Saturday, February 03, 2007

Musings on the Alpine Lace

Behold, the blocked Cherry Leaf Shoulder Shawl! The dimensions are 56" across, and 24" from neck to point. It's borderline too small, but I think with a nifty pin, it will do nicely (especially for someone who has reasonably sized shoulders). If I make it again with this yarn, I will definitely add more repeats, and probably try the insanity of knitting the border with the shawl, instead of later. The only tricky part would be getting two points going at the bottom tip and converting that into three stitches for the beginning of the shawl. That doesn't sound too insurmountable, though ... perhaps a provisional cast on, knit two points, then pick up stitches across the knit edge, and head on to the rest of the shawl!

I headed out to doctor's appointments yesterday with nothing on the needles but a stash reduction project - a hat using yarn from Sharon's stash (Sharon, who worked at the Weaver's Place in Baltimore, but that store hasn't existed for aboug 10 years....) and a motif from Fair Isle Sweaters Simplified (which, in general, aren't Fair Isle Sweaters). Waiting for me at the post office were two little balls of yarn (the cream and the dark blotch) from Yarn Place. Then, before we got to the appointment, we stopped at Yarnzilla and my mom decided she needed more socks ... hence the Bearfoot Mountain yarn, Tofutsies, and Regia. Did you know that Tofutsies has Chitin in it (as well as soysilk) and is antibacterial? Amazing stuff these days, yarn.

None of these things, as you may imagine, are going to be good for stash reduction in February. I'll get the hat finished, and then pop some socks in Bearfoot onto my needles. Here's a better picture of the colors. I'm not sure if I'll use a pattern, or go for simple stockinette. It will be nice to have something to ponder while finishing off the hat.

When I got home last night, of course, I had to swatch for my Alpine Lace Shawl. I found the end (major feat #1) without too much mess, cast on 40 stitches, knit an inch of stockinette (since the gauge for the pattern is given in stockinette ... but I'm not too sure about gauge, since I got gauge with my Cherry Leaf shawl, and came miserably short of the final measurements and yarn usage) and dove into the border pattern.

I learned a few things. Addi Turbos, size 3.5 mm are workable for fine lace. I can frog two half rows by removing the needle, pulling on the yarn, and picking up stitches. It's not alpaca, and doesn't run (much, with gentle handling. I wouldn't want to try it in a moving vehicle on a bumpy road. Not breathing may have helped too.) My two stitch garter border disappeared ... to be expected, if I'd thought about it, since one of those two stitches gets slipped, leaving me with a 1 stitch actual border. And the yarn is finer than a quilting pin.

The swatch is 5.75" wide and the lace portion is between 2.3 and 2.5" deep. That's about right for the shawl size ... but I'm not sure if I like how open it is. Would it be better on size 2 needles? It's that dratted 'Yarn Weight 1' category again. Sock yarn (200 m/50 grams) does not work up anything like laceweight (440 yds/50 grams) which is yet different from cobweb weight (+900 yds/50 grams). And the yarn used for the project in the book has weight/yardage listed as 'discontinued' (grr), but the alternate yarn is 114g/1250 yds. Should I knit this up on a size 2 needle, and add in extra repeats? That would mean chancing getting a different dyelot if I should need more yarn .. but it's vareigated to begin with, so that helps somewhat. A LONG vareigation.

Muse, muse, muse.


Pensguys said...

Pretty, pretty!!!!

hege said...

Your Cherry Leaf shawl looks wonderful!

Theresa said...

Wow! That was fast on the cherry leaf. I was just looking through the book lamenting that i have not been able to start anything yet! :o( I will be curious to see how you like the Tofutsie (or however it's spelled! LOL). Also I keep forgetting to tell you that my Slovak name is Dipko. I have no idea for sure where they came from as they list themselves on the census as from "Austria-Hungary" and speaking Slovak.

Jennus Interruptus said...

Beautiful shawl! It is a little short, isn't it? For some reason I decided to make mine in laceweight but was quite finished with the pattern repeats by the 15th one. When will I learn to make my shawls out of fingering weight? And my brain earned a new wrinkle from your post - Antibacterial socks?!