Saturday, December 25, 2010

happy (crafty) holidays

Look what just landed in the JP Knit & Stitch inbox. A homemade gift certificate for Grandma made by JP's own Curley K-8 3rd grader, Suki Weeramuni. It is so beautiful...thanks for sharing Lindsey!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Opening in January!




Yes, the build out of JP Knit & Stitch is complete. Yay! Now, the fun part begins. We (I mean Tony and Antonio) moved all our inventory up from the basement and we are hard at work loading shelves and learning our inventory management system. It is clear to us now that we were crazy to think we could open before the holidays. As a partnership, we have always been the glass half full kind of people. Optimism and a sunny outlook have been our calling card (I'm not sure we could have realized our vision any other way), but reality in the form of an enormous quantity of yarn boxes and fabric bolts have forced us to accept that a January opening is more realistic, even preferable. So that's what we're going to do: slow down, take a break, enjoy the holidays with our families, stock shelves at a leisurely pace with lots of breaks for "feel this skein" or "check out this pattern" as we re-aquaint ourselves with our inventory (holed up these many months in our basement in water/air tight boxes). We think JP Knit & Stitch will be the better for it.

p.s. as always, stay tuned here for sneak peaks and updates as we fill our shelves with color + texture + all things crafty.

Finishing Touches

We have said many times on this blog that we feel very lucky to work with such amazing people. We are now in the final stages of the build out of the store and we couldn't have got to this point without the hard work and dedication of Greg + Tim + Tony (Hurley-Testa Construction). They came in on Saturday to put the finishing touches on the store. And what finishing touches they were. Here's Tony (Greg's father, painter perfectionist, and former chemical engineer) putting the final coats on the fabric cutting table. Here he drizzles water on the 4 x polyurethaned surface.

Next Tony sands the water down on the surface with a high number grit sanding paper. When he has finished he will have sanded the surface with 200, 400, and 600 grit papers. Like I said, a perfectionist. (This is known in sanding circles as "going through the grits," a term I learned about on a page called, "Sandpaper 101." Thanks, internet!)

Then he takes a dab of this old school paste wax and smoothes it into the surface.

Here is Greg and Tony sanding, waxing, and polishing our cutting table to a high shine. On Saturday.

Isn't it pretty! Don't you just want to cut fabric on that shiny, smooth surface?

And here is a last shot of Greg with his lovely wife Veronika. (They met when Greg helped her parents renovate their old Victorian in Newton. Don't they look happy?) Yes, you can see the almost completed store behind them...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

We're Getting Close!

We're going backwards here at the JP Knit & Stitch blog. We started blogging a bit late in the building process so we are working hard to catch up. We're sure you must be getting a little tired of all the building pics, but we love them and soon enough we are hoping to transition to a blog devoted to tools and materials other than saws, nails, wood, and paint. Until then, though, in this post, we want to spotlight the beautiful job Tim Hurley (Hurley-Testa Construction) and his main man Jose did on the carpentry in the store. Here's a shot of Timmy and Jose in the early days of the store as workshop.

Here is Timmy mulling over the plans. Which he had to do. A lot. (Timmy is more used to building additions, gut renovations, and decks. Yarn and fabric stores...not so much!)

Here is Jose installing the adjustable fabric shelves. Jose's favorite song is Napoleon Dynamite. Drives Timmy crazy.

We had asked our incredible interior designer/architect Bobbi Davis (see previous post) to come up with a system of displaying our samples in the store. She of course came back with an amazing design for hanging multiple samples, almost creating a gallery effect. We love it because we think the things people make are works of art and deserve to be displayed as such. Timmy, a trained cabinet maker in his native Ireland, built these beautiful display spaces. He is such a talented craftsman (and climbs mountains for charity in his spare time!).

Timmy did a beautiful job on the carpentry in the store. It is hard to capture all the fine details in a photo. His work and attention to detail are evident throughout the store. We are so grateful.

