Category: Organizing the shop


Simple pleasures

Look at what the UPS Guy just brought!

I’ve been using a mat that was 23 by 35, and finally decided it was time to get one that extended past a full yard in length (ya think?)

I hadn’t done it sooner, because all of the larger mats I had seen were not just longer, but also wider, and as you can see, I don’t have room…(the counters I use are actually intended as garage/manly workbenches.  Got them froM Sam’s Club, they are awesome.  The top is two inch thick Maple, and so pretty.  Wait.  Not pretty.  Very Manly. Very Sturdy.)

I had thought about just getting a second 23 by 35 mat, but the corners are rounded, and I’d have to deal with measuring and number across the gap.

I saw this set on my distributor’s website a week or so ago and decided to get it — it’s actually two mats that butt up against each, and the numbering continues from one mat onto the other.

I’m not sold on the clips they sent to hold the mats together, though.  I’m thinking I might have to get some tape involved in order to hold them together.  The screws on those clips look like something I’m going to scrape myself on about a million times a day.  Know thyself, right?

Thanks to everyone that has visited me here, I hope you’ll find it interesting enough to keep coming back.



Fall Trimmings

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I meant to take (and post) pictures of the shop windows last week…but never managed to get outside with my camera.  I wish I had done it last week instead of today — brrr!  It has sure turned cold here in Central Iowa!

The picture isn’t that great, I think I need to try it when the light is different, to see if I can get one without all of the reflections in the window.  The wallhanging at the top of the window is something my Mom made several years ago — a row of really cute pumpkins!

The local Boy Scouts have been selling pumpkins for the past several weekends, and 2 weeks ago I wandered over and bought the big ones you see in the picture — I thought they’d be just perfect to display our growing collection of hat samples.  Mom’s been making hats like crazy, and we’re all going to need those hats here pretty soon.  If you’d like to make your own knitted hat, I hope you’ll check out our yarn selection!  Many of the patterns she has been using are free, and we can direct you to them!

Here’s the other window — again, sorry for the reflections in the glass!

The quilt is Granny’s Jam from the book Laps From Fats.

The bags are Laurel Burch bags — those will be on the shop site here shortly (and I’ll come back and add a link when they are available).  I know a lot of people think of her cat bags, but there some really cute DOGS, too.

And I can see from looking at the picture that I need to repair the fabric wrapped pole again!  Sheesh, I thought I had that all cleaned up!


Click to enlarge images!

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I’ve just been informed by someone browsing the shop website that when she clicked on images to view the enlarged version, she was just getting a blank page, instead of the enlarged image.

Gosh darn it.

It appears to be an issue with Internet Explorer, as the images display properly when I use Firefox.

I am really sorry for the inconvenience!!  I have submitted a ticket to my shopping cart customer support, and hope they’ll be able to help me get it fixed as soon as possible.  In the meantime, if there is a particular fabric you are interested in, and want to see a larger picture of, please drop me a note, and I’d be happy to send you larger images.


Knots & Bolts in the news!

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The reporter from the local newspaper came to visit me and wrote up a very nice article for our local paper.  Our paper doesn’t keep the news online very long, but my sister mdae the article into a PDF for me:

Knots & Bolts in the news

This morning I was told that part of the article got picked up by the Marshalltown newspaper, and that link is here:


We’ve gotten a bunch of new knitting patterns, as well as some new fabric, thread and a new kit — I’ll be working on updating the website over the next day or so, and will post a wrap-up of everything new after the site has been updated. 


A sign

My mom called the shop last night and wanted to know if I’d be leaving right at 5 or if I would stick around for a few minutes.  She had a surprise for me.

I get a little worried when she says stuff like that.

Thankfully, her surprise was very cool — she had had someone hand-paint that sign for me and wanted to deliver it!

Now, I just need to figure out where I’m going to have Mark it hang it for me…and he just took a bunch of his tools home, so he’ll probably have to bring things back to work on it…


Shop Tour

How about a tour of the shop!

Coming in the front door looking straight ahead:

Turn to your right:

Turn to your left and walk into the next room:

On the opposite wall:

Through the divider to the next area, on the right:

And on the other wall:

Through the doorway into the Hall of Notions:

Opposite the notions (looking at it from the other end of the hallway):

Into the Classroom aka Drop-In Knitting Lounge (from the doorway looking in):

More of the Knitting Lounge:

The Longarm Quilting Room:

One more view of the yarn area in the front of the shop (the door to the longarm room is on the left,  just beyond ladybug wallhanging.

A lot of what’s on the walls right now are things that my Mom and I have made over the years, hanging so that the walls are covered.  As time goes on those will hopefully fill up with lots of samples from shop patterns and fabric!

Stay tuned for future posts in which I’ll highlight various fabrics,  yarns, patterns and books that are available in the shop!

Have a great weekend!



The help

Don’t they look helpful?

We are minutes away from closing on our first day! It’s been busy, but fun! It started off with me getting pink lemonade on my new shirt, which seemed about par for the course. Thankfully it wasn’t an omen or anything, and we’ve had a lot of wonderful visitors.

I just realized that I didn’t actually have a link to the shop’s website here on this blog, but I do now — it’s over on the left in the Blogroll.

I’ll also add it here: or


T minus 12 hours and counting

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Well, I guess we are down to 11.5 hours now — I’ve been posting updates on my personal blog ( but nothing here for a few days.  So much going on!  I think we are nearly ready to open the doors and actually let people in the store tomorrow.  Not that the mess of stuff has stopped people from coming in already — several ladies came in today and bought some fabric, never mind that I didn’t have any change or my accounting program ready to go!

I’ll be posting more here as time goes, particularly updates about products in the shop and so forth, so stay tuned!

And look for pictures of our grand opening, too!


A Sign!

Here’s your warning:  the next few days I’ll probably bore you to death with progress pictures from the shop.

The tiles underneath that beige paint are black and white.  We are scraping the paint off the white ones, painting the black ones red, and the trim in between them will get painted blue.

And by “WE” I mean Mark and the boys.  You know, the Royal We.

Look at my sign!!!! It is the most awesome thing, ever.   I wanted to wait until I actually saw the sign before I bragged about the company that did it.  It’s actually Signs by Tomorrow, and zowee, wowee, they really lived up to their name!   If you recall from yesterday, I called in the morning and it was actually done by the end of the day.


Still need to figure out how to hang it from the pole, but between Mark and my landlords, I’m sure they will have it figured out in no time.

(Those squares are in process, Mark went back and did the edges, the boys did all of the paint you see there.  He also worked on continuing to scrape.  Such fun…)

Here’s another little project Mark’s been working on for me — some cool stands!  He needs to get more dowels so he can make some more for me!

I’m at a point with some stuff where I look at it and wonder “Should I put this here?  Or over there?  Or maybe….in this spot?”

I have a suspicion that that will be ongoing forever….

I hope to get my order of needles tomorrow (knitting needles, that is…) and am trying to clean up some last things with the website so that I can get that open.  My sister and I both did test transactions today and that worked….so…almost ready!

Only a few million more details to go!

Better get back to it.  Either that or go to bed early.  It’s a toss up…