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Ambivalent Knitting Project - Qualified Perceptions
firstfrost
firstfrost
Ambivalent Knitting Project
I decided that I don't like having to dash around in a hurry to figure out what new project to start on my way to somewhere that I meant to bring my knitting, so I've started three projects:
  • The Very Portable Project, a red sock (well, two red socks), with the same mesh pattern as the Blue Stockings for desireearmfeldt
  • The Somewhat Portable Project, a twisted-stripes scarf for shumashi (it involves six balls of yarn, so it's a larger tote bag, but it's mindless enough to knit during a run or while watching TV elsewhere).
  • The Not Portable Project, the Swan Lake shawl.
It's the last one that I'm ambivalent about. I really love the pattern, which has one side geometric and one side feathery-wing (though that part really sounds more like the Six Swan Princes story, with the prince who has one swan wing and one arm). And I've had this fine laceweight/cobweb yarn for years, since I saw it at Woolcott after I had had such trouble finding laceweight yarn for the Rose of England tablecloths (Patternworks assured me that the Cotton Fine replacement was just as good as Sea Island Cotton, but in retrospect, I think they were confused.) Who knew that in this brave new future, the Internet would supply such an amazing variety of yarn?

Unfortunately, I am a little suspicious that it may be too cobwebby. Here's my first draft (black background), on size 4 needles, and my second draft (red background), on size 3. There are beads along the edge, but they're tough to see.
The lace on the size 4s is really too loose; with the size 3s, you can see the pattern (mostly), but I worry that it's still too open. Plus, the yarn is very slippery, so it will be very prone to snagging and pulling out a big loop. I've always wanted to make something in cobweb lace - it'd be nearly weightless, and one could do the trick of pulling the whole thing through a ring. But "I've always thought it would be cool to make one of these" is not the same thing as "this would be a good final result."

(Plus, my theory was that of my three lace projects shawls, this would be the one for desireearmfeldt; tallou got the Hanami stole, and I wore the Pacific Islands to rifmeister's prom party. (Both of those are "laceweight" rather than "cobweb", as was the recent Lyra for twe and you can see that even blocked out, the non-hole parts of the fabric is a little more filled in.) Where was I going with this thought? Oh, right, I also suspect that Andrea may appreciate "adds a layer of warmth" more than "weightless gossamer.")

Dither dither.

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Current Mood: confused confused

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Comments
desireearmfeldt From: desireearmfeldt Date: November 25th, 2009 03:39 pm (UTC) (Link)

The pebble considers voting :)

I agree that if you're making it for fun and it's not fun, you perhaps shouldn't bother. :) (Or at least, that's how I interpret your ambivalence. Not sure if the not-fun is frustrating-to-make or fear-it-won't-come-out-well, but either way the principle holds, I think.)

As far as whether it would work for me: I think the whole one-wing concept is totally cool (though you're right, it's more like the swan princes, not that i've actually seen Swan Lake or remember much about its story). And I think lacy shawls are for prettiness rather than warmth (fuzzy wooly shawls with no holes in the pattern are for warmth. Thanks to my mother, I have a lifetime supply of those. :) ). On the other hand, my low dex and tendency to snag things on other things may mean I'm not cleared for wearing the sort of gossamer you describe. :)
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: November 25th, 2009 04:37 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: The pebble considers voting :)

Yup, you get more votes than other people do. :) The ambivalence isn't yet that it isn't fun (though if I end up snagging it on the tote bag zipper a lot, I may change my mind there, at which point I will give up on it), it's that I am worried that it will not be as pretty as it would be if it was in a different yarn. But I also don't trust my ability to judge based on a teeny sample (since lace pretty much always looks ugly until it's finished and blocked).

