May 16, 2007

Splendor in the Grass

At one point in time it seemed as if every blog I was reading was extolling the virtues of "Cracksilk Haze." At the same time, a local yarn shop was discontinuing Rowan yarns and was selling off the last of their Rowan inventory at a nice discount. So, I took that opportunity to treat myself to this...

...two skeins of Kidsilk Haze in a color they were calling Splendor.

That was probably two years ago. I always kinda knew what I wanted to do with it, but never got around to it. So, I was very excited to join the Create Along and finally get my butt in gear and do something with this.

My idea is very simple. So simple, in fact, that I'm a little embarrassed. You all are doing such beautiful intricate designs. My plan is to make a wrap. Not a triangle shawl. Just a plain, rectangular wrap. I have a lot of black and brown and dark blue dresses that I wear for summer events and weddings. They're all sleeveless. And I tend to get very cold in air conditioning. And while there is some charm to having my Geek Boy give me his suit jacket to stay warm, I think a simple wrap will be a bit more elegant looking.

I scoured my pattern books and found the Starlight Lace pattern in Barbara Walker's Second Treasury. It says "starlight," but to me it looks more like daisies, which happen to be my favorite flowers. And 2007 is supposed to be the year of my first lace project (I pick one new thing to try every year...2006 was socks). So, I think this was meant to be.

I swatched for this the other night on size 9s and a single repeat is two inches wide. (I'd post a picture of the swatch, but it slipped off the needles as I was finishing the last row.) The original plan was to just do 30-35 repeats across and go until I ran out of yarn and then add a border. However, after looking at Julia's picture of Mishka, I think I'll put some plain stitches in between. This should make things go a little faster and limit the potential for major, soul crushing oooppsies.

Things I've learned already. 1. Even from just a small, 2" swatch, I understand the whole thing about lace knitting needing pointy needles. 2. Metal and mohair are a scary combination. I have visions of losing whole chunks of work to an ill timed lap visit from one of my cats. 3. Most of all, it's really cool when what starts out looking like a big old mess suddenly looks like what you were aiming for.

I'm also toying with the idea of picking up a skein of a complementary color to do a bottom border. But I haven't totally sold myself on that yet.

Oh, and I'm hoping to have this finished in time for my little sister's wedding on June 30th (those of us in the wedding party are wearing sleeveless black dresses). But, I may be deluding myself on that one.



Liz K. said...

I'm excited to see what you come up with, since I have two skeins of KSH in my stash just looking for an idea!

Ruinwen said...

A wrap is a great idea. I can't wait to see your lace. :)

Marnie said...

If it's the stitch pattern I think it is, you will love it in KSH. Vogue had a cardigan in that same pattern worked in KSH and it's lovely. I actually used the same one to swatch some linen and again, looks great.

Don't worry about simple or hard designs. Some of the most wearable and wonderful pieces are very simple.

Iris G said...

Amy, the color looks great, and putting St sts in between is a wonderfully practical idea.

I guess the cardi suggested by Marnie is the beaded Daisy cardigan by Jennie Atkinson (she has a lot of all-over lace patterns, such as Butterfly for Rowan 37), VK holiday 05 ;-). Very delicate.

Julia (MindofWinter) said...

I always tell the story of how Kate Gilbert e-mailed me a swatch of Clapotis and asked if it was too simple to send to Knitty. We all know how that story ended! Simple can be very, very good, and often designers go awry when they over-complicate things and take a piece just one step too far. Revel in your simplicity and design us something gorgeous. Also, here's a little inspiration for taking on a second color - whenever I see two colors of kidsilk haze in a single shawl I say the designer Kat Coyled it - here's why!

Hattie said...

Sounds like you already know just what you want! And I think you can do it in time.

I also have two balls of KSH that I plan on designing a shawl with, a triangle one though. I'm still very torn on what I want to do! I can't wait to see your design!