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, June 16, 2007

Detective Work Pays Off

We're still working in the wake of the steamship (in a good way) that is Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and the popularity of her website, her publications (GO STEPH!), and her knitting projects. Staff at the shop have recently gotten caught up on making and shipping Tulip Cardigan kits (we still have a few kits for folks we've contacted and who haven't been back in touch--I may release these kits back "into the wild" in a couple days if we haven't heard from people, as others are waiting and Dream in Color is dyeing yarn as fast as they possibly can, with a delivery to us coming shortly). And just as we get caught up, she goes and starts another project! (and it's damned pretty)

Well, a little internet detective work, some translating (both automated sites and the help of some friends who speak multiple languages), and a few e-mails exchanges with someone overseas and......

I have a STRONG lead on the yarn for Steph's latest project

as well as a link to the fantastic pattern she's using, posted to a site in Denmark (those Danes are awesome knitters!). Many folks have called the shop in the past few days asking if we carried the yarn, and we've had to say no--that we didn't know where it came from, other than overseas. Well.....

I don't have enough information yet to say that we will be able to import this yarn, but I'm working HARD to have it as soon as possible. STAY TUNED! As soon as I know more I'll be back in touch about and in our newsletter!

Friday, June 15, 2007

I Am The Devil

or....the devil lives in this box

Oh my..........our first influx of yarns from Habu Textiles arrived today. Silk stainless steel, Silk Straw, Tsumugi Silk (lace weight raw silk), Silk Mohair, Shosenshi Viscose (linen paper yarn, sized with viscose), Tobi Moire, Kasumi, a sweater kit, several bag kits, a jacket kit, and more, with three more orders coming and staggered out across the next several weeks. Yum yum yum yum.

Our Brown Santa (UPS driver) also brought these, as part of another shipment

that's hand-dyed merino laceweight (details in my next post, but for now--they are over 1,300 yards and $37.50 each). And these special treats

Those bundles of love are deceiving....they're 500g of fine-weight alpaca, hand dyed adn 2,180 yards in a hank. Oh my freakin' gawd, they're beautiful! This weekend only, we're running a little special on these devils....they should be $137.50 per hank, but we're gonna go $99.50 each. Detailed pictures in my next post.

We spent from 9 a.m. to after 3 p.m. today ordering more fall yarns for the shop. We picked up tons of what we lovingly call "scratchy-ass wool" (Jamieson's Shetland...NUM NUM), Opal sock yarn by the ton (we're gonna give their newest and best a good run, with the current stuff (Rainforest II and the one mentioned below) arriving late next week and the newest stuff (Rainforest III, Zirkus, and 6-Fach Blues) set for delivery when it becomes available, in mid to late September---DID YOU SEE THAT, BRENDA! LOL). For now, we have the (forgive me if I do this wrong) Hundertwasser Collection coming in (inspired by a Austrian artist...and quite lovely), just in time for our monthly sock group (Sock-It-To-Me) the following Monday the 25th). And Matt's gonna knit a fun sideways sock pattern with a sample skein as a technique primer in Monday's group. . Other goodies were ordered, but I'm too gobsmacked to remember right now. There's just something about ordering up over $4,000 in SOCK YARN that makes me giddy!

Curious about anything you see above? E-mail me or call the shop toll free at 866-939-BEAR for help. And big thanks to Joanne C for a day's worth of her time today!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I'm Scattered In Seventeen Directions

Since coming back from trade show last weekend (okay, two weekends ago...who's counting?) I can't seem to find my (overly large) butt with both hands most days. I've been staying up too late, getting up too early, not knitting much at all (isn't that sad), and basically not getting anything of substance taken care of. Well, I take that back.....we did stay up until 4 a.m. Sunday night/Monday morning winding kits for the Tulip Sweater (have you seen the options on Matt's blog?.....maybe that had something to do with being off kilter? (BIG thanks to Miss Diana for helping us wind kits until the buttcrack of dawn that day!)

