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, February 21, 2008

This Time He Shows Some Knitting

Let me start out by thanking everyone who purchased some of my hand-dyed skeins shown here on Tuesday. It's gratifying that you like them, and I plan on making more soon, as time allows. It is something I enjoy doing, even though it's a good bit of work to set it all up, work through all of the stages of the process, and then clean up my own mess. But seeing you snap them up makes it worth all of that and more. THANKS!

Yup, it's true--I've been knitting. Alot. And I hope to accomplish a good bit on my day off you classify it. But in the mean time, let's do some catching up. There's been a little progress on my Kazimir sock

I tried it on today and it fits quite well, and I'm happy with how much I'm getting done in and around other things (like yesterday, while waiting for photos to open and save in Photoshop). I've also made some progress on my Shippo Tail Jacket

The back is finished and I have yet to cast on for the next piece. Will it be a front? A sleeve? Who knows.......certainly not me. I've also resurrected another project from time out.....

That's a Colinette design called Tully, from their Iona book. Iona is a wool/silk/mohair blend aran-weight yarn that we carry at the shop in all shades (we try to keep them all in stock). It will look like this when finished

Theirs is shown in Monet, but mine is in Moss. I've knitted this one before, for the US distributor to use as a model in their traveling trunk shows. It's a GREAT knit and looks fantastic when finished. I can't find a photo of the other one, but I'll keep looking...promise. I've pulled more Iona

for a project yet to be announced here. I'll hint and say I'm becoming a lemming, like so many others. But this one will be STUNNING. I will try to cast on for it tomorrow.

Tate has been lounging around this evening

as captured on his favorite chair. And he was workin' it HARD for his Doggie-Momma (a.k.a. Delaine) at the shop tonight. He had good reason--she now carries a bag of doggie treats in with her knitting. Busby had his head BURIED in her bag at one point tonight...sniffing out the mini steaks in the treat bag. Pigs...both of them.

All of this model knitting can mean one big thing....there's a ThreadBear Yarn Tasting coming up soon (actually, it's Saturday/Sunday nights, March 29th or 30th). This is one sure sign

As of Tuesday, staff began winding sample skeins of some of the 15+ yarns we'll be using in the upcoming event. It should be fun to watch them progress, as well as many new model garments appear around these parts. And TONS of new yarns and patterns, too!. WOO-HOO!

Speaking of new yarns, I promised pictures of the Pagewood Farms Chugiak today. Let's start the roll call

Top to bottom, that's Sorbet, Meadow, and Mardi Gras. I'm not sure where she goes to Mardi Gras, but I still like her color combination!

These are Camo, Grape Juice, and Vineyard Blues. Nice tonal solids!

Rainbow, Vineyard Blues (a different batch), and River Rock. The River Rock is STUNNING.

Spring Brights, Fruit Freeze, and Crayon. I envision a CookieA pattern in the Fruit Freeze, and I love the colors in Crayon, and the Spring Brights is no slouch either (I'm a fan of blue, if you didn't know).

Butterfly and Turquoise. Butterfly is the colourway Robin gave me to take home and knit a pair of socks on the plane ride home, but I have yet to cast on (I've swatched--does that count?).

Greens, River Rock (a different batch), and Ireland. Aptly named, each one!

This is some beautiful, well-priced yarn, people (and there's already another shipment set to land later this week--and another, of her Blueface Leicester sock yarn next week). At 450 yards in a hank and just $17 for a hank of 100% superwash, 2-ply yarn, I told Robin she was low-balling her work. But she insists she's getting out of it what she needs to, so I'm not gonna complain. We have multiple hanks of each of these colors available for adoption at the shop. Should you find yourself in need, we may be reached by e-mail or by phone (our toll-free line is 866-939-BEAR) and any of our amazing staff will be glad to help. Remember, Matt and I are taking the day off on Thursday, so everything will be in their very capable hands. See you on the other side!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Hand-Made In A High-Tech World

There's just something wonderful about hand-made goodies--whether we're talking about wonderful food cooked with love, music from inside a performer, or something hand-painted, like beautiful sock-weight yarns. I'm a sucker for a hand-crafted yarn, and I'm sure more than one of you out there shares my passion. Plus, we, as fiber artists, create beautiful, fuctional items every day with love and our own hands. So much of the time we share our talents and gifts with others, and not often enough do we keep some of our own productivity for ourselves.

