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, July 04, 2003

Raccoon Tendencies

Praise be for the holiday weekend! It's been a busy, BUSY week in these parts, and we're grateful. And tired. Matt is downstairs whipping up fresh coffe (I heard the grinder and now I catch a whiff of it brewing) and I'm already finished with my first Diet Mountain Dew (I don't care for the taste of coffee, so I get caffeinated in other ways). And we have a giant mess to straighten upstairs, as we've had our yarnmobile out twice this week, and now it's time to put everything back on the shelves. Tuesday was a busy evening in Columbus (IN) for the knit night at the East Side Community Center, with several new faces and some familiar ones who haven't been around of late (darned those kids being out of school and needing attention........sheesh!...grin). And then yesterday was our monthly gig for a group of fantastic ladies from a dental office in Indianapolis (I think one of the musts for all new hires is that they knit). Both groups kept us on our toes, with open knitting in Columbus and clog-making in Indy. What fun!

I'm making good progress on my project that I mentioned on Monday that Teresa says she knows what it is. I'm about halfway up the back, so when that's completed I'll give you a shot of the fabric as I start the front parts. But I will drop another clue.....I'm using this yarn. But my progress has been stalled, as I didn't get to knit on it at all on Tuesday night (those Columbus ladies keep ya hoppin') and yesterday I got today's title hints at.

Yes, I've been distracted by a shiny object.........Monday the UPS man brought us a nice box from KFI, including some backup stock on Noro Kureyon, some new eyelash yarns, and two colors (more already on order) in this, a railroad ribbon that is identical to Plymouth Eros, but at less than half the price (but also at half the yardage). Our price on it is just $4.50/ball (82 yards/ball), so you can't beat that with a stick--or a US35 needle. I've not knitted with much fashion yarn (or what I call "flashy-trashy" yarns), as there aren't many Vegas showgirls in my immediate circle of friends and family. So I was intrigued by this railroad ribbon and what to do with it. A couple of the ladies in Columbus couldn't resist, but they they were asking about what to do with it....and all I could say was SCARF....but I didn't know what needle size, how many stitches, etc. And Thursday morning, before leaving for Indy, I found a free pattern by way of Bonne Marie, designer extraordinaire and fun blogger from Chicago (HI BONNE MARIE). You know me, I just had to start something new.....and here's the result (note the original pair of Broadripple socks sneaking into the picture on the right)

or for a close-up shot

It was easy, it was fun, and I like the finished result. And talk about shimmer and shine in the sun--thus, my raccoon-like fascination with this yarn and this project. I can see more of these in the future, when the additional colors come in. Plus, Matt and I were talking about other uses for this type of yarn and for the eyelash yarn that came in as well. And we ordered a bunch more colors and types of fashion yarns, adding to our ever-expanding variety for the shop.

Beyond that, today brings us an afternoon of friendship and fiber with Margaret C from Columbus. She and Matt will be weaving and I'll continue to work on my above-mentioned secret project. Of course, that's after finishing up the writing of my alteration to my Broadripple sock pattern but this time to be used with sock-weight yarn. Look for it over at the ThreadBear main site over the weekend, as soon as Matt can get it posted and linked to the new "FREE PATTERNS" page. With all the travel in the car this week, we've had plenty of time to brainstorm some fun sweater and other knitted item ideas to be created and posted to the site, especially those using some of the fun new yarns we've been getting in lately that have little or no pattern support. He's really gotten the designing bug, and I have too, to some extent. This is a GOOD THING!

Oh, and an update on that massive (500-600 skeins) Koigu shipment--it's in transit and will be here on Tuesday, July 8th. I just love being able to stalk shipments using tracking numbers.

Be well, have a safe (American) holiday weekend, and we'll see you here again soon!

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Project Update and a Temptation

Some of you are very patiently waiting for the sock-weight version of my Broadripple Socks from the latest issue of Knitty. Some more than others (sorry, Bonne Marie---but I *swear* it will be up before the end of the week, maybe even Wednesday!). I have a valid excuse, however--but I can't tell you until later this week. Trust me in knowing that it will be worth the wait (partially because of the surprise, and partially because the socks are beautiful in different and finer yarns). The surprise is a collaboration between Matt and I--he designed it and I knit THREE OF THEM in the past two weeks. Suffice to say I've had enough of that project for awhile, but I still love it! Keep your eyes peeled in a familiar place..........and to add a little intrigue, it will be sharing the spotlight with something by the ever-amazing Amy S., who's contribution is hella fun as well.

