Sunday, 20 May 2007

Hanami Stole is Underway! (and the greatest invention ever) (sort of)

This weekend I finally cast on for the Hanami Stole . It is such a lovely pattern, and I really like the asymmetrical design. (Actually all of her designs look great - the site Pink Lemon Twist is a great place to visit and be inspired.)(And to prove that point - a quick review of the front page of her blog yielded yet another sock pattern I've got try. It's this pattern from Cookie (she may be the same person who designed the Monkey socks I did last week.)). (When I finally do confess just how much I've acquired knitting wise in the last month I expect that sock pattern will be on the list.)

Right, anyway, back to the stole. I'm knitting it in Lane Borgesesia laceweight cashwool (which I think is fondly referred to as Loony Boony on the knitting forum). It's a lovely pale pink colour (which you can't really tell from the picture - but it is!) and I like working with it. It does however come as a skein of a whopping 1300 yards of knitting loveliness....

Which leads nicely to my nomination (this week) of the greatest invention ever.... the yarn swift, followed closely by the yarn winder. Wahey! 1300 yards wound in a lightning 10 minutes. No fuss no muss. From skein to a lovely little usable ball (or whatever that shape is called) of yarn.
The cast on includes 47 beads, I've used Austrian crystal 6mm beads. The pattern recommends adding the beads with a method involving a crochet hook -- but I didn't have a small enough hook so I modified things a little and just thread the beads onto the yarn putting them into place during the cast on.

I had to move down 2 needle sizes though to get the pattern definition I think works best so I'm knitting on 2.75mm rather than 3.25mm. The finished stole won't be quite as wide as the pattern, but I'll add a few repeats to keep most of the length.

All of that got me to wondering (as someone new to knitting with laceweight yarn) if perhaps I'm being too conservative, and knitting it more loosely on the larger needles would look fine once blocked. I do wish patterns talked a bit more about the before and after of knitting with such fine yarn.....
The pattern is well written, the charts are very clear and I've only come across one small error on the number of beads required - by my calculation it should be 47 but the pattern says 44. I'm enjoying knitting the stole so far and expect it will keep my interest to the end.

Sock Update

The Monkeys are finished. (Finished meaning all knit up - but still not grafted.) (So not finished.)(But very close.) I really liked knitting them.I was due to start Bayerische next but there seems to be some sort of worldwide shortage of the colour I ordered for them so I'm still waiting for the yarn... In the meantime I've cast on these Regia self patterning socks. Apologies to all at Regia - but lord I think these are unattractive! Fun to knit though. I'm just sad enough to be entertained by the changing colours and the I find myself thinking "I'll just knit to the next stripe.." so they are speeding along.


Viknits said...

Soo your blog is just as bad for me - I'm dying to have a go at the Hanami stole! (but have a zillion things already on the go!)
I can't wait to see the progress pics of yours :D
Vik x

Viknits said...

Daft me forgot to also say that your Hanami looks beautiful so far! Is this your first go at lace, or first go with lacweight yarn, or neither?? It takes a bit to get used to having such fine yarn in your fingers, or so I think anyway! :D
Vik x

Soo said...

Thanks Vik.

This isn't my first lace work - I've done lots of lace patterns in jumpers, cardigans, baby stuff.... But I am just getting to grips with lace patterns in laceweight yarn. And mostly it's the blocking effect that's a mystery -- how much will something grow in blocking? How will the pattern be affected?

I know I could learn a lot by experiementing with squares of different yarns and needle sizes and then blocking them -- but I've never been good at swatches. I just like knitting stuff. Swatches don't qualify as stuff for me!

mille said...

i love the hanami stole! i'll for sure get that pattern, but try to finish some UFOs before starting it...! good luck with yours, i'll keep watching :)