctors is now sequestered in a Toronto hospital exploring ways of treating his rare and fatal disease.

I've been insisting, "Dad, if you don't have any symptoms, maybe you aren't even sick."

He's offended by the concept. "If I weren't sick, why'd they take the MRI?"

"They said you have a thickening on your heart and they told you they wanted a baseline. Remember?"

"They didn't tell me I wasn't sick."

"But they said if you were, they'd call you right away."

"They don't want to ruin my Christmas."

(My niece who works for Emergency Services very cheerfully told me, "Oh, no...we've got no problem telling people they're dying. We do it all the time." Well, that's a a sick and twisted sort of way.)

When I realized I couldn't cheer my Dad up with my own Google diagnosis of his condition -- it's on the north side of his heart, so it must be moss -- I tried talking about the holidays.

"So, we'll see you on Boxing Day. Okay? We'll come over to your place."

"No," he said. "You can't do that."

"Why not?"

"I'll tell you when I see you."

This is my Dad's way of being mysterious. He does it all the time...and it's a pretty neat way to avoid a topic because I will immediately forget about it. But this time I persisted.

"Geez...we can't come to your place for some mysterious reason and you'll tell me about it later?"

"Yes. I can't talk about it now," he says as if the CIA or Julian Assange were listening to the call and taking notes.

"Okay," I gave in. "But when you're thinking of an excuse why I can't visit, try to think of something selfless and noble...and perhaps even heroic."

He laughed -- ha! ha! -- as he tried very hard to think of something selfless, noble and heroic.

I ended the call with, "See you next week," and, "Mom claims you're not my real father."

Ahhh...parents...ya can't live without 'em! But maybe thanks to the miracle of science, future generations will be able to do so.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Gifts for ourselves? I got some goofy stuff. What did you buy?

Okay, I'll admit it. I actually bought myself a couple of things this year...and I feel guilty. But these are really neat things so I'll have to learn to live with my guilt.

First of all, I bought a funny sign for our yarn. I saw it in one of the catalogs we get and I just couldn't resist it. I bought one for my Mom and then thought, what the heck, I want one too! Alex put it up on a tree in our yard yesterday. It's in the back although I really wanted to put it in the front of the house but I figured it would be stolen. Every time I look at it I laugh.

Our house, as you'd imagine, is a cross between a library, a monastery, and a joke. A good psychiatrist would have an entire case study without even going downstairs.

The second thing I got is a little odd. But so am I, so it's perfect for me.

When I was 7 years old my Mom bought me one of the very few dolls I ever liked. I was never into dolls -- especially baby dolls -- so people were not only unsurprised when I failed to reproduce, they were relieved. I was pitifully lacking in maternal instincts for anything that didn't have four feet and fur. (The kids I do have came fully assembled with my husband. All I had to do was feed them on occasion, take them on vacations, and serve as mediator whenever they argued with their father.)

Anyway, in 1963 my Mom bought me a Charmin' Chatty Doll. It was a nerdy looking doll (for a nerdy looking me) and it said nerdy things when you pulled the string. I lost the doll's glasses very shortly after receiving the gift and I've felt guilty for...oh...several decades now. I found the doll on eBay and I bought it. When it arrived it was a little shabby, but after 50 years it's not half as shabby as I am. I washed its hair and clothes and cleaned it up as much as I could. Sure, it's still stained, but it's now mine and I'm really happy to have it. The doll reminds me of when I was young and my brothers and I couldn't sleep on Christmas Eve because we were so excited about what was under the tree. The prospect of getting new toys was the biggest thrill we had. Well...until my step-father came along the next year and bought us tickets to see the Beatles!

I think I'll re-live my youth one Christmas present at a time...which means that next year I'll be buying myself a Creepy Crawlers kit! (It's's swell!)

Did you buy yourself anything for Christmas?

Limited Edition Anny Blatt Absolu is Absolutely Magnifique! Give it to a knitter you love!

If you're a lover of rare and fine yarns, you're going to be thrilled when you see and feel this incredible, and incredibly rare yarn from Anny Blatt. We couldn't believe Anny Blatt Absolu when we saw it last week during Jean-Christophe's visit. Just look at the soft, glowing halo!

He showed us the yarn, the pretty little box it comes in, and the certificate of authenticity that accompanies each ball.'s THAT rare!

We loved it so much that we said, "Nous voudrons acheter tout vos Absolus!" (TRANSLATION: We want to buy ALL of your Absolu!" We bought everything that remained in stock for this season. Those French lessons are starting to pay off!)

If you're looking for something truly exotic and wonderful -- and still affordable -- this is a yarn to treasure. (We've heard that the price will be going up with the next harvest of bunny fur so you'll want to buy now!)

I suggest you buy everything you need at one time because even though we've purchased all the balls that were still available for the North American market, it's pretty rare stuff. We won't be able to get more until those little bunnies grow more fur for Anny Blatt.

Oh...if you order it early this week with second day delivery, you could have it in time for Christmas!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Announcing...the new, improved 2011 TKGA and Yarnmarket Knitting Design Contest

I'm delighted to announce that TKGA and Yarnmarket are ready to launch the Third Annual Knitting Design Contest. Each year we invite knitters to enter their designs into our competition. The prizes are Yarnmarket Gift Certificates plus the admiration and respect of all your peers!

This year we've changed the contest somewhat to enable knitters/designers who don't write patterns to win a prize in the competition. This means that pretty much anyone with talent and imagination has a great chance at a prize. We have two different categories: TKGA Members and TKGA Masters, each with its own judging criteria and prize structure. The top prize this year is $500. There are several others to be won, as well.

Entering is easy: you just have to fill out the form and send photos -- not the actual piece -- for the first round. Then, if your design is selected as a finalist, you'll be asked to submit the actual knitted piece.

Nicky Epstein, renowned designer, will be among our judges this year! Penny Sitler of TKGA and Jan Gratz of Yarnmarket will also be judges.

I really hope everyone will enter this contest. If you're not currently a TKGA Member, you can always join afterward if your item is selected for the finalists. (But it's a great organization with a terrific magazine, so you just might want to join it anyway!)

For more information, check out the details on the TKGA web site.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Watch the latest episode of LetsKnit2Gether...with CAT at Rhinebeck.

You've already seen a lot of Rhinebeck with CAT. Now here's you chance to see some of the silly things that happened there that weren't in her first few the pumpkin toss! As always, CAT gives us an entertaining peek at the fun and activities we weren't able to attend.

Hi, there. We'd like to borrow your goat.

Yarnmarket has just received an enormous box of Namaste Farms Yarns from our friend, Natalie. She's been very busy creating her Limited Editions, Ohm Kid Mohair and Charmed yarns over the past few weeks.

This new shipment included her gorgeous Limited Edition Long Locks yarn and I cannot believe how quickly it's selling. I think we've got some of the black Long Locks remaining...but the Ecru has already sold out! We can barely get it online before it's sold!

