Saturday, November 26, 2011


I am.

I hope.

The wonderful thing about having a knit shop of your very own is that you can sit in several hundred square feet of yummy, yummy fiber goodness.

For a little while.

The un-wonderful thing about it is that if you are an entrepreneur with a very small business (as I am), with no investment capital except for some very modest savings (which I had), and no real ability to hire a full-time employee to assist you daily instead of a part-time person to babysit the store when you simply cannot be present yourself, and also not even enough income to hire a part-time bookkeeper to help with the onerous bits of running a shop so that you can devote yourself fully to giving classes, developing yarns, promoting your shop and so forth ....

well then.

Turns out you spend three years of your life working obscene hours to keep the hounds away from the door, and having precious little time to knit for yourself, at all, and having no time whatsoever to blog.

All of which are more depressing that I can describe. And I have not been this tired, day after day, since the year or so after Hurricane Katrina hit.

But now.

Now I am moving my shop into a slightly smaller space, with much lower rent, within an artists' and craftspersons' co-op, so there's a bookkeeper and other people to share the shop-minding duties, which frees me up to accept a certain amount of reliable, paid non-knitting work in my regular field of work, and still have time to blog, knit, spin and design.

I hope.

I may be just slightly over-ambitious, but perhaps less delusional than I was when I first opened my shop. It is exceedingly difficult for a yarn and spinning shop to function as a one-person show, even if you have the most excellent part-time help.

This new co-op bunch at the shop downtown is a great cluster of human beings. I am keenly looking forward to working with them.

New address:

Knitting Asylum
447 3rd Street, Suite B
Baton Rouge LA 70802

Phone number and website to be announced soon ... and it is downtown, baby! Downtown, in our downtown, which, like so many cities, is in a state of "recovery." Downtown, amid the artists, wine bars, loft renovators and sort-of-independent hotels. Downtown, where massage therapists, Irish pubs and sushi bars are bravely reclaiming our old, glorious and decrepit buildings, buildings which spent far too many bleak and colorless years just sitting there, abandoned, while people fled to the suburbs.

It is refreshing to watch people reclaim our downtown: riding bicycles, walking dogs, carrying messenger bags and buying half-caf mocha low-fat soy cappuccinos (no sugar, please) at the independent coffee shop. I am so happy to see people actually spending money downtown that I will not even grumble about the apparent uselessness of such a beverage. Go ahead, buy as many of those concoctions as you want, you enviable wisp of a girl.

Solar panels are sprouting from the rooftops of former small department stores, and adventurous young couples are bashing out walls and installing bathrooms and kitchens in former warehouses. Art galleries appear spontaneously in buildings once thought hopeless, and brand-new restaurants and pubs are hanging out freshly painted signs. There is live music outdoors on nice days, and the farmer's market -- dozens and dozens of vendors -- occupies Fifth Street every Saturday.

Hope springs abundant in our former shattered shell of a downtown.

So moving into this co-op is an adventure. It's like being a post-apocalyptic pioneer, only with indoor plumbing.

We shall be open soon. Very soon.

And, outside of downtown and the shop ... just to spice things up a bit ... between now and Christmas, my mother has requested a plain, very plain, camel-colored cardigan sweater with pockets. Maybe with an interesting motif around the hem and cuffs, but otherwise perfectly it goes with everything, you know?

Because my mother has a strong proclivity for "girlier" things, I suspect that she thinks this request for near-Amish simplicity will somehow make the knitting "easier" rather than mind-numbing, but, because knitting skipped her generation, she does not quite realize what "perfectly plain and tailored looking" means in a grownup-lady-size cardigan of sockweight alpaca, done mostly in stocking stitch.

Check back with me on Christmas Eve. I will either be in custody for stealing all the Valium from the nearest mental hospital, or I will have achieved perfect enlightenment through all of that camel-colored stocking stitch, and I will be next in the line of succession to be the Dalai Lama.

Meanwhile, don't touch that dial. I will be posting our grand re-opening date one day this week.


Inmates in the Asylum since July 27, 2006: