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 22, 2004

Summertiiiiiiiiiiime, and the Knittin' is Easy

My apologies to the classics.......but it's true! Despite it being over 90F here this week (and nice and humid, as we're known for in the Midwest), folks are still knitting up a storm. And I keep looking for the next best thing to be working on. Being the king of small projects (easy in, easy out, not much yarn), you may feel free to turn to me for inspiration......I turn to "why not pass it on?" is my theory.

I was reading Chris' blog this morning and stumbled upon her latest project. And I couldn't resist. You can find the pithy pattern here, but trust me, you don't need a long, detailed explanation to make this work. And yes, I succumbed....check it out

Since I won't be rockin' the pink thongs (more on this terminology later), I decided to try them two ways. Matt picked up a $3 pair of thongs at the Super Wally World this morning, before we opened, and I made both of those in about an hour's time this afternoon. I think they're terribly fun, they were a hit with the folks here this afternoon (Lana tried them on and gave them two thumbs up for comfort). So I highly recommend making a pair, even just for frivolity's sake. I used remnants of Crystal Palace Splash in Key Lime (you can easily make a couple pairs or more from one ball) and Filati FF's Park (one ball for a pair)--coincidentally, the Park is part of the giant "exorcising the yarn shop" sale we're running right now (see below).

Thongs--my calling the above footwear by this name sparked a conversation this afternoon that revealed a very regional, very split decision. Those of us raised in the upper Midwest (me in Chicago, as you know from reading, as well as a couple others) know the footwear as thongs. The further south you go into the lower Midwest/deep South (Matt and others), the more likely you are to call them flip-flops. I guess we Yankees are just more terse (or efficient...) with our vocabulary, no? Call me silly (YOU'RE SILLY), but I found it interesting.....kinda like the Missouri phenomenon of it being POP in Kansas City and SODA in St. Louis (or even SODIE if you're from St. Louis County proper). Having attended Mizzou for my academic training, I always enjoyed being able to pinpoint cities of origin on campus by what someone called a carbonated beverage.

Time for a little braggin.........check this out

That's Angie, who cuts our hair. She succumbed to the knitting bug LESS THAN four weeks ago and what you see above is her fourth (fifth?) felted bag since learning to knit on April 26th. AMAZING! That bag is the Tote Around design from (we stock every one of her patterns and ADORE Janet!). Angie used the new shades of Lamb's Pride Worsted in Kiwi, Rosado Rose, and Tiger Lily (with a little left over Cascade 220 thrown in for a pop). Excellent work!

And this is Kim (well, parts of her), who is in the same class as Angie, but learned to make garter stitch scarves (Daryl Hannah's favorite!) last winter, but is learning more advanced stuff in class. See

That's the Chicago Bag, Blue Line Edition, designed by Theresa. You can get the pattern from her by clicking on that first link (which I recommend, so she gets full profit for her hard work and design prowess), or you can get it from us (if you want yarn or ???, it's easy to toss in the package with other things). Kim did hers up in three shades of pink in our Cascade 220, my favorite fiber for felting. I think the bag is DYNAMITE (she striped it on her own) and for a first "real" project (following a written pattern and everything), Kim did an outstanding job.

The other class member, Tammy, has some fab bags of her own to show off. I'll share photos of her work shortly (after Monday's final session). Stay tuned!

Many of you were curious about my semi-cryptic note about clearing out yarns from our shelves. Not just any yarn, or all things we carry, but strategically-chosen lines. So here's what I said in our newsletter (sign up from the ThreadBear main page if you're not already receiving my weekly/Wednesday notes but are interested--use the blue box on the bottom of the page).

OK--change is in the air around here, and we're embracing it with both arms, both hands, all fingers, and more. We like it and personally, I (Rob) thrive on it. So here's to change, and here's to a good bit of it around here in the coming days.....

