14 April 2007

Peacock Feathers!

I did it. I finally cast on for my most favorite shawl. I had to do it, or I would have spent another couple of years trying to decide upon the One Yarn for it. It is one of those designs that stands perfect in my mind. Maybe you have had the same experience? A design you love so much that you spend forever trying to decide which yarn to use? And then never get around to knitting it because you can't decide which would do it justice? There is a sweater, St. Brigid by Alice Starmore, that also stands perfect in my mind. And I have started it several times in different yarns, but I haven't found the One yet.

Since I keep track of my progress on the charts using a highlighter, I began by making a working copy. I found my stitch markers (neon colored plastic drinking straws cut in small rings) and cast on with cobweb weight silk from Colourmart and US 4 needles. What gorgeous yarn! And what an unmitigated disaster! The silk was really much too fine for the pattern. Below, you can see the first few rows of chart number 1:

And here it is stretched a bit:

The character of the shawl was lost completely. So back to the drawing board. I ran upstairs and grabbed the yarn I had originally bought for the purpose (a couple of years ago): Zephyr wool/silk in marine blue. The Colourmart silk was put away for a pattern to be knit on US 0s (when I am feeling masochistic, which happens more often than you'd expect, actually).

I cast on again and joy! It flew. Here is the shriveled little mess that is charts 1 and 1a:

Here it is stretched out a bit:

I am very happy with the Zephyr. And I'm already entertaining the idea of knitting a miniature version of Peacock Feathers on US 0s and using the silk. Or perhaps lengthening the entire shawl. Hmmmm....

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Blogger Ann said...

Much better!

And such a pretty pattern.

6:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hee-hee, I was wondering why, sometimes it takes me so long! to get started on something. You just described it - it's because I have to find the perfect yarn. Thanks for the links, I've checked them all - love them! Terry

7:13 AM  
Blogger Scoutj said...

Ooooooh. Purty!

7:28 AM  
Anonymous Susan said...

Good God, Woman!!! You sure can knit fast!!! That is simply beautiful! PS: I am going back to graphing in the style you showed me. Makes much more sense.


8:33 AM  
Blogger NancyMaria said...

I second the motion on the Zephyr! Very lovely, indeed. I love lace!
I have that book by Alice Starmore so I'll have to check out that pattern again. :)

10:21 AM  
Blogger Joanne said...

I hear you on "waiting for the perfect yarn.." syndrome. I have "waiting for the perfect pattern/idea" syndrome. I have yarn that marinates for years in this way! My best happily ever after story is the silk I bought with my brother-in-law's help--I knit that recently into a sweater to wear at his wedding.

If only I could use up the rest of the yarn I've saved this way...glad to hear the zephyr's working well. That silk will just have to wait, won't it?

3:24 PM  
Anonymous Sally said...

Oh, yes. I have one of those sweaters. Maybe two or three. The one I am particularly thinking of was meant to be knit out of Edina Ronay silk and wool, which was discontinued years ago. I've never found just the right replacement.

I loved the Zephyr for own Peacock. In fact, I loved it so much that I bought some more in the same colour you're using.

Were we separated at birth?

4:46 PM  
Anonymous Dipsy said...

I know exactly what you mean about having the perfect project, but no yarn that seems to be halfway proper to knit it with - I have, like, ten projects here that yell for that perfect yarn, and argh, I wonder if I'll ever find it? You've been indeed courageous to just cast on for this goodie, and it seems to me that this IS the perfect yarn! This is going to be a real piece of art!

4:03 AM  
Blogger Angela said...

Peacock using the cobweb silk and 0s might not be as small as you think. PF is a HUGE shawl :)

4:14 PM  

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