Black Friday Insanity

We have had a few customers ask how we do it when it comes to our Black Friday Sale. Well, over the years, we have gotten it down to a science. A sweaty, tiring, and fast-paced science but a science, nonetheless. The kitties look like little worker bees for 2 days straight. Everyone knows their task so we turn up the music, pull thousands of skeins of yarn off the shelves, and ship hundreds of orders.

For those of you who don’t know, we sometimes have a Black Friday Sale. It’s a random sale so you don’t know how much of a discount you will receive until you place your order. The percentage-off ranges from 15% – 100%. That’s right, your order could be free! The sale lasts from 9 AM – 4 PM, with a 10K preview starting at 8 AM. To give you perspective, we received 1,651 orders on November 25, 2016.

Now, here are our very general procedures. As the day goes on, it can become a free for all where all hands are on deck & we do whatever needs to get done so we can go enjoy some left-over turkey. Let’s start with a map of the shop.

Preparation

Lindsay is the queen of getting prepared. She starts pre-making and stock piling boxes in August. The warehouse slowly begins to fill up with piles of USPS boxes which we try really hard not to knock over. Lindsay’s learned a few things over her 8 years of Black Fridays. She makes the self-sealing boxes last – the glue releases when the warehouse gets hot in summer. While Lindsay makes boxes, Janine & Tracey make prize packs until their arms hurt. They make at least 100 welcome packets per team and as many yarn lotto bags as they possibly can.
Day 1
Lindsay arrives super early to ship the orders from Wednesday & Thursday to get those out of the way. Then Erin & Dan come in to start the sale and the rest of the kitties arrive at 8. Erin adds the Black Friday rules/information to the main page & then turns the sale on at 8 for 10K Clubbers. I bet that’s the best feeling – like starting trading on Wall Street or pressing the button in Willy Wonka’s glass elevator.
We have a team huddle around 8:30 where Erin assigns us to our stations. We split into pulling, checking, and shipping groups. Erin is in charge of the customer service e-mail, sorting orders into box sizes, and putting out fires like mismatched yarn.
The pullers are generally Jessica, Janine, Tracey, and Jenny. Once Erin sorts the orders into their box sizes, the pullers grab buckets and start zooming around the store & warehouse. By lunch, the shelves have absolutely exploded! It’s so hard to find that one last skein of Candombe on Sock that we have to clear a whole cube and lay out the skeins on the floor. You’d be surprised how skeins can hide!

Emily, Amy, and Kinsey check and pack orders. They put three tables into the Sorting/Packing area to serve as packing stations with tissue paper, lotto cards, and big cups of coffee. We try to designate each table to a different box size because that’s how we pull orders, by size, starting with the largest box size. Once we’ve checked each order for accuracy, added top tissue paper, and made sure any prizes earned are included, the checkers move the boxes into Shipping.

Dan sets up an extra shipping station and mans the shipping office with Lindsay. Dan likes to listen to classic 90s music so he can ship to the beat. Lindsay is an absolute beast on Black Friday. All we hear is shipping labels being continuously printed and her mighty tape gun! Once Dan & Lindsay fill up one cart with orders ready to ship, they start the pile in the back of the warehouse by Bay 1 where your orders await USPS.

At Noon, we break for lunch. Erin buys the kitties pizza from their favorite joint and we all sit in the Knit Night area to chat about anything but yarn! Our feet are killing us by now and, according to a few pedometers, we’ve already taken over 12,000 steps. Then, it’s back to the action! We work our way through the box sizes until the first USPS pick up of the day. We arrange for multiple pick ups in the biggest truck they have!

Day 2
Back at it again! We can usually get through majority of the bigger boxes on the first day so Day 2 is for our “little boxes” and padded envelopes. The padded envelopes are our favorite for 2 reasons: 1. They usually only contain 1-2 skeins so we pull them very quickly 2. We can sit on the floor to pack these since we don’t have to look down into a box to pack them.
We can only get 1 pick up from USPS on Saturday so, whatever we have ready to ship after around 11 AM, Dan has to take to the post office in his big truck. We have to play Tetris to fit as many packages as possible in his truck bed – we even fill up his passenger seat that sometimes has Levi or Molly’s car seat strapped in. Those packages are extra safe!

