Friday, February 29, 2008

I've put Pam Away

Howdy all, Hubster here.

Well, Pam's been going like crazy setting up the inventory, tagging and updating books. She's been going non-stop doing all of this since early this morning, and it's nearly morning again. If she doesn't get a bit of rest, she'll be as crazy as me, and that's not a pretty sight.

So, I've sent her off to bed. After she's had a bit of rest, she'll be working on the picture taking of the new stock, and will begin the laborious procedure of uploading pictures either late tomorrow night or early on the next day. Why is this taking so long??? Because there's over 200 new items..... they may not all go up at once, but I've seen all sorts of yarny happiness that I'm certain will make for some very happy yarny days ahead.

Take care,
Mark

Monday, February 25, 2008

No Prison, But Plenty of Boxes

You know, one of these days, I'll actually post some pictures on this site again. That's my goal, anyway.

I have to thank everyone who shopped with me this past week. We took in a respectable amount of money, one of my vendors has secured a few large accounts, and I'm about to be surrounded with boxes. Yes, fun lovers - Yarny Goodness is packing up and shipping out. Well, not me, but the packages.

I also have yet another announcement. Hubster just informed me that, once and for all, the problems with checkout are fixed. To quote: "It was really a fucking bug in fucking Microsoft's fucking Internet fucking Explorer."

Now he's applauding, waving his arms like he's dong the Funky Chicken, and generally preening. Which he's entitled to do.

Oh... and he's also slapping his thighs. Next he'll want to have sex.

From now on, all shop announcements will be on the Yarny Goodness blog. Please go over there to see what's up. I'll try and get a button up on this site to facilitate getting over there, but for now:

http://yarny-goodness.blogspot.com

It's still not finished, but just ignore the total lack of stuff on the sidebar. The picture you see on the slideshow (which doesn't slide because there's just that one picture) isn't even of stuff for sale. It's just yarn in my stash. Hubster was testing it out, and I've been too busy to do anything about it.

I've also begun a Ravelry group for the shop. It's called... are you ready for my brilliance?... Yarny Goodness. Yawn.

The last thing I'll say is that tomorrow night is a shop update. Now we're done with shop business on this blog.

I had to cancel my prison visit today because we were both exhausted. What I feared would happen, did. Hubster started acting like he used to when he was off his meds. I knew it was because he didn't have enough sleep, but trying to tell him that was like putting a thong on a 400-lb. transvestite. He finally just passed out on the couch. I was all set to knit a few rows and go to bed, but I never made it. I woke up this morning around 11:00 a.m. with my knitting clutched in my hand and my big lard ass parked firmly in the Monster. At least we're both in much better moods today. The constant fighting was beginning to wear me down. He's back at work, trying to fix the possibly unfixable, and I'm hard at work doing shop stuff. I hated to cancel - I haven't seen my boys in three weeks - but there was just no way we were going to make it. Chances were pretty good that Hubster would have fallen asleep while driving, and I wouldn't have known because I would have been asleep, too. Better safe than sorry.

So here I sit, catching up on a few things before I begin loading boxes. Then I have to... oh shit, I'm doing it again. No shop stuff.

It's been a boring day. The sun is shining (sigh), the Yarn Fairy delivered nothing good (double sigh), and Hubster wants pizza for dinner (I wanted Cheesesteak Factory, but I don't think that's happening). I do have to hit the grocery store for a few things, but that's about it. I guess he deserves to have what he wants for dinner, seeing as how I didn't do shit for his birthday. I'm hoping we can go to the City for dinner this week. I just saw on the news that there was a shooting at Joe's Crab Shack at Fisherman's Wharf, which is right across the street from the restaurant where we usually eat. I could have been sitting there enjoying Lobster Thermidor and watching hot police action. How much better does live entertainment get?

I'm sorry for being so boring, but there really isn't anything going on. It's going to be sunny and warm all week (I want a storm - not like the "monster" storm that was supposed to hit this weekend and fizzled like usual), so that means I have to water the potted plants or they'll die. The poor things have been stuck in their pots for nine months as it is instead of being planted in the ground. If I were smart, I'd plant them now while the soil is nice and soft, but being smart (or at least having common sense) isn't my forte. Besides, I hate digging holes. So I'll camp out at my dining room table, which is serving as my workstation until I get the studio completely cleaned up (where have I heard that one before?), doing the stuff I'm not talking about here anymore, watching TV, and eating pizza that I don't really want.

But at least I'm in my snowman jammies.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Contest Winners Need To Contact Me

Before we leave for Folsom (yes, tomorrow is prison day), I just wanted to leave a reminder that all contest winners MUST contact me by Tuesday, February 26th, or their prizes will be null and void. Those of you who have paid for your purchases (thank you!) will have them mailed out either Tuesday or Wednesday.

I've created a group on Ravelry for the shop. It's called (what else?) "Yarny Goodness". I hope you'll come join me and discuss what you would all like to see in the shop. I know about all the current problems, but if new ones pop up, it's a good place to let me know about it.

I'll be doing the shop update on Tuesday evening, so check it out when you get a chance. Also, even though it's not finished, all future shop announcements will be made at:

http://yarny-goodness.blogspot.com

I have a question. Would you like to see yarn made of yak, buffalo, alpaca, and/or qivuit in the shop? Leave me a comment. I can also offer roving in some of those, and different weights. I'd like to know your opinion about the weights of yarn you'd like to see, too.

Thanks - see you Tuesday!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Purchase Contest Winners

Finally! I can post the names of the three people who paid for their purchases first!

