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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?

Progress:

Right on track.

Mini-Argyle Socks

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.

Comments

Holy Sardines you are one fast knitter! I beleive at this rate you are going you might have an FO before the Olympics ends, cheater!

Just kidding, but your lace knitting is turning out fabulous and I can't wait to see it finished (just like any other project you knit, so I guess I'm not saying anything new).

As for your Almost Arygle Socks, I will be the first to put up a hand for a pattern for those. They are so beautiful and unique.

And green is my favorite color, so I am glad that you switched colorways on the Mini-Argyle Socks.

Looks gorgeous so far. I use Crystal Palace bamboo circs for my lace, and I've had really good luck with them. They come in a size 0. I used them in a size 4 for my Frost Flowers. I needed the 36" length near the end, but with your tiny needles and thinner yarn, you may not need one that long.

Have you tried the INOX grey? The points are super sharp. Sort of skewer your fingers sharp. The join can be problematic. Depends on how tight you knit, I suppose. Aero also has super sharp points same grey finish. The look the same, but I think the Aero join is a bit bumper. Aero needles are available in Canada.
Beautiful yarn and pattern
Suzann

Um, the argyle sock pattern set? Yes, please!

Your shawl is already stunning!

What you say about using US0s instead of, let's say, 4s, to make a tighter fabric that clearly differentiates between a yo and a knit stitch - SO TRUE! I plan to do that for any lace I pick up in the future, even though patterns typically recommend using way huger needles. The result of omitting this advice, as we can all see, is beautiful!

Your argyle pattern set also needs to include the nifty argyle you used in your vest.

I can't believe how fast you are! It's just not human! As usual, it looks amazing.

Your shawl looks so beautiful! Sorry I can't help with the needles, being a very beginner of lace knitting. But I'm looking forward to the sock patterns!

I LOVE how that gorgeous yarn is looking in your lace pattern! Have you ever tried the i-cord cast on for a circular start?

I truly don't think that there are size 0 bamboo circulars... They must just break too much? I know that Addi Naturas don't seem to be available in 1s anymore, either. I don't knit with bamboo, but a friend does and she has me always on the lookout for these small sizes.

I, too, can't believe how fast you are! I was feeling all proud for getting 5" of my sleeve knit last night...

The shawl looks beautiful.

The shawl is gorgeous. I'm with you on preferring a tighter fabric. I don't have a ton of experience with lace, but that's my preference there, and often with other fabrics.

I really don't think you're going to have luck with the size 0 bamboo thing. I tried size 1 bamboo circs, and had nothing but disaster after disaster. I had problems with joins (I hate Crystal Palace joins, and they were the only company I could find with bamboos that small), problems with snapping and splintering needles, and problems with needles that were supposed to be the same size but really weren't. I suggest sticking with metal. I see that someone has already suggested Inox. I don't remember if their grey (less slick) comes in a size 0, but the Inox Express certainly do. I'm using my Inox size 1s for a sweater right now, and find that they're less slippry than Addi Turbos, even though they look similar. Still slippery, but not as much.

The previous commenter was also right about the pointy tips. I actually punctured a hole in my index finger and drew blood yesterday. (Which led to another adventure in trying to knit with a bandaid, pulling off the bandaid to adjust it, and drawing blood from the other side of my finger when it ripped off loose cuticle skin. augh!)

I, for one, would definitely be interested in such a set of sock patterns!

And the shawl. Gorgeous already. Knitting circularly on less than 6 or 8 sts is is one of my favorite uses for the Magic Loop.

Ooooooh, I want me some silk.

I hear you on the needles, I'm knitting Orangina in cotton on metal 3.25 circs, and the needles are just waaaay too slippery. It's impossible to find wooden needles here and it's becoming impossible to find plastic - my Denises don't go that small and I overheard my LYS ladies saying the other day that they're only able to import metal now. Same with DPNs. Sigh.

I have been thinking lots and lots lately about how much I want to knit some argyle socks - so I'm in! The lace is gorgeous!!!

That is just lovely!! So crisp and clear!

And I would love the Almost Argyle pattern, even if I wouldn't use the others in it.

You amaze me. All that lace knit in so little time! (And on size 0 needles!)

And the argyle set? Pretty please with Koigu on top!

The lace...it takes my breath away!

And please count me in on the argyle sock patterns.

Burgundy wine silk ........drooool.....
I mean, uh, that is so gorgeous.

The thread pic alone had me going, but seeing it worked up has put me over the edge. I have been compelled to post.

Your lace looks really fabulous. I had wondered about needle sizes versus drape but in your pic it looks really perfect.

Love your blog!

Yes to the argyle set, please! You've got me hooked on argyle for the moment. I did the ribbing on my vest last night and am on row 11 of the chart, and I LOVE IT. Must take a break from it right now to hop on my bike, but I'll get right back to it once I change out of sweaty spandex!

What a lovely color!!! The stitch definition is great! I think I'll have to use smaller needles in the future. I might be crazy enough to knit a second Frost Flowers and Leaves, but if I do I'll go down on the size of the needle. I'm currently using size 6 with lace wool from handpaintedyarn.com (NAYY).

Technical question: How do YOU join non-wool yarn (especially on lace)?

Love the blog. Love the knitting. Would really love the argyle sock set!

Here are two websites I found who have bamboo double points in US size 0
I know I have some in my needle roll and now you can too.

http://www.yarnfwd.com/bambooneedles.html

http://www.handknitting.com/s.nl/sc.10/category.188/it.A/id.6654/.f

Hope this helps.
Beth

Ohh, pink and green, how cute!

that shawl is looking gorgeous, so gorgeous... eep!