All yarns that come to us from Knitting Fever/Euro Yarns are being discontinued here at ThreadBear. Over the past several months, we've had a definite love/hate relationship with this company and we have decided it is time to part ways. As we've met with yarn sales reps over the past month or so (and into next month at yarn market) we've been substituting certain other yarns for things we used to buy from KFI/Euro, and others we'll just stop carrying.

So here's what it means to you......starting today (FRIDAY, MAY 21st) and until they're gone, all yarns and pattern books distributed by KFI/EuroYarns are 25% off regular retail. Here's a list of companies involved in the sale

Debbie Bliss
Schachenmayr (including all Regia sock yarns)
On Line
Araucania (wools and cotton)
All KFI/Euro labels (Flutter, Dazzle, Gioco, Carnival, King Tut, Pansies, and more)
Elsebeth Lavold (her Silky Wool yarn and newer books--NOT the original "Viking Collection")
Elizabeth Austen (all fabric/quilted totes)
Filati FF (tons of things that have never been on the sales floor)

You'll see some wonderful yarns represented in that list (Noro for example) and it made this decision VERY difficult, but we've got to take a stand and have some principles here, especially when others do not. I'm not slinging mud (ancient proverb--"He who sling mud lose ground"--VERY sage advice), and there's truth to every story I've heard of late (I've spoken directly with the parties involved, actually), and this is a difficult decision to make, as we LOVE some of these fibers (I'll hate losing Elsebeth Lavold, and her new stuff for fall is divine--we had preordered it all). 'Nuff said..........

To see their yarns and color cards, do visit

We don't stock everything by them, but we do have a wide variety of things.

Second Thing
So what will we do with all of the new "space" in our inventory? more! We've already started adding yarns that we feel are perfect substitutes for some of the above lines and individual fibers (for example Rowan has a wool/cotton at the DK weight that's very similar to Debbie Bliss Wool/Cotton, so now we'll carry that; we've added other eyelash yarns instead of Flutter; I have various patterning sock yarns instead of Regia; and so forth). We've seen the new designs from Jamieson & Simply Knit (the new book is called "Simply Shetland" and is coming in September........GET IN LINE's a TOTAL winner). And just Thursday I contracted with an INCREDIBLE yarn company to add their entire line of yarns (a dozen different yarns in various fibers, with INCREDIBLE pattern support) that we'll start receiving around mid-July (trust me on this one, it's heavenly!). And there's more as well.........that we can't wait to introduce y'all to!

back to my blog entry We've had good response in person and in mail order to the announcement, and I've had several of you readers compliment us on taking a stand, thank us for doing something that we believe is a matter of principle, and for going on a limb in a way that many shop owners want to do but aren't ready to take that leap of faith. I am deeply appreciative of your kind words and supportive notes. It just proves to me that we're fighting the good fight!

Friday, May 21, 2004

Technical Difficulties

I went to create my blog entry last night and we couldn't connect to the net. Matt spent several hours last night trying to figure out why, then getting my machine back online, and finally working on his, to no avail. Having both of us online is mission critical, so I'm sure I know what HIS morning will consist of today. So I apologize for no post yesterday, but no net connection means no posting....

As if there was any doubt, check out what our poor letter carrier had to take away yesterday afternoon

That's an evening's production, but granted, we were up late. Matt turned in around 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday and I called it quits around 5:45 a.m. But there will be plenty of happy people in the next few days, which makes it all worth it. But check that out--that's more than one or two packages there! THANK YOU!!!!!

We received a few new patterns the other day.........two more from the great folks at Cabin Fever.

These are made with worsted-weight yarn (typically wool, but I bet cotton or a blend would work well, too). And I know a certain someone is lusting for the "Blue Jeans Purse". I've been in love with their designs since I first found one in an early issue of KnitNet (no longer free) over four years ago. I fell in love with "Take It From The Top", which is knit at 20 sts/10cm (4in) from the top down with no seaming. My first was made as a shop model for Yarn for Ewe in Okemos, Michigan. My second was made for Matt for Christmas that same year (tho he received the completed sweater in June the following year), using Noro Kureyon in a now-discontinued colourway of rainbow shaded (which hangs in the shop as a model off season or when he's not wearing it). Cabin Fever patterns are well written, suitable for a wide range of knitters and skills, and always result in great finished garments. (Tasia's Cardigan is another example of their great aesthetic).

