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, December 12, 2003


There was something extra in the UPS delivery this morning. I knew about the four boxes of Lana Grossa yarns we received, but there was an additional box I wasn't expecting (and there was not another box I was expecting............are you following along?). Lookie what finally arrived today

Yup, The Best of Knitter's Arans & Celtics is in here (an entire case of them). And it's more than I expected it to be, in a "must knit" sense. It's a great way of bringing together 30 classic projects from various issues of KNITTER'S MAGAZINE into one resource. I'm a texture knitting freak, without question. I'm in way-beyond seventh heaven with this arriving..........

If you need a copy, the cover price is $19.95, so our price is $17.96. If you need one sent to you, I can get it in your hands for $1.84 using media mail (inside the US, of course), which means your total is $$19.80--less than the cover price on the book and no sales tax. Ain't I good? Drop me an e-mail if you have to have this wonderful collection in your knitting library.

Maggi asks about my preferred needle size for socks with Koigu KPPPM, as I'm such a loose knitter. I use US 0 (2mm) needles almost exclusively for sock-weight yarns, but the Pop Sox you saw earlier today are being knitted on US 1 (2.25mm) and I'm liking the fabric, but it is a little loose to my eye. The pattern from Fun Socks II specified using a 3mm needle (approximates to a US 3), but lawdy, that would be lace knitting for these loosey-goosey knitting hands. But that's my experience......YMMV.

JoJo comments on the volume of yarn here right now--while it has NOT made it upstairs (and never will, if Matt and I both have our say), it has encroached on some personal living space this week. There's more here than we can shelve in our current configuration, but as the upstairs opens up and the back room is no longer sleeping quarters, we can make additional changes to the layout and set up the last of the shelving for some yarn. We are resting, we are maintaining our sanity (what little we ever had), and we are doing alright. Matt's had sinus issues of late, but that seems to be over.

Gail asked about the wonderful green yarn in the box (and commented on the lavender as well). That's Manos del Uruguay, and what you see is part of our third big shipment. We have nearly every shade now, and will soon have them all (mwahahahahah). The green is one of my absolute favorites by them--between that, the bing cherry, and the topaz--as well as the woodland multi, which is just a mix of these shades--I'm in heaven when it comes to Manos. It's a weakness of mine, and I never try to avoid it.

Jill wants to be adopted......stand in line, darlin'. Our friend Rachel in Bloomington (HI RACHEL) was over yesterday and helped price and stock needles and notions, and while we were working she recanted her dream from Wednesday night---where she asked us, verbally, to adopt her and we agreed (verbally) to start the proceedings. Never mind the fact that Rachel is a couple years older than all makes sense, right? But if y'all become our children, you'll have chores to do and allowances to earn. Remember that.............

Gwen notes that some of the boxes in the pictures this morning are from KFI, who is quickly becoming the evil empire in my eyes. They haven't returned a phone call to me since Wednesday (yet they PROMISED they would when I called back again Friday and Tuesday)--nine days and counting (10 if you count Wednesday of last week). The boxes you see contained the better part of an order we placed in September that somehow got lodged in their system (they're having computer issues) as well as some of the newer stuff we ordered when our rep was here in early November (some of it is part of the spring line for Dazzle, Flutter, and such, as well as the Debbie Bliss Aran Tween and the Sirdar Donegal that we added on with our rep at that same visit). I'm impressed with the way they got some things out within a month or so, but of course it's typical KFI--they send yarn but not the patterns that go with it (patterns are backordered). Harumph. Or you get 2/3 of the line when you order every color, and the remainder will dribble and drabble in over the next several weeks/months. One bag at a time in a shipment. Harumph. Supposedly, however, there are some yarn distributors who are even more notorious about backorders and interesting logistics. I'd rather not find out, ok?

Gotta run.........someone needs yarn!

Wowie, Wow Wow WOW!

