Tag Archives: Silk City Fibers

4 Factors to Consider When Making Nightsong Shawl-Another Finished Object

Nightsong Shawl in Cashmere lace weight from Silk CIty Fibers

Nightsong Shawl in Cashmere lace weight from Silk CIty Fibers

I finally finished the Carnation Pink Nightsong Shawl. I felt particularly inspired after seeing the cashmere lace shawl at Mountain Fibers which had a 3 figure price tag. My husband insists that I undervalue my knitted work. It’s not a matter of how it looks but rather the fact that I often knit while I do something else whether it’s visiting with friends in my knitting circles or watching television with my husband or commuting.

For those of you considering making the Nightsong shawl, I strongly recommend it. Here’s my list of its strengths and weaknesses. Of course, how you view them depends on the level of your lace work and goals.

  • Nightsong is a triangular shawl which is relatively shallow. As a result, it gets long enough to wrap around one’s neck quickly. It can be used for a skien of sock yarn with 450 yards. (Please note that this is an estimate! Your results may vary.)
  • Nightsong is a free pattern available online. The pattern is the same on both the left and right sides. There are several ways to follow the repeats. If you read through the entries on Ravelry, you can make an educated guess as to what will work for your project based on the size  shawl you want and how much yarn you have.
  • Nightsong shawl, unlike many triangular shawls doesn’t have a center stitch or spine. At the center is a double yarnover where you need to knit and purl. If you’re not careful, the holes can be large.
  • Nightsong shawl repeats grow organically getting bigger and smaller which helps make it interesting for the knitter and if you’re like me and use stitch markers to denote the pattern repeats, there’s no need to move them!

On the whole, I enjoyed the Nightsong Shawl pattern and would make it again. I am not alone as you’ll see if you check it on Ravelry. I found the very fine cashmere lace weight a challenge. It required good light and I found that I needed to rest my eyes periodically.

Once I soaked the shawl (it’s a good idea to sock lace shawls for at least a half hour. I use hair conditioner which relaxes the yarn.) and pinned it out, the cashmere really softened and the lace blossomed. Since I bought this yarn as a mill end at Silk City Fibers, I have no idea as to how much I used or the true price.

Have you tried the Nightsong Shawl? If so, what did you think?

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

Gail Lace Shawl in Carnation Pink Cashmere

Carnation Pink Cashmere Lace Weight from Silk City Fibers

Carnation Pink Cashmere Lace Weight from Silk City Fibers

One of my close friends had a milestone birthday last year. Since it was close to our wedding, I promised her a hand knit lace shawl within a year. I taped a piece of the lace weight cashmere to my card. It’s carnation pink just like the color of the Crayola Crayon. 

 

I have spent a lot of time looking through my lace knitting books, the web and Ravelry for ideas. Earlier this week, I was inspired by a photo of the Gail aka Nightsong Shawl on Ravelry. Further, it’s a free knitting pattern which takes about 450 yards to make. Since my yarn, bought as a mill end at Silk City Fibers, is too thin to measure, I am guessing based on comparison with the ball of Lacy Alpaca by Classic Elite.

The shawls on Ravelry are beautiful although there are a few comments on the pattern. It is an interesting triangle in that it doesn’t have a plain stitch running down the center of the spine. The one difficulty I encountered was the fact that there are a couple of rows where there is a double yarn over. Of course, had I read the instructions all the way through, I would have realized that I needed to use a knit and purl combination on the reverse side. Despite a few mis-starts, it’s relatively easy to follow and I am making slow progress due to the delicate nature of the yarn.

 

Nightsong Lace Shawl in Carnation Pink Cashmere Lace Weight

Nightsong Lace Shawl in Carnation Pink Cashmere Lace Weight

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

Silk City Fibers-April Warehouse Sale Postponed

FYI for all of you Silk Fibers City fans. Due to the Passover and Easter holidays, Silk City Fibers has postponed their Warehouse Sale from the second Saturday in April until the third Saturday in April, April 18th.

