Black Dog

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

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

The Norwegians Have Landed

Yup--Daletta's here. And included in the boxes would be

  • The full color palette of Daletta, including the new shades from this spring (so we have every shade in the shop right now)--$4.70 per skein retail, so $4.23 each from us

  • Plenty of books--some restock, and several new ones that have Daletta designs in them (I just asked them to include a few they thought were good designs and they did--they're so good to me!)

  • A shop model using Daletta.....see!

    Lawdy, Lawdy! They sent me an Ingeborg for a model! And that's the lovely and talented Deb showing off the beauty of the garment. I'm in heaven..........and now I really, really want to make one. But I don't have to, as we have one. EEEEEEEEEK.

    Ain't she purty..........both shes!

  • Monday, March 22, 2004

    Knitting--The Other Summer Sport

    OK--let's try this for a THIRD time. Blogger ate both of my previous posts, so I'll work on yet another...grrrr.

    (12 hours later..........I should have learned not to try to post after we open the shop--I got NOTHING typed in from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., and then it was time to make dinner--we have two kitchens, dating from when this was three apartments--and then time for our monthly Philosopher's Wool knit night. It's now 9:30 p.m. and I'll finish this thing up....or write it, actually). We had a fantastic weekend of good fiber, great friends, and wonderful customers. We had a busy few days (Friday/Saturday/Sunday) and Koigu KPM/KPPPM was very popular, so we're glad we had a big shipment of Koigu yarns show up on Thursday. Even after a weekend of direct hits to the stock, we still have over 2,000 skeins of KPM/KPPPM, so I'm glad I'm a glutton and buy in massive quantities. (grin) The new Rowan yarns were quite popular as well, with Summer Tweed being very warmly received by many and Calmer getting several looks, and some Handknit Cotton leaving for a better home. But surprise surprise--UPS hasn't stopped here in two days (not since Thursday). But he'll be stopping on Tuesday, with Lantern Moon goodies and probably Daletta and books.

    One thing I really try to do in the purchasing of yarns for the shop is to bring in new and different things that you don't see in every shop you visit. Thus, my fascination with some of the more unusual textures and colors out there. Case in point--Plassard Yarns from France. They're a little bit more expensive than some of our more basic yarns, but compared to other international brands, they're not outrageous at all. And the designs are quite interesting and they look very knittable! Case in point--their latest volume of spring/summer designs (designs now, yarns after)

    If the garment looks familiar, it was also featured in the February 2004 issue of (and I use this term loosely) Knit N Style. It's made with a great new yarn for this season that was the hottest thing at the yarn shop trade show last month--Tropique. We've got some on hand, but the warehouse in Florida is wiped clean and I've got backorders for more. I'm making a shop model using the blue shade of Tropique and the above pattern......... You'll see it below, and in some other designs, but on to more fab garments.

    We don't stock the yarn for the one on the far left (it was rather pricey and TINY put-ups), but we do have the Mayotte for the tank (minus the embellishment yarn again--P'tite Fleur). Mayotte's quickly becoming one of my favorite all-cotton yarns from them (you'll see why later). On the right is a cardi done in Bourrette de Soie, their 100% silk yarn that's not overly crunchy and not overly processed, yet comes in some fantastic colors (see below). I like the edgings and the vent at the bottom--no? On to basic blues.........

    Dune is used on the far left, and we don't stock it. But the Alizes in the bottom one is a great addition to our shelves, as is the Coton-Lin used for the button-up ribbed cardi on the right. Coton-Lin is a dynamite cotton/linen blend in very smart, very subtle shades. And speaking of subtle........

    That's a sharp sweater in Mayotte--whether in a neutral shade as shown here or in one of the bright colors. And check out the little drop stitch thing just below the neck. Interesting detail!

    Pink and orange........everywhere, I tell you. Here too

    On the left, Bourrette again, and check out the sleeves. Look a little familiar from last week? And on the right is a great top knitted on BIG needles (quick quick! just in time!) using the Alizes, a really cool ribbon yarn in fresh colors (again......yarns below). And for something different

    Tropique on the left, in one color for the body and another for accent on the edges--and bell sleeves. The wild! Eyelash and a sport-weight cotton. We stock their eyelash, Insolite, and I have a few suggestions for the cotton, if you're interested (Rowan's Cotton Glace is one that would work--blend two yarn obessions!) And over on the right--a great zip-front number in Ceruse, a cotton blend yarn that almost looks tie-dyed in the skein and a quick and cute crocheted belt using Tropique--a GREAT little accessory!

    Don't forget the kids..........

    Left--P'tite fleur/Dune combo, a Tropique cardigan in a great aqua shade (this is what I'm making my model with). And a great kids' sweater in Tropique in the great lime color (Chris, where are you??) on the far right. (p.s. It was great to see Chris and her adorable daughters today when they dropped by--THANKS for coming over!). More great kids' stuff

    My faves are in the center and on the left--in the center are a cabled number in Coton-Lin (upper left), a textured pullover in Bourrette (botton) and that wild tank in Papyrus (wait until you see it down below). On the far right are two garments in Ceruse, that streaky-colored cotton blend that I'm fond of, too. All in all, it's a great book full of interesting patterns (three bag designs, too!) and only $9.50 retail, so $8.55 ThreadBear.

