Sunday, June 26, 2005

Summer of Lace Redux

Well, at this point I'm having second thoughts about knitting my "Knit 'Til You Quit"; Shawl. I finally tracked down the three hanks of Jaggerspun in my yarn stash and it turns out that I misremembered the source. The yarn was actually purchased from Moonrise, Sandy Terp's website and the Jaggerspun is prescoured. That is a good thing, but it also means that the yarn has "bloomed" as a result of the prewashing and is now closer in gauge to a worsted weight yarn than a sport weight. (Correct me if I'm wrong, but I seem to recall that Jaggerspun, like the Harrisville I knit the original KTYQ with, is actually meant for weaving, so there's a bit of sizing left on the yarn surface that needs to be washed out before using it as a knitting yarn.) The bottom line is that the yarn is pretty heavy stuff for knitting the KTYQ, which is a very open and light lace pattern.

Swatch1 for the Knit-Til-You-Quit Shawl

So I'm flipping through my books and my magazine stash to see if I can find some potential pattern candidates. So far, the list is:

  • the Garter and Lace Shawl that appears in Knitter's "Shawls and Scarves" is my first choice (and I have a vague recollection of having knit this once).

  • the Wool Peddler's Shawl in Cheryl Oberle's "Folk Shawls." I also like the Stora Dimun Shawl, but it's a bit larger than what I want. (Provided the eyelet lace pattern along the edging has the right stitch repeat, I could probably leave out one of the garter sections between the eyelet rows, right?)

  • the Paisley Lace Shawl in the Spring 2005 issue of IK.

  • the Flower Basket Shawl in the Fall 2004 issue of IK. Both are by Evelyn Clark (Is there anyone left out there besides me who hasn't knit these shawls?)


If I don't make my choice soon, it'll already be too hot to knit!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Summer of Lace

June in Israel thus far has been atypical, i.e. it's still cool enough to knit.

I just finished knitting again Jackie Erickson-Shweitzer's wonderful lace Oak Leaf as a bookmark for a friend who is sending us the newest Harry Potter when it comes out in July. This little lace pattern is really a marvel. Jackie has the leaf charted out with distinct landmarks along each row and you can easily tell if you've gone astray. The end result is something "a little off the beaten path". (And, as if you couldn't tell, I'm as thrilled with the results this time as I was the first two times.)

While I was surfing around this past week, I came across "Wendy Knits," Wendy Johnson's site. She's started a Knitalong, Summer of Lace, on Yahoo Groups. Knitting lace really appeals to me right now, since I need something I can throw over my shoulders at work when the airconditioning drops to sub-zero temperatures (I sit in the lowest level of our 3-level office and cold air sinks).

My current philosophy to get myself back into regular knitting is to allow myself to only start projects that have a reasonable chance of being finished. So the lace project I want to work on is another "Knit 'til You Quit"; Shawl from three hanks of Jaggerspun that are relatively recent stash residents, only 8 years or so, since having been ordered from Herrschners after we came back to Israel.

For a while, I toyed with the idea of knitting Jackie's Cascading Hearts Shawl, still one of my favorites, but probably demanding more attention than I can muster right now.

And it's only going to get hotter.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Perfidy thy name is knitter

To you
My heart cries out “Perfidia”
For I find you, the love of my life
In somebody else’s yarns


Well, not really somebody else’s yarns, but certainly not Yarn from the Stash, which is what I’m supposed to be using up, right?


Your eyes are echoing “Perfidia”
Forgetful of the promise of stash
You’re sharing another’s yarns


Well, it’s not sharing if you’ve bought it, right? But it’s still not yarn from the stash.


With a sad lament my dreams are faded like a broken bamboo DP
While the gods of yarn look down and laugh
At what romantic fools we knitters be.

My dreams of using up the stash yarn, that is. And I don’t think that buying new yarn is necessarily romantic. Obsessive, certainly. Bizarre, definitely.

It started with the Must Have Cardigan, which, true to its name, was something I decided I had to have. Oh, I was good, I went through the stash and pulled out some possibilities, but in the back of my mind was this nagging thought that I’d only ever used Paton’s Classic Wool to make a few felted bunnies, and that I’d never actually made a sweater out of it. I considered this a Serious Oversight.

Then Michael’s had a coupon for forty per cent off one’s ENTIRE purchase, so it seemed that the fates were calling to me to buy enough Classic Wool to make the Must Have Cardigan. Which I have. Well, mostly. I whipped up all the pieces, and they are now languishing in the finishing pile, while I have (O, Perfidy!) moved on.

I realized that my sister’s birthday was on the horizon, and that she might like a pair of socks, and that the NSLYS (Not So Local Yarn Shop) had some Regia Wool and Cotton yarn in a really nice colourway, so rather than pull something out of the stash, I got some of that instead.

Then there was the forty per cent off one item coupon from Michael’s, which had me trying out a ball of Paton’s Grace, which is supposedly just as nice as one of the Rowan cottons (which are right out of my budget). Just for a lark, I started the sleeve of the Martha cardigan. And fell in love with it. This has caused me to start collecting up Michael’s coupons, and buying the yarn ONE BALL AT A TIME to make the whole sweater. Which means, of course, that I’m doing Dye Lot Gyrations, because one cannot buy enough of one dyelot when one is buying the yarn one ball at a time.

On the other hand, I am enjoying the challenge.

Finally, after having fallen in love with the Grace, I discovered a cache of it on deep discount at Len’s Mills, a local fabric/yarn/crap store – think dollar store on steroids. Yes, I’m buying that a ball at a time, too, though it’s getting harder and harder to find.

Just in case you were wondering, yes, I know this is nuts.


And now, my stash
I find my love was not for you
And so I take it back with a sigh
Perfidia’s won


Really nuts.

Goodbye


(with apologies to Alberto Dominguez and Milton Leeds for butchering the wonderful song, “Perfidia”)

Thursday, June 02, 2005

my kippah

Thanks for organizing this project, Jen. With the temps up to 112°, I haven't felt like knitting much, but this was a welcome project.

melissa models the kippah I knit
The yarn is Sock it to Me! Collection: Puzzle (from Elann.com) and I used US 2 needles. I took the easy way out, using variegated yarn and the long tail cast on. At first I thought that it might be too small, but Jen showcased three different kippahs in her flickr gallery and it appears to be an okay size. I'm going to give this kippah to Melissa's and Molly's friend Willie, and I think that I'm going to knit at least two more, maybe three. I was inspired by the mosaic knitting that Jen used, so I'm going to try my hand at it on the next kippah.

Thanks for a great pattern, a great project and a fun time, Jen!