Finished – The Biggest Entrelac In The World

It’s done!  Celebrate with me!

The early days.

In the beginning
In the beginning

Here is a picture before completion.  You see why it may be the biggest entrelac piece in the world.

IMG_5753

This is Noro Nadeshiko yarn.

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Shown on a large couch before blocking.  It got bigger after blocking.
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Nadeshiko is fuzzy even before blocking!

Blocking changes the texture completely.

Everything flattens out in blocking.

I am taping a guest spot about entrelac today for a TV show about fiber arts. Stay tuned for more details on how to watch my episode.

My favorite pattern and all the specifics about this project are on my Ravelry page.

In the meantime, please cast on your own entrelac piece.  It’s very easy, just follow the pattern.

Comment to let me know how you like this shawl.

Spring Knitting, Part 2

People ask me how they can wear hand knit accessories in the spring and summer.  Here are some examples that I think work well.

This frothy lime shawl is knit in 100% pima cotton, so it’s light, soft, airy – just right for cool summer evenings or chilly movies.  It’s an asymmetrical triangle, so it’s a bit unusual, not like anything commercially produced, perfect if you like to be just a bit different. 

Lime Shawl
Lime Shawl

Lime not your thing?  How about coral?  This is a rectangular scarf,  it makes an excellent sarong.  It’s cotton, so it dries in a flash.

Coral Rectangular Shawl
Coral Rectangular Scarf

Perhaps cooler colors are more to your taste?  Noro Nobori knits up into a gorgeous blue and purple rectangular scarf.

Noro Nobori Fishnet Shawl
Noro Nobori Fishnet Shawl/Scarf

Looking for a gift?  Finding it tricky to buy colors for someone else?  Teal looks great on almost everyone, and this 100% cotton is soft, fluffy and generally fabulous.  This is another one of those rectangular scarves that you can wear in several different ways. Doesn’t it look great with the seahorse shawl pin?

Teal Rectangular Scarf
Teal Rectangular Scarf

Spring Knitting, Part 3 will be coming soon.  We just keep creating the beautiful stuff!

Spring Knitting

After a brief vacation from blogging, I’m back (well, at least for today).  Been quite busy with kids, knitting, etc, so blogging fell by the wayside for a bit.

Nicer weather has finally arrived, after a cool, wet spring here in Indianapolis.  I hear conflicting predictions on what the summer will bring, I’m hoping for cooler than average – last year was murderous.

Been knitting a lot (to put it mildly) and there are a lot of fun new items in the Etsy store.  We’ve been knitting many things that will work for spring and cool summer nights, like this pale yellow open weave shawl.  I love this primrose color, it’s perfect for women with delicate coloring, and 100% organic cotton makes it super soft.  This is an asymmetrical triangle and it’s super versatile, wear it as a wrap or scarf, or fold it and wrap for a sarong.  It dries in about 30 minutes if it gets wet, so it’s great for the beach.

Primrose Shawl
Primrose Shawl

We found a great buy on Noro Nobori yarn this spring, so we’ve done several different things with it.  I knit this scarf;  think this is the perfect pattern to show this yarn’s unusual texture and beautiful color changes.  This one reminds me of a zinnia garden in the summer sunshine.  Cheryl, my business partner sees fireworks.  How about you?  What do you see?

Zinnia Garden Scarf
Zinnia Garden Scarf

Cheryl knit the yarn in a different colorway, this one makes me think of a spring rainbow, cheesy I know – but how would you describe it?

This scarf is just right for women with fair, golden complexions – what we might call “Spring” or “Dressing Your Truth Type 1”.  I plan to write more about this color typing stuff in a future  post.

Spring Rainbow Scarf
Spring Rainbow Scarf

Cheryl also knit this black fishnet type rectangular scarf from organic cotton.  We found a fabulous buy on Mirasol Samp’a, 100% organically grown and dyed cotton, so we snapped up a lot – watch for lots of cool new things to appear in the shop.

I love this pattern, it’s so easy to wear, it makes a nice soft scarf, a shawl or wrap and a perfect sarong.  Do I even need to talk about the possibilities for a sexy Halloween costume?

Black Organic Cotton Scarf/Wrap/Sarong
Black Organic Cotton Scarf/Wrap/Sarong

I’d love to hear what kind of hand knits you’d like to see in our Etsy shop for spring and summer.  Please let me know through the comments if you have other ideas or know of patterns that would make useful (and beautiful) hand knit items for warmer weather.

A Weighty Subject

I’ve been made aware (in a traumatic way) that not all skeins of yarn are created equal – they don’t all weigh what the label says they do.

Recently, I was knitting this lovely small shawl

Blue Lagoon Scarf/Shawlette

and I ran out of yarn long, long before I should have.  The only reason I caught on is that this was the second time I used that yarn to knit the same pattern.

The yarn was Knitpicks Chroma fingering weight.  I called the nice Customer Service queen and she apologized profusely and immediately dispatched another ball at no charge.  She asked me to let her know if there was a problem with the new ball, because that might indicate there were short weights for the whole dye lot.

