100% More Vine Lace Cardi - Than Ever Before!
I've doubled what I had on the Vine Lace Cardi the other day. I'm really loving the way this is looking and the way it feels. Its going to be perfect for a light sweater this Spring and Summer. The color is actually a bit darker than it photographed here, so I will probably even be able to wear it into early Fall! I don't remember if I've mentioned how I spun the yarn lately, so I'll just mention it again for anyone who wasn't reading a year ago (which is around when I actually did the spinning). This is a basic two ply spun from batts I purchased at MDS$W in 2005. I first picked the green color, but they didn't have enough for a sweater. So I got some of the blue color and when I spun them, I spun them the same weight and plied them together. That's why the knitted fabric seems to shift a bit between a teal green and a soft royal blue. You could easily do this with any spinning fiber, just pick two analogous colors (colors next to each other on the color wheel) that are the same value (degree of lightness or darkness) and ply them together and you get this almost iridescent look. If you don't choose analogous colors or you choose one light and one dark, you'll get a barber pole effect on your yarn and your knitted fabric won't have the subtle color shifts, it will be more of a speckled look. There's nothing wrong with a speckled look, if that's what you want of course. The huge range of solid colored Merino and Corriedale tops that are available would give you a pretty great palette to play with.
Working on this cardi has gotten me thinking about yarn/pattern compatibility. The thing I have to constantly remind myself of in knitting is that just because I can get gauge with a particular yarn, doesn't mean that it should be used for a particular pattern. I'm a huge fan of changing yarns a pattern calls for. Sometimes my yarn changing habits don't work out. When I started knitting this yarn, I was doing the Grannie Smith cardi. It calls for Rowan's Kid Silk Haze. (I love Kid Silk Haze. I could wallow in it for hours, if I had any sitting around here to wallow in.) I have no Kid Silk Haze in my stash right now (my birthday is coming up though!) so I thought I would use my handspun which I was sure I could get gauge on. I did get gauge, but my handspun yarn was losing all its personality and it just didn't feel right. By switching to a different pattern (alright, its not really a pattern at all, its just me winging it) I was able to work with the yarn instead of in spite of it, and by not forcing it to become something it isn't, I'm getting much better results.
The point of all this is (yes, there is a point), I got to thinking last night about the Rosemarkie vest. I'm concerned that using a cabled yarn might not be right for it. If you look at traditional Fair Isle knitting, you'll see that the stitches kind of blend together. That is a combination of the knitter's skill with controlling tension on two yarns at once and the soft, fuzzy, 2 ply Shetland yarn. While I'm not concerned with the loss of fuzz by not using Shetland, I am concerned by the density and crispness of the cabled yarn. The yarns traditionally called for are light and squishy, so when they are knitted together, they expand against each other to create a cohesive fabric. This weekend I'm going to spin a tiny amount of blue cabled yarn and try a swatch with the white. My gut is telling me that just because I can get gauge with these yarns, that doesn't mean I'll like the way they look in a stranded knitting design. So once I get a swatch knitted up, I'll post it to the blog and we'll see what we think.
Have a great weekend.