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January 2018 Newsletter

We hope that your 2018 has begun well with lots of yarn and crafting to keep you happy during the cooler weather!


We have another Shibui trunk show, but only until January 23! It consists of eight beautiful pieces featuring Shibui's beautiful yarns. These garments are perfect for San Diego, offering simply elegant Japanese-inspired designs that will provide just the right amount of warmth year-around.


Eureka!  We have it!  Let’s start off 2018 right – with a fiber quest in search of indulgence via fiber.  Maggie’s recent trip to the Oregon Coast started us all off on our quests, to create unique variations on Alchemy’s Seattle Cowl. 

Maggie’s inspiration is shades of forest and ocean, with a little sparkling vibrant blue added.  Kathy’s variation uses a Fibonacci series in a striped color sequence that combines warm earth tones with aqua and ochre and includes a vein of gold.   She thinks it looks like a pond in an autumn forest.  Karen’s dark and mysterious cowl features a juxtaposition of a matte wool-and-silk combination (aptly named “Lust”) and shimmering silk in charcoal, olive and teal.  Looking at it, she sees a swirling tide pool.

If you would like to join us in an informal Seattle Cowl knit-along, we would love to have you!  Join us on a quest to discover your favorite color combination.  We’d be happy to help you choose colors and guide you through construction if you want.  The Seattle Cowl is perfect for Southern California: lightweight, soft, comfortable to wear, and oh so elegant.  It would be perfect to wear for Mardi Gras, Valentine’s Day or Chinese New Year.  To sweeten the deal, we are offering 10% off the cost of the yarn for any one-, two- or three- skein Alchemy project, beginning Sat. Jan 20 and ending Sat. Feb. 17, 2018 (limited to stock on hand and as usual, the pattern will be free).



CLIMB EVERY MOUNTAIN (Mountain Colors, of course)

Mountain Colors has sent us a new yarn, Bozeman -- a creamy white and softly bulky thick-and-thin wool yarn. Each 8-ounce skein is an amazing 250 yards of squishy softness.

In addition, we have the very popular Mountain Colors afghan kits in several beautiful hand-dyed colorways. January is a great time of the year to knit a throw: your project keeps your lap warm while you enjoy the how the colors and textures play in the mix of beautiful multi-colored yarns. Each kit comes with a pattern booklet containing 2 easy knitted patterns and 1 crocheted pattern.


Just in from Trendsetter are two new yarns. First is Collino, a looking-toward-spring blend of cotton, linen, viscose and polyester. Collino’s marled appearance will be perfect for warm weather garments. Collino comes in a 145 yd. ball.

Next up is a lightweight, tweedy blend of 75% lambswool and 25% silk called Rustica. This new yarn comes in a 198 yd. ball in lots of great colors. In fact, Trendsetter is sponsoring a Rustica Challenge from Jan. 2 – March 11: they say “show us what you can do using just 1 or 2 skeins of Rustica”! Your project can be knitted, crocheted, woven or any combination of these. Please come in to the shop to see the flyer and read the Challenge rules, or go to Trendsetter’s website at


We have received a shipment of Noro's new DK-weight Mirai yarn (330 yards per 100 gram skein, 40% cotton, 25% silk, 25% rayon, and 10% nylon) in five beautiful colorways that will look great all year round. This yarn is soft, and its appearance is subtly marled, with Noro's signature mixture of many colors that keep your knitting interesting so you think "Just one more row!" to see what color will appear next.

Noro yarns, our hardcover books and our pattern booklets are still on sale! Noro yarns are 10% - 50% off, hardcover books are 20% off, and pattern booklets are 50% off.



We have in stock a couple of raku yarn bowls handmade by Lickin' Flames, a Northern California pottery, and we just received the good news that more of these bowls are on the way to us. (In fact, they have just arrived as this newsletter went to press – so we have more!) They offer a beautiful blend of a rustic exterior and an amazing iridescent interior. Just in case you want to buy a pre-loaded bowl like the two shown in the image, we can provide one of our grab-and-go cowl kits, which fit perfectly inside. The bowl on the top contains a ball of Berroco Folio in teal (color #4557) plus one of Stacy Charles Luna Effects (color # 106).. The bowl below contains a ball of Berroco Folio in fuchsia (color #4529) and one of Stacy Charles Luna Effects (color #109). The cost of each kit is $24.00, and the pattern for the cowl is free.


The start of a new year is a great time for new challenge. New yarns! New techniques! New projects!

We’d love to help; come see us!

Karen, Maggie, and Kathy

December 2017 Newsletter

Holiday hours –
Monday, December 25: closed
Monday, January 1: closed
Happy New Year!



Good news! Our own custom colorway, Abalone, is back in two different yarn bases: River Wash Sport and Silkdance. Hand-dyed by Mountain Colors just for The Black Sheep, Abalone is a rich combination of purple, green, aqua and teal blue. Each yarn has a lovely hand: River Wash Sport is more springy than silky soft and drapey Silkdance. Come in soon to get your hands (and needles) on some Abalone.

The top picture is the Holey Abalone! scarf, designed by our very own Kathy French, knitted in River Wash Sport. The shawl below is Minetta, from Malabrigo Book 11, knitted by Maggie in Silkdance, and paired with Sweet Georgia's Bulletproof Sock.


Many yarnophiles love to choose their own materials, and a gift certificate allows them to do just that. There's no need to worry whether Mom or Aunt Jane would like "this color or that one" or what equipment the recipient already has or would truly enjoy.

The tools of our craft can accumulate and become hard to keep track of. We suggest a number of different products to help organize our essential equipment, keeping it in order and readily available. For example, we have needle holders and crochet hook holders in beautiful colors and a variety of project bags as well to keep everything for each project together in one place. Pictured are project bags from DellaQ, which are both functional and beautiful.


If your special person has flirted with adding weaving to their bag of fiber tricks, we suggest a rigid heddle loom.

For all you weavers (or would-be weavers) out there, Ashford now makes the Sample-It - a rigid heddle loom in a new weaving width - 16". This is in addition to their 10" width, and we now have both a 16" and a 10" loom in stock! These weaving widths are great for scarves, placemats, kitchen towels, and garments constructed from rectangular or shaped panels.


