The funny thing about having a muse – sometimes you feel compelled to write, know you need to, but just can’t. With too much going on, the brain has too much to process and it becomes hard to visualize, let alone verbalize what it is that is going on. And the back story … how much of it do you tell to get the point across? If it is a matter too close to the heart you are too emotional, and end up explaining more than you need to. It gets so overwhelming you stop before you even have the chance to start.
I am not an overly outgoing person. Aside from initial pleasantries upon greeting someone, I have a very hard time making small talk. I honestly do not see the point in emphasizing my falsified answer of how my day is, how I’m feeling, or how my family is. Maybe it’s a personality thing; maybe it’s due to my upbringing. Regardless, opening the shop has been the ultimate test to my resolve.
So when I can’t verbalize, I create. To either cope with what is going on, think about a situation until I come to a resolution, or … out of absolute boredom. If it is an emotional vestibule, you can typically tell because the end product is churned out in less than 24-hours.
So much has happened since I’ve opened the shop, I don’t know where to begin. The multitude of people, personalities and experiences has been as tormenting as it has been enlightening. Some days I want to give up and hide in my pjs at home on my website. Other times I want to stand proud, continue on in my little corner of the world and diligently work. The first year is a tumultuous time for any shop – with constant lessons learned and mistakes made. Yes, I am human, and I have faults. I’ve trusted the wrong people, invested, gave chances and the benefit of the doubt when I know I shouldn’t have. I even learned how to mentally edit what I want to say and politely stand up for myself and my artists.
The flip side is I have made some incredible connections; opportunities have literally fallen in my lap unexplained. Honestly, the store itself and how it came to be is a series of amazing events I couldn’t have planned even if I tried. I’ve made happy mistakes, and slid into “home” every time. I’ve met some amazing people who have had some heartfelt moments and whom have also created some heartache - a love/hate relationship, indeed.
The proud moments and positive accidents make it worth it. “Just keep spinning, just keep spinning!”
So thank you all for making this journey with me. It’s been a wild ride, and I have no idea where we are going but we are not done yet!
Fiber friends… January 25th … mark your calendars!! Peaknits will be hosting it’s first “Spin In” from 7pm Saturday until … 7pm Sunday. Grab your pj’s and some munchies, and of course your fiber stash ….
For this fun-filled 24-hour window, you’ll get 10% off all fiber related items in the shop (fleece, fiber bar, roving, etc) and free all-night-access to equipment such as the drum carder, double row combs, and hand carders; and lets not forget, spinning wheels too!! Thinking about perfecting your technique, or perhaps learn about Navajo plying? No problem! I’ll be there all night to demonstrate and help you.
Space is limited and is first-come, first-served, so pre-registration is a must. This event is $50 per person. Stay an hour, or stay all night, the choice is yours!!
We look forward to spinning the night with you!
Things have been busy at the shop, and I just wanted to thank each and every one of you for all of your kind words and encouragement since we opened in August.
To do a little planning ahead, I decided to put out a schedule of classes for next month. If you’ve already taken the class, don’t worry! You can still come in for some studio time and work (that nuno felting takes up a lot of room and supplies, so why don’t you come in and use ours)!
Thursday, January 2, 2014
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Please remember that space in the shop is limited, as it gets very crowded with more than four people, especially if you need a table workspace for the nuno.
Even if you know what you’re doing and don’t need the class, I would love your company! Good conversation is always greatly appreciated, so stop on by. Grab your work in progress and let’s get something made!
We Did It! And without all of your love and support we really couldn’t have done it without you. Peaknits is the proud winner of Military Spouse Business Association’s 1st Annual Red, White and Blue Awards. All of the daily voting, reminders, shares, and simply taking the time to acknowledge our little corner of the world added up. THANK YOU!
In addition to receiving the award and grant, it also gave us the boost of confidence we needed to venture out more. Now, every Thursday, we can be found at our booth at the Farmer’s Market in Laurel, Maryland. Our first booth was such a great experience, and we received such a warm welcome from everyone – the Board of Trade, other local farmers and vendors, and new customers! I only wish we had done it sooner!
