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, February 08, 2008

Another Fun Day Off!

Yet another lazy day, as I haven't left the house, formally, all day long. Just knittin' and spending time online.....and snuggling with dogs. My kinda day off!

I did knit on Betsy's Sox #2

All done, up to the start of the heel flap. I can't go any further tonight, as the original sock is at the shop and I didn't take notes on length and other important dimensions. So I'll work that flap (and more) tomorrow, hopefully! And hopefully I'll have #2 finished soon. WOOHOO!

I spent a good bit of time online this morning, reading blogs and catching up on Ravelry posts across several forums and checking out projects in progress from a wide variety of people. It's fun seeing what people are working on and what they're choosing for yarns.

I started something new this morning

That's the "Big Bad Baby Blanket" from "Stitch n Bitch" (the first one). I'm using Dream in Color Classy (worsted), single strand, in Cool Fire. Check out how pretty it is so far

I estimate three skeins for this project, so it's a completely machine wash/dry project out of hand-dyed 100% merino for under $60. Not too shabby, and trust me, this is some seriously wonderful knitted fabric. This is the perfect project for sitting and reading blogs, as I don't have to watch my hands at all due to the size of the yarn/needles. I was only marginally successful working on Betsy's Sox while reading, so I started this to keep my hands busy while reading this morning.

Next socks....already on deck

That's Opal Rainforest III, in Kasimir der Draufganger (Kasimir the Daredevil). I chose this one because my maternal grandmother's Lithuanian name was Casimira (Catherine in English) and because I attend St. Casimir parish here in Lansing. St. Casimir was the son of a Polish king who was of Lithuanian descent (way back when, Poland and Lithuania were merged) and presided over the area in the 15th Century. So to me, the yarn has special meaning, all the way around, as my mom's side of the family is 100% Lithuanian and I grew up in a Polish parish in a predominantly Polish neighborhood in Chicago's southwest side.

I'm off to go knit a little bit, before turning in. We have a busy day at the shop tomorrow, as it is Friday and we have a sales rep visiting, too! Plus there's two big shipments coming (Lorna's and SWTC TOFUtsies), if not more...and one or two waiting for me that were delivered on Thursday. WOOHOO, new yarn!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Good Lordy on High

I just hung up with my good buddy Amanda at Lorna's Laces and she's shipping out over $4,500 in yarn today.....meaning we'll have it by tomorrow (Friday).

In this shipment are several dye lots of our custom colors (MSU and UMich), our kits for the shrug by Heartstrings that are a combination of Lorna's and Mountain Colors yarns (if you haven't heard these two talented hand-dye companies have teamed up to produce a quarterly project that uses yarn from each of them, and the first one is a beautiful lacy number that uses Helen's Lace and Wool Crepe). We already stock the pattern, and the yarns will arrive tomorrow!

There's lots of other goodies in the boxes, including lots of special order stuff, too. And next week, I'm told we'll see our TNNA order, which is for lots of goodies in their newest of colourways. HOORAY!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Mission Accomplished!

Not much more to say right now (more on Thursday) other than

Mission Accomplished on the foot of sock #1 in Betsy's Sox. HOORAY for one finished sock. Later tonight (after midnight on Wednesday night/Thursday morning) I hope to cast on for #2. Time will tell!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Whoops, I Broke My Own Rule

I'm actually trying to blog every other day (or more), but I've been a bad boy. Saturday came and went, and then Monday slipped out of my hands. Now it's Tuesday and I nearly missed today....SHAMEY SHAMEY. I'm gonna blame it on our being busy at the shop, both with walk-in traffic and with inbound shipments (both good "problems" to have, trust me). Plus, I've been knitting away on a sock project that I want to finish right away......details below.

We've gotten quite a bit of new goodies in over the past week or so, and I alluded to a shipment of ShibuiKnits yarns (LuAnn was stickering them...). Some of the faithful asked to see what we received last week, so here we go

These are the nearly-solids that showed up and they're simply beautiful--I'm particularly in love with the Wasabi. We also received a bunch of the multis

and even more

Of these, the Spectrum (duh) and Earth (surprise!) are the two that are calling to me. I want to make their Vintage Baby Cardigan very soon, most likely out of Spectrum (if there's any left when I get to it). My adoration of the Earth surprises Matt, as I'm not typically drawn to those colors (I'm more of a Spectrum or Marine kinda guy), and he's especially perplexed by my complete infatuation with these two together

I don't know what they're going to become quite yet, but a skein of each sits on my desk, taunting me daily. It's marinating, as are two other designs (both in lighter-weight, tightly-twisted merino yarns.....more about this in a later post). We'll see how those creative juices flow....

