Saturday, November 13, 2010

Traveling Woman, and Netherfield has been let at last

I had a lovely time at knitting yesterday, but was distressed to find that sitting and talking for 3 hours with great friends, surrounded by good coffee and yarn fumes, left me shaky and exhausted. I guess I have a ways to go before I can call myself recovered.

I did finish knitting the Traveling Woman Shawl on Thursday night, so I could show it off yesterday.

As with all unblocked lace, it looked pretty pitiful, all wrinkles and blobs.

Ah, that's much better. Though I discovered the drawback to knitting lace with a totally inelastic yarn- it doesn't stretch (duh). I really wanted to block the edges into scallopy points (as I've seen in many of the bazillion finished Traveling Woman photos on Ravelry), but even though I bound off with needles 2 sizes larger than what I used for the knitting, I simply could not shape the edge into anything but a straight line (not that those are straight edges, but you know what I mean). It's certainly pretty, but not what I had envisioned. Final dimenions: 52"x 19"- a perfect little neck warmer for chilly mornings, and it's light enough to wear as a scarf over a nice sweater indoors.
I also learned what most lace knitters already know- brushed mohair is not ideally suited to lace. It's gorgeous, don't get me wrong, but I lost a whole lot of stitch definition by using a fuzzy yarn for this project.

On the other hand, a little fuzz is a good thing. Since this was a very fast project, I think I'll knit it again, with a wool yarn, just to see the difference (maybe with some beads along the edge).
But even when I'm healthy, I can't knit anything that requires concentration (and even easy lace has to be paid attenion to) while I'm at my knitting group. So I dug through my Twisted Fiber Arts Stash Box (yes, it has, and deserves, its own box) and finally decided to wind up my skein of Netherfield (in the Playful base- a heavy fingering weight, my absolute favorite yarn for socks). Netherfield is the colorway that I coveted the most, back when Twisted consistently sold out their entire stock 15 minutes after opening up sales. It took me several months to score a skein, and it's been sitting in the box, waiting for inspiration ever since. I finally realized that this yarn doesn't want fancy stitches, or patterning. A plain vanilla sock is the perfect display for the amazing dye work of Meg from Twisted. Look at those colors! Worthy of the name, no? Can you not see Jane and Bingley cavorting among the flowers? (and at least on my monitor- those colors are exactly what the yarn looks like in person).
And as a special treat, after knitting, I stopped at the Starbucks in the Target store and had a Salty Caramel Hot Chocolate. I am not given to initials in all caps often, but OMG!

(side note: it's just as well that I didn't see the nutritional info on that little cuppa until just now... again OMG!)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Fantastic job. I am learning Estonia lace work (omg) I love shawls. I have made notes on all your learning experiences. As for the cuppas my mother just gifted her old expresso maker to me I have been knocking those back and knitting up a storm lol