Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Heck of an old Yarn Stash (Can you carbon date your yarn like me?)

I went to Lacis today to pick up additional Shetland Cobweb weight yarn. This is not to say that I have made a choice as to what yarn I will use for the shawl, but it's a safe bet I will eventually use it. When I made my swatch, it was actually quite pleasant to knit with. I couldn't find it initially as I was looking for pre-wound balls. The sales clerk looked at me oddly and produced skeins. "Oh!" I said stupidly. "You used to sell them pre-wound." She demurred, "Not that I recall." As you can see from previous pictures, they did, but it was so darned long ago when I squirreled these balls away, that no one can remember ever carrying them in this form. I think I obtained these in the 1980's because that's when I picked up a copy of, "The Art of Shetland Lace" by Sarah Don. I had saved that wool because it was rather difficult to come by in those days and even though I was not ready to knit that small yet, I knew I'd kick myself if I didn't get them. It's still not easy to obtain but I need not have worried. It's still the same beautiful product, but now I have to wind it myself! Talk about an "Old" stash. While I was there, I picked up Inox circular needles in 2mm and 1.5 mm. The points are nice and thin and the grey coated metal gives some drag to the yarn. I don't know yet if it will be "too much" drag once there are hundreds of stitches on the needles but at least I have an additional option. I also picked up a pair of rosewood straight needles "14" in US 0 (still not a "true" US 0 but maybe that's just not possible). I will also give these a try for the center of the shawl.When I first learned to knit, I did it exclusively on straight needles. It's only later in life that I went to circulars to spare the weight of work in my hands. However, there is little to speak of in terms of weight in this shawl so maybe it would be a nice change of pace.

I knit up a sample of the Silk. Let's just say it was not a pleasure. See all three samples above. My skin is somewhat dry. I don't take the best care of it. It gets even drier when I'm spinning as I spin prepared fibers rather than "in the grease". Dry skin is a distinct hazard with the silk as it caught on my hands incessantly. It was quite maddening! That aspect was worse than the fact that it was also difficult to see it on the needles. Maybe someday I will work my way down to it, or I may even spin a single to ply with it to make a nice laceweight for a different project. It will not, however, be considered for the Wedding Ring shawl. I will now be starting a larger test swatch to learn the center panel pattern on. Unlike Marilyn at "The Wedding Ring Chronicles", I have chosen the original center rather than the "alternate". Since it's only a swatch, I will use the Susan Bates Aluminum in Aqua, US 0. I have made copies of the pattern so I will not "ruin" my original. My vision is crap, so I will also be making an effort to enlarge the patterns so I can read them better.

Good Knitting!


Jason said...

I know you went through all that trouble winding up the silk. But I really like the Shetland Cobweb swatch. :-)

Jane said...


Consider your vote counted! I have to say, of the 3 types, the Shetland is the best. Now only the Cashmere might be a contender,and I have to wait for that to be mailed to me. I'm casting on a sample of the center pattern this evening, but I'm so tired that I keep messing up. I may have to defer it until I'm awake and knit something more simple.:-)

alice said...

Hi, Jane--

Are you a member of the Heirloom Knitting Yahoo group? It's a pretty good resource for working with Sharon Miller's patterns.

Heirloom Knitting has also just come out with a cashmere/silk blend gossamer yarn that she also recommends for the Wedding Ring Shawl. Naturally, I had to order a bit.... :)

Jane said...

Dear Alice,

I did also look at that cashmere/silk belend gossamer yarn but I want to complete at least one of Sharon Miller's shawls before I can justify buying yet more yarn! If I get through the center pannel, I think it will be my reward. Great incentive! Ditto for joining the Heirloom Knitting Yahoo group. I knew it exsisted, but I feel like I should try to "earn my stripes" before I intrude. The knitting I've done before really doesn't qualify as none of the lace was ever knit on needles less than US 3!

Thank you for posting your comments though! I appreciate the input! Good luck with the yummy cashmere/silk blend!