Friday, November 11, 2005

colorwork that may burn the retinas

Thank you SO MUCH to the wonderful people who left comments about buying Naturespun. (And to Jessimuhka, who actually checked a store for me!) I ended up calling Alpaca Fleece. Their prices for NSS are amazing! They thought they were going to be able to send me a cone or 9 skeins for the price of a cone, but I just got an email that they are out of the color I need in sport. But they said that Brown Sheep does have cones of it in stock, and that I can get the stuff in a couple of weeks. I'm going to do that. Even though I'd prefer to not do the backorder thing, I trust them based on recommendations, I don't know if I can get it elsewhere quicker, and their price is far and away the best I've seen.

I decided to start swatching. This was before I got the email that I still have to wait, but that's okay. The gauge is supposed to be 28 stitches and 36 rows per 4" on 3.0 mm needles. I seem to be on track for 28 or 29 stitches but 32 rows. Eek. I bet my gauge would be more on if it weren't for the colorwork. Of course, I'm going to finish this full swatch and wash it before I really make the final call on the gauge I got with these needles. I might decide to do another swatch on 2.75 needles. I know from experience that sometimes a change in needle size can affect row gauge much differently than stitch gauge, so ther's a chance I could tighten only (or mostly) row gauge by going down a size. We'll see. If not, I think I could live with this looser row gauge, as it's not that important to the pattern, really. Here's a picture:

I "enhanced" the photo in iPhoto, so it's easier to see the pattern. These are not the colors I'll be using for the sweater. They're just leftovers from the Nordic mittens. I think enhancing the colors like that also enhanced flaws. It looks nicer and more even in person.

We talked about 2 circs vs. DPNs vs. magic loop at the knitting group last night. C. had the same reaction to the 2 circ method as me - that the danglingn ends of the other circ really get in the way. Then we had a revelation. We noticed that the people there who really like the 2 circ method have been using Addi Turbos. Those needles are heavier than bamboo needles, and the cords are very flexible. That means they hang straighter down than bamboo circs, and are probably less likely to get in the way. C. borrowed S's size 2 Addis to try out this theory, and I may borrow them in the future to see if I like the 2 circ method better on them. The one problem I see with this is that I don't want to do colorwork on slippery Addis. But maybe I can be convinced otherwise. If I find the money, I may buy a pair of 40" Addi circs to try out magic loop. Less dangly stuff to get in the way, right?

Oh, and here is a scarf picture. I wasn't happy with any of the laid out progress pictures I took, so here's a closeup of the lace pattern.

Here's to a weekend of swatching and colorwork! And maybe I will still cast on for the Mamlukes, since I'll have to wait for the 'borg yarn, anyway.


Blogger Tipper said...

That is a really good detail shot of that lace. The pattern is so crisp!

11/11/2005 9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I ordered Brown Sheep Burley Spun from and was happy with the experience, especially given the price - I got 8 skeins (including shipping) for the price that 5 would cost in stores. I'm planning to buy NSS from them, too. The one small thing I noticed is that the yarn had a bit of an aroma, but I'm pretty sure it has all aired out - it didn't smell much (and I'm pretty sensitive to smells) or smell gross, just like it could use a bit of airing. I haven't been bothered at all while knitting with it. It wasn't anything that would dissuade me from ordering from them, but I know you tend to be sensitive to some yarns so I thought you'd like to know.

I'm thinking about getting some of the Gems merino for socks, and I'm also tempted by the Euroflax linen...


11/11/2005 10:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link to the NSS, although now I want to abandon my current projects and start Ingeborg. :) As far as the DPN, 2 circs, magic loop issue goes, I use 2 Addi circs when I knit socks and love them. I've never had much trouble with the needles getting in the way, although it takes a bit of getting used to. The other benefit is that you've only got two spots where you have to deal with maintaining stranding tension across two different needles. On the other hand, magic loop means you have to maintain tension at the joins with the stitches on the cable, rather than the needle, which I've found is no piece of cake. But then, that could just be me.

11/11/2005 12:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm just trying to absorb as many opinions as I can about magic loop and the 2-circ technique. Dpns and the English method are quite fiddly, I've found, for the colorwork I'm doing.... And you're right, it's also a question of finding the right needles for the technique...

- MJ

11/11/2005 6:01 PM  
Blogger Bee said...

as a previous poster mentioned before, my order from had a distinct odor to it. mine arrived smelling like smoke, so i called the compant and mentioned it to them. they immediately offered to exchange it, which was very kind of them, but i hope that this doesn't occur again.

other than that, they were a great, affordable company to order from. i hope you enjoy your yarn from them!

11/11/2005 7:04 PM  

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