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 25, 2003

Far Be It From Me......... tempt someone with yarn and other goodies.......YEAH, RIGHT!!! So tllgrrl, you've been warned...............

What you see there is a very stunning option for Flappy--Cascade 220 in shade 8555, your basic black, combined with Handpaint Originals HP110--Mountain Meadows. I have to agree with Gwen, that this would make an incredible bag. And if I like Flappy like I all but know I will, there will be many, many of them in my future. We've hammered out an agreement with Amy to sell finished goods from her patterns (yes, everyone--you MUST get permission to sell from commercial patterns, and in many cases you pay a royalty to the brains that designed the pattern, so they get SOMETHING for their hard work........end of sermon). And I think this style will be quite popular with the folks that purchase our finished goods--it's roomy AND has a flap over.

Gwen also asked about the finished size of the three versions of Flappy--did you know that you get THREE versions in ONE pattern? What a bargain! According to Amy:

  • Flappy--approximately 6" x 10" after felting
  • Flappy Jr.--approximately 5" x 7" after felting
  • Grand Flappy--approximately 9" x 16" after felting

    Of course, your mileage may vary, due to knitting tension and felting prowess and washing machine variables.

    I am completely floored by the response to my "please vote for your favorite colorway" note of last night--as of 6 p.m. EDT today, about 18 hours after posting, I have 40 votes tallied. THANKS for your input. I'll start knitting on Flappy on Monday, so get your vote in before Sunday evening to make sure it's counted. And no "Chicago Voting", Janine! (My family on both sides hails from Chicago, and my mom wears two buttons to the polls every year--"I'm from Chicago--I'll have two ballots please" and "Chicago Elections: Vote early and vote often!" She swears her father, who passed away in 1971, voted for King Mayor Daley I into the mid 1970s).

    I also promised you, in last night's missive, that I would show progress to date on dred , so here you go:

    From what I can guess, it will be finished this evening, come hell or high water. It's lookin' good and I'm very pleased with things. I'm a little concerned about the length of the strap, however. (Amy, are you SURE it won't drag the ground? I've already cut 10" from each individual I-cord, before braiding). I should be felting tomorrow, so you will see finished goods by the end of the weekend. I PROMISE! (I need a hook to keep you coming back, no?)

    Time for a little braggin on may remember that Matt and I went down to Evansville (Indiana) on Saturday, May 17th to lead them through a group project on making felted market bags using the pattern from the Summer 2001 Knitters magazine. It's a great pattern from Linda Cyr (genius, actually, as is almost everything I've ever seen by her) and a wonderful way to learn entrelac, as you felt away your inconsistencies. Well, individuals from the group have shared snapshots of their bags with us as they've finished them and now they've gotten together recently to show off several of their finished goods. Check this out, as "stolen" from Lea, one of the participants:

    You may read more about the bags and their experiences at Lea's blog, Kneedeepinfibers by scrolling down to the July 19th entry. Very nice work, indeed, ladies! And check out those bottoms! Wooo-hooo!

    Another braggin' that I've got to do is on creativity--this time I turn you over to Shannita's Blog, where she recently finished an incredible mitered squares tote out of Noro Kureyon. Check THIS out

    Now that is some FUN felted fabric and a rather wizard design. Drop by her blog to see the before and after shots she has posted and to leave a comment about her knitting. There are some incredibly talented folks out there who are wonderful enough to share their skills and projects and inspire us all. Thanks to all of you for your generous attitudes and for giving me dozens of ideas for projects that I've just GOT to knit and GOT to see and GOT to share with our local friends.

    That's enough for now. I'm gonna go downstairs and finish up dred. Be well and have a GREAT weekend!

  • Thursday, July 24, 2003

    If it's before midnight, it's still Thursday, right?