We are almost finished with the build out of the store and are getting ready to stock shelves with our inventory! Stay tuned for details on our opening date. Hint: you should be able to shop at JP Knit & Stitch before the holidays...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Amazing Bobbi Davis

We have been posting views of the build out of JP Knit & Stitch over the last few weeks, now we want to devote this post to the person who has made it all possible...the amazing Bobbi Davis: interior designer, architect, lighting specialist, problem solver, and idea factory. Here is Bobbi with the absolutely adorable and critical 3-D model she made for us after our very first meeting.

We came to Bobbi at the very beginning of this project and presented her with our vision: a full service yarn and fabric store with a community soul. We wanted lots of well laid out spaces for a huge assortment of yarn, we wanted customizable fabric shelves, we wanted a computer resource area for our customers to look up free patterns on the web, we wanted a sewing area, we wanted a kitchenette, we wanted a work table, we wanted a living room, we wanted a kids short, we wanted it all. And Bobbi Davis delivered.

She took an empty 1450 square foot box with a lot of peculiarities (those poles!) and methodically, tirelessly worked to realize our vision. We all spent many an hour together in her treetop studio pouring over plans and watching Bobbi sketch out our dream.

This photo is pure Bobbi: she came up with the most amazingly detailed, meticulous plans for every nook and cranny of the space, not to mention the extensive electrical plan. She created for us (and colored it in) elevations, scale drawings, plans, floor maps...all to help us understand her vision for creating this space. (That Prismacolor box is just as cool as you imagine...a rainbow of colored pencils to play with.)

Here is a top view of the model Bobbi built for us. We think we're going to shellack it and keep it as a memento of our journey from empty space to full service yarn + fabric store. This model was invaluable to us in the beginning as we struggled to visualize the space. Study this model and then come into JP Knit & Stitch. See how complete Bobbi's vision was from the beginning.

We are so grateful for the opportunity to work with Bobbi. We want to thank her for making our dream a reality. We couldn't have done it without her.
xo JP Knit & Stitch.
p.s. We are hoping to interview Bobbi about her work in an upcoming post, including her time as the display designer for all 32 windows at the downtown Boston Filene's Department Store...and wait until you see the needlepointed shoes her husband made for her...

Friday, December 3, 2010

The JP Knit & Stitch Sewing Area

Greg and Timmy from Hurley-Testa discussing how they are going to enclose and electrify the pole in the sewing area. They are standing at the very edge of the area, next to the built in ironing board (all sewers know that one cannot sew without an iron).

Here you can see the ironing area leading into the work space where the sewing machines will live. We are so thrilled that we can offer access to sewing machines during our opening hours (and of course for sewing classes). The sewing area is tucked away in the back corner of the store for maximum peace and quiet for working on projects.

A shot of the enclosed pole. The electrical outlet is on the other side. Thanks, Timmy, so handy beautiful!

Here's the wonderful Antonio who is putting the finishing touches on the paint job in the sewing area. (He has been doing A LOT of painting...) We feel lucky to have such amazing workers building out JP Knit & Stitch.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The JP Knit & Stitch Living Room

When we first looked at this space last summer, one of the reasons we choose it (apart from it's great size + location) was because we fell in love with the huge windows overlooking Centre Street. As soon as we walked in we looked at each other and the huge windows and had the same thought: perfect for knitting circles, leafing through patterns, and just a generally great place to hang out and think about making something. We immediately saw comfortable chairs, built in window seats...a community gathering place. Our motto is "be inspired" and, well, we were inspired by this space, especially the giant, sunny, open windows.

So now, all these months later, we have taken to calling this part of the store the "living room." Our contractors built these wonderful window seats all the way around the front part of the store. It's kind of hard to capture the whole feeling in a photo, but we think it works really well in the space. Here you can see the base of the yarn cubbies drying out on the window seats.

We found out later after many conversations with the wonderful Kat (the owner of Petal & Leaf who occupied this space for eight located at 48 South Street) that she actually put in three of the windows you see here before opening her store. Thanks, Kat! And while we're at it, a big shout out to Kat for being so very generous with her time talking us through her experiences in this space over eight years. It was a big help to us as we were trying to make a decision about whether or not to sign a lease. (We are so thankful we did!)

So, this is the JP Knit & Stitch living room. Imagine how it will look with our JP Knit & Stitch fabric covered cushions (sneak peak coming soon) and aqua blue fabric covered chairs.
We can't wait.