Thursday, April 10, 2008

Stealth Knitting

These past few weeks, I've been knitting on the sly. Stealth-knitting, so to speak.

It started innocently enough with a germ of an idea for a shawl quietly sprouting up somewhere in the back of mind. A bit of furtive swatching came next, followed by more and more swatching. It wasn't long after that when the secretive charting began. Then came the knitting, and more and more knitting, all the while remaining surreptitious.

Alright. So it's not really a big secret. It's just that these past few weeks my blogging time has been a bit consumed by updates about testing of the new Merino/Tencel Sock Yarn I have in the works, followed by the contest that ended earlier this week. Add to that my usual Monday posts of customer projects and the end result has been very little blogging airspace for my own little knitting endeavors of late. So let me bring you up to speed . . .

Despite the fact that the red cashmere sweater that I started a few months ago has been sitting sadly on the end table next to my knitting chair, occasionally whining for lack of attention, I've had the urge to start a new shawl project. Perhaps it's the whiff of Spring in air (barely a whiff, mind you, as it's been unseasonably cold here in Oregon these past few weeks).

I decided that I wanted to use my FF Merino Laceweight in the Philosophy colorway:

Given that this particular colorway has more variation of color than many of my others, I wanted to do something with strong lines so that the pattern wouldn't be obstructed by the color changes. I also wanted to do something with just a little more heft to it, to provide a bit more warmth than some lace pieces. Swatching and playing led me to a few stitch options I liked that also worked well on a size 4 needle for a slightly denser fabric. Still lace, of course, but a tad on the weightier side.

I chose to go with a simple rectangular stole shape, which is usually my preference. I just find it easier to wear a rectangle than a triangle, perhaps because I can always switch over to flinging it about my next scarf-style if the mood strikes me.

Here's what I came up with for the starting pattern:

Even pre-blocking as it is, I like the strong lines of the simple lace panels paired with the bands of faggoting. You can't see the edges here, but they are straight edges with a couple of garter stitches followed by a thin band of a second type of faggoting.

After about 14 inches or so in that pattern, I moved into the next stitch pattern, which picks up on the general V-shaped, wing-like feel of the earlier lace panels:

Here's a photo where you can see how the first stitch pattern moves into the second. I'm pleased with how this transition flows and I think it will only improve once the piece is finished and blocked.

I finished the first half (the second half will be knit identically to the first and then the two pieces will be grafted together) and am now ready to start on the second half. Here's a shot of the first half, dangling precariously in front of the window from my husband's one good hand.

Now that my stealth-knitting is out in the open, I hope I can keep the momentum going and finish up the second half quickly before I lose interest and find this latest project sitting on that end table keeping the red cashmere sweater company. I know the sweater wouldn't mind though. Misery loves company, as they say.

Everyone have a great day!


Liz C. said...

Oh Deb, that is gorgeous. I hope you plan on selling the pattern. I love the transition between the two patterns. Awesome!!

kippi said...

BEAUTIFUL! I agree with Liz, I hope you are planning to sell the pattern. :-)

Rachel said...

Very beautiful combination of motifs and yarn, I love it!

Adriana said...

That is lovely! I'm always on the look out for new shawl patterns. I like how you merged the two patterns.

Lynne E. said...

Beautiful design, Deb. Very commercial, I'd say. (And that's a compliment.)

Impossible Princess said...

I'm currently trying my hand at a lace shawl design of my own creation...*bleh* maybe I will just stick with other peopels patterns LOL

Elizabeth said...

That is stunning, I love how you lined up the lace patterns. I'm sure the recipient will be amazed!!