17) Dark, rich and mysterious laceweight WLTM sophisticated and interesting shawl pattern for serious committment


Last night, I stayed up past my bedtime1 to finish plying and skeining the first lot of Sweet Georgia Shetland laceweight.

This is, roughly, 515m of yarn and my guess is that it weighs around 60-70 grams (forgot to weigh it this morning).That means that I should end up with somewhere around 700 to 800m of laceweight yarn, with long, slow colour changes, to play with when I'm done.

I want to knit a lace shawl with this, but generally dislike strong colour contrasts in lace fabric.  I could do a simple triangle with garter ridges, eyelets and a deep feather-and-fan edging, which would definitely play to the strengths of the colour, but some part of me would rather like to be a bit more adventurous. 


So!  I'm seeking pattern recommendations.  Here is the sort of thing I'm looking for:

  • Triangular or rectangular lace shawl.  I adore circular shawls, but the "Bull's Eye" look is not what I'm going for here.  Semi-circular would be OK, I guess.  But not hexagonal.
  • No knitted-on edgings or other multi-directional construction.  I don't  think it'd play nicely with the stripes (but triangular shawls with that 'V' pattern are fine).
  • Stitch patterns or shapes which are strongly directional (like feather-and-fan or chevron stitch), which will be accentuated by the slightly Noro-esque quality of the colours.  What I *don't* want is a gorgeous lace pattern that will be 'cut across' by the colours.
  • Not Revontuli.  I love it, but I did one (albeit a mini-one) last year.
  • Uses most of the yarn that I will have (c. 800m – tbc!). It would be a shame to have loads left over.

Please leave any and all (polite!) suggestions in the comments!  Whether or not I end up inventing a pattern or not, my favourite suggestion to arrive by the evening of Saturday 20th, GMT, will win a yarnscape voucher. (only the blog is currently live, sorry!). And, to sweeten the pot further, everyone else who makes a suggestion will be entered into a random draw for another voucher.

Please, guys, I need a pattern for this awesome yarn!

1 But not too far past.  I wouldn't like you to think I was skimping on my sleep. 😉

10) Time to ply! …and an announcement.

The plying!
One of my January goals, carried over into February, was to finish spinning (and plying!) the second in my Sweet Georgia fibre club offerings.  This was a luscious braid of shetland roving, in wonderful, saturated, tonal colours.  I believe this was achieved by dyeing a coloured (brown or moorit) wool, because I've seen some similar effects when dyeing over brown roving.  It seems I never took a photograph of the original braid, but I decided it wanted to be laceweight, and as much as possible!

I split it lengthways, and spun it fine, hoping to keep the colours reasonably in line with one another when I plied.  Here's a bobbin-full of the singles, showing most of the colours (I think!) from the original braid:


Lovely, aren't they?  However, I really should have split the braid more accurately.  When I'd finished the singles-spinning, it was very, very obvious that there was a lot more on one bobbin than on the other.  There is no way that the colours are going to line up for long in this little lot!


See?  I started plying on Sunday night, and the colours are already out of alignment.  If you click on the picture, you can see how they are barber-poling (poleing?  Yes, thankyou, Janet!) from one segment to the next, and they will get more and more erratically aligned as I go through the batch.  By the time I reach the end of the less filled bobbin, anything could be happening!

Long story short: this is not what I intended for this roving, and the end of the ply will probably have quite a different (i.e. more random) character to the start (which at least is partially aligned), but I must have started it with half my brain still in bed.  I'm sure it'll be glorious anyway, but selecting a lace pattern to go with it might be even more challenging than I anticipated.

The announcement!
I am launching a separate blog1 for my business, Yarnscape.  You can find it at http://yarnscape.blogspot.com, and for the next little while I will be attempting to follow the scarfaday example with my very own dye-a-day blogging.

I would love it if you came across to play with me there!

1I'm doing this because I don't want to spam the folks who follow this blog with my business exploits, and because I don't want to clutter up my business exploits with tales of dogs, Pilates and who knows what else!

