We are so excited to introduce Shibui’s new yarn, Tweed Silk Cloud, to all of you this week. This new yarn is a lace-weight blend of silk and mohair just like it’s big sis, Silk Cloud. However, the silk is less ‘refined’ with a tweedy quality. While it seems to have a bit more heft than Silk Cloud, Tweed Silk Cloud (TSC going forward in this blog!) is still a lace-weight yarn. When we first sampled the yarn, we were shown a swatch knit up with TSC held on its own, at a gauge of about 18 stitches over 4”. It was a light and diaphanous fabric but felt less delicate than Silk Cloud held on its own. TSC is meant to be knit on its own or mixed with others – the possibilities are endless.
I selfishly took the sample of TSC home to swatch for myself and I fell in love during my little “meet & greet” with this wonderful yarn. I decided to use a US4 to swatch it, and I did so on my bamboo needles, thinking I’d like that extra friction. I was surprised by how easy it was to handle this yarn. It wasn’t as slippery as I thought it would be, and I switched over to my metal needles halfway through my swatch to see how it would go. It was lovely, and decidedly easier to knit with on its own than Silk Cloud. My US4 swatch came out to approximately 24 stitches over 4” – and while it’s somewhat diaphanous, I’d feel comfortable making a sweater at this gauge (to be worn with a camisole underneath). It’d be gorgeous on a US6 or US7, at a looser gauge, all on its own for a big, looped cowl.
Since I’m of the general mindset that Shibui’s Silk Cloud makes everything better, it’s easy to apply this same logic to TSC. Use this magical new yarn anywhere you’d use Silk Cloud. So think of it for some of our favorite projects like Shibui’s Spectrum Scarf/Wrap, the Mayu pullover for Espace Tricot, a Mohair Bias Loop (mixed with another yarn or stitched on its own) or mixed with a fingering-weight yarn for a No Frills Sweater. After thinking about these go-to favorites, my wheels kept turning and I came up with a Top 5 List inspired by Shibui’s delicious Tweed Silk Cloud.
Top 5 Things I’d like to Do with Shibui’s Tweed Silk Cloud
- Volute by Shellie Anderson
I mentioned this piece in my shrug blog last week, and I obviously had TSC in mind for this. Volute is feminine and refined, and would be a knockout piece to wear over a dress for an evening out. I loved that is relaxed in its refinement, so we don’t feel too precious about this piece, and so we know that we can and should wear it every chance we have.
- Alexandra’s Airplane Scarf from Churchmouse
I have my swatch of TSC right next to my computer as I type, and I keep picking it up and rubbing it on my face and neck. It’s soft, luxurious and begs for you to hold it tight. There’s not much more simple or versatile than the Airplane Scarf. Knit as a tube, this piece can be worn as a cowl or scarf. Worn as the latter, you’re dealing with a doubled fabric that will be thicker and warmer. That said, you’d embark on a project like this with straight knitting – perfect for relaxing summer stitching.
- A Simple Hat like Sugar Cane from City Purl
Mohair and fuzz is still big in fashion, and adding a hint of mohair to any hat is a way to add soft, feminine luxury to any practical hat. Check out a pattern like City Purl’s Sugar Cane hat, a free pattern and a modern, sleek slouch of a hat. This pattern should be mixed with another fingering-weight yarn like Birch (helloooo softie!), Peerie or Tosh Merino Light. You don’t have to think too hard about it, though. Try mixing in TSC with just about any hat pattern that you love
- Birds of a Feather by Andrea Mowry
This gorgeous shawl from Andrea Mowry leaves a lot of room for creativity. You could mix TSC with one color of Shibui Birch for a sublimely soft, textured shawl (excuse me for being stuck on Birch – I just finished a shawl with this yarn and am completely obsessed). That would be soft and modern all at once. Or you could mix TSC with multiple colors and types of yarn for a play on texture and/or color. Whether you mix in pieces from your stash or mix up fingering-weight favorites like Tosh Merino Light, La Jolla, Pebble, Loft, Squishy or Serenity, it’s hard to go wrong. Pick yarns that delight you in their color and feel. A project like this could turn into a yarn-tasting of sorts, so you can enjoy working with a number of yarns without a huge commitment to any one of them.
- Cumulus Blouse from Petite Knits
I’ve had my eye on this sweater for a long time. Once again, there’s a ton of room for creativity. I can’t decide what would be better: knitting with TSC held double for a truly cloud-like sweater, or mixing it with another yarn. Mix with Pebble for a soft, light, semi-sheer sweater. A Cima mix will be similarly light. Mix with Tosh Merino Light to add a painterly quality to the fabric. TSC will tone down a lot of the color variegation in a yarn like this, so I’d have fun and choose a color in Tosh Merino Light like Arya, Central Park West, Love or even Frosty. Mix with something even more substantial like Peerie or Loft to give you a sweater that strongly suggests mohair (rather than announcing it loudly) – this look is huge once again this year – and a very safe choice. Your fabric will be more dense, but still get the drape that silk and mohair lend to the fabric.
Just like Silk Cloud, it’s tough to go wrong with a yarn like Tweed Silk Cloud. You can add it to a project on a whim and it will just enhance it. Stop by and meet this delightful yarn for yourself. Snag a bit to enhance a simple hat or cowl, or stock up and let this define one of your signature knits for the season.