    A little later than I expected, but I'm still posting options for y'all to help me decide my next project. It will be the fabulous flappy handbag from the friendly, beautiful, and talented Amy over at IndiKnits. But which color combination it will be is totally up to you, my loyal readers. Between now (Thursday evening) and Sunday night (sometime after 11 p.m.), I'll solicit and collect votes for colorways in my comments section, below this entry. Whichever earns the most votes will be the (first) one I complete. Fair enough? Well here's your four combos to choose from:

    Remember, the bag is knitted by holding two strands of worsted-weight wool together, so I picked a solid in Cascade 220 and a hand-dyed variegated in Handpaint Originals by Brown Sheep (which we stock, but don't have on the website yet). If you haven't guessed already, I had Matt assemble eight different possibilities for me, based on our stock and his amazing sense of color. He has already accused me of winnowing it down to the four with the most saturated color (hey, at least I'm consistent in my choices....), but I wanted something bright to work on, after the deep richness of the dredlock bag (which nears completion--maybe tonight, but definitely tomorrow). So let's look at each of our contestants individually, shall we?

    Number one:

    On the far left, we have Cascade 220 in shade 7803, a rich fuschia with HP 50--English Garden, a combination of intense oranges, sapphire, and some fuschia. VERY bold, this combination will be more "blendy" than "contrasty", but it will be a nice finished bag.

    Number two:

    The solid yarn really isn't--it's Cascade 220 in shade 4009, also known as Aporto. It's a lovely blue towards the teal side with flecks of emerald green spun in. When felted, it turns into a lovely blue with a green undertone. Matt's paired it with HP 110--Mountain Meadows, a combination of deep greens, some blues, and a pop of fuschia for good measure. Again, another combination that will blend more, it will be a very versatile combination. And I have a thing for blues and greens.

    Number three:

    This sassy combination is a newcomer to the contest, added late in the process. If you're into high contrast, here's your candidate--Cascade 220 in shade 7830, also known as coral, paired with HP 60--Tropical Water, a blend of blues and purples and greens with a touch of reds and oranges. Despite my dislike for the color orange (but I loved Sunkist orange cake as a child), I think this combination has strong promise and would make an interesting finished bag.

    Number four:

    The old standard--blue. But not just any blue, Cascade 220 in shade 9457, or sapphire heather. Teamed with HP 100, Mountains Majesty, the combination is blue, blue and more blue--with a tish of berry thrown in for contrast. Yum yum....more blue!

    As it stands right now, I don't have a favorite, or a combination that I'm pulling for. I leave that up to you, to tell me which you'd like to see made starting on Monday. So remember--between now and Sunday evening, drop down to the comments below and cast your vote for which combination you'd like to see knitted and felted early next week. In the mean time, I'm finished up dred and then going to work on the secret sweater that I'm knitting from Jamieson 2, which has been on hold for a couple weeks. We're getting more Jamieson on Monday, so I need to get crackin' on this project. Plus I've got a clog workshop to teach on Saturday.

    All set? See you here tomorrow (Friday) for another entry--probably a progress check on dred, to keep me legal. Until then, happy knitting and good felting to all!

    Wednesday, July 23, 2003


    I've been on a finishing tear of late, knocking out four scarves (pix on Friday) and this shawl over the weekend, starting that dredlock bag yesterday to be finished tonight/tomorrow, and working some on a project that's been languishing that I need to focus on soon. But for now, I do have this UNBLOCKED piece of knitting to share

    I really like the colors in this project and I know that when I block it, the spreading out of the fabric will result in the different colors being more prevalent and obvious, which is a good thing. I don't have dressing wires (nor space to block in), so it may be a bit before it's blocked. But it is finished and I'm very pleased with the result. My only complaint (and it's mild) is that little bit of confusion in the pattern that isn't just my own--almost everyone that started this project locally over the past couple weeks has said they would have interpreted the written directions as I did. And I did receive an e-mail from Beth at Lorna's Laces asking me to trouble shoot for another person (HI out there--you know who you are---how's the shawl coming?) who started the same project, but with the yarn Heaven instead of the Helen's Lace that I used. Same free pattern on the label, just different knitted fabric.

    Next project? Finishing the dred bag, hopefully tonight (I'm about halfway done with the dreds and I've started one strap). Then it's on to my next fun thing--Flappy--and I'll ask y'all tomorrow what color combination I should make, as I have it narrowed down to three and your advice will be solicited here on Thursday. So gear up for your task and check back tomorrow--I'll need your help.

    Have a great hump day and get your voting finger ready!

    Tuesday, July 22, 2003

    Visual Goodness

    Pictures, pictures, pictures.......I've been promising you pictures. And finally on a Tuesday, I deliver.