We received our every-other-week shipment of Lorna's Laces yarns on Tuesday. It's true--they ship to me every other Friday, so it arrives the next Tuesday and I get to fondle and adore the contents. See what I mean

Mmmmmmmmmm, Helen's Lace, named for former-owner Lorna's mom. It's 50% tussah silk and 50% merino wool and 400% beautiful, and just $48 retail, $43.20 from us! In addition to the large number of hanks we already have, I just had to get the ones above. And check out that Black Purl.......ooooooooh my. The most common use of this yarn is to make the freebie pattern on the label for a shawl. I made one last year, and it's lovely

The pattern calls for six wedges, but there's sufficient yarn to make seven or eight (a couple local folks did make larger versions, with more body wrapping capacity).

The box goes on.......

Lion & Lamb is their half silk/half wool worsted-weight single. The luster is just amazing and the depth of color on the silk is niiiiiiiiiiice...oh, and the hand of the finished item? Fantastic! One big hank makes a scarf (a big scarf) and it's $29 retail or $26.10 from us. Very reasonable for a silk scarf! And yes, in the lower right corner are two skeins of Glory, their heavy-weight brushed mohair.

No box of goodies from these folks would be complete without a nice influx of their Shepherd Sock

Great color, nice diversity, and fun combinations. Perfect timing, too! That entrelac sock pattern in the latest Knitter's that just came out is quite nice and I want to make a pair, but with the Daffodil colourway. And these new ones above (check that Black Purl....YUM) join the 200+ other skeins of this yarn already on the shelves here. Yes, I love this stuff!

I've mentioned another baby sweater in progress of's the design I'm using

That's a Cottage Creations pattern for the Ramblin' Rows Jacket for the Family, which is based on the construction methods used in their Ramblin' Rows Afghan, which we love. (Check out Rachel's awesome version, knitted in Cascade Sierra.)

Here's my little sweater

and here's the inside (so you can see the back)

It's a modular knit (domino knit) project, using squares picked up and knitted on other squares. The fun part is that the same booklet covers sizes from a children's 1-3 (21" inch finished chest) up to an adult XL (51" finished chest). I have yet to add the button band (and run in the ends, Sarah) but it's almost finished. And oh my, is it soft.......I used Classic Elite's Spotlight, an aran-weight 100% cotton yarn (92 yds/50g, $4 retail, $3.60 from us) that's machine wash/dry flat, so care is good for children's items. Here's my color palette

Of course, Matt chose the colors and they're fantastic together. Here's the complete palette for Spotlight, in case you're curious

I think it would make great summer garments like tanks, shells (especially something where you want a S-O-F-T yarn for next-to-skin wearing), or children's garments. We have the spring/summer pattern selection from Classic Elite, and several designs use this yarn, or it could be used anywhere a design calls for 4 to 5 sts/inch (tons of projects fall into this range). Good stuff!

I have my next project in mind already.......I just gotta make one of these

It's the intriguing "Mezza Luna" from the genius behind, Janet Scanlon. And I'm going to follow suit and make mine with Manos del Uruguay yarns. We booked several trunk shows earlier this week, stretching from August through next spring, with one of them being a trunk show of eight bags made with Brown Sheep yarns. I cannot wait for that one (I believe it's in November of this year). But I need to see this one in Manos N-O-W. One of our local BRAND NEW knitters (who's tearing it up since learning how to knit just three weeks ago--she's on her FOURTH felted bag) is making the Tote Around design out of the three new Lamb's Pride colors we received last week--Kiwi, Tiger Lily, and Rosado Rose. I'll share a picture of her project shortly, along with a couple other fun things these ladies have been up to. All three are doing a GREAT job with their knitting.