For those of you who haven’t ventured to the Passiac, NJ location. It’s a treasure trove of yarn. While you can go with a specific need in mind, I have found wonderful yarns that I’ve turned into beautiful knit pieces. It’s also great for crocheters, machine knitters and weavers. 

Submitted by: Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

Lace Collar – Free One Ball Knitting Pattern

 

Two Row Lace Stitch Close Up

Two Row Lace Stitch Close Up

To coordinate with the grey mohair lace cuffs, I decided to make a lace collar. Using the cuffs as a measuring guide, I determined that the collar was just under three times the size of a cuff.   

 

I realized that this collar makes a great one skien wonder. It’s a quick knit (mine took me two days to knit plus finishing time so it’s good when you need that last minute gift.) 

For my collar, I used a grey mohair with silver twisted in it that I bought at Silk City Fibers. Rowan’s Kid Silk Haze is a good substitute and may yield enough for you to make the matching cuffs (although be warned that I didn’t measure.)

I used a size 5 needle and didn’t check my gauge. 

Lace Stitch Pattern from The Point About Cuffs by Vicki Square in Interweave’s Lace Style:

Multiple of 6 stitches + 1 Stitch

Row 1: *K1, yo, K1, sl1 K2tog, PSSO, K1, yo* to last stitch K1

Row 2: Purl

Lace Collar Pattern
CO 163 stitches. (Note: You can use a multiple of 6 and add 3 stitches (2 are the selvage stitches and one is the last pattern stitch which is a knit).

Knit 4 rows.

Follow rows a & b for the next 16 rows.

Row a: *K1, yo, K1, sl1 K2tog, PSSO, K1, yo* to last stitch K1

Row b: Purl

Row 21: K1, K2tog for the rest of the row. 

Row 22: K1, Purl until last stitch, K1.

Follow rows c & d for the next 18 rows. Until row 40.

Row c: K1 *K1P1* until last stitch. K1.

Row d: K1 *P1K1* until last stitch. K1.

Bind off loosely.

Block by pulling out the points of the lace. 

Sew on three small buttons (more like tiny).  Opposite each button make a loop for buttoning. Using a crochet hook, make a 4 stitch chain loop and use single crochets to enhance the loops.

 

Pull out points on Lace Collar

Pull out points on Lace Collar

 

 

Lace collar closed at the side

Lace collar closed at the side

 

Lace collar buttoned in the front

Lace collar buttoned in the front

 

Lace collar closed in the back

Lace collar closed in the back

Unfortunately, I had already given my mother the sweater and cuffs for her birthday. This piece was just a bit delayed. As a result, I don’t have a picture of the ensemble.

For those of you who are adventurous, this pattern would probably look good in cotton as well. 

Please let me know what you think! 

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

The Point About Cuffs-Lace edging modified

 

Lace cuff pinned out

Lace cuff pinned out

To sex up the Thermal Scoop Neck Pullover, I decided to add removable lace cuffs. I took my inspiration from Vicki Square’s The Point About Cuffs in Lace Style. Vicki Square’s pattern is meant to be worn under a blazer. When I checked on Ravelry, there were a mere 13 photos and most knitters weren’t happy with the result.

 

Therefore, I decided to change the pattern (nothing unusual here). I made it narrower and shorter. Vicki Square’s pattern calls for 5.5 inches of lace and 2.5 inches of ribbing. 

For my grey glittery mohair from Silk City Fibers, my modifications were:

  • Knit lace flat and then seam. Therefore, I added 3 stitches, one selvedge stitch at each end and one to end the pattern on the last pattern repeat. I think that knitting flat helped me to speed up the project since the thread thin lace weight is difficult to manage flat.
  • Reduced the number of stitches to 63 (10 repeats of 6 stitches). This narrowed the cuff.
  • Shortened the cuff. I reduced the lace to 3 inches before blocking.
  • Used 2 rounds of stitch reduction. At row 21, I decreased every other stitch and then repeated the decreases again on row 23. As a result, I had 17 stitches remaining which will make a tighter fit on the ribbing.
  • Changed K2P2 rib to a K1P1 rib to make the cuffs tighter although they will probably need elastic to keep them in place.

