Black Dog

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

Thursday, January 22, 2004

A Philosophy of Excess

OK OK OK ...... I'll post. (grin) Thanks so much for all of the kind notes encouraging me to spend a little time here in blogland, despite being pulled in six directions in other aspects of life. Miss Sarah, your kind note is behind this. Thank you! And let it be widely known that the variety of thoughtful notes, caring concern, and encouraging words are really helping these days. We are keeping an impossible schedule, and I'm afraid it's starting to wear on Matt just a little bit--he's been a little under the weather of late, not to mention under the gun. But.......we persist. As my maternal Gram used to say "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger". Nothing like a little Eastern European work ethic to keep you motivated. She was one amazing woman who led a hard but wonderfully full life--and I have her to thank for starting all of this. My Grandma Petraitis is the one that taught me how to knit and crochet, while spending time with her when I was 5 or 6 years old. So I'm reminded of her love and generous spirit every day of my life.'s been the watchword in these parts. Last night I had excessive enrollment in my beginning knitting class. We cap enrollments at six, and suddenly there were eight folks around the table. It appears that through a clerical error in December, I had my hands full in January. But an adventurous spirt by them and good arch support in my shoes got us through it. Nearly everyone took off like mad on their practice, and by the end of the evening we had four folks with several inches of scarf, two ladies with a good start on the base of their felted bag project, another with the gauge swatch for her hat (she knows how to knit from coming by last fall, so she's starting something from a pattern now), and another starting her bag base after class. SUCCESS! They'll be back next week for more.

But back to excess..........Monday we had 18 boxes arrive. You'll see pictures below of parts of the shipment, but Tuesday brought us four boxes and Wednesday three more. That's 25 boxes in three days, and given the conversations I've had with vendors this week, I know of at least four more shipments that are in transit and scheduled to land by Friday. I had a good conversation with the folks at one place and I know for certain that the remainder of the Noro yarns have left New York City and should be here today or tomorrow, without question (they've done the billing, which means the yarn left a day or two ago). Just out of morbid curiousity, I did some adding........this week alone, we'll receive over $100,000 (retail) in new inventory in five days ($84,000 from KFI alone, which frightens me at some level, because that's a lot of yarn from one place). That's excessive......and what did we do first thing on Monday--order more, from a different supplier (tons of fun stuff from Italy, the new colors of Silky Wool and the new line of cottons that is featured in her second book, out in February). This leads me to my next point (including photos, finally)

These stairs direct you to the second level of the house, where we've started building shelving units and will soon have yarn on these shelves--we're going condo! Astute readers are probably saying to themselves "but weren't they supposed to be LIVING upstairs.....?". Yes, that was the plan. But plans change. And Matt spent a good part of Thursday of last week meeting with our property/zoning lawyer and the folks at the zoning commission, and the end result is that we're going to abandon any plans of fighting the zoning issue or the efforts to get the property rezoned for commercial use. We will, however, need to have a variance in place for previous activities and to keep operating at this location for the next few months. But, we are--as of Thursday evening after Third Thursday--actively seeking new digs for ThreadBear, the retail experience. Drives around town and some cursory glances inside of a couple buildings show great promise for a new location, and we're looking for a significantly larger building with some good character. Ideally, it would be an appropriately-zoned space like this one, with live-in quarters, but we're not limiting ourselves to those only. We are probably going to exclude strip mall space, as we need something with character (for some characters--US). But for now, we'll live in the back, have shop everywhere up front, and eventually plan to live in the house as humans/civillians once we relocate the shop this spring. So now the secrets are out--we're too big for the digs.

Orders continue to leave, as fast as I can get things boxed up and in the mail. I'm trying, trust me on that. I remain a few days behind on responses, so please don't feel abandoned. And if you're looking for color consults, that process is now officially underway and Matt is working hard on getting back to folks. We both feel horrible about delays like this, and we've actually hired additional folks to help with picking/boxing orders in addition to shop staff, so I do hope the backlog will be clearing up soon. Don't let this scare you away--seriously. It may take a couple additional days to get things to you, but it's worth it. Based on what I've seen in the boxes this week, the yarns are amazing and the colors and textures are impressive. Spring and Summer yarns are here in abundance, and we haven't stopped with fall/winter things. So let's see what's new.

