Tag Archives: Cashmere

4 Factors to Consider When Making Nightsong Shawl-Another Finished Object

Nightsong Shawl in Cashmere lace weight from Silk CIty Fibers

Nightsong Shawl in Cashmere lace weight from Silk CIty Fibers

I finally finished the Carnation Pink Nightsong Shawl. I felt particularly inspired after seeing the cashmere lace shawl at Mountain Fibers which had a 3 figure price tag. My husband insists that I undervalue my knitted work. It’s not a matter of how it looks but rather the fact that I often knit while I do something else whether it’s visiting with friends in my knitting circles or watching television with my husband or commuting.

For those of you considering making the Nightsong shawl, I strongly recommend it. Here’s my list of its strengths and weaknesses. Of course, how you view them depends on the level of your lace work and goals.

  • Nightsong is a triangular shawl which is relatively shallow. As a result, it gets long enough to wrap around one’s neck quickly. It can be used for a skien of sock yarn with 450 yards. (Please note that this is an estimate! Your results may vary.)
  • Nightsong is a free pattern available online. The pattern is the same on both the left and right sides. There are several ways to follow the repeats. If you read through the entries on Ravelry, you can make an educated guess as to what will work for your project based on the size  shawl you want and how much yarn you have.
  • Nightsong shawl, unlike many triangular shawls doesn’t have a center stitch or spine. At the center is a double yarnover where you need to knit and purl. If you’re not careful, the holes can be large.
  • Nightsong shawl repeats grow organically getting bigger and smaller which helps make it interesting for the knitter and if you’re like me and use stitch markers to denote the pattern repeats, there’s no need to move them!

On the whole, I enjoyed the Nightsong Shawl pattern and would make it again. I am not alone as you’ll see if you check it on Ravelry. I found the very fine cashmere lace weight a challenge. It required good light and I found that I needed to rest my eyes periodically.

Once I soaked the shawl (it’s a good idea to sock lace shawls for at least a half hour. I use hair conditioner which relaxes the yarn.) and pinned it out, the cashmere really softened and the lace blossomed. Since I bought this yarn as a mill end at Silk City Fibers, I have no idea as to how much I used or the true price.

Have you tried the Nightsong Shawl? If so, what did you think?

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

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Planning Vacation Knitting

Overcast skies at Fair Harbor Beach

Overcast skies at Fair Harbor Beach

This year, we’re going to Fire Island for a beach vacation where we both get to indulge in our hobbies. My husband wind surfs in the bay and I knit on the ocean beach.

In preparation, I plan out my knitting, especially since there aren’t any yarn stores on Fire Island in case I run out of yarn or supplies or get bored with my current project(s).  To this end, I like to bring a variety of projects that involve different types of knitting and materials. 

For me, beach knitting is great for zen knitting where you get into the knitting zone without having to think. I find that it allows me to relax. This can be good for complex patterns such as lace, long projects that require lots of knitting which would take months otherwise, quick projects that you can finish in an afternoon on the beach or more simple minded projects requiring little thinking. 

When it comes to vacation knitting, I  tend to over pack since I like having the option of changing projects. Vacation knitting is a great way of having a memory of your vacation in terms of the finished item. 

This year, I’m  bringing a combination of pieces. Since I’m looking to reduce the number of WIPs and my stash,there are some stash buster projects in the queue. Here’s what I’m bringing with me:

1] Fountain Pen Shawl (Source: Interweave Magazine 2009)- This project has been planned for outdoor summer knitting since I’m using black Malabrigo sock yarn that I bought on sale at The Point. Alyssa, the manager, inspired this project. After knitting the Shetland Lace Scarf, I had promised myself not to make any more black lace pieces until my choices for the Malabrigo sock yarn were been black or white (and I have tons of white yarn from last year’s wedding projects!). 

2] Nightsong aka Gail (Source: Free Online) This project is already in progress using a free pattern that I found on the internet for free. I used the comments on Ravelry to help me. I’m using a cobweb weight lace cashmere. Between the fineness of the yarn and the complexity of the pattern, it’s taking longer than expected to finish. It’s a present that’s due on July 1st which is definately going to be late.

