Knitting and London life. Not necessarily in that order.
Saturday, June 27
I've long avoided 'official' lace patterns because I'm not sure I would really wear a shawl or shrug, plus I have an inbuilt fear of lace - although I have knitted several pairs of socks and other garments with sprinklings of lace and am not unfamiliar with the various devices and stitches that make it up.
But I decided a couple of weeks ago that 2009 should be the year that I finally try something truly lacey, and my recent Kidsilk Haze obsession continues, so I picked out something and cast on. I am not knitting in Kidsilk Haze, however, I am knitting in Drops Kidsilk, the cheaper version imported by Scandinavian Knitting Design. Drops seem to do a lot of similar yarns to Rowan, but generally about 25% cheaper - in this case it is £5.15 for a 25g ball as opposed to around £7 for the Rowan equivalent and so far I have not noticed any difference in quality. (I just found my first knot too, so it seems they are taking imitation very seriously, warts and all!). Drops has an excellent range of colours too, the only problem I find being that the colour charts on the SKD pages are not hugely accurate.
Having tried to photograph my knitting for the blog and having utterly failed to take a photo that gives any vague approximation of the colour, I can see what they are up against! That being said, Birgitte and Bruce have proved very willing to try and describe the colours over the phone, and of course I'm sure you can always exchange the yarn if it does not suit.
For your info, I would describe the colour of the yarn I'm knitting with as a kind of 'mushroom' - although that would be the colour of the cap, not the gills, and the colour of the cap when the mushroom is slightly past its best. Which is not the most snappy of decriptions!
The pattern is also a Drops pattern; 108-8. Drops has hundreds of free patterns (also available through the SKD website - I like the fact that they are linked directly the yarn type so that you can just click through and get dozens of choices). Do be warned though, there is a lot of dross in there too - be prepared to search through some scarey 1980s style geometric designs and see past the batwing sweaters. The shawl I am knitting
The jumper I will never knit
Some of these patterns have been criticised for the rather jumbled way they are written - perhaps something is lost in translation from the original? In fact the last one that I used, the Felted Slippers in the bulky Eskimo yarn - I followed a version that had been rewritten by a Raveler to make it easier. This time I am on my own, but after reading and rereading it several times, I DID finally work out what I'm supposed to be doing and it HAS proved to be fairly simple so far. However I did find a lack of clarity in the pattern, and some repetition in the way it was worded which I found confusing. If you are a beginner or inexperienced knitter, you may need some help to decipher these patterns.
So far so good with the shawl, it is proving addictive and I'm loving seeing the pattern emerge. But I'm hating the rows getting longer each time - maybe next time I will do one that starts on the longest side and decreases, although it may be difficult to motivate myself for a pattern that starts 'CO 824 st' or whatever!