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, June 11, 2004

Sale Kureyon is ALL Spoken For

Thanks for your very positive response to this little mini-sale. I have a few odds and ends and random skeins of Kureyon, but all full bag amounts are gone.

No more e-mails about it, please! (grin)

With that, we're off to Columbus, OH, for a couple days of yarn binge (I mean buying) and to have a wild evening on the town with the folks from wild as you can get in Ohio with a couple of Canadians. LOL.

Under Cover of Darkness

I announce a little "special sale" for you who covet yarn.

If you're a Noro junkie (and who isn't??), you may wanna read this one closely. Here goes my special for Friday---one time only shot. Limited to stock on hand. ONLY.


I'll sell a full bag of Kureyon for $60 (that's 10 skeins, or $6 a skein--instead of $8.50 each, or $85 a bag) to the first ones who e-mail me. What's the catch? Limited colors. And only in bags of ten.

I have only THREE (3) bags of colourway #116 (charcoals, black, and a little russet) for this special

I have only ONE (1) bag of colourway #51 (black, grey, a little green) for this special

First to e-mail me is the one who gets any/all of them, and I go by time stamp in MY inbox. Postage is additional, of course.

We have odds and ends of other skeins (some 51, some 116, and maybe one or two of 115 and maybe singles of another color), but we're almost out of Kureyon. So I go for the jugular with this special sale.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

That Sophie Sure Gets Around

First off, I promised pics of my finished and felted Perfect Pouch project (what an alliteration) when it dried. Despite the rain overnight, and helped by a tumble in the old Maytag dryer, I present to you this......

I think it turned out quite fantastic, and so does our letter carrier (she asked about the odd item hanging so low). Check out a closeup

I'm fond of the fabric--nice and sturdy with GREAT color definition. And the red piping is a nice contrast to the rambling color in the bag. All that and NO traces of the join where I reattached new I-cord after the disaster. WHEW! I consider this a resounding success.

Thanks to Julie Anderson (boogaj), the brains and creativity behind Black Sheep Bags, we have the lovely Sophie Bag pattern, published in MagKnits, a bi-annual pattern collection (with monthly supplements of interesting patterns). I've made a variety of different Sophies and you've seen them here, and we've had several customers make this design with great success.

Well, I couldn't leave well enough alone and had to go around the bag one more time--this time using a yarn that most people overlook for felting. You may be familiar with Noro Shinano

The yarn is 65% wool and 35% silk, knits at the aran gauge (4.5 sts/inch), and has 110yds in a ball. It also looks like it may be a discontinued fiber from the distributor, as it no longer appears on their site, and they've updated the online color cards for the upcoming fall/winter season. It retails for $10, but since it comes from KFI, it's on clearance from us for just $7.50 a skein. We have every one of the above colors available.

I've often wondered how this yarn would felt--it knits up beautifully (Matt used it for a multidirectional scarf for himself last winter) and the knitted fabric is lovely and light (being about 1/3 silk, it's very light, with a nice hand). But silk doesn't felt, so I've been curious. Janet Scanlon, a.k.a., purchased some from us last fall for a little felting experiment of her own and she reported back with good news. But I'm a doubting Thomas, so I had to do it myself.

Here's the finished bag

Told ya--great color (that's colourway #10, if you're curious) and lovely sheen from the silk. But how does it felt, you may ask.....FINE THEN...check it out

Looks like any other felted Noro yarn, right? So what's the joy of using something that's 1/3 silk, you might ask? The beauty is in the details, folks............the small details. Check out the fabric up close

Check out those intermittent little white bumple-bits (that's a technical term). The wool shrinks down around the silk and causes little nubs of texture and contrasting color. Now that's some fabulous fabric!

Project details:

  • free pattern linked above

  • two skeins of Noro Shinano yarn (even me, loosey-goosey knitter made it with 220 yards of fiber)

  • just a few hours of knitting time (this is a QUICK project!)

  • tons of enjoyment after the fact

    Need some? Lemme know........I can hook you up!

    And with that, I conclude my little "return to my roots". I've already started my next project, which involves some of the most floofy and wild yarn I've ever knit with, and I'm making a scarf (imagine that! Me? a scarf?). Progress photos in the near future. But for now, I'm back to packing orders.....................and making yarn dreams come true! Keep your eyes peeled for a fun announcement sometime in the next week to ten days..........

  • Back From Whence I Came

    Those of you who've been around awhile, or who read and study "The Saga of ThreadBear" (bwahahahahah...that's funny.......people reading/studying us....) know that we started in the Fall of 2001 (wow, nearly three years ago) making finished felted goods and offering them for sale at art fairs and consigned spaces (gift shops, art centers, etc.). It all started with a few felted bags, a basic felted hat, and a whole lotta knitting time.


