Thank You Stitches West!

Well, that was a ton of fun!!!

We have returned home full of ideas and inspiration and more than our share of smiley (and oh so tired) faces, funny stories and happy hearts just bursting with gratitude!

Now it’s getting all our ducks in a row, shipping those OHW’s and mystery kits (Crevasse mystery kits coming up) and lining up what we have in store for you in March and ….

So many x’s & o’s,

Sarah, Hayley & the Fellas



Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!

It barely seems possible that we find ourselves quickly nearing the end of 2016, and oh what a year it has been!  “Thank you” feels insufficient in expressing what you all mean to us, because we absolutely could not do what we do without you!  We never take for granted that you have choices when it comes to purchasing yarn, and we are truly thankful to all of you for choosing Plucky and loyally supporting our small family business.  Without fail, you are there for us, whether it be through your friendship and camaraderie in our Ravelry group, shopping updates, knitting along with us, coming out to see us at trunk shows, or traveling far and wide to Shindig and Glamp!  Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to you, our dear customers and friends, as we look back at our adventures in 2016 and look ahead to 2017.

So many x’s and o’s from all of us, to all of you and, again, thank you all so very, very much!

 

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Photo credits: The Plucky Knitter & Margotchien

P.S. We are excited to announce our first event of 2017! Hayley and I will be joining Meg and her team at Haus of Yarn for a Plucky Knitter trunk show in Nashville, TN on Saturday, January 14, 2017. We fell in love with the Music City in 2015 and we can’t wait to get back! We hope you’ll stop by to say “Hello!”, check out our newest colorways, knit a little, and chat a bit with us on Saturday, January 14, 2017 from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm CT.

Field Trip

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Hey, hey it’s Friday guys. We made to the end of the week!

Wishing you a glorious weekend ahead – full of crisp Fall mornings and bright sunny skies. And, of course, lots of knitting and whatever apple or pumpkin treats make you smile.

xo
s

Field Trip

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Sometimes…. you know those times.

When life just seems to come at you a zillion and 12 miles per hour…. Well if you’re anything like me it’s fun to take a step back (even for a few minutes) and think about something fun coming down the lane. So, just this once… No teaser at all. Alpenglow. Knit in your choice of bulky weight yarn or #mixthosebases! Shown above in Snug Bulky in Pup Tent and Only You in Cachet and Scholar 1.0 held double.

Field Trip. A 2016 Plucky Knitter Collection. Coming September 22nd.

 

 

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It’s Monday

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Scenes from the weekend

Hello and hap, hap, happy Monday to you! Too perky, too early? Yeah, I think so too.

Good morning… said in my best quiet early morning voice….

Where to start!?

  1. Bungalow update ships. Now that’s exciting stuff!!
  2. The tomatoes are coming in – in a big way! Tomatoes, watermelon, cucumbers, cheese and a little bit of wine. Don’t you just love those easy summer dinner/not really dinner kind of nights?
  3. Is that a new pattern I spy up there in the collage? It’s been a ages since we’ve released a new Plucky pattern…. something new coming up this week!
  4. Not even sure how I stumbled across this article. I assure you I wasn’t searching google for stirrup pants. I have been shaking my head ever since. I can’t. I just can’t. However, I am looking forward to getting my flannel shirts out of storage….

It’s Monday. We got this, right? Right!

xo
s

 

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Found my colors for #3 above!

Scenes From The Weekend

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Congratulations to Melissa and Liz at Woolandhoney! 16 years a big huge deal! What sweet hostesses. Thank you ladies!


 

We sincerely hope yours was just as lovely!

I’d say let’s have a gentle ease into this short week, but no way, not here!

Back soon with some fun things!

xo
s

It’s Monday

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Wanderlust cashmere. The Hills Are Alive cashmere. Twill Ox 2.0, Charm School Snug Fingering, Chantilly Lodge Fingering, Hi-C Ox 2.0 Mixthosebases.

Good morning and a happy hazy (stupid allergies) Monday to you!

So, what’s new with you? Around here we’re up to no good or a lot of good, depending on the day/hour!

  1. The April 1st ‘It’s No Joke’ started shipping on Friday! That continues in earnest today.
  2. Plucky Classics ships later this week. Woohoo!
  3. Luxe Club on the heels of Classics!
  4. Knitting/swatching. Swatching some fun things… thinking ahead to Fall (gah!).
  5. Stripes. Mixing bases. Two of my favorite things.
  6. Zyrtec. Need more Zyrtec.
  7. The roof leak and ripping up carpets probably not helping the Spring allergies.
  8. Reserve. There’s going to be an infusion of fun things to the Reserve! Primo, Lace, Soph, a smidge of Crew and of this n’ that. Starting a little later today. If you have a hankering for anything super specific I’ll see what I can do!

May your coffee be strong this morning…

xo
s

Hey, Hey It’s Monday!

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Yesterday’s weather has made for one very exhausted Oxford.

Hey, Hey it’s Monday!

Spring came and went and summer arrived yesterday around here – if the calendar didn’t say April 17th yesterday I would have sworn it was June 17th! But, as we all know it can change on a dime so in the meantime let’s revel in the fantastic weather! A few other things that are taking up space in my brain today:

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  1. Striped shirts. How many are too many?
  2. Goe Oil. I’m loving this so much! Coconut oil is great (more solid and can be fiddly to travel with) and argon oil (liquid which can be messy, especially when traveling). Enter Goe Oil. Semi-solid and a mixture of many different oils. Light but very moisturizing – fantastic on dry skin (not too heavy) and curly hair (tame that frizz!). Not to mention, make-up remover, cuticle oil, and the list goes on. Talk about bang for the beauty buck.
  3. Cast on for a new project – always a good time! Mixing those bases. Can’t share any other details just yet, but I think you’ll love it.
  4. I need to be better at keeping a note pad with me at all times. And my favorite pens.
  5. We are eyebrow deep (way past neck deep!) in April Classics and May Luxe preparations.
  6. It’s no joke, no, really it’s NO JOKE… we are going to repeat ‘that update’ this week. Free shipping and all. Something you missed? Weren’t able to get on the site? Something new you’d like to see (a base or a colorway)? Let me know over in the wish list thread. Thinking a two parter this time, sometime mid-week perhaps? Not sure yet, the day is still young.
  7. And last but certainly not least… anyone up for a road trip UP NORTH?  Woolandhoney we can’t wait!! You know, five years ago at your darling little shop was the very first trunk show Hayleymae ever attended together. Five short (or very longggggg, depending on the day) years ago. Congratulations to you!

I hope your Monday is a very good one…

xo
s

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Thank You!

It’s hard to believe that 2015 is quickly coming to a close and 2016 is only days away! There’s no better time than right now to look back and thank you for an amazing year and…deep breath…to also look forward to the new year with all of you, our dear customers and friends as we anticipate all that 2016 holds.

This past year has been another adventure filled with new friends, new ideas, new creations, and a full year in our new studio! What a treat it’s been to work in our new barn and not have to dye outside in polar vortexes or the blazing sun. Despite not tripping over each other anymore (literally), we did experience a few growing pains and found not everything always went as planned. But, the Crew and I still managed to have fun and were so thankful for your patience through the highs, the lows, and everything in between. You’ve been with us every step of the way, and for that we are grateful beyond words.

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One of the high points, as we look back on 2015, was the growth of our wonderful Ravelry community. We so appreciate the long-time members who gladly welcomed our new friends and huge thanks go to all of you—old and new friends alike—for the warmth, knowledge and creativity you so generously shared with us and with one another. Your kindness and generosity in helping others continued to amaze and inspire us. You have answered questions, provided suggestions, offered words of encouragement and support, and sent a virtual hug to many during trying times. Words can’t begin to express our gratitude for helping create a community of such kindness, creativity, talent and friendship, for which we remain humbled and infinitely thankful every single day.

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Needless to say, we were thrilled to see many of you in person over the past year! Each year we give careful thought to which shows to attend, knowing the tremendous amount of work that’s involved, and last year we loved being at Stitches South. Thank you to all of you who attended and stopped by the Plucky booth. It was great to see so many old friends, meet new ones, exchange ideas and inspire one another.

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The 2015 Plucky Shindig was another high point for us, and we hope for you, too! It was such great fun to host you! We send (yet another!) huge shout-out to Lorilee for her incredible organizational skills and endless behind-the-scenes work in partnering with us on the Shindig. We also are so grateful for all the in-person help we received. We loved creating our new marketplace and spending time with you there. And then, of course, there was the fashion show featuring many of your amazing creations and all of the informal sit-and-knits. Thank you, again, to all of you who attended and made the Shindig such a fabulous time together.

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And who could forget Plucktober 2015, thirty-one days of incredible knitting, crocheting, amazing creations and a fantastic sense of community?! I would like to thank Ien and Jill for the hundreds of hours they logged organizing and administering this major Plucky event as well as all the event moderators. You guys were fantastic!

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Hayley and I, along with Amy Miller and Jill Zielinski, had such fun creating All Bundled Up, Spring Forward and Fall Back collections. We hope you find the patterns/projects enjoyable to knit, wearable, gift-worthy and classic with a twist! These collections wouldn’t have been possible without our incredibly talented sample knitters who helped bring them to life. Thank you ladies! We so appreciate you and couldn’t do it without you!!

 

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New colorways and new bases are always high on our list of priorities to help keep those creative juices flowing. Exciting collaborations, such as VerdeaMultiplicity, Shatsu, & Summer Moon (just to name a few) gave us further opportunity to bring creativity to new levels with some wonderfully talented designers. And, your love for our posted projects and requests for kits (you love those mysteries!) continue to humble us  – thank you for trusting us and letting Hayley and I surprise you!

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And then there was the new Plucky app, which was our gift to you! We have received so many positive comments and hope you continue to use it often for ideas and information and to use it to plan your very own color pairings!

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Of course, none of this—events, collections and new products—could have happened without the people I work with everyday…the dedicated Plucky Crew who make it happen along side me…I love you guys more than I can say.

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Please allow me to express my heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you for all you did to make it a great year…and all you continue to do to make Plucky what it is today. Your friendship, your creativity, your support and your kindness are what keep us inspired and committed to exploring new and better ways for you to experience fiber and color. It has been such an incredible privilege to serve you and I find such abundant joy looking forward to new creative journeys in 2016.

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So that we can enjoy some time off to spend with family and friends, the studio will be dark until the first week of January. We wish you the same quiet, cozy time with family and friends!

With great affection, gratitude and so many hugs,

Sarah

 

 

One Dish Delish! A Contest

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Contest time!

One of the great joys of living in a locale that has distinct seasons is that each season carries its own sights and smells. This is the time of year when we say goodbye to summer, filled with the beauty of lush greens and the smells of something sizzling away on the grill. As autumn comes upon us, we begin to think a bit more of indoor cooking. There is nothing quite like opening the front door and being greeted with the aroma of something wonderful. It’s funny how the simple smells of a particular spice or a favorite recipe that has been simmering away can trigger memories and instantly make you feel comfortable.

