And we're off
This one's a swan from the start:
This pattern is a lot of fun to knit, very rhythmic and logical. The only thing I wonder about is the use of slanting decreases - a lot of times, a left-slanting double decrease is used where I would have used a centered dd. It doesn't exactly matter, of course, and it REALLY won't matter when the shawl is blocked, but I may make a swatch with a centered decrease, just to see.
I used Emily Ocker's famous method (certainly the sturdiest way to start a circular shawl, though I'm not 100% convinced of its attractiveness), which has been a bit of a struggle for me in the past. The weight and awkwardness of the metal DPNs I tried to begin on wasn't helping, either...so I used Magic Loop, and everything was fine.
Ahem. Did you guys hear a noise in here, or something?
The silk is really a pleasure to work with. It's comparable in weight to, say, Jaggerspun Zephyr at about 5,000 yards to the pound (a bit thicker than my 6,000 yds/pound lace yarn), but I'm using needles a smaller than the 3.5mm (US4) needles usually recommended for Zephyr. I like my lace to be quite solid in the stockinette portions - bigger needles makes for an airier shawl, but at the expense of pattern clarity, I think. Instead, I've got this working on 2.0mm (US0) needles, which produces crisp and defined lace with controllable YOs and an obvious difference between a knit stitch and an eyelet.
The only problem? I've not been able to find any bamboo or wooden US0 circulars. Addi Turbos are very nice, of course, but they're ill-suited to lace - blunt tips+slippery surface+glossy, springy, slippery yarn = molasses-slow knitting. With sandpaper-sharpened wooden needles, the extra movements associated with slipping stitches and such can be eliminated by leaving everything on the left needle and weaving the right needle through the backs and fronts of the stitches to be decreased to make them fall in the right slant when the yarn is pulled through. Slippery, blunt-tipped needles, combined with the inelasticity of the silk, makes this impossible, and I find myself needing to slip and pass over and knit through back loops and all that time-consuming jazz. I think this week will have to be dedicated to finding a perfectly pointy US0 needle - any suggestions?
Right on track.
I'm glad you guys like the mini-argyles! I ditched the pink and white, and decided instead to go with a pink and green - they're looking really cute. The pattern is a very simple, very easy diced pattern - I think you can find a it in Starmore's Book of Fair Isle Knitting and in plenty of other sources - but here's the one I charted:
Easy as pie.
Is there interest in a sock pattern set with an argyle theme? It would include the Almost-Argyle (one-color textured), the Mini-Argyle (two-color stranded) and maybe a Honest Arglye (traditional three-color intarsia, worked flat and seamed).
I have a hockey game to go to tonight (and pattern sizes to recheck because I'm a math moron - everyone patiently waiting, I'm so sorry!), so there is some serious knitting that needs to be done right now - not that I'm complaining.