Stash enhancement

Mum and I went to a craft fair in Exeter on Saturday and we tried really hard to be good and not buy things we didn’t really need.

But as soon as I touched this skein that great intention momentarily left me….

It’s 65% cashmere, 35% silk laceweight and hand dyed.

I need to find a very special pattern for this one!

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Zealana Rimu DK Possum Yarn Review

I love possum yarn.  Ever since I went to New Zealand and bought a possum scarf for my Mum, I’ve been astounded at how soft and warm it is.  This evening I’ve just knitted a swatch of Zealana’s Rimu DK yarn which is 60% merino and 40% possum. I don’t think you’ll find a yarn that has more possum content than this – I’ve not seen one anyway.

I knitted the swatch on 4mm needles and got 20 stitches to 10cm, rather than the usual 22 sts you’d expect with a standard DK.  But that’s easily fixed with a different needle size.

Zealana Rimu DK

The swatch feels almost silky, it’s so smooth and I know would be super warm if were knitted into a garment or hat/scarf/gloves.  It’s quite a thick DK – if you know what I mean.  The knitted fabric feels quite solid, so I don’t think it would be so good for a delicate garment. But I could image a nice jacket or pullover.  I just had a look on Ravelry to see what people have made with Rimu DK and it’s mainly accessories such as cabled scarves or berets/hats or mitts.  I did see however a striped jumper made with Rimu and Noro Silk Garden.  It looks like two rows of Rimu in a dark solid colour and two rows of Noro, so that colour changes really stand out.

Rimu also comes in a Fingering/4 Ply weight.

I’ve got a laceweight possum yarn sample that I’m going to knit up next.

Possum Tales: Kauri Aran

I was recently sent some samples of a variety of Zealana possum yarns by the European distributor Lanamania. A couple of Christmases ago, Mum gave me 200g of possum yarn and I love it. I bought some possum scarves and gloves when I went to New Zealand a few years ago and it’s such a warm and comforting fibre. So I was quite excited when I opened the package.

This evening I decided to knit up a swatch in one of the samples called Kauri. It’s a 10ply Worsted (Aran) yarn made from 60% merino, 30% possum and 10% silk.

It’s created a lovely light fabric. It doesn’t feel itchy and isn’t too fluffy. I can just imagine using it make a big winter cardigan.

I’m seriously considering stocking it in the shop. There isn’t much specific pattern support, but the swatch I’ve just knitted gave me a perfect tension for an aran yarn: 18st x 24 rows on 5mm needles. So it could be substituted easily enough.

The new Amy Butler yarn

This week we received our delivery of Amy Butler yarn in the shop.  When my Rowan rep came to see me and tell me about it, she brought with her some samples of the new yarn and some needles for me to do some knitting with.  It was simply lovely!

Amy Butler Belle Organic Aran yarn Amy Butler Belle Organic DK Yarn

It’s a 50% organic wool / 50% organic cotton mix and is very similar to Rowan’s existing wool cotton yarn.  It is available in both DK and Aran weight in a variety of bright, bold, cheery colours.  Perfect for the summer.

Amy Butler has also written a book of knitting patterns to go with her yarn. The book called Midwest Modern Knits and contains about 20 knitting patterns for both garments and home items.

Yarny Christmas

Thought I’d show you what knitting related presents Father Christmas brought me this year…

Two skeins of Mirasol Hacho.  Mum actually picked this up for me when we visited Get Knitted a couple of months ago.  I’ve never used Mirasol yarn before but I loved the colours of this particular one.  Don’t know what I’ll use it for.

Mirasol Hacho yarn

Then some Fleece Artist Slubbby Blue which is a 100% blue faced leicester wool.  Again I knew about this as we picked it up at Ally Pally.  It was the colours again that drew me to it. One skein is called Angel Fish and the other is Peacock.

Slubby Blue

Finally on the yarn front is a 250g skein of Fleece Artist Blue Face Aran.  It comes with a pattern to make a felted bag.  I’m not all that fussed about felted items but I think a bag would be a good thing to make with it, so maybe I’ll look around at other bag patterns.

