Friday, February 12, 2016

When Pattern and Yarns and Needles Cooperate

I’ve knitted a scarf for my friend and hair stylist, Sharron May of Beyond Salon Holistic Lifestyles. It was an interesting knit for a few reasons.

First, I decided to knit up a pattern that I found on Ravelry: “Autumn Scarf” by Annie Lee-Baker (aka, JumperCables). I like the construction; it’s a charming asymmetrical triangular scarf knitted from one corner to a side edge. You can find this and other of her patterns on her website and her Ravelry shop.

Second, I knitted the pattern using two lace-weight yarns of distinctly different colorways. One yarn was a warm rusty muted colorway that I got years back from Chris Roosien of Briar Rose Fibers. It’s an alpaca yarn called “Angel Face”. The other yarn is a Suri alpaca yarn by Cherry Tree Hill in an unusual combination of colors called “Birches”: cream, pink-y taupe, dull yellow-green (think near winter color of goldfinches), and some blue-ish grey colors. When you put these two yarns side by side it is not obvious that they would combine so nicely – at least it wasn’t obvious to my color-dunce brain. I can’t explain my urge, but I’ve been wanting to knit them together for years. Yes, these yarns have been patiently waiting to be used in just the right project. I am very pleased with the result. For one thing, because these two yarns were hand dyed by two different fiber artists, the knitted fabric that results from holding the two yarns together shows no signs of color “pooling”.

Third, I had just the right needles for the job. I knitted several swatches, mostly to figure out what size needle I should use. I tried my Addi Turbo Lace needles first, but the largest size I’ve got is US size 2 ½ (3mm). I liked that the Lace needles weren’t too slippery and the points were nice and sharp, but the resulting fabric didn’t have the drape I was looking for. I tried a US size 3 (3.25mm) in regular Addi Turbos but the needle tip was not sharp enough. I finally settled on a set of needles by Indian Lake Artisans (a Michigan business). These needles are hexagonal, made of wood, and have nice sharp tips. I only had one size: US size 5 (3.75mm). What the heck! This was my first time using these needles and I give them a thumb’s up. I plan to get more of them.

So, the pattern, the yarns, and the needles came together to provide a wonderful knitting experience.

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