Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘swtc’ Category

If you are looking to knit the Stitch Diva Endless Cardi Shawl primarily for warm weather wearing, I would recommend Soysilk or Bamboo fiber.

The Cardi-Shawl can even be worn backwards!

I swatched up SWTC Bamboo, which makes for a very thin, EXTREMELY drape-y garment. Perfect for extra-hot climates or layering this garment with a more fashion forward outfit. I got gauge on a size 6, but would recommend stepping down a needle size to counteract some of the stretching that can occur with bamboo. This yarn has a beautiful barely-there sheen for an extra dash of polish.

In the soysilk camp there are two ways to go: Plied or Tape construction. Both are breathable and easy to care for. For those of you un-initiated to the world of soysilk knitting, I can tell you it is best looked at in comparison to the more familiar cotton.

The plied option is called “Pure” by SWTC. The swatch has the hand of the llama or even the yak/bamboo, shockingly enough. It has a very slight cotton-y halo and is incredibly light in the hand. Like cotton, this option lacks stitch memory. If tugged on, the fabric will stretch and hang the way cotton does. However, because it is so light, it will not pull itself out of shape the way cotton can.

The tape option for this project would be “Oasis” by SWTC. The tape structure adds 2 key feature to this project: texture and bounce. Tape yarns show textured stitches, such as cables, in high relief. This project does not a have a particularly textured stitch pattern, but the tape yarn does give it a little extra personality. Each stitch has perfect stitch definition and those drop stitch rows really stand out. The bounce come from the knitted structure built right into the yarn itself. You can tug on the fabric pretty good and the whole garment just pulls right back into shape with this yarn. The tape yarn does add a bit of weight to the fabric. The heaviness of the yarn balances with its own springiness to create a beautifully draped, bouncy garment.

I have yet to knit up the swatch, but I can tell you this project would also be a joy to knit with SWTC Terra. The cotton/bamboo blend comes in a rich palette of earth tones. This yarn has an intriguing interplay between the earthiness of the cotton and the sheen of the bamboo. In fact, the idea of this garment knit up in this yarn is begging me to go swatch it up right now!

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Joanna, modeling the amorphous garment "right side up"

On Thursday I was at Sister Arts Studio in Chicago to kick off a the Cardi Shawl Knit (and crochet) A Long. I first knit this garment (designed by Stitch Diva) last September. After raving about it to Donna at SASI over the pone and e-mail, I knew I just had to drop in wearing it. Just as I suspected, when she saw it in person, Donna decided that we must do this project as a Knit-A-Long.

The whole thing is knit up as one looooong rectangle, knit along the long edge instead of the short. The magic is in the 3 needle bind off. The resulting garment can be worn right side up, upside down, belted, pinned, open, even backwards!  Of all my garment projects, this is my most frequently worn item.

Please Note: photos never do this garment justice, though Donna and Joanna made a valiant effort! She is wearing the XS, which is generously sized enough to be tried on by significantly larger women. Customers who normally knit a size L or even XL are knitting this project in M.

To prepare for the Kick Off event, I knit up a small army of swatches. It was amazing how much there is to think about when planning a garment yarn choice. I admit, I usually don’t spend as much time on this step as I should. That will certainly change now! The key word you’re going to hear over and over with this project is “Drape”. This is not a densely knit wool sweater, it is an exciting foray into the sensuous world of slinky knits. Today I will cover the protein fibers I swatched up.

"Upside Down" and shawl pinned, my personal favorite way to wear this!

The most luscious choice by far was definitely the Lhasa Wilderness by Bijou Basin. It is a 75% yak, 25% bamboo DREAM of a yarn. I was in love before, but after this swatch, I am really dying to knit this garment again with this yarn. The swatch was unbelievably light and soft, but with spectacular drape and a barely-there sheen. The stitch definition was clear. This fiber combination is both breathable, hypo-allergenic, and warm. Considering this project would need just a hair over 4 skeins for the generously sized XS, this is a great “Bang For Your Buck” yak project.

