Swatch Watch – An Ode to Tsumugi

Hello! This week we will look at a collection of swatches (knit by yours truly) inspired by one of my favorite yarns, Habu A-1 Tsumugi Silk. My thought on knitting is often “why use one yarn when you could use two?” In most of my knitting experiments, I have found Tsumugi to be the perfect lightweight yarn to carry with another. I love the tweedy texture that a fine strand of nubby silk adds to a fabric, and I adore the huge range of color choices that Tsumugi provides.

Here is my collection of Tsumugi swatches. You can see my obvious proclivity for the earthy, mossy tones! Don’t worry – Tsumugi doesn’t only come in grey and brown.

Louet Euroflax in Pewter and Habu A-1 Tsumugi Silk in color 54

I made this swatch in preparation for my Aran Necklace Camisole. This was my first project working with linen, and I just love the results! The two yarns complement each other beautifully. The cabled shoulder strap and yoke are knit on a size 4 / 3.5 mm needle and the body is worked on a size 7 / 4.5 mm. I have been wearing this top on a weekly basis since I finally finished it this Spring, and it has softened up immensely. Now I can’t stop myself from imagining more Euroflax/Tsumugi pairings for future projects! See Erica’s Liesl in our last Liesl KAL post for a more colorful combination of these yarns.

Habu A-1 Tsumugi Silk in color 54 with Habu A-1 Tsumugi Silk in color 12 and 14

If one strand of Tsumugi is so great, how about two strands? This was an experiment to see how my favorite silk would perform when worked doubled. I knit this on a size 7 needle. The fabric is nicely filled in but not dense. Using two contrasting colors (as shown on the top of the swatch, colors 54 and 12) lends a sharply dappled “mothwing” effect. I am not totally in love with these colors here, and I think it would be nicer in two shades with a little less contrast, like the rust/brown (colors 54 and 14) on the bottom half of the swatch. I really like the hand of the fabric – very drapey and soft in a way that only silk can be. I might try the double Tsumugi for a simple summer camisole or nightgown – tweedy decadence!

Skif Cotton Tape in White and Habu A-1 Tsumugi silk in color 12

Before everyone here at Knit Purl caught “Liesl Fever” (see our Liesl fiber combination schemings here), I tried this lovely combination of cotton and silk. I measured my gauge (4.5 sts/inch) and started to ponder my pattern options. Something summery and light? How about a Liesl! These two yarns combine to make a fabric that is stretchy, light and cozy. The Tsumugi in a slightly darker tone adds a marbled elegance. I love the fresh, summery white of this swatch, but sadly, it was not a good color on me. This led me to the next two swatches.

Skif Cotton Tape in Black and Habu A-1 Tsumugi silk in color 74

It amazes me how different this swatch is from the previous one. A similar color concept and identical yarns can give such an incongruous result – all the more reason to swatch. I thought I would like this one more than the first, but not so. The Tsumugi gets lost in the overpowering darkness of the black Skif tape. On the bottom on the swatch I switched out the color 74 for Tsumugi in color 54, but it didn’t quite remedy the situation. I would try this again using the Skif tape in Black and Tsumugi in color 2, a mottled charcoal grey.

Skif Cotton Tape in Banyon and Habu A-1 Tsumugi silk in color 75

This color combination was inspired by a customer shopping for a nice summery yarn. I showed her my two previous swatches and she asked me if there was a similar combination in an olive green. Genius! I swatched it that night (in the round, even) and I just adore the results. Now I am knitting these yarns into a lovely summer dress that I can’t wait to wear!

That’s all for today. If you have any swatches you would like to share with us, please email your photos to Until next time, Merry Swatching!

Next time: Shibui Swatches

The post Swatch Watch – An Ode to Tsumugi appeared first on Knit Purl Blog.

June 17, 2011 by Eva
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