As expected, unusual yarns and patterns bring up big reactions in knitters. I like those reactions, since I don’t expect everyone to share my taste.  Truth be told, I see about six people a day wearing what must be perfectly acceptable clothing, since nobody is pointing and laughing, but can’t imagine myself in it at all.  I extend that same privilege to everyone – as long as we dwell in the land of good manners.   That means I’m down with "I personally find that ugly/unattractive/odd as fish" or "I don’t think ratty clothes are nice" but will struggle somewhat with "You’re so stupid to buy that" or "Quick question? Are you stunned as a bat?"

A little Q&A perhaps?

With regard to the stainless steel/wool yarn, MNara asked "Ok I’m intrigued…. How does this actually feel to wear?"

Well, I haven’t actually worn it yet, but I can speak to how the fabric feels in my hands, and how the finished felted fabric was on the jacket.  It was soft. The fibre content of the yarn is 75% wool and 25% stainless,  and the stainless steel is blended in with the wool in the yarn, and it’s super fine, so it doesn’t feel like steel at all.  More like crazy firm wool that holds it’s shape.  Once it’s felted, it’s even softer, as the wool comes up and forms a soft wool envelope over the other strand.  In the KushaKusha scarf, the stainless/wool yarn is knit for a while by itself, and while I wouldn’t call it cozy, it’s certainly not scratchy.  Just … interesting.

Melissamy says "Is that really all you bought?" 

Yup.  Everybody’s got a budget. I have to live within mine too.  If I bought all that I wanted to at all the knitting events I go to, I wouldn’t be long before I was explaining to Joe that I’d fenced his amplifier collection for merino. This, I feel sure, would be poorly understood.

Karen says: I don’t get the stainless steel yarn thing. If you bend it around too much does it break, like trying to reuse a twisty-tie?

Nope.  I’m guessing it’s because the stainless content is made up of little pieces carded together with the wool before spinning, and the wool is giving it strength, but I’m not sure.  I can tell you it doesn’t break though, no matter how much you bend it. 

Finally, Cat Bordhi said: I think you might all like to know that while Stephanie and I were sitting in the back of Carson Demers’ wonderful knitting ergonomics class on the final afternoon, she showed me how if you press two fingers into the KushaKusha fabric, it makes a shape just like Barbie doll boobs.

Cat is not lying. I did do that, and I don’t regret it.  I was trying to show her that the stainless content meant that the fabric held it’s shape, which is really the reason for the stainless content and what makes it cool.

You push, mould or shape it, and it stays where you put it.

Making Barbie boobs was just a bonus.

(PS.  Me and my aging (rather than Barbie style) breasts think this fabric characteristic may bode well for the jacket.  Just saying.)

195 thoughts on “Reaction

  1. How unutterably cool of you to realize that we all actually needed to see the Barbie boobs. I wanted to see that even more than I wanted to see the Kusha Kusha jacket.
    What’s the vest you’re wearing in the picture above? Very nicel, and totally your color.

  2. I’m saying nothing because my stainless steel and silk was ordered a week before you posted and I pick it up from the post office tomorrow. I intend weaving with mine but in truth I only bought it for the voyage of discovery.

  3. My husband walked buy just as I was getting to the boobs picture–it sure caught his attention. Then I had to explain the whole steel wool yarn thing to him…I think that made the picture a lot less interesting, lol.

  4. Too cool.
    I want to try some. It looks like remarkable stuff.
    Maybe I can afford to knit a scarfet.
    Looks like the fireplace in Port Ludlow?
    Love it there!

  5. I wonder… if I shaped a sweater of that yarn into an hourglass figure, would it hide my hips? Hmmm… 😉

  6. I wanted to thank you for reminding me about the scarf pattern. I had purchased the stainless steel and the super-fine merino “to make something”, and now I actually know what the something is.

  7. given the fabric’s mold-ability, are you concerned at all about the jacket’s elbows after a wearing or two getting all pointed out and staying that way?

  8. Hmmmm, I wasn’t really into the jacket by the idea of being able to shape a silhouette that might disguise my “birthed and nursed a few kids” figure isn’t a bad idea… 😉

  9. Whatever happened to “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”? I applaud your courage to try new things. Thanks.

  10. don’t think I’m going to go for the stainless steel-with-wool, though most yarn is tempting..
    what I really want is a knitting ergonomics class, now. a dedicated knitting physical therapist. hoping there will be such at sock summit. in case you needed ideas

  11. LOVE the Barbie Boobs! I’d faint if Cat Bordhi said “Hi” much less commented on my knitting. >.<

  12. Does Joe really need an amplifier collection? Seriously, those babies take up alot of valuable space.
    Once again, you remind me of a project I had been eyeing some time ago. Luckily I don’t think I have to worry because there will probably be a run on this yarn too!

  13. Thanks for the explanation Stephanie. I just could not picture in my mind what this yarn would be like, but your post today clears it up a bit. The way that it hold its shape holds some interesting possibilities, some good, some not. 🙂

  14. I’ve seen the stainless steel Habu stuff done in weaving, and it isn’t harsh at all. I have worn lace made in sterling silver wire, and it was surprisingly soft.
    But I have a couple of wonderings:
    You know how you walk outside at -35 and all of a sudden there’s piercing pain in your earlobes and you suddenly remember you didn’t take your earrings off? Is that going to happen with the steel yarn around your neck? AND
    Does it go nicely through the scanner at the airport or are you going to set it off?

