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 30, 2006

A Quick Hit To Fulfill A Promise

I promised I'd blog today, so here I am. It was a B-U-S-Y day at the shop, with lots of folks in and out headed off to hither and yon for the holiday weekend, as well as many folks going back and forth across Michigan headed to Convergence, a big spinning/weaving/fiber event held in Grand Rapids this week. Plus I taught session three (of four) of beginning knitting tonight, to an enthusiastic and FUN group of folks. WHEW! No wonder I never got to knit today (well, I did a little bit, in my session with my great therapist....I really enjoy time with her! and I always knit while we're talking).

It really happened........these arrived today

Yup, that's the brand-new collection from Colinette called "Parisienne", a lovely set of 14 designs that are very knittable and VERY affordable, considering they're in Colinette's hand-dyed yarns from Wales. Parisienne is their new kid mohair that's just $13 a hank (for 240+ yards...WOW) and the pattern collection is $17.50 and is photography done very VERY well. Matt's got the front page for the shop updated and he's created a page for the yarn and patterns. Best of all, he's made tables of sizing, finished bust measurements, and yarn requirements for each design (the last three will go up on Saturday, but you can view them here and look for specs on them at the ThreadBear site tomorrow.

We have the pattern books available today/now for shipping, and the yarn itself will arrive on Wednesday (damn that holiday!). It shipped out today and I know we're receiving all but three colourways (they have yet to arrive from Wales), as well as a little of their other new yarn for fall called Tao (100% cultivated silk and 400% decadent). In the mean time, we're taking pre-orders for kits for the projects, if you're of that bent. And trust me, when the yarn arrives on Wednesday, we'll ship them out that same day!

Otherwise, I haven't knitted much in the past few days, so I don't have much to show. I'm nearly finished with a cute jacket (1/2 a sleeve to go!) that I'll show you this weekend. I'm outta here for well, and get knitting!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Don't Look Now, He's Actually Back!!

Yadda yadda...rumours of my untimely demise...blah blah blah

Since going to Yarn Market, aka TNNA Trade Show, a couple weeks ago, re-entry to the real world (life at home, work at the shop, and working hard on rebuilding things with Matt) has been bumpy. Not bumpy in a bad way--not by any stretch. Just not a smooth landing--meaning furtive, hectic at times, harried now and then, and just plain BUSY. I love what I do and I love the people we get to interact with on a daily that makes all of the bumpy parts WELL worthwhile.

The new goods have been showing up at the shop left and right. One of the things we specifically went looking for showed up on Friday of last week. Check them out

Those are beautiful and affordable ($29 each) shawl pins, in abalone, wood, mother of pearl, and silver-plated brass. Each comes with a curvy stick pin out of ebony (a beautiful black wood) and they're just lovely (and selling fast--we've already reordered!).

More goodies arrived today, this time from Lorna's Laces. Check out this lovely Helen's Lace

in the Forest colourway. One hank makes a beautiful shawl (pattern on label) or one hank makes a tank from the great book "One Skein". At just $52 a skein, that's not bad for hand-dyed silk and merino wool (and reasonable for a shawl, too!). Also in the box was this

That's the delicious Angel, their decadent angora/lambswool blend. We received 16 skeins today ($13.50 each), and four is perfect for a little indulgence for yourself using this pattern, courtesy of the wonderful Theresa, our friend from Chicago. We have one made up in the shop in this colourway and it's always a winner.

More Shepherd Sport arrived in this box as well. See

The Purple Iris is some of the most beautiful yarn I've ever seen from Lorna's (look how rich those purples are!) and the Vera is just grand--I love this colourway and this batch is exactly why! Two skeins makes a pair of socks (with plenty left over), and they're just $10 a hank. You can also use it for anything calling for sport-weight yarn, as it's 100% superwash wool and terribly soft (great for baby items, shawls, and lightweight sweaters, too!)

One last batch in the box

That would be Fisherman, their 100% (feltable!) wool. $30 a hank may seem steep until you realize you're getting 500 yards of worsted-weight wool that's been hand-dyed with care by these great folks. One makes a felted bag, two makes a sweater! See, VALUE!!

Now, for a little (more) bragging on our talented customer/friend, Jamie...

She's making excellent progress on her Log Cabin throw a la Mason-Dixon Knitting (which is back on our shelves again, FINALLY). Hers is in Cotton Classic and Butterfly Super 10 (essentially the same yarn, in different put-ups from different distributors). It's just lovely in person, and it has great drape (that's for you nay-sayers who won't make binkies out of cotton yarn--this stuff can be machine washed AND dried). I look forward to seeing this completed SOON...right, Jamie!

One of the fun perks I get is seeing and working with yarns before they're actually released to the market. You saw (in previous posts) Colinette's new silk yarn, Tao, when I was making a sweater for them that was displayed at the "New Products" gallery at TNNA a couple weeks ago (we have that garment in the shop for a short time, so I'll take a picture of it and show you how it came out---suffice to say it's BEEEEE-YOUUUUUUUUU-TI-FUL). Well, I'm at it again

That's Parisienne, their new kid mohair for fall, in the Marble colourway. I'm making this garment

for the US distributor, Unique Kolours, to use in their fall trunk show rotation. I have about one inch of fabric so far (SORRY KRISTY), but I'm going to start working on it in earnest this weekend, so it's done soon. Lovely, light, and soooo soft, this yarn's a total winner. Best of all? We'll have the pattern books in the shop tomorrow (Friday, June 30th) afternoon, after the FedEx driver leaves our latest shipment. They're $17.50 each and the yarn should arrive at the end of NEXT week, as they'll ship that on Wednesday when they return. We'll be carrying every single shade (of course) and Matt is busy building web pages for them right now, including skein requirements for each design underneath each photo of the design, so you have simplicity in ordering. See, one-stop shopping!

And now, for a drive-by fashion show of what I've completed since returning from Yarn Market just over two weeks ago. Back to basics cardigan in Twizzle from Mountain Colors, in Meadow.

Ribbed Turtleneck in Trina (cashmere/merino/microfiber), by Adrienne Vittadini

from the pattern collection from Fall '05. Lovely sweater, amazing "hand", and a wildly-fun shade (Framboise)

Tie-Front Cardi (from the current issue of Knit-N-Style)

Knitted in Filatura di Crosa Malva (cotton blend tape/ribbon), it's quite lovely knitted at this gauge (20 sts/4 inches) or up to about 16 sts, but the label says 13 sts/4 inches, which is a little immodest, if you ask me (see-thru fabric!). This pattern is the first one I've liked in a LONG TIME found in this magazine, which we now carry (we stopped for awhile) at the shop.

I've also finished the knitting portion of our program on a felted mitered bag out of the most recent issue of KNITTER'S magazine. I hope to felt it tonight or tomorrow morning, so you know you'll see those photos here shortly. I've also started about 11 different and new projects, so you'll get to see some of my ADD knitting in the next couple days. Tomorrow's post should focus on some of this, including the Parisienne sweater (Sorbonne) and the garter stitch cardi I'm making out of Fandango and Zanziba, from Simply Beautiful Sweaters.

If you find yourself unable to live without any of these goodies, contact ThreadBear toll free at 866-939-BEAR or via e-mail and we can hook you up!

Thanks for reading.........and welcome back to me!