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Technicolor

February 27, 2006
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I didn’t have much last week, and since everyone loves Melanie’s posts so much I decided she should occupy the front page for a while longer. It gave me a chance to get some more stuff done and ready to photograph. We’re all over the place this week with color to look at.

I photographed Flower Basket a week ago and really haven’t done much on it since. I can only knit on it when I have a good supply of concentration, since the silk is so slippery. It’s going to be a wonderful summer shawl. Maybe I’ll have it done by then…

Last week I had the intention of turning this into fingerless gloves, for those times when I really want to sit and knit or spin in the porch and my hands just get cold.

This is Baby Silk from Elann – very soft and lightweight. I started out with a pattern off the internet. I got partway up the thumb gusset then realized that (a) the pattern was confusingly written, and (b) the glove was coming out too big. So I frogged the part glove and put it away. Of course the day after I frogged, it was 15 degrees when we got up in the morning and I wanted fingerless mitts…

Luckily I was distracted by a beautiful hat pattern in the new Twists and Turns. I had been thinking that my last hank of emerald bluefaced leicester (the hank that came out worsted weight and so couldn’t be part of Cutaway) should be a hat, but not just ANY hat. Check this out.
So I started it.

The pattern starts with a provisional caston, immediately increases to double the stitch count, and at the end comes back and finishes with applied i cord at the brow. I decided I was going to finally master the technique of doing a crochet-chain provisional caston right over the needle, so I got out my Meg Swansen Knitting book and re-read the directions. And after some futzing I got it! I’ll never do any other provisional caston again! There is one teeny crucial move I had to make, which isn’t documented in any instructions I’ve ever seen, to make this work. After completing one chain stitch over the needle according to Meg’s direction, the yarn is at the top/front of the needle, but in order to get the next chain stitch done, the yarn is supposed to be at the back. It dawned on me that I just needed to pass the yarn over the tip of the needle in my left hand and to the back, and I was all set to do the next chain stitch. It’s hard to explain – but it worked like a champ.

I’d forgotten how wonderful this fiber is, I’m enjoying knitting with it some more. I think I will probably not buy any more fiber in my life except Lisa’s fiber…

I finished my Koigu socks last weekend.

Having heard that Koigu socks stretch, and knowing that I had 175 yards for each sock (which is less than a standard ball of sock yarn), I made them somewhat narrow and a tad short in the foot. I thus ended up with a VERY long leg, which I am rolling down to make a little cuff. This must have worked out, as I’ve worn them and found them very comfortable, and the same size at 8pm as they were at 7am. I also threw them in the washer and dryer and they came out very soft and pillowy.

So, this experiment was a success. After I finish the beret, I’ll cast on for more socks. Maybe by then Vicki will have her Torino sock pattern available.

In other news I finally sat down to ply some of my teal silk/merino, since I finished a second bobbin of singles. I really intended to spin all the singles before plying but I couldn’t wait.
This was a very aggravating center-pull plying experience. Here’s the finished yarn and the little pile of waste from all the &#$!*&# barfglobs I couldn’t untangle.

My problem with center pull balls is not the last little bit (I can usually maintain control of that). It tends for some reason to be the middle – when I’m just past halfway through the ball, my center starts putting out barfglobs. And I can’t untangle them without letting go of everything else and having the twist undo itself so the single separates. Where’s that third hand I requested long ago???

Anyhow, when I finished swearing at the wheel and snapping at Emily to WAIT A MINUTE (she only seems to urgently need to say something to me when I’m fighting a barfglob), to my surprise I had some really beautiful yarn.

It’s about 450 yards and 3 ounces. And hard to photograph. The closeup is a more accurate reflection of the color. If I left the picture alone, it was too blue. If I tinkered at all, it went to too green. It’s really a nice medium teal/dark turquoise. Anybody ever seen chrysocolla jewelry? It’s that color.

I have 3 more ounces of singles to ply and then about 2 ounces of fiber left to spin.

I bought this at Maryland Sheep and Wool 2 years ago, from a vendor named ‘Pleasant Home’ something or other. They didn’t have a website at the time. There is nothing to indicate on the bag whether they bought this from a wholesaler or had it blended themselves, but it’s really nice fiber – spins easily, shines as if there was way more than 15% silk in it.

The big time work was done on Eris. I finished knitting down the body and started working the cabled-corner shirttail. Tina had given me a heads-up that the shirttail was not symmetrical, but only on the right side. I wasn’t too delighted with this idea and figured before I set off to change it on my own I’d see if the designer had any advice. It turned out she’d already been asked that question and posted some suggestions for doing the change. I am finding as I go along that I am making changes and clarifications to the details of her suggestion, but that the recommended approach is working fine. Here is the first shirttail corner.

I’m into the 4th hank of handspun and this must have been the first one I spun because it’s more irregular than the previous 3, so the cabling looks a little more lumpy.

This is going to be an incredibly cuddly sweater. I fear it won’t be finished before it gets too warm to wear it, however. Getting out of the car Saturday I saw that my shasta daisies in my front flower bed have already started to put out leaves. Egads! This is what happened to me last year before I could cut down the dead stems from the year before, and so I had ugly leggy daisies. But I don’t remember it being FEBRUARY when I noticed the leaves. I’m SURE it was more like late March… (Of course, February always gets away from me faster than I expect. This is the one month every year when I’m likely to pay a credit card bill late…) I ran straight for the trimmers and hacked them down low to see if we could get them to be nicer this year. But – WTF? – these daisies are July-August bloomers. My neighbor’s dogwood is beginning to leaf out. Seems to me people who disbelieve global warming must never leave their houses or look at a living plant, because the evidence is all around us.

Hm didn’t mean to wander off onto a gloomy note, at least I’ll have a very cuddly sweater come next winter. And hopefully nicer shasta daisies too.

Little birds have been telling me that all regular attendees of the Pink Tea have now completed their ‘Arches’ sweaters. Perhaps we can have visual confirmation of that rumor around here soon…

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. February 27, 2006 12:37 pm

    Gosh where do I sart? The shawl looks very summery! The socks looks really good, how can anything not look good in koigu. Eris is going to be amazing! The hat is also going to be amazing!! I love that colorway. You are going to have a nice hat to match cutaway;-)

  2. February 27, 2006 5:19 pm

    What she said. I always had Eris in the back of my mind but yours looks so soft and comfy that it’s moving up on the list.

  3. February 27, 2006 7:24 pm

    you have been BUSY! love the teal 🙂

  4. February 27, 2006 8:22 pm

    Kerry, you are the 1300th comment on Pink Tea. Ding ding ding! You win a big fat wave from the knitting and spinning float! Mwah!

  5. Melanie permalink
    February 27, 2006 10:01 pm

    Wowza, I think the merino/silk is gorgeous! You’ve done a kick-ass job of spinning it, Miss P. I have spinning envy in a big way. Great socks and I can’t believe that you’ve got Eris almost done!

  6. February 28, 2006 2:52 am

    i so love reading about your fibery adventures. eris is going to be lovely. and i am so in awe of your spinning abilities, you really do a wonderful job.

  7. February 28, 2006 12:42 pm

    The silk has me gob-smacked. Everything else is gorgeous, but the silk – drooollll.

  8. March 2, 2006 11:08 pm

    Your yarn looks lovely, despite barfglobs. 🙂

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