Black Dog

Just a little outpost on the web for me to ramble, post pix, share ideas, and be a part of the crowd.

Friday, June 13, 2003

A Quick Post to Brag a Little on Others

We have some fantastic knitters that we call friends (we don't use the term customer very often, as the people we deal with are wonderful, friendly, inspirational folks). And if you come by to pick up some yarn and we are fortunate enough to spend some time helping with colors and textures and patterns and ideas, sorry, but you become a friend.

So, our fun friends in Evansville (IN) had us down last month for a day-long workshop (and yummy barbecue for lunch) and I led the group in making the Felted Market Bag, found in the Summer 2001 issue of KNITTERS magazine. It's an awesome design by Linda Cyr, a talented designer that was profiled in the last copy of KNIT IT! (from Better Homes and Gardens and Lion Brand Yarns). The pattern is knitted using the entrelac technique, which I think is a great way to learn this form of knitting--you don't have to be overly cautious of your stitches while learning, as you felt the finished item into a smooth fabric when you're done. That way you can focus on learning the new technique and eventually refine your skill for use in sweaters and more (I mean, wouldn't this sweater jacket look awesome in some of the Silk Garden we have on hand? YES). Well, I brag on the Evansville gang because they've done some amazing things with their bag projects. Several are finished or nearly finished and I've seen some GREAT pictures of the finished bags, as well as the progress the others are making. Keep it up, ladies---you are knitting wonders!

A couple locals have worked wonders with this pattern, too. Eva, Helen, Pam A., Christy O, and Pamm have their own versions either finished or all but done. Here's a beauty shot of Helen's masterpiece hanging on the infamous swing on our deck

Such great work, and what FUN colors. Wait until you see her Obi, next week!

See, we get to work with wonderful and creative people, every day. It doesn't get much better than this!

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Some Updates

Howdy Howdy early on a Thursday morning (it's still Wednesday in my book, as I've not had my night's rest yet). It was a tough day, with me waking up at 4:30 a.m. with a splitting headache today. Best guess from the medical profession isn't another migraine but a wicked reaction to a tub-o-sugar consumed late the night before. Note to self--no more overindulging on ice cream at 11:30 p.m. (burp)

I've promised pictures for awhile now, and here's a couple of 'em. I still can't show you my top-secret surprise pictures, as it would ruin the surprise for later this month (and it's only partially my surprise---part also belongs to Matt). Without giving too much away, you'll be seeing the results of this secret in a couple weeks. Promise!

In the mean time, here's a picture of the progress I'm making on the sock-weight revision to my Broadripple socks in the just-released edition of Knitty, a fab resource for knitters, dyers, and more.

What you see is the sock in Koigu yarn, being knitted on US 0 (2mm) needles--mostly because I knit so loosely that I have to drop one or two sizes to get guage (or a durable fabric, in the case of socks). I'm really pleased with the adaptation so far, and when I get the sock finished, I can polish up the revision. It will be posted to our main ThreadBear website, where we'll have a gallery of free patterns and such. This will be a great finished sock and it will allow those who like finer-weight socks a chance to use my pattern.

Other projects in progress include my own version of the Koigu Gypsy Shawl, which is about 40% finished right now. I'm off on the stitch count before I start the second band of lace, so it's over in time out for now. What you see here is mostly the large expanse of stockinette that you knit starting at the upper neck edge. It's not the most entertaining knitting, but it does make for great car knitting, while Matt's driving.

I look forward to the large bands of lacework that are ahead of me. The remainder is almost all lace, using three different patterns. You can see the last row of lacey knitting, which reads as a series of holes in this picture. I can't wait to finish this knitting and block it and see how the finished project looks. It will be a BEAUTY. While their instructions may not be all that wonderful, the finished projects are quite stunning.

I think I mentioned Monday that we got a nice batch of the new fall colors of Noro Kureyon in that afternoon. They're already selling well, and I've reordered a bunch more of them today. Plus, there's a wizard new FREE pattern for a top down cardi pictured in Kureyon by the brilliant mind/talented knitter we know as Stefanie, aka Glampyre. I'm thinking of doing one in 128, which is an awesome fall combination of deep greens, rusty oranges, browns, and a smidge of oxblood. Mmmmmmmmmmm. Fall. Need some of the new stuff (or some of the less-new colors)? Gimme a holler--it's just $7.65/ball (10% off normal retail of $8.50--yes, it went up recently).

