Eat Sleep Knit … Under Construction

Hey all. Erin here, with some really exciting news! I’ll admit, I’ve been holding out a little on you. This has been in the works for a while now, but I wanted to wait to say anything. Until I was sure it was actually happening. So many balls were in the air and there was always so much that could go horribly wrong. But everything just keeps going right, and we can now very confidently say that Eat Sleep Knit is getting its very own, brand-new building, coming in Summer 2017!

It all started out so simply – we were looking for a new space to rent when our lease was up. We’ve been in our current location for five years, and our business has grown and changed a lot in those years. We’ve far outgrown the original concept where I was, I guess for all eternity, planning to just sell yarn online out of my closet or something, (I know, it sounds insane to me now too. I just had no idea!) and the retail portion of our current space is getting tinier by the minute. We have a lot of yarn we want to add and nowhere to put it!

Except, it turns out, the market for affordably-priced 10k+ square foot office/retail space is laughably small. It may not even exist. Warehouse spaces are typically too big with very little actual heated and cooled space. Retail spaces are typically way too small at prices that are 3-6 times what we’re currently paying. And none of the locations of anything remotely suitable were any better than our current one.

But there was this empty lot near my house, a lot that had been for sale the entire time we’ve lived here, a lot which was, we figured, likely a terrible lot or it would have been bought already. Or maybe it was insanely overpriced. Or maybe it was terrible for a lot of people but good for us, and a few phone calls later confirmed that we could probably even afford it, and a miracle was born. Or the beginnings of one, anyway.

What happened next was maybe the craziest thing I have done in my life; far crazier than quitting my very good job to sell specialty yarn online – we decided to go for it. We’d build our own building! A space all our own, built just for us. No more trying to fit ourselves into warehouse spaces built for things either too large or small, no more apologizing on the phone for our “unusual” location, a building that really works for Eat Sleep Knit and all of its customers.

The SBA loan process was stressful and terrifying and there was a lot of explaining to people that yes, $60 yarn really exists and people really do buy it and we do actually have a viable business, but we were lucky to have a great bank guy who trusts our financials and was thus willing to do a lot of that for us. The next thing we knew, it was all systems go!

Almost right away, they started the grading. It wasn’t much to look at yet, but the kids enjoyed having their own personal construction site to play in after hours.

Well, I thought, I’ll just wait until the foundation is done. Then it will be really real, right? And on my 11th wedding anniversary, we got a foundation.

It was impressive! It was a real building! There were so many concrete trucks, and you wouldn’t believe how fast concrete dries – this was taken maybe 3 hours after pouring was complete.

And then on Friday, I drove by, and we had walls. Actual walls. And the contractor told me the crane is coming Wednesday to put on the roof, and oh had I picked a brick color yet, and over the weekend it’s all kind of hit me that the time is now – this IS actually happening, and I hope you’re all as excited about it as we are.

The kids are very, very excited about “mom’s new work.” Levi tells me every time we leave the lot that “your new building is awesome.” And I have to agree. Though I still have to confirm that yes, we really are planning to “just sell yarn” here to some of the folks working on the building, who seem tickled pink at the very thought.

Friday Five – 2/28/14

Friday Five is back after a little hiatus! We’ve been crazy busy with restocking, planning, and scheming, plus some traveling in there, but I’m back to dreaming of all the things I don’t have time to knit again this week, maybe more than ever before. (I had 12 patterns for the Friday Five today, all of which I desperately want to make yesterday, and that’s not even counting my cute bonus patterns.)

montroseMonte Rosa has been on my list for a while, and somehow I’ve never gotten around to telling you all about it. A seamless, top-down sweater knit in a fluffy worsted weight is pretty much my idea of a vacation knit – relaxing, satisfying, quick, and the end result is this adorable sweater.

Love the garter stitch body and the eyelet cable details – so much texture without much complication in the knitting! And the piping around the cuffs and bands adds just the right touch of whimsy.

morvarch-2_medium2Morvarch. I know, it’s a laceweight shawl. Perhaps worse, it’s a solid stockinette and cabled laceweight shawl. So, basically the opposite of Monte Rosa – this is not your relaxing weekend knit. But it’s absolutely gorgeous.

