Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Casting On

It is a good thing I have some time off work this week. I try to knit to a schedule and the start of September has ushered in both Perugino II and Central Park Hoodie, other WIPs and UFOs notwithstanding. Let's take a look at how they're both doing.
Perugino II
This yarn is gorgeous. I loved making Perugino I because of the great variety of colours and textures in the six hand-dyed Colinette yarns it used - it turned out to be such a beautiful and dramatic throw that I simply had to make another. Now, while Perugino I was all about bloody reds, bluish purples & apricot pinks, Perugino II is another colour story altogether. Look at these babies:

L-R: Mohair, Giotto (silky ribbon), Mohair, Tagliatelli (soft cotton tape), Mohair, Giotto.
Once again, these colours have me absolutely entranced. This is the Woodland colourway, chosen by the recipient, Brafia. It's not the colourway I would have chosen for myself, so once again I've had the amazing experience of being convinced by Colinette that you shouldn't say you don't like any colour until you've seen it expressed in their yarn. Last time, when making Perugino I, I liked the ribbon yarns best, but this time the mohair has me completely under its spell. That olive green you see on the far left is actually many colours on close inspection, some of them gold. It's sumptuous, there's no other word for it. And the brown mohair, which I thought would be chestnut, is actually the colour of hot cocoa with swirls of whipped cream floating in it. It's like knitting a fluffy chocolate cloud. I am in love.

Central Park Hoodie

Oh, this is going to be really lovely. Check out my swatch.

Isn't that just rather scrumptious. I resisted cables for a long time because I don't aspire to that 'weekend in the country' look (you know the sort of thing: hairdo like the Queen, headscarf, waxed jacket, green wellies, cable sweater). Then I saw the Central Park Hoodie pattern and realised that cables are not limited to traditional ganseys: they can adorn more urban garments, too. Finally, I discovered RYC's Soft Lux, a highly camp yarn: heavy pink wool with a fine gold metallic thread twisted through it. I realised that the conspicuously frivolous appearance of this yarn could be just the right antidote to the personality of the Cable, which has a tendency to take itself too seriously. I think this swatch, recognisable as the beginning of a sleeve, shows what I'm on about. In a more natural shade, this could be the beginning of a really dull, worthy sweater that wouldn't cause a stir at Balmoral. In in sparkly pink'n'gold, the cable is transformed into something much more lighthearted and we have the start of a garment that you could play dress-up in. Barbie meets Prince Charming. .

I was prepared for gauge issues on this project, as the pattern calls for 17sts to 4" and the yarn wants to do it in 19sts. When making this swatch/sleeve, I shifted up a needle size, from 5mm to 6mm, to see if I could get gauge of 17sts on slightly bigger pins. It worked perfectly for getting the right horizontal, stitch gauge, so I pressed on and knit most of the rest of this sleeve. When I got to the part about shaping the top of the sleeve, I realised my vertical, row gauge was out. The knitting is too big, basically. So - I was philosophical about the fact that this was only ever a swatch, and restarted. I'm going to try 5.5mm needles and see if that works. I'd better not go all the way down to 5mm as I'll definitely take the stitch gauge back up to 19 if I do.

I'll let you know how I get on.


Fiona said...

I'm going to have to stop reading your blog! ;-) Your enthusiasm for your projects is so infectious that I want to make them too!

Ruth said...

Mmmm Gorgeous Colinette yarn! I made a perugino in greens ans pinks. Lovely.