Thursday, September 4, 2008

risking the ire of the mohair

I finally started the Feathery Lace Stole! Well, maybe that's overstating things. When I bought the Kidsilk Haze, Meg (of Yarn Expressions) recommended trying the pattern out first because this kind of yarn is really hard to frog. So I'm doing a swatch or possibly a scarf first with some Fire Lizard mill ends.

I guess that's how it's supposed to look--as far as I know I haven't messed anything up except casting on one too many stitches. Maybe it will look more organized when I've done more. Or maybe I should have gone with smaller needles. My reasoning was "They say use size 8 for the Kidsilk Haze, which is teeny tiny skinny, and this sock yarn is thicker, so I should use 10.5s for it." But I think they just picked such big needles for the Kidsilk Haze to leave room for the fuzz halo around the yarn. When I crochet, I always use a hook way bigger than is supposedly appropriate for the yarn, but somehow in knitting that seems less comfortable. Or maybe if it was just a few sizes bigger it would be ok, but the jump to 10.5 needles from the yarn's recommended size of 0-2 is just too much. Yes, I'm starting to feel a bit foolish here.
Anyway, as advertised, the pattern is super easy to remember. I've already just about got it memorized. The only thing I don't like about it is the SKP that happens periodically. Does anyone have any advice on this? Maybe I'm doing it wrong. I move the stitch to the right needle, knit the next one, and then when I try to pass the first one back over the second one, it's really tight and I have a hard time grabbing it with the needle. Or could I substitute some other decrease that's easier? I love k2tog, which also appears in the pattern, but I'm assuming that slants in the opposite direction?
Yeah. So the Kidsilk Haze can either sit there impatiently feeling neglected (even thought I pet it and admire it every time I walk by the coffee table and see it there), or it can be honored to be the only yarn I've ever done pre-project knitting experiments and research for. I recommend the latter.
Is it because I learned to crochet first that knitting seems so much harder and fussier? Or is it because I crochet only easy stuff that I make up myself, whereas I'm knitting other people's patterns? Or is knitting really harder and fussier?

1 comment:

Sarah said...

I do believe that the swatching/scarfing in preparation is a great step to appeasing the KSH. The petting and admiring will help, too. I agree with you that smaller needles would probably work better for the swatching. Yes, that bigger needle size for the KSH is to accommodate its halo and allow the pattern to show itself. You can substitute ssk for skp, if you like. They are both left-leaning decreases.

Knitting is not more difficult nor fussier than crochet. I bet you suspected as much. What you are experiencing with your knitting of this pattern is the combination of two new-ish skills. You are still pretty new to knitting, and it sounds like you might be even more new to pattern-following. I suspect if you were to pick out an intermediate crochet pattern and follow it and its gauge requirements, crochet would perhaps seem fussy. There are so many different directions in which one can take crafting. I think it is important to have the pattern-following skills, even if one chooses to not follow patterns. I believe it deepens our knowledge of the crafts and opens up more possibilities. It is great to read through a pattern, receive the inspiration, and then create something completely different. It is also wonderful to see a pattern, fall in love with it, follow it, and enjoy what we have made. It is always wonderful to have the option to follow a pattern if we want to, just as it is important to be able to step away from the directions of another and see where that path leads us. Whew! I think I have rambled more than necessary. I am avoiding getting some packages ready for the postal service. I do not know why that sometimes gives me such trouble.