To prove I've done something besides knit the above-mentioned projects, here's a little progress check that allows me to complete the pattern for the sock-weight Broadripple
down the foot money shot
progress as promised check that purty gusset
That's my progress as of last night. Not a bad finished project some day soon. I'm past the gusset decreases and cruising on the length of the foot. I'm over 2/3 of the way to the toe, so they'll be on the FO side of the ledger soon. I've made it past two significant milestones that allow me to write up the pattern now--materials estimation and stitch count after gussets. I promise it will be on the new ThreadBear "free patterns" page in just a couple days.

In other news, it's time for me to tempt Denise, based on a couple tagboard exchanges we had today. Girl, here's what you asked about:
choices, choices best bet
choices, choices what I bet you need
On the left are the three larger mohair loop (boucle) yarns that are in "the fun box" that Denise was rummaging though on Saturday. After returning home with her amazing hand-dyed yarns, she fell in love with a fiber she saw at Bess' blog, asked me if we could get her some N-O-W, and of course I obliged. I like all three in the pictures, but I think, based on what you said you wanted, Denise, that you'll end up with some Big Ben II next time around. Just let me know which looks the best to your eye, and I'll get all you want, of course (grin).

One last item, and then I'm off to bed (it's after 1 a.m. here.....this old man is tired.......zzzzzzzz). I did start another project tonight and I've got about six inches of progress made up the back of the garment. I'll reveal it when there's a bit more fabric knitted up, but it's looking FAB and I'll give you one hint to narrow it down--it comes from this book. And if you already own it, get the errata sheet here. If you don't own it, you should. And a copy from us will run you just $22.46 (10% off every item, every day).

Tuesday night brings us to Columbus Knit Night at the East Side Community Center. If you're in the area and want to knit, come on over around 6 or so and we'll be there, as will over a dozen other fun knitters. Do join us--it's a RATHER fun time! Be well, and keep on knitting!

Monday, June 30, 2003

Blue Skies, Shining on Me
(and everyone around me..........)

At the risk of copying WabiSabi and using song lyrics (which I think is a COOL thing on that blog), it's sunny outside, it's sunny on my inside, and I've been surrounded by great people and great news all weekend into today! And I've just gotta share!

As you may have read elsewhere, we were "closed" on Saturday for an in-person dyeing day with the fabulous Teresa, the beautiful C, and the intoxicating Denise. As predicted, C avoided the kitchen calamity and soaked up the History Channel, BET, and more in the living room (and a bit of the air conditioning, too......). We all ate like animals on the Seven-Layer Dip and Cinnamon Bars (a new favorite---and SO easy). And Teresa and Denise hit the counters for some serious yarn dyeing. Check out their blogs for pictures and inspiration and results. I won't recapitulate their good blog entries here, but be sure to stop by thier places to see the beauty that they created. Denise has inspired Matt to follow her lead and take more art classes--something I've wanted him to do for a LONG time now.........I've decided to let it all go and follow my bliss, and so should he!

Sunday brought a quiet day of catching up, with our friends Deb and her daughter Mari stopping by (HEY DEB! HI MARI!!) to get some goodies that had arrived, at long last. We cleaned up some potato chip shards (food is a standard at our place, if you haven't figured that out) and got to visit with the ladies for awhile. They're both so much fun and such a joy to be around. And then to cap off the evening, good buddy Christy (HI CHRISTY) came by and we grilled, knitted, and watched "Legally Blonde" on the dish. It was supposed to be a "Sex in the City" evening, but with the new "Legally Blonde 2" coming out on Wednesday, we needed to be up to speed on our bend and snap.......... And Matt did some serious spinning and has all three bobbins full. Thank goodness our Ashford order comes today, as it includes a dozen new high-speed bobbins for him to fill up, as well as his tensioned lazy kate for plying.

Today, doesn't get any better than finding out that you have over 600 skeins of Koigu leaving Canada either today or Wednesday, including dozens of patterns and projects and more from these talented designers and dyers. I really enjoy talking with Taiu on the phone, and she always has words of encouragement for us and specific ideas and suggestions for our business. Her wisdom is always welcomed in these parts. And the giant batch of yarn--that goes without saying. I'll get a UPS notification when it leaves her hands, and then three business days later we'll have it. I estimate a July 7 or 8 arrival. Ahhhhhhhhhhh, approximately 65 POUNDS of Koigu all at once. YES!!!!!!

I told you we lead a charmed existence. Thanks for all you do to keep my blue skies overhead. Y'all are my sunshine!