October 28, 2007

HOLD THE MARMALADE, PLEASE

If you haven't already heard of it, the Modern Quilt Wrap is a hot project right now. The MQW was designed by Mags Kandis and was published in the new book from Interweave Press, Folk Style. It's a very large rectangular scarf that uses modular knitting to create a sort of patchwork-quilt-looking block design. And, best of all, it uses what is probably my favorite yarn of all time, Kidsilk Haze. You can tell how fond I am of Kidsilk Haze just by glancing at the banner for this blog.

Now, I mean no disrespect to Mags Kandis or the folks at Interweave Press. But when I first laid eyes on the pattern, I wondered why it uses the set of Kidsilk Haze colors that it does. It uses an older set of colors . .. . the color Meadow being the most-recently introduced one and it dates from Spring 2006. It doesn't use any colors introduced in Fall of 2006, or Spring of 2007. And there were some great colors that were introduced at those times! And then there is the matter of Swish. The pattern calls for Swish; no color of KSH has been discontinued recently, except for Swish. I do have some Swish in stock, but I do not know whether I would be able to re-order any.

Here's the original set of KSH colors, as per the pattern:

MQWOriginal.jpg

Left to right, these are Drab, Swish, Jelly, Marmalade, Liqueur, Blushes, Dewberry, Trance, Meadow.

Now, one of the great things about KSH is that you can pick just about any nine colors of it and they'll work together in your MQW.

When I was temporarily out of stock of the color Swish, for example, I discovered that many customers were substituting the color Elegance. Although not as bright as Swish, Elegance works well with Drab and helps to set off the other colors. I had some knitters over to my house last weekend, and we had out the colors and discussed the relative merits of substituting Elegance or Bronze (a Kidsilk Night color) for Swish. (It was a dead-even tie, by the way.)

I've often been contacted by customers who want to make a MQW but one color or another of the original set doesn't appeal to them. (A lot of us are leery of Marmalade.) The photo below shows the color set that would be my choice for the MQW:

MQWJewelTones.jpg

Left to right: Drab, Swish, Fern, Jelly, Trance, Candy Girl, Splendour, Violetta, Dewberry.

This color set makes excellent use of Fern with Jelly, which I think go so much better together than do Meadow with Jelly. And this also incorporates Violetta and Splendour (Violetta being one of my favorite colors).

If that is a little too bright, consider this set:

MQWJewelToneVariation.jpg

Left to right: Drab, Elegance, Fern, Jelly, Trance, Blushes, Splendour, Violetta, Dewberry.

That's the great thing about KSH -- pick any nine colors, and it's hard to go wrong.

Posted by Karen at 11:54 AM | Comments (3)

October 25, 2007

FELTED TWEED SWEATERS

About a year ago I received the promotional materials for the Rowan Studio series. My response was that the designs were just a little too trendy for my shop's focus on traditional knitting. I didn't choose to carry Studio.

But by now, a few months later, I've witnessed Wendi from Feral Knitters make

Wendi-Martha.jpg

the Martha sweater from

studio2thumb.jpg

Rowan Studio Two.

There's not a person in Ferals who wouldn't say that this is an adorable cardigan! And the Martha sweater that Wendi's wearing in that photo -- that's the second one she's made. The first was a gift for her sister. And Wendi is now making a third Martha, for a friend. And I think she's planning to make a fourth Martha, converting the short sleeves to long, for herself.

The small or medium sizes of Martha take only 5 balls of Felted Tweed!

That made a pretty compelling case for me to get in some copies of Studio Two. Supplies are limited -- Westminster actually thought they were sold out, but managed to come up with a set of five for me -- so if you want to join in on the Martha madness, order the pattern book from Two Swans while you can.

* * *

I'm using Felted Tweed for my top-down raglan that's one of my homework assignments for the Nihon Vogue class. I have completed the body of the sweater and half of the first sleeve. And I still have homework on the other two projects to complete before class meets again on November 3-4. I'm keeping a positive attitude that I can get it all done. I'm imagining all of my blog readers cheering me on: Lean to the left! Lean to the right! Go, Karen, go -- knit! Knit! Knit!

raglan-10-25.jpg

Postscript, April 12, 2008: Studio 2 was an extremely popular bookl! Two Swans has sold out its supply. I have heard that Rowan is supposed to make the pattern available as a dowloadable pdf -- will let you know when that happens.

Posted by Karen at 09:12 AM | Comments (3)