Thursday, April 12, 2007

Yarny adventures in Alabama

OK, so British Airways found and returned my suitcase later the same day (my relief was profound). Thus, I'm now able to bring you some photos of what really matters: yarn. Here's the souvenirs from Alabama.

Firstly, a little of this: Malva, by Filatura di Crosa.

As I browsed around the store, this was the first of the yarns that really begged me to take it home. It's a light, flat, ribbon yarn (actually, on close inspection, a complicated mesh): 85% cotton and 15% polyamide. Needles around 8mm, gauge about 13sts to 4". There's a pattern book supporting Malva: Filatura di Crosa's Spring/Summer 2007 - which naturally I had to bring home with me too. There's a pattern in there that appeals, a slim cardigan/jacket, structured, with clean lines and some ribbing in the waist at the sides, to give it some shaping. I really want to make it. It will have to get to the back of the queue, though, I am not even letting myself swatch.

Also, a little of this. Bali, by Tahki/Stacy Charles Inc.


This ribbon yarn is luscious, slippery and shiny because it is 100% bamboo. Oh, how it slides through the fingers. I don't know what I'll make with it, but it will be soooo nice to wear. I do like some of the patterns in the Tahki yarns Spring/Summer '07 catalogue - for instance, there's a white boat-neck sweater with cables that extend only half way up the front. Thing is, this is such a vibrant colour it's going to need an ultra-simple design. Any kind of cable is going to be too much in this shocking pink. Also, I don't have enough of it to make anything really large. So I will have to wait and keep fondling this sexy yarn until it decides what it wants to be.

Finally, I had to have sock yarn. What the shop had in stock was Colinette's new sock yarn: Jitterbug. Yes, I went all the way to Alabama to buy sock yarn that's made in Wales. This shade is Blue Parrot:

And this shade is Mardi Gras:

Yes thank you, I do realise that I have pledged loyalty to an urgent backlog of WIPs, and yet here I appear to have begun a sock. I can explain.

I finished the sky-blue AY socks. Here they are earlier this evening, moments before being handed over to Joe.

I notice the stripes on the leg of each sock are strikingly different. One has regular stripes, the other has almost pooled (as on the feet). How could this happen? I know this is hand-dyed, can that really account for the remarkable difference between the two? I realise I don't know enough about the dyeing process. Not that I mind: I much prefer fraternal socks. I am just intrigued.

Anyway, so I finished the blue socks and that meant another pair in Angel Yarns hand-dyed yarn then rose to the top of my sock list. This would be the yummy deep purple/chocolate yarn I was raving about recently. I remembered which pattern I wanted to use from the amazing 'Sensational Knitted Socks' by Charlene Schurch. It was an 8-stitch pattern, called 'Ribbed Lace'. Dutifully turning my back on the newly-purchased Jitterbug, I started knitting the first sock.

Now, this is a lovely pattern to knit. No particular row is difficult in any way. However, the lace has a long pattern repeat, over 24 rows (we are about 18 rows in, in the pic shown here). This means regular consultation of the pattern book, and that rules out knitting this sock at the bus stop, on the tube, under my desk or any of the other places that socks are so perfect for. I am going to keep making these lace socks, of course! But I have to knit at the bus stop too, and so that's how come I found myself casting on with the red Jitterbug. Which, I haven't yet informed you, is 100% merino wool yumminess and knits up nice and thick on a pair of 2.5mm needles (the ball band suggests 3.25mm).

In other news: I frogged the Perugino throw today. I'll tell you about it another time.

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