For the Goth fans out there, we've got a new selection of Limited Editions yarns with skulls. Some are glass and some are pewter. I love the pretty pink with the skulls. Only Natalie would think of something like that for a yarn!

My favorite right now is the Limited Editions yarns with the tabby cats. The photo is above. Isn't that fun?

And speaking of fun, Natalie received the strangest phone call.

"Hello, ma'am. I know this is an unusual request...but do you have a goat we could borrow?"

The call was from a young man at the Naval Academy. They want to borrow one of her goats as a mascot at the upcoming Qualcomm game on December 23. Of course, Natalie said yes and she'll be sending her goat off to its very first football game. When you're watching it, be sure to cheer for the goat. He's likely a little nervous and could use your moral support.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Happy Rupert Day to all our shoppers...and to the New World Order.

Long time readers of the Yarnmarket blog may remember our Frank Mahovalich. This was when Alex and I celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary by declaring it "Frank Mahovalich Day." Frank's number on the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team was 27.

Frank, who is now a Senator in Ottawa, Canada, was so tickled by the event he sent us a letter to congratulate us on our "Mahovalich." Obviously, he's got a great sense of humor.

Well, today is our 29th anniversary and I really didn't know what it was -- silver, paper, cellophane, extruded plastic -- until Alex provided an answer this morning when I woke up. It's our Rupert.

My gift was a set of three DVDs entitled "Thinking Allowed." The subtitle is, "Conversations on the leading edge of knowledge and discovery."

Isn't that romantic?

On each of the DVDs is a lecture by Rupert Sheldrake: The Universal Organism, The Present of the Past, A New Science of Life. I can't wait to listen to what he has to say...even if I don't quite understand it all.

I've been hoping to attend one of Rupert Sheldrake's seminars in British Columbia in the summer but my Mom recently directed me to an article that claimed the facility he speaks at is a front for the New World Order. That leaves me conflicted. Do I want to support the New World Order?

I'm not really sure about the NWO, and whether they're affiliated with the Illuminati or the Intelligentsia. It's hard to keep track of those secret groups and there are so many of them that it's easy to get them confused. If they're Merovingians, I'm all for it. Who in the world hasn't dreamed of being a Merovingian?

But if they're part of some group that wants to take over the planet, I need to make a decision. Do I want to be one of the people they take over? Or do I want to join their little club and be one of the World's Elite? I have a feeling that it might be better to be one of 'em rather than against them...but before I commit myself I need a few answers:

1. Is there some sort of uniform I will have to wear if I join the New World Order? If so, what color is it? I don't look good in the primary colors.
2. Is there a special handshake or salute? My memory isn't very good anymore and if it's something really complex that I have to memorize, I might not be able to do it.
3. What are the fees? I work at a yarn shop so if the entry fees are too high I don't think I can join.
4. Do they offer financial assistance to those who can't pay the fees?
5. Where do they meet? If it's Kapuskacing in February, I think I'll pass. If it's Victoria, BC in June, I might be able to make it.
6. How long do the meetings last? Do they provide coffee during the breaks? And gluten-free cookies? Is it okay to sneak out to the bathroom during the speeches?
7. Can I sit in the front row? I'm not very tall and I hate not being able to see the speaker.
8. What are the NWO's goals and strategies for accomplishing their goals? Do they want World Domination? If so, what do they mean by that? Do they want to tell everyone what to do, what to think, and how to live? Do they control the World Economy? Are they in charge of the UN? Do they have translators on staff?
9. Can I be in charge of the bureau in Avignon? When they name their group "New World Order" I've got to assume they're global. And they must have branch offices. So I want Avignon...but I'll settle on Orvieto if Avignon is already taken.
10. Can I have next Thursday off for a doctor's appointment? I bought Alex some socks for our anniversary. He said, "No...I didn't say I wanted socks!" And now he's making me get my ears tested.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Our Fabulous Felines yarn is now a Fabulous Cowl

A few weeks ago I held a contest in which readers were invited to guess the hometown of Sandi Pandi Smooch Pooch, the pussycat for whom we created a Fabulous Feline yarn. Shawn was the winner (guessing Whitby, Ontario) so I sent her a free skein.

It sure didn't take her long to create this beautiful cowl!

I was so enamored of her cowl that I went right home and started knitting one of my own. I'm using Stuie, who is a lovely variegated gray. I think I'll also have to create one of my own in Sandi Pandi Smooch Pooch or Rajah. He's a pretty kitty, too...and a very lovely yarn.

Many thanks to Shawn for sharing her project with us!

Important Information about the Mysterious Katrinka

As you know, Yarnmarket invites pussycat owners from all over the world to submit photographs so their cat might be considered for our Fabulous Felines yarns. We select a cat, work with Iris Schreier to dye her exquisite merino yarn to match the cat, and then we name the yarn after the prize winning feline.

Among the first cats we selected was a mysterious one named Katrinka. Some of you may not have read the entire thread of messages that we received following the selection of Katrinka as a fabulous feline. They're interesting, shocking and -- at times -- horrifying.

If you have not already learned about the activities of Katrinka, and you are curious, you might want to visit the original post to read about her involvement with international incidents of the greatest magnitude.

As you can imagine, we at Yarnmarket were unaware of her affiliations with the "Underworld" when we selected her, but when we attempted to remove her from the list we received letters indicating it would not be in our best interests to do so.

I am telling you this because there has been a recent flurry of activity surrounding Katrinka, and I think it's important to reiterate that Yarnmarket in no way condones the activities of this shape-shifting, uber-assassin pussycat and that it is only for the safety of all our employees, and the continued existence of Pickerington, OH that we permit her to remain a Fabulous Feline.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Alfred Hitchcock would have loved this!

When Alex and I got home from the shop today, the trees behind our house were filled with birds. Alex thinks they're European Starlings, but I'm convinced they're African Swallows who've already dropped their coconuts.

Thousands of them descended upon the forest, and they stayed there for quite a while, chirping their heads off. Perhaps the Nikifortchuk Residence is a stop-over on their trip from the North to the Equator in the autumn. We'll keep our eye out for them on their return flight in the spring.

Every March our trees out back are filled with buzzards. Big, ugly buzzards. They're on their way home to Hinckley, Ohio.

All those bird feeders in our yard must be paying off and word's getting around the bird community that we're Feather Friendly.

Does anyone know what kind of birds these are and where they're heading?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Natalie shows us how to create a faux Longtail Scarf...and teaches us how to dye with Kool-Aid!

Pull out your packages of Freckleface Strawberry, Loudmouth Lime and Rootin' Tootin' Raspberry! Natalie shows us how to create one of her gorgeous Longtail scarves and gives us a great lesson in dyeing with Kool-Aid. (They don't make Funny Face drink mixes anymore. You can use Kool-Aid.)

