Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Balancing Act

The Icarus Shawl somewhere in the first repeat of chart 1. I cast on a few days ago using KnitPicks Shadow lace in Grape Jelly (yay, stash knitting!).

I've never knit from a chart before, so there was some apprehension, but the worst trouble spot I've had so far is with the gauge. The pattern calls for Alpaca Yarn Co. Suri Elegance, whose suggested gauge is 7st/in on US 3. The pattern's gauge is 5.75 st/in on US3, blocked. Shadow's gauge is listed as "laceweight (2/16)." Not really sure what that means. Is that 16 st/in (I hope not! I'd need a microscope!) or maybe 8 st/in? Undeterred, probably because I didn't know what the hell was going on, I swatched. I'm a pretty loose knitter so my general rule of thumb is to go down a few needle sizes if I'm using the same gauge yarn. I decided to ignore the inconvenient fact that I didn't really know what Shadow's gauge was. I started on 2mm and got 9 st/in. I went up to 3mm and got 7 st/in. (Incidentally, I also learned that there is no US equivalent to 3mm needles - it's between a US2 and a US3.) Because I'm lazy and impatient, I didn't wash the swatch. I convinced myself (with very little effort) that: (a) I would have enough yarn no matter what and that (b) Shadow would grow exactly the same amount as the recommended Suri after blocking, just because I wanted it to. I'll make all this happen...you know, with the power of my mind.

As a counterpoint to the restrictive fiddlyness of lace, I'm also knitting on this:
I envision a felted Franken-bag, an object of unique construction and dubious parentage. I'm using two skeins of celery colored Lopi (thanks, Aida!), the recently acquired skeins of Manos (sooo pretty and wonderfully soft) and pink Bernat Matrix, plus Bernat Boa from the stash. There's no pattern, I just cast on a bunch of stitches and knit in the round. I'm trying to disperse the non-felting materials around, so as not to get any weak spots or holes in the final product. Apart from that, there are no rules! I change colors whenever I want and I'll stop when I get bored or run out of yarn. Take that, Early 21st Century Society!

And in keeping with all this purpleness, here's a beauty from my mom's garden:
Makes you forget the cloudy DC skies!


Polly said...

Arent you just purply-great! /SP8 Nic

Leah said...

I love Icarus, and it looks especially lovely in the purple!

I can't wait to see it finished.