Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Here, in a nutshell, is the lace knitter’s difficulty when it comes to stash busting:

You’ve seen that box before. It’s the Chinese cashmere – more correctly, I think, “cashmere” – James and Cathy gave me for Christmas, ’08. It is now clear that the Amedro shawl is going to use just about exactly one 100 gr ball. Maybe a few yards left over, maybe a few taken from the next ball. I cast on that shawl on the 2nd of September. I’ve got about a week to go. At 2 ½ months per 100 grams, you’re looking at 10 months knitting in the photograph above.

Hopeless, at my age, given the amount of Koigu and sock yarn and Shetland jumper-weight I’ve also got to get through...

I haven’t given up on the idea of knitting three or four strands of lace-weight yarn together. It’s just that the first experiment was unsuccessful colour-wise. I have a big fisherman’s-knit scarf vaguely in mind.

(The weight of the Chinese yarn is not uninteresting. Amedro specifies “7 hanks” of J&S cobweb. 20 grams? 25 grams? In either case, the Chinese yarn is appreciably lighter. Eyeballing it, the shawl appears to be roughly the same size as the earlier exemplars. It’s delicious to handle, no knots, reliably strong. It has even survived a couple of those episodes where I start across the room and find it is wound around one of my shoes. I’ll measure it precisely when blocked, to compare with Amedro’s measurements.)

The knitting continues well. In fact, I’m enjoying this upper edge enormously. No more picking-up-stitches, no more peering at charts, no more counting. Just easy-peasy lace knitting. The first (of three) row of roundels is finished, the second set. Photography is difficult, because 14 stitches at each end were left behind on safety pins after the initial pick-up from the straight edge of the scalloped border. They are now being incorporated into the text a stitch at a time – but it means that the residue are hanging about at the end of each row. I can’t stretch and smooth the thing out to be photographed until this process is done.

Comments & non-knit

Bless you for the sudden influx of followers.

Expense is rather a limiting factor, but I'd love to get Alexander a dehydrator like yours, Kristie. He makes fruit leathers. He has built himself a smoker. It would fit right in.

I can’t think of anything of the slightest interest to say about the American elections. I’m glad Harry Reid held Nevada. These are strange times.


  1. Food Dehydrators: I have a Stockli bought 15 years ago in Switzerland. It is brilliant for drying fruit, vegetables and this summer I also made rose petal confetti for my daughters wedding.
    See here
    and here
    An Amazon search also brings up some to buy in the UK.
    Lakeland also have a similiar item though the reviews are not so good.
    I can wholeheartedly recommend the Stockli, it is fun to use as well as being so very useful.

  2. On the subject of the American elections, I suspect many of these people will be thrown out in the next couple of election cycles. That seems to be the way things go.

  3. There are food dehydrators out there that are very reasonably priced, and sometimes you can find them at garage sales. You are right, it would pair up nicely with the smoker.

    I have some Chinese lace weight cashmere in my stash too. I have wondered about holding it doubled or tripled to knit with, but keep discarding the idea thinking it would be a pain to have all those balls of thin yarn on the go at once. So the yarn continues to hibernate in my stash. It is quite lovely though, and every once in awhile I pull it out just to touch it.

    Yesterday I was looking up a quick fact about the Tiananmen Square incident on Wikipedia for something I am writing and was surprised when I came across a quote from James Miles. I was wondering if he actually witnessed the whole affair?

  4. Sounds like a lovely shawl - would love to see a picture of what you're working on if you don't mind.
    Regarding the elections here in the U.S., I am disappointed in the outcome, as I tend toward the left of center, but am still hopeful Obama can get a few things accomplished in the next four years. For a country with so many resources, we can be so stupid,IMHO.
    Happy Knitting!
    Joan a/k/a fuguestateknits

  5. Anonymous4:31 PM

    I also knit at a rate of 10gm laceweight per week. For me that works out as one gramme per hour and, whilst I have hitherto resisted the temptation of sitting with the weighing scales at my side, the thought of being caught red-handed in this action is one of the things which amuses me in my quiet little world ;-)

  6. Anonymous6:46 PM

    Re: knitting 3 strands of lace yarn together

    Have you seen this?

    She's got an amazing mind.

    Jeanne from Rochester

  7. I've felt an urgent need to knit out of my stash. Use up yarn that I know will sit uncomfortably for years. I started with my Chinese cashmere. I had one ball. I knit four strands together and made quite a wonderful Wurm Hat (pattern on Ravelry) with only a few yards left over. The hat is now being donated to a fundraising auction. I've also got a silk/merino neck cowl blocking that is 3 strands knitted together. My plan is to work in this manner until all of the thin yarns are used up and my gift drawer is full. Then it will be on to the worsted weights. For them I am envisioning knitted bowls and gift bags. A friend knit me a bowl two years ago and I find it corrals bedside essentials really nicely.