Monthly Archives: March 2016

Knit Me: Bijou Basin Ranch, Tibetan Dreams in Fuchsia Ombre Flow

About a month ago I was contacted by the folks over at Stitchcraft Marketing to see if I would be interested in knitting trying a new to me yarn from Bijou Basin Ranch.  Specifically, Bijou Basin Ranch was promoting their ModeKnit line, a batch of Bijou Basin’s base yarns that had been dyed by designer Annie Modesitt. Having never knit with yak before, I eagerly said yes.

Bijou Basin generously sent me a skein of Tibetan Dream which is their fingering weight yarn that is 85% yak down and 15% nylon in the Fuchsia Ombre Flow colorway.

The yarn was amazing! Although you could definitely use it for socks (and get great cushy warm socks at that!) I decided I wanted to wear this amazing fiber around my neck. So I searched patterns on Ravelry and decided on the Starshower Cowl by Hilary Smith Callis.

I found that using a sharp needle helped with the knitting as the yarn was just a wee bit splitty – mostly likely due to the yak down being a shorter staple.  But I loved the hand of the yarn and I felt like I got excellent stitch definition.  The pattern and the yarn worked really well together.

The cowl knit up quickly and I was able to use all but about a yard of the yarn – I didn’t want to waste any!  The only part of the experience I wasn’t 100% pleased with was the color.  As you can see in the finished photos, the yarn is two colored – on one end is a bright vibrant pink, and on the other end is a more muted lavender.  From the words “ombre” and “flow” I expected the yarn to be more of a gradient; that is I expected the colors to transition gracefully from one to the other over a longer area, much like a gradient would.  In this case I felt like the colors and the lack of a transition were a bit less sophisticated than I would have liked them to be; I find that the colors break up the knit into two ends rather than transitioning throughout the piece.

That said, I would totally order this yarn again. Bijou Basin has some of their own colorways, as well as working with other artists like Miss Babs and Lost City Knits to create other colors on Tibetan Dream and other base yarns. I look forward to trying some of the other gorgeous colorways and other luxury fibers in the future.

A special thank you to Stitchcraft Marketing and the folks at Bijou Basin Ranch who generously sent me this yarn (retail: $49.95) for free. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own.

 

 

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The Corner of Knit & Tea: Episode 81, Happy Easter…with snow.

Welcome to episode 81! Today I have some finished knits and spins. I also talk about a new-to-me tea company, some future knits and the Shawl KAL!

Please come and join the Ravelry group.

You can also find me on Ravelry as Fluffyk, Twitter, Instagram and Periscope as Fluffykira, and in my shop The Stashbuckler: Adventures in Yarrrrrrrrn.

Sipping:

Knitting:

Spinning:

Extras:

  • I’m delighted to announce that I am co-hosting our next KAL with Anne of the Wooly Wonka Fiber podcast, store, and designs. Come over to either of our groups on Ravelry to check out the details!

 

 

Knit Me: Zambra, Louet Spring 2016 Collection

A few weeks ago I was contacted by the folks over at Stitchcraft Marketing to see if I would be interested in knitting something from the Louet Spring 2016 Collection featuring their Euroflax yarn.  I browsed the collection and requested to knit either Zambra by Susanna IC or Tallahassee by Kristen TenDyke.

Louet generously sent me the Zambra pattern and my choice of Euroflax colors to knit the pattern. I selected Crabapple, Soft Coral and Champagne.

Zambra is actually two shawl patterns by Susanna IC.  The first is a crescent shawl that is knit using three colors/three skeins.  The second is a rectangular stole knit using similar pattern stitches and two skeins of one color.  I opted to knit the crescent version.

The pattern is impeccably written including written instructions and charts. The format took a bit of getting used to as the patterns of stitches needed for both the crescent and the stole are in the middle of the instructions, but once I figured it out it was clear sailing.  The crescent shawl makes use of a number of needle sizes, starting with smaller needles, and switching to larger needles as you move to the lace sections. This means that the outer edges of the shawl are nice and open and airy.

The Euroflax itself was very nice to work with.  Although it isn’t super soft, it is well spun and not too splitty.  I was most intrigued by the finishing directions: the labels instruct that once you finish your garment you should put it in the washer, and if you so desire, the dryer to soften the linen. I do know that linen gets softer with each wash and wear over time.  After running a test swatch through the washer and dryer, I went ahead and ran my shawl through the whole cycle twice and the shawl is indeed much softer and has more drape after the treatment. I finished with a spray block to open the lacework.

I couldn’t be more pleased with this item and look forward to shopping for Tallahassee for a summer knit. The only question is, with so many great colors, how will I choose which to use?