The winners are (in order from first to last, and using the first half of their email addresses):

digiaddict

bencoksp

swissmich

Please drop me an email so I know who you are. I'm packing up the orders today, but I'll leave the boxes open until I hear from you.

As for the contest, we only have one entry. Please enter with whatever poem you wish to write. It doesn't have to be a haiku, a full-length poem, or anything fancy... just something that captures what you think about the shop. The prize is worth it, I promise!

It's raining cats and dogs right now, so I'm going to go work on the ledger some more and knit. Then tonight, I'll work on the boxes some more. Thank you to everyone who sent Hubster a Happy Birthday wish. He couldn't figure out how the hell you all got his email addy. I just played dumb (which isn't hard to do), until he finally got the idea to check my blog. Heh.

Back to work. Have a wonderful day, and to those of you who need to pay for your purchases, please go do so!

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Stitches West Experience

Wow.

Let me say it again.

Wow.

I just got home from Stitches West (and going out to dinner with Hubster), and I'm still in awe. I'm also tired, but not sleepy. It's the perfect night to work on my ledger and knit.

This was my first year going to Stitches, and it was HUGE. There were over 250 vendors, all of them dispensing enough drugs to keep any knitter high for a year. Yak. Qiviut. Camel. Cashmere. Merino. Kid Mohair. Wool of all breeds. Water buffalo. American Bison. Alpaca. Cashgora. Pygora. Books. Notions. Yarn. Yarn. YARN. I could go on and on, but I'm beginning to glaze over just thinking about it.

I met Karen of KaratStix, one of my treasured vendors (and now a treasured friend) at the front desk. It turns out we both got there early and kept walking past each other. It's so easy to walk in circles there and not know it, even when you're using a map. I saw familiar names and new ones. Karen kept me in check by not saying a word, merely by being there. I didn't want to binge and make an ass of myself in front of her. I do that enough by merely breathing. If you're reading this, Karen, I would love to see you before next year. :)

I got a really cool new notion for the shop which will go in the update on Tuesday. We both made valuable contacts - she got some vendors interested in her work, and I got vendors interested in selling through the shop. I'll probably be carrying some yak (I did binge a little and bought three skeins of yak down for socks - oh geez), some alpaca from two guys who are trying to break into the business and want to work with me in trying out new things and ways to market their products, and these notions which, if you all like them, I'll definitely be carrying. Oh... and there's also a custom glass worker who makes these incredible glass things. We each bought this cool new ball thing to keep your yarn in when you're knitting (it's big enough to put a sock project in with the yarn when you're traveling, too), I got some new sterling stitch markers, the yak, some yarn from Lisa Souza Designs, and one of those nifty notions for myself. I don't think I did too bad at all. I also got my picture taken with Karen, but it's HORRIBLE - I look like I don't have a lower jaw and my gut is hanging out. Oh crap. We had lots of fun looking at everything, blabbing, gossiping, fondling yarn, gossiping, eating lunch, fondling more yarn... and get this: Windy Valley Musk Ox had vicuna and guanaco. I wanted it so badly - until the guy told us the price. For a very small skein (200 yards, I think ), it was $250. Yep, you read that right. They're extremely rare and difficult to get. Oh. My. God. Better than sex, those two. I forgot which one was the more expensive, but neither was cheap. You get what you pay for. Maybe for my birthday. Or Sunday.

If I had to say anything bad about Stitches, it's that there's too much. Me, the Queen of Excess, saying that? Yes. It was so crowded in the earlier part of the day that it was difficult to get close to some of the booths to see what they had. It was laid out well enough - it's just enormous. I'll definitely go every year from now on, but I think I'll split it up into two days. Karen is going all weekend. She's got the right idea. Even if you go into the same booth, chances are that you'll see something different. The weather tomorrow is supposed to be wicked - one of the biggest storms we've had this winter. I'll be packing your orders (yes, it really is working - a couple of you had problems, but we found out that it wasn't Hubster's code, it's PayPal itself) and watching the storm through the window. I love storms, especially the rainy part. It'll be a perfect night to knit, and it will also be gone by the time I walk through the prison on Monday.

So that's it. I've got new stuff in and will get as much up as I can on Tuesday. I won't talk to you again until probably Monday night. We may lose power tomorrow night, and we'll be gone Sunday.

I want to thank all of you who waited so patiently for the code to be fixed. It's much appreciated. Mark was up all night last night and got an hour's sleep before he had to drop me off at the show and go into work for a meeting. I know some of you haven't gone through the rest of the check-out procedure; please do so at your earliest convenience.

Oh... there is something you can do for me. Those of you who have talked with Hubster or just want to wish him a little cheer, please send him an email. Tomorrow (Feb. 23) is his birthday. I feel like a toad - I completely forgot. If you can just drop him a "Happy Birthday, you old bastard!" or some such thing at:

mark.steven.mann@gmail.com

I would really appreciate it.

Thanks, everyone. :)

Hubster Has Done It!

Okay, everyone -

IT'S DONE! All of you who have carts with things that need to be paid for, please go finish the checkout process. You may now access PayPal with no problem!

The shop is open - all the bugs have been fixed! GO SHOPPING!

As for me, I'm about to leave for Stitches. See you tonight!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Still Working Our Asses Off

I had hoped to tell you that Hubster had the PayPay issue fixed, that everything was hunky-dory, that I was ready to conquer the world.

Blow me.

