Friday, November 21, 2008

Grape juice and lavender yarn

I'm sick...


and a very nice friend from Ravelry sent me a care package all the way from Norway! It was full of tea and this beautiful lavender lace weight alpaca, which is keeping me happy on the couch trying out patterns for a lacey scarf... She also sent a lovely heart-shaped Norwegian potato (I love potatoes!), but I can't show it to you because it is long gone (tucked away underneath a cosy blanket of butter and cream...)Yum.

and I have cosy company on the couch:


My friend Marky in Australia surprised me with a HUGE box last week too - a kind of serendipitous pre-holiday box. It deserves a lot of photos and its own post, but as you can see, I'm only showing pictures that I can take without actually getting up from under the quilts. But this wonderful box had a 1920 tool for mending knitted silk stockings, several 1920's to 1940's pattern booklets (one had a tea cloth with filet crochet teapots and teacups on it!), and a yarn for five projects!

...back to resting, now, but with happy thanks for such thoughtful friends...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Goodnight Moon....

The Golden Moon Shawl


a version of the Shetland Triangle by Evelyn Clark, from Wrap Style...

Yarn: Luscious Silk (sport weight; 360 yards) from Blue Moon Fiber Arts in colourway: Oregon Red Clover Honey; 1 skein

Needles: Size US 9 Addi Lace circular (32")


This pattern is so incredibly easy and fast. Just like last time, this shawl took less than 2 weeks from start to finish - and I didn't have all that much knitting time! I used a size 9 needle, when the pattern calls for a 6, because this is a sport weight yarn and the pattern is written for laceweight. The size was just right!

I did end up omitting one entire repeat of the body lace chart (I think it's 14 rows, actually) as well as the last two rows of the edging chart (I went strait to the final two rows which are in the book, not in the chart). Even so, it is just the way I would have hoped.

The yarn is very delicate. I treated it very gently, but still got a slight 'halo' or 'blooms' and a couple of pills. I'm hoping they won't show too much after blocking smooths everything out...

and here is a final shot - it's dark on the colour, but you can really see the stitch pattern.


This was actually a blast to knit. I can't wait to make the next one!

Monday, November 3, 2008


Yesterday, I got an a frantic call from a friend to go over to her house for an emergency unscrambling... she had taken her precious bundle of Habu pure raw silk and tried to wind it by looping it around the legs of her coffee table and pulling on the end. She thought that it would slide smoothly around and around the table while she wound it on her spooler - kind of using the coffee table like a swift, but a swift that doesn't turn around...

Okay! This sounds like a job for.....UnravelingSophia!! Hey - that name's not just for show, you know! I even have a superhero cape!

This is what I found when I arrived:


Ah, the hubris of humans when encountering the natural silks! How we love to think we've subdued the strands with our spinning and our natural dyes. Not so. These threads - these teeny tiny smaller-than-laceweight threads - were so full of sproingy static electricity that they kept leaping off my fingers and back into the tangled mass. They were wiley, those threads!

Then the bright idea part of brain decided to send me a message - Use the power of the (water) Force! it said. I asked my friend for her laundry water bottle and spritzed the silk. Immediately, it snapped to attention and obeyed. Ah, how satisfying!


Unfortunately, the tangled threads were too intertwined to find any semblance of a skein so I couldn't wind it from my own swift. I had to untangle, wind, untangle, wind, untangle, wind a little tiny bit at a time.

Once I had a hand-wound ball from the mess, I threaded the end on to the ball-winder, and made a nice center-pull ball. This was more to keep the threads from re-tangling than anything else. With a yarn this apt to escape its bounds, I recommended that she really unwind it from the outside when she actually knitted with it. And, I cut off the toe from a pair of her nylon stockings and slipped this over the now nicely-behaved ball with the end sticking out... Nice and orderly...


My job here was done and it was time for me to fade away into the sunset... "Who was that masked woman? I wanted to thank her!" (special prize for anyone who correctly identifies where that pseudo-quote came from!)

Really, this took hours and hours and was one of the most arduous yarn-untanglings I've ever attempted. There were several times when I thought I'd never succeed, and never get to the end of it! I love the Habu, but it needs to be treated, very, very gently.

In other news, my fabulous swap partner from the Vintage Swap on Ravelry sent me (along with lots of other fabulous treats) a skein of midnight Blue Indigo Moon sock yarn!! My first skein ever of this yarn - I love it!