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, June 28, 2007

Trying To Be Productive

But having a hard time of it!

Seriously....I can't seem to accomplish much of late, and I have no good reason why. A couple evenings this week I found myself just sitting....not knitting, not doing much of anything else constructive...just sitting. So I guess that's why my time/effort have been going. And me, with the strong Eastern European work ethic...sheesh!

I did make some progress on the Nanako Jacket that I showed you last time (but I haven't really knitted on it since Sunday). Check it out so far

I'm sooooo diggin' this project it isn't funny. Of course, I am obsessed with another project from them, the URAN Jacket (yes, I ordered a kit). But here's fabric on my Nanako

See why I love it? Great texture, awesome color play, fun knitting (not boring, not overly intense on the attention scale). Perfect for right now for me.

Some of my dedicated knitting time has been spent doing research and searching for the right stitch patterns to fit into some sock designs I've had rolling around in my punkin' head. I haven't really designed/published anything since my Broadripple socks that were at Knitty awhile back (wow, like four years ago?). I've had several requests for a new design, and I think I'm onto something.

We have a monthly sock knitting group that meets at the shop every fourth Monday of the month. Matt leads the group, but we both work on the "curriculum", such that it is. Each month there's tons of show-and-tell with random socks and others from the project of previous months. Then he tries to present some sort of learning experience---a new technique, a better way of doing something sockish, a new stitch pattern, and so on. Then there's a monthly project that folks either do or don't do. Some months there's two--one more simple, the other more challenging. Many months, this group has first crack at new sock yarn stock (for example, this month it was Opal Hundertwasser, the collection inspired by the Austrian artist of the same name (well, not the Opal part). In conjunction with that yarn, Matt presented a sideways sock (knitted from cuff to toe) and related techniques to make the knitting smoother. It was big fun to watch folks cast on and start knitting up and down a sock instead of round and round. (PS--if you need any of the Hundertwasser, we have it for $19.95 a skein--all eight colourways. I'll even toss in the sideways pattern with your purchase if you wanna.....e-mail me or call the shop at 866-939-BEAR)

Well, next month we have another new entry to our sock yarn storehouse--one I'm still keeping under wraps (tho some out there may recognize colourways in the shots below). Either way, I've decided that I was going to offer a free pattern with purchase of the yarn next month, so I had better start designing and knitting NOW. One sock pattern has become two, as I found a simple design and a more complex design that are both going to become "free with purchase" patterns next month. From there, I'm not sure. So, I was perusing stitch treasury after treasury for a few days until I came up with these.

Sock number one is the more intensive design, with lots of lace going on

I have more progress on this one, as I worked on it today during my morning monthly pedi (my personal indulgence, monthly, as I spend so much time on my feet with work). I like how it's turning out so far, but more rows will tell the story soon.

The other design

stalled out on Monday, as I was working along and found what I thought to be an error in the chart. A quick call to the publisher and a return call from them confirmed that issue yesterday, so I get to plod on as time permits. There's not much there, as the error is on Row 6 of the repeat.

You'll get to see these designs develop for a little while here, but then I'll have to hide them away before they grow up too much. A boy's gotta have his surprises, no?

As for other fun things around the shop, check out this fun accessory

That's the latest design from Trish Bloom, the brains behind Once in a Bloomoon Creations, expertly modeled by Betsy. She calls it "Garden Gate Scarf" and it's too adorable--a lattice-like design on the bottom parts of the scarf, woven green vines in and out of the lattice, and then big, fun blooms made with self-striping yarn. Right now, you can't get any of that yarn, as it's not due into the US until August, but I have a little bit right now (part of my "haul" from market a few weeks ago). Trish does GREAT work and we really like her patterns (we LOVE question!). Need one? They're just $5 from us (plus tax and shipping, if they apply).

Coming in soon...more Dream in Color yarns (sock and worsted), which means we'll be winding kits for the Tulip Cardigan again soon. Soon means early next week, as our yarn should ship out Friday or Monday from Chicagoland. If you're interested, e-mail me and get on the list right's still growing!

Gotta run.....time to go relax a little before crashing. Be well, and lemme know if we need to fulfill a need!