Monday, January 02, 2006

First FO of the year (lace scarf)

I really need to get some blocking wires...

lace scarf blocking

... because T pins just aren't going to cut it for lace. I'll probably give this scarf as a gift in December '06, so I have time to get myself some blocking wires and re-block this scarf before then.

Here are some post-blocking photos. I was surprised at how well it held the size I blocked it to, despite the silk content. I guess there's enough wool to counteract the lack of memory in the silk.

lace scarf - done

lace scarf - post blocking closeup

pattern: I used a pattern from a Walker stitch treasury, and paired it with some garter edging. I believe the stitch pattern is Gothic Leaves, or something like that. I forget if I got it from the 2nd or 3rd treasury.
yarn: Blackberry Ridge wool and silk laceweight
needles: size 4

I blocked it by pinning it out first, then spraying it with water. I decided not to wet block because I've heard that silk is weak when wet, and didn't want to stress out the fabric by pulling it out to block when wet. When I re-block with wires, I'll probably wet block, but won't force it as big. I think I'd like it a bit less open. I believe it started out as 9" wide and 37" long, and ended up 12" wide and 44" or 45" long. It doesn't sound like much, compared to the blocking magic I've witnessed elsewhere, but I think it would look nicer at 10" or 11" wide.

When I finished the scarf, I had nothing on the needles. Well, I did if you count the Ingeborg hem, but since it's impossible for me to knit on it without the yarn that hasn't arrived yet, that hardly counts. (By the way, I got another email from the great people at Alpaca Fleece the other day. It sounds like one of the problems in getting the yarn was that Brown Sheep kept on sending them one skein instead of one cone. It sounds like they've finally straightened things out, and I may actually get the yarn soon. Celebrations are in order!)

I decided to cast on for some socks. Hopefully those will last until my 'Borg yarn arrives. The pattern is a Nancy Bush pattern, from a fairly recent issue of IK. I forget whether it's Cable and Rib or Rib and Cables, because they have a pattern with each of those names, from issues that aren't too far apart. I'm not up to the cables yet, but I just had to take this photo:

deceptively small sock

I call it "ribbing is magic." Believe it or not, I'm fairly certain the sock is going to fit just fine. I haven't tried it on yet, but I've stretched it to its limits, and it looks fine. I think I'm going to go for the cables, and see how it looks. If it's too much, I might just stay in the ribbing pattern for the entire sock. Lorna's Laces is so hard to predict. (By the way, I'm using the super bendy needles for these socks. They bother me a lot less than they did for the Jaywalkers. I think it's because there are only 15 stitches on each needle, without all of those increases and decreases which make the stitches a bit tighter. The pattern calls for 3 needles, not 4, but I'd rather knit with hot pokers.)

Lucia - thanks for the comment about Auracania wool and pilling. That's one of the yarns that's been on my to-try list for a while. Would you mind sharing what gauge you're getting pilling with? I actually prefer denser knits, so maybe it would suit my knitting, with less pilling.


Blogger Theresa said...

I've actually blocked 100% silk with a lot of success - it was a 4.5x6 ft lace wedding canopy, and, while it's heavy, it's still holding the blocked-open shape a year later.

1/02/2006 11:39 AM  
Blogger savannahchik said...

i'm very interested in hearing Lucia's reply as well. i'm just finishing up an araucania sweater and just bought another batch for st brigid. i'm wondering (hoping) that it's the fact that the ball band says aran weight when it's really worsted or even light worsted. i think the yarn could pill a lot at 4.5 spi but at 5-5.5 spi i *think* it will wear well.

1/02/2006 12:16 PM  
Blogger laura said...

I'm fairly certain that silk's lack of memory actually contributes to it's blockability, as opposed to hindering it - however you block it, that's how it's going to stay (and there's no going back), whereas wool may lose its block and spring back to its original state.

1/02/2006 6:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a sweater knit of Araucania at 5.75 spi, and it has held up very well. After more than a year, there is an odd pill or two under the arms, but it's nothing.

1/02/2006 10:54 PM  
Blogger Laughingrat said...

Yikes, I hope Araucania doesn't pill *too* badly--I fell in love with two of the colors available and made them into a pair of striped socks for a pal of mine! The heels and toes are reinforced, though, so at least that's taken care of.

I plan on doing those same rib/cable socks...they're from the Fall IK, right? A friend knit them with the recommended needles and yarn and even on her fairly slim feet, they were very snug. When I do them, I'm going up a needle size (I like the fabric I get with Bearfoot on size 2s) and probably adding a pattern rep, because honestly, how the hell else are they gonna fit? I'll be interested in seeing how yours work out for you.

1/04/2006 8:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your scarf is came out beautifully!

2/08/2006 9:54 PM  

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