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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Clara Posted - 09/09/2009 : 5:39:35 PM
Only a special yarn can carry an entire book of patterns. The yarn has to have widespread distribution, lots of fans, ample creative possibility, and a pretty stable history. The last thing a publisher wants is to invest in a book and have it become obsolete the minute a company discontinues one yarn—which can happen frequently.

Rowan Kidsilk Haze (or "crack-silk haze" as fans call it) is such a special yarn. To brushed silk/mohair fans what Mont Blanc is to pen aficionados, Kidsilk Haze has a loyal and passionate following. It has also inspired many equally strong imitators over the years, including Elann Silken Kydd, Alchemy Haiku, and ShibuiKnits Silk Cloud.... the rest of the review

I'm curious how many Kidsilk Haze fans do we have in the crowd?

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8   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
GFTC Posted - 09/11/2009 : 06:55:38 AM
Originally posted by urbanangel
a Faroese confection made from Karabella's laceweight fluffy mohair. My allergy is now to the point where I can only wear those shawls if I ensure there's a shirt collar between the yarn and my skin, and I can't let the yarn touch my arms.

I used that Karabella laceweight mohair for a scarf. It is best described as nasty stuff.

Kidsilk Haze, on the other hand, is a beautiful yarn. I haven't used it for an actual sweater but I made a capelet from it. I used the yarn doubled and it was a dream to work with. Of course I've never worn it......

IMO Madil Kid Seta is just as good as Kidsilk Haze although nobody refers to it as crack. Forgive me, Clara, but I have a real distaste for the many drug references used in terms of knitting and yarn.

my knitting photos on Flickr or Ravelry
Clara Posted - 09/11/2009 : 06:15:11 AM
Cameron - you bring up an excellent point! In my Kidsilk haze (pardon the pun) I seem to have not noticed that very significant omission. Or it may be a personal bias interfering - somehow I've never imagined using that yarn for a full-sized sweater. Which is, of course, my bad. Time to change my ways. And urbanangel, I feel your pain. It cannot be easy to lose an ability to touch something you love. Even if you can wear it as long as it doesn't directly touch your skin, that still can't make knitting much fun.

(And Minh, you aren't alone! Having sat in on book talks, I could hear only too clearly the protests about having a book so specifically cater to one particular yarn and brand. But it's so obvious...)

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minh Posted - 09/10/2009 : 7:32:01 PM
I have several colors of Kidsilk haze as well as other mohair-silk yarns (Habu silk mohair, Alchemy Haiku,...) but I always thought of the yarn as "scarf/shawl yarn". I was really happy to read Clara's book review and bought a copy at my local bookstore today!

Cameron is right that there are no "real" sweater patterns in this book (by the way Rowan and Kim Hargreaves have several cardigan patterns made out of Kidsilk Haze). I will definitely make the Stella shrug and the colorwash mitts. I love the color progression and will be able to use my many skeins of silk/mohair.

As an aside, am I the only one who thinks it's funny that the book was first published in the UK by Rowan and therefore the title mentions KSH but that the American version doesn't?
urbanangel Posted - 09/10/2009 : 07:52:51 AM
I would love to like Kidsilk Haze, but I can't. Over the past few years, I've developed an allergy to mohair. It's not an "Ooh, that's scratchy" aversion--I still find the stuff feels soft and nice to touch. It's a real contact allergy. I've knitted two shawls with mohair in them--a simple triangular shawl that rotates rows among a loopy coilspun wool, a fuzzy mohair, and a mohair boucle and a Faroese confection made from Karabella's laceweight fluffy mohair. My allergy is now to the point where I can only wear those shawls if I ensure there's a shirt collar between the yarn and my skin, and I can't let the yarn touch my arms.

I'm especially annoyed by this because I have 600+ yards of lovely New Zealand hand-dyed mohair my dad brought me from Australia, AND I have eight ounces of hand-dyed mohair top to spin (in a gorgeous green and purple colorway that looks like a field of violets). I might be able to live with a mohair vest from the yarn, but spinning the fiber will kill me. I will probably gift it to a friend.
CaminMT Posted - 09/10/2009 : 07:04:08 AM
That is practically sacrilegious! grin
Shelia Posted - 09/10/2009 : 06:54:48 AM
I know this is a bit heretical, but I just flipped through the Lion Brand catalogue yesterday and they had a number of designs for their new Kid Silk clone that included cardigans, Cameron. Maybe one of them would work for you, or could be modified?

ravelry name - sheliaknits
CaminMT Posted - 09/10/2009 : 06:24:14 AM
I LOVE this yarn but was seriously disappointed with the book because it has no real sweaters. I have a bunch of chinese red shubui silk cloud just waiting patiently for a sweater and I am looking for the perfect one: not too frilly, not too much lace, not too military and not using too tiny needles! I spend hours on ravelry searching for that sweater that will shout out, "Use me! Use me!" (I tried the Cardi Cozy and had to abandon because of the serious problems in the pattern. Kudos to those who have actually finished it!)
Love the yarn, like the book for small projects,
Cameron Posted - 09/10/2009 : 06:18:09 AM
Love Rowan Kidsilk Haze! I've made several scarves with it, a big boxy lace shawl, and the modular quilt scarf. Once you know to use a needle to pick the fuzzy fibers apart when frogging, this yarn is a dream to knit with. Even when frogging, you are touching this wonderful yarn! Am looking forward to getting the book. You've made my day, Clara! Thank you for all you do for the fiber community.

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