Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Woo Hoo! Knitting content!

I mentioned that I have been knitting. Well, here's the proof.

blocked vs unblockedThis is two halves of a scarf I designed for a shop sample. In this picture, you can see how it looks unblocked, on the left, and blocked, on the right. I finished the second half tonight and it's blocking now. Tomorrow, I'll graft the two halves together and it will be a lovely, featherweight scarf.

The yarn is a new arrival at the shop. It's Superior from Filatura di Crosa, a blend of 70% cashmere and 30% silk in what can only be described as cobweb weight. One ball weighs in at only 25 grams, but contains 328 yards of the softest fiber ever. Seriously, this stuff is awesome. The cashmere gives it a halo similar to, but not as sticky as mohair, while the silk gives it strength and a tiny bit of sheen.

first half - blockedBlocked, this little nothing scarf measures about 9"x50". Just long enough to give you options of how to wear it, but not so long as to be in the way. Because the yarn is so lightweight, too much length would be difficult to manage if the wind kicked up at all.

I think this pattern would be lovely in any laceweight, solid or semisolid color yarn. It would even be pretty in sock yarn (which is what I used for swatching since the cashmere is fragile and not easy to frog), it would just be slightly larger and, of course, heavier.

Now all I have to do is translate my rudimentary chart into an actual pattern that someone else can possibly follow. Oh, and think of a name for it. I think the easy part was the knitting! Anyway, if you like what you see and want the pattern, stay tuned. It will be available here, too. :)

So you can all ooh and ahh over my extreme versatility, I've also been crocheting. (Okay, so I don't really expect you to ooh and ahh, but I needed a dramatic segue and it's late!)

chrysathemum shawl
And here is the fruit of that labor. This is the Chrysanthemum Tea Shawl from Doris Chan's lovely book Amazing Crochet Lace. It's made from seven skeins of Classic Elite Premiere, a blend of 50% Pima cotton and 50% Tencel. This is actually the yarn that's used in the book. We happened to have it in the shop and it's lovely. Using the recommended yarn is rather unusual for me!

chrysanthemum tea shawl mirrorThis worked up very quickly. I used the chart in the book, which is ever so much easier for me to follow than the written instructions. There is one small errata to the written instructions, so if you plan to make one, check that out. The chart was fine, though.

I tell ya, taking a picture of yourself wearing a shawl is not easy! The pattern says to block this to a 48" circumference. I blocked mine to about 52". Nice summer shawl -- or nice tablecloth in a pinch!

Malabrigo worsted - American Beauty - 8 skeinsNow I'm anxious to start using this. It's Malabrigo worsted in the American Beauty color and it's destined to be a February Lady Sweater. I just love the February Baby Sweater from The Knitter's Almanac, so when I saw the adult version pop up on Ravelry, I was jazzed. I know that Malabrigo is a soft yarn and will probably pill like crazy, but I don't care. It's the softest thing ever and I'm going to love knitting with it. And I think it will be a comfort sweater, like being wrapped in a warm hug. Mmmmm! I'll be knitting this as part of the unofficial Red KAL that's happening on the Loopy Groupies forum on Ravelry.

Dream in Color Baby - Petal Showers - 2 skeinsAnd then Sherrie at The Loopy Ewe posted about the official summer KAL and I just couldn't resist it. The challenge is to knit something, anything from Dream in Color Baby. When I looked at the available colors, I spotted Petal Showers and instantly thought, "That would be perfect for the Hanami shawl!" Hanami is a pattern I've had for a long time. I just hadn't found a yarn that really spoke up and said, "I want to be a Hanami!" At least I hadn't until now. The soft pinks, browns, and creamy tones of this yarn will, I think, be a perfect match with the basketweave and cherry blossom theme of Hanami.

Of course there are socks on the needles, too, and a corresponding sock pattern that I still need to put the finishing touches on so I can make it available to y'all.

Miss Ellie 6-24-08
Miss Ellie is unimpressed with all of this. All she really wants to know is when the knitting will be out of my lap so she can resume her rightful place!


Miss 376 said...

the scarf is beautiful and such a delicate colour

MicheleLB said...

You're making some really beautiful lace, knit AND crochet!

I'm thinking of joining the February Lady KAL at Twisted. I queued this project on a lark, just to see if it would go viral on my Ravelry Friends list, and now it's calling my name. Turnabout is fair play...

Danielle said...

I have a Feb Lady Sweater almost complete. Seems like everyone is knitting that one right now! As far as the Malabrigo goes, I expect you to be pleasantly surprised in how it wears. I knit gloves out of it, and they seem be wearing really well. It is a soft yarn, but it is also very strong for a single.