sock porn for knitting voyeurs.

Monday, November 05, 2007

accidental fo at article pract yarn tasting

I really am trying with this whole holiday knitting thing (a FO is blocking as I write!), not letting myself be distracted by pretty things that aren't for family holiday recipients. Even so, I am just getting back from Article Pract (my lys, best one in the Bay Area ;)) after attending their monthly "yarn tasting," and I seem to have finished something quite on accident :)

Noro tasting kerchief
Started & finished: 4 November 2007
Assorted Noro yarns and needles:
Silver Thaw color 3, US 9; Cash Iroha, color 31 US 7; Transitions, color 25 US 9; Iro, color 19 US 11; Kureyon, color 194 US 8; Silk Garden, color 269 US 8; and Kochoran, color 1 US 8

NOROvember, indeed! :)

Article Pract hosts yarn tastings every month for a ridiculously reasonable fee-- you walk into the back room padded with backstock yarns and see an amazing spread on the long table... gift bags with the month's samples nestled amongst brownies, wine, cheese and cracker plates and sparkling lemonade, and you know it'll be a good hour. The bags (the natural colored jute) held eight different Noro yarns (the order the kerchief was knitted from point upwards)-- Silver Thaw, Cash Iroha, Transitions, Iro, Kureyon, Silk Garden and Kochoran. (There was also Silk Garden Lite, but I omitted it from the kerchief sampler.)


This was my first tasting and admittedly had no idea or plan-- the entire hour was just a free time to chat and knit, look at Noro books and knitted store samples, and plan out what we'd use our 25% all Noro purchases coupon for (I am hopelessly in love with SILVER THAW!!) Many of the women had been to samplings before and were working their yarn samples into large blankets/shawls, you'd be really surprised how well so many different yarns knit together can look!

Ever utilitarian, I decided to cast on and knit a triangle, hoping not to waste any yarn and that there'd be enough to make a decent headwrap shape out of. There's no real pattern-- just cast on 3, knit 1, knit front and back, knit 1. Purl every wrong side row. Then knit 1, k f/b, knit to last 2 sts, k f/b and k1. Use appropriate needles for the yarn, weave in when you can, cast off loosely and voilà! Tasting kerchief :)


I'm actually really surprised how nice the colors work together, as oddly different as they are. I did change needles when needed but the edges don't look too odd; it's much more noticeable laid flat than when worn.Even the different makeups of the yarns (from fluffy angora to smooth silk) work... perhaps it's just that Noro majic.

With the Silk Garden Lite (and the long ends of yarn left that wouldn't make it once more across the expanding triangle), I made a pom pon and lightly felted it to bring out some poufiness. I made it to attach to the caston tip that hangs in the back, worried it needed some weight to stay down-- but after a wet blocking, the kerchief is soft and didn't need any help. Good thing-- what was I thinking?! A pom pon. Goodness.


I intended to make i-cord ties with the Silk Garden Lite, but after casting off I realized that the triangle edges, when pulled taut and meeting at the nape of my neck, could be secured with a button instead. Personally I don't like ties on headbands anyway-- my hair's usually knotted enough without me catching strands in a shoestring bow. It's also just much easier to put on, and I'm all for easy ;) Since the edges are pulled together (not too tightly, but still) it means that even though the entire thing is stst the forehead edge doesn't roll (yay!)

Since the button closure was an afterthought, what better to do than Elizabeth Zimmermann's afterthought buttonhole? This was my first time (!!) and it's functional if not beautiful. Good thing my hair will obscure it from prying knitters' eyes :) If I were to knit this simple creature again, I'd just use a basic buttonhole instead of the afterthought.

late nite surgery

I actually think I will knit this again-- hats don't work for me, they just always look awful (my problem). The kerchief works to do everything I want a hat to-- keep my ears and forehead covered and my head insulated. I never thought much about the back of my head, I'll be sure to let you know if it gets cold ;) Seriously though, one ball of yarn and a few hours and you could have warm ears, too! And it's obviously a good scrap buster-- I think Christina said how much was in each sample, but I can't remember? (I zoned out, blame the brownies.) The entire thing weighs 50 gm (with the button), so I think you could easily use a single ball of splurge yarn on something like this.

I'll also definitely be back for another yarn tasting, next month is... maybe something up my alley :)

Now... what can I make out of Silver Thaw is the REAL question.

Miss you!

PS! If you're in the East bay area-- Article Pract is having a sale; all of the single skein yarns in the hallway are 35% off, bags of 10 are 45% off. I picked up some Cotton Chenille for Reverse Bloom washcloths (from Weekend Knitting) and enough Silky Tweed for the Chevron Beret from the latest Magknits... along with some other not-on-sale stuff ;) I did hold back from a *gorgeous* bag of red Rowan Summer Tweed, not to mention a bag of Rowan Cork (I don't understand my compulsion to hoard Cork, but I already have 2 unopened bags so I stopped myself). Lots of really nice stuff-- makes me wish I were a garment knitter :)


Chris said...

Oh, I wish one of our local stores did that - it sounds (and looks) really cool.

sgeddes said...

that sounds like a great event!

I have some silver thaw stashed away to make a cardigan. I love the colors.

spinnity said...

Cork hoarders of the world, unite! I've got 3 bags - a spring green and a lovely orange. Mmmmm, cork. The little baby sweater with loop-de-loop edges is really nice for a few skeins of cork -

Your kerchief is really sweet - I like the button idea. And thanks for the word on the sale. Silky Tweed, you say??

Anonymous said...

Fantastic. It makes me want to try a tasting myself.

Anonymous said...

What a cute kerchief! Article Pract has such great sales (heavy sigh)

Anonymous said...

yes, fall in love with silver thaw. i made a wrap sweater out of it and i love it more than anything else i've knit.

lexa said...

The yarn tasting sounds really neat! Love your spur-of-the-moment fo! :)

Krista McCurdy said...

I've GOT to attend one of those yarn tasting! and your kerchief is a tasty one indeed.

p.s. did you get my last email about sock designs?

FairyGodKnitter said...

What a great idea. I wish my LYS had something like that. Even better idea to make the kerchief.

Terip said...

Lovely kerchief; the yarn tasting sounds like so much fun.

Teri P

ps. I love you. You said pom pon.

Anonymous said...

okay, that kerchief is such an inspiration. if i wasn't so far along in my crazy blanket i'd switch! it was so fun to see you; next month will have your name all over it. xoxo

Stacey said...

now that sounds like fun! a night of knitting Noro!!

SinKnitty said...

I am so jelous! We have nothing like that here! Las Vegas is practicly a black hole when it comes to yarn culture. Lucky....

Rachel said...

Great kerchief! I held Silver Thaw double with Elsbeth Lavold's Silky Wool and made heavy socks knit tight. Over time they have felted slightly and wear like iron.

Thanks for the great mention of the shop in your recent post.

Subscribe Now: Feed Icon

I Took The Handmade Pledge!