Pure Bliss?

I recently had one of those birthdays that requires big celebrations in order to distract you from the fact that you now ought to be a responsible adult with villa, vovse og Volvo as we say in Danish. That is, having a nice family home, a doggie and a car. As I live far away from most of my family and friends and had to work I thought a little yarn feast was in order to make the day nicer.

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That is just one ball out of eight skeins of Debbie Bliss’s Pure Silk. I’ve been wanting to try it ever since I first saw it some months ago and now the time has come. I’m making this tank top from the Pure Silk book. Combined with the readings of Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea from LibriVox, it has been a pure delight working it and much progress has already been achieved.

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I did have a false start and had to rip out about 8 rows because I thought I knew better than the designer. On each side there’s a rib pattern where you cross the knit stitches by knitting first the second stitch on the needle and then the first. I misread this instruction and knitted the second stitch inserting the needle from behind the first stitch which makes them cross in the opposite way of what you see in book. Realizing this I thought it strange that the designer hadn’t mirrored the crossings on each side of the center panel. That had to be much more elegant, no? Well, look for yourself:

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The top picture shows the pattern when I got it wrong and the bottom one the right way to do it. They don’t look like mirror images, do they? And that is why you should always think twice before not following the designer’s ideas. He or she may actually know best…

Concluding this post I do have to mention a snake in paradise which made me include the question mark in the title. The yarn is wonderfully soft and nice to work with, in fact so soft that it makes the very soft merino for the Wedding Ring Shawl seem hard and coarse against the skin. But it also means that it has a tendency to pill and I don’t think it will wear very well. It’s definitely only meant for luxury items that’ll be used very little.

Cheating

It is a truth universally acknowledged that knitting bloggers cannot stay faithful to one project at a time. You know who I mean and if you don’t, go read her blog, you won’t be sorry. Exceptions may exist but I’m definitely not one of them. So, here’s the latest project on the needles:

Sommertop_1_1

It’s a summer top from an old Rowan Magazine, #27 I think, called Foxy. Let’s hope I’ll look exactly that in it… The designer is Kim Hargreaves which guaranties a simple, yet very elegant look, at least on the picture. How my knitting will turn out is yet to see. The back is done and the front started so hopefully it won’t be long. I’m going to machine wash it and before that I just don’t know. Sometimes I think the ribbing looks too uneven but that may be solved with a good blocking. We’ve all had our moments of hubris, no? The pattern calls for the Rowan 4-ply cotton but I’m using this cotton from the shop where I work:

Sommertop_1

It knits to the same gauge and has 178m in a 50g ball. It’s the first time I’m using it but a trusted colleague says it’s very good. It washes well in the machine, it doesn’t shrink or grows and it remains soft. I find it very nice to knit with, it isn’t stringy or hard but of course it doesn’t have the same elasticity as wool so it’s a bit harder on the hands.

I promised to show a finished project in one of the previous posts so here it is:

Sommertop_2

You’ll have to make do with this picture. My boyfriend is in Italy so there’s no one to take a picture of me. Let’s not talk about the fact that the ones he does take are crap anyway. Sorry love, you know it’s true.

I’m satisfied with the workmanship but have to say that the design has been a disappointment. The collar makes me look very broad shouldered and let’s just say that usually I don’t need shoulder pads. It also has a bit more ease than I prefer but I am wearing it right now because it is quite comfortable and warm. So even if it’s not a complete success let me quote Brenda Dayne: If you’re cold, put on a sweater! That’s what they’re for.

And so this was Christmas…

Excuse me, do you know where December went?

Somehow it just slipped away and left me totally unprepared in a whole new year. No resolutions have been made and the house is a complete mess but I did get to spend ten whole days with my family.

Knitting has been slow but one Tuesday night a couple of weeks ago I got very bored and when I get bored crazy things happens.

Weddingringshawl

Yup, that’s about two and a half repeats of the center of the Wedding Ring Shawl. It was probably around ten when I cast on and a couple of hours later I was ready to begin the patterning. It takes a lot of time counting 247 stitches at that time of the day.

I’m using the merino I got in Italy knowing that an extra 50g has been secured and will be mailed on request. This yarn is not as fine as the one Sharon Miller originally used and will give a denser fabric but I did not make a swatch. I have made a swatch with the yarn in a different pattern so I know it’ll work but I’m leaving any question of the finished size to faith. I don’t really care if it turns out a bit smaller or bigger. Of course I hope it’ll be wearable but I’m actually considering it to be a learning piece. You may also notice that I’ve used a white yarn for the waste wool cast on. I didn’t have anything else and I was that desperate for something challeging to work on. I’ll worry about it when I have to pick up the stitches.

Some of you might wonder what has happened to the Princess Shawl. Well, it hasn’t been forgotten but work was stalled because I’ve had a hard time finding the DMC Cordonnet #70 in Copenhagen. Luckily I know a place close to my parents home and I got 3 balls last week. I don’t know when I’ll start working on it again, rigth now I’m in love with the Wedding Ring Shawl…

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