Monday, January 09, 2006

SFCKAL stuff; Komi swatch; birthday trip to Harrisville

SFC Knitalong stuff
  • Thanks to Janine for mentioning the KAL on her blog! I've had quite a few hits from that post, and hopefully will get a few more KAL participants as a result.
  • I've updated the participants list in the sidebar, and added projects for a couple of people who decided what to knit over the weekend. (I'm really excited that Tipper is knitting Crichton. It's one of my favorite designs in the book, and on my long-term to-do list.)
  • If you sent me an email or a comment about participating but don't see your name in the participant list in the sidebar, please let me know. I have this nagging feeling that I overlooked an email somewhere, but can't find it. Also, there are one or two people who expressed possible interest, but didn't seem sure yet. They're not there. But if you're one of those people, please let me know if/when you decide for sure. I also had one anonymous person say they're participating, but only through Yahoo, since they don't have a blog. I'll also ask on Yahoo, but let me know your name, so I can add you to the list.
  • Anne bought her yarn, and has a picture of it on her blog. Of possible interest to some of you, there is also another picture of the Whirligig vest, which she may be knitting. It's a small picture, but it might give you a better idea of what the original colorway looks like.
  • I'm going to make a Yahoo group post today, to bring up some topics I've had questions about, and to answer a question or two. I think all the people who asked specific questions for me to answer are already part of the Yahoo group, but I thought I'd mention it here, just in case.
  • If you scroll down, I have a picture of some Harrisville jumper weight yarn. I forgot to mention in the main KAL post that this is another good choice for a substitute for J&S yarn, if you were looking for one. I think it's a bit cheaper than J&S bought in the U.S. I don't think it comes in as many colors, but it does have a fairly big color selection. It's really gorgeous stuff, and while it's not made from Shetland wool, the texture is a lot closer to J&S jumper weight than Knitpicks Palette is.
Non-Knitalong Stuff
I knit a mini swatch for the Komi socks this weekend. It was with a different yarn than I'll probably use, so it was more for working out the colorwork than gauge. Look at how pretty it is!
Komi Sock Swatch

I used Kroy instead of the fingering weight merino I'll most likely use. I had a heck of a time getting gauge. I'm supposed to bet getting 11 stitches per inch, and I was between 8 and 9 on this. I started out on size 1 needles, knowing that was too big, but not caring, since I wasn't actually swatching for gauge. I thought I'd get gauge with size 0 needles, so when I saw I was getting 8 SPI, I got worried. I didn't think I'd drop to 11 by just going down a needle size. I pulled out my set of cheapo metal DPNs that I got at a craft store a year ago. I went all the way down to the smallest ones, which I think are 000. My gauge hardly dropped. I really hope it's just the yarn. These might end up being slippers, otherwise. There are 88 stitches per round. At 11 stitches per inch, I get a reasonable size sock. At 8 or 9, I get a foot sack.

But on the positive, I'm really happy with how my colorwork looks. I was mostly curious about whether I should strand the lighter or the darker color on the bottom. I went with my gut, stranding the white below the blue, and it looks great. Actually, I was kind of surprised to see how incredibly uniform my stitches look. I wouldn't have been able to guess which color I was stranding on the bottom (and thus which should be slightly more dominant), if I hadn't known. Wow! Let's hope the merino treats me as well.

I also made a trip to Harrisville Designs this weekend. It's less than half an hour away, yet I still hadn't visited. A. asked me what I wanted to do on my birthday, and of course I chose the little outing to the yarn shop. Boy is Harrisville a cute little town! What there is of it, anyway. Teeny tiny. It's incredibly picturesque, especially with a new dusting of snow everywhere. I felt like I was in an artist's idealistic rendering of New England, in a museum diorama. The shop itself is amazing. Roomy, full of wonderful things, and staffed with attentive but non-annoying people. I drooled over various roving (I'm not a spinner, but I can still drool over the stuff), tried to figure out how the big looms work, looked through lots of books, and of course fondled my fair share of yarn. I wasn't planning to buy anything, but A. told me to pick something out. I chose two skeins of their jumper weight yarn, thinking I'd use them for socks. A. was about to pay when he asked if I was sure I didn't want 2 more. Twist my arm. So now I have four skeins, two in russet, and two in cream. Perfect for some colorwork socks or mittens. That project will probably wait a good while, as I have enough to knit at the moment. But boy is it gorgeous yarn. The photo hardly does it justice. The russet yarn is much richer in color, with gorgeous heathering.

Harrisville Yarn

Looking at the bookcase full of this stuff made me dizzy. The colors are fantastic. When I design my colorwork sweater later this year, I think I might have to go with Harrisville yarns. I'd be able to drive there, and actually pool skeins of yarn together to see what works well with what. A lot nicer than having to play guesswork with a color card.


Blogger Theresa said...

I've always been meaning to go to Harrisville - thanks for the encouragement.

1/09/2006 10:05 AM  
Blogger Tipper said...

I got some of that yarn yesterday! I was impressed with the colors. It's actually yarn for Matthew's We Call Them Pirates hat; he picked out a dark and light green. He's going to be so chic.

1/09/2006 11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice swatch! Wish I could see Harrisville... There's nothing like having the whole range of colors in front of you. I used to purchase my J&S from the local shop, even though it cost more, because I was willing to pay for the pleasure of having the chance to compare full skeins. When they stopped carrying it, I switched to online purchases.

1/09/2006 8:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How soft is that Harrisville yarn? What's it feel like? (always my first question on yarn)

Great swatch. Fair Isle and color work totally intimidate me. However I'm jumping in to an Aran sweater so apparently, cables do not. Love your cabled stuff, too.


1/10/2006 2:50 PM  

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