Madelintosh – Here! Finally!

Tosh! Tosh! Tosh!

The Tosh is finally here after my very impatient waiting and counting down,  and I have no shame at my grade school child lack of control in immediately pulling several skeins for the projects I have been daydreaming about these past 5 MONTHS since we set our hearts on an early fall tosh arrival.

We have 3 yarns bodies here in some perfect early-fall-is-almost-on-my-mind weights. I realize it is nearly half way through September, school is back and leaves are already a’changing in some places, but you remember now! We are in the south! 92 degrees and humid today! Welcome to Savannah, ya’ll!

Madelinetosh Sock is a 100% superwash merino with 395 yards for a 1 skein, 2 full sock deal, super squishy and great for all levels of knitters.

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Now aside from its obvious name sake, tosh sock lends its self to a plethora of other projects. You can try looking up any number of Stephen West’s shawl, scarf and wraps, many of which use this weight. Or take a peak at the Hitcherhiker scarf which has absolutely taken knitters everywhere. Go way on a limb, and take a look at this modern boxy take on a pullover purposefully over-sized to flatter several shapes, sizes and ages. Relax by Riniko is a piece I stumbled across sometime ago, and have since shared it with several knitters who come into the shop looking for a different, modern piece. And because of the large areas of stockinette, a hand-dyed yarn like tosh would really be allowed to speak for itself without competing with the construction design.

Merino Light is a 100% superwash merino wool fingering weight single ply with a low twist count, which gives it this wonderfully unique ability to puff up to fill the excess space if knit larger than gauge, making for a light weight, airy, almost see through knit. Celia Rehm, the newest addition to our staff here at the shop, is knitting her first shop sample in Alazarian of merino light on a recent 16 hour car ride, and has been keeping us up to date on progress report pictures. The Knitted Baby Set #100 is a free ravelry pattern; top down raglan with a feather and fan detail and crocheted edging details in a contrasting yarn.  And I have to say, with 10 other color ways to choose from, finally settling on the Alazarian was not an easy decision.

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The largest weight for those Early fall cool spells is Tosk DK, a 100% superwash merino 6 ply with 225 yards, that knits more like a light worsted, and is super lofty to boot. I’ve been salivating over the Madelinetosh Creature of Comforts Cardi for over a year now, and have finally committed to a colorway not even shown below (because I claimed all 8 skeins and didn’t want to taunt you with its saturated cobalt blue brilliance).

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Check out this great one-skein hat Molly on ravelry. We knitted one up right quick when the yarn got in to add the our ever-increasing hat wall.

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That brings us to a close for today. Check out our class listing and fall projects schedule going up tomorrow, Thursday the 12th. Sneak preview, we’ve got sock dyeing, intarsia owl, whales and hedgehogs (Oh My!) and our first community project free and open to participation for those who sign up in time! Limited spaces though, so come back tomorrow and mark your calendars.

Felted High Fashion

The other day while perusing the Citizens of Fashion blog I found this post on Australian designer Dion Lee‘s 2013 collection and was totally amazed by his use of felted wool. He uses this versatile textile to create beautiful garments that explore the duality between modern vs classic, structured vs aqueous, and understated vs striking. Felt has a lot of redeeming qualities. It retains heat, releases moisture, and can be easily cut and manipulated without worry of it unraveling. Dion Lee’s work is a great example of how this usually industrial material can be used to create a variety of shapes and silhouettes.

dion lee 1

I love the look above. It is sort of Grey Gardens meets couture runway. I also love the idea  of a hat being a connected part of an ensemble, it creates a silhouette I don’t think I’ve ever seen before.

dion lee 2

The architectural inspiration behind these pieces is obvious, but it is so cool to see how a really raw and industrial point of inspiration is translated into something sleek and streamlined.

dion lee 3

UMM. This jacket is amazing. I love the idea of not only using urban architecture as inspiration, but also the architecture of the human body. This jacket brings the idea of inner structure to the outside. AWESOME.

dion lee 4

I have been looking everywhere to figure out how he achieves this amazing ombre material. It looks to me like the  fabric has been nuno felted in different gradients. For those of you that don’t know, nuno felting is when you felt raw fiber onto a sheer or more open weave fabric such as lace, gauze or chiffon. I don’t have any solid proof that this is how he does it, but it would make sense, as nuno felting was actually developed in his home country of Australia.

dion lee 5

As a woman in the real world it is sometimes hard to imagine yourself actually wearing couture garments in everyday life, but these jackets are something I would sell a kidney for. Check this guy out!

Fiber Focus : Sea Cell

We have many different fibers in our shop that are perfect for spinning and felting. While we keep a stocked inventory of different types of cotton and wools, we also like to experiment with more obscure and interesting fibers. Today we are taking a look at the possibilities of sea cell! Sea cell is a fiber that is harvested from different forms of seaweed and algae. Honestly, there is not a lot of concrete information out there on the exact process of how this amazing fiber is manufactured. All the companies that produce it seem to want to keep it an “industry secret” However, the little information I have gathered says that they basically grow large amounts of algae in giant tubs of water. They then drain the algae, chemically treat it, and then process it into an amazingly lustrous and lofty fiber!

raw seacell

Although the manufacturing process is somewhat of a secret, the benefits of using this material are widely boasted. It is known that seaweed in general is full of nutrients that are really good for your skin. Cosmetics products that use seaweed improve blood supply to the skin and activate skin cell metabolism. The textile fibers are porous and open, which promotes humidity intake and release. A garment made of sea cell will absorb what your skin expels, while you skin absorbs the healthful and nutrient rich properties that the fiber emits.

spun seacell

Above is some sea cell yarn that Paige spun into a beautifully shiny and light-weight yarn that is soft as cotton and luxurious as silk. There is something really sexy and simple about the pure undyed, hand-spun yarn that this unique fiber makes. Paige and Sarah thought this yarn would make a great element for lingerie, and made a beautiful sea cell thong, and camisole to match. Sexy fiber nerds unite!

sea cell thong front

sea cell thong front

thong back

thong back

sea cell cami front

sea cell cami front

cami front detail

cami front detail

I love how the hand-spun nature of yarn translates into a really unique lace.

cami back detail

cami back detail

lace knit detail

lace knit detail

In our project we used the undyed sea cell fiber, but there are companies that sell beautifully dyed sea cell yarns that shine like no other. One of our favorite companies is Hand Maiden, which sells an incredible sea cell/silk yarn called Double Sea.

hand maiden

The two color ways that we carry in our shop are Hemlock and Phoenix. Although they cost a pretty penny, these hand painted yarns add an element of luxury to anything you make with it! There are so many possibilities with the innovative sea cell fiber!

hand maiden detail

(btw : most of the information I gathered came from this blog and this website.)

Three Ways – One Scarf

We just got this amazing yarn in from Classic Elite! Its called “Chalet” and has a fiber content of 70% baby alpaca and 30% bamboo viscose. For all you non-fiber people, that pretty much means that it is super duper soft! The really unique thing about this yarn is that it is interlocked, which means it sort of looks like it has been chained with a crochet hook, but really it is a method of spinning.

the four colors we carry

the four colors we carry

Paige, our manager and knitting ninja, whipped up a scarf out just one skein of this lovely stuff! She calls it the One Hour Scarf, because it literally took her an hour to make. The pattern is really simple, adding the fringe is even easier, and there are three ways you can wear it! She used the color third from the left, called steel grey. Come on in to the store to grab a skein, and we will provide you with the pattern for free!

slip knot simple knot wrap around