Black Dog

Just a little outpost on the web for me to ramble, post pix, share ideas, and be a part of the crowd.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Stealth Blogger

Once again, under the cover of darkness, I bring you a cover shot

The latest issue of Knitter's Magazine arrived today around 6:30 p.m. via UPS (poor Dan was out late today--we usually see him around 2:30 or 3 in the afternoon). The insides look pretty decent--this is one magazine that's been a little off center of late in my humble opinion (you know I calls 'em as I sees 'em) and this one ain't too bad (I liked last fall's issue, too, as it was all cabled things--not EVERY garment was a winner, but most were fairly knittable).

Inside you'll find a rather large selection of projects, from sweaters to vests to a really wacky and cute hat knitted with four strands of KPPPM held together (think wildly colored chu'ullo). And what makes me smile is the very back inside page has a sneak preview of something from the winter issue...a design by Sally Melville called the "Evening Poncho", made of eight scarves. While we were placing our Trendsetter Yarns order we saw Sally and Rick (editor at Knitter's) picking and choosing various yarns.....lo and behold, it was for THAT very garment. How cool! (yes, I'm a knitting geek).

So, if you want your very own copy in a hurry, without having to wait for it to appear on newsstands near you, just slip me an e-mail and it can happen. Cover price is $5.50, so our price is $4.95, and postage is $1.42 (love that media mail!), for a total of $6.37 (Michigan residents, sorry to say your cost is $6.75).

Today was Day #2 of restarting the mail order machine (despite what some may think, we've not been able to do mail order since the move a month ago due to unpacking and then setting up the POS -- which isn't completely settled yet-- and I'm just now getting our mail order helper up to speed on the ThreadBear way of doing it). It's working out just fine so far, and I love having the additional pair of (very conscientious) hands at my side. THANK YOU DOLORES C!!!!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Finally! PHILDAR!

Checking the bank account today, I see that the folks at my Phildar source dinged our account yesterday (Tuesday). That means that the yarns left Tuesday, so I should see it on Friday or Monday, best guess.

That means we'll FINALLY have the magazines I thought we'd get back in June, before they shut down for the month-long holiday (supposedly Europe basically shutters factories for summer holiday in July......). And if he shipped the dollar value that was drawn from the account, that means we'll have our fall order in this shipment. That means all three fall books (that were translated into English)....

  • The men's patterns

  • The ladies' patterns (I've seen preview photos of these and they're quite incredible)

  • The baby designs (their usual fantastic stuff!)

    And we'll have the yarn we ordered. Unfortunately, most of the fall collection was heavy on acrylic components....yet were a little pricey, in my opinion. So, we didn't order much (just one fiber, actually). But most were very substitutable.....many, many widely-available yarns should work just fine.

    But we did order one yarn that I found quite intriguing.........Tourbillons.

    That's the ball of the yarn, with a trailing strand so you can see the interesting boucle-type construction. Check out this knitted swatch....

    And it has an incredible "hand" when you squeeze it.

    I'll know more about price when I get the invoice inside the shipment (and work over the currency conversion rate for the date it was shipped). If memory serves (and it's pretty shakey right now....) there's like six colors more. It's a pretty thick yarn (I think it's like 3 or 3.5 sts/inch) and would make a great garment, scarf, or trim on something knitted of a smooth wool.

    Those crafty French!

  • A Real Post

    No knitting content, how's about some CROCHET!?!?!?!

    That's the Brand Spankin' New special edition Interweave Crochet, brought to us by the folks at Interweave Press (THANK YOU to these folks, as all photos are courtesy of Interweave and are by Chris Hartlove, except for the felted bag, which is by Joe Coca--it comes from the new book "Hip To Crochet", and yes, you know we have them on hand...). A fairly good glance through on Tuesday afternoon tells me it looks pretty solid, especially if you're a hooker.

    There's a cute bag, complete with fun handles

    and there's even a felted bag!

    There's plenty of garment patterns, too, for both men and women

    and even a really cute children's jacket

    by the ever-amazing Annie Modesitt (her stuff in both knitting AND crochet is just awesome).

    Lest we forget, you CAN crochet with KPPPM

    Kathy Merrick, the queen of all Koigu crochet, came up with this really cute design using the fab yarns from up North.

    Overall, I'd rate it a decent issue. If you need a copy, drop me an e-mail and we'll get you taken care of right away. The cover price is $7.99, so our price is $7.19 and we add $1.42 for media mail postage, for a total of $8.61 ($9.13 if you're in Michigan).

    Of note to those who are somewhat local, we will have the trunk show from this very magazine in the shop the week of September 20-27 (and typically the weekend before, too!) should you want to check out the actual garments themselves (we almost always have at least one trunk show here at any given time). Sharon over at KnitKnacks showed the lovely Annie in a very nice crocheted dress by Lily Chin (I'm not a big Lily fan, but I do feel she is better in the realm of crochet when compared to knitwear....just FYI).

    Off to go do more well, and fiber like mad!

    Tuesday, August 24, 2004

    Just to be certain...

    Yes, we'll be doing mail order--in the first paragraph I refer to firing up the old mail order machine to see if the old gal still works (she did! YES! so look out, Cynthia). We're starting to get back in the swing of things now that the shop is nearly set up and running. Everything (well, almost everything) had to have a sticker on it before we could sell it, so now that (most) everything does, we are able to ship again--so bring it on....but be kind, we're trying out our wings, so to speak, after not using them for awhile.

    I mean come on, we even hired two folks to help us with nothing BUT mail order, picking yarns and pulling stock and helping me line the boxes with tissue! Mail order is CENTRAL to what we are at ThreadBear!

    Missing In Action

    Yesterday I put up a tagboard note that posts would resume shortly. I intended to post yesterday morning but got derailed. This morning we're firing up the old mail-order gal and seeing how she runs (I've been doing precious little mail order since we got here a month ago).

    Our main focus has been to get the retail shop up and running. And in doing so, we're instituting a new POS system, whereby every single freakin' item that goes on the sales floor has to be entered into the computerized system and then have a price sticker attached. When the job is completed (still in process for some items), it will make our lives VERY VERY much easier--we'll be able to answer the phone and tell you exactly how many skeins/copies/items we actually have on hand, instead of having to scour shelves and drawers looking for them. But, in the mean time, it's taking a good bit of our precious resource -- TIME -- to do this, and it's still a work in progress (and stock keeps flowing in the back doors....there's yarn that's been delivered but not received into inventory yet, so it DOES NOT exist as far as we're concerned).

    I'd love to be blogging--trust me on that. I'd love to be sharing all of the new and incredible stuff that we're receiving. And I'd love to be making your stashes larger. Soon, I swear.

    In the mean time, back to the sticker world for me. I'm entering books and patterns in and around walk-in customers, and loving every minute of it!