Yarn Tasting: Kroy

jenjoycedesign© Kroy St Andrews Socks 5

I have knit up a pair of St Andrews Harbour socks

in a new yarn I’ve never tried,

and I’m smitten!

jenjoycedesign© Kroy St Andrews Socks 1
jenjoycedesign© Kroy St Andrews Socks 3

This yarn was found quite unexpectedly in a maze of aisles , with shelves of acrylic yarns reaching nearly to the ceiling,

and I was so surprised to have to tame my yarn snobbery,  for this yarn was found at our local Michael’s Craft Store!

Modest little balls of Kroy …
jenjoycedesign© Kroy Sock yarn

Yes folks, the secret is out, the  yarn is Patons Kroy Sock; a washable wool & nylon 4ply sock yarn, and a surprisingly rustic feeling yarn, in a surprisingly rustic solid shade of “flax” …  (see my post  A Rustic Yarn to get the meaning ).   The confusing thing is that on the label it says “super fine fingering” , don’t let that fool you,  fine fingering weight is not at all what it is, this yarn is 166 yards per 50 gram ball, which equals 332 yards per 100g, definitely in the category of sport-weight. Other yarns with this same yardage are super popular Malabrigo “Arroyo” — which I believe would make the perfect soft sock for this design,  and Cascade 220 sport (not the superwash one) which was the yarn I knit the cover prototype of the pattern, and one of my all-time favorite yarns.     Kroy is sport-weight yarn,  ignore the label.

jenjoycedesign© Kroy St Andrews Socks 4.JPG

This pair of fishermens socks were knit with option to switch to stockinette after gusset decreases are finished, which makes a little less bulky in the shoe ( see Ravelry project details here)     Anyway, I think  I have found a really affordable  “vintage”  feeling  yarn for these fishermen socks;  the yarn is a bit rough at first, but as I knit it it feels better and more compliant, and I just know its going to soften a lot in the wash. Crazy, as I’m such a connoisseur of yarn, but it behaves very well, knits up very stretchy & brings out wool’s best elastic properties, and with great stitch definition.

Oh and the color ” Flax ” is ideal for a rustic old-fashioned look, and I bet the Fishermen of olden days would have loved a pair of socks made from this yarn. Will try the “Gentry Grey” soon, thinking these two colors are the only heathered solids in this yarn. Afterthought: Um… well, folks, I figure now that I can over-dye the Flax color, and have just bought 4 more balls and ideas rushing to the fore!

itty bitty mitties

jenjoycedesign©mini T&T mittsYup folks, here they are, a tiny scale of a mitt from my Tartan & Tweed I’m redesigning & overhauling , and they’re made of Malabrigo Sock yarn. Great stash-bust project.  Aren’t they so cute?  (admittedly, they are a little bumpy and could use a steam pressing). This is also the kick-start of the Christmas gift-making, and so we’ve got one little item checked off the list. (( shhh…. no names will be mentioned, as these are all surprises.))

Penny Candy Socks Redesign

jenjoycedesign©Penny Candy Socks - Copy (2)

Penny Candy Socks modelled by Niece Who Is Fourteen.

I had been knitting these for a couple of weeks and rewriting now for two long days ~~~ finished !!!

The socks have been redesigned due to the fact that I wanted them to match the very recent

 Penny Candy Tee

… how sweet,  a tee & sock Spring Duo !

Its all over on  the Penny Candy Sock Pattern Page  . . .

and way more details than you need to know, over on Ravelry HERE

jenjoycedesign©Penny Candy Socks 2

Penny Candy Socks modelled by Niece Who Is Eleven.

Yarn Tasting

I’ve been pattern-writing furiously, and it’s been raining furiously, everything around here has been a bit excessive, and so, just before noon I needed a break. I got in my car and drove down the mountain into town, to the , um…Local Yarn Shop. I brought home two new sock yarn brands to add to my existing sock yarn stash, so that now I have a bit of a selection for some serious sock yarn tasting !

Lets start with perhaps the top names in sock yarn, Madelinetosh’s ‘Tosh Sock’.
jenjoycedesign©Madelinetosh-Tosh Sock Label says: 100% superwash merino wool fingering weight -395 yards, color Ginger. Hand-dyed in USA , from South Africa.

Next, Shibui Sock.
jenjoycedesign©Shibui sock Label says: 100% superwash merino 191 yards, color Wasabi. Made in Peru.

Next, Sweet Georgia ‘Tough Love Sock’.
jenjoycedesign©Sweetgeorgia sock Label says: 80% superwash merino / 20% nylon, 425 yards, color Cayenne. Hand-dyed in Canada, doesn’t say if it comes from elsewhere originally.

Last in this line-up, is perhaps my favorite, Malabrigo Sock.jenjoycedesign©Malabrigo sock Label says: 100% superwash merino, 440 yards, color Impressionist Sky. Made in Peru.

I am very attracted to Malabrigo for some reason, the skein is stout and heavy and has so much yarn, and it is also the finest/thinnest of all I’ve seen yet, which to me is a real lovely thing… cuz I am smitten with ultra-fine knitting. I designed my Pretty Little Things gloves with it and I’m sure I’ll not stop there.

