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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Some Post Christmas Stash Enhancement

I've ordered a few books (and some blocking wires but they're not here yet) with some of my Christmas money. At the lower right you can see that I found the black sheep tape measure from Lantern Moon! I found it at Simply Socks Yarn Company (link is in the sidebar - feeling lazy today). I also picked up Spin to Knit. I've skimmed through this and it looks interesting, but I was a bit distracted by the other book I got, Victorian Lace Today. There have been a number of reviews of this book on other blogs so I won't bother with giving another one, but I do have to say that I was very impressed. My image of Victorian Things is covered with fussy, fluffy and highly intricate details that for the most part are WAY too overdone and cluttery. When I saw this book advertised online, I thought, "Hey, a new lace book! But its probably Busy Just To Be Busy and I doubt that there will be anything I'm really interested in." Then I started seeing reviews of it and it looked interesting. Then my Mom got a copy and called and just went on and on about how wonderful this book is. So I caved. I got it. Yes, there are 40 different designs, the majority of them are rectangular - stoles or narrower scarves that can easily be widened into stoles. The one thing that really stands out to me, however is that many of the designs are pretty simple. Fairly basic lace that's repeated all over the piece and then a border is added around the edge. This kind of design is exactly what hand painted lace yarn demands. We are all taunted and seduced by the glorious handpainted colors available in lace yarn, but when faced with the actual pattern selection to knit the yarn, we run into a problem. Even a moderately complicated design gets lost in the color and value changes of the yarn and the piece just doesn't work. The number of simple, repetitive lace patterns out there is fairly small, but these types of patterns are necessary to successfully use this type of yarn. Otherwise the yarn colors and the pattern's design end up competing with each other. This book is full of small, simple, repetitive lace designs just asking for handpainted yarn!

On yesterday's topic, I appreciate the pattern suggestions (and no Mom, I'm not sending it to you either), but my problem is primarily that the color is screaming baby (and it doesn't stop no matter how often I burp it and walk around with it and singing doesn't work, but taking it for a drive might). I love pale aqua greens, but they need a bit of a grey tone to them to make them grown up. This aqua is pure, sugary, baby aqua. If I do try to overdye it, I'll probably try to tone down the purity of the color, not darken it too much. A slightly greyed pale aqua is actually a really good color for me, but this is too sweet and bouncy or something. I've thought about adding black and white to it somehow (bringing in other yarns) because black and white will make rainbow and pastel things more interesting and less childlike, but for some reason black and white with this yarn seems like I'm trying too hard. There's got to be some other way to work with this yarn. Of course, I realize that most of this "baby aqua" stuff is in my head, but once the teacher made the comment about the baby blanket, its been stuck there.

And by the way, I haven't forgotten Mindy's Stole, I've got to do some more charts and I discovered last week, that writing charts with other people in the house just isn't working. I should have some time today while Caleb is at school and Mickael is at work and Finn usually sleeps in the afternoon, so I'm hoping to finish up all the charts so I can get back to knitting on it. I'll blog it again either tomorrow or Friday!


Blogger ~Sherie~ said...

I have the Victorian Lace book too and it's wonderful. The only problem is trying to decide which one to knit first. :)

10:35 AM  
Blogger The Spindling Scot said...

Thanks for doing the book review, I was thinking of getting it, but worried because I couldn't look inside a copy! Amazon here I come!

How about the fibretrends 'seaside' lace shawl for the beach yarn? It would make a fab present!

Happy new year!

10:51 AM  
Blogger Opal said...

I loved hearing your thoughts on VLT. I hadn't really thought of using handpaints with those designs. Now I want to take another look at the book and reconsider purchasing it. Thanks so much!

3:08 AM  

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