He's almost done, but he's been almost done for three days now. Just when he thinks he's got it, another bug pops up. People who don't program must buy prepackaged deals from PayPal. I'm glad he's doing the coding, though. If something breaks on a prepackaged program, how do you fix it, especially if you're not a programmer? At least he has all the code he's written and can maintain it. There are tens of thousands of lines of code which have been written over the past three months. For the few bugs that appeared on Saturday, I think that's pretty amazing. He's upset, though - he thinks that it should have been perfect, and he's upset because he "ruined" my grand opening. Nah. I've gotten over being upset - I've come to realize that you're all just sitting there patiently waiting (thank you) - and it isn't like he's not working on it. In fact, I went to bed at 2:30 p.m. to take a nap. He said he would wake me up at 5:30 p.m. Well, here it is, 10:00 p.m., and he just woke me up. He fell asleep while he was programming. Poor thing. He was so apologetic when he woke me up. I acted angry (well, I was for a few minutes), but then I realized he's exhausted. What's the point of being angry and yelling? We move on from here and do the best we can.

I want to mention the stitch marker club again. We have three people signed up, but I'm taking sign-ups until we hit 10 people. For $7 a month, you get a package of four (4) exclusive stitch markers made by Sheryl Bailey. They will never be for sale in the shop. Oh - and that $7 includes shipping. Drop me an email if you want to sign up. There will also be contests, give-aways, and other fun things, so it's not just stitch markers.

Speaking of contests, there's one going on right now. You just need to write a short poem about the shop. You have until March 1st to submit them (just send them to me at pamtheknitter@gmail.com). The winner will get a lovely gift basket.

For those of you who have won prizes and haven't contacted me yet, you have until next Tuesday to do so. If you don't, then the prize disappears. I hate to do that, but I've got so many other things to do that I can't hold it open for any longer than that. As for the first three buyers, I'm still waiting on that. It's dependent on the new package Hubster is transferring to the website. Don't ask - I don't understand it myself. I'll get the winners to you as fast as I can. To those of you who have contacted me, I'll have your items in the mail by Tuesday. I'm giving myself extra time because I don't know what's going to happen, and I don't want to tell you something and then have to change it.

Other news - I'm working on a blog dedicated to the shop. The URL is http://yarny-goodness.blogspot.com. You'll be able to read about shop happenings there. That way, I can blab like usual on this site and put all the shop stuff on that one. It's still under construction, so there isn't anything there yet except for a few pictures, a Sitemeter, and a clock.

As I've said, the first update is next Tuesday. I've signed up two new vendors and have mailed information to two others. One of the new people is a yarn vendor; the other makes the coolest notion I've ever seen. I think you'll all go apeshit when you see it. 'Nuff said.

I'm also making some improvements to the shop site. Hubster is loading everything in one big package to make sure that everything works with everything else. There is a FAQ page, some new vendors for the update, and a couple other things

Tomorrow, I'm going to Stitches West. It's the first time I've gone, so I'm really excited. If anybody out there is going, look for me. I'll be the tattooed bald chick in a Yarny Goodness T-shirt. I'm kind of hard to miss. I know some of my vendors are going to be there, so it will be nice to actually meet them in person. I hope to find some new things for the shop, and I'm sure I'll find new things for me (my poor checkbook has checks left, so I must still have money, right?). Then it's home to work on the shop both Friday night and Saturday. Sunday is shot because it's our Folsom day. When I get home on Monday night, I'll be posting and uploading everything for Tuesday. Since I work in the middle of the night while you're all asleep, you'll wake up to new yarny goodness. :)

Anyway, that's about it. I have to go work on my ledger and do some mega-knitting tonight. I had hoped to do it earlier, but I guess I had to sleep at some point. I'm beginning to pop one of my pills a little too much, and that concerns me. It also tells me that my body is starting to give out and needs to rest. I suppose if I don't rest, then I'll be no good to anybody, least of all you ladies and the shop. I'll post about the PayPal upload as soon as it happens so those of you who are sitting on carts with merchandise can actually pay for them. Oh! I went out and bought all kinds of beautiful tissue papers and ribbons to wrap up your goodies with, so when you open your boxes, they will be full of pretty things (not just the yarn or notions you've purchased).

Hang in there. We're working hard and are almost there.

For real.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Winners, Bitching, and General Shit You Probably Don't Care About

The best laid plans...

Or so the saying goes (or a reasonable facsimile thereof). As you all know, I was going to post the winners to the various contests yesterday. Because of all the problems with the servers and bugs, it's been difficult to get accurate printouts of who was in the shop. I still don't know who came in first, second, and third. I'll announce those three in the next day or two after Hubster gets everything working correctly. But I do have the winners of the other contests. Because of the problems on Saturday, I ran the hourly drawings from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Then I passed out on the chair. At this point, I've been up since 8:30 a.m. yesterday morning with only an hour's sleep. Needless to say, I'll be taking a nap after I'm done with this.

Before I announce the winners, I found out why things were groaning on the hardware side. We had 75,000 requests (you read all those zeros right) for page views on Saturday. I had no idea that so many people were in the shop (not 75K, but enough to ask for all those page views). It looks like the actual number is now over 1,000. At the same time. No wonder the whole thing bogged down. We're still not done with the actual counts because everything got messed up with the bugs. Hubster has now fixed all the bugs and is almost done with PayPal. That should be running by tonight. Then you may shop to your hearts' content and just pay for your purchases without having to ask me questions.

Speaking of questions or bug reports, I received over 200 emails on Saturday and yesterday, all of which I answered personally. My fingers hurt. And here I thought I would be able to knit all day. Ha! It's true that once you own a business, your own knitting time flies out the window.

In order to prevent server disasters, we've changed from sharing four servers with other people to having a dedicated server. That way, if something does go wrong, it's our own server and the problem can be fixed quickly. This also gives us a lot more power for those days when I have sales or updates.

