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, October 25, 2003

Noro Calling......Is Anyone Home?

We received a rather massive Noro shipment on Thursday (part of the 14 boxes of fun that arrived that day). So, we now have everything that folks asked for ahead of time (pre-orders--if you haven't been contacted by me, you will shortly, but it's all here, every bit of what folks asked for). So, that means everything left over is "free range Noro" and available to anyone out there who wants it. So all of you Rosedale fans, all of you Tilt makers, all of you Boo folks, and all of you BoogaBag gifters and makers, and anyone who may want to to make something new and special coming from someone out in blogland, it's time to get your Noro yarns at ThreadBear.

So, here's what you can go wild over

  • Noro Kureyon--we have plenty of stock in every single color except 116 (three balls), 115 (2 balls), 90 (5 balls), and 52 (4 balls). We even have the elusive 88 used in KNITTER'S for the sweater in there, the 92 for the cover sweater on CAST-ON, and plenty of the fun 95--$7.65/skein

  • Silk Garden--we have every single color on the card available except for 47 (just one bag of ten is on hand).--$9.90/skein

    We have more of both kinds coming, so hopefully that will fill in the blanks mentioned above.

    The digital camera caught a few images around the house during the day today, which I'll post a little later. For now, I'm off to rest for a little bit and maybe catch some grub. And tomorrow brings another crop of GREAT people to our doors, in addition to the folks we know are coming back. We've loved meeting so many of you out there that are typically lurkers and it's fun to put a face with a tagboard message (or to know you're out there). Be well, and be in touch!

  • Friday, October 24, 2003

    The Spoils of War

    OK, maybe not war, but definitely a busy day at the old yarn shoppe! We never did get everything done and many tasks remain incomplete at this moment, but we survived the day unscathed. I wish I could say the same for the shelves......just look at the disaster known as the Black Water Abbey Yarns trunk show.

    These garments have been rifled through, yarn has been purchased, patterns galore have been sold, and literally a mess lies where once Matt had carefully laid out everything. At least we know folks enjoyed seeing it all and that we did the right thing in bringing it in. To me, mess = interest = good idea.

    Remember the picture of the Koigu Rumba tower from earlier today?
    Well, here's an updated version, after the day's activities

    It's good to know that folks liked the yarn and had fun playing in it and touching and looking at the magnificent dyeing by Taiu and her mother at Koigu. I called and spoke with Taiu today, in the middle of the madness, and it was fun for her to hear the activity in the shop while we spoke and for me to get her reaction to the fact that folks LOVED the yarn and were snapping it up. She was pleased!

    And if these pictures weren't proof enough that the day was busy, take a look at the table in the classroom

    Talk about your spoils of war.............that table was EMPTY and spotless when we opened at 10 this morning (all except for the INCREDIBLE flower arrangement--which, by the way, perfumed the room all day long to the point that many folks asked about the lusty floral scent in the air. THANK YOU Maggi and Rachael--your kindness is just incredible). In the foreground we have a wonderful collection of socks and patterns sent to us from Lorna's Laces to be used for awhile here at the shop. Also on the table are several wads of Koigu KPPPM that folks were scouting for projects. What you can't really see in the foreground is a new shawl design by our good friend Kristi that will make it's debut on our shelves early next week. She brought the finished garment with her today and transferred ownership to us (she conceived, designed, and knit the model and we will be marketing her pattern for it and several other garments based on this same technique--beware, they are some STUNNING projects; I'll post pictures of the shawl tomorrow, as it's a looker!). And way in the back is a large Blauband order winging it's way to Michigan in the morning. Oh, and a few drinking glasses......LOL.

    Jo asked how the pups were handling all of the hubub.......last night, when we had cardboard boxes out and were UNpacking things, Tate got a little nervous (I could just hear him saying "oh, crap....moving AGAIN......" because of his abandonment issues and then immediately moving with us here). He did get a host of new folks to sniff on (he's also a jeans/pants well as being very fond of going under flowing skirts.....) so he was ultimately happy. It was just overload, I fear, and he spent a good bit of time on the sofa up front. He did get to play outside with a wonderful German Shepherd pup named Tonka who came to visit. That made him nappy...... You may wonder about Connor.......don't, please. Here's a sample of what she spent the entire day doing

    She was nonplussed, as usual. She had her ottoman to be sacked out on, she was in the most quiet room in the house (the new library, where we keep books and patterns as well as the media stuff, which was playing soothing music all day and had a "relaxation" aromatherapy candle burning). She's no dummy, that girl o'mine. And now I think it's time for me to go do some of that---crash for awhile before starting to repair shelves of yarn. In the midst of all of this we did receive a nice Cascade order with some backordered 220 from last week as well as a batch of new Lorna's Laces sock yarns and Helen's Lace for shawls. Nummy nummy!

