New swatches and exciting news!

15 May

As of yesterday I have officially given notice at my job that I am leaving.  It’s exciting and scary all at the same time  – after all, I’m leaving a salaried position to start my own business!  I will be completely finished in mid July.  I feel as though a huge load has been lifted off my shoulders.  I’m someone who doesn’t like to quit things, but I think there’s something to be said for knowing when it’s time to move on, and knowing when a situation is not right.  My studio has been experiencing tremendous growth in the past few months, and I have every confidence that this is going to be the right move.  Thanks to everyone who offered advice and support while I was making this decision!

Moving on to knitting, I have swatched up the new yarns I got from Elann and the Webs sale.  I got some real winners this time, and only one I’m sort of “meh” over.

Elann Nilo in Blueberry

This yarn joins Berroco Naturlin in my list of “linen yarns that aren’t painful to knit with.”  It has a rounded construction that makes nice even stitches, but it isn’t overly dry and twiney.  It has a slight sheen that isn’t visible in this phot.  The color is gorgeous – a little more purple than it looks here, with the linen fibers a slightly different shade than the cotton fibers.  It swatched at 5.5 st/in for me on US 4 needles, and did not grow with washing.

Elann Luna in midnight

I’m also really pleased with this yarn.  It’s a little splitty, but not as bad as I expected (aren’t all rayon/cotton blends splitty?)  The yarn consists of a dark navy thread twisted around a lighter blue thread.  It knits up marled and slightly textured – this is not an extremely smooth yarn.  It’s very drapey and light.  I like that the marled color will hide my uneven stockinette, as the garment I’m making with this is entirely stockinette.  It knit up to 5.5 st/in on US 4 needles for me, with minimal growth when wet.  It could easily be knit tighter – I want the loose, drapey fabric, but I think going down a needle size or two would give you a more firm look to the fabric.

Elann Bamboo Fusion in Porcelain Teal

This is the only yarn I don’t love from this batch.  It’s much more splitty than you would  expect in the skein, and while drapey it is rather heavy.  It also grew when wet, going from 5.5 st/in to 5 st/in on US 5 needles.  I would not go down a needle size, as that would be uncomfortable, but it does look good at this gauge.  The color is rather pretty, but not my favorite.  It won’t work for what I bought it for, but I will probably find a use for it – it’s drapeyness brings to mind several ideas, and I do like that it is not entirely solid colored.

Classic Elite Sundance in Raj Red

Let me say first of all… if you like Cotton Ease you will really love this yarn.  It reminds me a great deal of CE.  It has a round construction and makes nice even stitches.  It’s also ridiculously cheap at WEBs right now.   It’s slightly stretchy and has a very dry hand.  I bought it to make the short sleeved turtleneck in the current Knit.1, since it was the required yarn and was so cheap.  I was hoping the color would be less orangey and more red, but I’ve decided I like this color too.  It is heavy, and it does stretch when wet.  I got 4.75st/in before blocking and 4.5 st after, not a huge difference, but enough that I will knit on smaller needles (going from US 6 to 5) to counteract the stretchiness.

Classic Elite Classic Silk

I have actually knit with this yarn before – I made Ms. Marigold out of a lovely pink shade.  I love this yarn, which feels like wearing terry cloth.  It has occasional bits of vegetable matter.  I get 4.75 st/in on US 6 needles with this yarn, but that’s problematic… the uneven texture of the yarn makes measuring gauge difficult.  I actually started Ms. Marigold twice because my gauge was so different in the larger garment.  I will have to be certain to check my sizing when I start my project!    This is a highly recommended yarn, though it takes some getting used to.  It’s also on sale at WEBs right now, which is why I went ahead and got some to make a cardigan with.

That’s all my swatches – now I just have to decide what to make first!  I’m debating between using the Nilo and the Luna to start out -  I loved them both, and both sweaters look like I would really enjoy them!

