Settle in for a long flight...
Earlier this month, I had to attend a three day conference in Washington D.C. Having been really really busy, I was pretty excited about having uninterrupted knitting time on the plane. Oh, and a chance to do important work too. Yeah, that's it.
So, with about a week's warning, I immediately decided that this was the perfect opportunity to make serious progress on my Mountain View cardigan.
I immediately rationalized that plane travel and lace-weight yarn don't mix. Never mind that scarf that I did on the way to Russia. Nope, the cardigan should stay at home.
Last year, during the Haiti relief drive on Ravelry, I bought several patterns I'd been eyeing, including the wonderful Wandering the Moors pattern. Jane Eyre is my favorite book. I have a shelf of different editions of Jane Eyre that range from 70 years old to Penguin paperbacks.
At nearly the same time, the talented Karin had a generous giveaway - buy any yarn and get a skein of sock yarn. When my free skein arrived, I immediately wanted to pair it with Wandering the Moors. But the designer, Celeste, said I'd probably run out of yarn. So I sighed and set both aside.
But the idea wouldn't go away. I trolled Ravelry until I found a version that used just less than the amount of yarn I had. Finally, I couldn't resist the opportunity for collosal failure any longer. So I wound up my North Sea Watercolors II sock yarn and printed out the pattern. I gave myself the goal of trying to finish a small shawlette during my four day trip. I also decided to force myself to learn to knit from a chart (I cheat sometimes and use the written versions) so I only took the chart with me.
I started by swatching to get the gauge of the version I'd found. Wonder of wonders, I got it the first time with US6s. With a lay over in Phoenix, I was able to knit for 5.5 hours. I know you're jealous!
Day #2 and #3: not much knitting got done. Only about 1.5 hours. I was able to just start the lace pattern. I felt that there was so much yarn left over, I decided to go up to US7s for the lace to get more drape. I knew the risks involved, but did it anyway.
I was back on the plane and somewhere over Arizona... TA DA!
I blocked it. I adore the drape that I got from blocking it very, very hard. I wouldn't normally treat yarn that way, but Celeste made a point of it in the directions. Looking back, I probably should have woven the blocking wires through the edge more closely in order to get the straight edge that Celeste got. I also should have worked harder on symetry - one wing is 29.5 inches and the other 28.5 inches. To the point it's 28 inches.
And then, in half a day, she was dry.
In a perfect world, I'd have found a moor for the photo shoot. My drying laundry and tomato plants will have to do. I did remember to put on a better shirt and brush my hair. Yay me.
Even though I knit the small version, this came out much larger than I expected. It's really larger than a shawlette, which I'm happy about.
I have to talk a little about this yarn. I fell in love with Karin's yarn over the internet because of the colors. I'm big into being able to touch my yarn, but took a leap of faith. I'm so glad I did. All in all, the yarn was wonderful to work with. It's a wool/nylon blend, so after four hours it was rough on my hands. I'm guessing a little moisturizer would have helped. But after a Euclan bath, the yarn is wonderfully soft, even scrunched up around my neck. There were some parts of the skein that were overspun but were completely unnoticeable, even before blocking.
What I love about the yarn are the colors and the stitch definition. Somehow Karin creates lovely, subtle color changes. The yarn was a constant, but gradual, series of changes. Oh, and no pooling if that worries you. Here is a snap I took of the lace pattern before blocking. It's a good picture of the lace repeat as well as showing what great stitch definition you can get.
I would have posted sooner, but there was a little mystery with this project. For all my worry about running out of yarn, I actually have a fair bit left over and a bigger shawl than I'd planned on getting.
I weighed the shawl, 120 grams. I weighed my left overs, 8 grams. I thought I was using Watercolors, 100 g, 420 yards. I couldn't find the tag that had been on the yarn.
I emailed Karin and sent her pics. She quickly told me I actually had Watercolors II, 120 g, 400 yards. I'm still a bit amazed she could tell from pictures, but moving on.... So apparently, my free skein was also super-sized! Mystery solved.
I'm very happy to say that you can make a beautiful, medium sized shawl with one skein of Karin's wonderful yarn. Though, unless you can tell that it weighs more than 120g at the beginning, I'd probably stick with US6s throughout... I don't think I could have managed tearing out an entire lace panel when I was a yard or two short.
Six days from skein winding to FO.
Jane, meet Eyre travel. I think I love you.
Pattern: Wandering the Moors (and my rav link)
Yarn: The Periwinkle Sheep, Watercolors II sock yarn, North Sea
Modifications: US6 for stockinette, US7 for lace
I did a 2 stitch garter-stitch border on the lace portion instead of what was recommended.
I replaced all K3tog with Sl1 K2tog PSO
Knitting yardage total 2010: 2,862