Tuesday, March 31, 2009

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming

I know it's Wednesday and there's supposed to be a yarn review going on here.
Well, honestly with finishing up some of the details of the Summer Seasons of Habu I ran out of time for a yarn review. I promise it will return next week.

Registration for the Seasons of Habu Summer kit will open on Monday, April 6th.

I've shared a little about this project but here's a recap and details.

Theme: Cool Summer Drink
Yarn: Habu's Tsumugi Silk and Silk Stainless Steel. You will receive 2 cones (2 oz) of Tsumugi Silk either in a green (kiwi daiquiri) or yellow (margarita) color and 2 cones of Silk Stainless Steel in white. retail value $76.40
Project: Breezy summer shell style top. Pattern designed by myself and included in kit. This is perfect to wear over a cotton (or silk) tank or camisole top.
Goodies: As always a surprise.
Price: $80.00 plus shipping

This is the 3rd of 4 kits for the Seasons of Habu series and there will be a limited quantity available.

I will be finishing up the back piece and putting together this weekend. More pictures of completed project next week.

That's all for now.

and as always ...

Enjoy your knitting!

Monday, March 30, 2009

What's on the way

Jojoland is coming back to The Knitting Hutch. I am so pleased to share that I will be carrying sock yarn by Jojoland Yarns. This will include all of the solid color yarns as well as their amazing variegated yarns. I've carried their yarns in my shop before and still have some of the non-superwashed solids in stock.

My favorite is Spring Garden. The variegated yarns by Jojoland are softly blended and plied colors.
I knit a pair of the Embossed Leaves socks with this colorway and absolutely love how they turned out.

a little more close-up shot.
Jojoland is a great everyday sock yarn at an everyday price point that turns out amazing socks or sweaters. Can't wait to share when the new shipment arrives.
More sock yarn news... I have some very exciting plans to bring in hand dyed sock yarns inspired by the Pacific Coast both East and West. Keep checking back for details on this new line.
What is your favorite sock yarn?
and as always ...
Enjoy your knitting!

Friday, March 27, 2009

On The Needles Friday

This is what I hope will be a regular blog installment to share what I have on the needles ( and should have on the needles). Basically my weekend knitting plans.
First up are 2 projects that I am actively working on. I've already introduced you to the tank style top I am working on for the Summer Seasons of Habu kit. The front is knit, washed and blocked. The other night I cast on for the other piece which I need to focus on and finish early next week. Then the cones of Habu Wool and Silk blend in a light fingering weight were screaming at me to knit them. So I obeyed and started a shawl pattern from Anne Hanson of Knitspot. This will be a featured yarn, pattern and kit of the week very soon.
Here's the backside of this project. I love how soft and delicious this wool/silk blend from Habu is. Yes I appear to be in my green mood right now.

Next up are a couple projects that need more On The Needle time. The Copper Vintage Cowl sweater was going along well until I started to put it together. The sleeves weren't quite right. I was going to make it work as Tim Gunn would say but I got a PM on Ravelry from the person who rewrote this pattern alerting me to a slight errata. Love Ravelry! So I need to put in a few hours and reknit the sleeves and get this together.

Yes, another sweater that needs more intensive OTN as in entirely reknit. Actually it turned out great if you ignore the fact that it doesn't fit me. So a froggy will come a courtin and back to knitting this up again a size (or 2) larger.

So there's my weekend knitting plans. What's on your needles.
Have a wonderful weekend
and ...
Enjoy your knitting!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thursday Randomness

Some pictures of the blocking of the Seasons of Habu Summer project. We start off with something looking like a drenched critter. Seriously since this is silk it does need some gentle treatment while wet. Wet silk is fragile and you want to give it support while pulling it out of it's bath. I used our drying towel to pull out most of the water before blocking.

Of course every job requires a supervisor and I have mine. Meet Ophilia (FiFi) my tuxedo kitty.
The Blockit blocking wires make this an easy and efficient process. I only use 14 T pins and the edges are very straight.

She is actually waiting for this to be over with so she can claim her piece of sunshine.

Finally, the front (or back) is dry and I couldn't wait to drape this on the dress form to see how it will hang. Love it! Blocked out at 22" across and 19.5" from collar to hem.

Here is a closeup of the simple but lovely rolled edge at the neckline.

Last night I cast on for the matching piece and can't wait to see this put together.

Have a random Thursday

and as always ...

Enjoy your knitting!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wednesday Yarn Review

I hope you don't mind but this will be a combination of yarn review and project wrap up and apologize if this is a little rehash from the project progress of the past month but I think you'll like it as much as I do.