Then we rest. We go home, pull out our knitting, and couch camp on Sunday only to come back on Monday to try to put the store back together. Once everything is said and done, we only remember how hard we worked and how great it feels to have such an awesome team. We cheer each other on, Erin dances around the store to pep us up, and we all know we can depend on one another to help with anything that needs to be done. We are just a big family!

Fun Facts
In 2016, Erin planned games to keep the kitties on their toes during the sale. She made BINGO cards with spaces like “Mismatched Yarn” and “Packed a Finisher’s Prize,” she hid small trinkets (nail polishes & flashing rings) in random places around the store for the kitties to find, and even did a raffle!

In 2015, we forgot to give USPS the scan sheets which create the tracking numbers for your packages. We had to drive to the post office and track down the truck!

During the very first Black Friday Sale when Erin was still working out of just her bedroom closet, she ran out of tissue paper! She called her Mom hysterically crying because didn’t think she would get more than 40 orders – WRONG!

2016 was the first year that Levi and/or Molly didn’t “attend” the Black Friday Sale. Levi was a great manager at age 2 so he definitely has a future in business!

Dan wear gloves while he ships. The kitties don’t exactly know why but we like it.

March Featured Yarn – Blue Sky Fibers Woolstok

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Woolstok from Blue Sky Fibers gives you the appearance of a trendy tweed yarn with the sheepy feel of 100% Fine Highland Wool. This plied DK weight comes in a variety of simple neutrals and subtle pops which make it great for fun hats or sweaters. You will love working with Woolstok and creating warm durable garments & accessories for the whole family!

conversationalist-by-plucky-knitter-design

Conversationlist by Plucky Knitter Design is just that – a conversation starter. For the body of this hat, you can choose to use the brighter colors like Spun Gold and Pressed Grapes or go neutral with Storm Cloud and Cast Iron. Then comes the real decision, what will you do with the over-sized pom pom? We think it would be fun to add a contrasting color to the neutral hat like Rusted Roof. It’s all up to you – try different color combinations with our Color Picker to see what works best for you. And, heck, Conversationlist knits up so quickly, make a few to give as gifts!

om-shawl-fotor

Andrea Mowry has taken the knitting world by storm with her Find Your Fade shawl so here is another one of her amazing patterns. Om Shawl is a cozy knit that can be worn in so many different ways. The strategically placed buttons allow it to be worn as a wrap, bandanna scarf, slouchy jacket, or even a poncho! Blue Sky Fibers colors lend perfectly to this versatile accessory.

20-striped-cowl-by-courtney-cedarholm#20 Striped Cowl by Courtney Cedarholm is a great unisex pattern that can be knit up for that hunk or honey in your life. This pattern was written for Woolstok as a tri-colored cowl using Storm Cloud, October Sky, and Midnight Sea but feel free to kick it up a notch with as many colors as you’d like! You know we would love to see a rainbow version of this – everything is better with a little Roy G Biv!

This cowl is knit as a flat rectangle and then sewn together at the cast-on and bind-off edges. Quick and easy ribbing will make this knit fly by but still create an eye-catching accessory.

 

migration-by-stacey-gerbmanLastly, we chose this stunner of a cardigan, Migration by Stacey Gerbman. We can’t say enough about how much we adore this pattern so we will leave it up to the designer. “Gull stitch cables, welts, and ladders stamp this handsome unisex cardigan with bold textures. Set-in sleeves and strong vertical lines make for a flattering fit despite the over-sized styling.”

The body of this cardigan is knit flat, as well as the sleeves, and are sewn in before picking up the stitches for your button bands and double rib collar. Once you finish Migration, you will have the best time picking out buttons and showing this bad boy off around town or at your local Knit Night!

Candyland Exclusive Colorways All Knit Up!

golden-kittyGolden Kitty would like to show you some of our Candyland Exclusives knit up. This is our favorite part about exclusives – we have no clue what they will look like when they are actually knit into a project. We get these boxes of beautiful skeins and know they’ll be amazing but the true excitement comes from seeing your projects pop up! If you have a Candyland Exclusive that we did not feature, please share with us in the comments below. We would absolutely love to see them!