While I'm no artist, I am having a little bit of fun painting some superwash merino hanks of sock-weight yarn and experimenting with a variety of dyeing techniques and methods. Everything I'm doing is 140% NON-repeatable, so what you're about to see is a collection of unique, one-of-a-kind skeins that will never be created again (I doubt I could remember how they were produced and with what colors, anyway--and many were made with colors I mixed on-the-fly while dyeing). But enough of's what I created (well, what's left of them after the locals had their way with the selection):

the strawberry part of our program

more of that spring green/yellow combination, along with some of my standard blues.

After watching an episode of Good Eats last week, I was reminded of the name on top; the bottom one is heavy in the dark with a nice pop of color from the rest.

More spring green--am I pushing the season? And the bottom one was an experiment that started out a deep navy, overdyed with other shades.

The top one is a fun neutral mix with shots of a mauve-y pink tone, while the bottom one is made up of four shades that I custom mixed just to dye this hank.

The top one is a blue base with red accents, and if you look close enough, you'll see pops of color in a bright yellow--almost a daisy yellow shade. On the bottom is a skein that took me by surprise--it was an accident for the base that I overdyed with a custom color and then added the shots of navy and red on top. I'm most pleased with how it turned out!

More of the zazzles....I was on a tear with that name, I suppose. On the bottom, I used a saying from my maternal grandfather, so that name always makes me smile.

Okay, here's the drill. If you're interested in any of these hanks, slip me an e-mail or conatct the shop (toll free) at 866-939-BEAR. Each is a unique skein, no duplicates, and they're $22.50 each for 450 yards of 100% merino superwash that knits up around 7-8 stitches per inch. It makes BEAUTIFUL fabric that's uber soft, and with that yardage, you can cover a pair of BIG feet with one hank. Thanks for asking to see them--I definitely had fun making them and might do some more soon!!

Speaking of hand-made beauty, I almost didn't post the above skeins at the same time as what you're about to see (and for those looking for Chugiak, that's tomorrow--Wednesday). I still don't think my work belongs on the same page as this

but we did receive a nice little shipment (10 kilos) from our friends at Koigu Wool Designs. Check this out

There it is, all spread out on one of our tables at the shop. Now that's some serious art, folks. Look at the beauty, the subtlety, the color combinations, the depth. I think the shot above the table shows just how beautiful their yarn is up close and personal. Check out some more

Those are color combinations I wouldn't think to put together, and they work magnificently together. These are a slam dunk as a combination,

but it's the crisp, clear color that really intrigues me about this yarn. Matt totally fell in love with the colourway in the foreground of this shot

when the last shipment arrived, and I asked if there were any more from that dye lot around--Taiu found a few more. YUM! Such beautiful blues against the coppery-browns. Lest you think they only do multis

we did get a number of solids in stock, too. I'm most enamoured with this batch

as it's just what I asked for when Taiu and I spoke last week. I told her I had a design in my head that was starting to come out, and that I wanted something on the deeper end of the green spectrum, on the blue side of green. I have an aran/cable design fermenting, and this weight of yarn makes the design very wearable indoors and out. Best of all, the roundness of the yarn makes for excellent stitch definition--cables POP and textures really show up well in a tightly-twisted merino like this. I cannot WAIT to swatch and get started, but it will have to sit for a little while. I've got a ton of knitting to do for our upcoming Yarn Tasting event at the shop, Saturday, March 29th and Sunday, March 30th. Speaking of knitting, the back of my Shippo Tail Jacket (done in Habu yarns) is completed, and I've resurrected another project out of Colinette yarns and whipped off a sleeve yesterday/today. Progress pics tomorrow, along with the Chugiak. I PROMISE!

If you're interested in any of the new shipment of Koigu, think about colors you want or come up with specific dye codes that you're after and be in touch via e-mail or phone (866-939-BEAR, toll free) and we'll help as much as we can. Skeins are 50g, 175yds, and $13 (rumour has it they're going up to $13.50 very soon). We received a wide range of things this time around, and YES--Matt is going to be making up more kits for the Charlotte's Web shawl soon. Give the wide range of choices he now has to work with, I'm sure they'll be spectacular!

Come back soon, but in the mean time, GO KNIT (or crochet, or spin, or all of the above).