Loose Ends

Loose Ends

the creative impulse gone awry

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

On the needles

As usual, I have lots of things on the needles.  The air is definitely getting that fall feeling and my knitting starts to have that urgency of the changing seasons.  There are woolens for the girls to make, samples for the shop -- I'm spending a lot of quality time with yarn these days.  It's lovely!

First the not so successful.  My little Taiyo sock jacket is on hold for a little while.  I'm having gauge issues, and I think this may not be long enough for my liking... which means some pattern adjustments that will take a little more brain power than I have available to me at the moment.  I love the Taiyo sock -- knitting it is pleasant and I'm happy with the color I picked... I've been needing to change the contrast ball constantly as the colors kept on blending too well, but it doesn't bother me too much.  I like the fabric, so instead of changing needle sizes I think I'll do the larger size and hope it works better. This is supposed to be the entire left front and it's so wee! 

 I'll frog it eventually and try again, but I decided to change projects while I mulled that one over.

Of course, it was still in the 80s during the day when I started this, and then I had to re-start it twice... (the first time it was late and I screwed up my ribbing, and the second I thought the gold stripes were too wide and the whole sweater was looking too big)  I'm loving it now, it's knit with a yarn that we don't carry anymore - Sirdar Flirt.  Any bamboo rayon blend will give you similar results.  For some reason, our customers seem to like our pure rayons better so we put a whole bunch of these on sale and I had to skim a few off the top of the basket before our customers got a chance.  I actually took all of the white and gold of this yarn last summer, and it has languished in my stash waiting for that perfect stripey sweater.  I'm liking this so far - it's a style I'm coming to appreciate and the knitting is easy and mindless.  Of course, that is second priority to the other nicely mindless project I'm working on for the shop.

We've gotten an insane amount of yarn in the past couple of days (1 ton yesterday alone) and some samples require whipping up.  I spent most of my energy during the fall buying sessions (which we do in late spring) concentrating on spicing up our Hand Wash section.  Naomi is a great lover of the machine washable yarns and because she spends more time physically in the shop our selection of machine washables has definitely improved and expanded.  Our hand wash section had a lot of work horse yarns but it was looking so homogenous to me that I wanted to inject some variety - different textures, fibers, some multis - really give the wall a boost.  You may have noticed during our sale this spring that we closed out a lot of the solid light-worsteds to make space for yarns that really stand out on their own.   I've been spending a lot of time rearranging the hand wash wall and just loving our decisions.  It was difficult to decide which sample to knit first!  In the end I went with the yarn I fell for first... Lang Alpaca Degradé.

It is so soft and fluffy and nearly weightless.  Just look at it:

 I knew I wanted something right next to the skin, something squishy, and easy to knit.  So I went for a wingspan

 I have to say that I now understand why everyone loves this pattern.  Who doesn't love mindless patterns where the rows keep getting shorter and each triangle gives you a nice sense of accomplishment just encouraging you to move on to the next.  It's delightful and the yarn with it's gentle ombré shading is beautiful.  I love it.  I also think this yarn would be stunning in the weft of a woven project because it's so light and soft.  I'm considering pairing it with some tosh sock on Naomi's 18" rigid heddle loom for a lighter than air, warmer than you would think, shawl.  There is a pink/red/orange/black color combo that is just calling to me...

Of course, we have gotten a few more yarns than just the Alpaca Degradé, so that may have to wait until a few other samples have been finished.  And I do have a couple of little girls who need sweaters and tights and socks and mittens and hats for the upcoming winter.  I've wound a ball of insane green malabrigo twist to start a tiny tea leaves for Clara - luckily, Zoë's still fits, but that girl needs some tights!  Really, it never ends -- which is a good thing!

No comments: