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, March 02, 2007

Greetings From The Land of Busy

Well, not quite that bad....but we're having a big Spring Cleaning sale at the shop this weekend, in preparation for the change of seasons and seasonal yarn purchases. There's discounts on a wide variety of yarns, from 20% through 70% (stuff that really REALLY has to go). It's been a busy weekend, but not overwhelmingly so. I like it that way!

In addition to the big sale, we just received another batch of hand-painted self-striping yarns from that super-talented local woman, Meg

From left to right, they are Burn (orange/red), Portal (blue/green and yellow/red), Secret (pinks/greens), and Exile (purples). $26 each for 480 yards of superwash merino soft and lovely! Get'em while they're hot, as she only brought 10 each and some are already half gone. We'll ship out ASAP when you order, so hurry hurry! Need some? Toll free at 855-939-BEAR or e-mail me

Next delivery in two weeks from tonight (the 16th) and she said she's bringing five surprise colourways--just to tease me!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Stick A Fork In It

It's done....and it's freakin' beautiful! Yeah, I'm more than a little proud of this project (the Ocean Waves Shawl, by Hyphen Boy, out of Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Merino in Misty Moor), and like most of the things I create, the devil is in the details, or the last 10% of the effort put into the item is what makes or breaks it. First off, a shot of the shawl in its unblocked....glory?

As mentioned on Monday, the crocheted edging went on quickly, as it's just a round of foundation singles followed by three rounds of chains and singles

As always, I pissed and moaned all the way around for the final two rounds, but the finished edging was worth every minute of the effort. Also, if you ever wanted to see love defined, I submit this photo for consideration

Yup, that's the ever-diligent Matt, running in the blocking wires after I dampened the knitted fabric in the sink. We started out putting in the wires together, and about three minutes into the process he started a sentence and I was able to finish it...something to the effect of "okay, I'll go run errands outside of the house while you do this". Both of us knew that it wouldn't be a pretty ending if I stuck around--I have very little patience and don't exhibit attention to detail very well. So he focused on his strengths and let me work mine (I went to the bank, the shop , the post office, the other bank, and back to the shop before gassing up and heading home.

Details on the blocking didn't take long at all (maybe 20 minutes--not bad for a first attempt!), it was simple to do once he figured out it would take four wires, not three, to span the top part, and it dried in a BIG hurry (it's dry around these parts, and smart Matt put the ceiling fan on before shutting the door and Tate-proofing the room). Check out this shot of it blocking

I'm amazed at how the pattern just opened up with the blocking wires (btw--we do sell the kit at the shop, for just $24 for wires, pins, instructions, a yard stick, and the handy-dandy tube for storage). Check out this full-scale picture of drying

For perspective, you need to realize that you're looking at a queen-sized mattress. Yup, it's stretched out corner to corner on the diagonal, and nearly as wide as the bed along one of the "short" sides. It's a lovely size, too!

Here's a full-on glam shot of the project, finished and off of the wires earlier tonight

and here's a close up of the detail (check out those sharp points on the edging)

This is my first finished lace project, and I'm completely enamoured in both this project and in the blocking process. I've espoused the use of blocking wires before, but this project really drives home the need to block lace knitting for the best finished fabric. I'm sure I'll experiment with blocking finished garments with the wires soon, too (or more accurately, Matt will).

Since I was on a crochet binge, I did also complete a great little scarf in just a couple hours on Monday morning. Here's the still life of scarf on newel post

That's the Squiggle Scarf by IndiGirl, aka Amy Swenson. Quick and fun, it took about 2/3 of a skein of Zitron Unikat, and I'm sure you could get three out of two skeins, given the leftovers. Best of all, this particular project gave me the best excuse to use this

That's a hand-turned crochet hook from a great vendor in Vermont, and we're getting a HUGE shipment of their crochet hooks and circular needles on Wednesday (2/28--tomorrow/today). Yum about a smooth ride! I enjoyed working with the hook and I look forward to trying out the circular knitting needles sometime soon (I have a set of 5mm, 24" ones in the wings).

I'm proud of myself--I've only started two new projects, and I've made great progress on the one that I started yesterday and a little bit of progress on the one I started this morning. Updates on both of them in my next post, which will hopefully be on Wednesday afternoon.

Questions about anything you see here? Slip me a note and we'll do our best to help, from more information to ordering something of your very own. Everything you see above is in stock, save the crocheted scarf pattern (they arrive shortly). Be well, and keep on...fibering!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Quick Update

Finished all four rounds of crochet on the Ocean Waves Shawl--pictures late tonight or tomorrow. It's going on the blocking wires tonight/tomorrow, and I'll show the franken-blocking shots of that tomorrow (Tuesday). It's DELISH!!!!

Also crocheted a scarf in a couple hours this morning, using a cute pattern I plan to use in our beginning crochet class here at the shop. Matt and I adore the designer, so it's gotta be great! (photo coming tomorrow, too, and wait until you see the divine crochet hook I used to make it..hand turned loveliness...and we'll have stock at the shop on Wednesday, as I got an e-mail from the artists that they shipped to us today).