Monday, 29 November 2010

Yarnscape is moving!

There will be no new posts on this blog.  I'm merging this blog with my personal blog and moving everything over to my new site,

All my posts have already moved, so update your bookmarks and come and join me as I decorate my new home!

Friday, 27 August 2010

Fiber Friday!

Announcing a brand-new Yarnscape tradition, and the launch of another product line: hand-carded batts, perfect for spinners and felters!

This is just a mini shop update, with four batts in each of two 'flavours'.  First up is Rose Rage (a gradient batt, moving  from pale to dark pink).  This one's pure merino, no sparkle:

Then we have Titania, a blend of purples with holographic silver Angelina (moderate sparkle):

I'm selling these as one-ounce batts.  This is a bit of an experiment, because Etsy charges per item listed.  I could quarter my listing costs by advertising a single four-ounce lot, but this is more flexible, and should appeal much more to felters and other low-volume batt buyers.  I hope!

Besides, you can get a four-foot long, eight inch wide lace scarf out of less than an ounce of fibre.  I've done it.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

One-skein project: Pretty Thing in Smitten

This one got hold of me and wouldn't let go.  I had most of a ball of Smitten (colour: soft slate) left over after determining the ball-band gauge, and I've been admiring the Yarn Harlot's Pretty Thing pattern for a while,  (Ravelry link here), and, well.  Just well.  I knit on this just about every chance I got for three days, and I love the result!

Pretty Thing was originally written for a very different type of yarn - fingering weight, and so fluffy as to be almost insubstantial.  Smitten is a DK weight silk - heavy and fluid.  And as you might expect, the results of my yarn substitution make for quite a different finished object.

Most significantly, a drapey lace fabric is never going to stand under the chin like the original cashmere blend does.  This is more of a collar than a cowl, and I'm wearing it folded over as a result.  If I were to do this again, I might take note of where the fold falls, and swap the right and wrong sides in that general region - just so that the right side of both sets of scallops shows, when worn. 

I also cut one repeat of the pattern out (around-the-way), because Smitten knits to far fewer stitches per inch than two-ply cashmere, and I knit it flat.  Because I couldn't find the right size DPNs, and magic loop makes me crazy.  I can find the seam, if I look, but it's really not obvious.

A note on blocking:  Wet-blocking silk is an interesting exercise.  Silk tends to get 'crispy' as it dries, and you need to beat it up a bit to get the blocked object to soften.  I find it fascinating that the softening doesn't undo all the careful blocking, but honest!  It doesn't!

Monday, 9 August 2010

It all takes so much longer than I thought...

OK, only one shop update over the weekend - once the photography, labelling, inventory and the rest are taken care of, dyeing the yarn seems to be the smallest part of this business - but I did get the silk listed!

'Candy', available here

During the swatching process, this yarn renamed itself from 'Shine' (I know, original, right?) to 'Smitten'.  Because I was so totally and utterly smitten with my swatch:

Swatch on 4mm needles, 'Soft Slate'
I didn't exactly choose the best background for that swatch; the colourway, Soft Slate, is a soft grey with lavender, blue and soft brown highlights; click for bigger to see the shine, the soft colours, but I can still promise you I didn't do it justice.

I love the texture of this yarn.  It's a 2-ply structure, which is quite unusual for thicker silk yarns; they're often singles.  The problem with singles is that they tend to bias in the knitting, and they are much, much more prone to pilling and other abrasion-related damage than plied yarns.  This yarn, though, is plied, and it's quite dense.  You can see that there is an almost pebbled look to the yarn; the same sort of effect you get in high-end sock yarns, and that adds its own detail to the surface texture of the fabric:

'New Growth' (my favourite greens!) - available here
I'm guessing that no-one will be too shocked to hear that I couldn't resist keeping some of this for myself.  I have a whole skein of the Soft Slate, and yesterday, I cast on for the Yarn Harlot's pattern, 'Pretty Thing' cowl (Ravelry link).  It's looking luscious.

Friday, 6 August 2010

This weekend: shop updates!

OK, folks!  I've been absent a lot over the last month, and there have been no shop updates for a while.  Now, though, the busy time is over (who am I kidding; I have loads to do.  It just isn't the sort of stuff that gets written on the calendar!) - so I can get some new yarns up in the shop!

First up will be the DK weight pure silk I blogged about here.  These skeins are the first ones I dyed for this yarn base, and I deliberately selected 'slight seconds' (that is, knots!), so look out for real bargains!

After that.. Well.  Perhaps some DK wool, now the cooler weather patterns are being launched?  Or some Aran weight Blue Faced Leicester?  I also have some batts, suitable for spinning or felting, that I need to photograph and list; the choices are many!

In the meantime, you can see all my currently listed yarns in my Etsy shop.  See you again soon!

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Woot! Another shop update!

'Flow' is now available.  And just in case you were wondering what the second colourway looks like, this is Meadow:


Monday, 5 July 2010

'Drift' hits the Etsy shop!

Running a bit behind schedule, but seven colours of Drift have just been listed in my Etsy shop...  Enjoy!