Thursday * October 2nd 2014

Inside Out

I returned home from vacation with a horrendous head cold that went into my chest.

What do you do when you are on the couch, sneezing, coughing *, wheezing, and running a fever? Plain old stockinette stitch in the round because that is all you are capable of doing. However, the provisional cast on and counting the stitches took way more brain cells than I had available after all the cold medicine!

InsideOutsideCowl

Pattern: Inside Outside Cowl by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas
Yarns: Habu Kasuri (painted) and Rowan Kidsilk Haze (silver/grey)

How do the Kasuri and Kidsilk Haze (KSH) compare?

While they are both mohair/silk blend yarns, KSH states it is a “Super Kid Mohair” and Kasuri just states “Mohair.” Kid mohair just means the first clipping of an angora goat. “Super Fine” and “Fine” are classifications of kid mohair, based on micron count. I don’t know if “Super Kid” is the same as “Super Fine” or not; however, based on my hands and eyes, KSH and Kasuri appear to of the same quality of kid mohair.

KSH put up is 25 g / 210 m. Kasuri is 14 g / 166 m. KSH costs less, even before you factor in the differences in put up.

KSH_Kasuri

Rowan Kidsilk Haze (top) Habu Kasuri (bottom)

Other differences? KSH is 70/30 mohair/silk whereas Kasuri is 60/40. The Kasuri is a slightly finer yarn than KSH.  KSH is a bouclé; Kasuri is not.

For all the differences listed in the last paragraph, KSH has a more pronounced halo than Kasuri.

Which do I prefer? This is a hard call. While I love all the individual colors in the Kasuri, I’m not thrilled with the way it puddles up. It looks like purple camo. But the hand…I like the hand of Kasuri much more than KSH. I think the higher silk content makes quite a bit of difference. In this case, less (mohair) is more.

We’ll see which I prefer once it is finished.

* When you are trying to cough up half a lung, it gives whole new meaning to Inside Out…

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Scarlett Socks

ScarlettAnklet

Yarn: Spirit Trail Fiberworks Sunna; 75/15/10 SW Merino/Cashmere/Bombyx Silk
Colorway: Scarlett *
Needles: Addi Turbo Sock US #0 (2 mm)
Gauge: 9 st/in

Construction Recipe **:

  • Toe: My normal toe up: cast on 12 stitches and increase to 64 sts. I changed from my normal left and right leaning increases to left and right leaning (nearly) invisible increases. I like this because it is faster than e-wrapping stitches on the needle or pick up and twist the bar below — at least for me.
  • Heel: Fish Lips Kiss Heel worked over 32 sts, decreased to 12 sts unworked. The kissy fish heel (my words) look a bit funny off the foot, but I like how it looks on the foot — no short row gaps, no lines of stitches. Just a smooth transition — you can follow the line of stockinette around the bend. The pucker is created by the row of regular stockinette stitch before turning the heel.
  • Cuff: Approximately 5″ from floor (1.5″ above my anklet bone). 3×1 rib at approx 1.5″ from cast off for 1″; 1×1 rib for 0.5″; tubular bind off. I gave myself a bit over 4x the circumference of the cuff and used every bit of it with just a few inches for weaving the end in. The bind off may be a bit too loose but I wanted to make sure it will be stretchy. I’m sure I’ll figure out the correct tension with practice. I really like how it looks and feels. I’m not happy with the jog between the first and last stitch even though I wove through the last stitch. I’ll need to play with it a bit more. Despite these issues, all solvable with practice, I think this bind off is a keeper!

* This red is really difficult to photograph. It is a true scarlet red.

** Yes, I’m playing with my sock recipe again. It’s good to shake things up every once and a while and question why you do things you do.

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Handmade Booklet

Remember these? I finally got around to turning them into little books, using a simple pamphlet stitch.

HandmadeBooks

Simple handmade books

I love the 3D effect of the imprinted found items.

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Workshop Scraps

Over the years, I’ve attended a lot of retreats and spinning workshops. Between the fiber samples in goody bags and the fiber from the various workshops that we didn’t have time to spin up, I have a lot of bits and bobs. A lot. Bins of them. I have two shoe boxes alone of just cotton. Another box or two of a variety of silks. The rest are anything from wool with a lot of character (yes, too coarse for this princess) to blends that contain anything and everything from silk, mohair, quivit, cashmere. You name it. Add to it the samples vendors tuck in with your orders, and you have a lot of small amounts of fiber.

What do you do with all these bits?

WorkshopScrapsEver since this gorgeous blanket came across my radar last year, I’ve been obsessed with doing something similar. Since I am too impatient to wash, dye, and spin the fiber *, I decided on turning all those workshop scraps into my own variant of the Scraps blanket. I’m using Vivian Høxbro’s Domino Knitting recipe.

And yes! I have dedicated one of my little Turkish Delight to this project. I think it is Pink Ivory. It’s about an ounce so it can take the full variety of wools from extra fine merino to a very robust primitive wool.

This will definitely be a long term project. Check back in a few years.

* I may still make a blanket start to finish from a raw fleece. Goodness knows I have enough fleeces in stash for the project.

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Quadri

quadri

Saw this pattern on Ravelry yesterday and I had to see how it was done. NOW. I stayed up way too late last night (this morning) to finish the sample and block it — only to wake up to the sounds of drums and singing from next door. At 7 AM. On a Saturday.

It’s a very interesting way to bulk up the yarn for the center block without weaving ends in for every block. If you work from a single skein from beginning to end, you only have the start and end tails to weave in. Very cool.

It will take a bit of practice to keep the block edges tidy. I didn’t block very aggressively because I bound off too tightly. I think strong blocking will emphasize any sloppiness at those edges too.

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