Monday, December 03, 2007

Busy, busy, busy ....

I really do hate going so long without posting but there just never seems to be enough time in the day for everything I'd love to do. If there were more hours in a day or if I could get by with just say, 2 hours of sleep I'd be fine ;-) Ok so what have I been doing with the measly 24 hours we get in a day? (besides sleeping and other mundane daily tasks.


My current projects are coming along nicely.

  • Hemlock Ring Blanket - should be casting off tomorrow night and ready to wash and block on Saturday.
  • Grinchy Grouchy Socks - well not so nicely now that I think about it. I cast on the recommended number of stitches on a US 0 (a size smaller than in the pattern). Knit the cuff and then a full repeat when it became very obvious that these were way too big. I'm going to frog (rip it out for you knitting muggles out there) and start over with 1 less pattern repeat or 1 less stitch in each repeat... haven't decided yet. Once it gets rolling I'll post some pictures.
  • Hypotenuse - Done, washed and blocked .... however I'm not happy with the blocking so will take a do over. I don't currently have blocking which will prevent the scalloping you get with just pins. (more on blocking wires below)

  • Grinchy inspired shawl. I had an idea to make a shawl to go with my Grinchy Grouchy socks for Christmas. I first did a moebius scarf using the Claudia Hand Painted Boucle but wasn't happy with it (way to long and too narrow). So I started a very simple triangular shawl in garter stitch. this is your basic neck down pattern starting with 5 stitches and increasing every other row 2 stitches in from each border edge and on either side of the center stitch. I am very pleased with this one and know it will be a keeper. the simple patter suits the boucle nicely and shows the gradual shifts in color well. I'll keep knitting until I get close to the size I want and cast off. Gratuitous yarn picture ... Claudia Hand Painted Boucle (small loop) in Woodland Moss.

Other knitting related stuff...

On Saturday I met with 4 knitters in the Monterey Ravelry group at the Ol' Factory.
It was great meeting fellow knitters and we plan on making this a monthly event. I brought my Grinchy inspired (need a name for this) with me since it was a mindless knitting project perfect for chatting and knitting.

Shop Stuff

I've been really busy with new things for The Knitting Hutch.

Eureka!!! For the past 3-4 moths I've been searching for the perfect set of blocking wires to carry in the shop as well as a user and admin friendly shopping cart.

Blocking wires - I've found them!
Take it Personally has a wonderful blocking kit that I've placed an initial order for and I can't wait to give them a try on the Hypotenuse. They should arrive in a day or two and will retail for $24.00. The kit includes: 12 large (32 1/2" long) straight wires, 2 flexible wires, 20 nickel-plated T-pins and yard stick.

Shopping Cart software located!!! Boy this was harder than it should have been. There are literally hundreds of Paypal enabled shopping carts out there but who has the time to effectively evaluate all of them. Well, I've found one - ZenCart. This was one of the first carts I looked at but I was so hung up on wanting something that I could populate directly from Quickbooks POS without having to enter in each product one by one. After looking at many carts it was apparent that this wasn't possible and if it was you would still have to go back and add in pictures and other attributes one by one so I gave up on that requirement. I went back and looked at ZenCart with a new perspective and knew it was the one. It utilized a mySql database on my hosted site and php scripts. Hey I know this stuff... how perfect. I downloaded, installed, picked a template and now at the tedious point of fine tuning the configuration settings and entering all the products. I'm targeting a 1/1/08 roll-out. I'll be busy, busy, busy over the holiday break... oh yeah, I'm doing this for my dad's fly fishing online store as well.
So here's some initial screen shots of the shop. I'll give more details of the features and goodies as this progresses.

What do you like/dislike in an online knitting shop?


white oak studio said...

Hi Jackie!

here's what I like in an online knitting shop, in no particular order

- extremely good photography so I can see what I'm buying
- great yarns that I love
- free shipping over a certain amount, even if it's $75. I'll almost always orders over the min. for free shipping
- awesome customer service and fast packaging - I like to know that it's getting attention and in the mail within 36-48 hours
- specials!! monthly newsletters
- I love project ideas for the yarn, even kits
- if a yarn line is carried I like to see that the store carries all the colors so I have lots of color choices

hope this helps!! Jana

Christy B. said...

I second good pictures. Free shipping--right to my door without the traffice. Easy navigation of the site.

Variety of colors and good descriptions of yarns/gauge.

What I dislike most is the inability to grope the yarn. That's why descriptions are so imporant.

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