Tag Archive | Silkindian

One-Day Project: Silk Cowl

I figured out the secret to getting that sense of accomplishment when you’re overwhelmed by your WIPs: start new, smaller projects that you can finish within a day! No, it doesn’t do any good for your WIPs, but at least you have FOs to show for your time. I made two of those over the long weekend. One was the set of mitts I shared in my last post. Then Sunday I went up to my stash to find some yarn to make a knitted mouse, and somehow came downstairs with some pretty pale purple silk instead.

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The tag said it was 100g of worsted weight, so of course I cast on a project intended for DK. I don’t even know how. Whatever. It came out fine, except I ran out of yarn sooner than the pattern said I should.

I assumed it was my fault for choosing the wrong yarn, but when it was done, I weighed it, and it was NOT 100 grams. It was 54 grams, with only about 5 grams leftover. Well! That’s not cool. But it’s fine; it’s perfectly cozy and wearable and soft. The yarn was a present from when the husband when to India a few years ago, so I’m glad I can wear it and be thankful that he’s supportive of my yarn obsession!

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The pattern is Side-Stepping Cowl and the yarn is SilkIndian Duke Silk.

Meet My New Baby

That’s what I’m calling it anyway, since it took nine months to make. This is the first project I’ve made with the silk yarn the husband brought home from his trip to India. Remember that marvelous pile of handspun, handpainted yarns I blogged about last summer? I started this cowl back then and for some reason I found it slow and boring and set it aside for nine months. Then Saturday I finished the chair socks (all 32 of them, with 4 tails each) and yesterday I finished the sister’s bag. (I KNOW!! I’M EXCITED TOO! I’m giving it to her tonight so I’ll show you tomorrow.) I’ve known for a while that my next priority would be WIPs. I don’t like having so many lingering projects. Aside from a cardigan that I don’t know if I’ll ever pick up again, this was my oldest WIP.

Once I picked it up, I had no idea why I set it aside. Well, that may not be completely true. The pattern called for size 9 16″ needles. At the time, I didn’t have my 16″ interchangeable circs, so the needle tips were full length, making them closer to 18″ than 16″ and making the knitting awkward. I immediately switched to the shorter tips and the needles flew. The yarn is glorious, as soft as you can imagine, with beautiful rainbow colors. It didn’t split or snag or knot; it flowed smoothly through my fingers and over the needles. It took three episodes of Gilmore Girls and two episodes of Supernatural and I was done! (Aside: have any of you watched both those shows? It’s strange seeing Dean from GG as Dean’s brother on Supernatural. Plus Supernatural is extremely freaky and weird and strange. I was not watching it, the girl was. She’s got strange taste.)

Anyway. Cowl is done. As soft as it is, the silk is a bit limp and floppy, so it lays strangely when I put it on. I might try pinning it close to the neck with a shawl pin or brooch. Still, it’s gorgeous. And when I see it I think of the husband, so that pleases me too. IMG_2320 IMG_2321 IMG_2322Here are the details: the free pattern is Malabrigo Neck Thingie and I made no modifications. The yarn is Duke Silk, 100% silk worsted weight from SilkIndian.

I am now down to only four WIPs, not including that cardigan. That feels good! Next up is finishing my delicious Chocolate Cherries shawlette. I’m really enjoying this phase of not thinking of knitting as a business. I’m not missing the craft shows or the pressure of making things for them. Instead I’m just making what I want to make, letting the yarns guide me, and it feels so much better. I don’t know if I’ll even want to make Christmas presents this year! Okay, okay, it’s not even June yet. I’ll keep an open mind. But I’m going to keep knitting for pleasure for as long as possible! If I don’t do many craft shows, though, what do I do with stuff I make that I won’t use? What do the rest of you do with all your knitted or crocheted goods?

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!