Entries in Alchemy Yarns (12)
It seems that many of us have two reasons to knit and that these reasons are the opposite of each other! We, on the one hand, choose projects for their monotony, knowing that mindlessness and repetitive motion put us in a meditative state that even a yogi might admire.
And, on the other hand, we love a challenge, knowing that when a pattern activates our minds and surprises our expectations the result is an elated sense of achievement. Here's a pattern for when you're in that kind of a mood!
The Just Triangles Entrelac Scarf takes traditional entrelac knitting, which involves lots of small triangles and squares, and gives it a modern look with a blown-up scale and a pared-down style. Omitting all those squares, you'll knit just the first and last rows of entrelac, ending up with eleven big triangles in all. Pretty fascinating and definitely fun!
And if you're unfamiliar with the mysteries of entrelac, you'll perhaps come to the pleasant realization that those two opposite reasons we knit sometimes become one. As your mind whirrs with wonder, you may have to suspend your disbelief and relax your skepticism. You may, in fact, just have to take a leap of faith into the unknown!
The secret behind this scarf's spectacular glow is a new yarn from the wizards at Alchemy. Tweedy is a very lightweight blend of cotton, silk and mohair, loosely spun into a beautiful cocoon of hand dyed color! Each skein has in common a creamy white strand of cotton so that colors blend subtly together, shifting from shade to shade as if lit by the sun!
As anyone who has ever knit a sweater knows, it can be a real juggling act! With this Deep V-Neck Sweater, I had the happy and lucky experience of somehow, someway managing to keep all the balls in the air. A seamless set-in sleeve pattern, a spectacularly seductive yarn and a very forgiving fit, all conspired to work together in beautiful harmony!
While set-in sleeves are perhaps the most flattering sweater construction, they traditionally involve the dreaded last step of laboriously sewing together all those pesky pieces. Determined to avoid that tedium, I embarked on this project armed with a few vague notes from Elizabeth Zimmermann and a cannot-fail doggedness (sound familiar, knitters?). Turns out a seamless set-in sleeve sweater is not only possible, it's fascinating and absolutely easy!
And what about that incredible yarn? Alchemy's Kozmos is an extraordinary blend of silk, mohair, wool and cotton, all hand dyed together to create a fuzzy, shiny, nubbly complexity of color and texture. It is this sweater's magic ingredient, infusing it with a truly unique flavor, expressive, elegant and very feminine.
I feel a little guilty divulging this information, as if I'm betraying the whole rest of the spectrum, but I have to admit that I have a favorite color... yellow. And not just any yellow, not baby yellow or lemon yellow or mustard yellow, but deep and bright and clear sunshine yellow, the kind of yellow that emits its own light and whistles its own carefree tune.
When it comes to this kind of yellow, Alchemy is the master, hands down. Alchemy's yellows are saturated and fresh, like pollen-soaked blossoms. Using them to make a scarf in August feels like the perfect way to bring the heat of summer into the upcoming crisp nights of autumn.
While Madeline Tosh's beautiful Tosh Merino Light serves as the soft, neutral ground, Alchemy's Kozmos provides the entertainment, not only with its splash of intense color, but also with its play of texture: a little fuzzy, a bit shiny, and a lot gorgeous!
It's back and it's everywhere! I'm talking about all things hand dyed, from tie dyed and dip dyed to Japanese Shibori dyed and Batik dyed. This summer, man, woman and child are sporting funky, irregularly dyed threads. Dresses, shirts, scarves, purses, totes, you name it and it has been dyed, even ponytails!
This trend, once associated with the dancing bears and free love of the 70s, now connotes a chic, beachy, bohemian attitude. The color combinations are more controlled and subtle, sticking to one color range rather than running the r.o.y.g.b.i.v gamut.
All I knew, was I wanted in! I can be chic, beachy and bohemian, too, at least I'd like to think I can!
Picking the yarn was a snap. I went straight for Alchemy's hand dyed blend, Kozmos. A mixture of wool, mohair, silk and cotton, Kozmos echoes the saturated, unruly nature of hand dyed fabrics. Each fiber reacts uniquely during the dying process, giving it a one-of-a-kind depth and texture.