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  • knitting1105 9:30 am on June 9, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    Japanese Knitting – A Review 

    A couple of weeks before we traveled to Japan, which was 5 years ago now, I took a course with Donna Druchunas on understanding Japanese knitting patterns.  While taking a class years ago with CookieA (remember her?, I think that she has gone undercover), she told me that the Japanese pattern books were a great inspiration for her sock designs.  So, when we were going to Japan I wanted to purchase some Japanese knitting books of course, and needed to know how to read/use them.  I would highly recommend the class by Donna if she is still teaching it.  That started my love of and collecting Japanese knitting books.  I could go into many reasons why I love them, but this post by SkeinYarn says it all.

    I recently acquired the book Japanese Knitting – Patterns for Sweaters, Scarves and More. This was shipped to me right at publication time.  Although, I just saw it cheaper at Target.  Who knew that Target carried knitting books?!  After taking the class in the spring on Japanese knitting techniques, I was anxious to get this new book. 


    So, when the book came, I was excited ot open it.  This is one of the top Japanese designers, and I do love the attention to detail and aesthetics that they have.  When I opened the front cover, I loved the hand drawn designs for each project:


    And I do like and appreciate how all of the stitches used are standardized, which makes going from one designer to another very easy.


    But, my disappointment came with the patterns.  They are very boxy, and the majority of them are Crochet patterns.  While I do know how to crochet, quite proficiently, I prefer knitting for many reasons.  This book should have really been titled Japanese Knitting and Crochet.  Having looked at Japanese knitting books I do know that they call crochet books knitting books.  I expect that when seeing them in their own language, but not with a translation.  I know, I know, there is a byline at the top that states Knitting and Crochet, I just did not expect 1/2 of it to be crochet.  And, the irony is that my favorite pattern is crochet!

    That said, here are a couple of pages from the book.

    51E+qj1bGyLJapanese 2

    Word of advise to myself, pursue the book in person before purchasing it if at all possible.  I will keep this book, but it is just not what I was hoping for.  The few patterns in the Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible book were more what I thought I would be getting, a rich attention to detail and complicated stitch patterns.

    That said, my favorite project at the moment is this crocheted stole.  Just might have to pick up a hook again.


  • knitting1105 4:26 pm on June 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply

    End of an Era 

    My beloved Dale of Norway has decided to close their North American operations.


    This makes me so sad, I learned how to knit Fair Isle with DoN, and it has been my go-to yarn for baby sweaters for years and years.  The Baby Ull is the softest, best wearing baby yarn, and the colors were always amazing and vivid.  When DoN decided last year to only sell to one distributor in the US, Heart of the Mitten, that was a big red flag.  Little did I know that the relationship with them would last less than a year.  So sad.  Luckily, as access to these yarns have become more and more difficult over the years, and I love to knit baby sweaters, I have been purchasing them whenever I see them available, particularly when they are on sale.  My stash of Baby Ull is quite extensive, almost yarn shop quantities I sheepishly admit.  But that did not stop me from purchasing a few more while they were still available.

    And, if any of you like the DoN books, which I must say are amazing, you can purchase them while they last for $1/each at the Heart of the Mitten.  I took advantage of that to add to my already extensive library.

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

    I do have a couple of DoN ski sweaters that I knit, and for the Olympic sweaters, they came with a patch.  I will miss looking for what is available for the next winter Olympics.  A friend is visiting Norway right now and was going to stop at the DoN store, I will be curious to see what she finds there.


    HA DET…

    • salpal1 4:02 am on June 9, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I wondered what would happen there. A shame, it is lovely yarn. But a great reason to go to Norway! And I presume we can pay shipping fees and still get it from overseas? And I have a nephew in Copenhagen… I presume it is still available in Denmark? He’s going to get some strange requests now!

      Liked by 1 person

  • knitting1105 10:27 am on June 5, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Socks again 

    At Yarn Con recently I purchased this yarn from Lorna’s Laces:


    Lorna’s Laces has traditionally been a solid go-to yarn.  It is soft and squishy, and wears well.  In past years, I have purchased yarns that were seconds at their loft studio.  The colors in this yarn really spoke to me.  When I knit it up, the colors pooled, but did not muddy out.


