Schedule for this week
24 Tuesday. 12-9. Sockfest reception 7-9. TONIGHT 10% off storewide.
25 Wednesday. 10-5. 10% off storewide.
26 Thursday. Closed for Thanksgiving Day.
27 Friday. 10-5. 10% off storewide.
28 Saturday. 10-4. End of Sockfest. 10% off storewide.
What’s new in the shop
From Interweave Press, the new issues of Interweave Knits and Cast-On magazines are in. Also, a great accessories pattern book for making things for our beloved pets. This is not the usual doggie-sweater book; it’s more fashionable, and so darling.
Although we are trying to sell all our inventory, I have ordered some things I know you will need. For example, I ordered more Ironstone Harmony for clogs, in the colors currently available. The shipment came in on Friday and was quite wiped out the next day. So, I have just placed a much larger order which should arrive by early next week in about ten colors for those of you who buy it by the armload.
Please note new policies, and thanks for understanding.
NEW SPECIAL ORDERS.
We can no longer take special orders, with the following exceptions. Needles, notions (ball winders and swifts for gifts!) can be ordered, if you get right on it, but will not be eligible for discounts.
OLD SPECIAL ORDERS AND HOLDS.
If we have ordered something special for you, and we have called you to let you know it’s in, you must come pick it up ASAP. If we are holding something for you, you have been called and asked to pick it up by this Saturday after Thanksgiving. Please understand that if we have been holding that for you, you can not purchase it at sale prices. That is only fair. If you can not physically get to the store by Saturday, call us with a card for payment, then pick it up at your leisure.
We are no longer selling gift certificates, and are trying to reach those who are holding them. If you have given a gift certificate to someone, remind them we are closing and that they need to pop in to spend it.
If your sales receipt has a message on the bottom that reads “Thanks for shopping at City Knitting”, and it is not older than three months, you may make returns using our old policy. Last Tuesday we started a no returns policy. If your receipt reads “Thank you for your patronage. ALL SALES ARE NOW FINAL”, well, then, that sale is final.
Classes for 2010
A new batch of classes will be posted here soon on the classes page.
Folks accustomed (addicted) to our social time together are welcome to continue to gather. Between closing and the end of the year arrange your own get-togethers. After the New Year, we will resume Tuesday knitting time in my home very near the shop, from 2 - 9 PM. Please pick up an address card now available in the shop.
Folks accustomed to getting knitting help are certainly encouraged to patronize our Grand Rapids yarn shops. I am sorry I can’t offer our great staff to you, but if you need me, I am willing to help. I will have to charge for the service, selling a punch card good for $20 for an hour in 10-minute increments. This will be available after the New Year. You may want to pick up the same address card mentioned above. Come by the shop to grab one for your wallet to keep it handy.
Thank for your many sincere notes, folks. The recurring themes are shock and sadness, plus some “do you hafta?’s”, all wrapped in kindness, gratitude and understanding. Edited to add: the initial announcement is in the November 14 post below.
Sockfest and Cast On Special
Before I fill you in on the subject on our minds, I have to remind you we still have some fun stuff going on. It’s Sockfest time! We really need those socks to pour in to display through Saturday, November 28. Those of you who bring us a sock (singles only) or two (or as many singles as you care to show off) will get a 3.3 ounce bottle of Eucalan wool wash to caring for your handknits. We want everything from first socks through your own designs. Be sure to tell us about them when you drop them off. We only ask that they are made from City Knitting stuff. Everyone enjoys a 10% discount on sock books, patterns and yarns for the event, our Cast On Special. New stock of Berroco sock yarns, including the sparkly kind, will be arriving on Thursday the 19th.
Extra challenge: enter your own design for a chance to win free yarn for two pairs of socks. The winner, decided by popular vote, will be announced during this event’s reception on Tuesday night, November 24, 7 - 9 pm.
Now, back to the topic of the store closing. Please help us spread the word. Since only one third of our customers receive these announcements, we’ll need your help. Following are some things that will necessarily change.
Gift certificates- we will no longer be selling certificates. Please help us pass the word that it’s important for certificate holders to redeem them ASAP. We have some recipients’ phone numbers, but not all, so I worry about some slipping through the cracks.
All sales will now be final; we will not be able to accept returns. This will be posted in the store.
If you have special orders being held for you, please come pick them up right away.
We will announce sales weekly. Discounts will grow as the weeks go by.
The City Knitting website will be changing but remaining active, keeping you up to date on classes, workshops, festivals and retreats. Lorilee’s patterns will remain for sale on there as well.
