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, January 09, 2004


We do sell issues of Vogue, folks (grin). I can mail $5.39 instead of the newstand price of $5.99, plus postage of course. And you don't pay sales tax unless you're in Indiana. Media Mail postage is $1.42, for a grand total of $6.81 to your door.......

Maggi mentioned the baby blanket pattern in the new book Stitch N Bitch. It calls for using Koigu KPPPM and holding it double stranded. One of our customers at a distance (HI NICOLE) had the great idea of using Koigu Kersti (no link to our site, but we do stock TONS of it) instead of doubling the KPPPM, and I mentioned it to Taiu once, who heartily approves. If you're looking to make that baby blanket, why not consider the Kersti instead (which is lovely, cushy stuff). Or, we have a ton of KPPPM on hand, and much more arriving on Monday (and again at the end of the month).

Just a thought..............

Strike a Pose

Don't just stand there, let's get to it....strike a pose there's nothing to it........

I'm easily impressed.........especially with fall and winter knitting projects. I've also not been very impressed (despite it being easy) with many of the major knitting magazines of late. Such is not the case with this little jewel, which appeared on our doorstep (courtesy of the cute FedEx driver) this morning. Plus, as I thumbed through the opening pages (new items, fun books, etc.) I found out that we had all of the items listed and reviewed. YIPEEE!! Up front, where they go into detail on the issue, they specifically mention Lana Gatto Amsterdam.....

How funny that we've stocked it since just before Christmas, and now they show a scarf using FOUR balls of the yarn (our scarf model uses just two, and it is still over six feet long). That was fun to see! Then it was on to what I had been "warned" about yesterday.............

The good folks at Koigu Wool Designs called yesterday to ask if I had seen the new Vogue Knitting International and I had to say no. Taiu herself (that's her, and her daughter Kersti...ever hear that name used before?) called me to see if I'd seen the above--a peacoat style jacket knitted with a double strand of Kersti, their DK-weight crepe merino. LOVELY STUFF! And whattayaknow.......we have tons of Kersti set to arrive on Monday (I just stalked it using the UPS tracking code I passed along to y'all in Wednesday's entry). As if trhat wasn't enough, Taiu also warned me that there's a fun scarf pattern in this issue that uses the KPPPM/KPM as well. I just had to rifle through it to see.

Check out these fun accessories (that look like quick-knit projects as well).

That one on the left is the cover scarf, using Noro Kureyon in colourway #102 (which we have on hand, with more on order to arrive any day now). The next one is what Taiu wanted me to know about

That's a variety of KPM (solid) colors of their wonderful merino yarn. Very VERY fun design and not a difficult knit, looking over the pattern quickly. Good thing we have a good supply of the solids right now. And of course, there's yet another really fun scarf using Kureyon (2 different balls at once) in a basketweave pattern

And they have their requisite "Very Easy, Very Vogue" scarves as well, and I cannot believe................look!!!

The upper one is knitted with Crystal Palace Coccoon, which we've had on hand for about four months now and not known what to knit with's odd, but very fun! The lower one is Mango Moon Recycled Silk and Pash-Mohair (their laceweight mohair). We stock all of these yarns! Yahoo!!!!!!!!

There are sweaters in this issue (many -- and quite nice ones). I just wanted to whip up a post for you and then get back to packing boxes full of love for many folks. Also in today's incoming things was a box from Lorna's Laces which included some wonderful, beautiful Angel that's headed back to Chicago once I get approval from someone.

It's lovely, and it's in the Baltic Sea colourway, so it's a wonderful batch of Manly Angora. I think it would be soft and wonderful. If said Chicagoan does take the four I think she might, that would still leave another four skeins of this very yarn up for adoption, which would make a fantastic scarf using her pattern.

If y'all want, I can review the sweaters in this issue as well. For now, I need to pack boxes and get busy, so have a great weekend and I'll be in touch again soon! Much thanks!

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Frivolity, In Abundance

Long-time readers will remember my hesitation in starting to stock scarfie yarns, flashy yarns, and the like, since I'm such a traditionalist in my knitting (I claim to be a big fan of texture/Aran knitting, followed closely by felting, then fair isle). Well, recent readers know how wild I am over these crazy yarns--the more wild the better, it appears. And yesterday's deliveries are no exception.

That's Whisper, from Crystal Palace. $7.80 a skein retail, $7.02 from us. I made one of these two weeks ago when the first two colors arrived, and now we have them all. It's extremely soft microfiber yarn, and it could be very fun in concert with other yarns (they show a total of five new patterns for Whisper on their new page that has patterns organized by yarn type). I think I might sneak out another quickie in one of the new colors, just for fun.

