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, May 14, 2004


Literally--if you're looking for the latest issue of Knitter's Magazine, your friendly local "dealer" has 'em....(that's me, in case you didn't know). Here's living proof

There's a dozen (minus my copy, of course) available for those so inclined to have a copy. Cover price is $5.50, so from us they're $4.95 each. Postage to get it to you is $1.42, making your grand total $6.37--but you don't pay sales tax unless you're from IN, and you don't have to WAIT for it to appear on the stands at your local haunt, and you don't have to expend your gasoline to get there (at over $2 a gallon, even down here). Drop me a note if you need a coyp of your very own. Oh, and yes--the yarns surrounding it are from Great Adirondack--it's Matt's "cold water bundle" in Malachite--it's several of Patti's yarns that are dyed with a cold-water processs (are not set with heat) and are LOVELY!! On the left is a hank of 100% rayon called "Elegance", and boy howdy, lemme tell you it IS very well named.

In other news, I have finished my version of Tasia's Cardigan (pictures either later today or early tomorrow) and I've embarked upon another sweater, this time for a toddler. I'll outline the project here at the same time as the FO pix, for all to see. But I did knit the entire back last night, while watching the Frazier finale and the season-ending episode of ER. I really like this pattern, and I hadn't knit it before, so this is a fun one for me.

In further news, we met with one of our grand reps again today--this is MY dealer...where I get my Rowan, Jaeger, Manos del Uruguay, and Dale of Norway yarns. We loaded up on lots and lots more Manos for fall (placed a nice order for future delivery), we added a good bit of Jaeger (I was seduced....I went into it wanting ONLY Matchmaker DK and we ended up with six new lines from them, plus books), and we added a good bit of woolen yarns from well as ordering the new books from them (we passed on the "Biggie" yarns books for now, but we did order Rowan Magazine #36--and it looks GOOD). We also added Baby Ull and Tiur from Dale of Norway and picked up their full offering of new books. Oh, and we did purchase some GREAT new non-yarn (but very fiberous) ancillary stuff that will arrive later this summer.

In move-related news, there's still a few things up in the air right now, and it's completely BUSINESS AS USUAL around here--we're still packing boxes, filling orders, answering e-mails, and so forth. Don't let our move keep you from getting the fibers you need--we haven't packed up a single shelf of yarn yet, and we don't intend to for several days. What we're packing now is overstock/backstock yarns, books we have multiple copies of (leaving a few on the shelf of each title), and other things that are not mission-critical items. So please, if you need stuff, I'm glad to help get it in your hands!

That's all the news from the trenches.....I'm going back to packing boxes and making yarn dreams come true. Thanks for making MY dreams come true!

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

We Will Survive! Hey Hey!!!

I always manage to copy WabiSabi and her use of song lyrics for a blog title. Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery? Maybe so.......then I guess we're flattered that someone out there in blog land has been studying us and is about to hit the market with her first batch of yarns in an attempt to garner some of our thunder......gotta love that plan....maybe we should SOAP over our windows to prevent copying.....? Nah, anyone who WANTS to be me is's plenty, as my mother, Matt, and many others will tell you....

First off, on the Charlotte's Web front....there's a colourway that's back in circulation (I SWEAR--JUST ONE AVAILABLE to the first person who contacts me wanting it). Through a mistake I made a couple weeks ago, we now have one bundle of Summer Fields available

Someone out west ordered this one when it was on my blog, and I thought I had sent her the wrong one on accident, so I sent a VERY close approximation (I think one skein was a different dye lot and another was similar, but slightly different dye code) and I had her refuse the first package. It arrived back here yesterday, and low and behold.....I was right the first time. So she has her similar one and I have this one--ready to go out to some lucky viewer who claims it for her/his very own.

Even more on Charlotte---the amazing Chris has already finished her shawl, using yarn from us (THANKS, CHRIS!). Even better, in her May 5th entry on her blog (linked above), she has a tutorial for reading the pattern and following some of the directions, including a few hints and tricks. If you're contemplating the pattern, struggling with the instructions, or just plain curious, go check that out. It's an amazing piece of advice and recants some of the same information I've shared with folks who had questions, but it goes FAR beyond what I thought to share. It's a well-written, well-done tutorial--DON'T MISS IT!

But that's not why we're here today........several of you have asked (in e-mails and comments) about the baby sweater I mentioned yesterday. It's a beauty, and thanks for your comments. The pattern comes from the great folks at Cabin Fever and is called Tasia's Cardigan

Yes, we do stock the pattern (we carry a FULL line of their designs, and they're AWESOME patterns) and they retail for $6, so our price is $5.40. It has three sizes--6-12 mos, 1-2 years, and 3-4 years. Check out the progress I've made in bits of two evenings of knitting

The sweater is knitted from the top down, in one piece (NO SEAMING!), and it begins with the collar, moves to the shoulders and the raglan increases, then the sleeves, and finally the body. That raglan increase is some simple knitting, but the effect is quite nice in the finished garment.

