Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wednesday FO and a sprinkling of Stardust

The lace Moebius is off the blocking board and is, I must say, gorgeous. Here's Millicent showing it off for you. She was reluctant to give it back to me!

Lace Moebius FO1Lace Moebius FO2

I made the 50" size and probably blocked it a bit too aggressively, circumference-wise, as it now measures about 64". I like the width, though, and the way the lace shows. The yarn has a beautiful drape and weight to it. Although I love the way it looks, I think wearing it may take a bit of getting used to as I haven't quite managed how to make the Moebius look effortless. :)

Pattern: White Lacy Shoulder Wrap from Cat Bordhi's Treasury of Magical Knitting
Yarn: Artyarns Silk Rhapsody Glitter, navy blue/silver color #22675 Silk & Kid Mohair - 2 skeins, 520 yards
Needles: Knit Picks Harmony Options, 47" circular, size US7
Cast on: Monday evening, March 10
Cast off: Monday morning @ 3:00 a.m., March 17

A very simple pattern to knit once you master the cast-on technique and get a rhythm going. The lace pattern is quite simple and easy to "read" after the first row is established (make sure you count on the first row or you'll end up tinking back like I did).

I have begun the sleeves on Mr. Greenjeans. Sorry, no picture at this point. The mass of the project means that it's now confined to home for completion. That means it doesn't get quite as much attention as it should, but it will get done!

For portability, I started on Stardust. I think this pattern is very sweet and will make a lovely topper over a nice dress, or dress up a simple tank top over a skirt. My problem with it was two-fold:

1. The ties in the front are a bit bulky for my taste and figure. Solution: I will leave them off and get a simple frog closure instead.

2. The recommended yarn, Karabella Gossamer, while very pretty in the right color, is roughly $25 per skein -- and I need 5 of them for my size. EEK! Solution: I made a trip to Yarnia and picked out a lovely combination of two strands of super-soft mohair, one strand of rayon, and one strand of pink metallic. Enough yarn for the entire project, wrapped conveniently on a single cone (no joins, yeah!), cost me a grand total of $21. WHEE!

Stardust WIP1I've only barely begun, but here's a sneak peak. If you click the picture to see the bigger size, you'll be able to get a better look at the loveliness of the yarn.

So far, I like the way it's knitting up for this project. It is a bit challenging because there are four strands of very fine fiber to deal with and it can split very easily because it's not plied.

An additional challenge is that the metallic is so lightweight that it occasionally didn't wind correctly, so there have been spots where it's kinked a bit and gotten out of synch with the other fibers. I'm not worried about it, though. I simply break it and add it back in again at the right tension. It's supposed to peak out at varying points for the design anyway, and the mohair hides the ends nicely.

Yarnia is a great resource for inexpensive, custom blends of fibers. For this project, it is an absolutely divine intervention, allowing me to make this cute topper for less than the cost of one skein of the recommended yarn. I did a tone-on-tone mix with the metallic thrown in to mimic the way the intermittent glitter of the recommended yarn.

I'm not, however, a big fan of the stranded fibers versus plying. It's not that one fiber preparation is better or worse, it's just a preference on my part. If I was doing tone-on-tone, then okay, it works for me. But the multicolored versions just don't knit up nicely to my eye. It gives a rag look to the overall fabric, rather than a consistent blending of colors. If you like that kind of design for the garment you're knitting, then it's great.

And as I said, you can't beat the price!

Depending on the fibers you mix and the number of strands, you'll likely need to pay attention to each stitch you knit to avoid splitting the fibers. Again, it's not a good versus bad thing, it's just different. And we all have had experience with plied yarns that split, too. Just be aware of the differnet properties of stranded fibers versus plied and make your purchasing decision based on those properties combined with the design you're knitting.

Variety is the spice of life!


Danielle said...

The moebius looks great. I love the color.
On your Stardust, I expected you to save half, or so, but WOW to make the garment for less than the cost of one skein?! I wish I lived a little closer to Yarnia. (I live just north of Seattle...)

Michael said...

Oh cool, I keep meaning to check Yarnia out. I look forward to seeing pics of Stardust when you finish the yarn you got looks gorgeous.

Shelly said...

Beautiful moebius Cindy.

Judy said...

The moebius looks great! Congratulations on getting one that's approximately the desired size. :-)