In addition to their sock yarns, we also received a batch of patterns supporting that weight/line of yarn from them, too.

Basically, if you can knit it with their sock-weight yarn, we have that pattern--Vintage Baby Cardigan, Baby Hat & Bootie Set, Icosa Welt Ball, Multi-gauge Hats, Half Circle Cardigan, Transition Gloves, Toe-Up Sock, Simple Socks, and Ruffle Socks. Need some? Patterns are $5 or $6 each, and the yarn is just $9.30 a hank for 191 yards of fingering-weight, hand-dyed superwash merino. YUM! Busby says you should get some Shibui Sock and a pattern and get busy!

because he's being lazy......but at least if he's on the ottoman, he's not attached to Matt's previously. Tater is more of the solitary kind of guy

He spends most of the day under the card table, in his little cave spot. He's such a sweet dog, but someone way back when really put a little fear into him, which is so sad. He's nothing but fur and love!

Something REALLY fun came today--they're a little strange, and we met them courtesy of Stacy Charles, owner of Tahki-Stacy Charles (yes, the yarn company). They have nothing to do with knitting/crocheting/spinning/weaving other than they are made of one continuous piece of string, and thus called "String Doll Gang". They are made in Thailand and imported to the US by a company that only works with fair trade organizations, so there's no "sweat shop" labor going on to make them! Check out the various types currently in stock

  • Warrior Woman--teaches you how to pick your battles wisely
  • Sid--protects you against people who have bad taste in music
  • Charlie Ribs--takes care of the bad guys in your dreams
  • King of Diamonds--makes sure you are always dealt a winning hand
  • Thelma--helps you live your life with abandon

  • Iron Davey--helps you navigate through the rough waters
  • Cupid--helps turn that good friend into something more
  • The Killer--gets rid of any bad vibes and negative energy lurking about
  • Buster--keeps you out of the doctor's office and in the game
  • The Enforcer--rights the wrongs that happen in your everyday life

  • Little Prince--instills strength and bravery when you need it most
  • Samurai--is your loyal friend and a thorn in the side of all your enemies
  • Crazy Eyes--helps you track down whatever it is you're looking for
  • Beelzebub--will shoulder the blame when you get in trouble
  • Collin the Pirate--helps you find the buried treasure you've been seeking

  • Bella--makes sure that your life is full of fun folks and wild times
  • Kicky--will help you develop new moves to achieve your goals
  • Judo Sensei--promotes health, fitness, and the well-being of both body and mind
  • El Diablo--gives you the edge over your competition
  • Captain Bad--protects travelers venturing both near and far

  • Monster Man--helps you to see the beauty inside the not-so-beautiful
  • Star--makes all of your wishes come true
  • Jo Ninja--makes it impossible for your enemies to sneak up on you
  • Two Face--shows you the true character of the people who surround you
  • Big Frank--helps you stay on task and finish the job

    Yes, it's true, each of them comes with a little tag with their respective tag lines printed on it. Some color variation is possible (e.g. Bella's hair is a different color on each version; Crazy Eyes comes in various colors, too) and each little String Doll Gang character is just $9.50. We received 100 of them today (four of each of 25 types), and there's more to come (more exist and there's new ones coming in from Thailand in a couple weeks). They're frivolous, they're silly...they're ADORABLE!

    Now, on to the knitting portion of our program. Not much knitting time yesterday or today, so what I have to show you is mostly from Sunday, with a little bit of Monday day thrown in (and a few rounds during my monthly hoof-trimming/pedicure today, before the reflexology portion, where I just sat back an moaned...literally--if you need a great pedi, see Dani at Personal Image in Lansing near Frandor. SHE'S AWESOME!!!). Check out the sock in progress

    That's Classic Elite Alpaca Sox in a lovely combo of coffee brown, persimmon, forest green, and a tish of purple (1858--Harvest). We stock all solids and multis at jsut $19.95 a hank (450 yards, 60% alpaca/20% merino/20% nylon, fingering weight) and it's a dream to knit with--I cannot imagine what it would be like to wear. These are surprise socks for a special someone out there, and for now are named "Betsy's Sox". I hope to finish the foot of sock #1 with that, I'm outta here!

    Need anything you see above? Call us (866-939-BEAR toll free), drop by the shop, or slide us an e-mail and we'll do our best to help in any way we can!