Natalie is learning as she teaches and you'll enjoy watching her improvise with her colors.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Announcing the winner of our Artyarns Spotlight Contest

The winner of our Spotlight on Artyarns prize package is...Jann Bauder of Florida! Jann wins a gift package that includes Artyarns Beaded Mohair and Sequins yarn, a pattern for the Victorian Scarf, a copy of Iris Schreier's book, Exquisite Little Knits and 4 skeins of Felines Chunky yarn. Be sure to read your Spotlight when it arrives next week so you can enter our Spotlight contest.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Positively Magical! Faux Fair Isle Fairy Socks in Soxx Appeal yarns.

Aren't these the prettiest socks you've ever seen? Nicky Epstein designed them using Soxx Appeal yarn by Knit One, Crochet Too, and you'll find the pattern in her book, Nicky Epstein: Knitting on Top of the World.

I absolutely love the pattern she's created using the colorful Soxx Appeal Print yarn, and it really does give a fantastic faux Fair Isle appearance, don't you think?

If you want to thrill someone with a hand-crafted gift this holiday season, I think that these Faux Fair Isle Fairy Socks would be a much appreciated gift from the heart.

Bergere de France yarn is now at Yarnmarket!

Jan sent out our latest newsletter and in it was the fantastic news that we've added Bergere de France to our inventory. I absolutely love this line and am delighted that we're now carrying it.

You've probably seen their patterns in Vogue Magazine. I always look to see which styles they're featuring in their advertising because they have exquisite European style.

I think I might be tempted to make this pretty Trapeze Jacket in the Cocoon yarn... but there are so many fashionable choices that it might be difficult deciding which one to start off with.

Take a look at all the Bergere de France yarns and projects we've already got online. (Thanks, Stef!) I'm sure you'll find something you love.

If you want to check out our newsletter, you can see it here. Be sure to sign up so you'll get the next issue delivered right to your mailbox.

Monday, November 29, 2010

You've never met a cat like Sandi Pandi Smooch Pooch...the newest Fabulous Feline at Yarnmarket!

Sandi's Mom was delighted to tell us all about her prize-winning pussycat who has now been immortalized as a Fabulous Felines yarn!

“Horizons Fauna” was born on 17 April 2006 at Horizon’s Cattery in Whitby, Ontario. She is a Short Haired Champagne Burmilla. Her mother’s name is “Soliloquy” (a Long Haired Burmilla) and her father’s name is “Constitution” (a Sable/Brown European Burmese).

For six months I’d been searching throughout Canada for a female champagne Burmese or Burmilla kitten. When I initially contacted Horizons Cattery, Fauna was not for sale. The owners wanted to breed with her. Following her six monthly vet appointment, a genetic flaw was detected and it was recommended that she not become a breeder.

She came to us as a frightened and nervous seven month old with terrible table manners, ringworm and a bad cough. The first thing we did was change her name in keeping with our other two cats, Shelby Belby (Sable/Brown Foreign Burmese) and Sterly Whirly (Blue Himalayan). Her colouring, like that of a mountain lion, made naming her easy – Sandi Pandi. The second part of her name “Smooch Pooch” was added as her character developed, and she made her debut in the literary world in a book for my nieces entitled “Sandi Pandi Smooch Pooch”.

Despite her nervousness, Sandi quickly asserted herself in the Webb household as a princess. She made it quite clear from the get-go that she was the boss of humans and felines alike.

Sandi is a very loving, cuddly, sensitive, affectionate and beautiful-natured cat. Her fur is like cashmere or alpaca - luxuriously soft and thick. She and I love nothing more than for me to bury my face in her fur! She smells wonderfully, like the outdoors after a rain shower. Her meow is very high pitched and she is quite the talker. Her purr is loud and soothing. She adores having her tummy, back and chin scratched. Her favourite food is salmon, with beef running a close second.

I like to think that I’m her best friend in the world, but in reality I might be on the heels of Shelby Belby. Shelby and Sandi are inseparable. They sleep, eat and play together. They never fight, although when disagreements arise, Sandi does seem to always get the last word in! Sandi and Shelby sleep in a heated, velvet cat sofa – they both adore the heat and hate the cold. Everything is in chaos when Sandi and Shelby play, but when they’re sleeping, the house descends into a wondrous calm.

Sandi’s favourite toy is a “spring”. Over the years I’ve bought countless bags of springs for her. She plays with them until they roll out of her reach, and it’s only when I move the fridge, sofa or TV that I replenish her stash. Although the springs bring her playfulness to the forefront, when I want to send her over the edge, I bring out the big guns – her catnip toys!

Sandi is very well behaved when it comes to my knitting and my yarn. Experience has been the teacher, and when I’m knitting she steps carefully and purposefully, always watching for my reaction, between me and my yarn.

Sandi Pandi Smooch Pooch – she makes me laugh. When I think of Sandi, I smile a million smiles. She’s one of a kind and I love her to pieces!

Be sure to see all our gorgeous Fabulous Felines yarns at Yarnmarket. They're hand-dyed by the fabulous Iris Schreier using the highest quality wool yarn.

Meet the Fabulous Feline Stuie....a sweet ol' guy who avoids the Paparazzi.

Here's a handsome fellow who comes to us in gorgeous shades of gray. He's Stuie, a 17-year old sweetypuss who would rather lounge than pose (unlike the diva, Sandi Pandi).

His mother wrote to us about how much Stuie likes to be babied...and where he likes to snooze:

He most enjoys sleeping late and -- most of all -- sleeping next to me at night on the sofa. He cannot wait for me to relax and sit down. Stuie will follow me around until I sit down so he can sleep on me or next to me.

Stuie stopped sleeping in my bed when his buddy Joey died after 15 years. I made him a bed from Joey's sheep skin bed, but Stuie didn't sleep on it until a year later. I got him a baby blanket from the thrift store.

We thought that Stuie would make a perfectly wonderful Fabulous Feline because he has such beautiful coloring, and we were really touched when we received his entry for the competition. The very last line of the letter simply read, "I love Stuie."

Yeah...we know what it's like to love a pussycat. Congratulations to Stuie on becoming a Yarnmarket Fabulous Feline!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Let's be thankful!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and on behalf of all the Yarn Martians at Yarnmarket, I'd like to thank you for letting us serve you throughout the past year. We get enormous pleasure out of helping our knitters and crocheters find the perfect yarns, books and patterns...and we love the challenges you throw at us when you need a specific dye lot or a magazine from earlier in the decade.

In the past year we've said goodbye to one much-loved employee, Brenda, who moved to California to help care for her brand new twin grand-babies. But we've added Mary and Janice to our staff and we're delighted they're here to help us fill orders for our customers around the world.

We're thankful for Stef and Michele who work so hard to get projects, yarns and patterns online for you and who are happy to show customers around our showroom whenever they drop by for a visit. Stef's our Fashionista who helps select patterns to promote, and Michele is our wonderful photographer whose work you see in our newsletters and online.

We're thankful for Susan who scans all the yarns and is so persnickety that she checks them out on all sorts of different computer monitors to ensure that what you see is as close as she can get to the real color.