While I don’t know how much yarn was used, I used a size 5 needle. Further, I zipped through the project unlike those on Ravelry.

 

Thermal Scoop Neck Pullover with Lace Cuffs

Thermal Scoop Neck Pullover with Lace Cuffs

P.S. I think that the cuffs will need elastic to stay in place.

 

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor

Gliterati-Thermal Scoop Neck Pullover Acutriments

 

Grey Lace Weight Mohair With Silver Thread Shawl

Grey Lace Weight Mohair With Silver Thread Shawl

To accompany the Thermal Scoop Neck Pullover, I am using some fine mohair (think: Rown Kid Silk) with a twist of silver throughout to make a lacy scarf/foulard and coordinated lace cuffs. I bought this special yarn on sale at Silk City Fibers (where I always find something wonderful!)

The goal is to dress up the sweater for evening wear. The benefit of knitting these contrasting pieces separately is that they can be worn with other garments. 

As a start, I’m knitting a 2 by 2 rib. I  left the cast on stitches live so that I can add a lace finishing to match the cuffs. The lace will be knit down so that there’s no grafting needed (Yeah!) 

I’m considering narrowing the scarf by knitting each of the ribs together to get a 1 by 1 rib. This would enhance the fanned look of the scarf. I would love to hear your recommendations.

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

New Sweater Project – 2009 NaKniSweMoDo

100% White Alpaca & Gray Mohair   

 

100% White Alpaca & Gray Mohair

 

Have you ever found yourself staring at the yarn you wanted to use but weren’t able to start a project? I’m at that point now in terms of the next sweater that I’m knitting for the Ravelry NaKniSweMoDo (aka National Knit a Sweater a Month Dodecathon). I want to  use the 100% alpaca and the lace mohair with a tiny thread of silver (think Rowan Silk Haze)  that I bought at Silk City Fibers last month. 

What  I have in mind is a  sweater that I can use  by itself or with a jacket. To get some inspiration, I turned to some of my knitting books and didn’t find anything that fit the bill.

In the process, I decided that I wanted a sweater that had the feeling of lingerie to since the alpaca is delightfully soft and has a slight haze. While I didn’t find a specific pattern, I knew that I wanted a close fitting sweater with some lace added to it.

I remembered seeing Thermal in Knitty which has some great comments on Ravelry. While it is close to the image that was developing in my mind, it was too casual. Also, on closer examination, it is knit in the round with limited if any shaping. I wanted a close fitting garment so I decided to marry the best of  Thermal with a basic pullover with a scoop neck. Interestingly, many of the Ravelry posts complained about the use of the small needles. Since I made three tops using size 1 or 2s, this shouldn’t be a problem.

While doing my research, I saw the lace cuffs from Lace Style and decided to add them using the grey mohair.  I plan to use buttons to make the cuffs detachable.

Since I have a lot of the grey mohair, I am thinking of adding a sheer cardigan or wrap like the  Cardi Cozy in the new Mason Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines. (Please note that there are errata posted on Ravelry.) I will change the pattern since I don’t like the cables or the tie in front. (Of course, I don’t have to decide about this until I finish the white sweater.)

To further dress it up,  I am going to make a lacey grey scarf to add drama to the neck line.

Do you have these types of problems thinking about your next projects?

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

Dad’s Classic Ribbed Pullover Finished!

 

Dad's Classic Ribbed Pullover

Dad's Classic Ribbed Pullover

Dad’s Classic Ribbed Pullover is officially finished including knitting, sewing together and finishing off loose ends. It’s the first sweater for my National Knit a Sweater a Month Dodecathon on Ravelry. While I would crow about the fact that it’s a week before the end of January, it was one of my 2008 UFOs. Since I had only finished the back of the sweater and my father is tall so that a LOT of knitting was involved, I feel justified in including it toward my goal.

 

My husband has been checking out the fit for me. He’s happy to try on male sweaters to ensure that they fit when finished. He loves the collar on this style which is good for those of you interested in knitting a sweater for the men in your life. He volunteered to take it if my dad doesn’t like the fit. (Please don’t cry for him since he already has three hand knit sweaters, one vest and one pair of socks that I knit him! For those of you who are superstitious, I knit two of the sweaters before we were engaged!)