These events and percentages may change, but here is the current working plan for our remaining days:
17 Tuesday. 12-9. We need your socks for Sockfest. Bring them in!! 10% off sock stuff.
18 Wednesday. 10-5. 10% off sock stuff.
19 Thursday. 10-9. 10% off sock stuff.
20 Friday. 10-5. 10% off sock stuff.
21 Saturday. 10-4. 10% off sock stuff.
24 Tuesday. 12-9. Sockfest reception 7-9. 10% off storewide.
25 Wednesday. 10-5. 10% off storewide.
26 Thursday. Closed for Thanksgiving Day.
27 Friday. 10-5. 10% off storewide.
28 Saturday. 10-4. End of Sockfest. 10% off storewide.
1 Tuesday. 12-9. 20% off storewide.
Begin picking up your sockfest socks.
New classes for 2010, which Lorilee will hold in her home very near the shop, will be
posted on the website.
Fixture sale will begin. All our cubbies and any other store fixtures will be marked for sale.
2 Wednesday. 10-5. 20% off storewide.
3 Thursday. 10-9. 20% off storewide.
4 Friday. 10-5. Final Late Night Yarnie Party, 7-midnight. 20% off storewide.
5 Saturday. 10-4. 20% off storewide.
6 Sunday. Special event for Hearts for Haiti, hosted by Caroline and Lorilee. Brunch
from 11-2. All are welcome.
8 Tuesday. 12-9. 30% off storewide.
9 Wednesday. 10-5. 30% off storewide.
10 Thursday. 10-9. 30% off storewide.
11 Friday. 10-5. 30% off storewide.
12 Saturday. 10-4. 30% off storewide.
15 Tuesday. Final Tuesday, 12-9. 40% off storewide.
16 Wednesday. 10-5. 40% off storewide.
17 Thursday. 10-9. 40% off storewide.
18 Friday. 10-5. 50% off storewide.
19 Saturday. Planned final day, 10-4. ??% off storewide.
As I mentioned earlier, the City Knitting website will remain to announce classes, retreats and the like. Since my greatest love is teaching (the people part), I am going to continue to offer classes in my home. I’d also like to find a way to offer quick help, a sort of “knitting doctor on call”, but I need to work out the details of how to do it, and determine whether any of you would use it. We will also still offer retreats.
With complete agreement from my family, starting in January, our home will be open to the Tuesday knitters. I’ll be giving out my address at the shop, or send me an e-mail request for it.
5, 12, 19,… Tuesdays. Knitting at Lorilee’s house 3-9 pm. It’s a small measure of consolation.
We appreciate your concern, but…
As you can imagine, it will be very hard on all of us if we have to spend too much time talking about this all as you come in. So, I have an alternative activity planned for you. There is a station set up with 11″ x 14″ drawing paper. I’d like you to have a seat there and write your thoughts, or not, but then you must take up the blindfold and the pens and draw. Blindfolded, draw me a sheep, or alpaca, or bamboo grove, or someone knitting or crocheting, or a spinning wheel, or Carol on the corner of the red sofa. Be creative. Take the blindfold off, have a chuckle, sign your name. I will bind them into a memory book. This is all I ask from you for me, and I will treasure it.
For my staff, if you wish to write a note of appreciation, leave a tip, or a restaurant certificate, or the keys to your timeshare on the Riviera, please do that. There are named baskets on top of the cubbie as you enter on the ramp.
See you Tuesday.
Dear, dear City Knitting Yarnies,
This post is not a regular newsletter, but instead is a personal letter from me (Lorilee) to all of you. When you consider all the great relationships we enjoy at City Knitting, you’ll realize what I convey here now will be exceedingly difficult. I am closing the store by the end of this year. I will do my best to convey the closing plan to you next week so there will be no more surprises.
Six years ago, when I began researching locations for this “possible” shop I was planning, the first thing I always did was grab the graph paper and sketch out the area. If there was not enough room for a 10′ x 10′ space for sitting and knitting, that location was off the list. Period. On my graph paper, it was a square of just about an inch and a quarter or so.
Just think of all we have fit into that little square since September of 2005! We’ve learned so much about knitting and met so many new friends. I want to thank you for all you have taught me, most importantly that nearly anyone can enjoy nearly anyone else’s friendship when we just spend the time getting to know one another. You are a welcoming, accepting, joyous bunch I am honored to know.
Indulge me in some stats and walks down memory lane.
