Tuesday, April 06, 2010

perfect imperfections

A few months ago, when there was snow on the ground, I was reading about the Knitted Lace of Estonia, by Nancy Bush. What a terrific book, the photos, the descriptions, the history...all of it is so interesting! Thanks to Grace, a knit-a-long was arranged, and I started my journey into learning some of the Estonian patterns and techniques.

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Grace selected a smaller/ scarf version of the Queen Silvia Shawl for the KAL, and I followed the center panel (leaving out the gathered stitches and the lace edge). I worked the pattern in one direction. I was having so much fun knitting merrily along that I passed the mid-point and forgot the other side and the graft in the middle. There are imperfections, but I still like the way it turned out.

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Most of my satisfaction was due to the lovely yarn that I was working with. 315 yards of "Zephyr" from Ball and Skein. Gorgeous Hand-Dyed Merino and Silk Lace Weight threads that slip through the fingers, and pour down from the size 3 needles. I had first intended to gift this yarn, as a yarn package...but I am very glad to have decided to knit with it and gift the finished object. It was a pleasure!

Captivated by lace, I begin to plan another project. This next lace work will be constructed from my handspun angora.

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I have plied a single strand of angora with a single strand of silk. ..both singles have been spun on the Russian Style support spindle. There was not much information available to me on how to ply the singles onto the support spindle. From what I could gather, a plying card or disk is used to hold the singles that are first wound together. A found tea box is used in place of a disk. I had to reverse my hands for plying, funny and odd to me that I just could not get my flick on for a z twist with my right hand- so I switched over to using my left hand.

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I'm sure I could have created a yarn with a better ply if I had used a suspended spindle to do the job, but I wanted to stretch my skills. Sometimes the best way to do that is to embrace the imperfections!

12 comments:

Jody said...

What a beautiful little shawl! I have some of that laceweight Zephyr and it's gorgeous. I bet your handspun silk/angora will be even more beautiful :)

Cathy said...

Love it - I just got the Estonia book and have been thinking about it - how lovely you have actually been knitting.

And I, too, have to use my left hand to ply. So glad to know that's another thing we share.

Valerie said...

Gosh, you have been so quiet. I wondered if you were okay...perhaps something was wrong. Now I see that you were just focused. Amazing what can be done when one stays off the computer!

Beautiful work, cyndy!

elizabeth said...

Beautiful! Isn't Judy's yarn great? I was lucky enough to win some, I need to place any order!

Anne said...

I am seriously in lust with that angora/silk yarn. Wow.

Beautiful shawl as well. I have Miralda from that same book on tap for sometime this year, I think.

Sharon said...

The lace scarf is beautiful, but I bet the angora and silk creation will be amazing! Such fine and even spinning.

I know what you mean about embracing imperfection. I love that about handspun, it has something that commercial yarn doesn't have, - heart and soul, and more like every living being - ever so slightly 'flawed'. Love your work, and your photography!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I love the blue color of the shawl. One would feel very pampered using this to keep the chill away. I don't see the imperfections you say are there. It must be your trained eye.

Diane said...

Just lovely! I've been knitting lace too. Isn't it just magical.
Love your lace scarf ... & can't wait to see the angora silk project.

Leslie Shelor said...

Wow; that is some FINE spinning and knitting! Lovely work!

judy said...

I missed this post and your finished scarf. Beautiful. Isn't it strange the things we find clumsy to reverse. Looks like a job well done in spite of it.

Jennifer said...

Lovely! Both the shawl and the yarn and the handspun and... :)

I will have to try that technique with my support spindle once I get enough spun.

lynnekovan.com said...

That's gorgeous. I tried making a scarf in a very similar yarn. I found it almost impossible to wind from the skein. In the end I got in such a twisted mess I had to give it up! You're far more competent than me! Well done.

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