Archives for posts with tag: plymouth boku

I love boring colors lately!

Despite my issues with Noro Silk Garden–the price, mainly, and then all the little squiggly white fibers in the yarn that remind me of quinoa–I fell completely in love with its natural colorways, 267 and 269, after seeing 269 on CosmicPluto’s blog. When I was at Article Pract and spotted both colorways in their bins of Silk Garden, it seemed like a great opportunity to support a local yarn store/do some souvenir shopping/cave in to my greed for these colors. So I picked up one skein of each and cast on for another stripy scarf almost immediately.

Noro Kureyon comes in natural colors as well (149 and 211, I think), but I don’t think they’re nearly as nice as the Silk Garden. Kureyon has a matte, felted finish to it, making the colors look almost like flat pigments on the surface of the yarn, whereas Silk Garden has a subtle, rich shine from the silk and mohair, with the color and texture broken up a bit by the little white quinoa-fibers, and consequently the color looks much deeper. I don’t mind the flatness of Kureyon’s texture when it comes to its specialty, rainbow/crayon colors, but I think the natural colors definitely look nicer in Silk Garden.

(If you’re wondering how Plymouth Boku compares, it is very softly spun, lacking the felty, hard quality of Kureyon, and it’s not shiny like Silk Garden–I think the silk content in Boku manifests in small, pale, tweedy flecks in the yarn, sort of like in Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool.)

Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed every stitch of this project because of the fabulous yarn. Maybe one of these days, I’ll plonk down $100 and make myself a natural-colored, stripy Silk Garden pullover.

The Birch and Oak Scarf

(I’ve been playing with Picnik!)

Pattern: Child’s Rainbow Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts

Yarn used: 2 skeins Noro Silk Garden, one in color 267 (oak browns), one in color 269 (birch whites)

Needles used: US size 10/6.00 mm

Started: November 24, 2007

Finished: November 26, 2007

Size: 5″ x 53″, pre-blocking, 5″ x 60″, post-blocking

Mods: Mistake rib worked over 29 sts (I don’t remember how many the original pattern uses). I also used a slip-stitch selvage (slip last st of each row purlwise with yarn in front, knit the first stitch of each row through the back loop).

Notes: I had intended to make the scarf for either my dad or my stepdad, since it’s in such nice, neutral colors, but my stepmom, a fellow knitter (less obsessed than I) and lover of yarn, kept gushing “I think that’s the most beautiful yarn I’ve ever seen!” so I think I will give her the scarf instead. She won’t be that surprised by it, since I showed her the scarf in progress when the plan was still to give it to my dad or stepdad, but I think she’ll be pleased by the change in plans. I think my stepdad will get the brown and green striped Forest Rib scarf instead, and my dad will get a scarf in Natural Slate Patons SWS.


The first real snow of the year was today–by “real,” I mean the snow actually stayed on the ground for more than a few minutes. It seemed like a good time to take some pictures of my finished You Bastard camel scarf. (Click on that link if you missed the earlier posts and want to know why it’s called You Bastard.)

you bastard scarf closeup


you bastard scarf

you bastard scarf


scarf on head

Pattern: My own–mistake rib worked on 27 stitches

Yarn used: 2 skeins Karabella Camissimo, currently $6 per camelicious skein from School Products, color 18109

Needles used: US size 10.5/6.50 mm

Started: December 3, 2007

Finished: December 5, 2007

Size: 7″ x 55″, pre-blocking, 7″ x 72″, post-blocking (that’s a lot of extra length! Wow.)

Notes: It doesn’t look like much, but it’s really soft and fluffy. So soft and fluffy, in fact, that I decided to rejigger my holiday gifting plans and give this to my grandma, who will probably really appreciate something else warm and cuddly, rather than my dad, who will probably receive a more interesting-looking scarf of some kind.

I will not, however, tell her what I named this project.

