May 27, 2014

Olive Larch

Some of you caught sight of it on Ravelry, here's the latest project that has fallen off my needles, Larch Cardigan by Amy Christophers.

I'd wanted to knit this cardigan for a long time. I'd have liked to try the suggested yarn, Ultra Alpaca Light from Berroco with wool and alpaca, but finding no retailer in France, I opted for Alpaca of Drops (from Norway but sold by a French retailer). This yarn with 100% alpaca fiber is very affordable if not cheap, but soft, smooth, warm, a good value for money in short. The brand says the gauge is 23 sts x 30 rows and it's classified as sport weight yarn on Ravelry, but I think the fabric obtained with this gauge is light and drapey and you can use it as a heavy fingering yarn and easily go to 26 sts/4".

I share the photo of the yarn as its color is the closest one.

Let's get back to the cardigan.
It's very classically worked from the bottom-up with set-in sleeves, but remarkable for the originality of the collar. And I love the result!
It might seem simple and easy with st st and 1x1 ribbing, but it is deceptively. The ribbing is twisted, imagine knitting and purling all sts through back loop! And I have to add that there are not a few mistakes in the pattern... If you're used to knit clothes, it's not hard to realize them. But isn't it however frustrating and all the more regrettable because the design is really nice? I listed them up on my Project page, hope it will help you.

I chose metal buttons at La Droguerie (not Paris), that have a close looking to leather buttons that I initially wanted. I was told that I would need to remove them at every wash, the choice was not hard!
The color was really difficult to capture, when I was getting closer to the fabric with my camera, the color fading...

Another photo of the cardigan with the closest color on me.

Pattern: Larch Cardigan by Amy Christophers
Yarn: Drops, Alpaca: #7233
Needle: 3.5mm (US 4)
Ravelry page: Olive Larch

May 22, 2014

Ecological Yarn 1

After a long wait which had worried me, the parcel from the USA has arrived on Monday! The reason of the delay is the strike of postmen (and women) in my city that had been lasting 2 weeks, yes, ├ža, c'est la France!

The parcel contained "American" ecological yarn. It's often said that a picture is worth a thousand words, here are the photos.

Source: Externe

Source: Externe

Source: Externe

These are Balance skeins from o-wool, balance between organic cotton and merino. This composition, perfect for transitional months, is rather rare in France, I was happy when I found it (on Ravelry search engin).

I chose this yarn for spring/autumn projects in my Queue, but the purchase was also motivated by the environmental and social commitment of the owner Jocelyn! All her yarns are made - scoured, spun, dyed - in the USA with products and process certified green, to perpetuate, even on a small scale, the local textile industry.
And half of the raw material - organic cotton - of this yarn comes from the USA, while organic merino from South America, hence my caution. The Americas are vast, compared to France, or Japan... That said, I fully support her initiative!

I'm so looking forward to knitting Shellseeker by Heidi Kirrmaier, in this soft color combination!

Source: Externe

May 19, 2014

Hello! - Basic and Nice Ribbed Socks

Hi there. I'm n'ami, an addicted knitter from Japan but living in France for more then 10 years.
It's finally happened, I have a blog in English. It will be a notebook of my projects, the yarns and books I'll get, my work, etc., all about the knitting!

For the first post, I start with my latest finished object. It all began with the yarn I didn't know what to make with.
Here it is.
Dream in Color, Smooshy : Chinatown Apple

I bought it to make Pogona shawl of Stephen West, but I couldn't resist the temptation to knit this shawl with Madelinetosh Sock in Calligraphy (how can I?) that I purchased at the same time. This skein started its long sleep of hibernation.

I recently decided to wake it up, it's a shame to leave a Smooshy skein aside, isn't it? For this fingering yarn with a light color variation, I thought of socks with simple stitch to show it off. I set my heart on Basic Ribbed Socks and A Nice Ribbed Socks, both in 3x1 ribbing and free on Ravelry. I finally mixed two patterns and incorporated another recipe from a Japanese book.

It's fun to knit socks, they rapidly take shape, in 3D! And the yarn is lovely to work with. I have to say that it's not so soft despite of the fiber used - 100% merino - , but smooth, bouncy, perfect for making socks. I'm quite satisfied with the result, we can see the changing colorway.

The only snag is that you see two points at toe as they're grafted with kitchener stitch there. I've understood why toe-up socks were invented. I'll try this type next time!

Pattern: A Nice Ribbed Socks & Basic Ribbed Socks
Yarn: Dream in Color, Smooshy: Chinatown Apple
Needles: 2.5mm (US 1½) DPNs

I've just taken some pictures of another fo. I'll post them shortly!

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