Dad’s Classic Ribbed Pullover

Pattern source:  Sally Melville’s The Purl Stitch (a great resource for basic patterns and knitting information.)

Wool type: Thick and thin versions of an Italian wool blue-brown (I know that it looks grey)

Wool source: Silk City Fibers

Amount used: Unknown (I estimate that I had about a pound of each thickness. I probably have enough wool left for a man’s vest, at least!)

Modifications: I used the thicker wool for the ribbing on the edging, cuffs and collar. I adjusted the gauge for the wool and my knitting (which tends to be loose). Lastly and probably most important, I made the body more tailored and added set-in sleeves instead of drop sleeves since I wanted a more tailored look. My dad has lost weight and my mom thinks that his clothes  hang on him.

Here are some close ups of the collar and armhole for better viewing.

 

Dad's Classic Ribbed Pullover-Collar detail

Dad's Classic Ribbed Pullover-Collar detail

 

Dad's Classic Ribbed Pullover - Armhole detail

Dad's Classic Ribbed Pullover - Armhole detail

Special thanks to my husband who modeled the sweater. Hopefully, my dad will model it when I give it to him this coming weekend.  My dad gets a kick out of wearing knitted garments that I made him.

What challenges do you have when you knit for the men in your life?

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

2008 FOs and UFOs

As 2008 draws to a close, I have been reviewing my knitting for the year and my growing list of UFOs. Due to our wedding, much of the first half of the year was focused on the big event. As a result, 2008 was not as productive as 2007 in terms of finished objects (aka FOs).

 

2008 FINISHED OBJECTS:

  • Essential Tank Top in pink cashmere/silk bought at Silk City Fibers – Pattern from Lace Style
  • Woodstock Sweater in beige mercerized cotton bought at Silk City Fibers – Pattern from Sculptured Knits by Jean Moss
  • Wedding Shawl in grey Jaggerspun Zephyr bought at Sarah’s Yarns – Inspired by Victorian Lace Today
  • Honeymoon Cami in white silk bought at Sarah’s Yarns – Pattern from Knitty
  • Honeymoon Vest in Noro Sakura in blacks/greys from The Point – Pattern loosely based on The Knitters’ Handy Book of Sweater Patterns
  • Leaf Lace Kimono in Noro Lilly bought at The Point – Pattern from Interweave Magazine Summer 2008
  • Baby Kimono in yellow cotton bought at Silk City Fibers – Pattern from Mason Dixon Knits
  • Warshrag in Rowan pink and black cotton bought at The Point – Pattern from Mason Dixon Knits
  • Souvenir Socks in Crystal Palace bamboo blend bought at Colorful Stitch
  • Lace Ribbon Scarf in white silk bought at Sarah’s Yarns – Pattern from Knitty
  • Lace Ribbon Scarf in pink/purple Koigu bought at Loop from Knitty
  • Saffron Tunic in Beige Jaeger Sienna Cotton bought at Webs – Pattern from Sculptured Knits by Jean Moss
  • Purple Chevron Sweater in purple Twinkle Toes from Tess Designs – Pattern inspired by Interweave Chevron Tank Top
  • Sister’s Purple Vest in Kyoto bought at ArtFibers – Pattern loosely based on The Knitters’ Handy Book of Sweater Patterns
  • Shetland Triangle in Berrocco NaturLin Green bought at Purl by the Sea – Pattern from Scarf Style
  • Triinu Shawl in Grignasco Top Print Pinks/Purples bought at Smileys NYC Sale – Pattern from Lace Knitting in Estonia

 

2008 UFOs (Unfinished Objects – a graceful name for knitting that still languishes on a set of needles buried somewhere in the knitting basket)

