Today I'd like to talk a bit about SILKYFLAX Lace, which is a little different than most of my other bases in that it doesn't have any wool or hair content. The primary protein fibre is silk (65%) accompanied by 35% linen, a cellulose fibre made from flax, which doesn't bond with the acid dyes I use. Acid dyes mildly stain it at best and a completely different type of dye is needed for saturated colours on cellulose fibres like linen, cotton, bamboo, rayon, etc. I can still use acid dyes on this yarn because the silk content is high enough (and silk loves dye!) to achieve beautiful results.
The silk is tussah silk, which is a little more rustic and which has slightly larger fibres than that of mulberry silk. The yarn also has the occasional slub or nub, and paired with the fine but nonetheless distinctive feel of linen, it is a unique combination.
The overall hand of this yarn is light like silk, not shiny and slinky, but a little toothy and "crisp" from the linen. It is soft and produces slightly muted colours because of the dye not fully striking on the linen. The silk certainly makes up for it and does a lovely job of taking the colour, as well as providing a lovely matte sheen, but the whole effect is slightly muted and understated.
Finished garments are light and airy with lovely drape. It will not hold a block super well, the yarn has little memory and zero "smoosh", but the drape and flow make for lovely finished objects.
The base I carry dyed is a very light fingering/heavy lace, at 735 yards (672 m) per 115g hank in two plies. The mill spins a light fingering weight (about 500 yds/457 m per hank), too, which I can dye if you have a project in mind, just send me a note.
The yardage in one hank is ample, great for a breezy summer tee or a large shawl. Neither would be very warm, but they would make excellent warm-weather layering garments.
A lovely pattern to check out, designed specifically for this base is called "Maple Buds" by Natalie V or readheadnata on Ravelry.
I hope you find a lovely summer project, whichever base you choose.
Please see my "yarnie" page on Ravelry for some beautiful projects using this sweet base
Silkyflax Lace is a premium base and one that should definitely be hand-washed and air-dried flat. It can take a gentle blocking to shape it and open up any lace. I hope you enjoy it if you decide to give it a try!
What I'm actively working on now (in other words, which WIPs are getting attention): a new kidmosilk lace/fingering hat design - that's still in the works! I have knit two prototypes that weren't quite right and the third seems to be the charm. I will be writing it up soon I hope. I am still plugging away at Naveen by Kate Oates, but my Mom is almost finished hers - I am so excited as it will be her first full sweater knit in my yarn. Aaaaand sock 1 of a pair of toe-up afterthought heel socks (no pattern) ~ check out my project pages on Rav [very little change from my last note, but I think my hat pattern is gaining steam now].
All that said, I seriously feel like my knitting mojo has taken a summer break. I am really busy and find by the evening, when I usually knit to relax, I am just too tired. This will pass, I am sure. In the meantime, it's one stitch at a time, right?
No FO's to share at the moment (see above - must knit faster...)!
With the C-19 situation, I am not certain about in-person events coming up, but will update as soon as possible.
I am very excited to have a small batch of yarn ready for a LYS: Handknit Yarn Studio in Hamilton, Ontario. I will be delivering it shortly and Tracy and her wonderful staff will have it in the shop and online.
Stay safe and well and thank you for joining me.