Equipment that facilitates working with yarn is a welcome gift, and an umbrella swift makes turning a skein of yarn into a ball of yarn a lot easier and more pleasant. Add a ball winder, and you have a winning combination.


Because different projects require different sizes of needles, a great gift for someone who loves to knit would be a set of interchangeable needles. Interchangeable sets typically include approximately 8 different sizes of needles and come with multiple lengths of cords to offer maximum flexibility for your knitting projects. Shown are the Turbo, regular Lace, and Long Lace Click sets from Addi; also shown are the Knitter's Pride Deluxe Interchangeable set, the Cubics Deluxe Interchangeable set, and the Knitter's Pride 6" Double Pointed Needles set.


All through the shop we have kits that provide the yarns you'll love for a number of different projects-- cowls, scarves, and shawls. Shop favorites? We suggest the Grab and Go cowl kits (top photo) and the Glam and Go cowl kits (below). We also offer a number of patterns designed for The Black Sheep, and of course, we proudly offer two yarns in our own custom colorway that is sold only through our shop.

Pictured are new and complex color combinations of Tahki's Luna Effects with Berroco's Folio.


The newest Binkwaffle pattern is "Snowpaca," with white alpacas on a gray ground, just in time for the winter holidays. Come in soon for the best selection -- these reversible fun bags go fast! We suggest filling a Binkwaffle bag (as we did in the photo) with Araucania's Alpaka Reina, a super soft worsted weight 100% alpaca yarn that will be perfect for luxurious accessories such as scarves, cowls, mitts and hats--great for the special folks on your holiday list. Also pictured in the bag is Shibui's elegant alpaca/merino blend, Maai. Maai is a squishably soft chainette-construction yarn that comes in Shibui's trademark sophisticated colors.


From The Fibre Company we have Road to China Light, their incredibly soft, heathered DK-weight blend of alpaca, silk, camel, and cashmere fiber, including four new colors. We've also restocked their Acadia (a wool, alpaca, and silk blend) in a number of heathery colors. Maggie knitted up a pair of fingerless mitts (Churchmouse's Welted Fingerless Mitts, with modifications!) in Acadia, color Sea Lavender. They are plush, warm and lovely.


If you enjoyed the Shibui trunk show we hosted during the Yarn Crawl, we have good news for you! Another trunk show of Shibui garments is coming in January 2018. Expect garments appropriate for SoCal wear that show off Shibui's unique approach to design, color and fiber types. The trunk show is scheduled to be at The Black Sheep for Jan. 9 - 23, 2018.

Our sale of Noro yarns, hardcover books and pattern booklets continues until Dec. 23. Noro yarns are 10% - 50% off, hardcover books are 20% off, and pattern booklets are 50% off.

Looking back over a year filled with new fiber adventures, we're grateful to all of you for your enthusiasm, creativity, and continued support. We wish everyone a joyous holiday season, and we hope that your new year will be filled with fun and enough time to explore where you want to go next. Please keep us posted, and remember we ALWAYS love show-and-tell.

Karen, Maggie, and Kathy

November 2017 Newsletter

Holiday hours –
Wednesday November 22nd - 10:00-4:00
Thursday November 23rd - closed all day for Thanksgiving.

Team Black Sheep (Karen, Kathy and Maggie) wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving! We hope you will find time to play with fiber over the holiday weekend.

Black Friday at The Black Sheep!


All Noro yarns will be on sale 10% - 50% off from Friday, Nov. 24 through Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017. Limited to stock on hand, and all sales of Noro yarns will be final.

Also on Sale!
PATTERN BOOKLETS • 50% OFF yarn company pattern booklets/leaflets!

The following yarn company booklets are included: Sublime, MinnowKnits, Berroco, Elsebeth Lavold, Swedish Yarns, Classic Elite, Noro, Louisa Harding, Debbie Bliss, Katia, Tahki Stacy Charles, Ella Rae, Lana Grossa, and Rowan.

Our hardcover and softcover books are 20% off during Nov. 24 - Dec. 23. (Note, single sheet patterns are not included in the sale.) Help us recoup some space by adopting a book for the holidays!

The cooler weather makes us look forward to many months of making -- gifts for the holidays; festive accessories such as hats, socks and mitts to warm heads, feet, hands, and hearts. To aid that process may we suggest:

Our original "Grab and Go Cowl" kits contain 1 Ball of Berroco’s Folio, and 1 ball of Tahki Stacy Charles Luna.

The next generation of these quick and easy Grab and Go kits contain 1 ball Folio, and one ball of Luna Effects.

Just in time for the holidays Maggie has completed a lovely sample of the latest and greatest version of this kit – appropriately named Glam and Go. It contains 1 ball of Folio plus Gioiello – a mohair wool blend that adds a little extra sparkle to the project.

Alchemy's Ibiza scarf, a fabulous one-skein kerchief of hand-dyed silk and sparkle. Alchemy's free pattern is included with purchase of their yarn. All of us on Team Black Sheep wear our Ibiza scarves frequently, and consider them fiber jewelry.
The Shifting Silk Scarf kits, a three-ball diagonal scarf knit in a silk noil yarn, a slub silk yarn and a silk/cotton blend yarn. The kit comes in a clear plastic cup which doubles as a yarn bowl, and includes a free pattern. We recently replenished our supply, so we currently have a good choice of colors.

Our Tangled Lines on the Bay cabled knit hat pattern and Gullwing Crocheted Beanie pattern make great one- or two-skein hats. Both hats were designed by Black Sheep staffers Kathy and Maggie; the patterns are available for purchase in the shop, as well as beautiful yarns with which to make them (we highly recommend Malabrigo Rios).
Speaking of the upcoming Holidays, be sure you are in The Black Sheep's Big Black Book! It is a wish list/gift registry, so any would-be gift givers have the inside track on what you want and need. This is very helpful for out of town gift givers; when they call us, we can make suggestions from your listing. Of course, a Black Sheep gift certificate is always a great suggestion!

What's on our needles?

With an eye to cooler weather, Kathy has started work on a Library Vest (a classic, wear-with-everything pattern by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas). She's been eager to try out The Fibre Company's Acadia yarn (60% wool, 20% alpaca, 20% silk), so she's making her vest with this yarn. Ask her how it's going.

