Friday, February 22, 2008
A candidate for re-knitting
There is a sentence in Marianne Kinzel's First Book of Modern Lace Knitting that made me angst-ridden and filled with guilt for weeks about the type of doily I tend to knit:
"Do not use silks, rayon, or any other yarn with a highly polished surface, or of conspicuous colour, as this is not in the lace-making tradition."
This doily is not made from yarn with a highly polished surface and it's about as inconspicuous a colour as you can get, but it's still completely against the rules because it's cashmere. (Cashmere and cotton, actually). I knew it was a stupid idea—I wanted to knit this pattern and I wanted to knit with this yarn and I wanted to do both right now, consequences be damned—but didn't know quite how stupid until very recently: the yarn has so much bounce to it that it's dead set against laying flat. Even if I block it severely and don't unpin it until it's already been completely dry for hours, just in case, you know, and pick it up carefully without stretching it and lay it on a table and leave it alone in a bone-dry environment. Nope.
I just unpinned it after reblocking right now, and the fans around the edges are already starting to ruffle. It doesn't pucker or bind when it's pinned flat, and it's also flat in the picture that accompanies the pattern (it's from an excellent Russian lace-knitting magazine), which leads me to blame the yarn alone.
But man, is it pretty!
This is what I mean about increasing to make a large eyelet by working k-yo-k-etc instead of k-p-k-etc: see how nicely the increased stitches sit beside each other? My feeling is that knitting and purling up all the necessary stitches stretches out the yarnover or double-yarnover or whichever and makes it tend to curl up a bit. That's not happening here even though the yarn really wants to sproing into a different configuration.
The main floraly part is excellent, too:
I don't think it's intended to be lilies of the valley, but that's what it looks like to me. The motif is very simple—you increase four stitches from one so you have five altogether, work plain for a few rounds, then decrease the extra stitches away—and if I knit this again I might dress it up a bit with some purled stitches down the middle. We'll see!