Black Dog

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

Saturday, May 01, 2004

A Little Bit of Mystery

This will not make sense to all but a small handful of you out there (if that many).........but I am compelled to share this as a thank you to a certain someone.

The possibilities and potential that may lie here

make me very anxious to investigate it further than I already have. I appreciate the work done by my secret agent and I am sorry that the other half of her suggestion wasn't a possiblity this weekend. Secret Agent--it's been on my mind since we last discussed it and truthfully, it's all I can do not to take a quick ride in the car.........I'm not joking here.

Friday, April 30, 2004

Ok, Let's Cut To The Chase

I know why you're know why you're let's get down to business........

See, it isn't my witty repartee that makes you drop's all about the Charlottes. I know.......I know.........(hanging head in shame).

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Y'all ROCK!

Thanks so very much to each and every one of you (over a dozen) who came to the aid of myself and Matt regarding my problem with the shutdowns. The help, pointers to useful sites, advice, and general "misery loves company--I got that one too" were very kind. One of our local folks (HI KIRSTIN) estimated that it would take the better part of an evening to rectify my situation and she was right....Matt worked on it from about 4 p.m. until about 8 p.m. today, and it appears to be all better now (watch it crash shortly.....). Many of you pointed to this helpful page and it appears that it worked.

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In the mean time, I wasn't able to do much in the way of order processing, so I'll be up late tonight with that task.....after ice cream, of course. Matt just got back with it, so it's nearly time to go stuff our collective faces. I did get an entire scarf knitted and another is cast on (and a quick knit), so maybe I'll have progress pix to show shortly. On to the main reason so many of you haunt this site.....three more Charlotte options.

If I tell you this one is named Nigella,

what's the first thing you think about? Me too! Turns out we're way off on that one (especially since she's hardly blue and red and green........). Nigella sativa is also known as "Black Cumin" and is a medicinal herb (click on the name for more information and find out where there's a blue skein right in the middle). I didn't think this combination looked very curvacious and much for the cooking show......

Picture the sun behind dark clouds, way off in the distance, in the evening

Doesn't this one sorta resemble a thunderstorm brewing in the springtime? A little bit of green, a little bit of darkness, a pop of pink for sunset. Kinda fun. And very different from many of the others we've had up here lately. I like it!

Different would also cover this one...........

Which supposedly reminded someone of that pink-ish summer treat, Divinity (not any sort of religious reference, unless you take your candy VERY seriously--then turn here for a recipe for peppermint divinity). Pinky and fluffy and rich (rich blues.......). That last skein, on the bottom, is P126, which we lovingly refer to around these parts as Emma.......check out its namesake here. And lo and behold, she's making a Koigu scarf with a similar (if not the same) colourway. Imagine that!

With that, I'm off to eat some frozen treats, get my sugar built up, and then come back and answer replies and pack a mountain of boxes. If you've not been contacted yet about the combos from last night and earlier today, don't worry---I'm just backed up on e-mail due to the technical troubles. And don't be afraid to drop me a note if you cannot continue to exist without one of these wonderful color options for Charlotte's Web.


Houston, We Have A Problem

I'm experiencing some sort of odd shut-down on my pc, where while working along with many windows open (browser, Excel for invoicing, Outlook for managing contacts and e-mail, Word for printing mailing labels, etc.) a little box pops up and says I have 60 seconds to save, as a shutdown is coming. It appears something is wrong with my lsass.exe file, causing it to bomb my system. (if you know what's wrong, PLEASE E-MAIL ME.....) What this means to you is that I'm having a devil of a time getting things packed and out today, but I will work until it's all done today. I swear! I'm working on getting in touch with all of the "winners" from last night's posting (only Academy remains, which surprises me, as it was really handsome in person). Several of you vied for Cherry Pie, and there's only the one, so there will be a few disappointed folks, I'm afraid.

I did get some knitting done last night and today between crashes (it annoys me to just SIT there, so I knitted on some simple garter stitch scarves--imagine that) and I did play a little bit with the Crystal Palace stuff that arrived yesterday. You'll definitely see the end result here, as I have many projects in mind for this stuff once I get over the hump of this computer issue and get my packing done. And there' a central theme going on to much of what I'm up to of late......I hate being mysterious, but you'll see, you'll see.

