Monday, 25 June 2007

Swallowtail Sunday

I've been feeling a little bit colour-starved lately, with both Betty and Tendrils being a bit on the drab side. To counter this, I've had a really intensly-coloured project waiting in the wings for a while now. It was meant to be saved for when I was finished Betty, but I couldn't hold out any longer and decided that Sundays would be for swallowtail, with Betty's final sleeve (already on the DPN's) being worked on week-nights.

The pattern is by Evelyn A Clark, from Interweave Knits some time last year. The yarn is HipKnits 100% cashmere sock yarn and I'm using 4mm Addi Lace Needles. So far, in a couple of hours yesterday afternoon, I've got through the budding lace chart 1 and 8 repeats of the budding lace chart 2. There are a couple of 'design features' but I can live with them and couldn't face ripping out to correct them (my life-line was just too far back - something I'm correcting now), so I fudged to get the correct number of stitches and they don't show up too obviously.

This is my first go at knitting what I think of as 'proper lace' and I'm really enjoying it. It's been a great introduction to reading lace charts and the charts are really well presented with a key to the symbols on each page so you don't have to keep flicking back and forward until you have them memorised. I can't wait to see how it looks blocked, as when other people have shown before and after shots on their blogs, the lace really seems to improve with blocking. Also, the yarn feels like it might be slightly oiled at the moment so the cashmere softness might also really come through after blocking.

Well, back to Betty's sleeve for the next five nights - I feel like I'm starting to get there with her, I've pinned the first sleeve in to see how it looks and it's pretty good. I might need to rip out a few rows at the top of the sleeve cap, alter the shaping a bit and shorten it by four rows to improve the fit, but that's fairly trivial and I might experiment first with the second sleeve cap before I go ripping out the cast-off on the first.

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