Thursday, November 30, 2006

Icarus II and a Mystery

Another Icarus shawl from the summer 2006 Interweave Knits. The yarn is dark, dark blue sport-weight wool. It feels like superwash wool.

What it is beyond that is a mystery because it came on a cone from a thrift store. The cone itself says Mondial Brescia-Italia, which means the cone, if not the yarn, is from Italy. A label on the cone says "Made in U.K. Distributed in the USA by Aurora." Under that label is another, mostly obscured, label in Italian; the bits I can see say "Lane (wools) [illegible] Decati Rocche" and some more words obscured by the Aurora label. Both labels indicate dye lot 55. The major inconsistency is where the wool was made — Italy or U.K.?

I knit this on US6 needles and did one less repeat of the top part than the pattern calls for. Because this wool was so dark, I decided it needed more than one bead on the points, so I made an "icicle" of clear, sparkly beads. I weighed out the beads in advance and decided they would not be too heavy.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving in Tacoma was wet, wet, wet. But we still had a good time. Our friend Debbie shared the day with us. Debbie is a brand-new knitter (you will assimilate, resistance is futile). These slippers are her very first FO (finished object). Pretty cool, huh?

She also is a great baker. Her pumpkin cake is extremely yummy.

We had other visitors for Thanksgiving, but not for turkey. The juncos, bushtits, finches and chickadees celebrated Thanksgiving with sunflower seeds and suet. We also had a rare visit from a woodpecker — either hairy or downy, but I can't tell which is which unless they are together and I can see which is bigger (hairy). I think this one is downy. You can't see his red spot in the picture but it's there.

Did I mention that it has been raining? And raining. And raining. All November. It has been one of the rainiest Novembers on record. We have had light rain, medium rain, heavy rain and even a little sleet, hail and ice.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Another Doily

I was so pleased with my green variegated doily, I decided to try a purple one with some vintage Royal Society Cordichet, size 30, thread on US0 needles. This size 30 thread felt thinner than Cebelia size 30, for some reason. This is project #12 in Lavori Artistici #11. And how cool is this system to block a doily? Thanks, Pat S. — you're a genius!

I think that variegated thread can work well on a doily, with the right colors and the right pattern. On colors, I think thread with various shades of the same color works well; I'm not sure thread with many color would work. On pattern, I think a pattern with a lot of solids shows off the colors well.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Doily Education

I learned a thing or three on this doily, which is item #38 in Lavori Artistici #11.

  • Check how much thread you have. This is a vintage Clark's Big Ball thread from a thrift store. It has 250 yards. This is a 100-round doily. I was able to finish 76 rounds, which seemed to be a logical stopping point. Had I been paying attention, I would have selected a smaller doily.
  • Experiment with needle size. Normally on size 30 thread, I use size 0US needles. This time I used a size 1US. I like it.
  • Variegated yarn can work on a doily, at least in my opinion. I think the solid areas help, and I like that the pattern creates a wave effect.
  • When a pattern says to work a knit and a purl in a double yarn over, do so. Don't substitute a knit and knit through the back loop. K-P twists the thread in the double yarn over. K-Ktbl does not and looks funny.
  • Remember the ILF (it looks funny) rule. If it looks funny while you are knitting, stop. It won't look better if you continue.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Silk and Ivory

Last May, when I was in the Richmond, Virginia, area, I visited Holly Spring Homespun in Powhatan. I was taken with the shop's Silk and Ivory, 50 percent silk and 50 percent merino yarn. This color is Spring Meadow. I wish you could feel how soft and silky this scarf is.

The pattern is the Knotted Openwork Scarf by Wannietta Prescord, on the Canadian Knitwear Designers & Artisans Web site. This is a great pattern to use for a small amount of yarn (this skein was 200 yards), especially to show off color.