Do you have a favorite one-dish recipe? Is the dutch oven (or crock-pot) your best friend these days? Do you have a never fail, make ahead soup or stew that you turn to at this time of year? And, let’s not forget about desserts…brownies, cakes, cobblers, crumbles and pies, oh my! If it fits in one dish, we invite you to share it with us. And, if your recipe comes with a story, even better. We’d love to hear it!

We are opening a new contest thread in Ravelry for our ONE DISH DELISH contest, as well as inviting you to post your recipe here in the comments section on the blog. Entries will close at Noon Eastern on Friday, November 6th and winners will be selected. And, you know we will have prizes! Of course, adding your recipes to our own personal collection makes us all winners. Thank you for playing along. Now let’s get cooking!

 

Thank You

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Please bear with me a few moments while I get a bit mushy as I reflect on the Shindig. Last week – wow – that was exciting! It would seem logical that I would say it was exhausting (it certainly was, but in a good way!), but when you are doing something you love, it was also exhilarating! Hayley and I (and the Plucky crew) had the privilege of being with extraordinary people. We received in–person, as well as virtual hugs the entire weekend long. We were able to see so many people we know and love virtually, in person, and the opportunity to see your projects come to life. Your excitement at the unveiling of the Fall Back collection, trying on the sample knits, seeing the new colors and bases, swatching in bases you might not have tried, and allowing us the privilege of helping you put colors together, were beautiful beyond words. Thank you, so much, for joining us, supporting our work and for being our friends.

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I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge a few special efforts that made the ‘Dig outstanding this year. Thank you to all who modeled their work in the fashion show. Each FO was inspired and inspiring. You guys are amazing and you owned that runway! To all of you who took the time to post photos of “Shindiggers In The Wild” (I’m looking at you Mary Kay), thank you for allowing all our Plucky friends to share in our fun. A huge thank you goes out to all the personal shoppers who generously took the time to shop and deliver yarn to others. And, about all the sugary and salty goodness, the baked goods and all other manner of treats you gave us? Let’s just say there will be extra miles logged on the treadmill for the remainder of this month! Thank you for keeping us on our toes and well fed and well hydrated! And, you guys! How do I even begin to say thank you for your incredibly kind gift and acknowledgement of 10,000 in the Plucky group!? Who knew the group was larger than the city we call home!? You made us cry, left me speechless, and truly touched our hearts. The group wouldn’t be what it is today without YOU – each and every single one of you.

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Finally, there are so many behind the scenes people that I am indebted to for the months of work that goes into making a successful Shindig. Lorilee, who along with her hand picked crew, makes everything look so easy and manages it all so gracefully – L, thank you! We are so grateful to our teachers and speakers, Amy Herzog, JC Briar, Michelle Wang and Lorilee Beltman for sharing their insights and knowledge, helping us all be better (and smarter!) knitters. And, it goes without saying, to all the behind the scenes crew members/family who worked tirelessly through multiple heat waves to insure that thing went off without a hitch. You are loved and appreciated so very much.

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Thank you again, so much… for everything.

xo
Sarah

 

The above is a short clip of the Fashion Show. Good times!

 

Beat The Heat Dining – A Contest

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It has been so fun to read all the Morzo Orzo stories of reunions, house guests, alfresco dinning and too-hot-to-cook dinners on the fly. The only thing left to do is have a PHOTO CONTEST!

How do you and your family take your Morzo Orzo? Chopped? Finely diced? Doctored up? Super spicey? More cheese? No Cheese? Quinoa instead of orzo? Let’s see some photos!

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If you haven’t had a chance to taste Morzo Orzo yet – no worries at all! This a ”Beat The Heat With Foods of Summer” photo contest. It can even be a photo of something you want to try, a photo from a magazine, anything that lends itself to our Beat-The-Heat theme.

Please hop on over to the new Beat-The-Heat contest thread and post your photos. You have until 9:00 AM on Thursday, July 30th. And, of course there will be prizes!

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So many thank you’s

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Nashville – we love you!

The dust has mostly settled, the pups have been cuddled, the suitcases have been mostly unpacked and the biscuit detox has begun!

Back at the barn, we are continuing to unpack, ship classics and get ready for some fun things coming next week. But, first, thank you. THANK YOU.

Stitches South was special because of all the friendship and kindness you brought with you. Even if you weren’t able to physically get to Nashville, you were road trippin’ with us. You took the time to post wonderful reports of your road trip knitting or how your life might have gotten in the way of actual yardage and were always there to cheer each other (and us) on. We loved having you in the back seat of our virtual station wagon!

To all those who brought us treats, you are the fuel that kept us going! The chocolates, chips, nuts, biscuits (see above), baked goods, beverages, (coffee, tea & adult) and even some super interesting jerky (a huge hit with the fellas!), we loved it all. I will have to do some double time on the treadmill this next week, but it was so worth it! You guys are the absolute best.

But, most of all, thank you for your enthusiasm and energy. We loved helping with your project planning and finding your personal colors. Thank you for every hug, every group photo and for being so warm and sweet to our Dad. This was his very first Stitches trip with us and I think he was a bit overwhelmed. But, so many of you took the time to chat with him and make him feel welcome. He sure does love knitters – and so do we!

You guys are the best. Ever. A zillion thank you hugs to everybody.

xoxo

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The Week Ahead –

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Good morning & a very happy first Monday of Spring to you all!

You know those moments when you see or hear something and the first thing you can think of doing is to grab your phone and text or call someone, because you just have to share?! That is sort of the way I have been feeling lately, but it’s not possible to call all of you. So, how about you eavesdrop on a conversation between Hayley and me?

Me: Holy buckets have I got something to tell you. I have been swatching. A LOT!

Hayley: Really? For what?

Me: For fun and for science! You know those new designs we’ve been talking about? Well, there’s trying out different bases, so many stitch patterns, different needle sizes, mixing bases (you know how I feel about that!), textures and color mash ups, and generally turning things on their ears.

Check this simple lace pattern out in Snug Fingering. Don’t forget you promised to knit one up in CREW!

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Hayley: No wonder you’ve been quiet and not posting many FO’s lately.

Me: YES! Several of them are almost ready! That hat, that solid and/or multi color wrap pattern almost done! And that club thing we’ve been talking about…. oh, not ready to share that one yet.

And, we have that kit from Michele Wang – Verdea – that will go live at the end of the week/weekend. One of us, not sure which yet, needs to be camera ready for some modeled shots tomorrow! Bring your lip gloss!

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Hayley: Oh man…..

Me: Oh, and one more bit of news…All the Fellas will be out the door over the next day or two – it’s early, love it when that happens!

Do not forget your lip gloss tomorrow!

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Snug Worsted. Good Old Days

Nameless Gnocchi OR Name That Dish!

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No gnocchi picture (I was too busy eating) so Ox will have to do.

It’s really cool to have a foodie as a sister. Hayley reads cookbooks and restaurant reviews before bed. No matter what city we find ourselves in, Hayley has a mission to visit one restaurant and another and another. But, best of all, Hayley cooks. Very well and often! She is fearless and posses’ instinct, imagination and a well developed sense of adventure. While desserts and hor d’oeuvres (love a good cheese plate or crudités) are my forte, Hayley hits the main course out of the ballpark, time after time. So much so that I ask Hayley what I’m going to eat when we go out. Why bother when she loves to choose and it’s always so good?!

I would like to share with you a dish that Hayley invented last week and brought into the studio for lunch. We all went nuts. But, it doesn’t have a name! And, what do we do when something new needs a name??? WE HOLD A CONTEST!

Below is a list of ingredients and a general description of the dish. Once we have a name for it, we will prepare a recipe card for you in a downloadable PDF. And, of course there will be prizes! So, warm up your mental taste buds and help us name this delish dish! Here is the list of the main ingredients with the detailed list/recipe to come after the contest is finished.

Gnocchi

Chicken breast

Artichokes

Asparagus

Peas

Lemon zest

White wine

Cream

Doesn’t is sound great? Once the ingredients have been prepared and the selected herbs and seasoning have been added (you will find these listed in the complete recipe PDF once the contest closes), this dish is tossed and topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

We look forward to hearing your suggestions in the comments below (I moderate the comments so if you do not see your entry right away that just means it is awaiting moderation). We will pick a winner (and some runners up!) by Noon on Friday! The prize(s) will be yarn and swag – not quite sure how to send Gnocchi to the winners.

Bon Appetite and let the contest begin!

 

Thank You

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With 2014 coming to a close (what a crazy, fun, trying and exhilarating year!), I want to take a look back and and thank you all …. then I’ll be turning to look at the year that is ahead us – it’s going to be a fun one!

Looking back, this year has been filled with adventure, new surroundings, new friends and just a wee bit of adversity. These are all things that have made us a stronger, determined and more efficient. Some of the bumps in our road were things we were able to smooth out ourselves. And many of the bumps were things that you, our dear Plucky pals, smoothed for us and for each other.

Our wonderful community continued to grow and enrich us. We are so grateful for the warmth, knowledge and creativity you bring to our craft. We are also thankful, beyond words, for your willingness and generosity in helping others. You have answered questions, provided information others needed, offered words of encouragement and support, and provided tremendous comfort and virtual hugs to those of us who have had personal pain in our lives. You have helped to create a worldwide community of warmth, knowledge and friendship, even sending partial skeins from your stash to those asking for help to complete projects!

And I also must give a huge shout-out to the long-time members who have been so wonderful in warmly welcoming our new friends. While I’m not often at a loss for words, when it comes to my appreciation for you, our customers and friends, it’s impossible to capture my heartfelt thanks and appreciation for each and every one of you!

You definitely got behind us and provided so much support as the past year tested the “pluck” in us at the studio. During a matter of months, we found ourselves dyeing outside in a seemly endless series of history-making blizzards and vortexes (whatever you want to call them – it was bad), dealing with a break-in at our old studio, working like crazy to assemble enough yarn to get to Stitches West, get our new studio renovated and up to snuff, prepping for the shindig and making the move to our new barn, and getting things up and running. Whew! The old adage “survived and thrived” couldn’t be more true in our case, and we could not have done it without your encouragement and support!

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About that move. Holy smokes. The move. That was quite an accomplishment. We had a two-pronged problem; first in procuring the barn and then renovating it to make it “just right” for our rather peculiar needs. We are no longer dying outdoors in freezing temperatures, snow, sleet or rain. And, while we are a close-knit family we are no longer, literally, tripping over each other. Quite the contrary! We now have room for dyeing, rinsing, drying, twisting and tagging, and shipping—and everything in between. We are now able to provide you the same level of customer service, but with greater productivity and efficiency.

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The Plucky Shindig in May was another high point for us in 2014, and we hope it was for you too! What fun it was to host you, almost in our own back yard! We are so grateful for those of you who made the trip. We loved seeing many of our old friends and meeting new ones. We owe such a huge thank you to Lorilee for her incredible organizational skills, and her tireless behind the scenes work. Franklin Habit was a joy. There were so many talented people who participated in the fashion show, the karaoke evening and the dozens of little sit-and-knits that popped up all over the hotel. The hotel loved you all too! As we were leaving… you knitters come back ok?! The 2014 Shindig was most definitely cheeky and a little classy which I think is the best combination of all!