The photos from a sunnier clime were taken in 2002 at the Benicia Camel Races, which, in addition to adults trying to ride angry camels, also featured a children’s emu race. This was one of the most hilarious events I have ever seen in my entire life. The emus could run much faster than the children who were nominally herding them towards the finish line with their brooms, and the emus, with their pea-sized brains, were having a really hard time figuring out what was going on. So usually the emus would eventually turn around and run back after the children, who would drop their brooms and scream. The emus would be puzzled and frightened by this, and turn and run back towards the finish line again for a few feet, stop, look around, turn and run back the other way… eventually, I’m sure one or two of the emus finished the race, and a good time was had by all those who were not permanently psychologically scarred by the experience.

Just so it’s not all snow and beige drabness, here’s a picture of the Plymouth Boku Hyphening* mitts I’m making for my friend Ken.

As I related in earlier posts, I ran out of yarn while I was making these in New York, and made them shorter in a desperate attempt to squeeze two mitts out of one skein of yarn, but failed. Now that I’m back home with my Boku scrap stash, I just need to insert afterthought thumbs and weave in the ends, and they’ll be done.

*Get it? Like Dashing, but shorter? hyuk hyuk.

The Earth and Sky Brioche scarf has been done for a while now, since my trip to San Diego, but it went straight from the needles to my neck and is only now being Eucalan’d and wet-blocked. I thought I’d share pictures of it. It’s already one of my most-loved and most-worn handknits.

Pattern: Two-color brioche scarf pattern found at Run and Not Grow Weary

Yarn used: 1 skein Plymouth Boku in colorway 7 (mixed blues), approximately 1/4 skein Valley Yarns Northampton in “Chestnut Heather,” and approximately 1/2 skein Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in “Chocolate”

Needles used: US size 10/6.00 mm

Started: November 13, 2007

Finished: November 18, 2007

Size: 4″ x 59″, pre-blocking

Mods: Cast on 20 stitches instead of 15

Notes: I am so pleased with this scarf. I think it’s a strong contender as the most beautiful thing I’ve ever made, entirely due to the amazing colors in the Boku combined with the rich, dark chocolate browns of the contrasting yarns. Because of the way the pattern looks–it has an appearance of vertical brown stripes on one side with a receding blue background between them, and vertical blue stripes with receding brown on the other–it looks best when messy, folded, and crumpled, so you can see both sides of the scarf, and so that the contrasting color glows through where the brioche ribs are stretched or folded apart. Every time I see this scarf thrown off and lying in a heap on a chair or the bed, I feel like I’ve caught a glimpse of some rare rainforest butterfly, like Morpho Eugenia, resting for a minute.

In motion…

At rest.

However, I don’t know if everyone really agrees with me. I didn’t get any compliments on this scarf while out and about in New York, even when I wore it into knitting shops, where normally people are zealously eager to locate and compliment any knitted items on your body, whether you made them or not. (Maybe people in New York are too cool for that?) I feel like that’s a sign that this scarf is not really as great as all that, but I love it anyway. I don’t feel like the pictures have entirely captured its beauty, but perhaps I am always going to feel that way about it, like the mother of a mule-faced child.

I described it as chocqua when I first cast on, but that’s not really accurate. The blue ranges from aqua to cobalt, cornflower, violet, lapis lazuli, and turquoise, but unfortunately, that range of colors doesn’t easily lend itself to a snappy portmanteau.

I used the leftover Northampton from my two recent hats (Northampton is on sale at WEBS right now, by the way, $3.69 a skein for 247 yards!) until I ran out, then striped in a slightly lighter shade of brown, Wool of the Andes in “Chocolate.” You can see the stripes in the middle of this picture:

When I was arranging the scarf around my neck for the photos, I realized that the brioche stitch had resulted in some severe biasing. I am very curious about why this might be, since the stitch structure doesn’t seem like it should inherently lean in one direction or the other–you’re doing the same thing on both sides, just with different colors, so it seems like it should self-correct any bias–but it’s really pronounced, as you can see in the picture below. Those pointy scarf ends started out rectangular! I asked about it on Ravelry, and hopefully someone will have some insight.

Anyway, I finished You Bastard and cast on for a new project.

