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, May 11, 2006

I Thought I'd Never Be Able To Get To This Today

We had a good morning with the sales rep, buying new yarns for the shop today. She's the new rep for Norwegian Spirit, the US distributor for SandnesGarn, a Norwegian yarn company, as well as Needful Yarns, the North American distributor for an entire family of Italian yarns. Recently (two days ago), she picked up Rio de la Plata yarns, and we ordered the newer shades of their hand-spun, hand-dyed merino/corridale blend. Here's a quick shot of that color card

and we'll expect these new shades in sometime in the coming weeks. We also ordered fall/winter yarns from Needful and Sandnes, to be delivered in late summer, along with new pattern collections to be released between now and then.

A new project fell into the queue yesterday

That's the Circular Tank from Cabin Fever, and it's knitted in one piece, in the round, with no finishing (the edges on the armholes are worked as you knit the body!). I didn't want to use a mercerized cotton (like Butterfly Super 10 or Cotton Classic, both of which we carry), so the lovely SueH suggested this

That's Jo Sharp Soho Summer, a stunning dk-weight cotton that's made of lots and lots of fine plies of soft cotton. I'm using the shade called "Currant", and you can see it's just lovely (and the fabric has a fab hand). I wanted to make a quick-knit tank for the shop and this fits the bill. It's sized from around a 38" bust all the way up to a 51", so it will fit a number of shapes and sizes (and would look great under a blazer for "nicer wear", as it's just slightly ribbed fabric).

We had a new yarn come in on Tuesday, while Matt and I were off on Tuesday.

That's their new hand-dyed Silk Ribbon, a silk/viscose blend that's very lustrous and soft. It knits up around bulky gauge (3 to 3.5 sts/inch), so I'm going to turn a few hanks into this

At just $10 a hank for 75 yards of hand-dyed silk lusciousness, it's quite a bargain. Plus, it comes from Mango Moon, a wonderful distributor with a social conscience (they work with two different co-ops that provide a living wage and health and education benefits for folks in Nepal and Bali).

On our day off, we went towards Detroit again, but not into the metro area (well, only as far as Novi, a western suburb). The goal was to visit The Great Indoors, a fun home store with everything from wall art to dishes to major appliances to bedding to mattresses get the picture. It was fun to shop for a new mattress, and I think I found a real winner in a nice Serta set, as we bounced around on several, in a wide range of prices. It was fun to get away together and dream a little about what a furnished home might look like (you know, silly things like hanging pictures on the walls, decorating...). That meant some knitting in the car, especially on the way back into Lansing in the dark, so you know what I worked on (if you're a regular reader and know what I work on in the dark in the car...this is no surprise)

The astute viewer will notice a new color added on the left side of the photo (not much, but some). I'm plugging away on it, so keep your eyes peeled for progress shots.

As a teaser for proof of "yes, Rob does finish projects on occasion", here's a quick shot of Marti in "Cozy",

It's been sent to my finishing service to be seamed, but since it's just two small seams, I may well do it myself (don't tell him---we'll let him expect to have to do it). It was a fun, fast knit that I may want to do again, in different colors--just because!

Off I go to teach our "Intro to Socks" class in just a few minutes. Every time we offer a sock class it fills up. Folks love knitting socks (and so do I!). Be well, and stay tuned for more. And if you want any of the above goodies (or need more information), do be in touch via e-mail. Oh, and one more thing--I had a couple conversations with the good folks at Koigu Wool Designs, and it appears we may be seeing some new goodies from them in the near future. It was really good to speak with Taiu and Richard today....THANKS FOR CALLING, Richard!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Bad Blogger--No Biscuit!

Road to hell....paved......good intentions. All that and more.

Lots of pics to share with you of progress (the "uh-huh with sleeves" as Abby calls it is completely knitted, I'm on the second color block on my "Moderne Log Cabin" throw, I finished the felted/crocheted scarf, and more) as well as some new goodies at the shop all means lots of pictures to take and share (and more if my finishing service could find the bag of two or three knitted pieces/items that need assembly, which is currently missing).