The past year brought out our creative juices in other ways! New colorways – those wheels are always turning! New patterns and, of course, new bases! Snug Worsted, Sophisticate, Crew, Scholar, Oxford and mmmmm…. Cashmere! It’s your enthusiasm and inquisitiveness that helps spark our creative juices. Thank you for that!

In 2014 I also was able to carve out more time to work with an extremely talented pool of designers – both established designers and those new to the designing scene – what a thrill! Thank you! Working one-on-one with the designers to see their work go from sketch to pattern writing, to pairing the base and color with their vision, receiving the finished samples, and then seeing the excitement with which you receive the finished item is, well, it’s the bomb diggity!

And I’m thrilled that just last week we launched the new website! We wanted it to be fresh and creative, intuitive, informative and, most of all, fun and a true representation of Plucky. I really appreciate the positive comments I’ve received from so many of you about our new site, and I truly do hope you visit often and spend a lot of time with us!

I want to again express my heartfelt thanks to each of you for helping make Plucky what it is today. You, our valued friends and customers, inspire me, inspire the whole crew – as we explore new and better ways for you to experience fiber and color and for us to serve you – that is our true privilege! 2014 has been a challenging, wonderful, exciting and inspirational year.

So that the Crew can enjoy some time off to spend with family and friends, the studio will be dark until January 5th. We wish you the same, some quiet time with family and friends. However, my dears, you will be hearing just a bit from me this afternoon. I have a little teaser/wonderful surprise in store for you, something to look forward to for the deep winter months ahead!

With great affection, gratitude and so many hugs….

xo,
s

P.S. As promised, back with a teaser.

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I’m almost ready to start my self imposed technology fast but before I do let me give you just a little peek into something pretty darn big that will be revealed in early January!

For the moment, you will just have to take my word that something fun and colorful is coming. It’s a project that has been in production since July, has needed a cast of dozens of ‘secret Plucky agents’ and is the fruition of years of dreaming and many many months of planning and hard work.

I know it will be hard to wait until January for details but it will be worth it!

 

Welcome to our new home

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Please…. come on in and explore the new digs!

The new website has been a labor of love designed totally with you in mind. We wanted the site to be visual…informative…interactive…and creative and fresh. Most of all, we want you to feel right at home and have a great experience during your stay.

And what’s inside, you ask? For starters, we think the new site is a nice blend of the familiar (yarns and patterns) and the new (some fun swag you can purchase now as well as Plucky Collections coming in January 2015…more on that later!) And of course, there are Frequently Asked Questions, etc. that are intended to be informative and responsive to you, our valued customers and friends. Plus lots and lots (and lots!) of photos because, again, those pictures – they tell a story!

For the time being, our Updates will continue to be on the blog portion of the site. Watch for an announcement on an exciting Update coming later this weekend.

So without further ado, the Plucky Crew and I warmly welcome you to your new Plucky home. We hope you enjoy the experience, visit often and spend lots of time with us!

xo

The Imposter

Imposter wear

Love the pseudo crochet edging on the Imposter Shawl.

I hope you will all excuse me for just a moment, but I’m so excited about this!  No, I haven’t overcome my complete disdain for bananas or conquered my fear of flying (but I do it anyway!). But, I did just take a big step forward on my personal knitting skill resume.

I knit an entire project by reading charts. Granted, it was a somewhat simple chart, but this was no small feat for me. I have always knit by memorizing the written word. And, in the interest of full disclosure, I may have (on more than one occasion) asked a friend to translate a chart into written instructions on something I wanted to knit, but it was only published as a chart because the charts made me crazy.

imposter edge

Who knew charts could be my friend? I never would have guessed that I would like it. I know I will need to keep working at it, but it REALLY became somewhat (dare I say?) intuitive as I found my eyes would skim across the line of the chart and, well, it just all worked out! Dare I say it, I think I’m a chart reading convert.

I hope your Plucktember projects are bringing you as much excitement as my newly almost learned skill is bringing me. When the going gets tough, show some Pluck! Learn something new and give yourself a pat on the back. You deserve it!

A Plug For Snug

4O7A5607.jpg

Happy belated Monday morning to you! How’s everyone?!?

There’s just nothing like a few days off grid to get those cobwebs cleared out of the old noggin’ and make room for new ideas and recharge the batteries! Sometimes a five minute nap is all a girl needs, but this time we were able to squeeze out an extra long weekend to reconnect with family (more arriving today) and friends and the luxury of a little sleeping in. Just a heads up, but my brain is on fire – the next several days/week we are going to see some changes and fun things coming down the lane.

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Pattern: Xacobeo

Yarn: Plucky Snug shown in Lonesome Highway & High Cotton

It is so fabulous to see the Plucktember threads filling up (have you seen the great designer offerings as well?!). It looks like everyone is making great progress and the photos are awesome. Hayley and I even have a few FO photos of our own Plucktember projects. There is nothing quite like a skein of Snug and big needles to produce a super speedy finished project. I think I spent just as much time fondling the squishy, smushy, sproingy snug fabric as I actually spent knitting. I am pretty sure there will be a Snug blanket in my future. I have visions of a fireplace, an old movie and the pups and I wrapped up in my as-yet-unknit snug blanket!

Snug… I fell in love with you all over again this weekend!

OK. Back to work for us. Be prepared to hear lots of news and announcements from me very shortly. Wasn’t gone long but I missed you guys!

The first bit of great news though I’ll share now – the Aeris kits begin shipping tomorrow!

xo,
s

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Aeris

Aeris Collage use
I’M SO EXCITED!

Although my days are filled with dyeing and all the other parts of running a business and keeping it plucky, most evenings I try to carve out a little personal knitting time. Because knitting is such a great love of mine and is just good for the soul, I am always on the lookout for a project that will move along at a nice pace (comfort knitting if you will), but still allow the part of my brain that LOVES color and texture to just have fun!

TheYarniad – a.k.a. Hilary Smith Callis – has brought me hours of pure happy knitting! She has designed a gorgeous, slightly asymmetrical triangular wrap that offers endless possibilities. The Aeris Shawl can be knit in a choice of bases, in a single color (in Sticky Toffee on Bello worsted as shown by Hilary) or with the addition of zingy contrasting stripes. I already know that one Aeris is not going to be enough for me! I really want a solid color version too. The Aeris possibilities are endless and in addition to Bellow Worsted, I think it begs to be knit up in Scholar or Cozy as well.

I am so excited to have the opportunity to share the Aeris Shawl with you. We will offer it as an exclusive Plucky kit, in either Bello Worsted, Cozy or Scholar, with the option of ordering a single color kit or and because you may want to add some stripes, we will be posting several stripe sets (choose your solid color option and then choose the stripe set of your choice to accent your solid color set). I’m confident you will enjoy this knit as much as I did!

Please join me here on the Plucky Blog on Sunday, August 10th at 6:00 p.m. EDT for our Aeris party!  Seth will have the blog all set up so that you can choose either a solid two or three skein option. You will need the solid two skein option to knit Hilary’s solid Bello Worsted version, or the three skein option to knit my larger version. And, just for fun, Hayley and I will assemble a few single color skein sets (one skein each of 6 colors) should you want to add some stripey fun to your Aeris.

Groovy Baby

Fancy Free
Just Because

Hello Fall!

Please keep an eye on the locked color thread for kit choices  and the final colorway listing and maybe even another collage or two!

The pattern as written calls for two skeins of Bello Worsted.  If you would like to do the larger size, as shown in the striped version, we’ve offered a three skein set for you, too.  If you would like to do the stripes, you will need to choose your main color option of two or three skeins and then choose one of the striping kits we’ve put together as well.  Pricing for the update by base is noted below:

Aeris Shawl kits will ship the week of September 8th, 2014 for your planning purposes.

Thank you so much and happy knitting!

Summertime Swatching

Do the summer months have a hump day? A hump week? This morning I was checking a few dates on my calendar and I was shocked to see that we are already half way through the summer. I don’t know if this realization makes me sad that the warmest months are ticking away or thrilled because we are that much closer to real sweater (and boot!) weather!

This summer has been filled with planning new bases, working with designers, exploring and developing new colorways (yet to be unveiled!) and fine-tuning the workings within the new/old barn. We are tweaking the traffic flow, from dyeing to drying, and all the way through shipping your yarn to your front door. And, this careful examination has shown us that we needed to revert to the good ole’ US Postal Service for better delivery on many of your orders. While the larger orders will still ship via UPS the smaller orders (and please bear with us, Seth is still working on the grand plan) have begun to be shipped via the Post Office (without the stop over for Smart Post) which is why you are getting those packages faster. Win win I say!

photo 2.JPG
I spy some Oxford, Scholar, Snug, Bello Worsted, the new cotton/merino blend and….. I don’t want to give anything away, but in the swatch stack there are a couple of BRAND SPANKIN’ NEW BASES!!!

Just for fun, here is a photo of how I have been spending some of my at home after hours time this week. I have become a swatching fanatic. I decided that I needed to build a library of swatches on various needle sizes, block them, label them and fondle them! Now, when I am thinking about how I want to wear a sweater, a wrap, a hat, or any other knitted item, I can reach into my swatch library and feel the fabric. I cannot even begin to tell you how relaxing and rewarding swatching has become for me. Mashed potato knitting indeed.

 

Anniversary Giveaways – A Contest!

Anniversary

We may be elbow deep in packing boxes and chaos, but today is a very special day for us.  This marks our seventh anniversary as The Plucky Knitter.

Back in June of 2007  when I sold that first skein of yarn, I never imagined that it would snowball into the creative and exciting business that Plucky is today. So much has changed along the way, but the one thing that will never change is my steadfast, unending commitment to serving you. I’m honored, humbled and thrilled that you share my passion for unique, luxurious, high quality bases and hand dyed color. You inspire me (us!) and I am in awe of your talent and devotion to our craft and the works of wearable art you create with Plucky. I never take for granted the energy, time and passion that you (we) all give to our art form.

So let’s have a party! Not a party to celebrate us, but to celebrate you – our Plucky pals! You are more than customers. You are our friends.  Your friendship and acceptance of our ideas, vision and creative work are what has taken Plucky all the way from dyeing in my tiny kitchen to well, here …..  just getting settled into our ‘new to us but still crusty, old and lacking in charm, but we’re getting there’ barn.  Hayley and I want to thank you for opening your hearts and joining us on this incredible journey – the whole crew thanks you!

Now, how about some fun prizes? Of course there will some SQs in  awesome bases, Plucky tee’s and sweatshirts but would anybody like to win a Plucky tote or a clutch?  And, just for fun, I going to part with that fantastically fun basket of my swatch yarns!

OK.  Here is our fun anniversary contest……tell us how you spent the summer when you were seven years old.  Did you have an adventure at camp?  Did your family take an interesting trip?  Did you spend every glorious day in a tree house with your best friend?  I am going to start a “My seven-year-old summer” thread in Ravelery for you to post your stories.  Or, go the blog and post in the comments section.  You can also post on our Facebook page. Then we will pick our favorite summertime tales and award prizes to those that tickle our funny bone or tug at our hearts. Let us hear from you!

