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, October 31, 2003

Fun Deliveries

I warned you that we had good things come across the threshhold via courier services this morning, but no one could have expected this

This is a moveable feast, brought to us by our great friends Martha and Anne (daughter and mother, respectively). They're local Columbinians and they are great knitters and EXTREMELY fun people. The dropped by champagne off last week for the grand opening with the caveat that we get to drink it with them (fine with me). Well, Martha called this morning to warn us that they were coming over shortly, and they came bearing sweets! Little did they know that it was very timely to bring cake to this house (of course, when is it a BAD time to come carrying cake?). What you see there is a faboo tiramisu cake (yes, speasley, eat your heart out) and it was delicious! I whipped up mimosas with some of the bubbly and we all drank some of that and some champagne. Martha got red in the face, Matt got flushed, and I felt a little tired afterwards. It's hell getting old, I guess..........but who's having a birthday? No matter what, we deeply appreciate them sharing such fun and tasty treats with us!

The first delivery was from FedEx, and it contained goodness from Canada. Behold the bounty of Calgary, Alberta

You were warned that Amy had a new design and that we expected it to be here this week. Well, it is--just in time for weekend shipping! So, what you see is her Pefect Pouch pattern (an alliteration if there ever was one). We're running an introductory special (through November 9th) on this project--a copy of the pattern and two skeins of Noro Kureyon for the low, low price of $19 (regular retail would be $23). Adding in shipping, the pattern and two skeins are yours for just $20.52 if you're in the US and $20.85 if you're a Canuck. Outside of North America, I can estimate postage for you with a quick e-mail. We have a wide variety of colorways available in Kureyon, so come and get it!

If that wasn't enough, we receved two nice-sized book orders today as well.

Yes, you see Debbie New's Unexpected Knitting, Meg's Sweaters From Camp, more Purl Stitch and Knit Stitch, some fab German-language lace knitting books, Best of Lopi, Latvian Mittens and Latvian Dreams, and so much more. I'm going to curl up with a copy of Unexpected Knitting and read shortly, as the copies we received last week sold so fast my head spun around. If you're looking for any of these books, give a little hollah.

And last..............but far from latest obsession (and something we expect in shortly).

That's the color card for Green Mountain Spinnery's Mountain Mohair. I think I'm in major yarn-lust over this stuff. We received the book last week (only one copy remains, and the new supply is on back order already!), so hurry hurry. I want to work up an order for this stuff over the weekend. I also fell in love with their Cotton Comfort as well. Uh oh......where oh where will this new yarn go? We'll make room for this lovely stuff.

Off to go take a nap, I think. This old man's feeling snoozy..............but first, the best almost-birthday present a guy could get---a new UPS tracking number to use for stalking our latest batch of Koigu (1ZAA52581218004197). We should be getting 600ish skeins of KPPPM and 4-5 kits (a total of 89 POUNDS of Koigu) to make the dress out of the Holiday 2003 Vogue Knitting International. WOW! I'm in heaven--forget the nap!

Fun Knitting

As we attempt to return to a somewhat normal existence, I did take a little time on Wednesday evening to sit with Low Helen and knit. It was a wonderful feeling, and I chose to work on a project that I knew would be a quick knit, and it supports a workshop we're running this coming Wednesday (November 5, second session November 19). I was knitting while Matt was working on the computer, as we're working hard to share this resource, but fear not, I'm starting to get caught up on my own inquiries and orders and the like. I should be caught up and current either today or tomorrow (Saturday). But for now, this is all about knitting!

It all started with this

That's a skein of Cascade 220 (mine's a Quatro, which is just four different plies of color, but is 90 cents a skein more than regular 220) and some LaGran Mohair (which we have over 20 shades of, but not online yet). Then add a little knitting on large needles (US 11/8mm), and two and a half hours later you have this

That's a glamour shot of Tate (specifically for Jo) and my finished--but unfelted--mittens. You'll notice Tate completely sniffing the mittens--he's all about scent--if you've met him in person, you are VERY aware of this (he's notorious for nose-on-jeans sniffing of everyone that comes in). Here's a close-up shot

(please excuse Tate's leg in the shot--he's a camera hog). Simple detailing, easy knitting, and a rather fun project, if I may be so bold. But, you ask, what do they look like when you're all finished and the felting is over? Far be it from me to deny you...........

On the right you will see the mitten in "typical" format--that's the knit side out, and most of the mohair lashed out to this side. The mittens are an homage to Chris, who went through a very specific Shrek phase this spring/summer. On the left is an inverted mitten--purl side out. The mohair fluffiness is inside to bathe your hands in fur and warmth, and the "show" fabric is rather boucle-like (lots of good nubbies) and the base yarn color shows a good bit more. I like them both ways, actually, and it would be up to the individual wearer which s/he preferred.