That's about it on the knitting front. As for ThreadBear itself, we're cooking up a few good announcements to be revealed before the end of June. It's an exciting time for us, and we can't wait to share it with everyone---here in south-central Indiana and at a distance. You all are our family of choice, and we appreciate you!

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

A Humbling Experience

Folks, I can't thank you enough for the flood of kind words--of thanks, of encouragement, and of support--regarding the Broadripple sock pattern in the new Knitty. If you enjoy knitting and wearing the socks as much as I enjoyed designing them, that's satisfaction enough for me. But your words of only serve to encourage me more. Without question. Look for many more goodies from me, here, at ThreadBear, at Knitty, and elsewhere. I'm on a bender with designing right now.

First thing I took off on last night was re-writing Broadripple to be used with sock-weight yarn. Amy and I tossed the idea around last week (she's part of the editorial team at Knitty and saw an advance copy of things last week) and I liked it. We talked about where you can add stitches to increase the count to accommodate the finer-guage yarns, specifically she thought it would be dynamite in Koigu. She's right. I started a pair last night at our monthly sock group (howdy to all of the folks reading who joined us for fun and an interesting dramatic reading by Low Helen........) using a great combination of primary colors on a predominantly blue background. After a few calculations and a swatch, I cast on and worked the garter ripple edge, adding repeats at the top for a cuff. I've made about two inches of progress in the smooth ripple pattern, so the sock is about three inches long so far. I'll post a picture when you can see the patterning more, and I'll have the full pattern available when the heel is turned, the gusset decreases finalized, and the toe worked out. Thanks to Amy for her awesome suggestion--this is a WINNER!

Tonight is Knit Night in Nashville, Indiana (yes, there's another Nashville--to avoid confusion, many folks just call it Brown County). Beginning around 7 p.m. in the public library, we'll be knitting and chatting with the great folks over there. Tonight's the third time this monthly group gathers, so it will be fun to watch it grow and take shape. And Nashville is a delightful community, nestled in the hills east of Bloomington (yes, we have rolling terrain in Indiana..........) and long known for being an artist's enclave. Many talented painters, potters, weavers, and more inhabit the area, and the town of Nashville is a great little tourist-y destination for a weekend escape (or longer). And in the fall, the color of the foliage and the hills (mini mountains?) are so very much worth a visit.

If you're a fan of Noro yarns, the new Kureyon colors for fall are out, as we received our first shipment late yesterday afternoon, just before leaving for sock night. I have to admit, they are on the dark/dusky side, but I'm really in love with 124, 128, 130, and 131--most especially 128. I'm all about fall weather and fall colors, and the 128 is just that. It's alot like their old color 88, but with a rich orange instead of the yellows. A certain reader (you're out there, I know you are) has already special-ordered a full bag of this one for a really fun sweater and we're sending it today or tomorrow, with her super-secret-surprise color of Koigu she asked for. I look forward to seeing the other new yarns for fall from Noro--both the new colorways in our old favorites and the new fibers these Japanese masters have conjured up. One is a new cashmere yarn called Canna that's a space-dyed super-bulky (they discontinued their Cashmele a couple years ago) and the other is a bulky version of Kureyon. BRING ON FALL! In the mean time, we don't have our Noro stock up on the website yet, but if you're interested in anything just gimme a holler. Kureyon is $7.65 (it just went up, with this shipment), Silk Garden is $10.35, and the Cash Iroha is $9. Many colors of each are available--get knittin'!

Monday, June 09, 2003

My Name in Lights

It's been a fun road to the big time, and the destination is in sight. Yes, folks, the new Knitty is out and I'm fortunate enough to be included in the roster of designers with my Broadripple socks. I deeply appreciate Amy and the wonderful folks that bring us such a fun pattern and information source several times a year.

If you're up for making the socks, check out our supply of Cascade Fixation, which would work well in solid or variegated colors. And you can't beat our prices on this stuff...........a pair of socks for about $10 is a great value! And we've got plenty of colors in stock--even the yarn for making this fun baby set.

On other fronts, Christy and Eva stopped by this evening for a visit, and Eva stayed long enough for dinner and knitting on the swing on the back deck. Perfect! The weather, the company, the projects.....all perfect. Thanks, both of you, for making my Sunday way more fun.

Progress on the projects mentioned before shortly..........I promise. The tank is all but finished, Gypsy moves along (but I'm off on stitches for some bizzare reason......), and I've started yet another project. I can't help myself............