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 25, 2004

Phildar Daily Stuph

Not a day goes by without something about Phildar of late. So why disappoint you's focus is the Automne ladies' collection from last fall........LAST FALL. This coming fall's book will be here in August. I don't have much to say about each individual design and I've put fiber stuff and gauge on each picture, so it's self explanatory

Books (there's seven left) are $10.50 retail, so $9.45 each. Media mail to anyone in the US is $1.42, for a $10.87 total. Outside the US, lemme know where and I'll figure your special postage. Canada--I think it's about $3.10. I'll just list the photos here.....first seven folks to e-mail me get a copy.........I don't think I'll be reordering this one, as it's from last year (but strong interest in it would convince me otherwise). I was glad to see two crochet patterns in this issue--that's promising, as crochet is the next "it thing", according to most fiber pundits.

The Cover

There you have it! Have a great weekend!!!!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Humpin' to Ship Packages

We're workin' to get caught up..........tryin' hard, I swear. We send tons of packages and boxes today, and there's more coming where that's concerned. THANK YOU for helping with the flooring (lol--see yesterday's post for an explanation).

Today, I'll just post one thing--a Charlotte. I had three set up for the day and only one survived

Since so many people asked about the PCB combination from Tuesday, I was going to put up several more in that style, but the lovely Toucan is the only one to make it out into public view. And there's just one of her. Brights rule in this one, with lovely oranges and greens and warm neutrals. Scoop it up for your very own with a simple e-mail to me.

Daily Phildar Update

I have a tracking number for my shipment and it left my vendor's hands yesterday (Wednesday), so I fully expect it on Monday. Inside are plenty of 50g solids in Phil-Onde, plenty of Spring/Summer pattern books, and the new shade cards for fall/winter 2004. We're looking forward to that part, as I've seen the three volumes that will be translated into English for the season--a Tricotez Calin, a Tendances, and a men's book (dunno the name of it.....sorry). All are just JAMMED with incredible projects. No Famille book this time, sorry.

Today brought a big box from Cascade Yarns, full of some one of their new yarns, Prisma, and a good bit more Sierra (their cotton/wool blend--perfect for those transitional sweaters!). I wanna play with the Prisma tonight, as it's a cool checkerboard design applied to a shiny ribbon (think ladder ribbon with six side-by-side tracks, staggered). Their online pictures of the fiber don't do it all.

Matt did create and post another Keepsake Shawl colorpack. Check out the Keepsake Up Close page to see his "Sandbox" and love it like I do.

On the subject of Koigu yarns, a little bird told me we'd have a new shipment leaving on Monday, so that's a good thing. You'll know as soon as I do, as you know I always post the UPS tracking code so you can stalk the yarn online. I've come to lust for several other designs of theirs (the Kersti Western, the Lilies Cardigan, and more) and I should have yarn coming to make models of these garments soon--possibly with this shipment. That's GREAT news. Progress continues slowly on my own Keepsake, but I may share it with you tomorrow if I get some knitting time tonight.

With that, I'm outta here for now. Time to go grab a late dinner (it's nearly 9 p.m. here) and then relax with some tv and knitting. Or just knitting and conversation. WHEW!

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

The Answer to "The Question"

Yes, it's been asked of us over and over comes in a couple forms, but essentially it's the same.

  • "How's progress on the new building coming along?" (imperceptible, to my eyes)

  • "When will you be moving into your new location?" (darned if I know......)

  • "Do you have a re-opening date yet?" (not until the above two questions get answered)

    Well, after yesterday, I can answer "the question" with some certainty....

    We'll will be open between July 10th & 15th (just a couple weeks from now!)

    The kicker is that it will be in ......... Lansing, Michigan. Yup, we've battled our last battle here in Columbus, we've waited long enough for the demolition to begin on the side building that's falling apart on the site we were going to rent, and we were tired of the wait for construction permits to be released (the planning commission held them for over two months, for reasons no one seems to have an answer for). Basically, inertia has caused us to alter our plans, and we went to Michigan a couple weeks ago, spent the day looking at potential sites, and walked away with something we could never conjure up over here---a valid lease for retail space. We will GREATLY miss our Indiana (and beyond) friends and adopted family, but as with every family, sometimes you've gotta take a step towards your goals.

    Matt finalized everything yesterday, while he was up in Michigan. We have a place to live (check his blog for pix of it shortly) and we have 6,450 square feet of retail space and keys to prove it. Check it out (slightly

    Yeah, I added the name over the top, but that's 319 South Waverly Road in Lansing--and look, someone's already peering in the windows. It used to be an oak furniture store, but soon it will be a yarn shop. It's not quite as large as what we were going to have here, but it's pretty darned schnazzy (that's a technical term). It needs a little love inside, but that will be easy to remedy. Let's look inside

    Ya gotta love those mirrored columns.......NOT. We'll be doing something about them, and soon the walls will be painted and a new laminate floor will be laid. When those two things are complete, we'll haul everything up north and reopen shortly thereafter.

