Lots of Knitting!
I finished the test knit of Michelle Stead’s Walderton.
It’s a beautiful project. I think it would have worked better with another yarn, the Neigborhood Fiber Company hand dyes are glorious, but they’re also heavily variegated, and the cabling gets lost in all the color noise, even if the texture of the main body is picked up beautifully.
The yarn is beautiful, but I was disappointed with the Rustic yarn. It seems to have been cut (sometimes partially, others fully) into lots of segments. My sister and friends have bought from Neighborhood Fiber Co and haven’t had any trouble at all. Yes, I could have returned the skein, but it was a limited edition colorway* which I had picked up over a year ago. I didn’t discover the issue until I wound the ball, and so I decided to make do.
I probably should have stopped the project at 36 pattern repeats, which is what the pattern calls for. At that length it hangs down in front, with the thin and thick ends layered to make a nice piece with the teeth on both sides. As Michelle said she was curious to see it longer I kept going. It’s a more conventional shawlette at this point, still very pretty, but not as neat.
I recommend the pattern when it comes out.
The final frustration with this project is that I seem to have mislaid my blocking wires! I ended up just pinning it out. I would have liked to run wires through the edges, then really pin the points out hard. I will probably re-block this in the future when I find my kit. In the mean time, I do like the way it turned out.
I’ve had Aidez by Cirila Rose in my Ravelry queue for a long time. I bought the yarn for it (Cascade Yarns Ecological Wool) almost a year ago.
I don’t know why I got it in a tweedy colorway. Especially after my experience with Walderton I’m concerned, but it’s lighter in color and I’m pleased with the visibility of the garter stitch in my swatch.
As you can see from the above picture, I decided to leave the ends unfinished and weave them in after blocking. I also decided to try a new tool to work them in with. I picked up a pack of Susan Bates finishing needles.
It’s a nice design. The super giant ‘eye’ means you don’t have to try to turn the needle when you’re weaving super short ends (like if you find you’ve inadvertently played yarn chicken while doing a long tail cast on). I usually end up re-threading the needle after each pass in those cases, but this makes that unnecessary.
They come in a pack of five, to suit yarn from bulky (pictured) down to lace weight. My only criticism is the material. I would have preferred recyclable plastic.
I’ve also ordered an “experimental tool” from lesliewind on Etsy. This is a fingering weight combination cable tool and Portuguese (Egyptian) knitting hook. I’ve been curious about the front-yarn method for a while, and she makes absolutely beautiful stuff. Besides, I’m always interested in beta-testing (even if I am a curmudgeon at times).
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*The Windchester-Sandtowne colorway was introduced for a limited time in 2015, proceeds went to help rebuild neighborhoods damaged in the Baltimore Riot (insurrection), which took place in early May (right around the time of the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival). Another reason I decided not cause a fuss, even if I was annoyed enough to post about it here – it’s a good gesture, and a good company – I know these things happen, I’m just going to whine a bit. (back)