We're thankful for Pat who keeps BargainYARNS filled with oodles of great buys, helps with the BargainYARNS Alert so you'll know what's in store, and who does such a great job organizing the BargainYARNS warehouse.

We're thankful for Jan who works tirelessly to create the Yarnmarket newsletters and bulletins that you love so much...and who, as our walking Yarndex, helps Alex select the yarns he's going to put into Yarnmarket.

We're thankful to Susie and Sharon and Jill who keep Yarndex updated, answer customer queries, help prepare yarns for inventory and do a myriad of other jobs necessary to keeping our customers happy, our yarns in-stock and our products online.

We're thankful to Lori for managing our inventory because we know what an enormous task it is to keep on top of over 800 yarns! She amazes us with her ability to juggle so many tasks.

We're thankful to Lynn who is so wonderful with our customers and who ensures that our orders are shipped out as quickly as possible. Lynn is that friendly voice you hear when you call us with your phone orders.

We're thankful to Jenny, our Web Mistress, who helps us develop wonderful new things like KnitchMagazine. We know we drive her crazy with our requests.

We're thankful to freelancers like our precious Amanda who designs our ads, Jared who makes sure we're at the top of the search engines, and Jerry who performs miracles on our databases.

We're especially thankful to Amy, Lisa, Tina, Mary, Julie, and Janice without whom none of this would be possible. They're on our front lines everyday -- picking and packing the orders and sending them out to you as quickly as they possibly can. They're the ones who are never seen because they work so hard behind the scenes.

To all our Yarn Martians, thanks for another wonderful year.

And to all our customers, we hope that you have as much to be thankful for as we have. We wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Learn all about Glitz & Glamor Yarns!

Our Yarn Martian yarn experts have just released the newest issue of Just My Type. This edition is all about Glitz & Glamor yarns that you'll want to consider for holiday projects.

Learn what makes a glamor yarn and then see the gorgeous ones we have at Yarnmarket. We carry the top brands...and have oodles of yarns in stock for fast delivery just about anywhere on the planet!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Just released! Another interesting and informative video from CAT and Let's Knit2Gether!

Join Cat and her husband as they travel to Rhinebeck, NY for the 2010 NYS Sheep and Wool Festival. See how Cat did on her contest entry, and check out the new, unprocessed fibers she's added to her stash!

New Fabulout Felines yarns are on the way. You can win a skein!

Take a good look at this pussycat. Her name is Sandi Pandi Smooch Pooch.

I'd love you to take a guess where she comes from. The person who guesses the closest will win a skein of her gorgeous Fabulous Felines yarn created by Iris Schreier of Artyarns. But even if you don't get it exactly right, you can win a prize!

Here's how it will work. From now until Friday, I'm asking people to put their guess up on this blog. If someone guesses the country correctly, I'll let you know. That means your assignment is now to guess where in that country. If someone guesses the state/province/territory correctly, I'll let you know that, too. And then your job is to guess what city/town/village. We'll keep going an going until we get it right. If people are really good guessers, we might have to get right down to the street.

No cheating!

The person who guesses the closest will receive a free skein of Sandi Pandi's color.

Everyone who guesses correctly will win a Yarnmarket bag. It's a cloth bag with our logo and you can use it for carting projects around or just for your grocery shopping.

So...get it? One person will get a skein of the yarn. Everyone else who correctly guesses the country/territory/city/etc. (to however granular we can become) will win a Yarnmarket bag.

I'll start off by guessing Earth. It's up to the next person to guess the country.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Welcome to my world. Goofy, yes. But not boring.

Every so often, someone will look at me, shake their head and comment, "You're in your own little world, aren't you?"

I beam back at them, "Yes, I am! And I like it here."

My own little world might not be luxurious, but the way I see it, it's the best place I can be. Here's why.

In my world...

1. There's always something to laugh at...even if it's only me.
2. There are sometimes home-made marshmallows. And when I'm lucky, they're served on hot chocolate at Les Deux Magots in Paris...if the TSA guys don't think they're plastic explosives and blow up my suitcase.
3. People are really, really, really interesting. Take Vinny Pinto, for example. How many of you can say you communicate with a shape-shifting minion of the uber-spy and assassin rag doll cat named Katrinka?
4. Everyone wears underpants. Even animals.
5. Nice people always win.
6. When the phone rings, there's a good chance it's someone calling to tell you something amazing. Like maybe David Bowie or Rupert Sheldrake or the lead singer for the Killers to tell you that they want to stop by for a fresh, home made marshmallow.
7. There is justice for all -- even if you get totally screwed by dirty rats like who sell you a ticket when there's no seat on the airplane but they won't refund your $500 or even respond to your emails. You meet a really nice guy like Michael Tremblay at Air Canada and he sees the injustice and does his best to fix it for you. (In my world's justice system the people at will end up in jail for fraud where they'll be loved by the guys in Cell Block C. I mean really loved. Loved within an inch of their deeply discounted lives.)
8. If your email goes down and you've lost years of hard work and all your contacts, you get to write a song about it.
9. When your friends say you're crazy, they're complimenting you.
10. You get to hang around monasteries and seminaries and read books by guys who are so much smarter than you that it almost makes your brain explode.
11. You get to hear the greatest music from the past 400 years -- like stuff by Monteverdi and Gabrielli and Beethoven and Supertramp, ELO, Yes, Genesis, the Fray and Snow Patrol.
12. You can remember really neat stuff like Fizzies, Space Food Sticks, Six Finger, Polaroid Swinger, Creepy Crawlers, Incredible Edibles, The Smothers Brothers, The Carol Burnett Show, Ed Sullivan, Beany & Cecil, Rocky & Bullwinkle, underpants that covered your entire bum, Hockey Night in Canada, riding your bike for miles and miles without anyone even thinking you'd be kidnapped, Mr. Ledrew's garden filled with moonflowers, getting excited about a lift-off, climbing trees, catching pollywogs, and sharing Bonomo Turkish Taffy with a friend.

See? Isn't it a nice world?

And I'll bet that your world is just as wonderful as mine. All you've got to do is look at it that way.

And then make a list.

I've got my "Happy List" that includes all the fantastic things I've seen and done in my life. It includes everything from "Jumped off the Kawarua Bridge" to "Touched the Rosetta Stone." (Yeah...I know. You're not supposed to touch it.)

This Holiday Season you should give yourself a gift: make your own Happy List. Then when you're moping around and feeling sorry for yourself, you can pull it out and say, "Holy cow! I've had a pretty good life."

That's what I like to do...while I'm feasting on home-made marshmallows and wondering why my underpants no longer cover my bum.

Where have all the turkeys gone? Maybe their Animal Planet fame has beckoned them to Broadway.

As many of you know, we've been lamenting the disappearance of my Mom's turkeys. One minute they were standing at her kitchen window demanding to be fed, and the next minute they were gone. My step-father has been driving the country lanes of Caledon Hills in search of his wayward flock.