The color in my sweater is more accurate in this photo, in the close-up. I'm making the 6-12 months size, which calls for three skeins of worsted at 89 yards each. I'm using Classic Elite FLASH (aahh---aaah)* in the color Chinese Red. This yarn RETAILS for $3.80 a skein (not wholesale, RETAIL), so our price is $3.43. Given that it takes three skeins, we're talking a whompin' $10.29 for this sweater. Even better, since it's a worsted-weight yarn, it's a QUICK knit. I am most fond of this! Flash comes in some great colors, too--and it's machine washable (dry flat). Great for kids (we have several patterns that call for it, as well as others that would be perfect for it). Here's the colors we have on hand

Those are fun, but I like these better

I wanted to use the Monterey Magenta, but we already have a purple baby sweater model here at the shop. Matt wanted me to use the Shady Lane, but I wanted something more festive. So the middle one won out. But wait--there's more

Low Helen wanted me to use Cactus Flower, which is no big surprise there. But again, it's purple-based, and I needed a change. No matter which we chose, it is coming along nicely and should be done in the next day or two. And it's C-U-T-E!!! I can see this becoming a standard "so you went and had a baby" gift for friends.....and so many of the folks we know are expecting of late...

I also promised you a picture of my latest Sophie, which used a skein of Cascade 220 in Magenta (again) and part of a ball of thick eyelash (called "Park" by Filati FF--which we carry). Here she is, in her overly-shrunken but darned-cute state

I let it run a little too long in the washer and it's smaller than I had intended, but it's still darned cute! And that thick eyelash was a fun addition to the bag, no? It hangs in the shop as inspiration for now......

One more thing, and then I'm outta here for the day (to go pack more envelopes with yarn!)....we received a HUMONGOUS box of Brown Sheep yarns yesterday, more specifically their Lamb's Pride in both worsted and bulky. Granted, it's over 80F again today with high humidity, but this is awesome stuff for felting and that's what I am chompin' at the bit to do with it. Check out these new shades that were just released

First, we have Tiger Lily and Deep Pine. I'm absolutely in love with Tiger Lily and can't WAIT to work with some of that. It's slightly heathery (not SOLID color) and very lovely in person--just the right shade of orange without being ORANGE, if you know what I mean. And the Deep Pine is a nice, solid shade that's going to be PERFECT for felted clogs in a little bit. But wait, there's more

I don't know which of these two I like better--the Rosado Rose is another lovely non-solid shade, but the Kiwi is a fantastic green (not quite the ELECTRIC green that their Limeade is, but VERY lovely--less yellow). I think the Kiwi, the Tiger Lily, and the Rosado Rose would be FAB together in a striped felted project.......or in a toasty sweater in stripes. I think I may pull a skein of each in worsted to play with, but for now we have over a dozen of each shade in both worsted and bulky weight (save the Kiwi, which will be available in the bulky weight very shortly). Regular retail on this yarn (both weights) is $6.50 a skein, so our price is $5.85 each. Up for some? Just let me know!

OK--gone for now. Updates on Tasia tomorrow, as well as maybe a little something on another project of mine. And other fun stuff--you just never know, right? BE WELL!!!!!!!!!

*bonus points to you if you know why I did that "ahh-ahh" thingie up there

Monday, May 10, 2004

What a Few Days

Sorry for no postings for a few days, but it's been a weird, weird week. Between two yarn rep visits (Wednesday and Friday) and someone from the city showing up on the doorstep asking "why are you operating illegally when you were told to be shut down by now" (when we still have until the end of the month--some people can't count, I guess), it was a trying few days. Then when I called the new landlord on Friday, we were told the new building wouldn't be ready until July, that was even more good news. We've gotten our issues resolved in so far as having a space to move into on an interim basis (we'll be in the same building, but in 6,000 sq ft on the north side of the building), and we'll move upstairs when the new digs are ready. (we found all of this out today). See what I mean--it's always something around here....hopefully it will settle down soon.

So moving day(s) are upon us (Saturday/Sunday the 22nd/23rd) and we'll be up and running in the new space either Sunday or Monday. Perfect timing! Now to choreograph the flotilla of SUVs, trucks, cars, vans, and other volunteer vehicles to get the yarn moved (being a child of the 70s, I feel like it will look like the escaping fleet from "Battlestar Gallactica".....what was it Lorne Greene called it..."a rag-tag fleet...." or some such). All thanks to y'all.........

In "normalcy news", Matt has posted a few more color options for Charlotte's Web project on the Focus Page. And there's more to come tomorrow or Wednesday, and more after that. One of them for tomorrow is quite nice....unlike anything I've seen him do before, due to the new colors that arrived last week.

That's about it for now. I finished another little Sophie bag, this time using thick eyelash around the top (photos coming) and I've started the cutest baby cardigan and I'm already on the first sleeve (pictures to follow). I also knocked out a couple simple scarves yesterday, while kickin' back for a few minutes. I gotta run......Low Helen's causing a ruckus.....