Hedgehog Knits

Adventures in knitting from the eastern edge of Canada.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Lacey

I finally did it - I started my Swallowtail Shawl. I am still plodding along on DH's sweater. I should really take a progress shot soon. I need to keep taking breaks from it though, so a couple of nights ago I picked this up.


This is after 10 (of 14 total) pattern repeats of the rosebud lace pattern. This is my first shawl, and my first foray into knitting with real lace weight. At first I thought I wanted to do something more complicated, but now I'm glad that I started with this. It's little, and the pattern is fairly simple. So far. (I know the next section gets more complicated.) I'm okay with complex patterns normally, but I quickly learned that picking up dropped stitches in lace is a whole new category of fun of which I was previously unaware. This wee shawl is not without mistakes already, and I figure some of them will be glaringly obvious when I block it and you can pick out every stitch! It is my second attempt too. The first try got ripped out after six pattern repeats. I'm able to tolerate a few mistakes this time around as I'm learning a new skill. Sometimes it's good not to be a perfectionist - I'd have myself driven crazy!

Also on the go lately is another pair of socks, for MIL's birthday:


I'm doing a few things differently here. I usally work socks on 2.25 mm bamboo dpn's, but this time I decided to try out my 2 mm Regia Sock needles. They're a little shorter (15 cm) than the average dpn, and you know what? I really like them. They're really light, and they're fairly slippery (although that may in part be the yarn), and I find the shorter length actually works for me. The working right needle seems to spend a lot less time poking me in the wrist than usual. It's funny because just a coupe of weeks ago I was eyeing 5 inch dpn's and thinking I could never use them. I guess you never know until you try.

The yarn (Apple Pie, Blue Bayou colourway) is a very soft wool-silk-angora-nylon blend, and the colours are gorgeous. It doesn't split, and is knot-free. The big irritation for me though, is that it has a lot of slubs and splices. A LOT of splices. Probably upwards of twenty in a single skein. Ordinarily ths wouldn't be a big deal, but the splices are thicker and end up as big bumps in the knitting. It's also a little thicker than most sock yarns I've knit with, so the fabric is very dense, especially on the 2 mm needles. That's why I opted for the plain foot in stockinette. Usually I like to carry ribbing down the foot, but I think it's already going to be a bit of a stretch to wear these with shoes.

Given that there are so many other beautiful handpainted sock yarns out there in the same price range that I'd like to try, I don't think I'll buy this one again. But the socks will certainly be pretty! I've just started on the second one.

That's it for tonight. We're supposed to be waking up to a big snowstorm tomorrow morning. As if I haven't seen enough snow lately! Welcome to March everybody!

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5 Comments:

Blogger Marianne said...

The sock is gorgeous! What beautiful colours!
I started Swallowtail last night, didn't get very far with it, I'm rethinking my yarn choice..... that and getting into lace weight mode.
I've not seen the Regia sock needles, what are they made of? sturdy? I do like the shorter ones but most of mine are 6 inches long....bah.
Wishing you an enjoyable snowy, knitting, keep warm and snug weekend!

7:27 AM  
Anonymous Leanne said...

Having recently completed the Swallowtail, may I offer a couple of suggestions:

1) Run a lifeline at the end of the first section. Dental floss works well. That way, if the nupps kick your butt and you need to tear it out and try again, you only need to rip back to the lifeline and you won't risk losing any stitches from the first pattern.

2) Put stitch markers between each of the pattern repeats. That way, if your stitch count is off at any point, it will be easier to determine where you may have missed a yo, so that you can correct it easily.

3) When you're doing the k1, yo, k1, yo, k1 in the same stitch for the nupps, keep your stitches really loose - it makes the P5tog on the return row much easier. Then, when you're doing the next right side row, take a look at each nupp to make sure you didn`t miss any of the stitches in your P5tog. I found that occasionally I had one stitch that got missed, but it was easy to just slip it over the one remaining stitch before knitting it on the right side row.

Have fun with it! Your progress will slow down a bit during the 2nd pattern section, but it picks up again after that. I know some people have done it without the nupps, but I`m really glad it perservered - I find it really adds to the scarf.

7:53 AM  
Blogger Glenna C said...

Nice shawl and socks, Kel! I have some of that Apple Pie yarn now too (um, what stash-busting... ::cough::) and know what you mean - lots of splices but GORGEOUS and soft. Looking forward to seeing the shawl progress!

8:43 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Love the socks and the shawl is looking pretty fine too.

11:16 AM  
Blogger Ms. M said...

Oh the Swallowtail looks so nice. Good luck with it! My shawl hasn't grown any and I really should get back to it soon. The socks look warm and cozy. G's in love with the Apple Laine stuff too.

5:52 PM  

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