Archive for May, 2010

Paper out of Linen

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

Habu Textiles A-60

I am not sure how did it start for many of you, but my first Habu Textiles yarn was Shosenshi Linen paper that I purchased back in 2006 from Knit Purl store online. How do I remember? I have just found my receipt the other day. It was funny that I was actually looking for a raffia like yarn.. and I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into. When it has arrived it took me 3 hours to gently wind it by hand, as at that time I didn’t own yet a swift or a ball-winder. The feel of it really surprised me, it was much thinner and more fragile than I would want from this “raffia” to be. So my crochet swatch of it really didn’t do what I needed. I put it in the basket thinking what a fiasco… Only later to find out what a treasure I had acquired for my stash.

I know I have heard many stories later that people had purchased yarns like that from Habu textiles and not knowing what to do with it. But with time I have learnt – you can pair that yarn with anything or knit by itself and get an amazing result. This is what yarn from Habu Textiles was all about. Create your own with an array of their yarns to find one in particular you love.

Swatch above made using 4 different colors of A-60 on 4mm needle knit only with a single strand of it.

This season starts with a linen paper additions. Thinner (2mm) version of Shosenshi Linen N-67B has joined the team, it is still rustles as you knit with it and still has all the features of the A-60, but now you can incorporate it with with lots of other tiny threads or work it on its own as shown in a charcoal swatch below, knit single-stranded on 3.25mm needle.

And a thicker addition of Linen paper has also made appearance in a face of N-70, which represents 3 linen paper strands individually twisted, then plied together to create one yarn. It gives it rather chunky weight and can certainly suit those who love quicker results on bigger needles. Swatch in brick color below is made using 5.5mm needle and is also held single-stranded.

While doing some research one can find out that traditionally paper, linen paper has been used in kimono weaving in Japan for centuries. Paper has this amazing feature of heat insulation (for a laugh, bums on the street stuff their jackets with newspapers to keep warm, too literal, but it has a point). And on the subject how is it made.. flax is ground into cellulose-like mass and then strung into a flat tape that is later re-enforced with sizing/starch like glue. Garments created with this yarn are air light, if handled wrong this yarn can give you couple paper cuts, so be careful. But overall it is an amazing experience to try knitting with this one-of-a-kind material. You feel like a part of some secret club. It would sing in your hands, just give it a tune and listen.

What’s in your cover?

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

While Olga and I are eagerly awaiting for the arrival of the books. We would like to share with you some of the book cover designs I came up with and how we choose our final cover. Before the layout begins, we actually had to go through over 100 photos in order to pick our top 3 favorites. We narrowed down to two of our favorites, featuring Olga’s Axonometric Top as it would look the best on 9″x 9″ square format.

Cover #1 – I love this cover because the texture and color of the background really compliment the garment well. However, part of the photo was a little over exposed. The white blotch on the right started to bother me the more we I stared at this cover. The title of the cover also seems a little heavy at the bottom.

Cover #2 – This cover photo looks beautifully with how the photo was cropped. However, we both thought the overlapping of title on top of the garment seems a little distracting.

Cover #3 – We got some pretty good responds from our close friends and family members whom actually seen this cover. They loved the photo as well as the big bold title.

Cover #4 – This cover was our top choice. We both think the bright background worked really well with the texture of the garment. By having the book title placed closer to the spine, the photo and the title seems well balanced. It also draw your eye to the garment which is our top goal.

When it came time to choosing a back cover, first we needed to establish what a knitter would like to see there. Something similar to the front cover or something absolutely opposite. Spine is what also dictated the layout in this case, the colors blended really well in our top choice and texture in that photo is very well exposed.

The back cover featuring Duplicity pullover was our other favorite, but we thought scale of the back garment needed to be smaller in order for a reader/knitter pay attention to the text.

Now what is your favorite out of all these options?

We can’t wait to her your comments!