Hello all. Here’s a brief preview of the week’s post content, and a summary of what I did this weekend.
- washed and skeined some thrift yarn
- finished the Vermouth jacket
- fancied up my kitchen a little bit
But that’s not this post. No, this is something that I’m a bit more excited about. This one is really going to test me. For the record, I’ve never worked with lace-weight yarn, never done official blocking, and never dyed before. That said, it’s almost stupidly optimistic to think I can make it work. But isn’t that always the case?
H and I were thinking about knitting in weddings (particularly when she showed me a link to The Knitted Wedding at Cast Off!), somewhat regretting that we hadn’t done anything for our own. But with Vermouth finished, I swore there was still time (and I’m praying I was right!), and the two of us browsed through Ravelry until we found a selection of shawls we thought would be acceptable.
The pattern we decided on? I’m sure you’ve seen it, the newly-published Rock Island from Brooklyn Tweed. Long admired from afar, I’ve finally grabbed a Brooklyn Tweed pattern of my own.
Now for the part with photos. (Finally!)
Here’s what I like best about this project: the yarn. Thankfully, Sifu is pretty much across the street from Hannah’s and open late on Fridays, so we were able to head right over with our made-up minds. We needed a solid, dark brown lace-weight yarn. Experience will teach you time and again, though, that “we need” ≠ “they’ll have”. After a few minutes of hunting through the stocks, we found this cone.
The woman running the place says she found it at an estate sale, and was originally produced here in IL, just west of Chicago in a little place called Rochelle. The company might not even be around anymore as googling “Morgan” and “yarn” in the area of the town yields no results. Evidence of age: the outer layer of yarn is a nice warm beige; the tag says “white”.
I’ll probably end up with a very gradual white-to-off-white gradient as I work inward to the protected layers, but that’s actually okay. We wanted a dark brown, and we’re gonna have it. We’ll just need to learn how to dye. Don’t worry, we’re going to test it before throwing a whole shawl in! Any suggestions, tips, catastrophic anecdotes about dyeing? I’d love to hear ’em.
It’s slow, meticulous work knitting this so far, not allowing the zoning out my other projects so often afford. Which is nice in its own way, but makes it a lot harder to knit in between phone calls. And there is one major downside to this vintage lace: it has not only yellowed, but weakened as well. In knitting a 2″x4″ swatch I broke the yarn twice just pulling it a bit too hard off the cone.
I’m a lot more careful now (I do NOT want to deal with weaving in ends in the middle of a lace motif) and it’s made me super anxious about moving it. I feel like I’m handling explosives trying to keep this thing safe on the bus. But I can’t waste a minute! June 4th is probably the most immobile deadline on a project I’ll ever face, and there are only two outcomes I can foresee. One is that my bride will have a lovely shawl; the other is that years from now, this shawl will be what they point to and say, “Right there. That’s when he lost his mind.”
I’ll catch you up on the other stuff later this week. Happy Monday!
UPDATE: Thanks to the advice given in the comments, I gave the cone a closer inspection, the results being both good and bad. Turns out there was a spot on the bottom of the cone that had several individual strands worn down to a single ply or even severed outright. It was low on the cone, and took a few rounds of unwinding to actually reach it.