October 31, 2007

Kit #36

Although I actually visited the minuscule Habu retail store in NY a couple of years ago, I never tried the Habu yarns and kits until Takako came to my LYS, Article Pract, in December of last year. I was seduced by her trunk show and ordered the kit for the Paper Silk Mohair Jacket. I also bought several of skeins of nerimaki ito silk to make some little nubby scarves. I scoped out the pattern instructions, and they didn't look too hard, so I began the sweater but stalled out because I got scared that I was doing something wrong. Takako returned to Oakland in February, and I took a class from her where I learned to read a Japanese pattern and showed her my progress. She said I was on the right track, so on I went. I really enjoyed working with the combination of paper and the cobwebby mohair/silk blend. The sweater is soft, as light as air to wear, and gets compliments galore. I've got kusha kusha in my queue for winter (another kit from Takako's visit), and love seeing all the pictures and comments on this blog. Thanks for the invitation to participate!

October 30, 2007

Kit 89

I am new to this list, joining after purchasing several kits from Knitch, in Atlanta. I am also new to the concept of blogging, so I'm not sure that I am doing this correctly!
Anyway, I am presently working on kit 89, and having so much fun! Is this kit familiar to anyone? I have found the row gauge to be fairly accurate so far, and am assuming the front is knit exactly like the back.
I loved the buttons used on the sample in the trunk show. Does anyone know where to purchase some like these?
Barbara (Orlando, Florida)

October 15, 2007

hi there, I've kusha'd

thanks for the invite Olga. :)

like so many of you, my first habu textiles kit was the kush kusha scarf:


yarns: silk stainless A-20/21 1/20 in gray (color 3), and super fine merino A-177 in charcoal (color 97).

:while i did in fact knit all of the rows as stated, i used both right handed and left handed knitting in the steel + wool part, and only right handed knitting in the steel only part. this resulted in a far longer steel + wool section than the pattern intended, while the steel only portion was the correct size.

:it stopped being a process knit for me about half way through the steel only portion, and became all about the finished object; which i really like.

this is actually the third piece that i've made with habu yarns. my first was a misty garden scarf out of mohair tam, and the second was a 'Wisp' made out of silk/mohair kusa that i overdyed.

you can see my stash of habu textiles yarns here, if you like.


October 14, 2007

:: Notes on Kit#100

As I have promised some doodles on making of my Habu kit #100, seaming less and making it reversible.
So originally you are to make 10 pieces and seam them all up.


A little bit of brainstorm and instead of 10 we only make 4.
2 of which are pocket linings.
So you will have to cast on twice, both times from each cuff edge and placing marker in the middle (why? because there are increases to be made). You will technically make two parts of the top of the coat, but we join them in the back by weaving/grafting so it is one!


And when the whole top part is knit and assembled and seamed we can pick up the stitches all around the bottom of it. The longer the needle you are picking up/making the bottom of the coat - the better, so you could try it on multiple times in case you need to mess with the length (if not just put it on a couple of circular needles to try it on and see).


You make one nice long bind off which will be the bottom of your coat.

Each Pocket consists of 2 parts (so 4 parts for all pockets) in the original pattern: just do a provisional cast on and then put the stitches back on the needle and make the second part, fold it in half when seaming and attaching it to the coat. And don't forget to work the mirror decreases in them.

Not some much to brain afterall, the thing with japanese patterns is that the pattern is mostly numeric and when to some reason or circumstances the numbers and your gauge don't make sense follow the scheme by measurements this should always lead to success!
Have a question-ask away!

Habu at Ally Pally

On Thursday I went to Alexandra Palace in London (Ally Pally) for the Knitting and Stitching Show. I have heard so much about this wonderful yarn, and seen so many elegant garments and accessories made with it that I wanted to get my hands on some (more). I had read in blogland that last year, so many people bought Habu that there was very little choice by the Saturday. I decided I wasn't taking any chances and took the day off on Thursday (which is the first day of the show). The Habu stand was my first port of call.

