Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Swatches. Socks. Trucks.

I’ve been swatching for a lace sample for the shop. My hope/plan is that it will be simple enough for a newish lace knitter to handle without wanting to weep in frustration and challenging enough that I won't nod off with boredom while making it.

I flipped through every Barbara Walker, Vogue Stitchonary, you-name-it book and finally settled on two different laces, both from the recently published Harmony Guide: Lace and Eyelets. My requirements were that there be eight or less rows of pattern, that there should be no “work” on the wrong side, and nothing more complicated than an SSK. Any pattern that had a P2tog or K3togtbl was out! Both are pretty - and both break at least one of my "rules", but I still think they’re do-able by a beginner.

The first was “Snowdrop Lace”.
This is done in Zephyr Silk/Wool on US size #4 needles. It was my second swatch, so I was playing around with adding beads to it. The beads didn’t photograph well at all – they’re actually an iridescent rainbow on black.
This lace however has a “slip-1, k2tog, psso” – and I’m not sure if that makes it fail my little list of requirements or not. I really liked this lace – for myself – but am not so sure about it being a beginner lace. Altogether there are eight rows total with only the front four rows having actual lacework. And two of those rows are identical, so it boils down to just three “different” rows. I had it memorized by the second repeat.

And if you turn it upside down it you can rename it “tulip lace”!

This was my first swatch, done on US size 5 needles. It is pretty, but it blocked out a bit too loose to really show the Zephyr off well.

The second was “Lacy Zigzag”.
Also done in the same Zephyr – super easy pattern, but this one is twelve rows long. However – there are only two rows of lacework with each row repeated three times. The back is all purling. Super easy, I think. This was the one I expected to like the least, but of the three swatches this proved to be my favorite “beginner lace” which surprised me quite a bit.
I presented the swatches to the shop manager and was surprised again - her pick was the first one. Evidently several coworkers were there and they all chose #1 – the snowdrop lace.

My fabulous(ahem!) plan is to write a multi-tiered set of instructions for a lace stole. The first will be super easy with just the lace. The second will have additional instructions for a provisional cast on to allow the stole to be knit from the center out so that the lace will match on each end (I’m Libra – it has to match!). Lastly, the third version will have beads added to the last couple of repeats and maybe the edges.

In between lace swatches and a couple of killer migraines I continued to work on my socks.

I didn’t see it until I edited the photos – but I love how a couple of the stripes of color aligned themselves over the two socks. I’m beginning to do the short-row heels, and since I have trouble seeing where I am in the whole short row/both socks,same circular process I’ve started using markers to try and keep my place.

We got a new truck – a Very Good Deal, but still a lot of $$. We signed for it exactly one month to the day after the Jeep was wreaked. This picture isn’t the actual truck – just a stunt double. It looks just like this, only it’s parked in the driveway being rained on. It’s a Toyota Tacoma double-cab that had been a dealer rental/loaner – less than 4000 miles on it and near perfect body and interior. It actually seems like there is more leg room in the back than the original Jeep had. Nicely discounted, but still… lots of money. My daughter is over the moon happy about it. It pays to keep good records, because the insurance company paid out more than we’d hoped on the Jeep, but we we’re still pretty sad to let it go. Funny how attached you can become to things. That Jeep took us on a lot of great adventures and I’ll miss it.


Grace Yaskovic said...

good luck with the new truck Love the lace samples they are cool!

Joan said...

My Jeep has 160K miles on it & I thank it every day when it starts. I've raised 4 dogs with that Jeep and would hate to part with it but some modern technology like a CD player (mine has a cassette deck..LOL) woud be nice.

I've decided to learn 2 socks at a time on circs. I'd like to get them done at the ame time, I've decided. Saw a new book.