Black Dog

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

Saturday, August 09, 2003

Plop, Plop, Fizz Felts.......

You know me, I can't be away from felting for too long or the pruning in my fingertips starts to go away. But I've been on a scarf tear of late, working up examples with so many of the new "cha cha" yarns we've been getting in. So why not combine the two obsessions? Sounded good to me on Thursday, and you saw a close up of the knitted results in the previous entry. I did finish the knitting late on Thursday (or if it's after midnight, does that make it early on Friday?) and it was time to felt. The scarf did felt well, but I had to keep an eye on it as it had a tendency to twist up like a Twizzler candy. And during the process I kept taking it out and stretching it WIDE to open up the stitches for better felting. Remember, this scarf is just lightly felted and not felted hard like a handbag would be. Curious about the results? Here you go:

I love the finished product, but from here forward I'm going to add some stitches to the width for a little more heft (and it will decrease the length as well). But everyone who played with it last night thought it was tons of fun and kinda cushy to wear. It's eyelash without being overly lashy, which Sarah thinks would be good for gifts for certain people on her list. I would have to agree! And we ordered a big ol' bunch of Fizz yesterday, to arrive on the 18th (along with several other of their yarns, and more Splash, as we have sold about half of what came in this past Monday (that was 90 skeins, or 14 bags, by the way). Oh, you wanted to see a closeup of the scarf fabric---that's right

It's terribly fun to pet, and the scarf is still soft and pliable, even after felting. Free patterns rule--this one is found here and a project cost estimate is $18.18 from us (that's two balls of Fizz and one hank of Cascade 220, mine was Amethyst Heather). So now it's off to my next experiment with Crystal Palace yarns.

I found this really cool pattern at their site awhile back (again, free patterns rule!) that calls for Deco Ribbon. I've wanted to make it, as it has a great shape and looks rather simple (for those of us who knit in the continental style, seed stitch isn't a drag---LEARN IT!). Plus it only takes two balls of the ribbon for a sporty handbag, so your total cost is like $10.44. If you want a larger version, add another ball and another $5.22. I cast on last night for the bag, but I couldn't keep my head up (margaritas and lack of sleep is my story). Progress photos soon, when there's something to show. But now for a little braggin' on someone

This past spring I taught a beginning knitting class at the Community Arts and Recreation Center (CARC) in Franklin, Indiana, about an hour north and east of here. Franklin is a cute town about 30 minutes from downtown Indy and has small town charm within striking distance of city amenities (between Indy and Franklin is just about any type of commerce you could want). It was a fun class of six ladies (seven sorta, but one dropped after night one and another added on night two). One of the students took to knitting better than anyone I've ever taught. The first night she was well on her way to knits and purls and making some useful fabric. When we came back for the second class, she had already whipped up a few dishcloths based on a pattern I gave them and she was hooked! (I told them the first night they could make ANYTHING they wanted in the class, versus forcing them to make something useless or to make a stack of warshcloths). This immediate addict is Pam, and you know she's hooked because now she has a blog. Gotta love that. So, quick summary before we go on--she's been knitting since March (right at four months now). Here's her finished projects to date

During the four-week class she made the black felted hat in the lower right and the black felted bag in the center. Before class was over, she had started a baby blanket and the blue felted bag on the far right, which is a Linda Cyr pattern, minus the flowers. Shortly after her class ended, she jumped right in on that entrelac bag on the far left. And the scarf and clogs soon followed. She's FEARLESS!!!!!!! I love her sense of "I can do it" and her willingness to stumble, rip, and run right back at it! A great knitter, without question. YOU GO, PAM!

And on that note, I'm outta here for today. Thanks for reading my ramblings, and look for more goodies and braggin' shortly.

Friday, August 08, 2003

Where to Begin

Yeah, I've been AWOL for a couple days. But I have good reasons for it, trust me. We'll cover that shortly, but let me state, very publicly, that I lead a charmed existence. Right now, I'm sitting at the desk creating this entry with not one, but TWO pups lying at my feet. If you're a regular reader, you know that Connor makes a habit of that, but now Tate has decided it's a fun thing to do (he was here first this evening, by the way). He's a wonderful dog and we're fortunate to add him to our menagerie and lives. And in all other facets of our lives, we are very fortunate, indeed. Our friends are phenomenal!

Busy busy busy--that's the theme for this week. Monday evening we were in Franklin (see below), Tuesday evening we were in Columbus for a knit night as well, and Thursday was spent with our wonderful group of dental office ladies (and friends and family and neighbors) up in Indy. This last group is very fun and open to new projects and ideas and always ready to tackle the next best thing. We're fortunate to have them as regulars and they're quickly becoming GREAT friends as well--and great knitters! It's wonderful to watch them develop. I'll admit to yesterday (Wednesday) being a rather slow day in these parts, but Tuesday is another story. Oy, Tuesday!

We had our first visit by a yarn rep on Tuesday, and she showed up at 10 a.m. SHARP. She handles several lines of yarn, some of which we already have on hand but many of which we've not really explored as far as bringing it in. Well, let me tell you about how fun it was to handle swatches, look through patterns, and try to decide what we should bring in for the shop. Well, in addition to yarn lines, she had galley pages for two new books, Jamieson 3 and Simply Knit 2. Wowie wow wow wow, to misquote Wendy and Christopher Walken. Both books are incredible and chocked full of VERY knitable designs. I already have my eyes on several things from the Jamieson book and can't wait to see many of the projects in person from SK 2. Run, don't walk, to your LYS when these come out (Jamieson in late August and SK 2 in September). Or get them from us, as we pre-ordered dozens of the books. As for fall yarns, we overdosed on them from Classic Elite, Lana Grossa (this is one of my favorites), Mango Moon, SR Kertzer, and more. Plus we ordered many new patterns and subscribed to Lana Grossa's Filati pattern series that comes out regularly, times four different issues, so there's a new book every month! I can't wait to see these yarns in person, and we will be getting them in starting NOW until October 1st. We expect our Grand Opening to be the weekend of October 24th through 26th, so plan your trips now! OK. Suffice to say that we had to shush our rep out the door after 5 p.m. (yes, seven hours of yarn and fun company and we didn't get to everything) but met her after hours to complete another order for some other yarn that we didn't even get to earlier in the day.

