Tuesday, February 01, 2005

alpaca meets lace

Now that grandma's socks are done, but I'm still researching the yarn for my Adrienne Vittadini sweater, I'm working on another exciting project.

I first spotted the Backyard Leaves scarf when I borrowed Scarf Style from the library. It didn't make a big impression on me at the time. Then I saw a sample scarf knit up at Woolcott, a local yarn shop, and was very impressed with the intricate design. I requested the book again from the library, ordered some yarn, and got started on Sunday.

The yarn I'm using is 100% alpaca from elann.com. It is sleek, slick, a little fuzzy, and unlike wool, not very stretchy. It reminds me of angora a lot, except not as itchy (I'm mildly allergic to angora). I picked out two colors, antique rose and raspberry, with hopes of keeping one and returning the other. However, I liked both colors so much that I decided to keep 'em both.

On Sunday I asked some fellow knitters which one would suit me better, and the group voted 'raspberry.' So I went ahead and cast on with the antique rose because despite their vote I realized that's the one I wanted to use :).

Working with this yarn is wonderful. It is so soft and buttery. It has great stitch definition, more defined than wool, I'd say. After working two repeats of the pattern, I think this alpaca will work well for the pattern.

The pattern is complicated (16 different types of stitches are used), but not impossible. It has the most clever little border formed by a combination of slipped and knit stitches - compact, firm, very neat. Here's a close-up of one of the leaves:

I think this will be an enjoyable project while I mull over yarn selection for the sweater :).


At 2:58 PM, Anonymous CatBookMom said...

The border/edging sounds like the same pattern as on Alisons scarf at Annie Modesitt's blog - is it k1, sl1 wyif, ki (RS), then sl1 wyif, k1, sl1 wyif (WS)? Makes a very nice edge indeed.

At 9:45 AM, Blogger grumperina said...

Exactly! Isn't it a nice one? To clarify for others, on the RS, k1, sl1 wyif, k1 at both the beginning AND the end of the row. Ditto for WS.

At 3:26 AM, Blogger KarenK said...

I saw your scarf on the knitalong site and clicked over here to your blog, looks like a good one, I'll have to add it to my list.

By the way, your picture of the scarf is MUCH better than the one in the book -- I swear, when are they going to get it into their heads that knitters don't need/want "artsy" photos of knitting projects? It's a sure indication of how good the patterns in the "Scarf Style" book are, since the book is so popular in spite of the fuzzy photography.

At 9:44 AM, Blogger grumperina said...

Thanks, KarenK, I hope you enjoy my blog.

I completely agree with you about the photos in this book. The first time I saw this scarf, it was in the book, I didn't even give it a second glance. Only once I saw it knit up in real life I realized how interesting and unique the pattern is.


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