Friday, October 10, 2008

But that doesn't look like a sweater...

Funny you should say that.

I fully intended to cast on for my handspun stranded sweater. I have the chart, and I know that I want to knit a v-neck, button front cardigan, and the yarn is all spun (I may need a couple of hanks of dark background yarn toward the end, but I have lots of that roving on hand). I decided to forgo swatching because each skein is unique (and totally not-replaceable) and none are large, so I can't afford to lose any to swatches. I decided instead to begin with the sleeves. I have a fair idea of what size needles will work with this weight handspun (size 4 or 5), so there wouldn't be a lot of *ugly* if I had to change up or down a size. However, I was shocked to discover that I don't have the right length needles- lots of 4's and 5's (US), but no 16" circulars, which I need for sleeves. I can start at the cuff with dpns- this yarn is too heavy for tandem sleeves- and move up, but I had nothing to move up with. And until I get a good gauge from the sleeves, I won't feel comfortable calculating and casting on the body (I don't worry about the chart- I've been working from my original charts long enough to know that if it looks okay on paper, it'll be okay in fiber). So I set that notion aside, until I get myself some 16" circs.

Instead, I went with more lace. I rooted around the wool room and located some cones of cotton yarn- lordy, I bought a lot of it. I have 1 1/2- 2lb cones of Conshohocken Softball Cotton, Fox Fiber, light natural green (the kind where the color doesn't come out until you boil the yarn) that is about a worsted weight (a little lighter, but it'll bloom). I generally dislike knitting with cotton (no elasticity, and the ends don't stay put) but this stuff is wonderfully soft (I knitted a sweater for my grandson with some of it). I started with Evelyn Clark's Heartland Lace Shawl but it became apparent almost immediately, that I was not going to be able to keep track of the increases properly. After a couple of hours of wrestling, I tore it out and decided to go with a rectangle wrap/shawl/table runner.

I worked out a couple of simple original lace repeats, and went to town. This piece (whether I wear it, or it goes on a table) is going to be gorgeous. I'll do 3 different lace sections at either end, with a long, fairly simple lace repeat down the center length. I'm 3/5 done with the 2nd lace section, and I am loving it. Since this yarn shrinks about 20% in length, I'll have to make the shawl extra long to compensate. I'm using size 5 needles, and 90 sts. It'll be a good 16" wide after blocking and since I'm knitting directly from the cone, I should only have 4 ends to weave in (either end, and at the graft).

My knitting group meets today, but I'm not taking this along with me. I have to concentrate when I knit lace (and even then, my stitch counts go wonky once in awhile), and hauling a cone in my knitting bag does not appeal. So I'm taking a sock to work on instead.

And on the way, I'll listen to JT's Cover's album again. Every time I hear it, I like it more, though I still don't love Suzanne. I'm as big a fan of Hippy Trippy music as anyone who graduated from high school in 1970, but the mental eyeroll when anyone touches anyone's perfect body with their mind pulls me right out of the song. The cello accompaniment (Yo Yo Ma?) is achingly beautiful though.


Geek Knitter said...

I seem to be seeing lace wherever I look these days. Could it be some kind of knitterly hive-mind thing?

And honestly, I think Yo Yo Ma could make me weep by playing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star!

duraknit said...

Kathleen, JT was interviewed on public TV by Tavis Smiley the other night. Here's a link:

Elizabeth D

sharecropper said...

I love your knitting (the lace is beautiful), but mentioning JT struck the right chord with me this morning. Where's my iPod?