First up is Squoosh Fiber Arts who created 9 tonal colorways that coordinate with each of our milestone lands. These colors are subtly variegated which lends well to garments. These colors are available on Merino Cashmere:Sock, Ultra DK, Ultra Worsted, and if you can’t decide which color you like best, collect them all in the rainbow-y Beefcake Mini Set!

candyland-castle

Candyland Castle

very-cherry-littlechina

Very Cherry

spun-sugar

Spun Sugar

mallomar-and-cherry-cola

Mallowmar & Cherry Cola

Rock Candy

Rock Candy

Cherry Cola

Cherry Cola

beefcake-minis

Beefcake Mini Set

Blue Moon Fiber Arts completely knocked our socks off with the Candyland colorways they came up with. We double lucked out: 1. Candyland was Tina’s, BMFA owner, favorite board game as a child so she had inspiration coming out of her ears and 2. We were able to snag 2 new bases: Super Sparkle & Sock That Rock: Mediumweight! These colors are also available on Targhee Worsted and Tigger Targhee. Let’s stroll around the board, visit some lands, and drool over these sweet colorways.

Gumdrop Mountain

Gumdrop Mountain

Lord Licorice's Bitter Bats

Lord Licorice’s Bitter Bats

Molasses Swamp Monster

Molasses Swamp Monster

Mr. Mint

Mr. Mint

Plumpy

Plumpy

Queen Frostine

Queen Frostine

Three Irish Girls are creating holiday candy mini-skein exclusive sets for us and we are bursting with excitement! We have only released 1 Adorn Luxe set for Valentine’s Day but you all will absolutely want to be on the lookout for the next holiday. It has arrived at ESK and it’s taking everything we have to not share it with you just yet! It was released a few days ago so we don’t have a knit photo to share but we wanted to make you all aware of what’s to come during the year.

I Like Candy When It's Wrapped in a Sweater

I Like Candy When It’s Wrapped in a Sweater

Last but definitely not least, Madelinetosh. We paired up with Tosh to create 12 monthly Willy Wonka exclusives. So far, we have seen Willy Wonka and Golden ticket but, trust us, you will definitely want to stay tuned for the rest of the year. You’ll be able to collect these colors on ASAP, Tosh DK, Tosh Merino Light, Tosh Vintage, and Twist Light. We have some fun stuff up our kitty sleeves – characters, fun scenes, and memorable Wonka moments translated into amazing colorways!

January - Willy Wonka

January – Willy Wonka

February - Golden Ticket

February – Golden Ticket

You can find most of these knitters in our Candy Yarn forum on Ravelry. Check them out and maybe give some hearts to their awesome projects! We are missing some colorways so, please, feel free to share your projects below! Thanks to the amazingly talented dyers for teaming up with us on this sweet project.

 

 

February Featured Yarn: ShibuiKnits Drift

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If you are looking for a luxurious worsted weight yarn, ShibuiKnits Drift is your answer. This Fine Merino and Cashmere blend drapes like velvet which makes it ideal for cuddly cowl or a slinky sweater. Shibui is notorious for pairing their yarns for held-double projects that will knock your socks off. We have picked our favorite pattern suggestions for this delightful yarn.

drift-ride

Rise by Shellie Anderson pairs Drift with Silk Cloud to make a perfect hat and cowl set. The allover cable pattern pops with the stunning stitch definition created by Drift.

What do you need?
Hat or Cowl Yarn
2 skeins Drift
1 skein Silk Cloud

Needles
US 7 – 4.5 mm
US 10 – 6.0 mm

drift-one-cable-mitts
One Cable Mitts by Valerie Teppo
is a simple fingerless mitts pattern that really shows off those stitches with a bold cable. This pattern would be great for those who are trying cables for the first time and need to clearly see their stitches and not try to tackle fiddly fingering weight when learning cabling.

What do you need?
Yarn
1 skein Drift

Needles
US 9 – 5.5 mm

drift-big-herringbone-cowlDrift is super squishy and soft so that lends well to accessories worn close to your face. Our last pattern suggestion in Big Herringbone Cowl by Purl Soho. All you need for this bad boy is a pair of US 17 – 12.75 mm and, depending on the length you’d like, 500 yards of Drift for a cowl you can double and half that for a single wrap. Heavy yarn plus big needles equals a super quick knit!

2016: Lost in Space

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Put on your astronaut suit and come along with us while we remember the 2016 Yarnathon: A Space Race. We will visit each planet in our Yarniverse to show off KAL projects, say hello to the new friends we made, and share our favorite moments from this amazing year.

