Tag Archive | silk yarn

Back to School

I’m going back to college! Okay, so it’s just one day-long course, but it’s a class and it’s at a college, so it counts. I’m taking a course in Microsoft Access Fundamentals, and it’s for work. Like they encouraged me to take it and paid for it, and I love that they’re eager and willing to support the growth of their members. And I’m kind of a nerd who likes learning new things so I’m looking forward to it a lot.

I have thought about going back to college though, maybe for a Communications or Marketing degree. Actually, what sounds the most intriguing is Graphic Design, and I could do that through a local community college. But with a college freshman, a high school sophomore, and a fixer upper with a big project looming, it’s not in the cards at the moment. Still, I’m keeping the idea in my pocket for when/if it becomes more feasible. Have any of you gone back to school as grownup? Is it scary? Overwhelming?

I do plan to have a project with me just in case I have some time to knit. Or maybe crochet! I have another hat commission, this one using some gorgeous silk yarn from Expression Fiber Arts. Color is Russian Blue.

That’s a Scat Mat it’s lying on, and yes, there’s my foot. Not all photos can be a masterpiece, you know!

Sparkly Indian Silk Yarn

IMG_5384This is why people hire yarn de-tanglers, isn’t it? This is fingering weight silk, a skein my husband brought me from India, and at one point it was neatly caked. Then the puppy happened. Thank goodness Grace didn’t chew on it, just played with it and turned it into this mess. This happened a few months ago and it’s been in time-out ever since. But I spotted it last night and remembered how much I love this yarn and want to use it. I don’t have a current WIP calling my name, so I decided to give it a shot. Let me tell you, I would NOT want to be a yarn de-tangler. This is a big pain in my butt. I’m making progress, though, so I’ll keep going. I’m just stubborn enough to win this battle.

This wasn’t even why I was in my craft room. I was up there perusing my stash because I’m obsessed with the Because I Love You wrap. I keep seeing them on Instagram (check out #becauseIloveyouwrap) and they’re gorgeous!! People are using fantastic color combos, and I do love stripes. At first my mind was going nuts, thinking of all the gorgeous yarns I wanted to buy for this wrap, but then I came to my senses. I HAVE YARN. I HAVE GORGEOUS YARN. I HAVE GORGEOUS FINGERING WEIGHT YARN. No purchase required! I think I found the perfect match-up, too. Check it out: IMG_5377The pattern recommends picking yarns with a strong contrast, and this fits the bill. I have some solid purple that would work instead of the teal, but it would be much more muted. Plus, I love that both these yarns have some sparkle. (Side note: this teal yarn is the same yarn as the pink. THIS is what got me thinking about the pink.) So now I have a project planned out, and it’s so far out of what I normally do. It’s fingering weight yarn, not bulky. It’s a paid pattern, not free. It’s a large shawl, not a quick hat. But I can’t stop thinking about it and that means it must be knit, no matter how long it takes. Today I will be winding some silk and casting on!

Have you ever had an unusual project that called your name, something out of your comfort zone?

IMG_5381“Please rub my belly, mom!”

Selfish Knitting at Christmastime

I’m sorry, I don’t have much to show off, which is sad since it’s been a few days since I posted. Or at least it feels like it. But you know, I *do* have to do other stuff sometimes. Sighhh.

Yesterday I went to my new LYS, Angelika’s Yarn Store, to get some Cascade 220. You know that really pretty fuchsia and blue silk yarn I bought in Weston? I found a cool felted Bucket Bag pattern and decided to actually use the recommended yarn. Crazy, huh? I was hoping for a matching fuchsia but struck out, so I found a good blue instead. I think it’ll look really nifty. I’ve got the bottom knit and the stitches picked up for the body of the bag, so now it’s just a bunch of knitting in the round until it’s tall enough. This is my current waiting-room knitting project.IMG_0155And I loved the Purl Soho Super Soft Merino Hat so much that I needed to make another one, for myself this time! I found two skeins of the Mirasol Tuho in hot pink and cast on last night. Can I say again how much I love this yarn? So soft and squishy and warm. Mmmmmm….IMG_0154And that’s all, folks. I still have one fingerless glove and a little less than half a blanket to knit (it’s boring. Hard to make myself work on it.). I guess it needs to get a little closer to Christmas for the panic to set in enough to get me to abandon the fun knitting. So today, it’s cold and I’m grumpy, so I’m going to take my tea to the couch and knit for a while on my hat.