Maggie is finishing up a Risoni variation of the Sorrento Valley Shawl (designed by our very own Kathy!). She's using 6 glowing colors of Risoni. a thick and thin 100% silk from Beet Street Yarns, along with a skein of Alchemy Sparky, because Kathy's love of sparkle is rubbing off on her. Then on to some holiday knitting ... hats and the Churchmouse welted fingerless mitts.

And luckily for Maggie, she can now knit mitts on Flips. Flexi-Flips, that is!

The brand new Addi Flexi-Flips have rolled onto The Black Sheep's showroom floor, and these little beauties are really getting our engines running. A hybrid of double-pointed needles and circular needles, this dual tip design features an Addi Turbo tip on one side and a Rocket tip on the other side, with a super short cable in between. We encourage you to come in and take the Flexi-Flips for a spin. We think this will initiate a whole new way to navigate the twists and turns of small circumference circular knitting.
The "Precipitous" mitts knitted on Flexi-Flips are Karen's new project. Featuring Malabrigo Sock, and designed by Hunter Hammersen, she hopes the learning curve on her mitts will not be as steep as the name implies!


The Yarnover Truck will be at The Black Sheep on Saturday, December 2, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. If you've already explored this yarn shop on wheels, you know what a treat to expect, and if you haven't yet met Barbra and Maridee, we hope that you'll come by and see what they offer. They stock yarns from several indie dyers--skeins that you're unlikely to see in brick-and-mortar shops. And of course we hope to see you at The Black Sheep on that day as well.

We continue to hold our Saturday morning Knit Clinics, which are scheduled from 10:00 - noon on Saturdays. You can call in advance to reserve a specific half-hour session, or you can simply walk in during that time, keeping in mind that customers with a reservation are given priority.

September 2017 Yarn Crawl Newsletter!

Welcome to the 5th Annual San Diego Yarn Crawl!
September 15- 17, 2017

    We are looking forward to the best Crawl ever! We are in Sheep Shape and Fiber Fashion - ready for your incredible voyage to see and enjoy all the wonderful colors, textures and types of yarns we have collected just for you.

    To avoid confusion during the Crawl, here's how our free patterns will work this year:

  • Printed Pattern: Surprise Disguise for knit or crochet, with a link to:

  • Our two custom designed patterns - by Kathy French, a knitted hat, and Maggie McDonald, a crocheted hat - which you can download free until September 30

  • If you purchase yarn to knit or crochet either (or both!) of our custom patterns up until September 30, you will get a printed copy of the pattern so you can start right now!

  • If you do not make it to the Crawl, we hope you will download the free patterns and we will honor the 10% off on both the featured yarns until September 30.

  • Click here to go to the free pattterns:

Special Yarn Crawl Hours:

Thursday, Friday and Saturday - 9:00 am to 6:00 pm

Sunday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Special Sunday bonus - the Yarnover Truck will be at our location as well!

August 2017 Newsletter

It's been a great first year!

It was a pleasure to see everyone who joined us for our First Anniversary celebration in Sorrento Valley! If you weren’t able to make it, come in soon – we miss you!
New stock!

Two fingering-weight sock yarns have arrived from a small, independent hand-dyer called Apple Fiber Studio in Bellingham, Washington. All their yarns are named for apples or apple products. The first yarn is McIntosh; it is 60% superwash merino, 20% superfine alpaca and 20% Nylon. This 4-ply sock yarn comes in 437 yd. skeins, and has a fuzzy halo from the alpaca. The owner of Apple Fiber Studio assured us that McIntosh can be machine laundered, even with the alpaca content, with the following procedure: use cold water on the gentle cycle, then lay flat to dry. If you like a little sparkle, Apple Fiber's second yarn is for you: Sparkling Cider. This sock-weight yarn is 75% superwash merino, 20% Nylon, and 5% Stellina (a Nylon fiber that is metallic-toned), and comes in 438 yd. skeins. Sparkling Cider's tonal solid colorways will be wonderful for socks or shawls. Come in soon to see and touch these fun new yarns.

We also received from Zen Yarn Garden a shipment of their Superfine Fingering yarn. This yarn, in very trendy speckled colorways, is very soft and wearable (90% superfine superwash merino, 10% nylon) and will make luxurious socks, scarves, and cowls -- or whatever else you fancy. In addition, this shipment included 3-color and 4-color gradient sets of the same yarn base (approximately 200 yards/skein, so a total of 600 or 800 yards per set). The 3-skein sets combine the closely related tones, while each 4-skein set is composed of 2 related shaded solid skeins, 1 speckled skein, and a variegated skein.

We have two new (to us) yarns from The Fibre Co.: Arranmore Light, a tweedy DK-weight yarn of 80% merino, 10% silk and 10% cashmere (328 yards per skein) in a range of colors. This lofty yarn will be perfect for scarves, cowls, hats, fingerless gloves, and vests to get you through the frozen San Diego winter, and it will make wearable and comfortable sweaters, too. We also now have Acadia, a soft DK-weight yarn that is 60% merino, 20% alpaca, and 20% silk (145 yards per skein) and has a beautiful drape. We currently stock 6 subtly lovely colors and expect to add 3 more very soon.

Back again!

A shipment from the wonderful and creative folks at Shibui has come in. We've restocked some of the luxurious silk/mohair blend Silk Cloud, as well as their glossy DK-weight cotton chainette Rain, their tweedy, textured linen/recycled silk/wool blend Twig, and their new fingering-weight linen chainette yarn Reed. Also in the shipment were a selection Shibui's spring/summer 2017 pattern collection. If you are attracted to Shibui's elegantly understated designs and sophisticated yarns, we're proud to tell you that during the San Diego Yarn Crawl The Black Sheep will be hosting two Shibui trunk shows that will include many garments appropriate for SoCal wear!