    We have licensing agreements in place with several major designers/pattern companies to produce finished goods from their commercial patterns. If you're making/selling things based on anything other than your own original designs, you're technically breaking copyright laws and shouldn't be doing it without these agreements. Typically, if you approach the designer/holder of the copyright first (before they "catch" you), it's been our experience that they are more than fair in dealing with you if you're willing to work with them. For example, we pay a very small amount (50 cents to a dollar to two dollars) for every finished item we sell based on FiberTrends patterns, as spelled out in our written agreement with Bev Galeskas. It's only fair, folks. You're profiting from their hard work and design creativity. So next time you go to make something for hire/sale, let your conscience be your guide and respect the intellectual property rights of the designer. Without exception so far, they are fair and reasonable people (based on our dealings).

    End Sidebar

    I've been making lots of different things lately, and I just needed to get back to basics, so to speak, with a couple projects of late. One of my finished ones is hanging in the back, fresh out of the washing machine about five minutes ago. It all started with this

    That's the awesome "Perfect Pouch" pattern from the amazing Amy of IndiKnits fame. We sell all of her commercial patterns, and she's been featured several times in Knitty. The original Perfect Pouch was conceived in Noro Kureyon, and since we're not handling that yarn any longer, I put on my thinking cap about how to use other fibers with this same fab design.

    What you see in the picture above is a hank of Mountain Colors' Weaver's Wool Quarters in Bitterroot Rainbow and a skein of Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted in Red Baron. I figured that I could take advantage of the beauty of the hand-dyed wool, used doubled, and get a little bit larger bag than with the Kureyon, and I'd use the solid yarn for the piping and strap around the bag as a nice contrasting color. See for yourself

    I think it turned out GREAT! I felted it this evening, while taking and cleaning up photos for this blog entry and I had a tiny bit of an issue (one I've never run into, in three years of felting like a mad man).......the long strap of the bag wedged itself under the agitator in my washing machine and managed to get tangled underneath. Without a socket set (Lord only knows where mine is in this house) I couldn't remove the agitator, and I couldn't free the strap, so I just pulled and SNAPPED the I-cord strap off and successfully removed both pieces of knitting from the washer. I reknit another four feet of I-cord (not one of my favorite things to do...) and kitchener stitched the new piece to the stubs on the bag and no one will be the wiser (except you, my fair readers). So be warned--it could happen (and I've felted at least a dozen of these for our customers/friends over the past year, and this has never happened). I'll share pictures of the bag tomorrow, after it dries (it's a little furry, too, so I envision a shave in the near future....). I'm VERY pleased with the results and look forward to using this new success as a shop model in our new space next month.

    So, might you be inspired to try one of your own? Here's a little bit of our stock in Weaver's Wool, should you be so inclined

    I used the first one for my model, but I think several of these (especially the RimRock) would make a great little pouch bag. Or check out these options

    Blue lovers will note the first one on the left--Winter Sky--but I like the middle three an awful lot as well. And even more options

    The right-most two are newer shades introduced last fall, and I know a certain someone who is in love with the one on the far left. And as for trim color, the sky's the limit on that, given the wide palette in Lamb's Pride, and we stock most of them at all times. I'm glad to make suggestions and match up solids to the multis, if you decide on something you have to have!

    Another idea may be to knit yours with a solid-color yarn and do the striping yourself. Given that, here's an inspiration shot using very contemporary colors in the LP worsted

    On the far left are very Miss Lily shades, and on the right are the three new shades that were just introduced this spring. I think I may have to make another one in this yarn, striping it myself to show how that can be done.

    This is a reasonable project, too. The pattern retails for $6, so we have it for $5.40. The WWQ is $17 retail/$15.30 from us, and the LP worsted is $6.50 retail, or $5.85 from us. So you get a really cool bag for about $25 if you use the hand-dyed yarn (including the cost of the pattern). If you go with the LP worsted, it would be under $20 for a two-tone one or about $25 for a three-shade combo. And just think of the possibilities with your scraps, especially in LP worsted. Also, this would be a great project to use the "magic ball" technique for some fabulous and random stripes. Need supplies for your own? Contact me!

    That's about it for tonight.....I'm working on another felted bag, this time using a non-traditional yarn to felt (it's not 100% animal hair/wool) and I hear it felts fabulously, with an interesting texture. You'll see more shortly.

    I received a little sneak preview of the new colors for a wonderful yarn we'll be carrying in the fall (late July/early August)--Misti International is launching a worsted-weight version of their INCREDIBLE baby alpaca yarn and it will be QUITE reasonable (like $5.70 retail/$5.13 ThreadBear) for 103 yards of worsted-weight baby alpaca that is some of the most incredibly soft fiber I've ever felt (softer than cashmere..I swear). And the palette of 19 different shades is quite wonderful. Yes, we've already pre-ordered a big batch.....and yes, you know you'll see it here when it arrives. We already stock the chunky, sport, and lace-weight versions of this yarn (and ADORE all of them), so the worsted will be a great addition to that family. YUMMY! THIS is why I love knitting for cooler weather!