Silk Yarn from India

My husband got home this weekend from a two-week work trip to Bangalore, India. For the most part, it sucked. A lot. I’m not used to being a single parent to our two kids and rambunctious puppy, so that was stressful. Plus I missed him. I didn’t think I would. I thought I’d be all “Oh yay I can do whatever I want!” and I kind of did, but…I do that anyway and he never cares. So that part was the same except I didn’t have him around and I didn’t like it. But enough mushiness. Because he’s home now, and he came home with presents! The best present ever: YARN!

That’s right, my fabulous husband found a company in Bangalore called Silkindian that creates specialty, luxury silk products, including handpainted, handspun yarns. (They also have machine spun yarn, custom yarns, fiber for your own spinning pleasure, silk fabrics and knitting needles.) Not only that, he convinced his driver to go out of their way to find this place so he could buy me yarn. That was difficult since apparently not many women in Bangalore knit for fun and the driver couldn’t figure out why Alex would want to go to this place.1381183_10152534539164724_1301209726800138021_nSilkindian’s wall o’yarn12188_10152534538949724_6360805160988210479_nMohammed poses with some of his offerings10609572_10152534538804724_9182705025302663282_nAlex and Mohammed. I like these guys. They provide yarn.

Yarn yarn yarny yarn for me! I have no idea how Alex picked but pick he did, and he picked out a lot more than I expected. Probably more than I would have allowed myself! Look what I ended up with:IMG_2885Let’s take a closer look, shall we? Obviously it’s all silk. My favorite is two skeins of Roving Silk, a worsted weight with 200 yards of variegated purple in each skein. Gorgeous.IMG_2872I got three skeins of this worsted Duke Silk Yarn, and these are the softest skeins of yarn I’ve ever touched. They’re heavenly. The colors are so rich too. Truly, this photo does not do the yarn justice.IMG_2869Two more skeins of Roving Silk, again in worsted. (The man knows what I like!) It’s a really pretty combination of colors and I can’t wait to see how it knits up. I’m thinking they’ll be a shawl, maybe with an edge of the lilac Duke in the previous picture.IMG_2871Another Duke Silk Yarn, 225 yards of worsted, in two of my favorite colors. I adore pink and green, especially together. Just one skein of this. What will it be?IMG_2873This Duke Silk is a gorgeous rainbow with purple and teal and olive and salmon and mint. Mmm. The colors are brighter than the picture shows. Multicolored yarns are my favorite way to do colorwork! I think this will make my new favorite cowl.IMG_2868More multicolored but these are pastel, and a bulky weight. 115 yards in each, so I’m glad I have two! Maybe a hat and mittens? They’re soft enough that I’ll love the feel against my skin.IMG_2865These are my “outside of the box” yarns. The purple is a sport weight, thinner than I usually use but 350 yards of it! I’m excited to branch out and see if I can make a pretty spring shawlette with it. The green isn’t labeled but I’m pretty sure it’s a DK weight. I just have no idea how many yards are in it, so I’ll have to find a great flexible pattern for it. I do love the subtle variations in the greens.IMG_2879Whew, are you getting tired yet? I am, but I’m not done! I have four more mystery skeins, already wound but lacking any labels. I’m pretty sure they’re worsted weight. Three are these marvelous rainbow skeins. I haven’t weighed them yet but I will, which should give me a basic idea of how much I have to play with. And one little random skein of pink and brown which will make a darling hat, I think.IMG_2874

IMG_2875Now look at these little beauties! Alex knows how much I like a little sparkle, so I’ve got two skeins of this yarn with some shimmery gold woven through. No labels but they look/feel like maybe a sport weight. They’re not as silky soft as the worsted & bulky yarns, but they feel light and bouncy. I’d love a shawl from them, I think. Do I work the colors separately or together?IMG_2862 IMG_2863Okay, we’ve reached the last bit of yarn, and these are the most unusual. They’re the recycled silk skeins. They’re cheaper than the others, not as soft, and there can be a lot of variation in thickness throughout each skein, but they’re fantastic nonetheless. The colors are still so bright and vivid, and more than any of the other yarns they evoke the feeling and personality of India. I’m saving these four to make a purse for myself, and it will be a treasure!IMG_2860That’s the end of the yarn, but not the end of the presents. Alex picked up a lovely pair of knitting needles from Silkindian too, a 14″ set of size 8 with nifty ends. I’m already trying to figure out what pattern I can make to use them.IMG_2888And finally, I got a silk pashmina in shades of fuchsia, purple and teal with stripes and polka dots: all my favorites in one article of clothing! I’ve already worn it and LOVE it. (This wasn’t from Silkindian.)IMG_2881I know. I’m so terribly spoiled. I quite like it that way. If you’re jealous of my yarn, check out the Silkindian’s website here or find him on ravelry here. What I have is just the tip of the iceberg!