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Flaxen Update

Dear Kay,
Here’s a quick peek at the Handmaiden Flaxen swatch knitted up. It’s 6″ x 8″ wide on a size 4 needle.
flaxenswatch.jpg
I really love this yarn, I love these colors, but I do not love this swatch. No matter how pretty the colors are in the skein, something happens to them when they’re knitted together, and it just doesn’t sing for me. Who knows how the color breaks would fall when worked at a wider width?
The great news is that Flaxen comes in other solid and semi-solid colorways. See? Really lovely–you would love this yarn, which looks a bit like a nice firm twine, with a very subtle sheen.
Off to continue my marriage therapist training course. JUST KIDDING! I would be such a terrible therapist! “Rupert, stop nagging her, willya? And you, missy–enough with the weird and time-consuming hobbies!”
Love,
Ann

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28 Comments

28 Comments

  1. The swatch just seems a little muddy, but the colors are lovely. Maybe if you lighten it up by combining it with a lighter Flaxen color, like Capri or Ivory?

  2. That swatch is crying out to be an Argosy SOMETHING. It needs some yarnovers to break up that stripey thing. I’d love it in a solid. Of course I would.
    Excellent work on the swatching and marriage counselling. I think you need one of Lucy’s signs, “The Doctor is In –5 cents”.
    xo Kay

  3. I agree with the above 2: try mixing w/ another if you want a solid, but somethin’ lacey might work it. I’m terrible w/color, which is why I so admire the cool blankets you all did(I’ll just have to copy one), but I know what I like when I see it! I agree w/you ann, this ain’t it.
    Love the blog and the book, this is my first comment!

  4. I agree on the colours falling together weirdly. That swatch looks like a throwback to the early 70′s.
    Remember, any linen yarn needs a very firm handling afterwards. Best way to bring out the sheen: cold-rolling. Wet down on a flat surface, then simply roll it HARD(!!!) with a rolling pin until you got nearly all moisture out, leave to dry on its own after that.

  5. I agree on the lacy shawl/scarf comments. And, just to show how different colors appeal to different people, I really like the colors. I have family that lives on the Oregon coast and the swatch reminds me of the colors at the beach, with the water, driftwood, agates and sun through the fog.

  6. Those colors look beautiful to me, too. Maybe a tweed stitch? If you could break up the colors a bit more it would look like light reflecting off pebbles in a stream.

  7. I know, that is the same reason I didn’t go into psych nursing. My (internal) response was, “Hey, my family is MUCH crazier than yours and I’m OK, so get on with it.” NOT a therapeutic response to be sure. May be why I chose another specialty. BTW, I love the colors of the swatch, but agree that it needs something to brighten it.

  8. It’s the age-old “multi-colored yarn turns to mud when knitted in stockinette” problem. Or garter stitch for that matter. Call in the YO’s, increase the needle size, make some HOLES in that baby!

  9. What if you knit a swatch on the bias? The colorways may line up in a more appealing fashion.

  10. Ugh. That isn’t a pretty swatch at all. Maybe a slip stitch pattern would give it a bit of pizazz.

  11. Sorry, I’m liking the swatch – maybe more of a pattern or texture will make it more appealing for you?

  12. I kinda like the colors too (wierd since they are not “me” colors at all). I also agree that a lacy or linen stich may break up the colors a bit. (It would sure make a super-fancy mesh shopping tote. You know- for trips to Tiffany’s or the yarn shop.) And is it just me or did anyone else notice that Rose Garden and Lily Pond look like the same skein just folded differently?

  13. Is that the glacier colorway? I knit some Monkeys out of Sea Silk in that colorway and adored it (then, regrettably, sent them away for Sockapalooza), so I’m going to second those who are suggesting some kind of patterning action to break up the colors in stockinette.

  14. I am just dropping my jaw at a 6×8 inch swatch!
    Linda

  15. What a disappointment, after it looked so gorgeous in the hank! Schade… I tend to agree with others about combining this with another color. Maybe something contrasting for some tweedy action?

  16. Yeah. Definitely needs some patterning or lacing going on.
    And what’s wrong with your marriage counselor skills? If you could follow up with a whack (or ten)upside the head, it could work.

  17. Some yarns sing in the skein only to go poo on the needle, conversely some yarns look just plain awful in the ball and sing when knitted you seem to have some poo on the needles yarn. try adding something darker to it a deeper blue or aqua. just dont knit it as is. It looks like stomach flu incarnate.

  18. That looks like it would be a good montego bay scarf to me!

  19. I know this is going to get me on a list somewhere, but I have to out myself. I’m weak in the knees. I love it. I know, the zig and the complimentary zag, but surely that would be spaced out more in something bigger than a swatch. It’s like smooth rocks at the bottom of a clear stream with the ripples of the moving water giving it all a nice watercolor type blur.

  20. I’m with Jenifleur, for what it’s worth. This would look more swoony if either made larger or smaller, so that the ripples are closer or farther. Does that make sense? I’m only on my first cup o’ joe.
    And if you just can’t pull a Tim Gunn and make it work, well, you could always just send it to me. I would love it and squeeze it … ;)

  21. I’ve used Handmaiden and Fleece Artist yarns and love the colorways. In a kit I made, they suggest using 2 balls to distribute the hand dyed color because the color can lay down in peculiar ways. Use a 2 yarn cast-on (very similar to long-tail. Knot Y1 and Y2 together, make loop with Y1 on left thumb and pick up Y2 to cast on. Y1 and Y2 tails will both be at the same end after the cast-on. When all stitches have been casted on, with Y1 knit the row (but don’t turn yet) … go back to the beginning and knit the row with Y2 then turn. Purl back with Y1, then go back to the start of the row and purl with Y2, turn, etc. This is also a good method if you’re blending in different dye lots. Hope this helps!

  22. Oops…forgot to mention to use a circular needle!! Also, love your book!

  23. I think lacy or wider will work, either way, what a shame that something you loved un-knit would do this to you!

  24. Um. A swatch. How quaint. Almost as quaint as blocking…:)

  25. definitely use two two skeins to mitigate the pooling! I think I’d be lazy and just um, alternate rows of it, but that other way would work, too.

  26. I don’t know…I think it’s a pretty combo. I could see knitting up a nice t-shirt with that. Hmmm….

  27. personally, having the attention span of a goldfish, i’m just going to give you a two-opposable-thumbs-up for even swatching anything.
    you’re so….so….rule-followy.

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