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Posts Tagged ‘nancy bush’

Recently I’ve been doing some sample knitting for a yarn-dyeing friend. She sent me three different kinds of lace yarns which I’m using to knit up some patterns I’ve been eyeing for quite some time.

Kuusk cowl

The first project I did was the Kuusk cowl, which was published in Knitty last year. I knit it up in Amanda (Ravelry link) which is a 100% merino lace yarn from Rain’s Obsessive Stitchery. I seem to recall that the yarn is superwash, not that it really matters for lace. When are you ever going to throw a lace shawl in the washing machine? (If you do, please don’t tell me. I don’t want to hear about it.) The yarn is roughly the same weight as Zephyr and a bit springier, so it was very nice on my hands. Nice enough that I knit the whole cowl up in one day. Just a nice, quick little project.

The Kuusk pattern is knit in the round and has nupps. I’ve knit many, many nupps prior to this, but not in the round. I can’t say I enjoyed closing the nupps from the knit side. They don’t look as neat to me and didn’t plump up as nicely as they usually do. If I re-knit this pattern I’ll either sub out the nupps for some beads or simply leave them out altogether.

Can you see the nupps? Nope, I can't, either. I promise they're there.

The second project I knit up with Rain’s yarn was the Triinu scarf, from Nancy Bush’s Knitted Lace of Estonia. This is the fourth project I’ve knit from that book. I can see myself doing everything in in eventually because the patterns are so nice. Nothing super complicated, just nice, well-written patterns that tend to be easy to memorize. The big lace scarves are possibly a little too big and airy to use as a conventional keep-the-weather out scarves, but they are just right for a dressy stole or for pinning over a blouse on a cool day.

I knit the Triinu in Eleanor yarn, from the same shop that I linked to above. This yarn has just a little bit of sparkle. In the skein it looked too sparkly to me (I’m not wild about bling in general) but once it was knit up the sparkle toned down and was just right. Everyone that sees it loves it. The silver fibers didn’t make the yarn scratchy or hard to work with.

The third yarn Rain sent me is called “Marie” and is a different animal altogether. It’s an alpaca/silk/cashmere blend and while I knew in my head that it would feel differently than the all-wool or wool/silk blends, my fingers kinda forgot about just how slippery alpaca could be. This yarn blooms a bit after washing and blocks well, and I’m super excited about the project I’m using it for: Rhodion, from last year’s fall issue of Knitty. I’ve knit two other fabulous patterns by Elizabeth Freeman and  been wanting to knit this one since the day it was published. The lace-and-cables are absolute magic. They are also absolutely no fun at all to pick out if I make a mistake, so yeah, I’ll be staying out of the beer while I’m working on this one!

Rhodion swatch.

The photo I’ve posted is of my Rhodion swatch (yes, I swatch my lace, and you should too). The cables look like little double helixes before blocking, and after the block relaxed a bit the swatch retained a nice three-dimensional texture. The really cool thing about this swatch is that I cast it on right in the middle, with a provisional crochet-chain cast on. I knit two repeats of the cable pattern, cast off, turned around and picked up from the provisional cast on, and knit two more repeats. I love everything about this swatch: the helixes, the texture, and how the subtle color changes work with the whole thing. I’m working on the shawl now and every time I pick it up, I’m excited to work on it.

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Is this my fourth post for the year? Yep, I’ve been busy.

Happily, not to busy to knit.

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This is the South Seas Stole. I very much enjoyed the interesting stitch patterns DSCN1091in this project, although ultimately I wasn’t happy with how they displayed when I blocked the shawl. Overall, however, the shawl turned out very nicely – as you can see from the photos, it is extremely light, even gauzy.

 

The yarn I used was wonderful!It is called “Love Potion No. 3” and it was hand-DSCN1090dyed by this lady. The color is vibrant, and the yarn was a dream to work with, despite the fine gauge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSCN1113 The second shawl is Miralda’s Triangular Shawl, from the book Knitted Lace of Estonia. I usually enjoy bobbles and other textured stitches, but not so much in this shawl. I think that the root of my dissatisfaction stems from the yarn, which is a silk and wool blend from Blackberry Ridge. At this point, I am accustomed to working with very fine and smooth lace yarns. Lately I’ve been working with cobweb and gossamer weights almost exclusively. The Blackberry Ridge yarn was a DSCN1115heavier laceweight, almost up into the fingering weight range, and had a springy, sticky feel. Don’t mistake me – it is very nice yarn. It’s just not the type of yarn that I enjoy working with.

 

 

 

 

It’s nice to have two shawls to show off! Now, back to physics and calculus for me…

 

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