And with that, I'm outta here..........word of note--we'll be announcing a pretty big clearance sale today or tomorrow, concerning the yarns I alluded to in yesterday's blog post (an e-mail is going out to those on our newsletter list first, then I'll give a shout-out here). Once we decided to drop all things from this company, we decided to expedite their leaving us, so we'll take nice markdowns shortly. And after a long conversation with a fantastic person from the company, we are adding the full collection of yarns and patterns from a really awesome company that is widely known (but not widely available) with products that are coveted by knitters. Between the different types of fibers and yarns (all knitting up around the same gauge, so you can substitute across designs with ease) and the SIMPLY AMAZING COLOR PALETTE in these fibers (expanding even further for Fall 2004), we're really REALLY looking forward to their upcoming arrival--starting later this summer and over the next couple months. I told you there was change in the wind around here, and it's all change for the better, and we're EXCITED!!!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Quick Update and Off I Go

Heya Heya,

What a fun few days. I had hoped to bring you more today, but I'll save the latest on our Lorna's Laces stock until Thursday. There's some amazing beauty in that box. Today's deliveries totaled four--some backordered Cascade 220 (still no elusive chartreuse/7814, sorry...), something whimsical you'll see here, some awesome lace-weight yarn, and a monster of Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride (again).

Many have asked about the sizing on the garments in the "Little Box of Sweaters" and I'm happy to report that the smallest largest size (are you with me on that??) is 45" finished bust, most are up near 50", and a couple go beyond 50". As for smallest sizes, they range from 33" or 34" for most up to the sizes above. I think that means it covers a wide range of sizes, and all designs come with schematics.

So, fret no more about ordering sight-unseen. And if I can do an upclose on any specific designs, lemme know. I'm always able to take requests.

We've made some major business decisions about stock and yarn and patterns and companies we're willing (and unwilling) to deal with from here forward, and I'm happy to say that I feel really good about what we've decided. We're going to winnow a few lines and expand our inventory on others that we already carry some stock in (some of the fall things we've been shown are truly AMAZING....just BEAUTIFUL) and we're going to cease doing business with one specific company. The impact of this last one will be made public soon. And we're learning how to do what we do better, which is good.

Time to go pack packages of yarn for everyone....y'all are amazing. Thank you for the constant support (and concern). It is deeply appreciated.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

At Long Last........

It's been a weird day. I guess my sending out a note last night (instead of tomorrow/Wednesday, my typical time) saying that effective Monday the 24th we're shuttered to retail in-person sales caused a few folks to come out of the woodwork. And we have word that the weekend may well be a zoo, too. This is all good, and I look forward to the opportunity to get VERY caught up on mail order transactions once we are focusing on that, as of Tuesday. We'll still be 140% open to mail order trade, but we will have to be doing in-person stuff on the sly (in dark Kroger parking lot corners, in darkened alleys....and the like). So look forward to an increase in our time and a full focus on our online trade, coming soon to a monitor near you!

On to today's show..........I promised some surprises, and parts of this post are a surprise to me, as I didn't intend to cover some of this stuff when I started taking photos today. But first, a word from our sponsors........Koigu Wool Designs and Charlotte's Web. Here's two different ONE-TIME-ONLY combinations that we offer to you....they cannot be recreated and there's only one of each. First off, it's Matt's creation called "Piedmont Morning"

dark, dusky, somewhat brooding, and very beautiful! It's a close relative of Morning Haze, which I believe sold out at the UP CLOSE page earlier today. Want more? OK. How about my own combination (with Matt's expert help for refinement, of course).

I call it Citron, as it is reminiscent of the greeney-yellowy-citrusy shades so popular in Europe over the past few years, especially in Germany--with just a pop of orange for good measure. Again, if you're interested, slip me a note and the first one to come through will be the proud owner of some one-of-a-kind beauty!

Now, on with the show....late last week (Friday?) we received these little darlings, which I bought sight-unseen (but I just knew they'd be great). Lookie!