Speaking of updates, the first one will be next Tuesday. Stitches West is this coming weekend, and then I head off to Folsom for prison day. I'll have everything ready to go before then so I can just plug it in and let 'er rip on Tuesday. As you saw from the list of vendors at the bottom of the home page, I have a lot of shipments still coming. I've received a few, but many more are coming. I've also added a few new vendors.

I want to thank all of you for standing with me and sending me encouraging notes on Saturday. I did receive a lot of hate mail, but it was from people I don't know or who came over because they heard about the shop opening. It got so bad that I was afraid to open email and made Hubster do it. He finally had to reply to some of the nasty ones because I couldn't deal with them anymore. But I've grown a new pair of balls and am back to my normal self.

For those people who made purchases over the weekend, you'll be receiving a free skein of yarn as my way of saying thank you for being so patient while we worked our way through all the problems. I value you as friends and customers (and want you to continue shopping with me), so it's the least I can do. I'll contact each one of you to let you know that you can run your purchases through PayPal as soon as it's ready. I'm boxing everything up tonight so I can mail it tomorrow if things go the way I hope they do.

Enough blathering. Time for the announcements.

For the number of vendors guess, there were two with the correct answer. I only counted vendors whose work I actually had up for sale; I have a lot more, but you would have no way of knowing all of them since they're not all listed. The answer was 21, and I let the computer choose between the two contestants. That person is:

defaultuser72

Congratulations! If you'll send me your name and address at pamtheknitter@gmail.com, I'll get right back to you. Thank you to everybody who entered.

The $50 gift certificate went to Rabbitch.

There were five hourly drawings. The winners of those are:

Meghann Holcomb
Jennifer Jett
Sorcha Warner
Marin
Jessica Domes

If you would all please contact me at the above email addy with your information, I'll get your prizes out to you.

I did three surprise drawings. The winners of those are:

Dawn NcNeil
Laura Neal
Lori Bean

Again, please contact me.

Rabbitch was kind enough to offer a gift certificate for her shop. The winner of that prize is:

Heather Pristash

Please email me so I may hook you up with Rabbitch in order to claim your prize.

As I said, I'll announce the first three shoppers in the next day or two.

Congratulations to all of you!

Now I'm going to get mushy, so if you can't stomach the Queen Bitch doing that, skip this part.

I want to give you all a hug and a huge thank you for being there at the shop. It was overwhelming to see all my friends come out to support me. I sold quite a few things and am very grateful for having you as friends first, customers second. It was emotionally draining and offset all the nastygrams from people who couldn't get something to work. As most of you know, Hubster is bipolar; he needs to get eight hours of sleep a night so he doesn't go wacky. In order to get this thing off the ground, he's been working around the clock with only a few hours' sleep a night; that's not an exaggeration. He's risked going nuts again just to do this for me and to help all the indies I'm representing, as well as giving all of you a new place to shop and hang out. He's still sitting there on the couch right now, typing his little heart out to bring the PayPal interface to fruition. It's incredible to realize that he loves me that much, that he would risk his own health just to open my shop, to bring it all to you. I hope that you all include him in your prayers and send him a big thank you over the airwaves.

I hope that the shop met all your expectations despite the problems. I tried very hard to make it pretty and a fun place to shop. I have lots of new things planned for you and a lot of contests coming up.

I also want to announce that Brooke of The Painted Tiger is my signature yarn dyer. Congratulations, Brooke! She is busy dyeing the yarn as I type; as soon as it's ready, it will be in the shop for sale. She's put a lot of work and time into this yarn, and it's very complex; therefore, it will be a little more expensive than my other yarns. I think you'll find it worth the price, however. It's truly lovely and captures the essence of the shop.

I would also like to begin a stitch marker club. I've mentioned it before, but I want to make it a reality. I'm limiting it to 10 people; one lady has already signed up. Please email me ASAP if you're interested. The cost is $7 per month (including shipping) which gives you four stitch markers custom designed for the shop by Sheryl Bailey (Martina). Her stitch markers will also be up for sale in the shop, but the club markers will be unique.

I'm also holding my first contest. Ready? You need to write a poem about the shop. The prize is a gift basket of goodies. The deadline for the contest is March 1st. Please send all poems to me at my email addy, and I'll announce the winner here.

Thank you again for everything. You're the world to me, and I hope I didn't let any of you down.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

BUGS HAVE BEEN FIXED!

Hi all -

This is hubster here... Pam is trying to relax and knitting in the Monster. I've fixed the login weirdness on the Yarny Goodness website. The problem turned out to be that the server was storing the session identifier across accesses to the store. In effect, if it showed you as being "someone else", then that "someone else" was the last person on your particular server to have successfully logged in.

I've taken care of that problem as well as several others:

* Some vendors were unable to create an account on the system because we had pre-populated your ids without passwords. When you tried to create your own account, it would tell you that your email was already in the system. It should work just fine for you now.

* There were a few nits such as "SPI" was fat-fingered by me as "STI", and the yarn/roving weight and length were identical. So now we properly show stitches per inch as SPI, length is the length, and weight is the weight.

* The "continue shopping" link from the shopping cart also was a bit inconsistent depending upon how you entered the cart and whether or not you modified the cart while there. This problem has been fixed as well.

So... what does all of this mean?

You can now safely shop and fill your cart with the items that you want. When we finally get the PayPal kinks out (hopefully by tonight sometime) you'll be able to pay for your yarny desires.

Go fill up those carts, and we'll soon be able to accept your money, after which you'll soon have all sorts of yarny happiness in your hands.