I am loving the feel and visual texture of all four of these leading brands (well, from the LYS at least) and though there are more brands, I figured, I’d start with these. I will let the knitting and the knitted fabric & feel of the finished sock be the judge, as I am challenging myself to a bit of a sock-fest, reasoning thus far undisclosed, but expect some posts about it coming up in the next few weeks.

Have you tried any of these brands ? What do you think?

Tee Two

jenjoycedesign©Penny-Candy-Tee two Well knitters & friends out there… I am emerging from my knitting woodshed, now with not one, but two Spring Tees in my holster ! I am going to be doing a lot of (photo) shooting in Calistoga this coming weekend with my beautiful & adorable nieces modelling! A second knit of my latest design ~~ Penny Candy Tee ~~ prototype in  previous post, but this one is a little different. Not four colors , but three, and it is not shaped (for an eleven-year-old, c’mon…) and, I used up some left over stash Malabrigo Sock yarn for the lace, which is… um… quite a bit finer than the yarn of the rest. Not enough to get worried over.   And just like the original in last post, the lacework  is the feature of the design, an unlikely pairing with stripes, but hey, they get along wonderfully ! No fights in the playground yet . . . jenjoycedesign©ruffly

jenjoycedesign©detail Waiting patiently

now , for their girls to sweetly adorn,

I’ve got them folded away from distracting last-minute changes.

jenjoycedesign©ready&waiting

  This sign I have had propped up on my spinning wheel by my knitting loft door, well, I’m so pleased that what seemed a daunting task a month ago when I hadn’t even started them,  is now….

done & dusted !

jenjoycedesign©check! As I am presently working like a pair of oxen writing the pattern for Penny Candy Tee, that will be coming up next, for Spring knitting ! Details found on Ravelry HERE

Off The Needles

jenjoycedesign©off-the-needles !

. . . Two weeks later.

I realize this post is nearly identical to the previous one, but March is half through, and warming up, and had this little tee gone as expected, I’d have been finished last week. No complaints, though designing rarely is smooth and without challenge.  Ripped back in a drastic way a couple times changing course. Tee One for Niece Who Is Fourteen is just now off the needles, ready to weave in all the ends, kitchener graft the underarms, and wash & block. I will only have time to breathe a big sigh of relief, and not skip a beat… on to Tee Two for Niece Who Is Eleven. Sweaters in my life always come in two’s. 🙂 LOVE IT ! Too much fun for just one person ! Will I… must I … can I possibly … have both of them ready for the equinox???   Stay tuned…

Introducing “Pretty Little Things” (PLT) Gloves !

jenjoycedesign©PrettyLittleThings-glove

At last !  After a mountain of reworking and writing and editing, I finally have the pattern ready for PLT gloves. I have been working like an ox (like a pair of oxen!) on these for longer than I care to remember (clear back into October perhaps???) and I collapse in front of you all, with one last utterance before I lose consciousness and that is . . .

” Please stop on over  on the pattern page  and see all the prettiness there is to be seen” !  Also you can visit the sisters of PLT gloves ~~~ Pretty Little Things Socks   and make a sock & glove matching set !

jenjoycedesign©PrettyLittleThings-gloves2

Molly’s Montreal

jenjoycedesign©Montreal2

She knit up so springy, and wadded up into such a condensed fluffy pet-like thing I couldn’t imagine to fit a woman. But to my fascination and surprise,  when under the water she went, when into the warm bath she melted and mellowed and soaked, hidden under the crackling shampoo bubbles, and collapsed into her true self… she transformed.  Ah, but then I rinsed her thrice in clear water, and pressed her against the porcelain sink wall as the water trickled out…. and out… and out.

jenjoycedesign©candy-roll

And then, you know that moment when you first lift the wet heavy lump of smooshedness from the porcelain… that moment… when you feel how the wet yarn becomes weak against gravity, and you then know just how strong and sturdy, or just how delicate she is going to be? Well, let me tell you ! She rose up from the porcelain no longer a springy wad of sassy puffy loops, but now fully sprung loops, alluring, glistening with wet color, and completely relaxed into her full length and width. No question she will be the right size enough now.  How could I have doubted?

jenjoycedesign©raglan-detail

What measured  barely 28″ in the bust, just off the needles, slightly crumply,  tighter  gauge, is now loosely blocked out (just shaped, no pins) to the exact measure I wanted of 33″ .  Magically when swinging about off of the flat blocking towel, I’m sure she will bounce back to about  31″ and have just the right amount of negative ease in the bust that a fitted tee ought to have for a modern young woman. Her true nature blossomed before my eyes into that wonderfully delicate, almost lacy creature I knew she’d be, yet a rugged one to marvel. She is indeed a most lightweight summery knitted top to behold.