(Have I ever mentioned that Ralph's sign at entrance to their house says, "Hawk's Moon Hill"? Ha! We all know the truth. Ralph just didn't believe that "Turkey's Moon Hill" had quite the same panache.)

I think that my Mom's turkeys read about themselves on the Animal Planet blog and have high-tailed it to the big city lights of Broadway Avenue, Orangeville.

Yes, one minute they were just a bunch of pretty birds in somebody's back yard. The next minute, they'd wandered down the country lane in search of fame and fortune...and perhaps some corn and a drink of water.

I just hope they don't do what all the other famous chicks do: start strutting around like guttersnipes and abandoning their underpants.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ever thought of visiting Yarn Martian Head Quarters? Read about someone who did...and who lived to tell the tale!

I just received a Google Alert about an online article that included mention of Yarnmarket. As you can imagine I clicked right to it to see what was said.

You never could be something like, "David Bowie is planning to visit Yarnmarket to pick up some yarn for his lovely knitting wife, Iman," or "Today, police in Pickerington, Ohio were called to Yarnmarket where a woman leapt on top of David Bowie, screaming, 'He's mine...all mine!'"

Well, it wasn't either of those stories...but it was just as good!

Please visit AudKnits to read about her trip to Yarnmarket and why you ought to stop by the next time you're heading along Interstate 70 and wondering, "Hmmm...where could I find about 4 million balls of yarn?"

It's a great article, and I love the website. I think you will, too.

If you've been thinking of coming to Yarnmarket, please do! I can think of a lot of reasons why you might be on Interstate 70 over the next few weeks:

1. You're going to watch a football game at OSU;
2. You're going to visit our lovely Hocking Hills to enjoy the serene natural beauty of a catastrophic glacial event;
3. You're going to Jeni's ice cream because you saw the CNN report that said Jeni's ice cream in Columbus is the best ice cream in the known universe;
4. You're fleeing from the police and you want to knit yourself a beard disguise;
5. You and the hubby are heading to the airport with a bottle of champagne and some chocolate dipped strawberries to celebrate your anniversary by engaging in a little naughty foreplay with our very friendly TSA Agents.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Jan's November Bulletin features new additions to Yarnmarket from Ella Rae, Cascade and Berroco!

This morning Jan sent out her November Bulletin with lots of great project ideas for the winter season. She also featured new additions to our inventory from some of our favorite yarn manufacturers -- Cascade, Ella Rae and Berroco.

If you don’t already receive a copy of our Bulletin, you can view it here.

Be sure to sign up for it because you’ll also get our Spotlight that is packed with interesting information about our yarn vendors.

Of all the projects featured in this month's Bulletin, I was most taken by this shawl from Aslan Trends. The Invernal Oblique Shawl uses their fantastic Invernal yarn. I like that this shawl has an interesting closure that holds it secure.

Jan also mentioned that we've added Peaches 'n Creme to our BargainYARNS sale site. We're always searching for new bargains for our shoppers so be sure to check out BargainYARNS!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Monday Morning Meltdown

(to the tune of, "Bye, bye Miss American Pie)

A long, long time ago...
I can still remember
How that email used to make me smile.
And I knew if I had my Mac
That I could Google "heart attack"
And, maybe, I'd stay online for a while.

But November made me shiver
My emails could not be delivered.
To Toronto or Hoboken;
My IMAP link was broken.

I had a meltdown and I cried
When I couldn't reach my Russian bride,
I was troubled deep inside
The day my Fusemail died.

So bye-bye, to my Internet High
I'd better write a letter,
To the tech support guy
They told me they could fix it but I know it's a lie
Singin’, "this’ll be the day that I cry.
"this’ll be the day that I cry."

Did you write the book of Code,
And do you have a local node,
Does your doco tell you so?
Do you believe in Steven Jobs,
Can email save your mortal soul,
And can you teach me how to type real slow?

Well, I know that you’re online right now
But I can't reach you anyhow.
I might try to IM you.
Man, my email won't go through!

I was a hostile mid-aged fat-assed chick
With a big computer and a memory stick,
But I knew I was almost sick
The day my Fusemail died.

So bye-bye, to my Internet High
I'd better write a letter,
To the tech support guy
They told me they could fix it but I know it's a lie
Singin’, "this’ll be the day that I cry.
"this’ll be the day that I cry."

Now for ten years we’ve made friends online
And we email them all the time,
But that’s not how it used to be.
We used to just pick up the phone,
And ask if our friends were at home
In a voice that came from you and me.

Oh, but then Road Runner came to town,
We went online, the lines went down.
The servers just got burned;
An ERROR was returned.
And while someone wrote a Dummie's Guide,
The tech guys all played iTunes songs,
Said they'd fixed it. They were wrong
The day my Fusemail died.

Now I'm singing,
"So bye-bye, to my Internet High
I'd better write a letter,
To the tech support guy
They told me they could fix it but I know it's a lie
Singin’, "this’ll be the day that I cry.
"this’ll be the day that I cry."

Helter skelter in a nervous swelter.
Everyone's running to take shelter,
I'm really low and falling fast
My email's gone and I'm aghast
I don't know long I can last
I'd like to put that tech guy in a cast.

Now the monitor gives me commands
To do things I don't understand.
I think I'll just reboot it,
Or get a gun and shoot it!
`cause my email will not be revealed;
The files are missing or concealed.
Can you imagine how I feel?
Today my email died.

I started singing,
"So bye-bye, to my Internet High
I'd better write a letter,
To the tech support guy
They told me they could fix it but I know it's a lie
Singin’, "this’ll be the day that I cry.
"this’ll be the day that I cry."."

Oh, my files were stored all in one place,
A server somewhere lost in space
I think I'll hit "Restart" again.
So come on: Techny Nerd Guy fix it quick!
I've gone offline and feeling sick
I can't send an email to my friends.

Oh, and yes I tried the Online Chat
But I knew I shouldn't count on that.
No tech guy born in hell
Could break my satan’s spell.
As he tried to help from Bangalore
I couldn't take it anymore,
I called the Geek Squad to my door
The day my email died

They were singing,
"So bye-bye, to my Internet High
I'd better write a letter,
To the tech support guy
They told me they could fix it but I know it's a lie
Singin’, "this’ll be the day that I cry.
"this’ll be the day that I cry."

I called a guy who worked for Fuse
And I asked him for some happy news,
But he just laughed and went away.
I went down to the Apple store
Where I’d bought a laptop years before,
But the man there couldn't fix me up today.

So in my blog I blew off steam,
I vented rage, I yelled and screamed,
My email still was broken;
But I felt good I'd spoken.
And the men that I admire the least:
The techie guys who made this beast,
They all logged off and had a feast
The day my email died.

And I was singing,
"So bye-bye, to my Internet High
I'd better write a letter,
To the tech support guy
They told me they could fix it but I know it's a lie
Singin’, "this’ll be the day that I cry.
"this’ll be the day that I cry."."

