Friday, June 29, 2007

Yarn Pr0n Friday: Artfibers Golden Siam and Rosetta

I stumbled upon Artfibers online years ago and was reminded of it by Sturdygirl's, then Cara's posts about it recently. Coincidentally, I had a San Francisco business trip planned, so I was pretty determined to get there. Fortunately, it was close to my hotel. You probably know that Artfibers has yarn developed especially for them and that they allow knitters to knit swatches that they are free to take with them. I didn't take any pix - I only had about an hour, so I knit up the smallest swatches in history as quickly as I could.

Artfibers Swatches

You can view more photos and details on my Flickr site. ETA: Pix of my swatches appear on page 2.

I just happened to find a review of the Artfibers in Knitter's Review last night that I concur with and it includes pix. I would only add that one of the shop's designers, Kira, was there and she was very helpful and knowledgeable. She showed me around the shop including the "tasting bar," where I could sit and knit swatches. They supply straight and circular needles and crochet hooks for customers to use. Kira left me alone to knit, checking up on me periodically to see if I had questions or to make suggestions. I bought Golden Siam, 100 percent Golden Tussah silk, to make a sweater,

Golden Siam

Golden Siam

and Rosetta, 100 percent cotton tape, to make a skirt in linen stitch.



For $2 Kira plugged my measurements and yarn gauge into a computer knitting application and created a skirt pattern for me. I hope it doesn't become "buttsprung," as my mother would say. Kira has some pretty cool designs on Artfiber's site, and on her own site, Kira K Designs.

If you make it to San Francisco, I highly recommend that you visit this unusual yarn shop. I hope I'll have a chance to visit it again along with the other shops in the city.

San Francisco China Town
San Francisco, China Town

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

WIP Wednesday: Pomatomus Fingerless Gloves and Shapely Tank

Back from business trip to San Francisco where I squeezed in a visit to Artfibers - more about that later.

I have to more WIPs to add this week.

Pomatomus Opera Length Fingerless Gloves, inspired by Cookie A's Pomatomus Sock Pattern.
Pomatomus Opera Length Fingerless Gloves
I'm using Sundara Sock Yarn, "Black over Plum" colorway. I have two more rows to finish on one of the thumbs; the other is finished except the weaving. Guess I don't feel much pressure to finish since it's too warm to wear them.

Shapely Tank, from White Lies Designs.
Shapely Tank
The yarn is from School Products. All done except the seaming. I made this before I began slipping the first stitch at the beginning of every row. Therefore the seams will be hard to match up using my favorite backstitch. That means I will have to use the mattress stitch. Yuck. O.

I haven't had time to get back to the white sleeveless turtleneck. But after some brain storming with Olga and advice from Sahara, I've decided not to frog it, but will re-do it another way. Involving scissors. More on that later too.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

WIP Wednesday

I'm informally joining Turtlegirl's WIP Wednesday. I can't promise that I'll always have to something to show you - or time to write about it and photo what I'm working on. But I do have a few things this week.

STR Walk on the Wild Tide Rockin' Sock Club Sock: I tend to save sock knitting as commuting projects but lately most the patterns I've received require more attention than I can give them on my few minutes on the bus or subway. I started the STR Walk on the Wild Tide fishnet-like pattern but loved the yarn on the stockinette toe so much that I frogged and started the whole thing over in stockinette. The hank did not do the yarn justice, nor did the pattern, in my opinion, which obscured the yarn's silkiness and the richness of the color. I'm not sure if they will fit properly or I've got enough yarn to make the knee socks in stockinette, but I'm going to try.

Twinkle Marilyn Jacket: A very quick knit made of Twinkle Soft Chunky; this was done over a weekend with US19s. It's an unusual pattern, knit all in one piece. The strips at the bottom are each only 5" wide; the "wings" you see on the side are 3/4 length sleeves. I still have the back to work. It already too hot to wear it.

ETA: The 5" strips form the front of the jacket. It's soon going to be too hot to knit it.

Adrienne Vittadini Rebecca Jacket: all the pieces are done. I'm just seaming it now. Problem is that the seams open up into huge crevices. The instructions give no guidance. Olga suggested that I hand stitch with a smaller weight yarn or machine stitch the seams. UGH. I can't tell you how much I hate to sew!