Morvarch is actually knit from the center out like many traditional circular shawls, and short rows are used to create the square shape. I just think the combination of stunning finished project and delicate celtic cables in a cozy soft yarn might worth your while.

 

montaguemiteredMontague Street Cowl looks like loads of fun, experimenting with stripes, mitered squares, and colorwork all in garter stitch. Pick two colors you love together and just one skein of each gets you there!

I’d love one of these in Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted or even Juniper Moon Farm’s Moonshine!

parallaxParallax. I know, it also looks complicated. I like a complicated knit, don’t try to change me!

This scarf is awesome and part of a 5 pattern booklet of equally awesome combinations of Kauni Effektgarn in various mesmerizing patterns. The scarves are all double knit with a solid, so they are reversible, and would be a great project to try double knitting with if you haven’t already. (Like if hypothetically you’re looking for a project you can get done in just a month for our Q1 “New-to-You” knit-a-long! You’ve still got time!)

songoftheseaSong of the Sea might be a breath of fresh air for those of you wondering what kind of medication I’m on after these other suggestions – a solid color, fingering weight cowl knit at a nice loose gauge, imagine that. Just you and me and a single skein of sock yarn; we can do this.

I love this stitch pattern, which reminds one, as suggested, of waves on the sea. I’m envisioning this in a cashmere blend or Mini Maiden, something truly decadent around the neck.

 

steggyAnd because it’s not Friday Five without a pattern just for fun, I present you with Puff the Magic Stegosaurus. I actually love knitting these little African Flowers, so this steggy is a fun use for them. There’s even a coupon code for this weekend!

Friday Five – Kauni Edition

Another Friday, another Friday Five! I have to tell you that this little Friday obligation has really started to cause some trouble as my pattern browsing was previously limited to a couple of times a quarter. This weekly trawling has resulted in a queue a mile long and me with no time to knit it all! We are having our first shop knit night tonight, and at present I have plans to cast on and complete three projects just to stay on top of it all.

Anyhow, I digress. So, you may have noticed that we very recently started stocking Kauni Wool 8/2 Effektgarn. This is a yarn that makes me a little woozy with its loveliness (I don’t know what’s with me and all the hyperbolic adjectives today.), but I have a hard time picking the right project for it. Thus began my search for great Kauni projects, of which there are many, everything from a simple pullover to an incredibly complex blanket and a universe in between.

Persian_dreams-4_mediumPersian Dreams. I know, you all think I’m crazy. I’m not saying it would happen overnight, but this is a lovely long-term, planned project. Each hexagon is worked separately, then grafted to the whole, making this the kind of thing where you could plan to knit one hexagon every week or two, and before you know it, a blanket! Journey of a thousand miles, as the saying goes. And the reward is this stunning blanket!

Nymphalidea3_medium2Nymphalidea is a fairly new free pattern from Knitty, which alternates a solid fingering weight yarn with a color change yarn like Kauni Effektgarn to create an ethereal butterfly-like effect in this shoulder-length triangular shawl.

The open lacework is a real yardage-saver, so this is also a great project for those smaller (and thus cheaper!) skeins of Effektgarn or as a stashbuster with your solid colored sock yarns.

 

lightboxesLightboxes is another similarly-styled shawl with an entirely different look, using a solid stockinette background and textured boxes to display Effektgarn to its fullest.

The gauge and length of this shawl can be altered to suit your preferences (or amount of available yarn) for a customizable, colorful shawl.

 

fairislerapidsIf you’re more like me and tend to admire shawls only on other people, Fair Isle Rapids is another great way to wear your Effektgarn around your neck.

Originally knit in two solid colors, this pattern has been a go-to for knitters wanting to showcase a color change yarn for several years now, and we encourage you to follow in their intrepid footsteps.

 

stripedsweaterYou really can’t go wrong with a basic striped sweater using a color change yarn. Mon petit gilet raye is a free download (English instructions on pages 4-6) with some simple cast-on and shaping instructions to help guide you along your way.

For smaller sizes, one 150g+ ball of Effektgarn is often plenty for a sweater like this, or grab a second just to be safe!