I was singing,
"bye-bye, to my Internet High
I'd better write a letter,
To the tech support guy
They told me they could fix it but I know it's a lie
Singin’, "this’ll be the day that I cry.
"this’ll be the day that I cry.""

Have you checked out our latest bargains at BargainYARNS? We always have great savings on Berroco, too!

We’re always adding new yarns to BargainYARNS, Yarnmarket's sale and value site. This is where we put our ends-of-lines, special deals and the value-priced yarns that so many knitters and crocheters love for afghans.

In the past few we’ve added:

Peaches ‘n Creme by Pisgah
Bernat Baby Jacquards
Bernat Baby Coordinates

Filatura di Crosa Kiss
Ancient Threads Sockittome
Ancient Threads Tri

2Di4 Duo Cherry Tree Hill Alpine Lace
Cherry Tree Hill Silken Mohair

Bouton d’Or Ksar
Bouton d’Or Norma
Bouton d’Or Songe
Bouton d’Or Spiga
Bernat Baby Cakes
Bernat Mosaic

Kertzer Meadows Multi
Kertzer Meadows Solids
Kertzer Tiara

BargainYARNS always has a good selection of Berroco yarns on sale, too. Right now we have:
Berroco Icon
Berroco Keltic
Berroco Lavish
Berroco Mosaic FX
Berroco Plume FX Colors
Berroco Softwist Colors
Berroco Ultrasilk
Berroco Vibe
Berroco Zap
Berroco Zap Colors
Berroco Zen Colors
Berroco Zoom

Our Berroco yarns tend to go quickly so be sure to order yours now while they last!

When you shop at BargainYARNS you get the same superior service and fast delivery that you always receive from Yarnmarket.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Fun with Fusemail

Geez...all I wanted was to retrieve a letter in my Mailbox files so I could get Karin Strom's phone number. She's the new editor of Interweave Magazine.

I tried connecting with Fusemail's "Online Chat" for the help desk but no one responded after a very long time and several attempts. But I did receive a message asking if I'd like to speak online to their sales team. Sure, I thought. They can wake up the guy on the Help Desk.

This transcript is short...but it occurred over a lengthy period of time as I awaited responses.

Hi, my name is Kate, I'm in the Sales department. Before we get started, may I please have your name, email address and phone number, just in case we get disconnected.

Me: Deborah, xxx-xxx-9276

Kate: Hi Deborah, how can I help you today?

Me: I'm trying to get your Support Help but no one is connecting. I see that you're all set up to sell the product, but is there anyone who can Help me figure out why I can't open my emails? When I do, the entire content area is blank.

Very sorry to hear that you are having difficulties.

Let me try to look-up your account while I also try to get someone in support to help you out.

Thank you.

Kate: When did you last access your email and it was working properly?

Me: Probably a couple of weeks ago -- at least. These days I get messages that my Mail Files don't exist when I try to save something in Outlook. I've been ignoring it and hoping it would fix itself, but now I need information from an email sent to me in September that I filed and I can't open it.

Of course, that sounds very inconvenient

Kate: Let me transfer you to support right away, unfortunately this is something I am not capable of resolving myself.

Thank you so much for your patience.
You have been transfered to Bruce, one moment while your chat is being reviewed.


Me: finished reviewing yet?

I apologize for the delay. What web browser are you currently using.

Me: I use both Mozilla and IE -- and need to switch constantly because Fusemail doesn't seem to like Mozilla.

I apologize for this issue. When using Mozilla FireFox, it works for me.

I'm taking a look at your account right now to see if I can recreate on this end.

Good one! You can read my emails but I can't.

Me: I am now getting a message in IE. When I click on the email title to read the email I get the message Internet Explore cannot display the webpage. What you can try: Diagnose Connection problems.


Me: How about this, Bruce? You go into my the Inbox under Magazines is a file called Interweave. There is a letter from Karin Strom on 9/27. How about you read it and give me the contact info I need?


Bruce. You there? Shall I call 911?


Me: Bruce...I can see that you're typing...but nothing's coming through. And it's taking a long time. Are you having a stroke? Has someone broken into the facility and they're holding you hostage? Shall I call the police?


I apologize for the delayed response. I am currently applying fixes on my end to your account.

Me: So that means it was broken.

Me: Thank God you're alive. I was beginning to worry.


Bruce: I reset the cache and did a folder fix, but am unable to find the folder of Magazines.

Bruce: Could you please log out of the account and log back in for me?

I will do that right now. When I just checked my Interweave File ( the Inbox under Media, Magazines, Interweave) it was empty. I'll be right back. Don't go away or get kidnapped.

Me: Bruce, now the Interweave folder is completely empty. The message is "This Folder is Empty." Have all my emails been wiped out with the fix?

Bruce: I don't believe so, but it sounds like I need to create a ticket and send it up to our system administrators to have them look into this further. What is a good email address that we could stay in contact with you at?

Me: Bruce, I am now seeing that NONE of my emails are visible. How about it if you try to reach me by my Fusemail Account? Oh...I know...that's a good one, isn't it?

Me: Seeing as how Fusemail doesn't work...maybe your tech people could reach me through

Bruce: I will create the ticket and send it up to them and as soon as we know something, we will let you know.


Okay, it looks like it's going to be a while before I can get into my email to find Karin's phone number. If anyone out there has it, can you please send it to me?

Oh...and I don't suppose I have to tell you that I wouldn't recommend Fusemail.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My grand-daughter the Canadian Air Cadet seems like only yesterday she was learning to ride a bike. Now she wants to fly airplanes! At all of twelve years old, Madison has decided that she wants to become a pilot. This shouldn't come as a surprise, I guess. When you live in Canada, your instincts to migrate southward kick in every autumn.

I remember when I lived there, I'd watch the geese as they passed over my house on their way toward the welcoming, warmer climate of Buffalo, NY. Oh, how I longed to join spend winters lounging on the tropical beaches of Lake Erie...sipping a Pabst beer and nibbling on chicken wings. (Okay, I confess. The first time a flock of geese flew over my house in V-formation and making a terrible racket, I phoned my Mom, screaming, "Honky birds! Honky birds!" She almost choked to death, laughing at me as she listened to the birds in the background and informing me, "They're geese." It was at this point my Mom realized that her children were city kids -- not from the countryside like she was -- and we didn't know a goose from a pigeon.)

Madi's Mom sent us these photos of our little grand-baby in her new uniform. Judging from these shots, I think she's going to do well in the Cadets. She's already got that steely-eyed gaze, perfect posture, and look of cold composure.

I wonder if she'll end up joining the Canadian Military one day? Boy, that would be weird. She's all pink and sparkles and lipstick...a real "girly girl." She's not like her Grandma who skated like a hockey player, had her very own Six Finger toy gun/spy toolkit, and who beat up Billy Berkovich when he insulted her step-brother, David.

