Monthly Archives: August 2007

Bunnies are here!

OK, I in a manner of speaking, the bunnies are here. :)  Forgive me!?

FlutterBy at Little Knits Fly Designs’ third yarn line, FlutterBy, is made of 70% angora and 30% polyamide and comes in big 4 ounce skeins that has 900 yards of bunny goodness. 

FlutterBy at Little Knits When I saw FlutterBy at the show I thought brilliant, giant angora hanks that I can use for a stole without having to worry about splicing or weaving in loose ends.  Then I thought, the price will be prohibitive for stash enhancement purposes (I am not allowed to add any new yarn into my stash unless I pay – hear this – my husband the full retail price).  And, it was not!

There are not many comparables out there but you too know what commercial 25 gram hanks of 75% angora yarn cost, see Anny Blatt or any other major yarn line for retail pricing.  We used to carry a large selection of Fleece Artist Peter Rabbit; at full retail Peter Rabbit costs $20 for a 50 gram hank, which is great.  With that set of facts, I think you too may find FlutterBy a dream.

skyb I also found that FlutterBy has the least shedding/sneeze issues of any of the angora yarns with which I have knitted.  I believe the fact that FlutterBy has a tight spin is one of the reasons but this does not take away from the softness of this yarn or the ultimate angora bloom. 

You can use FlutterBy for any project that calls for fingering weight yarn.  I can think of a few like lacey stoles, shawls, hat/mitt/scarf sets, bed socks, lacey tops, scarves, layettes…that is all I can think of at this moment (I think I might have repeated myself – it is a little late).

Hope you are all well and knitting with a smile.

One more project?

When I opened the Interweave Knits’ fall issue I was looking for an ad and going through the pages with quick flips, without paying too much attention. 

And then I saw her, Tangled Yoke Cardigan - IK Fall 2007  Tangled Yoke, how shall I praise thee, let me count the ways (my apologies to Ms. Browning)…I must, I will and I shall.  While I struggle to redesign my MS3 for a symmetrical look (with too many other projects on needles to count here and now), the clean grace and simplicity of this pattern has stolen my heart and has me searching for the perfect yarn.

Any body else knitting the Tangled Yoke?  I googled and found a KAL but not much going on there so I think I shall swatch on my own and see how it goes.  Please do let me know if you are knitting it too.  I am planning and hoping to knit mine with the least amount of wool and still achieve the same look.

Behold my needles, here I come!

Cheers to you all and a good night.

Sue Fulay

Fly Designs Monarch – A new sock love

It has been a hectic week here in Seattle.  We have several giant road construction projects going on, which have made our lives a little difficult.  Life has been especially hectic for me as our daycare was closed for two weeks!  This and having to go into store after-hours has made posting here near impossible.  With that, here is a long overdue introduction of Monarch, second yarn line from Fly Designs (with more coming).

Fly Designs Monarch at Little Knits Monarch is slightly thicker than Lace Wing as it is a three-ply sport weight sock yarn with which I am currently knitting a hat and gloves for my 4.5 year who demanded (nicely), a pair of gloves.  And given that there is so much yarn (125+ grams with 370 yards), I decided to make a matching hat.  I also have a pair of socks in line for my husband who has size 14 feet – too much personal info I know- I simply wanted to let you know that these are BIG hanks with tons of yardage.

Fly Designs Monarch at Little Knits Pat Fly, the color-genius behind the Fly Designs, labels Monarch as “Super soft, super twist, super wash” and we agree.  Monarch has a lovely soft hand, has a super tight twist and washes beautifully without loosing color.  When I first posted the Lace Wing (Fly Designs’ lighter sock yarn – see below for a post), we received quite a few emails asking for Monarch as some of us like to work with a little heavier weight of yarn for socks and of course, Monarch is great for baby and kids garments. 

So here it is and here is some feedback we received from Carolyn who is an avid Monarch knitter:

Monarch yarn is very very soft to knit with.  It is a little denser then some sock yarns, making it great for winter socks when you want that cushy warmth on your feet.  After washing they soften even more and loft slightly. 
Fly Designs Monarch at Little Knits Over time (and by this I mean years), there is some pilling, not unsightly and easily removable.  The yarn wears like iron.  I’ve probably made more than 30 pair and have yet to hear that anyone has worn out a pair of socks made with this yarn.
 
If I were a good sock mom I know I would wash all my socks by hand and dry them in the air.  But the families for which I knit – with Monarch – are all hard-working families, trying to raise kids, and even if I did hand laundry they wouldn’t, so we all need socks that can go in the washing machine and dryer. 
 
Carolyn's Monarch Socks  These Monarch socks were made a year ago and they have been worn and washed, etc. many times.
 
Need I say, I love Fly Designs yarns.

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Fly Designs Monarch at Little Knits Thank you Carolyn!  I almost forgot, Monarch also comes in center pull skeins.  We have bunch of them on their way to us in addition to new Lace Wing colors.

Wishing everyone a great Friday and a good weekend.