 

 

Come on, you knew there had to be a number 6 today. I’ve actually had Hippocampus in my queue for an embarrassingly long time, I love them unreasonably.

seahorsemitts

Friday Five – 1/31/14

Wow, what a week – can’t believe it is already Friday! As you may have seen, Atlanta’s been making national news for our amazing powers of traffic jam and a few of us were even a part of it, with only one out of four employees who left the shop at noon on Tuesday actually making it home with their cars. But the roads are clear again, we’ve all been reunited with our vehicles, and everyone here is safe and a bit stir-crazy from our snow days. Which means we’re powering out those orders y’all have been placing! As of this writing, nearly all of the orders placed through today are on the mail truck finally winging their way towards you, and we really appreciate your patience and the kind thoughts our customers have sent our way.

But it wouldn’t be Friday without my rambling pattern ideas, right?

PAT-ChevStripe-Photo2_mediumAll of this cold means I’m really still on a scarf and cowl kick – anything to stay warm. Knitterella’s Chevron Stripe cowl is super chic and includes an option for a basic two-color cowl or a four-color infinity cowl.

Chevron Stripe is knit in the round to create an extra squooshy reversible fabric, and even better, no weaving in ends!

 

 

tungataA lot of Stephen West’s patterns are a little more … fashion forward … than my usual style, but I absolutely love Tungata. Folded over double, this cowl is warm, reversible, and so pretty!

You can knit this with either two or three colors depending on how complex you’d like the design to be, and the reversible back can be a solid color, striped, or really anything you like.

 

babyblanketI absolutely love this Walt-Painted Baby Blanket (maybe I’m in a Chevron phase) from Fibre Space (which is a really great yarn shop to visit if you’re ever in Northern VA!).

You can knit this with really as many colors as you’d like and you only need two skeins for the main color and 1 for any contrast colors. The texture is a great feature and I kind of love this color combo!

Shibui-Gradient-Ravelry-2_medium2Gradient is a free pattern from ShibuiKnits that indulges many of my knitting guilty pleasures – an easy, fairly mindless knit, fuzzy super-soft yarn, and a gradient rainbow of colors.

Gradient uses three strands of Silk Cloud held together in four colors to create this circular gradient beauty – periodically you’ll change the color of just one strand at a time to achieve this effect.

 

 

 

nurserycatAnd then there is the latest in this series, Nursery Cat! We are big fans of Window Cat at ESK, so I’m sure you’ll be seeing some Nursery Cats around the shop soon.

Q1 Trivia Question #4

Last week’s question was, “Eat Sleep Knit started in Erin’s spare closet. How large in square footage is ESK’s entire space (retail & warehouse combined)?”

The answer? 14,000 square feet, or 13,880 for the many of you who are far more exact than I ever am! If you submitted any answer between 13,500 and 14,500, your yardage has been credited and we’ve e-mailed you to that effect. And congrats to the Stitchosaurs, who trounced the other teams in trivia participation this week!!

Our first commercial space was 3,600 square feet, and it was huge and I thought we’d never fill it up, ever, but the price was right. It only took two years before we were busting at the seams and we were back on the hunt for more space. We probably only currently use about two-thirds of our space, but hopefully that means we won’t grow out of it so quickly this time. (two years and going strong!)

Which brings us to this week’s question – since we do have all this extra space at the moment, it seems a shame to waste it. Question #4: What is the name of the other business that shares our space with us?

As always, e-mail your answers along with your ESK username or your full name by Friday to trivia at esk dot com. (You’ll need to spell out the URL though!) Correct answers received by Friday will earn 50 extra yards towards your individual totals!

Friday Five – Polar Vortex Edition

It’s cold, y’all! It’s so cold! And I know, it’s winter, it’s supposed to be cold, yada yada yada, but this is Georgia and this isn’t how we like to roll. One astute Yarnathoner informed me last week that it was at that moment colder in Atlanta than in Moscow. So indulge me, my house isn’t very well insulated, more than a decade south of the Mason-Dixon line has thinned my native-New-Englander blood to an embarrassing degree, and my fingers are kind of numb.

