Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Oh, and beads!

Well, I have discovered a new love: lace.

I've knit lace before; it started with choosing a single pattern from one of the Barbara Walker treasuries, and then knitting until I ran out of yarn. The first time I can recall using this was for my mom's Christmas scarf two years ago, when I chose Vine Lace (which is about the easiest lace pattern you could hope for- four row repeat, two of which are purling, and the other two of which are the same, really, just offset by one stitch).

I tried a few lace shawl/stole patterns, though I pretty much never got past the cast on (there are three that I can think of off the top of my head). I even have a small bin that has laceweight yarn in it, which, in comparison to the rest of the stash, is but a trifle. Who knows what I was thinking when I bought that yarn?

Much time was spent admiring the amazing lace on the blogs of others, and never once did my internal Adventure Knitter say, "Holy moly! That looks like the best challenge ever! Let's do that!"

Somehow, I got it into my head to knit a lace shawl. It's those free radicals, I swear; they change the brain! So, I bought four skeins of Malabrigo lace from Imagiknit (not that I didn't totally have laceweight at home): two skeins in dark teal (Azul Profundo, I think), and two in Black Forest. I immediately cast on for Aeolian, from the Spring 2009 Knitty. The top picture is a perfect money shot, even unblocked. Can't wait to block the bejeezus out of this project.

Now I'm perhaps halfway through the charts (but of course the rows get longer and longer), and only halfway through my first skein, and halfway through my beads (which are size 6, since the local craft store didn't have 8s). So it all seems to be doing OK.

In other knitting news, I made my dad a hat for Christmas. It was knit from some bulky handspun I nearly couldn't part with, since the color is so amazing- heathery moss green and tweedy. (Sorry for the blur- I was using the last of the daylight). It's a super-simple ribbed hat, extra long so he'll be able to fold it as much as he likes. (I've made him a couple of hats before, but they ended up rather shallow- he's got a big head.)

Unfortunately, the ol' spinning wheel has been languishing. I've been spinning a decadent blend of polwarth/angora in pale green, and I bought 5 oz. from the angora lady at Lambtown back in October. The unfortunate part is that it's quite neppy (not too unusual in such delicate fibers), and since I'm spinning it finely, I've been stopping to pluck out the nepps (and occasional second cut), and so it's not a quick spin. I've got 1 1/4 oz. to go, about, and then there's the plying. This yarn will do well with a thwacking- something I've never really done before.
Last time I tried to spin, Margaret- one of our three 17-month-old cats- was convinced that the treadle and my foot were there for her to play with. She also thought the rotating wheel was trying to escape (and could only be subdued with her teeth).


Rene' Sharp said...

Your shawl is going to be stunning!!

Kathryn said...

Thanks Rene, I think so too!