Thursday, August 26, 2010

Habu Textiles

This was my first visit at Habu Textiles.  Thanks to my friend Mari who took me around in NYC, I could cover five yarn stores in one day.  Thank you very much Mari.  My highlight of the day was definitely Habu.  I had prepared myself for the visit with Setsuko Torii's book weeks before: what to knit and what to get.  But the shop offers so many yarns which are completely unknown to me that I was not sure at all what to do with them.  Seeing garment samples were definitely helpful.  In the end I decided to go with my original idea of purchasing yarns for Ms. Torii's colorful cardigan.  It is knitted with cashmere yarns but I decided to go with merino yarns.  I chose six colors per instructions by Habu staff, and they assembled my kit.  Since the merino yarn was much thinner than cashmere yarn, each ball was composed of four strands: two each in two colors or four strands in single color.  One ball in dark green was done with two strand only and it is for front and neck band.  I requested for 10% extra yarns.

Habu Kit with Extra Fine Merino yarns in six colors

The above photo shows colors A through O in four strands and color a in two strands.  My colors were red, orange, chartreuse green, light brown, beige and dark green. 

Now to swatching.  Using 5.5 mm needles per instruction, I cast on 25 stitches and knittted two rows each in all the colors: A throug O.  Looks really loose, too loose, actually.  I've never done such loose knitting before and was really nerveous. 

Before felting

After felting 

After felting, though, the fabric fluffed up quite alot and you cannot see the table's surface through stitches, though it is rather loose compared to other hand knitting I've done.  I've never careated such a fabric before.  It is definitely new.  Do I like it?  I think I do.  The garment will be very light weight and soft. 

My row gauge after felting was almost at target, but my stitch gauge was a bit off.  To make sure that the garment does not turn out too large, I will be using 5 mm needles.