Adrienne Vittadini Sleeveless turtleneck in Miranda, a narrow cotton tape yarn: Olga took one look at this and asked if it was long enough. "Oh yeah," I said. Well it's too short after all! I mean I followed the instructions to a "T" for once, and technically it is as long as it should be inch for inch, but I never thought to measure the sweater from the top of the ribbing to the top of the shoulder. The ribbing does not stop below the bust line, but covers about 2" of the bottom of my bust line. So it fits, strictly speaking, but it's butt ugly! It's stuff like this that makes me start other projects, but I need this sweater, and it's quick knit, so I'll frog it and start over. I'm at expert at this - don't forget that I completely re-knit the Michael Kors cardi. I'm going to San Francisco next week, so this will be travel knitting.

I have other WIPs too, but I'll show you those later.

Olga, by the way, has a new sweater on Knitty: Zinzin. It's really cute. Check it out. Paloma took great photos!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Yarn Pr0n Friday: Habu Viscose Sizing and Silk Mohair Kasrui

Two yarns this week: Habu Viscose Sizing Silk, and Silk Mohair Hand-dyed Kasrui, bought at Woven Arts, East Lansing, Michigan. There are more pix on my Flickr site (just click on the Flickr badge on the side).

June 7 2007 023

June 7 2007 027

June 7 2007 044

June 7 2007 016

My first thought was to knit them together double-stranded into a shawl. Any other suggestions?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Woven Art Yarn and Fiber Art Gallery in East Lansing (Long Post)

I'd like to post a correction: Nancy McRay's Woven Art Yarn and Fiber Art Gallery is in East Lansing, Michigan. You can get the address, driving directions and phone number on her site. She has a blog too where she shows her hand dyed yarn and other creations. Here's a shot of her back room where knitting, weaving, spinning, and other fiber arts are taught.

and here's a couple of extra Habu shots from her shop just for me:

I did work on an Adrienne Vittadini sleeveless turtleneck while I was in Texas. I cast on with an Addi Turbo Lace circular I bought a few months ago. I love the sharp points and I think it will be excellent to use with laceweight yarn.
But the surface of the metal part was designed to avoid having slick yarn slip off so there was a little too much drag for the Adrienne Vittadini Miranda cotton yarn I'm using. I had expected that the Addi Turbo Lace circs would displace the regular Turbos, but there's still room for them in my needle collection. I switched to the regular ones after finishing the ribbing and I rapidly got this:
I decided to kitchener the shoulder seams rather than sew them and I really like the result. It's not invisible, but I expect that it will smooth out when it's blocked.

I bought these Japanese knitting pins at Nancy's and love them too. They're about 2.5 inches long and made entirely of wood.

I thought they were a frivolous purchase at the time, but they've turned out to be enormously useful. I used them to pin the side seams of the turtleneck to made sure they were the same length.

I've also started the Twinkle Marilyn jacket over the weekend. What a quick knit it is! I still have to finish the back. I wonder though if it's going to fit. I might have to ask Olga to model it when I'm done. Or frog and re-knit it in a larger size. There's dieting too, but I'm not going there...

I'm sure you all know about Ravelry. It's still in beta, but there's a link on the site to request a tester's invitation. It's cool place to organize your knitting and crochet projects: project notes and photos; needle and stash inventory; a "queue" section to record future projects with site linking capability (really cool!); linkage to your blog if you have one; discussion forums; links to KALs; interaction with other knitters, even e-mail. It's going to bring me to a new level of knitting obsession. It's hard enough to get stuff done around the house! Seriously, Jess and her husband Casey are great to do this. Here's my Ravelry page. There's not a lot on it yet, but I'll be adding stuff regularly. Now someone needs to make a Ravelry button.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Yarn Pr0n Friday, Hand dyed by Nancy McRay

I bought this in Lansing, Michigan, at Nancy's Woven Art Yarn and Fiber Art Gallery. I'm going to make a shawl for my friend Sharon.

May 29 170

It's a really nice yarn shop with a great yarn selection, and a shrine to Habu!

May 21 095

May 21 100

May 21 097

Y'all know I love me some Habu! I bought two skeins of copper-colored Habu viscose sizing silk and four skeins of matching silk mohair for a shawl for me. Pictures later. I have to buy a card reader first.

I didn't get much knitting done or blog reading - sorry - but I see that y'all have been active. I'll catch up this weekend.


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