Meet the Yarn: Luster

Jill Wolcott
passion.fashion.knits

Miles Davis said he had to quit playing ballads because he loved them so much.  Not sure what a ballad is?  Check this list, you have probably heard many of them. I had to step away from Luster in the same way!  Luster is a fingering version of It Could Be Worsted. As much as I enjoyed It Could Be Worsted, fingering is more my gauge.  I almost lost myself on the swatches of twisted stitch rib with cables and lace from the Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible.

I have done my usual exploration swatch of garter, stockinette, seed, and 1x1 rib. The yummy blend of 50% super wash merino and 50% tussah silk means it looks good in all types of stitches. Tussah silk is not as refined as some silk filaments, so you get little bits of variation in the fiber.

The yardage for Luster is 405 yards or 370 meters to 114g or 4 ounces.  I used a US size 3(3.25mm) needle.  The exploration swatch used 40g, I have approximately 36g remaining unknit, and so my other swatches used about 38g.  I know what I’m going to do with the unknit Luster—because I have an other skein which I’m going to knit up — it will become accents.

So let’s get to the details so you can start having Luster-ous dreams:  

Do note that there isn’t a lot of change in gauge from unblocked to blocked, but that the stitch pattern gauges vary quite a bit.  I used the same needles throughout my swatches.  Every stitch looks great in this yarn.  Knit it tight enough to counteract the in-elasticity of the silk, and to insure even stitches.  I love it in the twisted stitches, but I need a different skein for that because the other one I picked up is multi-colored.  This is a yarn worth waiting for!

 8 rows of stitch pattern 162 from the Japanese Knitting Bible.

8 rows of stitch pattern 162 from the Japanese Knitting Bible.

I love looking at the projects and stashes on Ravelry.  Prices online vary from $33 per skein to close to $37 per skein.  A shawl or project taking two skeins will cost about $70-75 and to my thinking, that is a nice price for the hours of knitting pleasure you will get.  Then, of course you get to wear it!

I do a cost analysis for my yarn based on knitting time.  I recently worked up a project in 1 skein of Sport with similar yardage and spent about 12 hours knitting.  Double that if you use 2 skeins.  That means it costs $3.125 an hour.  About the same as the cost of my Saturday double espresso.  That does not take into account the future wearing.  

Seeing photos of a yarn worked up is always a good way to take its measure.  Here are some Luster projects I selected from the 158 listed on Ravelry.  I added the number of skeins used — so you can do the cost math.  There are 203 stash entries on Ravelry, and of the six listed for sale or trade, two are just the remainder from projects knitted. 

https://www.ravelry.com/projects/panfila/ever-again 1 skein plus a second yarn
https://www.ravelry.com/projects/MelKnitsInOly/zucchero 6 skeins (5 colors)
https://www.ravelry.com/projects/sixfoursgirl/kiss-me-romper 2 colors
https://www.ravelry.com/projects/mysisterknits/purless 1 skein
https://www.ravelry.com/projects/rindab/hitofude-cardigan 3 skeins, size small
https://www.ravelry.com/projects/Summ/santa-rosa-plum 4 skeins
https://www.ravelry.com/projects/hellogirl100687/im-winging-it-sweater-xxxvii-discreet-faux-isle unknown, but sweater appears to be an XS.

Looks like there is plenty of user satisfaction!  Take a look, then purchase a skein or two and set sail on your next beautiful knitted thing!

You’ll find more great pattern ideas for Luster on our Pinterest page!

Keep up on all things Jill Wolcott:
Contact: jill@jillwolcottknits.com
Blog:  http://www.jillwolcottknits.com/category/blog/
Twitter: @jillwolcottknit
Instagram: @jillwolcottknits
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www.JillWolcottKnits.com 

Pattern Spotlight:  Blackstar Cowl by Andi Smith

I have to admit to being a huge FanGirl of Anzula yarns, and when I was designing for the book, I’d planned on creating this cowl in Dreamy, but fate had plans.

