Sunday, October 28, 2007

Four More Winners and My Filatura di Crisis

Yes, we have four more winners.

#25 LJ from The Bead Knitter

#26 Ellie Lewis

#27 The one and only Georg

#28 Sharon Hurlbut

I'll need your snail mail addresses ASAP so I can send out your sock yarn. You can email me here or here. Your choice.

Now about my Filatura di Crisis.

First let me tell you that I've fallen head-over-heels in love with knitting cashmere. The yarn is so soft, so plush, so . . . okay, I'm gonna say it: cashmere is voluptuous. Take a look. What other word could describe that lush roundness better than voluptuous? I can't come up with one. Cashmere is the Sophia Loren of handknitting yarn.

Anyway, I managed to score some Filatura di Crosa 100% cashmere (which apparently has been discontinued) in a gorgeous rich purple and decided to knit it up in the Kata Scarf pattern from Tara Jon Manning's wonderful Mindful Knitting. (Knitting may be the only activity in which I even come close to anywhere close to an understanding of Zen. I am way too much of this world, far too connected to people and things to comprehend the art of letting go.) (Or the wisdom of it, for that matter. I want to hang on for as long as I can to all the things I love.)

Anyway, this isn't about Zen. It's about that damn FdiC which went wonky on me. You see, I got too smart for my own britches. One of the things that I didn't care for in the Kata pattern was the way the cast on edge didn't match the bind off edge. Or at least they didn't match close enough for my taste. When you wear a scarf the one thing you can be sure of is that the cast on and bind off edges will be on view, most of the time right up close to each other. I'm not a matchy-matchy type but this drove me crazy enough that I decided to knit the purple FdiC scarf in two sections then Kitchener them together which would, in my demented dreamstate, lead me to The Perfect Solution.

Hah! I forgot the other thing thing that drove me crazy about the scarf: the two edges were different. Not different enough that it would bother you in the wearing, but different enough to bug you as a knitter. Especially if you happened to be somewhat spatially dyslexic knitter who forgot to factor in the reality that when I joined my two sections of scarf I would in essence be joining Side A to Side B and Side B2 to SideA2.

ACK. I was not a happy girl. The scarf looks great on but the joining point (even though I did my Kitchener stitches proud) rows were offset as a result. What to do? What to do? I finally decided to do embroider a row of lazy daisy stitches (looking for all the world like duplicate stitches) at the join to provide a visual break that makes the difference more acceptable. At least I hope it does. I'm also thinking about popping in some beads hither and yon. Also beads at the cast on/bind off edges a la Dawn Brocco's wonderful beaded scarves.

Okay, so the scan is weird and filled with ends that need to be woven in. The scarf also needs to be blocked which will open it up and smooth it out. I'm showing it to you in this imperfect state in the interest of full disclosure.

But here's the real reason the FdiC made me nuts: fragility. I had two pristine skeins complete with bands. #1 knitted up beautifully. #2 lost easily 8 feet to random breaks and perilously thin sections that occurred with no warning at the beginning of the skein and intermittently around the mid-point. I'm almost afraid to say it but the M-word came to mind more than once. You know the M-word: it usually has wings and a voracious appetite for fiber. I know I don't have m-m-moths . . . or at least I didn't have until the FdiC came to live. I didn't see any larvae. I didn't see any insects. But I'm wondering if the thin spots and random breakage was the result of previous infestation.

I really don't like the word "infestation," do you?

So there's that. I'm also working on the Vintage Velvet scarf from my old favorite book Scarf Style (hi, Nancy!) and it's been pure pleasure. Of course what's not to like about knitting with Muench's Touch Me in a gorgeous forest green? Again, that's a scan so I didn't get it all smoothed down on the right side the way I should have. And again again it really doesn't matter because when this is done the scarf gets tossed into the washer for some mild felting action then (OMG!) tossed into the dryer to complete the transition from fluffy, pouffy cableknit scarf to antique-y velvety gorgeous scarf.

Fingers crossed.

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Blogger Cindi Myers said...

Both scarves are gorgeous, Barbara. Such wonderful, rich colors. And I love you solution to 'fixing' the purple scarf. One of the things I love about knitting is the chance to get creative that way.

As for the thin spots in the cashmere -- rather than the M word, I'd suspect poor quality control at the source.

10:06 AM  
Blogger georg said...

With M, I'd expect breaks and dents in the ball, and possibly parts left behind.

12:50 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

I shudder to think of parts of the M-word left behind, but I do agree with georg. I think there would be evidence of the little buggers.

2:15 PM  
Blogger ~Tonia~ said...

Congrats to the winners. My fingers are crossed for you.

12:39 AM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

Cashmere is divine to knit with! I did that mile-long scarf for my DH out of cashmere and enjoyed every minute of it. That's so weird about the defects in yours. I haven't had problems with it before. What a pain!

OMG, I LOVE the dark green velvet scarf and MUST knit one (as soon as marching band season is over, of course). And it's from Scarf/Style! Wahoo! I'm psyched!

I have my qiviuk project on hold until I can concentrate on knitting again. I don't want to ruin such expensive stuff and I'm a little intimidated about the whole lace aspect.

10:55 AM  
Blogger georg said...

It's gorgeous! I loves Socks that Rock! Because they do! Thank you!

6:44 AM  

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