Hazel Knits dk Lively

DK Lively colors

Part of our order from Hazel Knits arrived last week.  I was most excited about their dk weight yarn, a relatively new weight for them.  It’s called DK Lively, but it really should be called “DK Lovely”  This is one gorgeous yarn – nice and round with a great spin.  It’s plied and has a perfect twist – not too much, not too little – like Baby Bear’s porridge, it’s just right.  It has a terrific hand – smooth and elastic without feeling overly stretchy.

Then there are the colors.  Wendee, owner of Hazel Knits, really gets color.  She manages to get colors that are at once brilliant and sophisticated.  There is nothing garish or clownish about Hazel Knits colors. She is truly and artist – and a really nice person too.

I was in love with this yarn just from the feel and look of it in the skein, but you know we like to put the yarn through its paces.  Jenny and Lynne have both swatched it, and they agree that it more than hits the mark.  Jenny has chosen it for her Vodka Lemonade knit along coming up in a couple of weeks.  Lynne did a nice generous swatch on several needle sizes and in several stitch patterns and then washed it in the washing machine and ran it through the dryer.

DK Lively swatch machine washed and dried

In her email about the swatch, Lynne said, “What you can’t tell just from the photo is that after wash and dry, the fabric feels like VELVET!!  Swatch sections at 5 st/inch and 5.5 st/inch. No shrinkage, no change in gauge. Just lovely bloom from the fiber.  Based on post-wash feel, I suspect that this yarn would work at 4.5 and at 6 as well, depending on the project.”  

I mentioned that it might make a nice Swirl Coat, and she said, that “nice” would be a cosmic understatement! 

A swirl in the DK Lively would take between 6 and 8 skeins, depending on which style and which size you choose.  It would be a little pricey, but so worth it.  I think it’s calling me.

New Noro Magazine

Okay, you know that I am a hopeless Noro addict.  The colors, the fibers, the whole aesthetic just me.  So, you know I was super jazzed about the new magazine.  This is the Spring Summer issue, and it has so many adorable garments and accessories I just can’t believe it.

They’ve focused on smaller, lighter weight projects using their fingering weight yarns.  While the labels call sock yarns, I think something was lost in the translation, because as lovely as they are, these fibers are not really great for socks.  They are, however, spectacular for lacy shawls like these

Perfect for relaxed summer projects, these shawls use only the simplest of pattern stitches, relying instead on gorgeous Noro colors to make the statement.  Fun to knit, fabulous to wear.  All the colors of Taiyo Sock in stock at both stores now!

Piewhacket

Mary’s Piewhacket in Huasco

At our last staff meeting, Mary was wearing this adorable little shawlette.  We all loved it and asked her how long it had taken her to knit.   Here reply was, “I’m not going to tell you.”

I can tell you she probably whipped it up in one evening, because when Mary gets going on something, she just works it until it’s done.  Gotta love that Mary.  Most normal mortals can knit it in less that a week – it is just one skein…

Cool asymmetrical shape
Cool asymmetrical shape

Details:

Pattern: Piewhacket by Jennifer Dassau
Yarn: 1 skein Huasco hand dyed 100% merino fingering
Needle size – about a 6, depending on your gauge
Gauge is 18 stitches/4 inches (after blocking)

Simply beautiful sweater

Several of our La Plata ladies are in love with a classic sweater by Sally Melville from her book, The Purl Stitch called the Simple Cardigan. I know, not a glamorous or exciting name, but like everything in Sally Melville’s books, it is exactly the kind of thing you want in your wardrobe.  Very wearable and comfortable, it’s a garment that fits into your life and makes you wonder what you ever wore before you knit it.  Here it is blue.

This sweater’s simple styling is enhanced by a beautiful pattern stitch that’s easy to do and makes a wonderfully plushy fabric.  Lynne swatched the pattern (actually the entire left front in miniature), in gorgeous Aurora 8.

The fabric is so beautiful and plushy, it made me remember why this is one of my favorite yarns.  I love the way the twist of this yarn makes even plain stockinette look interesting.

Kelmscott progress

As I told you, I decided to work the sleeves of my Kelmscott first because I seem to have sleeve issues.  I finished them earlier this week and blocked them last night.

I LOVE this yarn.  Rowan Softknit Cotton.  Exactly what it says – soft.  But not soft and droopy or soft and pilly.  This yarn is soft and bouncy.  Smooth, soft, and bouncy, it’s a pleasure to knit and makes a beautiful fabric.  We’re featuring it this week at 20% off – because I really want you to try it!

 

Mila and the Bamboo Shell

Everyone knows I love sparkly things – and anything pink – just check out my Pinterest board on the topic!  So you can imagine how I feel about our new yarn, Mila. 

It’s a beautiful cotton with the finest sparkly filament running through it.  I’ve had it scoped out for a special project for weeks now but with the late spring, the weather has been too cold to get excited about its bright, juicy colors. 

Today’s high of 82 changed all that.  When the sun shines hot, bright colors feel right.  What I have in mind for Mila is this smart little design Lynne found last month, Bamboo Shell by Cheryl Andrews.  It’s a great new pattern with lots of reasons to love it.  It’s the kind of design that will fit nicely into your wardrobe, perking it up without being fiddly or hard to wear.  I like that it’s ribbed which will give it a nice smooth fit and keep the edges straight without a fussy border. The ribs are uneven and broken by garter rows which gives the fabric rhythm and interest. 

 

Photo courtesy of Cheryl Andrews via Ravelry

I also like the way the armholes are cut in just enough for a sleek, flattering line.  It feels fresh and modern but still modest and age appropriate. 

Photo courtesy of Cheryl Andrews via Ravelry

 Finally, I like this little side gusset that gives you some waist shaping.  Actual waist shaping in the design allows the garment to skim, rather than stretch, over the body. 

Photo courtesy of Cheryl Andrews via Ravelry

I can see myself wearing this all summer, but it is a sleeveless shell, and I totally get that not everyone is comfortable in sleeveless.  But this is a perfect layering piece too.  It would look great under a jacket at the office or paired with with a gauzy long sleeved blouse.  I think this is a beautiful look.

Photo courtesy of SoftSurroundings.com

You could even do a matching bolero and make it a twin set.  I’ll be swatching the Mila tonight, but if you want to see more progress, check with Anne Boone, who started hers last week.  She probably has the entire back already done!