We also opened up a store in Savage Mills. Themed around handspinning, knitting and weaving – this is a no pressure sales environment where you can come in, sit, and bring in your most current work in progress. Have questions, or want to learn more? We also offer classes that are geared towards renting or buying gently used equipment to fit the fiber artist on a budget. Come on in, say hello and enter our vendor sponsored giveaway – our grand opening is on October 11th!
For those of you who don’t know, Peaknits has been in the running for a business grant from the Military Spouse Business Association. Participating in the contest includes daily voting among your competitors, and we have made it to the final round! “The Red, White, & Blue Awards were created to recognize and honor the outstanding achievements of businesses run by veterans and military spouses. This is our inaugural year and our goal is to award six business grants, three to military-family owned businesses and three to veteran owned businesses. In addition, we want to help promote these businesses, not only within the military community, but also in the local communities these businesses help to support” (Red, White and Blue Pages).
What would we do if awarded the money? Not only would we be able to offer you a bigger and wider variety of yarns to choose from with our custom handknit and handwoven goods, but we are also creating our own! I have mastered the skill of spinning and am currently working with farms and rescues for fleeces to truly offer you American made and one of a kind items from the ground up.
Voting ends August 13th and the winners will be announced August 15th. So if you have a minute, please take a moment and vote for Peaknits!
This last time it was a little bit different. A custom note was attached: “My son was killed in Afghanistan several months ago, and I was looking for a photo album to put his pictures of his deployment in. This is PERFECT! You do beautiful work. I would like it personalized, please. Thank you for using your talent in such a precious way.”
I held my breath and froze. What an honor, and it confirmed the fact that one should ever take the little things in life for granted.
When I got out of the military, I found myself so aloof in the civilian world. I felt so awkward and it took me awhile to adjust. I remember a time when I used to be so scared, not knowing what I was going to do after I stopped serving. I realize now that I never really stopped serving, just in a different way. I am so lucky to put my creative side to good use and help others.
With that, Peaknits is offering a 10% off on everything to our veterans through Troopswap. If you’re not familiar with the company, you just need to register/verify your service through them, grab your discount code and enter it in our website upon checkout. It’s very similar to Groupon, only geared towards military, veterans and their families. There are some really awesome deals on there, ranging from movie tickets to skydiving. Go check it out!
When Air Force Veteran Nicole Snow got out of the military, she knew she wanted to do one thing, and that was to make a difference. Originally beginning as an imports and exports business from Nepal and India, her love of knitting grew to produce Darn Good Yarn (DGY).
She realized how much waste there was from silk sari remnants, and was able to recycle them into reusable crafts for art. “I loved the yarn, but I knew I could make it better.”
In working with co-ops, she is able to employ women to hand spin the fabric into yarn. In return, Nicole provides wages, healthcare, educational benefits, and a trade that can be passed down to future family members. She also saved over 10,000 pounds of silk waste from heading into landfills and turning them into yarn in 2012.
Do you know where your yarn comes from? Is it acrylic and a by-product of plastic? Would you prefer it to be environmentally friendly, and made from a recyclable source? Biodegradable? DGY provides a myriad of elements to work with such as silk, newspaper, banana fiber, hemp and wool, to name a few.
Most people are unaware that there are potentially horrible working environments possibly associated with that “bargain priced” yarn often found in local craft stores. That’s another great thing about this business. All of the yarn is acquired through fair trade, and is not obtained unethically or illegally through the use of sweat shops and/or child labor. You can create with a conscience!
Nicole’s business has also created a ripple effect on all artists, both local and internationally. Not only does Darn Good Yarn offer wholesale to independent artists, she works one-on-one with your business, offering personalized service and advice. With literally hundreds of different yarns to choose from, there are a lot of things to take into consideration when placing an order. When starting any project, careful planning is always needed in regards to gauge, type and consistency. No need to get overwhelmed! Nicole is not only patient, but her expertise and insight is priceless when specifically ordering what is needed to create your vision.
Custom, one of kind products, that are Earth friendly and human kind approved. Darn Good Yarn. Making the world better, one skein at a time.