  15. So, I’m wondering, if you pressed a real Barbie doll into the scarf and then wore the scarf with the Barbie impression out during the day, what kind of reactions would you get?

  16. I am constantly in search of the perfect bra… maybe I should make one out of SS yarn? OH! Or a swim suit! Maybe the SS would hold the boobalas up?

  17. I’ve been interested in knitting a Kusha Kusha scarf forever ! (OK, since I saw your blog post yesterday). Can you please write a little about how you arrived at the colors of merino and stainless steel/silk yarn you chose? I have not seen the yarn nor the scarf in person but a lot of the projects in Ravelry seen to be gray, tan, & black neutrals… but I’m not sure why. Usually I’m confident when I make color choices for a project but this pattern has me hesitating….
    BTW, Next time you indent your yarn with Cat around maybe you should call them puppy-dog-nose imprints, or something like that….. 😉

  18. The real use for the amplifier collection is stash management. What better place to hide yarn than in a large box (after removing it’s guts and hocking them for yarn money, of course)?

  19. I second the first commentor’s question- what vest pattern is that? I likey…
    I bought a kusha kusha kit last year at Hill Country Weavers in Austin. I haven’t made it yet, but you may just make me abandon my koigu scarf to pull out the kit and knit it. Just sayin’

  20. Holy Poop! Barbie Boobs and Penis all within weeks of each other 🙂 You are one Bold Woman!! (And exceedingly awesome)!

  21. Im thinking this fabric could work great for me as I age and my boobs start to sag. I could just knit a sweater out of it, fashion boobs where I want and be good to go!

  22. If I remember correctly Lion Brand also has stainless steel yarn in their the LB collection.My hubby works with stainless steel a lot. He wires very large ovens,like for Hormels and Oscar Mayers. He believes that most things are better if they are made with Stainless or partly made of it, We have some strange contraptions around here. This should peak his interest.

  23. I don’t know why people feel compelled to be rude.
    Since I’m unlikely to get to go to any really cool fiber events any time in the next 10 years (small kids, diapers, activity fees, I’m sure you’ve been there), I really appreciate learning about cool new products or techniques. Thanks for sharing with us!

  24. I marvel at this whole thing. Who would have thought of knitting steel wool with regular wool and that it would have made such a neat garment?

  25. I just keep imagining chainmail each time I read stainless steel. Regardless, this looks like a pretty cool fiber to work with. Adding it to my covet list.

  26. Thank you for the detail on the stainless steel. I was researching all this morning.
    Now, as it was mentioned early in the comments…

  27. Yeah, I don’t see any need for rude.
    How cool tho about the KushaKusha! I may have never known about it if you hadn’t shared your experience, and I appreciate that. This I find interesting in a rather detached manner.
    I do, however, blame you for my burning desire for silk mittens from hankies which doesn’t seem to be fading with time….

  28. At Stitches West I bought two cones of Lion Brand Stainless Steel yarn. It hasn’t come yet, but I was intrigued, so I bought it. I don’t know yet what I will make out it, but for sure I’ll give the barbie boobs a try

  29. This is not helping the impulse I’ve been having to buy up some of that fantastic steel yarn and see how it plays with handspun in a scarf. Its just MEAN to tempt me like this.

  30. I’m with Steven A. at 6:33. We like what we like. Go elsewhere with snark. Stephanie rocks stainless steel yarn and Barbie boobs, all in one post. Love.

  31. Love it when knitters & spinners push the envelope. Love it even more when you push the scarf and make Barbie boobs.

  32. Thanks for the details on the steel yarn and the project. Gotta love the example of how the yarn holds its shape.

  33. Thanks for taking what must have been unpleasant comments and turning them into lemonade for the rest of us. I admire that about you.
    And also, I, for one, was wondering about a habu copper/wool blend just last week and now here you are with what looks a lot like the answer.
    And also again, did Barbara Walker ever use this stuff to make Barbie clothes? (yeah, I know, but just following the thought.)

  34. I am a felter, but have never knitted. This intrigues me enough that I will buy some and try it. Just curious how much stainless steel yarn will be sold because you blogged about it.

  35. …still laughing at the TSA and security comments pertaining to stainless wool. Ah! The looks on their faces would be (will be?) priceless! I guess my first thought when I heard of the steel yarn…was…would it be like the SOS pads you scrub pans with? I always end up getting stuck or getting a sliver….it would be good to know that can’t happen with this steel wool!

  36. I like trying new yarns, but have a hard time wrapping my mind around stainless steel in my wool. I like the way it’s coming out though and will be keen to see the finished scarf. What is that vest you are wearing? Now that I really like. Great color. And the fireplace in the background – lovely! I’m knitting Caller Herrin and really really hoping the headband stretches because it looks way too small. Colors are gorgeous.