Yarn - Maggi's Linen

color shown Natural - many others available

This is a different type of yarn in that it is 3 single 2 ply yarns carried together.

DK weight
52% Cotton, 48% Linen
Yardage: 126 yards (115 meters)
Unit weight: 50 grams (1.76 ounces) put up - ball
Gauge 18.0 = 4 inches
Needle size US 6 - 8 or 4 - 5mm
Care: Hand Wash & Dry Flat or Dry Clean

Above is a picture from my project (Alcala Shawl) knit on US 9 / 5.5 mm to get guage.
It is a very nice, soft yarn to knit with and I didn't find the 3 strands carried to not be a problem.
You may want to experiment with various needle material (wood/metal/plastic) and tip type (blunt/very pointy) to find what works for you. I used Colonial Rosewood which have a moderate pointy needle tip and didn't have a problem with stray strands. That said I am pretty used to carrying a couple yarns together while knitting.

Pattern selected

Maggi's Alcala Shawl from The Gathered Look
Cover project

I looked through several of Maggi's books to find a pattern that is fairly simple for the begining knitter but still has a little something to keep the more experienced knitter interested. It was also important that the project featured the linen yarn and not compete with other yarns.

So I thought the Alcala shawl was the perfect choice. I think it really shows this yarn to it's best by mixing plain knitting with texture and interesting surface detail. Now, I did something I normally don't do and used the color used in the book since I wanted the yarn to speak for this one but any of the colors would look amazing in this pattern.

I love how this turned out and know it will be a favorite through Spring and Summer.

This is a typical Maggi design that anyone can wear with confidence and a little attitude ;-)

Hope you like it too.

The Kit

Since this isn't offered as a single pattern but in a collection in the book here's what I'm doing.
10% off the book The Gathered Look and 10% off Maggi's Linen yarns.
Hope you enjoyed this installment of yarn review with The Knitting Hutch.
On Friday I'll share what project(s) are currently On The Needles.

and as always ...

Enjoy your knitting.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Build you own Kusha Kusha

Seems like I can't keep the Kusha Kusha kits in stock in enough of the color combos I thought a 'Build Your Own' kit would be fun.

The Kusha Kusha Scarf and Shawl kits are our best selling kits from Habu and they are a lot of fun to make and wear. Believe me you will get compliments on this project.
The challenge was the ability to offer my customers a wide variety of color combinations to choose from. The Silk Stainless Steel A-20/21 comes in 7 color options.
and the Merino Wool A-177 comes in 20 colors which means many, many options to combine to make the Kusha Kusha in. (color below is 45 Tera Cotta)

So now you can select what Silk Stainless Steel color you'd like to combine with the Soft Merino Wool and I'll include the appropriate pattern.
You want the scarf then select 1 oz of the A-20/21 Silk Stainless Steel and 1 oz of the A-177 Merino wool.
Want the Shawl then select 4 oz of the A-20/21 Silk Stainless Steel and 3 oz of the A-177 Merino Wool.
I'm trying to pick my combos and get one started.
Check back tomorrow for the Featured Yarn and Pattern feature.
and ....
Enjoy your knitting!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Vernal Equinox

Today we celebrate the Vernal Equinox (Equal Night), the first day of Spring.
The the sun is positioned above the equator, day and night are about equal in length all over the world during the equinoxes. People have recognized the vernal equinox for thousands of years. There is no shortage of rituals and traditions surrounding the coming of spring. How are you observing the Vernal Equinox?
I'm celebrating the Vernal Equinox by planning for the Summer Solstice. Yep, I'm a season ahead but it's all good. Creating the project for the next Seasons of Habu kit for Summer is so much fun and coming along very nicely. Actually, I started on St. Paddy's Day by knitting a swatch for the pattern. Then after calculations and determining the bottom edging I cast on the project and here's a preview. It will be a shell style top with a purl border at the bottom and a simple, but pretty stitch pattern going up. Here's a preview of where I am right now (1/3 up the front).

You probably noticed that I am using 2 cones of Habu yarn and I've devised a clever device for allowing me to neatly pull off the cones as I knit. It's a bread basket from Target (a few years ago), a length of bamboo or wooden dowel, washers and pretty drawer pulls. Here's a little close-up.

Close-up of the unblocked piece in progress.

Close-up of it blocked out just a little to show the pattern.

Finally, I will be putting this in the Seasons of Habu department of the shop for registrations on April 1st. Can't wait to get back to working on this tonight and then to get this done to show you the completed project for this kit.
Have a great weekend and ...
Enjoy your knitting!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wednesday Yarn Review

I thought it would be fun, and helpful, to start a regular feature reviewing a yarn from our collection. As much as we love seeing yarns in hanks, skeins or balls it is hard sometimes to imagine what it will look like after it's knitted up. This is especially true for variegated yarns.
Having a swatch of the yarn knitted with the recommeded needle size and to guage if given really helps.