Good things from SR Kertzer and Lorna's Laces up first. We now have an incredible batch of yarns to make the Radiating Throw (seen below, in the box in the back to the left of the basket). The front box is Kertzer Persia and Ranee

Oh, and in the basket? Yup--that's Lorna's Laces Angel, in the Aslan colourway

I now have 16 hanks of this incredible yarn that are available for adoption to a good home. Four skeins will make Theresa's incredible scarf and they're $9 each from us ($10 regular retail). Drop me a note if you're in need. Back to the beauty.

This is Ranee

We received several bags of this beautiful stuff and it's perfect for a little pop of color around your neck (Sarah has a freebie pattern that works up nicely with this and a strand of eyelash) or for a fun shell-style top. I really like Kertzer yarns--we've stocked their Fizz family of yarns since fall, and for spring/summer we've added their Butterfly 10 cotton

This stuff is amazing mercerized cotton in a cabled yarn at the dk-weight. I'm sure I'll show you more of it in the near future. We have other cottons on hand currently, including Sirdar's Pure Cotton

and King Tut Cotton (yes, the box was destroyed in transit--taped to within an inch of its life to make it here, but the yarn was safe)

What's that? more color?

Yup, that's more cotton--Lily Multi from Noro and Distrato and Beauty Cotton (barber-pole only right now) and California by Gedifra. But oh, the beauty of Lily Multi

And of course, it wouldn't be Monday without a delivery from Koigu Wool Designs and our great friends up there (HI TAIU, HI MAIE). Two monster-sized boxes (73 pounds of yarn). Here's a tiny bit

All kinds of good things, including some incredible multis in Kersti, some great KPM solids, and a bunch of KPPPM multis (and two full dye lots of that elusive P118 for the baby blanket), and more. There's a good bit of solid Kersti in there as well, as evidenced by the beauty shot on the couch

Rachael and I have had a few conversations about using Kersti (solids in her case) for Alice S-omebody's "Cromarty". I think it will be a fab project. I'm sure you'll see it over at her site shortly............if she succumbs.

There's even a couple dye lots of Rumba (their brushed mohair), including the amazingly beautiful black mohair with hot pink accents.

Half of it was spoken for while we unpacked a little on Monday (one of our locals/new helpers nabbed it), then Em grabbed a few, and someone else claimed dibs a couple days ago but I haven't heard from her since. If I don't, they may go back out for adoption. By the way, check the gratuitous Koigu shot above, with the ELECTRIC PINK mohair in the background of the picture. Fluffy, pink cotton candy to knit with!

And with that, I'm outta here. Time to go shower, get the place ready for the day, and prepare for my beginning crochet class this afternoon. Back soon, I promise! (when we get out from under all of the new yarn headed this way..........).

Monday, January 19, 2004

Sweet Lawdy Jay-sus

When we're busy, I don't feel like I should be spending time blogging when there's folks waiting for yarn and replies. So if you wonder where we've been, we've been packing and shipping and answering and replying and so forth. But that's not what brought me here today. You have been warned

We received 18 boxes of yarn this afternoon. Baby, spring and summer has arrived (despite it being like 9F last night and about 22F today). Two boxes of Koigu yarns (some of the most amazing Kersti on the planet, some HOT-CHA-CHA Rumba (one in black and fucshia that is dynamite), and some great Painter's Palette (even the elusive P118 for the cool baby blanket in "Stitch And Bitch"). On the other front, we have oodles of cottons and fun yarns from all over Europe, some amazing stuff from Canada (SR Kertzer stuff), and some darned amazing Lorna's Laces.

We received a tiny bit of Kureyon and some Silk Garden. I'm not sure when the remainder should arrive. I apologize to those who expected yarn to come this week for their projects. I relied on the word of someone else and I am coming to learn that I cannot rely on promises and "ought to" types of statements.

More later.........