Tag Archives: Artfibers

Artfibers Yarntasting Part Deux

Wonderfully thick yarn called Udon in color 05
Wonderfully thick yarn called Udon in color 05

Hello there again!

Leila Wice of Deboko Design was kind enough to send a load of photos from the Artfibers Yarntasting event my way. I’m posting a few more here.  I’m also including most of the photos in a gallery below so you can see more of the swatches people made.

Looking through the photos, I remember that it was just so much fun!  Thinking back upon the whole event, I enjoyed the whole bit. It was great to see so many knitters intensely enjoying what they were doing as the diligently knitted away through as many samples as possible. If you are interested in hosting your own yarn tasting you can find out about it on their website &  contact Artfibers directly.

It's nice to knit in the warmth of the sun
It’s nice to knit in the warmth of the sun
It's always good to have your kit ready
It’s always good to have your kit ready
Smart knitter Rachel tagged all her swatches with Avery labels
Smart knitter Rachel tagged all her swatches with Avery labels
It's so pretty it hurts to look at it all
It’s so pretty it hurts to look at it all
Working with limit amounts allows you to try all the yarns
Working with limited amounts allows you to try all the yarns

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I’m full. I can’t possibly knit anymore

No, not really. I could actually keep knitting.

Yesterday I hosted a Yarntasting party in Overlook Park.

At least over twenty people showed up from the invitee list. It was such great fun!!!! Surprisingly, it was a bit chilly and windy early when we started but the sun eventually came out. Many people brought food and drink to snack on while we were knitting.  There was a bit of a mix up with the parks area because they double booked the spot.  A poor woman showed up around 12:00 puzzled because she’d booked the site from 9:00 to the end of the day.  The last hour of the Yarntasting was a bit rushed, but all in all it was great! And I got to meet a lot of wonderful Portland Knitters.

A few people did try to crochet their samples. Others like Puppydog knits created a sample mini scarf from their swatches.

Artfibers Swatch Scarf

Artfibers Swatch Scarf by Puppydog Knits

Located outside of San Francisco in Pinole, California, Artfibers has been producing their uniquely gorgeous artisan yarns for over 15 years. At our Yarntasting there were about 180 different gorgeous fiber samples of 38 different yarn lines to choose from ranging from blends made from alpaca to yak. You can see all of the yarns (and more) we tried at this event on the Artfibers yarn page.

I’m going to try to keep a log of fibers I both tried and took smaller samples from. It was virtually impossible to try all of the them but my favorites on the spot were (I will post photos as soon as my camera battery is charged up and I can find my blasted USB cord for my camera):

  • Cassanova (Tussah Silk/ Mulberry Silk) – So beautiful I made swatches of two colors. Gorgeously soft with just the amount of sheen from the silk. It doesn’t hurt that the colors are absolutely gorgeous from a deep velvety teal to a pink and plum multi-color shown here.
  • Casanova 18 & Safa 12

    Casanova 18 & Safa 12

  • Bunnuit (53% Tussah Silk/40% Angora/7% Mulberry Silk) – I normally don’t like angora in such a large percentage in a yarn, but married with the silk it seems to work for me. The black angora bathes the rich multi-colored variation in this yarn in a halo of dark softness. The result is an amazingly rich texture and colorway. Did I mention that it’s super baby soft too?
  • Bunnuit 03

    Bunnuit 03

  • Chutney (100% Wild harvested silk bourette) – While Chutney isn’t as soft as the previous two yarns, I still love it because of how it shows off beautiful hand painted colorways.  Lately, I’ve learned to love the rawer silks because they produce lovely summer garments with a good deal of breathability and drape without skimping on the warmth coverage when you need it on those cool summer nights. I actually crocheted the swatch you see in the photo below. (Still need to take a photo).

Almost all the favorites I picked have silk in them. I suddenly realized that this was because Artfibers has mastered the secret of making truly fantastic soft and luxurious yarns using silk and silk blends.

Other yarntastees are posting their photos and pictures. I’ll be posting these up here as I find them.

