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, May 05, 2004

Yes, I Really Do Knit (And Finish) Stuff

Matt's posting Charlotte's Web colourways over at the Charlotte's Web Close-Up page on the ThreadBear main site. Go see!

Sure, I have 403,287* projects going at any given time. A couple are seriously long-term projects (one shown below, actually), some are longer-term projects (one shown below) and some are itty-bitty little quickie projects (several below). And at any moment, for no apparent reason, I may banish a project to time out--it's not behaving (Koigu Gypsy--with different stitch counts on each side of a center stitch), a tank top project (on hiatus without cause....I should finish it), my version of the RTP poncho (just hanging out for now), Gigi (I need to buckle down and start the sleeves), and so's not that I'm unhappy with any of these WIPs, but I'm like a raccoon in that I'm attracted by new, bright, shiny projects.......and I need to return to some of the old stand-bys that I've started. OK, confession time over.

So what's got my attention these days....particularly in the "quickie project" category? Why this, of course

That's a basket of brightly-colored yarns from Crystal Palace, purveyor of many things fun to knit with. And I'm a sucker for color and texture, even in the warmer weather (incidentally...where is it? we had a couple C-O-L-D nights earlier this week....but I hear it's to be 86F on Saturday). And you can't beat the free patterns at the Crystal Palace website, especially scarves. So I've busied myself with that when I need a good, brainless knitting project. See

In keeping with my Lily Pulitzer theme for this season, you see three of the Crystal Palace Deco Ribbon-Splash scarves and on the far right is a Fizz-Squiggle scarf, all in hot hot colors for this season. They're about two hours of knitting (for me.......I knit fast, remember), and they're good car knitting or meeting knitting (I'll knock out a couple more today, when we meet with a rep from EuroYarns....he's in for a long afternoon of "where's my yarn that we ordered in January" and "why don't you carry Jo Sharp products any longer"?). But given the bright colors in the scarves, and the fast knitting time, I like a good quickie! Here's the current one on the needles

That's a bright pink Fizz and Circus Squiggle, in the same scarf as above. Fun stuff, except for that I feel like I have to pick out the Squiggle tags on those scarves, so they protrude better and the scarf is more attractive. It's not time consuming, but it's like finishing/seaming a garment....necessary, but not as fun as knitting on a new project. Right Sarah? What's on deck next? Another Deco-Ribbon and Splash scarf,

This time using a different color of Splash between the Deco-Ribbon stripes. And I've been working on a non-felted bag of late

Please meet Fiona, a cute little bag made of aran-weight cotton. I'm using Plassard Mayotte, which I showed here a bit ago when it came in (click that link to see the colors, and we have them all). A few nights of knitting and I'll show you the finished project!!

Big fun.....and I have something else in mind for my next project, which will be a felted bag of some sort (don't know what style, but I'm leaning towards a Sophie with stripes), using this yarn

That's a Lorna's Laces yarn called Fisherman, in Pink Blossom and Carol Green. We've had the pink since someone ordered it and reneged on the purchase when it came in. So in my conversation with the good folks at Lorna's on Friday, before they sent my every-other-week goodies (yes, they ship to me every other Friday), I asked what they had in Fisherman, as we're going to carry this specific fiber in depth when we move into the new space. My good buddy there said "nothing but screaming Carol Green--want it?", and I thought of my languishing pink, thought of felting, and I yelled SOLD. So off to the project races I go, with 1,000 yards of pink and green yarns. YES!

Speaking of new yarn from Lorna's, we received a monster box from them yesterday--so let's do a quick review!

Glory is their brushed mohair, and what we got in (plus what we have on hand already) will be very useful for the RTP poncho's the new stuff

LOVE IT! Especially the Daffodil and Bittersweet. But I'm oddly drawn to the intensity of color in Happy Valley, which isn't this bright in other fibers (it's way more pastel in the sock yarn and others). Yum. Let's examine my two obsessions closer

I see these two being a good thing, given the season's color palette---and my obsession with a certain Lily. But wait, there's more!

Shepherd Sport was unavailable for the past few months, due to a mistake at the yarn mill. So my orders had backed up a little bit, and we received oogles of this fun stuff (a full bag of each of these colourways)

and there's more

Since this yarn is a machine-washable wool, I like it for socks, especially quick socks, as it knits on a little larger needles and at six stitches per inch (for fabric--I drop a couple needle sizes for socks and get about 6.5/7 stitches per inch). But if that's not your thing, we did get more in the Shepherd Sock

A little bit finer gauge plus the addition of nylon makes this a fantastic choice for socks. Of course, all of these yarns join the other deep stock we have on the shelves already in both Shepherd Sport and Sock. We love the folks at Lorna's and we love their yarns. They're very good to us! They even sent some of their yarn called Dove

Dove is a wool/cotton blend, and the above is Purple Club. We'll be adding this yarn to our shelves after the move, but for now, I'm glad to bring in some on special order and to play with (ah, the advantages of being the one who does the ordering....mwahahahaha). I really like the hand of this yarn, and I can't wait to knit a little bit with it, to see how the fabric feels. This wool/cotton blend is different than any of the others I've seen (most are 80% cotton, 20% wool, and this one is the exact opposite). Plus, this would felt, but not completely--making a really cool fabric (probably nubbly and textured). And what else what in the box? Why, another Sampler Bouquet

It's in Ravenswood, this time. Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice stuff. And you Angel fans......I received some in Blackwatch, Baltic Sea, and Aslan. (I forgot to take pictures, sorry). Now, on to my other dyed yarn obsession....