    Be well..........we'll talk soon. I'll be back with more pictures from today, as well as beauty shots of Kristi's fabu shawl!

    Last Minute Catch-Up

    We're back to work this morning, and I wanted to share a little bit of the fun that we unpacked and worked with last night. We're still terribly behind in what we wanted to accomplish before everyone shows up today, but we'll get it all done.....eventually. Through the help of fantastic friends like Low Helen, we're alot closer than we would have been by ourselves (THANKS for your help Helen). Last night she worked with the Rumba and helped Matt with the accessories and notions. Look at the beauty she accomplished

    That's the Koigu Rumba on the shelf. Check out the amazing color. To feel this soft, wonderful brushed mohair yarn is to love it. Here's a close-up of a single skein of the color up at the top of the tower

    Amazing stuff, but then again--when isn't a Koigu yarn amazing?

    To answer those who were curious as well as those who are waiting for confirmation of yarn arriving, here's a shot of the new "wall of Noro" that I've checked in and is staged to be picked through for all of your backorders for yarn. The shorter stack on the right is the Silk Garden and the left TALL tower and the stack on the far left is Kureyon. I've been going on and on and on that we have a bunch of this stuff on order and this is proof that it is arriving and much of it is here!

    Look for a note later today if you're waiting. Y'all who ordered weeks ago get the yarn first, before anyone shopping in person. Ah, good Noro!

    Off to go work on the Grand Opening door prize give-away system. We'll be back now and then over the weekend, so stay in touch and if you're nearby, come see us!

    Thursday, October 23, 2003

    Late Breaking News

    Here's a big surprise---this is beyond an all-nighter, even with Low Helen helping us out tonight (she's hanking and stocking the Rumba right now, closely followed by the LaGran; we're making a mohair altar...I swear). Matt's making the final rounds on the library (he just returned from buying more shelving and more pegs for the slatboard to hold needles and accessories) and we'll be stocking books shortly. Speaking of books, here's three that we got full cases of yesterday, so if you're interested in them, I can show the insides to you, or we can pop one in the mail, media mail to save on postage, and you'll have it soon!

    We enjoyed seeing the inside of the Green Mountain Spinnery Book so much that we ordered the yarn--to be delivered in November. It's awesome yarn and we can't wait to have it in our stable of wonderful fibers. And trust me, we are PACKED TO THE GILLS with yarn. I'm overwhelmed with all that's in here. Especially with what arrived today (and knowing that more Lorna's Laces is coming tomorrow, along with many models of her socks and other projects) and what else may be arriving very shortly. Oh well, who needs a place to sleep................let's make the entire building yarn shop!!!!!!!


    Welcome to bedlam central. It's nothing but saws and hammering and painting and stickering and stocking and stashing and fun people everywhere! And in the middle of it all, there's a knock at the door---despite it looking like a business, some folks still knock (mostly delivery folks--pizza, etc.). So I go to answer the door, and there's a smiling woman in a uniform ..........and she has this in hand

    Not only is it incredibly thoughtful of two of you out there (I know who you are---may I name you?), it's incredibly beautiful and funky and overall really REALLY made our day (Matt actually teared up when I read the card to him). It said "You are loved coast to coast........ and is from someone out west and someone out east. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!! I say funky because those berry-looking things on the far right are actually coffee beans.......and the flowers themselves are lovely, and the tall greenery in the back is very fun. Just the ticket, ladies!