Installment the Third of my stash enhancement begins with these two skeins of bright red Nashua Cilantro, a smooth, matte, stretchy aran-weight cotton/poly blend picked up from the sale bin at Uncommon Threads ($5 a skein):

I’m making Elizabeth Zimmermann’s February Baby Sweater from Knitter’s Almanac for my cousin’s baby. They’re adopting her from China and bringing her home this Christmas. She’s a little less than a year old and is apparently very tiny. I am planning to knit the body first and adjust for short sleeves if I start to run out of yarn. Also, since she’s a toddler, I’m going to put some pearl snaps on to close the sweater, instead of buttons. This is probably overkill, but I worry.

Los Altos has two yarn shops right around the corner from one another: Full Thread Ahead and Uncommon Threads. Apparently, they only have one brand in common. The vibe at the two stores is very different; Full Thread Ahead seems like it caters to a younger crowd, with lots of unusual brands and fibers and handpainted yarns (SWTC, Curious Creek Fibers, Interlacements…) I liked the vibe in there, but actually found it sort of hard to find something in my price range that I was crazy about. I eventually found their cache of repackaged Southwest Trading Company Optimum mill ends (it’s called Jewels, and they have both DK and worsted weight) and bought a couple of skeins for a Drifting Pleats scarf:

Uncommon Threads seems much older and stodgier. I felt like I had to whisper in the store, and stand up straight. But their selection of yarns was much more appealing to me–lots of traditional stuff like Rowan, Classic Elite, and various Shetland yarns. And a big wall of Koigu! Along with the aforementioned Cilantro, I got a skein of beautiful semi-solid Classic Elite Waterlily for a new pair of fingerless mitts, or maybe a hat.

classic elite waterlily

So that’s that. Time to try and get a few more rows done on this baby sweater. I’m kind of concerned that the skein I’m knitting from is already looking alarmingly skimpy, and I’m not even done with the garter yoke yet.

P.S. Today it snowed a tiny bit. The first snow of the year, as far as I know! I guess I shouldn’t be too excited. There’s plenty more where that came from…

Here’s one of the patterns eating up my stash of self-striping yarn.

These shapes and colors in these pictures remind me of Andy Goldsworthy photos.

Here’s a overhead shot of the entire scarf:

You can see what I meant about it probably looking even more effective in a yarn with fewer colors in it, right?

Here are a couple of shots of it modeled–the curves aren’t as pronounced as when it’s laid out flat:

Pattern: Kureopatora’s Snake, from String or Nothing
Yarn used: Plymouth Boku, color 5 (mixed reds), from WEBS, approximately 1.8 skeins

Needles used: Size 7/4.5 mm

Started: 11/11/07

Finished: 11/12/07

Size: 8 pattern repeats, not counting the set-up and finishing rows. 4-5″ wide, 66″ long post-blocking.

Mods: Just the length.

Notes: This is a really cool pattern–one of those few really unique scarves out there that isn’t just a stitch pattern applied to a long rectangle. It’s made up of the side triangles of entrelac worked in 1×1 rib, causing the scarf to wave back and forth in long, slow, trumpet-shaped curves.

I couldn’t get a full pattern repeat out of the last bit of yarn, so I frogged back and worked the finishing rows, ending up with quite a bit of leftover yarn–hence “1.8 skeins” instead of “2 skeins.”

I started this pattern a while ago with some Patons SWS, but got frustrated and gave up after heading the wrong way in the entrelac a couple of times. This time around, I paid careful attention as I was setting up the pattern, and only messed up once.

Here’s how I thought about the scarf pattern to keep from getting confused by the entrelac.

The stitches on the needles are divided into two sections: stitches you are actively knitting, and dormant stitches you “devour” with the decreases at the end of every other row.

For most of the scarf, look at the rows and see if you’re heading towards the center. If so, you’re on what I considered the RS, and you will need to increase at the beginning of the row, work to the split between the two sections, then ssk one stitch from the active stitches with one stitch from the dormant stitches and turn your work.

On the WS, just work p1, k1 rib (always starting with p1) across the active stitches.

The increases at the beginning of the RS rows are either (knit into the front and purl into the back) or (purl into the front and knit into the back) of the first stitch. When you’re increasing at the beginning of the row, look at the stitch you’re working into, and work the increase that starts with the opposite type stitch: for example, if it’s a knit stitch, work (purl into the front and knit into the back).