We have been getting in a good bit of product at the shop, following the above-mentioned trade show. One of the first things shipped and sent was our order from a local distributor called Elegant Yarns, out of Troy, Michigan (gotta support that local economy!). Our first delivery included

Daphne (and Cameo), a lace-weight yarn (875 yds in 50g) that self stripes, for just $8 a skein. Also in this box....

Fantasy, a worsted weight yarn that stripes that's also 100% wool that's just $5 a skein for 110 yards. And yes, each shelf is a colourway (they belong together). The color ramble on this yarn is rather long, so some skeins don't look like they belong together because of the length of the color progression and what's on the outside of the skein. And last, my current favorite

It's a 100% wool (handwash) sock/fingering weight yarn that would be great for socks and shawls and baby things (or even light-weight sweaters calling for four-ply yarn). For $6, you get 220 yards of wonderful wool....check out how it looks in a simple sock

Not bad in simple stockinette fabric, and I'd like to see it used for a pattern, maybe even a cable (there's a great pattern called "Cabled Sweat Socks" from the older book by Interweave called "Socks", or maybe Cabin Fever 157--Celtic Braid Socks). I like the VERY subtle ramble in the color changes...almost imperceptible.

We'll have their Harmony yarn in stock when it's available in August, as we're one of the first shops to order it. It's 174 yards of self-striping 100% wool that felts BEAUTIFULLY (I saw swatches of knitted and felted fabric in their booth at market). For just $8 a skein, it's a true STEAL for such soft wool.

Off to go teach my "Socks on Two Circs" class--see you after 9 p.m. EDT.

Back from class....thanks for waiting.

We got some seriously fun stuff in today...check out the Lexie Barnes display in the shop

That plus the stock below (cut off in the left side of the picture) makes for one happy Matt, as he's the resident bag ho at the shop. And we have more coming next week, plus other bags we ordered at market. Told you he was a bag ho.

Me, I'm a yarn ho, as evidenced in today's cash-n-carry purchases from our Schaefer Yarns rep (and dear friend Mary). Check out the new Anne added to stock today

If you're interested in any at just $25 each for 540 yards of pure heaven (mohair, nylon, superwash wool), feel free to call (866-939-BEAR toll free) or e-mail me and make sure you reference the letter next to the skein--I marked the tag with that specific letter, as Anne doesn't come in a colourway like her other yarns.

Also in today's purchases, a little bit more Andrea

That's 1,093 yards of laceweight silk for just $52. YUM YUM! And I also fell victim to some additional Helene

That's their 50/50 wool and silk blend, in stunning Schaefer colors, and 245 yards per hank for $45. I have an idea of using two hanks and blending them a la the Koigu scarf in "Last Minute Knitted Gifts" and making something spectacular with two coordinating colourways. We'll see if time allows me to knit that up as a model.

Also, one last purchase today....some of what I feel is the biggest bargain on hand-dyed yarn on the planet--Miss Priss

Each skein has 290 yards of merino wool, hand dyed, for just $19 each. We have six of everything you see except Mr. Funny, where we have just two hanks. I see a sweater out of the Julia Child or the Gandhi in the's tooooooo lovely in knitted fabric, and I'm told it felts like a dream (imagine those multis in felted fabric...YES!).

Gotta run--time to close out the drawer, do my paperwork for the evening, and get back to knitting. I cast on for a new project during class tonight (after swatching three times while we were working with Mary, ordering more Diakeito yarns for fall delivery). It's going to be LOVELY fabric after a mis-start two weeks ago and these yarns, combined with the pattern we chose, will make one stunning new shop model. If you have questions or want more information about anything above, be in touch via phone (866-939-BEAR toll free) or by e-mail and I'll do my best to help!

PS--the Sockina Cotton shown in the entry just below this one will arrive on Monday of next week (the 18th). It's 100% wool free self-patterning sock yarn (cotton/acrylic/nylon blend) that feels alot like GGH Bali and Samoa. HOORAY!