Friday, 10 August 2007

CCC Wrap - Yarn Auditions

This is a long post. With pictures. After all, I have been knitting swatches for this wrap for the past six months, on and off, auditioning different yarns and stitch patterns!

The swatches have ended up being tucked between other projects just because it has taken a long time to find the right yarn, stitch pattern and construction technique for my wrap.

It's been an odd journey, getting this far:

1) Competition win.

2) Decide that this is the project for my prize yarn.

3) Ignore that and knit the CCC Hat.

4) Buy Debbie Bliss silk and work swatches:

    Stocking stitch sample

Lace sample

5) Wince at samples, take remainder of Debbie Bliss silk back, obtain refund.

6) Wonder what yarn to try next and knit something else completely (as you do).

7) Buy Jaeger DK Silk, work swatches:

    Rib sample

7) Reflect that yarn weight would result in blanket weight wrap. Frog and allocate yarn to another project.

8) Knit something else completely (as you do).

9) Decide to drop a gauge from dk to 4-ply, so purchase some Posh Yarn, hand dyed Eva 4-ply cashmere silk.

10) The most gobsmackingly beautiful yarn arrives in the most amazing colour - in awe, race out to garden and take photographs of skeins as yarn art:

11) Work swatch, scratch head at texture of knitted result (for this project), put swatch aside, enthusiasm dribbling away and despair quietly:

Samples both knitted on 3.75mm needles

12) In a last ditch attempt, stretch hand into stash, pull out Posh Yarn, hand dyed Sophia 2ply cashmere in Buttons colourway (purchased to be used double in a scarf).

13) Gulp nervously as not ever used lace weight yarn before, grit teeth and start swatch.

14) Keep knitting and find I am unable to stop - realise that not only have I found right yarn (I had it all along), the colour works perfectly for my stitch pattern too:

Lace sample in Posh Yarn, Sophia 2 ply

15) Try not to panic as it is clear that I do not have enough yarn to complete the full wrap.

16) I calmly buy Oh La La colourway from Dee, ask her to post it to me on holiday, set off to meet it -fully equipped with needles, beads and good intentions.

17) Sadly Oh La La turns out to be a bit orange and the collective decision from friends is that it does not suit me at all. I am all but drowned on holiday, no knitting is done and the only thing I achieve is the safe return of Oh La La to Dee:

    Buttons colourway constrasted with Oh La La

    18) Rather than a refund, I requested a custom order for something in a colourway a bit closer to Buttons.

    19) Dee is on the case, so I have now taken photos of some of my swatches and updated you all, so that you are caught up on progress to date.

    20) Until my yarn arrives, it's difficult to start the bead auditions. However, I may need to practice the technique that I want to use on my evergrowing swatch. I'll let you know how it goes.

    Sunday, 5 August 2007

    Castle Couture Wrap

    My second Castle Couture project is the Essential Summer Wrap!

    This garment is billed in the Castle Couture Catalogue as:

    - structured yet lightweight; and

    - a delight to wear on chill summer evenings.

    It's scary (not just the image of this cat swathed in something it would be hard put to walk in, let alone leap over garden walls) but I have spent the last month or two swatching for this wrap. I have auditioned four different types yarn and a number of stitch techniques to achieve the effect that I want.

    My ideas have evolved a lot since December - photos and further explanation to follow. Honest!