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, April 07, 2007

Dig If You Will The Picture

Of me and this sweater, engaged in a, wait. But, yes--I love it that much.

I was close with the description--it's 2 x 2 x 1 x 2 ribbing (as you can see below) before going up into the cables

not the 1 x 1 I thought it was. Close enough, no? And here's a close-up of how the cables turn, in alternating fashion

A few more details....again, I think it's a pre-2002 design (so from 2001 or further back. I don't think it's a Starmore, as I own all but one of her books (the Children's Collection doesn't catch my fancy) and I've been through them recently (but I could be wrong). I think it would be a sheet pattern or magazine design more than it would be from a book (but it could be from a book). From there, I'm lost.

HELP!!!!!! Please!!!!!!!!

Friday, April 06, 2007

A Cry For Help

No, not that kind....but given what I found and how I found it, maybe I do need some sort of twelve-step program for UFOs or something. On to the reason for this post.

Despite having moved to Lansing over 2.5 years ago, some personal items/boxes still remain at the shop, in the back room. (yes, that alone is a cry for help...but not the one I'm headed towards). Tonight, while doing my "closing rounds" of checking all of the deadbolts on the doors to the alley, putting various paperwork in proper places, and the like, I noticed a box that had tipped over and spilled its contents (some knitting for others for the shop's Ebenezer Project--our community knitting effort for those in need). Also in the tumbled pile was a large Rubbermaid tub, calling out to be opened and investigated.

I opened the tub (one of those 2 ft high/3 ft wide ones, with the snap on lid) and found some long-forgotten projects inside. One was a tragic Coeur de Rouge afghan in squares/motifs (don't ask....) that I had started probably ten years ago and long since abandoned. The other major item in the tub was a bag just packed with a lovely brick-colored wool....then it dawned on me

the yarn is Alice Starmore's Bainin

Holy crap! That sweater project hasn't seen daylight in about six years (seriously), so I pulled out the bag, pawed through the skeins (still delightfully soft and squishy, yet tightly-twisted fiber), and found two swatches (I actually did two different swatches...SHOCKING), over a dozen hanks, and about four inches of completed sweater back. And no pattern.....none to be found.

Here's the cry for help part.....I'll take a picture of it tomorrow (Saturday) and post what I have so far. It's about one inch, maybe 1.5 inches, of 1 x 1 ribbing that quickly turns into cables twisting away on a seed stitch background. The cables are a simple O type, but in between the O turns there's a staghorn-type cable (kinda resembles an upside-down Y). Better yet, the vertical rows of cables alternate....when the "odd-numbered" ones are turning Os, the "even-numbered" columns are doing the staghorn thing. And vice versa as you go up the back.

Anyone out there recognize this, just from the text I present here? I'll post a picture of the garment tomorrow, so maybe that will help. I know I'm knitting it on a 4mm needle, which means the pattern probably calls for a 5mm, as I'm such a loosey-goosey on Addi Turbos that I drop two sizes to get gauge. That also reinforces that the design is done on a good old aran-weight yarn (which Bainin is, in spades, as there's 170 yards in 100g). If I can find the pattern, I'm aching to get back to it, as it's exquisite cabling on a lovely textured background. Plus, it doesn't hurt that the yarn is oh-so cherished and long-since out of production and not available anywhere.

Any help out there is DEEPLY appreciated, and I cannot wait to show off this beauty tomorrow, here. And of course, getting back to such a knitting gem is JUST the ticket I've been looking for....I've been itching to get to something wooly, as I've been knitting with summer fibers of late (and enjoying it), but I've been moaning about wanting to knit with wool (just ask Matt, who's tired of listening to me whine). Oh, and tomorrow I'll show off my progress on one of the cutest baby items I've knitted in awhile...out of a divine yarn!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Oh, The Temptations......

Especially when one of my big yarn pimps (a.k.a. sales reps) comes to town......purportedly on a visit as a friend (and she truly is a very good/close friend), but ends up just happening to have received a bit of Schaefer Yarns for my perusal

Yup, I succumbed to 48 skeins of Schaefer Anne, in 23 different colourways. Yup, that means I have "two-sies" of everything (as of right now), which translates into over 1,100 yards of each shade....perfect for shawls (it's hard to get multiple skeins of Anne that match). Truth be told, there's actually four skeins of one shade of blues/purples that are just alike, so there's like 2,200+ yards of that one. At just $25 for 560 yards per skein, it's very covet-able.