And if something looks weird in your entrelac, make sure you haven’t knit straight across the row into the dormant stitches.

Here’s a glimpse at another Boku project (colorway 7), a bicolor brioche scarf combined with leftover Northampton, looking all cheerfully chocqua and color-coordinated with my Sicily tablecloth:

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Plymouth Boku > Noro Kureyon. It’s soft and evenly spun, no knots, no vegetable matter, and it has gorgeous colors. Maybe not quite as lovely as Noro colors, and it’s not as luminous as Silk Garden because it doesn’t have mohair in it, but it’s much nicer to work with than Noro. It’s cheaper, too!

Oh, and speaking of snakes, here’s the next snake I’d like to make. I’m not really big into knitted toys, but he eats the mouse! How cute/horrifying is that? A: Very! I love it!

Two things that simultaneously amuse and annoy me:

My spam comments appear to mostly consist of apologetic or appreciative Greek car salesmen who have emigrated to China. In the last few hours, Makis, Alexander, Agapios, Loukianos, and Themestoclis have said “Nice…”, “Cool!”, and “Sorry ” and they all come from sites with bizarre accretions of different car names suffixed with .cn.

Michaels‘ marketing tagline is apparently “Imaginate.” Actually, I’m not so much with the amusement on this one. It kind of just makes me want to punch their marketing guy in the gut.

On the plus side, all their yarns are on sale until the 17th. I’ve been jonesing for more self-striping accessory yarns as I deplete my Boku and Noro stash. Here are some stripy patterns I’ve been wanting to make:

– This Butterfly Hat looks great in self-striping yarns (Ravelry link here)

– I’m planning a Clapotis in Rowan Tapestry in Whirlpool, just like Goldtop or Kate’s

– I want to make a two-color brioche scarf with a self-striping yarn as one of the colors. Perhaps the leftover chocolate brown from my hats with the blue/purple/green skein of Plymouth Boku I have left over? (I certainly don’t remember buying that much, but it’s lovely stuff)

– I just made a really nice and addictive Kureopatora’s Scarf with Boku in shades of red. However, I think it would look even more striking in a yarn with fewer colors, such as Patons SWS in Natural Slate.

– One of these days, Lizard Ridge will be mine.

– The latest cover pattern for Yarn Forward was the cute Miss Potter fingerless mitts with a chevron pattern, knit in Rowan Tapestry.

– And I do want to make another Unicorn Pegasus Rainbow scarf for myself, perhaps in slightly less Frankian colors this time.

Have I mentioned before how much I love striped scarves, especially manually striping self-striping yarns?

All scarves have 2-row stripes with the unused color carried up the side. From left to right:

WIP: Earth and Ocean bias stripe scarf. Misti Alpaca Chunky in Peacock Melange and Natural Brown, on size 10.5 needles, garter stitch on the bias.

FO: 1×1 rib striped scarf in Plymouth Boku.

FO: Forest Rib scarf. Plymouth Boku in mistake rib.

FO: Child’s Rainbow Scarf. Patons SWS in Natural Plum and Natural Navy in mistake rib, pattern from Last Minute Knitted Gifts.

More photos of these in my Flickr or on my Ravelry pages. Let me know if you want the colorways or other specs on these scarves.

Up above: Two skeins of Noro for yet another striped scarf.

Also, here’s my cute little fork deer. Isn’t he the best?

As you can see, I finally have my camera back, and I’ll have more projects to show you soon!

Progress: I knit a couple of feet on my “mindless knitting” project, the Forest Rib Scarf–2-row stripes of brown (color 6) and green (color 3) Plymouth Boku over 27 stitches of mistake rib on size 8 needles.  Although I had my first encounter with Plymouth Boku (a soft singles yarn) pulling apart unexpectedly, overall, it was good, and nothing disastrous happened. I’m planning to give this as a Christmas present to my dad or stepdad.

Anti-progress:  The reason I was working on the mindless knitting was that I realized I had knit several rows of my second Selbuvotter mitten without casting on the extra stitches over the thumb hole, then had to spend the better part of an hour carefully tinking back, stitch by stitch. After which I realized I’d left the pattern book with the thumb instructions at home.