Sun 9 Feb 2014
My pursuit of small things continues, and this week stars some yarn that has been sitting in the stash since 2009. It’s a merino-silk top that I bought at the Weaving Works in Seattle and hand-spindled in Germany. I’ve been wanting to knit something lacy with it and have swatched several times, but nothing has quite worked out. This time, I wasn’t putting it away unknit. I’ve had success with hats lately and I’ve seen a few welted designs that I like, so I cast on and gave that a try.
I threw in some beads to keep things interesting (and because I appear to have developed an uncharacteristic and slightly disturbing desire for bling lately). When the hat was done, I still had almost half of the yarn left. I was determined that it wasn’t going back in the stash, so I cast on for a (very short) companion scarf . To keep it wearable, I decided to use a keyhole design so that it would stay in place. One of the women in my knitting group has a garter stitch scarf that uses short rows to make a flare at the ends, and I thought that might work well here. Mix that in with the welting and the beads, and voila. A new scarf is born.
This is the before-blocking shot; I’m expecting that the flare will open up a bit when blocked, but I hope it doesn’t lose the corrugated feel in the welting. I love the beehive look of the hat. I just looked back at my original post about this yarn, and it turns out that it has wanted to be a hat all along, and that lace was just an idea that I tried to impose on it. Took me 5 years to come around, but I think we’ve managed to find something that works pretty well.
The next yarn is chosen and swatched, but I have yet to cast on. This is a skein of Mushishi from Plymouth Yarns that I bought at Steven Be’s yarn store the first time that I met Ellen. I was in Minneapolis for a conference, and we stole away for dinner and a mini yarn crawl while I was in town.
This yarn has also been swatched and re-stashed several times. It’s a singles yarn with kind of a tweedy feel from the white silk noil spun in here and there. I love the feel of it, but the tweediness and the dark color combined mean that it doesn’t play well with most textured stitch patterns. It’s a pretty generous skein, so I should have enough for a wide scarf, and I want something reversible that won’t curl. It’s hard to see in the swatch, but right now I’m leaning toward an allover reversible cables design. Which brings me to today.
I prefer to cable with a cable needle. I don’t do cables very often (I overindulged on an ill-fated afghan project in Seattle and haven’t gone back since). I appear to have misplaced the smaller of my two cable needles and I needed to find another. This gave me an excuse to check out a new LYS suggested by my knitting group, so this morning we headed up to Coveted Yarn in Gloucester. They have a really wide selection, with everything from the solid standbys to the most adventurous novelty yarns. It was a fun stop in, and I spent quite a while browsing, thinking about colorwork. I’ve had an itch for fairisle lately, and have several ideas simmering away on the back burner. None of them match the yarns that I have in my stash, so I’ve been leaving them on the back burner for now, but I decided that I could probably get away with a small new yarn purchase today.
In addition to wanting to knit colorwork, I think I have also been suffering from an accute case of winter. The brighter the yarn, the more it appealed. These are a little outside of my usual color range, but they sure fit the bill for bright and cheerful colors!
I’m thinking that I’ll probably knit the two yarns together in an all-over colorwork pattern. I have always loved the Kauni colorwork designs (go do a search on Ravelry…some of them will take your breath away). This yarn has a nice long color repeat and I’m hoping that it might give a similar effect in a small item like a hat or a cowl.
While we were in the shop, the owner was telling someone that they are planning to start offering classes. Branden piped up and said he thought that I should teach, and they suggested that I send them an email. So, I’m considering the possibility. I don’t think of myself as a knitting teacher, but it could be fun to try. So tell me: what class would you love to take from me?