    I said bedlam.......I meant it. If you thought we herniated our poor Brown driver yesterday, look at JUST PART of today's haul

    We received a total of 12 boxes today, most of them KFI with a wide variety of things in the boxes. The astute reader (who has a very keen eye) will see the words KUREYON and SILK GARDEN scrawled on the side of the boxes. Yes, that means our Noro has arrived. No, we haven't checked the yarn in yet, NO, we don't know what's inside. If you've e-mailed us and asked about yarn, you get first dibs on things. Promise. I want to get through everything PRIOR to opening it up to the folks here this weekend.

    Also in that stack of boxes is a large one from Koigu Wool Designs (yes, it's that fab splash of color on the far right). Our wonderful friends up there hand-dyed about 20 lots of their newest yarn, Rumba, just for us to have at our grand opening this weekend. Rumba is AWESOME (so are Taiu, her mom Maia, and their great group of dyers)--it's 50g of brushed mohair, about 103 yards, and it's dyed in a very Koigu way--some are nearly solid, some are multiple colors, and ALL are beautiful bags of color and texture. We can't wait to see things knitted with this wonderful fiber. And I'm working up a plan to use it with a strand of worsted wool to make a felted mitten. Details soon, after the weekend!

    The Black Water Abbey trunk show arrived, along with four boxes of yarn and models and an entire binder of their patterns. NICE stuff. VERY nice. I've opened two of the four boxes so far and let someone play dress up in the model box. She loved some of the hats, and one looked ADORABLE on her. Pictures soon--I can feel that coming on. This stuff is NICE yarn, and I'm kinda sad to say that it's only here for 10 days and we send it all back--you can buy it from us now, but not all the time (they don't wholesale to shops, so the only way to get it is directly from the wonderful woman who's the US distributor or through a shop who has a trunk show--LIKE US!).'ll see pictures.

    Two LARGE boxes of model garments (sweaters, cardis, pullovers, tams, a throw, a shawl, and more) arrived as well. There are some amazing and beautiful things here, so if you're around, do drop by, try something on, and play with some FUN wool and patterns. LOOK at the goodies!

    Much thanks to the folks at Philosopher's Wool and our INCREDIBLE FRIENDS IN LANSING MICHIGAN. Sarah orchestrated an additional five sweaters for us--two from her personal collection and three from her students (one even has a kleenex and some stuff in the pockets, so you know that it's a well-loved sweater). We do deeply appreciate the fact these folks are letting us borrow their goodies for the weekend.

    It was a banner day with the US postal service! Look what came express mail from Illinois

    It's the Madeleine Bag, from Julie and it's adorable. We've got three dozen copies of the pattern in our first order, and we're going to offer a special kit price of $10 for the pattern AND a skein of Cascade 220 (that's an extra savings off our usual 10% off every item every day, as the pattern is $5.50 and a skein of 220 is usually $6.60, for a total of $12.10, regular retail). We're so happy to have this pattern from Julie and her new venture, Black Sheep Bags, as her BoogaBag has been WILDLY popular around the blogs and beyond. And now that we have our Kureyon, you can shop 'till you drop for yarn for it or for other projects. THANKS JULIE. We're so glad to be partnered with you! MUCH SUCCESS!!!!

    Also in today's mail was this long-lost jewel, from Stefanie of Glampyre fame. It's our long-lost model she created to go along with her all new and improved top-down raglan pattern. See

    I say long lost because she mailed it from Germany on September 10th and it only arrived today, nearly six weeks later. We all figured it was "eaten" by German customs, as many good things are and never make it out alive. But no, for once we got lucky. Her new-and-improved version has options for a cardi or a pullover, and for long or short sleeves. It also includes directions for arm warmers (think leg warmers for the arms) that might compliment the short-sleeved version. We also got a pair of legwarmers and patterns from her recently, so we're all stocked on GlammyKnits things for our big weekend and we're thrilled! THANKS, STEF. KICK @SS on your defense next week. I about peed myself during mine back in 1996, so I can understand your angst, to a point. But just like me, you'll emerge PhD. I have perfect faith you will!

    And with that, I'm outta here to go work on any number of projects that remain unfinished. We're gonna be up all night, I'm sure of it. If you're around, come stop by and see the maddness. If you're online, we'll have pictures--of the wild fun, of the visitors, of the yarns, and so much more. Happy Thursday!

