Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Vacation, Part 3

OK, today is when I cap the lid on Spendapalooza 2016. I went out today for fabric and came back with yarn (and fabric) and I didn't go to the cheap places.

What I discovered, to my shock, as I walked past Americo is that its closing its only bricks and mortar shop after 10 years. Apparently, new owners bought the building and raised the rent to twice the current amount. Happily, the owner is content to explore new distribution models - and the popular online shop will remain open. But I will miss this lovely retail space, an oasis in the ugly. So how could I say no to 4 skeins of Briza for the price of 3 - especially given that this store does not do sales? (Note: Sale is in-store only.) I have it on good authority that there will still be a place to purchase this brand, in store, once Americo shutters on August 6.  Stay tuned for more details. And no, I did not buy this (or my Charlevoix haul) with any firm plans. I realize that's not in keeping with my new knitting/stash mindset but, whatevs. It's my vacation and yarn is like sheep you can knit with.

Americo Original Briza in Bark
This neutral colourway is called Bark and it's a natural grey meets brown. The construction of the alpaca/bamboo blend is chainette, a yarn ply I've tended to avoid in the past - but which I'm now embracing for its ability to interject airiness into an otherwise dense fabric. It can be knit on size US 5 needles to produce a light-weight garment OR on a US 2.5 for a heavier end result.

After this stop, I continued 3 seconds down the block to my original destination: Chu-Shing where I bought 3 yards of this bamboo jersey (70 wide):

It looks grey in the photo above (doesn't everything I buy?) but it's actually pretty damned bright periwinkle, in a way I hope is not too twee. Here's the thing, I'd like to embrace a new colour - and a bright one - but I'm not quite in a "look at me" peacock blue mood. This fabric may meet my needs, or not. I guess only time will tell.

My goal over the next few days is to make the second of my sleeveless Concord T hacks (using a cerise jersey stash remain). It's cut and ready to go. Then I need to tape, alter and cut the Cashmerette Appleton dress. You'll recall that the reason I went to extensive mods on the fab Concord was to save myself from some unknowns when first making this wrap dress. I hope this pays off!

I think I'm going to cut a sleeveless Appleton, given the time of year and the fact that I can always put on a little sweater if it gets chilly inside. This fabric is very pricey at 28 bucks a yard - I'm sure last time I went in there it was 24. (Admittedly, this time they gave me 3 meters for that price because I mentioned my discontent about being short on fabric when last I purchased.) Point is, I don't want to use up tons of fabric on my first go round (even if the pre-modified Concord provides a protective factor). If I can get 2 dresses out of this yardage - or a dress and a top - that would be preferable.

Then, though this was not on the agenda, when I saw it, I had to buy 1.25 yards of stretch linen! Remember when I wondered about whether this exists for home-sewists? Apparently, it does! The yardage below is actually black but it's overexposed to better show the drape and weave.

And just to be boring capitalize on prior alteration success, I'm going to make yet another sleeveless Concord T with it to see if I can get with sewing stretch linen. In truth, linen and I are not natural friends, but how can I learn about new fabrics if I don't give them a try? What if this produces a gorgeous end result? I'm a bit bored by the same-y Tencel, Modal and Bamboo options I've got at my access. Alas, the linen isn't cheap either (25.00/yard) but, if by some chance I love it, I could go crazy and make a Kielo maxi with some more of it, next.

I've Instagrammed the crap out of this day, including pics of a great lunch and a better shot of the Briza, so hop on over if you want the play-by-play.

Curious to know if any of you has made the Appleton without sleeves? Have you knit with Briza? Are you glad I'm the one spending all the money here while you get to live vicariously? One thing's for certain, the yarn stash is closed. I've now replenished all the space in my yarn box and, till the new is used, there will be much dreaming about what to make with what I already own.


  1. Ooh, lovely purchases! And we can compare notes on our linen knit experiences once you are done! I think you are going to like Concord a lot - it's a lovely blend of sexy and professional, depending on how you are feeling and how you style it!

    1. Now I cannot wait to make it. I may push it up in the queue for convo purposes! I'm SO a fan of the Concord. Looking forward to the Appleton - with apprehension of the self-taught alterer :-)

  2. Gorgeous purchases! I have intense fabric envy (also yarn envy, but since I don't knit I will contain that. ;) )

    I had bought a couple of pieces of stretch linen at Fabricland some years ago---I think both turned into Negroni shirts, one for my dad and one for my husband. Though at this remove I can't remember if it was pure linen (other than the spandex)---my dad's may have been a linen-rayon-Lycra blend. Anyway, not terribly relevant... Yours looks lovely and I can't wait to see what you do with it!

    (Also, did you know that Canada is one of the foremost producers of flax in the world, but produces absolutely no linen? And there's all sorts of terribly logical and practical reasons for that, but it still hurts my heart...)

    1. I should have asked where this linen was from. I do know about Canada and the flax - and the hemp! (Are they the same plant? You know how I suck when it comes to knowing the fibers).

      Everytime I have my hemp protein (from Sask) I feel a bit "farmgirl". Yeah, I know, I'm an urban idiot. But still...

    2. Hemp is the same plant as marijuana (Canabis sativa), minus the fun chemicals. ;) the fibre comes from the stalk of the plant, much like linen fibre comes from the stalk of the flax plant, but they are separate plants. And hemp has a lot more restrictions and requirements on growing it, because of the pot thing. ;)

      I've actually worked with a couple of hempseed exporting companies recently, so apparently it's a growing thing? :)

  3. I look forward to seeing what you make! One thing to bear in mind is that the Concord and Appleton are designed with different amounts of ease - there's quite a bit more in the Concord than the Appleton, and the sleeves are different. So you might want to re-check/measure if you're planning to bring the modifications over.

    1. Thanks so much for your feedback, Jenny! (And for your lovely patterns.) I will totally check and will aslo keep in mind that I need to adjust for the difference in ease.