Comments will be open until Thursday at Noon Eastern.

Come One, Come All!

Breen Gradient

New colorways available in the marketplace!

Here at the studio, we are neck deep in preparations for the Plucky Shindig.

Oh my stars! Hayley and I are counting the sleeps we are so excited! The marketplace is where we get to play with you! One of our absolute favorite things about going to shows and having the retreat is meeting you and helping you find your perfect color palette and perhaps help you expand out of your comfort zone – just a bit. It’s so much fun to see you and put a real live person to your persona from Ravelry. We are here to help!

Retreat Full Size retreat boot

Plucky Retreat Marketplace, 2013

So about that marketplace…. what a marketplace we have planned for you! We have added oodles of new sample knits during the recent weeks and this will be your chance to see so many of your favorite sweaters, wraps, hats, accessories and brand new releases actually knit up. And, we are very excited to have added a few super fun crochet projects to our samples! We will also be debuting many new colorways (some Shindig exclusives!) and you will have a chance to be introduced to some of the new bases we have in the pipeline. You will also have the opportunity to build some of our previously released kits in exactly the color and quantity you want, and then we will email you the pattern so you can cast on when you get home! Yes, the marketplace promises to light up your creative side with project ideas and maybe inspire you to try something new.

We are really looking forward to seeing so many of you during the Shindig weekend. Please know that you do not have to be a registered Shindig retreater to share in the marketplace or to just come and knit with us. We hope you will! The Amway Grand has wonderful gathering nooks and niches as well as large public areas for everyone to park themselves and knit. On Friday there will be a sit n knit in the Gerald R. Ford ballroom and on Saturday there will be a sit n knit in a classroom near the Plucky marketplace.

The marketplace will be open to the public Friday and Saturday, May 23rd and 24th. From 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Hope to see you there!

Shindig-Shindig-Art

Snow Day #47,892

 

ground hog day

Anyone else feeling like they’re living in ‘Groundhog Day‘?

Just when we get the deck shoveled off or the dyeing area at the studio somewhat cleared of snow (ha! not really, more like just when we get a path shoveled) and then manage to sneak in one little walk for Sam & Ox or a dye run or two, Mother Nature lowers the boom again. And again.  AND AGAIN.  Here on the west coast of Michigan we are in for a full day of snow.  Flights have been cancelled, the plans for the day have been shelved and there is a run on the beer and wine at the grocery store. I feel like a pot of this or this or this may be in order today… with a batch of these for good measure.

so long agoSeems like ages ago….

So, let’s make lemonade out of snowballs, shall we?:

#1.  It’s Saturday.  That means we will be all shoveled out by the time Monday rolls around. I think. And, if the weather clears up as it is supposed to, I may be able to get a re-do on today’s to do list.

#2.  This snow day is giving me the opportunity to compose some info/ramblings that have been rolling around in my head for a while now.  I want to write about each of the Plucky bases. What I love about each base, what I think they are each suited for, as well as suggest a few patterns that I think are perfect for that base or are a few of my personal favorites. Sort of a love letter to each of the bases. After all, there is a reason that each one is on the Plucky menu and, I’d love to share that information with you.

Stitch Block Close Up

# 3.  I brought Bello Worsted home from the studio last night so that I could cast on for the Stitch Block Cowl.  I’m about five inches in and CAN NOT put this project down.  I am already planning an outfit around this because thanks to the snow, I have a good chance of having this finished and ready to wear at Stitches!

Stitch Book Cowl

That’s all for the moment.  Back to my snow day knitting, email catch-up and soup making. Happy snowy Saturday everyone!

Year End

Location US Ice CloseAs each year ends, it is impossible not to look back and reminisce. At the same time I cannot help but look to what lies ahead.

2013 has been a spectacularly crazy, fun, trying and exhilarating year. Our community of Plucky people has grown this year and we have met so many new and interesting people. With the addition of every new member to our community we have been enriched by the knowledge and excitement they have brought to us.  You have all been so willing to jump in and help others, answer questions, offer comfort and words of encouragement when one of us has been dealt an unforeseen obstacle in their life.  And those who have been long time members have all been incredibly encouraging and welcoming to the newbie’s.  Thank you for that! The willingness of members to help each other has been such a gift to us.  I am so grateful for the work of everyone in explaining and directing others to find the information they are seeking.  And, in a huge way, that includes the generous offers by so many of you to send partial skeins to those who have asked for help to complete projects and your willingness to share things from your stash.  You are awesome.

Location Single

There certainly was some travel in 2013.  We were on the west coast, the east coast and we even got to France for our first ever European trunk show. And, although we didn’t travel too far for the annual retreat, you all did!  We were so thrilled at the distances you were willing to travel in order to attend or to just shop and say hello.  It is always so much fun to put the actual face to those we only know as a Ravatar.

Location Rebecca Right handCustomer Service Central!

Location ryan stackHeavy lifting

Behind the scenes, this has been a year of negotiating with landlords, realtors, banks (who also have been the seller in some cases) and sellers.  We had several false starts and disappointments while trying to find/secure a new building.  But, the old saying of all good things come to those who wait has paid off.  In spades!  We were able to find the perfect building (a big crusty barn… which is music to my ears!) in the perfect location, with more than the perfect amount of square footage.  There are no words to convey how excited we all are. It makes the rough weather we’ve encountered so far this winter almost bearable knowing we will soon be mostly indoors.

This room will insure that we will be able to continue to do our jobs with a smidge more breathing room.  Rebecca will not have to step back from her desk (and Hayley’s desk – they share!) if we need to wind a ball of yarn.  We will still be three people dyeing every single skein of yarn, but the occasional gymnastics we need to perform as we move between pots of dye will be much easier to choreograph!  I know I have stepped on Tiffany’s toes more than a few times as she and Hayley and I perform the Dye-Pot Dance (trust me, it’s a thing).

Location SH laugh Our work on the web site is so close to going live.  The designer, me, code monkey, photographs….  all working to put the puzzle pieces together.  This has not been a simple task because it has so many layers.  But, it has been a joy to work on and I think our caution and attention to detail will pay off when we do launch the new site in its full capacity.

Now, back to looking ahead to 2014…..

There will be travel! I have already added the dates for Stitches West and we are well underway in preparing inventory to stock our booth.  And, then there’s the Plucky Shindig (thank you Lorilee & Franklin!) that promises to be truly spectacular.  We are moving the retreat location to a larger venue and look forward to meeting many, many more of our Plucky friends this year.  We are exploring the possibility of another European trunk show as well as something closer to home (Texas anyone?).  Of course, these are just in the idea stage at the moment, but we are working on some possibilities.

Location Before We aren’t quite ready to pack up and head to the new studio yet, but we will be moving into our new studio as soon as we get the go ahead from Ed (the Eldon of contractors).  This means that 2014 will be another year of change in how we serve you. What will not change is our firm commitment to consistency and warm personal service. The new building will allow us to spread out a bit. Up until now we have had to stop the presses (I mean pots) when it was time to ship, converting precious floor space (internal & external) from dyeing to shipping.  That translated into one-function-at-a-time! But, with our added floor space, Hayley, Tiffany and I will be able to dedicate more time to dyeing AND we will be able to ramp up the shipping!  Simply put, this means that we will be able to continue the same level of commitment to customer satisfaction in a more efficient manor. Three cheers for that one!

Location Dyers Laugh Your dyers, Hayley, Sarah & our sweet cousin Tiffany

It is no secret that I love working with designers.  One of the things I am most looking forward to in 2014 is being able to carve out even more time to work with this talented pool of innovative artists.  I want to encourage and enable their process, form new partnerships with them and continue to be surprised by their vision.  You can look for fresh offerings from those designers we already have a working relationship with, debut offerings from those we hope to work with and an expanding line of simple with a twist Plucky designs!

Lastly, but most importantly, as 2013 continues to tick to a close, I want to send each of you our heartfelt thank you for helping to make Plucky what it is today.  You, our valued friends and customers, keep us reaching for new and better ways to bring color and texture into your lives.  You bring a spark to my creative side, encouraging me to continue to surprise you with new colors, new bases and fresh designs.  I give you my promise that 2014 will be an exciting year for you and for us!

Location Us Use

The studio will be dark until January 3rd.  Our entire team will be taking some time to enjoy our families and friends and, well, recharge our batteries and get ready for a busy late winter and early spring. We look forward to launching 2014 and filling all the pages in our date book with exciting and fun ways to inspire you and serve all our Plucky friends.

With warmth and unending gratitude,

Sarah

Take a peek~

The Plucky Knitter. It’s so much more than just dyeing yarn (and I say that tongue in cheek because dyeing is a HUGE part of it).messydeskcartoon
Take a peek at my desk. A scary place to be sure (the cartoon is the cute version – I’m kind of embarrassed to show you the real thing but in the interest of full disclosure I’ll show you anyway though this absolutely isn’t the worst of it). As you can see, the work doesn’t stop after the yarn is rinsed and drying.  In fact, it doesn’t even start there.

messydeskreal

You cannot grow flowers with only rain because all rain and no sun will yield some pretty puny peonies, and that is the way I feel about dyeing yarn.  Plucky Knitter Yarns are a two-part equation.   A pretty color on an average base does not yield the kind of yarn I want to knit with. I am very passionate about Plucky being the complete package; lovely, unique and inspired colorways that are dyed on the absolute best bases I can find and that you and I will be proud to wear and give to those we love.

Plucky yarn begins with custom milled bases – bases that are milled only for us.  That means when you knit with Plucky you are knitting with a truly unique, one of a kind product. I have researched how the various fibers blend and marry to form each base as well as the twist that will bring out the best in the various fibers (so very picky about the twist!). I have traveled to the mills and have met with the expert artisan technicians (yes they are artists and they are amazing) who work with me to take my ideas, make them better and then make them a reality.

Then we test and try each new base dyeing, knitting and fine-tuning until we know we have something really special.  Once that happens and we decide it’s a go, THEN we dye the yarn.

So, why is my desk so filled with lists and notes and phone numbers and print-outs, and research data and cracker crumbs?  Simple.  It’s because I am always looking for new bases to add to our Plucky Yarn family.  I am in constant contact with and working with the mills (located here there and everywhere) working on creating a larger family. I have things up my sleeve that will send shivers up your Plucky yarn loving spine!  Yes, I’m teasing but only a little. There’s so much more to come…..

Home Improvements~

oxfordball

This guy here – What.A.Pistol. Just when we thinking we’re about done with home improvements/yard work/sprucing up the patio Ox decides to take flying leap (literally) from the top railing of the patio to the road below – to catch a dog four times (at least) his size.

So now – not as a design element but to keep Oxford from unintentionally killing himself – we are adding two rows of stainless steel wire (or something similar and hopefully not ugly) from post to post. The things we do for our pets.

oxford jump

nangou close 2

Nangou. Almost done. 20 rows and bind off to go. Thinking of an I-Cord BO in the pink cashmere because I just cannot get enough of that pop of pink against the blue gray. We’ll see.