A special thank you to Stitchcraft Marketing and the folks at Louet who sent me the pattern and accompanying yarn (retail: $85.35) for free. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own.

Drink Me: Plum Deluxe, Reading Nook

Two weekends ago I received an email from Andy, the lovely owner of Plum Deluxe, a tea shop in Oregon.  Andy had heard about my podcast from one of his customers and asked if he could send me a cup of tea. Of course I said yes and I received a delightful package a few days later.

Andy sent me a packet of his Reading Nook Blend Black Tea to try.  He also sent a tea that is not available for purchase, but was one of the selections in his Tea of the Month club. SIGN ME UP!

Reading Nook Blend contains black tea, rosebuds, lavender, chamomile and vanilla essence.

It is available for $7 per ounce.

When I opened the package I could smell the rosebuds and the vanilla. Once steeped I got more of the lavender.  The tea was a delicious black tea with a bit of a sweet floral hint. I’ll admit that I’m not usually a fan of the more floral teas (chamomile, lavender) but this was really lovely and light.  I can totally picture reading this while curled up with a good book on a rainy day.

A special thank you to Andy at Plum Deluxe who sent me this tea (retail: $7.00) for free. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own, except where indicated.

 

Stuff you Missed in History Class

I enjoy listening to lots of podcasts, but one of my particular favorites is Stuff you Missed in History Class.  I was thrilled to see that this week’s episode was entitled “Knitting’s Early History.”

If you feel so inclined, give it a listen:

The Corner of Knit & Tea: Episode 80, I’ll speak plainly.

Welcome to episode 80! Today I have a few finished objects, some tea and yarn reviews, a few WIPs and I announce the new KAL.

Please come and join the Ravelry group.

You can also find me on Ravelry as Fluffyk, Twitter, Instagram and Periscope as Fluffykira, and in my shop The Stashbuckler: Adventures in Yarrrrrrrrn.

Sipping:

Knitting:

Spinning:

Extras:

  • I’m delighted to announce that I am co-hosting our next KAL with Anne of the Wooly Wonka Fiber podcast, store, and designs. Come over to either of our groups on Ravelry to check out the details!

 

 

Drink Me: Steeped Tea, Monk’s Blend

A few weeks ago I was contacted by a podcast viewer, Kim, who is a consultant for Steeped Tea.  Steeped Tea is a company that works through its consultants and a party format to sell teas. Kim offered to send me some samples and a catalog to give it a try.  I tried some of the samples and decided to place an order.  One of the blends I ordered was the Monk’s Blend.

From the website, the blend contains black tea, calendula petals, sunflower petals and natural flavors.

Monk’s Blend is available in 50g (1.76oz) increments for $7.50.

When I opened the bag I smelled a sweet fruity flowery smell, almost like caramel. Once brewed the tea smelled more like black tea and less flowery.  It tasted like a lighter black tea, with a definite hint of sweet flowers. It was a nice blend, I think it would be great in the afternoons with a sweet treat.

If you’re interested in giving Steeped a try, you can find Kim’s party and the tea offerings here.  And thanks to Kim for letting me try a cuppa!

Artea: The Taxonomical Tea Box

This beautiful art was sent to me by my friend Bob from Skylab Letterpress.

You can purchase your own copy at Pop Chart Lab for $18 and up.

The Corner of Knit & Tea: Episode 79, Frogs in the Creek

Welcome to episode 79! No finished objects this week, but I do have a ton of WIPs I’m working on.

Please come and join the Ravelry group.

You can also find me on Ravelry as Fluffyk, Twitter, Instagram and Periscope as Fluffykira, and in my shop The Stashbuckler: Adventures in Yarrrrrrrrn.

Sipping:

Knitting:

Spinning:

Extras:

 

 

Drink Me: Republic of Tea, Orange Ginger Mint

I recently placed an order with the Republic of Tea, which is one of my favorite sites. I rarely get a tea from them I don’t love. Recently I have been enjoying their Orange Ginger Mint at a local cafe, and I wanted a stash for my desk.

From the website, Orange Ginger Mint contains ginger, orange bergamot mint, lemon thyme, anise hyssop, anise seeds and blackberry leaves.

It is available in a variety of sizes (and also as loose leaf) but this time I opted for the tin of 36 teabags for $10.25.

When I open the tin I get a healthy dose of the orange, the ginger and the mint. I really enjoy this one with just a bit of sweetener to sip on in the late afternoon, or as an after dinner drink. I find that the ginger is a good stomach soother, and the citrus and mint also feel good when allergies hit. All in all, this is going into the desk drawer and into rotation.