They are "Little Box of Scarves" and "Little Box of Sweaters" from Martingale Press, and I think they're INCREDIBLE resources. Inside each box you'll find 20 hefty-paper patterns on cards that you can slip into your (Jordanna Paige) knitting bag, instead of the entire cumbersome book. (by the way, that little subliminal insert is to tell you that the first shipment of "The Knitter's Purse" will be here next Tuesday---in black; the red is backordered until the end of June). First off, the sweaters's a shot of half of the projects in the box

and the other half

The cards give specifics on the exact yarns used, and they run the range of reasonable through luxury fibers, but there's nothing in there that couldn't be successfully substituted for something else, either up or down the dollar food chain. Several of the garments have great details and fun treatments, while others are very basic, great every-day kinds of things. I really like the shape of the tank (bottom left above) and can see it in any number of yarns we currently stock. But what about the scarves, you ask?

Just when you think "who needs another set of scarf patterns" or "aren't there enough patterns for scarf knitting in the world", along comes this pack of 20 goodies. Some are classic, some are flouncy. Some are cabled, some are heavily textured, and some are just plain elegant. See?

I like all of the top row here (especially first and second from the left and the last one) and the first and last on the bottom row. And even more......

Check out that one in the bottom row, center. GREAT use of self-striping yarn, for sure. Good stuff! Now, you might ask.....what's it gonna cost ya....well, retail on the box of 20 patterns is $19.95 (each box), so the ThreadBear price is $17.96, plus shipping of about $1.42 in the US (and 6% sales tax, if you're in Indiana). Not bad at under a buck a pattern, and even if you only like three (but you will like more), that's $6 each pattern with others to do with what you will! SEE, a regular bargain!


Fine fine's a glam shot of the colors we have on hand

That's Tropicana, from Skacel. It's a variaion on a ladder ribbon that is much softer than your typical fare, plus it has tufts of metallic polyester across one side, in a sort of eyebrow fashion. That little bit of tuft adds a BIG bit of sparkle to the mix, as you can see in the scarf-in-progress on the needles here

or maybe a little bit closer in

Each ball is 25g, or 50m (55yds), so the scarf you see on the needles (now completed--after starting it this afternoon) is two balls of garter stitch on US 13 needles. I've started a second one on a US 10 needle and it is more dense, more lush, but a three-ball project. Each ball retails for $6.95, so that means our price is $6.26 each. We have 2-3 bags of each colourway you see above, so gimme a shout out if you need some glamour in your life.

Keeping with our theme of knitting for little ones, I find myself enamoured with this book

It's the Design Source booklet of throws that you knit on the diagonal. It has a wide variety of designs inside

all based on the concept of a bias-knit piece either used by itself or in strips

This last one, Taos, is my personal favorite. It blends the 100% wool Manos del Uruguay yarns (which we stock, in abundance--and just ordered more on Friday.....which will have a wholesale price increase effective June 1, which we'll be forced to pass along later this summer, as our stock thins and we've added more at the new price) with odds and ends of different textured yarns to make incredible panels that are joined together to make this stunning throw! From the looks of the picture, it's bits and oddments of chenilles, mohairs, and more (dig through that scarfie yarn stash and ends, folks) and pair them with the subtle beauty of the Manos wools.....NICE.

But what has me captivated right now comes from the back page--the BINKIES collection.

These really fun baby blankies use the new Cotton Stria yarn

to make a soft project for little ones. I like both the Razzle and the Candy Lane versions, so I have to make them both. Yarn for Razzle in the same colourway as in the book

and Candy Lane

which I'll start very shortly after finishing the above. Each takes only six hanks of the Cotton Stria (82 yards, $8 retail/$7.20 ThreadBear) and the book runs $8.95 retail, so $8.06 from me. And I'm almost positive I'll make either the cover project or Taos in the VERY near future. The cover project is called Flash

and uses lights and darks in the wool fiber in a half-square combination. Inside the book are several layouts for arranging your blocks to make different patterns, not unlike used in quilting with half-square triangles. I see a good bit of overlap here in fiber fun--quilting and knitting. They go together well. I think it would be a GREAT idea if a knitting shop and a quilting shop were located near eachother and could do cross-pollination types of events (sew and quilt part, then knit some; or combining techniques from one into projects in the other--my mind races with the options).

