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, January 25, 2007

I'll Take "What's Taunting Rob" for $1,000, Alex

Yes, it's true. There's so very much that's competing for the attention of my knitting needles these days. So much wonderful stuff is coming into the shop on a daily basis and I wish I had time to knit (or crochet) with every single bit of it...but alas, I don't. I barely have time to knit at all of late, given how busy we've been. There's a "crazy trifecta" workin' it's way across the shop the past couple weeks, so that's why I've not posted in so long (MANY apologies, loyal readers...I'm back, with a vengence).

Crazy Trifecta defined

  • Yarn Tasting is this weekend....Matt scouts out the patterns, does the program, and makes everything pretty (as he so ably does with everything around the shop). I'm responsible for knitting or sourcing the model garments (mostly knit, but I've learned to lean more on our wonderful vendors, who are FAB to us), gathering up requisite yarns and patterns and books, as well as making sure the funds are there for all of these acquisitions as well as our regular cash outlays for the store. Tain't easy, my friends...

  • Winter has finally arrived here in Michigan, complete with sub-freezing temps (day and night), snow cover on the ground (WAHOO!), lots of folks making the pilgrimage over to the store, and a vast array of classes have begun in earnest, including several being taught by me!

  • Several great friends have been stopping by for a few days to visit, which is WONDERFUL but distracts Matt and I (in a good way--we both work too damn hard)

    So there's not been much "extra" time around of late. But trust me, I have been knitting, mostly on shop models for Yarn Tasting as well as the occasional sock. here's proof

    That's the back of the "Diagonal Vest" pattern by Sarah James (yes, we stock it), shown in Diakeito Diadrey, a wonderful combination of wool and mohair, both smooth and boucle spun. All piece parts are done, but they're on hiatus for now. It was to be a Yarn Tasting model, but the distributor didn't have any of the yarn on hand (and won't again until mid-March), so it gets relegated to knitting purgatory for now, hopefully to be resurrected for the April function if the yarn comes back into stock on time.

    On to our next victim

    That's the "Lace Pullover" that I showed the beginnings of a few weeks ago, being knitted out of O-Wool Classic by Vermont Organic Fibers. The color is quite beautiful when you look at it in person (there's almost a heathery tone to it, and it's called "Thistle"), the hand is lovely (it's 100% organic merino wool and it's every bit as spongy when you squeeze it as any merino I've ever felt), but the combination of this pattern and some unfortunate knitting mistakes (yielding some serious rippage) makes me abhor this garment with my every cell. I called the picture "bye bye" because after the weekend function, I'm tearing it out and making something else with the yarn. It's a DELICIOUS yarn to knit with, but I don't care for it in this pattern. Suggestions, anyone, for a very spongy aran-weight merino?

    Lust, Thy Name Is Torino

    Not the city, per se, as I've never been (just saw lots of it during last year's winter olympic games--but I'm sure I'd love it!)....the yarn. Have you ever met this yarn in person?

    It's 100% extrafne merino (I detect a pattern here), in two weights--aran (4.5 sts) and bulky (3.5 sts), and it's machine washable. It comes in dozens of beautiful colors

    and we've ordered every one of them for delivery in the very near future. As we've learned to do, I order a small amount in to make a model garment for the shop, then we have the yarn delivered (the power of a model garment does not escape me). In the meain time, I'm in complete and total lust with this yarn, as I swatched with the bulky last night

    and picked up some of the aran tonight to play with while waiting

    If you could only feel the hand of this yarn, knitted into the deep teal's soooooooo soft and cushy (the yarn is made of lots and lots of tiny plies of lovely merino). What will they grow up to be, you might ask? I'm so very glad you did. The aran is destined to be this amazing garment

    which you probably recognize from the ad campaign that Tahki-Stacy Charles has launched for this yarn and the accompanying pattern booklet. And the bulky is going to become this beauty

    The question around the shop, however, is which is more lovely--the sweater or the model. It's currently a split decision, but I think the model is slightly in the lead. There are other garments included in the book....two more for the aran

    and two more for the bulky

    I'm also very fond of the red cabled number on the left (I have a thing for knitted jacket patterns this year....I'm also madly in lust with this pattern, which we stock) and I am going to do something fun when I knit it...I'm using three different shades of Colinette Prism. You'll see it develop here, later this winter. Back on topic!

    I'm not sure, however, if I'm going to start one of those two sweaters or something else, like maybe a Norgi that I have wanted to knit since I saw it in the distributor's booth at the June '06 trade show. Now these are some beee-yoooo-teeee-ful sweaters

    or maybe I should finally commit and make this aran

    that I planned to make 11 months ago, before putting the yarn/pattern aside in favor of something else that was more pressing.

    No matter how you slice it, it appears I'm feeling the calling of the traditional knit--be it cables or fair isle knitting. After all, that's my favorite thing to do...cables....or sometimes fair isle. I admit and fully embrace being a traditionalist.

    As always, there's a sock (or three) on the needles in my carry around basket. I'm making some progress on it

    Not to worry, the leg ius k2p2 ribbing and opens up nicely and will serve as a lovely shop model shortly. The yarn is Interlacements Tiny Toes, which we got in just before the first of the year. I'm working their free pattern, and it's going well. I only knit on this while waiting in lines or drive throughs, so there's not been much progress on it this week, I'm afraid.

    Other socks do call my name, however.....with our most recent batch of Cherry Tree Hill yarns, we received some stunning Supersock in African Grey

    It's calls out to me in the night, from my basket (until today, it was from the shop all the way to my house).

    Given the amount of Cherry Tree Hill Supersock we've received lately, we're currently well stocked

    That's both solids and multis in Supersock. A full palette of solids and most multis, both regular/repeatable colourways and potlucks. Which now means I have exactly the right yarns to be knitting some of these

    as models for the shop. We adore Lucy Neatby and cannot wait until she's here again in May for workshops. She's an amazing teacher, a fabulous person, and a stunning knitter. We're going to be teaching a class on Lucy's Fiesta Mittens later this spring, which is always a popular class at the shop.

    See anything you can't live without or that you want more information about? Slip me an e-mail and we'll get the conversation started.

    And with that, I'm spent for this post. Time to go commune with some merino yarn, be it Torino, Torino Bulky, or Supersock. I'm not picky at all which gets my attention!