OK OK OK, I promise to share it with you tomorrow (Thursday), after we meet with a sales rep at 9 a.m. (we're typically not in until around noon, so this means we'll be here early and I'll get an early start to the day...which is good news for those who want new posts).

Monday, May 08, 2006

Monday Morning Madness

As promised, I do have the pictures cleaned up and posted to the server. I'm not overly sure that it was worth the wait for y'all, but you can be the judge of that. So away we go, on a sunny and warm Michigan Monday morning.

I mentioned in a previous post that Matt and I went on a yarn shop cruise on Tuesday and saw a variety of fun things at the three shops we visited. One of them, in Royal Oak (Ewe-Nique Knits, downtown), had something on their counter that really caught my eye and was a must-knit. Friday evening, I grabbed a ball of Tahki Shannon (in shade 17) from the shop and knitted this up in a couple hours that evening

I felted it on Saturday morning and brought it to the shop to rave reviews! It resides on our front counter and holds business cards for the shop. I really like how Shannon felts (the tweedy pops are from the colorful strand wrapped around the main color strand), and it's been fairly popular so far.

I let myself start that because I not only made great progress on the Samoa cabled sweater

I officially finished the second sleeve that afternoon (no picture proof right now, sorry). It's off the Matt for finishing, which he says he'll be doing early this week. HOORAY! So with something finished, I was allowed to start more. Thus the felted bowl, above.

I do have a couple felted projects lined up to be is this terribly adorable Noni Bag pattern

called Majollica Vase. The purples are for the body and the oranges are for the flowers. Right now, the entire thing sits in a bag, and the yarns aren't even wound into balls yet. So it's on hiatus.

Also on the front burner to be started shortly is this little number

out of "Personality Plus", the second collection of felted bags from this talented designer. That's two skeins of a custom shade of Cascade 220 that's a ThreadBear exclusive, called Chestnut Heather along with a skein of Naturwolle (a lovely yarn that's handspun in the Black Forest region of Germany). The bag is called "Jackie O" and one of our daytime staff (HI SUE H) made one for her daughter that's just adorable. Look for progress here on it shortly.

I mentioned, last night, that one of our customers came in and hooked ME on a project on Saturday. I have always had my eye on this project, since discovering it in a Colinette pattern book about a year ago, if for no other reason that the construction of the finished garment and the schematic.

Well, I had our resident color wizard pull several options and the winner is already under construction

I'm well beyond that point by now, actually, and into the sleeve area. Here's a close-up shot of the fabric (which is a more accurate portrayal of the shades than above...above is too blue)

This is a really quick knit that should be finished midweek (maybe even today, if I get some quality knitting time in after I'm done here this morning). I may even put this one together myself...SHOCKING.

With that, I think I'm done for the morning. Remember, the more I knit, the more I have to share (but also, the more I run into that I want to make, the more I post as well!). We do have a meeting on Thursday with a sales rep (they're scheduled like trains for the next several weeks.....schlepping their fall/winter wares past us). I love this time of year--sneak peeks on what's new!

Be well, and be good to yourselves. That's VERY important.....

I Owe Y'all A Post!

I've finished projects (yes, plural--two I hadn't even started or contemplated prior to touching the yarn), I've taken the pictures, I've thought about the corresponding text, but I haven't taken the the time to run them through PhotoShop to get them ready for posting (I asked Matt to do it two days ago, but he's not been able to find the time or remember, or both--so I'll do it myself on Monday morning). Sorry about the lack of posting.

I picked out a ball of yarn on Friday (after finishing the second sleeve of the red cabled baby sweater) and knitted and felted a project in a day. Then a customer of the shop did a very naughty thing--she got me back! I'm always showing people things they suddenly MUST make, and Jeanne got me. I've wanted to create a certain project since finding it in a pattern book, but I never started it. Jeanne came in on Saturday for help assembling something (you'll see what I mean when you see my version) and while pinning and folding and marking out where the seams go, I decided I MUST MAKE ONE. I'm just over half finished, so you'll see it shortly. And I'm off on six more tangents with other projects. Oh, and the "Moderne Log Cabin" continues to grow, albiet slowly.

More on Monday morning---I PROMISE!