All my pretty ones

Do you have beautiful yarn that you are saving for that special project? You don’t know what that project is, but you are sure you will know it when you see it. Do you, like Gollum in Lord of the Rings, keep that precious skein hidden waiting for that some day when inspiration strikes you. Well, I have lots of those skeins of yarn.  They are too special to just make something ordinary with. I need just the right project.

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/windshield

I was trying to sort through my yarn stash to pick out what yarn I am going to take with me on vacation. I am thinking I want to make Windshield, a slouchy hat using a DK weight yarn. Well, first of all, I thought it was a worsted weight yarn and went through all my special worsted weight yarn and I could not find one that seemed right.  If I have two balls of a yarn, I don’t want to use one and not the other, so those went back into storage. Do I really want a brown hat, even though it is a beautiful smooshy yarn?

I couldn’t find anything that I wanted to use.  Once I realized I was looking for the wrong gauge, it was on to my DK stash.  Nothing there felt right either.  Am I going to have to buy another special ball of yarn?  Surely I have some yarn that would look beautiful in this hat. Should I pick another pattern?

 

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/take-two-skirt

Well, then I got side tracked by all my beautiful fingering weight yarn- and there is a lot of it! I want to make a skirt for my daughter.  I like the Take two skirt by Ann Budd, but I want to shorten it. Not sure how that will work.  It is a lot of fingering weight knitting, so not sure whether I want to start that one, but I think I have the perfect yarn for it.

So I am no farther ahead, an hour later and no yarn picked out. I did find the helical hat that I am mostly done knitting and will take to finish off. I found a few balls of sock yarn I had forgotten about and might take to try some new variations on toe up socks.

 

 

But what about those special balls I still have in my stash? Should I take a couple with me just in case I get some inspiration? It would be two less balls in my stash if I actually do something with them. Or I could just set them on my dresser at the cottage and admire them until I take them home and put them away again.

How Do I Get Rid of All Those UFO’s?

I have finished knitting a bunch of my knitting projects – my husband’s scarf that took almost 2 years to knit ( 4 different patterns, each ripped out when part way through the scarf until my husband and I finally both liked the pattern), Irena’s cat mittens and a couple of ribbed scarves. I made a bunch of cowls and some hats  – all quick projects.  I have gone through the house and put my UFO’s (unfinished objects) into bags so that I can just pick up the bag with one project in it. I, of course, have also started a few more projects as well. I have a shawl that is basically 2/2 ribbing and is about 24 inches wide which is more than half way done.  It is a little boring but I am sure it will be done before the end of the summer.  I have a summer short sleeved sweater that I put down probably more than 5 years ago and I only have from the arm holes up to do so it is more than half finished too. I am hoping to get that done so I can actually wear it this summer. I have a bunch of single socks waiting for mates but so many new sock yarns that I am not very motivated to do the matching socks. There are also a few smaller projects that I can pick up and finish fairly quickly. I will try to finish one UFO for every new project I start.

Working in a yarn store, I see new yarn all the time so it is hard sometimes not to start knitting with whatever yarn is the newest.  It is always nice when someone come in with a project that they have knit with yarn they purchased. It is almost like I had the experience of knitting it myself.  Sometimes you just want to see how the yarn knits up and seeing other people’s projects satisfies that urge.  Even helping someone pick out yarn for a project is almost as satisfying as picking it out for my own project.

Some yarns just call out to me to knit them and seeing others knit with them is not enough. One of those yarns is the Shibui line, http://www.shibuiknits.com/.  I have knit a cowl in the Drift, which is a worsted weight Merino and Cashmere blend. I am also knitting a scarf with their Lunar, which is a lace weight Merino and silk blend and their Twig which is a linen, silk  and wool blend.  You hold the two yarns together to give a fabric with wonderful texture and drape.I hope to finish it in the next week or so and then work some more on my UFO’s.  I am sure there will be some new yarn that will catch my eye and will have me casting on something new before I finish all my UFO’s.