For those of you addicted to Charlotte's Web, you may wanna saunter over to our newly-created (by Matt) "Up Close" page for the Charlotte's Web project. He's featuring pictures of completed projects as well as other resource information about the shawl in one central place (and we envision migrating the color combination offerings over there as well sometime soon). We have an "Up Close" page for each of the major things going on around here right now (Ingeborg, Charlotte, etc.) and there will be one posted shortly for the RTP Poncho (working name......"Really Textured Poncho") project soon, especially when it's time to start sharing colourways. But for now, you want Charlotte combinations, right?

The first one is my favorite from this new batch has got to be this one

Wildberry blends some amazing purples and plums and berry shades with just the right amount of green. I saw this one yesterday and was quite enamoured (and if I didn't have a Charlotte on the needles already, I'd have been ALL OVER this one). NIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICE!

Calling all you lovers of neutrals!

Lichen is just beautiful in person. I don't expect this one to last long at if you're interested, jump to it!

Back to the brights (my personal favorite)......
Jewel Box reminded us of just that--emeralds and sapphires and firey rubies, nestled away to be admired. Knit this one and you can wrap yourself in jewel-like shades of handpainted merino!

An homage to Springtime,

New Leaf has some browns and neutrals for the woody parts, pops of color for springtime blooms, and fresh and bright shades of greens, yellow-greens, and deep teals. The progression of color of this one would be very important to the overall success of the garment--I think you'd have to knit it either bottom-up or top-down exactly as pictured here, but I do believe it would be just stunning when completed!

Last for today, we have Sand N Sea

evoking the idea of a walk on the beach, there's crisp blues and warm browns side by side. Matt is particularly fond of these colors together, and they're being shown together in some of the color forecasts for Summer 2004 (and showing up in several places of late). Consider it a little bit of foreshadowing, where you'd be fashion forward and ahead of the rest of us.....with this one wrapped around your shoulders.

With that, I'm closing (literally--my pop-up window just said I have 60 seconds to wrap this up). Send me a note if you're interested in these combinations. We'll work hard to get them out the door ASAP. MANY THANKS!!!!!!

Wicked Wednesdays.........

No post earlier in the day (sorry for that, my devotees), but I have to get caught up sometime. Those of you who have placed orders would like to have them shipped, no? Well, I needed a good part of the morning to get paperwork caught up, and then I got a big batch of shipping taken care of (oh, the glamourous life of the yarn shoppe proprietor.....), and now I'm able to focus on a little bit of temptation for you folks.

Reinforcements are coming...........I received the UPS notification from Taiu at Koigu that the next box has left their hands. Stalk it on the UPS site with this tracking number (1ZAA52581246500133). I believe it will be here on Monday. PRAISE BE! More of their yarn!!! (THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!)

On the "what's new at the shop" front, we received five huge boxes from Crystal Palace today, including four boxes of backordered yarns (we now have every color of Splash and Squiggle on hand again, including the fun colourway Circus in Squiggle--five bags) and tons of circular and double point needles (FINALLY). I'm all packed to the gills on scarfy yarns, for certain.

We're all beat (Matt, me, the dogs--Connor is lying on the rug about 20 feet from me, audibly snoring) and I'm going to make this short and sweet. Here's some of the options assembled for public consumption and adoption to a good home

In a salute to spring, here's Hydrangea

Lovely pinks and blues, plus some great neutral tones make this a fantastic color combination. It will appeal to a wide range of folks, so I'm sure this will go quickly.

If you're into brights, this may just be the ticket. It's a beautiful combination that reminded several of us of a little Pacific Ocean hideaway. Maybe it belongs on your shoulders, no?

Academy is reminiscent of school colors, yet has a little kick to it.

Blue and gold were Matt's school colors and to this day he enjoys seeing them together. I'm sure you do as well, no?

If you're in the mood for a little seasonal color, how about this one.......

Smokey Mountain Spring reminded us of wildflowers on green hillsides, with fresh pops of color and great cheer.

At the other end of the spectrum,

here's Winter Sky, a dark and brooding combination of blues and reds, in a sort of sunset on a chilly evening.

And last, here's one for those clamoring for a red combination...........

Cherry Pie.......yup, we were hungry and that's what this reminded everyone of, once the colors were laid out side by side.

