Monday, November 19, 2007

Black Sheep Knitting

Hi Knitters,
Can you imagine my delight when I walked in the door at Black Sheep Knitting in Needham, MA and Dani Frisbie was sitting at the back table having lunch. Do you know her? She is the talented force behind sunshine yarns and the blog knitting sunshine. She is currently working on her new online shop which should be up and running in a matter of weeks. She has spectacular monthly yarn clubs including a fantastic Harry Potter themed club. Dani works at the shop in Needham and it was great to get to know her a little in person. I linked her blog awhile ago on my sidebar because I think she is such a talented knitter. The photos of her work are so inspiring and she is constantly turning out projects, one better than the last. I have bought some of her yarn in the past from her etsy shop and it is so beautiful. She gifted me with a yarn she dyed that matched the cover of itty bitty nursery. She started with pink and overdyed with blue which made for a rich lavender and pink blend. I will be showing all of my wonderful yarn-y things I collected on a later post. Thank you Dani, for the yarn and for being such a gracious host. Keep me posted on your new online shop! Everyone let's get behind Dani and support her, she is a wonderful, kind-hearted talent!
This beautiful shop just got better and better. Here is another member of the knitsmiths knitting group. It's the one and only Alison Hansel of the blue blog and Charmed Knits fame. Her book has done so well and deservedly so! I own it, of course, and every pattern is pure fun. She kindly recommended Black Sheep Knitting to me as a good tour stop and she was right. Alison brought her three kids along to the shop and that baby girl is simply adorable. She wore her upside down daisy hat to boot. It was great to meet Alison, such a talented and inspiring knitter and recently seamstress! I have been a fan for a long time. I printed out her stripey vest from knitty ages ago, I still want to make that one. I just love meeting the knitters I admire from afar. It seems surreal.
Here is my next celebrity meeting. Take a good hard look at this beautiful woman then take a look at the pure joy on my face. I couldn't believe my eyes. I reviewed one of her books months ago you may recall. This is Barbara Delinsky who has written more books than I can count but who recently wrote Family Tree. I have some strong feelings about this book. I absolutely loved it. I read it last spring on a trip to Florida with my family. It was a difficult time for my family due to a horrible loss we had just suffered. I was dazed and in a fog. I found myself melting into this book in a way I haven't experienced very often. Family Tree provided a wonderful distraction for me at a time when I needed to fill the time in my head. It is a beautiful book and I highly recommend it. The most pleasant surprise about this book is that knitting is a major storyline and it also takes place part of the time in my hometown of Madison. I felt like there was a reason I was drawn to this book in the book store. I didn't even read the inside flap, I just grabbed it and went. Isn't that weird how things happen sometimes? It makes you wonder. I have inherited stacks of Barbara's books recently and I can't wait to read them. Barbara is a huge knitter and is a fan of itty-bitty hats. She pointed out many of the hats she has already knitted for her grandchildren. I loved meeting her more than I can say. I was dying while I was signing her books, just feeling like it wasn't really true. What a fun moment.
The people at this shop just kept coming and coming. One great story after another. This is Judy and she was the cutest thing. She not long ago had spinal surgery. She was unable to move for months. During her recovery she would take a pain killer and then she knew she had a couple of hours where she could manage to knit. Itty-bitty hats helped her get through her recovery without losing her mind (that's a quote!). How I love this story. Doesn't she look great?
This is one of the shop owners, Susan, playing with a little sweetheart. Susan was so nice, helpful, happy and fun. They all are like this. I would go to this well-stocked shop all of the time if I lived here. Black Sheep Knitting felt like stepping into a warm, welcoming home.
I wanted you to see this knitted set from itty-bitty nursery by one of the workers at Black Sheep (I think it was Melissa who knitted it, but I am not 100% sure). Isn't that cute? I love it in the purple manos cotton stria. Dani is knitting one in a muted blue-ish color, it is gorgeous. I hope I get to see the finished project. It is good to see people using differently colors.
This is Lisa and boy is she fun. She is great to chat with and she had so many good stories. My sister loved her too. Lisa is a knitter anyone would love to hang out with. She was knitting a pink and brown hat that was to die for. She hung around and made our time so much fun. Thanks for coming Lisa! Isn't that baby cute peeking over Dani's shoulder?
My sister and I got a major kick out of Sophie (the cutest thing ever!), the official store mascot. Okay, she played with the cupcake tea set for a loooong time and we loved it. She poured tea...
she added lumps...
and she stirred her cup with a golden teaspoon. You know what is interesting-you have to make sure to knit the little things when you are making a set like this. Sophie played with the sugar cubes only for about 20 minutes. She lined them up, put them in the sugar bowl and then lined them up again. She was adorable and this confirms my belief that it is all in the details. The lumps make the set!
Oh, you thought it couldn't get any better than Sophie? Well, just look at this bundle. Too incredibly cute for words, Dani's not too bad either. Also, get a look at Dani's shawl. That is made out of her fantastic hand-dyed yarn. It is spectacular, her talent is astounding.
Here is Debbie the other owner. She is terrific. Black Sheep Knitting has supplies bursting out everywhere you turn. The customers have a home here as I heard they have a different knitting group every single night of the week at the shop. It is the place to be for knitters in this area and beyond. They have such a huge selection of top of the line yarns, you can find anything you're looking for in this one spot.
Dani knitted all of these itty-bitties and they are strung up behind the cash register. What a great surprise. Thanks to everyone for this wonderful event. I appreciate all of your efforts. I enjoyed every minute and your shop provided some of my most memorable moments of the tour. I hope to come back sometime soon!

Okay, a couple of business notes. I have had a ton of emails asking about this scarf, I am not kidding, a lot of email. This scarf, worn by the lovely Jaime (right) and the tired, worn-out Susie (left), was purchased at Knitty City. It is a Tara Handknits product handmade by a women's Cooperative in Nepal. There are several colorways available. It is called the "tiny circle crochet scarf flower." It was $42.00. I hope that helps. I think they only had a couple left when we were there but give them a buzz if you want one! I have to say I have been wearing it out and about here and I have gotten a lot of compliments on it. Maybe we should all just make one ourselves, too. It would be easy.

The last thing is a site I have been enjoying and want to pass on. It is called knitting friends. It highlights the most popular blogs for the day, week and month. I have been going to it regularly to keep up with the comings and goings of the knitting world. This site has directed me to a lot of new blogs that I otherwise would never read. It is really fun and a bit addictive. Check it out.

Okay, there will not be more tour stuff for a long time now. It's just me at home with my yarn and needles and kids. I will not torture you with any more pictures of me for as long as humanly possible. I am sorry about that but other people were taking all of the pictures therefore I was in all of them. If you knew how much I hate being in pictures, truly, I avoid it at all costs, you would laugh at this situation.

Bye for now knitter friends.

best, susie