Also new yesterday would be four colourways of Tingle, a really thick eyelash for a big impact. Again, six great ideas for it on the patterns page, including trim on a quick-knit hat, a scarf or two, and more. Here's what we have so far, with more coming

You know I'm gonna be playing with this stuff shortly.......

And of course, we got more of the same two shades of Squiggle, with the remainder of the colourways (solids and multis) coming in a couple weeks.

They have a number of free patterns for this fun yarn, and I've made three examples so far (you've seen them here).

Saturday I'm teaching a sock knitting class, so I'll need to do a little knitting along with my class. Since the other three socks I have started right now are past the point I need to use for illustrative purposes (how's that for justification???, but they's past the heel flap, one's on the foot, and the other is a textured pattern that I don't want to use for an example...SEE), I'll need to start something new for the class. So I have decided that I absolutely must knit with this

That's Interlacements in colourway 206--Las Vegas Brights. We had several come in with the order on Monday, and I'm always drawn to BRIGHT colors, so it was a natural choice. Here's how it looks wound into a ball, which more closely approximates how this fun yarn will knit up

Nice..........very nice. And since there's two pairs of socks in this one hank, I'm going to do one following my favorite basic sock pattern on the planet from Nancy Lindberg (good for any size foot and any type of yarn) and the other using an afterthought heel, which is the topic of study for our local sock knitting group that meets next Monday. So I've got to knit an entire sock leg, put in the waste yarn, then finish the foot, between now and Wednesday the 14th. EEEEK. I guess I need to be devoting more time to knitting! Wahoo!!!!!!!

Speaking of socks and next week, we ordered the new collection of Opal for delivery next week. Behold the beauty of Magic

Set for a Tuesday arrival, we have some of every combination coming, and several folks have preordered theirs (someone's doing one of every colourway). This collection comes to us at the new price (thanks to the strong Euro), so back on December 18th Opal went up to $14.99 retail a ball (one ball does a pair of socks for most feet, remember), which means we'll have it for our usual 10% off every item, every day, or $13.49. Preorder with a simple e-mail, as usual. We'll begin shipping on Wednesday, most likely, after we check in the 150+ skeins that are headed our way.

Matt had a full house last night for our "Introduction to Fair Isle Knitting" class. Thanks to the lovely and talented Low Helen (who also hunted down and bagged some awesome Chinese food for us, since we couldn't leave the house and needed to eat before class), it was a rousing success, from what I could tell. Seven locals started their way down the path of color knitting with some great success, practicing color knitting, and picking their colourway from any of SIXTY FOUR different combinations he's created. So as not to steal his thunder, I'm going to direct you to his blog for more information. I think there's also a ThreadyBear knit-along gearing up, complete with a Yahoo! group. Go visit him to learn more. But I'll let you in on a little secret---of the eight boxes of yarn that arrived yesterday, three were Jamieson 2-ply spindrift (the stuff that Wendy lives for....) and two are waist-high and packed with yarn (the third is short and still full, but not as impressive). YUM YUM YUM!!!!

For now, I'm off to get ready to open the shop and get back to packing boxes and making yarn dreams come true. I'll be in touch with those who've been ordering of late, getting yarn out and being in touch about things. Thanks for reading and hurry back just never know what I'll have in these parts.....

Wednesday, January 07, 2004


Just a little catch-up......

  • Jo asks about Interlacements yarns and if she could purchase a specific yarn or a specific colourway. Trust me, you're not limited to just socks using the Little Toes that I showed yesterday, as it's a sport weight yarn that would be great for vests, accessories, or other knitting patterns that call for a sport-weight yarn. Or, the folks at Interlacements can dye anything you'd like in any of their fibers (we have the blank fiber cards as well as the colourways they come in here at the shop) and we're glad to order it for you. As always, slip me an e-mail for more information.

  • Letters..........she gets letters...........If you've purchased the new book by Elsebeth Lavold (either from us or from another source), there's an errata page for the book that you can find here. There are a few other corrections to be had that aren't yet on the website--just drop me a note and we'll gladly share what we know has been corrected by the designer herself.

    and some relish

  • Donna writes that she's enjoying the knitting part of her Bucket-O-Chic hat that's the knitted genius of Bonne Marie. Part of the joy of knitting this project is the yarn--Cascade Pastaza, a delicious llama/wool blend that is just phenomenal on the needles (and a joy to wear--soft, fuzzy, and very very warm!--I made Matt mittens out of it last winter). I can't wait to see finished pictures of her version, as she used one of my favorite colors in this awesome yarn.