Still, if if you think it's likely to be a Worthy Project, I can always give you a warranty that if it gets snagged to death on things, I'll make a different thing to replace it. :)
desireearmfeldt From: desireearmfeldt Date: November 25th, 2009 05:05 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: The pebble considers voting :)

Well, I'm perpetually mystified by the Miracle Of Blocking... :)

To my eye, the picture on the red background looks very pretty in small-size, and more like lots-of-hole-with-not-so-much-yarn in closeup. I'm not sure what that says about the final product...perhaps it may be best viewed from some distance? :)
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: November 25th, 2009 08:01 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: The pebble considers voting :)

Yeah, that's normal. :) Here's an example of the Aeolian shawl that greyautumnrain mentions below, in white - it's a slightly heavier yarn, but the needles are also larger, so it's similar scale.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/8447160@N07/3657409790/in/photostream/

Compare the far-away and closeup; once you get into real closeup, it just looks like loops and holes.
(Of course, when making it, it's always close up, which is probably why I'm fussing.)
mathhobbit From: mathhobbit Date: November 25th, 2009 03:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oooh, and there's a variant without the wing! I hate short rows anyway. :)

What is the yarn you're using made of? I'm wondering if it's possible to make a warm shawl without having itchy animal fibers in it.
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: November 25th, 2009 04:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is 60% silk 40% wool, I think, though I think it would have a very hard time being itchy (or very warm...). The Pacific Islands stole is all-silk, and there are a lot of cotton laceweights out there too now.
greyautumnrain From: greyautumnrain Date: November 25th, 2009 04:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
I totally understand about the super light stuff. I have discovered that I really don't like working with even lace weight stuff, much less something lighter, and I really don't like lace that is very open. This would be why my lace weight Juno Regina has been on the needles for over a year, which is a long time for me. I love the color, and I'm loving the product as it gets finished, but I am not loving working with lace weight yarn on size 0 needles. Sadly, I only discovered this fact after I purchased a whole bunch of lace weight yarn. Hey, if you find any of the lace weight in my stash appealing, I'd be happy to trade away just about any of it except the Aqua over Silver or Sand over Grey Green Sundara. Actually, I probably be willing to just give you any of the knit picks stuff you had a use for.
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: November 25th, 2009 04:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, now I'm imagining a lace shawl for mjperson in Astrophysicist! :) I bet he wouldn't wear it, though.

The honeyed hibiscus is pretty - I'd be willing to trade for that! Or, you could do the trick twe did, and loan me yarn to make something in it that you wanted (since I enjoy knitting lace more than I actually *need* a lot of lace...)
mathhobbit From: mathhobbit Date: November 25th, 2009 04:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Maybe an astrophysicist ascot?
desireearmfeldt From: desireearmfeldt Date: November 25th, 2009 05:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Or a vest!
greyautumnrain From: greyautumnrain Date: November 25th, 2009 05:06 pm (UTC) (Link)

Tempting Offer

Wow, if you're willing to turn my silk lace into finished product for me, that is a totally tempting offer, since I have the opposite problem of having a lot more use for lace than I get pleasure in knitting it. In particular, large silk shawls like say the super-large size of Aeolian would be of use to me. If you want to do that with any of my stashed silk lace, just grab the skein(s) some Tuesday. My only parameters on that is that larger is better and both triangles and wide rectangles work for me.
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: November 25th, 2009 06:12 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Tempting Offer

I just put the Aeolian on the list of things I want to make - I'd love to do that! (It looks like one Sundara lace skein is just enough for the large, but it looks pretty close. On the other hand, there's an alternate edging that uses a bit less, which would definitely fit in one skein, so careful weighing should be able to make it work out either way.)
nuclearpolymer From: nuclearpolymer Date: November 25th, 2009 05:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Would it be okay to mount the very lacey item onto a sort of fabric lining so that the finished item ends up being a bit less likely to snag?
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: November 25th, 2009 06:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Knit lace is very very stretchy, not much at all like woven fabric, so I don't think it would work very well. Sort of like trying to line a pair of nylon stockings with fabric. :)
nuclearpolymer From: nuclearpolymer Date: November 25th, 2009 09:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hee hee. Now I'm imagining lining a lace item with nylon stockings.
From: bakedweasels Date: November 25th, 2009 07:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've always thought it would be cool to make one of those.
twe From: twe Date: November 26th, 2009 12:03 am (UTC) (Link)
I agree that the first draft is so open that the pattern pretty much gets lost, but I think the second draft is working better.
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