If the Yak/Bamboo is just not in the budget, the new Llama Luxury from South West Trading Company is a spectacular substitute. It comes in a subtle palette of neutrals. The llama fiber is remarkably light, yet insulating (think alpaca). It drapes wonderfully, but has enough stitch memory to keep from looking saggy. The swatch had a slight halo, making it look oh-so-inviting to squish!  Soft and lovely next to the skin, you would need 7 skeins to make the XS.

Wearing it backwards; feels crazy, and yet it totally works!

The most popular choice at Knit Night was the Yin/Yang combination from SWTC. These are sister yarns, each 60%wool, 20% bamboo, 20% silk. Yang also has a iridescent mini-sequins held on by a silk thread. With these yarns you can knit most of the garment in the plain Yin, and then throw in some Yang on the ribbing and drop-stitch rows. It adds some extra sparkle and interest. The yarn itself has great stitch memory and knit up to a rather dense, bouncy swatch compared to the rest. The bamboo and silk contribute enough drape to keep the project hanging as it should.

Tune in tomorrow for the conclusion of Swatched With Love; Cellulose Strikes Back!

Read Full Post »

Sorry for dropping off the Blog-O-Sphere for a while, I do still exist!

Part of the reason for my absence is the gone-missing-ness of my camera upload cable. Posts without photos are like decaf-espresso shots….no fun. Well, I have unearthed the errant cable and so here I am! Lets catch up a little.

The gifts, all tarted up for the big day

Due to a slow December, I did get all my X-mas knitting and quite a few other people’s shopping done well in advance. I was quite pleased with how all the gifts looked, wrapped and ready for Christmas morning! Everything seemed to be pretty well received and appreciated. It was a (relatively) peaceful holiday with precious little drama, besides my mother’s brand new, top of the line oven going Ka-Putt on us, X-mas eve with loads of family members due to arrive the next day… and nothing prepared. We managed to keep our wits about us and everything worked out just fine, though.

Mom in our classy room!

Once the holidays were over I got ready for a big trip out to Anoka, MN for a fashion show at Shepherd’s Choice. I will confess, I was more than a little concerned about this trip. The event was booked in the middle of the day on a Saturday, meaning that I would be hard pressed to either drive in that morning and immediately put on the show, or drive out right after the show, being on the road alone in the dark well into the night. I could not find any other appointments out that way so I could not justify staying overnight for 2 nights for just one appointment. Also, right before I left there was a big ole’ dump of snow right over my route, making the roads impassable, at least in my immediate area. I was more than a little on edge about going all that way in those conditions all alone.

Well, long story short, my mom came to the rescue! We drove out there on Friday afternoon, in the brand new SUV she got for X-mas! We decided to stay in Stillwater, MN, because I’ve been there before and thought it was adorable! Well, Stillwater was indeed adorable, but DARN COLD! Mom and I checked into the deal-of-the-century Water Street Inn, and were beyond grateful to be inside from the -10 temps outside.

All set up for Bubble-then-Snuggle, I guess

Besides being affordable, adorable, and warm, the Water Street Inn also had Spectacular food (the best meal I’ve had on the road to date!). There was live music in the bar and the holiday decorations were still up, making my mom feel festive and smile-y. The room had one surprising feature, worthy of photos: a whirlpool tub right smack-dab in the bedroom! We did not use it, but we were amused by it. We instead decided to cozy up to the in room fireplace to relax. I will certainly be staying at the Water Street Inn again. Mom says she would love to come back to Stillwater to shop and explore, only next time when the weather supports human life.

The next day we went over to Shepherd’s Choice in Anoka, MN for the fashion event. We were greeted with warm smiles and great enthusiasm, despite the continued deep freeze outside. The fashion event was a great success! Customers knit with sample balls from Bijou Basin, fondled sample garments, learned a great deal about luxury yak fiber, and then settled in for a SWTC fashion show… complete with volunteer models. It seemed a little silly, talking about breathable, lightweight summer fibers like soysilk and bamboo, but I think everybody found it hopeful and comforting. Spring will get here eventually, we should start preparing for it now!

