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August 2, 2005

Having freed myself of the silk from hell, I got all giddy last week and started two new things.

This is the very beginning of ‘Venus’ from Jaeger book 18, in the three ply cormo handspun. It’s basically an argyle pattern worked in knits and purls instead of colors.

Since this is handspun I have had to work around some gauge foolishness. I have to admit that after knitting off and on for almost 40 years (eek), I still don’t really understand the physics of gauge. How can a yarn knit to a specified stitch gauge and be wildly off on row gauge? Is yarn not ROUND? Perhaps all these years I’ve been unwittingly knitting with oval yarn?? Anyhow I finally decided to use the needle size that made the nicest feeling fabric, and was closer on row gauge although a little off on stitch gauge, and make a smaller size than I planned. We’ll see how it works out.

The pattern called for 28 sts x 36 rows in a 10cm sample. I am sure I was getting something like 28×48 on size 3.25mm needles, and the fabric was a little dense. On 3.5mm needles I had about 26 sts and 42 rows to 10cm and the fabric was nicer. We’ll see how it works out.

I also gave in to the need for a lace quick fix and started Flower Basket (from Interweave Knits Fall 2004, by Evelyn Clark) in some Colinette Marinette that I had lying around following a trade with Elizabeth.

I can see the reason why this pattern has been such a hit. The lace is simple, so you can almost knit it while talking to other people. It works up quickly, so you don’t feel like you’re signing up for a four month masterpiece when you cast on. I can see myself knitting this pattern for a gift, it’s so easy and nice looking.

The yarn is hard to photograph but it’s an interesting mix of brown and olive shot through with teal and wine. Not what I’d usually like, by any means, but I really like how it is looking in this pattern. It feels just like Shetland, which means it will wash up nicely and hold a block. I am beginning to form an idea of giving this to someone as a retirement present in the near future….
Meantime I’ve been continuing to knit on Arches (by Sidna Farley in an old Brown Sheep pattern book).

I’m about 2 inches below the armholes, at which point I understand this pattern becomes very interesting in terms of construction. It calls for 11 inches below the armholes, but since I have plenty of yarn (blue Cotton Fleece, the yarn called for, of all things!) I’m going to give myself an extra inch since I tend to be long in the waist. I hope to have this done for wearing in October or November when cool weather finally returns.

On the spinning front, the grey Shetland on the upstairs wheel looks pretty much the same except the bobbin is a little more full. Last night I plyed the second hank of white merino and will wash it out today. That means I’m half done on the merino. I would like to have enough yardage to make this (in the pullover version), although I doubt I will manage it.

As I was passing by the stash on the way to empty the basement dehumidifier, it dawned on me that I am now able to spin a pound of yarn faster than I can knit it (well, unless I’m spinning 3 ply fingering weight, but that’s a special case…). I was reasonably astonished by this realization. What about you, can you spin a pound of average weight (worsted -> sport) 2 ply yarn faster than you could knit it up?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 3, 2005 2:54 am

    i had more trouble with the flower basket shawl than i have had with the leaf lace shawl but they are both fun shawls to knit. someday i hope to have my spinning fine enough for lace weight. but seeing your cormo spun up is great inspiration.

  2. August 4, 2005 5:43 pm

    Oh, I love the realization when it hits…you should be able to make at least twice as much yarn in the time that it would take you to knit the darned stuff, Miss Thang. I am in deep awe of your spinning ability but then you computer whiz people tend to spin perfectly…unlike us seat of the pants, bat outta hell spinners.

  3. Sam permalink
    August 5, 2005 2:12 am

    Those are both looking wonderful, Caroline. You’ve made such wonderful progress on Arches, and Venus is looking good. Having had the same gauge troubles with Turin and handspun, I’m going for the fudge factor and diving in. I promise an entry soon!

  4. August 5, 2005 7:13 am

    I can’t wait to see Venus! It will be fabulous!

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