Arcadia Knitting

Welcome to the blog of Arcadia Knitting, Chicago's largest yarn store! Owned by sisters Kathy and Sharon Kelly, Arcadia has been serving the Chicago knitting and crocheting community for over six years. Keep up with shop news and read more about our ongoing adventures in yarn...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The everyday thrill of owning a yarn store

I know people think owning a yarn store is all about the knitting when it really is running a small business. I would say our atmosphere and surroundings are much nicer than the guys at the Shell or the cell phone guys on the corner but my day is probably a lot like theirs.

So, here's a little look into an average day:

10:30 - get to shop, place orders, dust some stuff
11:30 - give Smitty, our mailman, the outgoing mail
12 noon - open door, sell yarn
12:30 - check email, respond to stuff, sell yarn
1:30 - answer phone call from woman in California trying to track down a yarn I have never heard of or carried, hop on the internet while explaining to her that it's going to be very tough because that brand has changed distributors twice in the past 2 years, on the internet I find a shop in Vancouver, Canada that has the yarn and I realize that the Canadian distributor hasn't changed in the past two years and so she should concentrate her search to Canada
2:00 - open boxes and check in inventory, review new books, since I can't see many of the books before I order it's kind of a crap shoot, this time most everything is good, Sharon finds copy of "Selbuvotter" which is all about Selbu mittens, she will be lost in it for the next hour, how much you wanna bet she comes to work tomorrow with a half a mitten?
3:00 - eat lunch
3:30 - help Sylvia finish her vest: we pick up some stitches around the neck
4:00 - try to figure out why the Malabrigo bill matches nothing we have in the computer, email Tobias, answer comes back: we're both wrong!
4:30 - start researching email marketing services on line, ugh, I am not a techie but these days I have to be able to do this, realizing that my business depends more on being able to do this well than my knowledge of Japanese short row techniques, must keep at this long after I am bored and my eyes go wonky from the buzz words
5:00 - rearrange misfiled needles on needle wall, cripes - where did all the #5, 6 inch dpns go? didn't we open a box three days ago?
5:30 - go online to find interesting roving for the spinners, end out 20 email to small breeders around the country, Sharon wants Icelandic roving
6:00 - snack, read Bloomberg to see what the market did, hmmm
6:30 - see how we're doing saleswise for the day - hey - who sold $180 of Riverstone? where was I when that happened?
7:00 - class comes in, Sharon goes over unknitting and relieves anxieties, I check inventory in the computer vs. what is on the shelves, luckily no big surprises
8:03 - lock the door, close the cash register, try to put the right numbers in the checkbook, go home.

PS - Sharon did come to work with half a mitten the next day. She is so happy with that book.
PPS - a week later some very special yarn arrives from Simply Shetland and Sharon is mitten mad.


Saturday, March 15, 2008

If you are a reader of "Panopticon" by Franklin Habit

Tom is real and not a figment of Franklin's imagination. Tall & handsome & nice.


Monday, March 10, 2008

March is Crochet Month

The Crochet Guild of America has designated March as Crochet Month.

We have a number of crochet classes on the schedule. Every Sunday at 12 pm we will be doing an amigurumi demonstration. If you don't know what amigurumi is go to flikr and look it up. You will not be sorry.

On Sunday March 30th starting at 1 pm we will have an amigurumi tea party to celebrate all the amigurumi we have made.

If you already know how to crochet we have some new books in stock that are quite nice.


Sharon sold her own project

One of the funnest things about owning a yarn shop with a sibling is the ability to know what yarn they want to use on their next project.....and sell it out from under them. We learned this game very early - when we were still in the basement on Clark and Berwyn. And for almost 8 years we still get lots of fun selling the yarn to a customer while to other one just ran out for lunch. Good times.

Well, last week Sharon sold her own project to someone else. She had ordered Mountain Colors Mountain Goat is a new colorway - Chinook. She was going to make a Myrna Stahman shawl. But even before we unpacked the box someone came in a grabbed four for a Clapotis. Sharon felt that at the age of forty she can't bust out with "MINE!" and so let the woman buy it.

So, Sharon called and re-ordered four more for herself.

Also in that box: 10 glorious colorways of Bearfoot from Mountain Colors.