"Hubster"

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Time to Rest

Well, the frenzy is over, and what a frenzy it was. We also discovered that the software we purchased for the cart has obvious bugs in it. Everybody was also logged in as other people, and a lot of confusion ensued. I'm so sorry about all that, but I'm glad it happened before money exchanged hands. Hubster is working on all the things that went wrong as I speak, and he'll get as many fixed as quickly as he can. Please continue to check in every day. I'll be adding vendors, the Artist of the Month, and all kinds of goodies.

I hope you were all happy with the look of the site. We worked hard to make it pretty for all the people who consented to sell their work through me, as well as making it a fun experience for all of you. I realize that today was anything but fun, but it will be. I promise.

Thank you for showing up - it meant the world to me. You all made me feel loved and wanted, and I'm so glad that I have the unique opportunity to be able to do this for you, the vendors, and myself. It's a lovely thing and very much like giving birth. It'll be worth the tears, the sleepless nights, the hard work, the bugs, the errors, and everything else that happened when it's fixed and running properly.

I'm so blessed.

WE ARE NOW OPEN

Now the feeding frenzy may begin. :)

WE ARE OPEN IN 15 MINUTES

FINALLY!!! WE WILL BE OPEN FOR BUSINESS AT 2:05 P.M.

Sorry for shouting. It's just about fucking time.

Hubster says he's sorry, too.

May the feeding frenzy begin!!! (in 15 minutes)

He's Working on It

Shit shit shit shit shit shit.

Hubster is still working on something or other. I'm sorry. Now I'm embarrassed about the whole thing. So much for my grand opening.

He should be done shortly. Please hang in there. I don't know what else to say.

He's not getting any for the next year.

Thank you for the lovely comments, everyone. You've made me all feel much better. :)

45 Minutes and Counting

I'm nervous. I'm really nervous. At least I got all the items inputted, except for those that I didn't have a chance in hell to process (they came in yesterday). I'm also pooped. I've been at this since yesterday morning and have been going pretty much nonstop, finishing about 15 minutes ago.

That said, I'll announce all the winners in tomorrow's post. I see you all lurking around out there. :)

I'll see you all in 43 minutes. Have a blast!

An "OH NOOOO!!!!!" and a Few Comments

CONTEST IS CLOSED. NO MORE GUESSES, PLEASE. ANY NEW GUESSES WILL BE DELETED. THANK YOU.


You won't believe it. Our computer system went down again. Dead. As the proverbial doornail.

Thankfully, after close to an hour of downtime, Hubster was able to fix things. I couldn't believe it. Not again!

I just wanted to state a few things, even though they'll be on the website. We're pulling a final all-nighter trying to get everything loaded.

I will indeed ship internationally - there was a question about that. The only countries I won't ship to are the ones who send scam letters, such as Nigeria. I'm sorry, but I won't trust my artists' merchandise to a possible scam.

I accept PayPal. Only on special occasions will I accept a money order.

I will be having a Stitch Marker of the Month Club if there's sufficient interest. You will receive two (2) packs of four (4) markers each for $12/month. That includes shipping. If you are interested, drop me a private email.

Returns are accepted within 14 days of original purchase as long as merchandise is in new condition. Yarn may not be wound into balls. An authorization is required before returns will be accepted.

There is a place on the website for you to create an account. This will allow you to track your orders and store your information. I will not be storing any financial information - PayPal will do that for you.

All other information you need will be on the website.

We will go live at noon PST.

Back to work - see you there!

Friday, February 15, 2008

My Last Post as a Consumer

Does that mean I won't buy anything anymore? Nope. But it does mean that this is my last day as strictly a consumer.

Tomorrow, I'll be a shop owner surrounded by yarn which will go to new homes.

This is just a quick post to remind you that tomorrow is the big day. You still have time to enter the contest. Remember to use the link above in order to enter your guess.

As for the shop URL, I've been getting a lot of questions about it. You can reach it at:

Yarny Goodness

There will also be a button at the top left of the screen (with the other buttons) that you can click on. It will take you directly to the store.

I still have a shitload of entries to do and pictures to take before opening tomorrow, but I wanted to give you that information. All winners of the various contests and drawings will be announced Sunday, and I will contact them privately as well.

In order to win the drawings throughout the day, please remember to sign the guest book when you enter the shop. Please give me both your name and email addy.

Thank you, and I'll see you tomorrow!!!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Lockdowns, Toilets, Casinos, the Mercury Retrograde, and the Curse of Cheap Motels

Before I start blathering, please let me remind you about the link up there under the NC-17 sign. That's the link you must hit in order to get to the place where you'll enter your contest guess. When I left yesterday, the count was 24. When I got home today... well, it had exploded. I was floored. I have to say that there are some guesses that are way off, some that are close, and a few that are right on (and thank you for all the well-wishes!). I'll let you all study the entries to try and figure it out (giggling like an idiot).

There will be no pictures on the blog this week because I have enough to keep me busy with taking pictures for the shop. Not only did I find the exploding contest guesses when we got home, I had a LOT of packages on the porch. Poor Yarn Fairy. I've told him I'm opening a business, and he told me that was great - they needed all the business they could get - but just wait until he's delivered a few more mountains like this. I won't tell you how many boxes there were - that would give you a hint about how many vendors there are -but I will say that I had a few personal packages mixed in with the pile that LITERALLY covered the porch. 'Nuff said (now trying to not choke because I'm laughing too hard).

Oops - I did indeed laugh too hard. Gotta pee. BRB.

Back. Don't you hate when you dribble on your fuzzy slippers?