As you all know, we did get a little influx of Koigu yarns on Monday. And a long phone conversation (well, three different calls, the last of them a nice, long one) with Taiu tells me more about what to expect and when. I'm a happy man, yet I have to practice patience! But for now, many of you were enamoured with Maria when I introduced her on Monday, and many of you asked for options....Who am I to let an enabling opportunity pass you go!

and even more!!!

The shawl calls for 400g (8 skeins) of Painter's Palette, so I've only shown you those colourways that we have at least that much in, in case you are interested in getting ahold of one for yourself. Let me know!

Many of you have asked about the Keepsake Shawl, another lace pattern from the fabulous artists at Koigu. This is partly due to someone we know (HI JULIE) knitting one of her own, as shown on her blog. When finished, it should resemble this

So click on that link above and go see her beautiful progress! I started one of my own last August, as a car project on the way up to Michigan for the first annual pic-knit.....and it's sat in the same project bag since then (well, to my defense, Sarah and company visited the next weekend, we moved here the next week, and it's been a tish busy ever since. So my lovely (my precious??) has sat, neglected, in a canvas tote bag--a throwback to my professor days (oh, the joy of conference bags). Here's what mine looks like, as of this morning

Yes, it's off the needles (again, in time out for being unbalanced---I see a trend here, so is it me, or my knitting, that's a half-bubble offa plumb?). And that's the color progression--from left to right. The shawl is knitted as a large mitered square, starting at the outer-most edge and decreasing up to the neck. You start with over 460 stitches and finish with like one--an amazing feat. Plus, the fun part is that you are working increasingly smaller and smaller rows, so the project moves faster and faster as you go (unlike some shawls that start at the neck and get bigger and bigger). If you want to see my yarns a little closer up, here's a different view

The top row is the start, moving right, then down to the bottom and left to right, ending with the lower right-hand yarn. And I took it off the needles to cast on all over again so I can start it off right!

And with that, I'm done for the day. I have another post in the wings, for tomorrow. But for now, it's time to get ready for the day, as we open in 20 minutes at noon (yes, this post took over 2.5 hours......WOW).

*figure estimated using advanced algorithms and intense empty Addi Turbo bag and empty Denise kit (seven) analysis

Monday, May 03, 2004

Ooops, He Did It Again

Matt posted new Charlotte's Web options over at the ThreadBear main site, on the UP CLOSE page for Charlotte's Web. And some of those below here are still available (Winter Sky is times over, if we had them--but there was just the one).

News Flash---our first installment of our Diakeito Yarns has left the distributor (Friday) and is expected here probably Wednesday. I'm hoping it has our Diamusee--which is very Kureyon-like in coloration but 400 times softer--and Diadomina. We ordered a good bit from them (about $20,000 retail worth of yarn), and it will all be here by June 1, they said.

Also in the wings and waiting for us is our first shipment of Muench Yarns, the first of the over $40,000 (retail) we ordered from them. I'm not sure when we'll expect it to arrive, but I know it's about to ship. Soon.

The little bit of Koigu Painter's Palette Premium Merino arrived today.......some colors will be helpful for Charlotte combinations and others are just nice to have. If you're into oranges, we certainly can help you. More on this later. We did also receive a new pattern (well, new to us) from them called "Maria Shawl", which calls for 400g of KPPPM (8 skeins). The lace pattern looks simple, so this may be a fun project for me in the near future. Yeah, just what I need to do--start something else. When all I can seem to finish are three-hour scarves of late. Sheesh.......

Well, off to the races for me. Many of you want packages of yarns, so I had better get something packed and out of here, no? Our poor letter carrier had three tubs of packages and a stack of boxes on Saturday, and today isn't much easier (no big stack of boxes, but a nice batch of tubs). She's earning her she can't wait for us to move the shop to new digs and OFF of her route!

Be well.........we'll talk soon. And go see Matt's new Charlotte combos!

Sunday, May 02, 2004

If It's Good Enough For Radio....

Radio programs often rerun programming on the weekends, especially their morning shows. So why not do a little bit of review here, ourselves??? Away we go!

First off..........we'll still feature some Charlotte options here for the the time being, but one change we're implementing is to feature them on the "Up Close" page for Charlotte's Web at the ThreadBear main site. All activity will be posted there, and I'll try to let you know over here to go looking over there when there's fresh......but you can always look yourselves, as well. (there are six new options over there right now....waiting for you.....).

And now for "The Best Of Charlotte" over here ........ sorta.

These are options that exist for one reason or another. Sometimes then went overlooked when they were posted. Sometimes they were spoken for and then someone saw something else and switched. Sometimes the entire transaction didn't get completed for any number of reasons. But as of 10 p.m. EST tonight, Sunday, May 2nd, these are available....and they're all duplicates can be made of them because stock doesn't exist to do multiple away we go!

First off, there's Plum Tree

This beauty has a skein of P610 in it, and that's one of my favorite colourways from the folks at Koigu. I like this one!

Next, we have Smokey Mountain Spring

Colorful and bright and probably quite fun to knit. Up for it?

Hydrangia was almost adopted out, but then someone changed her mind to a different combination. Won't you show a little love for her?

It's a beautiful melding of some of the skeins with pepper dots in them. While they look unusual i the skein, they knit up with these intense little pops of color. Quite nice!

Next in the "available" section is Winter Sky

Deep and brooding and just what a jewel-tone lover needs!

Surprising to me, given the popularity of brights around here lately (Haring was VERY popular)

Acid Test is still ready for your needles. Won't you show the love?

Again, it's a surprise to me that Jewel Box is still here

given the tones and skeins found in this combination.

And last for tonight, New Leaf

She nearly headed to Switzerland, but another option won out, so she's here and ready for a good home.

So, there's seven here and six over at the Charlotte Close Up page......happy hunting!