A recent shipment from Malabrigo brought us newly-released colorways of some of our favorite yarns and allowed us to restock colors that were depleted. These yarns include Rios (100% merino, 210 yards per skein), Arroyo (100% merino, 330 yards per skein), Mechita (100% merino, 420 yards per skein), Sock (100% merino, 440 yards per skein), and Caracol (100% merino, 90 yards).
Looking toward the winter holidays, from Filatura di Crossa we have new colors of gorgeous Gioiello (220 yards; 30% mohair, 30 % wool, 20% polyamide, 10% cotton, and 10% polyester). Replenishing Gioiello has allowed us to put together a whole new crop of our Glam and Go cowl kits, perfect for wearing or gift giving. In addition, we have restocked Filatura's Baby Kid Extra (268 yards; 80% mohair, 20% polyamide) in several colors, which allowed us to put together several new versions of our very popular Grab and Go cowl kits. And finally, also from Filatura comes Night and New Smoking to use as a carry-along adding sparkle or iridescence to your special project.
The Color of Collaboration

The Black Sheep design team – Karen, Maggie and Kathy – all love to play with color, so they decided to create a custom colored yarn for the shop. Each person contributed a color concept that: had always resonated in their soul; brought to mind very special memories; or spoke to the artist within. With the help of Mountain Colors, two yarns were selected, River Wash Sport and Silkdance. River Wash is a springy, sturdy sport weight merino yarn (100% superwash merino wool, 345 yards per skein), which will have excellent stitch definition and would be suitable for a broad range of projects. Silkdance is soft and luxurious fingering weight yarn (75% merino wool, 25% silk, 430 yards per skein). It will be wonderful for special scarves, cowls, or wraps--any project that will be enhanced by elegant drape and sheen. The dream has now become a reality – “Abalone” has arrived! It is subtle, elegant and complex. Come in, see the colors, feel the textures. You, too, can be swept away into the delight of creative expression through fiber!
It’s in the bag!

That is, the 5th Anniversary San Diego Yarn Crawl bag, now available at The Black Sheep. But it looks so sad when it’s flat and empty – it needs to be filled up with yarny goodness! We can help with that!
Closed for Labor Day

The Black Sheep will be closed Monday, September 4th 2017 in celebration of Labor Day. Have a great day!

July 2017 Newsletter

It's been a year since our move!!

Can you believe that soon we will be celebrating our First Anniversary in our new location in Sorrento Valley? We can't believe it either! We offer heartfelt thanks to all our loyal customers who followed us from Encinitas and to all the new friends we've made during this past year.

New to us is Sublime's Evie Prints, a worsted weight cotton/nylon blend (94% cotton, 6% nylon, 126 yards/50 gram ball). With a soft cabled, nubbly, lightly brushed texture and variegated appearance that is both striped and speckled, this promises to be a fun yarn that could be particularly effective for baby items that can be hand washed and dried flat.

From Mountain Colors we have received three new yarns:

We have multiple colors of Winter Lace Jr. a lovely 50% wool/50% silk blend (600 yds.) laceweight yarn. The slightly variegated colors of Winter Lace Jr. go handsomely with the solid color laceweights we carry if you're contemplating a multi-color lace project. It will stand alone as well to show off any lovely lace pattern.

For knitters who love fingering/sock weight yarns (we sure do!) we were lucky to receive several colors of their newest yarn, Silkdance (75% Merino, 25% silk, 430 yds./100 gram skein), which is just flying out the door, so come in for a look soon. The vibrant colors of this yarn are enhanced by its intrinsic sheen, soft hand and elegant drape.

We also have a limited stock of River Twist, which is a multicolored, springy 100% merino wool that is not superwash (240 yds./100 gram skein). The colors will produce a subtle striped and tweedy effect.

We also recently received from Frabjous Fibers a large number of silk hankies in wonderful colors. The silk hankies just glow; there is no other description for their beauty. A silk hanky is a very thin piece of silk filament that has been stretched over a frame and dyed; each 1 oz. package contains a compressed stack of 30 or more single hankies. Some of our hankies from Frabjous Fibers are in solid colors, and others are in multicolor gradients. You can use silk hankies in felt-making, you can spin yarn from them, or you can even just draw out the fibers and knit straight from the hanky.


In June we sold out of our first shipment of Beet Street Yarn's Shifting Silk Scarf kits, and we happily ordered more! These charming kits include three coordinating balls of Thai silk along with a pattern that combines the yarns in a long, narrow color-blocked scarf. The yarns in the kit are Fusilli-80, a silk/cotton blend; Speck, a matte silk; and Risoni, a thick and thin shiny silk. Each kit is packaged in a clear plastic cup, and we have the kits in 12 distinctive colorways.

If you like soft hands when you work on your craft of choice, we have the answer: Lo-Lo lotion bars. These solid lotion bars are made in Vancouver, Washington, from essential oils and locally-sourced beeswax. Each lotion bar is packed in a small tin that fits easily into your notions bag. Before you sit down to work, just rub a little on your hands! We also carry Lo-Lo Lips, a lip conditioner. Who can resist a spicy "Betty Boo" lotion bar or a fruity "Bling Cherry" lip conditioner? Not us!


Hot out of the box:

Two fingering/sock weight yarns in shaded solid colors from Sweet Georgia (a very talented independent dyer in Vancouver, BC)! First up is Bulletproof Sock (50% superwash merino, 15% silk, 15% mohair, 20% nylon; 437 yds./100 grams). This lovely yarn has drape and shimmer from the silk married to longevity from the mohair and nylon, wrapped together in soft merino. We can't wait to work with it! Next is Flaxen Silk Fine. This yarn is a smooth, lush blend of 65% silk and 35% linen (480 yds./4 ounces) and promises to have fabulous drape. Flaxen Silk Fine is a luxurious blend of fibers that is perfect for lightweight summer wear in Southern California.


In the near future we should also receive two fingering/sock weight yarns from the Apple Fibers Studio in Bellingham, Washington: McIntosh (60% Merino wool, 20% superfine alpaca, 20% nylon; 437 yards/100 gram skein) and Sparkling Cider (75% Merino wool, 20% nylon, 5% Stellina; 438 yards/100 gram skein). The owner of Apple Fibers Studio tells us that McIntosh, even though it has alpaca in it, can be machine laundered!

An order from the lovely folks at Shibui should be arriving shortly. We're restocking their fingering-weight linen Reed, glossy cotton chainette Rain, and tweedy Twig. Also along for the ride are a couple of colors of lofty silk/mohair blend Silk Cloud.

