Saturday, February 16, 2008

Visions of Delight

OK, so I don't post a word for almost 2 weeks and then I jump in and post twice in a day? What's up? Well, I just had too much to say for only one post. In other words, I was too chicken to trust that the computer would hiccup and loose it all if I put it into one long post. I'm no fool...I know what computers are capable of doing to meassages that push the limits :-)

So here are a couple of pictures of my newest project, the Vision of Delight Scarf. This scarf is another in a series of amazing lace designs by a German knitter, designer, and yarn shop owner named Birgit Freyer. Birgit markets her designs under the label Knitting-Delight through her online shop Last fall she decided to organize a Yahoo Group aimed primarily at the German-speaking/European market to teach lace knitting techniques. I found the group in January just as they were about to start on a KAL to knit this large scarf/small lace stole. My timing was perfect!

When I finish a really big project like Mystic Waters, I do like to knit a smaller project. I need the boost that comes from increasing my FO list :-) Vision of Delight was just the right size and provided me the opportunity to try out a popular lace yarn that I had not used yet. I headed over the The Yarn Haven and picked out a beautiful deep turquoise blue shade of Malabrigo Lace yarn. Malabrigo yarns are a single-ply loosely spun, very soft yarn from Uruguay. There is a very large, very vocal fan base for this yarn. Knitters get gushy about how soft and yummy this yarn is and I knew I needed to try it out. It's not an inexpensive yarn at ~$11 for a 50g (470yd) skein, so knitting a large project isn't the most feasible thing for me (although I would save up for one if sufficiently motivated). I bought 2 skeins and brought them home to test out on my still-new swift. I was very glad I had a swift as this yarn tends to stick to itself and it would have been a royal PiTA to wind otherwise.

The VoD pattern calls for laceweight yarn and US 6 or 7 needles to knit a scarf measuring ~17" x 71" I decided to swatch using US 5 needles, knowing that a 6 would be too loose. I was afraid I would need to drop down to a 4, but the 5 looked fine so I proceeded with that. The scarf starts at the center with a provisional cast-on and each of 3 charts is knit out from the center to the each end. It's one of my favorite ways to knit a scarf or stole--and much better than knitting 2 halves from the end to the center, then grafting the 2 sides together. The charts are in large-print and very easy to follow and the techniques required are simple as well. Once I reached the 100 row mark this morning I stopped to take a few pictures. I also learned a few things:

First, what I thought was US 5 (3.75mm needle) ended up being a US 6 (4.0mm) needle after all. that's what I get for storing both needles in the same basket without their packages. The good news is, I like how the fabric looks, so I'm OK. The next discovery was not unexpected--my scarf is much smaller than the published dimensions. At 100 rows completed, mine measures 13" x 13" when gently stretched and pinned (as shown in the photos). I suspected the designer's original and others I've seen knit by other KAL members were knit using fingering wt. yarn rather than a true lacewt. yarn, so I was not surprised to find my scarf was smaller. It doesn't matter so much in the width, but I do like my scarves to be nice and long. I have sketched out a minor modification to the design to add extra length while still keeping true to teh designer's intention. Sp stay tuned to see what should be pretty cool!

1 comment:

Regenia said...

That's a lovely description of Malabrigo Lace, but what about an opinion? I need to know if it's as much a pleasure as the worsted I've been using.

Oh.... and..... part of your Christmas gift need planted soon.... and Sasha moves to Seattle in a week and a half. That shop hop may be just the therapy I need..... hint. hint :P