Monday, March 05, 2007

Tiny knitting

So what else have I been up to? Lots of eensy tiny knitting. I laid out all the shawl patterns I could find for my sister, and finally she ended up choosing the Cobweb Crepe Shawl from Sharon Miller, found in her Heirloom Knitting book. For some reason this doesn't seem to be a very popular pattern, or at least I haven't found much mention of it online. Not sure if that's because it calls for cobweb weight yarn or because it isn't quite as ornate as many of her other patterns. Anyway, I started knitting a wee swatch in the border pattern right away, simply to practice a bit. The picots are a bit fiddly, but it isn't bad to knit up at all. Then I ordered some cobweb weight wool over at KPixie. This stuff was sooo incredibly fine and soft! I started knitting a small diagonal square and then picked up just two corners to work out how to start the wide border.

At this point I was blown away with how ethereal and soft the yarn was. And with how easily it broke. I also noticed that the yarn was awfully deep beige/yellow, which normally wouldn't be any problem but wouldn't go well with my sister's diamond white wedding dress. You know, the whole reason for knitting the thing in the first place. I called my sister, explained that I was worried about the color and gee, while we're at it, is this the kind of yarn you want since I have to order something else anyway? She decided a heavier, stronger yarn would be perfect. I sent off the cobweb swatch anyway, just so she could see how things would look with the pattern. Oh, and made the world's smallest ball of yarn for Arden who loves all things teensy :-) Meanwhile, I searched high and low for actual white laceweight yarn. Just about impossible to find, I'm guessing because bleach would be too damaging on fibers that fine?

In the end, I bought a cone of Jaggerspun Zephyr 2/18 laceweight in white. Once it arrived I saw that it's actually off-white as well, but I think this will end up being perfect. I'll have to play with the size of the center section so the wrap doesn't end up too big, but it should be doable. And the Zephyr knits up so nicely! The silk really gives it strength, too - enough that I can't break the yarn by hand without a lot of work. I started knitting a much larger swatch (so large that Dan assumed I was knitting the actual shawl) so I could try out picking up the border on all sides and working on circulars. Not bad at all. I'll place the stitches on a holder for now and use it to practice working the border later. Now if I could only think of something useful to do with it later! Might need to make up a pillow or something.

Still not sure if this off-white will get the all clear from my sister. I sent another swatch off and am waiting to hear back from her. She's not extremely picky, but this is the wedding she's been dreaming of for thirty-five years, so I'd like to give her something that makes her feel like a princess if I can. And having a bunch of Zephyr lying around can't be a bad thing, can it?

By the way, would anyone like 2000 yards of Shetland cobweb weight yarn? I only used a tiny bit, and it's so incredibly soft and airy.