Thursday, May 29, 2008

A yarn about a cat

Knitters like cats. So I figured you'd be interested in my latest problem.

Each spring we're confronted with some sort of animal crisis that we have to deal with. It could be a bunch of baby bunnies living in my garden, ready for a predator to eat. Or a bird that put its nest too low to the ground where the eggs are easy prey for one of the neighborhood pussycats. Or a sick squirrel. Or a bird that won't fly. It's always something.

Invariably, I drive myself (and Alex) crazy until the problem is resolved (often with the help of the Ohio Wildlife people who scold me for bringing them the critters to save rather than allow "nature to take its course.")

Anyway, I was wondering what crisis would find me this spring...and then it arrived in the form of a cat. A pussycat passed through our yard about 8 weeks ago and I was distraught because it was quite badly torn up from a fight. But it was a heavy cat, so both Alex and I assumed it had a home. I opened a can of tuna, coaxed it over for a meal, and off it went -- while I worried for days about its injuries. The next time I saw it, the wounds were healing somewhat, and it was skittish, but could still be coaxed into eating some tuna. Then off it went again.

We didn't see the cat for weeks.

Then, on Monday Alex and I were working in the yard when a cat head poked up out of our garden. Alex whistled and it came running toward us...but never within reach. It was obviously the same cat, but much skinner. And it had a very serious wound to its face. Very serious. When we saw the open wound, we both knew this cat didn't have a home.

I got some tuna and cream, and coaxed the cat to eat, but it wouldn't let me get near it. The poor little thing ate and ate while I tried to get a good look at its wound, and Alex got his camera to take photos so we could look at it close up on the computer. I could tell that the cat is part Siamese. It has lovely blue eyes, and is the beige you'll see on Siamese cats, but with a few little patches of tabby.

We've decided we need to save this cat, and our vet has agreed to let us bring it in as soon as we can catch it -- if we can catch it. So each lunch hour and each evening we've been going home to try to capture the pussycat with offerings of tuna and cream. Last night Alex almost caught it when it entered our doorway to feast on our bait. But as soon as Alex moved, the cat scrambled away.

We're still trying, though, and we won't give up. I've been leaving bowls of cream and tuna on the deck, and I noticed this morning they were empty, so either the raccoons had one heck of a party last night or the pussycat's been by for dinner.

I'll keep you posted on our progress. And if any of you know how to capture a wild pussycat, please let me know. I'm losing sleep over this poor little guy!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

June 14 is World Wide Knit in Public Day (WWKiP)

There are a lot of things my Mom told me never to do in public. Knitting was not on the list. So I'm happy to report that I'm planning to participate in WWKiP on June 14.

If you don't know about WWKiP, you might want to check out the web site. Apparently, the whole thing began in 2005 and has now spread to over 200 locations in several countries including Australia, Canada, China, England, Finland, France, Ireland, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, United States.

Our local WWKiP is being held at Easton Town Center near the fountains. Now, I'm not entirely certain which fountains because there are a couple, but I think it might be the ones near my favourite restaurant, Brio. (The best carpaccio in Columbus...if you're into eating uncooked meat. After working in the corporate world for about 30 years, I've grown accustomed to devouring raw flesh.)

If it's not there, I'll just perk up my ears and follow the sound of clicking needles, ladies laughing, and passers by exclaiming, "Wow! That looks like fun. I think I'll try it."

If you're planning to visit Columbus to participate in our WWKiP, and you'd like to visit Yarnmarket, let us know. We love visitors. And we promise not to eat 'em.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

We had visitors! And one of them was Sally Melville!

If there's anything we love at Yarnmarket, it's our customers. And we really love it when we get to see them. (Being mostly online, we don't get to see them as often as we'd like.)

On Monday, Sharon received a call from a lady who was was in Columbus, Ohio to attend a week long knitting retreat hosted by She wanted to visit our showroom, and was bringing along with her ten lovely ladies who hail from all across the country including Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Ohio, and Georgia.

Boy, were we ever excited to have visitors! The ladies spent a couple of hours browsing and shopping our warehouse. They had a great time pulling down bins and exploring the vast selection. They couldn't believe just how much yarn there was to choose from. It's really quite a sight! Thousands of bins stacked sky-high in seven different warehouses.

The ladies had fun exploring all our inventory. Some of the products they purchased included Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Merino, Classic Elite Wool Bamboo, RYC Cashcotton DK, Knit One, Crochet Too Tartelette, Twisted Sisters Mirage, Berroco Suede, Katia Ingenua, Crystal Palace bamboo circular knitting needles, and a number of knitting books. These are really talented, dedicated knitters so it was interesting to us to see what their interests are.

Here's the really neat part: they brought with them a special surprise guest, Sally Melville. Yes, THAT Sally Melville. Boy, was it ever an honor to have her come to see us.

Sally traveled all the way from Waterloo, Ontario which isn't too far from my hometown, Newmarket. (Yes, I was a NewMartian before I became a YarnMartian.)

