Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Lace, Silk and Zen

Round 4 specs have been released and the pattern is meant to arrive sometime Thursday evening. I'll have to make VERY fast work of it if I mean to make it to Round 5. Who knows what speed my fellow knitters will have and what will happen between 7:15 Friday evening and 9:00 Saturday night. By the time Shabbos is over, I could be out. So it looks like Thursday will be an all-nighter and I'll do my best to remain in the competition. Sock 4 will be another two color job and I'm already choosing possible pairs. I'll wind off a few balls tomorrow night. And since I won't be doing any stash flashing on Friday, I'll share with you now some of last Friday's haul.

One of the two VSLYS I went to was Habu Textiles.

Habu carries unusual and difficult to find fine yarns from Japan and Asia for weavers, knitters, basket makers, stitchers, and artists. Naturally gold colored silk, raw and degummed bombyx silk as fine as 42 denier and up, hand reeled raw and degummed Akagi silks, extra fine silk, wool, cotton or wool/cashmere crepe, hand-tied ramie banana "basho", bamboo, silk & wool stainless steel, paper, hemp bark, etc. are only a few of over 300 selections we have. We offer some special equipment and also "rodin" silk degumming powder.
We would like to offer you the best and unusual yarns imported from Japan, rarely available in this country. It took us many trips and years to cultivate the relationships with the suppliers and discover the yarns. You do not have to do that.They are here! There are over 450 selections and they includeraw silks from 14 denier, hamp bark, bamboo, hand-tied ramies,cashmere with almost no twist, naturally gold silks,handspun silks/cottons, silk stainless steel, fine silver, etc...
from the Habu Textiles website

Habu has been on my MUST SEE FOR MYSELF list for some time and I'm glad I finally got there. Habu has no standard Store Front. Rather, it's show room is in an office suite on W 29th. When I entered the showroom the floor was covered with baskets of sale merchandise, which of course I scanned quite thoroughly. There I found these gems:

574 yards of Lace weight Bamboo for $13.50. Two will be more than enough for a lightweight summer shawl.

A sample pack of naturally shaded goodies: Cashmere, Silk, Rami, Wool and Synthetic. I'm not sure how much yardage is in there but I'm thinking some kind of mixed, artsy scarf.

But magic lies beyond the receiving room. In a narrow hallway leading to the back stock room is a wall of samples that is a feast to the senses. Habu is know for its unusual fibers including paper and stainless steel, but I wasn't so adventurous first time out. I was drawn to the seemingly endless choices of silk. Shiny and slick, nubby and rough, mixed with mohair or just on it's own, the choices of silk were overwhelming. But every wallet has its limit. And of course I went beyond my own. But really how could I resist:

Silk Mohair. 60% Silk, 40% Mohair, 2.5 oz.
From Habu Textiles: “This silk mohair has more silk content than the usual mohairs available. Very smooth and silky. Beautiful as a weft yarn for weavers, and so light and delightful for knitters to try lace stitches. You will only require 1/2 oz. to make a scarf.”

Tsumugi. 2-ply lace weight. 100% Silk. 10 oz.

Nerimaki. 100% Silk.
From Habu Textiles: “Such a soft silk, which feels like cotton. Simply knitting it on no. 6 needle, the thick part of this yarn worms out and creates are pattern by itself. 1 oz. will make a scarf. 2 oz. will make a shawl."

3 oz
2 oz.

I love the way these to colors look together and am hoping I have enough to make a vest, if not a sweater.

And that my friends is what I found at Habu. Tomorrow or Thursday we'll see what I found at the other VSLYS.

Until then...


Frenzy23 said...

ooo yarn shops are so dangerous. Too many things I want to buy :)
Those silk yarns look gorgeous!

madstitcher1 said...

nice yarns, wish I went with you. The colors are gorgeous and so is the silk yarn. Can't wait to see the other yarns you got.

Now to the sock madness, hope you are off on Friday then you can knit all day. Good luck on that and can't wait to see the socks.

lunaticraft said...

Awesome awesome stuff. I'll have to take a stop by that shop next time I'm in the city and have free time! Good luck on round 4!