Thursday, May 26, 2005

99,999.99 miles to go

No, not on the Clapotis, which progresses well. There it is above, with the current half-laddered ladder clearly visible. I'm now knitting the 11th of the 13 repeats needed for the centre section.

Yesterday -- something to do with spring, perhaps -- I thought of a project I have long cherished, namely to knit a bridal veil for the use of my granddaughters (and granddaughters-in-law, perhaps, too). My eldest granddaughter is 18 -- in My Day, we might have hoped for a wedding within the quinquennium. But nowadays no one gets married until they're 40, if then. It might be better to knit the veil calmly now while I still can, and while there's no deadline. I've had some fine Japanese silk on hand for the purpose for a while now, and yesterday, with half an hour to spare at the end of the afternoon, I got it out and cast on for Sharon Miller's Princess Shawl (www.heirloom-knitting.com).

I knit seven rows of the first scallop of the edging -- only 85 scallops are needed -- and I thought, I can't do this. It was a grim moment, as if Death Himself had sat down opposite to watch me work.

Calm down. The trouble may be the yarn, which is pure silk. My previous Maximum Opus used a wool & silk mixture -- it's Kirsty's Christening dress and shawl, and can be seen on my website (www.jeanmile.demon.co.uk) somewhere. It came from the Knitter's Underground and I don't think they do it anymore. Anyway, it's sort of ivory coloured. A bride needs pure white.

But there must be an oddball lying around. Today, fortified by a night's sleep, I will try a couple more rows of the silk. If I still can't hack it, I'll face the fact that I have not after all taken the first step on a ten thousand mile journey, but am swatching. I'll try a bit in Kirsty's yarn, and then some in Margaret Stove's Artisan merino. I only have that in rather lurid colours, but it's pure wool, and the point of the experiment would be to see if I like that any better. Sharon has very fine pure wool merino on her website, so it would be easy enough to acquire some.

Sharon's own prototype Princess shawl is knit in cotton, but I'm not tempted down that path.

Can you get ebony needles in small sizes? The trouble may also be my poor old eyes. White yarn on metallic needles is not easy.

More on this subject will follow, no doubt. Meanwhile Rachel says the Fair Isle jacket arrived safely in London. She is brave about the neckline, and says it will do with the bottons open. It is very warm just now, so she won't have much chance to try. And it will be some time before we see her again.

1 comment:

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