June 23, 2015

17 Sticks and Silkystones Won't Break My Bones, Oh No!

Silky what?!  Ok I know, "Silkystones" is an odd name for a yarn, but let us discuss. This yarn was released back in the Spring of 2014, and I was intrigued because it resembled nothing I had ever seen before...

Worsted weight, 52% tussah silk and 48% linen.

Crazy texture, looking like it was put in a crimping iron and slathered with pomade, am I right? Well maybe it did resemble something:

Well I'll be, the yarn isn't so far away from pebbles on the shore! Naming yarns must be hard, so I'm going to put this one in the WIN category for creativity. (Sadly, the trend for Rowan these days is to name yarns by fiber content and weight, like "Pure Wool Worsted" and "Alpaca Cotton").

I wanted an edgy modern pattern to showcase this interesting yarn (the Silkystones Collection is lovely, but didn't have any long sleeve pullovers). It's not variegated in the sense that it changes colors, but it's definitely 'marled' -- so it wasn't easy. I decided on something risky with a lot of eyelets and a very up-to-the-moment ribbing from a Bergere de France book.

I loved it to death once I started knitting it. I didn't realize that the diamonds had so much texture going on. Look at how beautiful this yarn is, seriously.

Let's just put it right out there: I don’t think I’ve EVER had more pleasure physically knitting with a yarn than Rowan Silkystones. It’s so smooth and silky… I don’t mean slippery. It’s like a well-oiled drawer, the yarn just glides across my Addi Turbos in the. most. satisfying. way.

If you haven’t played with it, it’s worth experiencing how totally unique it is. The colors are mixed like a marble cake and make a fascinating fabric.

However -- it is a very “organic” yarn, you will find slubs and thick/thin sections. Just accept them as part of the Silkystones landscape if you will. Knit those suckers right in.

I NEED TO GIVE YOU A REAL WARNING THOUGH: not all Silkystones are made the same. I ran out of yarn to finish this sweater and ended up buying skeins from 3 different stores to try and match the coloring. All of them were totally different. One had tons of what looked like straw coming out, one was dry as if it needed oiling! The original batch was a dream, so I really recommend that you try and go to a store with Silkystones to make sure it has the shine and feel it is really capable of.

The pattern was great, easy to follow (in French for me, but the book is available in English online) and with a nice fit: close to the body on top and loose at the bottom. Well, maybe it wasn't supposed to be that loose. Truthfully, it must have stretched, as it is longer than it originally was, I swear! Not surprised as silk is a heavy fiber. Knit a little shorter, you won't be disappointed.

You may have noticed that I screwed up changed the ribbing at the bottom! I don't know WHAT came over me, I just was picking up stitches and knitting along and the thing was TOTALLY WRONG!!  I didn't even notice until someone mentioned my "mod" on Ravelry, lol!

I decided to keep it, but it's really too loose. I'm going to tighten it up with this "Latvian braid" technique from TECHknitting:
This is just slip-stitch crochet, but I would use only one color.

This is my first real photo shoot at the house in full greenery.  Here's a spruce we trimmed all of the bottom branches off of to secure our view.

I found this in the yard, and when I hold it I am Maine Pioneer Woman.  For a second anyway -- until I check my e-mail.

The garden has revealed many of her secrets, but there are definitely more coming still.  Thank you, oh previous owners!

The first fuschia peony.

The white one has almost no petals, but is raging inside!

The Siberian irises came out.  Or are they Japanese?  I never got that straight.

I still don't know if they are anemones, but they are amazing and open and close every day faithfully.

The things I thought were weeds are some kind of foxglove?

And the scary hollyhock doth bud.

We have tons of the cat mint plants with bajillions of long-lasting blue-purple flowers.  I discovered a nectar insect that I have never seen, which I can only describe as a SHRIMP WITH WINGS.

Amirite?  It's totally a fuzzy flying shrimp.

Also, we finally had a couple of people come to see about building a rather simple screened porch that we want under this deck.  Well I thought it was simple.

The first quote was ridiculous, so now I am wondering... I mean, if I pay $25,000 to make it, it won't add $25,000 to the value of my house, I can assure you.  We don't even want those screens to switch out to windows!  Not to mention we want to build a real structure for a mud room and this was supposed to be the smaller project.

Just to dream though and end on a happy note, here's a Houzz find (that would never work in our space but this is a DREAM... dreaming dreaming lalaalalalala).


I'll tell you a secret though, I finished this sweater in mid-November, that's how long it's taken me to tell you about it!  Luckily it's Summer and it's the perfect yarn for you to knit with RIGHT NOW.  I hear it's on sale everywhere too, hint hint.

See my Silkystones Rocks on Ravelry


  1. I think your 'flying shrimp' is a hummingbird hawk-moth - google it and see if you agree! Your hollyhocks are doing well - dying to know what colour they'll come, and I envy you the buff-yellow foxgloves; I only have the basic pinky-purple kind.

    1. You got it, I do agree on that little shrimp! I thought the yellow was so subtle, I had never seen one that color before!

  2. Lovely, just lovely. Your color choice of yarn is just perfect for that pattern (or is that pattern perfect for your yarn?) Anyway, I love it. I was just going to add the pattern to my queue in Rav when I saw that it was in French. (sad face) I also love your peony. So pretty!

    1. GUESS WHAT? It's in English too! :D I love these books, they're always worth a buy. Here's one supplier I found: http://www.paradisefibers.com/bergere-de-france-creations-pattern-book-2013-2014-english.html

  3. Lovely knit Dayana, I must get some Silkystones and give it a try. I agree with Abbeybufo your 'flying shrimp' is the Hawks

    1. Yes, it is the Hummingbird Hawk Moth! But I think I will continue to call it the "fuzzy flying shrimp" as it has a nice ring to it. ;)

  4. It's super pretty! I prefer your version than the brown one on the photo. So beautiful ! Thank you for sharing! (I wish I wasn't a newbie in knitting!! grrr ^^) and "+1" for the hummingbird hawk-moth, I have some in my garden ( I'm in France but we have the same here too)

    1. That brown one is in acrylic too, yuck! I'm glad to know we share some big bugs across the Atlantic. :D

  5. Beautiful post and beautiful sweater too !

  6. It is a great sweater, I love this color. I think you can find most Bergère de France patterns in English too, by the way. Nice to see how your garden bloom. And this quote for a screened porch is totally ridiculous. I bet they realized you were not Maine natives and doubled it. Seriously! Keep on looking, I'm sure you'll find someone reliable and honest.

    1. Thanks for reminding me about the English versions, I just updated my post. I always got my catalogs at the BdF warehouse cheap and they never had the English versions. I have another guy for the porch... I suppose it's not trivial. The posts for the deck are sinking and need to be jacked. We want door access from the inside, some electrical And of course, we need to extend the deck to another door on the outside. Still, $25,000 is ridiculous I agree.

  7. Your sweater is lovely--soothing ocean colors! I wonder if your sweater grows in length when you wear it...the only silk blend I have knit with was 70/30 merino/silk, and I swear that sweater grew an inch longer each time I wore it. I never realized silk was so heavy.

    1. I think that's exactly what happens! I don't mind because this is a relaxed fit and I love really long sleeves, but if it keeps stretching I'll have to cut back and redo the ribbing.

  8. What a perfect combination of pattern and yarn and colour. Your jumper's lovely!

  9. I just discovered your blog and I think it is lovely : I love reading your posts and I will follow you by e-mail.
    Your last pull is really nice and looks like the sea !!
    Wishing you a nice knitting day,

  10. Beautiful sweater...beautiful flowers!


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