I’d found this obscure star cable that intrigued me, and was somewhat obsessed with designing something very graphic with it. I grabbed my yarns, caked, and swatched like a crazy person! I think this motif broke my record for number of swatches to make it perfect!

I was so happy with it though; sometimes, the yarn, the color, and the pattern just gel to create the perfect trifecta. This was one of those times.

When you’re working with two colors, and a tricksy cable motif, having an uninterrupted field of purl bumps in the background can be hard to achieve. A stitch that was one color became a different color on the next round, and that differently colored purl bump became all- encompassing problem for me for longer than I care to admit!

After much playing around, and experimentation, and frogging, fixing that issue on the round before solved was the solution, and I was crazy happy with the results.

I sat down to write the pattern, and that is when disaster struck! In my mad rush to knit-all-the-things, I’d inadvertently picked up a skein of Cricket for the cables, not Dreamy! What’s worse, is that I didn’t have another skein of Dreamy in the One Red Shoe colorway!

 

I know the amazing ladies at Anzula would have sent one out to me right away, but I wanted to knit this cowl NOW! Waiting was NOT an option! Do you ever have a project like that? I know I do.

So, I broke my must use the same weight for the cables and background rules, and went with what I had.

I’m so glad I did! Using a DK for that red pop of deliciousness was such a great choice. I’m thrilled that my impatience paid off! I love how the star pops out majestically, how graphic and understated it is; how just a few cables makes such a big impact!

If you want to knit Blackstar, you’ll find it in my new Color Cables book, (©Cooperative Press 2018), which also includes full color tutorials for all the techniques featured in the book.

Stay up to date on all things Andi:

ravelry - https://www.ravelry.com/designers/andi-smith

Pattern Spotlight: It’s Fall Ya’ll Poncho Cowl by Lois Weaver

or as a dramatic cowl as seen on the first photo.

My name is Lois Weaver and I love weaving. The past several years, I have shifted from weaving fabric on large floor looms and designing garments to sell, to encouraging knitters and crocheters to learn to weave using small looms. And little looms are perfect for using yarn you can find at your local yarn store.

I now design and publish patterns for garments that can be easily woven on these small looms and are a perfect next step for new weavers who are bored with weaving simple scarves and rectangles and ready for more of a challenge.

When I first met the Anzula team at last year’s, TNNA, I was delighted to see that they also included woven samples in their booth. And I knew I wanted to create something with their wonderful yarn.

The yarn I chose was the Cricket yarn, a blend of 80% merino, 10% cashmere and 10% nylon in a DK weight. This yarn is perfect for weaving; not too stretchy, with lots of strength for tensioning on the loom and the woven fabric is oh so soft!

I love the Dark Matter yarn with it’s splashes of color in golds, browns, greens and rust that reminded me of fall and fall is my favorite season. I used it for the warp

its fall yall poncho cowl lois weaver anzula cricket dark matter saffron warp

To coordinate with the Dark Matter, I chose the Saffron colorway to weave across in the weft. I mixed it up a bit, by adding an asymmetric stripe with the Saffron in the warp and wove a weft stripe with the Dark Matter.

its fall yall poncho cowl lois weaver anzula cricket dark matter saffron

Since variety is always a priority, I designed this piece to be worn several ways;

as a traditional poncho,

its fall yall poncho cowl lois weaver anzula cricket dark matter saffron

thrown off to the side or even off the shoulder,

its fall yall poncho cowl lois weaver anzula cricket dark matter saffron

or as a dramatic cowl!

its fall yall poncho cowl lois weaver anzula cricket dark matter saffron

It’s the perfect little piece for fall; not too heavy but warm on the shoulders when that autumn nip is in the air. So now that “It’s Fall, Ya’ll”, it’s the perfect time for a weaving project with this great yarn!

You can find the It’s Fall, Ya’ll pattern in my Etsy Shop.

Stay up to date on all things Lois:

Etsy Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ZoZoFiberArts

Website: https://www.zozofiberarts.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/zozofiberarts

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/zozofiberarts