As always, slip me a note about which one you'd like as your very own. And look for more here again on Thursday..........I swear! THANKS!

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Sheesh, I'm Back

Our letter carrier just delivered a package of goodies when he took the outbound (Charlotte) mail away. Lookie Lookie!

Yup--Summer '04 Interweave Knits. Preview the issue here, and look for my review here shortly.

Get 'em while they're hot. $6.99 retail, so just $6.29 from me, and just $1.42 to mail it, for a total of $7.71 (and you don't have to wait for it to arrive on your news stand or at a local chain bookstore). If interested, you know the drill.....

Mid-Day Merriment

Sorry for the delay.......we had four different folks walk in right as I started to wrap up this post. I apologize for the wait.

Busy Busy Busy........UPS brings us three boxes of goodies (reinforcements from Rowan, some beautiful Great Adirondack, and some awesome Lana Gatto). I never show new yarns, you say (just those old, nasty Charlottes....)? Well, lemme fix that right now.

These are two of the new shades of Lana Gatto's Amsterdam

This is fun stuff, as we've had the original six shades since just before the holidays. Our rep called it "the next step up the class ladder from Splash in terms of fuzzy scarf yarns", but I think it's even nicer than that. Two balls ($11 each, or $9.90 from me) makes a fantastic, long scarf and you just use simple garter stitch. This is the yarn I used to make a scarf for my mom back around New Year's. So soft, and a quick knit (I made Mom's in an evening, back then). I have three bags of each on hand as of today, so order up!

New today as well would be more colors of Great Adirondack Fluff. I keep going on and on about this stuff, and there's a good reason for it. See

That's Fluff, in the colourway Grapevine (I wore it as a lei for about a half hour earlier today--I'm rather enamoured with this color combination). Fluff, if you're curious, is 82 yards of the most sumptuous FULL eyelash yarn that is hand-dyed by the master, Patti Subik, at Great Adirondack. There is a great piece about Patti and her company in Handpaint Country, if you're curious to know more. Her story comes right after that of the great ladies at Koigu Wool Designs (Hi Taiu and Maie, I know you're reading!!!! SEND THAT YARN POST HASTE!). Fluff is awesome as a single-skein scarf (one hank makes a full, lush boa-esque scarf or can be used as an accent in garments, felted bags, and more. It's not for the faint of heart, as a hank runs $33 retail (so $29.70 from me). Wanna see more of the shades that arrived today?

That's just four.........we now have over a dozen different colourways on hand (several are so amazing I wanna just EAT them). This is great stuff, as is any number of the other yarns we have from Great Adirondack. You'll see them all on here shortly (if I can ever climb out from under all of these bundles of Charlotte kits..........JUST KIDDING...I love having the chance to bring them to you!)

Speaking of Charlotte say you want more, eh? Can't get enough temptation? Here we go with today's batch......starting off with more combinations Matt named all by himself.

That's Plumtree......nice greens, simple neutrals, and pops of fun plums and berry tones (the second skein in from the left is one of my favorite combinations of theirs...P610. YUM!).

An homage to his home state, Matt created this one

Stone Mountain is located just east of Atlanta and is a huge mass of exposed granite. Click the link for more info (I've only driven by, but I hear it's an .... interesting evening.....). See, history and knitting! And that explains the granite and greys and lovely shades.........

Up for something more lively and bright? How's about a parrot?

Warmer tones, bright purples and greens, and a nice pop of golden yellow. Just the thing to shake off the evening chill (both in the knitting and in the wearing!).

Summer Fields captures the bright greens of nature with a pop of summer color and the glow of a warm sunset.

Many have asked for more neutral combinations, and this should be a nice alternative to the bright colors and purply-blues that are so very popular as well. Even I like it!!!!

Wanna wrap yourself in a mountain sunset?

Evening sky tones of reds, plums, and oranges, coupled with lovely greens and some natural can almost see a deer in the distance, no? (okay, that's a's still nice).

Typical stuff, as always.....A simple e-mail is all you need...............happy hunting! And see you tomorrow.........or sooner......or not.........mwahahahaha.......

Monday, April 26, 2004

I Love A Good Surprise!

