Thank you so much for your input. I get very intimidated by colour and I think one of my concerns is that the Eggplant won't be as dark/rich as the plumberry. Do you think I would get a similar effect if I switched it out for navy blue?
I think another blue in the mix would be very pretty. I have never used the Eggplant in Palette, but Knit Picks carries a Aubergine in Telemark that I used for a scarf. It is a very dark rich dark color, but not a wine at all. Usually Aubergine and Eggplant are nearly identical, so I think you would be happy with the results either way.
I am knitting two hats from the Hip Knit Hats book--one for my daughter and the other for her s.o. Mark is getting 'Skip' in Planetarium Swish Bulky. It's just perfect in terms of gauge using 10s, and the yarn is really soft and the going is fast because each row is about 1/4 inch! I only have one skein but can shorten the '12 inches' of 2x2 ribbing a bit to make it work. The second hat is 'Valery', which looks like something from the Jetsons! My daughter loves the design and we decided on the dark gray for the background and squirrel heather for the lighter bands. I think it will be smashing! Just started the guy hat tonight and want to finish it before Christmas.... My daughter will have to wait. She's gotten lots of good knits already this year.
A follow-up on my Swish Bulky hat stories. The 'Skip' hat really needed more than one skein of yarn but I fudged it at the end and didn't do all the decreasing. I offered to get more yarn and re-do the top but it turned out that it fit him perfectly AS IS! I also got the 'Valery' hat completed the week after Christmas and mailed it off to my daughter who was in her sick bed. She completely perked up. She LOVED the hat and I could hear Mark in the background saying 'it's so "SOFT". I didn't use that much yarn on my daughter's hat so I decided to use the leftover Onyx Heather and Squirrel Heather to make another 'Skip' for my guy. He has a really really big head so I increased the stitches so it would fit him. I've completed 6 inches of the ribbing in Onyx Heather and can probably get another 1/2 inch or so before switching to the Squirrel Heather. I should have enough of that to finish the hat and do the proper decreasing. I may only do 10 or 11 inches of ribbing if it looks like I'll come up short. Swish Bulky is a GREAT yarn for knit hats. It really is amazingly soft so it doesn't ITCH and it's really warm. It's less firm than some yarns so you need to be careful about which patterns you use it for. The 'Valery' hat clearly was made from a firmer yarn originally, but my daughter's hat looks great and has the same 'look' as the cover photo from Hip Knit Hats. My daughter insists on hats that cover her ears, and this one does that while remaining quite stylish. I have to say that Swish Bulky is a super yarn to use if you are longing for 'completion' of something. It took me 2 days for one hat and 3 days for the other and I was only knitting in the evenings. I think Swish would be a great yarn to use for all sorts of things, especially the worsted weight.
I came up with an idea that takes this particular Discussion a little farther... and perhaps farther than is practical. But, I'm gonna lay it out for you anyway, to do with as you wish.
Imagine this scenario:
I am a first ever visitor to the KnitPicks website. I've never heard of KnitPicks nor of your yarn. I have a project in mind that calls for "Yarn X" from "Company B." That yarn is too expensive or I don't like it, so I'm looking for a suitable alternative. I am overwhelmed because I have no idea what the quality of these great yarn products from KnitPicks might be... can they really be much good at these prices? And, further, I have no idea which one might be a suitable substitute for the yarn my project calls for.
I am looking at the Merino Style yarn page, thinking it might be a good substitute. I notice a link called "Substitutes" (or some such thing). I click on it, and (perhaps after setting up a KPC account), find page after page of discussions from previous customers who have purchased this particular KP yarn, what projects they used it for instead of another from a different company, with "art," what other yarns they've found Merino Style to substitute for well, how much they used for the project... etc. They might even find the specific pattern they are thinking of making that someone else has made with the KP product... or an original pattern from one of the KP members they like better.
References to a project from a certain book, which called for a specific product but they used a KnitPicks product instead and how much money they saved over the suggested yarn... the possibilities are endless.
That the link is directly accessible from the page for that product is the key. It could be a way to introduce people to the KP Community and other KP services and products.
I don't know how well I explained this idea, but hopefully you get the idea.
