Tuesday, August 19, 2008

i has been knitting

Finally, my knitting mojo is back!!! I blame the Olympics, perfect knitting weather.

This is what I've been madly into lately:
Gypsy Swallowtail Shawl
Noro Kureyon Sock Yarn
colourway S180A -- turqouise, orange, gold, pink, red, purple
4mm KP Options on 120cm cord

I started this one with no purpose (and indeed, a few other more pressing WIP's) when I came across the Noro Kureyon Sock in my stash. With a cast on of only 4 stitches, Swallowtail seemed irresistable. I hated the feel of the yarn (but I already knew that) but wasn't prepared for the low quality of the entire ball. My first knot came very suddenly, knitting away on the orange and bam a knot into purple. I was shocked into knitting on without trying to fiddle with the colour changes. Which, when continuous, are awesome to watch and knit, they are very gradual.

I actually knit an additional 5 repeats of the Budding Lace, which added 30 rows. Three rows into the Lily of the Valley Lace, I had a panic attack about running out of yarn (I did not did not did not want to fork out good money on more crap yarn -- in the same gaudy colourway no less), and ripped back to the prescribed 14 repeats. Now that I'm done with the Lily of the Valley Lace, I wish I had kept those rows because there is plenty of yarn left. I'm adding an extra Lily repeat, which makes the shawl look lopsided. Not enough "filler" and too much border.

But I'm sure my niece will love it. She turns 9 next month and I hope the bright colours will make her day. Luckily we're in the same city so she can return it for washings.

Well, I am almost done with the shawl now and the ball had a total of eight knots. A couple were OK, turquoise into turquoise for example. Sometimes you could spit-splice long lengths of adjoining colours together if the yarn was thin enough at that point. This is definitely not yarn for the anal knitter! It drove me up the wall a few times but I kept knitting whatever surprise came up. Some of the colour changes were very very strange, I wondered if the yarn was even from the same lot.

I wouldn't use this yarn for socks. Well not socks for me, anyway. I don't mind the hand-washing thing, but I wear my socks and I don't think even with kid-glove treatment they would wear very well. I cringe at the prospect of coming upon a really thin spot on a sole stitch. Never mind all those knots!

Now I'm on a gradual-colour-change kick and am bringing in a small stock of Kauni yarn into Australia! These are jumbo 160-170g balls and I'm so eager to see how the colour changes compare. Not to mention quality. I wanted so badly for Noro to be a great yarn (because it is beautiful to look at!), but it just wasn't good yarn. I have high hopes for the Kauni!

Check out these luscious Kauni projects on Ravelry:
Ravelry -- Kauni projects

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Gone: Green and Gold on CASBAH 120g

I've got three skeins left of a special self-striping yarn I created for some Olympic knitting. Dyed on the sinfully luxurious CASBAH (from Hand Maiden). Each "skein" consists of approx 100g self-striping bright Green and Gold, and approx 23g in a solid, darker heritage green to get your socks Heeled and Toe'd. Or your scarf Trimmed or Fringed? I'm knitting finger-up fingerless gloves, elbow length.

The stripes range in width from one to three rows, depending on what you're knitting, of course. I swatched a 48 stitch tube on 3.00mm needles, magic loop (oh Addi LACE how I love thee!):

Dyeing this yarn was, shall we say, a learning experience all the way. I ended up with a large skein (too large for the width of the stripes I was doing). Unwinding it was a nightmare, so the self-striping yarn was handled quite a bit.

Anyway, the sets are $38 including Express Postage. The first three people to email me at irene at jollyjumbuck dot net shall have it.

Yarn details: CASBAH by Hand Maiden 80% Superwash Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon28st/10cm over 2.50-3.00mm needles

Countdown five days to the Olympics!

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