It was extremely busy. Everyone was polite, and enthusiastic about Habu. At most other stalls people looked, stroked, mused, wandered away and possibly came back to purchase something later. At the Habu stall, whilst there was no pushing/shoving and everyone was super polite and helpful, people were there to buy. Takako was there together with another lady whose name I don't know. Both of them were extremely helpful. Takako advised me on a good colour combination for some aubergine/eggplant-coloured bamboo that I'd selected.

Anyhow, enough of the chat, here is a picture of my haul:

So what's in the picture?

A-148, 1/76.6 wool stainless steel in colour #599 (a kind of dark green/black with gold flecks), 75% wool & 25% stainless steel.

A-21, 1/20 silk stainless steel B in colour #4 (a light brown colour), 69% silk & 31% stainless steel.

A-177, 2/48 super fine merino in colour #45 (a cinnamon colour), 100% wool.

XS-45, 20/3 bamboo in colour #3 (an aubergine/eggplant colour), 100% bamboo.

A-64, 1/6.5 paper ring in colour #12 (a soft peachy/pink), 64% linen & 36% cotton (core).

October 9, 2007


I realized that I didn't post any pictures of gf's Habu kit yarn.

The sweater itself is a simple, in the round funnel neck with raglan sleeves. The body is knit with Ultra Fine Kid Mohair and it is edged with Tsumugi Silk Combination. I can't seem to find any pictures of a finished sweater, so you'll just have to wait until I finish it to see what it looks like.

As fuzzy as this yarn is, there aren't a lot of stray fibers floating around when I'm working with it. I honestly wasn't looking forward to working with this yarn because I hate having fiber float into my eye. But I haven't had any problem with it.

Here's the progress so far...not too bad. At this point, the body is a quarter of the way done.

I started out swatching with some bamboo needles, but it was proving difficult to pick up the yarn with their blunt tips. So I switched over to some Options nickel needles and have been very happy. The yarn has a lot of traction and I haven't had any problems with stitches slipping off.

Bad Dog!

Finished back piece & right front of Kushu Jacket. Today I walked into my house to find my beautiful merino gnawed to bits along with a bamboo needle. I guess our dog, Gwen, found the yarn tasty. She's added expensive yarn to her breakfast menu, which usually consists of dog food and the occasional shoe.
Hard to tell from the photo, but the top of the cone is completely chewed, resulting in long, useless pieces of yarn. I placed an order to replace the ruined yarn immediately. And, of course, it's on back order. Fortunately, I didn't have much of the left front started, but I still had to choke back some tears. Gwen got a bit of a tongue lashing, though. I suppose I will place my knitting basket higher when I leave the house from now on. It's either that or the crate for my little destroyer dog. Just thought I would share a laugh with everybody, or else I will just cry! If anyone has any ideas for the merino, please post. Maybe, a cool witches wig for Halloween.

October 7, 2007

Birthday Gift

Hi everyone! I'm Christie, and I joined the KAL after my girlfriend bought 3 sweater kits from the Habu trunk show at Wildfiber in Santa Monica. Well they finally arrived...well 2 of the 3...and I'm going to try to churn one of the kits out in time for her birthday...October 26th.

Thank god she chose the easiest of the kits...the mohair pullover, kit 110. I'm not very far, but since it's a simply design knit in the round, it should be done in no time.

October 3, 2007

to kusha

after much lurking and drooling over alison's sensual descriptions and photos, i succumbed and took my first habu plunge with the kusha kusha scarf kit 78 (black ss thread and charcoal merino colour combination).
when the threads arrived, i was thinking i had perhaps taken on more than i could handle! i called my mother over to help me get started as it had been some 15 years since i had knitted...
considering my fears, i was amazed at how quickly the scarf grew and after one initial hiccup with my understanding of the pattern, i was hooked. (not literally.)

again, i wasn't feeling too confident with the felting aspect but after i found this blog and read some of the kit 78 posts, i just gave it a good rubbing and rolling on the drainer of my kitchen sink in hot soapy water. i didn't really work up the felting, i wanted to keep some of the open weave nature of the scarf whilst enhancing the merino thread.

end result: beautifully soft scarf that can be pinched and pulled into various forms giving a superb adaptability and textural quality. love it.
postscript: presently ordering kit 24. not bad for a novice!