So, let's recap---reasonably easy project (mine started with fewer than 30 stitches for a medium adult (ladies') pair of mittens. They're a quick knit (I made mine in under 3 hours, start to finish, with a couple interruptions for more beverage and to let the dogs in and out, and to watch Good Eats while he made nut brittle, chocolate taffy, and acid jellies). And in my opinion, they're a reasonably-priced project--a skein of worsted wool ($5.94 if you use Cascade 220) and just into a second ball of mohair (which means $12.60 if you use La Gran from Classic Elite). Leftovers from each ball were shown at the beginning. And the pattern (sized from toddler to adult men) is a freebie, so no cost there. If you're curious, here's what I see as options and costs

  • Cascade 220 and Classic Elite LaGran Mohair--$18.54 for a pair of adult mittens (man or woman). $6.30 less ($12.24) for teens and children

  • Cascade 220 and Koigu Rumba--$23.94 for a pair of adult mittens, $14.94 for the smaller sizes

  • Cascade 220 and King Cole Luxury Mohair (space-dyed mohair)--$16.74 for adults, $11.34 for the younger ones

    I like the project a lot, and I'm starting a second pair today, using a wonderful deep jade shade of wool and the King Cole Luxury Mohair in the top center of the picture on the page I linked you to. Since this mohair has a little more yardage than the other two, it may only take a single poof of this stuff instead of the two for the other fibers. That means you may be able to make a ladies' pair for just $11.34 (the mohair costs less and may only take one ball).

    Ooops, sorry for the delay in publishing this post----the UPS and FedEx guys came by and dropped off some serious goodies. Lotsa books and some unspun Icelandic from Schoolhouse Press and the most amazing pattern from a fantastic person. I'll post more shortly.......for now, be well and I'll be back--hopefully later today.

  • Thursday, October 30, 2003

    Oh Sweet Mother of God in Heaven

    Make it stop..........please, I implore you MAKE IT STOP

    Wait until the Knitting Curmudgeon hears about this one.


    And when I say briefly, I mean it--not my like usual, when I blather on and on.....

    Sorry for the lack of posts, but we're getting caught up from being buried under a pile of accumulated tasks that started to mount last week when we pretty much shut down in hopes of getting EVERYTHING ready for the grand opening weekend last weekend. So, that means we've had lots of "chores" around here, mainly centered around cleaning the house, restocking yarns, making order out of the shelves, placing orders for more yarns and accessories and books to refresh what is now gone, and a little bit of order filling. And Matt's had to ready two or three newspaper ads for upcoming pub

    If you have placed an order with us, know that I have mine and they are starting to move out again--there was almost no activity in shipping over the weekend--we worked from dawn to midnight, dropped, and woke up at 5 again to get started. I haven't forgotten you (nor has Matt--he's been catching up as well, especially on all of you Charlotte's Web folks...). We've had a hard time sharing the same computer of late, so we've decided to get a second machine. That way he can work with you folks and blog more, and I can work with my folks and blog more, and we both don't have to jockey for time on this same machine. How we'll network them to share the DSL connection is still up in the air, but being semi-techies and knowing some big ol' tech-heads, we'll manage.

    The nugget to get out of this story is that we're getting caught up, we're getting back to folks as they contacted us, and we'll be back to normal very shortly (today/tomorrow/Saturday at the latest). THANK YOU FOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING........we do appreciate your interest in us and we hope to be up to speed now. In the mean time, while he used the computer last night, I knitted a pair of felted mittens that you'll see here later today (before and after felting) and I've taken pix of the Classic Elite models that we have here on a trunk show--you'll see them soon.

    Alright, this isn't a short entry.............later!

    Monday, October 27, 2003

    Hutchins Hijinx

    There's not a single embellishment or adjective to use that sums up the weekend--it was fun, it was frenetic, it was fantastic (wait, I just used three words to describe it). We had a great time meeting new folks by the busload, reconnecting with great friends from near and far, and enjoying the wonderful world of fiber with anyone who wandered through the door. Even this Chris, doing his best Snidely Whiplash

    "You must pay the rent!"

    God bless Tanya..........that's all we had to say later in the weekend. She and this Chris are great fun to have around, but me thinks he's running out of things to impale on his head or hold hear his ears. Poor guy--I'll have to get knitting (if this makes no sense, you've GOT to be around next time they come down---but since Tanya's about to pop a mini-cheeseball, it may be awhile!).

    We even had time to make a new knitter (THANKS LINDA!).

    Linda worked with this young lady and taught her to knit--and reports from the next day were that she continued to knit all evening and made significant progress on her scarf project! There's nothing more rewarding than passing on the craft to the next wave of knitters.

    We've had fun reconnecting with fun folks

    That's Sarah on the left and Chris on the right. Of course, this is the first picture I snapped of them, mugging for the camera

    More fun shots of different people

    One last pic.....I included a picture of Connor the other day, but Jo wondered how Tate was taking in the weekend. I think he was a little overwhelmed with all of the people and activity, and he spent a good bit of his weekend (when not playing with his newest admirers, Betsey's daughter and Chris' daughter) right here

    I'm not feeling overly creative or literate, so I think I'm gonna call it quits. I think it's a little bit of overload from the past three days. Suffice to say that we DEEPLY APPRECIATE everyone coming by this weekend, we were THRILLED to meet friends old and new, and we can't wait to get everything up and running now that the "big push" has passed.

    Have a great week..........I know I will! Tonight is our monthly Philosopher's Wool knitting group, which meets on the fourth Monday of the month--I make the entree and dessert and others bring side dishes to go with and after dinner we all sit and knit our PW sweaters and enjoy the great fair isle patterns and colors. We have several new folks joining us, as they have picked out their own sweater project and are ready to get started. Dinner for the evening is Posole Theresita (scroll down a tiny bit for the recipe), courtesy of Theresa Chan of Stillpoint fame. It's an amazing southwestern/Native American stew that will be perfect on a chilly Monday like today. I'm off to go veg and knit...................hopefully I'll be coherent again soon!