It’s raining today (again!)  I keep trying to get time to work on my garden, but everytime I try it seems as though we’re having a thunderstorm!  I really want to get it settled before we go out of town in a week and a half.  Last weekend we did get lots of the terrible plants the previous owners planted removed from the backyard – and found that we had a brick patio underneath them!  I’m going to redo the patio, as it’s in rough shape, but the bricks are good!  It looks barren right now, but barren is better than the overgrown wilderness I had before!

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17 Responses to “New swatches and exciting news!”

  1. pdxknitterati May 15, 2009 at 4:28 pm #

    I love all those blues! And one orange. You have a nice set of choices before you; have fun.

  2. Maureen May 15, 2009 at 6:26 pm #

    Congrats on stepping out on your own. I bet you’ll be much happier teaching your own students.

    It’s too bad about the bamboo Fusion – that is a lovely color. I still really like the Luna (it’s kind of like the marled Blue Moon yarn I am knitting with now) and can’t wait to see that cardi!

  3. Maryse May 15, 2009 at 6:41 pm #

    Good luck with all your projects and thanks for the yarn presentations and comments! They are all yummy…

  4. sarah May 15, 2009 at 8:59 pm #

    I just left a secure, well- paid job that I liked to strike out on my own (well, with a partner, but it’s the same idea) about a week and a half ago. It’s so scary, but oh! I feel worlds better, happier, lighter. And I’m a yarnie now! All day, it’s me, fiber, and color.

    I’m so happy to know other people are taking risks to head out on their own, and I can’t wait to hear how it goes for you!

  5. Clumsy Knitter May 15, 2009 at 9:09 pm #

    Congrats on your new career path! I am also striking out on my own, and it’s nice to hear that others are optimistic enough to do the same. :)

  6. Noek May 16, 2009 at 9:45 am #

    So brave of you to quit your job, I think it’s a very good idea, you sound so much happier than a few weeks ago. Good luck!!!

  7. marri May 16, 2009 at 10:14 am #

    congrats! that’s fantastic news!

  8. Jodi May 16, 2009 at 3:46 pm #

    Congrats on the big decision and best of luck! Thanks for sharing all the new yarn / swatch info — always helpful.

  9. Niki May 16, 2009 at 6:10 pm #

    Best of luck on your new career move. Being happy at your job is so important, and it sounds like you are on the right track. Thanks for the Elann reviews. I don’t order from them much, so your reviews made me think I should give them a look.

  10. Sarah May 16, 2009 at 6:24 pm #

    A career change can be scary but it sounds like you are ready!

  11. Amanda May 17, 2009 at 5:35 pm #

    Congrats on you doing your own thing full time.

  12. Caffeine Girl May 17, 2009 at 9:08 pm #

    Moving on is very different from quitting — and it’s clear you are moving on. Mazel tov!

  13. ohsewcrafty May 18, 2009 at 9:33 am #

    Congrats on your new direction, and best of luck to you! Thanks for your thorough swatch reports, I’m interested in trying the Nilo now.

  14. Mr Puffy May 18, 2009 at 5:19 pm #

    It’s a great feeling to leave a job that you no longer want to be doing. Best of luck on your business venture!

  15. Chandi May 19, 2009 at 10:00 am #

    I appreciate all of your yarn reviews. As a new knitter, it is hard to know which yarns are best for certain things and I have really enjoyed hearing (well, reading actually), your opinions on various types of yarn. Keep up the good work!

  16. robin May 19, 2009 at 2:25 pm #

    That is really exciting news!!! I love the way you do a bunch of swatches all at once – I never have the perseverance to do more than a few swatches at a time! I really love that top yarn – the color is amazing!

  17. nicolaknits June 1, 2009 at 1:16 am #

    Hello. Just found your blog doing a search for “knitting blog” – yours was at the top of the list! I am an elann yarn lover too – I was interested to read your comment about the bamboo fusion as I’m currently knitting a sweater with it. I suspected it might grow when I washed it so I’m making a smaller size than I would normally. Looking forward to reading more….
    Nicola

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