As always, we can’t thank you enough for being you and doing what you do. Eat.Sleep.Knit. would be nothing without it’s creative, funny, supportive, and kind group of customers & friends. The outpouring of love that we receive throughout the year makes all that we do worth it.

sunLet’s begin at The Sun and remember all the awesome exclusive space yarn that was released at the beginning of the year. From Set Phasers to Stun by Western Sky Knits to Vader by BMFA to Put a Ring On It by Three Irish Girls, our dyers truly impressed us with their interpretations of space. You all also rang in the New Year with a quick KAL – Spiral Cowl by Keri McKiernan. To see some of your friend’s cowl, click here!

 

mercuryMercury brought a fantastic new dyer, Nerd Girl Yarns, the Starfighter Hat designed by our very own Tracey, and the beginning of the enormously beautiful Carson Throw by Romi Hill. You all filled up your carts with colorways like Dirigible Sunrise & Blue Exploding Box. The Starfighter Hat was a quick knit and looked amazing in the exclusives you all chose. See some here.

You all were so excited to start the massive Carson Throw. Some picked kits we created while others went solo with color choices but, either, way, those first rounds flew by! As for the rest of the throw, things got…interesting as we progressed.

venusSince women are from Venus, let’s talk about the wild woman who turned 1 this year, Molly McBride. She’s cute as a button but has the fear level of Evil Knievel. This little one has taken Erin & Dan to the Urgent Care many times this year but who could be mad at that face? She’s just…curious and cute and we can’t get enough!molly

earthEarth – home sweet home. There is no better place to wrap up in a beautiful space shawl like the ones you all knit during March and April. We chose the Astronomy Shawl Collection by verybusymonkey and 2 crochet options: Half Moon Shawl & Galaxy. Whether you chose to use multiple colorways like pixielith’s Saturn Rings Shawl, an ombre like TBishop0513’s Half Moon Shawl , or something solid like maayanplaut’s Meteor Shower Shawl, you now have a cozy shawl to remind you of your year in space with all of your ESK friends!

marsAs the book says, men are from Mars so can we all please notice what a sweet gentleman Levi has become. As a very smart 3 year old, he absolutely adores Molly, loves following directions at Pre-school, and wants to build beeboop’s like Dad. He’s a gentle guy who likes sprinkles on his toast so you know he’s a Walker. How did he go from crawling around the shop to “reading” a magazine while waiting in the drop off line at school.  levi

jupiterLet’s jump right in to Jupiter and show of some of the amazing space socks you all made. For this KAL, you could knit any sock pattern but you had to use one of our exclusive space colorways.

The best part of exclusives is that we have no clue what they look like knit up until we see your projects so this was a really fun KAL for us. Check out some space socks here.

 

saturnWe were so excited to team up with Alicia Plummer to host the Staring at Stars KAL. Alicia designed a raglan cardigan for you all to wear while stargazing in the crisp evening air. The suggested yarn was WSK Willow DK in Deep Space but here is one of our favorites who went in another great direction, celaine420’s Staring at Stripes.

caleine420

uranusFor the planet that shall not be named, let’s remember learning or refreshing our minds on the star stitch. You gathered those loops to make a pretty stitch that represents those twinkles in the sky. Some of you made shawls, some went big with sweaters, but everyone shined in this KAL. Alicia07 will definitely shine in her perfectly fitting Isidro knit in Tosh Sock! alicia07

neptuneNeptune is technically the last planet, but nobody ever said ESK follows ALL the rules! It’s time we show of some of those Carson Throws that you all spent so much time and effort completing. This was truly a major feat for a lot of you, including the kitties. We chose this KAL because we all wanted to knit an incredible huge blanket but never had the motivation. Well, just call us motivators because SO MANY of you finished your throws this year. Admire them here.

 

plutoFor the true last planet, little Pluto, we would really like to share the love! We mentioned earlier that we would be nothing without you guys and we truly mean that. Without you, there would be no excitement, no friendships, no growth, no yarn drooling, no project help, no support when life gets real, no sharing of funny stories..so many things would be missing. Without you, we’d be just another online yarn store. But somehow, we found each other and it’s so awesome. So, from all the ESK kitties, thank you for a tremendous year and we look forward to another sweet year! Make sure to visit our Yarnathon homepage on January 1st, 2017 to see what fun things we have planned for the next 365 days.

Kitty Kaboodle: On the Needles

kittyKaboodle

This is our busiest time of year, planning all the excitement for next year’s Yarnathon & keeping up with your orders for this chilly time of year, but we still try to make as much time for our personal knitting as possible. We really love bringing in our projects to share with one another so why not share them with our online family too! Keep scrolling to see what some of the kitties are working on/have picked back up after a long hibernation!