Me forgetting how many inches were in a yard... Doh! Excitement gets to you.

Me forgetting how many inches were in a yard... Doh! Excitement gets to you.

Yarn1

The yarn samples

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Artfibers Yarntasting this week

A glimpse into my Artfibers stash

A glimpse into my Artfibers stash

Joy! Joy! And SUPER-EXTRA-JOY!

I’ve decided to host an Artfibers Yarntasting on July 19th.  I had to reserve a spot with the Portland Parks bureau so we could hold it outdoors. You might ask… What on earth is a yarntasting? It’s basically a party where you get to swatch or sample various yarns. In this case, Artfibers gorgeously unique yarns. I first learned about Artfibers via the Stash and Burn podcast, but I became seriously enamored of these yarns soon after visiting their old location in San Francisco. I became a regular online customer.   I’ve even purchased their undyed yarns for a future dye project.

Unique textures and fiber blends combined with color palettes that seem nature-inspired can be knit or crocheted into gorgeous heirloom projects or special gifts. I have Artfibers stash reserved for some of the most special members of my own family.  My favorite sweater is made of Artfibers Rush:

My favorite pullover in Artfibers Rush (Egyptian cotton)

My favorite pullover in Artfiber's Rush (Egyptian cotton)

Yesterday I received an e-mail from Rox at Artfibers that the Yarntasting kit is on it’s way.  Each yarntaster will get several samples of yarns to knit or crochet into swatches.  After the Yarntasting is over they’ll get an e-mail with a survey to provide feedback on the yarns. I’m pretty darned psyched about this! I’m hoping that people will bring their cameras so they can take photos of their swatches and share with others.

If you’re interested in hosting your very own Yarntasting you can check out the Artfibers website. It’s a wonderful way to learn about these gorgeous yarns.

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Executive decision – streamline the project list for Christmas

I’ve decided that I’m going to put a stop to any Christmas and birthday knitting that hasn’t been started or planned in detail yet. I took one good look at the Excel spreadsheet I set up and realized that I was really putting myself in for a hectic few months ahead.  Did I really want to make knitting into a huge chore? Did I wan’t to put myself through endless guilt trips for not starting, or starting late, or procrastinating on getting things finished?

No.

So I’ve scrapped the list, and I’m only going to work on two gift sweaters and a pair of socks for this year.  If I just happen to make socks that might fit someone else… then that doesn’t count. Ooops I made a pair of socks for you. See how that works?  The two sweaters i’d like to knit as gifts this year are: Bristow and the Central Park Hoodie (with a hemlock stitch variation). I’ve purchased the yarn for both of these sweaters. I just need to get them started. I’m planning on starting the CPH Hemlock in Cascade 220 yarn (Lake Chelan Blue) as soon as I finish one of the projects currently on my cue.

Also, I’ve decided to frog the Tangled Yoke Cardigan. I’m just not happy with the way things are working out with this sweater. I’m sure it would look lovely on me, but I’m not into working on it, and I’d much rather focus on finishing my “Side Impact Sweater” with the lovely Artfibers Rush that I purchased this summer. I have to say, this yarn is a true “Winner” and I suggest it to anyone who wants to make a nice fall cotton sweater. You do have to be a little careful about splitting the yarn as you knit, but I’ve discovered that if you build this ‘careful knitting’ into your rhythm of knitting stockinette then you’ll encounter few problems with this yarn. People complain all the time about splitty yarn (I think those people are whiners… come on buck up and take it), but I believe that if a yarn is ‘reasonable’ then you can avoid the splitting with just a little care. Despite this the color variation and dye work has resulted in such a rich pattern of colors in plum, grey, and purple (Color # 5 in Artfibers Rush). If it’s possible to fall in love with a yarn… I think I’ve gone off the deep end for this one.

There’s also the Lochinver Gansey that I’ve been making quite a deal of progress on.  I guess I want to really focus on learning new techniques in sweater construction rather than put myself through the rigamarole of getting a bunch of tiny projects done.

Side Impact Sweater Progress 8/5

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