    Last summer's pattern collection was smaller and a little lighter on the wallet--$5 retail, $4.50 ThreadBear--but had some real winners in it. Let's take a look

    Yup--that's a hoodie with a zipper. The French were a full year ahead of us (or at least us here in the Midwest). The yarn used is Papyrus, a wild fabric yarn that's the same stuff that's showing up as fabric "tags" in yarns like Plymouth's Carnivala and others. You'll see some great color below. And on the inside, more fun designs

    Up top is a fun thing with a neat detail down the sleeve in Papyrus, while down low is a great cardi in Mayotte (I'll bet it's just as soft as can be--that yarn BEGS to be fondled). One of the best designs in the entire book is here

    It's the anise' tank on the left (second one from the left). It's a tank in Mayotte with a full cable design all the way up the front. Very nice! And for something more dressy, but still comfortable and casual

    Justine (on the left) is worked in three shades of Mayotte and incorporates a cute detail on the sides--a twisted decrease stitch that turns a decrease into a slight cable. Very nice! Plus, the shading of the three natural colors is quite nice (but I envision it in BRIGHT shades, as well). Clemence on the right is a smart and simple top done in Bourrette de soi, that wonderful silk I mentioned above. Mmmmmm. It feels great, too! A few other designs include on with a fun butterfly-type motif using a yarn that knits around 32 sts/10cm (fine, but BEAUTIFUL, work) and a couple others using a good aran-weight cotton (I'm seeing the Debbie Bliss Cotton Angora in a couple of these designs.......).

    So let's look at the yarns I've been raving about. This is Coton-Lin (Squib, are you out there?)

    60% cotton and 40% linen and 22 sts/30 rows over 10cm. And tasty colors, no? Nice and subtle, but clear. That's a lovely periwinkle up top right and a great sky blue down low. And the grey/green is tasty as well. Coton-Lin is $9 retail/$8.10 TB for 105m/114y of lovely knitting. I'm also in love with Ceruse

    Remember, above I mentioned it was kinda tie-dyed in appearance? I really like the spotty nature of the color, and it's 60% cotton and 40% acrylic and 20 sts/30 rows over 10cm for 110m/120y and $9.90 retail/$8.91TB AND machine washability! On to the lovely Bourrette de Soi

    Great neutrals, intense color, and a fantastic hand, and just $9.90 retail/$8.91TB for 95m/104y of 100% silk that knits at 15 sts/24 rows over 10cm. The camera didn't do justice to the deep denimy color at the upper right, and it's wonderful. Being silk, it is hand wash only, of course. And for my main obsession from this summer line, Mayotte

    LOOK AT ALL OF THE GREAT COLORS!!!!!!!!!!!! What you see is a slight over-wrap on a soft SOFT cotton core, knitting up at about 15 sts/24 rows over 10cm and 90m/99y in a ball, all for for just $7.80 retail/$7.02TB. The white is CRISP, the neutrals very lovely, and the colors are clear and just scream SUMMER. Check out my knitted swatch in the lime green

    Dreamy........and an easy knit on a 4.5mm needle. I am in lust with this one............without question!

    For a bit of fun, why not some great tape yarn, Alizes.

    It's a loopy construction of about 85% one color and a little sideline of a second color (also loopy). It's very light and gauze-y, yet it knits at 11 stitches/15 rows over 10 cm on an 8mm needle. There's 75m/82y in a ball and it's 45% cotton, 40% acrylic, and 15% polyamid and VERY soft, and $11 retail/$9.90TB per ball. Not bad for a very captivating yarn. And for the belle of the trade show, please meet Tropique!

    Color, texture, shine, and more--all in one. It's 74% viscose and 26% polyamid, has a rambling color in each ball and a little pop of shine that rises above the yarn at regular intervals. It resembles twisted paper ribbon to me, yet is soft and nice against the skin. Use a 6mm needle for 12.5 stitches/21 rows over 10cm. The price is on the upper end of these yarns--$12.90 retail/$11.61TB, but you're getting a high-fashion top (or a cool belt, with just two balls) that is quite unique. Check out that hot hot hot pink/orange combo (are you out there, Bonne Marie??)

    And just one more.............a show stopper!

    This is some wacky stuff! It's slightly textured (little dots) and all Polyamid. It knits at 10 stitches/14 rows over 10cm, so it's a definite quick knit yarn. There's 83m/90y in a ball, and they retail for only $8 ($7.20 TB) for all that color and all that texture and all that FUN. I like the designs that Plassard has in the books, and I'm contemplating something on the order of a vest using a slip stitch design. Some local folks are picking it up by the single skein to use as embellishment yarn in felting (there's a GREAT idea) while others get a couple skeins and have a drop stitch scarf in mind (to show off all of the great color).

    And here they all are in a magnificent wall of color and texture

    That's ThreadBear of late, as well. Awash in color and texture and fun ideas for spring/summer knitting. Come see!