Monday, December 24, 2007

Looking Ahead: Lace!

Hopefully, everyone's holiday knitting is winding down - if it's not, well, I hate to be negative, but if you still have something dangling on your needles that's supposed to end up wrapped with a nice bow, or stuck in a stocking, well, you may have to run to Macy's before it closes for a replacement gift. Or, the other option, of course, is to wrap said hat, scarf, sweater, sock, on the needles, and after its opened, and the appropriate ooing and ahing is done, take it back and finish it at your leisure.

Regardless of the state of your holiday knitting, it's time to fastforward to January - gift knitting is indeed done, and it's time to pick a project to make you happy. A cozy sweater? Nah. Winter is a contemplative, thoughtful time. It's time to take out the needles, sit in front of the fire, listen to music and take out - that CHART!! Can't you picture that perfect Sunday afternoon - curled up with your stitch markers, tiny needles, perhaps a podcast on the old iPod, yarnovering, ssking, ah - ok, well you're now picturing my perfect Sunday - and I want you all to join me.

This winter, I'm signed up for 2 lace mystery knit-a-longs - Spring Secret Surprise and Secret of the Stole II. Between the 2 projects, I need at least 3000 yards of yarn - miles and miles! So, I did a little survey of the store this weekend - and let me tell you, there's no shortage of laceweight at Rosie's -

First up, Conjoined Creations Soy Silk - our website says, "Pastimes is one of our favorite yarns. It comes in hundreds of colors and the lovely ladies who dye it will custom dye any number of skeins in any number of color combos. It's no wonder we spend well over an hour in their booth at TNNA twice a year! And, at $11 a pop for 550 yards it's good for you too! Stop in to see what we have available." And, here it is knit up: I knit Swallowtail, from Interweave Knits, in this yummy laceweight. While I did the number of repeats called for in the pattern, I had plenty of yarn left over, I easily could have knit a few more repeats, and still had yarn to spare. Need neon purple, electric blue? This is your yarn. The stitch definition is spectacular, even before blocking. Affordable, one of a kind colors, great yarddage, who could ask for anything more?

If you say more - we have more! Here's Helen's Laces, from Lorna's Laces. Helen's Lace, a 50 wool/50 silk blend, is 1250 yards, and comes in many lovely, variegated colors. If you don't have a pattern in mind, that's ok, because there's a free pattern for a half circle shawl, knit in short-row wedges, on the back of the label. I'm using it doubled, for the Bird's Nest Shawl from Folk Shawls. The varigation is very subtle, not stripey, so for a handpainted, multi yarn, the lace pattern isn't swallowed by the color, and it's still an excellent choice for many a project.

What else? How about Jade Sapphire's Lacey Lamb? Lacey Lamb is 100% lambswool, and comes in lovely little squishy balls of 825 yards. I have yet to knit with Lacey Lamb, but I love walking around the store, squeezing a ball like it's Charmin. I have 2 skeins of the Teal set aside for Secret of the Stole ii. For anyone who has walked by the shop, and stared in awe at the red, circular shawl from Victorian Lace hanging in the window, that's Lacey Lamb. Here's a swatch knit up:

Is a size 3 needle too big for you? We have a yarn for you! Grignasco Merino Silk - basically a cobweb weight yarn. "Merino Silk is miraculous stuff--even thinner than Zephyr, with a more even, polished twist. And like so many ultra-thin yarns, the value is almost ridiculous: 1533 yards per 100 grams for $16."
Too skinny, you say? Double it! It's still a bargain.
Not looking for a bargain? Looking for decadence? Cashmere, of course! Jade Sapphire's 2ply Cashmere. Do I need to blog about the wonders of cashmere? I think not, onward!

I've saved the tried and true for last (although,not really last - next time I'm in the shop with my camera, I'll put together a post of nontraditional yarns to use for lace, like Alpaca Sox . . .), Jaggerspun Zephyr. I love Zephyr because I've used it so many times, I don't have to swatch - I know I love it on a 4. Of course, there are more reasons to love Zephyr. How many yards you do you need? 3000 you say, not a problem! Color? Oh, we have a few - or 20. I think I'm doing Spring Shawl Surprise in Pewter, or Mushroom - or . . . I don't know, so many choices!

Not enough choices? Well, there's more at the shop, and I'll be talking about them in the coming weeks. And, come in - there's nothing like fondling the yarn to help you make a decision. Thanks to Sheri for knitting all of the above swatches in a lovely sampler scarf.

Happy Holidays everyone!!!!


RuthieAnn said...

Beautiful Lace. This yarn is truly yummy!

Nautical Knitter said...

Glad you are a part of Secret of the Stole II! Welcome Aboard