When I forecasted that there would be knitting in the next post I expected that it would be red lace, the start of a Maplewing shawl in Angel Hair (baby alpaca, silk, cashmere). That idea went out of the window because there was something not entirely right about the combination of yarn and pattern. Just about all of the shawls I’ve made start off with a few stitches and increase to the border. That means that you can adopt the shawl-as-swatch method and just set off. If it doesn’t work out then there’s not much to rip. This pattern starts with the full number of stitches and then decreases. If you’re starting with a 600 stitch cast on then you better be certain about the yarn and the sizing because there’s less room for fudging. I did not feel the burning passion for it that I should, my inner knitter wouldn’t specify why but poking it a bit and sniffing is never a good sign. If anyone reading this wants to rehome 1100 yards/100g of red laceweight alpaca silk and cashmere for the yarn cost (£11) do drop me a line. I have two.
One of the reasons that the yarn didn’t make the cut was that I’ve keep looking at this little skeinlet. It’s overspun and a bit hard (it’s not often that you get to hear that here) but that’s what samples are there for. If I had more of the fibre then this would have been the front runner for the shawl. As it is I only have 100g and that’s going to give me 800-900 yards which is not enough. If the shawl was an increasing triangle then I’d go for it and just make it a bit smaller but that’s not an option with this pattern. What I have to do is dye more fibre the same and the challenge there is that I can’t get any more of the same colour base fibre. It was a very dark oatmeal, much darker than the normal oatmeal and as I’ve been sat on it forever (it’s the output from another stash dive) there’s little chance of replacing it. It would have been sensible to have checked this before I started and I did, I pulled the bag of wool out, looked at it and remembered that there was “a lot” of it. I dyed all of it, even though there was “a lot” and it wasn’t until some time later that I checked the weight and found that there was all of 100g. Ho hum.
Knitting then. In the absence of the planned big lace project it will have to be socks. Daniel’s socks have been released into the wild and are now missing, presumed taken off and dropped. No doubt they will turn up in time. There was a biggish ball of yarn left over from those so I set off with a provisional cast on to see how far it would go. I’ve never made a pair of socks like this, it’s a method suggested in the Twisted Sisters sock workbook but it’s always struck me as too much messing about. You knit a tube, snip it into two and add heels, toes and cuffs as appropriate. There were four repeats left in the ball so I’ll add the heel one repeat in, separate the first sock after the second repeat and add the toe, undo the cast on and knit up for the cuff. The main reason that I did it this way is that I start off knowing the patterned length and can then balance the contrast colour at the cuff and toe. The other reason for making it like this is that I’ve never done it before and it might turn out to be fun. I have doubts about the level of fun involved in snipping and picking up stitches but we’ll see.
I’m still pulling things out of the back of the yarn drawer, this is a ball of Trekking that I bought for a specific project in February 2007. That was a ripper and the yarn has sat in the drawer ever since. Its time has now come as part of the use it up and move it out regime. It’s interesting that back then I wasn’t willing to knit it for me because it wouldn’t make a matching pair. I’m obviously more relaxed about that these days because these are for me..