If you're ever in the area and you want to visit our World Headquarters, be sure to give us a call (888-996-9276). And, well...if you can't visit us, how about sending your photo? Then when we get your emails and phone calls we can pretend you're here.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Brenda's Cookies

Yesterday we were standing around talking...I mean, working feverishly at our computers, hunched over with sweat dripping from our brows, when Brenda showed up unexpectedly. It was her day off, so it was a surprise to see her.

It was also a surprise that she was carrying a huge platter of fresh, warm cookies. Mmmm.... She'd been baking cookies for her husband's co-workers and decided to make some for her friends and colleagues at Yarnmarket.

Three thousand calories later, as I wiped the crumbs off my face, I commented to everyone about how easy it would be to poison me. Just leave a cookie in my presence. I wish I hadn't noticed the devious glances they were giving one another as I said that. (Next time Brenda shows up with a platter of cookies, I'll have to ensure that Josh or Alex eats one before I do.)

Brenda said her cookies were low fat and sugarless...which I don't think is possible because they were absolutely fantastic. They were loaded with Ghirardelli chocolate, so I guess there was some fat...but chocolate fat doesn't count.

When I'm finished trying to extract Jill's award-winning fudge recipe from her, maybe I can work on Brenda to share her recipe.

NOTE TO JILL AND BRENDA: Pleeeeeease? Please can we have the recipes?

Knit 'n Style Feature

Hey, we've made it to the big time! Knit 'n Style's newest issue has a great article about Yarnmarket and we're really thrilled that our shoppers will be able to get to know us a little bit better -- and even see what a few of us look like. Michele, our do-everything marketing lady and staff photographer took all the shots...and you'll notice there are none of me. That's because Michele likes her job and wants to keep it. (There are no shots of Alex, either. He's sort of like Charlie on Charlie's angels. Well, in his dreams!)

Patsy was good enough to demonstrate how to take a ball of yarn from a shelf. Actually she's shopping in our showroom that is still being completed. We ran into a little bit of a challenge making all the yarns look neat and pretty on the shelves until Pat and Michele invented "Pat and Michele's Amazing Yarn Stacker." I'll write about it in another posting...with a photo of their invention.

Pat is shown answering the phones. You might recognize her from some of our pattern photos on the shopping site. Pat looks good in anything she wears, so she's become our corporate model...and in-house inventor. Josh is behind her, hiding, with his hat turned backwards. I don't know what it is with these young guys who think their head is facing the other way, but it seems to make them happy, so what the heck.

Alma is shown packing up an order for shipment. Alma's been with us since almost the beginning of Yarnmarket so you've probably collected her autograph in the past when she's signed your packing slip, "Thanks from Alma!" Hang onto that autograph. Some day it might be worth millions.

There's a nice shot of Lisa pulling customer orders. Lisa also sends out the orders for all the YarnMerchant and BargainYARNS a lot of people around the world are collecting her autograph, too.

I love the shots of the warehouse and the bags of packages becase it gives you a great idea of what goes on here each day. We have seven warehouses with shelves stacked high with yarns. Those bins are wonderful...each one lined up precisely on the shelf, with a nice big label so the ladies can easily find one of the thousands of yarns we carry. Over six hundred brands, a gazillion colors. Do the's a lot of stuff to find.
At this point, I'd like to express my personal appreciation to the guys who invented the alphabet. (Started by the Greeks and finished by the Phoenicians.) Special thanks to my Phavorite Phoenician, Ahmad Sinno, because I'm sure his ancestors were somehow involved. Without the alphabet we'd never find our yarn...and this blog would be written in binary code.

01010100 01101000 01100101 01101110 00100000 01101111 01101110 01101100 01111001 00100000 01001001 01010100 00100000 01100111 01110101 01111001 01110011 00100000 01100011 01101111 01110101 01101100 01100100 00100000 01110010 01100101 01100001 01100100 00100000 01110100 01101000 01101001 01110011 00101110 00001101 00001010

The ladies run through the warehouses each day, filling and packing orders, and then Tina and Brenda make sure hundreds of orders are ready to ship when MarlOn (our wonderful UPS guy) picks them up each night and sends them out all over the planet.

We'll try to get a shot of Marlon one of these days. He's one of those good looking UPS guys that we're all very happy to see at the end of a gruelling day. (Or even at the beginning of one.)

Knit 'n Style also ran a really cute photo of the kids knitting here at Yarnmarket. We sometimes have classes for them. There's Chloe (Michele's daughter), Katie and Maggie (who are Lori's girls) and one of Maggie's friends. They look so cute as they intently work on their knitting.

Be sure to get an issue of Knit 'n Style...not only for the great patterns you'll find in there. And check out the August issue for the scoop on Yarnmarket and the Yarnmartians.

Oh!!! One last thing: we mention Jill's award winning fudge in it. Jill currently owes us some peanut butter fudge. I'll try to get her to part with her recipe so I can share it with you.