  37. Question: Does the stainless steel react to magnets?
    I am going to take your word for it being totally cool.
    However, won’t the steel shred the wool at some point? Like cotton thread being used to sew polyester fabric?
    I am also perplexed.

  38. Thanks for answering all my unasked questions. “Interesting” is one of my favorite words in moderating classroom discussions. No one gets hurt.

  39. oooh that’s weird. i totally want it now. i would wear it as a dread scarf- it wouldn’t slide off!

  40. I love the idea of both the scarf and the sweater. I can see the sweater worn in a more drapey way.However I have been especially wanton in my yarn purchases for the past few months and hope to knit up some before buying more. I am definitely on a yarn buying diet. HOWEVER when I have knit up a few miles of yarn, the stainless steel is most certainly on my list.

  41. The owner of our LYS has this scarf hanging on the wall. Odd, at first, then intriguing, and finally beautiful. I asked her to model it, and she put it on, randomly pulled the edges outward, and it was the most sophisticated, fashion forward accessory ever. It almost shouldn’t be put in the scarf category. It’s a wow thing. I did buy some Habu, and let me tell you, it has a personality!

  42. you and Cat are hilarious – the kind of people I sat next to in school, and got me in trouble for laughing :o)

  43. bahahahahahaha! Barbie boobs!
    I now need to see this kasha kasha stuff on a human. It’s such a neat idea.

  44. I would love to know more about that vest you’re wearing. Did you make it? It’s just exactly what I was looking for, where did you get the pattern(if you did make it)? Looks beautiful.

  45. Thank-you for going bravely before us. I hope you cotton on to the paper yarn, too, because I have a lot of it. Oh, and look at that beautiful vest you’re wearing!

  46. barbie boobs! LOL awesome.
    can’t wait to see you in the jacket. not my style at the moment, but i applaud anyone that dresses (and thinks) “outside the box”. ever since i saw your pic in the kauni skirt, boots and red socks it’s made me want to push the envelope in how i dress (i’m really boring).
    you’ve really piqued my interest in the scarf, it may end up in my queue. for the experience of knitting in stainless steel if nothing else.
    also interested in the vest 😀

  47. Actually, the idea of a jacket with boob shapes where Barbie boobs would be (as opposed to, and much higher than, the place where my boobs actually are) is pretty compelling, or at least entertaining!

  48. Can I be the sixty-somethingth person to say I was just as curious to see the Barbie Boobs as I was anything else?!
    Thanks, Stephanie, you totally rock!

  49. Bizarre! And very cool. I am even more excited to visit New York this spring (I am totally dragging my sister to Habu). Can’t wait to see the jacket 🙂

  50. This is by far the coolest fibre I’ve seen in a while. What other strange fibres are out there? Wood? Terracotta?

  51. I love the jacket! Living within a budget is important and since I am unemployed live through others purchases right now. Not to feel too sad for me, my stash will keep me going. Can’t wait to see pictures of the sweater!

  52. I wasn’t sure about the steel content but if it is very fine then I think you should be aware that it may be very flammable. Cool but flammable.
    FYI: This is from a warning about steel wool that is used for cleaning.
    When steel wool is heated, it increases in mass due to the burning iron combining with the oxygen. Very fine steel wool is sometimes carried for use as tinder in emergency situations; it burns even when wet, and can be ignited by fire, a spark, or by connecting a battery to produce joule heating.

  53. Thanks for explaining what the stainless steel yarn is like! I was wondering all the same things that other knitters asked. 🙂 One more question…. will your scarf or sweater set off the alarms at the airport? Just wondering. If they do, you can show the inspectors the Barbie boobs!

  54. Of course you and Cat were sitting in the back of a class, a serious class, making rude objects with your knitting. There’s a pair like that in every class. Let’s see armored boob protector, yet another variation on over the shoulder boulder holders, next thing in push up bras without the bra?
    Looks like the scarf will be a neat thing. I may have some of that stuff in my stash. I’ll have to go look. If not there is always Sock Summit.

  55. Does it un-boob when you want it to? Or are you stuck with boobs that used to be? I can see the charm of variable boobiness, but am less attracted to the shadow of boobs past.

  56. Is it super reflective? I remember seeing stainless steel yarn awhile ago that was super reflective.

  57. Don’t know about the stainless steel thingy, but I’m loving the bit of vest peeking out from behind the scarf. That’s gorgeous!

  58. Hilarious! I’ve been knitting my Kusha Kusha for 4 years. I got stuck in the stockinette slog. Best of luck to you. And now I have a goal… Beat you to the finish line!

  59. Not just Barbie boobs, but OLD SCHOOL Barbie boobs! (Barbie underwent reduction surgery a few years ago…she just hasn’t been the same since.)
    And you mean you haven’t fenced Joe’s amplifier collection yet?!?!? After you tidied up and redecorated your stash room, I thought for sure you’d pawn Joe himself in order to restock the room!

  60. The Barbie boobs scenario just made my day! I can handle a scarf made from fabric like that. I haven’t dared check out the website itself yet, that will have to wait till I have saved some money. I hope that it comes in a least one bright fabulous colour!!!!

