Black Dog

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

Saturday, January 13, 2007

From Gaping Maw to Dropping Jaw

Yes, I'm a little prejudiced when it comes to this sock. I like it ALOT! But there was a moment tonight that gives even this experienced slasher a bit of pause

Not only is that a large-looking hole, but my hand looks incredibly disgusting...fleshy, scaley, and just plain icky. (shudder) But when I removed the waste yarn, I was left with what looked like a hole big enough to drive my Explorer through. But not to worry...

It all came together nicely, I do believe. And even just a slight dampening for blocking purposes brought out a slight halo to the yarn, making it appear very cozy. I look forward to seeing this sock completely dry in the morning, and I think I'm gonna pull down three skeins for a pair of socks for....yes, you heard it here first.....ME.

Friday, January 12, 2007

All About My Socks

I'm on another sock bender, and I'm ignoring what I should be working on in favor of knitting a sock (or two, or three, or four, or.....). There's good reason for my knitting socks, of course

Those are the shades of Colinette Jitterbug that arrived late last night. We can't keep the Mardi Gras and Popsicle in stock, so I'm glad to have them on the shelves again. In general, all shades of this stuff sell very well, but certain shades disappear as quickly as I can get them delivered! I've made five pairs of socks with this yarn so far...and counting!

Speaking of making socks, here's one that's less than 24 hours old

That's a brand-new color for us (and for everyone, I'd imagine) that was just released by Steinbach Wolle, an Austrian spinnery. It's just a tish thicker than "traditional sock yarn", as the label suggests a guage of 26 sts/4 inches (10cm), versus the more usual 28 sts. I'm using US 1 needles, as I'm a loosey-goosey knitter and always drop down two sizes when using Addi Turbos. Yes, I'm doing an afterthought heel (waste yarn is on the reverse of this picture), as I'll be teaching a one-session class at the shop in the coming weeks (several of them, actually) on this technique, so this sock will serve as my model for the technique/class.

What's the yarn, you might ask? Well, as mentioned above, it's brand-new stuff from Steinback called Strapaz Norweger Ringel, comes in 50g skeins (164 yds each), and retails for $8.95 a skein (from us, anyway). There's several beautiful new colourways available

and we have them all in stock as of today (Friday). I've already reordered a couple colourways, given the response to this shipment in sales over the evening. The one I'm knitting is PERFECT for Michigan State socks, so it's going to be VERY popular around these parts (over half of the stock we received today is either sold or spoken for). I also like the fact that some are single-color jacquards and when they do put more than one color in a design, they're nice combinations. Two skeins for a pair for most feet, but I'd recommend three if you've got larger tootsies to knit for.

Also in the shipment was a restock on another Steinbach Wolle sock yarn, this one called Aktiv Effekt. Lemme tell you, this is ONE SOFT SOCK YARN, yet it knits up into a very durable and attractive fabric. There's four new shades for this season, and we're on our second shipment of them (the #9 proves to be VERY popular here, as it's medium blues and nice purples, knitting into a pretty jacquard pattern). You wanna see what came in? OK

This line comes in 100g skeins, so one is sufficient for a pair, and it's a steal of a deal at just $14.25 a skein. Shade 03 proves to be a quick seller when we have it in stock, and one of the new shades (10) appears to be a stripe and not a jacquard. Oh, the joys of sock yarns! LOVE 'EM!

And with that, I'm outta here for tonight. I'm going to close up that toe, put in the heel, and get busy on my vest project again....yes, that's what was interrupted by the sock!

Need any of the above-mentioned goodies? Just slip me a quick note and we'll get things in the mail to you right away. Just remember that Monday is a US postal holiday......Cheers!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Remiss......very remiss....

Sorry for my prolonged's been a little busy around here, between having to get some custom knitting completed in a hurry (more on this shortly) and big bunches of stuff arriving for the shop (more on that later). But here I am, in all my ..ahem...glory.

Custom knitting.....well, I finished the pieces and parts of the sweater late LATE on Thursday of last week and farmed them out to Matt for finishing. Given that things had to be in Philly absolutely no later than Tuesday of this week, he had a task at hand to complete. Which he did....

It was (probably still is) absolutely lovely in person in a finished format. It will be on display this weekend at the big yarn shop trade show in San Diego. We're not going this time around, despite plans to do so until about two weeks ago (more on why in a few months...mwahahahaha), but the sweater will be there in my place. Also on display will be four pairs of socks I knitted for them in Jitterbug, including this one

Yup, the socks you saw here last week, in progress. So, mission accomplished, as both items are currently in San Diego and probably in the booth for Unique Kolours, the US distributor for Colinette Yarns. On to new stuff! HOORAY!

Tuesday brought a crazy amount of new goods from Louet. The shipping advice e-mail that I received last week said that 267 pounds (yes, pounds) of merchandise were headed our way from them.......and I drew a quick comparison to it being around the weight of a good-sized linebacker...(yum). Someone on our staff suggested that they would have rather hand the 267-pound Canadian linebacker, but I'll settle for new yarn and spinning equipment any day! We're now completely stuffed to the gills on Louet Gems in sport weight (every shade on hand, solids and marls), Louet Gems in baby fingering weight, and tons of spinning fiber (their merino in both natural and black, and every shade of their Northern Lights dyed top) and some equipment (cards, combs, and more). We now carry their Drop Spindle kits both color options) and Hand-Dyeing Kits (all five flavors!). Spinners, take great delight in the burgeoning shelves in our spinning/dyeing area! (and we'll soon be stocking their Gaywool Dyes, too!...and a dozen Victoria wheels will arrive in March, with the next shipment to North America). I'm madly in love with their new design, Shauna, which needs to be a shop model soon.

We received yet another box from Cherry Tree Hill Yarns on Tuesday, filled with goodies both old and new. Here's some of the old
That's five more shades of Supersock Merino in specific colourways. I'm MADLY in love with this batch of African Grey and with Serengeti, as they are both clean, clear, vivid color. The Misty Moor is lovely and I covet it for a pair of socks for myself. We'll see what happens.......I don't typically knit for myself.

And here's a little shot of the new

That's their Oceania, a big hank of 1,440 yards of merino boucle with a thin strand of glimmer, at only $66 each. One hank is enough yarn to make a garment up to around 50" finished bust, and here's the patterns they sent with

and we narrowed it down to these two finalists

with a definite winner emerging

and a winning colourway

That's Misty Moor, and I'm thinking about winding it tonight and maybe doing a gauge swatch soon. But I have PLENTY of knitting to accomplish over the next two weeks, in preparation for an event at the shop. Oh, the temptations!

Speaking of temptations, sock knitters will want to tun in tomorrow (Friday) to see what's new and what arrived, as I know there's a box of Austrian sock wool arriving just in time for the weekend (as if the Supersock Merino above isn't temptation enough!). I've already started knitting with a sample skein of one of the new Austrian goodies, which I'll show off tomorrow, in conjunction with the delivery.

Until then, you'll have to be satisfied with the knowledge that I'm working on two different sweaters for the function and I tote around two different socks-in-progress right now (started the second one today, with the above-mentioned sample skein). Oh, the humanity!