Decision Time

asunder done

  • Asunder
  • Plucky Bello: Bohemian Blue & Miss Manners

Sometimes it’s nice to just sit with friends.  I always have such great intentions of writing a chatty blog entry.  One that isn’t all about an update.  You know, just a little conversation with my knitting pals.  I have this vision of us all sitting around on my deck at the lake, knitting (or crocheting – now there’s a topic for another post! ), sipping something cold and sharing. So, time to ramble a bit.

Don’t you just love the hours of indecision when one project is finished and you have the delicious dilemma of what to cast on next?  I am mostly a dedicated knitter… almost always keeping to one project at a time (of course that doesn’t mean that I do not indulge in episodes of cast-on-itis pretty regularly) but once I start a project I tend to knit pretty furiously until finished.

The excitement of having just finished a few things means that I am standing on the brink of my next project.  So I’ve been perusing Ravelry, checking my personal stash (or maybe even made a few new things), and have begun to narrow down the list of candidates.

Decisions, decisions.  Will it be Betsey, Mizutama, Freesia or maybe the Tequila Shawl?  I am so loving and intrigued by mixing and blending yarn bases – whether held double or just butting up next to each other in a finished knit. The color and texture opportunities are thrilling.

shaelyn done

For instance, right now I’m especially loving the idea of the Tequila Shawl with Bello & Plucky. Perhaps in the new colorway Boots & Faded Jeans held double with Narragansett Gray.

Boots & Faded  Narragansett Gray traveler and primo NAMED-22

Or perhaps some trusty grays….

Medieval primo & feet NAMED-11

&

Flannel NAMED primoApr 1 2013 Update-21

Another set that is particularly lovely together is Webster Groves & Cressey Road.

Webster Groves NAMED

&

Cressey Road NAMED

And then there’s Amy’s Betsey pattern which is just too cute and screams for some fun color combos:

betsey amy

Photo courtesy Amy Miller

Betsey Inspiration

Betsey Inspiration 2

Betsey Inspiration 3

That’s it for now – time to actually make a decision and wind some yarn!

An Anniversary ~

weddingphoto

Growing up, anniversaries were always kind of a big deal in our family.  Each year our Mom and Dad would give gifts to Hayley and me as a way to celebrate their wedding anniversary (1987 was particularly fun – the year of red Reebok high tops and Guess acid washed jeans). Our parents sense of spreading the joy and fun has stayed with me to this day.  And, that’s why I want to ask you to help me celebrate Plucky’s sixth anniversary!

When I sold that first skein of yarn on June 3, 2007, I never imagined that it would snowball into the creative and exciting business that Plucky is today. So much has changed along the way but it is still just as exciting to me today as that first day, back in 2007. Yes, there have been oodles of changes over the years, but the one thing that never will is my steadfast, rock solid commitment to serving you. I’m honored, humbled and thrilled that you share my passion for luxurious, unique, high quality bases and hand dyed color. You’ve inspired me along the way with your devotion to our craft and the works of wearable art you create with Plucky. I never take for granted the energy, time and passion that you (we) all give to our craft.

So about that anniversary. It’s a party! A party not to celebrate us, but to celebrate you – our Plucky pals! You are more than customers. You are our friends.  It has only been through your acceptance of our ideas, vision and creative work that Plucky has grown from me dyeing at my kitchen sink, out growing one studio, and now, once again in desperate need of even larger studio space (which, is still in the works! I know. I can’t believe we’re still waiting either.). Hayley and I want to thank you from the tips of our toes all the way to the ends of our rather unruly hair.

As an expression of my deep gratitude to you and to celebrate our sixth anniversary, we will be offering a special update Thursday, June 6th.  This Anniversary Update will include FREE SHIPPING anywhere in the world and will be held at 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Eastern.  We have Plucky friends in all fifty states, the Canadian provinces, in South America, across Europe, parts of Asia, Africa and down under and you are all invited! We will be shipping anything ordered during the June 6th update for free. No minimum. No maximum.

Throughout the week I will be sharing more celebratory surprises with you (think patterns, mystery kits, blanket kits and more) but for now I just wanted to simply say thank you. So so much.

Warmly,

Sarah

plucky old

The original Plucky logo

 

 

My dog is so weird & update stuff ~

oxfordballWhat a weirdo

shaelyn

  • Pattern: Shaelyn
  • Yarn: testing a base

 

Thank you note

Instant Gratification update #2 will be Tomorrow, Wednesday, May 22nd beginning at 9:00 a.m. in the ETSY shop.

There will be a ton fun things in the IG update. We’ve unearthed a few skeins of some oldies & goodies as well as a few skeins of Left Coast, Tip Toe, Windmill Island (on traveler to boot!) and TONS of other fun things. Even a little cashmere to be had (En Vogue 4ply!!!). Oh, and I will be happy to have a few pre-orders/wish granting as well on Wednesday because it feels festive! Summer is just around the corner and well, it’s been a while since we’ve done that. Stay tuned to the update and see what pops up.

Pinehurst

 

Change is afoot~

Good morning Plucky pals – both new & old!

As I’ve said before (and it totally bears repeating), the heart and soul of Plucky is you – our wonderful, caring, funny and oh so talented customers and knitty friends who share our passion for hand-dyed yarns in unique colors (on the best custom milled bases I can find!), that steal our imaginations and spark our creativity. I feel truly blessed to be able to serve so many of you and to see what you create. You have no idea what joy I get from sharing our work and creations with you and hearing your positive feedback.

However, from time to time we do get complaints about availability, which I welcome (after all, we always want to improve) though I have to say, also trouble me greatly because Plucky is all about pleasing our customers.

To address those occasional complaints and confusion, allow me for a moment to reflect on where we’ve been and where we are today.

When I first began dyeing yarn in my tiny cottage I never would have imagined five years later it would have become my full time job. Plucky has grown from a single person–me!–to a small group of family members (and friends who are truly family – literally I’ve known them about as long as I’ve know my own sister) who work with me to get your yarn to you.

While the Plucky team has increased slightly in number, all Plucky yarns are still created by Hayley (my sweet and just as nutty sister who totally gets my passion and, dare I say it, crazy) and Tiffany (dear cousin and raiser of sheep… stay tuned) and, of course, Ryan, who tells us what to do and when to do it and me. We all work very hard to hand dye your yarn in just the right shade(s), and we continue to take great joy in sharing it with our customers – many of whom have become dear friends.

While production is increasing a bit you still will not be able find it in stores all over the country (just a few carefully chosen stores) or available 24/7 on the internet because Plucky can only be produced through a personal, passionate, handmade process. That is just how I feel it needs to be done.

Please know that all of my business decisions are made with you in mind and I am constantly working with my team (ok, my family and a few special friends who, for better or worse, have to stick with me) to find new and better ways to serve you and get yarn to you more easily and often. After all, as I mentioned earlier, the heart and soul of Plucky is you, our wonderful customers.

On another very positive note, there are several exciting things on the horizon for 2013, the most exciting of which is a new studio!! Do you know what that means?! We will be even more productive and not so at the mercy of mother nature as we have been (-9 degrees in January and 108 in July. Oy….).

I have also made changes in the administration and organization of customer service inquiries and emails as well as the shipping and tagging of the yarn. We also will be re-vamping our website. All of this will help me focus on what I love—dyeing, dreaming up colors, bases, kits and working with designers and, of course, chatting and knitting along with you lovelies online!

So, after all that rambling – really the one thing I want you to know is:

My priority has always been, and will continue to be, my online customers. It is where I started and where my focus will remain. This community we have created is so special and I feel very strongly that we keep it open, warm and welcoming.

Please know how much I appreciate you. I do not your take interest and enthusiasm for granted nor will I ever. It is never lost on me that you have many options where you could spend your hard earned money and precious time, and I am so honored that you choose Plucky.

A Very Plucky Retreat – 2013

 A Very Plucky Retreat, 2013 ~

Are you ready for it?!

We have been (very!) excitedly planning a weekend of learning new knitting tricks and techniques for spirited and adventurous knitters also known as Plucky knitters! We are ready to once again welcome you from far and near.

Your Organizers ~

Michigan gals Sarah Dimond and Lorilee Beltman are your organizers and hosts.

Your Friendly Vendors ~

Sarah Dimond, owner of The Plucky Knitter, has been dyeing like a madwoman since 2007. Her love of color and her obsession with all shades of gray keeps her very busy and highly entertained. Sarah, along with her sister and co-worker, Hayley, will be your point persons and Shop Open House hostesses for the weekend.

And, we are very happy to announce a new addition to the retreat marketplace this year – another Michigan gal, Jill Zielinski (a.k.a. Knitterella)! Jill is a very talented graphic designer by trade with a passion to knit and through the two she has created Knitterella®, a darling and unique (and just a little cheeky, which we love) line of stationery, note pads, gift tags and more. Welcome Jill!

The Plucky Knitter website: https://www.thepluckyknitter.com

The Plucky Knitter Ravelry Group: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/the-plucky-knitters

Knitterella: http://knitterella.com/

Shopping hours are tentatively set for Friday 11:00 to 6:00 and Saturday 10:00 to 6:00.

The shop will be located on the ground floor conference room at the City Flats Hotel. This will be an improvement over last year with more space, easier access (no elevators), and lots of natural light! An area will be set up for you to sit and knit during shop hours.

Your Teachers ~

We are beyond thrilled to announce our guest teachers. We wanted to bring you color and texture wrapped up in the best possible package. When brainstorming techniques to learn and personalities we thought the Plucky Knitters would most enjoy, these two rose to the top of quite a long list of excellent designer/teachers. Imagine how thrilled we were when at first asking each said “Yes”! We are so grateful and so excited to be bringing them together with all of you.

Anne Berk- Portland, Oregon

Anne Berk was certified by TKGA as a Master Knitter in 2003. As a knitting instructor, she has taught on subjects ranging from argyle knitting, to Bohus knitting, to zipper insertion.  Anne has designed for many yarn companies including Blue Moon Fiber Arts and Simply Socks Yarn Co.  Interweave released her instructional DVD Inside Intarsia in September 2010.  She has written patterns and articles for many publications, including Piecework, Sockupied, ColorKnit and Twist Collective.  Anne is also an optometrist in private practice in Portland, Oregon, and is a distance runner and a busy wife and mom.

Anne’s website: http://annetarsia.com/About.html

Anne’s Ravelry page: http://www.ravelry.com/designers/anne-berk

Fiona Ellis- Toronto, Ontario

Fiona has been designing professionally since graduating from De Montfort University in England with a degree in fashion knitwear design. Her work is much sought after, with sustained exposure in leading magazine publications such as Vogue Knitting and online at Twist Collective. She also designs for many yarn companies such as Universal Yarn and Cascade Yarns. Her original concepts have been purchased by major fashion houses in London, Paris, and New York, and she has many requests for personal appearances and workshop instruction at international conferences and guilds. She is the author of Inspired Cable Knits, Knitspiration Journal, and Inspired Fair Isle Knits.

Fiona’s fascination with the creative process influences her as she develops her hands-on workshops for knitters and textile artists. She continues to attempt to devise methods, for both herself and her students, to capture that illusive and transitory moment of inspiration.

