Monday, 7 July 2008

Play Miski for me

I promised last week I'd be more regular with my knitting updates - just think of it as the knitblogging equivalent of eating lots of prunes. I've been motoring along and making sure I knit every day, although I've also been working on a big non-fibre crafty project, which will be unveiled to you at the end of the week.

The feather and fan scarf is finished and very beautiful it is too. I don't have a photo of the final version yet as I'm in two minds about blocking it. I don't want to lose the gorgeous shine on the silk and I've heard that water can kill it. However some Ravellers have assured me that it should be OK. Oh, indecision! I think the pattern could benefit from a tiny bit of opening up, but I'm just not brave enough! Maybe steam rather than soaking?

Whilst I agonise, I've started another scarf. Yes, it's July, and I don't exactly need a fluffy scarf at the moment. Having said that, it's chilly and raining today and we even had thunder and lightning, so maybe scarves aren't so absurd. Besides, they free up more stash space volume-wise than socks or lace.

The scarf I'm doing is Luscious Lace, a pattern discovered by Knitterrooney, who I'm unashamedly copying. It's a pleasing, simple pattern - the repeat is 24 rows but there are really only two variations of the lace row, so armed with my clicky row counter I can even do this whilst watching films. The lace meanders backwards and forwards very prettily, making zigzags along the sides.

I quite like the scrunchy 3D texture that it's forming at the moment, but I think it will be even prettier blocked, so I won't fret too much over it. Here's a close-up of the lace pattern with the light behind so you can see the yarn overs:

The yarn I'm using is Miski by Mirasol (shade 105 Bluebell), a 100% baby llama which is soft like clouds. Clouds, I tell you! It's divine. If I didn't like llamas, this would convert me. Seeing as I already do like llamas quite a lot, this is making me want to steal one from London Zoo and keep it in the cupboard under the stairs, buying my head in its fleecy sides daily. If you hear of any such abductions on the news, it's probably me. Even the boyfriend is sitting holding the ball as I knit. I haven't knitted with llama before, and other than the overwhelming softness, I've been very surprised at the utter lack of elasticity compared to wool. It has really brought home the difference in the fibres - fascinating! There's no give or recoil at all. It almost reminds me of finding a dead bird, all soft and feathery, but hard and cold just underneath. Yes, I am weird.

Oh, the colours too! I'm not sure if I can do this justice, but this yarn is not just plain blue. It's actually a fairly bright blue, almost turquoise, spun with burgundy. The result is the lovely deep blue colour from afar, and from close up it's unbelievably pretty. You can just about see it in this picture:

I love the Miski so much that I fell down rather badly in the John Lewis sale, which included several colours which are evidently being discontinued. I picked up enough of a rich copper orange to make a shrug (11 skeins - they're only 50g each and the yardage is minimal), some burgundy and some lavender. They all have the amazing depth of colour. I therefore bought most of what they had on sale. I don't feel bad at all that I've denied other knitters access to this stuff. Not. At. All.

Also in the sale was a load of Noro Iro, a bulky wool-silk blend, scratchy, think and thin, over- and underspun and full of bits of twig in the greatest Noro tradition. It's not something I'd have considered normally, as it's pretty expensive, but at half price it became so much more attractive. Given the intense colours and textures of this yarn, I needed something absolutely simple for it, and so I've started a triangular garter stitch shawl, working from the nape of the neck outwards. I'm quite pleased that I've worked out how to do this from scratch, and it's turning out triangular as intended. Hooray for geometry! As you can see from this picture, the colour blends are as wild as any Noro:

The base colour seems to be charcoal, and with the green, pink, navy and russet stripes I think it looks a bit like the iridescence of an oil slick. Here's that striping in close up:

It's making my cuticles bleed as I knit because it's so rough, but I anticipate it softening up into something huge, woolly and warm enough to protect me from the office air conditioning all summer. I bought six skeins so have plenty to make it really big.

I don't even want to talk about all the Rowan Kidsilk Haze/Spray I bought in the Liberty sale. I will make something out of it this time. Definitely. I think I might have to go back on the yarn diet for a little while now though!


Original Ting said...
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Original Ting said...

Love the Miski and your Noro shawl is beautiful!