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Swallowtail and Treasure

August 28, 2006

Swallowtail is done.

I am not sure what it is about this shawl but I had to photograph it twice, it wanted to photograph blurred. Maybe it’s the angora halo?

This came out to be 58 inches across the top and 29 inches deep – a bit on the small side. But it is WARM – just while I was photographing it I was noticing how much warmth it gave just lying across my arm. Use angora judiciously, folks, it’s better than foam insulation!

I was very glad I did the nupps, they ended up not being too terribly aggravating with the crochet hook technique I mentioned last week. I also did about 4 extra rows in the edging, since it was clear I was going to have enough yarn, so the points are a bit longer than you’ll see in other people’s photos.

It is extremely pretty. I love to see those Evelyn Clark shawl patterns show up in Interweave. This one was a fairly quick knit for me – I started it on 8/5 and finished it on 8/24, so just about 3 weeks. (I did neglect everything else while I was working on it.) The yarn was about 1.75 ounces/430 yards of handspun from two batts of angora/silk/wool purchased at MS&W this spring. I’m not sure I’ll make a habit of working with angora, but it was definitely an education and the product is lovely.

I have about 30 yards of the yarn left. I would like to do something with it but I’m not sure what. A teeny scarf on size 8 needles, perhaps??

I have eked out one sleeve for Tilia.

It’s a little too long but I think I’m going to have to live with that, and make the other one match. I have completed the cuff on the second sleeve, and begun executing that soul-killing instruction “increase every 8th row 15 times.”

On the first sleeve, I found myself 3/4ths of the way up and somehow off one stitch. I counted to see how many I had, and had an odd number. Given that you begin with 46, and increase at each end of every 8th row, it was not possible to have an odd number. I checked that I had really done both increases every 8 rows and I had. I figured how many increases I should have completed, and I seemed to have one stitch too many, so I left off the increase at one end of an increase row to get back in sync. That meant that the sleeve was growing so long that I just skipped the last increase altogether and accepted the two-stitch difference in width.

So, after completing two increases on the second sleeve I thought – gee, I better count.
49. I had 49 stitches. How was that possible? 46, plus two increases, should be 50. Did I do all the increases? Yes. OK so how did I go wrong so quickly?

It turned out I had omitted a YO in the next-to-last row of the leaf pattern. I went and got it back and so this sleeve is on the right track. But it made me wonder about the first one… A little squinting and I found this?

Even in this bad photo you should be able to see that there is a difference between the circled area on the LEFT and the circled area on the RIGHT.

I should add that this is the simplest part of the leaf lace pattern. So of course my mistake is there.
So my choice is to rip out the entire sleeve and redo it from the cuff, or make the second sleeve an inch too long to match the one where I miscompensated for my stitch count problem, and also leave out the last increase just to be symmetrical. Sigh. I tend to think I will not rip – who would ever notice this? And if I set the sleeve in with a backstitch, as I plan to, a little of that length will be taken up in the seam.

I knitted the neck facing before starting the second sleeve, just for a change of scenery. It is going to be a bit of a scoopy wide neck – I hope not too much to suit me. I think this is the only detail where I will find the cotton yarn not the best fit – it makes a much more heavy and bulky facing than Silky Wool or Hempathy would have. But the neckline will not lack for body at any rate!

The big skein of Bluefaced Leicester has a smaller sibling.

This one is a little smaller – 3.5 ounces and about 200 meters – I hope that the gauge is close enough to work out, it seems a tad poofier. It’s such beautiful stuff, it will have to be made into something worthy of its unusualness. The colors were subtly different in this run of the roving – there is a bit of dark green that made its way into the middle of the aqua, and with the long runs I was spinning, it really came out as a detail. Also, this skein bled in the wash, which the other one did. How interesting – one section of the roving bled and the other did not. Mysterious.

I did find that this colorway was called ‘Treasure.’ A little googling, plus some memory of who else I knew had spun it, yielded the answer.