  61. That stuff is also fun to weave. I have some fabric that I wove up at 16 epi that is lovely. I want to make a summer kimono out of it. I have the thought that the stainless will conduct heat away.

  62. I must be an odd duck too because I thought the scarf was kick ass and I printed the pattern…the Barbie boobs are dope! I can’t wait to amaze my friends and entertain (embarass) my kids (and their friends.)

  63. It looks lovely. The Barbie boobs are a major bonus. I have felt this yarn and things made from it and was surprised and how nice it felt.

  64. Ok at risk of losing everyone here, I will offer a brief explanation of the science behind the stainless/wool combo.
    Begin science stuff:
    Because the pieces of stainless steel are small, they offer a lot of surface area. This means that they make lots of bonds with each other and can hold their shape better without breaking. The small flecks of stainless add to the natural tinsel strength of the merino.
    I hope that helps, and that I didn’t confuse anybody 🙂
    The scarf is beautiful and the Barbie boobs are nice bonus 🙂

  65. I bought a cone of the stainless yarn from a vendor at a knitting festival/workshop/event several years ago with the intention of making bobbin lace with it. Now that I’ve seen the scarf, I might have to change my mind.
    The jacket is more “artsy” than I think I can carry off (30 years of wearing conservative banker type styles is hard to overcome.) However, I’m more than happy to watch you create one!

  66. “stunned as a bat”!!! LOLOLOL
    I would NEVER say that to anyone. I don’t think I would ever buy stainless steel wool, but it reminds me of something I heard in Newfoundland years ago. I assume that you know what NONIA is? Just in case you don’t, I’ll explain it. The acronym stands for Newfoundland Outport and Nursing Industrial Association, and years ago, they realized how much money could be made from a cottage industry using knitters. Women in isolated communities used to knit (usually beautiful Aran sweaters) – NONIA supplied the wool – and NONIA would pay them a set rate, depending on the item. At the beginning, this was probably the only cash money that came into the house. So it was not uncommon for a woman to say: “I knitted a stove last year”, as her earnings allowed the family to buy a stove.
    I love this story!

  67. This is too funny! I’ve been looking at your tweets and following the links to the kusha kusha yarn and thinking … oh … it must be some special silk … or it’s stainless steel colored/coloured … because it CAN’T BE stainless steel yarn!! But it is!! How extremely cool, and I am having a fun moment just laughing at my cluelessness!
    … would have gone to Madrona this year, but the money’s going to family trips this spring …. glad it was fun and thanks for the vicarious thrill!

  68. Now I’m dying to know if it sets off airport or courthouse screeners because of the metal content. And how to explain to TSA . . . Love the barbie boobs.

  69. One of these days, I’m going to realize that my fantasy of leaving the Madrona marketplace without spending my entire budget is just that — a fantasy.
    The Habu stuff isn’t my taste, but it still intrigues me. I’m suddenly picturing a bustier knitted out of that yarn. 🙂

  70. Hi ya – I like this yarn from what I can see. I do have a question – just for curiosity – why would having stainless steel in your wool be a useful thing? Is it for structure or durability? Before I saw the yarn I was thinking it would look like chain maille. Out in Seattle where they have groups that make maille and joust in it, they would think that a brilliant idea. Now that I see that it can be shaped, it kind of reminds me of this beautiful angel wing art that hangs in the Tokyo airport in Japan. The wings are shaped from the finest strands of metal mesh that I’ve ever seen. This yarns looks like it could be shaped the same way. Gorgeous stuff! Thanks for the info and the pics.

  71. Okay, yes, you got us. We really did want to see the Barbie boobs. But I swear we also wanted to know how the fabric felt! I do so solemnly swear on my stack of sock yarn 🙂 I’m glad to hear that it isn’t scratchy because the fabric looks really interesting. It looks like it would make a very casual outfit look hip instead of sloppy (sloppy not really being the word I was looking for but I hope someone out there understand what my tired brain means).

  72. I don’t really ‘get’ the stainless steel/wool thing – but it certainly looks intriguing! Is there a U.K. outlet for it?! Must try it.

  73. I would never want Barbie boobs of my own (they look like they’d get in the way for yoga and I cannot imagine what the sports bra would have to look like to hold those suckers in for running), but I love the Barbie Boobs for the scarf. It is definitely hilarious!

  74. Oh gosh – I love the airport comment. You’ll have to let us know when you try to go through security whether it sets it off the metal detector and you’re detained because they can’t figure out what is setting it off!
    On the other hand – “odd as fish” ? is kind of my reaction.

  75. At the risk of being taken for either rude or Conan the Grammarian: Steph, you typed it’s when you meant its. In this post! Twice!! Drives me crazier than knitting mistakes I don’t find until after the piece is blocked.

  76. I had to oportunity to see and feel this wool last summer. It really is soft and the little jacket looked great. Have fun.

  77. Holy Bralessness Batman! Shapewear is taking on a whole new meaning. I could make a sweater with that stuff, forgo the undergarment and not have my lovely 14 yr old daughter comment on droopiness! (At said times, I am not shy about reminding her whose fault that is!)