 

New to Rose’s – Shibui Knits, luxury knitting

We are so excited to have Shibui Knits now available.  The pattern support for these yarns is exquisite. The yarn has such great drape and fluidity.  These are garments that you will have for years and will never go out of style. The colours that Shibui Knit yarns come in are exquisite and run through the yarn line making it easier to combine the different yarns.

So far we have four of their yarns in stock – Drift, Silk Cloud, Cima and Twig – with more coming soon.

SIlk Cloud is one of the yarns for which Shibui is know.  It is a light air blend of 60% kid mohair and 40% silk. The glowing silk core and mohair haze make for a wonderful drape and stunning colour. It is perfect to use in combination with other yarns.

Drift is a worsted weight yarn of 85% merino and 155 cashmere for the feeling of pure luxury. It is perfect for scarves and accessories and has a lovely drape.

Cima is another one of the yarns for which Shibui is known.  It is a fingering weight blend of 70% baby alpaca and 30% merino. It knits up into a smooth fabric with beautiful drape.  It is often used in combination with their other yarns for a beautiful knit fabric.

Twig is a linen yarn in sport weight.  Its tweedy look gives garments a little bit of a rustic look. It is is crisp and flowing and will soften with every washing.

We have several patterns which are free with purchase of the corresponding yarns. I am itching to knit a few of them up. The colours of these yarns is almost luminescent. The simiplicity of the patterns with their unique details makes them timeless. Check out some of their designs at http://www.shibuiknits.com/collection/

Come in and check out this gorgeous new line.

Scarf knit with Shibui Knit yarn.

Knitting monogamy is not for me

Knitting monogamy is not for me. I am definitely a multi-project girl. I usually have a few projects on the go at the same time.  I sometimes envy those people who can stick to one project and not start another until the one is finished.  I see a new project and want to start on it right away.  Or I get bored with the one I am knitting and need to try something new.  Some projects just take too much concentration and I want a mindless knit to do while I read or watch tv.

Thprojects on the gois picture shows only a couple of the things I have on the go at the moment ( just the ones I brought to work today).  I have a scarf that I have finished knitting and just need to weave in the ends, another simple k1,p1 ribbed scarf (boring) and a pair of mitts done in fingering weight that will have a cat on them (medium concentration) and at home I have fingering weight scarf in a more complicated pattern which is taking forever to get done.  I am trying to get an inch a day done but  some days I just don’t have the patience to work on it.  The scarf is one I have tried 4 different patterns for and ripped out 3 times.  I am determined that I will finish it in time for fall.  No more ripping out, except for the mistakes I seem to make every time I am working on it.

There is also the sweater that I finished knitting more than 5 years ago and didn’t block before trying to sew it together and you can guess how that turned out.  It went into the bag to be pulled out some time in the future when I will undo the seams and block it before I sew it back together.

There is the wrap I started on a long car trip only to discover I hated knitting with the yarn but had nothing else to do for the 6 hours I was in the car. I am more than half way done that one. There are the numerous single socks waiting for mates and one pair that are on the needles with only a bit of the toe to go.

Do the projects that I have only done a couple of inches on before I abandoned them count? How about the top I was knitting for my honeymoon more than 25 years ago that is now hopelessly out of style? The hat I never did like anyway? The baby sweater for the baby that is now 5 years old?

Maybe I can try and be monogamous with at least one of the projects I have on the go.  The mitts are really cute.missy c mittens The pattern is available on ravelry.com at http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/missy-c. I will strive for knitting monogamy with this one project. I will let you know how that goes. I mean I do have to do two mittens which could be a little hard.

 

 

Unique Yarns

Everyone knows  yarns can be made of wool, cotton and acrylic.  People often just call yarn “wool” but there are many other fibres that can be made into yarn, some of which are unexpected.  There are some unique yarns out there that are made from unusual fibres.

Some we don’t even think of being “fibrous”. One example is milk.  Milk is a liquid. Who would think it could be made into yarn? Someone thought of it and figured out a way to spin the milk protein into fibres and make a yarn out of it.  Milk is cooked into a slurry with the milk proteins solidifying out, which are then pushed through the tiny holes of a spinnarette and formed into filaments which are spun into a yarn. Milk yarns have a nice sheen to them but do tend to be a bit on the pricey side.