That's just some of the over $2,000 in Schaefer yarns and patterns I fell victim to today, to be added to our stock at the shop. I picked up more Anne (obviously), some Lola, some Miss Priss, and a ton of new patterns. Woooo-hoooooooo

And one last request.......for Mary Pat

That's the Ramblin' Rows jacket, knitted out of Tahki Shannon, in a picture taken in last January, just after our last Yarn Tasting. Oddly enough, that's my great enabler...I mean sales rep...that showed up today to carry on at the shop, get some knitting done, and just happened to have the above-mentioned yarn with her. I think it was funny that the very picture of the sweater (that Mary Pat asked about) was of Mary in that sweater....who was here today. Thanks goes out to Mary for a fun day of friendship and a little shopping (on both our parts), a great lunch, and wonderful advice. We love you, Mary!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Scattered In Seven Disparate Directions

Yeah, that about covers it for now. At least from where I stand, my life takes concentration on multiple and varied things. Fortunately for me, I enjoy multi-tasking, so it's all good. Poor Matt, however....he and I were to spend the entire day yesterday and a good bit of today working on something very important and very specific for the business and it's new directions. Unfortunately, his brand-new laptop had other ideas. The CD drive decided to go AWOL, so he contacted HP online support. BIG mistake.....HUGE. The "technician" who helped him gave him completely erroneous information and ended up "fixing" the laptop to the point where it wouldn't even boot as of about 10 p.m. last night, but eventually LATE last night it did come back to life. Hours were spent on backing things up, just in case there was a total system reformat in the cards. Today was spent on the phone with a real person at HP who helped restore settings to the point where the laptop looks like it's back to normal. And it's not like Matt is some slouch when it comes to technical crap, as he was an ace student in his Comp Sci major in college. Oh well, at least it's working again. No thanks to "Preston", the online helper. Avoid that one like the plague if you tap into HP's online support.

Me? Yup, I knitted a bunch through all of this (remember the quote from Elizabeth Zimmerman, "Knit On, with confidence, through all crises"...or something similar). It was best to be on a different floor from the laptop debacle last night and today, so I was downstairs with the pups, working hard on various projects. I did completely finish something I started on Saturday of this past weekend

That's the baby blanket from Blue Sky Alpaca's pattern "Three-Piece Baby Set". Check out the detail of the stitch pattern, which is wizard

Yup, it's done up in their Cotton, which we received late last week and stocked on Saturday

We have all 37 shades on hand, including 31 dyed shades and six of the organic shades (the far right column is actually O-Wool Classic, an organic wool yarn we carry--the rest is Blue Sky Cotton). At just $9.30 a skein, it's reasonably well-priced for 150 yards of heavy worsted yarn (machine washable, too!). I used the shade called Honeydew for the binkie, which took four full skeins. The matching baby sweater and hat is sized from newborn to two-year-old child, and quantities vary by size. All in all, I loved knitting it, the yarn is F-A-B, and the pattern was easy to follow.

I finished something else earlier in the weekend, which allowed me to start two new projects (I have a deal with myself--start two for every one you finish; I like my rules). I decided long ago to make this as a shop model

because of all of the versatility built into the pattern (sleeve options, neckline options, shaping options, galore....that's why it's called "The Big Mix Up"). The disgusting lump you see below is the one in the bottom left part of the picture. I decided to use a new yarn, Adrienne Vittadini Felicia, a 100% cotton thick-and-thin yarn at the dk weight that's just $7.95 for over 100 yards. My shade is Aquamarine, and I took crappy pictures....see

Check out the close up of the texture

The shade is off in the pictures and the sweater is off being finished, so I'll have a perfectly beautiful shot of it shortly, post blocking of course.

I was a slacker today, coming in late at around 3:30 p.m. I had to stay at the house for a little bit longer than expected, because the fabulous Cookie A was on Knitty Gritty this afternoon. I loves me some CookieA, and the show was AWESOME! She worked on a pair of socks (natch) from the toe up with a great lace leaf design, and I was in love with them! Plans are to make a pair for the shop as a model, out of the Dream in Color Worsted (remember that stuff from a couple weeks ago......swoooooooon). I've printed off the pattern from their website and I'm ready to roll....I just need to pick out a color to work with.

By the way, speaking of the fabulous CookieA, we now stock her amazing sock patterns. Check them out

the lovely Mona,

Millicent (amazing calf shaping on the back of the leg) and Gothic Spire (one of my favorites)

Thelonious (love the staggering lace bits) and German Stocking (this will be a class at the shop soon....guarantee...Marcia is in LUST with these socks and cannot wait to teach them)

Flicker is amazing, with all of those lacey bits

Twisted Flower (calling out to may be my first one) and Rhiannon (such lovely cables all over the place, and Stevie Nicks in the backgrouns singing)

We have them all in stock and ready to ship, iffin' you're interested. I believe they run either $6 or $6.50, depending on the design. WOW!

Gratuitous puppy photo

If there ever was a pitiful face, it had to be this one. He was milling about while I was taking pictures the other day, so I snapped his. Tate wants some lovin'...come visit him!

I'm outta here for now....lots to go home and take care of, and it's nearly 10 p.m. Have a great evening/Thursday, and if you have any questions about anything you see above, just slip me a note and I'll do my best to get right to you. If you need to order something immediately, our toll-free line is 866-939-BEAR. Back with more photos shortly! (good ones, too...we're getting a sinful amount of Malabrigo yarns any day now--20+ shades of lace, restocks on tons of worsted, and about two dozen shades of the Chunky)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Posting Later Today

I need to get caught up with y'all later today....and since it's Tuesday, my day off from the shop, I should be able to squeeze out a post.

Those of you looking for Reynolds Soft Sea Wool, please follow that link to the page at the shop site. It's up, it's in stock (books, too!), and it's LOVELY to knit with. Proof in the next post.