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, June 22, 2007

Where, Oh Where Does The Time Go?

Not only is it Friday already, it's Summer (as of 12:46 a.m. yesterday), it's nearly July (duh), and it's almost time for our next yarn tasting event (the last weekend in July), which means I have some SERIOUS knitting to accomplish between now and then (and some serious yarn to purchase for the shop). EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!!!

Awhile ago I promised a picture of the first finished sock that I made for myself, which I started a couple weeks ago at the trade show we attended the first weekend in June. It's made with Apple Pie from Apple Laine, a Canadian dyer, and was (is?) a toe-up sock with an afterthought heel to fit my mongo-sized foot and calf

The fit is spot on and it feels INCREDIBLE on my foot. I've had hand-knitted socks before (thank you, Matt) but I've never kept a pair for myself (well, absolute truth is that I kept a pair for myself made of Lion Brand Wool-Ease Sport in a color ramble shade and after two washings they were so pilled and fugly that it looked like feral cats lived on them for six months)--BIG mistake. So I'm really liking these and can't wait to get the second one finished, so I can enjoy the luxury of hand-made socks. And yes, the yarn (Apple Pie) will be in stock at the shop VERY soon (Cindy at Apple Laine said so!)

It's an alternating Friday, so of course Meg (of Twisted Fiber Arts fame) delivered. And boy howdy, did she deliver

Pretty stuff, and at 480 yards of superwash merino (fingering/sock weight) and hand-dyed striping patterns, the $27 price tag is still quite a good value. Socks galore, for sure, but someone locally is making a shawl out of some of the Sherwood and it's DELICIOUS!

Speaking of folks who deliver, here's a table full of love from Virginia

That's a whole bunch of Claudia Hand Painted Yarns in fingering weight (yummy for socks) and a little bit of her laceweight silk (unbelievably decadent). There's three different "things" on the table--some of the 50g skeins ($12 each), 350g bundles (equal to seven skeins, but only $70), and some of the lace silk ($40 each, but just in the colourway JohnB). I'm in major love.....the 350g bundles are PERFECT for the Knitty project Spanish Dancer, which calls for seven hanks of Claudia Fingering (and would be $84, plus all those ends to weave in afterwards).

Other knitting has been going on....our first Habu Textiles order arrived last Friday and I jumped right into several projects. First completed one would be the silk/paper shoulder bag

made from these two yarns

That's the Tsumugi Silk (laceweight) on the left and the Shosonshe Paper (linen paper yarn with a viscose sizing) on the right. Held together, they make a fun fabric and a quick knit. We have two sizes of kits in stock--the one seen above and a larger one (more of a tote).

I am currently obsessed with all things Habu--we have a smattering of yarns on hand now, there's more coming next week, and there's tons streaming in over the next two/three months. We should have nearly every shade of Tsumugi Silk on hand in about three weeks. In the mean time, I've started a Nanako Jacket

which is a kit from them. Of course, we can't do the stock colourway, so Matt recolored it

and I've swatched and cast on already. LOVE LOVE LOVE the textured stitch incorporated by the designer. GENIUS! Both of the projects above will be used for shop models for Yarn Tasting next month. Better get busy on that jacket!

Also currently on the needles for model and yarn tasting would be this little number

It's a Vermont Fibers design that I'm using Madil Eden (100% bamboo, they say worsted, I say DK) held with Diakeito Dialent (linen and sparkle carry along, or doubled it's like 32sts/4" or something equally crazy). I tried just the bamboo (it was one of the projects along for the ride to Yarn Market earlier this month) and the first three/four inches of it were HORRID--very floppy and not pretty at all). So last week we added the Dialent and SHAZAM--perfect gauge and nice fabric. It is still soft like bamboo but has a little more body from the linen, and just a tish of sparkle pretty. Here's a shot of my full back, which is ready to start the armhole shaping

Not too bad for a few days of knitting (while also working on the purse from above, the jacket from above, and a couple socks in progress...yes, I'm an ADHD knitter).

Need anything you see above? Just be in touch, via e-mail or phone (toll free 866-939-BEAR) and we're glad to help!

Tomorrow morning is our monthly Manos del Uruguay Block of the Month group, which is always tons of fun for me (and the 40+ participants, based on previous months). And I've heard about at least three different groups of folks making a pilgrimage to the shop, which should add to the fun for the weekend. Hooray--fun at the yarn shop!

Monday, June 18, 2007

No Time to Cha-Cha

I'm teaching Beginning Crochet in just under an hour from now, so I have little time to blog. I wanted to take pictures of my Habu Textiles silk and paper bag to show you my progress so far, but like an idiot I ran out of the house and left it on the sofa where I was knitting today. Oh well, there's always tomorrow (I'll take the digital camera home tonight to use on my day off....tho I'm coming into the shop at some point, 'cuz we have a HUGE order of Claudia Hand Painted Yarns coming in).

Deliveries were quick and fun today. We have a large trunk show on display until July 2nd for Nora Gaughan's "Knitting Nature" book, which is currently not available (in reprint status). We have a number of very pretty garments and some unusual ones, too, all on display at the shop for the next couple weeks. If you're local or semi-local, come by and take a peek (and fondle a couple!). Another show on display is from Colinette and includes several accessories (socks, shrugs, wraps, and more) and a few garments (vests, shells, and more). It, too, is on display until Independence Day.

We did receive another influx of sock yarn from Rio de la Plata. Check it out

The tweedy stuff you see above is the last of what was in the warehouse and from what I was told the last that exists. I have five of all of the above on hand right now (the SP series is what's scarce; I believe the SL series is going to be available into the near future). The SP stuff is $16.95 each and the SL is $16.30 for hand-dyed loveliness!

Another new delivery is a 100% wool-free sock yarn from Schoeller & Stahl called Sockina Cotton. It comes in six different color combos

and 100g skeins, so you can get a pair of socks out of a skein for most adults! You may remember the swatch of the skein I shared last week

It makes a pattern! There's stripes AND fair isle type patterning, too! The fiber content is 55% cotton, 25% polyamid, and 20% acrylic, and great "bounce" while you're knitting. At just $15.99 each, they're a great bargain and perfect for those who are allergic and can't/won't wear wool. Class starts in 11 minutes, so I gotta run! If you need any, just contact the shop at 866-939-BEAR or e-mail me and we can work it all out. See you tomorrow!

BY THE WAY--I have the "green light" on the Kauni yarn. We'll be placing an order shortly and would expect delivery sometime around/shortly after Independence Day. I have NO IDEA what the cost will be yet, but it comes in several different colourways (I'll put up a color card shortly). HOORAY! Preorders welcome, via the e-mail or phone above.