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 11, 2003

Wooly Woodies

Completely ripping off a comment from Ginny in my tagboard, I have just that--a wooly woody--based on what showed up today. I knew it would be a Fibery Friday, but land-a-goshen...........

  • Three boxes from Cascade Yarns, two of them each marked with a danger sticker for UPS "over 70 pounds". Yes, that means we have well over 150 POUNDS of new yarn from them alone (more like closer to 200, as the third box is no lightweight)

  • Two boxes stuffed with Jamieson Chunky Shetland in a wide variety of colors, some solids, some heathers, and some plied color combinations. No warning stickers, but no slouch. Yum.

  • A box from Wheelsmith Wools packed with INOX needles (and we have those retail prices beat)

  • A large box from Sweet Grass Wools just packed with a 32# bump of their French combed top (for spinning) and dozens of skeins of the 3-ply natural in grey (feels like cotton, but knits like beautiful Targhee wool), and some of the Mountain Mohair yarn, too (Teresa did a bang-up job of dyeing some recently--see it and her newly started project on her blog

    This made the UPS driver specifically ask "is that everything, or do you expect even more next week"......Matt had to disappoint him. Silly driver, of course there's even more coming next week. Rob's gone mad, I tell you .....mad MAD MAAAAAAAAAAD. Mwahahahahahahah.

    So that means the fashion yarns, the DK-weight cotton, and some other goodies are not coming until Monday (there was a slight chance they'd get here today--oh well). Also coming is more Cascade 220 (just a little bit, mostly Quatro colors) and a big batch of Cascade Indulgence, which is 70% superfine alpaca and 30% angora and recently marked down so we can offer it at $9/skein (246 yards, worsted weight--some colors already gone). Oh, and more patterns and books. No matter, as we have enough wool in the house to insulate six duplexes and a couple condos. And just a little bit for knitting and spinning -- bwahahah.

  • Free-For-All Friday

    Ok, it's time to reveal this week's hush-hush project. It's no big secret, but I wanted to show you what it was only after making some progress on it. So here goes. On Monday night (after our Philosopher's Wool group met--yes, I worked on my sleeve some more, and it's looking much better this THIRD time around, or is it FOUR), I started a shawl. Another shawl (yes, I have an EZ pi shawl started from three years ago--shut up!). This one will get finished, because I'm totally addicted to it, without question. Not that Pi isn't a fun shawl, but this is simple knitting that shows off the amazing yarn--which is Lorna's Laces Helen's Lace. Using the free pattern from inside the label, I'm knitting away. See.......

    That was at the end of the day on Wednesday (when the lights went out in Indiana). Of course, I knitted on it yesterday evening, and now I'm here

    Two sections of six completed, and I'm really enjoying this knitting. It's completely light and airy fabric, and you can barely feel it when it rests over your hand. We're having a shawl workshop in a week, and this will be a great example of what you can do with a needle, a simple pattern (all garter stitch), and incredible yarn. Next on tap for me in shawl land, either this or this, using Jaggerspun's Zephyr, another tussah silk/merino wool blend, in either white or vanilla.

    In other news, we will be hit hard by the UPS driver, who brought a huge box of Brown Sheep and some back-ordered alpaca spinning fiber yesterday, and today's catch should be Cascade yarns (lots of 220, some awesome mohair at a great price, and other assorted goodies), Jamieson Chunky Shetland (the yarn of last week's hush-hush knitting, which is on hold right now while I shawl), more Sweet Grass Wool yarn and spinning fiber (love that Targhee), and even more stuff. And next week there's not much of a let-up. We are, officially, buried in yarn and patterns. It's a good thing!

    Have a great weekend--be well, enjoy the nice weather (if yours is like ours, that is.......mid 80s and nary a cloud in the sky), and knit something beautiful!

    Thursday, July 10, 2003

    Storm Damage

    Nothing major in our immediate world, but WOW--what an intense line of storms that went through last night. We were working diligently on a FiberTrends pattern order last night when the sirens went off. We switched from digital music on the dish to a semi-local (Indy) television station to see that there was, in fact, a tornado warning for our area and that we should seek shelter (supposedly two funnel clouds were in the area). So into the basement for Matt, Connor (black dog) and I. We stood by the patio doors (not the smartest move, was a great show) and watched three almost consecutive HUGE lightning strikes over the hill that were green, followed by the power going out---best guess is that the substation over there took some MAJOR hits. Other than calling some local friends and finding out one was in her hall closet with her daughter and the other not having rain at all, it seemed fine to ride it out in the basement and wait for the power to return. Storms were done by 11 p.m., but the power was out until 5:30 this morning. Cable internet at home is still out, at this writing, so no pictures until later.

    I'll post pix of my lastest "start-itis" project as soon as Matt can get them up to the blackdog server, once the internet service is restored. Suffice to say I knitted by candle light when we came back upstairs to finish the orders and made some good progress on the garment. It's over 1/6 done, so you'll see it shortly.