Well, I said I started my verison of Razzle today, and here's an early-on progress shot

I'm a little further along than I was when I snapped this photo, and I think I'll go knit on it right now. My left ankle/foot is swollen up like my paternal grandmother's used to get, so I'm gonna go prop it up somewhere and relax while I make progress on the binkie.

Coming attractions for tomorrow...........a HUGE box of Lorna's Laces yarns arrived (as happens every other Tuesday) and I may reveal my other baby sweater tomorrow...yeah, that's it! And maybe a little tank time.............


Matt has posted several new options for Charlotte's Web on the Charlotte's Web Up Close page. Check 'em out and claim one as your very own.

And join the most-recent knit along added to the web........over at Sandy's Knitting. And send her positive shawl vibes...she's started hers and hit a couple pot holes along the way (she thinks).

More later on Tuesday.........I've got GOODIES to share with you, including "Eros on Steroids" that arrived on Monday. I'm off to go knit with it!

Monday, May 17, 2004

Surprise! Late Sunday Post

I figure most of you will see this first thing on Monday (comment or tagboard me if you see it sooner...just so I know folks read overnight....vain me). But it's still fun to post something, FINALLY, over the weekend. So off we go.........

There's been an awful lot of knitting for babies and children going on around the shop this spring and our emphasis for the month of May has been knitting for these little critters, too! We have several new knitters who graduated from scarves to baby things, and we have some folks knitting for non-existent, unconceived grandchildren as well (smart ladies---beat the rush!). And I've been having fun with the quick nature of these smaller garments (like finishing up Tasia's Cardigan in three evenings last week). It's great to have these little sweaters, hats, and things as shop models, so folks can see how different yarns and different patterns look, knitted up. And Low Helen (HI HELEN) has been doing a great job of helping........come see

That's the Cottage Creations "Babies & Bears Sweater" (we stock it, but it's not on the website--that's about to change), and it's knitted in Koigu Kersti in K136. I think Helen's version is just smashing! Let's look at the detail on the front

It took three hanks of the yarn, so this beautiful sweater is under $30 to knit, using an incredibly soft hand-dyed yarn (and it's machine washable, too!). It's a quick knit as well, as Helen finished it during the week last week, working on it only at night (she started it Sunday evening but had to tear out her work--too tight). I enjoy working with Cottage Creations patterns, and I'm currently knitting the Ramblin' Rows Jacket in the smallest size (that's what I started Thursday evening) and the body is done and I am almost finished with the first sleeve.....and I've not had that much time to work on it of late. I'm using another very reasonable yarn, and it appears that the project will be another one of those $15ish ones (so far I have four balls of yarn in it, and they're $3.60 each, and that should be enough). Photos tomorrow, especially if I can finish it at the Franklin Knit Night in the evening (and that's DEFINITELY do-able).

The sweater above is made using Kersti, a very wonderful hand-dyed merino yarn from those wonderful folks at Koigu Wool Designs. The yarn is an amazingly cushy yarn due to it's cabled/crepe construction (the yarn isn't plied like most, but instead is a chain or braid of fibers). And of course, it comes in the amazing variegated and stunning solid shades that these master dyers are known for around the globe. We keep a good bit of Kersti on hand at any given time, so let's have a look at what's here now........

That's the first set of four cubes of multis.....I'm quite enamoured with the K324 and K117 you see above. The K451 is also very popular. Moving right along, here's more multis..........