3] Hemlock Ring Blankie (Source:  Brooklyn Tweed). I’m planning to knit this project in a cotton, wool, silk blend made by a small producer. The yarn looks more interesting than it is to knit with. Usually, I’m not one to jump on such a big internet trend like the Hemlock Ring Blanket but lately I’ve been bitten by the lace doily bug and wanted to use a tried and try pattern to better understand how to extend a doily. This project is a gift.

4] Mitered Top (Source: Vogue Knitting Summer 2009). This is a Norah Gaughan pattern which should have a broader audience given it’s great line. It may be the mix of yarns that turns some people off. Given the way that the top gets more fitted may hurt its following, at least on Ravelry. (Part of NaKniSweMoDo)

5] Grey-Beige-White Long Sleeve Top. (Source:  Basic seater top.) This sweater was started back in March since I wanted a hand made sweater for the spring. Unfortunately, I didn’t get it finished in time. The colors were perfect for the spring in an Anny Blatt/Bouton D’Or linen blend called New Jeans. I am knitting it in a reverse 3/1 rib with a v-neck. The project is crawling towards completion. (Part of NaKniSweMoDo)

6] More knitted doilies. (Source: Online) Using Ravelry’s search function, I’ve been collecting a variety of patterns to test using scraps and swapped yarn. (Recycle projects to use up yarn while creating something useful.)

When I started this list the Botanica Medallion top on the cover of the Summer 2009 Vogue Knitting and my Estonian Lace Shawl were in the queue but I decided to cut back a bit.

In addition, I’ve made sure that I have hard copies of all of the patterns and put them into plastic sleeves to protect them. I  also fortified my knitting notions to ensure that I have enough stitch markers and highlighter tape to keep my projects straight.

Of course, this is more knitting than I can do in this period of time but I believe that it’s better to be overstocked with projects than being bored!

What do  you do for your vacation   knitting?

Sumbtted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

Gail Lace Shawl in Carnation Pink Cashmere

Carnation Pink Cashmere Lace Weight from Silk City Fibers

Carnation Pink Cashmere Lace Weight from Silk City Fibers

One of my close friends had a milestone birthday last year. Since it was close to our wedding, I promised her a hand knit lace shawl within a year. I taped a piece of the lace weight cashmere to my card. It’s carnation pink just like the color of the Crayola Crayon. 

 

I have spent a lot of time looking through my lace knitting books, the web and Ravelry for ideas. Earlier this week, I was inspired by a photo of the Gail aka Nightsong Shawl on Ravelry. Further, it’s a free knitting pattern which takes about 450 yards to make. Since my yarn, bought as a mill end at Silk City Fibers, is too thin to measure, I am guessing based on comparison with the ball of Lacy Alpaca by Classic Elite.

The shawls on Ravelry are beautiful although there are a few comments on the pattern. It is an interesting triangle in that it doesn’t have a plain stitch running down the center of the spine. The one difficulty I encountered was the fact that there are a couple of rows where there is a double yarn over. Of course, had I read the instructions all the way through, I would have realized that I needed to use a knit and purl combination on the reverse side. Despite a few mis-starts, it’s relatively easy to follow and I am making slow progress due to the delicate nature of the yarn.

 

Nightsong Lace Shawl in Carnation Pink Cashmere Lace Weight

Nightsong Lace Shawl in Carnation Pink Cashmere Lace Weight

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

The Essential Tank Top (aka Honeymoon Top in Pink)

I’m starting the New Year with new knitting projects and challenges. To start, I’m swatching The Essential Tank Top from Pam Allen and Ann Budd’s Lace Style. It’s a pattern by Laura Zukaite and only requires a front and back with limited finishing. The book is chock full of lace projects that are doable and not just another shawl.

I’m using the bubble gum pink 85% silk/ 15% cashmere that I purchased in December at Silk City Fibers. Given the fiber content, I figure that I’ll be able to use it all year round after the honeymoon! Since lace tends to blossom (fancy word for expand), I’m swatching it on various size needles.

While the pattern looks intimidating, if you read the graph, you’ll find that two rows of the pattern repeat six times! Plus, it’s knitted lace so the wrong side is just purl.

I’ve really got religon about swatching and washing on this project. I started with size 6 needles and I’m down to size 3.

Lace Petal - Lace Style

Lace Petal Swatch in Pink 15%Cashmere/85%Silk

BTW, I recommend adding about 4-6 rows of garter stitch to the bottom of the top since the lace tends to curl. If you look closely, you’ll see this in the photo.