31 December 2013

Diaphanous

As I mentioned yesterday, I did work on another small project. In this case, I knocked out a square for the TNNA Great Wall of Yarn. The yarn this time is lovely stuff -- Sweet Georgia Silk Mist. This is obviously a Rowan Kidsilk Haze substitute. If you don't know what to do with it, you can browse the 1000 pages (no exaggeration) of Kidsilk Haze projects on Ravelry.

I decided to work a little lace with the color stacking, so as not to muddle the beautiful spring colors in the skein. I used a provisional cast-on, leaving enough tail to be able to bind off later. After only a little fiddling, I was able to determine that something around 88 stitches would stack for me. I found a stitch pattern from p.71 of The Haapsalu Scarf by Siiri Reimann & Aime Edasi that would fit over 85 stitches, plus two for the selvedge is 87. So I cast on and knit using a US size 7 (4.5mm) pointy needle.

On the downside, this did not go as quickly as I would have liked. Partly I did not spend as much time sitting and watch bowl games with my husband as I anticipated. (He is determined to watch all 9 of the Pac 12 bowl match ups.) Partly the pattern took a little longer, especially since there are 14 double-decreases on every right-side row. But the pattern is only an eight-row repeat, and thus encouraging as you pass a milestone about every hour.

I worked until the swatch was square, then blocked it overnight using blocking wires. (Note to self: must find new and stiffer wires, as my set is sadly no longer straight.) In this case, I spread the wired swatch out on top of a white towel on the carpeted floor in the guest bedroom. I pinned through the carpet, spritzed the swatch generously, then left a box fan blowing on the whole array overnight.

In the morning, I bound off both the top and bottom using a sewn bind-off. The advantage of this technique is the loose tension, which can be manipulated to match the gauge of the knitting and thus not disrupt the color pooling. For lace, I really do prefer to bind off after blocking, as laces may grow beyond expectation when aggressively blocked.

The final swatch is 21 inches square but uses only 15g of yarn or a mere 0.034g per square inch. It is a diaphanous square of lace that can be pulled through even my rather small wedding band. While the mohair does not frog well, it also holds the pattern in place. If your needle falls out, the stitches tend not to go anywhere. And when you weave in an end, all those sticky hairs will keep the end in the fabric. Truly a lovely swatch that sings a siren song of lace shawls yet to come.

2 comments:

Betty said...

You got that magic stitch repeat number absolutely spot-on for stacking!

Jay Petersen said...

Really pretty.