I Dream of Knitting
I know I joke that I dream about knitting, and I know that whenever I have a knitting conundrum all I need to do is sleep on it, the answer will come to me when I wake up in the morning. Always works. But DH tells me that three nights ago when he rolled over in the middle of the night, I gave him a very enthusiastic and heartfelt, 'Thank you!' Of course, this was all news to me. And he decided to tell the story when we were out to dinner with friends. Anyway, when he asked me what I was thanking him for, thinking I was perhaps grateful he was not sleeping on his back and therefore might snore less (as though anything less than a Sherman tank rolling through the room is going to disturb my rest) I replied, 'The knitting pattern!' Of course, we all had a good laugh about that. But I found myself, just before the alarm went off yesterday morning, explaining to someone how to do an afterthought heel in a pair of socks. So I guess I really DO dream about knitting more than I thought. This is somewhat scary. No naked young men larking about in my dreams waving cans of whipped cream. Oh, no! I dream about yarn and teaching strangers what to do with it.
Of course the big thing in the online knitting world right now is the Mystery Stole 3, which is due to start this coming Friday. I signed up on the first day and was person #11, by the time I was finished signing up and registering, there were 117 people. As of today there were over 3000! And another week to go yet before she closes the group to new members. I'm thinking we will hit pretty close to the record for Knitting Olympics, which was 4000. You think knitting isn't big? You just aren't paying attention. I just read that the single biggest group of bloggers are knitters. We can take over the world! Maybe I need to make a World Domination Through Yarn button. Our slogan can be, Make Socks, Not War. Hmmm...
So just over a week ago I received my yarn for this project - a cake of Zephyr lace yarn in charcoal grey - from Sarah's Yarns. Of the few things we DO know about the project right now, it seems that black or white yarn would be the ideal with this year's theme. Failing those, off-whites, greys, etc would do. White just seems too... well, not me. Black is too limited in my real life. Charcoal grey should be just right.
Right away I sat myself down and worked on my swatch. As Melanie, the MS3 Goddess, explained, this is to get an idea for the kind of fabric we like best, not for gauge. I worked my swatch in three repeats each of the lace pattern, starting with size US 5 needles, then up to 4s, then finishing with 3s. In photography we used to call that bracketing. Heck, maybe they still do. I did put a tiny row of purls in between the needle changes, but you can't see that here. The fabric with the 3s seems the best to me, it gives the greatest contrast between solid fabric and yo's. But... Melanie tells us that her finished shawl using size 4s measures out to a 20" width. I sure would like mine to be about 4 - 5 inches wider, and yet she tells us that adding width is not one of our options, other than by changing needle sizes. We can make it longer, but not wider. And that we don't need to add a border to the shawl. Hmmm... I might just opt for a border anyway. I have over 1200 yds of yarn, and the shawl took Melanie about 780 yds. It's a real Mystery, for heaven's sake!
At any rate, here is my swatch while blocking. God, I love my blocking wires! Anyone who tries to block anything without them is really missing out.
For anyone not familiar with this yarn, it is a blend of wool and silk, and has gorgeous luster and drape. This is going to make one delicious shawl, and will probably be my default lace yarn of choice from now on. Here are the beads I'll be using with the shawl...
I couldn't resist blocking the first half so that I could see what the fabric would be like, and it is just so lovely. Very floaty and light, ethereal. On the other half I am just about to start the second set of paisleys down the sides, so I am going along nicely.
So, blog, that is all for now. I might take a Scheherazade break this afternoon and make some felted baby booties for my Dr., who is about to have a baby boy.