Monthly Archives: June 2008

Kauni Lace – A Yarn Review

Something about Kauni reminds me of Noro, the length of the color runs, the very subtle transitions from color to color and even the occasional plant matter. :)  

I really like working with Kauni but I thought there needs to be a bit more versatility in gauge and texture, which is how Kauni Lace came about – a single ply roughly spun yarn that imitates the qualities and the texture of a hand-spun yarn.  For the time being (while we wait for Kauni to resolve their shipment-delivery issues), we have only one color in stock and hope to receive multiple colors later in the year.

As with any unique new yarn we sought a review for Kauni Lace and this time it was Lisa’s turn, author of Knit Fix, published in 2006.  Lisa, an impressively super fast knitter, got back to me with her feedback in record time:

A couple of Friday nights ago I was on the phone with Sue talking about yarn.  We’d been working with yarn all day, though in different cities, and there we were talking about Kauni multicolor lace-weight when the rest of the world is out playing (this may define yarnaholics).  Little Knits has a trial batch of lace-weight Kauni but only in one color at this point, and even though I’m not a fan of pink, I wanted to try it, too (OK, maybe this defines yarnaholic). 

Sue sold me a skein with instructions to review it.  My father was a captain in the U.S. Navy.  Occasionally I do as I’m told.  And sometimes not.  Sue instructed me to wind the yarn by hand, that a swift would tear it.  I swifted the yarn, it tore, but hey, this yarn is born for spit-splicing.  Besides, look at this:

Kauni Lace 

Seductive stripes in situ.  Easy to imagine knit up as the Revontuli shawl, which is designed for Kauni sport-weight.

At first knitting, I have to admit the Kauni lace put me off.  Compared to the soft stuff I’ve been running through my hands lately, this is rough yarn.  But it’s tough, and the colors are glorious.  Even at its thinnest, the yarn never broke during knitting.  Once I began coating my hands with lotion – Heal My Hands, a solid cake of balm in a tin – the knitting became a pleasure.  I started the shawl (begins at neckline) on size 6 needles, moved to size 7 after the first few inches, and ended up using an 8 for the final two-thirds.  Despite its fine weight, Kauni lace really looks better on the larger needle given its slightly fuzzy halo.

After blocking, the fabric softened somewhat.  It’s not scratchy.  I must say, though, that I’ve rarely seen a yarn keep its blocked shape so well.  Here’s the finished product, as modeled by Karen:

Kauni Lace as knitted by Lisa    Kauni Lace as knitted by Lisa  

Knit up, Kauni lace is almost sheer. It floats.

Kauni Lace as knitted by Lisa 

Another friend who loves these colors has already put in first dibs for the beta test shawl.  I’d like to make this shawl again, in another colorway for me.  Not pink.  Hint, hint, Sue.

We have our top 5!

The voting is closed as of June 13th, 5 PM PST.  We had a total of 1867 votes.  Thank you all very much for taking the time and voting.    Here is our top five Trenna designs:

  1. Ozark Autumn
  2. New York City
  3. LovinComfort Shawl
  4. Honeycomb Shawl
  5. Beachcomber Stole

To the designers, many thanks for being a part of this event.  Your designs are lovely, unique and much appreciated.

 

Trenna Contest Entry #5 – Ozark Autumn

Ozark Autumn

 

 

 

Ozark Autumn, in all its red, russet and gold glory, has been the most challenging project that I had to photograph.  

Over all I took 250+ frames of photos and gave up on models as the detail was impossible to get with any background noise including the most basic stone work we used as a backdrop.  Slightest movement made the details get lost in color so I had to go for stills, if one could call them that.

Ozark Autumn is long, its Trenna beautifully dyed in red and gold hues and the stole is beaded with matching crystalline red beads through out its entire length.

 

 

 

 

  

Here is what Kay had to say about her design:

Many of my inspirations come from my love of nature and color.  I am most aware and creative in the autumn.  I love everything about autumn, the colors, the chill in the air, the state fair, the smell of campfires and fall craft festivals.  I am drawn to the colors as well as the shapes of autumn leaves.

When I heard about the Trenna design contest, my first challenge was trying to decide on a colorway.  I wanted something that really spoke of the beauty of the colors in our Ozark Mountains, the vivid orange, red, and gold of an Ozark Autumn. Ozark Autumn The Tropical Sunset color line of Trenna seemed perfect.

This contest gave me an excuse to try Schaefer Trenna.  I was especially thrilled with the way the yarn seems to take on more of the characteristics of silk than the wool.  The sheen of the silk in Trenna was meant for beads and while this was my first use of beads in knitting I decided to go for it. Ozark Autumn Knitting with beads for the first time was a true challenge for me but at the end I was very happy to have persevered.  The beads gave my stole a greater elegance.  I felt pampered when I put it around my shoulders.  I do believe that I am now addicted to using beads in my lace knitting.  Finally, I picked a rectangular shape for my design because for me this is the perfect shape for an elegant yet practical stole/shawl.
 

Trenna Contest Entry #4 – Beachcomber Stole

Vale as photographed at home in ValeJanine La Cras’ entry hails all the way from Vale, Guernsey.  I searched very hard to find a good link for Vale and failed but Janine to the rescue, here is a good Wiki narrative.

The Beachcomber Stole had an adventurous trip on its way from Vales to Seattle.  First it was lost and was later found at a California post office storage room.  When I got the call from the post master that they had found Janine’s package I was ecstatic but a week after the call I still did not have her entry.  Just when I had given up I received a message from a lovely lady in CA who told me that she had received a package that was addressed to me!  She told me that she had opened the package before realizing that it was not addressed to her and while she loved the stole she was forwarding it to me and told me that she was a knitter.  All I have is her first name and her phone number does not work.  So Ann, if you are out there, thank you!  May good knitting karma find you and be with you for the rest of your life! :)

The Beachcomber Stole has an aquatic theme that warms my heart as I am very much a water person and our shop sits 5-10 minutes away from the Alki Beach.  The stole was worked with an opalesque color line of Trenna, which works well with the beach theme and makes for a great summer stole.

Here is what Janine had to say about her design:

Beachcomber Stole was designed to remind me of all the wonderful walks across my favorite local beach. Vale in Seattle This stole utilizes stitches that evoke the seaside such as the sand stitch, gull wing lace, and the wave lace border, and of course the shells.

Vale in Seattle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The stole is worked in a traditional Shetland manner by knitting the border first and then picking up stitches across the top of the border.  The nupps used to give the shells texture could be replaced by seed beads to add a little sparkle and a new dimension to your own version of the Beachcomber Stole.