Uncia by Lucy Hague

jessJess is currently working on Uncia by Lucy Hague. She is using Malabrigo Lace in Polar Morn to tackle this tediously beautiful wrap. This design is modeled after the detailed architecture of Gothic and Roman rose windows which pairs perfectly with Jess’s love of all things spooky! When she brought this in to share with the kitties, we were all amazed by how light and airy this shawl is knitting up. It’s going to be beautiful with her purple/teal hair!

 

janine-full

janineThis is the project that would earn Janine her Long Haul Badge but, boy, is it amazing! Janine picked back up Saltwater by Heidi Kirrmaier after she looked in a stray project bag and saw how incredible Madelinetosh TML in Cardinal & Whiskey Barrel look together. She really enjoyed the ease of this pattern so it will be great for her to bring to one of the Knit Nights that she hosts every Friday evening!

tracey-full

traceyTracey is notorious for having multiple projects on the needles at a time. She gets bored easily so she likes to switch between sweaters and socks and fun shawls. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, Tracey has been flying through Woodfords by Elizabeth Doherty using our 2015 Madelinetosh exclusive colorway, The Fox on TML! This cardigan will be perfect for Thanksgiving morning as she prepares pies for her family’s feast.

 

emily-full

EmilyEmily was so struck by Camp Wilkerson by Caitllin Hunter that she immediately bought the pattern & had Tracey help her pick colors in Malabrigo Rios. They chose Pearl Ten, Natural, Frank Ochre, and Teal Feather. She cast on and has been jamming on this over-sized shawl. Rios is truly a pleasure to work with – so soft on your hands and her tight gauge really shows off the simple stockinette. She’s now on the home stretch, just two more stripes and the big block of Frank Ochre and she’s done!

erin-full

erinErin has been working on her project for our Colorwork Space Mittens KAL. She chose to tackle the Galileo Mittens and is using Blue Moon Fiber Arts BFL Fingering Superwash in the colorways It’s a Supernatural Thing and Spores. She is the loosest and quickest knitter here so, kid duties permitting, she will have these babies finished in no time! Now, we aren’t sure if this Georgia weather will get cold enough for her to wear them but I’m sure she would crank her A/C just to sport them!

Share with us what you are working on! Any holiday knitting? Or maybe a special gift just for yourself?

Q4 Rundown

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It’s October and we are so excited for the end of the year! We have new Booster Club badges, 3 new KALs, and all new Power Boosts begin today. Take a minute to read over what’s new so you can earn as many stars and yards as you can to help your team blast through space!

New Badges

  • Fill in the Blanket (20 points) – Complete your Carson Throw! (or any other 1000+ yard blanket)
  • Tail of Two Bases (20 points) – Complete a project that uses at least 300 yards each of two different bases of yarn.
  • The Braidy Bunch (10 points) – Complete a project that uses a braiding design element.
  • Winter Wear (10 points) – Complete a cold weather project using chunky weight (or heavier) yarn. Can combine multiple projects to hit 300 yard minimum
  • Marky Mark (5 points) – Use 6 or more stitchmarkers at the same time in a single project.
  • Loose Screw (5 points) – Earn this badge if your tip becomes disconnected from your cable while knitting.

3 New KALs

q4

Colorwork Space Mittens – You must use 250 yards & have 5 fun patterns to choose from. The patterns range in difficulty for new & seasoned knitters!

  1. Earth & Star Mittens by Emily Bujold
  2. Andromeda Mittens by Emily Bujold
  3. Galileo Mittens by Laura Chau
  4. Starry Mittens by Brenda K. B. Anderson
  5. Comet by Tonja Osswald

Star Stitch – This KAL has a range of yardage minimums with coordinating prizes: 300-599 yards for 250 yards & .5 star and 600 yards+ for 500 yards & 1 star. You can use any pattern that incorporates the star stitch for at least 50% of the pattern.

Orbital Space Ornaments – The pattern Orbital Ornaments by Laura Chau (crochet alternative Space Mobile by Carolina Guzman) will round out our year of KALs! These would make adorable ornaments for your tree or great stuffies/toys. Use up those scraps as 200 yards/50g per color will make many ornaments!

Power Boosts

Check them all out on one page as well, if you prefer!