So begins what will be a weekly or bi-weekly feature on my blog. I will select a yarn, knit a swatch and select an appropriate pattern giving you details about the yarn, needle used, gauge and process I used to select the pattern. Then will put together a kit pairing the yarn and pattern. Hope you find this helpful.

Yarn - Habu Kasuri Silk Tweed A-164

This is a 1 ply / 5 wpi
heavy lace to light fingering weight
100% silk yarn Hand Dyed
Recommended needle size US2-4 / 2.75mm-3.5mm

So off I went to knit a swatch ...

This has a nice soft hand with a very organic, nubby look. Very lovely to knit with a cotton like feel.

I tend to knit a little tight and usually have to go up a needle size to get gauge so for this I split the difference on recommended size and selected a US3. Very happy with the stitch definition and drape with this size and gauge.

Needles US 3 - I used Colonial Rosewood
Gauge 6.5 stitches p/inch and 9.5 rows p/inch

Pattern selected

Ostrich Plumes Stole and Scarf by Anne Hanson of Knitspot Fiber Lounge

I knew when I first saw the colors of this yarn that it called for a bird inspired pattern.
Love Anne's designs and this color just called to be an ostrich. The others could be a parrot, toucan, bluebird, dove or any other feathered friend.

Here's the closeup
The short color runs show nicely in this pattern.

The Kit
I am offering the Ostrich Plume Kit in the stole or scarf sizes with your choice of the 5 colors available.

I really enjoyed putting this together and hope to make this a weekly feature or at the least bi-weekly so keep checking back.

On Friday there will be a sneak peek of the Seasons of Habu Summer project.

and as always

Enjoy your knitting!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Some yummy green yarn for St Paddy's Day

In honor of St. Patrick's Day I thought I'd share a knitting related Irish Proverb.
If the knitter is weary the baby will have no new bonnet. ~Irish Proverb

Knit with the green today. I'll be working on a new project in green today which I'll share on Friday. For a preview it's the one in the lower right corner of the picture above.

Don't forget to stop by tomorrow for the Wednesday Yarn/Swatch/Project review.

Enjoy your knitting!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sunday's Quote

I know some of us are still trying to recover from losing an hour last weekend so here's a quote to live by.

The innocent sleep,Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleave of care...
~William Shakespeare

Shakespeare was a genius!

Enjoy your knitting

Friday, March 13, 2009

At the top of the castle stairs

The Alcala Shawl is coming along very nicely and as I said above I am at the top of the stairs and getting ready to step down the other side. Should have the 'back' steps done this weekend (hopefully). Then onto cutting and placing the remaining fringe pieces. Don't forget to check out the Maggi Jackson Yarns and Books in the shop.

I was curious what the word Alcala came from and what it means so I did a little Goggleing. Alcala is a Spanish place name and comes from the Arabic word for 'The Castle'.
If you wikipedia the word you will find there are many towns and villages beginning with Alcala such as Alcala de Rio you see it is a town in Seville, Spain. I also found there are a few Spanish restaurants named Alcala.

Enjoy your knitting this weekend, see ya Sunday with another blog.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Yarn Pron Thursday

Sorry, I was taking some pictures today and couldn't help myself.

This is the new group shot of the Habu A-113 Silk Wool 3/15.
It is a 1 oz (155 yds.) blend (70% wool, 30% silk) of yumminess on a cone.
There are 4 rich colors to choose from Green, Brown, Dark Blue Green and Black.
The silk gives a sheen giving the illusion of metal. 2 Cones would do a small, lacy scarf.

So much to knit, so little time. Happy Thursday all!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Oh, the places you'll go!

Happy Birthday Theodore Geisel. I have always loved Dr. Seuss, The Grinch is still my fav Christmas story. Thought this was appropriate for today's trip to Sacramento.

I am on my way to Sacramento this afternoon and will be out of the shop until next Wednesday.

All orders received March 2nd through March 14th will be shipped USPS Priority Mail on Wednesday March 15th. Oh, and to ease the pain of waiting there is Free Shipping on all US Domestic orders $40.00.

Still available during this time to respond to emails, and will be on Ravelry and Twitter.

Might be blogging as well so keep checking back. I am taking the Maggi Knits Alcala shawl as well as 2 sock projects to keep me busy.
Now I will leave you with a lovely quote by Dr. Seuss.
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself, any direction you choose.
~ Dr. Seuss