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Below are the 7 most recent journal entries recorded in Reviews of Anything Fiber Related's LiveJournal:

Saturday, May 10th, 2008
2:27 pm
The World of Knitted Toys
I received The World of Knitted Toys, by Kath Dalmeny, for Christmas.

It has an excellent variety of patterns for stuffed animals (and the occasional doll), from simple snakes to more complicated scarlet macaws, elephants, and koalas. It is divided by theme, from "In the Jungle" to "Australian Outback" and "The Deep Blue Sea." Each pattern is described as "easy," "straightforward," or "challenging," and includes suggested yarns and finishing suggestions.

It strikes me as an excellent way to "bust" one's stash, especially if there are children to knit for.

Current Mood: calm
Friday, December 21st, 2007
11:12 am
Soy Silk Socks
I just finished a pair of socks from Soy Silk yarn.  

The yarn is "Soy Silk" brand, but I can't seem to find it listed on the soy silk website.  It's a blend of 50% soy silk, 50% merino wool.

It is beautiful yarn to knit with.  It's soft and light, and it does drape nicely (as promised).  The yarn is slightly shiny like silk worm silk.  It knit up beautifully.

They're comfortable as socks, but I'm still not sold on the fiber.  They're softer than wool alone, but they aren't as warm.  They seem to be a bit "sweaty" as though the socks were made out of acrylic yarn.  They don't seem to wick away moisture as promised.  I would not wear these socks out of the city if I depended upon them to keep my feet safe from frostbite.

I also noticed as I was knitting these socks that the fiber itself is rather wimpy.  If I tug on the yarn, it doesn't take much force to break it.  I'm not sure how well these socks will wear.

I used a pattern with braids and cables, and I noticed that the more the yarn was handles, the "fuzzier" it seemed to get.  The braids and cables are not as neat and well defined as they would be with 100% wool.

Still, they're a beautiful pair of socks.  The spinner used bright pink fiber and carded it with electric blue, and the effect is an enchanting and muted purple.  Only when you look at the yarn closely can you see that the purple effect is actually the separate pink and blue fibres.  It's quite pretty and the colour variation makes the socks unique and interesting.

I think soy silk would make a nice sweater that would be nice to wear around the house or office.   It wouldn't be too warm the way that 100% wool sweaters can be.   A sweater would likely last longer too, but I'd be worried about pilling.

The cost of the yarn was middle of the road.  I spend $6/ball, and I used three balls in the socks.  I'd need 10 times that amount to make a sweater, so this yarn may have priced itself out.

I will wait to see how well these socks wear before I buy soy silk yarn again.    I would reccomend this beautiful yarn as an accessory or flourish in a piece made with a stronger or warmer fiber.  It would look lovely in a fair isle pattern with alpaca yarn, and the alpaca would compensate in warmth for what soy silk lacks.
Monday, December 17th, 2007
8:57 am
FO Using Artyarns
I reviewed Artyarns Regal Silk (100% silk) a while ago. I have since finished the shawl I was making. I'm very happy with the results, and it blocked beautifully. I am definitely sold on this yarn. The only problems I had were minor splitting and it tangles and knots easily. The color saturation is shiny and gorgeous.

Here's two pics:

Current Mood: bouncy
Friday, November 23rd, 2007
2:10 pm
Has anyone ever used Susan Bates Quicksilver needles? I saw them on the JoAnn page and thought they looked like they would work well... plus I need a size 10 1/2 for the afghan I'm making.
Friday, November 16th, 2007
4:24 pm
Yarn Review: Berroco Ultra Alpaca
First off, I should probably be ashamed to say that in general, I prefer alpaca to wool. Yes, it tends to be more expensive, but it's always softer and it has a lovely drape (which I prefer in my knitted garments).

Berroco Ultra Alpaca, being 50% alpaca and 50% wool, has the best of both worlds. I use it as my basic yarn for hats, scarves, gloves, just about everything. It's ever so slightly thinner than most worsted weight yarns, so unless you're a tight knitter it's good to go down a needle size when using it.

Pros: Soft enough to be worn next to non-sensitive skin, comes in a variety of rich colors, has a lovely drape but also stands up to wear. Also felts beautifully, for those felting fiends.

Cons: Ranging in price from $8.50 - $10 per skein, it can get expensive if you want to make something that requires more than one skein (hats take one skein, even large ones). For sensitive skin, it can be too scratchy.

This yarn is a beautiful yarn that can be used for any number of projects, and I can't recommend it highly enough!

Two hats from Ultra AlpacaCollapse )

Current Mood: creative
10:28 am
Artyarns Regal Silk
 I love Artyarns Regal Silk! It's a bit expensive for me at $20 for 163 yards/50 grams, but I wanted to indulge a little bit. I've been wanting to try knitting with silk for a while now. The way I compensate for the extra expense is by picking a project that takes me longer-that way I'm not buying more yarn as quickly, and I get a lot of joy from it.

Pros: The yarn is very soft, the colors are lovely and shiny, it's very comfortable to knit with, it has nice drape

Cons: It's a bit splitty-especially if you have to frog (like I did because I am doing a lace project), it tangles (but is fairly easy to untangle), it does not have the spring-back quality of wool, so depending on the project that could be a con

Here is a picture of my WIP using this yarn. It's in the RS101 colorway.

Current Mood: cheerful
2:48 am
Budget Friendly vs Rediculous Prices

Greetings, good day all. I just followed the link (as I often do) from one of the Knitting Groups I lurk at.

I'm by no means an experienced or have oodles of finished works under my belt knitter, for just barely over a year now I've been knitting and although I don't have tones of projects done I have well mastered the art of Casting On and Wripping Out. I LOVE yarn! My spouse has to tend to pull me from the yarn seciton of Wal-mart or just not bring me when he has to run out there.

I've been around on groups both here and on FaceBook and I'm amazed at the prices of yarn and how many people tend to buy the rediculously priced yarn, sure it make feel all that and a bag of fries and all... but for pete sakes!! When the yarn costs $20 - $40 bucks you might as well just go buy the sweater! In an ideal world where I don't have outstanding bills to pay, and needs to meet I'd be right up there buying the exspensive yarn for the project but I for one tend to head straight for the bulk bags and the sales of the yarn. Please tell me I am not the only one that does this here?  I love knitting - let's face it - the bug took a chomp out of all of our butts and we're frenzied knitters now, but I'm not going to spend money on patterns or pay more then maybe $7-$8 bucks on big ball of yarn!

My father, for my 31st bday, bought me two bags of bulk yarn (3 large balls per bag) for $4.99 at Giant Tiger out here in Ontario Canada and though I'm finishing up a project with one of hte yarns, this sale this store offers is the best bag for my buck. In the past I've got these huge balls of the frilly nylon yarn at the same price and am kicking myself for not loading up since it's this yarn that I love to work with but hard to find since they only have little yarns even in the big stores.

What's your thoughts, opinions, comments??

Current Mood: busy
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