We'll keep you posted on our latest acquisitions!


Shhh! Maggie and Kathy are working diligently on our new patterns for the upcoming San Diego Yarn Crawl. For now our lips are sealed!

And Karen is planning an anniversary event beginning on Sat. July 22nd. Details to follow next week!

June 2017 Newsletter

It's summer knitting season!

Whether you're thinking of knitting a lightweight shawl to cover your shoulders in an over-air conditioned room or looking forward to autumn with a wool or silk scarf, shawl, or sweater in mind, The Black Sheep has a wide variety of yarns to support your special project.
New arrivals!

Three kinds of magic! That is, three different varieties of Zauberball from Schoppel. "Zauber" means "magic" in German, so these yarns are called "magic yarn," and we agree. Our three types of Zauberball are: the original Zauberball, Zauberball 100, and Crazy Zauberball. Each of these yarns is fingering-weight and has long color repeats. The original Zauberball is 75% superwash wool, 25% nylon, and comes in single-strand 460 yd. balls. Zauberball 100 is also a single-strand yarn, and has 440 yds. of 100% superwash merino wool. Lastly, Crazy Zauberball has the same fiber content and yardage as the original Zauberball, but it is a two-ply yarn, with each ply of the fiber carrying the colors from a slightly different place in the color sequence, giving the finished yarn a fun, marled appearance

We have received another shipment of The Fibre Company's incredibly soft and luxurious Road to China yarns. Both yarns must be seen --and touched-- to appreciate how special they are. Both of them are fabulous blends of 65% baby alpaca, 10% cashmere, 10% camel, and 15% silk. Road to China Light is DK-weight and has a more heathered appearance than Road to China Lace. We think you'll enjoy seeing and feeling the new colors of both of these fabulous yarns.

More gradient Transitions shawl kits from Trendsetter have arrived, as well as two other kinds of kits using two new yarns: Transitions Tweed and Transitions Smoothies. All three of these cotton-and-acrylic 4-ply yarns includes color changes that produce an ombre. The Transitions Tweed includes bits of tweedy cotton fleck in the yarn and comes in a 660 yd. cake. Smoothies is a version of Transitions that is composed of "5 colors that move into 12 transitioning blocks without solids," giving a marled appearance. Smoothies comes in an 880 yd. cake. Each yarn kit comes in its own clear plastic carry box and includes a pattern.

We can't get enough Malabrigo ... and it seems like you can't either. We recently got in a shipment from Malabrigo that included some of the ever-popular Rios and Arroyo, as well as replenishing our supply of Sock in those beautiful and difficult-to-keep-in-stock blue colorways.

BIG NEWS!! We've been notified that 16 colors of Dos Tierras are due to arrive on June 19. We will work very hard to get it on the shelves by Tuesday, June 20th. This beautiful new Malabrigo yarn (50% merino wool and 50% baby alpaca) comes in 210 yard skeins. It knits with an interesting, slightly pebbly surface. Come in and pat it.

More of those interesting Japanese yarns have arrived from Ito, including the popular lace-weight mohair/silk blend Sensai at 262 yds. per ball. Kin Gin (328 yds. on each cone) is a fine sparkly yarn that can be carried along with another yarn to provide subtle--but effective--visual interest. We carry Kin Gin in several metallic colorways. Also in the shipment is Serishin, a glowing 100% silk tape; its 317 yds. come on a cone.


For all you spinners, weavers, and felters out there, a shipment just arrived that includes many colors of 100% merino roving, several colors of merino/silk roving, a few drop spindles, and a small loom. The loom is an Ashford Sample-It rigid heddle with a 10"-wide weaving area. This little loom is a great way to learn a lot about weaving and to produce interesting projects without investing in a more complicated and expensive floor- or table-loom.

New buttons! More equipment! A small selection of shell and metal buttons from Skacel Buttons has arrived. In addition to buttons, we have replenished our stock of crochet hooks, wooden knitting needles, darning needles, Eucalan delicate wash, and lots of other notions.

New colors of old favorites: we've replenished our stock of sport-weight Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino with popular colors of pinks, blue, gray, and white, and restocked 2 different reds in Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal. We also received new colors of popular Juniper Moon yarns: 2 new colors (dark teal and light blue) of lace-weight Findley, and a new dark aqua color of cotton/linen blend Zooey. Finally, we have restocked the extremely popular #S349 colorway (charcoal/rust/orange/gold) of Noro's Silk Garden Sock, as well as adding a lovely new color called "Moonstones" (#S436 - soft grays/blue/pink/purple/green).

We have restocked two very popular Berroco yarns: Folio and Indigo. Folio is a sport-weight alpaca/rayon blend with a lovely soft hand. It has long been a staple component of our popular Grab and Go Cowl kits. We have put together a fresh new glamorous version of the Grab and Go Cowl: welcome the "Glam and Go" Cowl! The Glam and Go Cowl kits pairs Folio with Filatura di Crosa's Gioiello, a kid mohair/extra-fine merino blend with a shimmering strand of nubbly metallic running through it. If you're thinking about getting ready for the holidays (yes, we know some of you are planning ahead!), the new Glam and Go Cowl is perfect, let's-stock-up, easy summer vacation knitting. Indigo is a cotton yarn made from recycled jeans. Yes indeed! It works up at a worsted weight and has a slightly nubbly, rustic appearance. Both Folio and Indigo come in 219 yd. skeins.
Just in time to hold your summer projects, several new bags have arrived from Binkwaffle! Created and sewn in Oklahoma from designer fabrics, these fun, reversible project bags come in 2 sizes: large and small "dumpling" bags. The last shipment brought bags made from some of our --and your-- favorite fabric designs, like "Love Bus," "Cat's Meow," and "Hooty."

Coming Attractions

If you like silk, we have good news. Some silk yarn and silk hankies are coming from Frabjous Fibers. The silk hankies are suitable for use in felting or spinning, or you can even knit the fiber from them without spinning them first!

We have two fingering-weight yarns on order from Apple Yarns, a small independent dyer in Bellingham, Washington. Coming is a sock yarn with sparkle, as well as a merino blend sock yarn with some alpaca in it. Machine washable too!