    Wednesday, October 22, 2003

    Courier Services Earn Their Keep

    I've warned our UPS driver.......he's going to need some time off after this week. Poor guy--we normally keep him hustlin', and this week is extra busy for him, but he has a great outlook and says it's job security. Of course, he wasn't on our route earlier this week, and it was the bright-eyed sub that brought Monday's boxes. I warned him about today (Wednesday) and said to avoid the route--we expect a monster book order today, as well as more yarn, probably the Black Water Abbey trunk show and yarn, and other assorted things (accessories show up any day now). We're considering starting to hang stuff from the ceiling, as we're about out of floor space, even with Matt painting the newly-cleared-out room that we're going to use for books and patterns and the like. We're already joking about having to move out of the upstairs (which isn't even finished yet, technically) just two months after moving in. And it's not 100% joke..........

    Before I get into the yarn orgy part of our time together, here's a fun picture of someone and her finished project. Judy has knitted for several years, but she swears her skills are at the "dishcloth only" level. Here's proof she's very wrong

    Granted, this picture doesn't show the bag felted--I did run it through the washing machine yesterday, with a batch of similar-colored things. The finished project is quite fun, as it is the Harriett Bag from Two Old Bags (which we have on hand). The finished project is a rectangular bag with wooden dowels for handles that are inserted in pockets knitted in the top of the bag. Very cute! GREAT JOB, Judy!

    Preparations? You betcha! Matt got up around 4 a.m. today (me at 4:30) to get started on some of the painting that still needs to be completed.

    He's standing right behind me, rolling the walls in the foyer (he did all of his cutting in first, like a good boy). Tate? He's just asking for a few more minutes of shuteye

    Connor's smart--she's snoozing in the side room that's completely dark and out of the way--for now. That's actually the next room to get painted today. The books are coming, we have shelving for them, and we're waiting for Brown to be here (noonish........I must have patience until noon).

    I mentioned some of the goodies that arrived yesterday. Here's two large boxes of La Gran mohair from Classic Elite, still in the boxes as of this morning

    About twenty different colors, and some absolutely amazing patterns--many in cable designs, one for some fab intarsia circles, and several great cardigans and other wardrobe staples. I asked our contact person at Classic Elite to put in whatever she felt was a great design, and she did a WONDERFUL job.

    Mango Moon sent two boxes that were packed with some BEAUTIFUL hanks of their recycled silk

    In the other box we found a dozen of their kits

    that make up one of 11 sweater styles or a throw. Each contains over a kilo of the silk yarn and 100g of the French "pashmina" lace-weight mohair. The color of the mohair determines the overall color of the finished garment/throw, so we ordered a few different colors

    Personally, I like the purple and the sage and the olive (these two are the light and dark green shades, respectively). I've finally gotten back to work on mine that will serve as a shop model. Progress pictures shortly. As soon as there is some you would notice.........but I was able to sneak in a little bit of knitting last nighta t our local Knit Night at the East Side Community Center here in Columbus. Matt even got to knit as well....shocking! Here's what I made, from about 7:45 p.m. until just shortly after 10 p.m. (we left at 10:05).

    It's another of those Musique and Fizz scarves using the free pattern from Crystal Palace. They're fun, they're FAST, and they're great for new knitters and experienced hands alike.

    A big ol' pile of BearFoot, the new sock yarn from Mountain Colors, arrived yesterday, after a longer wait than ANYONE expected and through NO fault of the great folks at Mountain Colors. This is an AWESOME yarn for socks, as it is superwash wool, mohair (great for durability), and a little bit o'nylon--and look at the way this blend takes the color---very cool! Here's our selection on hand right now, laid out on the sofa in a big ol' pile

    Individual glam shots follow

    Left to right, these are Pine Needle, Lost Trail, Midnight Sapphire, Golden Willow, and Glacier Teal.
    Again, L to R--Copper King Plum, Marias Falls, Winter Sky, Indian Corn, Silverbow, and Granite Peak

    And last.....Rim Rock, Steelhead, Moose Creek, Clearwater, and Firestorm.