Surprise! A late-night post on a week day. There was NO WAY I could have posted this morning, as I had several packages to wrap and get out the door today, prior to our opening at 10 a.m. We had a good bit of web traffic due to the Sunday post and Matt's activity with his color consults, so I had some work stacked up. Sunday night is also a good tv-viewing evening, between the Sopranos (Hi Carmela D! & Ronni!) and Queer As Folk, so I indulge myself with a little bit of veg-n-knit time. Also impacting my time today was preparation for a beginning knitting class this morning at 11 a.m. for some great folks, all of whom started felted bags today. They jumped right into it and made GREAT progress! GOOD JOB, LADIES!

Matt had the reigns of the shop while I was teaching, and he had the fun task of helping two folks (one from nearby Bloomington, IN, and the other her friend from upstate Michigan) whip up combinations for multi-fiber ponchos (one great knitter is also basket maker who's made one of these ponchos already, and it's a show-stopper!). Linda's poncho is her own design, and we shared ideas today after my class ended (the class was VERY interested in my project, our own multi-fiber poncho kits soon to be seen here). Here's a basket of beautiful fibers, colors, and textures they put together, based around the hank of Great Adirondack Surprise that rings the basket

Now that's some serious knitting fun coming up! Our kits won't be that intense--we're looking at seven fibers from four main categories (maybe five). Oh, you'll see something in the coming days...........but look at that incredible combination up there! WOW! Makes me wanna go knit on mine (which is what I was knitting on last evening, and I'll show you a bit of when it's further along--I'm about halfway done with the first piece, so about 25% complete to date).

Now, on to some new goodies around here. Many have asked about the new cotton blend yarn from Cascade Yarns called Cotton Rich. It's an aran-weight cotton/polyamid blend (knits at 4.5/inch), comes in great colors, and is VERY soft...VERY soft. Here's your palette

At $4.80 retail a hank (make that $4.32 from us), it's a steal of a deal for the 80 yards per bundle of joy. Did I mention it's SOFT? And a cool thing about it.......the pansy and the fuschia are sorta marled or have a light/dark thing going on. I tried to capture it with the camera tonight and ended up with a sick, blurry photo (maybe in the daylight of Tuesday........). I think the first project I'll make with it is a good old Bottom's Up Bucket Hat (even if the gauge is slightly wrong/heavier than what the fabulous BUP pattern calls for). We do carry Bonne Marie's BUP pattern in real, live paper format, if you're so inclined. Stay tuned for my experiment in aran-BUP (Wendy did it, so why can't I?)

Also new at the hacienda is some incredible hand-dyed brushed mohair from the fantastic folks at Koigu. This is their Rumba mohair

The bottom left two colourways are the same as the wild black/pink mohair we had earlier this year, just different dye lots. And this stuff is incredible. You WILL see it used as an option in the multi-fiber poncho kits shortly, but for now, this is some LUXE stuff. It felts WONDERFULLY, can be knitted into an incredible scarf (start those holiday gifts early this year for a change), or you can make the Koigu Wildflower cardigan (adult AND children's sizes in the same pattern) in a jiffy, as it knits at the popular 14 sts/10cm gauge on a 6.5mm needle. We have significant stock in this yarn (not just these colors, but nearly two dozen others) and I really like knitting with it. Several of our locals used a strand of this and a strand of Cascade 220 to make the incredible felted lovikka mittens found here (sub a strand of worsted and a strand of mohair for the bulky-weight wool called for and you have a knitting MASTERPIECE, especially with the great color variations found in Rumba). You'll need about 100 yards of each fiber (wool and mohair) to make a pair of mittens for any size up through the women's size. For men's, you'll need about 125yds of each (a second mohair, in other words). Rumba is 103 yards in a hank and retails for $12, so our price is $10.80, by the way. And guess what? The pattern has sizes from toddler up through adult male, so you can make TONS for holiday gifting. (have I mentioned that you should start early?). I can whip out a pair of these in an evening, so they're an easy knit!

Now, on to why everyone seems to be stopping by of late.............CHARLOTTE COLOURWAYS. You asked for them, here's a few (all named by Matt tonight, by the way). First, we have one he calls Haring

named for the artist Keith Haring, known for his brightly-colored and non-fussy art (if you visit the website you'll probably recognize some of his work, especially if you're an adult of the 80s). I think this one speaks for itself, no?