73) Fibre Clubs

As I may have mentioned, I joined SweetGeorgia's fibre club fairly recently, and received my first 'installment' two weeks ago.  I decided to spin it according to the suggestion on the packet – a fractal two-ply – and finished the first half, spun as long, slow colour sections, at Rampton, last Saturday…


…then came home and spun up the second half, into shorter, choppier colour changes on the same day.


Plying, however, had to wait until Tuesday, and winding till Wednesday…


…but I still think this is some kind of record for me.  Ten days from the fibre hitting the house to finished yarn!

I have about 190m of somewhat-chunky two ply, though I do want to wash it and see how it settles after that treatment.  I really do like the way the colours have mixed and blended, and the shine on this stuff is luscious.  That'll be the silk and bamboo, then.

My original plan for this yarn was fingerless mitts/gauntlets, but I'm not really sure it'll stand up to the rigours of hand-wear for long.  It has relatively little bounce and I don't think it'll be very abrasion resistant.  Someone at Rampton was trying to persuade me to leave it as singles, and use it for a shawl.  I resisted like crazy, because I already had A Plan, godsdammit, and because I'd already put way-y-y too much twist into the singles for them ever to be stable anyway.  Mind you, I kinda wish I'd thought of that beforehand.

But that's OK, because….


I now have the first delivery from my *other* fibre club, Grafton Fibers!  More on this later, hopefully, but I'm thinking low-twist, softly fulled singles from *this* batt.  And a shawl.

70) Planning the weekend

11am on a Friday morning, and thoughts turn to the weekend ahead…

I have been in nearly-permanent catchup mode since starting my new job (which is going GREAT, btw), and now I'm in serious danger of planning far too much to fit into a mere two days.

Saturday is spinning day; the whole day (well, from 10 till 4, anyway) spent spinning in great company, in Rampton village.  I received the most **glorious** fibre in the post last Saturday, and despite my resolution to get my lace flyer attached to the Ashford for my next bout of spinning, I think I need to tackle this stuff first.  I treated myself to three months' membership of the SweetGeorgia fibre club, and this is the first installment:


It's 50% merino/25% silk/25% bamboo, in fantastically autumnal colours, and I couldn't be more delighted with it.  I think I'm going to spin it fractally, and aim for a bouncy, squishy 2-ply to make fingerless gloves or mitts with.  For me.

I need to attend to the brewing, too; I currently have ale for Christmas 2010 (yes, really!) in two demijohns which needs racking off and/or bottling; wine for my Dad's Christmas present in a primary fermenter, which needs racking off; dandelion wine which probably needs bottling but is currently sitting in a plastic bottle (eww!) in the garage; a kit which was started two weeks ago sitting in a primary fermenter, and which needs checking on if nothing else; and last Monday I picked and washed three pounds of elderberries (from the volunteer tree in our garden!) and mashed them and a pound of sultanas and two pounds of sugar in boiling water.  The yeast for that little lot arrived yesterday, and needs adding.

Then, there's one Pilsner-style kit and the ingredients for my first non-kit beer brew sitting in the kitchen.  Along with a new primary fermenter and my very shiny new mash/boiler tun which arrived yesterday.  Oh – and the crabapples are ripe.  I would love to make wine, and jelly if there's enough fruit, from those, but experience suggests that they bruise easily, and go soft even faster than pears, not to mention being a perfect breeding ground for fruit flies if you give them even the slightest excuse.

I have handspun wool singles sitting in Kilner jars, slowly turning yellow under the influence of elder leaves, and a loom which needs renovating so I can weave the yellow yarn on it.  I have a whole business plan, drawn up in June, which has been roundly ignored ever since I interviewed for this job.

So.  This evening, I plan to check the veg garden for stuff that needs picking, start the elderberry wine, make a cake for tomorrow, possibly blend some fibre, pack for tomorrow's spinning day, cook and eat dinner, and (if I have my sensible head on), catch up with the ironing.

Katarina is still unfinished, and likely to remain so for the weekend; two evenings of concerted knitting effort have resulted in a garter-stitch band that is roughly two inches deep.  I need it to be over twice that, and then I need to finish seaming the sleeves, and, ideally, re-block before she's really finished.  Even if I stay up all night, I'm unlikely to have a wearable garment by tomorrow, and much as I would love to wear it to Rampton tomorrow, it's really not that important.