I find really interesting things when I browse through the patterns on Ravelry …. one of the things I found this week was a micro-collection of the same cowl made over and over again in different colourways of Urth Uneek Fingering (ON SALE UNTIL THE END OF JULY). I thought it was awesome that this knitter, Deb-Knits, enjoyed her project and the yarn so much that she wanted to continue exploring and experiencing it. I also get it, the project is GORGEOUS, and it illustrates that all the colourways of Urth Uneek Fingering work up beautifully. And hey, is it ever too early to start holiday knitting?
A client showed me this gorgeous, diaphinous top and I thought how great would it look knitted up with Handmaiden Flyss or Quince & Co Sparrow (BOTH ON SALE NOW)?! Both are sublime summer yarns; Flyss is a soft, summery blend of % silk and 35% linen, and comes with lots of yardage, and Sparrow is 100% organic linen. And since it knits up on 6mm/US10 needles it will go FAST!
As I’ve been writing about Rowan Original Denim yarn (ON SALE NOW) a question has come up a few times – what is the black denim like? And what they are really thinking is “will it end up looking like the sexy black jeans that ended up a sad dingy grey?”. The answer is it could if you’re really mean to your denim sweater, but if you take proper care of it you’ll have a “happily ever after”.
I think most people think of denim yarn as a knitterly sibling of denim jeans, but it’s really more of a cousin, so it doesn’t wear the same way, especially since we (hopefully) don’t wear or care for our sweaters in the same way we do our jeans. In high school, I worked in retail selling Levis jeans and became extremely well acquainted with the garment: they’re worn constantly, washed frequently, and cared for poorly. An average pair of jeans is dealt A LOT of abuse. Not so our sweaters: we don’t wear them as much, they aren’t washed as much, and when we do wash them it’s either by hand with a delicate wash like Eucalan or Soak, or in a delicates bag on the delicate cycle (cold) in the machine. Add a cup of white vinegar to the wash to stabilize the dye and you have some very good looking denim knitwear (the vinegar trick works with your jeans too, it’s especially helpful with dark washes).
This is the project that helped open up my perspective on black denim yarn. The pattern, Deschain, was designed with a substantially thicker and heavier yarn, but the garment design is so oversized that it easily scales down to a thinner yarn. The texture looks amazing with lace and works really well with the drape of the oversized aesthetic.
Vale by Kim Hargreaves
In my mind, if super designer Kim Hargreaves is down with it, it might as well as have received royal assent (that’s Canadian parliamentary humour for “it’s legit” … I’m also really pleased that Kim thinks it’s ok to wear a tiara out-and-about, I could use a little more bling in my coif). Like the denim Deschain above, Hargreaves exploits the denim to create a tension between the delicacy of lace patterning and the texture of the yarn. It’s a balancing act that works beautifully and makes for a really interesting garment – definitely one you’ll never find in any store.
This guy obviously either lives in a beautifully curated home or a Pottery Barn … either way, it’s a nice backdrop for a beautiful sweater, Seahorse. One of the big problems with black yarn is that it is very hard to photograph the colour properly, and it often looks like a washed out dark grey. The yarn itself is a very deep, dense black, so add white vinegar when you wash it to stabilize the colour.
I don’t know which pattern was used for RobbyRaccon’s Ridge top (I think it might be a variation of Rosamund by Tonia Barry, but it’s a different type of sleeve construction … if you know please tell me, it’s driving me up the wall), but it made excellent use of black denim yarn, every time I look at it I experience sweater envy.
I saw this and thought of you! But seriously, I love things that are both simple and pretty, especially if they can work in some texture and colour. Yume is made in one piece (no seams!) from the top-down, so you should have it done in time to actually wear it. The depth of colour is created by working with 2 strands of lace weight yarn held together, which is also a great way to negotiate colour distribution and pooling issues in hand-dyed yarn. I think it would be PERFECT made with Malabrigo Lace Baby Merino (ON SALE NOW!). It has a beautiful hand and it’s soft halo ensure the strands will do their job, stick together and look more like they’re a single strand of yarn. Plus, it’s just so soft!
Taking a look at the shelf, here are some colour combos in Malabrigo Lace Baby Merino that will blend well together (these pairs are based on the actual dye lots, not the images):
XS (S, M1, M2, L, XL, XXL)
finished bust circumference: 35.75 (38.5, 41.5, 43.75, 45.75, 48.75, 52) inches or 89 (96.5, 103.5, 109, 114.5, 122, 130) cm
The sample is worn with 3.25” (8.5 cm) positive ease at bust.
Malabrigo Lace Baby Merino: Short Sleeve Version 2(2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 4) skeins in each of TWO colours, Long Sleeve Version 3( 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4) skeins in each of TWO colours
With only one week left in our Summer Sale, I thought this might be a nice change of pace from linen and cotton … a fun, colourful top made with Urth Uneek Fingering (ON SALE UNTIL THE END OF JULY). The pattern shows off this stunning self-striping yarn, which I think it definitely deserves. Urth Uneek Fingering is a hand-dyed, self-striping, super smooth and soft merino superwash yarn. It’s made by an environmentally conscious and compassionate family company in Turkey, and straight up, it’s happy yarn.
I think my client Adrienne just introduced me to my soul mate, Big Mike. Big Mike hails from Huge & Huggable Mochimochi, and we’re going to have to continue to get to know each other better before we commit (I have to acquire the book), but I really feel like he’s the ‘one’. It;s no surprise that I’d fall hard for him, I’ve always felt pretty sentimental about Claes Oldenberg’s ‘Floor Burger’, it’s one of my must-sees on every visit to the Art Gallery of Ontario. I’ll probably use Berroco Vintage Chunky, it’s the right tension and it wears well, and that’s important because this dude is gonna received a LOT of hugs!
Sea Vines is a pretty new pattern from Handmaiden yarn, made with their beautiful Handmaiden Flyss (ON SALE NOW). Flyss is a soft, summery blend of 65% silk and 35% linen, and comes with lots of yardage. Both linen and silk are fibres that tend to grow so there will be extra drape and ease in your garment. As always, make a swatch first and see what the textile can do for you. Want a tank rather than a dress, no problem, just make it shorter. Handmaiden Flyss is made in Canada.