What a great segue. Speaking of toilets, I did it again. Bathroom time is crossword puzzle time. I've been doing them in the can since I was a kid. Maybe that's why I'm pretty good at Jeopardy - I've learned a lot of useless information doing those things. So there I sat Saturday night, working on a Challenger puzzle and minding my own business. I felt sleepy but didn't pay any attention to it. There was nothing I could do on the computer because Hubster had to fix something which I needed, so I was knitting and enjoying the evening. Anyway, I sort of tipped forward a couple of times but caught myself. Wake up, I told myself. You've only got three more clues before you finish this bitch. And then the inevitable occurred. I woke up with my face plastered against the wall and floor, my ass sticking straight up in the air, one leg stuck between the toilet and shower and the other twisted under me, and the pen jammed up against my throat, leaving a lovely blue squiggly line going from ear to ear. Oh great. Now I have a bruise on my forehead, my legs are all twitchy, and the shadow of a blue line that didn't scrub off in the shower. Crap. I looked like Frankenwoman or else had drawn a line for some inmate to trace with a shiv. Then I plugged up the toilet with too much paper (if you put three sheets in this thing, it plugs up). Then I dropped my pen in the toilet. Now I have a plunged toilet that's barely running, a pen that's in the garbage, and a wet crossword puzzle book (I dropped water on it from the plunger). I don't think I'll be finishing that particular puzzle, since the book is also in the garbage. I ain't touching that bitch.

So today was prison day. We went out to dinner last night (Red Lobster - I love their cheesy biscuits), where I stuffed myself to the uh... gills. We waddled out to the car and drove over to that paragon of luxury, Days Inn. At least we got a room on the ground floor. It's always exciting when you first go into your room. You never know which lights are going to be burned out, if you have towels, if you have enough scratchy toilet paper, if the TV is going to be snowy, if the springs are coming through the mattress - fun times. Everything seemed to be in working order until I tried to turn on the lights next to the beds (we got twin beds - I have no idea why) and they didn't come on. I kept turning the knob, tried pushing it, and began to swear loudly. Fortunately, Hubster is mechanically inclined. He pulled out the nightstand and plugged the lights in. Uh... duh. So I settled down on one of the beds, got a spring up my ass, lit a butt, and proceeded to watch TV before I took out my knitting. We arrived there in plenty of time for me to knit (usually, we get there close to midnight, and I have to get up at 6:00 a.m. to get to the prison on time). I was so looking forward to knitting - I have the test socks to finish and two swap socks to finish, too. The next thing I knew, I had burned a hole in my new sweatshirt, the TV was playing a different program, and it was 2:30 a.m. Shit.

So I ripped off my now holey sweatshirt (sigh), crawled under the covers, had a drink of slushy Coke (at least they provide a refrigerator in the room) and fell right asleep again. Those long car rides do me in now. When the wake-up call came, I remember picking up the receiver and saying "H'loooo" into the part that goes next to your ear. I'm not the sharpest knife in the block when I first wake up.

It took a good half-hour for me to struggle to wakefulness, at least enough to get my lard ass out of bed and into the bathroom (or rather, the side of the room with the sink) to begin getting ready. After doing the stuff I could do at the sink, I moved into the little room where the shower and toilet are, started up the shower, and climbed in. I stared at the shower curtain for a few minutes while the water ran hard and hot (sounds like Hubster when he's feeling randy) and couldn't figure out what was wrong. The water was pouring all over the floor. Oh... I had forgotten to put the curtain INSIDE the shower. Our showers at home have the sliding glass doors, so I have to put my little thinking cap on when I use normal stuff.

I managed to dress myself without doing anything that would cause bodily harm, and we piled into the truck to head out to the prison. As you know, I usually have to hoof it a mile to get to the cellblock. This time, Bill was waiting for me (oh happy day!), so I climbed in the golf cart and off we went. Along the way, he told me that C Block had been under lockdown on Friday due to a race riot. Oh great. He wasn't sure how many people I would have in class, so we stopped in the office once we exited into the yard to check. Hmm... nobody had been authorized. It turned out that the clerk who did what they call duckets was an Asian man - one of the groups involved in the riot - and nobody had done his job. So I met one of my boys and trudged over to the chapel. Once inside, I waited for a bit before R came into the building - without anybody else. Bill finally came in and made some calls to get my boys released; he had the sergeant's and lieutenant's authorizations and was heading out to get their signatures when it happened.

You all know how I love the prison shows. They're always showing fights and knifings on the yard, guards running, and the tower guards bellowing for everybody to sit down. Well, we were sitting in the office shooting the breeze when there was a knifing, the guards went running, and the tower guards bellowed for everybody to sit down. I actually saw it happen - it was just like on TV. There were two men against one (the Northern vs. the Southern Mexicans); I don't know what precipitated the knifing, but they obviously knew there were no higher-ups on the yard (they were in a meeting). The inmates sat down, there were guards swarming all over the place, the riot squad came running with machine guns (I shit you not) and handcuffs, and a litter for the wounded man was brought out. He didn't want to get in it, so they sort of slammed him down and took him away. They walked right in front of me - there was blood running all over his face and neck. Then they marched the other two guys past me to get put in the cages, which are exactly what they sound like. I was talking to another inmate who was in the chapel while all this was happening, and he said that what happens is they strip you to your underwear and stick you in this cage which is just big enough for a man to squat down in; they keep you there until your anger is spent and then move you to the SHU. Wow. Then all the other inmates were cleared off the yard, and a guard came into the chapel and told R and the other inmate they had to go home (back to their cells). Lockdown. Time for Pam to leave.

I got ahold of the motel and had them contact Hubster; he immediately left to come get me. I got outside, waited about five minutes, and then off we went to the casino. Yay!