  78. just had a fun TSA experience because I forgot I had put my hand weights into my rolling case while headed on vacation, so it would probably REALLY freak them out if my clothing were the problem!
    And yes, what is that gorgeous vest you’re wearing? Hoping the next post lets us know.

  79. Truth be told, I’ve always been fascinated by the Habu textiles yarns but I haven’t been able to think of a legitimate use for it yet. Somehow, the fact that you are knitting with it makes it seem much less ridiculous, lol, if that makes any sense. It’s more impressive when someone who knits items to actually wear uses the yarn, instead of someone who is knitting a ‘concept piece’.

  80. If you do end up making a jacket out of this stuff, please don’t sit by me.
    I know I won’t be able to be able to resist the urge to “mold you” and enough people think I’m strange already….>:-)

  81. For people asking about the vest in the Barbie boob pictures… writing this makes me look like a stalker, but I guess I just get to claim long time fan/reader ’cause I at least knew Stephanie knit it herself.
    For everyone asking about the vest, there is a search option on the main page of the website.
    I got three hits
    brief mention of pattern and yarn
    details on how it was going
    and its follow up post
    I’ve also glanced at her Ravelry project page from time to time. She’s pretty good about putting projects up.
    That is all.

  82. Ahh, the stainless bits are carded with the wool — now I get it! I had long envisioned this as a strand of each, or wool wrapped around wire. Now it seems much nicer, and I may have to get DH to offer a Sea Tangles-quantity of the yarn for our next wager …

  83. Every time I knit around my dad he says, “If I give you some steel wool could you knit me a car?” Perhaps I should notify him that the knitting universe is one step closer to his dream.

  84. I have long been intrigued by the stainless blend yarn. I was thinking of beading it, but I am kind of a magpie.
    I am REALLY interested to know more about ergonomics. I am in IT and spending all day at the keyboard, then following it with a night of knitting is not always easy on my wrists, elbows, shoulders, and neck. Or eyes. And since I’m 4 ft 11 and left handed I’m like an walking ergonomic time bomb. Any particulars to share on that? My googling has been scant on real knowledge and thick with goofy stuff.

  85. I have really been admiring your signature arts knitting needles. What length are the double points- 6″ or 8″?

  86. Thank you, Stephanie. I bought some of the Habu stainless/wool yarn about 3 (maybe 4?) years ago at Stitches Midwest. It was different enough that I ‘had’ to have it. But then I didn’t know what to do with it and it’s been hanging out in my stash since then.
    I love the idea of the stainless by itself at the ends.

  87. Heehee! Barbie boobs! *grin* (Why yes, I do channel the brain of an adolescent boy at times. Why do you ask?)
    In all seriousness, I’ve been wondering about the stainless steel blended yarn. It sounds really cool.
    Knitting ergonomics? Anything you can share?
    *giggle* Barbie boobs!

  88. I am really enjoying your journey with the wool and steel. I also realize the yarn is not for me. Every time I wore it I would wonder if it would attract lightning, set off airport security scanners or increase static electricity charges.
    Let us know how these things go for you when you wear your jacket. If all goes well, maybe I’ll change my mind and knit with the yarn.

  89.’s what I took away from this – steel/wool yarn looks interesting and the phrase “stunned as a bat”…love it and I will use it today….

  90. I’m so intrigued by the Habu stainless…will be looking for that at Stitches South…that could be my “planned purchase” (as opposed to the impulse purchase that inadvertently happen…).
    Like everyone else, I love the vest you’re wearing in the photo…pattern? yarn? color? Do tell!!

  91. Does it set off the metal detectors at the airport? May seem as though you are harrassing the security folks – first needles now SS yarn! 🙂
    Again, feel the need to apologize for rude people. The reason I follow you is because you is because you do have a family which means you have a budget. I admire your restraint in light of you being exposed to most beautiful yarns in the world. But I do believe you more than your fair share of supporting the yarn industry! I’ve seen the pics of your stash!

  92. Since my boobs are about the size of Barbie doll boobs, I was especially entertained by the properties of this yarn.

  93. You are a patient soul to respond so calmly to rude and unthoughtful/unkind remarks. Why do people think that they can say anything to anyone without regard?
    Rock on Stephanie. While I would not be surprised if you gave up on “the lot of us,” I hope that you do not. (“You lot” was an expression of my Bermuda great aunts, similar I guess to “y’all” but much cooler)

  94. I like the idea of the magnets — get some neodymium ones, and use them as accessories – or buttons! What fun!

  95. My brain has little trouble flexing around the notion of stainless steel in a scarf. Your explanation helped, somewhat. I guess I’d need to feel it for myself. Also I was a bit distracted by the very pretty rust coloured sweater you’re wearing in the background. I’m going to search through your past entries now because I’m fairly confident it must be a ‘home made’. It looks way too good te be a ‘store bought’.

  96. OK, I stumbled on this by accident and I am completely intrigued. I understand why you would knit with stainless steel yarn, but I want to be in the meeting where the company decided to produce it. “The jousting tournaments have run out of chain mail.”
    “Whatever shall we do?”
    “Knights’ mums like to knit. Let’s give them stainless steel yarn.”
    “Excellent idea.”
    And the Barbie boobs are priceless.