I'll bet a lot of Canadians will sleep better tonight knowing that Madison Skylar Snow is now learning to protect The Truth North Strong and Free.

And to think it was only yesterday that she wanted to become the next Madonna, Lady Gaga or Paris Hilton.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Congratulations to Jennifer L. of Stowe VT for winning our Spotlight on Rowan Contest!

Lucky Jennifer has won a terrific Rowan gift package worth over $150. It includes 10 skeins of Purelife Renew yarn, Crystal Palace needles and a selection of Rowan pattern books.

Be sure to read our blogs and friend us on Facebook so you'll learn all about our contests and promotions.

Who knows? You could be the next winner!

Congratulations to Allison, winner of our Kristin Nicholas Contest!

I'm elated to announce that Allison A. of Cardiff by the Sea, CA is the winner of our Kristin Nicholas "Get Stitched" Contest. Allison correctly guessed that Yarnmarket has 33 colors of Julia Yarn so she'll receive a gift package worth over $100!

The package includes an autographed copy of Kristin Knits AND skeins of Julia yarn by Nashua.

We accepted two answers as correct -- 33 and 34 -- because our inventory can change on a day-to-day basis as new colors come in and existing ones sell out.

Be sure to watch our blog and become a friend on Facebook so you'll learn all about the contests we're running. You could be our next lucky winner!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Birthday, Maureen.

A few weeks ago, I received a call from a new customer, Maureen. She lives in Buffalo -- which is just a stone's throw from my old home town. As I was helping Maureen with her order, we got to chat about all sorts of wonderful things, like Goldie who used to do the fund raising for the local PBS channel. Everyone knows Goldie!

For Maureen's birthday, I thought I'd remind her of a few other things that she might remember:

Dave Thomas as Commander Tom on Rocketship 7
Friday Night Fright Night at 11:30 that showed those terrific old horror movies
"Talkin' Proud"
Fire in Tonawonda! Details at ll.
"It's eleven o'clock. Do you know where your children are?"
"Fun? Wow!" at Marineland
Treasure Island
Irv Weinstein

Have a wonderful birthday, Maureen. We're glad you received your yarn today.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Last days to enter! You could win a Kristen Nicholas gift package!

If you love the vivid colors of Julia yarn and the fantastic patterns by Kristin Nicholas, you'll want to enter the Knitch Magazine contest. The winner will receive an autographed copy of Kristin Knits plus enough Julia yarn to complete a project (12 skeins).

How? It's easy! Just read our article about Kristen Nicholas on and then follow the instructions at the bottom of the page.

Entries must be received before midnight, October 31, 2010. A random drawing from all the correct answers will take place on November 3, 2010 and be announced here on Shear Bagatelle.

Be sure to visit Kristin Nicholas' website and her blog, Getting Stitched on the Farm to learn more about the designer and her yarns.

You're invited to our Open House!

Yarnmarket will be open on Saturday, November 13 from 11 to 3. Please drop by and say hello...and check out our new autumn/winter yarns. We've got new ones arriving every day and I'm especially excited that we're adding more from Anny Blatt, the French yarn company. Check out the patterns because they're really top-line fashion.

We've also got some absolutely gorgeous Artyarns that would be fantastic for Holiday wear.

I like to suggest that if you're coming to shop you check us out online first because the selection is so enormous (800 yarns!) that some knitters are absolutely shocked when they come in and they find it hard to choose.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Chunky yarns are big this season! Learn all about them in Yarnmarket's newest issue of Just My Type

We've just sent out our newest Just My Type newsletter. This is the monthly email that deals with a specific yarn -- teaching you all about it and introducing some fantastic new fashions you can create with it.

In this month's issue we feature some terrific yarns from Crystal Palace; Karabella; Caledon Hills; Knit One, Crochet Too; Debbie Bliss; Rowan;Misti Alpaca; Malabrigo; Tahki; Rozetti; Stacy Charles; Gedifra; Berroco and Classic Elite.

You'll want to see the gorgeous chunky yarns and patterns we've got in stock for fast delivery. Some shoppers have told us they're surprised that our prices are so low every day on new yarns and colors -- without having to purchase a minimum amount.

Remember, shipping is free in the contiguous US if your order is over $100.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Something to make you laugh on a Monday morning. Marriage -- A Survival Guide

As many of you know, I work here at Yarnmarket with my beloved, Alex. This is maybe the fifth time in our careers we've worked together, and we've been married 29 years now...which means we've pretty much become immune to one another.

I wrote this piece when we'd been married 25 years. My intent was to give it to the kids, but for some reason I tucked it away and never pulled it out again until last week.

So, here's something that should make you laugh. And maybe it'll help put it all into perspective. (Someday I should get Alex to write his advice.) might not agree with some of this stuff, but it's worked for me.

How to Stay Married for 25 Years Without Killing One Another

Never pay attention to what your husband says. If you do, you’ll have to kill him.

Don’t worry if he says something that you didn’t hear. There are only two things he could say that would make a difference in your life. “I’m leaving you.” Or, “I just won the lottery.” So, if your ears don’t catch either “lottery” or “leaving” just go about your business and don’t worry about it.

Don’t say anything about his mother. Ever. Okay, maybe you can say, “Gee, I do wish your mother wouldn’t nag you so much.” But don’t even say that very often or else he’ll accuse you of calling his mother a nag.

Never fight with him when he’s angry. You’ll only make it worse. Fight with him nicely, when he’s in a good mood.

Never say anything really bad. Sure, you can think it. But don’t ever say it. Because once you do, it’s there for life and you’ll never be able to get rid of it. They might not be able to remember your favourite colour or perfume, but men have remarkably long memories for some things.

Get over yourself. You aren’t so hot that he won’t leave you for someone else. Hot lasts seven years maximum (proved by science!). Try being a hot, sexy bitch in that eighth year, and you might as well make your home page.

Also, get over him. Not every woman in the world wants to jump him. If you think he’s going to cheat on you every time he leaves the house, find someone you trust. And if you don’t trust anyone, see a shrink. You need one.

Cook him food he likes even if it makes you barf. You don’t have to eat it.

Don’t get fatter than he gets. Or, if you do, always be on a diet but have lots of the food he likes to eat around the house. When he doesn’t want to eat alone, he’ll give you special dispensation for being a lard-butt.

Give him a lot of candy and sweet things until he develops a craving for them. Then, when you want to eat some, you can offer them to him and he won’t be able to resist…and as long as he’s eating them with you, they don’t count.

Don’t keep secrets. If he finds out you’ve kept a secret from him, he’ll start to wonder what other secrets he doesn’t know about. And what he can imagine is probably a whole lot worse than anything you’ve ever wanted to keep secret.

Don’t nag. If he’s not going to do whatever it is you’re nagging about, just do it yourself. Sure…he’s supposed to do it. But if it’s so important to you that you’re going to make your lives a living hell over it, get up off your own bum and get it done!

Don’t expect him to tell you that you’re pretty all the time. He married you, didn’t he?