The new ball was fine, but this whole experience made me think (uh-oh) and I began to weigh many different yarns.

Here are some results.

Yarn

Labeled Weight (grams)

Actual Weight (grams)

Noro Kureyon             100               99
            100               90
Noro Kochoran             100               92
            100              107
            100              107
            100              103
            100              97
            100              92
KnitPicks Gloss DK             50              47
            50             49
            50             50
            50             52
Karabella Soft Tweed             50             53
            50             50
            50             50
KnitPicks Stroll             100             102
Noro Silver Thaw             100             97

What I discovered:

1.  Yarn weights are all over the place.  8 were under weight, 6 were over weight, and only 3 were accurate.

2.  Some of the underweight balls were very short, up to 10% less than labeled.  This can cause a big problem if the weight indicates that there is less yardage than labeled.

3.  Noro was the worst offender.  The reason I weighed so many Noro yarns is because my first results were so crazy (and because I have a lot of Noro).  Karabella was pretty consistent, Knitpicks Gloss was pretty close to stated weight or a bit over.

Now, all this brought more questions to my inquiring mind.

What does it all mean?  Is the yardage short?  Is the yarn underweight because it lost moisture in storage?  Does humidity in my house affect the weight?

I am willing to believe moisture is a factor, but 10% underweight is a bit much.  I googled around a bit – searched underweight yarn skeins – and found plenty of yarns for sale with the disclaimer “slightly underweight”.

Of course, I absolutely do not believe any of this is done purposely.  But, it’s impossible to know how much yarn I use if I don’t know what I started with.  And sometimes I need to know.  For example, when designing a pattern it’s necessary to know how much yarn it takes.   Also, if I don’t know how much I started with, I don’t know what I have left.  Since I often use leftovers for smaller projects, that matters to me.

So,  I’m weighing all my skeins from now on before I knit them.  I’ll record the weights on my Ravelry project page.  And, if I notice a consistent pattern of shortages then I’ll be able to make an informed decision about buying that yarn in future.

Winter Grapes and Making Choices

I just finished a new hand spun yarn.  It makes me think of fat and juicy red, purple and green grapes!

Grapes Hand Spun Yarn

I’m really pleased with it.  It was very difficult for me to decide how to spin it.  I was torn between long color changes (think Noro!), or something more barber pole-y.  Barber pole won, as you see.  I just love the bright contrasts I get with this type of yarn.  It’s a very traditional “hand spun” look.

I spun this on my Ashford Traveller and I really loved working with these colors once I finally made a choice on how to do it.

I have a bit of a problem making choices.  It’s quite difficult for me to choose one thing from a long list of options.  It’s hard for me to let go of all the other possibilities, and that’s what has to happen when I choose one thing.

I used to have a very, very hard time in restaurants with huge menus.  It’s much easier now since I just look at the vegan friendly choices.  And, in Indiana, it’s usually a very limited number of items on any menu – so that makes it much easier for me.

I find I rarely eat out anymore; I used to love to dine out, but it isn’t the same now, I sit there looking at the menu thinking “I can make nicer things much more cheaply (and pretty easily) at home”.  So, I’ve found that we just don’t go out very often now.

However, if I lived in a city with lots of fabulous vegan eateries, I’d be at a restaurant all the time!

So, the grape yarn is in my Etsy shop already.  Go take a look if you want to see a few more pictures of it.  It really is luscious!

Let me know how you like it.

More January Eye Candy – For Knitters And Fashionistas

We released some more gorgeous hand knit accessories in the Etsy shop yesterday!

How about another entrelac in Noro Kochoran?  Love these colors!

Korchoran Entrelac

Another big scarf, this one is over 100″ long, knit in 100% Noro wool

Hitsuji Feather and Fan

And a lovely, fuzzy, pointy scarf in Kochoran.

Kochoran Wingspan

Another long straight scarf in Noro wool.  This is the same wool as above, this is “only” 84″ long, and doesn’t have any black.  Looks a bit different, right?

Shorter Hitsuji Feather and Fan

And, last but not least, a brillliantly colored cabled cowl.  This is knit in Noro Bonbori, a discontinued yarn.  We have just a few balls left.  When they are gone, I’ll be sad, this is a really fun yarn to knit, and the results really are spectacular.

Bonbori Cowl

Just noticed these are all Noro – I guess it’s just a Noro kind of day. Guess that means I should go knit some Noro!

A Little Knitted Eye Candy

We’ve been busy little knitting bees lately, and have a few new items in the Etsy shop.  Here they are for a little January eye candy.

Noro Fingerless Mitts – brilliant colors.

Noro Fingrless Mitts

And another pair, slightly different, more of a coordinated pair than a matched pair.

Noro Fingerless Mitts 2

An Irish Donegal Tweed Chunky Lace Scarf, pretty muted coloring won’t overwhelm your ensemble.

 Irish Tweed Wine Sca

Slated Colored Textured Cowl, I love how this is shaded, it really reminds me of slate flooring.

Slate Cowl

I have a lot more to list, so keep watching for a lot more new and beautiful things soon!

Happy January to all my readers.  Stay warm!