  97. Sort of like the ribbon with the wire edges – it goes where you want it to. Interesting, indeed.

  98. I find this really interesting . . . My thought is this: think how warm chain mail would have been in the middle ages if they had figured out how to spin metal and wool then!

  99. Sorry to get off topic—but I LOVE that vest you are wearing in the photos of the Barbie boobs. What pattern is that?

  100. Well, I don’t know about anyone else, but your knitting habits are getting me seriously behind in my stash busting. I immediately ordered the silk hankie and before it has even come, I had go get on and order the Habu yarn for the scarf. Please keep introducing us to such wonderful, intriguing projects. Just, please, slow down a little so that I can catch up.

  101. Does the stainless steel yarn mess up your needles? Like leave little scratches on them or cut into bamboo? I keep thiking it would be like knitting an SOS pad into something.

  102. That is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. I love unusual and rare breed yarns. (Someday when I win the lottery I’m going to buy Vicuna.)
    Can you type “boobs’ out loud? Kind of like “penis”! (heeheeheeheehee) What WILL the children think!!!

  103. I heart the habu stainless/silk yarn. I’ve been making jewelry with it with some success.

  104. Although it’s not something I’ve got any interest in trying, I can’t imagine calling you “stunned as a bat” (giggle) for wanting to knit with stainless steel yarn. On the contrary, I’m looking forward to seeing your progress and I appreciate your explanation of the yarn’s properties. Knit on! 🙂

  105. This yarn is absolutely fascinating.
    Does anyone else struggle with finding the right way to tie a scarf so it looks the way you want?
    Dressing for work: The time I spend fiddling with a scarf is almost embarassing.
    So, having a scarf to “mold” a little seems so cool. I’ve gotta try it, and I can hardly wait to see what it feels like to knit with it.
    Mostly, I enjoy the thought of friends admiring it, to which I’ll casually reply, “Oh, this thing? Thanks. I knit it out of stainless steel.”
    Jaws will drop. Ha!
    And when they do, oh my gosh, I’ll have tools right there to wire them back into place.
    Now THAT’s a fun knit.

  106. Well, I am just plain totally fascinated. This is one of those times that a photo just doesn’t do it justice I’m sure. I wish I could get my hands on that scarf and feel it. I’d probably find myself playing within whenever I was stuck waiting somewhere & end up forgetting to press out the Barbie boobs before heading into an office. I just cracked myself up thinking about the reactions to that handknit. What will they think of next? Can’t wait to see.

  107. Wow Harlot! I am actually knitting the same thing as you, only the shawl version. We have a Kusha-kusha scarf sample hanging next to the ball-winder at the yarn shop I work at. It is super fun to either make the entire thing bumpy with barbie boobs, or to pull scallops into the edges. When Takako (of Habu) came to visit with her trunk show she wore an amazing tunic made out of the stainless wrapped in silk, and we had great fun making it look completely different just by smoothing it all out, bunching it all up, making scalloped edges, and it stays! I think that is what is the most fun about the stainless steel yarn, its memory. We also learned that when you knit with any of the stainless steel yarns in the round, it forms a subtle spiral shape, which can be really interesting.

  108. I have seen a few scarfs where bumps (or I suppose boobs) were more permanently fulled/felted into the finished piece like this: , (sorry not sure if a link is ok in comments).
    I also saw a beautiful Seascape Lace Shawl at my LYS that was knit holding a strand of wool/stainless with the main yarn to produce a great effect.

  109. Just had to “like” the awesomeness of the Barbie doll boobs comment and photo. Yesterday’s Martix reference was also awesome.

  110. Lion Brand also has a wool/stainless yarn that I’ve been trying to figur out how to use. Lion Brand shows decorative arty objects, so maybe the stainless content is higher. I’m just even more excited now. Thanks.

  111. While I’m not sure stainless is for me, I love that it works for you. Looks like fun! Thanks for all the info.

  112. Thanks for the explanation on the construction of this yarn. It’s making a bit more sense now, though my next thought was the same as sandyinwyoming about the possiblity of steel wool splinters. The process knitter in me wants to give this stuff a try.
    And BTW- how cool to be quoted in your blog! When you go on tour for your new book, will you bring along a display case with your KushaKusha scarf and the Mawata mittens (and some other cool stuff) for a Show and Tell/Touch??? And please stop by within reach of southern VT!

  113. Am a day behind….the saga of KushaKusha is intriging, must find some….. Barbie Boobs picture is priceless!

  114. I like the yarn and the structural-organic styles created with it. This yarn would have made some great clothes for the now defunct program Firefly. Goth-eco-gardner.

  115. Vest info, please. It’s lovely.
    habu does have some interesting things to sell ….
    enjoy your scarf knitting. I think the sweater/jacket thing might be a bit more tough to knit …..

  116. I am sorry once again that people have never heard of manners. I saw some of the stainless yarn at STITCHES and thought, “How, um, odd.” I read your post yesterday and followed the links to Ravelry and my only thought was, “Well, I’m glad SHE’s excited about this, um, odd scarf,” but I feel that way about many knitted items and I’m sure many people feel exactly the same way about my choices. It certainly is an intriguing concept. And I personally love the Barbie boobs. Don’t hock the amps. He wouldn’t understand.