Don’t expect him to tell you that he loves you all the time. He married you, didn’t he?

Have separate bathrooms.

Make one another laugh. If you don’t, find someone else. In the course of your life, you’ll want to spend a lot more time laughing than kissing.

Don’t expect him to gaze longingly into your eyes -- unless he’s longing to find the ripped contact lens you’ve asked for his help to remove.

Don’t tell everyone that he’s stupid or inept. Remember, most of the people you know will judge him only by what you’ve said about him. If you tell them he’s stupid, they’ll believe you. And then they’ll wonder why you want to be with an idiot. They’ll assume it’s because nobody else wanted you.

If you have a big fight, don’t get everyone involved. You’ll convince them of what a dirty rat he is. Then, when you forgive him and have returned to thinking he’s wonderful, they’ll be wondering why you want to be with such a loser.

If you get him drunk enough to let you put make-up on him, don’t take a photo.

If you get him drunk enough to let you put bright pink temporary hair colour on him, don’t take a photo.

If you get him drunk enough to put on one of your negligees, don’t take a photo.

If he’s really drunk and wants to fight that pi equals 2.783, don’t bother correcting him. Say, “Yes, that’s right, sweety.”

And if he’s really drunk but still sober enough to realize you’re patronizing him, correct him and tell him it’s 2.784. Then divert his attention with a shiny object.

Don’t be boring.

Don’t use his razor.

Share your money. If you have “your” bank account and he has “his” bank account, it’s pretty obvious that you don’t trust one another with the finances. In that case, you should probably be with someone else.

Don’t be selfish. You’re a couple. If you only care about you, and he’s supposed to care only about you, there’s no one to care for him. Chances are, someone will eventually come along and fill that gap. Remember, nature abhors a vacuum.

If a pork chop falls onto the floor, put it on your own plate after you pick it up.

Let him let you eat the last chocolate cream puff. (In other words, offer to let him have it, and then squeal with delight when he says it’s yours.)

Don’t be lazy. If you see he needs help with something, get up off your bum and help him.

Don’t be ready for a fight all the time. You don’t always have to have the last word. You don’t have to always get your own way. Relationships are about compromise. If you aren’t ready to compromise, you aren’t ready for an adult relationship. Grow up a bit and then give it another try. (This is often the lesson learned during your “Starter marriage.”)

Do things together. Go places. Take courses. Read the same books. Have things you can talk about and memories you can share as you get older. If you’re doing your things and he’s doing his, you won’t have those memories to share.

Be kind to one another. It can be a mean, rotten world out there. And the one person who’s supposed to be your friend is your spouse. If your spouse isn’t the one you run to when you’re feeling desolate – surprise! -- you’ve got one more thing to feel desolate about.

Accept that you’re going to be blamed for anything that’s broken or missing. Your job is to fix it or find it.

Don’t expect him to agree with everything you say. You aren’t infallible. Well, unless you’re the Pope. And if you are the Pope, good going! We didn’t even know you were Catholic.

If you’re not happy when you’re with him, he’s probably not happy when he’s with you. Breaking up is hard to do…but sometimes not as hard as staying together.

If he’s dressing like a dork, tell him. But not when he’s dressed like a dork. All you’ll do then is make him embarrassed. And when he’s embarrassed, he’s mad. Wait until he’s dressed nicely and then mention that one of his outfits isn’t quite as flattering as the one he’s currently wearing.

Make sure he has a drawer full of clean underwear. Yeah…I know…I know…fem lib and all that stuff. Go on out, earn as much as a man --or, preferably, more! -- and be the bread winner. But still make sure your husband has a drawer full of clean underwear.

It’s not his fault that life isn’t fair. So don’t punish him for it.

Appreciate that he’s letting you keep your cats even though they’re causing him respiratory failure. It’s not your fault he developed allergies…and it’s not his fault, either. Be thankful he’s making the sacrifice.

Never hate each other at the same time.

Don’t expect him to think your family is normal.

If he comes home from work really grouchy and upset, try to be pleasant. Something is upsetting him, and he may not want to talk about it. Maybe he screwed something up. Maybe somebody blamed him for something he didn’t do. Whatever it was, don’t add to it by being bitchy. And don’t expect him to want to talk about it. Women talk about their problems. Men get grouchy and/or drunk.

Lighten up. Don’t take everything so seriously. If he calls you a dumb name, laugh about it.

Don’t spend your life trying to be cool. It’s more fun to have your husband pretend he’s Cecil the Seasick Sea Serpent while you ride him around the pool than it is to make him fake coolness at some stupid pretentious bar.

Share the same values. If you don’t have the same underlying foundation you’re going to have problems. Find a partner who agrees with you politically, ethically and religiously.

Don’t believe that money will solve your problems. If you’re not happy together when you’re poor, you won’t be happy together when you’re not poor.

Don’t think having children will solve your problems, either. Or buying a new house. Or taking a vacation. The only thing that will solve your problems is – well – solving your problems! Figure out what they are and fix them.

Accept that you’re middle-middle class Canadian/American. You’re not poor. You’re not rich. You’re average…and in the course of civilization you’re doing better than 99.999% of all the people who ever lived on this planet. Be happy about it.

Don’t compare yourself to the rich people or you’ll end up feeling unaccomplished or cheated. Those people have problems, too. They have marriage break-ups, illness, tragedy. Their friends use them. The media trashes them. Most of them would give up a lot to have the anonymous peace and quiet you take for granted.

Don’t be sucked into pretentious consumption. It’s foolish and wasteful.

Have goals, but don’t make money your goal. Make accomplishments your goals and the money will come.

Be real.

Be honest. But not so honest that you hurt feelings. There’s never a good reason to hurt anyone’s feelings. If you find it necessary to do so, see a shrink.

Have depth. Beauty is only skin deep. But stupid goes right to the core.

Allow others their differences. Everyone in the world isn’t like you. They don’t even want to be like you. This is another variation of, “Get over yourself!”

Be quiet. Don’t feel it necessary to talk all the time or be surrounded by noise. It won’t hurt you to spend some time quietly thinking.

Do the right thing. It’s not always the easy thing. Or the fast thing. Or the thing that will make you the most popular. Do the right thing simply because it’s the right thing to do.

Accept blame for your own life. You’re an adult now. You’re making your own decisions. So, if you aren’t happy with your life, it’s your own damned fault.

Think about all the good advice you never listened to. Really think about it. And then think about the advice you’re getting now. And if you aren’t going to take good advice, be sure to kick yourself when things don’t turn out well. It’s your own fault. You were warned.

Also, along the same lines, think about every time you’ve been wrong. If you don’t think you’ve ever been wrong, see a shrink. There’s something wrong with you.

Realize that your parents did the best job they could under the circumstances. Everyone on the planet is convinced their parents didn’t do enough for them. If you think your parents sucked, you need to understand it wasn’t because they didn’t try. They did their best. Prove that you can do a better job when it’s your turn to screw up your kids.