Are you on Ravelry? You can search patterns, books, styles of projects, etc. and see not only which great Knit Picks yarns are being used but every imaginable yarn as well, with photos, and thus see for yourself if the changes made by one knitter in yarn choice or pattern alterations resulted in something you'd want to wear or give. I am a Knit Picks 'believer' and use their yarn almost all the time. I've never been disappointed with quality. Once in a while I go wild and buy Noro or something to make a special garment for my daughter. I've learned a lot from the discussions on Knit Picks AND the great podcasts they have. But Ravelry is a huge resource that already does on a large scale many of the things you suggest. Check it out...
There are a LOT of knitting resources out there. I also use Ravelry, especially when searching for certain types of patterns. I have also looked to see who is using KP yarn and products and for what. KP is a great place for a lot of my knitting info, but it is not the last resource. For certain specialty type projects, if KP does not have what I need, I look else where. Like the vest I just knitted. I even checked with KP to see if they had a reasonable substitution, the KP person did not have any suggestions, so I looked else where. I did use the Kookaburra Woolwash to wash and block my finished project.
I do get yarn and other knitting products from other places... KP is not the be all and end of yarn deals, for sure. It is often, however, the first place I look for things. They have great prices for the products they do sell and I almost always get what I ordered in a significantly shorter time than anywhere else I buy things, so I tend to look there first. They don't have everything and they don't know everything... and I don't expect them to.
Which is really the point of the idea. If you, as a KP customer, have already made project 16 from book "Wonder Knitting" and made a successful substitution for the yarn it called for with a specific KP yarn... KP Staff doesn't have to know that and keep it in their cerebral files. They can simply provide you a place to make a note about that on the page where that KP yarn is sold. So, when I come along after you, and I'm thinking about making the same project, or using the same fiber and like that project from the book (I already have it or it is one KP sells), no brain cells are required... from me or KP Staff... to find out if something they sell will work with that project cuz you've already tested it and it does. Or, perhaps just as useful, you tried it and it didn't... but perhaps would with these modifications.
That's all I'm saying. :-) Help me simplify and get right to knitting!
Yes. I am on Ravelry... and it is completely overwhelming to me. I'm plugging along with learning it and getting comfortable with it. My problem with Ravelry is... there is TOO much information.
If I already know I want to make something with Shine Worsted, it would be a lot more efficient for me to get the information... about that yarn and what patterns might work with it... right there directly from the Shine Worsted webpage. I know I like Shine Worsted and I want to make something using that yarn. I tend to work "from the yarn to the project," meaning, I choose a fiber I want to work with first, and then decide what I'd like to make with it, almost all the time.
I don't want to have to wade through a dozen or more possible fibers from six different yarn makers when I've already decided what yarn I want to use. I just want to use THIS yarn to make THIS project, or some project, and I'd like to find out if that will work with the least amount of confusion possible.
It would just be so much easier if I could make the connections between the fiber I want to use and a project source from a book or an online pattern source or one some creative soul has devised, using that fiber. :-)
As I become more comfortable with Ravelry, it may meet some of this need. But, it would just be a lot easier, since I use KP yarn a LOT, if I could get all that at the source...
I miss the part of the yarn pages where suggested projects are displayed to the right of the yarn. I used this a lot when it was available. With the upgrade KP made a few months ago, that disappeared, and other options were made available. I find that I use those other options a whole lot less than I used the previous set up. Hopefully they will put the old option back in place, if it isn't too much trouble. Or a tab with suggested projects would be nice. But, it has been my experience that once changes are made going back isn't always an option.
Not everyone works from yarn to project. Many of us want to make "x" project, and look to see what the appropriate yarn would be for the project. KP gives us that.
I totally agree that Ravelry is a bit overwhelming at first. I haven't posted much on that site, and probably won't, but I do use it for the resources available.
No one site can give knitters everything we need and or want.
Yes, i miss the project suggestions they used to have too... that's kind of what I'm saying. From those projects, I could sometimes guess if the project I'm thinking about might work with that yarn or if some yarn I've already got might make a similar project I'm chewing on.
I am getting to the place where I have so much KP yarn, with no specific project in mind, that something like that might be helpful sometimes to quickly guess if I've already got enough of that yarn to make something along those lines or if I can modify the idea to work with the yarn I've got. That's where the kind of thing I have in mind would really help me... I've already GOT the yarn and now need to figure out what I can do with it! LOL!
Yes, and that's why it is always a good idea to have a project in mind prior to purchasing yarn. I have purchased yarn in the past, thinking it would work on a project. Then I get the yarn, change my mind about twice, and end up purchasing other yarn for the final project.
This worked for me last year, for my retirement knitting, because my stash was HUGE.