Number of items you have made for charity. That’s 450 hats for the Red Thread Project, about 220 hats for Knit Michigan cancer patients, about 180 items for the DeVos Children’s Hospital, and 100 Hearts for Haiti.
number of unique customers, which is why, forgive us, we can’t always remember your names
number of students in classes
questions answered/ dropped stitches picked up/problems solved, estimated
about 30 =
percentage of questions preceded by, “This is a stupid question, but…”
highest attendance at a Late Night Yarnie Party
number of different restaurants we’ve seen on the other side of the needle wall
number of part time employees since 2005 (K,M,D,R,M,J,K,S,A,S)
Approximate number of cakes/pans-of-bars/tins-of-cookies Ursula has brought nearly every Tuesday night (picture them lined up for a moment)
number of states containing CK customers
number of countries containing CK customers
number of bathroom keys lost (not bad)
3, out of 3 =
number of times we won the Townie Gold for Best Yarn Shop, out of number of times it was up for voting
number of marriages resulting from people meeting at CK
age of our eldest customer, Hank, knitter/cyclist who has a great knitting name. We may have customers older, but they keep it secret.
number of youtube views of the CraftSanity video of Lorilee continental knitting
3 months =
length of time the seating area sat empty until people started believing the space was for them
number of transactions since 2005, which is why we cannot always remember what you bought last week, much less what you bought two years ago
number of hours commonly worked (by me) during peak season
less than 50 =
number of days in which we did NOT greet a new customer
Maybe an hour, maybe a few times =
Longest length of time the shop was open without customers in it
often our busiest and most fun day, due to the fact that we haven’t been open since Saturday
the only day we are not happy to see people knock on our door. We’ve been closed on Mondays for four years, yet people still come. Knock it off!
2+ months ago =
time when I made these closing plans
Why? Well, beside the obvious secondary reasons such as stress, and missing Saturdays, and wanting to say “yes” to things I’ve said “no” to for four years, the main reason is that I’m tired. I am certain that is easy to understand.
What is incredibly difficult is to think about how much I will miss all of you customers, co-workers and friends. I’ve said all along that the yarn is secondary, but I’ll miss that, too. It’s been a real joy to serve you all for four years. Please accept my thanks.
Thanks for being patient and nice to us all of the time. Thanks for clearly expressing your gratitude countless times. Thanks for letting me know what you think of my awesome staff, by saying so often, “Do you know how lucky you are to have such outstanding help?” To which I reply, “Yes, I do, and you are right.” Thanks for buying stuff; you’re all very good at that, good enough to have made it worthwhile. Thanks for the 10# I gained with all the food and treats you bring. Yes, thanks a lot. Thanks for making such cool stuff and sharing it with us. Thanks for respecting your co-knitters, being willing to share in fun and hard times, while respecting privacy and refraining from gossip. Thanks for hopping up to help us help customers when we are swamped. Thanks for making a cool place for us to all be together. Many, many thanks to Kathy, Marilyn, Ruth, Darlene, Margaret, Jessica, Kim, Sophie, Amy, and Sara.
Please understand I’ll be reading but not replying to all e-mails. And, just so you know, I am neither sick nor moving, just, as I said before, tired, and ready for a change.
Before Tuesday, I will post again, laying out some details about the schedule for upcoming “everything must go” sales. Please note that all events posted on our site, including Cat’s visit in September, are all on. There will also be upcoming opportunities to learn, socialize, and retreat in 2010 and beyond. When I next post, I will have some favors to ask regarding ways I want you to help me remember you, so stay tuned.
Cast On Special
This week our Cast On Special is buy a City Knitting tote bag at regular price ($12), fill it up with yarn and books and get 10% off as much as you can pack in the bag. You can guess where we got the idea if we sing “ you save big money”!!!
Come see Marilyn’s knitting
A love for fiber is the heart and soul of all knitters. Marilyn has encyclopedic knowledge of yarn, especially sock yarn. No plain Jane socks for her; color, pattern and cables are what you will find on her feet. Her garments are gems, stop by the shop to see them this week.
Sunday Brunch for Hearts for Haiti
For those who want to celebrate the project, Hearts for Haiti, join us for a Sunday Brunch.
Come if you knitted hearts and get our heart felt thanks for your wonderful contributions:). Come if you didn’t knit but still want to celebrate with us. We are drawing to a close this project, anticipating to bring all these wonderful Heart shaped pillows to the children of the orphanage in Haiti very very soon.
We have 74 hearts. The goal is 120.
We will have some munchies and coffee while we visit and knit even more hearts.
Date: Sunday, December 6th, 11am to 2 pm.
Place: City Knitting, 423 Norwood SE, GR MI 49506.