If you like soft hands when you work on your craft of choice, we have the answer: Lo-Lo lotion bars. These solid lotion bars are made of locally-sourced beeswax and essential oils in Vancouver, Washington. Each lotion bar is packed in a small tin that fits easily into your notions bag. Before you sit down to work, just rub a little on your hands! We also carry Lo-Lo Lips, a lip conditioner. Our new order should be arriving soon.

Reminder -- Knit Clinic with Kathy continues on Saturday mornings from 10:00 to noon. The cost is $10 for a 30 minute one-on-one session with Kathy to help fix your knitting problems. Give us a call to reserve a time, or come in during those hours.

What's on our needles?

Kathy and Maggie have finished their Kallara shawls (designed by Ambah O'Brien). We're both pleased with the results! Kathy is finishing her Sorrento Valley Shawl in Risoni, a Thai silk thick and thin yarn, with some Alchemy Sparky thrown in. Maggie is working on a Shifting Silk Scarf kit (more of these kits are on order). Next for both our intrepid knitters is the Simple Tee by Churchmouse Yarns. What's on your needles -- or hooks? We would love to know and want to see!

It's hard to believe, but The Black Sheep is approaching our first anniversary in our new location in Sorrento Valley. We're thinking some kind of celebration is in order. Stay tuned for more details!


The Black Sheep will be closed Tuesday, July 4th in observance of Independence Day.

May 2017 Newsletter


Mother's Day, May 14th, is almost upon us! If you are looking for a gift for a mom in your life, please come in and see us for some suggestions. If you are a mom with a love of all things fibery, send the aspiring gift-givers in your life along to us, especially if you have filled out a wish list with us.


ANOTHER REMINDER-- Knit Clinics continue on Saturday mornings from 10:00 until noon and during May from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. (Please note: Teacher Kathy will be out of town on Sat. May 27th, so there will not be a Clinic that day.) You can give us a call to pre-register for a time slot in advance, or just stop by, and we will fit you in to the schedule. The cost is $10 for up to 30 minutes of one-on-one assistance from Kathy.

Just in!

Dos Tierras from Malabrigo! A small selection from our order has finally arrived. Hooray! We've been waiting months to get our hands on this yarn, and our patience has been rewarded. This lovely DK-weight yarn is 50% merino wool and 50% alpaca, and comes in 210 yd. skeins. Because the alpaca and wool fibers absorb the dye slightly differently, the skeins have a softly heathered appearance. In addition to the Dos Tierras, two new colors of Malabrigo's Mechita came in. Mechita is a fingering-weight single-ply 100% superwash merino; these new colors are intense tonals with some speckling. Mechita comes in 420 yd. super-soft skeins.



Calling all speckled yarn lovers! A shipment of Crazyfoot and Twizzlefoot from Mountain Colors in their "berry" series have arrived. We even have skeins of the newest "berry" color, Juneberry, in both Crazyfoot and Twizzlefoot. These bright and colorful fingering-weight skeins just make you smile. If you like a little nylon in your sock yarn, Crazyfoot is a good choice. It is 90% superwash merino / 10% nylon, and it is spun to have a lot of bounce in each 425 yd. skein. Twizzlefoot is Crazyfoot's slightly more refined sibling. Each 450 yd. skein is 53% superwash merino, 17% domestic wool (non-superwash), 17% silk and 13% nylon. Twizzlefoot feels softer and is less bouncy than Crazyfoot; because of its fiber content, it should be hand washed.

Along with the Crazyfoot and Twizzlefoot, we added several new afghan/throw kits from Mountain Colors. Each afghan kit contains 7 coordinating skeins of lovely yarn, along with a pattern booklet containing two knitted patterns and one crocheted pattern.

We recently received raku yarn bowls, buttons and pins from Lickin'Flames, a small pottery about an hour from Sacramento. These pieces have to be seen in person to do them justice; a photograph just can't capture the amazing iridescence of the glazes. We have several beautiful yarn bowls, along with shawl pins (with sticks), forked shawl pins, buttons, and pins. Some of the pins and all the forked shawl pins are decorated with black sheep (both ewes and rams). Of course!
We loved the needle cases in our last shipment from DellaQ so much that we had to order some more things. We have more of the silk zipped pouches and Tagalong notions pouches, and we have added Hanging Circular Needle Cases. The hanging cases are long silken rectangles with marked slots to hold your circular needles; you push the needle through the slot and let the tips dangle while the slot holds the cable securely and relatively straight, reducing the tendency of the cables to curl up. The cases come with ties, so you can tie the case onto a clothes hanger and keep it in a closet or behind a door./td>

We have also replenished our stock of Addi circular needles--Turbos, Rockets, and Lace-- in a variety of sizes and lengths, so if you are an Addi fan, we should be able to support you.

In our April newsletter, we told you about Trendsetter's Autumn Wind Confetti, a lovely blend of cotton and just a touch of cashmere. It's available in several speckled colorways. Since then Maggie got busy designing and knitting a summer-weight scarf that she's calling the Tutti Frutti Mesh Scarf to show off this special yarn (when you see it you'll understand the name), and her pattern will be available soon as well. As for the pattern mentioned last month for Kathy's self-fringing scarf made from Queensland's Savanna, it's now available in the shop.

AND IN THE FUTURE: Maggie and Kathy are making enough progress on their Kallara wraps that they're already dreaming about their next shared project, which is -- The Simple Tee from Churchmouse. We'll keep you posted.

The Black Sheep will be closed Monday, May 29th in observance of Memorial Day.

And finally, the dates for the 2017 San Diego Yarn Crawl have been set -- Thursday, September 14, through Sunday, September 17. Mark your calendars, and we'll be providing more information as plans unfold.  
To Get to Our "New" Location in Sorrento Valley: Link to Driving Directions:

April 2017 Newsletter


Good news! We intend to continue our Saturday morning knitting clinics with two modest changes that were suggested by participants.

