Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Alpine Lace - Done

At long last, after many repeats, the Alpine Lace is completed. I like it. My mom says the variation in color makes it look like I folded it and stuck it out in the sun too long ... but I don't mind. The change is subtle, and I like it.

Vital Statistics:
  • Yarn: 60 grams of Blueberry Graceful from the Yarn Place.
  • Needles: Size 2 US/2.75 mm
  • Blocked size: 19"x72"
  • Alterations: Scarf worked with 7 multiples of diamonds, and 5 multiples of the center leaf pattern. 72 repeats.
  • Time: 7 weeks
This was *not* a travelling project, so I had ample time to work on socks while gadding about. I've finished one pair (Regia), and am in the midst of another (Elann's Esprit). I'm not sure what I think of Esprit as a sock yarn. My daughter didn't even want to try on anklet #1, as it looked to small, but I stuck it on her foot anyways. It fits, but the ribbing has absolutely no life to it, despite the elastic. I just prefer fingering weight sock yarns, I guess. I'll finish the pair, call it a stash project, and go back to my usual.

Speaking of my usual, my mom washed her socks last week, and I stopped by while handknit socks were drying. They covered the freezer and dining room table ... she has supplied me with a LOT of socks. I need to get a picture of them some day. A picture is worth many blog entries, after all.

I'm now working on the Spinnery Jacket. Or at least I will be, once I undo my current swatch and restart it. I'm using PeaceFleece worsted weight yarn, and the pattern calls for size 6 and 7 US needles. I made my first swatch (swatch = right front) with size 7 needles, got enough done to check gauge, did so, frogged, and cast on with size 8 needles. That worked .. sort of. I've been staring at lace so much that I had myself convinced that 17.5 sts/4" would block to 16 sts/4". But after several inches and many internal conversations, I concluded that a jacket was not a lace shawl, and that the fabric was a bit dense, and that I should try size 9 needles. So I switched (without frogging), knit two inches, and checked my gauge. 17.5/4" again. So I knit another inch, just to see if that number could possibly be right. It was. By repeated (and repeated) measurements, I convinced myself that the gauge will not migrate towards the stated pattern gauge if I just WILL it to do so, and keep measuring. I thought about switching to size 10 needles ... but decided to ignore them and jump up to 10.5.

I *think* I have achieved gauge. The fabric is MUCH looser than it was with the size 8 needles, and so I will frog what I've got, cast on again, and start my swatch for a third time. If the gauge comes out AND if I like the resulting fabric, the swatch will become the right front. If the gauge does not come out, or if I do not like the resulting fabric, I will be doing some serious tweaking of the pattern, or declaring the skeins I have to be 'orphan skeins' -- skeins which have no project waiting for them.

The venerable dead are waiting in my library to entertain me and relieve me from the nonsense of surviving mortals.
Samuel Davies (1723-61)


Anonymous said...

You are an amazing knitter!! I can't believe how many VLT projects you've done. The color is gorgeous. Your mom is too fastidious, but I guess that's what moms are for.

I am going to do another VLT shawl once I finish some gift projects.


Pensguys said...


Melissa said...

Beautiful shawl, nice work!!

Carissa said...

What a pretty shawl! I like the colors too. I think that the long variegations are suited to lace.

Holly said...

Wow-great work! The shawl is lovely.
That quote is so right on-I love it!