Saturday, April 09, 2016

In the Basket

Husband: What are you making now?
Me: A sweater.
Husband: But didn't you just finish a sweater?
Me: ???

What: Flaum sweater by Justyna Lorkowska
Yarn: Quince & Co. Owl, color Lagoon
Needles: 4.5 mm circular
Feeling: so cushy... love it!

I went with the pattern yarn to make sure I get the right drape. I don't think this sweater would work out great from a yarn that's very drapey. Owl has lots of loft and structure and holds its shape well.

I bought this cute little project bag from Ravelry. They were sold at a discount because the text has a typo. Go ahead, try and find it!

Friday, April 01, 2016

Candidate for new favorite sweater yarn?

I'm always on the lookout for a good sweater yarn. Something that is the right weight (about fingering to sport) looks good, feels good, behaves well (doesn't stretch or shrink or do other weird things), and most of all, doesn't pill.

I can't tell you how many sweaters I've made that look like they've been worn for years after just a couple of days of wear, or sometimes even before the damn thing is finished. I have finally learned my lesson that non-pilling is the most important quality in a sweater yarn, and it's worth paying a little extra money for. Even if I could knit two sweater out of cheap yarn for the price of one made out of good yarn, I've got far more use for one good sweater than two that look terrible.
Enter Mohawk Wool (the gray yarn here):

It's the right weight. It looks good and feels good. It behaves well.* And most of all, so far no evidence of pilling!

To be perfect, the yarn would be 100 % natural fibers. Mohawk feels quite woolly, but it actually has 10 % nylon. Oh, well. I guess you just can't have it all. The rest of the yarn is 60% Merino and 30% Romney Wool. One drawback is that Mohawk only comes in natural colors, ranging from off-white to dark gray and brown. Those are great colors for sweaters, but I do hope they expand their color selection at some point.

I used Mohawk to make Paulie, as seen here. 

Pattern: Paulie by Isabell Kraemer
Yarn: 350 g or 3.5 skeins Mohawk (about 1290 yards) and 85 g of Mad Hatter gradient mini skeins (about 200 yards)
Needles: 3.5 mm circular
Size: L
Thoughts: Thumbs up! It's comfy and fits well, and I love the yarns (both of them) and the colors.

I was also happy to find buttons to match from my LYS, Lakeside Yarn

*I initially had some concerns about biasing. I use a center-pull ball and usually have no problems with the little bit of twist it adds/removes. This time there was a noticeable amount of biasing in the bottom and center section of the body, which I suspect was caused by not enough twist. However, after wet blocking and when I'm wearing the sweater, I don't notice it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The most softestest awesomest yarn...

(Yes, softestest is a thing. Not a typo.)

Yesterday I drove over to my favorite yarn shop (The Yarnery in St Paul, MN) over lunch to find some yarn for a shawl project. I usually browse through the different sections of the store even if I have a particular yarn and project in mind, just to see what's new. And to touch yarn, because, as you know, touching yarn just makes you feel better. And who doesn't need to feel better on a Monday?

Anyhow, I came across a little sample knitted out of Shibui Knits Pebble. O.M.G. This yarn... it was the softest, the most beautiful tactile experience, while looking like Real Wool. (You know, a little rough, not too smooth or shiny.) It's made out of recycled silk, merino, and cashmere. And while those are all wonderful fibers, I rarely go for something with silk or cashmere, and I've started to move away from merino toward more Real Wool containing yarns. But this stuff... I wanted to wrap myself in it, rub it on my face, and not let go.

Pebble on the left with a ball of Zauberball Original
But this awesome buttery stuff was not cheap. Over $18 for 25 g. So I settled for one skein, which I will use as a contrast color in my shawl, just to remind myself of the awesomeness that exists.

When the world seems to be going crazy, it's good to have something to remind you of wonderful and beautiful things out there.