1. Beginning on April 22, each person will have 30 minutes of individual attention.

2. Pre-registration: You can phone (858-481-6708) and sign-up in advance to reserve time in a specific hour, 10 - 11 a.m., 11 a.m. to noon, or 3 - 4 p.m. (Notice that we're adding an afternoon session.) We will take 2 people in each hour-long time-slot, and the person who arrives first will have the first 30-minute one-on-one session. Please arrive on time for your session, knowing that the longest you will need to wait is 30 minutes. If the hour you request is already full, please consider reserving in a different hour.

3. If you drop in without making a reservation, we will gladly accommodate you if we have time available, but customers who made prior reservations will have precedence. 

Thanks to all the participants in our trial month. You made the experiment a success!


Calling all moms (or husbands, daughters, sons, grandkids, etc)! Here are a few ideas for giving or requesting (don't forget our Big Black Book containing wish lists--yours or for someone you love):

A gift certificate

A set of interchangeable needles

An umbrella swift and/or a ball winder

Favorite YARN or accessories

Please come in for more suggestions!




Perfect for summer scarves and wraps is Risoni, by The Loom (distributed by Ryn Yarns). Risoni is a thick-and-thin 100% silk laceweight yarn from Thailand, and is available in 17 gorgeous colors. Each ball is 25 gr., which contains approximately 154-165 yards of radiantly colored silk. In addition to the Risoni, we also have a limited number of "Shifting Silk Scarf" kits from The Loom. Each kit includes a ball of Risoni, a ball of Speck (100% matte silk), a ball of Fusilli-80 (80% silk/20% cotton), and the scarf pattern, charmingly packaged up in a clear plastic cup. Each yarn has a unique texture, and the three yarns are color-coordinated to go together.

For lovers of speckled yarns, Trendsetter now offers Autumn Wind Confetti, a DK-weight yarn in an unusual fiber blend: 90% cotton/10% cashmere. This yarn promises to produce soft comfortable summer garments and accessories. Each skein has 175 yards of multi-colored fun. Maggie is quite taken with this yarn and plans to start a summer scarf to show it off.

Another yarn perfect for Southern California is Savanna from Queensland. This yarn is 66% silk/34% linen, and works up at DK-weight (20-22 sts. per inch on US 5-6 needles). Each skein contains 250 yards, and we stock 19 beautiful saturated colors. Kathy has created a self-fringing, striped, long rectangular scarf using three colors of Savanna (and some Toreador glitter from Lane Borgosesia) and is very pleased with the feel of the fabric produced. Kathy intends to have her scarf pattern available for sale at the shop soon. Meanwhile, please come in and check out the scarf and this new yarn.
New bags and needle cases from DellaQ! To help you get organized this spring, we suggest that you try one or more of our new DellaQ bags and cases. The Travel Wallet has slots for crochet hooks, DPNs, and circular needles, a zipped pocket for notions, and a small snapped strap to hold stitch markers. The Solely Socks Roll has slots to hold DPNs, and has a tiny zipper pocket for notions. The Tagalong zipped bag holds all your notions and can be combined with other pieces in the collection. The wallet, roll and Tagalong are all made of lovely silk. The Pippa Yarn Dispenser is made of interesting figured cotton fabric, and holds a ball of yarn. Ribbon ties cinch it closed at the neck, making an impromptu yarn bowl! Who knew that getting organized could be such fun?



We've added 5 new colors to our Gleem Lace selection, in addition to restocking several popular colors. This glowing laceweight blend of silk and Blue Faced Leicester wool from the British company Fyberspates has us all under its spell for its soft hand and amazing colors. The new colors include Spiced Plum, Mixed Magentas, Peacock, Crocus, Lavender Haze and Sea Green. They join old color favorites Tweed Imps, Pebble Beach, Deep Forest and Verdegris. This yarn has got to be seen to be believed-- and touched to appreciate its softness.

Just in time for spring and summer, new Transitions shawl kits from Trendsetter have arrived. This multi-strand cotton/acrylic blend is surprisingly plush and offers the true ombre effect, shading gradually from color to color along its length. Each shawl kit comes with its own box holding the yarn and a free knitted shawl pattern. Maggie knitted up a sample shawl for the shop, so come on in to check it out.

We have more Squishy in stock! Hooray! We've just received a shipment of Anzula Squishy. This fingering-weight yarn is perfect for socks, shawls and other accessories. Known for its lovely shaded semi-solid colors, this super soft superwash merino/cashmere/nylon yarn is one of our favorites. Everyone who handles it has to squish it in their hands; truth in advertising here!

More silk "Knit out" boxes and striped cotton zipper bags have come in from Lantern Moon. The Knit Out boxes are beautiful, soft versions of yarn bowls; they have a hole in the front of the box to feed the yarn end through and fabric knot buttons to hold the box closed. The zipper bags are oval-shaped and have a rustic, brightly striped fabric exterior and solid color interior lining. They are big enough to hold multiple balls of yarn (perfect for the popular striped shawls requiring two colors of yarn).


We're STILL awaiting the arrival of "Dos Tierras", a new alpaca/merino blend from Malabrigo. The latest word from Malabrigo is "soon." Stay tuned for further developments . . .

More Twizzlefoot and Crazyfoot sock yarns from Mountain Colors in their "Berry" (that is, speckled) series are on order, including a new color for 2017.

Lovely Raku yarn bowls, buttons and shawl pins from LickinFlames should be arriving very soon.


Kathy and Maggie have started a two-woman knit-along! Our pattern is a striped shawl by Ambah O'Brien called "Kallara." Kathy's shawl features the strong colors of rust, orange, gold, blue, and brown, while Maggie is using softer colors, a speckled white and slately blues. What yarns are we using, you ask? Kathy is using Malabrigo Sock (color: Marte) with Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock (color: Sock Club 2017, it's a secret) and Maggie is using Mountain Colors Twizzlefoot (color: Snowberry) and Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock (color: Dusty Blues; a Christmas present from Kathy; she knew, didn't she?). We'll keep you posted on our progress.

What's on YOUR needles? We'd love to know!


Congratulations to the winners in our final "Four Seasons of Fiber" gift basket drawing: Cheryl, Ian, Patty, and Rebecca! In addition, congratulations to the winners of the "Four Seasons of Fiber" guessing game: Grace, Jeff, Irina, and Tessa. Each winner receives a $25 gift certificate to The Black Sheep. For the curious, we'll post in the shop the intended identity of each character, along with selected alternative guesses from our very creative customers. Stop by the shop to see them.


