Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Lace knitting with raw silk

I was getting bored of the knitting I had on the needles. It was all blue. My bag was full of blue yarn. The Concerto is on needles I hate, and the armwarmers are made from wool, which I hate knitting with for long stretches at a time. I wanted something pretty and soft which I could knit. So I thought, I've got this soft yarn, tons of it in my stash, I'll just find something. Turns out, I don't have as much of it as I thought - not as soft and lovely as I wanted, anyway. I had some angora merino though which just fit the bill. I was going to make a shawl with it, but decided the shawl was a little more advanced than I wanted to try, the yarn wasn't right for it, and guess what? The yarn was blue. But I was set on a shawl, and I have a lot in my queue, so I went through them. I settled on Sidonia, because it was easy, because I had the right needles, and enough laceweight yarn to make it. And then I realised that the laceweight yarn I had in quantity is, you guessed it, blue. But it's raw silk, and a different texture to what I'm working on otherwise, and I had my heart set on the Sidonia by this point. So I've started a new project, and done 53 rows on it already. (Well, the first row was one stitch.)

The yarn is... tricky. I've put it on a plastic circular needle, which works pretty well. People say that silk slides off needles, and that it doesn't have much give. I've not found the former (maybe because it's raw and has different thicknesses and stuff?) but the latter is certainly true. I even broke it trying to cast on the first time (I started with a different shawl, but decided against it.) It seems very fragile, and I'm afraid it's going to be one of those things where I hang it on a hanger in a display case and never let anyone wear it for fear it will fall apart.It's already broken once in the knitted part, and I'm hoping it's not noticeable or will enlarge. I don't know how to fix something like that.

Still, I'll see how it goes and hope for the best. I have three balls of the stuff, and really don't know what I'd do with it all if it's too fragile to knit with. It does make a lovely lace though.

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