    Wednesday, July 09, 2003

    Massive Amounts of Beauty.......

    Yes, it's here. And I'm enthralled. I mean, who wouldn't be

    Yes, that's me, drowning in a sea of 621 skeins of Koigu KPPPM and KPM. And a huge stack of patterns, most of them new to us (have you ever seen their carousel sweater or the mitered-knitted beauty of the toreador jacket? Magnificent--and we have the patterns now!). And we have large amounts of the same color, as we ordered about 16 colors in full dye codes (meaning all 20, 21, or 22 skeins that were dyed at once) and everything else in groups of six. And they sent amazing colors this time (last time was a good bit of what I call "bog" colors--you know, the color of vegetable matter rotting in a bog, or green/browns, rusty yellows, etc.). If anything, we're probably a little top heavy on purples and pinks, but that stuff flies out the doors, so it ain't all bad.

    The picture above is a partial shot of the table that was all laid out with about 2/3 of the order, and then we took shots of the other part, spread out for all to see. Where to put it is another question, as we now have about 875 skeins of the wonderful stuff on hand, if not more. If you need Koigu, we got it!

    Of course, I can't help starting things, so I started something else last night (no, it didn't use Koigu--this idea was already underway before the boxes came, but I found several things I want to start, now that it's here). You'll see pix tomorrow, as I want a little more "meat" on the needles before taking pictures. It will be a shop model and will fit well into next weekend's workshops (see the ThreadBear main site to see what's up next weekend and maybe start guessing.

    More soon, but for now, I'm neck-deep in merino......and just hating it.....bwahahahahahah

    Tuesday, July 08, 2003


    The conversion for my Broadripple socks is posted to the ThreadBear main website on the all-new free patterns page. Look for more up there soon, but for now, it's lonely. The original pattern called for Cascade Fixation, which is a DK-weight cotton/nylon blend. Many people suggested that the pattern would be pretty using lighter-weight yarns, so I rewrote it for sock weight and for use with Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport (this pattern is available from me as a Word document, upon request). My example for the sock-weight version uses Koigu, and we get about 600 skeins of that lovely yarn in today. I just checked the UPS tracking code and the package is out for delivery.........YES!

    Enjoy the pattern--many of you have been waiting for it, and I got sidetracked on it while knitting several models/test versions of Matt's new pattern that was just releasted as one of the Knitty Summer Surprises--his is the Sigma Tank and the other is Amy's sexy Cleo. Check 'em out!

    Monday, July 07, 2003

    Quickie Post/Update and a Couple Fun Pix

    Tonight is our monthly Philosopher's Wool knitting group meeting--I fix the entree and dessert and other participants bring sides to go with. I'm making a recipe from Southern Living for chicken with fresh herbs and vegetables--basically you dredge chicken in seasoned flour/parmesan and sear it, then you toss in peppers/onions/mushrooms/tomatoes and some fresh herbs, then simmer until done. It's darned tasty and very quick and easy. Dessert is an icebox pie, perfect for today's HEAT and humidity.

    The sock-weight update to Broadripple is tested and written, and Matt is frantically making new pages and updating our website as fast as he can. The "free patterns" page will be up later today--I've been working that man to death on the site this weekend--he has all of the new cotton yarns from Cascade Yarns on the site and his pattern at Knitty goes live later today (that's some of the secret knitting I've been doing--three versions of his fab summer pattern).

    In knitting news, I didn't work on my other secret project one bit over the weekend, as I had to work on some examples for some of the fun workshops we're doing for our "Christmas in July" series. We came up with a series of projects that would make great gifts and have the idea to start knitting NOW instead of in November, so between workshops and sales on specific yarns, we've got you covered! The first workshop is this Saturday at 2 p.m. and we will be making convertible mittens, or fingerless gloves with a mitten flapover. I made one this weekend and it's quite the fun pattern, with amazing and smart construction at several points in the pattern. Yes, it's another fab project from Knitty, and here's pix of my version:

    as a mitten finger access
    looks like a mitten works like a glove
    Sunday is for sock wannabees--we're doing Theresa's awesome Fuzzy Feet or the amazing Nancy Lindberg's "Knit To Fit Socks" pattern (my absolute favorite for beginners--any yarn, any foot size, any gauge). And we're packed to the gills on sock yarns, so these are very appropriate workshops for a weekend.

    More tomorrow, but for now--thanks for reading, thanks for your support, and beware of the UPS truck in our neighborhood. He's going to be delivering every day again this week.........Cascade Yarns, Brown Sheep, Koigu, Sweet Grass Wools, Ashford, Froehlich Wolle, Jamieson, KFI, Schachenmayer, Euro Yarns, and more are all coming this week. Who said we would be downsizing for the move next month......BWAHAHAHAHA.....I laugh at the suggestion!