From The Fibre Co., we offer Road to China Lace and Road to China Light. Each yarn is a luxurious blend of 65% alpaca, 15% silk, 10% camel and 10% cashmere and is sumptuously soft. We can't stop patting it. Road to China Light is a sport-weight yarn (159 yds. per skein), works up at 6 - 6.5 sts. per inch on US 3 - 4 needles, and comes in softly heathered colors. Road to China Lace comes in 656 yd. skeins and works up at 8 - 10 sts. per inch on US 0 - 2 needles. We currently have Lace in a number of beautiful colors. Come in soon to touch these lovely yarns. You won't want to put them down!


We mentioned in our last newsletter that Shibui's Silk Cloud was expected soon. It's here! We currently have 11 colors of this soft, glowing 60% kid mohair, 40% silk yarn, and you'll discover that the generous amount of silk in this yarn makes it softer than many other mohair/silk blends. Silk Cloud is considered a lace-weight yarn, with 330 yds. per skein. Also from Shibui, we've received some Reed, which replaces their Linen (no longer available due to mill issues, not to a defect in the yarn). Reed is a fingering-weight, 100% linen chainette yarn, and we find it softer and drapier than the original Linen. We have some Linen in stock, and several colors of Reed. The 2 yarns have the same yardage and are interchangeable for gauge, so you can use them together.  
For fans of Classic Elite's cotton yarns Sprout and Seedling, there is now Mika! Super-soft Mika is 100% organic cotton and has a nubbly matte finish, just like cousins Sprout and Seedling. It is sport-weight at 165 yds. per hank and works up at 5.5 - 6 sts. per inch on US 2 - 4 needles. We have Mika in a wide range of colors. Mika will be perfect for baby items and other lightweight projects.

If you're looking for a fingering-weight merino baby yarn, we have a soft new yarn for you: DMC's aptly named 100% Baby. Each 245 yd. (50 gr.) ball is 100% superwash merino wool. We offer 100% Baby in 8 colors: white, cream, pastel yellow, pink, mint green, denim blue, pale gray, and medium gray.

Fun new project bags from Mybaggees have arrived. These mesh bags come in 3 sizes, have snap closures (a nice detail for anyone who has ever gotten their yarn caught in the zipper teeth of a zipped bag), and detachable wrist straps. We carry 3 colors--black, silver and burgundy--in each size.


Our back ordered shipment of Malabrigo's Caracol came in! We now have Caracol in several popular colors, including Aniversario, Archangel, Solis, Piedras, Indiecita, Diana, and Natural. Plus, we added a new purple/magenta color: Hollyhock. In addition to the Caracol, we restocked Malabrigo Sock, Arroyo, and Baby Silkpaca Lace, along with the ever-popular Rios and Mecha. Malabrigo Book #11 is hot off the presses and filled with fun projects celebrating Malabrigo's 10th anniversary! The patterns in the book showcase their anniversary colorway Aniversario, a stunning color blend of magenta and blue violet with a twist of yellow and green. We offer the Aniversario colorway in several of Malabrigo's yarns.

Everyone loved our first shipment of Fyberspates' Gleem Lace so much that we sold out of it! Naturally, we had to order more. Our new shipment has arrived, and it is beautiful. Gleem Lace is a luxurious laceweight yarn in a blend of 55% superwash Blue-faced Leicester wool and 45% silk. It comes in a generous 874 yd. hank. Gleem Lace glows; there is no other word for it. We currently have it in 7 variegated and semi-solid colorways. Come in soon to touch and see this amazing yarn.

Just in! Pink worsted weight yarn in three different shades plus cream! If you're planning to make a hat from one of the downloadable patterns, we can support your project!

We've restocked our Noro Silk Garden Sock and expanded our collection of kits for Stephen West's very popular Spectra scarf. (We also have lots of colorways of this multi-colored yarn so you aren't limited to our kits: you can design your own!)

We also restocked two of our favorite cotton yarns: Classic Elite's Sprout and Seedling (cousins to our new Mika). Made of 100% matte-finished organic cotton, these yarns are wonderfully soft and slightly textured. They are very popular for baby blankets and clothes, and also for chemo caps. Sprout is the chunky yarn, working up on US 10 needle, while Seedling is the worsted weight version, using a US 7 needle. In addition to restocking some of the colors we usually carry, we added some new colors for 2017, including "bracken," an unusual greeny brown (Kathy calls it "breen."), "navy," and "cerulean," both lovely blues

For those who have asked for Juniper Moon's Zooey in neutral colors, we heard you and now have some in stock. We added 8 colors ranging from white to oatmeal, plus gray and aqua. Zooey is a sport-weight, textured blend of cotton and linen with a subtle marled appearance. It comes in 284 yd. balls and is perfect for crisp spring/summer garments and accessories.

If you're looking for thin metallic yarn to carry along with another yarn to boost your project's sparkle quotient, we've just received a shipment of Toreador by Lane Borgosesia. Each 198 yd. ball is a blend of viscose and polyester (that's the sparkle). Our shipment of 10 colors included silver, gold, pewter, charcoal, fuchsia, dark blue, light blue, copper, aqua multi, and teal multi.

A selection of small dumpling bags from Binkwaffle have arrived, including a couple of new fabrics for 2017. For all you cat lovers out there, one of the new fabric patterns is "Cat's Meow," featuring stylized cat faces in orange and white.
In the accessories department, we've restocked both fixed and interchangeable knitting needles from Addi and Knitter's Pride (including Dreamz, Naturalz, and Cubics). We've also made up charming little accessory tins that hold darning needles, stitch markers, snips, and point protectors, and some tins include a fun black sheep magnet.


"Dos Tierras," a new alpaca/merino blend from Malabrigo. The latest word from Malabrigo is that they expect to ship our yarn at the end of March or early in April. More Hempathy (blend of hemp, cotton and Modal, a man-made fiber) from Elsebeth Lavold is expected, in lots of colors.
New Location: Link to Driving Directions:

Copyright 2017 • The Black Sheep • 11675 Sorrento Valley Rd. #H • San Diego, CA 92121 • 858-481-6708 •