    But for now, it's same as always down here----you send the e-mails, I send the yarn. We'll keep doing the mail order thing until the last minute, so don't be discouraged. We'll need the fundage to keep making the improvements to the new space.........every skein you purchase is another plank in the new floor (giggle). And 6,450 sq ft is alotta floor! Just kidding.........we love ya madly, we appreciate you like you wouldn't believe, and we're here for you--now and into the future with the Michigan store. And Michigan folks..........look out, we're headed that way soon!

  • Tuesday, June 22, 2004

    Catch Up

    No, not the condiment our "dearly departed" former president declared a vegetable, but a day of nose to the grindstone for me. After being "down" for a good part of yesterday with a head-splitter (which I blame on overdosing on MSG at the asian buffet the night before), I gotta be Vanessa Williams (you 80s babies out there may remember her little diddy about "I got work to dooooooooo"). So today's blog entry will be short but sweet, yet very informative. Off we go!

    If you've experienced an "undeliverable address" when trying to e-mail us, please resend. Last week's "service upgrade" for Yahoo!Business appears to be rocky at best. We're probably going to find a different host for our business stuff, as Yahoo! appears to be run by....yahoos!

    Now, for a regular feature around here......Phildar update!

    The shipment from France was delayed and arrives today, not yesterday as planned. So my boxes of goodies will leave my supplier's hands tomorrow (Wednesday) and I'll probably have it Tuesday (based on their four-day service last time). In the box will be all of the Phil-Onde I ordered (mostly 50g balls of solids, to complete the stock we have, plus some reorder of a couple colors that were quite popular), more Tricotez Calin (we ran out of the first dozen and I ordered two dozen more), more 2004 Spring/Summer Famille (we ran out of the first two dozen more are coming), and more 2004 Spring/Summer Tendances. If you want books or yarn, please do get in line with an e-mail to me. This will be the LAST SHIPMENT we receive of spring/summer stuff. My supplier also said that he will include the fall/winter shade cards for new and returning yarns in with this shipment and that we'll be able to order starting June 30th for delivery in mid to late July (along with new pattern books). I'm so completely excited about the prospects of this next season and Phildar (wait...I owe a photo essay on last fall's catalogue...WOW...maybe later today). These folks are GREAT to work with, and we're just pleased as punch to be your US source for Phildar (and the only one, from what I understand).

    The wonderful and fabulous Michelle over at Everybody Loves Saturday Night took a trip to the motherland recently (where her mother currently lives....). While driving around the Twin Cities, she actually forced her mother to slow down while driving so she could snap this photo just for me

    Is that not the coolest? Were we ever to relocate, I think it would have to be to open a shop somewhere on that street. But, does MSP need another yarn shop? We were imbedded with a number of great folks while at the trade show recently, and at least two owned shops in the greater MSP area, and I know of at least three others that are in the area, and a new one opening in an outer burb sometime soon, so..........they may have their fill up there. But wouldn't it be cool to be on that street? THANKS, MICHELLE, for such a fab picture! And thank your Mom for slowing down for the photo shoot!

    Knitting progress? No way........I did a tiny bit last night at Knit Night up in Franklin (about 40 minutes north of here, towards Indy). Not much to speak about, but I am in the solid part of color #4, the P524 (I have always loved this shade). I'll possibly get some knitting time tonight, after getting my work done. It's guilty pleasure TV night--Blow Out (why do I watch this??) and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy are my Tuesday treats. So there's two hours of knitting time for sure (and I've gotten it down to about 20 minutes per row on Keepsake, and each successive row is shorter and shorter!). If you're in need of a glimpse of a finished project, check out the phenomenal Louise at LouKnits and view not one, but two different completed Keepsake Shawls (each hotlink is a different picture from her). She's a fab knitter and an amazing person. And I'm envious of their current holiday in the Czech Republic (my dad's family is from there).

    Now, on to the Charlotte's Web fun. If you follow the link in the previous sentence, both Lily Pad and Frontier are still available. And now, here's four new ones, available as one-time shots from this blog only. I present to you my own personal salute to cities of the Deep South.....

    Augusta is a city in Georgia that hosts the springtime tradition known as the Masters. One of the central features of the tournament, which I believe is held in April, would be the explosion of color when the azaleas are in bloom, as the plants are all over the place in Augusta and just thick at the country club where the golfing takes place. Given the rich shades of reds and purples and pinks in this combination, I decided to name it Augusta (even if I did have beautiful azaleas in front of my home in Columbia, when I taught at USC).

    Rich and lush greens abound in this combination

    so Metairie it is. It reminds me of all of the Spanish moss that hangs from the trees in Louisiana, and we have friends who now live in Nola that were living in Metairie when we first met them. I think this one is particularly stunning, and I'm not the biggest fan of greens on the yellow side (I prefer bluer greens), but WOW is this one nice.

    Memphis is known for the blues, so this is a slam dunk

    Blues, purples, pinks, and more blues...what more could you ask for in a knitting project? It's subtle, it's beautiful, and it's going to go fast. Hurry!

