Friday, August 29, 2014


Okay, everyone, time to come look!   Larry and Ellen and Sunday Holm and I have worked like beavers to get an entire basement-level (I guess I'm supposed to say 'garden level') room lined with new and vintage buttons!   Come look.  It's pretty amazing.  If you have suits or coats with boring buttons, a fun thing to do is to buy vintage ones -- even mismatched ones -- and replace them.  You can decorate necklines with a billion small buttons; you can put a huge one in the center of a pillow.  Come look.   ALSO:   We have a weenie roast going tomorrow (Saturday).      svb

The Button Room Is Ready To Use.
enamel buttons indiana ohio buttons
It took a lot more effort than we thought, but The Button Room is finally presentable. We will be doing final sorting and adjusting, but whew!! Amazingly, even with over 30 linear feet (240 square feet) we're not going to put all the buttons on the boards. 

We're putting an assortment of fancy and workaday buttons up first ... both vintage and artist-made. You can see amazingly wonderful incised mother of pearl buttons that are over a 100 years old. There is also probably the best collection in these parts of Victorian black glass and fancy Victorian metal buttons. There are single buttons and sets.

Upstairs, in addition to the Button Room, we have created an easy-to-access display of glass buttons by well known artists.  They include: Michigan artist Terry Voigt, Oregon button maker Sheila Ernst and sets of buttons from the Canadian studio Bejeweled & Bedazzled. And, more will be coming.

There will be a little bit of "pardon our clutter" as we put the finishing details to the Button Room, but do stop by and see it.
Another Reminder:

  Sandra & Larry  
bug with yarn
PS: Stop by this weekend. Just sit and knit. No purchase required. Just your smiling face.

artis├ín knitworks  
23616 Farmington Rd |Farmington | MI | 48080 |248-427-0804 
springtime framed

Friday, August 1, 2014

OK guys, listen up!

Everyone, I just concluded a long series of e-mail exchanges with a good friend of mine in another Metro Detroit  knit shop.  She had forwarded a newsletter to me from yet another shopkeeper-in-distress, this time in northern Michigan.  Shops are comparing notes.  And here is what we are learning.  Now, this may be how things have to be.  But if you think it does NOT have to be this way, do what you can to support local yarn shops.  There is simply no substitute for face-to-face talk, for face-to-face instruction, and for actual TOUCHING of yarns.   Here is what we experience:

*  People buy  yarn on line and then come into shops to have it wound into balls. (!!!)
*  People buy yarn on line and then come into shops to get help with a pattern they downloaded.
*  Customers come into shops (I had one two days ago) to find out what they like, copy down the yarn name and color, then go away and buy it on line. lt might be cheaper by a few cents.  But you should at least think about the fact that a website has very little overhead.  
* Customers buy yarn from us, then download free patterns, can't understand them or find mistakes, give up, and try to return yarn that no longer has labels.  People learn to hate knitting when there is a bad pattern.  Remember that it's not the yarn's fault, and that shops will help you fix a bad pattern or sell you a good one. 
* Customers (this is a common one) get on YouTube for instruction, need more help because the video was too fast or not very good, and then get mad because a shop want to charge for help.  Five bucks is usually all it takes.  Why?  In my shop, one woman said, "Well, You Tube is free."   That's pretty hard to dispute.

I could go on and on.  I have to say I'm troubled.   Fiber-arts people are incredibly honest, nice, good people.  In all of the years of business, we have had only one bounced check, and t hat was from a scam artist known to the police.   I love fiber people.   It's only that we need to think about our choices before making them, and agree not to ask things of LYS's that are unfair and even costly.

OK?  Knit on and Stay Calm.