the domestic sphere

my dalliances with all things domestic


holiday knitting
This is what became of the holiday wreath of yarn. I did end up going with the swallowtail shawl after all though I left out the border sections. By my calculations (x squared over 2 [where x is the number of rows in the whole shawl] minus y squared over 2 [where y is the number of rows knit before the border started]), I would need roughly half the yarn to complete the border as written. After the 14 repeats of the pattern, I weighed the remaining yarn and found that I had less than half left (Mr. Fullbrain, get behind me.) so I decided to continue with the budding lace pattern and just wing it on the edging later. All went well until I got very nearly done. I underestimated how much yarn I might need to do the border I wanted and, trying to use up every last yard of yarn, knit too far. I had to rip back and then I decided to rethink the border. I'm sure if I'd chosen to sit undisturbed for an hour I would have counted things properly and made my litte chart work for the number of stitches and the amount of yarn I had, but somehow, I just kept knitting and unknitting, introducing problems that then had to be undone. To the point that my entire family noted over the holidays that I was working with the same 1-inch ball of yarn over the whole break! On the plane home I got things straightened out, knit it up and got to the row before the bind-off and ran out of yarn. Fortunately in my stash was some Stacey Charles Ritratto in a very resonant colorway with just a bit of sparkle, so I did the last row and bind-off with that. So it's got a subtly sparkly edge. I'm very pleased with myself. I love the color and the way that I managed to work in some color shifting along the way. Even though it's a semi-solid color, there's a lot of richness to it, that I don't think could be achieved by any thing other than hand dying roving. I was quite nervous about it being a rather skinny single and whether it would behave like "real" yarn, but the extensive knitting and ripping over the last couple of inches proved to me that it was really shockingly sturdy. I don't think I had it break on me even once. So pleased am I that I quickly set to spinning the other half of the same batch of roving. Dyed at the same time. It's very earthy. Browns and greys with a bit of lichen-like green. It's drying in the oven to ease my impatience. I want to make sure it's dry in time for my TNNA trip on Thursday. And at another phase of development, more wool and rovings soaking up dye, so I'll have something to spin. Both rovings came from Matahari Spinnery. One is superwash merino lambswool and the other is an Alpaca Silk and Merino Blend. I mixed the tags up and I still haven't really figured out which is which. You'd think I'd be able to tell, but both were so soft and delightful that it's surprisingly difficult! I think the shawl is the Alpaca Silk Merino -- Now that it's gone through everything it seems to have the faint sheen of silk and a hairy halo that I suspect is Alpaca. At any rate, I was very pleased with the quality of the products from Matahari and found them delightful to spin.

posted by kristi at 1/08/2008 01:15:00 PM
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