Thursday, October 06, 2005

I hate to bug you again, but...

First off, I want to send a shout-out to all my knitting and non-knitting homies who weighed in on the San Diego cover-up options. I believe that, although all the options seemed attractive, most felt that either the Spiderweb capelet or the Flower basket shawl would be cutest and/or fastest to knit. Oooh, great, I thought. Maybe I'll knit both!

And when I figured that the cost of the yarn wouldn't be prohibitively expensive (one ball of Merino Frappe for the capelet, and two balls of Misti Alpaca for the Flower Basket shawl, all together run about $20, give or take some pennies), I thought, hell, why not buy the yarn for both, and see how far you get?

Ha. Easier said than done, yeah? I went to my first LYS, which has got the best architectural charm in the world (it's in an adorable house and is super cozy and homey), but no Merino Frappe. All they had was a sad little basket of random balls of Misti Alpaca. And since I needed two balls, I couldn't get the lone pink ball in there. They did have some other laceweight yarn, silk and alpaca, I think, but it was about $20 for a single skein and although I probably could have made two balls out of it to carry together for the Flower Basket, I decided to go to the other LYS, which is not so L(ocal), and check out what they had.

So I hopped on I35 (there are about 3 different ways to get there, none of them good) just before rush hour. Not my preferred time for traveling on I35, aka the Highway of Death, but I wanted to make it before they closed at 6. Once I got to Parmer Lane, I got off there and zipped up the rest of the way. Zip being a relative term.

Those of you who live in the burbs, this may not be so unusual to you. But I'm a little ole city girl, and I am SO not used to doing 60 mph on a street. Which is what Parmer technically is, but really is more like a highway approximating the Highway of Death mentioned earlier. Complete with nutty drivers who believe they are trying out for the Indy 500. Also, someone tell me why it's so hard to get back on the right track after being in the wrong lane and being forced to make a left when all you wanted to do was keep going straight???? (No wonder there weren't any cars in that lane.)

Anyway, I got to the other not so LYS, and they have tons and tons of lovely yarn, Misti Alpaca and definitely no Merino Frappe! I really wanted this project to take with me a road trip this weekend (8 hours to Marfa! Woo hoo! So much knitting time!), so in desperation, I bought this for the Flower Basket Shawl:

Which, don't get me wrong, is a beautiful yarn. Karabella Breeze. Cashmere and silk, yum. And the color is absolutely exquisite--it's a dusty champagne pink color that I think will go perfectly with the dress. But, duh, it's the wrong weight.

I knew this, too. The Flower Basket shawl calls for doubling up laceweight alpaca. But I thought, hmmm, doubling up laceweight would equal this yarn, more or less. Except it doesn't. The label calls for size 4 needles. And the pattern calls for 16 sts to 4" in stockinette. OK, so I start swatching on size 7 needles. Nope. I'm getting 5 sts to the inch, not 4. I go up to size 8. Still, nope. All righty, then (anyone watch Sex and the City last night on TBS?). Feeling panicked and wondering if I should make a mad dash up the Highway of Death again (and calculating that it would cost me about $5 in gas to get there and back and is it worth it?) I grab my size 9s. Weeellll....I'm making about 4 and a half now.

OK, so is this so bad? It's a shawl, after all, and gauge doesn't have to be so important. Not doubling the yarn will also make it less substantial, too, I guess. I feel sorta ridiculous knitting lace on size 9 needles, unless one of you all wants to tell me that it's OK.

Is it, oh knitting gurus? I don't want to end up with weird distorted munchkin lace, kind of like my munchkin cables.

Sorry, didn't mean to scare ya! Kinda scared myself.


At 1:14 PM, Anonymous Neighborhood Laura said...

Well, I don't think that there is anything wrong with doing lace on size nines, so long as you're happy with the way that it looks when it is done.
The pretty is the whole point.

If you want, you can always tell poeple that you knitted it on fours. How are they to know?

At 1:21 PM, Anonymous Neighborhood Laura said...

Oh, I'm mohair, by the way.

Since I can never complete a thought in one go, also...

Since you'll be sitting for a long time, take a lot of different sizes of needle with you, and then switch if you're not happy with the results.

Why are you going to Marfa?

At 4:37 PM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

Lace on big needles? No problem. I knit an eyelet wrap cardigan on size 9s and it came out beautifully. The spiderweb capelet is knit on size 15s... so I wouldn't worry. As long as you've got gauge (or almost) and you like the texture and drape, I'd say go for it! Incidentally, I've never actually seen Merino Frappe in a store except the Yarn Co. in NYC (which is where I bought mine). If my LYS had some, I'd send it on over... but they don't. :(

At 5:42 PM, Blogger Laura said...

I think that you can knit lace with any yarn, and any size needles. I think I read once that it is best to use a size that is 2-3 sizes larger than is recommended. I think your nines and that yarn should work out fine. And gauge is not important, as long as it obviously won't be ginormous as a tent or tiny like a hankerchief.

At 11:33 AM, Anonymous Nancy said...

I think it's gorgeous on the size 9s! The way I undersottd it the only rule in knitting is "yarn goes over needles". Everything else is just a suggestion. p.s. I'm shetland wool, too!

At 11:35 AM, Anonymous Nancy said...

"Undersottd"? I don't think that's in the OED. Please replace the questionable word with "understand". Thanks!


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