I want mittens and cowls and warm sweaters, because after years of winters with a low of, say, 30 degrees Fahrenheit, I don’t own a real winter jacket anymore.

(Oh, I also want you to send in your trivia answers! Today’s the day! Trivia at esk (spelled out) dot com! And I apologize for any confusion over the e-mail address but spammers are to blogs like moths to a flame so we are speaking in code here, but please visit us on Ravelry if you are having trouble understanding the right address.

suchawintersdaySuch a Winter’s Day really encapsulates everything I feel about the season right now. Worsted weight, wool, big warm neck, just, cozy. So cozy I will probably forgive it for being such a pain to knit – all-over textured patterns, lovelovelove the look, lovelovelove the warmth, always dread the knitting a little bit.

These kinds of wide, almost boat-neck-style cowl necks are great, too – I am one of those people who feels like they’re chocking in turtlenecks, but if you see above, I am also always freezing any time it dips below 65 degrees, so this is a pretty classic sweater that will get a lot of wear for the effort. I’d knit it in something that will wear well since it seems like such a great every day sweater.

bluesandcardiBlue Sand Cardigan is something I favorited last week, when it was less cold so this seemed like the perfect beautiful accessory for a brisk evening. It still is, of course, though looking at it right now makes me cold!

I love what you could do with this color-wise – knit it in color blocks as shown, or maybe do one color for the main bit and a contrast color for the pockets and hems and button bands, or even in smaller or random striping patterns!

The sample is shown in a DK cotton, which would be perfect for fall/spring in a warmer climate, and of course wool makes all of us happy.

hedgerowjamI’d never seen Hedgerow Jam until a lovely Yarnathoner posted a picture of her in-progress “new-to-you” KAL project, but I queued it immediately. If you haven’t tried mosaic knitting, it is seriously fun – colorwork without any of the work! – and this pattern is quite stunning.

Worked in a superwash worsted weight, this project is a great stashbuster for those of you into that kind of thing. And it’s cozy. Did I mention cozy?

butterflycowlSunriver Reversible Cowl is, well, reversible. (It’s also free, until 5PM today.) Which gives us two advantages – one is it’s reversible. The other is that means the fabric is doubly-thick, which will keep our necks even warmer. And it’s knit in Juniper Moon Farm’s Moonshine, which is seriously soft *and* seriously warm. Let’s just say that I’m grabbing a skein to go with my leftovers from my Portside.

pinctadaPinctada. Cables, cables, and more cables. Give me all the cables. Seriously, why don’t I own more cowls?

This one takes just one skein of Pashmina and turns it into an elegant, classic bit of knitting that your co-workers will ooh and aah over. Knit it in a neutral like the sample, or pick something bold like new color Purple Basil!

Q1 Trivia Question #3

Last week’s trivia question was, “What were Eat Sleep Knit’s original six yarn brands, available on opening day?”

This one was a serious blast from the past, and we even had to look this one up to determine which of a few options #6 was! The six original yarn brands were:

  1. Cherry Tree Hill
  2. Claudia Handpainted Yarns
  3. Dream in Color
  4. Lorna’s Laces
  5. Schaefer Yarn
  6. ArtYarns

Since that day, two of these companies have closed their doors and of course we stopped carrying #6 a long time ago (though we have considered bringing it back quite a few times…). We recently got an e-mail that Cherry Tree Hill is reopening its doors though, so keep an eye out for that one as it may be returning in the next couple of months! Anyway, if you submitted these six yarn brands (and only these six!), your yardage has been credited, and we’ve sent an e-mail to confirm, so let us know if you don’t see it. And a special congrats to the Octopurls, who doubled their participation from last week! Keep those answers coming!

And now what you really came for:
Question #3: Eat Sleep Knit started in Erin’s spare closet. How large in square footage is ESK’s entire space (retail and warehouse combined)? (an approximation is just fine here; I’m not sure we even know the exact number though more power to you if you find that!)
Like last week, e-mail your responses along with your username and/or full name to trivia at esk dot com by Friday to play! Correct answers submitted by Friday will receive 50 yards to their individual totals with the answers revealed next Monday.

Oh, and a reminder – today is a US federal holiday, so there’s no mail today! All orders will be going out tomorrow.