When Wendy started using this catch phrase, I liked it. But sometimes it is about the only thing I can think of to sum up a series of events. And that about sums up this week. Eeesh, what a week. First off, apologies for not posting, but when we're behind on answering inquiries and filling orders, I don't feel right in taking the 30-60 minutes to create a post. That doesn't mean I don't WANT to post, but I have good Catholic guilt working on me (years of parochial school, don'cha know), so I've been remiss with catching up with everyone. JoJo, don't worry--we're fine and here, but we're just busy.

For some reason, it now appears that every single person in this town of approximately 35,000 people must knit. And they've all been by this week! This is a wonderful "problem" to have, and we've met tons of new, fun, encouraging local folks. But that takes me away from Y'ALL, whom I miss terribly when I don't post. I've been in touch with many via e-mail and a few by phone (right Amy), but not nearly enough. HI. HOPE EVERYONE IS DOING WELL!

Between the DSL problems Sunday into Monday, and then blogger issues early in the week, technology has kicked my butt. We still don't have the new PC patched into the DSL line (not for lack of trying--Matt has been tooooooooooo swamped this week, and he fought off a nasty sinus infection early in the week). And oh, the yarn coming in the back door of the shop.

Oh, the yarn..........

Oh, the yarn...........

Oh, the yarn..........

And the sad part? That's just Monday and Tuesday deliveries. You don't see the Wednesday deliveries (HUGE set of three boxes from Crystal Palace (tons of cotton chenille colors for the flower face cloths that are so popular right now), a big box of notions and needles from another vendor) nor the Thursday deliveries (but you will below), nor the three boxes of patterns that we've had arrive this week (more from FiberTrends, Nancy Lindberg, and Effectiveness by Design). And there's more coming in today--at minimum a big batch of backorders from Lana Grossa and possibly my cashmere from Classic Elite (Sinful and Forbidden......gotta love those names!). Suffice to say there's much more yarn here now than our current shelving arrangement can handle, so we're going to be doing some jockeying and arranging during the evening this week. Last night alone, Low Helen came by to move the Manos del Uruguay and Jamieson yarns around for us (THANKS HELEN.......MWAH!). And someone yesterday made the comment that there cannot be any sheep on the planet with any wool growing on them--it's all in here! (don't tell her that a bunch of the boxes you see in the first few pictures above have the beginnings of our cotton lines in them..........showing up a little early).

I promised a few pictures of the completed scarves that were so popular at the art fair last weekend. I whipped these three up Friday night based on Matt telling me what was selling like mad that day, and they all three (and MANY more) sold on Saturday. Take a peek at the Geisha Print scarf you saw here in its infancy on Friday

It turned out great, and it was the first thing to sell on Saturday (to another vendor, before the booth opened). The overall texture looked rather boucle and the scarf was soft as can be--it's a microfiber yarn, so of course it's soft. And these

this wild combination is Deco Ribbon and Splash knitted "the long way" instead of the "short way". Fun fucshia and flame colors here

and the obligatory purples here. This one has more stitches than the above, and is slimmer than above, but both are well loved and bringing color to someone's life. They're great! (many thanks to Matt for being my color guru--he knew that folks were wanting BRIGHT color and lots of glitz and impact). All in all we sold a ton of things (not just scarves), so I feel it was time well spent (by Matt...LOL).

Monday was Sock Night in Bloomington (our former home), and I started something new and fun using a pattern from the new Koigu sock book we just received--Fun Socks II (copies available, folks!). Behold the beauty of Pop Sox, in P131 (one of my favorite combinations of sapphire blues, purples, and lime)

I've not had much knitting time of late (again, can't justify knitting when folks are waiting for yarn......), but I did make a little progress at Sock Night here on Wednesday (this group should be more pupular after January 1.....hang in there, those of you who are currently attending!).