That K107 has called to me ever since it arrived, and someone from Louisville made a pair of socks using two hanks of it and one of the K1100 you see on the far right (she used the solid for heels and toes). The socks are AWESOME and this is good for socks because it is machine washable and a QUICK KNIT because the yarn is a dk (to worsted) weight yarn...the label says 22 sts over 10cm (4in) but it behaves very well at 20 (that's the gauge in the baby sweater, above). Here's one colourway I can't seem to get out of my head as well

That's K624x and I like the subtle pops of blue amid the neutrals. Wouldn't that be FAB knit up in the ribbed sweater found in Sally Melville's The Purl Stitch? Yup! If solids are more your speed, here's some

Nice and fresh colors, especially that icy blue with just a hint of mint in it. But wait, there's more!

Fun neutrals, solid earthy tones, and a lovely cranberry. And yes, one more cube

How do you like that pink? Normally I caution that pinks (and reds and oranges) are brighter through the digital camera lens, but this time that color is bang on. And I have another full dye lot in an even brighter, more intense pink (same dye code, different dye lot). It's great stuff.......and here's some blues we brought in just in case someone wanted to do the Kersti coat found in the winter issue of Vogue Knitting International.

Other projects for Kersti include these

That's the Kersti Pullover (duh) made with 10-12 skeins of the lovely yarn. Another suggestion would be the Western

(see, and you wondered what happened to Michael McDonald after the Doobies broke up........he's a fashion model in Canada now). Western uses four different colourways of Kersti, and either three or four skeins of each, depending on the finished chest size.

If you like accessories, maybe this beret and/or gloves might be just the ticket

Each piece calls for two skeins of Kersti (so yes, four for the set). And the shaping on the beret is REALLY cool......I need to make one of these SOON (and call it a model garment for the shop--yeah!).

And yet, one more idea for a fantastic sweater

That's the cabled Kersti sweater out of the Fall 2003 Vogue Knitting, as interpreted by Amy Swenson. There's even a">shawl pattern on the web that calls for six skeins of Kersti. Mmmmmmmmm, good stuff! $11 retail, so our price is $9.90. And if you don't like these ideas/suggestions for projects, there's always almost any sweater that calls for a lovely yarn at a gauge of probably 18 or 19 through 22 stitches over 10cm (4in). Dream a little!

I've mentioned it before, but it bears repeating----we've met some FANTASTIC people through blogging! Some of them even in person (grin). But what goes to prove what I just said is this

That's a very recent "choco-gram" from the West Coast, courtesy of the amazing Mariko. I sent her a candy-gram that she posted about one day last week, and in the picture on her blog there was something like chocolate-covered candied ginger, and Matt saw it online and started drooling like Pavlov's dogs.......I asked Mariko where to find it, and instead of telling, she attempted to send some. Unable to find it for now, she sent the above WONDERFULLY THOUGHTFUL care package that we immediately devoured (see how the bag of mint chocolate was immediately opened?). Matt's the big mocha fan (I'm not much for coffee-flavored things or coffee in general), so he's going to savour the Scharffen Berger all to himself. I got the lion's share of the minty goodness, so it all works out well. THANKS, MARIKO!!!!!

I love to share the successes our local (and newer) knitters share with us almost daily here at the shop. One graduate (survivor?) of my beginning knitting class has taken a cotton to felting (puns intended, folks). She made a felted bag in class (I let them select their own project from a list of about a dozen options) and she's gone hog wild since then. Check out what she's stockpiling for gifts for the holidays, later this year

That's a Felted Day Pack from the genius minds at Two Old Bags using a hot pink tweed from Cascade Yarns and the lime heather in regular 220. And the slippers? Those are felted Mary Janes, from a FiberTrends pattern we stock (could they BE any cuter??). Check out a closeup on the colors of that felted bag

Oh, so very Lily Pulitzer! And Toni made these things earlier this spring, before we had any clue about Lily-mania in these parts. She's just that savvy about things! I like how the tweed and the heather play off of eachother so very well. GREAT JOB TONI!!!!!!!!!

With that, I'm done for the night. Have a GREAT Monday and do be in touch. Especially if I can help with any of the goodies shown above!