  117. I figured you just have to see it in person to appreciate it – I must confess that my initial reaction was “that must be what they used for the Les Misérables costumes.” Now I am curious enough to go find some. Thanks

  118. You crack me up, but I’m sure you get that a lot.
    I have been stashing this stuff, and have a lovely cardi kit that I have been meaning to make from Habu. It’s actually the stainless and silk, which is not as cozy, a bit nubby instead, but good for our warm California climate.

  119. I think the look of steel yarn is sensational, but does it rust if you sweat or if you wash the garment?

  120. Hah- I can’t believe I’m actually the first to identify the vest! It’s the Diamond Rain Vest from Purlescence Yarns, and Stephanie posted excellent photos when she finished it in 2008 at:
    The yarn is Foxhill Farm “cormo cross” in “Chestnut” and Stephanie said about it: “I love this yarn. Super cushy, tons of life, but I expect nothing less from the incomparable Alice Field.”
    (Just because I’m re-reading all the archived posts for the second time, doesn’t make me a crazed stalker or anything. I’m just keeping busy while I wait for the next book.)

  121. Please report on how it goes through airport security the next time you fly. Inquiring minds and all that.

  122. i was just about to second (or 32nd) the question about the vest, when I saw that the lovely RobinH. had identified it for us. I’ll bet that pattern and yarn gets a bump from this post too. 🙂

  123. I’m truly saddened that KNITTERS would say unkind things about their perception of your taste. I’ve noticed that I tend to pick out colors that look good on me. You do, too. That means you pick out some greens that would make me look like I died two weeks ago if I wore them. However, with your red hair, they make you look stunning!
    We’re all different.
    I’ve experimented with some (knitting) things that sounded great, but were terrible when they were done. I’ve also knitted some things that seemed like no big deal at the time and turned out to be totally sensational.
    I made sterling silver jewelry for a while (for a living), so the idea of knitting with part stainless yarn is at least interesting. You’re making me think I should buy a cone of this stuff and play with it a bit.
    Please, keep telling us your reactions to the yarn as you go along! I’m dying to hear more about the knitting process on both the scarf and the sweater.

  124. OK…that is a must try yarn. What will they come up with next…The boob thing was a great way to show us. LOL

  125. I worked in a yarn store that sold Habu yarn and we couldn’t keep that particular yarn in stock. Plus the lady who designs for Habu is the sweetest person you’d ever want to me.

  126. I remembered something about this vest and thought I’d go back and find it for all those who asked. (Next time I feel like I have no free time, I’ll remind myself of this.) To save the rest of you the trouble, I’ll borrow the quote from that entry in November 2008 – I’d do the proper indentation if I knew how.
    Foxhill Farm “cormo cross” … in “Chestnut”. I used three skeins, although I have enough left of the third skein to make mittens. Pattern was “Diamond Rain” from Purlescence. Knit the medium, added an extra repeat of the diamonds for more length, otherwise knit as per the pattern – right down to the single crochet around the armholes.
    Question though – how long does the fabric hold its shape like that? Those who share clothes with others or have young children might want to think twice on the sweater if it doesn’t un-mold well. (Imagine wearing the sweater after someone who has accoutrements larger than yours…or a toddler’s amusement with shaping it for you after they catch you molding yourself some Barbie Boobs.) Just a thought.

  127. Two things:
    1. Do you think the stainless yarn would be good for jewelry? That would make knitting jewelry much easier without having to bend that tiny metal to your will.
    2. I have a theory about yarn in small cones/skeins/balls: the smaller the are, the more slippery the slope. You can rationalize it because hey! It’s small! This will not take up any room in your stash! And then you look at the yardage once you get home and you need to lie down. It happens with sock yarn all the time.

  128. Thanks for the visual on Barbie Boobs!
    Couple thoughts on stainless steel:
    Factoids summarized from:
    – It is a alloy of carbon steel and chromium
    – The chromium oxidizes on the surface and prevents oxidation of the underlying carbon steel
    – Adding nickel to the alloy reduces its attraction to magnets.
    – The grade of SS (due to various additional metals/type of processing) will determine tensile strength, flexibility, corrosion resistance, etc.
    However, SS is not infallibly rust-proof. As a former SCUBA diver, I can attest that SS will happily rust away in seawater. However, unless your perspiration is the same salinity as seawater (unlikely – you would be dead), or your wash in seawater, I doubt gentle wool washing would cause rusting.
    Also, I would make an educated guess that the self-extinguishing properties of wool would greatly reduce the flammability potential.

  129. Thanks for the laugh! I needed it! My dad was a welder, so I was picturing the stainless welding wire he used to use, only finer.
    So could you then “weld in” your darts? and make the shaping permanent? LOL! Or at least the Barbie Boobs? I’ve never had anything close to them, but could I make a top that would FAKE IT without silicone?