Then we got home tonight, after all day in Indy, to a box having been delivered to our neighbors nextdoor. I rushed over to get it, not knowing what to expect inside, and I was rewarded with a big batch of Noro Kureyon and Silk Garden, some eyelash yarns, some ribbon stuff, and this pile of gorgeousness:

Oh lawdy, it's beautiful. That's Big Kureyon in colorway #9. It's a new yarn for them, and it just arrived in The States. I ordered every color, but this is the first to arrive. I cannot believe the texture and color and beauty of that yarn. YUM!!!! Each hank is 176 yds of wooly goodness. Whatever you do, don't tell Amy that we have it, as it isn't her colorway that she preordered. But it's just fab!

I've been on a scarf kick of late, especially since we've been receiving all of these fun new yarns that are perfect for scarves. My latest creation is from a free pattern from Crystal Palace for a partially-felted scarf using a strand of wool and a strand of their Fizz. Of course I'm using Cascade 220 for mine. Check it out

It's about 10 rows from being ready for the felting. I can't wait to see how it turns out. You will see it here, of course. Probably tomorrow.

Another knitting project I've been flying on the knitting is a multi-directional scarf using Noro Kureyon. I really like the simplicity of the pattern and the subtle rambling of color in this combination:

Matt may end up with this one, after it has lived as a shop model for a few months!

Wicked weekend ahead--company from out of town and a full slate of activities. We're also going over to Columbus (IN) on Sunday in the late morning or early afternoon to take our guests and anyone else who wants to join us for a walk-through of the new digs. We get keys on Friday evening, so we can go over on Sunday -- if you're in the area and interested in seeing things and being curious, drop me a note and I'll share schedules. We might even sneak some cleaning and packing in, as there's still just one box packed and it's officially a week until we have to bug out at this location. AMAZING!!! Be well, knit on, and do enjoy your weekend! Much love to you and yours...........

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Oh, Tate--You Devil!

Tell me he doesn't look possessed in this picture (happy, but possessed)

Connor could not be bothered, as she's checking out the new box of fun things from Crystal Palace, including my favorite double point needles and some really wild "flashy-trashy" yarns. I went a little crazy and ordered up a big batch of Splash, their chunky-weight eyelash yarn, some Deco Ribbon, and some Fizz, a strange but fun eyelash. I think my favorite part of ordering from this company is that they have an EXTENSIVE online library of FREE PATTERNS. I loves me some free patterns...........and theirs are pretty good (sometimes with free patterns, you REALLY get what you pay for....ick). I spied several things on their site that I want to play with and knit, including a really fun slightly felted scarf that uses Fizz and a strand of worsted-weight wool. Of course, I'm using Fizz and Cascade 220 for my version--you'll see it here shortly. In the mean time, I'm ordering even more from these folks today and finishing up the quickie scarf I started when we popped open the box.

Speaking of scarves you can't resist........check out the stylin' Miss Christie in her new scarf

you can wear it up, doubled over itself for warmth, or you can wear it down

as a fashion statement. But here's the fun part--Christie popped over after work on Monday around 4:15 p.m. to head north with us to Franklin for knit night (1st and 3rd Mondays--if you're in the area, contact Eva for details and come join us!). She picked her color out of the box around 4:30 and started knitting on the ride up to Franklin. She finished the scarf as we entered the Bloomington City limits on the way home--total knitting time, about five hours, including an hour off while we ate dinner at a great hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant in Bargersville (IN). The food was phenomenal and we were joined by Low Helen, for dinner and for knitting. The Franklin gang was big fun last night--Renee was working on her Helen's Lace shawl in Gold Hill......(yummy color), Pam had a Koigu Scarf almost finished that was BEAUTIFUL, Karen is making great progress on her knitted dress, and her daughter worked on the makings of a purple masterpiece. Matt, Christie, Helen, and I all knit on various things, with Matt working on a fun new scarf using some awesome Silk Garden in a brand-new colorway. Pictures on his blog soon, I'm sure.

Well, I gotta run--we have a 10 a.m. meeting with a yarn rep and the carpets downstairs need to be turned back to their normal beige color--there's spinning fiber, pup fiber, felting sluff, and more in the living room and dining room floors. But I wanted to really showcase Christie's fab project that she made in about four hours.........including driving home in the dark and knitting by dome light. Gotta love that! Time to go make the house look like humans live well!

Monday, August 04, 2003


We're back from Michigan--we took a daytrip to completely surprise our former knitting buddies up there, and IT WORKED! We actually were able to keep it a secret and surprise folks. Complete details on Sarah's blog, links on LynnH's blog, and other places soon, I'm sure.

For our Lansing-area friends---we made it home safe and sound about 3 a.m. local time, after a few stops along the way (puppy dog bladders and bouts with the sleepies). Thanks for an INCREDIBLE day of friendship and laughter and meeting new people. We couldn't have asked for a better way to spend a Sunday, capping it all off with dinner at Mr. Do....I mean Taste of Thai. Mmmmmmmmmmm, how we miss that place.

Love ya, miss ya like you wouldn't very much!