Friday, May 19, 2006

The Amazing Lace! Part 1

And they're off!

This blog's team has started their persuit of glory, but not without some rough patches! The team is a triad, comprising of key knitter Kelly and her butter-yellow, hand-dyed Knitpicks Laceweight doubled up with some luxurious "straw into gold" colorway of Crystal Palace Kid Merino mohair.

Lovingly dyed to become a perfect pair

The knitter was anxious to begin, having painstakingly dyed one to enhance the other. She was full of good suggestions on where to the yarn should begin: Ene's scarf from Scarf Style; the Daisy Shawl, an internet pattern picked up; various shawl patterns from Interweave Knits, Simply Knitting!, Folk Shawls, Vogue shawl series and others. Still, the yarn resisted. Twisted and tangled, not the right gauge or not long enough to finish, even plain refusing to stay on the needles! Again and again, the knitter cast on, hoping for the "right one" and that this time, the pattern would stick. She even sought out solace from her LYS, searching in the elusive "Scarves and Shawls" pattern book for the "right one". Yet the yarn resisted. Dark times lay ahead. What did the yarn want to be?

Past indisgretions

The yarn is soft, but sturdy. The Knitpicks yarn is a thicker laceweight blend from merino wool. The mohair is lighter than air, and handily competes for overall warmth with the wool. Neither label offered help in the gauge department. It was absent on the Knitpicks and the mohair simply stated, "different needles will get different gauges". Panicked, the knitter's growing needle supply was exhausted, looking for the right fit. Not unlike Cinderella's glass slipper, this was a hard one to find. The needle needed to be pointy for lace, but sturdy to handle the thicker yarn. It must be comfortable, or the knitter will not reach for it unless provoked. The knitter has a fondness for bamboo needles- but would such lace support a larger needle? Surely the delicate detailing the yarn cried out for would not be achieved with a bulky, blunted bamboo stick.

What was a knitter to do? Dark times, indeed.

The answer came in an online pattern abandoned many moons ago. Cozy, on Knitty's website. Many yarns and attempts were made in the past with this pattern. Each time, the pattern was violently thrown across the room, after much pleading and rapid changes in needles and yarns, in an attempt to please the lace knitting goddess. The pattern was even secretly referred to as "cursed" and "poorly written". No more!

Lace detail

The yarn took to the pattern as a bird to flight. A few stumbles along the way, and then, in a shining moment of victory- away it went. The YOs are fluid, the stitches clear. The pattern even looks...dare we say it...better than what's pictured online! The knitting is soft, and warm to the touch. The needles (clover bamboo, sz 5) are easily gripping the yarn, without tangles. Even the dreaded K2tog tbl stitch is going fluidly. The yardage looks good and the gauge will look even better when she's blocked out.

Progress in two days- and a pretty accurate color

At long last, Team Cozy is born.


Blogger Rachel said...

Cozy is a wonderful pattern, and your yarn does suit it beautifully. You will get so much use out of it!

6:12 PM  

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