    I do wish that the repeats were a bit shorter to have the colors more like ended up on the heel portion.


    In spite of the pooling, the socks came out really well and were so soft and wonderful to the touch.  These were gifted to my DIL for her birthday.  She loved the yarn when I brought it home from YarnCon.  Hopefully she likes the socks equally well.


    And, she had asked for some fingerless mitts, so these were knit with some variegated Koigu, and remnant sock yarn.


  • knitting1105 10:55 am on June 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bumblebee acres, variegated sock yarn,   

    Variegated Yarns and Socks 

    I love the look of variegated sock yarns.  So much so that I am constantly attracted to them when at sales, such as the recent YarnCon.  This yarn was purchased at YarnCon from Bumblebee Acres, I loved the colors.


    It was described as having red stripes, with the rainbows between the stripes, and periods black dots (which are not overly prominent on the skein).  Unfortunately, the vendor had nothing knit up with any of these yarns.  The yarn wound up beautifully into the cake.


    Then, I started knitting it up…


    I knew that there were black spots interspersed, although I was not sure why.  The dots were very prominent on the first sock, and then got less as the sock was knit up.  I opted to make a short pair of socks with this, both because I was less than pleased with the color repeat, and because I think that these may make nicer fingerless mitts.  I did love how the heel knit up, and this fell in line with the description given to me by the vendor.


    You can clearly see a distinction between sock #1 and sock #2.  Not my favorite, but they are cute short socks.  We will see how the yarn knits up into fingerless mitts.


    • Deborah 11:01 am on June 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I think the socks are pretty, but this yarn should make beautiful mitts.

      Liked by 1 person

    • salpal1 11:28 am on June 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I like them very much, but I have always struggled with yarns like this – I think my feet are wider than they plan for when they make the stripes – so I get socks like yours, when I want them striped like the heels. I figure if my socks were 58 or 60 stitches around, it would work right. So maybe in the mitts, it will work just fine!

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 12:12 pm on June 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        I consider these an average size, using size 1 needles and 64 sts/round. I just wish that I had seen a knitted version. Perhaps that is why they didn’t have one!

        Liked by 1 person

        • salpal1 2:13 pm on June 1, 2018 Permalink

          I use 64 stitches also, and don’t get the pretty stripes everyone else seems to.

          Maybe it is why they didn’t; have a samples, who knows? I usually like their yarns and colors, though.

          On Loose Threads group in ravelry, there is a thread about clown barf. You might want to go there and check it out. You will find your socks aren’t so bad at all. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 2:37 pm on June 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        It took me a bit ot find the thread about clown barf – Loose Ends. Man that made me feel better, there are some seriously ugly variegated projects. But the dyers keep reeling us in with those beautiful color combinations. Thanks for the good laugh of the day.

        Liked by 1 person

        • salpal1 5:57 pm on June 1, 2018 Permalink

          Glad I could help! There are some really ugly ones there, but there also were some great ideas and options. I liked the entrelac pattern, kept the colors from mixing too much. 😉


    • Elaine 2:05 pm on June 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      What a shame that the finished result isn’t what you were expecting or hoped for. The heels are far nicer looking than the body of the socks and much more what I would expect from a variegated yarn. The stripes on the body aren’t wide enough for me and make the finished socks look far too busy for my liking but they are bright and colourful. I hope the colourway of the remaining yarn works better in your mitts and leaves you feeling less disgruntled 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 2:38 pm on June 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        I think lesson learned, trust the dyers that I really love and know… Perhaps the mitts will come out better. Not wanting to try them right now though.


        • Elaine 2:45 pm on June 1, 2018 Permalink

          I can understand you not wanting to try the mitts right now – hopefully some of your other yarns will yield happier results for you. It’s a shame that giving a new dyer a chance has had such a negative outcome 😦

          Liked by 1 person

    • Gracey 1:43 pm on June 2, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Was it marketed as self-stripe or variegated? I like both of the fabrics, heel and sock….and my Hubs loves “clown barf” yarn, so I have lots of it! I have the opposite…I have very skinny feet, but also very prominent bunions…ugly feet….

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 12:16 pm on June 4, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        It was marketed as self striping. How they described it is how the heel looked. I am hoping that the fingerless mitts work better.


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