  • Lily of the Valley Shawl in white Jaggerspun Zephyr bought from Sarah’s Yarns – Pattern from Lace Style
  • Silk Ribbed Corset in Jaeger 100% white silk bought from Webs(will probably be frogged and used for a wonderful shawl)
  • Laced-Front Sweater in white/butter merino/silk blend from Tess Yarns bought at MDSW 2007 – Pattern from Knitted Lingerie
  • Apres Surf Hoodie in magenta merino blend  bought at Joan Vass Sale May 2008- Pattern from Interweave Magazine Summer 2008 – Honeymoon project
  • Sister’s Lace Ribbon Shawl in grey angora/silk bought from Knitty City – Pattern from Knitty
  • Dad’s Classic Ribbed Pullover in Italian wool blend bought from Silk City Fibers – Pattern from Sally Melville’s The Purl Stitche
  • Raha Scarf in blue alpaca bought at NYSW – Pattern from Lace Knitting of Estonia
  • Dreaming in Orange – Noro Lilly Ribbon Lace Scarf
  • Mom’s Black Lace Scarf in alpaca/silk laceweight bought from Knitty City – Pattern from Barbara Walker’s A Treasury of Knitting

(Not documented is the Navy Mohair Lace Scarf which is still waiting to be finished. Since it is in mohair, it is easier to finish than frog!  It is still left on the needles from last year.)

 

While last year, I was inspired to finish my projects. I found that not having any knitting in the queue can be a challenge if you can’t decide what to make.  I hope to finish many of these UFOs in 2009 while adding new projects with different challenges.

 

My biggest piece of advice is not to knit any part of your wedding outfit. It’s waaay too much pressure and the planning is enough pressure on its own. That said, I was glad to have the wedding shawl and other honeymoon tops to wear.  Also, bringing knitting on my honeymoon allowed us to have souvenirs of a trip to a place that didn’t have lots of touristy trinkets.

Silk City Fibers Year End Sale Visit

As readers of this blog know, I am a big fan of the Warehouse Sales at Silk City Fibers in Paterson, NJ.  As a manufacturer and wholesale, Silk City Fibers’ doesn’t regualarly sell directly to consumers. On the second Saturday of the month, they open their doors from 9.00am to 1.00pm to consumers.

Silk City Fibers in Paterson, NJ

Silk City Fibers in Paterson, NJ

The yarns offered vary from sale to sale.  The yarns are on cones which may be a deterent to some knitters. Also, since the yarns are used in manufacture, many of them are relatively fine for the hand knitter but can be very useful for machine knitters and weavers. One way for hand knitters to overcome the issue of the fineness of the fibers is to wind several threads together. I have used multiple strands of yarns that would otherwise be too thin to make wonderful knitted projects. 

In addition to their five rooms of wares, there are often boxes of mill ends up front. For me, these are often a treasure trove of unual yarns. While there may not be enough to make a full sweater or other project, they’re great for scarves and other small projects.

Mill ends up front...

Mill ends up front...

To the best of my knowledge, Silk City Fibers’ email list for the sales has been built via word of mouth, customer telling another.

For this trip, four of us drove from the upper reaches of Manhattan to Paterson after a quick pit stop at Dunkin Donuts for coffee and bagels. We made good time and were in the warehouse by 9.30am.  My friends were focused on the Chunky merino which has 450 yards per cone. Together, they persuaded the manager to bring out other colors since they weren’t inspired by the ones that were for sale. Of course, the fact that they were buying twelve cones in total helped sway his decision.

Being into lace, I was focused on a cone of their Kashmir, a 15% cashmere, 15% silk, 70% merino blend, which was on sale. I bought a cone in a brick red which I plan to make into a spectacular lace piece. 

Out of the mill ends, I found a 2 1/2 pound cone of Italian 100% linen in a New Yorker’s favorite color, black. While the thread is very thin, I figure that I can knit three threads together to make a great linen top. Additionally, I bought a 1/4 pound of a fine grey mohair with a thin silver sparkle to it. I tested knitting one thread before I bought it and it will create a wonderful stocking knit shawl.

As we were finalizing our decisions, one of the employees brought out four one pound cones of 100% alpaca that had been company samples. It was very soft alpaca from Peru in a fingering weight. I took the cone of white  to use for a lace item.

We paid and left happy so that we could get back to the city before noon. Each of us had spent under a $100.00 for our stash enhancing bundles which were way below the retail prices we’re used to.