Sue Fulay

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Photos courtesy of Karen who notes: “I was so very impressed with this yarn knit up for socks. I just finished a ribbed pattern in “Rainier” colorway and was thrilled with the results.  Karen's Monarch on the rocks It feels and knits almost identical to a another tight twisted very well known sock yarn. This yarn rocks;).”

Karen's Monarch Karen, thank you for the photos and for modeling them for us at 100 degree weather. :)
 

Crystal Palace Maizy – A Yarn Review

Crystal Palace Maizy at Little Knits The new sock yarn by Crystal Palace, Maizy, is here – actually, it has been ‘here’ for a little while but I just have not had a free moment to take photos and post this review by Kersten.

Crystal Palace Maizy at Little Knits Before I click on paste and let you in on Kersten’s thoughts I must note that Maizy is a rather unique yarn with its 82% corn content (grown in the USA), and unexpected softness.  The remainder is elastic nylon which allows the knitted fiber to maintain its shape and gives it a bit of stretch.  With that here is what Kersten thought about Crystal Palace’s Maizy:  

Growing up, were you a Tony the Tiger or a Corn Pops fan? I was fed corn flakes, but yearned for Corn Pops. I also grew up in the Midwest where corn was a staple, not just for the kitchen table, but as a way of supporting the family. Around July, you could buy corn in roadside stands, 20 ears for $1, fresh from the farm.

Crystal Palace Maizy at Little Knits I was having all of these warm fuzzy thoughts when a ball of Maizy was tossed my way. Made by Crystal Palace, this is a rather unusual fiber: 82% corn fiber and 18% elastic nylon. Yeah, corn.

It instantly looked like a great alternative to cotton for tiny tot clothes.  Crystal Palace Maizy Baby Bootie - Little Knits I decided to try a quick pair of Better than Booties Baby Socks, from knittingdaily.com (and a prior IK issue). Winding the yarn was no problem. You may recall my recent trials with winding mohair. Let’s just say that all housecleaning supplies stayed in the closet.

The yarn is a ply of 4 double strands. This was a bit of a challenge with my cable cast-on. I had some issue with splitting until I loosened up on my vice-like tension. Things were much better after that. While knitting, the fabric was not as stretchy as anticipated. It does not have a hand as soft as wool, but it’s not too rough either.

Crystal Palace Maizy Swatch - Little Knits I knit the socks on #1 dpns which produced a fabric that was just a tad too dense. I then did a test swatch on #2s (I know, I know, backwards). Perfect.

Crystal Palace Maizy Baby Bootie - Little Knits I was a smidge apprehensive about dropping these into the washing machine. This was corn after all. I know what happens to Corn Pops when they sit in milk. Will my pieces turn to mush? I put on my Big Girl pants and did the deed. Beautiful! The fabric softened up and seemed to be a little more elastic as well…or it may have been my relief at not mixing corn bread in my washer. After blocking, the #2 swatch had a gauge of 26 stitches x 19 rows per 4 inches.

Crystal Palace Maizy at Little Knits Maizy would be a great alternative to cotton. The fiber is a bit unusual which I found intriguing…and so did my dogs. It was the first time I had to make sure they didn’t make off with my yarn!

 

Fly Designs – A New Handpainted Yarn Line

Thanks to the dvd-stove-cooking-adventure I am two days behind my posting schedule.  Verdict: a new stove must be bought.

So with that behind me here is the new yarn line we ‘found’ at the North West Needle Market Show, Fly Designs by Pat Fly.  I am sure some of you know of Pat from Angora Valley.

Lace Wing Socks at Little Knits Our first yarn line from Fly Designs is Lace Wing Sock.  This 2-ply superwash merino is one of the better (if not one of the best), 100% merino fingering weight yarns out there.  It has a tight 2-ply construction but it is still soft and makes a beautiful knitted fiber.

Lace Wing Socks at Little Knits Lace Wing Sock comes in BIG 125+ gram hanks with 546+ yards, which makes each skein more than enough for a pair of socks.  While I don’t generally wash my hand-knitted socks in a machine (my washer and dryer eat socks), socks made with Lace Wing can be washed and dried in one.

Lace Wing Socks at Little Knits The color selection is rather unbelievable and we have barely scratched the surface with the selection I have listed.  I am especially happy to have found Pat given the fact that she is a state of Washington fiber artist and she is only 45 minutes from us, which I hope will translate into frequent shipments and a big color selection.  While Lace Wing is intended for socks it would also be great for lace projects. 

One more plus about Lace Wing is the fact that Fly Designs offers different skeining options for their sock yarns and if you would so desire we would be able to order the color of your choice in a center pull skein.  Lace Wing Socks at Little Knits Pat is very crafty and I am sure she has a vintage machine that does this for her.  A little off topic – Pat recovers, repairs and uses old/vintage sock knitting machines, hmmm…I wonder if we can convince her to come and give us a lesson on how to use one?

Lace Wing Socks at Little Knits Lace Wing has spoiled me such that from here on it will be the standard with which I will judge other merino sock and fingering weight yarns.  These generously sized skeins in Pat’s lovely color lines makes every package from her a stashers dream.  I am in trouble!

Tomorrow, another new yarn line from Fly Designs.  One more photo?  Lace Wing Socks at Little Knits