Another unusual fibre made into yarn is paper.  We just got in some yarn from King Cole (http://www.kingcole.com/knitting-wool/raffia/) and Rico (http://www.rico-design.de/en/hand-knitting/hand-knitting-overview/creative-paper.html) that are made from 100% paper fibre.  What I find most amazing about it is that it is hand washable.  Now this is not a yarn you are going to want to wear on next to your skin but it has a lot of structure so it is great for making hats or baskets or placemats.  Usually this yarn is crocheted as most items need that extra bit of stiffness you get from crocheting but it can also be knit. Because the yarn is stiffer than most it makes for great sun hats as the brim stays stiff.

There is a new yarn out from Bernat called Maker that is a cotton acrylic blend but it looks like t shirt material.  There are instructions on line as to how to take old tshirts and make them into yarn but Bernat has done it for you and it is all ready to knit or crochet.

You can knit or crochet with wire as long the wire is flexible.  There are some beautiful crocheted and knit wire jewelry that can be found for sale online.

Let your imagination run wild and try knitting with some of these unique yarns.

 

Yarns appropriate for summer knitting

There are lots of great summer yarns with which you can work. As the days start to get longer (yeah! it is not dark after dinner), a lot of knitters think it is time to put the knitting needles away for 6 months.  I hear “it’s too hot to knit, I am too busy, I want to be outside”.  These are not good reasons not to knit for half of the year.  There are lots of yarns that are not made of wool so are not too hot to work with.  Even if you are busy you still need to take time to relax and knitting outside is the best – all that natural light makes it easy to see your knitting.

There are lots if summer appropriate yarns available as well as some great summer patterns. If you look for a plant based yarn as opposed to an animal based yarn, it will probably be a good yarn for summer garments. Bamboo, linen, corn and hemp based yarns are all suitable for summer knitting.

When you are looking at summer yarns, cotton is the most common one that comes to mind.  I find cotton a little hard to knit with as there is no elasticity.  Look for yarns that have some wool or acrylic mixed in with the cotton to give it some elasticity. Cotton has many properties that make it a good fibre for garments and home accessories. It is a very strong and durable material so it wears well.  It is not as apt to pill as some wools or acrylics.  It is highly absorbent, which makes it good for dishclothes and other home accessories.  It is breathable which makes it excellent for summer garments. Berroco has a new yarn out called Corsica that is a blend of cotton and cashmere and comes in a palette of soft pastels.  It would make a beatiful summer shawl or tank. Some other examples of cotton blend yarns are Berroco Modern Cotton, Berroco Weekend, Plymouth Jeanne, Bergere de France Coton 50 and SMC Punto.

COTON FIFTY BOURGEONMag. 178 #06 Cardigan Bergere Coton 50   https://www.plymouthyarn.com/sites/default/files/styles/yarn_zoom/public/yarn/0720_jeanneeworsted_newlabel.jpg?itok=yAbXnp8y Plymouth Jeanne

Linen is a an extremely durable and strong fibre. It is stronger when wet than dry and does not stretch.  It is has high abrasion resistance and is moth resistant. It also resists dirt and stains which is nice. It has no lint or pill tendency although it does wrinkle easily.  Linen yarns feel rather stiff when you are working with them but soften up nicely with washing.  Katia Lino is an example of a linen yarn

.beige colour (7) of LINO 100% yarn (Linen) of Spring / Summer from Katia

Bamboo fiber is naturally anti-bacterial, UV protective, green & biodegradable, breathable & cool, strong, flexible, soft and has a luxurious shiny appearance.  All of these properties make it an ideal fibre for summer knitting.  Sirdar has a yarn called Baby Bamboo that comes in lots of great colours and has great pattern support.  The yarn has a lovely sheen and gives great stitch definition.

 Leaflet

These are just some of the options in summer weight yarns.  Come in and visit Rose’s and we can show you all the different yarns that are suitable for summer knitting or crocheting.