finished! & yarns

Moustache from Fonty and Winter Tabbies

Oh là là, it’s been a while since I last posted an article on this blog!
I was pretty busy this summer because of my first-ever (and the last?) commissioned design and I didn’t knit much, so I had almost nothing to share with you… I’ll talk about that design in another post and this time, I’m reviewing a new yarn, new for me and relatively new on the market.

The yarn is Moustache from fonty, launched for fall-winter season in 2020 (just a year and a few months!).
Fonty is a historical French mill, located in the central mountainous region in France, and I often use their yarns for my designs (Top-down MLBC and Alexandre II), because they are locally produced.

Moustache – funny name, isn’t it? – drew my attention at the launching, for the fiber composition: 50% of merino, 30% of super kid mohair and 20% of silk. Doesn’t this sound promising? And the shades, muted and deep, also looked nice, but I found it rather thin. A 50g ball has 225 meters (246 yards) and, though fonty weighs it as sport to DK weight yarn, with 28 stitches to 10 cm, I’d say it’s a fingering weight yarn, and even in the light end for fingering weight. When a yarn is thin, you can work with another yarn such as mohair lace yarn, but it already contains mohair and I thought it’s a pity if I don’t use it as is to appreciate the quality. But I am not courageous enough to knit a sweater with this gauge and didn’t know what to make with.

And this winter, my daughter wanted another pair of long Tabbies socks, in the shade Ochre of Malabrigo Sock I kept for me!
I finally gave in, thinking it would be an occasion to buy new yarn 😁, and it was that moment I got the idea of using this yarn for a new pair of Tabbies for me.
I learned in my (translation) job that lace shawls knitted with silk-blend yarn can be more “aggressively” blocked than those knitted with 100% wool yarn. I also read somewhere that mohair works as natural nylon and yarn containing mohair can be used for socks. Then, wouldn’t this yarn be perfect for socks?

I’m gonna show you a photos of the longue Tabbies for my daughter, in Malabrigo Sock Ochre I adore!

The size made is 2 and the leg, from the cast-on edge to the heel short rows, is 11 cm (4.25″) long. I used 58g in all.

And I chose a similar shade in Moustache.

fonty Moustache: #0406
It’s more orange and darker than Ochre but I love this golden mustard!

As I had enough yarn, I made the leg even longer than that of the socks for my daughter. I at first switched to larger needles after the cuff ribbing but found the leg too loose. Here, I was re-knitting the leg with the needles same size as those I knitted the ribbing with.

So I knitted down 13 cm (5.25″) straight using smaller needles and decided that I reached the ankle bone. I switched then to larger needles I was going to use to knit the foot and knitted another 2 cm (0.75″) before beginning the heel short rows. After that, I followed the instructions as written.

And here are the socks on my feet!
With 15 cm leg, the top of the socks can be hidden in the bottom of mom jean (I rolled them up here to show you how long they are).

So, is this yarn perfect for socks? I’d say YES absolutely!
The standard gauge of the yarn is 28 stitches to 10 cm but I had no difficulties to achieve the pattern gauge that is 32 stitches to 10 cm, as I expected. It’s thinner than Malabrigo Sock I knitted the samples with so it seems quite normal. The socks knitted up are also thinner, but despite the thinness, they are soft and warm, probably because of mohair, and simply divine! My feet are happy 🙂

I’ve made up a new hashtag for this long Tabbies: #kutsushitabbies
I combined kutsushita which means (normal length) socks in Japanese and tabbies. Please use #kutsushitabbies when you post your photos of long Tabbies!

finished! & yarns

Caroline sweater

In addition to my original designs, I made two sweaters designed by “others” this fall-winter season. If you have already designed a pattern, you may know how grateful you are to other designers who thought of every detail, calculated number of stitches and rows, wrote everything down… I like designing garments from scratch and it’s an immense joy to see your ideas taking shape but I also love that pleasure to follow other designers’ patterns and get what I see on the pictures.

I made Caroline pullover by eri shimizu, and KP yoke – Rasen pullover by Ririko, both created by talented Japanese designers and #strandsoflifeedited 🙂
Continue reading

finished!

Out of Darkness Shawl!

As you may know, we had a very hot summer in Europe this year. I usually knit wool even in summer, but it was totally impossible because of the heatwaves and I worked with linen and silk instead.

I knit first Iris by Ririko with a linen yarn in June-July (I bought linen yarn when they had begun to announce the upcoming heatwave in June and I congratulated myself for having the idea!).

Continue reading

finished!

French Seacoast

As some of you may know, I made a Seacoast pullover not so long ago. I really love this design by Joji, and when I saw a new Poivre Blanc color on De Rerum Natura website, I wanted to make a winter version of this.

And unfortunately, I fulled my first Seacoast sweater: I hand-washed it, but wanted to spin-dry it. My washing machine didn’t find the balance with a wet-heavy sweater to go to spin-dry, and my sweater continued to go up and tumble in the machine… The fabric lost the elasticity and the characteristic rib-stitches on the yoke were flattened. And this unfortunate event precipitated my decision to make a winter version.

I naturally used Gilliatt in Poivre Blanc. For those who don’t know yet, Gilliatt is a yarn from a French brand, De Rerum Natura. They use mainly French merino wool, and their yarns are made in France and the countries nearby, Italy and Belgium if I remember correctly. So my second Seacoast is French, unlike the first one which was British (but not totally European).

I didn’t obtain the pattern gauge (18 sts). So I followed the instructions of the third size to make an intermediate (between the second and third) size.
Seacoast has a large neck, a bit too large to my taste (I’ll be cold in winter!), so I already customized it on the first sweater. I started with the same number of stitches but worked the ribbed stitch part longer so the yoke covers more my shoulders. This customization wasn’t so bad, but I only used the same needle throughout the yoke (smaller one than for the Stockinette body though) and the neck grew wider with wear.

(my first British Seacoast sweater)

So this time, for the first rounds, I used a needle 0.5 mm smaller than the one I used for the yoke – and I can tell you that to knit a worsted weight yarn with 3.5 mm [US4] needle isn’t easy! Then I made the yoke deeper, worked short rows in slipped-rib stitch as for my first one.
The lower body is shorter and sleeves longer than the original, as for my first one too (I recommend that you knit sleeves longer for close-fitting circular-yoke sweaters).

Just done, the sweater looked stiff, with lot of gathers at the start of Stockinette, the neck too tight, not so nice in short. But the blocking (I particularly “opened” the rib)resolved these problems , phew!

The yoke I highly customized looks like this: the neck is much narrower than on the original and it is a bit than my first one (it’s important for the winter sweater!).

It’s a bit too warm for the end of April but I took some pictures.

In short, my French Seacoast in Gilliatt looks simpler, more rustic than my first one knit in Lyonese, a wool-linen blend yarn. The fabric has much less drape. I like it as is, but it is not impossible that I’ll make a spring-fall version with Lyonese again!

finished!

Baaaa!

If you are a knitter, you love sheep (or, if you don’t like sheep, you are not a knitter)!
So I discovered Donna Smith’s Baable hat with the same enthousiasme as all of you 2 years ago.
This pattern was featured on the cover of the first issue of Shetland wool week annual, and seeing the names of contributors (Kate Davies among others), I didn’t hesitate one second to purchase it (and to my satisfaction, this number is full of interesting patterns and articles).
Continue reading