Friday, June 30, 2006

lots on lace

Thanks for all the folks who voted in the Amazing Lace contest. I won! I have a $25 gift certificate for Red Bird Knits, and now get to choose what wonderful yarn I want. I'm pretty sure that I'm going to get some sort of sock yarn, though I'm a little tempted to get a cone of Zephyr for a lace project.

While I'm talking about yarn choices - do any of you have thoughts on Schaeffer Anne? I've heard a lot of good things about it, and the colors and yardage are certainly incredible. But I'm more than a little wary of it because of the mohair content. While I tolerate my Lamb's Pride hat and scarf set, they definitely make me itch at times. (Particularly the hat, which is surprising, because I thought my neck would be more sensitive to the mohair.) I'm tempted to try the Anne, but also don't want to end up with socks I don't wear because they make me itch. Thoughts on the yarn from people who aren't generally mohair fans would be more than welcome.

On the topic of lace, I have a swatch to share. I'm planning on knitting the Song of Hiawatha stole, and did some swatching to compare some left leaning decrease options (ssk vs. skp).

swatchin' lace

In this swatch, decreases on the left half are ssk on the bottom, and skp are on the top (sections divided by a few rows of garter stitch). The consensus in the Flickr comments was to go with ssk. I prefer it, and only did the comparison swatch because the pattern says to do skp. I think the ssks look slightly better. Someone suggested that I try ssks where I slip the first stitch knitwise and the second stitch purlwise. I may do another swatch to see if that improves the appearance. I've heard that tip elsewhere, but I forgot to include it in this swatching experiment.

The yarn and needles used in the swatch are not what I'll use for the project. I plan on using the Blackberry Ridge wool/silk laceweight (the same I used for the blue Gothic Leaves scarf, though in cream for this), and will probably go down a needle size. I used some leftover Lanett yarn, which was very splitty for lace, and size 4 needles. I'll most likely use size 3 Inox needles (the grey kind, not Inox Express) for the actual scarf. I actually did plain stockinette swatches with the very last bits of the yarn from the blue scarf, and much prefer the stockinette on size 3s. I prefer lace to have "tighter" stockinette sections between the holes, so smaller is the way to go here. For the record, the pattern calls for size 6 needles. I won't even bother swatching with those, as I know I'd be unhappy with the look of that. I want a crisper looking lace than that would give me.

If you're curious, Bristow is coming along. The button bands and collar are done, and I'm quite happy with how they look. I realized that I'm really not that good at judging how tightly or loosely I'll need to bind off, because I so rarely have to bind off on long, important edges, such as button bands or collars. I have to do it very infrequently, so I just don't have a lot of practice at it. I ended up undoing most of the bindoff edge for the first button band I did because it was too loose. I ended up binding off with a needle just one size larger than I knit the bands with, and not particularly loosely with that needle. I obviously was way too worried about keeping things loose.

I'm going up to the White Mountains for some camping and hiking Sunday - Tuesday, so there probably won't be a knitting update for a while. (I don't plan on bringing any knitting with me, as camping and knitting don't mix very well.) But hopefully I'll finish Bristow at some point next week. I only need to sew in the sleeves, weave in some ends (I'm about halfway through that), and buy/sew on buttons.


Blogger aija said...

Yay! Congrats on the win, when I saw your xtreme entry when you 1st posted it, I thought it was hilarious :)

I have used the Anne but only for socks. For that I love it, it's not scratchy/itchy at all, it makes some wonderful socks. I don't "feel" the mohair, but it gives the yarn a strength and a sheen... though I've not kniw with mohair before this though, so I don't know if I can be called sensitive :)

(If you'd like I can send you a length of some left over Anne I have from my last project, just drop me an email!)

6/30/2006 1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I won't comment on the mohair because I could probably wear a steel-wool sweater and not itch, but allow me to comment on the colors.
The nearly-solid colors (OK, not that nearly ;) are GORGEOUS, both in the skein and knit up.

The variegateds ... well, let's just say they're lovely in the skein. I have yet to see any knit up that I like.
So, I'd recommend sticking to the (lovely! wonderful!) not-really-solids.

6/30/2006 4:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not a fan of mohair normally - it makes my nose itch as I knit with it and I sneeze a lot. I had no idea that my Anne yarn had mohair in it until I read this. That is how not itchy the mohair is.

I bought a half-pi circular shawl pattern from Rosie's Yarn Cellar in Philadelphia, PA that I used for my Anne. I have some now for a pair of socks, but it is tempting to knit up something else with it besides socks. It was fun to knit with. However, if you find yourself longing for a specific color that you see, don't think to yourself that you can buy it later - they dye the same "colorways" but they never come out quite the same. Sometimes they are lighter, some batches are darker - that sort of variety. Hope that helps!

7/07/2006 8:50 PM  

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