Capsicumanuum (capsicumanuum) wrote in knitting,

Two FOs, a WIP, and a question about gossamer weight yarn

Both of these are old FOs, but I . . .well no one wants to hear the long saga. Let's say I had "issues" with the "computer" and posting photos and leave it at that.

Pattern: Angela Wrap from Heirloom Knitting.
Yarn: 75g of Jamieson & Smith's 2-ply laceweight (purchased from HK), with a good bit of the last 25g ball left over.
Needles:  Random cheap*** bamboos, US4
Modifications: None
Knitting time: Well, I cast on in mid November, and took photos just before Easter, but there were several long hiatuses while I worked on other projects in there.

I knit this shawl to sell at my church's Christmas auction fundraiser (and before anyone says anything about copyright, I had written permission from the pattern author to sell one shawl for a non-profit fundraiser).  By the time of the fair, however, the shawl was nowhere near done, so I blocked what I had finished -- one complete section with the candleflame pattern and about six inches of the zig-zag pattern -- and hung it on a dowel rod to display, along with photos of the completed shawl from the pattern, and a promise that whoever won the auction would have a finished shawl in time for Easter.   I'm not sure whether the bidders at auction just completely undervalue time and craftsmanship, or if the incomplete state of the shawl was a real dealbreaker, but it sold for less than half what I thought it would go for, and less than a quarter what I thought it was actually worth.  It's a good thing I donated the materials, since its final selling price only barely covered the cost of the yarn and pattern, with less than USD10 left over.

Anyway, I'm proud of it, and the final recipient loved it, and that's what counts.

The shawl was quite simple to knit. Both the candleflame pattern used on the ends, and the zigzag and bead pattern used in the middle section, were easy to memorize.  The edging on the long sides is knitted with the piece, for minimum picking up of stitches.  I did find turning the corners a bit tricky, as it was the first time I've used that skill.  The pattern was very well written, and came printed on high quality glossy paper, with lots of full color photos.  Sharon Miller, the proprietess of Heirloom Knitting, has a keen eye for detail.  The patterns are pricey, but you definitely get your money's worth.

This is a horrible photo of me, but being able to see the cars through the shawl gives you some idea of how fine it is:

And a detail shot:

And more photos are up on flickr.

Pattern: Dove Shawl, also from HK
Yarn:  3 balls Kidsilk Haze
Needles: Random cheap*** needles, Japanese size 9
Modifications: Shortened the last repeat by six rows
Knitting time: I honestly don't remember

This was my commute knitting for the longest time. It lived in my messenger bag and only got worked on in 15 minute increments.  I had originally intended to wear this for my Confirmation in April of 2006 (yes, I was a complete slacker on posting photos), but as I was still binding off  on the bus ride to church, it was not to be. 

This pattern is relatively simple -- I had it memorized after one repeat, and was easily able to work on it while watching tv, listening to the lecture portion of choir practice, etc. etc.  It was also a remarkably quick knit.  The pattern was well written and easy to read.  Like all Sharon's patterns, it came with detailed instructions for the lace cast on, reading knitting charts,  and blocking for those who might be new to lace knitting.

And a detail shot:

The WIP is my first foray into stranded colorwork.

Pattern: <a href="">Medieval Egyptian Socks</a>
Yarn: Gift from my secret pal in SP5 -- the label is in chinese and I can't read it.
Needles: Brittany US 1and 1/2
Modifications: I find the idea of putting the name Allah on my feet horrifying, so I subbed in the word <a href="">baraka</a>, which of course fouled up my stitch count and involved adding a bunch of plain filler stitches between repeats of the word.

I've finished the knitting on one sock, and the foot of the second sock, but have clearly not woven in ends yet, hence why I'm categorizing this as a WIP and not an FO.   It is clear from the photos that I do not yet have the hang of even tension in stranded knitting. I know some of that will block out, but in some places the fabic is puckering enough that I can't see blocking resolving the problem entirely.

I'm wondering if the problem is simply lack of practice, or if the very long floats in this pattern would be difficult even for a skilled knitter.  I would appreciate any advice you folks have for improving my colorwork.

And, finally, my question.  Sharon's Wedding Ring Shawl is next on my list of things to knit.  I've swatched all the cobweb weight yarns she sells through her site, as well as the pashmina Shetland cobweb that Lacis sells.   I would love to swatch more yarns, because given how much time I expect to invest in this shawl, I want to be certain I've picked a yarn I love.  So, any suggestions on vendors other than HK who sell gossamer weight yarn, would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
Tags: finished object, lace, socks, technique - fair isle
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