Meanwhile, something else is Kerry’s fault.

This is a Kundert spindle, honeylocust and bloodwood on a maple shaft, 1.4 ounces. Kerry sent me a message about a spindle on eBay she thought I’d like. I pondered and puttered and eventually decided I was not sufficiently in love to shell out. But it got me thinking about what I WOULD shell out for, and the thing I wanted that I didn’t have yet was a Kundert. So I went to The Wheel Thing because she always has such a great selection of spindles. I pondered and dithered and finally decided I had enough 1 ounce spindles and needed a heavier one.

I was amazed at how big it was.

I decided against some of the more standard Kundert-look spindles and went with this one because of its simplicity and the nice big areas of wood to look at. I have played with it just a little and it ‘s a rock-solid spinner, and the spiral looks so neat while it’s spinning. Another winner. Now, no more spindles for me till maybe next spring. What’s Maryland Sheep and Wool for, anyway??

14 Comments leave one →
  1. Sam permalink
    August 28, 2006 8:52 am

    Caroline, that came out so beautifully! I love the interplay of the colors. Lovely spinning, and a lovely shawl. I like the deeper edge! That spindle is some great eye candy, too!

  2. Melanie permalink
    August 28, 2006 10:23 am

    Swallowtail is gorgeous! I love the colour you got from combining the two batts. Yours is a perfect size to wear under/over a winter coat. I think Swallowtail just moved up on my list.
    You would never notice the missed YO. It can hardly be seen in the picture of the full sleeve, and I only noticed because you pointed it out.
    Good score on the spindle!

  3. August 28, 2006 12:41 pm

    I’d like to know how the spindle is my fault when it was a complete surprise to me that you bought it!! Since you’re so happy with it, I guess I’ll take responsibility for this one.
    Your swallowtail is so soft and cozy looking, a perfect fit for the yarn you spun! That pattern is so gorgeous – and every one I’ve seen so far has such an individual look!

  4. August 28, 2006 1:39 pm

    It’s beautiful!

  5. August 28, 2006 3:06 pm

    Swallowtail is gorgeous!!!

  6. August 28, 2006 8:25 pm

    Oooh Caroline, I love the shawl!! And, it seems to be the perfect size for moi! The colors are just fabulous on you too! I got a Kundhurt myself, I just love it!

  7. August 28, 2006 8:35 pm

    Your shawl is beautiful! I am also working on the swallowtail, but as it is my first lace project, progress is s l o w. You’ve inspired me to pick it up and get crackin’!

  8. August 29, 2006 1:51 pm

    Your shawl came out beautifully!

  9. August 30, 2006 10:20 am

    Your shawl is gorgeous and your spinning is spectacular! What type of wheel do you have, or did you drop-spindle that? I passed along your Blog url to Evelyn (yeah, THAT Evelyn) ’cause she just loves to see what knitters do with her patterns. Plus she spindle-spins, so you guys must be, what, sista’s? Fun! Come join the EAC knit-along!

  10. August 30, 2006 2:00 pm

    Beautiful swallowtail! I’ve been wanting to knit that shawl, and all along I’ve been convinced that it really wants to be in purple angora. Living proof, right there! Thanks. But mine won’t be in wonderful handspun, that will be the key difference…

  11. August 30, 2006 10:25 pm

    Beautiful shawl. Did you ever finish the DaCapo? If you made it to the sleeves, would you mind a question?

  12. August 31, 2006 2:26 pm

    swallowtail is simply stunning!

  13. September 1, 2006 9:57 am

    Your Swallowtail turned out gorgeous! Love the subtle shifts of color in the handspun yarn and am glad you had enough yarn to do the nupps. They add a nice dimension. Glad to hear you like your new Kundert. Mine is one of my favorite spindles, too.

  14. September 1, 2006 11:41 pm

    Oooh, your swallowtail is looovely! Beautiful work!

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