I have been thinking a lot about Kidsilk Haze. I love this yarn; so pretty, so soft, so light, so warm. I was in London this weekend, and stopped by Loop (a great yarn shop in Islington). They have Kidsilk displayed on a rod on the wall, one ball of each colour threaded through the rod. Such beautiful shades; I love their pastels, but I am wild about the deep jewel tones. I have also been wishing to knit myself a new pullover in Kidsilk Haze. To properly set up this discussion, I must show you a really unflattering photo of me. In 2007, I knit myself a pullover from Kidsilk Haze in a deep, vibrant purple. The sweater, called Rosa, was designed by Lois Daykin, and published in Rowan 40.
Though the photo is terrible, you can see that the sweater itself is lovely. I wore this sweater everywhere for a few years. I love that it can be very dressy, but can also be worn with jeans. I especially love that it is light as a feather, but surprisingly warm.
The problem with this sweater is that I knit it too big. I measured carefully and followed Rowan’s size guide exactly and knit to gauge. I have noticed over the years that Rowan patterns run big; there is an enormous amount of positive ease built into their patterns. And actually, when you look at the photos in their pattern books, the sweaters are always enormous on the models, so this isn’t exactly a case of false advertising. These young, attractive Rowan models lounging around the countryside and country manor houses in sweaters three sizes too big for them always look like beautiful, tousled, artistic waifs lost in their big, snuggly sweaters. On everyone else, they just look like sweaters that don’t fit. I have come to the conclusion that, when knitting a Rowan pattern, you should always go down a size. Or two. Or three.
So my Rosa sweater, while deeply loved, was clearly too big, and once I lost a bit of weight, was way too big. I have been thinking for some time now of knitting another one in a size 10 instead of a 14 (really, a 14; what was I thinking?)
Since knitting Rosa, I have made four other projects with Kidsilk Haze, each of which I love to bits. First, also in 2007, I made the River Lacy Wrap, designed by Sharon Miller and published in Rowan 38. It was my first piece of lacework.
Then I knit the absolutely fabulous Reversible Cable-Ribbed Shawl, by Lily Chin, published in Vogue Knitting Winter 1999/2000. I think this may be my all-time favorite of all my knits, and will be the subject of a future Wearability Wednesday post. But here is a teaser photo, so you can begin to see it’s greatness. (Don’t you love this green? Regular readers of this blog will know that I have a thing for green.)
I then made the Smoulder pullover for Emma, which I blogged about here. Smoulder was designed by Kim Hargreaves and published in her collection, Whisper. The yarn is held double in this pattern, making it much warmer, thicker and cushier, but still light as air. This sweater was sort of a pain to knit, because it was knit on two different sized needles, but you cannot argue with the results. It looks great.
Using the leftovers from the Smoulder sweater, I knit a cowl for my sister-in-law, Vivian, which I blogged about here.
Clearly, it is time to knit myself a pullover in Kidsilk Haze. I have been torn for a while between knitting another Rosa, perhaps in a deep red, or finding another pattern to make with this yarn. Recently, I came across this:
This pullover combines Kidsilk Haze with beads. I think it is beautiful. It is designed by Martin Story and published in Parisian Nights (by Rowan). I am thinking maybe this is what I need for my next Kidsilk Haze fix. I love this colour – sort of a cross between grey and taupe – but I can imagine this in a dark red, or a soft pearl grey, a rich golden yellow or a very pale pink, or maybe in a classic black. Kidsilk comes in so many colours. Beads come in endless varieties; imagine the possibilities. What do you think?
this pullover (kidsilk haze with beads) should be knit in a dark red-don’t do black-everyone wears black and the red would be fantastic with the beads, especially.
I know what you mean about the black. Besides, one of the things I like the best about this yarn is the colour so I would probably go with something more dramatic. Next up however is a sweater for Leah. I promised.
Looks gorgeous! Mohair drives me a bit batty; you’re brave for attempting it!
Hi Blair, I’ve actually found the Kidsilk to be really easy to knit with. Unless, of course, you need to frog; that’s when mohair becomes decidedly un-fun.
My favorite FO is my Earth Stripe Wrap. It’s the loveliest thing I have ever knit.
But that Martin Storey beaded sweater? Whoo boy, I’ve got 6 balls of aubergine Kid Silk in my stash that might have just found their calling.
Just finished a cabled hat out of Rowan Cocoon…yum. Lovely stuff, that Rowan…
This beaded sweater would be gorgeous in Aubergine. I say go for it! I have about 12 skeins of Cocoon in a number of colours left over from a project that didn’t work out. I should put them to good use. And I agree that the Earth Stripe Wrap is fabulous; it’s on my to do list.
My recommendation is to start collecting the colours for the Earth Stripe Wrap, because some of them have already been discontinued. This is one of those Rowan patterns where colour substitution does NOT do the original pattern justice!
Oh no, I never thought about this. Thanks for the warning; I will definitely try to collect them all and store them away.