Saturday, October 14, 2006

To a Goldengrove Shawl

TodayFiber prep I'm occupied with the dyeing segment of the Twisted Knitters D-S-K-Along. It's my first time dyeing fiber and at 8:30 a.m. already I can tell it's going to take a looooong time to do, photograph, and blog. In the meantime, here's a little something that seems vaguely appropriate because it involves alchemy, my SnB wanted to see it, and Modern Yarn will soon be carrying the yarn. Plus there's poetry.

          Márgarét áre you gríeving
          Over Goldengrove unleaving?

                       -- Gerard Manley Hopkins, Spring and Fall, 1880

The last time I was at Purl,Alchemy Yarns Haiku or skeins of beauty a veritable avalanche of Alchemy Yarns silk and mohair Haiku jumped off the shelf and hit me on the head. Some people might have been annoyed or dismayed; my reaction: It's raining yarn – hallelujah! No serious damage was done and (what else?) I bought some. This is the Copper colorway. Incredible to relate, it's even more gleamingly silky, more misty, and more wonderful to knit than KSH. If that weren't enough, its long yardage for the price gives excellent value for a beauteous handpainted yarn.

My current pattern obsession is [swoon] Hanging Garden Lace Stole by Sivia Harding (curiously, it's called Hanging Leaves on the chart page). It's got it all: beads! lace! leaves!! Sivia Harding at Knitpicks pricing!!! The combination of fabu pattern and fabu yarn makes me think of Goldengrove... or Lorien.

Hanging Garden Lace Stole in progress

I'm using U.S. 6 (4.25 mm) aluminum straight needles, my favorites for speed; others may wish to use bamboo to tame the slick silk (say five times fast) content. Otherwise Haiku is marvelously easy to work with and almost magically forgiving. It's the only mohair or mohair blend yarn I've used that can be frogged rather than tinked. The color variations are more subtle in the knit fabric than in the skein, which allows the pretty lace trellis and leaves to shine. I like the gossamer texture and hazy bloom, but the lace would be equally lovely and more crisply defined in a heavier, smoother yarn. I'd love to have cotton curtains in the pattern (or linen, but where does one get linen thread nowadays?) – imagine autumn light filtering through the lace.

Some Sivia Harding stoles are worked in two pieces and grafted at the center back so that the lace pattern falls symmetrically; this one is worked in one direction, in one piece. Just to check the effect, I grafted two gauge swatches together – and didn't care for the seam.

Infelicitous seamed gauge swatches

No problem. I'll work my stole in one direction, in one piece. When worn, some of my Goldengrove garden will be hanging, some rising – like Spring and Fall.


dragon knitter said...

gorgeous! and i think bossy little dog has a link for linen thread. i'll look.

she's in florida, so she's definitely hooked on linen, lol

dragon knitter said...

how did it go? i can't wait to see the results (i'm staying up with my pear butter again, argh!)

Beth S. said...

That is just fabulous. The color is right up my alley, and the pattern... WOW. (Incidentally, yours is much prettier than the one in the Knitpicks photo.)

I usually don't worry about the directionality (er, is that a word?...) of the pattern in a rectangular lace scarf or stole. I would be more annoyed by the seam smack in the middle than the two ends not facing the same way. Knit on and be happy!

Delica said...

It is great yarn. I bought the same exact color last year at Rhinebeck to make a very simple lace scarf for a friend. I love the pattern you're using - when scrolled down to the pic, I gasped! Almost a swoon - it's a good thing I'm sitting on the couch!