Saturday, April 18, 2009

Could do better

The most delightful cardie came to my attention. It's called the Botanica Medallion Cardigan and is featured on the front cover of the latest Vogue Knitting. There's a good picture of it on the Blue Sky Alpacas website here, or an excellent video on VK's site here. (You need to click on "The new naturals" and it's #4 - you can click on the thumbnail at the bottom to go straight there).

Naturally enough, I don't have the yarn called for (Blue Sky Alpaca Skinny Dyed Cotton) and I'm not going to get it either. I searched about in the stash and came across seven balls of this:

A 60% cotton/40% linen blend that I've had for ages. I thought it might do, so I started with the medallion:

There it is, unblocked, looking as sad as unblocked lace usually does. It needs to be 16 inches in diameter and I think it will probably get to that size but I'm a little concerned that the fabric is too floppy (technical term).

Then I started on the outer band, which uses pattern stitches with differing row gauges to shape the circle. Very ingenious.

Here's the lacey cables, obtained by wrapping the yarn three times round the needle on one row, dropping the wraps on the next and performing a six stitch cable on the elongated stitches:

Spider's web? Dog's breakfast, more like. This is just so not the right yarn (especially after I saw that video). It needs to be heavier; it needs to have better stitch definition; it needs to swing more (rather than float). Just to hammer the point home, here's the little cable that really should be more visible:

So. Not. The. Right. Yarn.

So now I'm casting about for something else that will do and trying to avoid buying anything (having returned from SkipNorth with less yarn than last year but having spent more money. How did that happen? I have no idea.)

The original yarn is in a strange put up of 65g/137m so we are looking for about 105m to 50g.

I've got some soft, shiny cottony stuff:

It's actually lighter than this in the flesh. No ball bands, of course, so no idea what weight really.

Then there's some Debbie Bliss Wool/Cotton:

Pictured here when I first bought it, years ago. There are quite clearly four balls of each colour. Strangely, though I can't remember using any of it, I can only find three balls of each at the moment. I'm thinking the central medallion in the purple (yes, I know it looks blue but it's purple, trust me) and the outer band in the pinky colour. Weight? 115m/50g, so in the ball-park. But is there enough yarn? The pattern says 1050 yards (960m) and I've only got 920m. That's if I use every scrap of yarn and if I can find the other two balls. There's the answer. No, there isn't enough yarn.

I think I'd better start on the outer band with the white cotton and see how I get on with the cables in that.

It's all a bit frustrating - makes me want to go and knit some lace - it's easier.

Just because you haven't had one for a while, here's the back field. Though there are no sheep visible, there are sheep in the field. Really.


littlelixie said...

I think the shiny pale cotton would be good. I have some brown stuff I'm just not feeling which could be good for it. I meant to put it in the yarn swap. Look here and it's yours if you want it. Slight shine to it.

allisonmariecat said...

I wish the linen had worked out, but you're right--it's just not the yarn for the job. The shiny cotton would be nice, though I was drooling a bit over the purple/pink wool cotton, which is a nice combination.

You know, I have quite a stash of Elann Peruvian Baby Silk in a lavender that I bought ages ago, and I doubt I'll use. I'm too lazy to look up if the gauge is right, but it's soft and makes a drapey fabric. If it seems like something that would work, I can send you a picture to see if you like the color.

sillyewe said...

Thanks for the idea of the yarn markers. It's just the right idea, I think. I will try it on my Rosebud in progress. :0)

The Soay Aran is just gorgeous!!! Love that you can see the sheep in the background. :0)