Monday, October 1, 2007

Hanami, and new directions

So, Hanami is blocked at last:
Photo  11

The good:
  • OMG, the fabric is so lovely. The drape! The silkiness! And it is so lightweight and non-bulky!

  • It looks basically just as advertised -- the petal effect is absolutely charming.

  • My "mistakes" in the final dense-yarnover portion totally worked -- the effect is much more random-looking than in the pattern photo.

  • It's done!

The bad:
  • I blocked it out to a rectangle, but because of the relative tension of the middle (low-yarnover-density) section and the end (high-yarnover-density) sections, it was really hard to block so that the width stayed even top to bottom, and I wasn't comfortable with the amount of tugging I had to do.

  • It's not as big as it was supposed to be. This is largely my fault, but seriously, I'm unconvinced of the utility of gauge swatches for lace. Maybe this is just because I don't like to swatch. But still! A 10x10" square of lace doesn't act the same as a 19x70" rectangle. It just doesn't! And I don't know how I could have gotten the same number of stitches/inch in both ends and the middle.

  • It's a little itchy.

If I had it to make again, I'd do something different in the middle. Maybe I'd go up a needle size or two, maybe I'd even increase a few stitches at the beginning of the petal section (leave out a few decreases?). I really like the finished object (wore it to work today, even), but I wouldn't make it again as designed.

New things
So, I said I was going to learn myself to knit continental. And it's going pretty well -- I knit another Bzzz Hat with the yarn in my left hand almost the whole time. I'm also working on a simple 3x3 rib scarf in Noro Silk Garden. I love Noro yarns -- somehow they manage to make hot pink and acid green look like earth tones, and it is so cool. I'm going to start a Wisp out of the mohair-blend stuff I dyed a couple weeks back:
Photo  31
I want to see if I can handle decreases in continental. (I did not have fun with the decreases for the Bzzz Hat, but partly that's because I was doing them on two circs, which I don't really like but I was literally too lazy to go in the other room to get my dpns. I know.)

Today I made myself a needle wallet, because I was annoyed that I couldn't find all my 000 dpns. So hopefully this will help me hold onto my needles. I'm also going to get rid of some older Susan Bates aluminum needles, in case anyone wants them (I don't).

Coming soon
I think I'm going to try a Dale of Norway ski sweater. I really like the women's Sapporo pullover in the red and gold colorway, as seen here. I've been wanting to do a big colorwork project, and this seems like a really cool one. Now there's just the question of yarn -- I could make it in the recommended yarn (Daletta, by Dale obv.) but I could probably make it cheaper in something else. But I can't find any local shops that carry Daletta to see what would work for a substitution. If, say, I made it in a Knitpicks yarn, it might cost around $30-$40, as opposed to $80-$90 for the Daletta. Assuming there's a sensible yarn to substitute, which is hard to say when you've never seen the other yarn. I'm going to check A Good Yarn tomorrow and maybe call over to Woolcott to see if anyone can show me some Daletta.

And another thing
I never posted my finished Blackberry Mittens!
Photo   2
Bonus points to anyone who notices the slightly glaring error...


Marcia said...

Those are some seriously impressive mittens, flaw or not. Where did you get the pattern?

naomi said...

You mean the direction of the second braid on the top mitten? They're still gorgeous.

I also like your choice of sweater project.

Kyle said...

Marcia: Thanks! And the pattern's from Blackberry Ridge -- I bought it as a kit. I think the pattern is only available in print and their shipping prices have gone up recently, boo. I really like their yarns and they have some cool patterns. I think I'm going to make up a pattern of my own for my next set of stranded mittens... stay tuned!

Kyle said...

Naomi: Yep, that's the one. I'm really happy with how they turned out. They were a little frustrating and fiddly at times, but all in all very satisfying. I may give them to my grandmother for Christmas.