Tag Archives: silk

Pink in the Silk

19 May

Sometimes you just have to dive in and trust the pattern. This was my approach when I started knitting my In the Pink (Ravelry link), and couldn’t make heads or tails of the pattern the first, second or even third time I read in through. It was because of the unique construction of the shawl – none of the names for the different parts made very much sense, until I had knitted them and saw how they must fit together.

Pattern: In the Pink

Yarn: 215 g Soft Silk from BC Garn, 100 % bourette silk (sport weight, 100 g = 350 m)

Needles: 4 mm

*****

The unique construction makes for an exciting knit and amazing fit. After the challenge of getting the back swirl and two wings knitted up and connected correctly, the border (which consisted of ten easily memorized rows repeated 85 times) was a welcome relief and simple fun.

Knitty told me that I should avoid wet blocking silk as it loses its strength when wet. This was the first time I’ve blocked anything by first pinning it and then spritzing it, and I’m not a huge fan of this method. It didn’t provide as clear a result as wet blocking – maybe I should’ve spritzed more thoroughly. The bourette silk was also a little uneven which may contribute to the feeling that the blocking was less than completely successful.

All in all, the pattern is made of awesome. I’m happy I knitted this despite how intimidating the pattern seemed at first, and the shawl itself will definitely be useful and loved.

The Pink Silk Burning Test

18 May

Ever since I started knitting actively, I’ve had the knitting magazine Novita delivered to me. Because I already had this one magazine delivered four times a year, I could hardly ever justify it to myself to buy other knitting magazines, and felt I was missing out on all kinds of cool stuff. Novita is concentrated on selling Novita yarns and contains little to no articles or other interesting things apart from an (admittedly) large number of patterns.

So this year, when it came time to renew my subscription, I simply didn’t, and instead subscribed to Interweave Knits – the magazine I’ve been most disappointed I couldn’t buy. One magazine costs over 12 euros. I could be using that money on yarn. Or, you know, food. Now I get 4 issues for just under 20 euros. Yep, that’s a no-brainer.

The first issue I got contained a piece on silk yarns and suggested doing a burn test to see if your yarn really is silk. As it happens, I was working with silk at the time…

I was knitting this shawl (In the Pink, Ravelry link), which I just finished today, but will blog more about later.

The yarn I used was Soft Silk from BC Garn, a 100 % bourette silk yarn in sport weight. It was so different from what I’ve come to think of as silk that I was pretty interested to do the test. It feels and acts like cotton, really, and it was interesting to knit a shawl with such an unforgiving yarn. All the little mistakes pop out… I wasn’t skeptical of the fiber content, but I just wanted to see, and also to burn things… What?

I read about bourette silk and think it’s awesome it’s made with “waste” silk – so that damaged cocoons don’t actually become waste. Considering that and the relatively low price of the yarn, the cottony feel and look are an acceptable trade-off.

The shawl is a gift, so we’ll just have to wait and see whether it has all the magical qualities silk is supposed to have. Again, not because I think this yarn is somehow bad but because I haven’t noticed that many differences between the qualities of different yarns. I know they’re supposed to be there, I just don’t see or feel them when I use the things I’ve knitted.

So anyway, I did the burning test, and yes, of course, the result is that the yarn is clearly silk.

Ha! I see what you did there!

25 Sep

I love when I see a pattern that looks really complicated and scary, and then I start to knit it only to find out the complexity is a lie (and in that way very similar to the cake).

It’s a trick! And for some reason it is usually, in my experience, based on a few slipped stitches or something equally simple. Apparently my mind cannot quite comprehend slipped stitches.

Patterns like that are nice because I get the thrill of taking on something difficult without having to do battle with impossible instructions or a stitch pattern I might be able to memorize but only after about a hundred repeats.

And yes, this does mean that today I started another project… Luckily all the projects I’m working on are ones I love to bits, so there’s really no chance of some/all of these WIPs ending up in the back of my closet, where my projects go to hibernate. Really, probably no chance at all…

Here is the reasoning that led me to beginning that Mesi hat (it’s the same link as above).

It started earlier today when I got trapped in that dreadful moment, where you wander into a yarn store, and for one reason or another end up feeling like you just have to buy something, anything, before you can leave. 

In this case I started feeling like I would be suspected of shoplifting if I didn’t buy something. It wasn’t anything the nice lady at the shop did or said, but sometimes this thought just pops into my head.

And no, I was not shoplifting. I was, however, a poor student left all by herself with all the fancy yarn. See, I do the profiling on behalf of the shop owner and save them the bother. Poor woman, she was probably just trying not to hover over my shoulder, and there I was,  suspecting her of suspecting me.

It’s similar to feeling like you’re doing something wrong when a police car drives by despite being a good citizen as always, and despite wearing a bicycle helmet and everything!

Well anyway, that’s how I ended up with two skeins of Regia Silk from Schachenmayr nomotta, which was not was I was expecting to buy on that trip, if anything. The yarn is a blend of merino, polyamid and silk. Yummy. It’s very soft and has a nice sheen. And to justify buying this yarn, I had to start knitting with it right away.

If I didn’t, there was a danger of it entering, in my opinion, the saddest state a yarn can be in: ignored and over-looked just because the knitter feels guilty about buying it in the first place. That’s not the yarn’s fault! It was just sitting there, quietly minding its own business, when the knitter came by and grasped it in their greedy paws….

Besides, what’s the harm in starting another project. These days I’m in total control of my hibernating projects… because I recently ripped back all of them. I can whole-heartedly recommend doing this. It was such a relief.

When I used to look at the half-finished socks (for me, the biggest risk groups for hibernation are socks and scarfs), all I saw was responsibility. Now all the yarn trapped in that prison of disappointment is back to its purest form: it’s just yarn. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee writes in Knitting rules! that the reason knitters love yarn so much is that it’s pure potential.

I agree.

Also, it’s soft. I like soft.

mmmm... soft.

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