Fiona’s website: http://www.fionaellisonline.com/

Fiona’s Ravelry page: http://www.ravelry.com/designers/fiona-ellis

Lorilee Beltman- Grand Rapids, Michigan 

Lorilee sees no end to where one’s knitting curiosity can take them, so she enjoys helping knitters make new discoveries. She is a Craft Yarn Council certified instructor, and her designs have appeared in Interweave Knits, Interweave’s Sockupied, Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin’ Sock Club, Twist Collective,  Beyond Toes (book by Judy Becker), and the Vogue Knitting Ultimate Hat Book. She looks to nature for inspiration which has been facilitated by camping at nearly twenty National Parks with her family.

Lorilee is taking the back seat in the teacher car this year, teaching less, but offering a class in Continental Knitting which was not offered at the 2012 retreat.

Lorilee’s website:  http://www.city-knitting.com

Lorilee’s Ravelry page: http://www.ravelry.com/designers/lorilee-beltman

Your Location ~

Downtown Holland, Michigan is a lively and lovely area for shopping, dining and strolling. Enjoy the fresh spring landscape and loads of tulips before the rush of visitors arrive in early May for the largest tulip festival in the U.S.

City Flats Hotel, the first LEED Gold Certified Hotel in the Midwest, will host our group for three nights. Consider coming a day early or staying a day late to enjoy more of what Holland has to offer, including miles of sandy Lake Michigan beaches. Read more at http://cityflatshotel.com/holland, but please do not book your room just yet. A block of rooms is already reserved, and you will want to use the registration code provided later in order to get the block discount. Compared to last year, we have more rooms reserved, and more rooms with two queen beds so you can share costs with Plucky roommates. What you can do now is make plans to pair up with a friend to share a room, so that you can be ready when registration opens. King rooms are also reserved if you prefer to travel with a non-knitting loved one, or if you just want your own private room.

Your Retreat Schedule: Friday – Sunday, April 26 – 28, 2013 ~

Those who purchase retreat tickets will have first choice of classes. Retreaters also enjoy the welcome party with the teachers and the Plucky gang, the dinner on Saturday, breakfast Sunday morning, and a couple surprises. Classes will be offered during three time slots- Friday afternoon 2:00 – 5:00, Saturday morning 9:00 -12:00, and Saturday afternoon 1:30 – 4:30. The retreat package price listed below includes TWO classes. Why not three? Well, the consensus last year was that we wished we had a bit more unscheduled time. This allows for that. It also allows for those who can not get themselves to the event until later on Friday to still have the full retreat experience. If you want to really go for it, of course you may purchase an additional class for an additional fee. We will leave that up to you.

Join us beginning Friday, April 26. You may wish to arrive on Thursday night if taking a Friday afternoon class. Our first all-retreat gathering will be a cocktail party and dessert reception at the hotel on Friday evening.

Following Saturday’s classes, get gussied up for our dinner together. If you are traveling with a significant other who isn’t afraid of the knitters, they are welcome to join us at this dinner for an additional fee.

On Sunday we offer a more relaxed pace with a leisurely breakfast (same place as last year) followed by free time to check relax in Holland. Our goodbyes will be said at breakfast so those catching mid-afternoon flights can be on their way without missing any of the scheduled fun.

We plan for this to be an intimate event with not more than 38 participants. However, there is a new element to this special weekend this year. Please read on.

Classes a la carte: Friday – Saturday, April 26 – 27, 2013 ~

If you just can’t swing the full retreat but still want to come play, you will be happy to hear we have been planning for you, too.

Of course you will be able to shop the Plucky Open House like last year. To make this more of a getaway for you, this year we have reserved a block of hotel rooms for shoppers, too! Since the retreaters will be filling the rooms at City Flats Hotel, the Haworth Conference Center has a block of double queens reserved at a very reasonable price.

The classes offered by Anne, Fiona and Lorilee will be open to you as well! Once the retreaters have made their choices, a significant number of about 60 class seats will be available to you. You may select up to three classes and pay for them a-la carte, on a first-come, first served basis.

Cost and Important sign-up dates ~

Full retreat- $340; January 6 and January 13 and after until filled at about 38 participants.

An additional (third) class for retreaters- $75. Sign up when making retreat reservations.

A class for students not participating in the retreat- $85. January 20 and after until filled.

The specific class list and schedule will be posted in a couple weeks just before Christmas. Topics covered will include Cabling, Edges, Intarsia, Fair Isle, Bohus color work, and Continental Knitting.

There will be three separate opening dates for registration. First, we will extend an invite to returning retreaters on January 6. Next will be an invitation to those purchasing the remaining spots in the full retreat on January 13. Finally, we will open the remaining class seats on January 20. Signups will be taken online through the Plucky Knitter Store, and will open at 8:00 PM Eastern Time on each of those Sundays.

And, just because it was brought up, even if jokingly, there will be no scalping of tickets, you silly gooses. The policy will be that once a retreat or class is purchased, your registration will be attached to you specifically. You will be entitled to a refund only if retreat organizers are able to fill your spot from a waiting list. You can not pass it to a friend. We are sorry if this seems harsh, but please understand it is necessary for organizer sanity.

Lorilee will once again maintain an online master document of pertinent information which will be shared amongst registered retreat attendees. She will also field questions regarding the event and can be reached at Lorilee@city-knitting.com.

There is a thread on the Plucky Knitters Group on Ravelry.com where you can feel free to chat. It is titled “2013 Plucky Knitter Retreat.”

-Sarah and Lorilee
Your Event Planners

Waiting~

Waiting for yarn to dry – kind of like waiting for water to boil or paint to dry.

Helpful Information & a contest ~

Warning. Completely random post ahead. Here goes:

1. It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Fall. How I love Fall. The colors on the trees and pumpkins (bread, cake, donuts, cookies, etc.) and apple (anything apple) and don’t even get me started on my love of boots. I could devote an entire post to my love of apples and boots. But not now. Maybe some other time (I’ve seen some pretty spectacular apple recipes and boots lately).

2. Sometimes you just got to know when to fold ’em. Off to the frog pond this goes.

Pattern: Blackcurrant by Veera Valimaaki, Yarn: Handspun and 2ply cashmere (held double)

3. Johnny Carson. I miss watching him.

4. When will my order ship?  If your order was a pre-order, please check the date of your paypal receipt and then please allow approximately 14 to 21 business days (Monday to Friday) for your yarn to be dyed, processed and leave the Plucky studio. If, after a suitable amount of time has passed for your package to arrive at your location (to our international friends – it is not uncommon for a package to take at least 4-6 weeks to arrive) it has not arrived, please contact me at thepluckyknitter@gmail.com to inquire about your order.

We have worked ourselves into a pretty good routine of one large shipping day at least one day a week. What does this all mean to you? It means it is our goal to have your yarn shipped to you (and in many cases, shipped and arrived to your location) within 30 days or less (of course, that is not generally the case with our international friends).

We work very hard to get your yarn to you as quickly and efficiently as possible. But, it bears repeating – this is not an automated process. Everything from the handdyeing to the hand packing/shipping, emailing – it is all done by hand (and by a very very few hands at that. Thy names are Sarah, Hayley and Ryan) and not automated. No barcodes here. Hayley, Ryan and I are the only full timers here at plucky. It is small (and very personal) business and I have every intention of keeping it that way.

5. Which brings me to a very important piece of information. If you have any inquiries at all (shipping, how to buy, pattern support, etc.) please contact us at thepluckyknitter @ gmail.com as opposed to private message on Ravelry or Facebook. It is much easier to reply to and keep track of any inquiries that way. Hayley and I would hate to not see your inquiry or have it lost in the shuffle so to speak. Thank you!

6. Why are so many of our updates pre-order updates? That’s a great  question. I go back to what a small operation we are here at Plucky HQ. Pre-order updates make it possible for us to serve as many as possible while getting you just what your knitting/crocheting hearts desire. When we have a pre-order update we are able to dye just for you. You want a sweater quantity of Primo Aran in Flying Atlas? You got it! Many of you are sweater (and larger project knitters) and I want to make it as easy as possible for you to ensure a sweater quantity. No piecing onesies twosies together here and there for your cardigan. Not on my watch!

Another note about pre-orders:  It has become necessary that I make a statement regarding changes to (whether it is a cancellation, an addition to,  etc.) your pre-order. It is administratively very cumbersome (and prone to mistakes) to go back and change orders after the fact. Especially days, weeks after the fact. If you need to make a change to your order, please do so within 24 hours of the update. Thank you for your understanding.

7. Why are there so many different kinds of updates? They all serve a purpose and there is a definite method to the madness. The etsy shop updates are where I like to offer one-of-a-kind’s, limited editions and items with a finite number available. I also use the etsy udpates as an opportunity to grant yarn requests in real time (via the Plucky Knitter group in Ravelry).

As for the the Plucky ‘paypal button’ updates here on the Plucky blog – we have had such great feedback. It’s a great place to offer ten to fifteen different colorways on an assortment of bases and are generally less frenzied (though, please remember there are still a finite number of skeins available and they do tend to go very quickly – though there is much less a chance of getting ‘cart jacked’ which is always a great thing!).

The Plucky shop. It’s a love hate thing. Seriously. The updates in the plucky shop. Well, those serve a purpose as well. They let us grant requests in real time (which I have been told you guys love and we really love doing!) but, it is also slow to open (we are just as frustrated as you are) and it does have a tendency to over-sell. But, never fear, as long as we have the base you will get your yarn! I’m only able to offer those occasionally though as they are very time consuming to dye and process.

8. What are you favorite knits this Fall? Have you started your Fall and Winter knitting? What’s tops in your que?

9. Hayley and I are headed to Fibre Space in Alexandria, VA this weekend for a Plucky trunk show. If you are in the area, please stop by, we would love to meet you!

10. Apples and pumpkin. Can I ask? What are your favorite apple and pumpkin recipes? Leave your favorite recipe (or a link to the recipe) in the comments and I will randomly draw two winners to receive a skein of the BRAND NEW Primo Aran!

the boot of my dreams….

 

long time no see~

Stitches Collage

And we’re back! I don’t even know where to begin~

1. Stitches was great! Fantastic fun to see some old knitting friends and make new ones.

2. I have been overcome with a fresh wave of inspiration and a need to try new things. Kate was so sweet and let me try on her cute hooded vest and I immediately fell in love. I’m swatching now (using the brand spankin’ new Plucky Bulky!) and gearing up for my first bottom-up knit (I’ve been a dyed in the wool – no pun intended – fan of top-down knits forever).

3. Olga’s Aranami (there was a test knit at the booth) was a huge hit. I have a feeling we are going to be seeing a lot of Aranami’s knit up soon.

4. Lonesome Highway was, I think, the favorite gray of the weekend. So many people walked away with that as their gray of choice.

5. Color Affection. So many color affection fans stopped by the booth to show their FO’s and to get kits to make new versions. What fun to see all the CA’s out in the wild and to help others put together their very own custom CA kit.

6. Truly (really!) looking forward to being back at the studio bright and early tomorrow morning. The creative juices are flowing again, have emails to send, yarn to ship and a sneak-update to have! Which, brings me to…..