Among other things, I'm a devout gambler. I adore slot machines and live for our Reno trips. Since we're opening the shop, we don't have much discretionary money, but I had managed to keep $100 in my purse for about three months now (the only reason it was there is because I forgot all about it - forgetfulness being one of the many joys of prescribed narcotics like methadone and oxycontin). Hubster took out another bill, and we hit the casino floor. Thunder Valley is a lovely place, even though nothing is like a Reno or Vegas casino. I just wanted to bang away on the slots and win their six-figure jackpot. I couldn't even win five fucking dollars. Hubster did better - he actually was a little ahead, so I took some of his winnings and immediately put them right back into the machines. No luck today. I blame that and the lockdown on the Mercury retrograde. It's done horrible things to a lot of people, including blowing up their computers and losing all their data (and I don't mean just me). So I sadly got back in the truck, we headed home, and I fell asleep for the ride.

The other thing that happened when we got here is that we have no dial tone. NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! Thank goodness the phone dude put our DSL on a separate line so we can still use the computer. He's coming out tomorrow morning, so I hope he's able to fix everything once and for all. I'll be SO glad when this retrograde is over; it's the worst one we've had in ages. Don't believe it? Had anything weird or bad happen to you? Fortunately, it's over next week. Figures. Maybe I should have waited to open the shop. Nah. It's the right time.

So tonight, I'm writing all the tags that go on the merchandise. If I have time, I'll enter some of them on the computer. More likely, I'll knit. Tomorrow marks 23-hour work days until Saturday (I have to nap somewhere in there). I'll be posting before then.

If I don't fall off the toilet and impale myself on my pen first.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Contest Entries

Hi Everyone!

I've noticed that several of you have been putting your entries in the wrong place. They need to go in the Contest Entry post which is directly below this one. I'm going to put a link to it under the NC-17 sign so all you have to do is click on that and it will take you to the right place.

Everyone who put their contest entries in the wrong place, please reenter by clicking on the link and putting them where the link takes you. Everyone who doesn't have their entries in the right place will be disqualified.

A reminder - vendors are NOT allowed to participate. Vendors ARE allowed to participate in all the other prize drawings throughout the day, however. Opening time here is 8:00 p.m. UK time. For those of you in other countries, please use that as your way of figuring out what time it will be in your part of the country.

I know we have a lot of readers, so please enter! The grand prize is a terrific one - don't miss out! You'll get as many skeins of indie yarn as I can cram into that bag. Green Mountain bags retail for around $150 and are very large. You may get as many as 12 skeins which are valued at around $20 each. Do the math. :)

I'm off to Folsom for prison day tomorrow. I'll be posting tomorrow night.

Good luck, and have a great day!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Answers for "Number of Vendors On Opening Day" Contest

Okay... this is the place where you leave comments with the number of vendors you think will be with me on opening day. You may leave comments up until 12:01 a.m. PST on Saturday, February 16. Any entries received after that will be disqualified. Only comments left on this entry will be considered.

You may begin leaving your answers starting now.

Good luck! The winner will be announced on Sunday, February 17.

The New Official GRAND OPENING and Contest Information

Greetings, my dear friends and family!

First of all, the new Grand Opening date is:

Saturday, February 16, 2008
12 noon PST

As for the contests, the same Lorna's will apply as I said in my last post except with larger amounts of yarn at stake. The first customer will receive six (6) skeins (three of each color); the second customer will receive four (4) skeins (two of each color); the third customer will receive two (2) skeins (one color). These are paying customers who have purchased something.

There will be a guest book for everyone to sign when they enter the store. In order to be eligible for the contests, you must have signed the guest book. I'll take my winners from there. On the hour every hour, beginning at 1 p.m., I will choose a random customer for a skein of yarny goodness. You don't have to buy anything for this. I will do this until 6 p.m., which will be my last drawing.

Throughout the day, there will be random prizes given away as I feel like doing it. You won't know if or when I'm doing it. The prizes will vary based on what I want to give out at that particular moment - yarn, notions, etc. It will be good stuff, I promise you.

In order to win the $50 gift certificate, I will use a random number generator at the end of the day. The winner will be contacted via email.

Now for the big prize which you have to work for. Please leave your answers as comments on the next blog entry which will be dedicated just for that. Here's what you have to do.

Some of my vendors have decided that selling through a store isn't what they want to do right now, so they've pulled out. I've picked up some more vendors. Nobody knows who all my vendors are; I've told you a certain number, but that number changed before the ink on the page was even dry, so it doesn't matter. I will tell you that there has been significant movement. What you have to do is guess the correct number of vendors who will be with me on Opening Day. The person who hits the correct number will win a Green Mountain Knitting Bag full of yarn and notions. In case of a tie, I'll use the number generator or some other method to choose the winner. You will be notified by email.

No vendors are eligible for contest loot. No sending your friends in your place, either.

I hope you all enjoy yourselves and win lots of loot! It's my way of saying thank you for sticking with me, for shopping with me, and for the kindness and graciousness you've shown me. I am indeed blessed.

Now I'm going back to bed.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

A Huge Thank You

I want to publicly thank all of you who came to the site at four (there were about 800), wrote to me privately, or left comments here. You've all made me feel so much better, but more importantly, you've shown me that you love me. You all made me cry with happiness and relief, and then I promptly fell asleep at the keyboard for five hours. I wrote a very moving thank you letter to someone that contained nothing but b's, g's, m's, and r's, depending where my face was located at any particular moment. I don't care about the money I lost. I care about my vendors having lost all that business. As you all know, I'm all about my vendors, and they all busted their asses to work with me. I'm so lucky to have the group I do; they all understand and are anxiously awaiting the new opening.