I will be posting photos from this event, but alas….more camera cable capers! My mom took photos on her camera and so she gave me the camera to upload them, but I do not have her cable.

Read Full Post »

Introducing Llama Luxury!
 South West Trading Company has introduced a new, very affordable and totally luscious luxury yarn. It is 100% baby llama fiber with a 22.5 micron count. It comes in 8 natural shades ranging from creamy white, through heathered camel and smokey grey to a deep rich charcoal. At MSRP $11 for a 100m skein, it is a bargain! It officially knits up at 5 sts/inch on a 7, but I got a hot insider tip that it is better off at 4 sts/inch on an 8. Either way, I can’t wait to swatch this baby up!

Shopowners, if you are looking for an affordable luxury yarn in natural shades, this is a winner! Please e-mail me if you are interested!




Always looking to strike while the iron is hot, SWTC is also introducing a SOLIDS COLLECTION in their perennial hit sock yarn, Tofutsies! There will be 10 solid colors introduced at the end of the month. Solid colors will show off your more complex or delicate stitch work in a way that variegated sock yarns can not.

To celebrate the new yarns, they are also rolling out the two new patterns you see here. Wouldn’t that brown sweater look great in my closet?
Llama Luxury and Solid Tofutsies ship at the end of October, so look for it on store shelves soon.

Read Full Post »

I’m working on improving my HTML image formating skills, So please be patient. I’m testing out a new concept where I post alternately text-heavy and image-heavy entries. This way, I am hoping to create a more code-friendly back end for myself and a more reader/viewer friendly blog. Please comment or e-mail me with your opinions!


The Waupaca SuperModels; Doris, Anita, Victoria, and Karen

One Rowdy Crowd!

The Big V Vest Strut

A Peri-Fairy

Waupaca’s Answer to Vana White

One Chic Suit

The most lovely Therapi Braided Wrap

The Belle of the Ball

Read Full Post »

And I loved every minute of it!

I just got back from my first roadtrip since my surgery. First, I was at the Sow’s Ear in Verona, WI, where I met with the lovely Heather. The Sow’s Ear is one of my favorite shops I’ve visited yet. It is a combination coffee shop/yarn shop and does both beautifully! I am hoping to get back there soon for a Fashion Event (details to follow).

From Fair Verona, I hit the trail northwards to Waupaca, Wisconsin. It was a lovely 3 hour drive through farm country during harvest time. The leaves are starting to change color and the sky, for the most part, was deep and endless blue. I could not have asked for a more beautiful drive.

Once I arrived in Waupaca, I was greeted by the warmest, most welcoming group of artists at the Waupaca Arts Center. The Arts Center is home to a shop run by 5 artists; each with their own specialty. They have Yarn, weaving and knitting supplies(Lamb’s Quarters), beads, pottery, baskets, recycled clothing, photography, etc. You can find the Waupaca Arts Center on Facebook at “Waupaca Arts” and the yarn shop portion at www.lambs-quarters.biz
<—Anita, Jane and Victoria from Lamb’s Quarters
At the Arts Center we hosted a Fashion Show and we must have been the talk of Central Wisconsin! Women drove in from over 60 miles away to see the show!

Extra-Special Thanks to shopowner Jane, Photographer Byron, and Models Anita, Victoria, Doris, and Karen!

Read Full Post »

Thank you to everyone who came out to the Gifted Purl for the Fashion Event on Friday night! It was so much fun and I felt so welcome there. I would like to extend a very special thank you to Mollie, the shop owner, and my 4 volunteer models; Jeanette, Allie, Casey, and Lindsey. They were total pros and such good sports. Here are some photos of our fun from Friday.

This is called a “Knitter’s Handshake”.

Here are Mollie, the shopowner and gracious hostess, and Kat, my special guest, the General Manager of Southwest Trading Company.
I have two fashion events planned for October. 1 at Montoya Fiber Studio in Evanston for Thursday, 10/8 and another at Sister Arts in Chicago for Thursday, 10/15.
If you would like to have a fashion show in your area, Please leave a comment or send me an e-mail! I love these shows and they are a great time for everybody!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »