Friday, 5 March 2010

Dream Scarf

I remember when I was visiting my family last November, I had a knitting session with my Grandma. I had a few questions about some techniques I wanted to ask her, and it's nice to be able to talk knitting with someone, especially when that someone has vast experience and taught you (nearly) all you know. She got out some books to show me, and one of them was an old Mon Tricot book of patterns. I remember looking through there and thinking what a wealth of stuff it held. It's actually sitting on my wish list on Amazon now - I found one for a fiver, and should have snapped it up, as now the only ones available are over £50. Oh well. But that's beside the point.

The point I was leading up to is that the latest project to go on my needles is derived from the pages of that venerable collection, and I couldn't be more chuffed with the progress I'm making. Called Evie's Dream Scarf, it's an intricate piece of knitwork that has proved to be somewhat of a challenge for me, with new techniques to be learned and all the experience I posess needed to see where the next stitch is coming from.

The first challenge, which springs to the forefront immediately when you start on the pattern proper (after doing the garter edging) is the fact that you have to do yarn overs in purl. This is something I'd never encountered before, and was a little put off the first time I saw it in print. After thinking about it though, it makes perfect sense: you just reverse where the yarn is coming from, same as doing a YO in knit. Doing a YO when purling two together was the next challenge, especially since the yarn is a cotton silk blend and doesn't seem to have much give. There were some very tight stitches to be worked there! The third tricky bit was what is called on the pattern a Cross 2 - where you knit the second stitch down, and then the top stitch on the needle (which you would normally work first.) It feels, with my teeny tiny limited experience (of looking at how to cable), exactly like a mini-cable. I've even used my cable needle to help me access the lower stitch easily, again because of the lack of give in the yarn.

One last word about the yarn itself: it's a bit splitty. There are three strands wound together to make the yarn, and they all kind of act as their own individual bit, instead of working together to be one. There are a few places in the work where one or two strands have wandered off on their own, leaving their mate to do all the work of holding things together. Also, the bigger holes you see in the work closer to the needle is because the yarn is being difficult. I'm hoping blocking will sort that out.

Still, I'm loving working on this. I have three skeins of the yarn, but doubt I will use them all - I'll simply knit until I'm happy with the length.

As for updates on my other projects, I've started work on Sidonia again, and have found it as pleasant to work on now as I remember from when I put it down in January. I can't believe I hibernated it for over a month! The cowl, I finished a few days ago, only to find that it doesn't fit at all! It turns out I used the wrong needles: I have several projects in mind for the yarn, and one of them requires 2.75mm needles. My mind translated that into "all the projects for this yarn require 2.75mm needles" and everything went downhill from there. I think the cowl will fit a small child, since they have smaller heads (it won't go over my head) so I'm going to explore that possibility. And the squares blanket? Well, I do a row here and a row there. I may even get a picture of it at some point.

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