    Last for today is this lovely number

    Sand and surf and beach and it's Panama City for me. Matt's Mom used to visit there awhile back and we joke about it being the Redneck Riviera. But the colors in this one are quite lovely and would be beautiful knit up.

    Interested in any of these for your very own? Drop me an e-mail and let me know if you need the pattern, as well as your ZIP code and/or location. Yarn only is $45 (5 @ $9...$10 retail), the pattern is $4.50 ($5 retail), and postage depends on what you order and your location.

    With that, I'm back to packing orders and filling post office plastic tubs. Be well, enjoy the lovely summer weather (especially if you're in the midwest--we've had awesome weather these past few days.

    Monday, June 21, 2004

    I Had a Headache

    And not one of those little jobbies......a full-on, forehead-is-cleaving-in-two gollywompers of a headache. So I laid down for a minute. Bwahahahaha....four hours later I'm back to finish this post. Sorry about that........and thanks for asking, it's down to a dull roar now. Either it's sinus (front coming through), stress (nah, not me....bwahaha), or not enough caffeine this morning after putting it down like mad last night. So let's play a little bit....

    First off, we had a little box arrive from a vendor today, and inside was some fun sock yarn. I like Trekking XXL, as the yarn is quite soft, the colors are subtle, and the finished socks are quite beautiful. So here's the two new ones from today's box

    We have a big box with all kinds of other colors (tweeds like these, stripes, jacquards, and more), too. Socks are the perfect summertime knitting project--they're small, they're highly portable, and they're quick to complete. Should you want to make something with these, they're $12.95 retail, so $11.66 from us. Gimme a shout out if you have a jonesin' for some German sock yarn.

    Friday we had a little surprise show up....a new shop model for some yarn on our clearance sale (it's from KFI/EuroYarns). Check out this really, really cute knitted top from Schachenmayr Toy

    Of all the designs in the summer Inspiration book we received this spring, this one was the one I really liked. So I was glad to know that it was the model for their yarn. Check out the stitch detail on this one

    Kinda lacey, kinda pretty. And not terribly difficult. I fell in love with this yarn back in February when it first arrived and I immediately made a swatch. So here's the colors on hand right now

    The yarn is 52% cotton and 48% acrylic and knits up around a chunky gauge, about 4 sts/inch (16/10cm), with 66yds in a ball. Full retail is $6, so ours is $4.50 (25% clearance on yarns from this distributor). Pattern comes separately in the spring/summer 2004 booklet.

    I started my day with a great, nearly hour-long, conversation with Taiu up at Koigu Wool Designs, and I just found out that Matt had a nice chat with her this afternoon, too. I always enjoy hearing her voice on the other end of the phone, and today was no different. She told us of an impending shipment of their yarns (it should leave sometime this week--you'll see the tracking number posted here when I get it via e-mail) and we talked odds and ends about other things. And I told her that Matt had been busy creating other bits of beauty with their yarns

    More on those shortly.

    I've been busily knitting away on my Keepsake Shawl from them. Wanna see my progress after the weekend?

    No, it's not knitted in the round or turning into a poncho (although there's an idea....).It's a large mitered square design, see

    I'm completely enamoured with this design. There are several really cool features, in my opinion. First, in reverse to most shawl patterns I've seen or made, you start knitting at the outside edge adn work up--which means you start with the most stitches and each row is shorter and shorter and faster and faster. It's a mitered square, so there's a really cool design feature coming along in a center stitch and a decrease line

    I'm really in lust with that feature. And the lace pattern is beautiful and very memorizable (is that a word?)

    The pattern is over nine stitches and is so completely logical that I was able to memorize it in a couple repeats; then I had to get a system down for the coloration tricks. Just like in Charlotte's Web, there's a section of knitting in one color, followed by a blending section, then you switch to the next color. I've devised a counting system (a hanging barrel counter for that section) and I'm off to the races. I'm wrapping up the solid section of color #3 and headed into #4 and then #5 (that's how numbers work......). Here's what's coming up next

    On the left is P524 and the right is P419. Before you get excited and think "WOW...they were out of those colors and now have new stock" This "kit" was put together back in late July of last year and has sat around unloved since then. I'm back at it with a vengence now. Look out---no signs of stopping until I've got this baby done! (I am doing a little other knitting here and there around it, for a diversion from time to time).

    Lest you feel left out, I mentioned above that Matt's been at it again. While he was making up new color combinations for Charlotte's Web last night (there's some up now and several more for the coming days--PROMISE), I had him create a few things of beauty for this project, as a few of you have mentioned wanting to move on now that you've finished a shawl or something else in KPPPM. Well, there's now an UP CLOSE page for the Keepsake Shawl, complete with four colourways available. As with Charlotte, these are one-of-a-kind and cannot be reproduced based on current stock levels. So if you're interested in a specific one, do let me know and we can get something in the mail to you right away.

    By the way, those bundles up top are some of the Keepsake bundles--if you thought getting five hanks of KPPPM in the mail all wrapped up and lovely was a joy to behold, imagine 600g of beauty in your hands. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

    With that, I'm off to go find more analgesic for this head. well, and take care of yourselves!