  • ME---we ordered an absolute tonnage of yarn from Koigu Wool Designs, including nearly 1,000 hanks of KPM and KPPPM alone, plus Kersti, Fancy, and Rumba, along with patterns. I didn't expect anything for a few weeks, but I received my tracking number today (1ZAA52581218006033 -- stalk the yarn here). Turns out we're getting some KPPPM, many solid colourways in Kersti, and some patterns (maybe more goodies) in a 42-pound shipment that will arrive on Monday. Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

    That's it for today--enjoy your Wednesday, do be in touch, and holler if we can help in any way. Tomorrow I should post pictures of some of the goodies that arrived today, so do stay tuned for more. And look at yesterday's entry--I left off the picture for the back of the Shag Cropped Jacket I'm knitting and it's there now. THANKS JO for catching my error! (oh, and did ya get it...condiments........catch-up, relish............bwahahaha....I slay myself).

  • Tuesday, January 06, 2004

    It's afternoon......somewhere!

    Sorry everyone.....I promised a post before the end of the afternoon....I guess I wasn't specific as to what day, right? (always a loophole for this one...yessiree!). I had forgotten that last night was Franklin Knit Night up in Franklin, so after teaching the beginning knitting class and wrapping things up, there wasn't much time left for blogging before we were to get ready to leave. And the stream of folks coming in the door was rather strong, so blogging went back burner. And as for this morning, I was up until 2:30 a.m. watching tv and falling asleep on the couch (I sent my last message at 1 a.m. to Cheryl of tagboard fame -- see I told you I was trying to get caught up! grin). So.......I'm nearly 100% caught up and Matt's starting back to working on color consults for Koigu projects. Life is good....

    So, first a little housekeeping......catch up stuff.

  • Jan asks about clogs and felting and why--I have always made the FiberTrends pattern AC-33x with a single strand of Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride bulky, despite the pattern calling for a double strand of worsted. Doubled worsted equals bulky, and there's a couple good reasons why we use the Lamb's Pride instead of another yarn. First off, the color range is really good for the LP yarns--the combinations and shades are perfect for the things we do with the combos. So why use the bulky over the worsted doubled? Economics, my friend! A double strand of worsted equals a single of bulky. So if worsted and bulky are the same price per skein (they are), and there's 191 yards in the worsted, that's equal to 96 yards of bulky. Well, a skein of LP bulky has 125 yards in it, so you get 30 more yards of yarn when you buy the bulky. Conversely, two skeins of bulky would be 250 yards of yarn and two skeins of worsted would be just 191 yards, so I'm sure you're getting the picture.

  • One more tidbit about the clogs in this picture

    That's a before and after of the same size clog--a ladies' medium (7-8 shoe size) and the ink pen is for reference. On the clogs, we use a double strand of Handpaint Originals, which gives you a blast of color as well as an extra-furry cuff (the HPO has 70% mohair and 30% wool and the mohair REALLY fluffs when felted). So now you know my secrets to awesome clogs!

  • A good customer and a good friend of a good friend (so does that make her our friend, by relation? HOPEFULLY) recently fell for the idea of some Cozy Toes, a new sock pattern by the folks at Koigu Wool Designs from the new book "Fun Socks II", a Take-Along Knits book. Well, this project uses a single strand of the KPPPM and one of Rumba (their hand-dyed brushed mohair) to make a pair of warm socks that, according to Maie Landra, will shake off any chill. Forget the chills, these socks would chase away the blues from anyone--no matter how down they were. Check them out!

    Awesome job, Jackie! I really, REALLY like this project and look forward to making some in the near future. WOW--what a stunner. And I've forgotten (on purpose, under threat from someone) the color combination, so these are unique to her and her alone. But we can make something unique for you as well. GOOD STUFF!

    I promised you progress shots on the Shag Cropped Jacket. First off, here's a closeup of the skeins of Shag that showed up on Saturday

    It's pretty awesome stuff, and I can't wait until Monday (1/12) when the rest of it arrives. As for the progress on my version of the jacket, here's that glam shot

    That's the back, which I completed on Sunday night in a couple hours (total time on the back was maybe three hours of knitting). It doesn't ripple like that--I just didn't smooth out the cast on row when I laid it out on the table. It is a really, really fun knit so far and there's very minimal shaping to it. Last night, at Franklin Knit Night (and in the car on the way back, while Low Helen drove--THANKS HELEN), I finished about half of one of the fronts of the jacket, too. Just what I needed--a project that wasn't a scarf that still knits up quickly. More on it as the project progresses.