Thought it would be great to kick off the week with a very festive ‘Even if you couldn’t make it to Stitches you’ll feel like you were there’ shop update. The update will be full of many of your favorites as well the new Plucky Tee’s, Knitters With Plucky totes and, back by popular demand, the Plucky knitter ruler/needle gauge…. and free shipping too!

The etsy shop update will be a sneak-update and, begin tomorrow morning, Monday, August 20th around 10:00 a.m. Eastern and go throughout the day. As per usual, I will keep you updated as to the goings on of the update (beginning, end, breaks, etc.) in the Plucky group on Ravelry and the Plucky Facebook page.

collage after

Collage

It’s great to be back. Wishing you a great day and a lovely week ahead.

 

And the winners are ~

Susan B, Leslie V, Sally & Mary R – Please check your email for all the details on how to receive your prize. Thank you to everyone for playing along!

Plucky_Stitches2012_AD_1

Back to prepping for Stitches Midwest……

and picking up my new glasses (thanks again Oxford) so I can tackle a major kitchener fail.

Happy Friday everyone!

Hey Hey It’s Monday~

Rayures #2
Rayures. It must be a great knit, I’ve made two!

Hello there & a great big happy Monday to you~

I hope the weekend was a good to you and that much good food, good times and good knitting was had by one and all.

Not to bore you with the details, but, well here goes the boring details:

I don’t have to tell you just how hot (dangerously so) it has been – pretty much everywhere. When your business is, by its very nature, something that produces heat you need to rethink how things are done and change things up a bit until it passes. Because the next couple days are set to be the coolest of the week (and coolest we’ve seen in quite sometime) we are dyeing and I mean dyeing like mad. Very early and very long days so that we do not have to dye later this week when temps are upwards of 95 or more (weather report as of last night – things change).

Waiting.....

So, long story short, I’m sorry, but there will not be an update today due to weather. How funny does that sound?! Gotta make hay (I mean yarn) while the sun shines and doesn’t kill you wink wink because last week…. well it got ugly. Very very ugly.

The update will be this Thursday at Noon Eastern. We are in Stiches Midwest Prep, getting out the last of your pre-orders (which will ship Friday this week and Monday next week – all well within the 14-21 business days…. YAY!) and, well, it takes a bit of time to put an update together and right now I think you really want us dyeing. Can’t very well not get you your yarn now can we? Thank you for your understanding.

I hope you know, we are here and ready to help and, as always, we will make sure you get your yarn!

Oh, and one other exciting bit of news…. SPORT, TRAVELER & PLUCKY SWEATER all arrive in the studio this week. Seriously exciting times!!!

Have a great week everyone!

Plucky_Stitches2012_AD_1
Hope you can join us!

Housekeeping & Update News~


A commonly asked question – When will/has my order shipped?

If your order was a pre-order, please check the date of your paypal receipt and then please allow approximately 14 to 21 business days for your yarn to be dyed, processed and leave the Plucky studio. If, after a suitable amount of time has passed for your package to arrive at your location (to our international friends – it is not uncommon for a package to take at least 4-6 weeks to arrive) it has not arrived, please contact me at thepluckyknitter@gmail.com to inquire about your order.

Never fear – we will always, always make sure you get your yarn. Whatever your yarny wishes may be, we are in the business of granting them to the very best of our ability.

In the past I have often posted a date during which your order from said update will ship. It is becoming increasingly more administratively difficult to do so. To keep up with all the emails that I receive on a daily basis for just this instance (not to mention all the other inquiries), well, I think it will help clear things up if the verbiage is now standard.

Soft Focus – a blanket kit

We work very hard to get your yarn to you as quickly and efficiently as possible. But, please remember, this is not an automated process. Everything from the handdyeing to the hand packing/shipping, emailing…. it is all done by hand (and by a very very few hands). No barcodes or automated machinery here ; )

I love what I do. I am beyond grateful every single day. It has been and continues to be my goal to keep Plucky small and personal (remember this post?) and this is just one more way to streamline some of the things that can be streamlined and not affect the way Plucky is dyed and run.

I want to be online and chat with you. I want to dye yarn and source new and exciting bases. I love pairing yarn and colors with patterns. And, I do really love to knit. So, just another tweak so that we can keep things running smoothly and more efficiently and buy out time to make more yarn – which is a very good thing!

Speaking of more yarn – it’s time for an update in the Plucky shop this Sunday, June 24th at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. All the new colors will be available as well as a few new colorwork kits. Thanks so very much and we’ll hope to see you Sunday night at 9:00!

Moving right along~

Souvenir

Things are really chugging along here behind the scenes at the studio. I wanted to get you up to speed on a few things:

1. Classics sign-ups. Waiting for final confirmation from Seth. Announcement is imminent.

2. Charleston Tea kits – this close to being ready for shipping. They are going to be shipping on-time and probably even rolling out in waves a wee bit early.

3. Friday’s etsy update will begin shipping tomorrow (all ready to ship items from Friday’s update).

4. Cecily’s sweater kit – again, waiting for final confirmation from Seth. That Seth is one hard working fella!

5. Color affection kits – it all goes back to Seth. We’ve had him hopping. : )

6. Pre-orders from 4/29 also this close to being ready. Begin leaving the studio in waves Thursday/Friday.

You know how it is when you step back for a bit and have the chance to really stop and think? Well, when you are driving through Nebraska late at night (and you have finished listening to Patrick Swayze and Rob Lowe…. high brow literature they are not, but entertaining – oh yes they are) all you do is think.

There was a lot of thought and discussion (Hayley was a captive audience. She may or may not have wanted to jump out of the car on I80) about what has been working well and what has not been working so well (Plucky shop, again, I’m talking to you).

So, long story short, several new things in the works (again, thank you Seth) and details coming soon.

Please forgive the ramble-y list. All you really need to know is we are working hard to get you yarn regularly and easily and, along the way, give me fewer shop related headaches so I can come up with more new things for you! After all it’s all about the yarn, fiber (yes, it’s coming, I promise!), kits and, well, our lovely little community.

Happy Tuesday~
Sarah

Greensleeves
Greensleeves

gone glamping ~

shutterstock_230518

and….. we’re outta here.

We will be out of the studio starting, well, now and returning in two weeks. We are off on a picking (we’re bringing our dad), junking (again, our dad), fossiling (Bob), karaoking (Ryan, we’re talking to you), hiking, glamping and knitting (three guesses who that is and the first two don’t count!) road trip.

See you soon! But, until then a little teaser…..

A new Baby Cocktails/Plucky Knitter sweater kit coming Sunday, May 20th.

crop of back lace

Photo courtesy Splityarn

colorway shown: Lincoln, Plucky Knitter Primo Sport

Charleston Tea – another Baby Cocktails and Plucky Knitter sweater kit coming up. Sign-ups will go live on the Plucky Knitter website Sunday, May 20th at 9:00 p.m. Eastern and will remain open while spots remain. We have worked diligently to ensure we are able to fill the shop with as many kits as possible so I sincerely hope you are able to find something that suits you at a time that suits your schedule.

a wandering post (with some housekeeping thrown in) ~

Untitled
Single Girl Melty Chocolate Cake from Joy’s cookbook. The Mr. and I have taste tested and we wholeheartedly approve.

Untitled
Fiar pattern. I’m knitting aimlessly on this and loving the fabric/color/texture.

Untitled
An old school house I pass on the drive to the studio every morning. It’s my dream studio. For now I will have to keep dreaming……

Now for the housekeeping:

1. Shop update tomorrow, Sunday, April 29th (edited to add proper date. Oy.) at 5:00 p.m. Eastern in the Plucky Shop.

2. There will be a nice mixture of things available with a heavy emphasis on Primo Sport and Rustic. Also available will be a nice amount of Primo Fingering, Plucky Feet and 50.50 Silk Merino Fingering and Lite added for good measure. Please note: The items available in the update tomorrow will ship by May 11.

3. For those of you who do not frequent the Plucky Group on Ravelry, thought you might like to know that during updates we have an ‘Update Chatter’ thread where everyone gathers to talk about the updates, what colors/bases are available, what they would like to see, etc. I, too, chime in and grant as many requests as I am able, help explain things and make note of any issues with the shop.

While I do not have a brick and mortar store where I can welcome you personally, I like to chat with you all during an update just as if you were here in my studio with me. It’s the next best thing!

4. It never fails, during the first minute(s) of the update, the shop bogs down a bit. Please be patient – it is greatly appreciated.

Seth (Mr. Wunder-Tech) is aware of the problem but so far a solution has not been reached. The server can handle the traffic but doesn’t seem to ‘open the front door’ very fast when people arrive all at once. Hope that makes sense. Just please know we are aware of it and that it does clear up within a couple minutes of the beginning of the shop update and then proceeds to run according to plan.

5. Color Affection kits: I will have a small amount of kits available.

6. Fiar Kits: Those will not be sold tomorrow but will be sold in the etsy shop. Time yet to be announced.

Finally, have a great weekend!

 

Fiar ~

DSC_0017

I’m so happy to share with you something that Carrie and I have had in the works since Sock Summit (is it just me or does that seem like a 10 years ago?!).

Fiar, the Gaelic word for slant or crooked, seemed like the perfect name for this infinity scarf.  The zigzags created by the chevron pattern twist, turn, and slant, creating lovely lines of color.  Have fun with this scarf by choosing different colors or using up your leftovers!

Fiar will be available in the ETSY shop update tomorrow, Monday, April 23rd. The update will begin at 10:00 a.m. Eastern and go throughout the day. For added fun, in addition to the Fiar kits available tomorrow there will be many of your new and old favorites available as well. Ready-to-ship items, pre-orders, pure cashmere, MCN Lite, Primo (in all three weights) and more.

Back to Fiar…. this pattern offers so much potential for so many fun color pairings. Just like Carrie says, Who says you can only use 3 or 5 colors?  Get out those scraps and add in a bit more color! I am! I’m working with 9 colors right now!

Carrie was able to get one long and one short infinity scarf from 5 skeins, with enough leftover for another if you add in another color.  So many possibilities!!

Finished measurements: 22” wide and 10” long for short infinity scarf; 27” wide and 10” long for long infinity scarf, after blocking. 
Yarn: ~495 (610) yards total of fingering weight yarn such as The Plucky Knitter Primo MCN 75/20/5 or Plucky Feet
For 5-color version, need ~ 115 (140) yards (A), 105 (130) yards (B), 80 (100) yards (C), 90 (110) yards (D), 105 (130) yards (E).

For 3-color version, need ~ 185 (230) yards (A), 165 (200) yards (B), 145 (180) yards (C).

DSC_0054

Three color, long version

DSC_0065

Fiar

Couldn’t help myself – I’ve already cast on and am about half way done with my own version of Fiar.

Care & Concern ~

stitch by stitch

Can I show you something? This blanket, this knitted (and crocheted) treasure is a sight to see. Care, concern, love and warm thoughts have been knit, stitch by stitch, into this stunning blanket – I can feel it and will treasure it always. I cannot thank you enough for the generosity and affection you have bestowed upon me (and my family) in ways large and small (which all are equally meaningful and appreciated) during this difficult time.

