December 19, 2013

Here is my latest finished knit, Luna knit in Rowan Kidsilk Haze Eclipse.  A feminine scoop neck cardigan with a frilly peplum and beaded lace edging.  Such a pretty thing, I'm nuts over it, I've hardly taken it off this week.  

I've posted about the yarn before:  KSH Eclipse is what happens when you let Liberace loose on your chic Kidsilk Haze.  With the aid of a single metallic thread, KSH goes from her demure Grace Kelly self to all shiny and shamelessly showy Las Vegas showgirl.  That's why I love it so much.  I like shiny.  In the past Rowan has reworked KSH into a few different incarnations, all the while keeping the original of course.  But it's fun to change things up a bit with a twist.  If you remember Kidsilk Night, it's similar, but even MORE shiny.  Kidsilk Haze Eclipse is a blend of Mohair: 66%, Silk: 27%, Polyester: 4%, Nylon: 3% and is hand wash.  It knits up similar to KSH at 18-25 stitches per 4 inches.  I don't have to tell my long time readers how much I love KSH in any form or fashion, because, oh man, I do love this stuff.  Some knitters have been afraid of this yarn because of it's cobwebby appearance.  But if you can get beyond some of the drawbacks, your knit will be the loveliest of garments.  You can't find this kind of stuff ready made.  This truly gorgeous fabric only comes from hand knitting, and isn't that great news?  Cuz we love to knit!  

I have many new readers and for them I want to share why I love KSH, why it's my desert island yarn and what I've learned about it and perhaps give you the curiosity to give it a go.  If you've heard this before from me, just scroll down to the links, I'll understand!

First, please don't be put off by the price.  It's costly yes, but the yardage is terrific and 5-7 skeins will knit up a sweater you will be wearing for years to come.  It's hard wearing and doesn't stretch or bag out with wear or washing. Give yourself a little treat or put it on your wishlist like I do.

It's lightweight and warm: it's a year 'round sweater in my Northern California climate where the evenings are chilly in every season.  It's light as a feather and packs well for travel.  It's hard wearing like you won't believe, my 8 year old sweaters still look great.  I consider it a dressy yarn, but it can easily go casual.  It's versatile and the same sweater will look great with silk, tweed and jeans.

There is no getting around that KSH is a bear to tink back.  The fuzzy mohairs stick and do not want to let go of each other.  KSH is super strong, much stronger than it appears and if you find you have to frog back, just go ahead and pull hard at it, I've never had it break.  I stick my needle in and loosen up some of the super sticky hairs and then tug it.  Don't worry about it looking bad, I've frogged the same row 3 times and the yarn held up beautifully.  So while knowing that frogging is a pain, KSH does look beautiful in lace.  This Luna pattern had a dozen or so lace rows at the beginning and I just sat and concentrated until it was over, then I could merrily knit the stockinette part with no worries.  

Your needle choice here is crucial.  If you don't like a needle, try another.  I prefer the sharp pointed slick wood Knit Pick Harmony needles with KSH and it's sister yarns.  A perfect marriage in my opinion, but you may have to try a few different needles to find your perfect match.  It is a yarn you have to be a little bit patient with at first, but once you get into a rhythm it's smooth sailing.  Be patient.

For care, gently hand wash, roll in a towel to remove excess water, pat into shape and dry in the shade.  When dry, take a soft baby brush and lightly brush the surface to bring the mohair fuzz back into bloom.  KSH itself comes in dozens of color choices and Rowan is introducing 7 new colors this spring. There is a particular bright turquoise named Atlantic that is calling out to me, also a beautiful royal blue.  Sigh.  Eclipse and the other sister yarns have a more limited palette.  One last thing, it's fabulous knit double and with size US5 needles will knit up as a DK weight at 22 stitches per 4 inches.  I've done this for at least 3 sweaters and it's lovely.  Also, it's a great yarn to carry with another.  I've seen it combined with Felted Tweed and another time with Calmer!

Now on to the pattern, Luna by Kim Hargreaves.  I think that Kim, without a doubt designs the most beautiful patterns for KSH.  Luna is from Cherished published in 2010.  I always knew one day I would make Luna, it just took the introduction of Eclipse to make it happen.  It's an exceptional pattern from a lovely book with many other exceptional patterns.  According to my Ravelry page I've knit 37 of Kim's designs, but then I didn't join Ravelry until I'd been knitting for many years so I know it's actually more than that.  Her style is classic with a few small details to make them current and beautiful.  Plus they are well written and easy to follow.  Luna is knit bottom up, with the beads threaded on to the skein and added to the cast on.  The ruffle is made by decreasing at the end of the peplum.  Luna is knit in the color Virgo.

So this is why I knit.  A sweater like this, well, you can't buy it at any price.  I'm so happy with it.

The links!

Kidsilk Haze Eclipse at Jimmy Beans
Cherished by Kim Hargreaves
Knit Picks Harmony needles
Beads were from Joann's
The pattern support for KHS and the sister yarns is
incredible and Eclipse can be substituted for any of them.
Mini Collection for Eclipse
The original Kidsilk Haze yarn at Jimmy Beans
and some of the sister yarns:
Kidsilk Haze Glamour
Kidsilk Haze Trio (chunky weight)
Kidsilk Haze Stripe
Kidsilk Haze Amore (bulky weight, also in Shimmer, new this winter)
I've used them all and love them all.

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  1. So, so pretty -- love that delicate lace edging!

    I confess to being chicken of KSH, but I might get my feet wet by stranding it with another yarn. My friend made a poncho with a strand of KSH and a strand of Jamieson's, of all things, and it made a lovely fabric.

    1. Yes, I didn't mention that, it's a good carrying yarn. I think I'll edit my post to include that. Thanks!

  2. This is beautiful, love the bead edging, luckily I have this book and all the designs are great. Since I have had to be on the couch for 3 months with an ankle and foot reconstruction I have had time for some knitting, have made two lovely baby jackets with Rowan baby merino silk dk, a cardigan for myself from the Cherished Book in Rowan felted tweed, and your super version of Rita in angora haze inspired me to order the book and some angora. The book arrived first, and as I had some old angora inherited from a client I decided to try Thelma this is a very pretty pattern and simple once you get the hang of it and as I have been experimenting with knitting with beads I added a beaded edging looks super. My Rowan angora haze has just arrived in the most gorgeous violet blue colour "embrace" so I am having fun. Thanks for your inspiration and knowledge, best wishes Cilla Rule

  3. I love love love this sweater!!! It's absolutely breathtaking! The beaded edging, the lacy ruffling, the touch of gold shine...all of it.....just beautiful!

  4. Love the sweater and ur necklace too!!!!!

  5. What a beautiful sweater!!! I love the little "fringe" at the bottom and the pearl buttons & wrists!!! It looks so soft, too!!! It could easily be worn for swanky parties or as the "chic" end of a shabby chic look. It's beautiful!!!!!!!

  6. Its just beautiful Kristen and it looks just perfect on you!!!

  7. your sweater is just gorgeous, and I love the outfit you chose to wear it with for your photos!

  8. Lovely! You had me at "more shiny than Kidsilk Night!"

  9. This is so beautiful, do you know it suits you perfectly? Oh wait, you did! <3 <3 <3

  10. Beautiful Kristen! I love this design so much. Its definitely on my To Do list for this year!

  11. You look like a Norwegian Queen in that cardigan, amazing! greetings from vikingland :-)


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