I haven't been able to find decent, pointy, non-slick circs in US0, so I'll be watching here to see what people recommend!

[I'll be at the caps game tonight as well... in fact we're heading out shortly!]

Hi there! Love your blog! And the argyle sock pattern set would be wonderful! The almost argyle pattern is really neat, and that mini argyle is absolutely adorable!

the silk is gorgeous! I love the firmer fabric if you find any perfect 2mm needles let me know.

It looks like Crystal Palace is the only bamboo circ that comes in US0. On their website they claim that US0's come in 16", 29" and 36". I've used these needles before and the join is only a problem in the larger sizes. Now, YarnMarket.com carries them, as does Patternworks.com. Good luck!

That definitely is a swan from the start! I can't wait to see the rest of it.

Just beautiful as usual. The shawl is just stunning. I agree with the smaller needles rather than huge ones, it shows off the pattern so much better. Try inox circulars. I am afraid you will need to use metal ones for a good point.Also Susan Bates circulars, I am yet to use them but many people swear by them. You can get them from here http://www.spinblessing.com/susan_bates.htm and the lady there is so helpful. Goodluck with the needle search.

Yep, that shawl is beautiful! Love the color.

Please yes on the argyle sock patterns. The shawl is gorgeous!

Wow, who makes that pattern?

Also, out of curiosity, do you knit western, continental, english or combination? Do you consider yourself a fast knitter?

it's gorgeous! Now I have to hurry to catch up to you. . .

I thin I'm in love... that yarn is making my heart beat faster. *swoon*

Your lace look wonderful... the tighter st st sections give it a nice crsip look.

To me Inox Express needles are just like an Addi Turbo, but with a sharper point (and a mildly annoying stiff black cable). I have yet to try the Inox grey, but I know the point is the same as the Express, but less slippery. I'd try that.

COUGH. I'm sorry, I thought you just asked if there was any interest in an argyle themed sock pattern set. p.s. The shawl is lovely.

Hey, if you lead the argyle revolution, can I come?
and yep, that lace is every bit as beautiful as it is in my dreams. I'll take the jaggerspun, though, thanks. Esp given your (olympic) trials. But is sure is fun to watch.

Your shawl is lovely, great color and perfect stitch definition!

I second (third?) the suggestion of Inox Teflon(Gray) They have great points and are slick but not too slippery and the joins are pretty good (tho not as smooth as addi's) Aero's are the same needle made by the same company {Prym) and are identical in every way except Aero is only sold in Canada (and much cheaper than Inox!) I know all this because I knit a shawl with laceweight linen and that stuff was untameable so finding the right needle for it was my quest :) You can get the Aeros at Yarn Foward or Beehive Wools (both in Canada) but since this is your Olympic project I'm guessing you don't want to wait. You can get Inox Teflon at Fuzzy Mabel and she ships very quickly if she has the needle in stock.
Hope this helps, good luck!

O. M. G. ! ! Your lace is literally breathtaking! You are an absolute Goddess! Thank you for posting the argyle sock pattern; have just ordered some pink and grey yarn for them. And, yes, I definitely would love the 'other' argyle pattern.

Wow... that shawl is going to be gorgeous. I'm supposed to be making that particular shawl for a friend's wedding, and I'm impressed. I hope the one I make is half as beautiful as yours is. :)

So beautiful! I received the Gathering of Lace book for Christmas this year and this is my favorite pattern from it. I need to work up to lace of this magnitude, but I'll definitely knit this some day. I can't wait to watch yours unfold!

I LOVE that colour and cant wait to find out who made it... Mama Mao has asked for a shawl so there may be a future in that for me :)

As for the Argyle, I would love to see the patterns! I thought the pink ones were adorable.

the bryspuns have the best points for lace that i've found, but the circ joins leave much to be desired. crystal palace bamboos are also wonderful, but again, there's the problem of the join. why oh why can't someone make a sharp, pointy circ with a decent join?

Yes please!! Everything looks great - thanks for the chart.

stunning...absolutely gorgeous.

Hi Eunny! I recently became an avid reader of yours. The lace is looking beautiful, as always. When you have a moment (maybe post-Olympics) perhaps you could expand on your method for eliminating extra movements that you mentioned (weaving right needle through fronts/backs of sts on left needle). - Maybe you have already done this and I've missed it, but it sounds like something I'd like to know more about! Thanks!!

Try The Fold. I recently had to get varying lengths of 1s. Toni has a wonderful selection.

http://www.handspinning.com/thefold/

Your shawl is gorgeous! The color is stunning. Good choice with the smaller needles- it definately makes the pattern easy to see.
I'm glad you changed the socks to pink and green. I love that color combination!

Did you mention what yarn you're using? I might have missed it. I adore Jaggerspun Zephyr. A pleasure the whole way through.
Stunning work. A swan for sure!

Oh Eunny, I love that red. It looks alot like the cinnabar colored zephyr that I am using for my Olympic knitting projects (more lacy smoke rings-they'll be the Christmas gifts this year). By the way I am using Addi turbos size 0. I knit super loose and must use tiny needles to give the fabric a decent hand. Otherwise, it's super mooshy (is that a word?). I also have to compensate for tightening up the the gauge, so my smoke ring cast on is now at 266 stitches-jeeze! Thanks for the tip on not doing double yarn overs. It's made a major improvement in the drape/hand.

Ciao for now!
Sue

I have been pretty enamored with argyle lately, and I think part of it is seeing all of the gorgeous work you've been doing with it! If you did a two or three colour argyle sock pattern, I would most definitely sign up for the pattern!

A guilty conscience needs no accuser... Aaron

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