Fleece Artist Blue Faced Aran

I also got a Yarn Harlot desk calendar, so I can have her “purls” of wisdom every day at work next year.

The socks I knitted for my brother fitted – thankfully!  And my best friend’s Dad has asked if I’d knit him some socks too.  So I’ll probably start those soon.  I just need to make sure they’re big enough as his feet have swollen due to medical treatment he’s having.

A bit of sparkle

I just had to show you this skein of yarn that I bought from Fyberspates.  The plum colour is very rich and the silver sparkly bits are real sterling silver!!

She only has this yarn as a special, every so often, and I was delighted to grab this skein last week when I saw her “tweet” that she had put some on the website.

It’s a sock weight yarn, but I wouldn’t make socks from it.  I think I might make a lacey shawl for Mum – not for Christmas, but maybe Mother’s Day?

How to tink or frog Kidsilk Haze

Heard a great tip today for working with Kidsilk Haze. When you go wrong with this yarn, it’s a bit of a pig to unknit (tink) or frog it.

Apparently, if you stick it in the freezer for 20 minutes, it makes the fibres stiff, and it’s much easier to tink it!

Good to know 😉

Do I need more yarn? No. Did I buy more yarn? Yes!

A fine day was had a couple of weeks ago when Mum and I hopped on the train up to London to go to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace (Ally Pally).

Ally Pally is in North London and it took us a while to get there from Devon, but it was worth it.  The view from Ally Pally is amazing!  You can see right down to the City and pick out the high-rise buildings like the Gherkin and the weather on Thursday was just perfect: warm and sunny with just a slight Autumnal feel to it.

The view from Ally Pally
The view from Ally Pally

There was a good variety of exhibitors there with various yarns, fabrics, and other crafty things.  The only place that had any real yarn bargains though was Black Sheep with their huge pile of discontinued Rowan and Sirdar yarns – all at extremely good prices.  I didn’t bother to get any though – I can get them myself through the shop if I wanted.

However I did I buy a Colinette throw kit.  It was quite expensive, but beautiful colours and unusual yarn.

colinette yarn

Mum also bought some Fleece Artist yarn to put away for Christmas.  Again it was the stunning colours that drew me to it.  I’ve no idea what I’ll make with it, but it was just toooo nice 😀

Mum got some fabric fat quarters for her stash too.

Announcing Hulu Crafts

I’d like to announce my new business: www.hulucrafts.co.uk – an online yarn store selling yarns, wools and knitting patterns from Sirdar, Sublime, Rowan, Artesano, and Manos del Uruguay as well as Kaffe Fassett fabrics and Amy Butler fabrics and sewing patterns.

 

Hulu online yarn and fabric shop
Hulu online yarn and fabric shop

 

 

This is something I’ve dreamed about doing for some time and I’m so excited that it is finally happening.  The website went live last week and I’ve had so much encouragement from friends and family.

I’m happy to ship internationally, so to all my non-UK readers, why not take advantage of the exchange rate and grab yourself a good deal!

P.S.: The name comes from Hulu – the hawaiian word for wool.

Yarn sales

I went to Spin a Yarn this morning because their sale started today.  I’ve been very lazy over the past couple of weeks and haven’t left the village for days, so it was nice to go a bit further.  Mum came with me and as it was a sunny day she thought it would nice to drive over the Moor on the way home.  It was very pretty but boy, it was chilly though 😀

Spin a Yarn was packed though.  It’s a tiny shop anyway, which packed to the rafters with a HUGE range of yarns, and today it was crazy with queues almost out of the door at one point.  But with a 20% discount for loyalty card holders, it was worth going.

I bought some Lanartus Sumo yarn and some more mesh to make a couple of the woven scarves and Mum bought some sock yarn.  I fancy doing another pair of socks too.  Before I made my first pair, I wasn’t really bothered about doing them, but I can see now why people get addicted to sock knitting.  The instructions I had were good, so I didn’t find them difficult to do.

Anyway, time to get back to the possum yarn.  I’m making a hat with it, did I say?  It’s going to take me a while to do though – small needles, lots of ribbing which takes me ages.