New Books and Yarn
A new shipment of books has arrived with lots of new titles. For those of you interested in using color in your knitting The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques (Margaret Radcliffe $29.95) will give you the confidence and direction needed. Radcliffe examines color in relation to stripes, pattern stitches, multicolor yarns, stranded knitting and Intarsia. This large format book is a great addition to any knitter’s library.
Another color book is The New Stranded Colorwork (Mary Scott Huff $24.95). This book features colorful updated Nordic patterns for everyone in your family.
For all the men out there who are passionate about knitting and knitwear, Men’s Knits (Erika Knight $21.99) is now on the shelves. This book gives classic patterns an updated look.
We also received three new sock books. The Joy of Socks (Linda Kopp $22.95) features 30 sock designs by 20 different designers and has lots of witty anecdotes in the margins as well. Knitting More Circles Around Socks (Antje Gillingham $24.99) is the second book by Gillingham and has patterns for the whole family working two at a time, toe up or cuff down. The Big Book of Socks (Kathleen Taylor $24.95) is “the ultimate beyond-the-basics guide to knitting socks”. It has 75 patterns ranging from basic socks to socks with lace designs.
Haiku Knits (Tanya Alpert $29.99) showcases beautiful knitwear inspired by Japanese design. There are 25 patterns for simple yet elegant garments and accessories.
Two new yarns to ooh and aah about this week are Classic Elite Fresco (61/2sts/inch, 50g/164y, $8.50/skein) and Classic Elite Silky Alpaca Lace (81/2sts/inch, 50g/460y, $9.95/ball). Fresco is a soft wool, alpaca and angora blend and we have it in 13 yummy colors. It’s a perfect choice for Selbu mittens or tams.
Classic Elite’s Silky Alpaca Lace is an alpaca and silk blend in a lovely dusty rose color. It would be a lovely choice for knitting this shawl, which Marliyn blogged about here.
There is room for you in the Holey Squares Scarf Class his Friday, November 13, 2:00 - 5:00. Call us to sign up and get your small homework assignment. Here’s a photo of that scarf’s components ready to seam.
Cast On Specials
It truly feels like November with all the leaves down, the rain and gray skies. The anticipation of the holidays can’t be helped. So we have jumped into the holiday spirit with two Cast On Specials this week. First we will be offering holiday stocking, wreath and ornament patterns and the yarn for the project at 10% off. We are well stocked in holiday colors of Berroco and Encore Worsted.
If you’re looking for something unique in a stocking pattern, check out this free pattern at knittersreview.com. Cat Bordhi designed it for her grandson Charlie. It has nifty little built-in pockets so Santa can tuck a few extra goodies into it. Pattern is here.
If you know you will be doing holiday knitting, now is the time to start. Those who wait may find we’ve often run out of your favorite colors.
The other 10% off Cast On Special will be all things mohair. Mohair is the hair of an angora goat, a hip-looking goat with long curly hair hanging over its eyes. This fiber has been used for its warmth and durability for centuries. It takes dye well and we have it in magnificent colors. There are many samples on display from wraps and shrugs to hats and slippers. Come in and take a peek, you are guaranteed to fall in love with this fiber.
Kim’s Knits on Display
It is a given that you must be passionate about fiber to be a knitter. Kim is more than passionate; her exquisite attention to detail, color and design makes her knitting out of this world. She has many knitted items on display this week including an elegant mohair vintage wrap, a hoodie from French Girl Knits, an adorable elephant hat, trunk and all. Stop by the shop to see these sensational knits for yourself.
Some Woolly Ideas
A new yarn on our shelves is Berroco’s Pure Merino (50g/92y, 4.5sts/inch, $7.95). It is a beautiful yarn of 100% extra fine merino that drapes beautifully. Two colors are blended in each skein of this multi-ply yarn. Currently, we have the yarn in black, blue, brown and purple. Lorilee took the red, but will show you what she’s working on in case you want some too. We’ll order more.
Berrroco Booklet #276 with the ever popular hoodie is back on the shelves.
For those of you who subscribed to Knitters Magazine (we don’t carry it in the store) there is a great mitten pattern on the cover using Zauberball, which we do have in stock.
Plymouth Encore Tweed is an incredibly popular yarn that we can’t keep stocked. We have just learned that the most popular colors are on a huge backorder – we probably won’t get until December or later. The good news is that we just got four brand new stunning colors – a dusty plum, a pale pink, deep navy and black. We also have several other solid colors restocked, and a few others new to us.
The November 7 Magic Loop Baby Sock is full, but please call and put your name on the waiting list if you are interested. Holey Squares Scarf class on November 13 still has openings, as does the Great American Afghan class offered November 16. Classes are a great way to learn new techniques and brush up on old skills.