  130. Ah, I was about to post the answers to “will it rust” and “is it magnetic” with answers from the specialty steel industry of North America (Not normally, and it depends on what alloys are used: “The 300 series (which contains nickel) is NOT magnetic. The 400 series (which just contains chromium and no nickel) ARE magnetic.”The Habu site does not help there.) but see that Lokismom answered that. Like everyone else, I LOVE the hint of the vest Stephanie is wearing in the pictures. and since RobinH identified it for us, I will offer up the link to show how truly gorgeous it really is:
    I Love the vest, LOVE the Kusha Kusha scarf, and can’t wait to see what the sweater looks like on Stephanie. Unfortunately, clothes are so often modeled and photographed on people who are tall, young, and rail-thin. I am 0 for 3 on that and sometimes need a little help visualizing what clothes will look like on us “normal folk.

  131. I love the barbie boobies! I have been cracking up over those. My hubby, who I had to show the post too, says “Who needs silicone when you have stainless steel.” Thanks for the laugh!

  132. Very interesting fabric. You could scrub a giant skillet when you grow tired of wearing it. 🙂

  133. And I love the Kusha Kusha scarf. It sort of reminds me of wearable art… all sculpted and filmy and sort of ethereal, and yet it somehow also reminds me of… an arty brillo pad. In a good way.

  134. WOW! I ordered the yarn, got it, started knitting tonight! I tried several needles and my KP Harmony tips seem to work best – nice and pointy and just the right amount of friction. Whoooohooooo.

  135. I’d love to have this in my shop for the “shapey-ness” of it. I’m imagining all sorts of things from Elvis-esque collars to dimensional knit embellishments that STAY PUT and don’t droop. I can usually accomplish this with linen or hemp but it loses definition after a few washes. Brilliant stuff.

  136. I just wanted to say you have really pretty hands.
    I’ve seen a knitted sample of the stainless yarn, and personally, I found it more weird than appealing, but the person in the LYS who was showing it to me was in love with it, and it sounds like you are, too. Enjoy!

  137. Hmm. If you’re wearing the stainless steel socks when you go through the metal detector at the airport, will they set off the alarms?

  138. Screw the haters, lady! I’m totally with you on the Kusha Kusha Scarf (I’ve been admiring it for years and desperately need to buy the kit) and now that you’ve introduced me to the jacket, I’ll definitely be needing that, too. Thanks!! 😀

  139. You’ve inspired me to dig up the kusha kusha I’ve almost completed and stashed somewhere 🙂
    I also LOVE the look of the jackets but have a favor to ask, could you please take photos of the finished object that go beyond the stunning macro shots that everyone is obsessed with? It is difficult to find good shots of those jackets actually on a living body – they look stunning on a hanger, fabulous in macro, but what do they look like on a real person? I am keen to know, being somewhat concerned that the dearth of finished habu projects modeled on living people means hours of knitting results in a lovely piece for the wall rather than the body…

  140. I have to say that these last couple months reading your blog has been hell on my yarn budget. First comes the mawata and now the compulsive need to make barbie boobies. As a generally safe knitter, thank you for all the inspiration to branch out. My husband can thank you later for the ramen noodles he gets to eat this month.

  141. I’m in, moths won’t eat it and that is all I ask. It’s a solid bonus that it’s boobi-flexi.

  142. I can’t find a place to order the Kusha Kusha scarf kit and I MUST have one—-does someone out there know where to order one online and would you post it? Thanks in advance—

  143. I’ve had the Kusha Kusha scarf kit sitting around now since December 2009 and have felt very uninspired about it. Thank you for reminding me why I bought it in the first place! I think I might need to cast on soon (at least once I figure out the Japanese style pattern chart).

  144. @tanya at February 23, 2011 4:15 PM – Purlescense won’t be having a run on anything if my experience is the norm: Got to the web site, and it wouldn’t go any further. Said it was where I could find the patterns they had featured, but No … This has been a most enlightening post – there really are emore things than we can imagine! Good thing someone imagines them!

  145. We do have it rough here in Vancouver.
    Snow in Vancouver! (sorry I can’t get the photo to attach)
    Chilled Vancouver commuters faced their second day of winter hell today, as an additional centimetre of the peculiar white stuff fell, bringing the lower mainland to its knees and causing millions of dollars worth of damage to the marijuana crops. Scientists suspect that the substance is some form of frozen water particles and experts from Saskatchewan are being flown in. With temperatures dipping to the almost but not quite near zero mark, Vancouverites were warned to double insulate their lattes before venturing out.
    Vancouver police recommended that people stay inside except for emergencies, such as running out of espresso or biscotti to see them through Vancouver’s most terrible storm to date. The local Canadian Tire reported that they had completely sold out of fur-lined sandals.
    Drivers were cautioned to put their convertible tops up, and several have been shocked to learn that their SUV’s actually have four wheel drive, although most have no idea how to use it.
    Weary commuters faced soggy sushi, and the threat of frozen breast implants. Although Dr. John Blatherwick, of the Coastal Health Authority reassured everyone that most breast implants were perfectly safe to 25 below, down-filled bras are flying off the shelves at Mountain Equipment Co-op.
    “The government has to do something,” snarled an angry Trevor Warburton. “I didn’t pay $850,000 for my one bedroom condo so I could sit around and be treated like someone from Toronto.

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