jenjoycedesign©sheer

Her sleeves are not fitted, but something like the pant legs of sailors trousers ~~~ wide and airy.  A breeze can blow through this three-quarter sleeved tee and be dried like freshly scrubbed ship deck in the sun out at sea, in all of about ten minutes.   Refined , yet rugged, and wouldn’t completely die if she accidentally went through the wash. Yet she prefers the handwash treatment, and loves to dry fast out in the sun.  I’ve had a lot of education with these pin-striped tees, I’ve learned what a versatile thing which is skinny sock yarn, knit on tiny needles or big ones !  Once upon a time I thought I wouldn’t like knitting tops with it, but I love it now !!!

jenjoycedesign©half-gusset-detail

Molly is actually the young lady to whom this lucky tee will belong. I am soon to parcel up this wee tee and post it to her,  off to Montreal.  ((  ” Off to Montreal ”  sounds like a fast-paced French Canadian reel or something. ))  It is cropped a lot in the waist length from the original tee, and then longer sleeves (which skirt-wearing Molly requested)… a bit loose in fit and knit in the opposite direction from the live loops of provisional cast-on, to just past the elbow. Though it looks bigger & boxier than the original, I assure you, it is smaller all around.

jenjoycedesign©Montreal-tee

The perfect top for a visit to the beach on bicycles, for a picnic.  Molly’s Montreal is a modified version of Jenjoyce’s Pin-Striped Sweater Tee , the previous post and the pattern prototype, (which got sent off to her younger sister Maya a week ago). The pattern is at the moment, undergoing editing, and will be available very soon !!!

* * *

Details on Ravelry HERE

Edit in :  I am convinced the decreases in the rib at the neckline need an overhaul… so am presently working on that to write into the pattern.

A Well-Mannered Sweater Tee

jenjoycedesign©maya-tee-drape
Presenting Jenjoyce’s Pin-Striped Sweater Tee !

If you cast your mind back to these posts , you’ll understand that I’ve been brewing & stewing, writing, test-knitting and refining this design for several months now, having knit one after another.   I’ve been having some major knitting epiphanies and feeling very excited about it all.

Notice how it drapes so well on the chair ? That is because it is a fairly delicate creature, with polite,  well-mannered and refined character ~~ yet rugged , made of durable sock yarn, and ready for adventure !

jenjoycedesign©maya-tee-sheer

This tee is knit with fingering weight sock yarn on size #6 needles, and it has created an exquisite sheer quality one doesn’t see unless it is held up against back-lighting.

jenjoycedesign©maya-tee-folded

And it is a very fine fabric indeed, so when it is folded, it lays in a discreet , low-profile sort of way. It just screams springtime! And summer too!

Pour yourself a cold drink, and pour yourself into this delightful knitted top, it has just the right amount of negative ease, as it possesses impressive resilience. Not to mention cheerfulness unique about itself, what with all those tiny stripes melting into one another. It just invites compliments from every angle !

jenjoycedesign©maya-tee-detail

It has raglan decreases at the shoulders (even through the neck ribbing), is totally seamless as it is knit in-the-round, has  single row color changes (pin-stripes as I call them) , provisional cast-on bottom and sleeves,  and . . .

jenjoycedesign©cord-bind-off

miles of 2-stitch cord bind-off , finishing a single rib , wide, but not too wide, which makes a lovely neat, sophisticated edge.

A well-mannered sweater tee indeed, and it’s being posted to Vancouver very soon, to live with Maya !

jenjoycedesign©maya-tee

***

Pattern for Pin-Striped Sweater Tee is HERE

Sweater Success !

005

This Spring’s sweater tees are once again a success and my nieces made them into a photo sensation !!!  Chasing the bright morning light around the town of Calistoga, we sought out our favorite spots.   The corner of Lincoln and Washington streets, with the intriguing minty blue-green building which is Bella Tootsie Shoe Shop, and our ‘cover photo’ signature most every time.

A close-up of one of the sweater tee detail, lighting just right so that you can see the single-row pin-striping of two colors alternating, and the raglan decreases through the ribbed neck band, with cord bind-off  …

054
Such fine pin-stripes of light green & light blue, and light purple & smokey grey aren’t even visible unless one is up-close.  Even just a couple of feet away, the colors melt into one another, creating a perfect blend , as these two sisters do . . .

053

The mural off of Lincoln Street is our essential destination in every photo shoot !

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We enjoyed just hanging about in town too, always bustling with folk from the whole Napa Valley and beyond . . .

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jenjoycedesign©basic-tee-design

There was the mandatory ice-cream ~ raspberry sorbet & strawberry cheesecake ~ which is always the last shot I get before the camera protests with no memory left !

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A few more photos tucked away into a little slide show of the best shots.

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* * *
More, still-life photos of these tees HERE
Detailed on Ravelry HERE

Endless Yards


Starting a new thing ~ for Nora. Soon it will be her 1st birthday !

Emma wants to inspect my nieces’ *unfinished* Spring Sweater Tee’s …

 n

*  *  *

Coming up next ~  something for a newborn too, and if there’s enough, another little thing for  Nora’s birthday.  Then hopefully by the Vernal Equinox,  I will have used up the six 100-gram hanks of hand-painted fingering yarn !
Winding off a gazillion yards of very fine yarn !