I feel better now and realize that if this had happened when all those people hit the server, I would have lost their orders and money. In that regard, it was a blessing that it happened when it did. We got hit with so many customers because L&V were good enough to write a glowing review of the shop. I've written to Miss Violet and practically begged her to announce the new shop opening. I guess we just weren't meant to open today for whatever reason.

I look forward to seeing everyone a week from Saturday. I'll announce the new contest this week, but there's going to be a $50 gift certificate, the Lorna's for the first three customers (except that I'm upping the ante - now the first customer will get six skeins, the second four, and the third two). I'll also be choosing a customer every hour (the last one at 6:00 p.m.) for a prize of indie happiness. There will be other surprises, too - like random and surprise drawings. I'll also be having a contest where you have to do something. It'll be a blast, I promise. :) The winner of that contest will receive a BASKET of yarny goodness and other happy surprises.

Again, thank you for everything. I feel so blessed to be surrounded by so many people who care about me and want to see the shop succeed (don't worry, Marin... there are goodies you'll love). After seeing how many people came to the site, I'm a bit overwhelmed. And scared shitless. I hope the numbers are as good or better next week. Just think - this will heighten your anticipation.

And allow me to go back to bed.

I'm So Sorry To Tell You This

I don't have much time -our computers have been up and down all night. Why? That in a moment.

It is with an extremely heavy heart and lots of tears that I have to tell you that our Grand Opening has been postponed until Saturday, Feb. 16, at 12 noon. I've been up all night doing nothing but finishing the pictures, typing up descriptions for literally hundreds of items, uploading the pictures, and being proud (albeit tired) when it was done. Then I sent it all up to Hubster's computer and -POOF - it disappeared. Every last word I typed and picture I uploaded. All gone. This was an hour ago, at 9:30 a.m. Then we couldn't contact the site at all. It's gone, and now I have to redo it all, and I don't have time to make it today.

Even if I did, our server keeps going down. Hubster has talked to them, but they've told us not to put anything of value (uh... like my entire store?) on there until Monday. They're having major problems with their servers; since tomorrow is Friday, they'll be working on it through the weekend. It was like taking an eraser and wiping a chalkboard clean.

Add on to that the fact that our phone lines were down for two days this week and continue to give us problems. The phone company can't come out until next week, so I'm lucky when I can get online. It's something called a "hard cross". Sometimes when I pick up the phone, I hear my neighbors talking (like the old party lines), and they can hear me. Not only that, whenever they pick up their phones, it bounces us right off the Internet. Great.

I must apologize to all of you. I had it within my grasp. I was going to have time to take a shower, to watch the shop open, to have everything in place and ready for you. I feel like a failure even though it's not my fault. I'm tired, need to take a shower, have been sitting in this damn chair for 12 hours (and on my feet for six hours before that), and my legs have swollen up to the size of balloons due to fluid retention (it's a part of the disease). I've let you all down, and that's the worst part of all.

So just to be on the safe side, we've set the opening for well past the date the phone company will be here and the servers will be repaired. The only good thing is that the site will be even better, I'll have even more merchandise for you, and the contest will be changed to include gift certificates, discounts, and yarn. I hope this makes up for all the trouble this has caused.

Please come to the shop a week from Saturday at noon PST. Please don't abandon me or it - I'll be ready to go if I have to drive to San Jose and strangle the dude running the server operation. I'm so very, very sorry.

I'm going to go knit until I fall asleep. This has been such a horrible night that I need to do something to wind down. Besides, if I don't get off pretty soon, my neighbors may pick up their phone and bounce me.

I'm so sorry.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Just a Bit of Info - and a Contest

I've got Post-It Notes stuck to my forehead, inventory tags hanging off my jammies, and Scotch tape on my ass. Just all part of getting ready for the grand opening.

The shop will be open for business at 4:00 p.m. PST on Thursday. The link (which I'll post here on Thursday) won't be live until that time, so please don't keep clicking on it. When 4:00 p.m. hits, click away. :)

I've decided to have a Grand Opening contest. For the first person who makes a purchase, you'll receive four (4) skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock (two colors, two of each). The second customer will receive two (2) skeins of the same yarn (but a different color, two of the same). The third customer will receive a skein (indie) of my choice.

I ship internationally (except to those countries who are always sending out those scamming letters - sorry), and accept PayPal. I will also accept money orders on a special basis.

You probably won't hear from me more than once between now and Thursday. Rest assured that I'm working my ass off (Scotch tape and all) to bring you the finest in indie yarns and notions.

Now if I can just find those round neon green labels...

Saturday, February 2, 2008

I'm Overwhelmed

I don't have the time tonight to write a long post or put up pictures, but I wanted to thank each and every one of you who left comments and/or wrote me privately. I had 89 people visit the site yesterday - second only to the time Hubster put my site on something on his computer - which made me realize just how many people keep an eye on me. Because of that, and because of all of you, I have extremely high hopes for the success of the shop. We'll be ready for all of you come Thursday morning. I'll post the URL next week and put up a button for direct access to the shop for your convenience. I'll also be listing all my vendors, as I'm not just promoting me, but every single one of them. Many of them may be new to you, but I think you'll be delighted. They trusted me, had faith in me, and many of them sent me their work on consignment, which allowed me to do this and bring all of their beauty to you.

Again, thank you, every single one of you. You made getting through yesterday more than bearable - you gave me a new beginning, and I'll never be able to thank all of you for that. I'm overwhelmed, humbled, and so thankful that I have you.

And for the first time in weeks, I slept all night.

In bed.

Friday, February 1, 2008

THE ANNOUNCEMENT (TA DA!)





COMING THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2008