    They are up for adoption to a new home, and typical retail is $19, so our price is $17.10. And again, a hank makes a pair of socks for most feet (Shaq excluded, of course). One more "housekeeping" issue---someone asked about the Canna from Noro. We don't have it on hand yet (just the two hanks you saw here that day) but we should have it in early November, according to our vendor. Standard retail on the yarn is.........brace yourself......$60/hank. Our standard pricing is 10% off regular retail, every day, on every item (rather than use punch cards, frequent fiber clubs, and other affinity programs), which would make it $54 from us. We've decided to try it at 20% off standard retail, or a price of $48/hank. It's a little "dear", but it is cashmere, it is hand-dyed, and it is rather nice. As one of our customer/friends said, "....even if you use a skein and a half to two skeins, that's still under $100 for a CASHMERE scarf.....I'm worth that much....". Yes, Mary, you most certainly are.......and then some (BTW--mittens away!).

    Time to help Matt a little bit and get the foyer back to normal for opening in a couple hours. And time to get more stuff moved out of the library room so he can paint in there today. And time to make a sign that directs folks to our side entrance, as they are repairing some older, crumbling steps, installing a railing, and painting the porch floor today. Improvement seems to be the order of the day. All in the name of some sort of Grand Opening (we advertised today for the first time in the local paper, announcing this weekend and our presence.....we'll see how that goes!).

    Be well, be good to eachother and to yourself, and be in touch! We're here to help in any way we can!

    Tuesday, October 21, 2003

    Oh Lawdy!

    Just a tiny update.............we're buried under 11 boxes of yarn and books and patterns and kits and ...... and ........ and.........that arrived today. Suffice to say that we received

  • Mountain Colors--including 28 hanks of BearFoot (in groups of two in 14 colorways) and some open stock of other stuff and some special orders (YUMMY stuff)

  • Classic Elite--an absolute TON of La Gran mohair and great patterns for it, a HUGE lot of Inca Alpaca, some Lush for a special order, and a TON of Beatrice

  • Jamieson--some vagabond 2-ply spindrift on backorder since August--SweaterGirl be warned! Your kit is now complete for your Cottage Garden sweater

  • Mango Moon--oogles of Recycled Silk hanks and a dozen kits for sweaters and throws (like I started last month)

  • Crystal Palace--even more goodies from them

    Off to the post office for me.............and tonight's Columbus Knitting Night, so we're gone after 7 p.m. until about 10 p.m. And supposedly Matt's painting in the room we'll use for patterns and books, currently called "the library". WAHOO!!! The last room will be opened shortly!

    Thanks for the well wishes for Matt's moma. She's doing well and at home already (as of yesterday) and climbed a flight of stairs to get there. She's a fighter and will be back to normal shortly, I'm sure!

  • Monday, October 20, 2003

    The Wages of Sin

    Short post---no time. Seriously. We're due in Franklin in just over an hour and Low Helen isn't here yet, but we're open for another 15 minutes. So away we go!

    We're short on time because we spent nearly five hours today with our KFI sales rep. We had a yarn orgy, without question. Most of what we ordered today is spring/summer yarn, predominantly cottons, some blends, and plenty of other good things. And great patterns to go with everything. But..........I was very, very decadent. We resisted last time he was here, in early September, but this time I couldn't pass it up. Behold the beauty........

    Do you know what that is? How about if we lay out the two hanks for you to see

    Any clues yet? Hmmmmmmmmmmmm. It's very soft. It's very thick. And you can see that it's very colorful. Whatever might it be?

    Why yes! It's Noro Canna! See why I said "the wages of sin"? Mmmmmmmm. And we were left with two hanks from the rep, so I get to "play" a little and whip up a scarf with one and have the other as a "guess what's coming" teaser. Yummy stuff, trust me. More later, but for now, I leave you with this other temptation.

    Here's a tracking number. 1ZAA52581218003885 It's for another fantastic shipment from Canada, and this time it has stuff that was specially-dyed just for us by the FANTASTIC FOLKS at Koigu. They worked extra hard (BIG MAJOR THANKS to TAIU and company) to get it dyed, dried, hanked, and sent off to us so it would be here in time for the Grand Opening weekend this week. I can't thank them enough for all of what they do for us. We really appreciate them and how they help us work major color/yarn miracles for you folks. I'll show pictures later in the week, but in the mean time, have fun stalking the shipment online. It should be here Thursday. Yup--another line of yarn from Koigu, to go with our massive amounts of KPPPM/KPM and Kersti.