Next we have Eastwick

another of the more subtle colourways he's put together recently that have been rather popular in these parts. Lovely tones of greys, purples and a touch of pink make this a great combination for anyone who wants to knit this project but not be ...... overt in their wardrobe (sorry folks, but I'm more of the "Haring" color combination type......but I see value in these subtle ones, too).

Autumnal tones seem to be popular as well. Therefore, I bring you

Brushfire. An awesome combination of greens, firey reds, a bit of orange, and just a tish of blue for sky. I can definitely envision how these colors will blend together in the 2-rows-2-rows sections of the project. LOVELY!

Up for a little bit of complementary colors? How about this one?

Deep blues and teals mixed with rich golden shades and a bit of oranges. Neutral, but with a pop of color for life. VERY nice, indeed.

Back to a little brightness again

Brights and subtles and fun combinations of color. And last, an homage to those of you out there who cannot get enough of these colors together.....

I bring you Neverland Sky (don't ask.........I have no idea). Again, another one of those combinations that is very beautiful and very knittable, and will probably be very popular.

As before, each of these is such a unique combination of colors that I doubt we could recreate any of these, given our current level of stock (we may have dipped below 1,000 skeins of the KPPPM recently, but I'm not certain---reinforcements are on the way from Canada, however, so fear not). As always, first to e-mail me is the "winner" (someone put that in her e-mail yesterday...that she felt like a winner on a game show.....when I told her the colourway was hers........HI SAMANTHA!). And as always, $9 each for five skeins of KPPPM, $4.50 for the pattern, and $2.67 for postage (inside the US, of course) and IN residents add 6% to the $52.17 total (the ENTIRE total, as there's sales tax on postage now). And remember, if you already own the pattern, please let me don't have to purchase a second copy, and it drops your postage to $2.44 (I've got this down to a science, folks......LOL).

Be well, be knitting, and be back tomorrow......(Tuesday). You never know what I'll be up to.......and yes, there's new yarns to show you. And hopefully some knitting progress!!!!!! (I did whip out two long quick-knit scarves yesterday, just for the heck of it).

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Sunday, Cloudy Sunday

We've been in an overcast, rainy pattern for several days now, but yesterday afternoon saw a tiny bit of sunshine. When it's a little dreary outside, the pups tend to just lay around like driftwood, moving from sofa to sofa around the shop. Sometimes Connor lays at the end of the coffee table in the central room, which provides her with a pretty good vantage point of everything going on--she can see Matt working at his computer, me working at mine, and almost everything moving around the shop. She's no dummy! I'll try to capture this phenomenon today. Tate, well, he's content with the sofa immediately in front of my computer, the same one you see him peering over and out the window in blogposts past. So basically, it's a typical day around here, minus the sunshine.

There's a little bit of brou-ha-ha over at Knitter's Review, where a somewhat disgruntled order-placer (according to her she won't make it to customer, as defined by buying something from us) has done a little much-needed venting. We acknowledge that there's more work here than the two of us can reasonably accomplish in what most would consider "normal business hours". So the first thing we did was work non-normal hours (many of you comment on the hour of the day you get replies from us---6:30 a.m., 11:30 p.m., 1:15 a.m., etc.)--typically we're up between 6 and 6:30 in the morning, at it around 7 a.m., and work on mail order until the shop opens at 10 a.m. From there, it's dicey if we can attend to things during "normal business hours", as the shop traffic keeps us (thankfully) busy. So that means most days we cannot get back with you until after 6 p.m., when we close (Thursdays it's 9 p.m.). Of course, that's if there's no evening class to teach or evening knitting function to attend/sponsor. So that's why you get an e-mail at 11:30 p.m. or later........LOL. And that's why I make precious little progress on knitting projects of any substance--I don't often take time to knit, when there's work to do..... Please don't take this as grousing about how busy we are--I revel in it. I derive great joy from the e-mails you send thanking us for yarn, for the comments you make on your blogs about inbound packages, and in knowing that I'm sharing a little bit of my own personal love of fiber and making something with my hands with so many out there who share this same love. And the strange part? We'll probably never meet over 90% of you in person.......that saddens me, but I'm elated about the other 10%. But that's for another day.....

