Hello Dear Customers -- Did you think this update was never going to appear?!?  I had begun to wonder as well!  In addition to a busy schedule and 2 weeks of a cold and bronchitis, my computer has been "sick" and off-line for over a month.  All is well now, so here's a summary of what's been going on the past couple of months...........

SPECIAL OLYMPICS SCARVES -- First of all, let me say THANK YOU for how you rallied to our call for help with Special Olympics Scarves in December.  You contributed 80 scarves for the atheletes within a 2-week period -- that's great!  We took them over to the headquarters in Frankfort and were assured the scarves would be put to good use.  They did end up receiving enough for all of the atheletes with extras to be sent to athletes participating in other games.  They have told us the information regarding yarn colors for the 2015 scarves will be available late summer, so we will let you know as soon as we are notified, and avoid the last-minute crisis this year.

CLASS SCHEDULE AND WEATHER POLICIES -- Hasn't this been a winter to remember?  To add insult to injury, as I write this, we are expecting perhaps the worst storm of the season with significant ice accumulations forecast for tomorrow.  I know we are all ready for the warmth and colors of spring!  The bad weather has also wreaked havoc on our class schedule.  We have had to postpone quite a few class sessions, but are hoping to finish catching up by the end of this month and be ready to start teaching our spring schedule of classes.  Just to remind you -- our "official" policy is that if Fayette County Schools are not in session due to weather, we do not hold any morning classes scheduled for that day.  Evening classes are held or canceled on a case by case basis at the discretion of the teacher since by evening the roads are often clear and class travel is safe.  Teachers of evening classes will call their students on a Fayette County Snow Day when a decision is made about holding or cancelling the class.

MARKET HAPPENINGS -- Since we last "talked" I've been to two markets.  In January I traveled to San Diego, CA for the winter yarn/needlepoint market to see what's new in those areas.  I ordered a new line of hand-dyed DK and sock weight yarns from Sweet Georgia Yarns out of Canada.  Their tonal shades and variegated shades are beautifully coordinated, making for gorgeous results when you combine them in shawls, scarves or socks.  I also purchased a lovely fingering weight yarn called Nebula from Anzula Yarns.  Beautiful solid colors are combined with a bit of stellina for sparkle, and are perfect for special scarves, shawls or cowls.  Both will be arriving soon in the shop -- keep your eyes open!  We also picked out some really cute Christmas ornaments from some of my favorite needlepoint designers, including quite a few of those adorable critter stockings from Kathy Schenkel.  They will be on the way as soon as they can get them painted and in the mail.  By the way, San Diego locals were complaining somewhat because the temperatures were a bit cool for them while we were there -- only in the 60's a couple of days.......... Oh my.........

In February, Judy and I drove to Nashville for the counted thread market.  We brought back new designs from Lizzie Kate, Rosewood Manor (with the long-awaited Autumn Quaker Sampler on the way), Workbasket, Summer House, Just Another Button Company, Shepherd's Bush, Hands On Design, Needle Bling Designs, From The Heart, Poppy Kreations, Foxwood Crossings, and more!  We also purchased some lovely new hand-dyed fabrics from Picture This Plus, and the new thread colors for this market from Weeks Dye Works and The Gentle Art.  The popular sled ornaments from last season are back in stock, and we also found some new wood laying tools that feel so good in your hand -- beautiful and functional.  Most items are already priced and on display, so put on your boots, harness the team, and brave the snow to come in and see what's new!

SPOTLIGHT ON.......  We are changing our spotlight feature on our home page to focus on employee recommendations to you about products, patterns, or yarns they love and are currently working with.  You are always asking us what we like and why, so I've decided to make it a regular feature on the web site.  We'll highlight one employee per month -- for March the spotlight is on you, Susan Winkler!

SPRING/SUMMER CLASS SCHEDULE -- I am currently working on the spring/summer class schedule for 2014 and working that "puzzle thing" where I make it all fit in those little blocks on the calendar!  It should post to the web site by the end of the first week of March.  We will send you another email blast when it is actually available on the site.  Pictures of class projects will soon follow.  Watch your mailbox!

NEW CREDIT CARD POLICIES -- Guess I've saved the worst till last, but like taking your medicine, it must be done.  Due to the increasing cost of credit card processing, and the huge increase in the use of credit cards, I've had to make some difficult decisions regarding our policies that I hope you will understand.  We have to pay transaction fees and processing fees on every credit card transaction we run, whether run as a credit or a debit.  These amount to hundreds of dollars a month, thousands of dollars a year, and of course come right out of the slim profit margins we operate on.  If the transaction is small, under $10, then we sometimes don't even break even on the sale.  For that reason, we will now be charging a 50-cent fee on all credit/debit card transactions under $10.  This will at least cover a portion of the fees we pay every time we run a card.  Of course, you are welcome to pay by personal check or cash (we love those!) if you prefer.  I know banks discourage checks, no one seems to carry cash anymore, and credit/debit cards are really convenient, but we, along with many other small businesses, do appreciate your consideration of fees we incur when cards are used.