    Last night was the semi-monthly knit night in Franklin, a bedroom community to Indy about 20 minutes southeast of downtown Indy and a rather quaint town, which we strongly considered as a location for ThreadBear, the retail experience. It's close to "city amenities", it's small enough to be homey (15,000 people), and it's got some fantastic folks there who are fun knitters (Hi Eva, Kristie, Renee, Pam, Karen and daughters, and Barb, Judy and Chris from outside of Franklin). We had a FUN evening of loud socializing and some fun fiber play--including two more people deciding to start a Simple Pie Wedge Shawl using Helen's Lace, this time in Gold Hill (both of them), which is my favorite colorway by Lorna's Laces. I don't think that color swatch does it justice, as it's a beautiful mix of gold, cranberry, sage, and pumpkin.

    I knitted on my dredlock bag when I wasn't helping folks with knit-to-fit socks, scarves out of fashion yarns, or other questions. What's a dredlock bag? Why it's one of two new patterns

    that we carry by IndiKnits, of course. They're in stock and ready for shipping, so holler at me if you need some. I'm doing mine out of Cascade 220 (big surprise there) out of three shades that will be rather similar to Amy's model, actually--totally coincidental, by the way. Here's my yarn choices:

    I'm using 9446--Mocha Heather as the main color and 4011--Sparrow and 4008--Merlot Heather with it for dreds. And yes, a skein of each will make a bag, with leftovers in the contrasting colors. I'm nearly finished with the body of the bag (three more rounds to go to hit my mark for depth) and then I have to knit my straps and add the dreds to the bag. You want to see progress, you say? OK--try this

    I think the finished bag will be quite nice, but a second one is already in the planning stages, this time in much more vivid colors (ocean blue body, citrus shades for dreds). But I'll have to wait until I work up a couple members of the Flappy family before I do another Dredlock bag. But stay tuned for more fun versions of these great patterns. And, yesterday I got some great news from Amy herself--there's even more patterns coming down the line in the very near future, just in time for back-to-school. (I hear parents rejoicing and kids screaming at that one).

    Next up--pictures of my finished Helen's Lace shawl.............the sun may come out today. In the mean time, be well and be knitting!

    Monday, July 21, 2003

    Scattered Thoughts

    Quickie post in my last few minutes of lunch hour. Yeah, I'm reduced to sneaking in posts and replies over lunch and on the evenings, so that's why it's harder for me to keep in touch lately. When I resigned my day job to do ThreadBear full time starting August 1, I got bombed with work and asked to cut back my "down time". I have to admit, my supervisor (a good friend and awesome fiber artist) was lenient and let me order yarn, talk with clients, send e-mail, and even blog while I was here at work. But when I resigned, they decided to have me do a good bit of work in advance, so I'm rather swamped all day, unless it's lunch hour, which is ALL MINE. So if I'm a tiny bit slower in responding or posting less often, now you know why. It's been hard to be in touch during the day since July 1.

    Knitting news---I finished the Helen's Lace shawl over the weekend, and it's beautiful. We had night, rain, and horrible lightning since I finished it, so there's not been good daylight to get a shot of the finished goods. Look for that picture tomorrow, as well as the Helen's Lace being up at the ThreadBear website. We did get a bunch in last week for our Saturday shawl workshop, but several hanks were adopted out to new/better homes over the weekend. Look for updated stock soon.

    I made four scarves and started a fifth using some of the new fashion yarns we've been getting in. I love a pretty, fast project and this is just the ticket. Some are the yarns by themselves, some are in tandem, and all are fun and under $20 to make. Perfect for gifts, they also whip up in a hurry. Again, pictures after daylight returns (probably Wednesday's entry). And there's more of this type of yarn arriving today, too!

    Also, we received the fun new patterns from Amy at IndiKnits. We now stock both of her commercial designs, the dredlock bag and the flappy bag (which comes with directions for three sizes!). I started a dred bag last night, so you'll see that picture here shortly as well (it wouldn't make a very interesting picture right now anyway, as I'm working on the single-color bag part). I think they're great patterns, well written instructions, and great quality patterns and photos, so they're well worth the $5.40US you'll pay for the first of MANY works by this talented designer I'm lucky to call friend!

    Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz---lunch is over! C ya tomorrow!