Speaking of knitting progress, I did take some time yesterday afternoon to sit and knit. I slept weird on Friday night and my knee was giving me some static, so I sat for a couple hours yesterday afternoon with it elevated (yes, JoJo, it feels much better today) and I knitted on my version of Gigi and made some decent progress

She's up to the point where I bind off for the armholes. That means I have to start the sleeves. Ick....I was avoiding that......and that means a more tethered knitting experience, where I have to pay attention more (to the increases, and to wrangling with two circular needles to work a small circumference in the round--which I don't mind, it's just not mindless stockinette any longer). But that's cool...if I can knock out a couple sleeves in short order, I can fuse the entire thing and then work the yoke and be done with the sweater, block the beejeezus out of it (a technical term) and have a new shop model made with a yarn we don't have anything knitted with. All good things. And someone out there has laid claim to the garment, saying she wants it after the season is over and we should consider selling/gifting it to her. Not a bad idea......but.....a good model is worth it's weight in let's do a price based on that.........LOL. Oh yeah, and plus my time invested in it. (Just kidding, Maggi).

Many of you have asked specific questions about Louise's bag, featured here on Friday. Yes, it followed the Triangle Felted Handbag pattern (pleated version) from Two Old Bags. And for those who asked, it's created with Aporto, Lagoon, and Chartreuse, with Deep Seas Squiggle, and a blue-green eyelash (we have a couple balls left) that we're not going to carry beyond current stock (we've switched to better colors/better value options). She used the eyelash and Squiggle for a few rows (along with the wool base fiber) just before changing colors in the base yarn. I'm in the middle of designing a felted bag that will incorporate these ideas and more for making what we're calling "art bags" as opposed to smooth felted bags. The shape of my bag is different than this one, and smaller, and it's more "cha-cha'd up" than this one. You'll see it soon enough............but the above should cover the questions I've been asked since Friday. Glad to see you're interested!

Now, for the reward for those of you regular enough to come by today.....and might be interested in acquiring a Charlotte's Web combination (if you would like to see a couple completed Charlotte's Web projects, try the main ThreadBear page). But on to the available colourways..........

After my true confession on Thursday (and figuring out that it was available, as the individual I thought it belonged to had selected a different first choice), I'm able to offer this color combination to you, the interested public

I'm calling the above "Urban Drawl", because it's a little sophisticated, yet has some wonderful purples and shades that are very popular in the South (elsewhere too, but gimme a break--I gotta name them SOMETHING). If the deep and rich tones of this one are of interest to you, let me know and it's yours.

If not that one, how about a re-run from the other day

Fall Splendor is still available, if that appeals to anyone. And remember, the orange isn't that shockingly vibrant in person, and the combination really looks like warm fall leaves, probably in a maple grove (I have fond memories of maple trees in the fall, and this reminds me of that).

One more "best of" for you to see
Blimey is great shades of fuchsia, limes, pinks, and oranges, paired with a couple skeins of GREAT purples. It went unloved on Friday, but I know someone out there has got to love it!

And on to the new options for you..........feeling a little wild and animalistic?
This is Safari, a combination of colors that remind me of fantastic animal-print type colors in brights and deeps and a little jungle green. It reminded me a little of Julie's version.

The combination late last week that elicited a good bit of response incorporated some of these colors......

I'm calling it Hollyberry (not to be confused with an actress who allegedly mows down people......), as it's a lovely combination of greens and reds and berry shades that will work up beautifully!

Limes, purples, reds, and a little blue for good measure?

That's gotta be Kiwi....named for the bright greens and other shades in the combination. Great fun, in my not-so-humble opinion!

And one the other end of the spectrum

I'm calling it Trinidad, as it evokes a warm, vacation kind of feeling with it's bright sea blues, hot oranges, and bright greens (kinda like tropical foliage). Again, oranges aren't really this bright in person (I wish I could cure this, but it's a function of digital photography with our non-professional equipment).

As always, slip me an e-mail if you're interested in the kit--five skeins of the yarn, the pattern, and postage to get it to you (inside the US--outside I'll have to give you a different price) comes to $52.17 complete ($9 each on the yarn, $4.50 for the pattern, and $2.67 for postage).

Back shortly, but have a great day........enjoy the spring weather, and we'll be in touch!