Contract / Knitter

We’re in contract – Woo Hoo! Today was the house inspection and although we haven’t received the official report from the inspector, our real estate agent called with a short list of some stuff that they found, and none of it is major. Some of it is totally new to us – so we’re grateful to find out about it – but all relatively small and easily fixed stuff. We have to wait for the official report (and what the buyers want us to do – fix it or knock a little off the price of the house…) to see what the next step is.

Our real estate agent, though, did say that the inspector told the buyers, “This is a very sound house, it has a few minor things, but overall it’s been very well cared for…” That’s so nice to hear!

So it seems that we’re looking at a move in early February (we do have the best timing, n’est ce pas?) and we’re trying to swing another trip to MN – just me and Gerry – to look at our finalists in the parade of houses and make a decision. An option that we’d rather not have to go with would be to rent a house for a bit until we find something that’s right for us – but it IS an option.

I found out that one of my teaching engagements in late Jan has fallen through, but it’s probably a blessing because I’ll just be SO darned busy then getting packed and organized. We’re thinking of going with the Pods system for most of the stuff in the house, and then for clothing and things I’ll need to keep available (yarn), we’ll use a very small U-haul trailer for our official move to MN. Who knows, it may just be that our move corresponds with my trip to Chicago, so we might be stopping over there for a bit on our drive to Minnesota! It feels odd to have it all so up in the air, but we have contingency plans so we’re not exactly jumping off a cliff.

Mountains of Malabrigo arrived from Yarnzilla (my crack – er – malabrigo connection) Linda is acting as a conduit for my sample yarns for the mitered jacket I’m designing and the projects for the Knitty Gritty episode. I picked out 5 colorways of the yarn for myself and the 4 knitsters – I hope they love working with this as much as I do!

Instead of waiting for bulkies in each colorway to be dyed I’m just having the knitsters double the yarn for the hat (bulky yarn) and then use the yarn single for the matching doggie sweater (worsted). The yarn has very little twist, so it blends together with itself quite nicely, and the kettle dyed variations move beautifully within each color when the strands are doubled. I am in love.

You know, a relationship with a yarn shop is so much like a friendship. It has very little to do with how GOOD the person is, but rather how well you suit each other. I know folks who are paragons of virtue, really GOOD people, but I have a hard time finding a common ground for a great friendship. I know other folks who skirt goodness – and sometimes they seem to suit me better (I probably shouldn’t admit that…) Not that my friends are serving hard time or stealing hubcaps, but the chemistry between folks is a complex thing.

It’s the same with a yarn shop. I’ve visited shops that are textbook perfect – absolutely wonderful – and I’d buy something from them every day of the week if I lived nearby. Then there are shops where sometimes it’s a little messy, or things might be mis-shelved every now and then, and I barely notice the small annoyances because I feel so AT HOME there. Or maybe I’m just perverse.

For every person who tells me something unsavory about a shop, I’ll have 5 others tell me something nice – and it’s all a moot point because what really matters is how the shop seems to ME as a CUSTOMER when I visit it. I think it’s rare to have a shop that appeals to everyone – especially in a uniform way – and I think that’s a beautiful thing! We become very passionate about our shops, about our knitting groups and our communities. It’s nice to feel that there’s a shop to visit when I’m in a blue mood, another to visit when I’m feeling peppy, or another when I want something painfully elegant.

I’ll be more than happy to post any good comments about yarn shops, but I hesitate to post the negative ones (especially anonymous ones) because this is folk’s bread and butter. It takes so much money to invest into a yarn shop, the work is non-stop and the return isn’t great. It can be a very joyful life, full of fun and yarn, but it can also be very trying and exhausting. If I have a bad experience at a shop I try to assume the best (the owner’s usually great, but on this day there was bad news AND she’s getting the flu!) Heaven knows I would hate to be judged by anyone on my bad days.

Today I visited one of my favorite yarn shops in my area – Knit a Bit in Westfield, NJ. Harriet and Sue have an amazingly well stocked shop with a load of really wonderful yarns, lots of happy customers and a welcoming atmosphere. For the past few weeks Sue’s been running the ship single-handed and it’s a ton of work. I’m not sure that I could do it, myself – and I have so much respect for folks who DO run a yarn shop on their own!

If you’re in Central NJ, Knit a Bit is a great place to visit! They’re upstairs (real estate is very dear, here!) but it’s worth the climb! Obviously my ankle is feeling much better, thank you!

Tomorrow I visit dear LOOP again in Philly! I wanted Gerry to bring the kids down for some sight-seeing, but they have Hebrew school in the morning and we’d rather they not miss it. So I’ll be driving down EARLY tomorrow morning, teaching all day and then driving home in the evening. I hate the drive back – it’s always SO busy on the NJ Turnpike on a Sunday evening. My hope is that it will be less so on this, the start of a 3-day work week, but I’m not counting on it! I wonder if I could possibly take the trian down…?

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