    The best things come in the mail around here of late. If you remember, on New Year's Day I made a scarf following this pattern from Crystal Palace, which calls for Deco Ribbon and Tingle. Since Tingle wasn't available yet (it will be on hand later this month), I used Kertzer Multi Fizz, which we stock and have in a variety of colors. Well, on my next call to Crystal Palace to place a monster order (set to arrive Monday of next week), I did get to speak with Susan (HI SUSAN!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!) about the scarves and things. She was kind enough to send me three balls of Tingle ahead of regular shipments so I can work with the new yarn and have a good time--and I'm sure I will. Look at this stuff!

    Left to right they are Fiesta Tweed, Jade Tweed, and Peppermint Tweed. This is a FUN yarn--look at the strand of it

    We'll have three bags each of about 5-6 colors sometime tomorrow (a small CP order is due to arrive), as well as more of that fun Squiggle, in both Delphinium Mix and Fern Mix (the same as our last batch). We also are getting every single color of Whisper in this batch, to go with the flame and shadows we received a couple weeks ago. I love CP yarns, and I never thought I'd really like the "flashy-trashy" stuff, but boy is it fun to play with.

    Lest you think I stopped ordering yarn, last Tuesday a customer came in holding a pair of hand-knit socks she purchased at a fair in Michigan earlier in the fall. She wanted to find yarn to make something similar, and I quickly identified it as the work of the fantastic dyers at Interlacements, a Colorado bunch featured in "Handpaint Country" a couple years ago. I'm a big fan of their BRIGHT an FUN color combinations, so I jumped at the chance to finally add one of their yarns to our stable of goodies for knitters. I've used their Toasty Toes worsted for socks before, but I had never seen their Little Toes, which is the same 100% merino superwash fiber but in a sport weight. Well, you know me--everything to excess. I ordered 40 hanks of it right on the spot, and it arrived yesterday (Monday). A hank has 700 yards of yarn--enough to make two pairs of socks--and it retails for $31, so we offer it at $27.90. That's two pairs of socks made with hand-dyed superwash merino for under $14 a pair (that's cheaper than most other hand-dyed sock yarns, folks!). And look at the colors they have.........that we now have.........

    From top to bottom, these are 206 Las Vegas Brights, 221 The Berries, 216 Poppy Fields, 208 Desert Lichen, and 207 (unnamed).

    Next options

    Top to bottom again 210 Grape Harvest, 215 (unnamed), 211 Renaissance, 202 Carbon Dioxide, and Fl Gar (no number, no picture--sorry).

    Number Three

    At the top 205 Reds Plus, 219 Scottish Lichen, 218 (unnamed), 213 Southwest, and 220 Mountain Jewel.


    Topside 201 The Blues, 204 Summer Fruit, 203 Submarine, a limited edition LE 1 (black and blue), and and LE 2 (a very cool combo).

    And if you like your socks more solid and sedate, how about these lovelies

    255--rich blue, LE--an aubergine shade (super-dark purple), 256--a stunner of a grey, and 251--lovely burgundy.

    Remember, I'm an e-mail away if you're interested in anything. And until tomorrow, I'm off to go knit at our local knit night (I'm already an hour late.....this post was almost "post of the damned", as during the process, it got eaten by Blogger, the power went off (at 5 p.m. for about 5 seconds--lost the post), and we were busy until after 7 p.m. tonight. It is a sign I shouldn't be yarn pimping? I don't think so..........but do be well, be warm, and get knittin'!

  • Monday, January 05, 2004

    Confession Time

    I must confess to sleeping in today--got up at 8:30 and been busy ordering yarn this morning. I'll try to slip away from duties later in the day to write my intended post. Part of what seduced me last night was the chance to sit and knit (after 10 p.m. when we finished packing orders---y'all love you some Indulgence!) and I finished the back of the Shag Jacket (gotta love that name---it sounds like naughty wear). That's one seriously quick knit!

    Later this afternoon (from 1-3:30) I'm teaching beginning knitting here at The 'Bear to a very enthusiastic group of learners. I look forward to this but it is another thing to keep me away from here today. I promise an entry before the end of the afternoon, okay?

    For now, I'm off to go get ready to open the shop in 25 minutes..............but I'll be back soon!