Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Ordinary Time

Before the New Year glow of new resolutions and new beginnings wore off, I did a bit of stash neatening. Ordinarily I store handspun yarn and commercial yarn in separate boxes, but in the course of shifting stash from place to place I came across some handspun and some commercial spun that might have been separated at birth and wandered the wide world, only to be reunited in my stash.

Handspun and commercial yarn

Handspun Zarzuela's Fibers Targhee, colorway Swamp Story, and Noro Kureyon, #188

There was just enough of each in stash to together knit up a vest in Brooklyn Tweed-y stripes. Betty's Tee by Tram Nguyen caught my eye. Ordinarily I don't much care for entrelac, but the intriguing construction intrigued.

In the photo the vest in progress has reached the utter confusion stage that entrelac projects sometimes seem prone to – stitch holders (or in this case, circular needles) holding live stitches seemingly everywhere! The knitting wraps around, then tilts and folds – it's an absorbing 3D puzzle, very entertaining.

Betty's Tee in progress, with Golding spindle

The spindle that spun the yarn, a three-inch Golding, is included in the photo because someone asked to see it.

One thing I don't like about ordinary entrelac is in order to keep the stitch count correct, the rate at which stitches are picked up usually does not correspond with the ratio of stitch to row gauge, with the result the fabric often puckers. The designer cleverly compensated for this by working wide ribs that wrap and hug the torso rather like the psoas muscle. I think the diagonal bias drape of the entrelac blocks will be superb, with just enough but not too much stretch.

Some who have made the vest have complained about fit issues, in particular an overly wide and deep v-neck and a too-short body. I'm not concerned about length (at least not at the moment), but clothes barely hanging on (or off) my shoulders fidgets me to no end. I'm pondering neckline modifications as I go.

With any luck, I'll have a hemi-handspun vest to wear for the Roc Day gathering. If you're in the area, hope to see you there!

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