One of the fun things to arrive early in the week was the long-awaited Simply Noro book, expected back in August or September (I forget, it's been so long). (Click here to see a few designs)

We have a few copies remaining, but it's a wonderful book that's going to be very popular with afficianados of these wonderful yarns (when you can get them--ARGH!!!). Here's a glam shot of one of my favorite projects in the book

That's an awesome seed stitch jacket using Iro, a yarn I've tried to resist but cannot any longer. We're going to have to start carrying it---it's the same composition as Shinano (which we have, in all colors), 65% wool and 35% silk, but it's a bulky weight fiber and very wonderful. I also think that this sweater

is an excellent way to use two different, yet similar, colorways of Kureyon for a great impact. I can review the entire book if you'd like, sometime next week. It's a winner, and just $15.95 retail (so $14.36 from us).

Yesterday I ordered the new handpainted collection from OPAL (stalk it using 1Z YY3 213 03 4194 055 4 ). I've ordered 25 hanks of every colorway (they are 100g hanks, so one will make a pair of socks) and they're expected here next Friday (December 19th). Being hand painted, they are a little more expensive than your usual OPAL, at $16.99 retail per skein (ThreadBear price will be $15.29). Preorder if you'd like with an e-mail to me and we'll start sending things out late next week. According to Mary Lou, the OPAL distributor lady in Oregon, the colors are much more impressive in person than online, so they must be dynamite!

And, as promised in the very beginning, here's the new shipment of Mountain Colors BearFoot sock yarn that arrived just yesterday morning. We have all of these available as of this morning (after removing special requests first for some e-mail customer-friends who were waiting for specific colorways, and then some locals shopped it last night....the power of shopping in person or stocking shelves at night or coming to a felted mitten class in the evening.....right HELEN). They're all single skeins (one hank makes a pair for most feet) unless marked with a number after the colorway name, and they're $19 retail/$17.10 ThreadBear. A note in the box of BearFoot noted that they are dropping (IN THIS LINE ONLY) the lighter colorways, so this may be the last batch of BearFoot in Clearwater, Golden Willow, Sagebrush, Ladyslipper, Sweet Lavender, and others I can't remember right now. We have some of these colorways on hand right now, so here's two shots for you

Top row--Lupine, Golden Willow, Bitterroot Rainbow (2), Evergreen (2), Crazy Woman, Alpine (4), Steelhead (4)

Bottom row--Missouri River (2), Ruby River (2), Lost Trail (3), Copper King Plum (2), Indian Corn (2), Clearwater (2)

Top row--Sagebrush, Red Tail Hawk, Granite Peak, Yellowstone, Wilderness, Huckleberry, Firestorm

Bottom row--Midnight Sapphire, Garnet (2), Northern Lights, Winter Sky, Sierra (2), Glacier Teal

We have something wonderful to look forward to on Saturday. I hear word of a Chicago invasion by someone riding with an accomplice. I have never interacted with either of them in person, but I've longed to meet them as long as I've "known" them online. It should be a FUN day, filled with lots of chatter (this is me you're talking about).

I'm gone for now...I have a HUGE box (seriously, like 3 feet wide and two feet tall) full of packages to go mail and FINALLY get a haircut. Shocking! (Columbus, IN, needs a service where someone will come to your home/business and cut your hair). Have a great Friday and enjoy the lustful pictures above!

Monday, December 08, 2003

More Issues Than Time Magazine

Connectivity problems, between our computers---YES, PLURAL---and our DSL connection. We had no connection from Sunday early until about 10:30 EST this morning, so I've been unable to answer questions, respond to inquiries, or blog until just now. I have an entry to write, but I'm a little overwhelmed by the incoming mail from the past couple days. Plus, we're now open for the day, so time's short. And yes, I said plural----we have both machines, but the new one won't talk to the old one and network appropriately. ICK

HAVE YOU SEEN THE NEW KNITTY? AMY AND COMPANY ROCK! Oh, and I have a piece in there, too

More soon.......................