Saturday, December 29, 2007

Stash Enhancement and the International Shawl (4 blind women and an elephant)











Not that I need more yarn in my stash, but sometimes you just have to break down and give in to the need to have your very own version of a "Lace Yarn Store" in your home in order to adequately "Shop" from your stash for projects that catch your fancy. Other times, people just feed your addiction without realizing that you are a yarn/fiber junkie. The lovely Alpaca with a Twist "Fino" is yarn that was given to me by Millie. She let me have it when she realized she did not really fancy it for the project she had in mind. I love it and it is a great stash addition since I don't have that much in black. The Whisper is a nice merino lace weight I got at ImagiKnit in San Francisco while waiting for a friend to get a pattern. Those LYS are lethal to the pocketbook because there is no such thing as "just looking". Yes, I know it's variegated. I'm thinking something very simple to make best use of the colors shifting. Something as a break to my other projects. The cone of yarn is from ColourMart and is a 3/45 Cashmere/Silk. The color is "Japanese Maple" and it's the perfect shade of red. I just bid on E-Bay for a Niebling pattern that I want to knit in this.

Last, but not least, I got a message on Ravelry from Queer Joe asking if I had ever considered knitting with yarn from Black Bunny. Well, of course I had but had never been fortunate enough to get my hands on any of her lace weight yarns. She is consistently sold-out on her Etsy site and she also never had quite enough yardage for me in a single color-way. Joe, being the smart man he is, suggested I place an order for the color/fiber content and yardage I wanted. It was really easy and Carol at Black Bunny graciously dyed me 2 skeins of superfine alpaca in "Teal" 2,480 yds/8 ounces/skein. I am in heaven! She has such a lovely eye for the colors.


So which comes first? Chicken or Egg? When you have the yarn does it inspire you to knit a particular pattern or does the pattern come first? For me, it's more like the stars align and you suddenly have a project. Well folks, that is why I am now knitting the "International Shawl" (working title). This is a concept that was germinated over the holidays by 4 knitters with too much time on their hands :-) The gang consists of fleegle, yorksett, missalicefay and me . I can't recall who started it. It was either fleegle or yorksett, but the idea is that we all knit a shawl using lace patterns from 4 different countries/sources. E-mails flew fast and thick and so far, we sort of agreed to a Niebling center from book 2 of the "Knitted Lace Designs of the Modern Mode" books Naoko Ichida (German or Japanese depending on your view), a band of Myrtle Leaf lace from "Victorian Lace Today" by Jane Sowerby (English/British) and then we get to figure it out from there on our own from perhaps Estonian and Russian lace.


So it is that I took my beautiful Black Bunny superfine alpaca lace weight yarn and started the center for the International shawl. I have a B&W picture of the center from the book and a shot of my progress so far (row 52) I have ordered the Estonian lace book that I don't own and it will be mailed to me very soon. There is a nice blog "Estonian Lace Project" that has samples of the lace from that book knit up so people can see them in case you'd like to take a look. I'm checking out my copy of "The Gossamer Webs Design Collection" by Galina Khmeleva for ideas for the "Russian" lace.


So it's back to juggling projects for the terminally menopausal at Casa de las lacefreak. But then, that's what makes it so much fun :-)


Happy New Years to Everyone!

19 comments:

z's momma said...

I love all the beautiful yarn. I'd been thinking about the japanese maple, but never seem to find it in stock.

And I can't wait to see the progress of your group's international shawl. It will be lovely, I'm sure--given the lace expertise in the group.

Thanks for posting such loveliness.

fleegle said...

I love that Japanese Maple color--I wish I had gotten some when I saw it. Rats.
I love the Fino too--I have some skeins of white, but never actually used the stuff for anything.

Never heard of Black Bunny before. Thanks for the tip! I love Laughing Rat--several times I've asked her for specific colors like pale strawberry ice cream, and she's gotten it right every time. Guess she sees colors the same way I do and her yarn bases are lovely.

We are about at the same place on the center--I am trying to finish the Paton shawl and have been busy figuring out how to integrate a different edging onto it. I have a feeling this will be more trial-and-error than precisely plotted.

Laritza said...

Oh that red! or maple it is just lovely. I guess I better get started on my international one too asap. We'll see what we end up with :D

Opal said...

What yarns! So lovely! And that shawl! What an amazing concept. I can't wait to follow all the different blogs to see how they come along. What a wonderful way to bring in the New Year!

Happy New Year, my dear friend!

Soo said...

Another big YESSSSSS to the red. I'm obsessed with red yarn at the moment and that colour is amazing.

Can't wait to see the International Shawl progress.

Jane said...

Dear z's momma,

Finding a good shade of red is harder than you might think and you can never tell when/if ColourMart will have a particular color in stock. I just was really fortunate. I'm enjoying knitting the International Shawl and I can't wait to see how it ends up looking for everyone too.

Jane said...

Dear fleegle,

That's the thing with ColourMart. They don't always have very many cones of a color so it goes really fast. This red and the one from Yarn Place that you used for your Lyra are really rich. You and I don't enjoy whimpy reds :-)

Jane said...

Dear laritiza,

I agree with fleegle. It's going to be a trial and error kind of a thing for me since I have ordered the Estonian Lace book and have not received it yet. I'm just having fun doing the center. I can't wait to see what we all come up with.

Jane said...

Dear Opal,

You have had some nice stash additions too. I'm looking forward to seeing you knit the Wing of the Moth shawl though all color knitting has been great to see :-)

Jane said...

Dear Soo,

I love a good red too. I just hope I pick a really good pattern to use it on.

LittleBerry said...

the yarns are lovely I especially like the teal one.... the shawl sounds really interesting and with the talent thats working it, I'm eager to see photos...

All the best for 2008

KnitSanity said...

What a wonderful concept for a shawl! It will be interesting to see how it turns out. I checked on the ColourMart site but alas no more Japanese Maple. Also, the Legends shawl is beautiful. The yarn and colour changes give it a really work well.

Jane said...

Dear litleberry,

The teal is really lovely and was a custom order from Black Bunny Fibers. I think it's going to make a very nice shawl and lend interest to the lace. It will be tough to photograph because it's knit in the round and stuff gets bunched up. It may be one of those "Surprise" shawls at tne end. Hope the Holidays have been good for you and that we all have a Happy New Year!

Jane said...

Dear knitsanity,

That Japanese Maple was sold out almost as soon as it showed up at the site. Alas, Colourmart only gets mill-ends so we are dependent on what they get as "left-overs" As for the International Shawl, I think it's great fun as well though I am having a difficult time figuring out what will come after the first two patterns. I'm going to have to swatch a bit to figure it out. I'm glad you liked the Legends stole. I think it came out really well considering it's variegated yarn once again :-)

missalicefaye said...

oh, right--it's January now. Guess I should put the Princess down for a few minutes and get started.... Yours is looking lovely, of course! I think you'll find lots of inspiration in the Estonian lace book, too. :)

Jane said...

Dear missalicefaye,

I know you are having fun with the Princess Shawl so I don't know if you should break your stride to start up on the International Shawl. Still, you could just alternate :-) I can't wait to get my Estonian lace book but a lot of the mail from abroad is likely delayed due to our holidays. I have not done much on Princess since I'm still doing edging ont he Sampler Stole and this project. Nieblings are way too much fun and very distracting!

Hello said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hi Jane,

this is Jasmine..from hellokitty165...i love your work and your patience too.... i should concentrate on lacing from now on...

Jane said...

Dear Jasmine,

Thank you! Glad you enjoy looking at the lace. I hope you enjoy making lace of your own :-)