    Be well, and be in touch. And thanks for reading!

    Wednesday, June 09, 2004

    Mid of Night Surprises

    I'm up late packing boxes and attempting to get caught up on things while Matt's away for a few days. I tend to be the first one up in the morning, typically around 6:30 a.m., and I tend to be the last one to turn in (I can be quite the night owl when left to my own devices). So here I am, up late and about to call it quits for the evening. And I decided to pop a surprise on y'all.......mwahahaha.


    It's a funny story why I have these......well, maybe not so funny. Long ago, back when they were posted over a month ago, someone quickly reserved three different Charlotte's Web color packs, plus yarn for an Ingeborg sweater to join the knit along, plus a variety of other items (loose skeins of KPPPM that have already been incorporated into new Charlotte kits, some Fixation, and other stuff). I tried to be in contact several times about things, but the order just wasn't meant to be, I suppose. Sometimes life throws us a low-and-inside slider, so I completely understand--I've been known to swing at a good sucker pitch as well. And wiff that baby pretty hard (grin).

    Soooooooooooooo, y'all with the fast fingers are the benefactors of this bit of fate. The two following colourways are ONE AND ONE TIME ONLY deals. We cannot recreate them, as we don't have any more of these colors (maybe a random skein here and there, but definitely NOT all five of either of these). So the e-mail with the earliest time/date stamp will be the "winner", so to speak. If you want either/both of these (folks have been snapping them up in twos and threes---greedy that they are! I LOVE GREED!)...... E-MAIL ME RIGHT AWAY

    Here goes ............first off, we have Academy

    It's a fab combination of blues and oranges (perfect complements on the color wheel, you fans and students of Deb Menz and her ColorWorks book, featured here last week). I like this one a lot.....and I don't expect it to last.

    Also on the adoption block...........the VERY VERY VERY VERY popular Lichen

    Now, this one was quite the celebrity in her day, so I don't expect her to last until dawn. The warm neutrals and fun shading in the combination are a sure-fire hit. And the subtle blending is just smashing in this one.

    Also still available is Both Sugar AND Spice

    a sweet combination of colors and neutrals (pun intended) and another one where the blending will be just smashing.

    For those of you on the Charlotte hunt, these will probably be the last ones posted until no sooner than Sunday, as Matt's out of town until late Thursday night and we have to leave on Friday to go to the big yarn shop trade show in Columbus, Ohio. We'll be there for a few days and then come back (having spent more money than we have sense, I'm sure). So we'll be away for the weekend and as you know, he's the magic behind the Charlotte combos, not me. You wouldn't want me putting them together, trust me........(shudder).

    With that, I leave you until later in the day on Wednesday, when I'll show more of my recent knitting projects. I'm off to go make a few feet of I-cord for a handle and then more for trim on a cute design. Pix soon!!!!

    Tuesday, June 08, 2004

    Waiting for Phil-Onde

    I've just come in from my vigil....waiting for the UPS guy to arrive with my Phildar order. I come inside unrewarded. So I call MY pusher, and he gives me the bad news. The yarn he promised would leave last Wednesday, June 2nd, just left yesterday, June 7th. ARGGGGGGGGGGH!!!! I've been waiting without reason. And it appears the new delivery date is Friday or Monday. I think UPS will run on Friday, despite it being a federal holiday. He gave me a tracking number, but it doesn't appear to be a UPS one, and I tried Airborne/DHL and FedEx, and neither of those systems recognizes it. So I'm confused.

    On the knitting front, I've returned to my roots---I'm working on two different felted bags from standard, widely-recognizes patterns. I'm just using different yarns for them. I'll plan to show you pix of progress on Wednesday and hopefully finished/felted bags on Wednesday or Thursday--depending on how much knitting time I get. I don't get much, as we stay fairly busy packing boxes and things. Don't worry about placing orders---we ship every day, by the truckload. When it's time for us to be out of commission for a bit, I'll let ya know. But for now, it's all about making yarn dreams come true.

    One item of interest--our Araucania Nature Cotton is all gone (thanks to one wonderful purchaser), but we do have a full complement of the Nature Wool, in both worsted and chunky (bulky) weights. Scoop it up now for just $5.63 each, instead of $7.50 retail. It felts fantastically and the light/dark color striations (from the hand-dye process) are fantastic in the felted fabric. I may have to make something with some soon......(ah, back to the roots...).

    And with that, I leave you until Wednesday (tomorrow). Stay topped 90F here today, with typical summer humidity. Matt was a sweaty Betty.....for sure!