 

heading toward normal~

kitschy tintype

Our mother passed away on Wednesday. Please bear with me while I find my voice. I absolutely did not want to let another day go by without telling each and every one of you thank you….. for everything.

Your warm thoughts, encouragement and understanding during what has been a very emotional and draining month (after what can only be described as one extremely tough year) have been a bright spot during this dark time.

I don’t know that I have shared this before, but my mother was a bit of a knitter and really loved hearing about the knitting world (sadly, she had not been able to knit for some time due to her health). In the last couple weeks of her life Hayley and I cleared out the test knit cabinet and brought your lovely work to her so she could see and enjoy them. I cannot begin to tell you how much that meant to her. We would lay them out on her bed, model them and also put them on her so she could be decked out like we were. She just kept saying, ‘I want to wear a insert various knit wear here like you girls’. It made her so happy and gave us some comfort to be able to make her happy.

Hayley and I are back at the studio today and working out a plan so that all orders (all updates that were to ship the week(s) of 2/13, 2/20 and Plucky Classics) will ship by March 5. In fact, things will begin shipping this Friday and continue through March 5th. We both thank you so very much for your understanding and patience. I promise we will make it up to you very soon with a fun update, including free shipping and other stuff.

I’ll be on and off line a bit sporadically this week as we work hard to get up to speed here at the studio and while helping our Dad get things in order. But, please do not hesitate to contact me if you need any assistance at all.

9900 Riverview

5-72

I’ve been thinking~

Sounds scary doesn’t it?

my old bike

It seems hard to believe that we’re already into the second month of the year, but I wanted to write because I’ve been reflecting recently on The Plucky Knitter and based on some of the questions and feedback I wanted to give you all some information, a check-in of sorts.

When I first began dyeing yarn in my lake cottage I never would have imagined five years later it would have become my full time job.  I feel truly blessed to be able to serve so many of you and to see what you create with my yarn.  Particularly in the past year there has been tremendous growth in the interest in my yarns, and with that I have done some deep soul searching to really think about what exactly is the heart and soul of “Plucky”, what is the foundation of what I spend my days and nights doing, and the true reason is you.  I am truly dedicated to my customers and you are all one of the best parts of my job.  I enjoy knowing that when I dye up a particular shade of purple or green (and, of course, grey!) that I know which customer is going to gravitate towards that color. And, quite often, I create particular colorways knowing the interests of my customers.  I like knowing the names of your spouses and children, what projects you are knitting, etc. Because of that, the Plucky Knitter will remain what it started with  – a person dyeing yarn because she couldn’t find just the “right” shade, who takes great joy in sharing it with her customers – many of who have become friends.

So, to answer the many questions that have recently come up, the Plucky Yarn production is not going to dramatically increase and you won’t be able find it in stores all over the country (just a few carefully chosen yarn stores) because I feel strongly that my customers should know who is/has dyed the skein of yarn they are knitting with, and Hayley and I just don’t have the capacity to add many more stores to the line-up. My priority has always been, and will continue to be, my online customers. It is where I started and where my focus will remain. That all being said, I do think it is great fun to work with carefully chosen (and very few) brick and mortar stores and will continue to do so as I am able.

I have no intention of training multiple people how to dye my yarn. I’m just too much of a control freak about that and I feel it helps with consistency (as much consistency as you can have with the hand dyed process), and yes, because of that it can be a bit difficult to come by. However, I hope after reading this you can understand why.  While Plucky yarn cannot be available 24/7, please know that I have most certainly made steps to increase productivity – some that worked out really well (bringing my sister Hayley on board – she is just a passionate as I am about bringing you lovely yarn and creating a welcoming community) and some that were a little more finicky (Plucky Knitter Shop, I’m talking to you). However, please know that all of my business decisions are made with you in mind and I’m constantly working with my team to find new and better ways to serve you and get yarn to you more easily and often.

As many of you know, there was a shop update in my new store on December 31 which went completely awry.  I experienced a demand unlike any that had ever been seen before, and that combined with a buggy storefront created some logistical nightmares. To give you a better idea, the store oversold by more than double the amount of kits that was intended (then you multiply double the kits by three skeins per kit) – we suddenly had to dye a huge amount of yarn (that amounted to a weeks worth of extra dyeing). That would not have been insurmountable, however there was a previously scheduled trunk show two weeks later, and also some things going on behind the scenes.  Despite all of this I have done the very best I can to keep up with the hundreds of e-mails and Ravelry PMs that come in on a daily basis, but I know some may have slipped through the cracks, and for that I sincerely apologize.  As of last week, we have fulfilled every order that came through that day and hopefully everyone received their skeins.

On a very positive note, there are several exciting things on the horizon for 2012 and with the 12/31 update behind us I can truly move forward! Examples of this include, the Plucky Retreat, the debut of Plucky Feet (and several other new unique to Plucky blends), hopefully some more trunk shows around the country, some unique limited edition dye runs (varigated is back!), and kits and collaborations with some of your favorite designers.

Please know I do not take interest in my yarn for granted. I know that all of you have many options where you could spend your hard earned money and I am more grateful than you can imagine that on this long and often bumpy ride I have you all by my side.

 

 

that’s how I feel about that~

Saturday’s update in the new online shop – how did it go you ask? There are no words that bear repeating in polite company so……
pretty much sums it up~

argh!

enough said

how about I let the pictures speak for me?

To summarize:

The site crashed, some orders went through, some did not and some went through as ‘on backorder’ and then, in the end the kits did sell out.

Please know that I will work tirelessly to get Saturday’s mess sorted out and we are working diligently to get the kinks worked out of the shop – once and for all. The needs of the shop are somewhat uncharted territory for our wundertech helpers and I assure you they are wanting this fixed just as much as I do. We all thank you for your kind understanding and patience.

Currently I am making plans for several updates to occur over the next week and will be announcing them in the Plucky Ravelry group, here on the blog as well as on Facebook/Twitter. There will be a sneak-update in the etsy shop (at least I know that won’t crash on me!) as well as a pre-order update taking place in the Plucky shop (as soon as I am given the go-ahead).

So, when the going gets tough, the tough knit. Compulsively. Shimmer En Vogue

  • Started 12/31/11
  • Finished 1/1/12
  • Pattern: Shimmer In Blue
  • Yarn: Plucky 4ply cashmere (held double)
  • Verdict: I love it and an planning to make another in grey (big surprise).

Accessorize!

“The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize.” Clairee Belcher, Steel Magnolias 

I am very happy to announce a blog collaboration with Holly. When Holly (who is a very talented knitter, baker and blogger) approached me with an offer to write an article highlighting all the fantastic ways to re-charge your wardrobe with hand knits….well it was simply an offer I couldn’t refuse! Now, I will leave the rest of this post to her. Take it away Holly!

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Year after year, we see recurring trends in fashion. Many staples of a decade have been consistently recurring over the years; trends that were once popular, quickly become a cliche — an outdated icon of a generation — and then return with widespread, mainstream popularity (leggings, anyone?). However, there are plenty of examples of the exact opposite. Every season, every year, there are a few classic items that stand strong, despite the constant changes in fashion trends. These pieces are often apart of everyone’s wardrobe, despite our own personal style or taste, and these are the items you are likely to wear the most… none of which are more prominent than knitwear.

Knitwear goes beyond sweaters, today it is all about the accessories: scarves, cowls, hats, wraps, shrugs, mittens, leg warmers and more, most of which can be worn all year around, not just in the dead of winter. Revamping your entire wardrobe is sometimes just a matter of adding in some season-friendly accessories. For example, pair these stylish “Some Cloudy Day” leg warmers by Tiny Owl Knits (featured here in Plucky Merino MCN http://www.ravelry.com/projects/nancykane/some-cloudy-day) or Mirry Dancers by Gudrun Johnston (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mirry-dancers) with boots and add some warmth for those chilly Autumn days. Wear with ankle boots and extend the life of your summer shoes into even the coldest weeks of winter, or wear under mid-calf and knee-high boots for ultimate warmth.

As for scarves, there’s been a strong comeback for the cowl. Instead of a traditional scarf, a cowl is knitted in a loop, or knitted flat and then seamed to form a ring. The best part? Versatility. Choose a cowl that is the proper length to allow you the option of either looping it around your neck twice, or just once. Check out the Plucky Curacao Cowl (shown here in Plucky Merino Superwash Worsted  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/plucky-curacao-cowl), offering the perfect shape to fit near your neck, without adding bulk inside your coat. Keep it close to your neck by wrapping it around twice, or wear it all year around with just one loop. The elegant cable pattern makes it formal enough to match even your most fancy coats. Looking for something extra chunky? Keep it simple with the Millwater Cowl (featuring Plucky MCN Lite  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/millwater) which can easily be dressed up, or down, with it’s simple garter borders and single, focal cable down the center. 

2010CS_3249

Plucky Curacao Cowl – Curacao Cowl, Black Cherry Lambic & Mint and Basil photos courtesy Splityarn

black cherry lambic cowl

Black Cherry Lambic Cowl

black cherry lambic 2

Black Cherry Lambic Scarf

IMG_1288

Millwater Cowl – Photo courtesy Beth Kling

If you’re more for shawls, an absolute must is the Color Affection shawl kit, an amazing collaboration between The Plucky Knitter herself and Veera Valimaki (who brought you the ever famous Stripe Study shawl among others), and what a heavenly pairing it is! Combining 3 stunning Plucky Primo Fingering colorways and the Color Affection pattern by Veera, this shawl has amazing composition; with juxtaposed stripes, blocks of color, and a drapey shape that’s perfect for wrapping up this winter. The kit comes in multiple colorway combinations and will be available for pre-order later this week (week of December 26th).

color-affection-2

When it comes to keeping your head warm, you have plenty of options, no matter the time of year may be. There seems to be two kinds of people in the world: those who prefer tight fitting beanies, and those who like some slouch. Mint and Basil (shown here in Plucky Rustic http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mint-and-basil) is a fantastic pattern, that offers not only one hat, but two. One is a snug beanie with an adorable button detail, and the other is a slouchy hat with an elegant, cabled border. Knitted in a warm, squishy and comfy worsted, they will both be sure to keep you warm this season. If you’re looking for something a little lighter, go for the Skinner Hat (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/skinner-hat) or Cecily (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/cecily) by Melissa LaBarre (both knitted in Plucky Primo MCN) Whether it’s the delicate lace pattern of the Skinner hat, or the airy chevrons of Cecily, these berets will keep you warm with plenty of style to spare. And, with the light weight yarn, they can easily be worn in spring and summer as well.

Mint basil

mint and basil 2

skinner

Skinner Hat – Photo courtesy Melissa LaBarre

It’s safe to say that knitwear isn’t going anywhere, and with so many accessories to knit up for every season, it’s likely you’ll get plenty of use out of them. Some of us may be lucky enough to have knitted heirloom pieces, whether it’s a shawl or a blanket, it proves that knitwear survives the decades, and is just as popular now as it has ever been. 

Holly is an avid knitter, baker, sometimes writer, and of course a die-hard Plucky fan. She documents all things creative over on her personal blog: Lucky You, Lucky Me, and is known on Ravelry by the username Shinetastic.